By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Dec 19, 2010 at 1:01 PM

For centuries, people have been bewitched by tarot cards. It is uncertain when or where the most common, 78-card deck originated, but some believe the cards reveal the human condition and, if studied, can lead one to self  discovery and eventual awareness.

Some tarot enthusiasts, like Milwaukee’s Theresa Reed, take the tarot deck a step further and share their skills and abilities with others. Reed is a full-time tarot card reader who offers services both online, over the phone and in her Milwaukee-based office.

Reed believes psychics are about 80 percent accurate and that anyone can develop their psychic abilities.

"As far as learning to read tarot cards, anyone can learn the meanings of the cards, but if you are not tuned in to your intuition, it is like playing an instrument without a sense of rhythm.," says Reed.

Recently, chatted with Reed about all things tarot and found out more about the mysterious cards and why they are sometimes misunderstood. How did you get into tarot card reading?

Theresa Reed:  I got into tarot at a very young age.  When I was a teenager, I had a friend who had an unusual  mother.  She was a therapist but she also did astrology.  She cast my chart and I was amazed at her insights.  I started studying astrology after that but one day came across a tarot deck at a bookstore.  I bought it, started playing around with it and was instantly hooked.  And my career slowly evolved from there.

OMC: Is this your main gig? What other services do you offer?

TR:  Yes, I work full time as a tarot reader.  I also teach yoga on the side.  I'm very passionate about yoga and feel that everyone could benefit from it.  Not just physically - yoga is extremely good for the mind and the spirit.  I have other little projects that I do as well: I teach social media to women and also mentor other tarot readers.  In case you didn't guess, I am a bit of a workaholic.  I don't like to sit still and need to be always doing something.

OMC: How many tarot card readings do you give per week? Why do people seek tarot card readings?

TR:  That is hard to say. I work four days a week and it varies.  People seek tarot readings for various reasons. For example, they may be seeking clarity on a specific issue.  Or they may want to know what is coming down the road.  Some are going through a difficult time and looking for guidance.  And then there are people who like getting a tarot reading because it is fun!

OMC: Why are some people freaked out about tarot cards? Is it because of the Death card and the Devil card? What are your thoughts on these two cards in particular?

TR:  There are many reasons why people get freaked out by tarot.  For some, it is because their spiritual belief system frowns on it. There are also some people who don't want to know about their future.  And there are others who are afraid that they'll hear something "bad." Much of this is due to ignorance and stereotypes that are perpetuated in the media.  Tarot is not negative or evil.  It is a tool that allows us to tap into the energy around us so that we can get a glimpse of where our actions are taking us and what consequences we can expect.  This leads to greater awareness and allows people to become more conscious of how they are living.  The only way people can evolve is if they are conscious.  Knowing where we are and where we may end up gives us more power to make better choices.  I feel that tarot is very empowering.

The Death card and Devil card scare people because the images are often somewhat creepy.  But they do not mean what you may be led to believe . The Death card represents endings, which are usually necessary for new growth to take place.  The Devil is all about the things in life that keep us stuck in negativity. It is a reminder to release our shackles or remain stagnant.  These cards are a suggestion that spiritual growth is on the way and all we need to do is face our problems, release the things that hold us back and be open to change. And for many people, that is very hard to do.  People do not realize that they hold the key to their own self realization.  If they are willing to take responsibility for their lives, they can evolve and work their own miracles.

OMC: Are there any "bad" cards in the deck in your opinion? What is your favorite card?

TR: Good and bad are often purely relative.  I don't like to paint any one card as "bad." They simply reflect the whole human journey, which often has stressful periods.  And no matter what goes on in our lives -- or what shows up in the cards -- all that matters is our reaction.  When we learn to approach life in a more neutral, non-grasping mindset, then nothing is ever really good or bad.  That being said, I do fancy a few cards. I like the Sun, which has such a happy and joyous picture on it.  I also like the 9 of Cups, which is often viewed as "wish fulfillment."  That card makes me grin because I like to get my way.

OMC: Where did you grow up? How long have you lived in Milwaukee? Is much of your business Internet based?

TR:  I grew up in Wisconsin and have lived here most of my life.  I've been at my current residence for about 20 years now.  Most of my business is in person.  My local clients love to come to my office because it is peaceful and very conducive for a good tarot reading. I do a lot of Internet business as well but as soon as people find out that they can see me in person, they will usually find a way to get here.

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.