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From Sceptic to Believer: My Journey with Tarot

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“Tarot cards are evil. They’re satanic tools to be avoided at all costs.” That’s what I was taught growing up in the church. But here I am, a professional tarot reader in Manchester, UK, sharing my journey from religious trauma and scepticism to embracing spirituality in a new light. My story is for anyone who’s ever doubted, questioned, or sought a deeper understanding of the divine. Learn more about me and my work at Tarot with Gord.

Growing Up in the Church

I spent my teenage years and early 20s deeply entrenched in the church. From leadership roles to studying theology, I was all in. The church taught me that tarot cards were evil, satanic tools to be avoided at all costs. This belief instilled a deep-seated fear of other spiritual practices within me, shaping a healthy scepticism that I carry to this day.

During this time, I became heavily involved in evangelical circles, practising what they called the gifts of the Holy Spirit—prophecy, speaking in tongues, and even healing. While these experiences were profound, they also seeded doubts. The more I delved into the church’s teachings, the more I encountered the institution’s corruption and its damaging impact on me and others. This led to significant religious trauma that I’m still working through today.

I remember vividly the church’s stance on spiritual warfare. We did prayer walks, targeting local mosques as if they were enemies encroaching on our territory. Anything or anyone that didn’t align with our beliefs was deemed evil. Once, a kid in my youth group was told they had a demon and needed an exorcism. In reality, they had mental health issues that required proper care, not demonization. This us-versus-them mentality was toxic and harmful.

Deconstructing My Faith

My journey of deconstruction began in my late teens, even as I remained actively involved in church activities. I found the answers provided by the church increasingly unsatisfactory. My in-depth study of theology and church history revealed that many beliefs I had accepted without question lacked solid theological grounding. This realization was both liberating and terrifying.

In my early 20s, while still involved in the church, I underwent a year of leadership training and studied alongside ordinands in the Church of England. As I immersed myself in scripture and the history of the church, I began to see that the God I thought I had a relationship with did not match the God preached from the pulpit. This dissonance led me to question my faith deeply and critically. It wasn’t that I lost interest in the divine; rather, I became dissatisfied with the narrow and rigid interpretations offered by the church.

The church’s stance on LGBTQ inclusivity was a major point of contention for me. I couldn’t reconcile the acceptance of slavery in the Bible with the condemnation of being gay. Meeting LGBTQ individuals and atheists, I realised the church’s teachings were not only wrong but also harmful. My theological studies allowed me to critically engage with the texts, revealing contradictions and complexities that the church glossed over.

Vision of Ruins and Revelation

One of the pivotal moments in my deconstruction journey occurred during a retreat with my connect group—a close-knit community of about 40 graduates. I was the pastor of this group, leading around 30 of us on this retreat. It was supposed to be a time of spiritual renewal, but for me, it became a turning point.

One evening, gathered around a fire in an old house owned by the Colman’s Mustard family, I found myself struggling to connect with God during worship. As my friend played guitar and we sang, I had a vision—an experience that was rare for me. In my mind’s eye, I stood in the ruins of a church. This church had been completely destroyed, representing the collapse of my faith. Everything I believed had crumbled, leaving me in the midst of spiritual desolation.

Yet, in the midst of these ruins, I sensed something profound. The divine presence I sought was not confined to the shattered remnants of my beliefs. Instead, it was liberated and present in everything around me. This vision brought to mind a powerful image from the Bible: when Jesus was crucified, the curtain separating the holy of holies from the rest of the temple was torn, symbolizing that the divine was no longer hidden but accessible to all. This idea resonated deeply with me and underscored the message that the divine transcends any man-made institution.

Anselm of Canterbury once said, “God is that than which nothing greater can be conceived.” This quote encapsulated my newfound understanding. The divine is beyond our comprehension, and any attempt to fully understand or define it inevitably limits its true nature. My vision solidified the realization that leaving the church was not a rejection of the divine but a step towards a more expansive and liberated spiritual journey.

Discovering Tarot

After leaving the church, I spent a good five years distanced from spirituality, moving halfway across the country to Manchester. This was a rebellious stage for me. I did many of the things the church had forbidden and immersed myself in secular causes, working for charities that championed human rights and fed the hungry. While this work was fulfilling, it always felt like something was missing.

I explored various spiritual practices—yoga, meditation, and even turning vegan—but none of these filled the void. It wasn’t until I attended a meditation retreat in Valencia, Spain, that things began to change. Nestled in the mountains on privately owned land, this retreat offered yoga, tai chi, and hikes through the woods. More importantly, it introduced me to ancestral healing, transcendental meditation, and working with a pendulum to connect to my intuition.

The pendulum work was a revelation. It taught me to access answers buried in my subconscious, much like how I had once prayed for divine guidance in the church. Using the pendulum for yes-no answers helped me navigate my life decisions, and I saw clear parallels with the intuitive practices I had experienced in my religious past.

Developing My Skills

Returning from the retreat, I deepened my meditation practice and regularly used the pendulum to enhance my intuition. Then the pandemic struck, and in a lull between lockdowns, my friend Emma introduced me to tarot. She offered me a reading, and I was instantly intrigued. When she asked me to read for her, I discovered a natural talent for it.

I began practising tarot readings on anyone willing—friends, Tinder matches, strangers in cafes. My confidence grew, and I took a tarot course with Kevin Garcia to solidify my skills. The cards became a tool to focus my intuitive insights and create narratives that resonated with those I read for. I realised that the cards, like the pendulum and the church’s spiritual gifts, were a means to connect with the divine.

The excitement of seeing my readings resonate with people was exhilarating. I remember being in Amsterdam with a friend who would tell random shopkeepers that I did tarot. Despite their initial scepticism, the readings made sense to them every time, and that was incredibly rewarding.

From Free Readings to Professional Reader

My transition from free readings to professional tarot reader began when my sister recommended me to the owner of Transcend Studio. I was invited to read at one of their well-being days, marking my first paid gig. Recognizing the value of my work, I established pricing, built a website, and printed business cards.

I did thousands of readings on TikTok Live, gaining a following and honing my craft. Doing over a thousand readings in my first year really helped me develop my style and trust my intuition. I co-founded the Manchester Tarot Reading Room, offering drop-in readings every weekend at Transcend Studio. Now, I offer in-person readings, and Zoom sessions, and even host readings from my home.

To deepen the experience for my clients, I created Tarot Experiences. These include a reading, a personalised journal with prompts, and a guided meditation. This approach helps clients integrate their readings into their lives, offering them tools to reflect and act on the insights gained.

The Tarot Reading Room took a while to get off the ground, but it has become incredibly popular. We’ve created a cosy, secluded space that people love. The drop-in readings allow people to test the waters with a quick 15-minute session, or opt for more in-depth 30 or 45-minute readings. The communal aspect and the variety of readers each bring their own unique style, making it a rich, diverse experience.


My journey from sceptic to believer in tarot has been anything but straightforward. Yet, it’s brought me a profound sense of connection and purpose. If you’re curious about tarot or seeking spiritual guidance, I encourage you to explore it with an open mind. Feel free to find me at the reading room or reach out to me at Tarot with Gord for a reading or to learn more about my journey.

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