• Jeanette Micallef

Questioning Tarot

In my 6 years as a professional tarot reader and medium, there are some questions I get asked over and over, and every time I am asked, I am reminded that this was once foreign and new to me too. Tarot was once just as mysterious as the Bermuda Triangle or the construction of the Pyramids to me, and as with anything, I found that the more I did it, the more familiar I became with its intricacies, its ins and outs, and the way it functions.

Of course, looking at a deck for the first time can be terribly daunting, but if you let yourself play, explore, wonder at the images and the thoughts and feeling they evoke, you may just find it's like cracking open your first Harry Potter novel. The mind runs rampant, It looks huge. How will I have the time to process all the information in it? Can I really do this?

Of course you can. It's like my grandmother always said, "You know how you eat an elephant? One bite at a time." As it turns out, she wasn't the only wise older woman giving out sage advice.

The Thoth Tarot by Alastair Crowley
The Thoth Tarot by Alastair Crowley

Serendipitously, and yet by no coincidence, I had come upon another group of wise ladies from whom I could beg wisdom. I came into my abilities under the guidance of some remarkable women in a little metaphysical shop in Royal Oak, Michigan -- a place that used to be called Mystic Mountain. Sandy, Candy and Karen were the ones who answered my questions as I learned to trust my intuition and the messages I saw in the cards.

Now, years later, I find myself passing on that wisdom and understanding to others in the form of readings, tarot discussion groups, and one-on-one tarot lessons. It is my mission to take some of the mystery and "woo woo" out of the cards and their messages by creating an understanding of intuition -- how to recognize it, and utilize it effectively in tandem with the images on the cards to pass along messages from the divine.

So let's dive in!

How does it work?

Reading tarot works a little differently for everyone. My community of ladies initially encouraged me not to take any sort of classes, but instead to trust my intuition and use my cards as often as possible -- to form a relationship with the cards and the images on them. They encouraged me to trust those first thoughts, those intuitions that occurred the moment I looked at the card.

It wasn't easy. The hardest part had nothing to do with the cards, and everything to do with learning to trust myself and my intuition. Let's face it, the notion of living our lives, doing and saying everything from the place of that first thought sounds absolutely crazy! And yet, since I started doing just that, my life has never been more authentic, more expressive, more free, and more right. With the cards, and without.

Are these messages just thoughts I make up in my head?

No. And, yes. This is the part where we discuss knowing one's self, and paying attention to how your own mind works, being as honest as possible with the thoughts you have, as you have them. The first thought, the one that comes up before your brain gears even begin turning, that is your intuition. That is the thing to listen to and follow.

It's that second thought, the one that follows immediately after that, that negates, rationalizes or dismisses the first thought, that is you. It's your logical brain, trained for decades by society and school and church and work. It's the voice that talks you out of trusting your innate sense -- your divinely given sense -- your intuition.

If you have "the gift", why not just give the messages? Why do you need the cards?

The truth is that now, after six years, I don't need the cards. I like them. They are beautiful and organized and fantastic works of art. Their structure and patterns have withstood the test of time, bringing forth truth and guidance for people for hundreds of years. The cards also provide visual cues for both myself and the querent that aid in understanding and remembering.

I am an artist, myself and as such, very visual. Once I created a relationship with the images on my cards, those images would pop into my head as my intuition in real-life scenarios, both for me and for others. It's like getting a note passed to you in a different language, it is out of the ordinary, yet familiar and it causes you to pay more attention -- to focus.

I do often read without my cards. As a matter of fact, when I am performing Reiki on a client, I get messages directly through clairtangency, or the sense of "clear touching" as well as claircongnizance or "clear knowing". Once you are in touch with your gift of intuition, you begin being open to accessing your other innate gifts as well.

Can you teach me how to read tarot?

Yes. I can. I am going to teach you how I was taught. I am not likely to go through any sort of book, or have you look up the intrinsic meanings of the cards in my lessons, however. Don't get me wrong, the intrinsic meanings are foundational and important, but checking in the book every time you pull a card is time consuming and creates a dependency on someone else's point of view. You are the one doing the reading and it needs to be an expression of yourself and the querent. It needs to meet both your needs and convey the message in a way that can be received, understood and put into action. That requires the finesse of your intuition and the confidence you have developed in it and in yourself.

As you develop those reading muscles, I can provide guidance on structures and supports to keep you on track, information on how to meet and get the clearest communication from your guides, how to deliver difficult messages, read reversals and any manner of other helps you may need as you grow as a reader.

It is my personal belief that everyone has the skills to read tarot, to be a medium, to hear from spirit. The keys are getting in touch with and trusting yourself on a core level, and being open to trying and mastering new tools.

Be adventurous! Buy a deck that speaks to you and get started today!

This is a list of the tarot and oracle decks I own and use, in case you need some help getting started:


  • The Cosmic Tarot - the deck I learned tarot with, and the first deck I ever owned

  • Naked Heart Tarot - the deck I currently read with (I recommend pre-ordering if you want this deck. It sells out quickly!)

  • Thoth Tarot - the deck I use to read my advanced clients, fellow witches and the like. I interchange it with the Hermetic Tarot often, depending on how dark the client likes to play in their own practice.

  • Giant Rider-Waite Tarot - I use this deck mostly for the sight impaired, it's huge and shows so much detail!

  • The Celtic Tarot - beautiful Celtic and Druid vibes in this deck! I love the traditional nature feel of this deck

  • The Wild Unknown Tarot - my travel deck, super small and fits anywhere


I have dozens of decks, but these are the ones I was led to share with you. The most important thing to remember when shopping for your own deck is to find one that resonates with you and your energy -- one that calls to you. Buy it, use it, and stick with it. Make it an old familiar friend, and it will always do you right.


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