As you know, I taught Tarot, psychic ability development and feminist
psychology for many years. Many of those classes took place while I was
also working a day job as a therapist/researcher/social work teacher.
Most people who knew me in my day job had no clue about my other life –
my guilty passion. Tarot, psychic ability and spirit.
It wasn’t hard for me to be secretive. After all I’m a Scorpio and
that’s just a natural way of being for us. Besides I’d been doing
something similar in one form or another for years. I’d been secret
about myself for so long I’d forgotten how to be otherwise. For
instance, when I was living in California I had two complete identities
and social groups. One identity, group, name and address was connected
to my work as a bartender and another identity was connected to being a
grad student of psychology.
Some people in my professional life knew about my secret. They were a
deeply trusted inner circle of women that I knew shared my interest or
found the whole notion at the very least intriguing. Many however, were
kept out of the loop until I launched into doing it full time and found
myself the feature story in a rather large newspaper article.
Turning Point with Spiritual Healer
Now you undoubtedly know people, and may be are one of these people
yourself, who enjoy activities that are quite different from your daily
working lives. Hobbies such as stamp collecting or playing pool;
physical pursuits such as hand gliding, bungie jumping or motor car
racing; passions such as history, geography or quantum mechanics or any
other activity that is just different from what your day to day
colleagues would imagine you pursuing. But for some reason if you
casually let it drop in the lunchroom that you were a psychic Tarot
reader in your leisure hours, they would likely stare at you in
dumbfounded, horrified amazement. It just seems to occupy a class of
its own and I don’t think I’m imagining this. In fact I know I’m not.
A turning point for me came in the form of an ex-social worker turned
spiritual healer at an event where I had been given a table to display
my Tarot work. We were placed next to each other and both being
inclined to chat, it wasn’t long before we were exchanging stories.
She described how very closet-y she had been about her alternative
healing work with her professional colleagues when she was employed,
until one day she realized her spiritual work was her
If she was determined to remain secretive about her life purpose and
passion, then she was sending some disturbing messages to those who knew
her, including and most especially herself. So she “came out” to
everyone realizing too that she couldn’t possibly market herself as a
healer without some people finding her out. She discovered much to her
surprise and delight that many of her colleagues celebrated her decision
and promptly booked appointments to see her in her secret practice
already having built up a degree of trust in her honesty and integrity.
As I listened to her story, I felt this excitement growing in my heart
and spirit. I knew it was time (after 20 years!) for me to do the
same. I needed to live in my integrity and let my community see me for
who I was. I felt vulnerable and terrified and free.
It’s in those moments that we learn what it truly means to be vulnerable. Brene Brown
states, “Courage, compassion, connection and vulnerability are the hallmarks of people who are truly happy”
That explained the free part. I felt happy and free. I still cared
what people might think but it wasn’t going to be the force that decided
my way forward any longer. Soon afterwards my career as a reader took
flight and I haven’t look back since. That was 2003.
I wouldn’t dare suggest it’s been a perfectly smooth transition or
road. Some people did in fact judge me harshly and backed away. Others
reacted with fear, scorn and skepticism.
“You are a necromancer”!
Bumping into my family doctor in a coffee shop, in response to his question about how I was, I answered, “I’m happy! I’m doing what I love and enjoying amazing success at it!”
He took a step back aghast as I described my work and burst out, “You are a necromancer!”
I giggled self-consciously as others in the café stared, and said, “Not exactly but yeah kinda.”
I was annoyed to feel my knees quivering, my face flushing and my skin
crawling with a creepy sensation like a witchy woman facing the
Rather inconveniently, this also meant I couldn’t see him anymore.
Landing another family doctor took me the better part of ten years as
anyone who lives in Canada is aware. The first thing I announced to my
new family doctor was that I was a psychic Tarot reader and if he had a
problem with that we might as well get it over with right at the start.
He glanced at me, smiled and said, “Cool.”
He turned out to be the best doctor I ever had. I miss him dearly having to leave him behind when we moved to Victoria.
Another surprising response was from one of my M.A. profs (M.A. in
Religion & Culture I might also suggest is hardly
hard-science-left-brain). This prof fancied and marketed himself as a
cool dude. But when he found out what I was doing, he laughed mockingly
and said it was “quite an act
”. Because we were having a private chat I will say in my defense that I fired that right back at him!
Yet another prof, who considered himself anything but cool (winner of
the best professor award and a renowned Catholic scholar) joyfully
referred many clients to me and generously wrote me a deeply personal
and touching reference to post on my web site! So many lessons were
learned throughout this period. The most salient was that I could never
predict how people were going to react.
Each challenging encounter with someone who disapproved however, made me
stronger, more committed and more free. It wasn’t just a matter of the
risk in revealing my true self but the risk in launching a business I
knew nothing about. Self-employment was something I had done part-time
for years while having a full-time day job to pay the rent. I had no
idea if I would be able to carve out a reasonable living for myself.
Worse, once people knew who and what I was, I might be out of a day job
too or have any hope of gaining another!
Love with Your Whole Heart
Brene encourages, “Love with your whole hearts even though there is no guarantee”
I couldn’t be more enthusiastic in seconding this advice. Don’t wait
as long as I did to reveal your true self to others. Be real with your
vulnerability. The rewards are so abundant they are impossible to
You’ll be appreciated and denigrated but at least it will be for real.
Those who celebrate you, know who they are celebrating and those who
denigrate you will at least be assured it’s truly for who you are and
although this might seem counterintuitive, it’s rather freeing. The
family members who support you no matter what, love you
unconditionally. They are your true family. The others were just folks
you got to know along the way. You get really good at identifying who
you want in your life and whom you need to leave behind, often finally!
Make 2017 the year to expose your true self to the world. Be real and
authentic in your life. Take the risks that are the scariest. Be
adventurous, uncomfortable and free.Articles Published in December 2016