Episode 017 - Amie

Vocational Discernment is an old-school religious tool that the non-religious and self-reflective can use too! In this interview with Amie via a tarot reading, we talk oak leaves, red triangles, mental health and vocational discernment. I also update you about my fellowship in thanatology, share some rare plant knowledge with you (I promise, it’s not dull) and remind you about the discount code for listeners to my merchandise shop—TAROT gets you free shipping!



We used the Aquarian Tarot deck in Amie’s reading.

She pulled the following cards:

  • Past Position: Temperance

  • Present Position: King of Swords

  • Future Position: 9 of Wands


Hi, Cole!

Since my first (and only) tarot reading, life has been…productive, physically, mentally, and spiritually!

After my reading, I looked into vocational discernment and realized I knew more about it than I’d originally thought.

As distanced as I’ve felt spiritually from organized Catholicism, turns out it’s a lot harder to detach entirely after living in religion culturally. The dissonance, I think, was a larger part of feeling sort of paralyzed in what I want to do (what the Temperance card really made me think of), and whose opinion matters to me, if it does at all. After our interview and a little research into vocational discernment, I brought up the subject to my therapist and it prompted several conversations important to resolving some of that dissonance.

I ended up using the vocational discernment “format” to think about what I felt my purpose is, and it really helped rid some of the doubts that kept creeping up when I thought about potential careers.

I haven’t seen any red triangles, but honestly I haven’t specifically looked for them either. I remember you mentioning the red triangle as sort of a statement piece on the figure in the card, and I think that’s what I connected to the most. The Temperance card was very passive, and the color red and the upright triangle are both symbolic of masculine energy. I felt it was alluding to the future Nine of Wands, with its very bright reds and the active masculine figure. Also, the triangle is very reminiscent of my Catholic upbringing, and felt like a bit of a push to address some traumas surrounding that.

The oak leaves in the King of Swords, and in the Nine of Wands, has popped up, as the school I’m attending in the fall is surrounded by oak trees.

The Nine of Wands is the card that consistently has resonated with me since our interview, in the symbology and energy of it. I actually forgot about it for a while, and after having a very intense but important conversation a month ago where I drew a line in the sand and made some important decisions, I remembered our discussion about the Nine of Wands! So that was pretty cool, and I intend to keep that energy moving forward into fall.

I have two things to promote. First, my mental health blog/Instagram page called Mind Out Loud. The blog site is at mindoutloudam.wixsite.com/mindoutloud and the IG handle is @mindoutloud_

I started it mostly to try to normalize conversations about mental health with people in my life, but some of my best conversations happen with people I don’t know so if anyone feels like connecting, check it out!

The second thing isn’t my own, but I avidly promote therapy and therapeutic services. It’s not the easiest thing to look into, or participate in, but just being given the tools to work through our own shit can make a really big difference, even if we’re not expecting it. Therapy can be in-person, over the phone, even over text now, and many therapists will work with pricing. There are even some therapists who volunteer for group therapy or do free individual sessions. Sometimes just a couple of sessions are enough. It took me eight years to take charge of my mental health, and it’s been a slow-going and difficult process. It’s also been incredibly important to my growth, as many difficult things tend to be, so I’m grateful.

Lastly, thank you, Cole! For the reading, and for your content. It’s such a cool and non-intimidating introduction to tarot and thanatology, two things I would have never expected to know anything about…or end up doing hours of reading on! :)


I got to have ~dream hair~ for a talk I got to give a couple weeks ago with Molly Wellmann. BEHOLD!



It has BEGUN! I’m spending hours a week pouring over very old books that you CAN’T find on the internet as I work to recover lost knowledge and lost traditions surrounding death, dying, funerary traditions and bereavement.


I have a bunch of new listeners! Let’s refresh ourselves on my perspective on tarot cards.

  • not magical

  • can’t tell the future

  • are pieces of paper with symbols and images printed on them

  • represent 78 common themes of life

  • are a tool for introspection, self-improvement and to root you in the present moment

  • they are old, and a way to connect to traditions of the past

  • have a rich history of thoughtful symbolism woven into the imagery


We talked about this a lot in this episode and it’s a great tool for ANYONE religious or not.

Vocational discernment is the process in which men or women in the Catholic Church discern, or recognize, their vocation in the church. The vocations are the life as layman in the world, either married or single, the ordained life and the consecrated life.



Listeners can use code TAROT to get free shipping on anything in my supportive merchandise shop. Your purchases support my work in thanatology.