Why Can’t I Hear my Intuition?

I’ve been teaching my tarot course to a group for the first time ever. Before this I only taught one-on-one but it’s so nice to see how people learn in a group and I have been loving it.

One of the consistent questions that comes up very often is “Why can’t I hear my intuition?”.  Maybe you’ve said something like that yourself.  Or maybe you’ve looked at a professional reader and wondered how they do it.  How do they hear or see something?

Our instinct is always to try harder.  More effort will produce results.  If I just think harder, if I just meditate harder, if I just keep trying, I will make my intuition work by sheer force of will. 

Unfortunately this is the exact behavior that makes it so hard to hear our intuition.

We are conditioned to that.  We grow up believing hard work pays off and if we haven’t seen the results we want then we should just work harder.  It’s okay that our first instinct is to go to our trained behavior.

The truth is that it’s less effort that actually helps.  I think prayer is us asking a question to God, Source, The Universe, your higher self  (pick your fave) and meditation is listening for the answer.  Intuition is what happens in the middle.  When we start to relax, we are able to hear little impulses or messages coming through.

Our only job is to notice what comes up.

The reason it’s so hard for us to hear our intuition is because we are trained to ignore it.  We are trained from the time we are very young to outsource our wisdom.  We go to school and church. We learn from our parents.  All of that is really important.  What we miss out on is the ability to learn and experiment with what is best for us.  We aren’t taught to listen and to hear our own intuition.

I fully believe we can return to this inner hearing with a little guidance and practice.  So often what I’m doing in a tarot or Reiki session is validating what a client already knows intuitively.  They just need to hear someone confirm it so they don’t feel crazy.

If you think that you can’t hear your intuition, I promise that it doesn’t mean that you don’t have it or that it’s not talking to you. 

In fact, I bet I can prove it to you right now.  We are most aware of our intuition when it is trying to keep us safe.  So I bet you have had an experience that you couldn’t explain that goes something like this: You meet someone for the first time and just had a bad feeling about them right away. You don’t know anything about them but something just feels “off”.  They are perfectly nice to you and seem personable and normal. You immediately ignore it and just assume you’re being judgemental or jealous.

And what happens when we get those impulses? We start explaining them away.  Maybe I just saw something that looked off. Maybe it was a coincidence. Our brains are lazy and they want to logically explain things that don’t make sense away.

Maybe you start a friendship or relationship with that person only to find out, a short time later that they are actually manipulative or a liar, or even violent.  Then you blame yourself, for not knowing better because you had that “off” feeling early on and wouldn’t trust it.

So then we end up right back where we started – confused, not trusting our intuition, or just plain thinking we don’t have it.  And the cycle continues until we start to interrupt it and train ourselves to listen to and question those intuitive impulses.


This month I am opening the doors again to my High Priestess Embodiment Workshop that is a training entirely on how to connect to your intuition.  The High Priestess is the card that reminds us of our ability to connect to our intuition in any moment to find what’s best for us.  This workshop is entirely virtual and combines lecture, meditation, journaling and a mini yoga practice to help you get in touch with your own intuition.  You don’t need any tarot training or understanding as this is an intuition workshop.  If you are interested in learning more you can sign up for the waitlist here to be the first to know when the doors open.

Six Lessons from my First Year in a Spiritual Business

I can hardly believe it’s been a year since I left my corporate job and went full time with Star, Sage & Spirit. As much work as it is it does feel a bit like I blinked my eyes and year flew by. Hard to believe that I wrote my first big post over a year ago.  I was so scared to put it out there and just look at me now!

I am so proud of what I’ve done this year.  For the first time I can remember, I gave myself some time to rest.  I took a couple months over the summer to actually chill out.  For as long as I could remember, I was a person with multiple jobs.  Becoming my own boss allowed me the true luxury to have time to think about what I really wanted to be doing with my time and energy.  I am so grateful that I got to do that because I really needed it.

By the time the fall rolled around I was busier than I had ever been. October is a big time of year as a tarot reader but I really packed it in with a Spiritual Expo, a residency at Chaddsford Winery, workshops, speaking at two different events and yoga teacher training.

Over the past year I’ve done readings and treatments for hundreds of people, I’ve taught 300 + yoga classes, and quite a few workshops.  I also launched my first online workshop with my High Priestess Tarot Embodiment workshop back in February and my first course, Practical Tarot for Everyday Intuitives which just started this month.  I am so excited to be doing this work, and honestly happy that I already had the plans to take my work online this year.

Covid-19 threw a real wrench into my plans for the year in all realms of my business.  As much business as I do online, a lot of my clients are dealing with ongoing challenges to their finances, child-care, and exhaustion.

I am very grateful that I made a plan for my year back in December that already included getting more of my business online.  I don’t know what I would have done if I had to start from square one.  

I am also grateful for my community.  I have met so many other incredible soloprenuers this year and having that community back in my life has helped me feel more confident and less alone on this path.  I’m a social person and community support has been one of the most important things for my growth this year.  I have a wonderful community of friends who push me outside of my comfort zone and keep me accountable to myself.

This year has brought so many lessons for me and I wanted to share them today.  

Lesson 1: No matter how much you want someone to show you the path, everyone has to cut their own.  

No one has the exact blueprint for you, except for you.  This is a tough pill to swallow for people like myself who love to have a blueprint for how things are done.  

I wanted to know the right way.  I read books, did a lot of business and marketing training, but ultimately I’m the boss.  I have to decide how things work.

Sure, I’ve benefited from the help of other entrepreneurs and coaches, but largely when you work for yourself you have to be willing to adapt, let go of things that aren’t working.

Setting “work” hours was a simple and effective way to keep myself from losing my mind.  It sounds silly but I learned this back when I started working from home at my last job. I am the type of person who will just work always if I don’t set some boundaries on my time.  This kept me from scheduling clients at all hours and also forced me to step away from my work and do stuff for fun.

Lesson 2: You’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea.

Everyone has their own idea of how work is done.  This goes across fields but I think it’s especially present in my tarot work.  I spend A LOT of time taking apart the ideas and preconceived notions people have about tarot from religion and pop culture.

Some people come in expecting me to talk to their loved ones in spirit just because I’m a medium but in general I keep tarot separate from mediumship. To me they are two different channels.  Sometimes a spirit might pop in but for the most part when I’m doing a tarot reading I am tuning in to the energy of the person sitting in front of me.  I’ve had several people disappointed or frustrated because they don’t understand that being a medium isn’t just having a constant conversation with the other side.

I’ve learned to have more clear service descriptions and to enforce boundaries around that.  Some people handle this better than others, and I have to accept that some people will always feel entitled to more of my time and energy.  That is true no matter what job I’ve had.

However, the clarity that this has given me around my work has been invaluable.  I’ve spent this year crafting and reworking my offerings into something much more clear and refined and now the clients that I have are very aware of what they are buying and are open and present for the work.  I cannot understate how important this has been.

I was also fired from two different yoga studios over the past year.  Both of those were because I wasn’t willing to bend to the will of people who wanted to make more profit off of my hard work.  

I have always been a person that speaks up and asks questions when other people are afraid to. I don’t mind going first.  That said, going first is tough.  It often makes you the disrupter but I have made a point to always ask in a constructive way even when I understand.  I received some truly nasty feedback, but I also know that it’s not really about me and that helped me bounce back.

The moment you make peace with people not liking you, is the moment you are free.

At the end of the day, you are the person that needs to feel comfortable with the energy exchange no matter what the job is. When you worry about people liking you, or what they think, you stop valuing your work in an authentic way.

Lesson 3: You have to LOVE the work.

I love my work.  I have felt drawn to healing my whole life and it wasn’t until I found Reiki and energy work that it clicked.  

I also love watching things come together for people with tarot.  I often feel like I’m confirming thoughts or feelings my clients have and validating their own intuition.  Watching people grow and trust themselves more has been such a gift.  

This is also true with teaching tarot.  Watching students begin to understand how their intuition works for them, trusting themselves, and having tools to better advocate for their needs has been so rewarding.

Being true to keeping the love alive did mean taking a step away from mediumship this year.  While I do love the work and it has brought about profound transformation for me and others, It can also be very draining.  In particular with everything going on right now with covid-19 I’ve had to take a step away from this work.

It is hard for me to keep my vibration high and keep a clear connection to the other side when I’m experiencing a lot of fear myself.  It has also just been a very transitional time for A LOT of spirits which has made it difficult to hear through the noise.

Lesson 4: You have to be willing to shift over time.

(Insert COVID 19 joke here) Obviously this year has been one of having to let go of the formats we are used to and that has been true for many businesses.  One of the things I’ve realized with switching to so much customer facing time, is that I’ve needed to shift my expectations of myself.

I’ve spent most of my career sitting at a desk so this was a big adjustment and I underestimated how tiring it can be to stay present when you’re face to face with clients.  I’ve adjusted my schedule a lot.  I have also shifted my offerings and noticed how much I enjoy teaching.  It allows me to do the same things I do one on one but reach more people.  This wasn’t my original plan when I started a year ago but I have adjusted and really loved teaching and building community.

If there’s anything I’ve learned from all of my healing work it is how much we all truly have in common.  I hear similar struggles shared by so many clients and teaching in workshops, free training, and on online forums allow me to speak to these things that are so collective, and it helps us all feel less alone.  Especially when we are physically isolated.

Lesson 5: Walk Your Talk

If you’ve been reading the blog you have seen me posting all about how I use tarot in my business but there’s a lot more that I do to incorporate my work into everyday life.  I truly learn so much from my own spiritual practices that I work to share with students.  Teaching from experience keeps me grounded and accountable to keep up my own work.

I even did my own business year ahead spread to celebrate.  

Looks like the theme of the next year is going to be getting more clear about what I really want to be doing.  Getting more comfortable with boundary setting when it comes to my work and being more discerning about what still feels in alignment for me and what I might need to let go of.  I can still be a little guilty of doing a lot of free labor because I just want to help everyone so that’s been on my radar for a while.

I also see a greater opportunity to feel more stable. Although a lot changed this year and a lot of unexpected challenges came up, I think that I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t and how to give things up that aren’t working.  This year looks like it will give me an opportunity to set up greater structure which will hopefully save me time and energy.

I also have made a point to find support in the areas where I struggle.  So this year I’ve invested in some technology to make things easier and a tech support person for when I get stuck.  There’s tremendous value in saving myself that stress, even if it’s a bit of a stretch financially.

Lesson 6: Be afraid but do it anyway

This is maybe the most important lesson I’ve learned so far.  Growth only happens when you get outside of your comfort zone.  I’ve done a lot of uncomfortable things this year.  Putting myself out there on social media is scary.  It opens me up to criticism and it brings me face to face with imposter syndrome but in those moments where I’m most scared, I know there’s a lesson on the other side.  It’s usually not so scary once I actually do it.

I still have days when fear runs the show but they are fewer and farther between.

I am so grateful to be one year in.  I’ve learned so much.  I have the most incredible clients and students and I am so happy to be doing this work.  I also have an incredible group of fellow entrepreneurs who have offered advice and community to me and I’m very grateful for them as well.

I also wanted to give a shoutout to my partner, Mike.  He’s always here behind the scenes giving me hugs when I’m discouraged, editing my training videos and audio, and taking beautiful photos of me.  Thank you for supporting my vision, even when I’m not great at articulating it.

Finally, in honor of my one year anniversary and to thank all of the amazing clients and friends who have supported me this year, I am offering a FREE online workshop this Friday, May 22nd at 1PM ET in partnership with Healers Wanted.  My Lovers Card Tarot Embodiment workshop will teach a blueprint of how you can best advocate for the love and support you need in your life, not just from others, but also from yourself.  You can sign up here.

© Sheila Masterson 2020 All Rights Reserved

Tarot for Real Life – A Spread for Focus in Business

Last Week I covered how I use tarot for timing in my business.  Today I’m going to talk about how I use a simple three question spread to find focus when I’m feeling overstimulated or overwhelmed.  These aren’t gimmicks.  These are the real life spreads I use regularly.

Here is a picture of the spread:

Deck: Threads of Fate Tarot – The Weaver Tarot – Journeyer

I started by asking: Where should I direct my attention right now in my business? Eight of Coins.  You might recognize this one from last week since it also came up in my last spread.  I won’t get too into the weeds on explaining this because it’s higher level tarot stuff but it’s very relevant that the same card showed up in two different spreads about my business in the same day.

This card tells me that setting up sustainable systems and finding consistency in my daily work is most important right now.  This is interesting since I’ve been spending a lot of time recently trying to set myself up for long term success with a heavy time and energy investment now.  I’ve been working hard to break the habit of over-working and an addiction to business that I learned from sixteen years in corporate America.

My goal in leaving my corporate job was not to start my business and continue to work crazy hours and fill up any spare moment with more work.  That is a habit I formed from working my full-time day job and running my business on the side while also teaching yoga.  

This card is a reminder to set up a business that is individual to me and that it’s okay if it’s extra work on the front end to figure things out.  That work will give me the schedule that I want long term, in order to feel stable and nourished.

Next I asked: How will this area help me grow? Ruler Of Coins (King of Coins).  This card tells me that not only will it help me build longevity for my business but it was also help me develop consistent streams of income.  King of Coins is about doing the work to find abundance and a sense of structure and wealth.  This definition of wealth is not just about money, but also about wealth in different realms of life such as health, happiness, and relationships.  

So not only will doing this work help me structurally in my business, but it will also help my attitude toward my work and help my career be supportive of me having a life outside of work as well.  That’s what I need!

Finally, I asked where can I find support to move forward towards this stability: The Moon Reversed.  This card is a clear sign of needing support and encouragement to face my fears. The moon is all about shadow work and walking alongside your fear, rather than letting it run your life.   It gave me a good chuckle because I have been working with a group of lovely holistic entrepreneurs to help me with the launch of my first tarot course, and so much of what we do in the group is about talking through fears and breaking down limiting beliefs.  It is a place I already know that I find a lot of support in navigating imposter syndrome and talking through technology problems.

I know that the relationships I’ve built with these folks over the past three months will continue as we all continue to grow our businesses going forward.  I’m happy to know that this community will continue to be a reliable source of encouragement.

As you can see, this spread gives me clear direction on how to move forward, how those steps forward will help my business grow overall and where I can find support if I start to find myself derailed.  The spread answers my questions and gives me an actionable path forward and ways that I can navigate challenges if they arise.  

If you would like to learn to read tarot for yourself, my course, Practical Tarot for Everyday Intuitives, is a great way to get started.  This is a seven week tarot course that helps you go from tarot newbie to tarot-reading wiz by using my tarot-informed decision making method to tune into intuition and move from indecisive-procrastinator to confident decision-maker. Registration is only open until May 8th at 11:59PM ET and won’t be open again until the fall.  If you are being called to come home to your intuition and your own inner knowing this is a great place to start.  You can sign up here.

Also, a quick reminder that virtual tarot readings, distance reiki sessions, and gift certificates make a great socially-distant Mother’s Day gift. You can purchase them by booking through my scheduling tab or you can send me an email if you want it to be a surprise.

© Sheila Masterson 2020 All Rights Reserved

Tarot for Real Life- How I use Tarot in my Business for Timing

Last week on the blog, I talked about one of the most popular readings I do with my clients and how Decision Maker Readings help clients evaluate each option in front of them and make the best decision possible for them.

This week I wanted to talk about how I personally use tarot in my business.  To an outsider this seems like a wacky idea but I’ll give you a few examples of how tarot provides me with clarity when I’m making business decisions or overwhelmed by options.

My own practice with tarot is less about future prediction than it is about getting information about current circumstances.  I use it as a tool to interrupt the cycles of anxiety and overthinking that are common in my life.  They always have been there, but since going into business on my own, the cycle of anxiety has become a little bit worse at times.

With the current state of the world this is no different.  Tarot helps me shift my mindset and offers opportunities for me to be still and tune in to what I need most.

So how does this work?  I’m going to use a few spreads over the next couple weeks to show you.

This is the real deal.  It’s how I’ve made tarot my business super power.

I want to start with spreads for timing.  When I notice myself procrastinating making decisions or just generally putting off work that is giving me anxiety I like to sit down with my deck and do a reading on timing.

Right now I have a new offering that I am still in the development stage for.  I am extremely excited about it and because I will get super amped up and carried away this is a situation where I use my deck to come back down to earth and slow down.  Here is a picture of the spread I pulled.

Deck – Threads of Fate Tarot – The Weaver Tarot – Journeyer

I started off by asking what will pursuing this idea to add to my business.  The Four of Cups tells me that it will probably not be the solution to all of my problems but that it will add a different level of emotional satisfaction to my work.  It will help take some of the current burden off of me that I feel on a weekly basis. (It’s hard to go too into detail here because I am keeping this idea under wraps for now).

Then, I moved on to asking about when I should focus on developing it.  You’ll notice a line of cards here. I pulled one a month for the next few months.  With the eight of cups showing up right away in May, I can see that if I can really feel finished with the launch of my course and like I’m getting settled into a flow with things it might be a good time to start. June shows the wheel of fortune reversed which shows me that I might have trouble getting traction towards new ideas this month and that it’s probably not the best time to start something new.  Finally, in July with the eight of wands, I see where action meets opportunity.  This card is all about action that is in alignment with focus, and usually quick results.  

So It looks like May is an option but that I might not feel like I am really hitting my stride until July.  I also note that if i don’t have time to get started in May, to give myself some space and time to rest in June and not try to force it to happen then.

Finally I asked when I should release this new project.  This spread shows a very interesting spread.  Where on the line below I pulled the eight of cups and the eight of wands, I now have the ten of cups and the ten of wands.  I always notice progressive cards like this when they show up in a spread.  It’s also interesting to see the eight of pentacles.  That’s three eights in one spread!

Eight of pentacles is really about tending to the everyday background work that makes a project a success.  It’s not the fun stuff, but that which is necessary to build things.  So I see for one month after I start that I will be in creation mode.  Figuring out technology, systems to make things work.  

Then, two months after I start the project I would be in ten of cups reversed, a moment of reflection on how I can make this project more joyful and fun for me.  How can I make this sustainable and supportive with all the other work I do?  

Finally, the Ten of Wands tells me this will be more work than I anticipate on the front ends and that it will likely be a few months after I start developing it before it can really be out and ready to go.

All of this is information I use to make the best decisions for me.  I also put it into the context of what I’m doing in real life.  So I know that I am releasing my tarot course the first week of May.  I wouldn’t suddenly drop what I was doing and throw my full resources into something new just because the cards suggested it.  I use them to inform my timing and how I want to use my energy over the coming weeks.

Next week I will break down a spread that helps me adjust my energy and attention when I’m feeling overwhelmed by new ideas.  Stayed tuned.


In the meantime, if you want to know more about using tarot in daily life, please join me for my FREE Training, Tarot for Real Life – Get your Shit Together with the Tarot.  It is a FREE (YES 100% FREE) Three Part Live Training on The Top mistakes beginner tarot readers make, the neuroscience of why tarot is a great tool for interrupting the anxiety cycle, and the steps to start reading for yourself in everyday life. Part one took place on Friday 4/24, but you can watch the replay if you sign up now and you’ll catch the other parts later this week. You can sign up here

© Sheila Masterson 2020 All Rights Reserved

Tarot for Real Life – Navigating the Crossroads

What’s possible with a tarot reading?

I have been thinking about this a lot as I’ve been creating my first tarot course.  So many of my clients are brand new to tarot when we start working together. They’re introduction to tarot is usually through some of the common pop culture tropes that I spoke to in my last two blogs, detailing tarot in pop culture which you can read here and here if you missed them.

They don’t realize that tarot can help inform choices in your daily life, bring insights about your year, or act as a mirror to some of your deepest fears and anxieties.  Sure, tarot is a fun experience and it can be exciting and compelling to get a reading. However, tarot can also be functional in your everyday life.

Today, I want to talk about how I use tarot to navigate transition both personally and with clients. Using tarot as a tool for navigating transitions in career or personal life can provide insight that is invaluable.  It is also the most common theme among the readings I do.

People find themselves at a crossroads, unsure which option is best for them, or torn between what they know is best and what they feel obligated to do.  A Decision Maker Reading can help to start to tease those things apart.

In this type of reading, I look at the many different options available to the client.  I pull cards based on each possibility and we look at what they can learn from those possibilities. 

This is the reading I did when I was ready to leave my corporate job.  I knew it was time to leave but I had so much fear about leaving. I equate money to stability so the idea of giving up a corporate paycheck was insane to me.  I had a good job that provided a lot of autonomy and flexibility. I felt foolish for even considering letting it go. But I was also feeling a very strong pull to come out of the spiritual closet and start to share about what I had been experiencing for the past few years.  

I wanted to take my healing work full time and I was feeling a strong pull to do that.  Even with lots of signs that I was on the right track, though, I still felt unsure. I spent my entire career in corporate America and giving up all that hard work to go out on my own seemed kind of insane.

So I sat down with my deck and gave myself a reading.  I asked what I would experience if I stayed at my current job.  Then, I asked what I would experience going out on my own. Finally, I asked what I would experience if I found something part time to help me feel more stable as I started to grow my own business.  

Going out on my own full-time was the clear winner.  These type of readings aren’t really about getting a yes or no as much as they are letting you know what you will experience with each option.  

I was anxious and overwhelmed by how scary it felt to let go of the structure I had in my life and throw myself full force into my own business.  I never wanted to be a business owner. I never had a desire to live an entrepreneurial lifestyle. It seemed very stressful to me (sidenote: it can be at times).  But the cards also gave me insight into how I would feel.  

With this reading, I did take note of the Star showing up in this part of the spread telling me I was honing in on a career that would not only bring healing to the world, but also to myself.  I would be tending to my own wounds by helping others heal and grow. It showed strength and empowerment.

When I looked at staying at my old job, I pulled a lot of cards indicating burnout, resentment, and feeling undervalued.  I already knew that was how I was feeling in my heart, and I think I also knew that it wouldn’t change, but there was a small part of me holding onto the idea that I might be able to stay there and keep running my business on the side.

Logically I was drawn to finding some part time work while I started to run my business.  However, I could see clearly in the spread that I would end up feeling too burned out and overwhelmed by trying to manage another new job along with my work.  The cards were spelling out that it wouldn’t be much different than how I was feeling at my current day job, so why go somewhere else and struggle the same way for less benefits.

The spread showed me what was possible in each scenario. It validated what I was already feeling, and gave me specific information about each option.  It didn’t decide for me. I took that information and made a decision that I already felt intuitively drawn to. It validated my own intuition.

This is what I do with the Decision Maker spread with my clients.  They get to list out the many options at their crossroads and see where each path leads.  It’s not all about good or bad. Not every reading is so clear but you might see something like, the new job you were eyeing looks like your dream job, but if you took it you would have to do a lot of presentations and public speaking and you hate that.  The purpose of the spread is to show you that so you can reduce decision-making anxiety, and be as prepared as possible.

I see tarot as this mirror that provides a reflection of what is possible.  I love doing these readings and I am so excited to start teaching other people about these readings in my upcoming tarot course.  

Starting this Friday, April 24th at 3 PM ET I will be hosting a FREE three-part training called Tarot of Real Life: Get Your Shit Together with the Tarot.  This training will talk about the top three mistakes people make when starting to learn the tarot, discover the neuroscience behind how tarot helps with decision making, and learn the steps to start reading tarot quickly and effectively to manage anxiety and learn to trust yourself.  You can sign up for that free training here.  Or you can get on the waitlist for my Tarot Course, Practical Tarot for Everyday Intuitives here.

And of course, if you are at a crossroads and learning tarot is not your thing and you just want me to do it for you, you can sign up for a Decision Maker online reading you can do that here.  

© Sheila Masterson 2020 All Rights Reserved

Tarot in Pop Culture Part 2

The Netflix binge continued into week four of our quarantine here in Pennsylvania.  I figured I would make the most of it by bringing you more Tarot in Pop Culture.  

This week I watched Wine Country which Stars Maya Rudolph and Amy Poehler and came out a few months back.  

When it first came out, I had multiple friends reach out to ask if I was getting paid $475 per half hour for tarot parties.  No friends, sadly, I am not.

Wine Country tells the story of a group of friends who go for a trip to California Wine Country to celebrate one their 50th birthdays and to reconnect as friends.  Amy Poehler’s character has a tight itinerary for the entire weekend which includes tarot readings for the group.

The reader arrives and complains about how the house was not marked and then says “I’m a psychic, not Magellan.”  That gave me a good chuckle.

I find that frequently clients expect me to read their minds.  I should know why they are getting a reading but being psychic isn’t like I’m reading your mind.  Things don’t come in as clearly as we speak to each other as humans.

But I digress.

Anyway, Amy Poehler’s character greets Madame Sunshine, who comes into their rental house, immediately insults the space declaring she will have to “smudge the heck out of the space”.

Then she states that they need to go to a different room that is not “contaminated”.

The rules of social grace also apply to being a tarot reader. I would never walk into someones home and insult their space or the energy of their house.  I might notice if something was off but I wouldn’t through jabs at a host or hostess.

Then she finally sits down to read.

What I found most interesting about this is that she reads for each woman in front of the rest of the group.  She doesn’t ask any questions or get any insight as to what they want to focus on. She simple pulls a card and then starts reading.

As a rule, I try to keep readings at a party off to the side so that people can have privacy, since readings can tend to become very personal very quickly.  If I can be in a separate room, it’s even better because it allows the client to feel more comfortable opening up. I’ve given some really powerful readings in that type of environment, even though they are typically very short readings.

As a rule I try not to ever give a reading in front of other people, unless the sitter specifically requests it because you can’t be sure of what will come up and how comfortable they will be talking about it in public.

However, in a movie, I see how it can help for comedic effect and to move the plot along.

I also find it interesting that she pulls one card per person. You can certainly gain some insight from a single card pull but not nearly as much as with a few cards, and even with short readings you can usually find enough time to pull at least three cards.

The second sitter who come up for her reading asks Madam Sunshine a question, which she ignores and just continues her reading.  Not only is this rude, but it’s also a no-no. Questions are like the filter you put the card through, so if the sitter has a specific question in mind it can completely change the meaning of the card.  That’s why I always offer clients the opportunity to pick a topic or a specific question at the beginning of their reading.

Then, she pulls the Death card.  She reads it as transformation and metamorphosis and I was thinking “Finally, a movie that actually doesn’t use the old death card = death trope”…but I thought too soon.  In the next breath says, “But it can also mean death is coming.”

By the time, she gets around the group reading, the women are all so freaked out and discouraged they tell her not to bother.  She pulls the cards, looks at them and says, “Yeah, you’re right, nevermind.” This sends the group into a panic asking what it says and is it bad.

This part puzzled me because she pulled the Seven of Cups, The Four of Wands, and Temperance.  She tells them they surround themselves with battles, that they have been intertwined and dueling for thousands of years, and that they need to shed their tough shells that have built up over time if they are going to remain friends.  There’s a lot of secrets. Finally she says, “From one old lady to another, get over your shit, cause it is later than you think. That will be $475.”

I would have read that same spread as trying to fit too much into a short period of time, a message to focus on quality time, not quantity and to focus on the moment of connection, and try to stay present with each other.  There’s healing to be found in our connection with our friends if we can get over the pettiness that keeps you bickering. Bring your focus back to the strengths in your relationships and what brought you together in the first place.

As for getting paid $475 for a half hour reading…I laughed out loud.  Sadly, that is not my rate right now, but I did get a kick out of it.

Overall I found this representation to be pretty typical for hollywood.  I was a little disappointed but I also recognize where it is a convenient plot point to stir up tension between the friends and also added a certain level of comedic effect.  And of course, it’s important to approach readings with a sense of humor, so I suppose they nailed that.

If you are interested in a tarot party, I am currently offering online tarot parties as an option for a fun socially-distant night in with friends.  I allow clients to hang out in the virtual zoom room and chat with each other, while I do readings in a separate breakout room where I do the individual readings.  You can email me sheila@starsagespirit.com to book now.  

© Sheila Masterson 2020 All Rights Reserved

Tarot in Pop Culture Part 1

Since we have been stuck at home for a while now I have been getting deep into my Netflix queue and catching back on both some good and bad shows.  Among those I was long overdo to watch was the last season of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina on Netflix. 

And there, early in season two (Season 2 Episode 4 to be exact)  an episode featuring a tarot reader. I was thrilled to see what kind of portrayal this show would offer.  I find the perception of tarot in pop culture to be interesting. Over and over in older movies or scary movies, there’s this trope of an old, haggard-looking reader who pulls the Death card and predicts the death of our beloved characters.  I wanted to tease out a couple of recent references of tarot in the media to explore what is accurate and inaccurate about these portrayals.  

In this episode, a mysterious Tarot reader arrives at Dr Serberous’ House of Horrors seemingly out of nowhere.  She rushes in from the rain and asks if she could give some readings.  

A few moments later, Sabrina arrives, and is offered a reading which she skeptically decides to sit in for. The reader draws the magician card and says that he’s a handsome trickster that few women can resist.  Then she draws the 3 of swords and the tower reversed.

Sabrina is transported into a daydream/alternate world where she suspects her boyfriend, Nick, might still be seeing his exes or sharing private information about their relationship with those same exes.  In a fit of frustration she refuses to be his assistant in his magic show act for the school talent show. However when the talent show comes, her jealousy gets the best of her again and she volunteers to be an assistant for his last trick.  The trick makes her float in the air on her own, which is at first exciting. Then, one of Nick’s exes increases the power of the spell and she keeps floating up, through the roof of the school, and through the atmosphere until she’s floating through space, frozen solid.

We are taken back to the present moment where a stunned Sabrina says to the tarot reader, “That’s not actually going to happen, is it? I’m not going to freeze to death in outer space?”

“We don’t read the cards, child, the cards read us.  They whisper secret truths. In this case it’s not the boy you need to fear.  Believe your trickster and him alone. You need not fear the dark path…”

Next, Sabrina’s friend Theo sits down for a reading.  The readers pulls the Knight of Swords and The Wheel of Fortune and Theo is transported into a daydream/alternate reality.  Theo, who also happens to speak and communicate with spirits, gets advice from an ancestor to use the magic that Sabrina’s family has access to, to help him fully transition into his truest form.

In the middle of the night, he sneaks into the Spellman house, finds a spell to help with gender transition and completes it on his own.  When he wakes in the morning, he is finally in the body that aligns with how he feels and he is thrilled. By the end of the day, things have taken a terrifying shift, as he discovers that a side-effect of the spell has started to turn his body into a tree.

When he comes back to the present moment with the reader, she advises him that it’s a warning to not try to do everything on his own, and to reach out for help early on, to get the support he needs with the process.

The cut-away daydreams are a pretty dramatic representation of a reading but this whole episode, as character after character gets their readings, we see how the cards are just presenting information about what we might experience if we follow a particular path.  The characters get insight into their fears and what might be clouding their perceptions. They also get advice that reinforces what they already know in their hearts.  

Sabrina gets reminded that lying once doesn’t mean that person is always a liar.  Theo learns that he has the love and support of a lot of people who want to see him get what he wants but in a safe and supported way.  And each of the rest of the characters get their concerns validated while also getting some direction and confirmation of their own intuitive hunches.

I really appreciated this representation of the tarot.  The show itself goes through a bit of a spookier, creepier lense but in general the way that tarot is presented is more in line with my reading style.

No, I don’t transport my clients to an alternate reality where their worst fears play out.  What I do see is that so many clients come in with very real fear in their hearts. They want guidance, and often they are afraid they will hear that their greatest fear will come true.  

I’ve had several people tell me they aren’t ready for a reading yet because they aren’t prepared to hear what they might be fearing.  (I even have people who are nervous to be around me now because they are afraid I’m going to “sense” something about them that they might not want me to.)  

There’s a lot of wisdom in waiting to have a reading until you can be totally open.  I find that the best readings come from clients being really willing to question their desired outcome.  Often, we are missing some part of the bigger picture and tarot offers the opportunity to focus on that.

What I particularly liked is that the reader in this episode didn’t tell the characters what to do, but offered them information to inform their decisions.  This is something I have always said. Tarot is about getting more information to inform your decisions, not about the cards or the reader making the decision for you.  It is a practice in empowerment.

The whole thing is ruined a bit by the reader having an agenda in each of the readings she gives.  Good tarot really involves removing your own opinion and ego from the equation, but as far as everything I’ve seen in movies and TV shows this wasn’t too bad.

Overall I found this episode to be accurate in its portrayal of tarot.  I do wish we could do without the old, haggard, lady-in a-turban trope and the idea of tarot only being done in a creepy environment.  However, in terms of how tarot is typically portrayed in the media, I really liked this use of the cards to move the plot along and offer each character insight into their concerns, even if the show is cheesy.

© Sheila Masterson 2020 All Rights Reserved

Enforcing Boundaries in Emotional Times

The past two weeks have been very emotional and anxious for so many of us around the world.  For just over two weeks now we have been staying home to try to stop the spread of Covid-19 in our local community.  

For me, staying at home is no big deal.  I have been working from home for about four years now so having to spend a little more time at home doesn’t affect my day much.

The biggest adjustment has been taking my yoga classes online. It’s a challenge to practice and teach at the same time, along with the technological challenge of making sure everything is connected and working right and that everyone can hear you.  I also miss seeing my students in person and getting that personal connection.

In terms of the rest of my work, I was already doing about half of my business online, and I just started teaching online workshops and courses this year, so it was already in my plan to continue.  Most of this is just happening faster than I was initially anticipating, but again, I am fortunate to be in a pretty good situation in terms of my understanding of technology, and already having a plan in place to start teaching a tarot course in the spring.  I am grateful that I planned my year out this year and for having so much support from my community.

I have seen a lot of my healer and yoga teacher friends struggling with how to support their community, process their own stress and grief, and reset boundaries for their work.  This is hard work.  

As a collective, we have a tendency to be very achievement oriented. We want to take action.  We want to help as many people as we can. We feel like we should say yes to everything and everyone who asks us for something. I’ve watched a lot of my peers put a ton of pressure to show up in the same way, or even more often, to try to help their communities process complex emotions.

For me that has looked like shifting my hours to accommodate clients who are home with their kids all day and making more evening hours available, adding a some more accessible reading options, and  popping on Instagram live for yoga classes and mini-tarot lessons. All of these are choices I have made to support my clients and community and I have been able to balance them with being kind to my own brain and body.

It’s times like these and that community can be a refuge for us in our isolation.  I am lucky to have so many wonderful supportive clients who have reached out and a lot of entrepreneur friends who offer advice and perspective.

Several of you have reached out to me because you saw that I dropped off the schedule at one of the yoga studios I have been with for almost four years.  I wanted to take a moment to talk about this and about setting boundaries.

First of all, I am very disappointed to say that I was fired this past week. I’m sad not to be a part of this community anymore, but I have every intention of staying present and showing up for my students at the same times for as long as I can.  So many of you have graciously made donations or sent kind words to encourage me to keep doing that and I can’t thank you enough.  

I have been struggling along with you, worried about friends and family, and my sister who is a nurse working in the Covid-19 unit in her hospital.  Things like this have a tremendous long term affect both physically and mentally on the front-line healthcare workers. I have been feeling that deep grief and anxiety that so many of you have been feeling right along with you.

Showing up to teach when you aren’t feeling yourself, is part of the territory for yoga teachers and I have been doing it for years with my students.  Even last week, teaching classes was a refuge for me.

Through my entire teaching career I have noticed a lot of studio owners feel entitled to free labor, idea sharing, and emotional labor from their employees.  Teachers are expected to act as front desk person, sales person, and all while being present available for students. This hasn’t been true at every studio I’ve taught for but it has been true for quite a few of them.

Let me be clear.  You are not required to give your work and energy away for free, no matter what field you are in..  If you want to and you feel called to, by all means, share your gift.  

But if someone is pressuring you into doing it, or implying that you’re ungrateful, selfish, or greedy if you don’t, that person is a bully and a manipulator. They don’t deserve your time or energy.

Being a yoga teacher is rich in rewards, though it’s hardly an easy way to make a living.  If you teach yoga, odds are you do it largely for the love of teaching yoga and this is absolutely true for me.  I love this work more than I can express.

So this week when I asked a question in the studio’s teachers forum about the new teaching format and was met with contempt by the studio owner I was confused.  For a week and half, I taught free classes on the studio Instagram page, for which the studio owner paid nothing, but the students who took the class made donations.  I’m extremely grateful for those donations and to have the privilege to still serve the community that I’ve grown with over the past four years.

That was not the end of it. 

I received a scathing email from the studio owner two days later, firing me for “stirring the pot” and “calling her out” in front of the staff. I was extremely frustrated.  I have compassion for people who are struggling and for all small business owners but this decision was emotional, aggressive, and entitled.

This studio owner felt entitled to labor that she wasn’t paying for.  She felt that I should be grateful for what she was providing and be quiet.  To be clear, I simply asked one question for clarification. I didn’t push the issue and I didn’t ask anything additional.  I wanted to have all the information before deciding if I could continue to teach in that format because unfortunately, I don’t have the privilege to afford to teach for free right now, even if I would like to.

I sent her a compassionate response because her cruelty suggested to me that she was feeling a lot of anxiety and was probably much harder on herself than she was being on me.  Then, I forwarded it onto the rest of the teachers at that studio so that they would have full transparency. I wanted to let them know if they had their own feelings about it, they wouldn’t be the first to share them with her.

It makes me sad that I won’t be a part of the community anymore, but this year I have been learning a lot about stepping into my worth and really valuing my time and effort.  I have been teaching for five years now, and it’s time. The hardest part of that journey for me has been all about setting boundaries and this was an important lesson. I am mourning the end of this phase of my teaching and the community that I have been a part of for so long.

I do know that these choices and boundaries are important for me and every other healer and teacher out there.  This is how we advocate for ourselves and when you take care of yourself, you have more energy to give to other people.

So, I am looking at all of you out there who are feeling exhausted and burned out right now.  Relieve yourself of the notion that you owe anyone more than your best in any given moment. Give yourself permission to feel however you do and to let go of anything that isn’t serving you, whether it’s a class, a client, or a schedule that you have been holding on to.

It is okay to allow things to shift and change right now.  Take this opportunity to take sweet care of yourself. If you are struggling right now and need support, I will still be teaching live on my Instagram.   I will also be adding some DIY tarot spreads and mini-lessons on how to read for yourself. Finally, you can download a free meditation for easing anxiety, clearing out your energy, and maintaining your own energetic boundaries to help you navigate this health crisis here.


© Sheila Masterson 2020 All Rights Reserved

How to Keep Going in Business When you Feel Discouraged

I actually wrote this blog at the beginning of last week, before everything changed so drastically.  It’s even more appropriate now that so many different entrepreneurs and self-employed folks are having to majorly adjust the way they do business to try to survive in lean times.  

This week I watched as all the local yoga studios in the area began to close their doors. I talked to friends, students, and personal clients of mine who were experiencing intense anxiety to balance safety, sanity, and still keep the lights on.  It is a hard choice to make because I know for myself and so many of my teacher friends, we all feel tremendous guilt letting our students down. And those of us who teach full time also have a lot of fear about how to make ends meet in the meantime. 

It’s all really perfect timing because I have been working specifically on my Moon Card Tarot Embodiment workshop.  Last weekend I did this workshop all about the Moon card and working with your shadow. The class was about facing the scary emotional things that we try to breeze over.  It’s about the end to spiritual-bypassing and the beginning of radical honesty. It’s about learning to sit with discomfort, and make no mistake, my friend, these are VERY uncomfortable times. 

The fear and anxiety are very real.  This kind of disaster brings up major base level, root chakra issues of safety security, health, and financial freedom.  People are feeling fear on a lot of fronts and while I planned this class back in the fall for Pisces season because the Moon Card is the tarot card for Pisces, it couldn’t have come at a better time.

I’ve been dealing with my own brand of shadow work lately.  Sharing yourself in a public way, on the internet can open you up to criticism and imposter-syndrome and I’ve been dealing with a bit of both.  It’s okay. I’m a tough cookie, but I did want to talk a little bit today about how to navigate working for yourself when you feel discouraged.

I’ve learned so much about the importance of community over the past few months.  I’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating: working for yourself full-time can be very lonely.  You don’t have a tech support team, or people to brainstorm with, and you don’t have anyone patting you on the back when you do a good job.

Since I started teaching yoga I’ve had a deep appreciation of community.  It helped me get on my feet when I was a new teacher and I continue to feel supported by so many of my teachers friends.  I feel it especially during times like these when we are all feeling the crunch.

I’ve also seen how wonderful community has been for our yoga teacher trainees with our first teacher training this year.  Our students really stepped up and supported each other in the kindest ways as they began teaching and finding their own voices.  They continue to do so even after they have all graduated and are getting out on their own and it’s so amazing to watch.

In December, I participated in a virtual business planning retreat for female entrepreneurs.  During the retreat I had a chance to bond with so many amazing women from so many different industries.  It was a wonderful opportunity to brainstorm problems and get new ideas and support through the community.  I also have a new entrepreneur buddy, Megan, who is an audiobook narrator, and who I chat with every week about how we are doing with hitting our weekly goals.

For the past month and a half I have been in an incubator program with eleven other awesome witchy, creators.  The purpose of the program is to break through mental blocks and limiting beliefs, and to give us a practical pathway to follow to create our first program launch.

I have been working really hard on my first tarot course and it’s brought up a lot of imposter syndrome and internal stories.  I tell myself the market is saturated. So many other programs already exists. Who am I to teach? Can I even teach something that came so naturally to me?

My coach, Sarah, and her community have allowed me to ask these questions and show up with an undefended heart for feedback and constructive criticism.  The program has also allowed me to participate in others’ success and cheer on my peers while they are doing their own deeply vulnerable work. Every victory for them feels like one of my own.

So I wanted to write this today as an ode to everyone in my community and all those who have been a listening ear to me so far, all those who have reached out over the past week, and all those who will reach out in the future.  I am lucky to have each and every one of you in my life.

And if you are a budding entrepreneur starting your business in the wake of a global pandemic and looking for support and community, don’t hesitate to reach out and find your own group of like-minded friends.  It’s impossible to understand the value of having someone who understands your struggle, listens intently, and offers feedback until you experience it. There are tons of facebook communities, instagram friends, local community groups.  Find your people and don’t be shy. You never know who will be able to help you out when you’re feeling down or who you will be able to help out.

If you are looking for ways to support me during this time, I will be offering live yoga classes online via the studios I teach at and my own instagram (@starsagespirit) and facebook.  I also offer tarot readings and distance reiki via videochat and I am extending my hours to accommodate In addition, if you missed my moon card class yesterday you can send me an email and if you will provide a donation, I will send you the link to watch the replay.  

I am also doing an online spring equinox workshop this weekend, Saturday, March 21 from 11am-1PM.  This workshop will welcome in the new season with a half vinyasa, half restorative yoga flow, intention setting for the new season, and a healing guided meditation to provide healing and stress relief. Yoga is a wonderful way to get back in touch with your body and to help you feel more grounded and peaceful during this time of heightened stress.  You can sign up here.

10% of the proceeds from both workshops will also be donated to the Aim High Studio Food Kitchen in Collegeville, PA to help them serve and nurture my local community in Montgomery County, PA in this challenging time for so many less fortunate families.

I will be updating more throughout the week so be sure to keep an eye out for more online offerings to help you from going stir crazy.  Stay healthy and safe out there.


© Sheila Masterson 2020 All Rights Reserved

What Happens During a Reiki Session?

I get this question a lot.  Most people don’t quite understand what Reiki is and to be honest, even at the Master teacher level it can be a challenge to put words to what the experience is really like.

Every session is a little bit different but I have a general format that I follow with new clients.  My first-time client session is usually around 90 minutes.

When clients book they fill out an intake form that has questions about their health history and any current symptoms or issues they are dealing with.  I always review this information before the session so I know what to expect.

When the client comes in I start by having a conversation with them about their current energy level, mood, sleep, and emotional well-being.  From there, we talk about any goals the client might have for their session. Sometimes these are simple things like managing anxiety, or helping with better sleep.

Other times, they are more complex like dealing with anxiety from complex childhood trauma, or working through IVF and fertility issues.  The conversation we have at the beginning of the session sets the tone. From there the client gets on the table (just a massage table).

I take a moment to clear my energy and the room.  One of the hazards of being a medium is that I have to clear the energy in the room when I’m doing any work.  Then I put up extra energetic protection so that I don’t have spirits walking in and out of my space while I’m working.

(Fun sidenote: When I first got certified after my Reiki II attunement I described the feeling of spirits walking in and out of the room thinking that this was normal.  That was one of the signs that made it obvious to him that I was a medium but I was totally oblivious. He didn’t tell me any of this until I came around to the realization on my own because he didn’t want to freak me out and he could see I was already on edge enough)

This energetic shield that I create will allow healing energy in as well as any guides, angels, or ancestors of mine or my client’s.  It will also keep out any looky-loo spirits that are just curious about what’s going on. (yes, this is a serious thing that happens)

Then I start by scanning the clients aura with my hands.  Auras are the energetic field around the body and can be really big but usually they are most concentrated within 8 inches of the body.  As I scan my hands along sometimes I will notice some sticky spots. All practitioners describe this differently, but to me it usually feels like when you have a little chip in your finger nail and it keeps snagging on fabrics.  It’s the same sensation.

Then, I check in on each of the chakras.  These are the seven main energy centers of the body.  There are many more chakras, but those are the main seven I deal with from the root through the crown.  As a society we tend to live between our heart chakra and our crown. We are constantly looking at things – computers, phones, the TV.  We spend a lot of time in our heads. We spend less time walking, moving our bodies, and being active. Even those of us who live active lifestyles typically still have sedentary jobs.

So usually I work to help balance the energy from the upper chakras and bring some of that excess energy down into the sacral and root chakras.

Then I go through a combination of Kundalini and Usui Reiki treatments.  I describe Usui Reiki as healing for the physical body, the emotional body, and issues from this lifetime.  Kundalini Reiki is more of karmic healing, so it deals with issues of identity, karmic ties, behavior patterns, and past lifetimes.

Once I feel like I’ve dealt with the physical and emotional issues coming up for the client, I will do a treatment called Past Life Reiki.

Two years ago when I started with this treatment I could feel the energy moving and was aware that things were shifting but I was never completely aware of what was happening.  However, after a few months of doing it I started to see people’s past lifetimes almost like watching a movie.  

Now I just let these lifetimes come up and watch them from start to finish, describing what I see with clients.  At the end of each lifetime I will do a prayer for separating the client from that lifetime and sending healing and forgiveness back to the client in the lifetime.  This can bring about very emotional and sometimes even physical reactions from the client as any trauma or pain is released. Then, I wait to see if there is another lifetime.  In any given session I might see between two and four lifetimes. (I will do another blog more about past lifetimes.)

Once we’ve gone through this healing I will move on to healing any karmic ties they might have.  This treatment is usually informed by the past life treatment. So typically there is a theme to the lifetimes that came up that is frequently present in their current lifetime as well.  This treatment help to heal karmic ties to certain people, certain roles in life, and certain behaviors including addictions.

Finally, I will go back through each chakra and see how the energy is moving through their field.  Once I’m certain everything is balanced, I will do one final blessing, inviting in any ancestral or angelic blessings to close out the session.

I also keep notes on my clients, particularly their past lifetimes so we can keep track of their progress over time.

I feel so fortunate and lucky to be doing this work and of all the things I do, reiki seems the most like home to me.  I took to it very naturally, as if I had been doing it forever. I love seeing how my clients feel after a session. I’ve had clients who have made major emotional leaps and strides. I’ve worked with a lot of women dealing with fertility issues who were struggling with anxiety and guilt and who were able to overcome and get pregnant.  

I feel like this work is what I was meant to do and I love seeing people make peace with their past and ease their anxiety.  For me, Reiki has been such rewarding work and I love doing it. I’m hoping to start teaching this year and I’ve recently opened up my distance Reiki offerings as well.


Hopefully that gives you a little more insight on what to expect.  If you want to schedule a session you can pop over to my booking page to schedule here.

© Sheila Masterson 2020 All Rights Reserved