Sunday, 13 March 2016

TAROT SPOTLIGHT: Theresa Reed - The Tarot Lady

Tarot Spotlight is a blog feature which allows us to meet and mingle with the Hierophants and High Priestesses of the Tarot community. It's been on hiatus for a while so I wanted it to come back with a serious bite. That's why I went after one of my all-time Tarot heroines - Theresa Reed of The Tarot Lady. I'm so delighted that she agreed to answer some questions. Make yourself comfortable because this interview is dynamite!

I see you as the ultimate trailblazer in online Tarot reading. In every industry, there have to be people who come before you and carve a door where there wasn’t one before. For me and so many others, that’s you – so it’s awesome to be able to ask you some questions! I’d love to start with focusing on your longevity in business. A lot of people come in and out of this game – not everyone has the staying power. What’s your secret?

Theresa: It all boils down a few simple principles:

One -  Take great care of the people you serve.  Follow through with swiftness.  Deliver what you promise.  Treat every person that comes through your tarot door with respect.  Be personable and don’t hand your clients off to some assistant.  Let them know that YOU are there for them, 100%.  Be compassionate, always.  My clients know that when they make a purchase with me, they get my full attention - and I always deliver, come rain or shine.

Two - Be flexible.  Business is constantly changing and you have to be willing to evolve too.  If I was doing my business the same way I was ten years ago, I’d be out of business!  I’m always open to a changing business landscape, even if it scares me.

Three - Tenacity is king.  I’ve had my setbacks over the years, both personally and professionally.  I never let it get me down or get in the way of serving my clients.  It’s a mission and I stay at it, day in and day out.  When you have that level of determination, you’re going hustle for the long haul and not let too much throw salt on your game.

Four - Never worry about competition.  I’m not a jealous girl - I don’t view fellow tarot readers as “competition”. They are my colleagues and I’m all about throwing down for my peeps.  Although I consider myself a lone wolf, I like to run with the pack and support the work of other readers.  There is room enough for all of us.  The less time you spend worrying about what the other guy is up to, the more likely you’re putting energy into your work.

Five - Consistency, consistency, consistency.  This is a huge thing.  I’ve been doing my gig for twenty five years.  In all that time, I’ve kept the same number.  I have a consistent brand and my marketing is also consistent.  I don’t drop off the face of the earth nor do I go through countless rebrands.  And when you meet me?  I’m the same gal you see in the pics.  What you see is what you get and you always know where to find me.  Those who don’t practice this tend to flake out and fade out.

Practice those principles and you’ll be at this as long as I’ve been.

What are some of the biggest changes you have seen in the online Tarot industry over the years?
Theresa: First of all, I’d like to say that the Tarot industry in general has changed a LOT over the years. Remember - I was doing business back in the stone age before computers and internet.  It was a lot harder to do business back then. The brilliant thing about the internet is that it has made it much easier to get a business up and running in short order.  Also, it’s made it easier to find fellow readers and tarot conferences, which has made this profession a lot less lonely.  I love that part.

The biggest change I’ve seen in the online tarot world is the incredible diversity of readers/reading styles/decks.  Clients have so much more to choose from!  This is fantastic because now a client can find their 'right' reader, which is so important.  After all, not every reader can read for every person. It’s much nicer when people find their perfect fit.  The internet has made that easier.  It’s also easier for clients (and Tarot readers) to get information about Tarot, which allows them to become educated consumers.  I’m all about that because the more they understand how Tarot works or how a Tarot reader works, the better for them.. and for us.

Lastly, I think the online world has given tarot readers the nudge to be more professional and business savvy.  The more we up our game + our biz skills, all the better for the Tarot industry!

Which Tarot card best represents the approach that you take with clients and why?

Theresa: Queen of Swords, all the way.  I believe in speaking the truth of what I see, no sugar-coating.  I’m also quite logical and strategic, which means I take a more practical approach with the cards.  I believe that our decisions determine our fate.  My role as a reader is to look at where you’ve been, where you are, and where you might be headed - and to seek alternate paths if the one ahead looks a bit gloomy.  I do my best to guide but am also a big believer in personal responsibility, which means giving clients the road map but stepping off once the reading is done so that they can determine which way to go from there.

What are some of your best tips for people who are only just picking up a deck and learning the meanings of the cards?

Theresa: First thing: learn the basic, traditional meanings of the cards and a few simple spreads.  You want a solid foundation underneath your feet before you begin. Don’t overwhelm yourself.  Start slowly.   Once you have the basic meanings down, toss that little white book and let your intuition and the symbols of the cards speak to you. In time, you’ll get it.

If you can find a good teacher that you trust, even better.  A seasoned practitioner can help a newbie reader accelerate their learning.  Take classes if you can - and read everything you can get your hands on!  My favorite tip: read for as many people as you can.  The best way to get proficient is practice, practice, practice - preferably with a live human.

You strike me as a woman who loves a challenge and likes to keep pushing herself. It’s easy to get complacent with Tarot when you know the system so well and work with it every day. How do you keep it challenging and interesting?

Oh my goodness, I never get complacent with tarot.  I read for such a wide, diverse audience that there is no way I can ever get stale.  Each reading offers unique situations and interpretations.  So boredom?  Not possible over here.

But that being said, I do love to learn new things and have found the best resource for that is through attending tarot conferences.  I’ve been going to The Reader’s Studio for about six years now and I find that I always walk away with a new skill, insight, or way of looking at the cards. I highly encourage Tarot fans to get to these events. There are many quality ones all over the world.  You’re sure to find something in your neck o’ the woods.  (PS it’s also a fantastic way to connect with your Tarot tribe!)

One thing that really interests me about you is that you are open about the issues you’ve had with imitators and people ripping off your ideas, formatting and copy. You’re also open about the decisive way that you deal with people who do that. How do you feel about the fact that not everyone in the industry is trustworthy and seeking to show their own originality?

Theresa: Tarot has been around for a long time and there are standard meanings and ways to learn.  It’s a small industry so there is bound to be an overlap with similar ideas and interpretations.  For example, most of us are probably going to say that the Ace of Pentacles represents a new financial opportunity.  That part is to be expected.  Right? Even so, we’ll still find a way to put our own spin on things with our own unique language/opinions.  I love that there are so many different ways to look at a card!  We can learn so much from each other.

But the ones who sneak around and copy’n'paste someone else’s work and try to pass it off as their own?  It’s pretty sad actually.  When people resort to that behavior, it’s a rock bottom moment for them. It’s desperate, like a junkie breaking in a car window to steal a GPS.  Although it makes me angry when people do this to their peers (or me), we have to remember that this comes from a pretty dark place - and we have to stay compassionate, even though we feel violated.  You can still remain compassionate but call the perpetrators to the carpet.  I always hope that the people who feel inclined to take a bite out of someone else’s work learn from the experience and then do their own thing - and the right thing.

You offer some really cool services and products alongside one-on-one readings. What would you recommend for people who want to learn about how to make money reading Tarot? 

Theresa: If you want to make tarot your career, I have one piece of advice: treat your business like a business.

So many tarot people love the tarot part but hate the business part. If you have that attitude, you will limit your success.  Learn as much as you can about how to run a business. For example, I attend a tarot conference every year but I also attend one business conference.  This keeps my foot firmly planted in both worlds.  I also read a lot of business books and take biz classes when I can. I invest equal effort in upping my Tarot and my business skills.  I feel that every Tarot pro should do the same.

What have you got lined up for 2016 and beyond? 

The biggest announcement - I have a book coming out in November!  My book is called The Tarot Coloring Book and it’s a fun, easy to use workbook for tarot newbies.  Over the years, I’ve met so many people who felt intimidated or confused by the Tarot.  This book is my way of helping them to grasp the meanings and get reading as fast as possible.  It’s based on classes I’ve taught - and has a lovely coloring book component, which is a great way to really 'get' that Tarot foundation ingrained in the membrane.

I’ve also got other things dropping this fall but I have to stay hush hush for now.  Only one hint: get ready to accelerate your tarot skills.  


(Well, I for one am way too psyched for the colouring book that's in the works!) It was amazing to discover more about Theresa's thoughts on this wild ride through the world of professional Tarot reading. Whenever I feel lost, lackluster or just down in the dumps about business I always think 'WWTD' - What Would Theresa Do? It always helps!

Visit Theresa's world here: