Not surprisingly, lots of empaths are pulled to tarot and oracle cards, or other forms of divination. Part of being sensitive in this way is looking for tools to make the emotions you’re soaking up make sense. I have very clear memories of sitting straight up in bed while all alone and saying, “Why the hell am I so sad?” Whammo. Sometimes it comes out of nowhere.
You are the most open to being an emotional sponge while you’re doing the actual reading. With the cards, you have created a connection with the person you’re reading, and the flow of that connection goes both ways. In Kitchen Table Tarot, I told the story of doing a reading for a client without my cards. I held her hand, did the whoooole reading, and broke down sobbing on the way home. While I was crying my eyes out on the side of Highway 44, she texted me, saying that she hadn’t felt so good in years. Mmmhmm.
SO – how do you give compassionate, caring readings without taking on someone else’s stuff?
- No touching. Do your reading without putting your hands or self near the person you’re reading for. This physical distance will help you keep emotional distance from their reading. No touching til after the reading is over and your cards are put away.
- Zip it with the chit chat. Even if you’re reading for a friend, try to just read in one shot. There should be a period of time that is defined as The Reading. Everything else should be discussed before or after the reading. Giving the reading clear boundaries will help you enforce yours.
- When you finish the reading, make a conscious effort to visualize CLOSING the connection between you and the person you’re reading for. Don’t walk away with that channel still open. Don’t drag them home with you. It won’t be healthy for either of you.
- Say no. Again, don’t give readings when you don’t want to. If you’re sick or tired or the person who asked is an asshole and you’re just trying to be nice. Say it with me now, “I forgot my cards at home.” “I do this for a living so I need money for it.” Boundaries boundaries, guys. If you’re feeling vulnerable before a reading even starts, you’ll have a harder time holding firm to your boundaries during it.
Just remember that the reading is an exchange. You’re either getting paid in your rate per reading, or in coffee or dinner. You’re not reading for free, right? Because we don’t devalue ourselves like that.
In an exchange, you give something, and then THEY give something. After the exchange, you walk away with what you were given, and they walk away with the reading. It’s not yours. It just went through you, it’s not of you.
If you can remember the exchange part of this interaction, you’ll do just fine.