Friday, October 23, 2020

Change Was in the Cards for Memphis Tarot Readers

Posted By on Fri, Oct 23, 2020 at 10:05 AM

click to enlarge Erin Larivee (left) and Emily Guenther read tarot cards for clients in person at South Main's The Broom Closet and online. - TOBY SELLS
  • Toby Sells
  • Erin Larivee (left) and Emily Guenther read tarot cards for clients in person at South Main's The Broom Closet and online.

Change was coming. It was in the cards.

Emily Guenther and Erin Larivee saw that change in their cards last fall, one card specifically.

“The Tower Card is one of the change cards but it’s my least favorite,” said Guenther. “It’s a big change; it’s disruption. It’s your life being turned upside down. It’s the rug being pulled from under you. And, a lot of times, there’s no preparation for any of this.”

Guenther owns The Broom Closet, a metaphysical shop and spiritual supply store on South Main. There, she reads tarot cards for clients under the name Reverend Omma. Larivee reads at the shop, too and is considered a hedgewalker, a spiritual term for someone who easily walks between the physical world and the one beyond the veil.

Both of them said they began seeing the Tower Card appear for more clients more often last fall. Back then, Guenther was even walking through her tarot class through an exercise on picking their card of the year. She picked the Tower Card.



“I’m having meltdown in front of the class, like, oh my god, this is going to be the worst year of my life forever,” Guenther said. “Little did I know it was for everybody.”

While there are many professional agencies advocating for tarot readers, like the American Tarot Association and the National Tarot Readers Association, none of them offered any trend information related to readings and the coronavirus. Then again, it may be difficult to extract and report upon personal data from private readings.

Just like much else, COVID-19 has pushed once face-to-face tarot readings into the digital world. Guenther said she resisted at first, “I wanted you to touch my cards. That’s how I was going to read your energy.” She relented and said a virtual reading “doesn’t interfere with the messages and the ability to give a good reading.”

“It’s not about being in the same space,” Larivee said, noting she’s done readings on Zoom and Skype for years. “Sharing energy is sharing energy. It’s not about being in the same space.”

No tarot reader could have really predicted COVID-19, said Guenther and Larivee; readings just don’t work that way. Tarot is ”like a picture in time,” Guenther said. While readings can show where things are headed, “it’s not set in stone,” she said, and they can help clients pick a path.

Unstable times did not produce an uptick in overall clients, both readers said. That is, questions and uncertainty about the global pandemic did not send many more people seeking answers or stability in a tarot reading.
But the global situation has made for some consistent messaging in many readings, as people worldwide deal with the same issue. People worry about their lives in the context of the world-changing pandemic, Larivee said. From many of those readings, she said a common theme has emerged: “normal is never going to be normal again.”

click to enlarge Erin Larivee and Emily Guenther read tarot cards for clients in person at South Main's The Broom Closet and online. Above, Larivee reveals the change-gonna-come Tower Card. - TOBY SELLS
  • Toby Sells
  • Erin Larivee and Emily Guenther read tarot cards for clients in person at South Main's The Broom Closet and online. Above, Larivee reveals the change-gonna-come Tower Card.

“Someday we will have something normal but something’s going to change,” Larivee said. “We may not be living with a mask, I don’t [perceive] that. But normal is changing. I’m getting that very frequently.”

Guenther joked that many seek a tarot reading to answer questions primarily about two things: love and money. Since COVID-19, they’ve seen people turn to them for a third reason.

“I think tarot reading is a bit like therapy and counseling,” Guenther said. “So, I feel like a lot of it is just people needing someone to talk to that they haven’t already been talking at for a few weeks now.”

There’s another trend both Guenther, Larivee, and others are seeing in their cards, or not seeing.

“I’m seeing [the Tower Card] less frequently,” Larivee said. “A lot of the members of the community that I know personally and professionally have been noticing the exact same pattern,” Larivee said. “That’s been consistent nationally and globally.”
Guenther, too.

“I’ve notice I’ve stopped seeing it quite as much, which gives me a little bit of hope,” she said.

What’s in the cards for you? Book a tarot reading with Guenther, Larivee, and other readers at The Broom Closet website. The Broom Closet, 546 S. Main St.

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