WTF has Jess been up to?
Samhain kicked my ***. I celebrated my 40th birthday, spent time reflecting upon the upcoming 2-year anniversary of my father’s death.
Card of the Month Recap
The card pulled for November is The Devil. This card draws attention to the unhealthy attachments in our lives, both in the way of physical vices as well as unhealthy relationships. Some of the undertones of the holiday season may draw these issues out to the surface. Remember, the chains around you aren’t super tight. You have ways to break free / detach / detox if needed.
Card of the Week for November 3rd – November 9th
We have Death (reversed) calling out how we might be resisting changes in our life and that it is important for us to face the changes and losses in our life so that we can grow.
Predictive Tarot with Hilary Parry Haggerty
This week’s guest will share her experiences with predictive Tarot. In addition, we discuss some of the roadblocks that new (and some experienced) readers face when approaching Tarot as a tool for prediction-based divination.
- Website: http://www.tarotbyhilary.com
- Instagram Profile: instagram.com/tarotbyhilary
- Facebook Page: facebook.com/tarotbyhilary
Jessica: Hello, and welcome back everyone. I have Hilary Parry Haggerty from Tarot By Hilary here today. She is a tarot reader, witch, mentor editor and teacher. She has been reading tarot for over 21 years, 13 of those being professionally. She's a winner of Theresa Reed's Tarot Apprentice contest in 2011 and has taught classes on tarot and spell work at The Tarot School's Reader Studio and Brid's Closet Beltane Festival. She writes a weekly blog on tarot on her website, tarotbyhilary.com, and has been featured on Maxim magazine and Buzzfeed. Glad to have you here.
Hilary P H: Thank you for having me. I'm so happy to be here.
Jessica: How did you get into tarot reading?
Hilary P H: It is a long and sorted story, but not quite as sorted as people would like. I actually bought my first tarot deck for my mother for her birthday present when I was around 16 years old, and I thought it was the best birthday present ever, because who would not want to get a tarot deck for their birthday present? She kind of got weirded out and said, "Okay. Well, I don't know if I'm going to read these, but here you go. Read for me." That is the long and the short story of it. I've been reading since I was 16 years old. I started professionally reading, as in getting paid for my readings in 2005.
Jessica: Got it. And what caused you to make the switch?
Hilary P H: I actually was doing face painting at my friend's gift store where I worked at the time. Instead of face painting, I decided, for the Halloween events, to do tarot readings instead, and so had to have some kind of exchange of energy there. And I had been reading for a very long time to anyone who would let me read for them, but I felt that it was just energetically time to charge.
Jessica: It was recognizing that exchange of energy, or that exchange of money for energy was what brought you to that next level.
Hilary P H: Yeah. Yes, exactly.
Jessica: You are the winner of Theresa Reed, The Tarot Lady's Tarot Apprentice contest back in about 2011. What caused you to get involved with that?
Hilary P H: I had been admiring Theresa Reed for years, so I felt like a little bit of a creepy online stalker for her. She had this monthly tarot reading for people on, I can't remember if the name of it, whether it was Astrology, Creeps and Tarot Geeks, something like that. And I actually submitted a question about how do I do this professionally, or is it meant for me to be doing this professionally? And I received, I think, three Major Arcana cards out of three, and one of them was the High Priestess.
Hilary P H: I was just like, "I need to work with this woman however I can," and then she offered up the Tarot Apprentice contest, and it was specifically to get younger readers into the mix. So it was specifically for anyone under the age of 30. I tried to talk myself out of it and I thought, "Oh, I'm getting right in there under the wire," because I turned 30. I think the contest started April 1st and I was turning 30 on April 8th, so I got in there under the wire and I really convinced myself, or tried to convince myself not to do it, and then I just went for it, and I said would be crazy not to try. And I ended up winning it.
Hilary P H: Some of the questions were really interesting and also gave me a preview of what it would be like to do this professionally, what kinds of questions would come up, what kind of business lessons would also come up. So it was really interesting.
Jessica: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. And having three of three cards be Major Arcana, that's a bit of a signal from the universe.
Hilary P H: Yeah, absolutely. There's no statistical way. Out of all of the cards, it had to be three Major Arcana cards. So yeah, it was a pretty big deal.
Jessica: Yeah. I've done readings where I will actually count how many Majors versus Minors to let people know how much of a download or how much control versus how much is the universe. I've had five of five and said, "I'm sorry, you need to listen to this." Yeah, three a three, having it where 100% of the cards, and Major Arcana, and the High Priestess being one of them, that is a very clear sign.
Hilary P H: Right, right. Exactly. And I think we read tarot in very similar ways, because when I have a client that has a lot of Major Arcana cards coming up for them, I'm like, "Oh, okay. This is the reason why you're having this reading."
Jessica: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. For me, it's both that, as well as taking a look at the Minor Arcana, which ones are represented versus not, where it's like, for instance, someone has absolutely no Cups in a Celtic Cross reading, which is 10 cards. It's like, "All right, there are some issues with emotions or relationships, or stuff like that." Or if it's almost all Wands, it's like, "All right. Well, we got some ego issues, or there's something that's really firing you up and we need to talk about it." So it's looking for those patterns, which is a very fun part about being able to use tarot as a tool to help people.
Hilary P H: Absolutely. I also do pattern recognition and I think that is what a tarot reading truly is, is looking at the patterns of the cards that are coming up, what is there and what is not there. I actually did a guest post for Theresa on exactly that topic. What are the cards saying when they're not present in a reading, especially for Cups. Cups not being present at all in a relationship reading, or a romance reading, that's a pretty big signal for me.
Jessica: Yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative). I've seen that, or having a bit of reading on finance, it's all Pentacles. It's like, "All right. Listen up, you. We've got some stuff to talk about."
Hilary P H: Yeah.
Jessica: The pattern recognition is a huge part.
Hilary P H: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jessica: The other part I noticed is you've mentioned that you've been featured on Maxim magazine and Buzzfeed. How did that come about?
Hilary P H: Again, that's all Theresa. She's the best publicist ever. Maxim had actually approached her about Superbowl predictions and she said, "Well, that's not really my cup of tea. I'm not really interested in sports, but you know what? Let me reach out to Hilary, another reader, and I know she's more into sports." Actually I'm skipping watching my team right now to talk to you. She said, "Let me see if Hilary's available to talk to you about this," and so we did, there were four readers featured about Superbowl predictions and it was different types of divination and what our predictions were for the Superbowls. I was the tarot reader, they had an astrologer and I think they had just a regular intuitive psychic. But we all were asked the same questions and we all had different takes.
Hilary P H: I believe I was interviewed in October where there was no way of knowing how the football season was going to go, and so it was purely fortune telling. Absolutely and clear cut predictions only. I don't think I got the team right, and I'm sure we're going to talk about this later, about the interesting parts about predictions and how it's never quite what you think it's going to be. But in hindsight, you see how the cards come together.
Hilary P H: At the time I pulled the cards and I saw the Saints, but at that moment in time they were the front runners. So they didn't remain the front runners by the time February came around, but that's what I was seeing in the cards at that particular moment. So I thought that was very interesting to know that, because I didn't know that until later. And I think sometimes the less you know about a situation that you're reading on, the better, because then you're not trying to rely on your rational mind. You're just purely looking at what do the cards say.
Jessica: Mm-hmm (affirmative). You touched upon a topic that I wanted to focus on today, which is tarot and predictions. One of the things that I've noticed as I've been doing my own studies with the tarot is we're starting to see this school of thought when it comes to tarot as a tool for personal coaching, for transformation.
Jessica: And in that case, a lot of times when they're pitching this they're, I wouldn't say poo-pooing on the fortune telling side, but they're othering it and separating it out as something completely different and they're trying to go for the people who are concerned or have hangups when it comes to the fortune telling aspect of tarot. For you, how do you approach the tarot? Do you look at it purely from a coaching standpoint? Fortune telling? A mix of both?
Hilary P H: I would say definitely a combo of the two. I probably lean more towards coaching because I want people to feel like it's accessible to them, especially their own intuition. I don't want to make it other, because when we start to make it other, then people start to rely on their fortune teller, their psychic, their tarot reader for decisions that they really should be making with their own logical minds and also with their own intuition, because I believe that everyone has intuition and I believe that anyone can read tarot, as well.
Hilary P H: It's just a matter of taking the time to practice it, and that's what I think professional psychics do, is it's the combination of practiced intuition. That just comes with time and, again, with practice. But there are some moments in a tarot reading where it's indefinable. You don't know where the information is coming from. It may not necessarily be from the tarot itself, but from your own intuition, and I feel it's almost like a feeling of certainty, but also kind of an epiphany, as well. I can't define what that is, except pure intuition.
Jessica: Mm-hmm (affirmative). How would you define intuition? If someone was to ask you that, how would you explain it to them?
Hilary P H: That moment, that knowing, and you don't know where the knowing is coming from. When I talk about intuition, I talk about the Clairs, and most people think of the Clairs, or at least the most famous of the Clairs is clairvoyance. If you say "clairvoyance," most people know what you're talking about, and then if you start to talk about the other Clairs, they're just like, "Okay, what's that?"
Hilary P H: Intuition, for me, is almost a natural extension of your five senses dialed up to 11 because, for me, for example, I'm clairaudient. I hear things, but it's not with my ears. It's with that other sense. Other people, they have this feeling of knowing, just knowing in the pit of their something that something is or is not. That feeling of certainty that comes with that, that is... Oh, boy, I always confuse the two, but it's like claircognizance.
Jessica: Yeah. It's either claircognizance or clairsentience. I'm not sure which one it is.
Hilary P H: See? And I always confuse the two, as well. So I believe it is claircognizance, which is clear knowing, because cognizance would be knowing, and then the clair would be clear. I believe it's claircognizance, and I feel like when people are claircognizant, they have that feeling of certainty that comes within it. They don't know where it's coming from. It's not coming from the hearing. It's not coming from the site. It's just, "I don't know how I know. I just know." To me, intuition is just a heightened form of the other five senses that we have.
Jessica: One of the things that you brought up was the concept of othering, where the client or the reader, if the reader is reading for themselves, goes and externalizes the decision making process.
Hilary P H: Yes.
Jessica: Do you feel that that's one of the biggest problems that can come up, if someone's too dependent on tarot as a form of prediction?
Hilary P H: Absolutely. Absolutely. And I have had people come to me and want to ask me questions and want it now. I feel like, in our society, there is this sense of instant gratification that comes along with technology, with how easy some things have become.
Hilary P H: I feel like it goes along with, if I wanted to read a new book, I would have to wait until the library was open, and then go get the book. Now, it's like if it's 3:00 AM, I want to download it on my Kindle, I can. So that feeling of instant gratification, just being able to have what we want at our fingertips, I feel really hurts the service providers. Not just psychics, not just tarot readers, but anyone that is in a service industry.
Hilary P H: It has that feeling of, like, "You're going to do this for me and you're going to do it now." I feel like boundaries are so important because with tarot reading you have to know how you work best and you don't know until you do it, and then as you continue to do it, you find the ways that work best for you. Some readers are very good at emergency readings. For me, there's no such thing as an emergency tarot reading.
Jessica: I completely relate as a fellow tarot reader, where if someone wants a more in depth reading, that's not something that I can do on the fly.
Hilary P H: Right.
Jessica: But I also do tarot readings on an app, which is... I call it, and I know there's some people who are going to watch this for trademark stuff, but basically the Uber for tarot readers.
Hilary P H: Correct.
Jessica: There's apps out there if you want to be on them and are available, for those, it's like a quick three to five minute reading where 90% of the time the question is, "Am I getting back with my ex," or, "How does my ex feel about me?"
Hilary P H: Yep. Ding, ding, ding.
Jessica: Yeah. It's like, "All right. Well, that's the emergency..." It's like, "Okay. In, out, cleanse, done. Next person." Those are very quick hits, whereas something that's more in-depth, the major decisions, life issues, sole purpose, those sorts of things, that's going to take a while, and those are not emergency readings.
Hilary P H: Right, right. I don't know if I entirely answered your question, but with the whole instant gratification tangent that I went on, I feel like when you have people like that, like, "Will he come back to me? Will she come back to me?" It gives away all of the power.
Hilary P H: You're giving away the power, first of all, to that ex that may or may not come back, and my opinion is if you have to ask, then you already have the answer. It also gives away complete and utter power to your reader because that is such a solid yes or no question and, honestly, we're not cognizant of free will in that situation, really. The future is not set in stone, otherwise why would we ever go and get a tarot reading if there wasn't something that we could do to possibly change or mitigate the circumstances?
Hilary P H: I think that's truly what a tarot reading is. "Here's the pattern of what happened. Here's the present pattern of what's happening, and here's the most likely outcome based upon the current pattern." That's how I perform a terrible reading. There's always room for growth and for people to choose, and then choose again.
Hilary P H: When you give away power to a psychic, you're taking away the power to make clear and empowered decisions for yourself. A lot of the times when I do a reading, especially if it's a more generalized reading, if people come in and they don't have a specific question, which is rare, but it does happen, they just kind of want to know what's going on, I say to them, after I do the reading, "Is this reading confirmation of what you already knew on some level?" And they always say "yes."
Hilary P H: So where is that coming from? It's like, "Is it my intuition? Is it your intuition? Is it the client's intuition?" And I feel like a good tarot reading takes all of that into account, both the client's intuition and my own intuition, and the meeting, the common language is the tarot cards that are spread out in front of us.
Jessica: Yeah. Interesting that you mentioned that the people coming in without a question is the small number of people for you. Usually when I do events at psychic fairs or various festivals, most of the people who come to my table don't have a question, but they feel that they need to talk with me, and that's where it starts to get really interesting, where I go through and do a general reading and it ends up being whatever it is that was on that person's mind when they showed up, even if they didn't vocalize it.
Hilary P H: Right, right. I love those kinds of readings, too, especially if someone comes to me and they're just like, "Oh, well, I have so many questions to ask about so many topics." I'm like, "Okay." Well, sometimes that's a good thing for the cards, because the cards will then suggest what it is they should really be focused on, and other times it makes for a very muddled reading because the cards are very, like, "I want to please you. Please, let me help in this, this, this, and this."
Hilary P H: So sometimes it can make for a very muddled reading, but other times it really does clarify, "Okay. You're concerned about career, you're concerned about health, you're concerned about relationships, you're concerned about money. Let's take all of your thoughts, shuffle the cards, and let's see what it is that you should really be focused on," because a lot of the time when they have concerns about many different things, there is one situation that is a pivot point for all of the other situations. And once they cleared that up, everything else kind of falls into place.
Jessica: Yep. I've seen that happen quite a bit, as well.
Hilary P H: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jessica: One of the things that comes up for tarot readers, myself included, when we're asked to do more predictive readings, is that fear of being wrong. How would you approach that?
Hilary P H: Well, you're going to be, first of all. When people start reading tarot, that's the number one thing they say, and that's what stops them from approaching tarot at all. "What if I'm going to be wrong?" And I'm just like, "What if you are?" Because you are going to be wrong when you first start reading tarot.
Hilary P H: As you grow and learn, you start to tell the differences between what is intuition and what is fear talking. You start to see the subtle differences. Also, it's kind of a reaction in your body, as well, that feeling of butterflies in the stomach, which I think of as more expansion and a yes answer versus contraction in the stomach or the gut, which is usually a no answer, or a fear response.
Hilary P H: So, what if you're wrong? Yeah, you're going to be wrong when you first start reading. People kind of have to get over that what if I'm wrong feeling in order to get to the next level of, "Oh, but what if you're correct?" The what if I'm wrong thing, no one starts out learning something right out of the gate being good at it, and I really wish that people would realize that more about tarot. It's a skill, like anything else. Are you good at a skill when you first start doing it? Unless you have natural talent in that, usually not.
Jessica: Yeah, exactly. And I think part of it also, again, is we also take into account people's free will and choice, because you're looking at, in that specific point of time, here's what we're seeing going forward. But you're also taking a look at it from the stance of before that client even had knowledge of the situation through the reading. So just through having the reading, we're making a minor shift in things, and that can have an effect.
Hilary P H: Right.
Jessica: And it's also, again, we have small, minute changes going on around us could affect things, as well. We're dealing with predicting based on a snapshot in that moment. Small changes from there could alter that outcome one way or another.
Hilary P H: Right.
Jessica: I think that's something that people who are getting into the predictive side of reading, it's a concept that's mind blowing, because you're thinking, "Okay. This has to be 100% right." Well, it's 100% right in that frame of reality in that moment. Any small change could affect that outcome.
Hilary P H: Right.
Jessica: And, as you said also before, part of it is if we're heavily leaning on that prediction being right, we're giving up our own power on that situation.
Hilary P H: Right. It also could become a self-fulfilling prophecy, as well.
Jessica: Yeah. That, too.
Hilary P H: It's almost as if everyone that's about to approach doing a tarot reading has to watch The Matrix [crosstalk 00:19:57]-
Jessica: Oh, yeah.
Hilary P H: -and look at that scene between the Oracle and Neo. And she says, "What's really going to bake your noodle later on is, if I hadn't said anything, would you still have broken that vase?"
Hilary P H: So that's the fun part of the fortune telling side of tarot, but it's also the scary part, as well. So it's not something that you should really consider lightly when you do a tarot reading for someone, especially if you are doing a fortune telling kind of prediction reading. So I would start the reading by saying, "You have free will, you have choice. I'm going to tell you what I see in the cards, and it is your choice to do with this what you will."
Jessica: And I think a lot of professional readers have gotten to the point where they will say upfront that, or they will also reiterate it at the end once the reading is done just as reminder, because people go through, they get this information and then they feel that, "Well, I can act based on this and I won't be 100% responsible," where you still are. That's a huge thing.
Hilary P H: Right. Or not act-
Jessica: Or not act.
Hilary P H: -and still feel that, "Oh, this future is going to come to me without me having to do anything." No, no, no, no, no. I've had many people come to me and say, "When is Mr. Right coming?" And I'm just like, "Okay. Well, here's how you'd recognize him. Here's the places where you might be able to meet him, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah." And then, I find out in their next reading that they've stayed home. And I'm like "That's [crosstalk 00:21:23]."
Jessica: That doesn't work.
Hilary P H: That doesn't work. Like, "Do you think your pizza delivery boy is going to be Mr. Right? No? Then you need to get yourself out there." What you were saying before about percentages, as well, there have been people that have come to me and asked me, "Well, how good are you percentage-wise?" And I said, "Even the best tarot reader is only going to be about 80%, maybe 85%, accurate because you have free will. You have choice. You're making choices constantly all the time, every single day."
Hilary P H: If you choose to go to a diner one morning, and then the next morning you choose to stay in and make your own breakfast, those choices do have ripple effects. Like the butterfly effect, you don't know what choices you're making could be that small choice that has a bigger consequence.
Jessica: Exactly. That is a huge thing that's out there, is people think, "Okay, small actions don't matter." Small actions do matter when we start taking a look, especially in shaping your future.
Hilary P H: Right, right. And then, of course people have the whole analysis paralysis where they don't want to do anything because they're just like, "Oh, this will affect this, and this will affect this, and, ahh! I just will not do anything." Then that is also a choice.
Jessica: Oh, there's another thing that comes up when it comes to prediction readings. Timing. How do you approach that?
Hilary P H: I bake it into the question. That's just the simplest way I can do it, and I usually don't try and look beyond a year because, beyond a year for me, it gets really murky really quickly and it shifts between me giving a reading and me guessing. For me, guessing is not giving you a tarot reading.
Hilary P H: When we get into that point where I feel like I'm guessing, I stop the reading and I'm like, "Nope. Nope, we're done here. We can't get beyond this particular timeframe." So usually it's about maybe a job search. "Will I get the job in six months?" It's about framing the question in such a way that you have both the timing baked into it, and it's also not a yes or no question, because again, yes or no questions, that messes with the free will.
Jessica: So, from what it sounds like, you add the timeframe into the question versus pulling a card and saying, "What is the timeframe going to look like?" And trying to intuitively pull it based on the meaning of that card.
Hilary P H: I do tend to do both, as well. I'll say, "How can I get the job in six months?" Or, "How can I get a new job in three months?" And that way, we have both action items for the client and we're also putting the timeframe into the questions so that we know, "Okay. In the next three months, you need to do X, Y, and Z."
Hilary P H: Also, with regard to timing, I found that the tarot really doesn't like it. It tends to read in this way where it's like, "Okay. If X, Y and Z happens, then A, B and C can happen."
Jessica: I've had the same thing where I've tried to pull timing cards and it will start going on that conversation of actions that need to occur versus let's pick a date in the calendar.
Hilary P H: Right, right. But then again, when I do look at cards, I am looking at the numbers that are coming up associated with that just to see if I can get a little bit more information. But, with the numbers, you don't know whether it's talking about six days, six weeks, six months. Probably not six years. Like I said, trying to time things more than a year out, it doesn't really work.
Hilary P H: Normally it's not six days, it's more towards six weeks or six months. Or it could be the six month of the year or six months from now. You don't really know. It has to be based on feeling, what your intuition is telling you in that moment, and also the context of the surrounding cards, as well.
Jessica: Yeah, exactly. Thank you very much for everything here. If anyone wants to connect with you, how is the best ways to finding you online?
Hilary P H: Best way to find me online is at www.tarotbyhilary.com and that is Hilary with one L. Otherwise, if you spell it with two Ls, you're going to find somebody else, and not me.
Jessica: Got it. And again, thank you listeners for being here today, and thank you, Hilary, for being here and being able to share more about your experiences as a reader, and also when it comes to doing predictive tarot readings.
Hilary P H: Thank you again for having me. This has been really, really fun.
Tarot Reading Schedule for The Week
I will be at Enchanted Boutique (White Bear Lake, MN) on Friday November 8th from 5pm to 8pm.
I’m also an exhibitor at the Second Annual Mid-Holiday Dreams event in Sacred Heart Minnesota which will be on Saturday, November 9th from 10am to 5pm.
You can also either book an email/video reading with me through my website or get a quickie chat/voice reading with me through the Purple Ocean app most evenings.