Tarot as a vehicle for transformation

Having your cards read is a magical experience! Each one of the seventy-eight cards represents a different facet of the human condition. Through our conversation, you will recognize patterns and make connections that you hadn’t previously registered. It’s like taking a minute to zoom out to see the sweeping panorama. All of the weird shapes and splotches of daily life have a greater order; they are actually a beautiful impressionist painting!


I approach the Tarot from a self-development perspective: the cards that show up for us give us a snapshot of what is happening in the present moment. They help us to explore your recent themes and how you are feeling and reacting towards what is happening. In this respect, there are no “bad” or “scary” cards; the tarot does not tell our fate, but illuminates life as it is right now and directs us towards things we need to pay attention to. Anything that might come up is strictly for your highest and best.


What is it like to receive a Tarot Reading?


In our time together we will sit down, perhaps with a cup of tea and a snack, and discuss your goals for the session and how I might best be able to support you. It is a good idea to arrive with some questions or a topic you would like to focus on; I will help you to phrase your request from the cards in order to glean the best possible answer from the reading. If you are a tarot reader yourself, or you are in the process of learning, the session can also take an instructional contour if you would like. Please let me know what your goals are for our allotted time.


I will lay out the cards, interpret what I see, and together we will discuss the energies that have come through in the spread. Through the reading I will encourage you to check in with your deep self to see what about our conversation is resonating for you personally. It is a very much an interactive conversation in which I will help you get clear on your motivations and next steps that you might want to take on your path. I am not a psychologist or social worker; a tarot session is in no way meant to be a replacement for traditional talk therapy. It is not within my scope of practice to diagnose, prescribe, or advise on a particular course of action. My objective is to consult the divine randomness of the cards and provide a comfortable space in which to process their messages. The cards do not tell you what you “should” do, they only provide you with different perspectives to consider.


You will leave the session with a clarity of mind. After the session (within 48 hours) I will send you a picture of your reading with a short paragraph summarizing the key points. During the reading, the cards or the messages that show up might not always make complete sense, but often after taking a bit of time for reflection you might find that things click a bit more. If applicable, I will include some questions that you might choose to spend some time thinking or journaling about in the subsequent days.


A bit about the history and structure of the Tarot


The tarot is a deck of 78 cards consisting of 22 major arcana cards and 56 minor arcana cards. It is thought that the tarot originated in 14th century Italy, and was designed to be a game similar to bridge, called Tarocchi. Later, in the 18th century, it was taken up by fortune tellers as a way to try to divine the future.


Tarot is currently undergoing a revolution. Our modern understanding of the cards reflect a spiritual system that can guide us through the vagaries of life. It is a language of archetypes: the cards each represent a universal situation or type of energy that we all experience, no matter what our gender, socioeconomic status, nationality, religion, or any other factor.


The 22 Major Arcana cards are the more philosophical component of the deck. These are the ideas of justice and strength, mother and father, challenge, a turn of good luck, death, loss, and rebirth, among others. They represent the big lessons and ideas that we must work through as we move towards self-actualization and individuation.


The 56 Minor Arcana cards (ten number cards per suit, plus four court cards) focus on the more everyday aspects of life and how we are moving through the world:


The Swords represent the element of air. They pertain to our mental processes and state of mind. What is our relationship to our thoughts? Are we being held back by limiting beliefs?


The Cups represent the element of water, our heart and the seat of our emotion, and intuition. What is our relationship to our emotions? How are we sharing our feelings with others? Are we honoring our higher self?


The Wands represent the element of fire, and they are all about our purpose, passion, and creative drive. How are we expressing ourselves? Are we giving ourselves an appropriate energetic outlet?


The Pentacles (sometimes called coins) are the element of earth; they’re about our physical body, money, and material concerns. Are we honoring our body and practicing proper self care? What is our relationship to the way we spend our time and resources?


Each tarot card has traditional meanings but these are just a jumping off point and our understanding is always evolving. As one’s relationship to the tarot grows, their perceptions of each card will shift and gain new shades and dimensions, according to life experiences. Therefore, each reader’s style and frame for working with the cards will be a bit different.

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804 North Neil Street, Suite 202

Champaign, IL 61801



Gillian Marie Gabriel, LMT