Database Transformation

Here we go again, Database Monday on Tuesday…

This is an old favourite of mine, the Transformational Tarot, and was one of the decks I found very good for readings. I read with it six years ago for a friend during a troubled time, and I’ve never forgotten that reading because it was one of the last ones I chose to do. It was painfully clear what was going to happen, which I tried to soften, but it stayed in my mind. Not exactly divination but a sense of the outcome.


I’m shocked when people who are new to tarot get all excited about reading for people professionally. There’s a very great responsibility to reading for people. It’s hard to tell them the truth and it’s hard to deal with the emotion involved and people’s reactions. I have no interest in divination, but helping people via card readings is not divination, it’s more of a conversation, a way of giving people who need attention some time to reflect and make sense of what’s troubling them.

It’s also very uncomfortable when you tell people what you see and they refuse the guidance, and you know they’ll have problems and be unhappy. This happened to me when I did a reading for a person on a forum. She didn’t like what I said and kept asking other people for readings on the same subject, over and over again. She was training for a certain job and wanted to know the outcome of a job interview. As she spoke about my reading it came out that she was training for a job that paid the most money, but she hated the work. Is that divination? No, just pictures, a sense of what she was feeling that she ignored. Too close for comfort, I found it disturbingly sad, the envelope of time opened up to give a peek at her unwanted life path.

It still haunts me, so I no longer do readings. Some people can be rather derogatory, even ridicule you, if told that you don’t do readings, as if you aren’t serious. I’m an extremely serious person. I no longer do readings.


This is one of the last collage decks done by hand, with paper and scissors and glue before the advent of digital collage decks. I think it holds up. Arnell is a very creative person and also does miniatures which is one of my favourite things to work on as well. There is a nice balance of colour in this deck, and it’s interesting to pull out details and sort through them, for readings or not.

This deck reminds me that when someone makes derogatory remarks because you or I choose not to read, remember that tuning in to others is often a burden, a calling perhaps, that is not always the way some are called, in the same way that not all people are called to be teachers or doctors.

When I bought my first deck, I started writing stories and essays again, and writing poetry and painting, all the creative things I’d left behind somewhere. I sewed and sold many tarot bags, each one unique. Using the cards made me happier, as did contemplating artwork on card decks of all types.

Tarot is all about art for me, and the influence of art amid archetype, the transformation of that. Respect that.




10 thoughts on “Database Transformation

  1. “but helping people via card readings is not divination, it’s more of a conversation, a way of giving people who need attention some time to reflect and make sense of what’s troubling them.”
    This is what I do for myself (reflection and inventory) and for others. I work with women in recovery, and the cards have been a great tool that provides them with a visual to help them dig underneath their emotions and discover what is fueling them. As my blog says, I try to look at the “now.” I tried a few forum readings too, but found that people tend to just keep looking if they don’t hear what they want. Plus I got tired of all the incessant relationship questions (Will he call? Will he be my boyfriend? Will we get back together? Will he leave his girlfriend/wife for me?). Ack.

  2. Love the deck, and I totally agree with what you say about reading. Although I do feel called to read for others, I have also trained as a counsellor, and that is the perspective from which I go into readings. And it’s also true that I love teaching people to read for themselves, too: give a man a fish, and all that… 🙂 And oh, the artwork – I never tire of it!

    • So as I counsellor, you know that sometimes upsetting and disturbing things come out when you are reading for people. I observe that people opening a tarot business think it’s going to be a lark and they’ll make money, and then they hit the reality of human lives and emotional pain.

      I always remember a tarot creator I knew describing a reading she did at an event. A youngish girl of about 16 or 17 had a reading done and my friend saw things and asked the girl if she was being sexually abused. The girl started to cry and fled.

      I truly believe in study and use of cards but you better be sure you are ready for what humans and their lives reveal if you choose to read for them, you know? It’s not a business opportunity, it’s a vocation.

  3. Some of my best tarot reading skills were not picked up from tarot books. I learned to be patient and compassionate and to listen to people when I worked within the care industry. I learned how to be concise and clear in my speaking through school teaching. I learned to be methodical and detailed in my sewing. All of my readings contain these elements. As you say, it is a conversation – inspired by the cards.

    People’s problems are delicate and you have to use sensitivity and respect when handling them. Ultimately, I don’t believe I can solve them but I try to help people find ways of dealing with what worries they have, to find options, or see their life in a different way. For me, it is reflection, not fortune telling.

    As for the use of cards, I say ‘we’re all different’. I always felt a calling to use them to help others, even though I didn’t always do that as regularly as I do now. I love how you use your cards as creative springboards and references to art and colour and subject. I have learned about many different things from your card-inspired-posts – architecture, interiors, the natural world. There is no right or wrong way of using them. We find our own way, that’s the beauty in something like this. The best way is always your own way.

    Love the Transformational Tarot collage. Funnily enough, I was just looking at a deck called The Dharma Tarot which someone is creating by ‘physical’ collage.

  4. I like to see people doing different things. Unfortunately there are these people lurking about who feel it fair to denigrate those who don’t do readings. As if this was a sub-par commitment to tarot or flakey, somehow signifying a feeble intellect or intuitive ability. Not the case, which was my point.

    Oh, someone is still doing physical collage? As you and I know, having done numerous digital collage-y things, there is something about doing the paste-up and cutting yourself. Kind of different, enjoyable.

    I once saw an artist painting textures and tree bark separately and using them in collaged paintings. That looked interesting to create the base rather than cutting it from somewhere. Time, time.

    • I agree, re the paste-up! And I think that there is something nice about the ‘unslickness’ of physical collage – the difference in scale, being one thing I like. It overrides the need to adjust things too finely. You get what you get. I saw something similar in the bark of the wands in the Dharma deck. I love the textural element of this kind of work. It inspires me but I don’t think I am particularly good at it.

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