When There's a Shadow on the Queen's Throne
I’ve noticed an unfortunate social phenomenon in the world of local-level pro diviners.
That I’ve only seen this phenomenon amongst local readers in metaphysical shops and psychic fairs in various cities, versus readers with national and international businesses, may be significant. It’s possible that, without mitigation, the condition I see may preclude many readers’ ability to rise to the top of their game, even if their skills are remarkable.
I have to describe this phenomenon in a way that is gender-biased and heteronormative. I apologize for this, and recognize that the circumstance I am going to describe could potentially happen between people of any gender.
I think there is a reason my experience of this phenomenon is limited to the husband-and-wife gender dynamic, and that reason isn’t pretty – it’s a reflection of our current social norms that still reflect age-old traditions of misogyny.
What I want to discuss is a certain disrespectful and unsupportive tone I have seen the husbands of female professional diviners take in regards to their wives’ psychic work.
This is in sharp contrast to the many spouses (including my own), who support their partner’s careers and good naturedly put up with the many unusual inconveniences that come with the territory.
I’m not talking about a husband’s strong religious objection to their wife’s tarot reading. In cases like that, a woman almost always ultimately has to choose between honoring her marriage and honoring her own spiritual nature.
What I’m talking about is the husband who makes no obvious impediment to his wife’s work, but also does nothing to help, nor to show support.
Worse, these otherwise-good-guys subtly ridicule their beloveds’ aspirations, goals and skills.
Sometimes even seemingly supportive husbands can manage to marginalize their divining wives by confusing a career with a hobby, being patronizing toward clients and students, or de-prioritizing her important career responsibilities.
Professional divination is a difficult (though rewarding) career. To be successful you must be talented, studied, diligent and fearless. You must believe in yourself and your calling one hundred percent. Having your most intimate partner whispering their lack of belief in you and lack of support for what you are doing makes it harder to believe in yourself, and to muster the courage you need to successfully market yourself.
Sales and marketing is perhaps the hardest part of a professional diviner’s career. I often joke that if we had wanted to be sales execs we would have studied marketing in college and would be a lot wealthier now.
Typically, professional mystics don’t have the budget to hire an agent, or a PR person, or a marketing person. We have to do these tasks ourselves, even though marketing is usually not in our comfort zone.
So much of marketing and sales is tonal. Typically, women who experience disrespect and mockery (even good-natured) at home take a somewhat apologetic and self-deprecating tone when they talk about their work. Even when the words are perfect, their tone communicates that they do not believe in themselves fully.
Psychic work, by its very nature, requires a certain amount of belief. It is hard to get a client to believe in you if your tone says you don’t believe in yourself.
Why do these otherwise decent husbands disrespect their wives’ choices, skills and beliefs so often, and so easily?
It may be fear of being outside the social norm. It may be concern for the stressors of an entrepreneurial career. It may simply be a lack of imagination.
In some cases, it seems to me that what really scares non-metaphysical husbands of witchy wives is the possibility that their wives might know too much about them. Poo-pooing the wisdom of an oracle wife may be an act of self-protection.
Years ago, men feared that their wives might be witches, and often blamed their impotence, illnesses and infidelity on sorcery.
I wonder if, on some subconscious level, this fear continues in our culture. I wonder if less-than- supportive husbands of female diviners really do, on some level, fear that their wives may have some knowledge or power that they do not. Perhaps their mockery and dismissal of their wives’ abilities and interests is borne of that archaic fear of witchcraft.
What can you do if this is your story – if you want to expand as a professional diviner but are married to a decent guy who marginalizes your skills and your calling, and thereby, you?
If you want to keep your marriage, you need to start by agreeing to love him anyway, and to appreciate all the things that work in your partnership.
However, if you want to keep and grow your tarot career, you need to shield yourself against the subtle-but-constant assault on your character and intelligence.
You need to recognize how unintentionally damaging your husband’s attitude can be to your own self-confidence, and thereby your ability to market yourself effectively.
You might try calmly explaining to your husband that his behavior is, in fact, an attack on your character and a demonstrated lack of respect, and you are sure he doesn’t intend that.
Whether or not that is effective, there are things you can do to mitigate the damage.
First, don’t take the things he says, or his energy toward your divination, personally.
Secondly, you must marginalize his views on this topic in the same way he marginalizes yours.
Even itoday, there is something in western society that says that in a male-female partnership, the opinion of the man is more valid the opinion of the woman. Somehow, in many castles, the king is still more important than the queen. Whatever the gender dynamic of your marriage may be, in the arena of your psychic work, you cannot let that happen. You must not let yourself feel marginalized, and you must yourself marginalize his dismissive attitudes toward your work.
Third, you must surround yourself with supportive people.
At many conferences, classes and events we get to meet the supportive spouses of our most successful diviners. Many of us are lucky to have partners who coach us, drive us, and act as our chefs, roadies, tech support and homemakers as we build our careers.
Single diviners, those with busy spouses, and those with unsupportive partners have to learn to ask for help. That’s harder to do if you have already been taught by your unsupportive partner that what you are doing isn’t valuable.
This is probably the most important step to mitigate your situation if you are a diviner with career aspirations and a husband who just doesn’t get it.
Know the value of your work, and surround yourself with others who know the value of your work. Don’t let your husband’s devaluing of what you do into your own field of vision.
As you become more successful, you might earn your husband’s respect because money talks, hard work is impressive, and what we do really is admired by many people. If that happens, it’s a good thing. Don’t expect his change of heart, and don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t happen. As long as you respect yourself and your work, you can be successful without his cheerleading.
Women constantly need to remind the world that we are powerful, and that we cannot, and will not, be dismissed or sidelined.
If you are a divining woman married to a man who marginalizes your skills and abilities, you must find your own internal source of inner support, faith and confidence.
Perhaps, to be the diviners we want to be, we must all find the strength to stand in our own power, no matter what exists in our lives to make that difficult.