A while back I joked to a friend that I was going to develop a new way of reading tarot. I would have the client shuffle the deck and lay out three cards, then I would quietly channel Reiki while they meditated on the cards and received their messages silently. The joke partly arose from the fact that I like the deep, meditative, refreshing and regenerative energy of Reiki more than that of tarot. The talk involved in tarot taps into something a little different—inspirational and motivational, a much more active force that still is healing, but in a more energizing, and sometimes for me overstimulating, way.
When I first trained in Reiki back in the spring of 2003, my teacher told me that I would find a way of combining tarot and Reiki. For a long time I tried coming up with specific techniques, such as drawing the symbols on the deck prior to cutting and laying out the cards, or doing a short Reiki session on the client after the reading while they meditated on one of the cards they liked best from the reading. It wasn’t until at a fair about a year ago I read for a woman, someone I had just met who was also a healer and intuitive, who pointed out how much healing energy I bring into the reading. I had no idea, I just did what I do.
As this past year has seen my business really take off, and the number of readings and Reiki sessions I do dramatically increase, I’ve had a lot more time to ponder what exactly Reiki is and how it fits into the other types of sessions I do. I remember one day getting ready to head over to my practitioner space for a Reiki session. As I looked for my bag of Reiki stuff, I thought, “Do I have everything? Hey, I’m doing Reiki, all I need are my hands!” Of course, as I walked over to the venue, I contemplated that statement. Clearly, someone without hands can do Reiki, to take my statement at its most literal level. Reiki is more than a hands-on energy exchange. Reiki is about being in the place of connection with Divine Unity, of bringing the client into that place as well. This is work I had done in ritual for a dozen years prior to learning Reiki—Reiki just provided different motivations, intentions and techniques for making the connection.
Reiki tends to increase intuitive and psychic abilities, and in some traditions of Reiki it is common for the practitioner to relay psychically received messages to the client either during or after the session. Because I like the silence of Reiki, and because I use tarot as my tool for working with psychic messages for clients, and because it’s not practiced in the traditional Japanese Reiki style that I follow and teach, I don’t engage in this practice. When I begin a session, I silently set the intention that I only receive information if it’s necessary for me to know it; that the client receive information directly if they need to know something; and that if I do need to share something with the client that I understand this clearly and that I can communicate the message with clarity and compassion in a way that the client can most easily understand it. This group of intentions seems to work pretty well, and a lot of clients have gotten off the table saying that they had great insight into a problem they had. And once in a while I do get something specific that I let the client know about. If a client has worked with a different practitioner previously and inquires if I “got anything,” I simply tell them that I set an intention for them to receive the messages directly and ask them if they had any thoughts or insights during the session.
When working with tarot clients, I silently set the intention that I connect with them in a place of unity with the Divine. I also ask that I be able speak with clarity and compassion, in a way they understand. I have never tried to use my other Reiki intentions with my tarot clients; it simply never occurred to me. But apparently an overlap has occurred anyway. And I think I’ve found my experience of my unique way of combining tarot and Reiki.
At one of the psychic fairs I worked this weekend, I had a woman sit down in front of me. She mentioned she was a reader too. I have this odd habit with my tarot readings of adjusting my style for the person in front of me. I think it has to do with my intention to speak each client’s language to them clearly and compassionately. So I’m never sure how a reading is going to come out of me. I just open my mouth and see what happens. So this woman sat down, we established her question, she shuffled and lay the cards out. “Oh!” she said. Then she mumbled something and laughed. “Just my guide making a joke,” she said. I got the impression that I needed to let her take the lead on this one. “What do you see,” I asked. No thoughts as to an interpretation were coming through me at all, just a clear sense of that charged energetic space I get when I’m doing a reading. She started talking and she pretty much channeled her own reading. She was amazed and kept saying she never would have seen these things if she were reading for herself at home. She talked out a big download of information and was thrilled with her reading. “How much?” she said. I looked at my timer—the whole thing had taken only ten minutes. “$10” I replied, quoting my psychic fair price of a dollar a minute. She was shocked at this and kept saying, “Best ten dollars I ever spent.”
Practically the same thing happened with the next client, who also was a reader, but who was in a very rough place. She wanted a past life reading, not a tarot reading, but all the other readers were with clients. I told her that sometimes past life stuff has come through for me before, and we could set an intention to receive that information. She exhibited a sunken, defeated demeanor to start with, and we spent a lot of time working through the reading. As it progressed, though, and her energy began to shift and lighten up, she began reading for herself. By the end of the reading she exclaimed, “I could have done this myself!” The egoic part of me had a split second of being taken aback (it wanted credit!), but I knew that this sentiment was exactly what she needed to realize—that yes, she can do these things for herself. Like her predecessor, she said the reading was exactly what she needed and rushed off in a very charged, energetic state.
Whatever type of session I’m doing, I’m only a guide, and I hand over the keys to the client to tap into their own insight, their transformation, and their power. I guess the trick to doing Reiki and tarot is to remember that Reiki doesn’t just come through your hands. It comes through your eyes, your breath, your words, your compassion and indeed your whole being as you sit with another being who is ready to accept their own healing.
Joy Vernon is a Certified Professional Tarot Reader and Reiki Teacher in Denver, Colorado. Her specialty is the Empyrean Key Transformational Guidance, which combines energetic and esoteric modalities to help her clients break through blocks and align themselves with their higher purpose. To schedule an appointment, please visit JoyVernon.com.
© 2011 by Joy Vernon. All rights reserved.
Joy Vernon is widely recognized by tarot professionals as an expert tarot teacher and respected community leader. With over twenty years’ experience teaching energetic and esoteric modalities, Joy brings expertise and practiced familiarity to her specialty of esoteric tarot, which layers astrological and qabalistic symbolism onto the traditional tarot structure. Under her leadership, the Denver Tarot Meetup has grown into one of the largest and most active tarot-specific meetups in the world. Joy works as a tarot reader, astrologer, and teacher at Isis Books. To learn more, please visit JoyVernon.com.