What Does an Email Tarot Reading Look Like?

In the year+ I’ve been in business, the majority of people I’ve read tarot for have been first-timers and/or afraid of tarot.

On one level I feel incredibly privileged by this, because it means that I have the chance to educate, inform, and just plain share my delight in tarot to neutralize negative stereotypes.

The only drawback is that this full-newness often means querents (the askers) don’t always know what they’re looking for, or what tarot can offer.

So, interspersed with the card-explorations I’m (slowly) posting, I’ll also use opportunities like today’s to share (with permission) a recent reading I did for a real-life querent.


I connected with Beth (not her real name) on Facebook, and she described her situation:

I am feeling very called to do – something. I read tarot, I’m a Reiki Master and clairvoyant healer, I use my pendulum, I work with earth spirits, I’m studying herbalism and permaculture and many other things. I love is so much and I’m happy in it. The problem is, the energy around learning all this feels frantic almost, like I HAVE to be the keeper of this knowledge.

As a tarot reader, Beth knows the value of a clearly stated question, and here’s what she offered for me to work with:

What’s the energy around why I’m being called so strongly to these intuitive and healer pathways now? How much is this just part of my personal journey or is there a bigger purpose at stake – something beyond me?

~ ~ ~

What follows is the reading as I wrote it to her, [with occasional comments for the uninitiated].

I found this tarot spread on tarotavenue.com.

  1. What is the first thing I should do? 3 of wands R
  2. What is the second thing I should do? Ace of wands R
  3. What is the third thing I should do? 7 of wands R
  4. What is holding me back? 7 of pentacles
  5. What do I need to do to overcome this obstacle? 6 of cups R
  6. What will happen if I wait any longer? 10 of cups R
  7. What will happen if I start right now? 3 of pentacles R
  8. Is there anything else I need to know? 9 of pentacles R

[In the center is a bonus card from the Field Guide to Garden Dragons deck: Patience, aka the Avocado Dragon. Some tarot readers or readings include an oracle card as a sort of wrap-up, summary, or “cherry on top” to offer querents a single word or image to focus on.]


I chose this spread to address your questions because what you are seeking seems bigger than the questions themselves, and I felt this format would address all the elements you raised.

Overall impression from the spread is how much fear/insecurity/anxiety seems to be surrounding this question for you (the weighted reversals). We also have no swords, majors, or court cards, so I think (heh.) we’re not currently dealing with an intellectual choice/concern here.

[For anyone who hasn’t worked with tarot: the swords are about the mind and thoughts – among other things. Majors indicate life-elements we have less control over, and court cards are often about people or personality. When a whole category of cards is missing we pay attention to that as part of the framing about what is present.]

I feel we’re looking at inner fire (soul), emotional and practicals as you decide about how you want to go forward.

It gives me the impression you’ve already run the mental/rational math and that’s not gotten in your way (or it has, and now you’re leaning over here for what can overcome). Now you’re looking to reassure your heart and soothe that inner badger (or whatever you call your heart-beast. Mine is a badger who can make me v. uncomfortable inside if she’s not fed regularly).

We also have two 7s, and two 3s, numbers of energy, initiation and movement (7) and intensity, evaluation or striving (3). This feels like a good summary of the feel I get from your questions and the starting place of your internal landscape. You also have the mini-run of the 9-10, which could suggest reaching a culmination – tho their being both reversed and different suits makes me think it’s not a straight-forward or projected culmination.

First-off the to-dos:

1. Threes are one of the places where we intersect with others. Wands are about inner fire and the soul. Begin by separating yourself from “all the rest.” if you weren’t (or aren’t) waiting on the feedback or approval of others, What is your resonance with these goals? For yourself? Before you go any farther know for yourself this is what is important to you.

I once read about a woman who asked a panel of writers if she should write her life story into a book, the way her friends and family were urging her. To my surprise, one of the people gave an emphatic No.

Writing a book (and I would add here, healing work) is hard, and it takes life from you. If you are not already wanting to do this, having – or prepared to find – a source for the long haul, you could end up not only burned out and disappointment with yourself, but also carrying an unnecessary load of shame for letting those others down.

One of my biggest revelations as a writer (and I might have put it into practice for the first time as tarot reader) was when I realized no one has the power (even if one existed with the interest) to show up with A Call that will blast away all my insecurities and convince me I have found my One True Calling.

I had to do that for myself. And that’s what I see in step-1, here. The biggest one.

2. Your essence of fire here is presented in-check. [Reversed]
Once you have your conviction intact and your torch burning, the next job is to make sure your fire won’t burn anyone. You have your calling, and it might even be to tell the world, but seared ears don’t listen well. Double-check you’ve got control of your passion rather than the other way around.

3. It sounds like you might be having a champagne problem. So many beautiful, effervescent opportunities to feel alive. The 7 of cups reminds us that not all options are as glorious as the rest, and reversed I hear a call to narrow your choices.

As a to-do item, I hear that call specifically as an invitation to choose one thing to focus on right now. Perhaps you can see it as a template to practice on, or maybe it’s the one thing you can actually do something about in this season.

Shifting gears:

Ultimately, you have questions (it seems to me) because you’re not already running down a path (or through a daisy-sprinkled meadow).

When I see the 7 of pentacles [Card 4] as the what – along with its being the only upright card – I honestly see clear skies ahead of you: What’s holding you back is literally the amount of time necessary for growth and gestation. The timeline-stuff you can’t change — and usually doesn’t need to be changed.

What do you need to overcome? [Card 5] You could step back from the (childish) view that that now is all you have. Or the idea that what you’ve left behind is too baby-ish – that what’s out of reach is when your life will finally begin. Childish, binary thinking can be turned upside-down, and more nuance and patience can be brought to bear on the unavoidable element of time as it rules us all.

What will happen if I wait? [Card 6] I say this with all gentleness, and I’m happy to be wrong, but the first thing that jumped to mind with this card is how the upright represents an image/ideal of family/intimate relationship – an ideal that may or may not be accurate.

It may be you need this outlet to distract you from a relationship or dynamic in your family, and if you don’t have a “productive” outlet or way to feel good about yourself/your abilities/your contribution to the universe the cracks in that aspect of your world are going to make themselves known.

What will happen if you start right now? [Card 7] I think you’re going to have to work alone. It could be the virus isolation, it could be the disconnect hinted at in the previous card, it could be that your 7 of pentacles time hasn’t reached fruition yet. Which isn’t to say working alone is bad or wrong, it’s just a statement of probability.

Finally, I feel there’s an important message in this last card. [Card 8] Namely, that this path, while deeply rewarding, and maybe for more people than just you, isn’t one that’s going to bring in enough money or situational peace to make you comfortable. You maybe comfortable for other reasons, and there is nothing in the cards to indicate any of this is a bad idea, but it is not this path itself that will offer those things.

Ultimately, I think your dragon sums it up perfectly in its word: Patience.

I think you have a good thing going here, but I also think you have some openings for self-reflection about purposes and motivation. I see a lovely path, but not one that is busy, comfortable or for everyone.

All peace to you,

~ ~ ~

In the next post I’ll share some of her feedback. I offer a feedback link to every online querent. It’s super meaningful to me when they take the time to say exactly what worked and didn’t work for them. I read every word, and it’s been a valuable part of my (ongoing – unending) continuing education as a tarot reader.

This was a detailed reading in the $50 range.
I’ll be sharing smaller examples in the future and you’ll be able to see how they work as well.

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