Welcome to my new favourite blog series, Readers in Profile!
In this series, I'm sitting down to virtual tea with some of the folks in the tarot community to talk approaches to tarot, origin stories, and more. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love our community, and it's such a pleasure to hear from the readers who inspire and challenge me to go further in my work with the cards. I really hope you find your possibilities expanded, too!
In case you missed it, here's last month's interview with Cameron Ayers of The Tarot Parlor. You can also find my interview with reader and deck creator, Mary Elizabeth Evans, here. And now, to this month's guest, Carrie Mallon. Hi Carrie!
Nice to meet you! Tell us a little bit about yourself as a tarot reader and a human person.
Hi, thank you for inviting me to the Two Sides Tarot blog, I’m very happy to be here! I use tarot as a framework for self-discovery, creative expression and spiritual growth. Tarot is one of the most useful tools I’ve found for digging into the psyche and integrating meaningful lessons. Exploring tarot has given me countless ‘aha’ moments and brought me more in touch with magic. Tarot really makes me feel more alive and mindful. That’s what I try to bring to my clients, as well. I’m here to be a sort of guide, using tarot to give people new perspectives and help them align with their most potent selves.
As a human person I am a jumble of things, as most of us are! I studied human development in college, I am a proud cat lady, if I’m not doing something tarot related I’m likely cooking, I’m silly and ridiculous but also quite serious. I’m a Cancer and an INFP and although those can’t completely describe me, I do fit many of the personality traits they’re associated with!
Could you share your tarot origin story?
I discovered tarot when I was in the thick of a quarter life crisis. I’d done everything I thought I should do – I went to college, I graduated, I got a corporate job. Up until then there had always been a clear next step in front of me, but when I reached that point I had a kind of existential crisis. I knew I wanted to be living more creatively, I knew something felt hollow in my life – but I couldn’t figure out what to do next. There wasn’t a clear next step, and I felt confused, apathetic and disconnected.
And then, one day, I felt a sudden urge to go buy a tarot deck. I was sort of familiar with tarot – I had a good friend who had been reading for years – but I can’t tell you why I suddenly felt I NEEDED to get a deck of my own. But I followed the inclination, and as I began to work with the cards, things slowly started to click into place. I began to feel more alive, more plugged in and connected to something mysterious and awesome. Tarot helped me engage in a process of growth and creativity that I’m still continuing to this day.
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?
This isn’t wildly unique, but as many readers do, I almost always do daily draws. How I frame my daily draw depends on the day. Usually I’ll just pull a card to show general energies I can be aware of as I go through the day. Sometimes I’ll do a more in-depth reading for myself around a specific situation.
Aside from that, I can’t help but see tarot in everything I encounter. This isn’t even something I try to do, it just happens! I think this is the way we get the deepest relationship with the cards: when we start to connect the ways their archetypes underpin our everyday experiences.
Do you integrate tarot into any other aspects of your spiritual or creative practice?
Yes! At this point, tarot has weaseled its way into basically every aspect of my life, ha! Occasionally I meditate with a card, especially if I can sense I need to tap into that card’s energy within myself. I blog every week, and if I need inspiration on a topic, I pull a couple of cards and use them as prompts. I also use tarot for creative writing – in fact, this was one of the first things I started doing when I first got into tarot. Last year I wrote a three part blog series on using tarot to prepare for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).
As you're a professional reader, are there any pro tips or insights you’ve picked up along the way that you’d like to share?
I do read professionally, and there’s a couple of things that come to mind that have been HUGE for me. When I’m reading for other people, I have to remember to get out of my own way. What I mean by that is to try, as much as possible, to put my ‘ego’ on the back burner. The number one way to give an unhelpful reading to a client is to be fixating on if you sound dumb, if you’re not good enough, blah blah blah. That ego stuff mucks up the real magic a tarot reader can bring. When I focus on being a conduit for messages and illumination for the client, THAT’S when I’m of the greatest service, I think.
It’s also been important for me to remember that readings are most transformative when they are actionable and empowering. What tangible steps might help the client get unstuck? Are their specific tools or exercises I can recommend for their unique situation? What messages will inspire the client to activate their own magic and walk away feeling courageous? Those are the things I really try to bring into a reading.
Where can we find you?
My cozy lil' internet home is carriemallon.com. Anyone is welcome to come hang out there! That’s where you’ll find my weekly blog post as well as the details on working with me. I give tarot readings through email and Skype, and for deeper level work I offer a six week mentorship.
I also spend a lot of time on Instagram: @carriemallon, so come hang out with me there, too.
Thank you again for the interview, it was a pleasure!
Thanks so much for stopping by, Carrie!