Friday 29 November 2013

A Tarot Reader's Perspective On Public Relations

Tarot - My Conversation Starter
I spent 2 days at a PR conference recently in my capacity as the head of corporate marketing and communications of a financial organization.  I met peers from different companies, some were multinational companies, and some were start-ups.  Throughout the conference, I made comments, and asked questions via Twitter.  Other PR professionals at the conference did the same and some engaged in a lively conversation with me about specific topics that were covered at the conference.
My Twitter handle is @SunGoddessTarot.  Obviously, my discussions at the conference were not about Tarot, but about the role, function, opportunities and challenges of PR professionals like myself.  My Twitter handle might have caused a few raised eyebrows because during the tea and lunch breaks, I had a lot of conference participants come up to me to ask what I actually did for a living, so I gave them my “holding statement” and told them that I was a Marketing and Communications professional by trade and a Tarot reader and Numerologist by accident. 
That became a great conversation starter, and perhaps explained why I came home from the conference with my handbag filled with business cards, and a headache from doing impromptu numerology readings for quite a number of new friends whom I had made at the conference.   When I looked back at the exchanges between some of these PR professionals and myself during the 2 days at the conference, I was gratified that I need not have to explain my passion in Tarot and Numerology like I used to have to do so years ago when I first came out of the closet with my intuitive gifts.  Everyone I spoke to who came up to me because they were intrigued by my Twitter handle, were very opened minded.  One of them said to me “ If I do not have to explain my passion in music as I sing in a local rock band outside of my day job as a PR professional, why should you explain about your passion in Tarot and Numerology?”  Bless him.
Public Relations And Tarot
The openness I had experienced within my circle of new friends within the PR industry spurred me to think about some lessons Tarot could teach about PR.  Encouragingly, this was not far different from what I had learnt at the conference.  Here are some key take-outs from that conference that resonated with me – explained from the Tarotist’s point of view.
Conversations Management – 5 Of Wands
PR is the art of managing conversations online and offline.   A great PR professional will need to juggle between the malleable nature of the different media within which these conversations are held, whether they are spontaneous conversations about our brand and what consumers think about it, fuelled conversations about any content our brand pushes out through the line about our products, programs, or services, as well as direct conversations which could include a customer query or complaint.
The 5 of Wands is a perfect card to describe this.  It is a card that points to an environment full of differing opinions that could potentially escalate to tension and conflict. Amongst customers,  there are so many target audiences with varying needs and have different experiences with the brand.  Amongst them some  are brand advocates, some are detractors and others just have a passive opinion about a brand if they actually have one at all.   Differing opinions should be artfully turned into productive conversations with the aim of positively influencing the customer’s perspectives about our brand.  

PR With A Purpose – Ace of Swords
In order to manage these conversations productively amongst  customers, it is a PR professional’s role to help bind the different audience towards a clear purpose, and create positive conversations about this purpose.  That is why I pulled the Ace of Swords into the mix.  The Ace of Swords is a card that reflects a clear direction, and clarity of thought and purpose. During that conference, Jonathan Sanchez from Unilever spoke about PR with a Purpose.  Take a leaf from Unilever’s campaign Project Sunlight which aims to create a #brightfuture for the next generation.  When companies and  PR professionals can think beyond the top line and bottom line to deliver content that binds customers and the company around a single purpose, it is powerful enough to turn a negative opinion about a brand into a positive one, and significantly improve the customer’s consideration to buy. 

Telling Compelling Stories And Creating Quality Content –  The Empress
Mastering the art of story telling in PR is key.  In telling compelling stories, PR professionals are helping companies to build strong relationships with customers by  creating differentiated brand experiences. Every piece of content that PR professionals develop, plays into the brand’s overall message.  I use the Empress  to illustrate this point because she is the epitome of creative expression.  The Empress asks that one leverages all senses including touch, smell, sight, sound and taste to create fulfilling the case of a PR professional, that would be content generate from these differentiated experiences.  She encourages one to connect with others through open communication and through nurturing relationships with authenticity.  PR professionals are called to create opportunities for brand to proactively engage with the customers. The Empress knows the art of telling a compelling story to influence people's opinions positively.  PR professionals should take a leaf from the Empress in Tarot.
My Skills As A PR Professional And A Tarot Reader
I am privileged to be straddling both paths as a PR professional and a Tarot reader.  These respective paths have taught me invaluable skills that I use interchangeably within each of these roles.  Thinking back, I might have made a mistake by describing Tarot reading as my passion because PR is a passion for me too.   In both roles, I have learnt to engage my target audiences with the art of telling the right stories, for the right purpose that help connect them to my brand.
About The Writer:

The writer of this blog post is a marketeer by trade, and a tarot card reader by accident. She was awarded a Certified Professional Tarot Reader qualification from the Tarot Certification Board of America (TCBA) and is also a certified numerologist.  She is currently running a Tarot consultancy based in Singapore called Sun Goddess Tarot,  which provides confidential intuitive readings combining the metaphysical disciplines of Tarot, Numerology and Astrology via face to face and emails as well as readings at corporate and private events and workshops.  A member of the American Tarot Association (ATA) and the Tarot Association of the British Isles (TABI), she is also a reader for the Free Tarot Network and mentors Tarot protégés on behalf of the American Tarot Association

Wednesday 27 November 2013

The Gift Of Light At Christmas

Year End Festivities
I am looking forward to the year-end holidays when I can finally enjoy some bonding time with the family.  I have had such an exciting year which seemed to be filled with a never ending list of new discoveries and learning. So, I am planning some quiet time with both my men.  My year-end celebrations always include lots of food, presents, and lots of time spent with the extended family and our closest friends.  This year, the air of cheeriness, and all that yuletide joy and laughter seemed to be dampened somewhat by my thoughts of those still suffering from the ravages of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.  So I had decided to do Tarot readings at a couple of corporate Christmas events and private parties closer to Christmas, to help raise funds for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan.  I hope that those affected by the typhoon can find some light soon.
Celebrating Light
The year-end merry making is very special to me also because I love festivities that transcend racial, religious and geographical barriers.  While my Pagan friends from all over the world celebrate Yule or Winter Solstice on 21 December, as a Roman Catholic, I celebrate Christmas on 25 December together with my friends and family.  The greatest thing about these celebrations is that, the common thread that binds us all is actually the celebration of the rebirth of light, letting go of the past, the embrace of hope and the triumph of good.
This Christmas, I celebrate the gift of light.  With all that effort put into developing my intuitive skills, I hope to always use them to bring light to the people around me.  When I review the experiences I have been through all year, I say a prayer of gratitude for the light they have brought me because of how these experiences have shaped me.  When I read about the devastation that the typhoon had caused in the Philippines, and the tragedy that had befallen the thousands trapped when the roof of a Latvian mall collapsed, I prayed that those suffering may be touched by healing light soon.
The Christmas Tree Tarot Spread
So as I celebrate light, I created a Christmas Tree Tarot spread which I urge you to try this season if you are looking at how you could find your own gift of light.  I used this spread on a client Daniella yesterday, who is currently negotiating a job offer with a big company here in Singapore.  With her permission, I would like to demonstrate the spread in practice here, using the Radiant Rider Waite Tarot deck updated by Virginijus Poshkus and published by US Games Systems.  I have deliberately captured the entire Tarot reading here for Daniella in verbatim.  That job opportunity is potentially Daniella’s new light at the end of a tunnel.  You see, she had spent the last 8 years as an entrepreneur.  Running her own company, while fulfilling, was an up and down experience.  Sometimes she made money, sometimes, she spent months “completely financially dry”.  She had never considered working for someone else, until recently, when a conversation with the hiring manager of this company had planted a seed of hope in her mind.  So this is a Tarot reading for Daniella to find new light.

1)    You, in your search for light
2)    Where can you find that glimpse of light?
3)    What is blocking that light?
4)    How can you illuminate your journey towards your goal?
5)    Lessons from the past
6)    Lessons from the present
7)    Advice for the future

The Christmas Tree Tarot Spread

You in your search for light  - The 4 of Cups Reversed

The 4 of a Cups Reversed suggests that while a job offer may have been presented to you, you are experiencing inner conflicts about whether it is the right opportunity for you.  You may be too focused on your own issues, like what you may need to sacrifice when you accept this job. In your case, as you have been running your own company for years, this job offer has posed a dilemma about whether you should give up on being an entrepreneur to join this new company as an employee.  You may also have doubts about the job itself, for example, whether you will have the necessary resources to do the job well, or whether the hiring manager will meet your salary expectations.

Where can you find that glimpse of light? - Ace of Pentacles

A new job opportunity has been presented to you.  This opportunity has the potential to help you to manifest your goals and provide you with the income that you need.

What's blocking that light? - Temperance Reversed

You are dealing with a hiring manager who is proving to be uncooperative or you may feel as though both your interests are in conflict.  Both yours and the hiring manager's expectations are not aligned, hence there is a feeling of disharmony every time you engage with each other in a conversation.

How can you illuminate your journey towards your goal? - 10 of Swords Reversed

The 10 of Swords reversed encourages you to let go of your attachment to the concept of "being your own boss".  You will need to accept that that period of running your own company will come to an end so that you can rechart a new journey for yourself, and embrace a new career ahead.   This is a period of difficult mental transformation that is necessary for your career growth. You have been avoiding the potential outcome of having to wind down your company, and hoping to keep it in some shape or form just in case this stint with the new company does not work out.  However, these are negative perceptions that reside in your mind which will only serve to restrict your own growth. The only way to attain your goal and embrace a better career ahead of you, is to let go, and have the conviction to turn this new job opportunity into a huge career success.

Lessons from the past - 6 of Pentacles Reversed  

Six of Pentacles reversed suggests that you have realized that by running your own company in the past, you had earned less than the amount of effort you had put into that company.  You felt discontented about this lack of balance and are now prepared to  ask for what you are worth in terms of salary, as you put across your remuneration package to the hiring manager on the negotiating table.

Lessons from the present - 9 of Pentacles

In your present circumstance, the 9 of Pentacles indicates that you have come to a realization that you can only enjoy the good life only when you have worked very hard to attain it.  You are hoping for the day you can afford to indulge or pamper yourself but you know that you will need to out in extra effort to be able to afford to do so.  The 9 of Pentacles may also indicate that you are aware that the fruits of your labour can only be reaped when you take that effort to plough the  field,  plant the seeds, nurture and tend to your plot as meticulously as possible.  And while you may be close to reaching your goal, you know you still have far to go to reach it.  So, you may want to stick to the plan and continue putting in that hard work to reach that goal. In this case, this card is advising you to keep up with the effort to engage the hiring manager, persuade him to see the value of your skills and experience, and convince him of the value that your direction can bring to the company.

Advice for the future - Knight of Cups

The Knight advises you to get ready to embark on this new job that has the potential to tap your creative talents. You need to embrace the new job with an ambition to make a positive difference to the company with your plans and new ideas.  The knight will inspire you in your new job to turn your big dreams into reality, if only you are brave enough to accept that invitation to embark on this new journey in your career. 

Gift Of New Light

My client is still negotiating her remuneration package with the hiring manager at the date this blog post was published.  So to help her along on her journey to find new light, I presented her with the gift of a green calcite pendant, lovingly created under my other brand that is focused on crystal gemstones for healing, Sun Goddess Gems.  Green calcite helps with emotional balance and stress relief.  It also helps one to release old energy patterns,  that could hold one back from his or her goals and supports one who is going through a mental transition.

I had another green calcite pendant made as a Christmas giveaway. It was hand-wired in gold-plated wire.  This one's larger and even more beautiful as it was hand-picked, cleansed and blessed at the recent Taurus Full Moon.  

This pendant will be given to the lucky one that I will be picking out of the hat on Christmas Eve.  All you will need to do, is to comment on this blog post and share the post on your Facebook wall by 24th December 2pm GMT.    I will be contacting the winner via email or Facebook message on Christmas Day, so watch out for it!

Until then, I hope that your Christmas celebrations will be filled with abundant blessings,  joy and laughter.

About The Writer:

The writer of this blog post is a marketeer by trade, and a tarot card reader by accident. She was awarded a Certified Professional Tarot Reader qualification from the Tarot Certification Board of America (TCBA) and is also a certified numerologist.  She is currently running a Tarot consultancy based in Singapore called Sun Goddess Tarot,  which provides confidential intuitive readings combining the metaphysical disciplines of Tarot, Numerology and Astrology via face to face and emails as well as readings at corporate and private events and workshops.  A member of the American Tarot Association (ATA) and the Tarot Association of the British Isles (TABI), she is also a reader for the Free Tarot Network and mentors Tarot protégés on behalf of the American Tarot Association


The Christmas Tree Tarot Spread Using The Radiant Rider Waite Tarot Deck Updated By Virginijus Poshkus

 Green Calcite Pendant Hand-Wrapped In Gold-Plated Wire From Sun Goddess Gems

Sunday 10 November 2013

A Conversation With My Father-In-Law

My Father-In-Law

I never knew my late father-in-law, George.   I had only seen photographs of him.  In one of which, he was  looking all smiley next to my late  mother-in-law in a photograph taken when they went on a holiday in Belgium with a very young David then.

What I knew of my father-in-law was very little.  I heard snippets of him from David.  I understood that when he was alive, he used to take pride in the fact that people from near and far used to come by to his garden for a wee visit because he was quite the gardener.  I heard stories of how he would wash his hair in the kitchen sink with fairy liquid.  I almost fell off my chair when i heard about this rather "odd-ball" habit.  David also kept a box of his father's medals that the latter had earned from his efforts during the war.  David was very proud of this fact.

I Am Not A Medium

Knowing very little of him, I thought it was rather interesting that he chose to connect with me recently.  Now, here is where I get the shakes when I discuss my intuitive gifts.  I read Tarot cards and I can decode Numerology.. Period.  I learnt to do these over years.  I am not a psychic.  I am certainly not a medium.  I checked Wikipedia to find out what a Medium is.  Wikipedia described a medium as one gifted with the ability to connect with the dead.  While I am quite sensitive to the presence of anything paranormal, I do not consciously talk to them.  I had dreamt of talking to a couple of people who had passed on before but I do not as a rule, consciously make time to talk to the dead.  When I watched TV programs like The Haunting Of or Long Island Medium, i often thought that while they had a special gift, at the back of my head was an unwitting judgement that i had formed, that they were a little "woo-woo" crazy.

Connecting With George

In the last few days, I thought I sensed George's presence though.  I was not sure at first if it was George that I was sensing but I smelt an unmistakable smell of Old Spice aftershave mixed with tobacco smoke.  David did not smoke so there was no reason for that smell to be wafting around me.  The smell seemed to be lingering from just under my nose and David and Joel could not smell it.  I felt as if someone's face (stubble and all) hovered quite close to mine.  I also saw an older man's face in my mind's eye.  He was wearing glasses and he was peering up at me through his glasses.  His energy was reassuring, calm, and he was soft spoken and gentle.  I was not sure what he was trying to tell me. His reassurance seemed to gently pat me on the back to say that no matter what challenges I was facing sometimes, I had to keep my focus on what was important to me. Above all, I had to take care of David.  See?  It sounded "woo-woo" crazy to me already.

So I sought advice from a friend and a practising medium Olivia and asked her if what I was experiencing was bordering on what they called "mediumship".  She said that from some of the previous blog posts i had written detailing similar experiences of "connecting with people who had passed on",  it could be the beginnings of an ability which could be nurtured over time.   She had also advised me to use my Tarot cards as a tool to uncover the messages George was trying to tell me.  Good call, Olivia.  I was so glad I did just that.

I was always very confident in my Tarot readings.  The messages were always very clear when I read for my clients.  I always knew that my intuition would kick in at the right time as i formed a connection with my clients so that I could provide him or her with the messages needed to make the right choices that will help the client to move forward.   However, with this reading, I felt as if someone else was reading the cards for me.  It was surreal but it seemed as if someone else was  trying to reshape my interpretation of the cards before me.

Through my Tarot cards, here was what George had to say.

My Conversation With George

Knight of Wands reversed + King of Swords reversed

Me:  "Zowie!  All reversed cards.  George, these cards are telling me that David is filled with scattered thoughts and is pretty indecisive about his career directions. He should be stopped from making hasty business decisions. Correct?"

George:  "David is often frustrated by the constant need to manage your temper.  You are always prone to angry outbursts, and your daily communication with him is peppered by a lot of aggression and high expectations."

Knight of Cups + 7 of Cups reversed

Me:  *Now panicking a little* " This Knight is a messenger telling David that he is about to embark on a new creative venture but he is not sure where his best options lie and need to follow his heart to get to where his bliss is."

George: " David is extremely sentimental and intensely emotional. He desires a much deeper relationship with you filled with romance and perhaps the spontaneity of romance.  All he wants is to make you happy in every which way he can.  However, you are so busy with other things. You seem to be involved in so many other pursuits in a bid to find fulfilment when true fulfilment is really right in front of you, in the form of a husband who is utterly devoted to you."

Justice + Nine of Cups + Ace of Pentacles

Me: *Feeling like a lousy Tarot reader by now* "David will find a lot more fulfilment if I treated him more fairly and re-established a new perspective of our relationship to help us move forward to a better place."

George: " What you both could do with is an open and honest conversation about what each of you want out of each other.  This is a marriage.  You are both not room mates.  Establish where each of you stand in the relationship and affirm your love for each other.  Be fair to each other's needs.  The marriage needs a healthy dose of open communication to allow the relationship to deepen further and be more fulfilling for both of you.    With more opened communication, you both can look forward to a new beginning where you both will be able to manifests your goals together and maybe enjoy working together on projects jointly perhaps."

Me: " Interesting.  We both did think about combining forces using some of our respective talents as he had been getting increasingly bigger photography assignments. And that's just skimming the surface of all the things that we could do together because of our respective passions."

Devil reversed + 8 of Cups reversed + 3 of Swords

Me: " I give up.  What do these cards tell me?"

George: "Both of you need to recognise that each other do have faults  and be willing to accept changes and be more opened to new perspectives on your relationship.  You, especially know that you had been shackled by the bonds of your ambitions, trying to juggle the management of a high flying corporate career and build a business with your passions at the same time, leaving no room to reflect on what is more important to you in your life.  So when you get home, every little thing that David did which you considered annoying, would be framed in your mind as a big disappointment.  This then becomes a storm in a teacup, leading to your angry outbursts because you take your frustrations out on him.  You will need to learn to walk away from things that are not important, and focus on things that are."

6 of Wands + The World

Me: "We will have a successful retirement together, fuelled by a positive relationship as we walk our journey towards it."

George: "  Learn to appreciate each other.  Recognise each other's gifts, quirks, and positive traits.  Give positive feedback to each other as often as possible to assure each other.  David particularly, needs you to do this to help him regain his self confidence.  He needs to know that as a husband, he is always doing what is right as a husband and step-father.  He needs that assurance from you.  When you both surround each other with positive energy, you both will celebrate many more wedding anniversaries ahead of you.  And yes, as you walk towards your retirement together, you both will be retiring happy and successful not because of what you both have achieved financially but because you both have each other to turn your retirement into a fulfilling and even more productive stage of your life.


I still do not consider myself a medium.  Yes, I am extra sensitive, but I am not a medium.  I am not gifted as one.  However, I am extremely thankful to Olivia who opened my mind to using my Tarot cards to communicate with my father-in-law.

And more importantly, I need to thank my father-in-law.  George, I have never met you, but I can assure you that marrying David was a blessing.  That explained why I kept getting your message about taking care of him.   I can hear you say now, "Take care of my Davy boy.  He loves you very much."

About The Writer:

The writer of this blog post is a marketeer by trade, and a tarot card reader by accident. She was awarded a Certified Professional Tarot Reader qualification from the Tarot Certification Board of America (TCBA) and is also a certified numerologist.  She is currently running a Tarot consultancy based in Singapore called Sun Goddess Tarot,  which provides confidential intuitive readings combining the metaphysical disciplines of Tarot, Numerology and Astrology via face to face and emails as well as readings at corporate and private events and workshops.  A member of the American Tarot Association (ATA) and the Tarot Association of the British Isles (TABI), she is also a reader for the Free Tarot Network and mentors Tarot protégés on behalf of the American Tarot Association.


My father-in-law looked so handsome in his Blackwatch uniform

My parents-in-law and Davy boy on a holiday in Belgium