For months, I’ve been wanting to do a Face Up Tarot interview series.
I want to look at how the most successful tarot readers use the practice of consciously choosing cards. I want to highlight that, while I’ve yet to encounter a reader that uses this practice quite like I do, there are plenty of readers that pull cards face-up and have been for years.
It takes a certain kind of person to pull a card face-up, to face the depths head on. It takes a certain kind of person, again, to direct a client or student to do the same. Most of the tarot readers and educators I’ve encountered that pull face-up also happen to be amazing. I’d love to learn more about this subset of tarot readers.
And so it is.
Sometimes I get to meet tarot masters, people who bring an exceptional level of depth to tarot, employing various healing and educational modalities or decades of wisdom. Or both. Sheilaa Hite is one such tarot master. If it wasn’t for my meeting her last year, I may not have started blogging in earnest. Sure, the potential was there. But I’m one of those people that don’t always see myself as clearly as others might. I don’t always assume outright that what I say has value or ought to be shared. For someone like me, reminders help. Perhaps you can relate to this?
Sheilaa was the person meant to greet me as a first-timer at the Reader’s Studio, a tarot conference that I attend. One off-hand comment of hers served as a reminder to me of who I am. And once I remembered, I launched my business. I started writing consistently. I started giving reminders of my own. This is the power of creating safe spaces. Spaces where people without consistent access to safety, affirmation, and community can feel welcome and worthy.
For someone like me, who lives at the intersection of multiple points of possible discrimination, the educator or service provider who places empowerment at the center of their practice is invaluable. This is what I value about Sheilaa. This past year I got to know her better – as an Intuitive, Joy Advocate, and Advisor to the stars – attending her workshop, reading her books, and getting a reading with her. (So good!) Below I hope to introduce this amazing force-for-good and keeper-of-safe-spaces.
Can you tell us a story from your personal experience about a tarot encounter, either reading for yourself or for another, which impacted your life for the better?
Several years ago, I was living in England and not having the easiest time of it. I knew I’d been ‘sent’ there to learn important lessons, but that didn’t make it any easier. Every month, I pull a card face-down that represents the energy of that month and on one particular month, I pulled The Tower card! I did what I advise my clients and students not to do when an intense card comes up – I envisioned every possible negative scenario I’d ever heard of and made up a few new ones! With the rough time I’d been having, I didn’t know how I’d cope with whatever the Universe would send me during a Tower-card month.
After finally regaining control of my breathing, it came to me that I needed to consciously choose a card that would show me how The Tower energy was likely to show up and what I could do to have a smoother time of it. I looked through the remaining 77 cards and finally chose the 10 of Cups. Seeing this odd pair side-by-side, I felt a sense of relief. Whatever happened that month would be out of my control (The Tower), but by focusing on a positive, pleasant outcome (10 of Cups), I could assure myself an easier passage through the promised turbulence of the coming four weeks.
That month was the turning point of my English sojourn. Unexpected things did happen, and because I was determined to get something positive from every experience, my energy changed and I became a magnet for wonderful ‘unexpected’ experiences and gifts. That was my first time consciously choosing a card and I’ve never forgotten how impactful that method of choosing was (and still is).
I noticed during your “Clearing Relationship Trauma Workshop” at the Reader’s Studio that the spread that you used involved consciously chosen cards. I loved it! I thought the practice of consciously naming the negative and the positive constructs that influence our relationships was very powerful. What role do face-up card pulls play in your tarot practice?
When I ask a client to choose face-up Tarot cards, I’m getting that they need to clearly experience their process of making choices and to see the in-the-moment results of those choices. Very often, people make important life choices based on their programming, i.e., someone else’s values – parents, culture, society, etc. – and have to live with the unhappy results of those choices. I’ve witnessed more than one client start to choose a face-up card this way, realize that they were choosing from their programming and then, the epiphany of epiphanies – realize that that was how they’d been making all of their choices! Right then, for perhaps the first time in their lives, they consciously choose cards (which represent types of energy) that reflect their own values, wants & needs. It’s always a moment of powerful transformation and liberation for them.
How often do you employ this method with the tarot and what benefit do you believe it has? What are some guidelines for when we consciously choose cards in a reading?
I don’t have a predetermined idea of when I’m going to ask a client to choose face-up cards. I rely on my intuition to tell me what a client needs at the time. Among the many benefits that conscious choosing gives is the experience of recognizing the might of their own personal power. I ask the client (and myself) to keep an open heart & mind and to listen to the voice within as they consciously choose the Tarot cards that reflect how (as well as with what) they’ll energetically influence their lives. This is a good practice when choosing face-up cards because a person can actually experience a real-time change/shift in their energy and their circumstances.
In your book, 101 Tarot Spreads by 20 Modern Tarot Masters, Volume I, you make a clear distinction between the major and minor cards. You describe the minor cards as our personal input in life “…where we have the opportunity to see what we’re doing, have done or can do.” A thread of personal responsibility runs through your work, where it’s clear that we have an active role to play in our futures. At the same time, when you read for me, your mastery of the stars and planets hinted at a future that seemed all but ordained. (At least I certainly hope so!) Do you believe that there is such a thing as fate or destiny?
I believe that there are such things as fate and destiny. From my perspective, everyone has a fate, and that fate is to grow, to evolve, to become what Divine Intention created us to be – a unique expression of Divine Love. Destiny is the path we take to arrive at that place of unique expression of Divine Love. Each of us has the free will to travel that path any way we choose and that’s a big part of what makes life so interesting.
One of the first things I noticed about you in-person was the depth of your intuition, integrity, and awareness. You spoke as a person intimately involved in your own intuition. You spoke in terms of wisdom gleaned from personal experience. One of the first things I noticed about your web presence was your identification as a psychic. A few years ago my participation in an online community left me ashamed of my mystical abilities. Interacting with you has healed rifts I didn’t know I had. I’ve been more complete since realizing that it’s just as ok to believe as it is to doubt. What does it mean, to you, to be psychic?
Thank you, Siobhan. Although I consider myself an Intuitive rather than a psychic (yes, there is a difference!), I don’t know any other way to be. I’m very fortunate that my gifts and abilities were recognized, acknowledged and encouraged since birth. Though at times in the past I’ve questioned my worth, I’ve been blessed to never feel that I had to question my connection to the Divine Source, which is where the power of my intuition comes from. To be that connected to Source means to be alive, to feel with each breath that I’m at the center of my life and all life.
Why do you think people in the tarot community seek to distance themselves from psychics?
I think most schisms stem from our species very base tendency to surrender to the control of our base egos. The base ego loves to think of itself as an elitist and will create distance & difference where none exists. People on the spiritual path are just as susceptible to this as anyone else. However, because we’re on the spiritual path and are therefore in a position to help guide others, it’s our responsibility to recognize when that base ego rears its ugly head and take our power back from it. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen as often as it could. When people ask me which method of divination is better, I reply, There is no better here. The information all comes from the same well. We just use different dippers to retrieve it.
THE CENTER FOR PRACTICAL SPIRITUALITY®
Sheilaa teaches her clients and students how to turn ‘lead into gold.’ She is a catalyst of the soul and mind, a life-skills mentor, a ‘somewhere over the rainbow’ visionary with a gift for appreciating and implementing the practical, down-to-earth processes necessary to make dreams come true. She is a certified Life-Success Mentor, teacher, speaker, Board Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, media consultant, author, and Intuitive, and has been featured on Entertainment Tonight, American Movie Classics, E! Television and NBC’s groundbreaking, “The Other Side.” In addition to mentoring people in workshops and 1-on-1 sessions, she’s made her unique system available in her latest book, The Spiritual Hedonist—a Guide to the Divine Art and Practice of Living Joyfully.
Through her company, Odysseys—Grand Travel Experiences for the Heart, Spirit, Body, and Mind— Sheilaa also conducts tours and leads retreats to inspiring, beautiful places throughout the world. Meet her in Sedona in October or at the Celtic British Isles in 2017. Pick up her latest book, 101 Tarot Spreads by 20 Modern Tarot Masters, Volume 1 or take her 6-week online class in creating powerful Tarot spreads. Visit www.SheilaaHite.com for more information about Sheilaa and her work.
Siobhan (she/they) is a NYC-born writer, spiritual ally, and #radicaltarot reader living in central Texas. Her facilitative reading style is the blended result of over a decade of study of tarot, nonviolent communication, shamanic ritual, sacred sexuality, and alternative relationship. She geeks all those things in her newsletter and blog. She is also the creator of “The ‘Scopes,” the first-ever monthly collaborative tarotscopes which have featured over 40 professional tarot readers in the last three years.