In this podcast episode, I invite the Founder of Between Worlds and author of the popular book, “Psychic Tarot: Using Your Natural Abilities to Read Tarot”, Nancy Antenucci, to answer these questions.
In this interview, you'll learn:
- What being psychic really means
- Why each and everyone one of us is psychic – we just don’t know it yet
- How to flex your psychic muscle with Tarot cards as a guide
- Why living in the NOW is more important than knowing what will happen in the future
- How to access the spiritual world – and pure potential – through the Tarot cards
Let's get into it…
- Nancy's website: Between Worlds
- Psychic Tarot: Using Your Natural Psychic Abilities to Read the Cards
- Join the Biddy Tarot Community
Brigit: You are listening to the Biddy Tarot Podcast, and this is Episode 41: Psychic Tarot Reading with Nancy Antenucci.
Welcome to the Biddy Tarot podcast, where you will learn how to connect more deeply with your intuition and live an empowered and enlightened life with the Tarot cards as your guide.
Listen as Brigit and her guests share their very best tips and strategies to help you read Tarot with confidence. And now, here is your host Brigit Esselmont.
Brigit: Hello and welcome.
Let me ask you something, do you have to be psychic to read the Tarot? And what does it really mean to be psychic? Many Tarot readers would vehemently deny that they're psychic, instead preferring to say that they are intuitive. Perhaps it's because of the common perception that psychic's tell the future and predict what will happen and when. And many Tarot readers choose not to read the Tarot in that way.
I have to admit, I was in the same camp, and unfortunately the word psychic has taken on a certain stigma that didn't really reflect my relationship with the Tarot. So, I identified as intuitive rather than psychic.
But that is about to change. Why? Well after speaking with my guest, I realized that being psychic isn't all about telling the future; in fact it's about the past, the present and the future. And it's about aligning with spirit to create the outcomes you most desire, so now we are talking my language.
My guest today is a dancer, choreographer, artist, creative advocate and psychic. She is the founder of Between Worlds and the author of the very popular book Psychic Tarot: Using your Natural Abilities to Read Tarot. She is none other than Nancy Antenucci.
Brigit: Welcome Nancy. Well, all right, welcome to Nancy Antenucci, it's great to have you here.
Nancy: Oh, thanks Brigit, I'm glad to be here.
Brigit: Wonderful, well, let's just get straight into it, I would love to hear how you got into Tarot in the first place, you know all of those 25 years ago.
Nancy: Well, actually 25 years ago is when I started reading it in a serious way for other people, but I had a deck when I was 9 years old. My mom and I were really into all kinds of exploration of the divine so Astrology, Phrenology you name it, we loved it, and we were just figuring everything out and she got me my first deck and I brought it to school and it worked, it worked right away, you know because I loved reading the pictures and so that kind of scared the both of us so she took the deck back, you know and I didn't get it again until my early 20's when I started working. So, I am self-taught, but I really seriously got in it for other people, for about 25 years or 30 at when I started reading for other people.
Brigit: Mm, yeah, actually I just want to pick up on that, the piece around being self taught, because I'm also self-taught. And I always wonder is that a good thing or a bad thing, what do you have a perspective on whether you should be self taught or you should have, like you know a teacher to show you Tarot, have you got any thoughts on that?
Nancy: Well, I would say now with first of all my deck did not have a little white booklet in it, so I actually didn't know that there where definitions, I thought it was just read the story, that's what I just made it up in my head, you know, like, ok I’ll just read the story. When I started Tarot there weren't really, well it was before internet and there weren't that many books, so it would've been easily missed that there were actually traditional definitions. So, I am so grateful that I learned that way because I had a whole relationship to my cards before I saw any definitions.
My first one was 78 degrees by Rachel Pollack. And when I read the book I went: “Wow, I have the flesh and blood to her bones.” You know like, I really had an understanding of the cards that where really my own. So I would say on that level just opening your imagination and really developing your own understanding is beautiful, but there are some downsides to that. I mean, I worked on my own until I went to Reader's Studio for the first time, so I was basically on my own for about 20 years, you know, just teaching other people and learning. And reading things here and there. But when I went to Reader's Studio, I realized oh, there where some ideas that I got into that I had to let go. It was like, you know Nance that's, yeah that's not really resilient or functional. So on my own I also kind of developed some of the shadow patterns deeper, too.
Brigit: Yeah, Yeah, interesting.
Nancy: Yeah, so it was like learning how to type badly, it's like, well it worked for the most part but every once and awhile it really doesn't work that well.
Nancy: Yeah, you could almost argue the other way as well, so if you were to learn with a teacher then maybe you're too much in the space of pure structure whereas being on your own you get to have a bit more fluidity and maybe the ideal is somewhere in the middle where you have a teacher that maybe gives you the space to creatively explore the Tarot.
Nancy: Exactly, in fact I have a monthly meet up the Twin Cities Tarot Collective, one of the things that we do is a meet up every month and just last night, and I literally sat there, because we had some new faces, and I said, my job is to make sure you develop your own voice. You can study definitions and study elsewhere, but when we are with each other, I want you to use each other's as our hands on practice. I don't want anyone pulling their books out.
Brigit: Mmhmm, yeah.
Nancy: You know, and that's scary, you know people really want to lean back into the traditional definitions because they don't want to be wrong, but I said: “No, it's about being real, it's not about being right or wrong.” You know, and you have to give yourself a little, you know kind of a bumpy road sometimes to get there. But you're right; to me it is about holding space for others.
Brigit: Yeah, wonderful. And so you're using Tarot nowadays in some really creative and fun ways, so tell me a little bit more about that.
Nancy: Well, one of the things I'm doing is going to, I grew up as a dancer so I have a whole lifetime as a you know concert dancer so what I've been doing is going into a studio once a week and laying the cards around me and just trying to see how can I embody the Tarot without just imitating the bodies in the Tarot deck.
I want kind of the Tarot muse to speak with me or through me in an embodied way. And I haven't gotten very far with that but it's a very interesting process. And then I'm going to be putting together some bigger events, one of them in Sydney next October, more on that later, but also here just combining the story telling of Tarot.
It is such a beautiful vehicle of story telling and really using that kind of inner theater, in a way, it's like bringing out the mythic story for people because I think we're craving, you know, just creative spirituality and I'm not saying that it's you know a spirituality without any rules, at all. It's just spirituality that really brings out the passion and beauty in our world because right now it's really easy to look at the world and forget how beautiful and passionate it is.
Brigit: Yeah, wonderful. And then Tarot's kind of the lens, well one of many lenses that you can use to do that, wonderful.
Nancy: And I have often told people, I feel if we are a hybrid, we are like a human spirit, so we're a mutt, really we're kind of this odd mix, part of us isn't going to last, another part is. So it's an odd mix, but to me I think Tarot is like this beautiful blue print on how to be a great human. We're really here to learn how to be a human, you know so it's kind of like, how do you do that with beauty and passion but still dealing with the complexity with people and your car breaking down, and life not being really nice all the time. It's like how do you just stay a resilient human until we're not human anymore?
Brigit: Yeah, gorgeous, love it. So, Nancy you're well known for your book around psychic Tarot and that's the topic I'd love to talk about today because I think often times, in more of the general public, you ask them about what's Tarot all about, then you might get some responses around maybe it's fortune telling’s, predicting the future and sometimes you'll hear things about well you got to be psychic to read Tarot. So, I’d love to pick your brain a little bit more about how you connect with like what is psychic mean for you and sort of how does that integrate with the Tarot. So maybe we'll start at that place, like when you talk about psychic abilities and Tarot like what does that mean for you?
Nancy: I think all of us are intuitive, and I think our intuition is to save us, you know, like if we needed something in our system as human and spirit to be kind of danger signal for something we may not actually be able to see or hear. You know, so to me that intuition is that other sense of something's going wrong. But psychic to me is practiced intuition. So you are taking it out of that ambulance siren sphere and, or that falling in love sphere, by the way. It's kind of similar when you know that you might met the person that you are going to fall in love with and actually has the very similar feeling, energy as an ambulance in a way. But, psychic to me is when you practice it. So when I wrote Psychic Tarot, How to Use Your Natural Abilities to Read the Cards, I actually literally gave it a metaphor of a piano. All of us where born with a piano but if you're only going to play it when you absolutely have to you're not going to get that good at it. I mean, the one's that practice it every day are the ones who play Mozart. You know, so it's like how do you practice those abilities and bring them out of fear base, out of survival-base I should say, just to survive into thriving?
And you know honestly, Brigit, I think when I'm an old woman they are going to find that there where a couple extra bundles behind people's brains the one's that where more psychic and there was more of a communication between the left and right sphere. I honestly, and I did, and I said, what is psychic, it's actually in your heads, you guys. You know, it's like it's there you just need to build it and you know like Sonia Shukat called psychic abilities as pattern recognition, which I absolutely love but to me it's pattern recognition from all sides not just straight forward with my eyes, but sideways through my ears or behind. So it's a way of reading energy in a sense-around way.
A lot of people give psychic's, I call it the “C's”, the claircendence, clairaudience, clairvoyance and to me it's like, I grew up catholic, so I'm kind of anti-categories at this point. I just went: “No, I'm not any of the “C” girls, I'm all the “C” girls.” You know it's like I do tend though to get information more like movies or images.
I know a lot of people get a knowledge that they didn't have before, some people really do get visual, but to me, I don't necessarily see things as much as I sense a movie is really kind of the way I read energy. I mean if, again, if we're spirits having a human experience, to me spirit is energy, so we're connected to each other, anyone who is listening to these words now are connected to me in this time.
And yet what is this time. Time is a huge framework of energy so when you do a Tarot reading I think you're opening sacred time which is past, present and future all exist now. It's a web, instead of linear, and when you're in that web all of your lenses open as well so that you are able to take in all kinds of patterns that you can recognize now. If we did that 24-7 we would go nuts, but if I'm sitting there looking at really beautiful cards, you know, it's just a beautiful way to kind of focus. And honestly Brigit, the more I read Tarot the more psychic I've become. The Tarot made me psychic, I don't think you have to psychic to read them, I think they’re these beautiful portals that just kind of open you up because their patterns, their shapes, their colors, I mean those are all energies for your brain to kind of open up to new lenses.
Brigit: Yeah, yes, it's interesting, I've spoken with a few people who, what I would say are highly psychic and they use Tarot cards but often they say the Tarot cards are getting in the way, I am only using them when I'm reading for a client that they aren't freaked out that I just know stuff and I'm trying to just put the cards in front of me to almost, you know, have something visible and tangible but really what I'm experiencing is I'm sensing the whole situation.
So I find it really interesting that you're offering your different perspective which is great because what I'm hearing is you saying: “Well, I actually, the cards are really supporting and enhancing the psychic ability.”
So talk to me a little bit about that, like you said, can you kind of put it down into some techniques about how you could use the Tarot to help you develop your psychic abilities?
Nancy: Absolutely, let me think about the techniques, but before that what I would say to you is, I know psychic people that really, it is kind of scary for people to kind of go, ok, how is she reading this without any aide? But to be honest with you, those same people would have trepidation about the cards as well.
There's a couple of things, one is, I do think Tarot is a gun in some people's hands and so I do have to really create a space of love and strong boundaries with people so that they feel witnessed and heard and seen.
So it's not about me and it's not about the message of the cards, it's about their ability to feel seen and heard, and I think that the cards are beautiful road posts. Like we're on a road together, our spirits are kind of combining or talking or seeing or holding space for each other. And you go on a journey with each other an inner journey and to me the cards are just beautiful road posts in that they'll say: “Slow down, no go here, let's go on this road and look at that.” You know because nothing set in destiny, we are able to kind of choose what we need to, but you can tell the road that they’re going to take through the cards, and I think that is why the cards are so beautiful cause the images themselves will offer alternatives of the map.
You know one time I had this conversation with Robert Place and he really was curious about now what is psychic energy? Do you get dates? Do you get names? And I said: “I do, I actually do.”
And it's interesting because those energies, I don't really see those with the cards as much, I don't see dates or names or anything like that, to me the Tarot cards are like these big beautiful rooms that I go in and when I walk into that room of the card then I can hear different things and one of them would of them be dates or names.
That doesn't come up very often but I said: “To be honest with you Robert, that energy feels kind of stagnant, you know like it doesn't have as much energy.” So I wonder if as spirits there's certain road posts that we just set for ourselves. Not necessarily when we die, but like certain people we know we're going to meet. I've read for enough people where like one person will have five marks in their lives, you know it's like, why do you keep getting this same name over and over again even though they are different people? Or why do you keep meeting people from Texas what is that about? You know so anything that has this pattern of “that is just weird,” you know. I think those are like these really kind of like stayed road posts.
Brigit: Yeah, yeah do you think that's kind of like almost, yeah, I'm thinking of say psychic markets where you've got a choice, every time that marked person comes into your life, you've got a choice on whether you act on your gut feel about what you're meant to do or think or feel about this or you can choose to ignore it. And then the next mark is going to come into your life until you're like you can hear what this mark, event is all about.
Nancy: Absolutely, like for years and years I was a professional dancer before coming into Tarot fully and I use to have the most narcissistic dance directors, I mean like, not just one, I'm talking like six and none of them healthy and I kept, you know exposing myself to that.
Until I realized I have to resolve issues here with my mom, I have to look at that, I have to look at that I can't, I can't just dodge and duck anymore. So those are deeper patterns that come up, I think when you do any kind of divination, why am I here? And how do I become more loving? And what do I have to let go of or what do I have to resolve? To me that is far more interesting than “did she nab the right date in the future.” No, how can I help you be more in the present and for a lot of that, for a lot of us that has some dynamic of forgiveness, you know of really just letting go, letting go or forgiving yourself or not getting stuck in some past road post.
I mean, I've told people: “Listen, if we could see what might happen in the future if you take that road, why can't we change the past?” You know if the past is as vital as the present and the future. So I’ve figured out meditations where I tell people to go back to that moment where that movie is constantly playing in their head and they're like seven or eight, I'll just give for an example, and go back to that person when they're seven or eight and just tell them that your from their future and tell them what's going to happen and that, you're sorry, but this is probably what's going to happen and for them to give you their anger or fear or anyway that they have learned not to be loved in that moment and that their life will be beautiful as long as they can hand over this to you.
So, I'm learning how to kind of deal with these psyche selves of us that are present like if, even if you just didn't see those as psyche selves if you saw those as just embodied needs and to me that's where I'm using my psychic abilities is to heal those parts of us that just keep looping. You know, either out of anger or out of fear or out of sadness and go to those parts of us and say: “You know what, that's done now.”
Brigit: Yeah, yeah I'm loving this because I think what often happens is like there's a general misperception that if she's psychic then she can see my future, that's what she does. It's very linear, where as what I'm really hearing here is that it's a much deeper process and it's happening on so many different levels and it goes way beyond just well “you're just going to tell me who I'm going to marry kind of thing.”
Brigit: How do we shift out of that perception, you know, how do we get some change and you know, give this or honor this for what it really is?
Nancy: I think it really, you know, Brigit, it really comes down to how look at life. I mean why are we here? You know if you wanted to productive and effective, I think that then you would read for people where they would be more productive and effective. You know, your values really do shape the way you read and my value is I want to be, at the end of my life and look back and not have any regrets. That is my value, so that is how I read for other people, its like, we can go back to the past, we can do some healing. But the main thing is we got to get you right here right now so that you, in this moment until you die really have the life that you deserve and the one you really want to create and that takes a lot of courage and a lot of support and a lot of work.
You know, I don't think it's about following your bliss or just opening up and letting the vine take care of you it's like, no you got to kind of trust God, but tie up your horse. It's like, take care of that.
So in some ways, I think a lot of people would probably see me more as kind of a coach, a life coach but for me I think it's I can kind of consider myself leek a Tarot magician. It's like using these four elements and using the Major Arcana and an understanding of the people which to me is the court cards, our human role in all of this to try to be fully here to be present. You know that's my goal.
And again the more that I've read, when it comes to how would I teach someone how to be psychic it really comes down to stop looking at things the way you look at things, start playing with, “what if?”
What if you were just a color of light? What if you were, what if I saw all of your beautiful ancestors behind you? Like, one way to play with perception is to always question what you might be seeing, not always, do it every once and awhile, question what you're actually seeing and just play with.
Like, one time I was standing at a store and I was bored out of my mind, you know, and I just thought what if I could see everyone's past life, just like, what if? And I looked around and I thought, oh my god, I saw peasant and I saw a suffragette and I was like, ok, if that's just my imagination, I don't care, because it made my time at the store go by really quickly. And I think I've told people: “Listen, don't be afraid of pretending, I mean pretending is sometimes the first door to a long corridor of imagination and permission that goes way beyond pretending. But it may feel like pretending initially.
Nancy: But what the hell, why not pretend that you're a fabulous priestess and see what you see then, or see what you actually hear.
Brigit: Yeah, Yeah, because I think the more that we can do that, it's kind of like, huh, what am I thinking?
So, when we are operating more in the day to day we can just be in our habitual rituals, I suppose, and we're not challenging everything we're just taking it exactly as we think it should be. But it's when you start to challenge that stuff then you see these little, I call them like golden doors and doors of possibility, and once you've seen those little doors and you step through and you're like: “oh my goodness why didn't I know about this before?” So, yeah and I think I love that idea of just play with the idea of what if you could see people's past lives or you know, I was recently reading a book on auras; well what if you could see the colors of someone's aura around them?
Nancy: That's right.
Brigit: And then suddenly these things become apparent. And like you say it doesn't have to be, well oh my goodness is this real? Or am I just making it up? Who cares, just experience it and live in that possibility I think that it's such an open expansive place to play.
Nancy: Right, absolutely.
Brigit: And imagine what that does when you've got the Tarot cards in front of you and you are looking at an image and I know often think of seeing the Nine of Cups, I've been reading Tarot nearly 20 years as well, and just recently I saw the Nine of Cups and I was like: “Oh, I didn't notice this guy was in the desert.” And you know like this is really like it almost looks like an oasis and I'm in the reading going: “Um, is there, you know, a relationship that's actually playing out in some sort of desert place?” And they're like: “Yeah, we're in Arman and we're doing this.” And it's only when you allow your brain to go, well the Nine of Cups means a romantic person and go no, no, no let's just see it for what it is.
Brigit: All that exciting stuff comes out, doesn't it?
Nancy: It does and again going back to we're spirits having a human experience, so that's actually giving Spirit voice. Meaning I don't have to sense it, your spirit, when we're in spirit we do sense things differently. Like, when we were talking about what kind of reader you are, well who are you as a human? And who are you as spirit? Like to me, I think spirit, body, emotional self and intellect are equal, they're equal partners. But spirit doesn't have any of the trappings, ever, none, always eternal.
So I just tell people, clients, if you don't know who or what your spirit is, it's your breath. So just follow your breath and just know that's your spirit. You know, because when you are not breathing, guess what? Yeah really, that's it, you know so, and it’s like, ok.
It's weird Brigit, I mean people will sit down sometimes and just start crying like I haven't even started reading yet. Like we're just getting the tea ready, you know, and they just start weeping and I think it's because of the permission they have just to be who they are. You can feel that, you can feel that kind of energy from people when you can, you know you're going to be fully witnessed and not fixed. I mean, I do think some Tarot readers really, really do want to fix, and that's a beautiful intention but, boy, I just think if you could just reflect rather than fix; then they'll fix, they'll fix when their ready to fix, not your timeline.
Brigit: Yeah, when I had a conversation with Mary Grier, in one of our previous podcasts, she talked a lot about that, you know that we have this desire to want to fix everything as readers but we don't have to and as you say it's all about witnessing. I remember just recently one of our readers within the Biddy Tarot Community, had read for a gentlemen in maybe Slovakia, and he was just like: “Wow, you can see me for who I really am and you can see my potential.” And it was he hadn't had that experience with anyone else except for this stranger, you know, someone on the other side of the world on the other end of an email. And for him that was such an important moment where he was seen for him and we do that as readers when we tap into energy and spirit, and what have you. We're connecting with someone so quickly that yeah, for many people it's overwhelming because they've never been in that space of pure spirit before.
Nancy: Right, right. In fact kind of my least favorite readings, and I don't get many of these, so I know that when they come to me I don't know, they didn't come to me from word of mouth, it’s the person who will sit down and go: “No, you just tell me.” And there's no talking and there's no dialogue and it's not like I need their information so that I can do a cold reading, at all, I can do that kind of reading, but to me it's like pulling teeth. It's like being a dentist. I don't see how they're responding to anything, I don't know, it's, to me it's cold and empty. So I don't do, readings many readings like that, I hope not to. I'd advertised in this one store, and it seemed to me anyone I got from that advertisement from that store had that kind of affect and I just went: “Yeah, you know what I'm going to pull my brochures from the store.”
Brigit: Do you think that has something to do with, I'm saying this with openness and love, do you think that has something to do with calling yourself a psychic Tarot reader? Because of the misperceptions people have about psychics?
Nancy: Well, actually on my website, I call myself a creative advocate. So I don’t' even label myself as a Tarot reader.
Brigit: Right, ok, good.
Nancy: But no I think it's both, I think they need to be exposed to me because I'm kind of like, you know your spirit's in there and it's just as strong and as powerful as mine, you might want to, I don't know, inspire it a little bit, you know. But I also need them to kind of wake up and go: “Oh, that's right.” A lot of people think magic and mystery and spirit is a very passive, just do it to me, not with me. You know and I'm like, oh that's right, I got to remember that. And even though I honor religion, I do, I do think sometimes because of the structure and the rules of it; it can produce really passive people. Like its just like, oh ok well then this is if I do this then this is the hoop I jumped. You know and I'm not putting down the Hierophant but it took me years to come to a new way of seeing the Hierophant in a way that it's like, how can that stay vibrant without me advocating my own authority? You know, I mean to me, that's makes me more curious than anything is how can someone stay in their own creative power?
Brigit: Yeah, again I do find that there's often an expectation from some clients, not all, that I'll turn up to the Tarot reading, and the reader will tell me what will happen in my future and I will sit there and I will listen to it and maybe write some things down and I will walk away and it will happen to me.
Nancy: That's right, or it won't happen to me and then she was a bad reader. And I tell people, like you know what, in our day and age we have so many information junkies, that if you're not going to do something with that reading, if you’re not going to take one action step, if you're not going to see one way that it shifted, you're just hoarding information. You know and that's not helping, information has to become wisdom, and the way it becomes wisdom is by actually doing something with it, or feeling it, you know on a different level. So when I teach my readers, I don't want them to be this impartial impassive wisdom that is just doling out information and it doesn't matter where it goes, it's like: “No, you're opening this person's heart up.” You know and this is a story that could change their lives and everyone around them, so it better be full of love. Don’t kitty litter the message at all but it needs to have this intention of love and power. And it's like, good how can you really bring your vitality in the world? And for an hour, you and I get to figure that out a little bit.
Brigit: Yeah, Yeah, it's exciting.
Nancy: It is.
Brigit: Oh, wonderful, I've enjoyed this conversation so much.
Nancy: Oh, thank you.
Brigit: And I love hearing the way that you describe things. I've been saying this a little bit before the call, you know just the amount of creativity that is in your mind and the way that you see things is so special and unique so I really appreciate that.
Nancy: Thank you.
Brigit: So Nancy where's the best place to find you online?
Nancy: Well, online would be betweenworlds.us, that's my website. My Facebook, I have a personal one so I don't really talk too much about Tarot on that one, but my Facebook Tarot page is Psychic Tarot :How to Use your Natural Abilities to Read the Cards. And twitter I think is Nancy Antenucci. Instagram, I love Instagram because that's all just imagery, so I'm just like trying to figure out how to play with that because, god, I tell you Brigit, if I could talk without using words, and just do images, oh my god, that would just be like heaven.
Brigit: And that is Instagram, isn't it?
Nancy: It is.
Brigit: It's wonderful, excellent. Well, I'll make sure to put those links into our show notes, but yes, I want to say again, a huge thank you for joining us today and I just know, like our listeners will really enjoy, you know, listening to your pieces of wisdom. And I think you've done a great job of shifting this perception around what is psychic, and what does psychic Tarot reading look like?
Nancy: Good, thank you, because I want to. On two things, I mean, I want traditional readers to feel like, you know what, what if, what if I could just read? This could open doors of energy that I don't need to control. But I'd also like really pure psychic readers to kind of go what if I open the door to history and to symbology and to dreams so that it informs me? Whatever layer it would work. Tarot is just so, it's just perfect, Tarot is perfect.
Brigit: It is, what a perfect way to end, I love it.
Brigit: All right, well thank you again and we'll speak soon.
Nancy: Ok, thanks Brigit.
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