An unexpected lesson from giving public tarot readings

I’ve never been confident about giving tarot readings. I had my first deck of cards when I was 17 but I’ve not done more than 50 tarot readings for others even until now.

Strangely, I’ve always wanted to do tarot readings in public. I had the chance to do that when I shared a flea market stall with my friend Elly in mid-October,

I brought my Halloween tarot deck, my shiny blue cloth that I use more as a table cloth than for mystical reasons and also chocolates to bribe any potential customers.

Not your usual flea market stall

The flea market that we had our stall was at Lucky Plaza on a Saturday.

Elly brought a suitcase of clothes to sell. I brought other random things to sell but the main event was tarot reading.

The thing about the flea market at Lucky Plaza is that the clientele is usually Filipinas. I felt embarrassed that I was charging them for my service. Instead, I offered free or discounted readings to Elly’s customers.

Atypical readings

yunqing tarot

Before anyone sat down with me, I explained that the cards only mean what might happen if nothing changes in the situation. And if the results were negative, it meant that it was still possible to change the situation if they made the effort.

Most of the people who asked for readings treated the cards as something fun and playful. The results for them were typically positive. Some asked about love life and their family but rarely about careers (which I think might be a First World Problem).

One mother asked if she should move her kids to another island. The cards told her yes. She told me that she had been worried that her kids wouldn’t be able to adjust to the new island which had better educational opportunities. Now she’s less worried about that. It made me glad for her.

One woman sat down and said, “Does my husband have a girlfriend?” I replied, “I’m sorry, I can’t do a reading for that.” She had tears in her eyes and asked another question.

Reflecting on the readings

Business at the tarot reading stall wasn’t fantastic so that it gave me a lot of time to think.

I realized that people like to tell their stories. Most of them didn’t actually want answers from the tarot readings, instead they wanted a stranger’s ear to tell their stories. Someone who wouldn’t judge them. Someone who would listen to them until they are done with their tale before giving solicited “advice”.

Turns out, the most important job I had as a tarot reader was to listen. Most people have already made up their minds and were unlikely change based on what random tarot cards told them. The only thing I could do was to sit quietly and be there for them while they told their stories.

I’m in Story Slam Singapore Grand Slam

story slam singapore grand slam

Speaking of stories, I’ll be joining a story telling competition happening on January 26, 2016.

I’m one of the finalists in Story Slam Singapore’s Grand Slam. (I told some stories a few months ago at Story Slam Singapore.)

I’m very excited about this opportunity because it will be held at The Esplanade. Performing at The Esplanade? Sign me up!

If you’re in Singapore, please join me and other seven wonderful storytellers as we share our tales.

Get your tickets from storyslamsingapore.com.
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/205466293122811/

Here’s the awesome poster.

story slam singapore

More about Liau Yun Qing

Yun Qing is a writer, improviser and curious person. She loves finding little adventures in life. In 2013, she went on a 130-day round-the-world trip. She wrote a book to help those who also want to go on a career break.

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