I’m so excited to be back in our “Conversations Over Coffee” series. Today, I want to introduce you to Theresa Reed – also known as “The Tarot Lady”. I met Theresa after her name came up from several different Facebook friends. I ordered a “one question reading” and was wowed! Again, my instincts were perfect: Theresa is, indeed, the kind of lady I’d want to chat with over coffee and a snack.
Tell us about Theresa: with songs titles and a brief synopsis that describe every 5 years of your life. We want the good, the bad, and the beautiful!
0 – 5: “You Don’t Own Me” by Klaus Nomi. Due to my experience of breaking my leg at two (story below), I became extremely independent early on. I remember thinking radically different from my parents about religion by age four as well as having a strong dislike to being controlled or told what to do.
6 – 11: “How Am I Different” by Aimee Mann. I loved school very much but had a hard time fitting in with other kids. I was odd, I was intuitive and I was a geek. The teachers understood me and were wonderful – my peers, not so much. I felt like an alien at school and at home as well. This was a very trippy, “in my head” time of my life. I remember feeling alone much of the time and keeping my nose buried in books.
12 – 17: “Blank Generation” by Richard Hell. My saving grace in life was music. At 12, I discovered punk rock (and this was before it was “cool”) and I was hooked! All my money went into albums and rock magazines. I would go down to the local record store and special order my albums because they were not carried in the store at the time. The guy who worked there would always ask “are you sure you want this stuff?” I loved punk because it was snarky, clever, angry and political. At the time, it sounded like nothing else and for a misfit like myself, it spoke to my sense of alienation. This song by Richard Hell perfectly sums up the way my mind was geared at that time. I’d also say that “Clampdown” by the Clash was important to me then because it helped me to define my political beliefs.
18 – 23: “True” by Concrete Blonde. This period of my life was very difficult. I made some massive and costly personal mistakes but I learned the most about myself through the process. The most important lesson: be true to myself no matter what.
24 – 29: “Lovesong” by The Cure. I had sworn off marriage after my divorce but then I met my soul mate during this period. We had actually met a few years earlier – but he was attached to another gal at the time. I remember seeing him from across the room and I felt my heart go pang! We would run into each other from time to time and there was always a spark but we never acted on it. When we finally connected, it was beyond anything I had ever experienced. No one ever made me feel the way this man made me feel. I was finally “home” with someone who understood me completely.
30 – 35: “I’m a Hustla” by Cassidy. Crazy busy creating my business, raising kids, dealing with an ex husband and family issues but somehow managing to juggle it all like a true hustla.
36 – 41: “She Works Hard For The Money” by Donna Summer. My business was doing well, I was traveling more and busting my hump hustling my work. I also started teaching yoga part time – so I was working 7 days a week. Workaholism is in my blood and during this period I was extremely focused on work.
42 – 47: “Army Of Me” by Bjork. This was possibly the hardest period of my life – but it started out like a lion and went out like a lamb. My mother passed away and suddenly I was in charge of my 90 year old dad with a side order of unsupportive siblings. On top of this, my children’s father died unexpectedly and my businesses were growing rapidly. I felt pulled in ten different directions with very little help. This period taught me the most about boundaries and how to take control of a situation. Dad passed away two years ago and since then, life has become peaceful and settled. I finally feel as if my life is my life on my terms.
Explain Tarot to us as if we were 12 – with one foot rooted in “practical” and the other foot rooted in “magical”.
Tarot is a beautiful set of pictures with hidden symbols, archetypes and messages hidden within. If you look closely, you will begin to see stories unfold and these stories will give you the keys to living a magical and happy life. Tarot shows you the way – take a peek and tell me what you see.
Tell us all about the main Tarot Deck you work with – including a description of your favorite card and what it means.
My main tarot squeeze is the Rider Waite Smith Deck. It’s a classic and it always provides a smooth and accurate reading. On occasion I venture off and use a different deck – but I always come back to the RWS. My favorite card is The Sun, which has an image of a child riding a horse. Behind him is a wall lined with sunflowers and a big, radiant sun. This card represents optimism, joy and happiness. It can also suggest success and abundance. It is a reminder that life is to be enjoyed and that we should focus on the positive rather than the negative. I’m an eternal optimist and I feel that this card represents the way I view my world and live my life.
We all have turning points – or moments – in our lives that change our course, pick your three most memorable and tell us all about them….
All my major turning points happened when I was rather young. When I was two, I broke my leg. I was being reckless and jumping off the couch in an attempt to mimic the “Roadrunner” cartoon (which proves that cartoons can incite violence LOL). I ended up in the hospital for 6 weeks in traction and my parents had to leave me there, which was hard for them but necessary because my mother was 9 months pregnant with my sister and there were other mouths to feed at home. I learned to like being alone and I learned to read. I came out of that hospital reading at a grade school level but also with an emotional detachment from my family. Learning how to detach emotionally turned out to be an important skill for the type of work I do.
When I was 16, I had a friend who had an unusual mother that liked to do astrology. She did my chart for me and I was fascinated. I started studying astrology from that point on. One day, I was at the bookstore looking for more astrology stuff when I stumbled upon a tarot deck. I had seen them in the movies and thought I’d check it out. They resonated with me immediately and I have been working them every since.
At 19, I gave birth to my first child. I was very frightened and to make matters worse, I had a nasty sister in law who convinced me that it was going to be the most horrible experience of my life. Terrified, I began searching for books on “how to have an easier childbirth” (oh, and my doctor told me I’d be doing a natural birth with no meds so the fear factor was amplified). The book I found was a series of yoga poses and breath work. I practiced diligently and lo and behold, had an easy childbirth that lasted a total sum of 4 hours. My ability to relax and be present and just breathe allowed me to sail right through it. I found that if I followed that mindset, I could get through just about anything.
What do you know now that you wish you knew at 18?
That my intuition is dead on accurate and I should always trust it 100%. If I listen to my gut, I will make far fewer mistakes.
What led to you living your life and working as “The Tarot Lady”?
I had been reading tarot for years when I moved back to Wisconsin to take care of my parents after my father became ill. I decided to get a “mindless job” so I could figure out what my next move would be. So I started bartending. I was put on a dead shift and I was bored out of my skull, so I decided to bring my tarot cards to work to have something to do. The people loved it – and word of mouth spread. Soon, my days became very busy and people began to request to see me outside the bar and were offering to pay me for more detailed readings (you could only do quickie ones at the bar). One day, I told my boss that I was thinking of reading tarot full time. He went behind my back and told someone that I would fail. Which, to me, was my “sign from God”. I quit immediately and never looked back. 20 plus years later, I am still going strong. (And him? His business failed two years after I left.) I discovered that I am happier being an entrepreneur and running my own ship – being self-employed has allowed me freedom that I would never get from a regular job.
I started using the name “The Tarot Lady” because clients would often ask “are you that tarot lady?” when they booked the appointment.
What is your super power?
Uncommonly good common sense. I am the most grounded, practical person you’ll ever meet.
Share with us your favorites – favorite meal, favorite book, favorite color….
Favorite meal: Bun Thit Nuong (Vietnamese Grilled Pork with Vermicelli). I adore Vietnamese cuisine and this dish makes me happier than a cat on a lap! Grilled lemongrass pork, rice noodles, fresh herbs and vegetables – all topped with a salty fish sauce and peanuts. It’s cool, refreshing but still hearty. I am always in search of the perfect Bun Thit Nuong.
Favorite book: Truth and Consequences by Miriam Young. It’s a children’s book and tells the story of a girl who had to learn how to be honest but tactful. I have probably been more affected by that little book than any other book in my life.
Favorite color: Black. It’s a classic and I wear it well.
What in your life brings you the greatest peace, love, and joy?
I have lots of things that my heart sing: my husband and children. My home. A stack of books near me. A good meal. Time alone. The look of joy or relief in my client’s eyes. My two obnoxious cats. Travel. And honesty. Come to think of it, nothing makes me more at peace than to know that I am surrounded by honest, good people.
And now, give us your Elevator Speech (this is time to shout about your biz, tell folks how to connect with you on Twitter, FB, Pinterest, etc…..)
I am an intuitive tarot reader and yogi with over 20 years of professional experience. I’m devoted to helping people make better decisions & lead happier lives — using Tarot as an instigational tool for confident, bold & emotionally-intelligent action — in life, in love & in business. I also mentor aspiring tarot readers – one of my missions is to help other readers to go pro and create sustainable businesses.
You can find me chilling around my virtual ‘hood at: http://www.TheTarotLady.com
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