Coming Out of the Broom Closet 

This is me.

At 36 years of age, I just began to live an authentic life. I am no longer afraid to risk rejection, humiliation, or scorn. I am not easily embarrassed. I do not fear what people think of me.

For the first 35 years of my life, I existed in two worlds simultaneously. The contrast was so glaring that I feared I would never be able to bring the two parts together and still be loved by my family or respected by my peers.

Part One: I am what mainstream society expects of me.

 I excel in school and begin taking college classes at 16. I marry and have my first child at 18, and finish college with my Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at 21. I begin working at an exhibit company that focused on environmental and cultural sites of interest throughout the world. With the birth of my second child I begin teaching students with disabilities at an elementary school to be closer to my children. Six years later I take a position with the Florida Department of Education where I support students on a statewide level. I earn a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership, and advance to the University of South Florida where I expand my skills to include web development. I provide for my family, pay my bills, vote, serve as a member of my homeowner’s association, and try to be an upstanding citizen.

Part Two: I am rejected by mainstream society.

I am a mystic. I read constantly and my library includes books on psychic development, philosophy, astrology, Buddhism, and tarot. I am drawn to religion and spirituality but have lost faith in organized religion. I accept Jesus as a profound teacher and role model but do not believe he is the only messenger of God. I sit in nature for extended periods of time trying to connect to the earth and my spirit guides. I believe in spirit guides. I read tarot cards and I believe that they provide insight and guidance into our daily lives. I surround myself with crystals that I believe contain positive energy and vibrations. I bathe in salt and essential oils when I feel down to cleanse my aura. I believe some people have gifts that allow them to see auras, communicate with spirits, and see the future. I track the phases of the moon and align my intentions accordingly, and will complete certain rituals that I believe manifest my desires. Some would call me a witch, but I don’t really believe in the Devil.

Fear

For many years I kept the two parts of myself separate and few knew the whole truth of who I was. Only my closest friends knew the “real” me. I was afraid and ashamed to reveal my interests and beliefs for fear of people thinking I was crazy or just plain stupid. How could an intellectual believe this crap? I feared that this side of myself would open me up to public scorn or potentially hurt my chances of getting a job in the future.

Mostly, I was afraid of hurting my dear grandmother that I loved deeply. She was the best grandmother that anyone could ever wish for. She was deeply afraid of anything “new age” or “spiritual” as she believed it was from the Devil. She was in her eighties and I didn’t want to do anything that would stress her already fragile heart. A couple of our family members were struggling with addiction to narcotics, stealing and lying to support their habits, and she was deeply hurt and stressed out about this. I would never have forgiven myself for causing her any more stress or risking her health further.

Breakdown

Beginning in February of this year, most of my readings began featuring the Three of Swords in the future position. This card represents deep sorrow, grief, and heartbreak. Naturally, this scared the shit out of me. What it could mean? Would my husband betray me? Was someone going to be hurt? What awful thing lurked around the corner? As a result, I loved deeper, I hugged longer, and I made sure to tell everyone how much I cared about him or her every time we were together.

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Three of Swords, Wild Unknown Tarot deck (Kim Krans)
The Three of Swords came to fruition on May 12th, 2016, and it is a day I will never forget. My beloved grandmother had been in a rehab facility due to an ankle injury for which she required physical therapy. I was going to see her as often as I could, rubbing lavender oil on her bruises and bringing her food that I knew she enjoyed. That afternoon, my mother had visited her after work and found that she was quite ill. She didn’t look right, and she was so weak she couldn’t lift her arms. The staff had not noticed this, but my mother was alarmed and insisted a doctor check her out. The physician was called and he agreed it would be prudent to have her taken to the hospital. My mom was scared, so I decided to join my mother and grandmother just to make sure everything was okay. My grandmother was loaded into an ambulance, and mom and I followed her to the hospital.

Upon arriving at the hospital it became apparent that everything was not okay. The moment we arrived at the Emergency Room, a team of people rushed in. It was determined that her pacemaker had stopped working and her heart was failing. We were immediately barraged with questions about her DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) orders. We were told it was serious and she could die very soon. We had to make frantic calls to try to determine her wishes. After several insane, tear-filled hours, the doctors were able to get her pacemaker working again. It turns out that the rehab facility she was in was not making sure she drank fluids or taking her to the bathroom regularly, and her kidneys failed. It caused her blood levels to become toxic and force her heart out of rhythm. When she was stabilized that night, I told her that her sister and my sister were so worried that they were on their way to see her. She laughed and said, “Well, I ain’t dead yet!” Those were the last words she ever said to me, and it was the last time I saw her smile.

After a moment of hope that she would recover, I awoke the next morning to find out she had slipped into a coma. Various life-saving procedures were tried to revive her, but within the day she was gone. It was May 13, 2016. Friday the 13th.

Even now, months later, I feel a vast emptiness inside as I remember that she is dead. She is not at home in her recliner sitting with my grandpa. I can’t call her and tell about my day. Tears flood down my cheeks as I remember that last moment we had together, and I hope wherever she is that she feels my love for her from beyond the veil.

In my experience, the death of a loved one creates a vacuum in your life that I do not believe will ever be filled. It is such a void that when I allow myself, it swallows me whole and I swim in an ocean of grief and tears. It is a physical sensation of heaviness and emptiness simultaneously that I feel in my chest whenever my mind wanders and I think of her.

I recount this story of loss and grief for two reasons, I suppose. The first is that this is the first time I have written about it, and it is therapeutic to do so. The second is to return to where this story begins, and explain how it took the passing of my grandmother to bring the two sides of me together.

Integration

With my grandmother’s death, I no longer felt I had to conceal who I was. I would have hid it forever if I could have kept her in my life, but that was not possible. For the first time, I was free to be me and to integrate the two parts of myself without shame. I no longer feared what people would think of me if they knew what I did behind closed doors. Fearfully at first, I began to share my metaphysical interests with my family and my close professional colleagues. I then publicly shared information on my website and blog on my personal Facebook page. There was no more “hiding in the broom closet.” This is who I am – take it or leave it.

Death serves as a reminder that life is fleeting. With luck, we might have 100 years to experience all this existence has to offer. No one knows what comes next – NO ONE – and anyone who tells you with certainty that they do is full of shit.

We are not here just to get an education, work, fall in love, raise children, and accrue possessions. In fact many of these things distract us from our true purpose. We are here to be our authentic selves and live the life to which we are destined. We are here to help others and be our best selves. There is so much love and beauty to experience and share with others.

Forget what you think you know about life. In fact, don’t think at all. As Eckhart Tolle says, “You are not your mind.” For five minutes, don’t think. Just be you, in the moment, and be still and silent. Pretend your mind is a puppy and when it begins to think about the laundry, tell it to sit.

Be in the present. The only thing we truly have and are guaranteed is this present moment. Try to live in it and be as authentic as you can be. Every moment that passes is a moment lost. When we come out with confidence and lose the fear of judgment, we inspire others to do the same.

As soon as you are able – and it might not be now (you have your own reasons for holding back) – I encourage you to live without fear and be who you are. People might just surprise you.

*I am so thankful for my mother, for her unconditional love. Though I am not at all the person she would like for me to be, she loves me anyway and never makes me doubt it. I am so blessed to have her in my life.*

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A Peek into the Psychic Capital of the World

The Importance of Ethics in the Psychic Realm: A Story from Cassadaga

Earlier this year I visited the mecca of the psychic world: Cassadaga, Florida. This quaint, sleepy town is the hub of the modern spiritualist movement. It has been termed, “the psychic capital of the world,” with more psychics and mediums per capita than anywhere else across the globe.

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A myriad of psychics located directly across the street from the Cassadaga Hotel.
How did this come to be? Were individuals with psychic abilities drawn to this region of Florida like a moth to a flame? I’m afraid it isn’t that interesting, but still notable.

In the early 20th century a group of people within the budding spiritualist movement left their home in upstate New York following their leader, George Colby. As a young man, Colby was told during a séance that he would someday be instrumental in founding a spiritualist community in the south. In 1875, that prophecy was fulfilled when he was led through the wilderness of Florida to an area surrounded with hills by a spirit guide named “Seneca.” There he established the Cassadaga Spiritualist camp, fondly named after the city of Cassadaga, New York, that he and the others had left behind.

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A photo beside Spirit Pond (which is said to have cured Colby of tuberculosis)
The first night there my husband and I enjoyed dinner at the historic (and haunted) Cassadaga Hotel, which hosts séances twice a month with one of their seasoned mediums. We did not attend the séance, though I did have a session with esteemed medium Rev. Judy Cooper while I was visiting. One night, 15-minute tarot “mini-readings” were being offered during dinner, and I encouraged my husband to get one.

It was disappointing to say the least. The reader was insistent that my husband, if not currently in the medical field, would work in the medical field soon. When he explained that he actually manages a very successful pest control office, she was insistent that he would go back to school and become a doctor.

Now I don’t claim to know the future, but this really missed the mark for us. The odds that my husband will quit his job, go to college for the next 8 years, and become a doctor are about as likely as winning the lottery. Nonetheless, he shelled out $20 for the reading and returned to dinner with me disappointed with the experience.

Later that night during our coming and going from the restaurant, we overheard the conversation of several readers in the lobby, one of which was my husband’s. They were discussing business as readers and we distinctly heard his reader say, “You have to fake it before you make it, right?!

When it comes to psychics and mediums, there are quite a few phonies out there who spoil it for the rest of us. These individuals bring shame upon us lightworkers who honor spirit and only operate from the highest good.

I have spent most of my life as a public servant and a teacher, and I am committed to working with the tarot with only the highest ethical standards. I will tell you what I see in the cards, honestly and clearly. If we do not connect during a reading and I cannot be certain of the message, I will not take your money.

Please take a moment to review my ethical principles and business policies that govern my work at Namaste Tarot Readings and let me your thoughts below.

Read here: http://www.namastetarotreadings.com/ethics-and-business-policies.html

Oh ye of little faith!

Seriously… Tarot can’t really tell me anything about my life – can it?

Many people want to get a tarot reading, but don’t because they are afraid they will be disappointed.

It’s normal for people to have doubts about whether a tarot reading can really reveal things about their life if they have never received a reading before. Skepticism is alive and well in today’s society. This is especially true for matters of faith and other things beyond the lens of science.

I began my journey with tarot many years ago when I received my first tarot card reading at seventeen years of age. I was at a crossroads in my young adult life. I had just found out I was about four weeks pregnant. Confused and frightened, I turned to my friend’s mother that I adored who had keen intuitive abilities and many years of experience with reading tarot cards. I watched, fascinated, as she unfolded a beautiful piece of crimson silk and took from it her trusted tarot deck. On the kitchen countertop she laid the cards out in a cross and studied the cards with her piercing blue eyes. A moment passed and she began to speak. I sat, stunned, as everything she said aligned perfectly to my current situation.

What card was in the current situation? You guess it… The Empress.

Tears came to my eyes as she spoke about the recent challenges I had experienced. I had big choices to make in the coming weeks about what I was going to do about this pregnancy.  She said my life was about to change in a very big way – and for the better. It looked as though I may even get married. This I would never have guessed, because at this point my child’s father was most certainly not ready to be a father and did not want me to have the baby. She assured me that if I continued on my current path, and trusted in my baby’s father, I would be glad I did. Things were looking up for my future. I left her house that days feeling relieved and my burden was lightened knowing that maybe, just maybe, everything was going to be okay.

Two months later I married my high school sweetheart, and a few months later I gave birth to a beautiful, healthy little girl. This year my husband and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary, and that baby is turning 18 in a few weeks. After that first reading, I was given my first Rider Waite tarot deck on my 18th birthday. I have been a student of the tarot ever since.

That first reading forever changed the way I viewed the tarot cards, but I was most certainly a skeptic before then. There is no shame in skepticism. Why shouldn’t we question everything in life and decide for ourselves?

As a child we blindly follow the beliefs of our parents, and later that of our peers. The major arcana series in the tarot captures the experience of growing from a child into an adolescent. The Lovers best represents this turning point in our lives. In adolescence we begin to question, rebel, and make choices for ourselves. The choices we make will then power us forward on our path (via the Chariot).

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The Lovers – the card of adolescence.
As we mature we do not need to believe things simply because we are told. Independent thinking and making our own choices about what is right is what makes this time period so interesting to be alive. Aleister Crowley (magician, founder of Thelema, and father of the Thoth tarot) believed that the 21st century marked humanity’s entry to the Aeon of Horus, a new era in which humanity would take increasing control of their destiny. This exciting time comes on the heels of the Aeon of Osiris, in which religions like Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism dominate the world.

As a species (mankind), we are growing up! We live in an age where humanity as a whole is maturing out of a childlike state to that of a rebellious teenager – questioning everything and deciding for ourselves. The spirit of Horus is the spirit of rebellion as society’s artists, poets, musicians, writers, and activists actively push for social reform and justice. It shakes traditional paradigms and brings radical change to individuals and countries, as well as dramatic changes to religious ideals and beliefs.

This new age is evident in church attendance rates that have been in steady decline for the past 20 years, with people shifting from weekly to monthly or just holiday attendance. Sociologists have attributed this trend to a number of reasons, from boredom during services and lack of motivation, to generational incompatibility of belief systems and social changes attributed to modern life.

Skepticism isn’t a new concept. One of the most famous skeptics in history dates back to Bible times – the Apostle Thomas. Thomas refused to believe that the resurrected Jesus had appeared to the ten other apostles until he could see and feel the wounds received by Jesus on the cross for himself. We use the term “doubting Thomas” to refer to a skeptic who refuses to believe without direct personal experience.

Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:24-29)

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Calling all tarot skeptics!

 Thomas simply could not believe until he saw it for himself. I use the example of Thomas to introduce what I jokingly and lovingly refer to as a “Doubting Thomas Reading.” Now, I’m not claiming in any way to be Jesus or even be like him (though I aspire to – Jesus was pretty awesome and a total social justice pioneer in his day). I simply want to give any doubting skeptics the opportunity to experience a tarot reading for themselves and draw their own conclusions.

The “Doubting Thomas Reading” is a concise, 20 minute reading on a question of your choosing for only $20. Within 24 hours of the conclusion of the reading, if you are unhappy with the reading and feel that it did not address your question or concern, I will refund your money, no questions asked. All I ask is that you have a well-formulated question or issue on which you would like insight and be open to the process. If you clam up and do not provide input along the way, chances are you won’t get the full benefit of the reading. A reading is a conversation between reader and querent who work together to get the most concise interpretation out of the cards as they present themselves.

Readings can be conducted in person, on the phone (U.S. only), through email, Facebook Messenger (live), or Skype. With an email reading, you may reply back with three additional clarifying questions on the reading which I will then address. Readings will be completed within 48 hours of sending payment.

If you would like to receive a “Doubting Thomas Reading” please email me at namastetarotreadings@yahoo.com

Sometimes you must experience things to believe them. I invite you to try it! I am confident that you will not be disappointed.

(Only one Doubting Thomas Reading per client.)