I’ve been into astrology since my early 20s. Graduating into a recession, I struggled to gain a foothold as I went on what seemed like an endless job search to land a gig in the writing and editing field. So I turned to astrology almost haphazardly for guidance and realized along the way that it was a foolproof way to get to know and accept myself.
I’m not the only one. The occult is having a moment right now and is becoming a point of interest for millennials who are turning to spiritual practice and self-care in times of precarity and political turbulence.
It’s no wonder I was curious about the path of Liz Worth, a former journalist and non-profit writer who is currently a tarot reader, astrologer and author. She launched her own business full-time almost three years ago and now writes horoscopes for FLARE magazine. She also recently published a book of poetry, The Truth is Told Better This Way.
I sat down with Liz to learn more about how to make the transition from a rational, male-dominated, “thinking” field into a field that’s more feminine-“feeling” and intuitive.
Erin: You started your career as a writer and journalist. What made you decide to pursue tarot as a career?
Liz: I never planned to do tarot professionally, it just sort of happened. I had always been interested in the occult, divination and the esoteric. When I was in my 20s I decided to pursue a journalism career and was also dedicated to creative writing. I really put my aspirations at the top of my priority list, but in the process I had put other things off to the side, and I didn’t really have a spiritual practice or a path of any kind anymore. I definitely felt like I was missing something.
So I went to see an astrologer, and he said that I should do tarot because I had certain things in my chart that might lend themselves to that type of work. I got a tarot deck, but wasn’t thinking this was something to do as a career. It was a very personal thing. My friends knew [about it] and I did practice-readings on them when I was starting out. As the years went on, I had more opportunities to do readings. It was a really slow build. Some of my friends started asking me to do parties and book launches and things like that, so I started reading for other people in those types of spaces at first.
When did you realize that you could become a full-time tarot reader and entrepreneur?
What pushed me into creating a full-time business was that I working at a non-profit for 4 years, and then I lost my job. I had felt change was in the air for me. I was really being drawn into tarot, so I thought I’d really like to build a tarot business but couldn’t figure out how I’d have the time to actually make it happen. I made this promise to myself that I’d figure it out. A month after that, I lost my job and I thought, this is the time to make this happen.
Was it easy for you to change careers?
It was really hard to move on from journalism, though tarot wasn’t my exit out of that. I was working in the non-profit industry and that was my exit out of journalism. It’s difficult to go from a space where your name is out there on a regular basis, and you can write things and feel like they make an impact on people. There’s something about journalism that can feel very fast-moving, and when you’re a writer, or when you’re working in the arts, it’s addictive to have that audience at your fingertips. In a lot of ways I felt like I had to move away from journalism almost because of that.
That was harder than getting into tarot, because when I got into tarot it just felt natural and right. If I was going to do something that was less about ego and more about service, then that was the way to do it rather than working at a charitable organization.
How do you become a tarot reader or astrologer?
I don’t think you have to have formal training to work in the art of divination. There are a few programs that offer certification but this is something that is self-taught in a lot of ways. You can take classes on how to read cards, but no one can teach you to trust your intuition.
You also have to develop your own style in synthesizing the information that you see and relating it back to the person in front of you. What works for one person in your delivery might not work for someone else.
For anyone who’s trying to learn any kind of divination, it can be helpful to have a mix — learn from others but also learn to trust yourself. At the end of the day, when you’re reading for someone, no one is going to tell you that you did it right or you did a good job. It’s really between you and the person you’re reading for, so you have to feel confident in your abilities.
How can tarot or astrology help someone make a choice or get out of a rut in their lives?
In terms of finding advice from something like tarot, it can help to go to the cards and ask: What can I expect if I stay on the path that I’m on right now? What can I expect if I change? What’s blocking me from making this decision overall? What are some gifts I can bring forward? What is part of my potential in this lifetime? What should I focus on right now?
I really think that we’re meant to go through all these lessons in life. They can show up for you in many different ways, but you can also decide what that looks like for you, too. What scares a lot of people about tarot and astrology is that it makes them feel like they don’t have free will, but a lot of the time, you do.
When I worked in a non-profit, I definitely felt I was stuck. I wasn’t used to that feeling. I’ve always been someone who did whatever I wanted. I was used to being free, being self-employed, feeling creative in a space with other people who felt the same. I kind of dug myself in this hole and there was no turning back.
I thought I was too far away from the freelance life I used to have. I thought, “I can’t get back to that. I don’t want to stay on this path anymore because I feel like it’s killing me. I don’t want to work in an office ever again.” So I thought, what do I do here?
Sometimes I had that feeling to stick it out for a while, and sometimes it’s important to listen to what else is coming up. Something just kept telling me to wait a little bit longer. Eventually, the answer did come. Sometimes you have to trust in your own timing, even if it’s a bit uncomfortable to hang out where you’re at.
about erin pehlivan, contributor
Photo via LizWorth.com