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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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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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Valentine’s at Oracle

Join Laura for Valentine’s Day at Oracle for some relationship tarot readings! We’re celebrating the partnerships in our life that we value most; whether they be friendships, siblings, romantic partnerships, partners in crime even.

Drop by Oracle at 130 West 18th Street in Kansas City’s Crossroads district for tea, a Tarot reading, and some quick spell supplies. Special discount on Tarot readings when you and your friend get readings together!

Noon to 6 O’clock pm.

Drop-in Tarot Readings:
Small Reading: $15
Full Reading: $25
*If you and a friend each purchase a reading you’ll both get a 20% discount on your readings! Cause we love people who support each other regardless of their relationship status!


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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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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!

 

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Halloween Tarot Readings at Noir

Tis the (Halloween) season!

Noir Arts & Oddities, KC’s favorite “creepy but cool boutique” in the historic West Bottoms is hosting two nights of in-shop Tarot readings. Get in the Halloween spirit, drop in for a reading, and check out the fabulously odd offerings in the parlor!

I will have my favorite Halloween deck in tow (as well as playing cards and my trusty Smith Waite deck)… so pick your poison… er pick your deck and let’s see what the cards have to say for you!

Readings available on a first-come-first-serve basis. You can choose your reading to be anywhere from a $5 single card reading, a $15 four-card reading to a $25 seven card reading.

Thursday October 25th: 4-6pm

Friday October 26th: 5-7:30pm

Noir Arts & Oddities: 1101 Mulberry Street, KCMO

The Halloween Tarot by Kipling West published in 1996.

My heart will always belong to The Halloween Tarot deck I bought 22 years ago… I don’t get to use it for client work often because most people consider Halloween a season (pffft, I know, right?)

That beautiful vintage bottle behind my deck came from Noir Arts & Oddities, by the way…

 

 

 

 

The only deck I feel compelled to pick up and hug every time I pass by. It’s the first deck I bought for myself and the deck that helped me reconnect to cartomancy when I was struggling with the inherent misogyny of the Golden Dawn tradition.

This sweet old deck will be on my table and working for the special Halloween Tarot nights at Noir Arts and Oddities this week.

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Create a Safe Space

Given the recent news of the deaths of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade by suicide, I wanted to address how we as readers should care for people in distress who seek our assistance.

Tarot card readers are not licensed healthcare providers (*although some licensed health care professionals may in fact be card readers). I do not provide that kind of mental health care. However, I am a compassionate human being and by the nature of my job, I am often discussing these issues with my clients. And I take it very seriously. I’d like to share how I personally handle “crisis” issues when they surface during a reading and my tips for being prepared.

First, a little background. 

To be honest, I am not unused to being the “safe ear” for people. Throughout my life I have had people I don’t know turn to me and start telling me their inner feelings, worries, and struggles. This would happen in lobbies and waiting rooms, in bathrooms at the sink washing our hands next to each other, and numerous other places where strangers find themselves spending brief amounts of quiet time together. These impromptu confessionals would generally surprise both of us and frequently the other person would say, “I really don’t know why I’m telling you all of this.” It used to confuse and worry me, especially in my teens. I felt like I was unknowingly running around with Wonder Woman’s golden lasso of truth. I couldn’t understand why they would turn to ME or what I was supposed to DO about it.

As I’ve grown older I’ve realized that sometimes the safest outlet for our deepest fears is precisely someone who doesn’t know us and who at least appears outwardly gentle. I’ve learned to value just how important my reaction to their pain and vulnerability is as well. Their trust may not have been a gift I asked for, but it is one they have offered to me and I must be kind.

I have learned to be a compassionate ear in the moment and offer what little advice I may have for them; always aiming to leave them feeling more empowered to live their lives than when they first approached me. Mostly they need to feel heard without judgement and, occasionally, pointed in the direction of the help they need. I even trained and worked briefly as a volunteer for the crisis hotline at MOCSA (Missouri Organization to Counter Sexual Assault). This training included ways to offer support and guidance without crossing the boundary of “prescriptive mental-health care.” If you are at a place in your life where you can volunteer with an organization in this type of capacity, I highly recommend it. It will serve you well the rest of your life.

(I’ve also learned more coping strategies for protecting myself and my own emotions through this process. Taking in the trauma of others can be difficult and if not handled carefully, even harmful. But I will go into that more at another time.)

The first year I worked at the local Renaissance Festival as a Tarot reader, I worked a shift in which four of my clients that day were in extreme emotional duress: The first sat at my table, when I looked up at them and into their eyes, before either of us had said a word, they began to cry. The second, it became evident, was in an abusive situation and her abuser was sitting at the table with us. And two more clients confided that they felt suicidal. I helped each as best I could and strongly encouraged them to reach out to counseling and hotlines that could help them. I went home that evening feeling powerless and overwhelmed. Particularly about the client who sought my help despite their abuser watching and listening to our every word. I just remember the horrifying 30 seconds when the abuser had gone to get a chair and my client looked me in the eye with such desperation and told me they didn’t want to be controlled anymore. I analyzed every last detail of our interaction and tried to figure out what more I could’ve done to help them. I just kept thinking, if only there’d been some way I could’ve slipped them a note tucked under my business card with the domestic-abuse hotline scrawled on it. But hindsight is 20/20 and I didn’t have that number memorized. I carry this experience with me as a reminder of the importance of the trust my clients have in me and how absolutely important it is that I help them in the most appropriate way.

So here are my top tips for creating that safe space for my clients:

1) HOTLINES

I have typed up a list of hotlines and printed them on small slips of paper that may be discretely handed to clients I suspect may benefit from any or all of these services.

My current list (and the numbers included are mostly based for the Kansas City area as that’s where a majority of my clients are.)

Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

KC Domestic Violence Hotline (connects to all 6 local shelters): 816-468-5463

Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673

KCAVP (LGBTQ Domestic Violence / Hate Crimes Hotline): 816-561-0550

LGBTQ Youth Hotline: 1-866-488-7386

Trans Lifeline: 1-877-565-8860

Make your list specific to the area/city where a majority of your clients are based. If there’s a topic that comes up for your clients frequently that is not addressed in the organizations above, look it up and add it! Sometimes different people attract the trust of those going through particular issues. For example, if you have clients struggling with gambling addiction on more than one occasion… find the hotline for that and put it on your list!

2. PROVIDE TISSUES

It really is that simple. I have a small fabric case with a travel packet of tissues that I keep on my table. The moment I recognize the tell-tale signs of tears rising… I quietly move the tissues next to my client. This not only gives them the tissues to use, but it sends a silent signal that it’s ok to cry (or sneeze) and that they are obviously not the only ones to have done so at my table. Sometimes even I need the tissues.

It is common in our culture to shame others for crying. So many people are automatically ashamed or even afraid to cry in front of others. On the other hand, I feel it is equally important to not go to the other extreme and demand that they “let it all out.” Tears are a physical symptom of emotional distress. Just as I wouldn’t look at someone’s paper cut and say, “Yes, that’s it, bleed!” I’m not about to make any sort of demands on someone’s tears. I generally don’t say anything at all, offering them tissues is my gentle acknowledgement. Inevitably they will apologize. I simply say, “No, it’s fine. It’s totally normal.” and then continue on with our conversation.

3. RESPECT THEIR BOUNDARIES

I am respectful of my client’s boundaries. If we are getting into topics that are difficult for them or I notice a rising discomfort, I am sure to say, “Feel free to stop me. This is all up to you. If you don’t want me to say anything more about this, you just let me know.” And then I STAND BY THAT. I do not push my clients. Ever. They have hired me. It’s their reading.

4. EMPOWER THEM

The biggest damage that the “fortune-teller” style of reading can do is to disempower the client. I do not predict the future. I do not tell anyone what they or someone else is absolutely going to do. That is not my job; that is not what my cards and years of expertise and life experience are for. Fortune-telling and purely-predictive readings are useless in my opinion anyway. 

The client must always feel empowered to be doing positive work in their own lives by the time they stand up from my table. This is what I learned from a lifetime of people-I-don’t-know crying to me in desperation in public bathrooms… we have a brief amount of time together and the only real gift I can give them are words and a demeanor that will encourage them to take steps to help themselves. It’s different in every scenario. But there is always SOMETHING that can be said to another person that will help them take action to better their situation. Sometimes it’s, “Maybe you should go to the park and watch the ducks while you think through what’s going on.” Sometimes it’s, “It sounds like you don’t feel safe, do you know where you can go to be safe?” If you listen, most of the time they have an answer. If they don’t, some gentle nudges in offering possibilities will generally get them going in identifying the options available to them. They know themselves better than we will ever know them. Period. No matter how many subtle clues and signs I pick up on over the course of a conversation, no matter how amazed they are at my ability to have insight into their situation, they are the ones carrying their life story. Respect that.

Those mini-crisis moments with strangers have helped me develop a reading style that offers my clients ideas and encouragement about how they can help themselves. Even if that empowerment is, “You can call this number to get the additional help you may need.”

There is a mental-health crisis in The United States (and many other countries as well.) Depression is a deadly predator. It dresses itself up in our own voices and dances around inside our brains saying the most damaging, hurtful, and awful things to wear us down. Someone dying from depression (suicide) and someone dying from a physical illness are not that different, they both eventually just wear away at our stamina. A friend of mine once said, “The only thing depression wants is to get you alone so it can have its way with you.” The most important thing we can do is to make sure that when anyone expresses fear, loneliness, or depression… let them know in some way that they are not alone and do not ever need to be.

Be a safe recipient of trust. For others and yourself.