If there's one question I have to brace myself for whenever I'm heading to a party, it's this: "What do you do for work?"
It's not that I dislike talking about being an angel card reader, who delivers messages from clients' guardian angels through my cards – actually I love discussing how my clients have gone on to make changes in their lives by following the guidance I've channelled.
It's just that raising this topic inevitably means dealing with a lot of misconceptions. I'm sometimes tempted to lie and claim 'I sell photocopiers' to avoid any further questions (not that there's anything wrong with selling photocopiers, of course).
The angel cards I use in my work are similar to tarot cards, but without the spooky connotations, such as that infamous death card which has been popularised on so many TV shows. Instead, the messages are encouraging and helpful.
Crucially, angel cards don't predict the future – which is another misconception I encounter frequently (along with cliched jokes about picking the winning lottery numbers… yawn). And actually, that's the reason I work with angel cards.
They accurately – and sometimes freakily – reflect what's going on in a client's life, especially the things they haven't fully accepted themselves yet, but still give people licence to make their own decisions. Nothing is set in stone, and the future is something you create yourself, which is very empowering.
Personally, I don't want to know what my future looks like – I'd rather make it happen myself (following cues from my angels, of course), and the people who are typically drawn to my services feel the same way.
When someone comes to me for an angel card reading, which I provide via Skype or email in half-hour or one-hour slots, they're often at a crossroads in their life or trying to move forward in some area.
The most common area asked about is relationships – especially 'How can I find my soulmate?' or 'Should I stay or should I go?' – closely followed by career guidance and general questions about finding purpose in life.
To get the answers, I tune into clients' guardian angels (yes, everyone has them) then shuffle the cards; the ones that jump out, or that are on top when the angels tell me to stop shuffling, are the right messages for that client. Don't ask me how this works – it just does.
People are often curious about exactly how I tune into the angelic realm, and this is where things can get a little too new age-y for some (and before you ask: no, I can't talk to dead people). Anyone can talk to their angels; it isn't some mystical power bestowed on a few special individuals, but it's true certain people have a stronger ability to communicate with the divine than others.
And if you're wondering whether I'm reading your mind, that's not how this works; I can't tune into your angels without your permission, and they only tell me the key messages for you, not the details of the sex dream you had last night or the packet of Tim Tams you secretly ate in your car earlier.
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When I ask for angel guidance, it comes to me via intuitive feelings (often loosely called gut instinct), voices or visuals, which typically consist of symbols. For example, in a recent session I was shown a client being swept down a cliff in a landslide.
This was not a literal prediction of some natural disaster that will hit her neighbourhood, but a symbol of her getting swept up in the tide of what other people are doing instead of taking the unique path that is right for her.
It's taken practice for me to understand what these messages mean, and to learn to trust them.
Is it accurate? Of course, but that doesn't mean I don't sometimes misread the information presented to me – I am human, after all, but with practice I've better honed my craft.
Sometimes a client isn't quite giving me the full story (e.g. not revealing that the 'partner' they've asked about is married to someone else) and that limits my ability to give them helpful guidance.
The major misconceptions I deal with are fuelled by scepticism, and that's okay – I never try to force my work onto anyone. Experience has taught me angel card readings won't resonate with certain people, especially those who aren't willing to make changes in their lives (case in point: those who are convinced their life will only improve when they get into a relationship not understanding they need to improve their life before they're able to attract a partner).
Angel card readings aren't for everyone – but for those with open minds and a willingness to grow, they can be a hugely beneficial tool for personal development.