There are some talented professional tarot readers who use slogans to set themselves apart from the fortune-tellers of yesteryear, slogans like “not your grandmother’s tarot reader,” or “not your mother’s tarot reader.” These readers are gamely rising to the challenge of presenting tarot readings to a new generation; a generation raised on anime and video games where fantastic things happen on a screen and not so much in real life.
These readers are working to draw a line in the sand between fortune-telling and proactively manifesting a positive future, between readings that scare and readings that empower.
I’m a modern reader, too. I believe in proactivity as much as I believe in predictions. I believe in hard work much more than I believe in curses. But after more than twenty years in business, the fact is this.
I am your grandmother’s tarot reader. I also read for your mother. I predicted your birth before your mother had even met your father. And now I am reading for you at your Sweet Sixteen party.
Being a part of many families’ traditions and a guest in their homes was one of the things I loved about being a respected local psychic. It was something I worried I would lose as my business became more global.
What has really happened is I am truly available to every family member when they need me. I read for your kids when they are in crisis at college. I read for your parents back home. Where ever in the world you are, we can have a reading at your convenience.
Reading for many generations in a family is enlightening and valuable. I can see the traits, both helpful and hurtful, that are inherited. I can facilitate communication between the generations. I can normalize something about the younger generation that the older generation just doesn’t understand.
When there is a loss in your family I grieve with you, but I can also help you stay in touch with your loved ones in Spirit.
I know the names of your dogs. I remember when you graduated college. I predicted the date of your birth.
I am your family’s tarot reader. I guess that makes me a bit older than I was when I started out. I’ve seen many changes in societal trends over the years. I’ve also seen what happens to older tarot readers who don’t keep current. I think these are some of the people younger readers try to distinguish themselves from when they claim to not be your grandmother’s reader.
Older readers are often entrenched in a less fluid reading style than are younger readers. Older readers often see the card interpretations as cast in stone rather than changed by context or intuition. Older readers may be somewhat dogmatic in terms of belief systems and tarot traditions. Older readers may not take the time to see how the world has changed and may not feel relatable to younger clients.
That’s probably why “not your grandmother’s tarot reader” is a thinkable slogan for younger readers. There is an inherent quality of ageism in this marketing message that makes me cringe a little. I hope most people appreciate the wisdom that experience brings. That I read for your grandmother makes me more capable to read for you, not less.
Some older readers are disconnected from modern reality, and some younger readers are unseasoned. I remember how hard I had to work, prior to having some wrinkles and graying hair, to gain the confidence of my clientele.
There is value to a youthful perspective. There is value to the wisdom that comes from age. A person who knows your family has a wise perspective for you, just as a person who is a complete stranger might have a helpful fresh perspective.
Basically, neither youth nor age really matter in the world of professional tarot. Both have their advantages and drawbacks. What matters is skill, talent and perspective. None of these are age-related.
I wonder what the “not your grandmother’s readers” plan to do when they, themselves, are grandmothers. Rebranding and new slogans are sure to become priorities for them.
I am proud to be a multi-generational reader. I’m proud to read for your grandmother. I’m proud to read for your mother. And I’m proud to read for you. I’m here for the duration, so perhaps I’ll get a chance to read for your kids, too!