Monday, July 28, 2008

AN INTERVIEW WITH ANNA MURPHY ~ "Problems cannot be solved at the same level of consciousness that created them."

I recently had the opportunity to interview my friend and colleague, Anna Murphy, an intuitive guide and healer and tarot reader. I hope you find the results as interesting as I did! Please be sure to check out the link at the end of the interview, to read more about Anna and be redirected to her website and thought-provoking and very entertaining blog.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN STUDYING THE TAROT?
I picked up my first deck, the Robin Wood Tarot, when I was 21. At first, I mainly studied out of books like Mary K. Greer's "Tarot for Yourself" and read just for myself for quite a while. I was lucky to meet someone who was an extremely talented reader. She taught me a lot and really encouraged me to come out of my shell.Growing up, doing things like reading Tarot cards was not something that anyone around me ever did. None of my family or friends ever went to see readers, or if they did they didn't talk about it. So it was a strange new world to me, and a very exciting one.

WHEN DID YOU FIRST NOTICE YOUR TALENT & SKILL? HOW DID YOU FURTHER DEVELOP YOUR INTUITION?
When I first started playing around with the Tarot, I didn't feel like I had any psychic ability. In retrospect, I had always had a lot of the signs of latent psychic ability -- mainly intense dreams and emotional sensitivity, a strong creative impulse. These are qualities that are really discounted or driven underground in our culture, so for most people, myself included, being sensitive or creative felt more like a recipe for unhappiness than as a gift.

The best way I found to develop my intuition was just practice, both with the cards and with everyday things. At the time, I was living in Boston and going to art school. I used to change trains at Arlington Station and, while I was waiting, I would try to guess which train would come next -- B, C, D, or E. After a while, I got very good at this and learned how to distinguish between a guess, a hope, a worry, and a real intuition.

The less you have emotionally invested in the outcome, the easier it seems to be to predict something. My husband is a big fan of mixed martial arts fighting. I used to be able to predict the outcome of nearly every fight we watched -- but then I started rooting for certain fighters and now I'm terrible at calling fights. This is probably why intuition and gambling don't go together very well.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION ABOUT WHAT YOU DO?
That's a good question. A lot of people seem to think that their fate is sealed in advance, even the choices they are going to make. I've never understood that perception. Maybe people learn too much Greek tragedy in high school, I don't know.From reading the cards, sometimes it seems that certain things are indeed predestined and unavoidable, but they are the exception, not the rule. The world seems to be a lot looser and more pliable than it appears to us.

WHAT GIVES YOU THE MOST FULFILLMENT FROM WHAT YOU DO?
I love hunting down answers and solving mysteries. There was a physicist whose books I love who wrote one called "The Pleasure of Finding Things Out." That's a big one for me.

And the Tarot itself is constantly teaching me. The origins of Tarot cards are pretty murky. Tarot scholars will tell you that it seems to have originated as an Italian card game in the fifteenth century that just happened to incorporate some powerful symbolism. But lately I'm thinking that there was a lot more intentionality in its creation than most people believe, because the patterns of its design go very deep.

I recently discovered some alchemical and merkavah (an ancient Jewish mystical tradition) symbolism in the Tarot that it's clear were put there on purpose by whoever created the system. I'm surely not the first person to notice these connections, but they are undoubtedly there. I don't think anyone's gotten to the bottom yet of everything that the Tarot represents and after almost six hundred years that's saying something.

I think of the Tarot as a map of the unconscious mind, but it's more than that. In the West, it also represents a huge part of our spiritual inheritance. It is a coded message from the pagans, the Qabalists, the Rosicrucians, the alchemists and magicians and Mary Magdalene-lovers whose faith and practices were underground for so many centuries.

The funny thing is that these underground traditions are not anti-Christian -- usually they were quite the opposite. Many of them were started by people whose Christian or Jewish faith was so deep that they wanted to get more personally involved in their own spiritual life. That was a very taboo thing to do in those times.

HOW DO YOUR READINGS BENEFIT YOUR CLIENTS?
Above all, I think a good reading can bring clarity and insight that it's impossible to find anywhere else. It is also helpful to have some psychological insight if you are going to be a reader. I think it's a shame that the psychological community has become very un-magical. Except for the Jungian tradition, most therapists no longer talk about the soul, and this is a big loss. So now readers and psychics do a lot of this work instead, but it's very private and unregulated.

Mainstream therapists have gotten into "cognitive behavioral" therapy, which has its uses, but essentially we are training people to just behave better and think better. We're changing the outside and hoping that the inside will change -- and a lot of time, this does work just fine, but it's not enough.

As a culture, we seem to have given up on seeking the answers to the deeper mysteries and the really big questions. Bringing up things like the soul or the existence of life after death or what the heck is really happening in our world is kind of a social no-no. But the thing is, these are the questions that people are privately really thinking about and struggling with. They're very important. A Tarot reading is a safe place to bring up and investigate almost anything. I think that's very freeing for people.

WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON QUESTIONS YOU ARE MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED BY CLIENTS DURING THE READINGS?
Love and money are always the big questions!

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS THAT ARE IMPORTANT FOR A CLIENT TO KNOW, TO GET THE MOST OUT OF A SESSION WITH YOU?
Mostly the important thing is to relax and be open. I look at a Tarot reading as a conversation with your higher self. Sometimes when I'm shuffling cards or laying them out, I'll ask clients casual questions about where they're from or something like that.

Sometimes I can feel brand new clients tense up when I do this because they've probably seen some Penn & Teller "expose" about how psychics will fish for information from you or that kind of thing.

Being able to trust in the process is probably the most important thing, both for me as a reader and for the client. I don't fully understand how the readings work but I see it as a very sacred process. As a client, it's not something you want to enter into if you're suspicious of the reader. I think that's why a lot of clients find me through word-of-mouth. This is actually very smart -- I wouldn't let just anyone read my cards, either. It's an intimate thing in a lot of ways.

ARE THERE ANY "DOWN SIDES" TO GETTING A READING?
I don't think so, but it is true that readings are probably not great for everyone.

One of my favorite Einstein quotes is "Problems cannot be solved at the same level of consciousness that created them." Some people do come to a Tarot reader not wanting to change anything about their lives or themselves -- they just want to know what's in the future. And that's okay and it will work. I'm not there to do an intervention on somebody. What you want to do with your reading is completely up to you. But if you're wasting the present, what good is knowing about the future going to do you?

DO YOU HELP PEOPLE HEAL?
I do think that the readings are healing. At the most basic level, they offer my clients a lot of reassurance and hope. But they offer a chance for a deep transformation as well. It's all up to the client -- they are in the driver's seat for that.

To learn more about Anna, read her insightful and beautifully written blog postings on "Practically Spiritual" or to sign up for her upcoming "Opening to Tarot" class, please CLICK HERE

Thank You, Anna! I appreciate your answering my many questions to share with my blog readers and clients.

3 comments:

Caroline said...

What a great article, Kathleen. I think many people are scared of the whole notion of Tarot readings because they are fearful they'll hear something negative. The more people are educated about this type of reading, the more they will open their minds to the possibilities! Thanks for sharing!

Anya said...

Thanks for the interview with Anna, Kathleen! She and I trade readings pretty often and she's always a pleasure to work with. Nice to see her get some publicity!

Kathy Crabbe said...

Thanks for a very interesting interview- very intelligent and free from psychic psychobabble - I'm a reader myself!

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