Mystic of the Month: Jake Morales
Jake Morales is the mastermind behind Tarot and Coffee, a tarot reading service based in Makati City. This month, we explore what goes on in the mind of a cartomancer and unravel the mystery behind tarot reading.
Totally unrelated to tarot, but we like to start by asking our featured mystic's sun + moon + rising sign.
I'm a Capricorn sun, Taurus moon, and Sagittarius rising.
Who or what influenced you to get into tarot reading?
I honestly never even thought of getting into it! But I had a close friend who was into New Age and mysticism. She was a practitioner of tarot, reiki, and pranic healing. At first, I was the querent, and we had some tarot sessions every once in a while, and I found these sessions to be quite meaningful. My friend felt that I could also do the same thing, so she gave me one of her tarot decks. She was a big influence, and as I got into the craft more, I appreciated it more.
At first, I mostly read exclusively for friends. I truly opened up the craft to wider access when I did a reading for a TV personality at a party.
Why do you think tarot reading has regained popularity lately?
It could be because people have become much more open-minded to a lot of things. We tend to wonder and think about the things that really matter to us. We love to ask and share about our happiness, dreams, hopes, fears, questions, and thoughts.
What is your personal favorite spread?
The Celtic Cross spread. It’s one of the most traditional spreads, and also one of the most in-depth. I really get to know the person more through the cards, which helps me establish some form of connection and understanding. It’s like divination and storytelling intertwined.
Do you read yourself? In which instances do you have your fortune read by someone else?
I have not read for myself in a long while. Just my personal choice not to, because I tend to give myself biased answers and messages. Although on random occasions, I pick a card, read it, and try to understand its message for me.
I do miss being on the other side of the table. I have my tarot session at least once in the middle of the year. It’s still a great experience to be the one being read. That’s exactly the reason why I’ve been looking for people to teach the craft to.
Are there any personal rituals you do before a reading?
I do a classic cleansing, where I place all of my tarot decks under direct moonlight when there’s a full moon. On most readings, before I start, I would have a short “conversation” with the deck by pulling some cards. It could give me its temperament at that moment.
Recently, I put on calming music before starting the session. Either the “Lo-Fi Beats” playlist by Spotify, or the track “Weightless” by Marconi Union, on loop. This would help calm the querent, especially if they are nervous. It also helps me focus as well.
Do you have a favorite deck/artist?
I currently own five decks. It’s still a tie between Stephanie Law and her Shadowscapes Tarot, and James Eads and his Prisma Visions Tarot. In terms of style, I tend to be attracted to elaborately designed themes. I also love minimalistic styles like Dark Exact and also medieval ones like Golden Tarot.
Some don't like having their decks touched, for fear of the cards being "tainted" by another person's energy. Do you believe in this?
I used to, but not as much anymore. More than for divination, I always like to believe that each of the cards in a tarot deck is a work of art to be appreciated. I usually let people look at the cards when they ask. As long as I take care and cleanse my tarot decks, I know it’s fine.
What other beliefs in the tarot practice do you adhere to (or don't believe in)?
In my 10 years of the craft, I’ve been helping to dispel some misconceptions about tarot. A lot of people still believe that tarot cards can give us a definite list of what’s going to happen in the future, and they take those answers literally. It shouldn't be like that at all.
Tarot can be viewed as a way to help us make sense of what’s happening in our lives and can help us take a look at what we are getting ourselves into. They also help us place a deeper, more profound meaning to the choices we’re thinking of making. They also help us take a look into our lives from a different perspective.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to aspiring tarot readers?
Be emotionally strong, but not overbearing. Be strong in the sense that you’re ready and proactive to understand the querent and where they are coming from. As tarot readers, we should always commit to help our querents find answers to their questions. We practice our craft because we should genuinely provide a different but much more meaningful perspective to things.