Friday, January 22, 2016


Jenna Matlin- Queen Of Wands tarot

 Happy 2016 and Welcome to The Divination Nation blog!
 We are Pleasant Gehman and Crystal Ravenwolf, a duo of divination divas, “spiritual sisters from another mister”. We’re life-long Tarotistas, obsessed with all things esoteric and paranormal. Look for our forthcoming book, “Walking The Tarot Path” in Spring 2016. We’ve created this blog to share our knowledge and to connect with the vibrant worldwide metaphysical and paranormal community. We hope it’s as fun for you to read as it is for us to write…Enjoy!

Jenna Matlin is a one-woman Psychic Powerhouse. She’s got over twenty years of hand-on experience reading Tarot and Lenormand, and that wealth of knowledge has made her a sought-after instructor for Tarot and Metaphysical symposiums and conventions worldwide. She also holds in-person workshops in the Philadelphia area, as well frequently instructs online classes.  In addition to being a star cartomancierre, Jenna is also a business coach (with an M.S. in Organizational Psych and Executive Coaching) as well as the author of the popular Queen Of Wands Tarot blog and the extremely well-received e-book, Have Tarot Will Travel: A Comprehensive Guide To Reading At Festivals As A Tarot Professional.

 When she’s not slinging cards, Jenna does Chakra and Bio Energy attunements… but did you know she has Bachelor of Arts degrees in Anthropology, Asian Studies and Mandarin?  Color us very impressed…  clearly, there’s a lot goin’ on under that perfectly coiffed red bob!  Did we mention she’s extremely funny and quirky? Cause she is, most definitely. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for a link to purchase her e-book, join a class, read her blog or just to connect with her incredible energy.

 We’re very please to present to you our first interview of 2016, with the uber-fabulous Jenna Matlin, here in her own words:   

Divination Nation: You started reading as a teenager…  How did you begin- as in who did you learn from or are you self-taught?   What or who were your influences, mentors of teachers?

 Jenna Matlin: Interestingly, I was psychic long before I was a tarot reader. People always ask, “When did you know?” I think I always knew, but I also thought everyone else had it too, but I still do think that. I just think our society has talked most people out of believing that.

My first major break though happened when I was 12, or maybe I had just turned 13 and my partner in crime who was a few years older than I maturity-wise got me high. We were walking down the beach and her two friends come up, and I had never met them but I knew them suddenly in this fantastic way. I knew the tenor of their thought styles and I got a feel for their family lives, I got vignettes of important past moments. I must’ve looked like an idiot looking at them; I am sure my mouth was hanging open. Its true marijuana was a gateway drug, it blew open an already natural ability and from there, there was no looking back. To this day, I cannot use marijuana, it is too uncomfortable for me to do so it pushes the volume too high.

A few years after that I moved to the desert with my family and coincidentally my neighbors were the local drag queens of the community, talk about kismet. Not only did I land myself into a group of fun loving men who made me costumes for my drama school productions but they gave me money for my first tarot deck and hired me to read for their Victor Victoria parties. That was when I was  15. I think my story has been remarkably fortunate that I have been supported by people who have only loved and held me when I was just tottering, I have a huge soft spot for Drag Queens and Kings and for them as people, they embraced me.

What I find funny is that many people believe Tarot is some sort of crutch for intuitive ability. My experience was that I actually struggled for a long time, for years and years, to get my native talent to use the Tarot. It is like having a natural artistic talent and for years you sketched and learned things on your own and then going to art school and learning how to hold a brunch in a certain way, or stroke in a different way; it’s hard! But once you learn it, once your insight can attenuate to the new tool you have both—you use both and then you only become better—it is not an “either or “ situation.

 Divination Nation: Did you know that Tarot was going to be super-important to you right off the bat, or did it take a while for you to realize?

 Jenna Matlin: This has always been my calling, but I had to grow up enough to be deserving of it.

DN: How do you prepare for your work?

JM: I wish I could tell you I have this awesome arcana process but I don’t, I make some tea maybe, or have a water and I sit down and grab my cards and say  “Hey, are we ready to do this?”

 It is second nature for me; I don’t need a lot of prep work. Though if I am upset or anxious or have just been through something then I cannot read, I have to be calm to do the work, I cannot be frazzled. Oddly enough though, I can be really sick and very accurate; or tired and be spot-on…sometimes being less alert makes me better, my conscious mind getting out of the way can be a good thing. Meditation does not necessarily make me a better reader, contrary to popular belief.

DN:  We’ve heard you are into I-Ching… will you list the metaphysical disciplines you practice, and what you enjoy about them- how “into” them you are… and do you combine them with Tarot? What is your favorite?

JM: I am dabbling in the I Ching right now, but the coin method is not working for me, I am finding that it is not accurate, perhaps because the tossing of the coins and then looking up the interpretations piece is too “precise”. That method is not allowing enough “loosey goosey” for me to work. I need to actually get back to using the cards that I made for them, and see if I can find a better system with them that might work with me.

I also use the Lenormand, I am a crack shot with palmistry, that is what I started with actually, I do just readings. Just recently I had an interesting reading. I had a regular client come see me and I perceived a dark “splotch” over her left shoulder. I couldn’t immediately tell if it was an injury… but I also kept getting an image of her home and it felt like uh-oh, a problematic energy?
 So then it becomes, “How open is this person, how much can I say, how much will they you know—take in?” Turns out her and her female roommates have been dealing with what they feel is a problematic-well something- at the house. I haven’t been there yet so I do not want to jump the gun and say what I think it is, but it felt like it put a splotchy GPS tracking device on her. Creepy, right?

 So sometimes I do stuff like that, I don’t like to label it, I just like to open up my insight and tell people what they need to know.

I know that that did not precisely answer your question but I am a Gemini, we…dabble…a lot.

DN: What do you love most about your job?

JM: I love the variety of people I meet; I love the depth of intimacy that I get to work with in my day. My day is deep, I know that I am really helping people in major ways and they thank me. I AM NOT A COG IN A MACHINE. I am not filing paperwork, I am providing meaning and context; I am making people feel better or worse—if they need the break to change, and it’s been everything to me. And I get to coach other people who also want to do this work. Pinch me!

DN:  Tell us about things you enjoy doing when you’re not working…

I am a huge naturalist at heart so you might find me mushroom hunting or birding, hiking or camping. I also love to dance, especially trance dancing so I might be at one of those or a sweat lodge somewhere. I also need to be offline and commit to spending deep time offline whenever I can. I also sing and am in a choir, the problem is that my work is often on weekends and evenings which conflicts with many of the kinds of hobbies that I enjoy, so I am working on trying to create a better balance with that.

DN:  You’re eBook Have Tarot Will Travel has caused quite a splash! There's great information in there for people who are just starting out or for professionals who'd like to up their game. Tell us all about it-how long did it take to write, how you organized it…maybe an anecdote or two about why you wanted to write it, or something that happened after it was published.

JM: Have Tarot Will Travel was really a desire to create something that I did not see anywhere else. I saw a few business books for readers but nothing that was really “nuts and bolts”. Like a lot of readers I did not have a ton of business background coming into this. I had corporate experience but not entrepreneurial experience. What I learned about myself was that I took to it like a duck to water, I was a natural, imagine that! So I wrote the guide I wished I had starting out and threw everything in it I could possibly think of. I intentionally stayed away from woo-woo stuff, and kept it really about the foundational aspects of lists and how does this work, and what should I do next for the absolute beginner—I did it for the new person like me. It was my gift back to the field.

It took me about a year to write and complete it start to finish. Since I have a full time practice, I had to fit it in; I was waking up at 4:00 and 5:00 am to complete even this slim little volume.

It was not published, because at 22,000 words it is considered a novella and too little to publish, really. I know that people largely live online but there is still such a desire and need to be in person by clients and felt that especially if you have no money and want to bootstrap a business this is still a huge strategy to make it happen. I built my business with no capital and I took no loans, with this strategy.

DN:  Our readers are interested in all types of divination…would you please share some of your favorite tips and advice?

You must grab that first thought and do not let it go. Overthinking, anxiety, and analysis—all of that shuts down clairvoyance.

 No matter how strange, odd, off it might be—hang onto it. For example, when I read Tarot, I allow the pieces of images in the Tarot card key aspects of my intuition rather than look at the whole card. To illustrate, I had a client at a festival come to me and ask about her boyfriend, I threw some cards and I was using Robert Place’s Alchemical Tarot. One of the cards that came out was the 8 of swords. In that card it depicts a beast like creature manacled to the ground and swords behind him. My eye was attracted to the manacle, I jumped on that. That was what was important -that first attraction, I did not overthink overanalyze or dismiss, I grabbed it and asked,

“Why is my eye attracted to manacle there? “

Then I had it! I knew he was in jail.

Because I did not know her and we were in public I was sensitive I asked her, “What is your boyfriends’ situation?”

 She said, “He is incarcerated.”

Bingo. Always grab the first thing, watch for it. It is everything.

DN:  You’re not only a crackerjack reader, but you teach Tarot workshops and classes, and do business coaching as well. Please let our readers know about any up-coming classes, appearances or special events you have going on

I have ongoing business coaching for would- be and current divination professionals both one –on- one and for groups on a rotating basis contact me directly for a free 20 minute session to discuss options and to see if we are a fit, I am the best deal in town!


The Queen at work...

  Connect with Jenna here:

  Check out Jenna’s website- for all events, classes & newsletter sign-ups, as well as info on her April 16, 2016 Tarot 101 Online Intensive and her May 14, 2016 Lenormand Online class:
 Find out about Jenna’s Business Coaching for Divination Professionals:
Purchase Jenna’s E-Book, Have Tarot Will Travel: A Comprehensive Guide To Reading At Festivals As A Tarot Professional here:

The Divination Nation: Crystal Ravenwolf and Pleasant Gehman; photo by Maharet Hughes

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