Reading the Reader: An Interview With Shaun Rose
The following is a written interview between the blog editor, Ethan Barker, and East West intuitive tarot reader, Shaun Rose.
Shaun has been working with the tarot personally for nearly thirty years and began her practice, Blue Fox Tarot, for the public two years ago at East West.
Why did you choose tarot?
This will sound cliché, but tarot chose me. I did not intend to become a tarot reader, but I prayed for years to do work that combined my varied interests in spirituality, psychology, consciousness, self-empowerment, and self-healing, and I found it in Tarot. When my friend gifted me The Wild Unknown Tarot, I fell in love with the deck and it spoke to me in a such a clear voice. I experienced a spiritual call to master the tarot and do readings for others. I find it to be very natural to me and it’s the most gratifying work that I’ve ever done.
When I was in college, I used to consult a tarot reader regularly—Yasmine Galenorn, who went on to become a successful novelist. After a couple of years of working with Yasmine, it dawned on me that I could develop my own intuition the way that Yasmine had and read for myself.
I put the cards away for a long time as I explored other spiritual practices: Tibetan Buddhism, Reiki, and crystal healing to name a few that now inform my readings.
I hope to influence the people that come to me for readings in the same way that Yasmine did for me.
Can you tell us about some of the experiences you had that made you interested in this line of work?
I was born a spiritual person, with a strong sense of the sacredness of nature and an energetic sensibility. It took a long time to find language for my experiences and to “come out” as a spiritual person. In fact, it was a huge relief and validating when I began to read spiritual books in high school I come from a family where rationality was strongly emphasized, the practical and scientific facts were trusted more than intuition, feelings, and the like. Which is so often the case in our materialist culture and reflected in the mainstream, educated, liberal class of society. I have always had the tendency towards the psychological aspects of choices and beliefs, the inner motivations and consciousness. I was often told that I was oversensitive as a child and to stop “psychoanalyzing” everything.
Starting from a very young age—you may find this hard to believe, but I’m talking pre-verbal age—I can remember my dreams and memories of encounters with nature and my feelings. I saw ghosts, felt presences, interacted with objects energetically, had prophetic dreams and knew things about the adults around me without their speaking them.
Some dreams that I had, foretold the future. I’ll give you an example. The earliest and most powerful dream that I’ve carried with me throughout my life, was of being at the bottom of the ocean. I remember the feeling of being overwhelmed but awed by the power and beauty of the undulating sea plants and the fish swimming by. I was born in Miami, Florida, which is already experiencing king tides and is predicted to be under water by the end of this century.
Once, when I was house-sitting and acting as guardian for my teenage cousins while my aunt and uncle were away, I saw a ghost in my aunt’s bedroom through a window. I was terrified because I wasn’t sure how much energy the spirit was able to manipulate since it was able to manifest itself to me. I called my other aunt, who lived nearby, and my heart sank as she recounted tales of ghost encounters the family had been having in that house, that I had never heard before. Since leaving was not an option and that was the room I was sleeping in, I left my thinking mind, which was scared and allowed my intuitive, spiritual side to take over. I spontaneously cleared that house, according to my aunt later, when some time had passed and she no longer experienced objects having been moved in the night and other phenomena her family had been living with. Also, a year or two later, when they were moving, my uncle peeled back layers of wallpaper underneath the window where I had seen the ghost and there was a child’s drawing there. It’s a long story, but that was evidence of the girl that I had seen, who died of cancer in the house.
What does it mean to be psychic?
At the broadest level, being psychic is to be alive. I believe that psychic or intuitive awareness is an aspect of every human being. But not every human being is skillful or adept at utilizing it. Some people have a very dim relationship to their intuitive nature, while others utilize their intuition all of the time but may or may not recognize it as such. Some people refer to their intuition as a hunch or following their gut. I see it as a skill, that anyone can develop.
I think in my case, and with other people doing intuitive work, this is my natural skill or gift that I was born with, in the same way that people are born musically gifted or talented at math. I have been honing it over the course of my life and continue to do so. However, because of the emphasis on materialism and scientific proof in my family and our culture, I also have plenty of experience in not listening to my inner guidance. I can say that every time I have suffered the most, it was because I did not listen to that still, small voice within. But I don’t regret the process that it took to get here because I came around full circle and now have no doubts about the power of intuition and am confident in my ability to help others learn to trust in their intuition.
What do you say to someone who has never had a psychic experience? How do you make them believe in what you do?
I don't. I don't ask anyone to believe anything. However, I think that the experience of ignoring inner guidance to one’s own detriment that I already described is a universal one, and I’ll bring that up as an example of a psychic experience.
There was a time when I felt pressure to be able to explain things in scientific terms in order to be seen as legitimate, but I’ve dropped all that. I love the scientific method, but intuition is an inner technology, and everyone experiences it in their own way, it can’t be replicated in a lab or quantified. The validity is whether my readings help you in your life, whether I am able to access information that is relevant and resonate with you. From my experience, the more that I trust my inner guidance, the more accurate I am. I don't mind being tested by skeptics, as long as you pay me my fee (laughs).
But to be fair, if someone were truly serious about testing the value of a psychic message, they would have to live out the advice or information that came up in the reading. Just listening is never enough, one must act and make choices that reflect the guidance that emerges in the reading. Then, you can evaluate whether or not it was accurate.
What makes you different from another tarot reader?
What I've been told is I can go really deep really quickly. I know we have a short time together, and I want the reading to be meaningful and valuable to each and every person that comes to me. My main technique is being as present as possible. I use my relationship with Spirit and my intuition, the cards and reading the energy of the querent. My motivation is that you feel empowered and armed with insight. I view all experiences as opportunities for growth. With some effort, you can extract wisdom from everything and everyone that you encounter. So, with that being said, I don’t think of any of the cards as being bad. There are difficulties and challenges to be sure, but my job is to help you rise to the challenge rather than deny, reject, or negatively judge your experiences.
What misconceptions do your clients have about tarot?
One thing that comes to mind, is that it’s a passive experience, where I, the reader, tell you what your future is. I can’t tell you what your future is, because that depends on the choices you make. I can tell you a likely outcome based on where you are in the present and if you follow through on the guidance that comes up in the reading.
I think the most potent, beneficial aspect of getting a reading is cutting through the mental chatter, habitual thinking, and mental blocks from past experiences, to the clear truth of what’s in your best interest and what’s true for you now. The choices you make now are what determine your future. What serves your growth? On some level, you know it, but sometimes the truth is overwhelming or hidden behind fears, social conditioning or mental habits that inhibit us from making choices that are new to us. A reading can confirm what you know to be true or provide a different angle from which to view an impending choice.
Another misconception that comes to mind is that a reading is a form of entertainment or a fun thing to do for kicks. Spirit is going to tell you what you most need to hear for your growth so it might not be fun! I’m not saying it’s always deadly serious, but in all honesty, it’s rarely light and fun. Sometimes, it is, I don’t want to give the wrong impression. But please don’t expect it to be.
One time, a client came in for a reading to celebrate her birthday—a common experience, nothing out of the ordinary mind you—and she didn’t have a specific question, so we did a general reading. Spirit advised her on her marriage and the affair she was engaged in! Tears were shed and she was happy with her reading, but it was definitely not what she expected.
If you could tell your clients one thing before coming to a reading, what would you tell them?
In order to make the most of our time together, spend a little time getting in touch with what’s most on your mind. Where are you stuck? What’s perplexing to you or where could you use assurance? I can help you formulate a question, but it’s your dime and I’d rather use the time assisting you to gain insight. The more specific you are, the more specific the response will be.
Shaun is available for readings at East West on Fridays from 3:30 to 8:30pm and Saturdays from 10:30am to 1:30pm. She can also be contacted for phone or Skype readings. For enquiries, please text her @ 206.310.8840 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.