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Scott K Smith

2632 West Avenue 35
Los Angeles, CA, 90065
United States


Home of Scott K Smith, Magick Maker
On Magick, Health, Healing, Ritual, Energy, and Spirit. Dedicated to the Gods in all of us,


Healer. Artist. Intuitive.

Tarot Readings Basics: Preparing for the Reading.

Scott K

Hierophant from the Tarot of the Spirit I mentioned in my earlier post that I wanted to switch up the content a bit and add some new things to the blog roll, specifically about tarot readings and spreads. New moon, new post, I wanted to cover some basics of reading for people before I dive into useful spreads with the cards.

I want to write about preparing for a reading.

A few weeks ago I went out of the home space and to a store front to do a demo-reading for the store owner. The shop has been around since 2010 and I've driven by it so many times I can't count, enough passing by that when they released an advertisement on Craigslit Los Angeles for a position as an in-house Reader, I couldn't let the opportunity slip by.

I'm still waiting to hear back from them but I felt like I really nailed the reading for the shop owner, the two of us left it up to Spirit to decide if the timing was right. *Fingers crossed*

Shop was great. Loved it. Obviously I'm leaving out the name because of the potential work space, but when / if it happens expect lots of freshly pressed content as I plan to double up on the announcements, fliers and newsletters. I love the space they have both reading rooms and a healing area, I could potentially practice most if not all of my craft there.

After hugs and hello's the owner of the shop took me to one of the many reading rooms and I asked (this was a gold star on my entrance exam) if it was okay to "set the space" before I read. With a smile, "M" replied, "A+ Scott. A+. It's one of the things I look for."

Yes. Yes. *wink* Pats self on back* And so I prepare.

How do you prepare for a Reading?

First things first, I start with a few things to ready myself and set the space.

My method of space setting is similar to some with clearing the energy and opening up an energy grid, or web of light, to help tune into spirit, guides and/or Gods that are working with the people I am offering my cards to.

Some folks may do a Lesser Banishing Pentagram Ritual, or LBPR (short version) to clear out energies but I find that banishing isn't always the only method when setting space so I've tailored my imagery that best suits my needs.

Focused I pick a wall and in the air, draw a feather. This is Soul and relates to Anpu's (Anubis) mythology of weighing the Soul in the afterlife and for me it represents the person or people I am reading for, the essential energies of that person. I feel it also has something to do with weighing information for the truth.

Beneath the feather I draw the banishing pentagram with the intention of clearing out in discordant energies that may be present. This also represents the five elements of Fire, Water, Air, Earth, and Spirit, invoking their energies. I often use an elemental spread, or a three card spread, when I begin a reading.

Beneath and cradling the energies I invoke the flower of life. For me this is the meta-soul or the group energy that the person. In a way this brings the personal and the transpersonal energies into alignment.

flower of life

I repeat this on each wall, and then place the symbols in the center of the room. The glyphs set I send my intent into the grid, or weave of energies present, and invite in the energies of Temple Well, the name I was given to call this blossom of symbols, into activation.

Now I center and ground myself, tuning into my guide that acts as the facilitator between each and all the energies present. He's the speaker and takes in the information for me, making sense of it all so that I can read the energies and information best. Some people work directly with the energies of others but I tend to get confused without the mediator, who has my best intent in mind, to read well and true, so I lean on him for proper guidance.

Last, and before connecting with a client, I allow myself the time to set this space before hand for best results, I bring in the energies that I know --earth, sky, and unseen, which is divine feminine, masculine, and Spirit-- and thread a web of light through the room. A grid work of lines a bit like a web that connects the symbols, intent, and guides into a balance that I can read.


You may have read that I don't like white sage for all things. It's an all-purpose cleanser of the psychic air but as a rule of thumb I lean towards what works best for the work I do. Sage sometimes. A few of the energies that I work don't agree with it, so best not to disturb the flow but I do like to use candles, stones, other incense, and even essential oils.

The following is a list and meaning of a few of the items I like to use in a reading.


  • Selenite: A wonderful cleansing stone, that I happen to have a strong connection to with my main guide I work with. I use this stone in healing and reading. It is an energetic liver, taking in energies and transmuting them to a lighter or clean vibration. It never needs to be cleansed. Selenite likes cool baths and prefers moonlight over sunlight. Thus the name, selenite, named after the Moon Goddess Selene.
  • Obsidian: Soaks up negative energies but also, for me at least, acts as an anchor to root into the deeper frequencies of energy, the stuff below the picture, below the conscious mind. This does need to be cleared out but keeping it with the selenite does the trick.
  • Apophylite: Activates light energy and connects to pure source upper world frequencies. Some folks liken it to angelic energies, for me it feels a bit  celestial.

Other tools

  • Candles: I have two candles I anoint and keep for readings on my altar. One for Heckate, Goddess of witchcraft, the crossroads, and magick; and another for the Virgin Guadalupe, who has offered lots of help to my family, and myself. If all else fails a white candle representing the energies I have set for Temple Well works.
  • Anointing oils: I've made my version of a Hekate oil that packs a punch (that's a personal recipe I haven't released) and I may use a few others, usually Frankincense which brings the mind/emotions into a higher spiritual vibration. I like to wear Frankincense during readings.
  • Toning: Sounding out intention is fabulous. In Reiki I we learn to tone the names of the sacred symbols. In the light body training there is toning of the energy centers. In Magick we know this as one of the gates to power, singing out the vibration of what we are calling into the space. Pre-reading I like to give a measure of intent by voice but if the need arises I may tone "Temple Well" or various octaves to increase the frequency of energy towards clarity, and precision.
  • Gesture: As I said I like to draw the symbols for my energy grid. This is sympathetic to the work I do. I may also include this (as needed) for anything else I am called to but the act of motion helps manifest the energies I am calling into matter (Ma, Goddess, physicality).

Then I meet with my client. :) It seems like this could take a while to do but setting a space, and being in the habit of performing what I have down ritually defines the difference between an okay reading and a great one.

Meeting the client

The first step I take when the person I am reading for enters the room is to welcome them. I may start to suss out how the grid is behaving and check in with my guide to see how  things feel but I always start by holding hands, or making physical contact (with a request for permission) to solidify that psychic link. I ask my guide as I hold my clients hand to make a connection.

That feels a little like something pressing down on and through me to connect to their energies. Naturally I give those first impressions to the person I am with. Often key insights and conversation begins here. Preferably I like to ask questions unless it is a general reading. I may be psychic but having to dig in and sift through information with no help can be challenging without the back and forth. I've had tight-lipped people across the table from me, some obstinately refusing to take part even when they've come to me for look into their lives so I warmly leave room for discussion.


I think that sometimes I am abrupt when ending a session but that is usually smoothed over with friendly words and some extra chat about what came up during a tarot reading. When the reading is over, it is over and I can feel the energies of guiding forces close up shop and fade. I wouldn't fill in the empty spaces with guessing but I can always lean on personal experience thinking about similar situations.

In the end the information has been given and it is up to each person to decided what, if anything, they will do with it.

On a this and that note I thought of a few other bits I'd like to throw out there in the post.

I almost never do online readings. I prefer the in person, touch, connection so unless I know you well, I don't read on the phone either. My exception to that rule is something I call a Path Reading, where I can sit with someones energy over a small time and pull cards into a chart. The chart, based on astrology and the Tarot, gives a broad-stroke telling about certain aspects of ones personal growth.

If I don't get information, I don't read. I will make the attempt but if the information does not come through for me, and it has happened, I decline the reading and let the client know why.

I believe in specializing and I have done so, meaning I get little and sometimes vague information about numbers (dates, lottery, etc) and almost never read about relationships of any sort if someone comes to me for information about dense energy situations like cheating, revenge, or any of that rubbish. I don't like it, I search for personal truths and life-growth information, that's usually what I get.

You have to work your magick in the way that works best for you, setting your magickal space as well as your personal space is high on the list of most important. Keeping professional, and warm, but ethical as well as direct when it comes to things that make you uncomfortable are keys to success as much as the deck of cards and your connection to Spirit.

When a reading begins I am delivering what I receive and I do it with the highest level of integrity in the space, with the best intention in mind. I may get some bad news, but I believe in delivering it as it comes to me, compassionately and direct.

Staying neutral, professional, and clear are my keys to successful readings. The rest is simply listening.

Fingers crossed on working with this new place, Gods willing it will happen, because at the end of the day I learned that there was also an opportunity for body work, Reiki, and a few other craft skills I could bring to the space. Wish me luck!

*shuffles cards*



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