This Fall Hamptons.com has partnered with local expert Diane Ferraro of Tarot Tauk and the Urban Siren Creative Hub to delve into the mystery and spookiness of Fall. Tarot Tauk specializes in many fields of exploration and insight, among them Tarot, astrology, reiki, and energy healing. More than anything, she offers practical guidance on holding space to explore the unseen energies that live within and surround us. Below are the experiences and takeaways from my first Tarot reading.
The sunny day fades as I approach Montauk and a rolling shroud of fog descends on the Village. Spooky on its own, when this old fishing village is covered in a wispy cloud; but, on this day I am about to have my first Tarot reading at Tarot Tauk. Was this mist a signal that I am entering the numinous mystery of my Self (capital ‘s’)? Regardless, this was an apropos welcome to my first Tarot reading.
Above a boutique and other businesses in the collective, Tarot Tauk’s space is calming and filled with objects of importance and meaning that would surely require more than this article can describe. We sat face to face at a small table, making small tauk (had to, sorry). Nothing about this was overwhelming or scary or hard to believe. “Tarot can be inspiring and invitation, asking you to come out of a place of stuck-ness. You are the agent of change; your circumstances are not stuck. It’s not about magical thinking, it’s about perception and parameters. We unstick ourselves by seeing our vast and limitless pyramids.”
Diane has a kindness of spirit and energy that makes it easy to talk about yourself. Sure, this is her job, but it is a personal undertaking, as she says, “to hold a creative and safe container to grow.” There is a curiosity in her that welcomes introspection. Sitting down for a reading feels like an invitation to wonder.
We start with a question to the cards. My question is general but important to me: “How can I find creative inspiration in my life?” Although this was a personal question, I was immediately comforted by Diane’s warm smile and infectious laughter. Perhaps sensing my unfamiliarity with being vulnerable, Diane shared parts of herself and her life’s journey and chart. “It’s sort of nebulous, but let’s give ourselves permission to run with it. With our ideas.”
“More than fortune telling…the tarot is an offering not a sentencing,” she tells me, although she attributes the quote to one of her mentors. Throughout our conversation and reading, she spoke glowingly of many different mentors and teachers she has learned from throughout her considerable career. “Without nailing you to an idea of who you are, it’s fun to look at the archetypes because it can help you find supportive energy within yourself.”
Diane led with her heart, speaking honestly and genuinely about herself and how she sees the work that we were undertaking with the reading. Listening back to our reading I am surprised by how much time I spent talking and how willing I was to open up to her. Rarely do I find time to ask questions about myself, my hour talking with Diane was filled with moments of introspection and aporia. Diane agrees, “We pull back, so we can go in to get a bird’s eye view. As we discuss and reflect on what the cards are telling us.”
In line with her creative, holistic approach to tarot and astrology, we discussed my astrology charts in combination with the tarot reading. While I am not an expert, I was aware that I had a Pisces (the fish!) sun sign. All that I really knew about this sign was that it is associated with water and emotion. Diane explained, “Without pathologizing, every sign has a huge bandwidth. For instance, Pisces on one hand can be how we fully integrate—it’s the last sign of the Zodiacal wheel—the curtain going black. Pisces can be super psychic, feelings can be their superpower.”
We used a brand-new deck—The Mystic Mondays—Diane tells me. The cards are beautiful and sleek using minimalist modernist imagery. Nowhere were the twisty, renaissance-themed motifs most often associated with the Tarot. This was refreshing to me because the symbols that I was somewhat familiar with were changed and I was forced to remain open to the question, rather than the answer.
After cutting the cards we spread the cards out, in a traditional style, and I selected a card, “the qualifier.” After the cards were drawn and placed in an “H” shape—almost like the burn cards Texas Hold ‘Em. As the cards were drawn, I was immediately put at ease as Diane’s smile and joyful affectation widened. There was no “oh nooo, this is bad” or other negative associations with “fortune telling,” which Tarot Tauk is decidedly not.
As soon as the cards were on the table, Diane called attention back to my original question: “How do I find inspiration in a new place?” I appreciated that she was focused on my question and not on an objective MEANING that each card has. I didn’t realize that the direction of the card was part of the reading (called, “reverse” and “upright”), the position of the cards provided a fruitful and engaging discussion of how I interact with the world around me. Again, more than an answer, the questions were what was most impactful.
Diane opened space for me to ask bigger questions about what I need to find inspiration and permission to not know. “It’s just a choice, it’s a suggestion. We can understand when our boundaries are crossed and give ourselves space to meet our own needs. Permitting ourselves to actually say out loud – these are my needs. How do I step into a space knowing that you have a need?”
Throughout the reading, I could tell she was getting to know me and paying attention to how I responded to her. Combined with her referencing my astrological sign, I really felt like she was relying on ME and not the CARDS to inform our discussion and address my question. She highlighted parts of myself that I can 100% resonate with, ”boundaryless, passionate, intuitive.” To be listened to and heard as deeply and intently as Diane is profoundly centering. Part of her gift, to me, is her ability to dial in and focus on others without making them feel embarrassed or put on the spot.
When we got to the “Judgment” card I was worried, waiting for an analysis of myself as overly critical and negative. It never came. Instead, I was moved by Diane’s impassioned and descriptive reading. “When the judgment card comes up it’s not asking for you to disassociate from your perceptions. Beyond that, what lens do we want to see the world through? This is inviting you to respect where your mind goes, and also respect what your heart needs without judgment.”
One of my biggest takeaways was to make space for myself to be inspired and to forgive myself when I am not feeling creative. “When your external needs aren’t being met, we have to turn back to ourselves—where are we lacking, what is missing in our own internal life?” What I tell myself when I’m feeling uninspired isn’t always kind, I can be overly critical and harsh on myself. After the reading, I was struck by how much reliance I have on beliefs that may not necessarily be true. “Watch out for what you are attached to as ‘truth,’ because these are always changing. How do I make space to discover and interrogate my deepest beliefs?”
One last takeaway that I wrote down and put on a note on a refrigerator was, “Just because you can’t do everything doesn’t mean you can’t do anything.”
Diane has an office in Montauk as part of the eclectic Magnolia Wellness and Beauty Collective where she offers her Tarot Tauk services including Tarot and Astrology readings, Reiki, singing sound bowl meditation, and crystal healing sessions. She also offers beautiful “goddess gear” which can be seen on her vibrant Instagram account @tarottauk. She can be reached at 631.702.0246 and [email protected].