Annie Wilder Interview with Jeannie Reed, author of The Language of Tarot

AW: Tell us about yourself ~ where do live, what do you do for work and for fun? 
JR: I live in Manhattan, I work as a psychic and a writer, and I love to play bridge and walk dogs. I’m really lucky: I get to play cards at the United Nations, surrounded by diplomats and people in other sensitive positions attached to the Security Council. Thanks in part to my interest in dogs, I’ve reduced my blood pressure to normal. I’ve focused lately on a new book on the afterlife and spiritualism, based in significant part on my own life in the past three years. And I love love love writing novels.

AW: What led you to write THE LANGUAGE OF TAROT? 
JR: I started teaching in 1995 and there was no book out there adequate for my students. So I sat down and wrote one. The book Llewellyn has published is actually the third revision of that early book. It’s a lot more thorough (otherwise, I can tell students what they need to know so they don’t have to read it).

AW: Tell us about the first time someone read tarot cards for you. 
JR: It was a good experience. The reader used the Celtic Cross spread. As I recall, the reading was somewhat informative. The last thing he said was, “You won’t have to come back again,” referring to reincarnation. This is the only thing I remember about that very long-ago reading.

AW: What are some of the most dramatic or moving tarot readings you’ve done? 
JR: I cried once when the woman’s cards were so beautiful and joyful. I became physically terrified once when I was reading about a man who was going to commit suicide the next day, unbeknownst to me. I named the day of a future death. A daughter asked me to help her mother through dying. I did this by phone and the daughter told me later that it helped a lot. The occasional spirit comes through in a reading. (But I don’t go near past lives. It’s too easy to blame something from 1400 for something that happened in this life, like 20 years before….)

AW: Is there any one card that is always positive? Any card that is always cautionary? 
JR: The Sun is always positive: it tells of new life, a rebirth, a bright and wonderful beginning. All negative cards are cautionary: they either alert to future problems if steps aren’t taken now, or they alert to psychological issues that shouldn’t be ignored.

AW: Can anyone learn to do tarot readings? 
JR: Yes, but not just anybody can do them well. It took me four years to figure I was good enough to read people for money. Four years, and three or four hours a day of intense study. It took me a year just to master the tarot deck!

AW: Can someone do a tarot reading for herself/himself? 
JR: No. When we have a vested interest in our own outcomes, we can’t see the forest for the trees. If you want a certain thing to happen, you’ll interpret anything as saying that . . . it’s just human nature. Objectivity is crucial when any oracle is involved. When I want to understand an issue better, I use the runes,I ask only one question, and I accept the answer.

AW: Is there anything else you’d like to add? 
JR: There are a lot of frauds out there. If you see a psychic or an astrologer, do it by referral from somebody you trust. 

AW: Last, is there an advantage of your system over others? 
JR: One huge advantage of my system for reading cards over all others is that there’s almost zero guesswork. Things don’t “feel like,” they either are or they’re not. And, so, my system is also practical. It says what is. All the rest is embellishment.