Book Review: The Reluctant Tarot Reader

I first learned about Raven Mardirosian in May 2013. My friend and I are unbirthday twins – separated by just two days (and a few years) – and in celebration we traveled to a wellness center for a day of salt caves, massage and ionic foot baths. While we were there, Raven came in to do her Sunday readings. It wasn’t part of the package, but hey it was my birthday and I wanted a tarot reading! I’m fascinated by tarot, and by default the lucky people through whom the cards speak. Though the reading was only 15 minutes or so, Raven got to the heart of everything I was worried about, everything I was confused about, and all the stuff I was afraid to say out loud… until she said it first.

The reading was one of the best tarot experiences I’ve ever had, and I consider it to be a healing experience. The Reluctant Tarot Reader: Adventures in the Gypsy Trade is the story of Raven Mardirosian’s exeunt from the “woo-woo closet”. Raised as a staunch Christian, this book explores her journey from a prayer warrior to a healer. How does one come to grips with the fact that everything you’ve turned out to be (healer, lesbian, intuitive, tarot reader) stands in direct violation of everything that you have been told is right, good, and true?

If you want to be true to yourself, you find a way… and it’s usually the hard way until you finally find the ease of Being. The Reluctant Tarot Reader is a poignant, witty, poetic and powerfully honest book. When she writes of ending relationships, you feel like you are in that car with her when she drives away. When she rails against person after person telling her who she is – you’re a healer, Raven – you feel the same frustration and fear from being told a Truth you just aren’t ready to believe.

Raven bares her being in this book of vignettes, each a story or poem taken from a moment or remembrance. I gulped this book down in a few short days; but it is one that can be read again and again. Each vignette offers depth and a new way of looking at things. Each reading will change what jumps out at you. You will find yourself in her struggles. And in the end, isn’t that what it is really all about? Knowing you aren’t alone?

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