Week 3: A Reading

What to do, what to do? It’s Thanksgiving weekend, family is in town, and I did not plan a Week 3 activity. Hookah lounge – no. Blingo – no. Shooting range – no. Frankly, I really wasn’t in the mood. I was feeling a little bummed about certain personal situations and felt I needed some extra guidance. I mentioned that to a friend and next thing you know, I’m booked for a Tarot Card reading at the Tree of Life Store in Ocean Beach.


As part of my 50 Weeks to 50 journey, I’m trying something new every week. And I had never had a Tarot Card reading. The idea of having a reading always had intrigued me, with its mysterious aura, which is both attractive and frightful. Will it be a fun, light-hearted session, or will it bring to the surface certain hidden emotions? A little of both maybe? Perhaps I never had a Tarot Card reading because not only that I don’t want to hear about my future, or myself, but do I really want to face it? I think for many of us, that is the scariest part — looking into the mirror. (Huh, I really do hate pictures of myself.)


My friend Lacy went with me after a brief catch-up coffee (hot chocolate for me) at Starbucks. We both had wanted to vent and after some caffeine we were in an easy-going cheerful mood as we walked into the Tree of Life. Immediately you felt welcomed and at home. After meeting the reader Luanna, we were reassured that having a friend sit in did not give out conflicting “vibes”, that the reading is based on the cards that we deal ourselves. So that’s how it came to be that Lacy signed up, and why we sat in on each other’s sessions. Luanna actually encouraged it, because the other person may hear things you don’t hear, or have a different interpretation. And it’s human nature to hear only what we want to, right? (This is why my kids don’t hear the phrase “Clean up your room!”)


We both felt very comfortable with Luanna, who by the way does dress like a gypsy as we may prejudicially typecast, but more like, well an OB gal. We were led to the reading room, which was decorated with colorful curtains, magical tablecloths, and a mystical stenciled design on the deep blue walls. Since blue is my favorite color, I immediately felt at ease, and looked forward to having some rollicking fun in there.


By the time my second card was dealt, I was in tears.


Before I got to that point, which was quick, I was asked to choose what deck to use, and I picked the dark blue deck with the circled pentagram. It reminded me of Dan Brown’s books, one of my favorite authors. You then shuffle your own cards (which I am horrible at, and will never be able to get a dealer job at the local casinos) until you sense the need to stop — I stopped when it felt like my heart skipped a beat. Now, note that I have forgotten most of the names of the actual cards dealt, because I was concentrating on the meaning of what was being explained to me, about me.


The first card basically told me that I keep busy in order not to deal with my feelings. Wow. Of course, that made me laugh because it probably explains why I volunteer for every frickin’ committee and board in my universe. It also may be the reason why that very morning I felt compelled to move furniture around, bag up items for our upcoming school garage sale, and start hauling out Christmas decor – so I don’t have to deal with my feelings at that time. I get it now; I am so busy in my life because I’m really just a basket case! That first card in itself explained a lot and told me this session was going to be a personal wrecking ball.


Take a deep breath, here it comes.


So the second card contains the answers to my questions. Well, since by now you know I’m not good about sharing my personal emotions, I’m not going to go into detail about what those questions may be. In general though — I need to better communicate my feelings. But at this point, I don’t have the clarity about what I want anyway, so it’s not the right time to share. I am halfway there, but not quite. Okay, hand me that tissue, because I have been so internally conflicted the past few days, and this was why. I’m not ready yet. I don’t know what I want. Will I ever? Does anyone know what they really want?


As I write this, I still feel the emotions in my chest, a sensation as if I’m filling up with breast milk. Is that odd?


Once that second card was dealt, the rest was somewhat of a blur. (Next time, I will record the session so I don’t forget.) I do remember comments that communication will end up being a gift to myself and those who I choose to communicate with, but I am cautioned not to let it linger and burn inside me. Also the practical person that I am was told not to be so realistic. It’s okay to aim for the ideal. (Does that apply to a much deserved raise?) I’m also warned that my desire to just go with the flow may be taking me in the wrong direction. I do want my boat to float towards an island paradise, not the cold waters of the Arctic.


Another appropriate reminder is that I need to surround myself with personal cheerleaders; and to walk around my home and place items that will uplift me when I look at them. Maybe I will get some motion-sensored Jemma bobble heads that cheer me on and say “go Jemma go!” But that is good advice for everyone, we all need positive boosts every now and then. I will make it a point to be a positive cheerleader for those around me too. And when we are all encouraged to do what makes us happy, our lives will lead in the direction that they were meant to go in.


I did pull up the Emperor card; I do remember that. It’s one of the Major Arcana cards of which there are 22 in a deck of a total of 78. I don’t remember in what context the card came up, but typical interpretations I read about associated with that card (thank you Wikipedia) is that it symbolizes the desire to rule over my surroundings and its appearance may suggest I need to accept some things are not controllable. Other keywords include stability, common sense, status quo, leadership, and organization. Very much me. I want to control the environment I’m in and project a vision that I am a pillar of strength. I’m the strong one in the family. I don’t cry. They say there’s no crying in baseball – well we are a baseball family (I was president of our local Little League for a couple years, you know.)


What do I take out of this? Don’t be such a cold bitch and open up my heart! And at this moment someone gave me a compliment and I couldn’t just say thank-you and accept it as it is – something nice. I had to turn it into something else! Damn me! (No more texting for me!)


Well, I’m sure there’s more to it than that. What I will say is that going to the Tree of Life and sitting with Luanna was what was meant to happen to me at that very time and place. Isn’t it funny how things work out? I needed guidance and I got it.


We’ve heard this many times, that maybe the answers are right there in front of you all along. Yet I think we don’t always want the right answers. The wrong answers are sometimes easier to handle. No conflicts. You naively go along on your smooth and straight path in life. But I did like Luanna’s analogy – walking through the twisted deep dark forest is a much more interesting life choice. I’m choosing excitement. (Next week is gonna be thrilling!) Because at the end of that forest, I know my personal Eden awaits.


I’ve decided that Luanna is going to be my personal therapist. The Tarot reading was therapeutic for me. Like children who don’t listen to their parents’ advice (until their junior year in high school when it might be too late – do you hear that boys?), us adults sometimes need to get guidance from those outside their world. We all have failings, whether we want to admit it or not, how we handle it determines our character. Is that why we are attracted to so many tragedies and scary movies? We would rather watch it affect others and not deal with our own demons. Strike those zombies in the head and make them go away in your own lives. And what does it say about me when I cry at every animated Disney film?


My first week I tried to cleanse my mind and soul, and the second week I cleansed my body. The readings gave us some emotional cleansings we didn’t realize we needed. (I’m keeping Lacy’s experience private, but we both felt it was life-changing.) The crying wasn’t good or bad, but was both a release and a healing.


We became aware of ourselves. And being aware of how you handle daily life situations is a positive. Our Tarot Card session was enlightening and has made a big impact on our lives already.


So as I think about what am I doing in life, right now, with this blog…I wonder — is it all part of some mid-life crisis? I would prefer to think of it as a mid-life awakening. Maybe I am now mature enough to handle life the way it should be handled…or am I just looking for an excuse to act silly and have some fun. Either way, I know the answer lies in realizing that I really don’t know what I want. Maybe the end result will be a nice surprise. I’m halfway across that bridge; how many steps will it take to get to the other side? Will I find myself welcoming me at the end of that path? Do I run a sprint or take a nice leisurely walk? Will it take a week, month, year, or longer? So many questions. And right now, it’s okay not to have all the answers.




The sunsets in our area have been entertaining us with all the elements — the brilliant fiery red and orange colors pushed around by swirling air, when suddenly the sun is swallowed up by the earthy beaches and the deep blue oceans beyond. The spirit of the new moon shines tonight, and I will savor every song the moonlight dares to sing.


47 more weeks – bring it on!



Tree of Life

4870 Santa Monica Ave., Suite 1A

San Diego, California, 92107



Lacy and I each had a 30-minute session for $35 with Luanna. She reads Sundays from 1:00 to 5:00pm, and will also give phone readings. The store is open Wednesday through Sunday, with other readers and healers available. Check their calendar for special events (the Winter Solstice is coming up).


11 thoughts on “Week 3: A Reading

  1. Thank you for sharing Jemma. Your writings make us all look within and deal with the good, the bad, and the ugly.

    1. You’re welcome Sandie! And definitions of good, bad or ugly will vary depending on our own perceptions. This journey will definitely cover all!

  2. Yes I definitely recommend her and the Tree of Life store – just make sure she is emotionally ready to handle what is being read!

  3. Oh Jemma, I applaud you for putting in all out there (in more ways than one) and sharing your journey. Your blog has inspired me to write more of my experiences for our Savvy Women community to be inspired – so for that I THANK YOU!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s