Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tarot Music

Being a child of the '60s, and being greatly influenced by my older brother's taste in music, I had Tarot symbolism around me before I even knew what tarot was.

Like many people of my generation I first saw "The Hermit" inside a Led Zeppelin album.

One of the albums I adore from that era (that was inspired by imagery from the Tarot) is Steve Hackett's "Voyage Of The Acolyte". Check out the following Youtube link (particularly "the hands of the priestess" and "the hermit")

Recommended Reading -Tarot

There are a number of great recommendations on the Aeclectic tarot website as well as forums etc. with excellent reviews.

Along with the names you will hear again and again (Stuart R. Kaplan, Crowley, Waite, etc. etc. ) , the following are a few of the books that I have particularly found useful.

For Beginners:

"Choice Centered Tarot" by Gail Fairfield
More info on

"Easy Tarot Guide" by Marcia Masino

More info on

For Serious Study:

"Qabalistic Tarot" by Robert Wang. For in depth background on just about everything you could ever want to know, the systems from which tarot originates, the symbols, associations and the transformative experience of working with and creating a deck and what would probably be the most important reference manual I go back to again and again (and is helpful in understanding Crowley, Waite and all the others). This author is not afraid to debunk some big tarot myths (the tarot itself is not ancient for instance, but rather has always borrowed from symbolism far older than itself). I have found a number of books by R. Wang helpful and his own creations in terms of decks are articulate and work well.

More info on

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Paintings by Dan

Most of the original art in my reading room is by my brother Daniel Thorkelson. He has been a big influence in my life. His deep appreciation of nature, his humor, sensitivity and perspectives on life show in his work.
Once he gets his blog up and running I'll post a link (hint, hint, Dan!).

Friday, July 17, 2009

One of my favorite Tarot decks

This is a sample of the Aquarian tarot by David Palladini. It is actually the first style of deck I ever worked with. It has an art deco feel to it and interestingly it has more of a "pull" than a deck the same artist released afew decades later (the Palladini tarot). It is based very closely on the Waite Smith deck of course which is what I use 99% of the time in my professional work, but I love the artwork on these. The Priestess card is perhaps one of the most beautiful images and interestingly he has chosen to "lift the veil" behind her. The butterfly on the flower seems to suggest that inner wisdom and transformation come in quiet contemplation, lovely.

I'll include a link to a review of this deck on Aeclectic tarot:

A great site by the way if you are looking for information on decks. One thing I find annoying about how tarot cards are often sold is that there is usually no way of knowing what all of the cards look like as they are sold in a sealed box. This site lets you peruse some images and the reviews are great.

A Favorite Author

I am not a Buddhist but I do appreciate lot of it's teachings. One of my favorite authors is Pema Chodron. She is the Abbess of Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia, a Buddhist retreat and monastery. I'd love to go there someday (my grandfather was from Nova Scotia too).
Her book "Start Where You Are" is one that I have read many times. It is about meditation, mindfulness and working through life experience rather than trying to run away from it. I also recommend "When Things Fall Apart".
The following is a clip from a Bill Moyers interview on why she became a Buddhist:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

About My Practice And Standards

* Update* - for my disclaimer on what a reading is and isn't, please see the footnote that appears at the bottom of this article.

The Picture at left of course is the wonderful Frank Morgan in "The Wizard Of Oz". A humbug with a heart of gold. There are a lot of different kinds of readers out there and, like in any profession, there are good ones, bad ones and there are a lot of people who want to paint us all with the same brush.

I was asked recently to describe what I do and how I operate. My standards have evolved over the years, as well as my own professional boundaries and areas of specialization. I always point out that intuitive or psychic reading is very individual in it's expression and practice and readers usually develop their own style (and reputation) over time.

My sessions are generally a half hour in length. I have done fairs and parties (and still do occasionally) and particularly when I read in restaurants the format was quite a bit shorter ( I sometimes had as many as 30 people waiting). When I established my independent practice on an appointment basis, I moved into a longer format and found that I was usually able to cover pertinent information and provide insight quite comfortably within the half hour, also allowing time near the end for the client to ask questions verbally.

With the exception of reading for friends (which is different), I like to go into a reading knowing very little about the person. I don't like to be led by obvious cues or clues. At the same time part of what I do does involve paying attention to and being sensitive to the state the person is in, this has more to do with the delivery of information than to the information itself.

The reading room is a relaxing environment and can comfortably accommodate myself and up to 4 or 5 other people at a time. Many people prefer to come individually or in pairs as reading is, for the most part, an intimate experience. I allow people to bring in a friend and sometimes small groups like to sit in on one an other's readings. I'm fine with that.

I allow people to use a recording device of their choice, please see Recording readings/saving spreads

I begin by explaining how I would like the person to shuffle the deck - always holding the cards over the table and face down - (a lot of people don't handle cards much these days). While shuffling I ask the person to reflect, silently of course, on any important issues they may have or to reflect as if a good friend asked them how they are doing. After shuffling I have them cut the cards and I begin to read.

The reading itself can vary. Generally I am working with a combination of what I receive intuitively ( I get very strong impressions of both the external circumstances of the person as well as the lessons they are moving through internally) and also the interpretation of the cards themselves.
I work with either a Rider/Waite deck - as seen in this sample (click on it for a larger view), or a variant there-of. I like the Aquarian tarot as an alternative, but it's usually the Rider. I have evolved my own version of the traditional Celtic Cross spread, which I will post about in the future. I tend to pay a lot of attention to card combinations and the predominance of symbols, numbers and elements. Usually there is a theme or lesson that is revealed running through the various areas of a person's life (i.e. relationships, work, security and conflicts).

Toward the last part of the session I allow for questions to be asked verbally. I prefer this towards the end as questions are often rather leading and I should have established a connection before this point as to not be as biased.

I don't recommend a person having readings too often, for most it is a yearly thing, or they may come around a specific issue then come for a follow up a few months after, but I NEVER encourage dependency on what I do. It is meant to be food for thought and an adjunct to a person's own good judgement.

For some it is entertainment and I am OK with that. Sometimes it IS entertaining, but I take what I do seriously at the same time. I do have a psychic / intuitive gift that I have to use responsibly and also a strong ability to empathise and understand which the work itself has strengthened. Communication skills and a sense of humor help too. Apart from that I do not see myself as being that much different from most people and don't purport to be, (other than the quirks everyone does have and I must admit I have a few).

I don't read for people under 18. I also will decline a reading if I feel the person is not in a responsible state to receive what I offer objectively. To me reading is a form of perception that should be received with an open mind even a bit of friendly skepticism, blind faith is as bad as, if not worse than, vehement cynicism.

In the cases of people going through major issues or crisis (i.e. abusive relationships, psychological problems, loss or trauma, addiction issues) I may spend some of the time suggesting a referral to an appropriate resource. Sometimes in these instances I will say that it might not be the time for a reading in which case I either wave the fee or only accept partial payment, it depends on the circumstances. I reserve the right to refuse service if I don't feel it is an appropriate resource.

I am not qualified to diagnose health issues and have not tried to develop my perception along those lines. I refer that to a person's doctor or an appropriate practitioner. I will discuss well being and the messages a person may be getting from their body.

I can get very strong impressions about people in the person's life or that may be coming into the picture, but I cant, for instance, give someone information on an ex they broke up with two years ago if that person is not relevant to their life anymore.

I don't identify as a clairvoyant or medium. I have had some senses about people who have passed on but more often in terms of what the living carry from that connection. I do sometimes sense presences or trace energies in environments or around people and I have had some very strong personal experiences (and also people close to me have), but I work cautiously in this on professional ground as it is not what I see as my specialization (at least at this time).

Reading is an on-going learning experience. I have to approach each day and each client with a willingness to learn in the doing. Most of the time I love my job.

Psychic readings can be many things to many people, both in what clients seek and what different types of practitioners offer. We all have our own gifts and our own unique expression.  I offer what I do as perception (which is admittedly fallible), as well as an art form. It is an entertainment that  should be taken respectfully with a grain of salt.

Readings are NOT meant to in any way take the place of your own judgement. I do not offer or purport to be an authority on medical, legal, psychological or financial matters and concerns on those levels should be directed to appropriate resources. You are ultimately responsible for your life and decisions. You must be 18 years of age to have a reading. I reserve the right to refuse service if I feel this to be an unsafe or unsuitable resource.

As a form of art, my kind of reading should be something that speaks to you, providing relevant information that encourages and inspires. As a teller of stories, a sharer of experience and as a perceptive intuitive psychic, I hope I can be of service. I welcome every reading as a new experience and an opportunity to mutually learn and share.

A Pictorial Tour (past location)

*This is my past location at Blackletter Books (now closed). I have many happy memories there and continue to have a friendly association with Jan - who was the owner. Blackletter was a great local resource. I am grateful for the time I spent there.

In Winnipeg, coming north on Main St. (about a 10 minute drive or bus ride from downtown), just past Redwood Avenue there is an unmistakable landmark on your right (on the East side). It is the Ukrainian Orthodox cathedral.
They do a great community "all you can eat" perogy lunch!

Just Past the cathedral is beautiful St. John's Park.

Directly across the street from these on the left (West side) at the corner of Main and College Ave. there is an old apartment building (1170 Main st.) with a sign "Blackletter Books & Collectibles" and "Psychic Readings". A smaller sign says "Psychic Tarot By Trevor".

As you walk by a friendly dog, Lola, comes out and wags her tail at you through a closed off side entrance.

You notice that there is ample free parking in front of the store.

The store's entrance has a curious symbol painted upon it, mirroring the iconography from the cathedral across the street:

Entering the store, you meet the proprietor, Jan Choma, (who also very kindly takes appointments over the phone for me).

Our store dog Lola generally thinks people are there to see her, (shes very friendly and gentle and loves kids).

Quite often she's correct!

The store has a great selection of paperbacks, some hardcovers, knick knacks and (as the sign mentioned) collectibles. Very well organised and set into sections, its generally pretty easy to find what you are looking for. Jan is a member of the Winnipeg Second Hand Book Dealer's Association. He buys, sells and trades. A great way to recycle your books!

It's always surprising what you can find in a place like this...

Looking to the back of the store, you notice another odd door. This is the entrance to my cozy reading room.

This is where I write...

The room can comfortably accomodate a few people at a time. Some people like to "sit in" on one another's readings.

...and this is the table where I do readings. I have a tape recorder if people wish to bring along a cassette or purchase one from the store, other recording devices are also welcome.

So, if you've been looking, this is where you'll find me!

Monday, July 13, 2009

How to get the best results from an appointment

For many people in the independent consulting business as well as other personal need based occupations there is a growing frustration with people who are out of touch with how we have to work or operate.

Perhaps what is partly at fault are many areas of appointment oriented work that don’t work in the same way, for instance a Doctor’s appointment at 2:00 generally means that even if you arrive a bit before 2, you wont get into see the Doctor till about 2:15 (at least), but many independent practitioners are not the same thing. Lost time, for many of us, is lost revenue and it affects how we operate and in some instances in these tough times, even how we can stay in business.

I know of a lot of colleagues who try to be as accommodating as possible with people when they book, we usually make it a point of trying to arrange a time that is suitably convenient for the client, will offer suggestions for parking as well as how to reach our destination. Many of us also try to book our appointments consecutively. This is especially important as many of us also have other commitments professionally.

So here are some suggestions that can help clients get the most out of their experience as well as helping professionals to keep costs reasonable and to work in an optimum way:
  • Questions about how the practitioner operates and what to expect are reasonable things to inquire about when booking, however in the instances of receptionists or even in dealing with the practitioner themselves it is not reasonable for them to directly address your issues outside of the appointment time.
  • Most practitioners will inform you upon booking of the form of payment they can accept (some may not accept bank or credit cards or cheques) but it is good to check on this before-hand.
  • Bear in mind that this is an appointment as much with your self as with the practitioner. Always try to book an appointment at a time when you can arrive a little early, be comfortable and unhurried. Also try to have some “down time” afterward. Most holistic or intuitive experiences are of less value if you have to be rushing in and/or out.

  • Try to look after other things before your appointment (bathroom, eating).
  • Turn cell-phones or pagers off or to “message”.

  • Don’t bring children along if it is not a child appropriate environment (again if you aren’t sure call ahead and ask).

  • If you are going to be late, please call ahead, nothing is worse than waiting to the last minute to say “I’ll be right there” when you are in fact, miles away. It might be appropriate to reschedule. Most practitioners are very understanding about these things when they are given a reasonable opportunity to accommodate or adjust.

  • People who book appointments and don’t show up and don’t call (“no shows”) are the biggest headache of all, in the instance of group bookings try to insure that everyone is coming, call to confirm and in the instance of any change try to let the practitioner know as soon as possible. Again, most practitioners appreciate a call even if it is to say you cannot make it. In some instances “no shows” can be refused service in the future. If you forget an appointment it is best to call and apologize.

All of these suggestions are of course pretty basic courtesies. I find when I respect how I access a resource I get a lot more out of the experience. I value people's thoughts, questions and comments on this.