The final of the four speakers at this year’s TABI Conference in July is Lisa Boswell. Here, she shares some fascinating insights into her divination practice and what she’ll be talking about at the Conference:
Which card would you use to best describe yourself?
I always say that the 10 of Cups is my card because I see it often. I believe that the spirits around us send us signs to point us in the right direction and one of the signs my spirits send me is that card (I literally see it everywhere). I have an image of the 10 of Cups from the Alice Tarot hanging in my bedroom. Also, the energy of that card embodies my values well because I associate it with family, tradition and things like that.
When, how and why did you start using Tarot?
I am a Romany Gypsy and was born into a family who is well known for fortune telling. The witch and psychic Granny Boswell was my great, great grandad’s sister. I guess I grew up viewing giving readings as a job which people just had, like being a teacher or a fireman. Gypsies mostly read crystal balls and interpret dreams, but somehow my older sister had discovered what Tarot was and asked for a deck for her tenth birthday, which she got. It was the Johnathon Dee Tarot card and book set which came in this purple box. It might surprise some people that adults would buy children who are so young occult objects, but for us, divination isn’t really classed as anything religious or special like it is in Gorger (non Gypsy) culture. Therefore, it is acceptable for Gypsy children to practice divination. I can vividly remember that I had a fascination with Tarot. However, my sister didn’t want anyone touching her cards so wouldn’t let me read with them. At first, she was right into her deck, carried them around and played with them often. Then the novelty wore off and she was less protective of them. I was around 7 or 8 when I first got my hands on those cards. This sounds so strange, but one day I had this burning desire to take my sister’s cards out of the box; there was a voice inside of me telling me to look through them. It was like they were calling my name that day. So, I opened them up and flipped through them. I recall seeing the Devil, Death and the Ace of Cups and just being fascinated. As time went on my sister realized I was using her cards, but eventually, she didn’t care. Then, when I was 10, my mum bought me my own deck. I was actually pretty disappointed because it was the same one my sister owned and I wanted a new type of deck! However, I guess it played into my favor because I was already used to that style of deck so could begin doing readings for others straight away. I began performing readings for people from school and their family members.
Please tell us a bit about yourself. You can include family, hobbies, work, achievements, favorite music, tarot, whatever: Currently, I live in West Lothian with my family, partner, daughter and cat Billy Jean. I perform mostly face to face readings, but I did go through a period when I only read online. My only hobbies are reading about business and practicing my divination. I can perform readings with Tarot and Lenormand but also, traditional ‘Gypsy’ styles of fortune telling like crystal ball readings and dream interpretations. People think I never get a break from my work, but I truly believe that if you have a calling in something the pull towards that is so strong that you’re stressed when you’re not doing it! The only thing I love more than reading is teaching people all aspects of reading well. I recently launched my new website www.richsexyspiritual.com where I will be adding courses about improving, performing and promoting readings over the next couple of months.
Can you give us a summary of what you will speak about at Birmingham? For the conference, I am going to discuss the Romany style of divination. I will be covering our beliefs about fortune telling, what we look for when making predictions, and also a bit about Gypsy symbolism and where our feelings towards certain symbols stems from.