The Wrong Truth: On Knowing When To Lie (Which Is Never)


What do you do when one job ends & you need to eat? You apply for another job! As I want to be a fulltime tarot reader from now on I decided, more or less on a whim, to have a go at a spiritual chat service. You know, one of those things where you can get a reading from a number of different psychics, mediums & fortunetellers, via phone or chat. As I like to write I reckoned that chat would be the best option for me. Never mind the New Agey website that talked about Twin Flames a lot (don’t get me started), a job is a job.

So I filled out an application, and the next day I got a phone call inviting me to do a test reading then & there, without even asking me if that would be convenient for me. I put that down to a flattering enthusiasm on my prospective boss’ part. We settled on an hour later.

In a brief preliminary Lenormand line, without a specific question, I got this: Man, Key, Coffin (see picture above). Uh-oh. Something ending, with a man turning the key. It looked like I would have to deliver some tough news.

My test client was a woman working at the spiritual website. She asked for a general reading for the next three months or so, with an emphasis on work & relationship. The cards showed a choice to be made, a change and/or an ending. This could apply to her work as well as her relationship in my view, but bearing in mind the Lenormand preliminary I decided to focus on the relationship. I did a second line specifically about that, and it became clear that the relationship isn’t that healthy, they keep each other bound, and the man will indicate he wants out first.

The To Do card was actually Death: best sever the knot yourself instead of waiting for him to give you the news! It won’t surprise you that this second spread was with the Noblet Marseille. Blunt as fuck. It brilliantly pointed out that that first general line of five wasn’t about the client’s job after all. So in total I now had THREE readings all saying the same. Clear as crystal, if not as pretty.

And so I told her what I saw, matter-of-factly but not especially insensitive. The thing is, when such a strong issue comes out of the cards, especially without even a question asked, almost always the client will admit they already know that things aren’t right. I therefore assumed that my sitter would at least have a feeling that her relationship wasn’t going all that well.

A complicating factor was of course that this was all a test. So when my client asked whether she & her partner weren’t Twin Flames after all, then, I wasn’t even sure if she was serious. With her relationship so plainly in trouble, could anyone calling themselves a spiritual counsellor really believe she & her partner were meant to be forever eternally?

But test or no, for me there was still only one answer possible. I therefore explained to her exactly what I think of Twin Flames, Soulmates etc.: which is NOT that they are meant to stick together all their lives. On the contrary, such significant others usually give you a Learning Moment (i.e. they break your heart) & then move on, leaving you to lick your wounds & grow tougher skin.

I refrained from pointing out that it’s downright irresponsible & dangerous to tell people they should stick it out with whichever Soulmate they are encumbered at any given point. From my own experience & what I have seen from other couples this is a recipe for disaster. Like I said, DON’T GET ME STARTED. Especially when that website actually makes money of this whole concept it’s better not. I thought I was being pretty diplomatic. Haha ARIES.

Okay, says she, apparently accepting my answer, my colleague will call you back & give you feedback. So the man I spoke to earlier calls, and of course it turns out that my boss-to-be is also my CLIENT’S PARTNER. Oopsie.

What then followed was a bewildering & slightly unpleasant discussion, in which I was told the following things:
-You are simply WRONG
-You don’t ask enough confirmation questions
-You don’t care enough about how the message may affect the sitter

When I cautiously questioned his impartiality (after all, he didn’t really need to tell me he was the partner in order to evaluate this reading! Also he sounded & felt upset to me), and that I got the same message THREE FUCKING TIMES (well I didn’t say fucking), he says that CLEARLY something is off in my energy or that there is some interference or other, making me ALL WRONG.

It was just all so absurd to me that I quickly ended the conversation for fear of laughing at him, which would have been unkind. I admit I was a bit rattled as to my accuracy, so I grabbed the Vera Sibilla for some extra confirmation :


Obviously in three months time he’ll offer me the job again at a double rate…

The spiritual counsellor feels attracted to the idea of going away; the union will come apart. Sad, but nonetheless true. Interestingly the Sacerdote, being the King of Spades, can also mean an ex. So he’s attracted to becoming an ex.

I also gave the points he made some consideration, as this could well be a Learning Moment for me (oh dear gods IS THIS MAN MY SOULMATE). It is true that I am used to working mainly unilaterally, via audios & written reports, so I considered it possible that my customary directness might not work as well in this bilateral medium. As for not caring enough, believe me I do. I’m not good at the whole detachment thing AT ALL. I just don’t let it influence the message itself.

Of course I asked the cards: Should I change my style of delivery?


Showing some tough love…

The answer is, a big NO. You shine a clear light with great authority, even if you bring an uncomfortable truth that forces people to make tough decisions. DO: keep everything as it is. DON’T: change a damn thing.

It would seem that if I had lied, or modified the message, I might have been hired. Is the lesson, always lie to your future boss? NEVER. In fact, at the moment I feel reaffirmed in my task of being a teller of Truth. I should toughen up more, not less.

Because, as long as we’re being brutally honest here: I do find it difficult to deliver this kind of devastating truth when sitting next to an unsuspecting stranger, and having to deliver this kind of message to their face instead of safely from behind my computer. Definitely something to chew on. After all, the Dutch word for ‘fortuneteller’, waarzegster, literally means ‘truth teller’. It’s all in the job.

What else did I learn? Well, not to work for this kind of channel which is aiming to keep people chatting endlessly! To which end giving such straight answers would be counterproductive. And that I may have been needed to deliver a Truth out of the blue…

As for those initial Lenormand cards: a man is the key to an ending. His relationship, but as it turns out, also my chatting career! See, and that’s why reading cards never gets boring…

Need some Truth Telling of your own? Visit my shop to book a reading!

How Tarot Cards Play Out in the Real World

If you’re new to the cards and haven’t built up much experience yet with readings, it can be a bit difficult to see how they relate to actual happenings in the real world. At least in terms of how I taught myself tarot, the images on the cards and the stories they could create when placed together all seemed theoretical and impersonal until I had years of real-world experience to relate to each and every one of them.

In an attempt to add a bit to the overall knowledge base regarding how readings play out in the real world, every once in a while I’d like to let you have a peek into my own personal tarot journal. The internet didn’t exist when I started teaching myself tarot, and I would have really liked to have been able to get a look at how experienced readers interpreted the cards and applied them to actual practical situations.

So, in the spirit of learning, I’ll let you in on one of my most recent practical uses of tarot for myself.

As you may or may not know, I am a single, divorced, working mother of three elementary-school-aged children (9, 7, 7). Needless to say, my romantic life has been stalled to non-existent for quite some time. Now, however, I feel happy and serene as a single person and I’m no longer looking for someone to fill up a void in my heart or emotional life.

Some girlfriends encouraged me to try online dating. So I put up a profile and started chatting with some men. One of them was really funny and attractive. We made plans to meet for a coffee. And then it occurred to me (I’m an American living in Italy, btw) – I had forgotten to ask if he was married or had a girlfriend.

Although I certainly don’t want to generalize, in my own personal experience in Italy, I’ve learned that men often don’t have any qualms about taking a lover on the side in addition to their steady girlfriend or wife. While I don’t pass judgement on their choices, I don’t want to be anyone’s other woman. 

Here’s where the reading comes in.

When it occurred to me that I hadn’t asked him, I figured I might as well perform due diligence. So I asked him outright in a message if he had a girlfriend, wife, lover, or was otherwise engaged with a significant other.

His immediate response was a flippant joke, which struck me as a way to deflect and avoid. 

That was suspicious to me, and no answer was forthcoming, so I turned to the cards. Situations like this, when you have a “hunch” but there’s an information gap, are excellent practice readings for learners. When and if you get more real-world information, you can compare it to the information you obtained from the cards and your interpretation of their message for you. The more you make these comparisons, the more your confidence and knowledge will grow.

I drew three cards: 1) What I need to know about Marco; 2) Advice/guidance for me re: Marco; 3) Outlook.

Here’s what came up:


Three of Wands, Death, Seven of Swords

[Practice exercise: If you had to simply make a sentence out of this string, keeping it in context with the questions posed, what would it say?]

Here’s verbatim what I wrote in my journal:

“Oh, see – now that’s a real shame. I had this feeling smth was going on – like he’s not really single. This spread says he has his eyes elsewhere, let the whole concept and idea of him die, and you’ll see he had smth to hide. Boo! Now let’s see how it plays out…spill the beans, Marco.”

I left it at that and decided to follow the advice of Death – let it go, close it off, leave it behind. It wasn’t easy to follow this advice because my initial impulse was to respond to his jokey message and gloss over it and explain why I had asked. Instead, I stayed silent as a tomb. Death doesn’t utter a word, not even an emoji. Total crickets. 

It was only a matter of hours before I had my answer!

He later spontaneously sent a message admitting that yes, he has a girlfriend; but, and I quote: “she lives abroad and I hardly ever see her.”

Ah, tarot. How I love thee. Let me count the ways.

Let’s now look specifically at two of the cards that, in my own experience, have shown up repeatedly in specific real-life situations.

The Rider-Waite-Smith Three of Wands has come up repeatedly in my readings for clients in situations where there are long-distance relationships and in situations where one of the partners is contemplating a move overseas (or in any case across water or a long enough distance to require relocation) in order to be with the other. I didn’t touch on the overseas part in my own brief written analysis of this reading (because I already knew that part in my head), but I did make sure to note what the figure is doing on the card: he has his back to me. Thus, what I needed to know was that he certainly didn’t have his eyes on me, but rather elsewhere, across the water. In fact, I came to find out that his girlfriend lives in Spain.

Secondly, the Seven of Swords is a card that I’ve seen repeatedly for clients when there is a situation of cheating or getting away with (or attempting to get away with) something secretly. I generally dislike assigning specific keywords and situations to a card, since it’s better to be fluid enough to interpret every card uniquely for each unique reading. However, the Seven of Swords is rather difficult for me to extricate from the context of cheating when it shows up in a relationship reading, especially as it regards trust issues or secrets.

If you’re learning how to read the cards, I can’t stress enough the importance of keeping a journal. I’ve been reading now for nearly 20 years and as you can see, I still physically jot down notes with an actual pen on an actual piece of paper every single time I do a reading for myself. Documenting your readings has immense value for your learning, especially further on in the future when you have real-world findings, information and results of the situation that you can bring to bear on your initial interpretations.

As you grow in experience, you’ll begin to amass a substantial collection of actual situations that you can link back to particular cards, and this becomes a really important toolkit you can draw upon if and when you decide to start reading for others.

Your thoughts?

If you want to experience the power of a tarot reading for yourself, please visit me over at Sparrow Tarot ( to learn how the cards can serve as a road map to help you navigate your life’s journey.

Flowing into tarot

Image from the Osho Tarot

Image from the Osho Tarot

When I was learning how to read the cards, I had a very hard time. No matter how much I struggled, everything felt very complicated, and I would get stuck on the meanings of the cards. I wanted to read so badly, that nothing flowed and I would grasp for something that would open the card for me. In the end, of course, I couldn’t read a thing. I ended up hating up card reading and all I wanted was to be done with it. To be done with having to face my inability to tell what I saw in the cards and provide an answer.

This went on until the day someone read the cards to me. All it said, was that I should just be myself and believe in myself and let everything flow. But it felt pretty much like a beating.

And here’s the interesting thing: when you’re honest with yourself and just do what you set out to do, the cards will just open like a book and everything seems so clear…Even if you don’t have that much knowledge of the cards. The cards will speak your own language and no matter your level of expertise, you will see what you need to see. But try to fool them, try to fool yourself into something you’re not and you will be blocked out. There is no access point.

Now this might seem like hocus pocus, or some new age thingie, but it’s just plain logic. To be honest with ourselves means to know exactly where we stand, where the facts are and what they are. There is no mistaking anything. There is no running around trying to figure out what is good and what is invented and how that is woven into your reading. Just simple plain facts laid out in front of you.

This came to full light when I made my first reading. As part of my tarot course, I had to read the cards to a complete stranger. Now this would function as a true reading with only one difference: my instructors would be there, in case anything was needed. My client wanted to know about her love life and how it would progress. And this is where it got strange. According to the cards, I had this soap opera story, about her and her two  relationships. She was seeing two guys at the same time, even though she was only interested in one of them. And, according to the cards, she was willing to get pregnant to get him to marry her… Now, you look at this, specially with your lack of experience and you go “This simply can not be!!! I must be seeing something wrong!!!” But there it was on the cards. And then my instructors started manifesting themselves and this might just be true and maybe it really was true and I just had to go on and say what I saw. And, well, it turned out to be true, as she ended up admitting as much.

This turned out to be a really enlightening reading for me. For the first time, I just believed in myself and let it flow. And there it was… the opening I searched for with the cards. And all it took was some cool thinking, some honesty, and, above all, a capacity to relax. To take the situation for what it was and to let it flow.

Today, I still get asked what can one do when a block occurs. Maybe it’s in tarot reading. Maybe it’s with something about our lives. And I still reach out to that first reading and give out some pointers. The same pointers I’m putting here. You’ve probably heard some of them, if not all, before. And here they are again. And the reason to it is that they actually work. From my experience, they are the most effective way to deal with a block. And with tarot readings. For what is a tarot reading if not a representation of our lives, laid out before us so that we can consciously acknowledge what’s going on with our lives.

  1. Be honest about yourself and your work. It’s not a matter of being able to do much or to do little. But rather of knowing where we stand and what can we do about it. By having this established, we can then proceed to work on expanding our limits. Of pushing forth and learn some more. But in the end, this is about us. This is not about our neighbors or the person next door who doesn’t have to work so hard and is at a higher level than us.
  2. Take the pressure off. So, you have a reading. You have someone who is expecting an answer. The sooner your querent will relax, the sooner you can relax and get down to business. This means getting him/her comfortable, putting him/her at ease. Offering some tea or something to eat are just some of the ways in which to do this. A preliminary talk explaining what will happen and inviting him/her to participate can also do wonders. Maybe even tell a little joke to lighten up the mood.
  3. In a reading you have as many entry points as you have cards in the spread. People often start their readings at the present. Or maybe at the first card drawn. But in reality, you can start your reading at any position. In a 3-card reading, you have three entry points. In the Celtic Cross (a 10-card reading), you have 10 entry points. And so on. So, instead of trying to figure out the first card, try to find the card that most calls to you and figure it out first. And then proceed to the other cards. Chances are, if you look at your reading from a different perspective, a different point of view, the block you thought was there, isn’t there after all.
  4. Simplify. Card reading is supposed to be fun. It is also supposed to be direct and frontal. So, if you’re grasping for meanings, chances are you will get esoteric. You will grasp at anything that might cast a glimpse of light on your cards. But, in front of you is a drawing and on the other side of the table is someone who simply does not care about esoteric or complicated thoughts. They want the story chewed, digested and ready to be absorbed. So, simplify. Go back to basics. Try to figure out what does that card mean. Why is it there? Why this card and not another one? Chances are, the answers is the drawing. Which leads us to…
  5. First thing seen, is all that matters. If you need to, just close your eyes, open it and the first thing you see is the one thing that matters. Forget everything else and concentrate on that detail you’ve seen immediately after you’ve opened your eyes. That’s where your answers lie.