Reading Hangovers

Check out Frances' website! 

and sign up for her newsletter!

By Frances

I love reading for people. To me it is like unwrapping a present or solving a puzzle. Who is the person before me? How can I help them? Personal questions come to mind too like, Will I sink or swim? What energies will I be met with? Lately, I have added new questions to the mix, that never occurred to me before. What will be the after effects on me? What kind of hangover will I be saddled with and how long will it last? Will I be able to prevent it or release it quickly? This is where I find I am still navigating the waters and trying to find my way. My hangovers, like snowflakes, are never the same. It all depends on who I am reading, what combination of energies I absorb. They can leave me very dark, angry, irritable, sad, depressed and dark or completely drained, lethargic and out of it. When I do parties or charity functions, I rarely have a dark hangover but I do come home manic, bouncing off the walls and ready to binge on everything and anything in sight! The manic hangover would push me into a bingeing frenzy and the dark hangover would leave me so drained I had no energy to do much of anything, let alone workout! Since I began reading professionally I have gained a lot of weight and frankly I can't afford to gain another ounce. The titanium rods in my back are screaming at me! ;-) I had to get my control back!

This all came to light when I began reading at a new shop recently and while I was very excited to be back in that forum,  I experienced a mixture of emotions my first day back. The sun was shining and I was enjoying my drive but as I got closer to the city I started to feel upset. When I got to the bridge, I was hit with an overwhelming feeling of sadness. At first, I thought this was merely first day jitters or maybe I was picking up a future person's energy. No matter, I didn't have the luxury of being able to turn around so I steeled myself away. I meditated and I said a prayer of protection for myself and asked that I be able to help those that needed it and that the energy that I encountered be loving. I walked into the shop and it was such a lovely place, full of wonderful loving energy and radiant beings. I felt very welcome and comfortable, surely there was no reason for my choked up feeling earlier. I got myself ready for a day of reading. I was quite busy and I met all sorts of people and energies. Some of the people I met that day had formidable issues. There were extremes in emotions and troubles that varied in complexity. When I got home I was spent, bone tired. I was cranky, angry and depressed. I wanted to eat chips and junk food and drink Diet Coke and I wanted them in bulk! These feelings lasted for almost 48 hours! It wasn't good.

When the dust settled that first weekend, I set about to figure a way to avoid this in the future. The first clue was that in my private practice I rarely get hangovers. What was different? Many things. First and foremost I don't read for 5 hours straight, I have boundaries, I book my clients with space in between for me to recharge, they are rarely face to face and I am usually home in my comfort zone. Most of my clients are repeat clients and I know their energy, there are no surprises with them. We have a rapport. All of the elements are present when I am home, earth, air, fire and water. I do my readings in my kitchen under our skylight and with lots of windows around me. We have a water fountain with bell chimes, I light a candle and sage when I am reading. We also have a couple of cats who love to come around when I am reading.

My private readings are through e-mail, Skype or over the phone. I can do as many e-mail readings, back to back, as I want without ever feeling anything close to a hangover - dark or manic. It seems that when I am reading through e-mail I can tap into the person's energy at my own pace, much like you would dip a toe into the water. The person's energy never overwhelms or engulfs me. I can get in it but I am very much in control of how far I go and how long I stay. I can take my time. When I am reading over the phone, the intensity of the person's energy is much greater and less controllable. I have to work within the confines of the time allotted and that adds pressure. Skype and face to face readings add the element of being watched and as much as I try to distance myself from my ego when I read, I can't say I am successful all of the time. Sometimes I feel like a bug under a microscope. When reading I find more energy is not better.

Now that I had a starting point I needed to figure out how to get this working for me at the shop. I didn't want to limit my readings on Saturdays, rather, I needed to find a way to handle them. I have meditated off and on for years but recently I began meditating daily. I downloaded some guided meditation podcasts and some new age music and that has helped get me through it. This helps me stay centered. I walk or exercise daily. Sometimes, if the prospect of going to the gym fills me with dread, I put on some fast paced music and dance until I can't breathe. This helps me stay grounded. I keep track of how I am feeling and when I feel an imbalance I sage and release or I stretch. I stretch daily and do yoga when I can. I light candles daily and I make a wish.

On my way into the shop on Saturdays, I always envision white light around me. I also make my intentions. I pray that after I read for a person that their energy gets released into the ether and doesn't remain with me. I ask for people that want and will accept my help. I have my crystals on the table beside me. I always keep black obsidian, jet and tourmaline near me as well as yellow obsidian, aragonite, petrified wood, amethyst, rutilated, tourmalated and clear quartz.  I also keep sea salt and moon water near by. The shop sages often. I drink a lot of water and make sure I eat a protein rich/fat free meal beforehand.

In between readings, I get up and stretch and shake myself out.  I will walk around the shop and chat with people if I have some free time. When I am reading I pace myself, I take deep breaths and dive into the sitter's energy. My apprehension about jumping in and drowning is almost a thing of the past since I know how to effectively discharge afterward. In addition, I maintain the right to refuse to read anyone. It is upsetting to have to turn someone away but I have had to do this a few times. After I am finished reading for the day I walk a bit outside and drive home - both help to ground me. In the car, I envision releasing the extraneous energy and balancing my chakras. I get lost in my music. Sometimes I sing the lingering energy out of me! When I come home I always light a candle and sage. I hug my family including the cats and I make a strong effort not to binge. I drink a large glass of water and take some deep cleansing breaths. Weather permitting I will sit outside and soak up the sun or stars and moon. I take a shower with Sage soap. When all else fails and the energy persists, and it still does at times, I take a bath with sea salt and lavender and I listen to a guided meditation while I am soaking. When my garden is in bloom, I put fresh sprigs of lavender and rosemary in the bath. Lavender brings me peace.

My reading hangover is like barnacles on the bottom of a boat. The energies graft their way on me and the suffocate me. I must scrape them off any way I can, to clear my spirit. I find if I neglect to bring myself back to whole not only do I drag but my readings suffer.

All submissions are copyrighted by, and remain the property of their respective authors. 

Tarot Reflections is published by the American Tarot Association - Copyright (C) 2011

Questions? Comments? Contact us at