Question: When and where did you give your first reading?
I was an undergraduate student at the University of California, Davis, and I bought my first deck (which is now antique) there in Davis, in a new age bookstore that no longer exists. The years that I was an undergraduate were graced not only by the introduction to Tarot, but also by collaborations in the Dramatic Art department, participation in 12-step programs, comparative literature studies taught from the perspective of what is now Depth Psychology, foreign language studies, and many conversations with peers about assimilating a traditional cultural heritage in modern times.
During those years, a Thoth Tarot reader read for me once per year. She was also a mentor in general; me being a youth and she being in my parents’ generation. I studied the cards that appeared in each reading for a year after the readings. I used to have a lot of negative Swords cards in those readings. I worked on the lessons as I worked through college studies, and I made some brave choices as a result. Towards my last year, I began giving simple readings, to friends. We were all very curious about how much power we had to shape ourselves and our lives. The times I shared with people I read for stand out as memories of people actively participating in their journeys. They weren’t just going with the flow. They wanted to wrap their heads around the life in front of them and make it happen.
There are volumes of information in the Thoth deck. I didn’t know much of it at the time, however, the questions people asked then and the opportunities to reflect and be nagged by the journey each question began was valuable. It was also valuable for me to show up in my own world as someone gathering the tools of wisdom and healing, even if those skills were just emerging.