Today, I'm super duper excited to announce that a new series has arrived on the Two Sides Tarot blog - Readers in Profile!
There are so many wonderful things about being a tarot reader at this time in history, but I must say, one of the things I hold the most dear is our incredible community. There are just so many wonderful readers out there, sharing their unique skills, styles, and perspectives on tarot, and I love nothing more than hearing other readers talk about their craft. In this new series, I'm so lucky to be hosting some of my favourite cardslingers here at Two Sides Tarot, as they share their tarot stories. I really hope you enjoy hearing from them as much I do!
First cab off the rank in this series is Cameron from The Tarot Parlor. Thanks so much for stopping by, Cameron!
Nice to meet you, Cameron! Tell us a little bit about yourself as a tarot reader and a human person.
Nice to meet you too and thank you Marianne for inviting me to participate in the Readers in Profile series! My name is Cameron. I run The Tarot Parlor blog and website.
I have a lot of identities that I claim. I'm a tarot reader, a writer, a gender-fluid queer person, an entrepreneur, a business student, a bookkeeper, a dandy, and a hermit, just to name a few. My favorite activities are reading tarot, writing fiction, going on road trips, playing Super Mario World on SNES, hanging-out with my community, and ingesting ungodly amounts of coffee (me and the Nine of Cups are on the same page in this regard.).
As a tarot reader, whether I'm reading for myself or others, my focus is to bring clarity to the current situation and provide practical, actionable guidance to help manage it.
Could you share your tarot origin story?
I started reading cards in 2012. Before that, I spent years being curious about tarot, but I was too scared to pick up a deck. I grew up in an extremely religious household which basically taught that any form of divination or magic was a oneway ticket to fiery eternal damnation. It took a lot of work deconstructing that religious conditioning before I felt comfortable working with tarot. Fear based conditioning is no joke y'all.
My first deck was The Collective Tarot, an independently published deck created by a group of radical queer artists from the Pacific Northwest. The creators sought to deconstruct the traditional tarot structure, which tends to emphasize things like gender binary and social hierarchy, and make it accessible to people of all genders, all sexual orientations, all levels of ability, all classes and all ethnicities. This departure from the traditional structure of tarot made it a very interesting deck to learn on. The Collective Tarot is out-of-print now and it's near impossible to find used copies, so I treasure mine and feel very fortunate that I got my hands on a copy while it was still available.
How does tarot fit into your life day-to-day – what are the regular practices you use to connect with and learn from the cards?
In my own life I most often use tarot to get a “second opinion” or to do “troubleshooting.” For example, sometimes I have an understanding of a situation and I just want confirmation that I'm on the right track. Tarot can do that, or tell me when I've actually veered off course. Similarly, if I'm feeling too close to a situation, the tarot can point out things I may not have considered or give me an objective picture of what's going on.
In terms of learning the cards, I like to simply spend time with my decks. Most often I just sit on the couch flipping through them, enjoying the pictures, connecting with the imagery and the symbols. Journaling is another way I get to know my cards, also regularly using a deck for readings.
Do you integrate tarot into any other aspects of your spiritual or creative practice?
I do a lot with tarot and creative writing. I am in the process of finishing my first novel and I have a whole collection of spreads that I use for plot development, character development, brainstorming and getting over creative blocks. It's one of my favorite things to do with tarot, incorporating it into my writing practice.
I've actually started developing a workshop on the topic of using tarot for creative writing because I'm so passionate about it and because it has worked so well for me. I also have a slew of blog posts about tarot and creative writing on my website.
If you read professionally, are there any pro tips or insights you’ve picked up along the way that you’d like to share? Also, we’d love to know, what killer piece of wisdom have you picked up along the way that has transformed your personal tarot journey?
In terms of pro-tips...You don't need to offer every type of reading. I don't do relationship readings because I prefer to focus on areas like career path, creative development and personal growth. I find that by being specific like that, I end up reading for people who I connect with better and who I'm excited to work with.
On a more personal-tarot-journey note, these are the lessons that helped me the most:
Don't over-think or over-analyze the cards. When you start trying to consider every possible interpretation it leads to confusion and second-guessing. Trust your intuition and your gut impressions to guide you towards the correct interpretation for the occasion.
Take the time and space to ground yourself before starting a reading. If you are frazzled because you've been busy all day, or you're still cranky about the guy who cut you off in traffic, or you just feel anxious because you're doing a reading for someone else and it's scary (or one of any number of other things that make us feel agitated), take a couple deep breaths and try to find some inner-calm before you start.
Practice, practice, practice. The more you practice, the easier it is to interpret what you are seeing when you throw a spread. You are exercising and building the strength of your intuitive interpretive muscles.
Finally, where can we find you?
You can find me at my website, thetarotparlor.com. The site includes my card-ofthe-day readings, a collection of original tarot spreads, tarot and creative writing exercises, and a list of the tarot services I offer. If you are local (Portland, Oregon, USA) you can use the contact info on my site to get in touch, if you want to connect in-person. I also hang-out on social media @thetarotparlor, if you want to follow what I'm up to on any of those sites.
Thanks again for having me, Marianne! Hope to see you all around the internets! -Cameron
Thanks again for stopping by, Cameron! It was such a pleasure to have you.
I really hope you, dear reader, enjoyed today's guest to Two Sides Tarot. Stay tuned for more posts in this series, as I've got more fabulous and interesting interviewees lined up. What would you like to know about your favourite tarot readers? Leave your pressing questions in the comments, so I can quiz future guests!