Friday, 22 October 2010

The Friday Interview: Vivianne Kacal

OK, it’s the Friday interview! Today’s is with Vivianne Kacal, who gives Tarot readings through her website, Kismet's Companion, and has recently started selling her own handmade soap on Folksy and Misi. Although Vivianne’s blog is tarot-themed and she talks about tarot, I didn’t realise she actually gave readings (I am very dim) for a while – when I realised, I had a reading done straight away (and it was very interesting and thorough, so if you are thinking of doing the same, I would highly recommend Vivianne. I also think it’s great that she has a code of ethics on her site). Anyway, I dabble a tiny bit in tarot myself (although I’m still very much a beginner), and I find the whole thing fascinating, so I was delighted when Vivianne agreed to be interviewed. Thanks Vivianne!
Vivianne with cards and a scary skull, eek
1. What drew you to Tarot initially?
Oooh, I don’t really know; there was a Fournier tarot deck in my flat, which I don’t even remember how it got there, or where it came from …so I started with that.

2. Why do you think Tarot readings are so perceptive?
Hmm. I think it has to do with how well the reader picks up – and then communicates to the querent – the nuances of the cards individually, and how they connect together in a particular spread; the more open to intuition the reader is, the more specific they can be – within the parameters and limits of the cards.
The world is a good one to get. The one you don't want is the tower. Unless you actually get it in a reading in which case, don't worry, it'll be fine (my opinion not Vivianne's! ;-) )
3. What would you recommend to someone new to Tarot who wanted to learn more?
I’d recommend joining an organization such as TABI (Tarot Association of the British Isles) – a community full of friendly and supportive people - and doing their free beginners’ course, which is based on Joan Bunnings’ ‘Learn the Tarot’ book. I’d also tell them to read any tarot book they can get their hands on, practice, read, practice …and then read and practice some more. I’d say to be wary of people charging tons of money, especially if/when you don’t know what you’re getting for your money; be wary of ‘diplomas’ and ‘degrees’ – there are no formal or official qualifications in tarot. 

4. Do you find using different Tarot spreads influences the reading? Do you have any favourite spreads, or artists?
Hmm …not so much that different spreads influence the reading, but that different spreads illuminate different aspects of the situation, depending on what the querent (person having the reading) wants to know. I like the traditional Celtic Cross spread for an overall view of what’s going on with someone, and I like to use a couple of 3 to 5 card spreads for fine detail and suggestions for moving forward. I developed two very specialized spreads dealing with bereavement – which the Australian Tarot Guild used in a recent weekend seminar, I’m proud to say - and divorce/separation. I’m very fond of Beth Seilonen’s work, although I don’t use her decks for working with, for me they’re ‘art’ decks; I like the Victorian engraving-based style of Baba Studio; and of course, Ciro Marchetti’s digital art is fabulous for detail and color.

I find actually that the deck used for the reading can influence the ‘tone’ or timbre of a reading: several readers have their own favorites for romance readings, say. If I have a querent who doesn’t choose the deck, I will select one based on their question. As regards ‘working’ decks, I like the Hudes deck for no-nonsense, smack-upside-the-head type readings; the Spiral tarot for romance questions, as its ‘voice’ is quite gentle; the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot is for my my comfy old slippers deck – I’ve had it for over 20 years, and its imagery is always the one I visualize in first; I like the Victorian Romantic for its slightly different angle on things; I like the Gilded tarot for the detail, which really kickstarts the intuition. I’m also quite fond of the Whimsical, which adds another layer of shorthand and/or metaphor to a reading….

5. You say on your site that Tarot can predict someone’s death. I thought this was very brave and straightforward, because I think often people gloss over this possibility. Is this as simple as the death card turning up in a reading, or is it much more complex and contextual? Would you always convey it to a client?
I’m glad you asked me this. It could be as simple as the Death card turning up in a reading, but it is more likely to be a combination of certain cards in certain positions in a spread; it might also depend on the question being asked. On one occasion, the querent asked for 1 card to be drawn, and the question was ‘where will I be in August ?’ I drew XIII Death; the person died in July. There was a background of recent ill-health, but at the time of the reading, nothing medically to indicate this outcome. [Note from me, my jaw dropped when reading this one, you can imagine!].

Conveying such information to a client is where things get really sticky, and one of the reasons why I am so focussed and soap-boxy about ethics: I strongly believe that not enough readers have considered this kind of question before they start reading for other people; I mean considered in terms of how they would handle it to/for the querent. There are a few ways of handling this, ranging from outright lies to blunt ‘saying it like it is’, and I think that which response is used depends both on the reader, the querent and the situation at the time.
The Celtic Cross spread, using the Gilded Tarot

6. How would you describe the kind of soap you make?
Fabulous, of course LOL ….I’ve been making soap for a couple of years now, and I feel like I’ve found my favorite formula – one which gives lots of creamy bubbles, a lovely rich lather and leaves my skin feeling clean without being ‘tight’ or dry.

7. Has making your own soap made you feel differently about commercial soap? Do you think handmade soap is better?
Yes, it has ! It got me educated about what’s actually in commercial soap – like animal fats (sodium tallowate is the official name) - which most of my veggie friends didn’t realize. I think handmade soap (by which I mean cold process or hot process soap, not melt & pour glycerin soap) is far better for the skin, because the humectant glycerin produced in the saponification process is retained, rather than removed as it is in commercial soap; also, the blend of different oils that can be used in CP soap can be adjusted to optimise various qualities such as lather, moisturizing, enriching, hardness, etc. I also really like the idea of supporting crafts and small businesses. We haven’t used commercial soap for a few years now… [Note from me. I'm going to bore you next week about the Chorleywood bread making process. Hooray! And it seems to me that commercial soap is to real soap as tesco value sliced white is to homemade bread].

8. Which of all the things you’re doing at the moment are you most excited about?
I am enthusiastic about everything I’m involved in – or else I wouldn’t be involved in it; life’s too short for me to be dragged down and under by stuff that either bores or irritates me (see my blogposts on housework); I just don’t see the point in wasting my time like that: and the older I get, the less tolerance I have for it…

Right now, I’m looking forward to getting to grips with the ‘techy’ side of selling – promoting my Misi and Folksy shops, working out how to streamline my tarot website further, perhaps linking my blog more immediately to my website, that kind of thing. I’m always excited about tarot – I’m nosy, so I love to read for people and find out about their lives, and if I can help is some way through tarot, then really, that’s a great feeling.


Thanks again Vivianne – I loved your answers and there’s lots to think about there (I’m going to be checking out TABI and the tarot decks you mention). Catch Vivianne on her tarot website, blog, or folksy or misi shops.

Have a nice weekend, everyone. I shall be spending mine hovering over my overlocker, grinding my teeth ;-). You all try and have more fun than me, though!


Anonymous said...

Found this interview very interesting :) I've been interested in tarot for quite a few years but it's never grabbed me as in reading for others, I just like my own being read. Oh, and the Aztec Queen soap is the bestest :D

Marushka C. said...

This is fascinating. I want to go get a reading and learn how to do my own.

bushwacker72 said...

Congrats Viv - you got me reading a blog post!