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I am a card reader.

When I started reading Tarot professionally several years ago (for strangers, for money) I had already been studying and working with the cards for 20 years. But I was afraid to have my name associated with this largely misunderstood practice. So I chose Moth & Candle to put on my business card instead. Kept myself removed, never put my face on my website, and kept it quiet from most people who knew me. Then as my life changed and I needed to support myself on my own financially, Tarot was the one avenue of my work that was consistently there for me. As I started to be more public about my career path I got some push back, some raised eyebrows, even some “poor fallen woman” shakes of the head. Cartomancy is a living and evolving art form that has deep roots… as long as there have been playing cards there have been people assigning significance to them. I’m honored to carry on the tradition, to protect the lineage, to help push it forward and watch it transform to meet the needs of people now in this time. I still get mixed reactions when I tell people what I do for a living. But I no longer hesitate before I tell them. I am a card reader. 

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Connecting over cards.

Every once in a while I “fall in love” (not romantically) with a client. Today it happened FIVE times. One man in his thirties, three young men in their twenties who came as a group (two fresh off of heartbreak who refreshingly carried no bitterness, just eagerness to avoid the same pitfalls again), and the woman who took this photo. She is facing major life changes beyond her control as well as significant heartbreaking grief. Their individual cards and readings fade from my memory. They normally do. I read cards in the moment and try not to make a habit of hanging onto personal info that comes up once the client has left my table. It’s their information, not mine. But the memory of having had deeply personal conversations with people that are so genuinely interested in bettering themselves and consciously finding their way through life lingers. When their eyes widen or their posture changes and the recognition arises… that’s what stays with me. So here is a photo of me, dehydrated and bedraggled, but absolutely smitten with the beautiful soul I just read for who asked if she could include me and Sadie in the photo of her cards.

Photo by anonymous client. 2019

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October Tarot Sessions

October Tarot Sessions by Laura Pensar

October is the perfect time to get a Tarot reading! Join me in the cozy Moth & Candle studio for tea, cookies, and all of the Tarot insight we can pack into 45 minutes!

Saturday, October 26th: 6 sessions available, Reservations through Eventbrite

  • Individual Tarot Session: $60, 45-minute private Tarot reading
  • Tarot for Two Session: $90, 45-minute Tarot reading for you and a friend.
  • *Moth & Candle subscribers… check this month’s newsletter for a special Discount Code!!!
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Get behind me, Devil.

New clients tend to panic when they see “The Devil” card show up in their reading. But really it’s just referring to patterns and habits we’ve developed that are no longer serving us: everything from that daily Frappuccino all the way to toxic relationships. This past weekend a very calm and poised woman sat at my table. When we got to “The Devil” in her reading she stopped me, looked me in the eye and said, “I know this well. I quit heroin after a decade of abuse 11 months ago.” I looked at her, “Whoa. That is not small. Good for you!!!” We high-fived, celebrated her strength and accomplishment, and talked about learning to have tea with our personal demons. I love my job. It’s odd, I agree. But not many other jobs have opportunities for such intense and pure moments of connection with strangers on a daily basis. I will always be grateful to this art form.

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Spring Tarot Sessions

Spring brings fresh starts and new beginnings and is a great time to get a Tarot reading! This month I am offering a limited number of private sessions for a Spring check-in. Join me in the cozy Moth & Candle studio for tea, cookies, and all of the Tarot insight we can pack into 45 minutes!

  1. Individual Tarot Session: $60, 45-min private Tarot reading
  2. Tarot for Two Session: $90, 45-min Tarot reading for you and a friend

Reserve your session time through Eventbrite!

  • Wednesday 3/20: 9am, 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm
  • Saturday 3/23: 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm
  • Saturday 3/30: 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm
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Private Tarot Consultations

Tarot can be an inspirational and motivating tool. Some of the most beautiful and moving conversations I’ve ever had were over the cards. Tarot sessions have the potential to help clarify goals, identify blockages, tackle difficult decisions, process emotions and navigate complex interpersonal relationships. The simple act of contemplating cards you have chosen at random can be profoundly empowering. Have a cup of tea with me in my studio as we discuss your path and your cards.

Private sessions are 45 minutes. Individual $60 / Two-People $90. Full payment due at time of booking.

To schedule a consultation contact Laura.

Booking a reading with me implies consent and agreement with all terms noted on the Ethics and Conditions page. For tips on what to expect and how to get the most out of your Tarot session, read this post.

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Second Sight Second Saturdays

The Moth & Candle Studio is happy to host Second Sight Second Saturdays… drop-in for a quick taste of some soothsaying traditions.

Been curious to try out various forms of divination? Always wondered what tea reading would be like? Or what a palmist would say about that little swirl on your left hand? We’re assembling some of KC’s finest readers and offering “sample-sized” versions of our regular services!

      • Second Saturdays, 10 am – 2 pm
      • Moth & Candle studio, 3130 Bell Street, KCMO
      • Open to the public. All services $15 each, first-come first-served.
  • Upcoming Dates
    • April 13th: 
      • Tarot/Cartomancy – Laura Pensar
      • Palmistry & Handwriting Analysis – Sandy Jorgensen
      • Bibliomancy* – Kaite Stover
        • Bibliomancy is the art of divination using the written word to seek guidance, unearth truths, or glean wisdom. Using several classic works of literature, explore the power of books to provide a new way to view a question or issue. Let William Shakespeare, Lewis Carrol’s Alice, or Winnie-the-Pooh guide and inspire you to approach challenges with magical words and mystic phrases.
    • June 8th: 
      • TBA
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Intro to Cartomancy Class

Laura’s introductory class on the art of reading playing cards. In this class we cover the historical origins of playing cards, their use in divination, and tips for learning cartomancy at home! Class includes a copy of The Suicide King’s Quick Guide to Cartomancy and a sharpie and pack of cards to make your own study deck.

 

Upcoming Classes –

Thursday, December 13th, 6:30-8:30pm

at Oracle, 130 W 18th Street, KCMO

Back by popular demand… Laura’s introductory class on the art of reading cards will be back at Oracle this December. Reading cards is a great way to bring a sense of playfulness to your practice! Class size is limited to 9, email Oracle to reserve a spot.

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Reading for Children

This Halloween season I got to read for a wide variety of people at various events. At one party, a four year-old girl sat at my table and wanted a reading. Many professional readers I know refuse to read for children. Very often children are struggling with very real and somewhat heavy issues too. And many readers are uncomfortable having a conversation with a young querent* about these topics if they show up in the cards. And that’s fair, it is much better to set boundaries and refer a querent to another reader who would be more suitable for their needs.

(*querent: one who is receiving the reading)

I, personally, enjoy reading for children. The most important part of reading for a minor is that you treat them like every other querent… you have a conversation with them as a person. The card interpretations and the suggestions should be specific to their life situation and needs. Just as you would for anyone who would sit at your table. Being aware of their sensitivities and taking care with their emotions.

Also… not every deck is appropriate for minors. I suggest carrying a family-friendly deck with you if you read for minors and your regular working deck is too mature, startling, esoteric, etc. I happened to be using my Halloween Tarot deck by Kipling West for most of this Halloween season’s events and it is a perfect deck for family and youth readings.

While I have read for many children over the years, I think that four years-old is the youngest querent I’ve ever had (with the exception of my son who was also four when he asked for his first reading).

9 of Swords – 

Me: “Do you ever get bad dreams?”

Girl: (nods)

8 of Wands –

Me: “Sometimes, if you have one bad dream, does it seem like they just keep happening when you try to sleep again?”

Girl: (lowers eyes slowly and nods)

Strength –

Me: “See this card? What’s happening in the picture?”

Girl: “There’s a lion by her.”

Me: “Looks kinda scary, right? What about the lady… who is she?”

Girl: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Is she a lion tamer maybe?”

Girl: “Maybe. Yes.”

Me: “She’s looking at the lion’s teeth. Does she seem scared?”

Girl: (shakes head enthusiastically “no”)

Me: “Exactly. Next time you have a bad dream, you be the lion tamer and look that bad dream in its teeth.”

Girl: (slightly cheerier) “Ok!”

The Moon –

Me: “Have you ever looked at your back yard at night? Looks kinda spooky, right?”

Girl: (wide eyes, vigorous nodding)

Me: “But it’s still just your backyard. Nothing’s changed. Right? Just spooky lighting.”

Girl: “Yeah.”

Me: “When you wake up at night, it’s still your bedroom. It’s just dark. That’s all.”

Girl: (happy smile)

Conclusion –

Me: “You’ve got this. Look that bad dream in its teeth and say ‘This is my room, if you want to be here… you behave.’”

(we high-fived, she giggled, hopped off the chair, and ran to hug her mom)

 

Now if I’d done this reading for myself it would’ve looked more like this:

9 of Swords – Stress and anxiety are starting to have an affect on your health. While there are things to cause concern… you are giving them too much power over your thoughts.

8 of Wands – It’s a busy time and there’s a lot to do. Busyness itself, is neutral. It’s how you handle the busy times that shape your experience of them.

Strength – Remember you have inner strength and stamina. Tend to it to keep yourself healthy.

The Moon – Really look at your habitual reactions to stress and triggers… are you acting based on old patterns that grew from anxiety and trauma or are you truly engaging with the present? Don’t let your subconscious keep playing the same nightmares over and over again. Are you really talking to the person in front of you or to ghosts from your past?

Conclusion – Keep your focus on maintaining your inner strength during this active time and don’t let subconscious triggers overshadow reality.

Obviously interpreting the cards like this would’ve been confusing, boring, and not relevant for my young client. So when reading for a young querent make sure you are speaking to them appropriate to the stage of life they are currently in. One of the greatest gifts you can give to a child who sits at your table is to treat them like a regular client; don’t speak down to them and don’t underestimate the depth of their experiences. Have an honest and caring conversation with them guided by the cards and they will remember that you took them seriously. Really, that’s what any seeker truly wants.

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Pop-Up at Oracle

Tarot Supplies & Readings Pop-Up:

Friday, November 3rd, 5-9pm

at Oracle, 130 W 18th Street, KCMO

Moth & Candle will be at Oracle this Friday!

I will have Tarot supplies for sale: deck bags, zines with original Tarot spreads, Tarot and cartomancy study guides, deck cleansing powder… treat your cards right and they will serve you well!

I will also have the last remaining decks of the Paris Tarot first edition! It will be bittersweet to send the last Paris Tarot out into the world.

I will also be available for drop-in Tarot readings. See you there!