Fortune teller, it’s not a dirty word

This morning when I checked my Facebook news feed I saw a status update from Theresa Reed aka The Tarot Lady (tarot thug name is T-Thug). She wrote, “Dear fellow tarot readers: fortune telling and fortune teller are not dirty words. Pass it on.” This got me thinking about the stigma in the tarot community towards the terms “fortune teller” and “fortune telling”. It has been the trend in recent years to discourage tarot readers from using these terms to define who we are and what we do. They have become dirty words that no self-respecting reader dare ever use. Alternative titles have been deployed to replace the fortune teller, such as tarot advisor or consultant, spiritual advisor or consultant. These terms give the impression of professionalism and the disassociation from fortune telling. These terms also give the implication that you are receiving some counseling or a type of spiritual therapy.

This all deep down stems for the desire to give tarot a more respected name, the words fortune teller brings up to mind for most people a gypsy woman in a tent with a crystal ball, a lot of incense, wearing the traditional gypsy attire. Does any of this sound professional or credible? To many the answer is no, and this is why many readers in the community are trying to change the way tarot is perceived. Along with this change of title from fortune teller to consultant or advisor there is also the emphasis on not making prediction about the future. Tarot should be used for advice and guidance in creating the future someone wants. It is seen by these readers that predictions disempower the client, by removing free will. We can counter argue this claim, but I won’t in this blog. It is an anti-gypsy movement, trying to strip away the stereotypes that readers face. How many times have you told someone you’re a tarot reader or psychic they say to you “What am I thinking? To which I reply you are thinking that I am a telepath but I am not I read tarot. Then they looked confused. There are stereotypes we face; it is good we remove them. However fortune teller is not a dirty word as Theresa says.

My personal experience, when I got my deck I bought it for the purpose of foretelling the future, I thought to myself that it would be the coolest thing to be able to do, know the future! Who would not want to be able to know the future? When I first started practicing tarot I tested my cards with predictive questions. I once came up with a formula that would lead me to a number between 0 and 100 for the purpose of predicting test grades. The first time I used my method on a math test the cards said 84. I took the test got the grade back it was 84! My jaw dropped, the tarot predicted it! I used the tarot for others things, I asked questions about all kinds of things, I did not limit myself to what I would ask tarot to see how it would respond. I wish I documented those readings more for reviewing now. I do have old material but not much for the first year or so. In 2006 things changed, I joined a tarot organization that did free readings as a way for practice and learning. Their main principle was that tarot should not be used to predict the future but to bring light, guidance, advice and the like; we would also stress the importance of free will and the fluidity of the future. This is where things changed, my style changed. The good thing was I learned how to do professional readings by email. However what I felt was that we are producing a false sense of ourselves. What is trying to be achieved is putting the gypsy in a business suit. Take an old art and make it modern. Tarot readers have been trying to be more like psychologists. This can be dangerous and it may be safer just to be a fortune teller.

Tarot was made for divination, people go get readings for the predictions, and it is a fact. Yes you can use tarot in so many ways but the predicative aspect is more desired and wanted why would you not do it? It is like having a cellphone and never making a phone call because you only use it for its other features but deny the one feature it was designed for, making calls.

For the past year or so I felt that tarot would see a resurgence of the old ways. People would go back to fortune telling, the old ways of reading tarot, learning of old methods and the way things used to be. It seems I was correct. There are a group of readers (myself included) who are announcing loud and proud I AM A FORTUNE TELLER and I PREDICT! We are doing this because we are proud of whom we are what we do and we won’t let anyone tell us it is not right. I am going back to my tarot roots and I am predicting.Again I do believe we should break the stereotypes. I don’t want everyone to go out and by a gypsy outfit and play the cliché role. I de-mystify tarot and make it less woo-woo because I am not a big fan of the woo-woo. I am me, you should be you.

My name is Angelo Nasios and I am a fortuneteller get over it!

Visit Theresa’s Blog at




The recipient of Tarosophist of the Year 2011, Angelo Nasios is a rising voice in the tarot community. Angelo is known for his popular YouTube channel in which he produces educational tarot videos. Tarot: Unlocking the Arcana, Angelo’s first book will be released by Schiffer Publishing.

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