Here’s the second question in our series about the tools and processes that I use in my work:
“How do you set up your space for in-person readings?
JE, Portland, OR, U.S.A.”
Thanks for your question, JE! I keep things simple here. There’s a wide table that can accommodate several cards, if necessary. I don’t use a tablecloth because it bothers me when the cloth bunches up and slides around as we lay out cards, pick them up to look at them, etc. Also, the plain black table surface provides a backdrop that makes the tarot images easy to see. I don’t like doo-dads on the table (statues, crystals ,etc.) because, to me, they distract us from the tarot experience. However, there are sculptures, drums, art prints, and books in the room that make it feel personal and special. Even though I’m a person who enjoys music, I prefer the room to be quiet during a consultation so the client and I can hear one another clearly.
When the client arrives, there are three or four decks on the table from which they can choose (more about that in another article), a copy of the spread(s) that we’ll be using, and a cup of tea or glass of water for each of us (our conversation will make us thirsty). I also have blank paper and pens so I can take notes as we go along and so that the client can take a few notes if s/he chooses.
We sit on a long sofa side-by-side so we can see the tarot pictures from the same angle and to remember that we are co-creators of the tarot encounter rather than me acting like an “expert” who talks at them from the other side of the desk. There’s a large glass door on the other side of the table, giving us a view of trees, plants, and sunshine — it’s lovely to be able to see the natural world during the session.
In a nutshell, we sit together on a comfortable seat by a spacious table that holds cards, notes, and beverages in a pleasant, welcoming space that has a view of the back yard. Easy! I hope that answers your question, JE.
Image: Detail from the Ten of Flame Songs from the Songs for the Journey Home Tarot by Catherine Cook and Dwariko von Sommaruga.