Ask a Volva: Touching Tarot Decks

Should I let other people touch my tarot deck?

I get this question, in various forms, quite often, especially when reading at events. 
Before I go on to giving my answer, let me please say there is no Right answer or One True answer to this question. Each tarot reader might have a different opinion and it really is all about you and what you are comfortable with.  I know of at least one tarot reader who feels it is absolutely necessary for the clients to touch the deck. She feels that this connects the client’s energy to the cards and that the next client that chooses that deck, they choose the whole package – energy, cards, message, and all. She might have a point as I’ve never had a client respond with distaste to my decks or their energy (at least those clients who want a reading – this isn’t about those people who respond with distaste to my profession, that happens) even after they’ve been in the hands of clients all day at a fair. 

Varying Opinions
I have no issue with letting a client touch my cards. I’ve even had clients ask if they can go through my cards to look at the images on a certain deck they are drawn to and let them. I don’t feel it has a damaging effect and I usually cleanse my cards, thank them, and give them care between events anyways so I don’t feel I’m bringing a jangle of energy home or from event to event to event. 

What About a Client with Bad Energy?
You can always choose who you want to read the cards for.
That being said, if you still would like to go on with reading for someone who’s energy you don’t feel comfortable with, by all means, shuffle, cut, and deal the cards yourself. Most clients won’t know the difference. If they do ask why they aren’t cutting the deck themselves, just say that you felt moved to do so or were intuitively guided. You don’t have to make them feel uncomfortable by stating you don’t like their energy. 

Cleansing Your Deck
If someone does touch your deck and you don’t like it or feel the need to cleanse your cards, there are many ways you can do so – I discuss them here.

If you are at an event or party, the easiest way is to shuffle the cards continuously with the intention of dispersing the energies on them. Otherwise, you can be as elaborate or as simple in the cleansing process as you like. This is also why I usually if not always have a cleansing stone like clear quartz or selenite near at hand for space clearing.  However, I also know clients who guard their tools and tarot with great vindication. No one touches these cards but them and if they do, those cards then undergo a thorough cleansing and cycle of re-bonding with the reader.

Still other clients have 2 decks – 1 they read for clients and allow or don’t mind when they are touched and 1 for themselves that no one touches but them to keep the bond strong.  As for how much each tarot reader allows others to touch the cards is also varying. Some only allow a client to cut the deck but do not allow any further handling. Others don’t mind or even desire the client to thoroughly handle the cards.

I used to ask my clients to shuffle the cards – I stopped doing that when 2/3rds of my clients turned out to be uncomfortable with it as they felt they weren’t good at shuffling or had a hard time with 78 cards that were a lil bigger than a standard 52 card playing deck. I still have my clients, when in person, cut the deck because I think it draws them further into the experience and the connection between them, their question, the cards, and me can only benefit from it in my mind. 
Like I said before, when it comes to this question, it all depends on the reader and their personal beliefs. 

Ask a Volva: Putting the K in Magick

You have probably seen books, videos, podcasts, and blogs with a very strange spelling for the word magic. One of the biggest and boldest examples is Joanna Devoe’s Kick Ass Witch slogan – Putting the K in Magick! Some of you are asking, What K? There is no K in magic? Can’t these people spell?!?

Reader Question: Why do you put a K in your spelling of Magick?

I’ve been asked this question quite a bit lately. One friend even thought I was simply making a spelling error or type-o and kindly tried to correct the issue. I appreciate the inquiries and efforts and I thought I would go ahead and explain myself. 

Magick began to be spelled with a K by those witches, Wiccans, pagans, etc who wanted to differentiate their spiritual work from the illusionary stage magic of David Copperfield, Chris Angel, etc. The spells, poppets, potions, and more created by modern witches are not meant to be created as an entertainment and nor are they simple parlor games. Most witches take their work very seriously as part of their religious practice and to suppose that their work was akin to sawing a girl in half for the applause of a crowd would be a very offensive mistake.

I will say that not every witch does this just as not every magickal practitioner calls themselves a witch. It all comes down to a matter of preference. Some say magic is spelled m-a-g-i-c and people should know better by context what sort of magic the speaker or writer is talking about – whether practical witchcraft magic or illusion or fictional. I respect that and agree, people SHOULD be able to tell by the context what sort of magic the writer is talking about but, sadly, assuming that people will know the difference usually, like the saying goes, makes an ass out of someone. I’ve learned this the hard way with a lot of terminology I use – and still have some people thinking that by saying I practice magick or calling myself a witch that really I’m just obsessed with Harry Potter or play games like Magic the Gathering or D&D (note- there is nothing wrong with any of these things…I really like Harry Potter). I’ve learned to be choosy with my words because of this.

I adopted this method of spelling magick when I began my professional career as a witch and tarot reader. As part of my profession, I read tarot at events and am usually not the only reader available. Sadly, there are times when another reader in attendance is there only as a form of amusement – they have no idea how to read the cards and don’t really claim to. Their fortunes are jokes the go along with giggles behind cheap gypsy costumes in exchange for token fees. It is part of my job to ensure that Seer & Sundry, as a brand, is not confused with the cheap, false entertainment. So, I made a conscious decision to do what I can to separate myself from the farce, and spelling magick the way that I do is part of that decision.

That being said, it is still very annoying that my writing platforms don’t acknowledge magick as a word properly spelled so I tend to spend most hours writing ignoring red squiggly lines as best I can.


Ask a Volva: Clients with Bad Vibes

Without fail, when I teach classes on tarot I get at least 1 person who asks what to do if they get a client that doesn’t resonate with them or, worse, is someone they get a really bad vibe from.

One student asked if I had ever read for someone that I felt was “evil” (her words) and what I would do if I did.
While I don’t tend to classify people as good or evil, I did see where she was coming from. In movies and media we’ve seen stories of psychics and readers who are caught up in murder cases and crime because of their connection with either a victim or the person committing the crime. These stories are rampant and good for those nights on the couch with a bag of popcorn and a glass of wine. However, it is a really rare case when something like this happens and is usually much less dramatic.

I do make it a point for every single one of my friends, clients, and anyone else who is wondering about this topic to know – You are NOT Required to Read for Every Client.
That’s it. If someone comes in your booth for a reading or orders a reading over your website or other media and you are uncomfortable in ANY way, you can say no.

I, of course, recommend being polite about it but you can simply state that you are sorry but you cannot read their cards at this time, give them their money back if they have paid, and that is that. If they insist or try and pressure you into reading their cards, then feel free to be abrupt and, if you have to, take measures to have them blocked or removed from you (most events if you are reading in public will have security or you can call the police if necessary).

Consent culture applies to more than just relationships and social encounters. Every person has the right to remove themselves from a situation they are uncomfortable in.

There have been some instances where I felt uncomfortable with clients and each one was in an event setting (a fair or festival) where alcohol was usually consumed by the client. This isn’t usually a problem, I find that clients that have had a drink tend to tip well. However, there could be a case made that these events do bring out the weirdos and my sort of services attract a fair share of them.
I’ve gotten every sort of client from alien conspiracy theorists, men who have hit on me in somewhat vulgar ways, people who claim to be immortal vampires from the 1400’s (and believe it), tarot experts who ironically pay me so they can scold me on how I read the cards, religious fundamentalists of all sorts who believe I’m in the wrong, and more. Each one I handle on a case by case basis and rely heavily on my years of customer service training and experience in most instances. I’m also blessed to have a husband who can look pretty intimidating when he chooses to and is often with me when reading face-to-face with others (its nice to have personal security).

That being said, I love a good, spooky novel with a psychic or tarot reader in it so if you’ve got a murder mystery or horror or whatever sort of novel in mind with this story please feel free to comment or share with me! My nightstand has a couple of free spaces for a good book, haha!
Tarot Blessings,