When I think about typical first date activities, I have a pretty well-established list of go-to choices. Drinks at a not-too-fancy, not-too-divey bar? Definitely. Something fun but slightly corny, like mini-golf? Totally works. Visiting a psychic on a first date and getting a tarot card reading designed to reveal my psyche to a literal stranger I met 30 minutes ago? Um... well, there’s something new.
Needless to say, I approached this psychic first date with a massive level of hesitation. Where would I find a dude willing to take this ride with me? Where would I find a psychic open to applying her otherworldly talents to a couple who doesn’t even know each other’s last names yet? Luckily, I found the answers to both questions in the same place, the modern-day source of all wisdom: the internet.
Since I knew that this particular date would need to revolve around the psychic reading, I decided to seek out a companion on a dating app where women are encouraged to make the first move, so I felt a bit less self-conscious approaching guys with a “Heyyyy, so... what are your thoughts on tarot card readings?”
Understandably, I saw several intro conversations go dark once the topic of tarot arose. Apparently, a lot of guys think it’s weird to explore the astral plane on a first date (weird, I know). But finally, I found someone daring enough to give it a whirl. J, a nice, Southern gent, faced my proposition with a refreshingly-game attitude. “Interesting prospect! Why not? At the very least, it will be a good laugh,” he replied to my offer, and I knew I’d found my co-pilot.
Now for the second, if not most important, step: seeking out a psychic. Fortunately, I’m based in Austin, TX, a city with no shortage of New Age-y establishments. I started researching tarot readers on Yelp and sent out a handful of inquiries, but I soon discovered a roadblock to my plan. Turns out, most psychics aren’t too keen on providing dual readings for couples that have existed for less than an hour. I knew I’d need to seek out a psychic with a willing attitude and a healthy sense of humor, and I finally got lucky with Cassandra, the rune and tarot reader behind Spider Goddess Web and Arcane Sanctum. Rather than worries and reservations, Cassandra replied to my proposal with “Sounds fun!” Just the attitude I was looking for.
Before heading to Spider Goddess for our reading, J and I met up at a local bar to get the intros out of the way and soothe our nerves with a bit of liquid courage. He projected a warm energy: nervous, sure, but excited at the same time. After we made it through the typical first-date interview questions — careers, siblings, hometowns — J revealed that he’d never had his fortune read before. “Are you scared?” I asked. J shrugged, a boyish smile spreading across his face. “A little, but hey. It’s an adventure.”
We strolled past the University of Texas campus to the petite building complex that housed Spider Goddess, stepping into a shop that resembled a smaller and more-cheerful version of the witchcraft emporium from The Craft. There, we were greeted by Cassandra, a Stevie Nicks-esque brunette with the most incredible tattoo collection I’d ever seen.
Cassandra sat us down at a card table and presented her tarot deck, which she told us to cut and stack. Immediately, I made a terrible faux pas by trying to shuffle the tarot cards. According to Cassandra, the cards should never be bent or warped. Oops.
Once J and I cut and reassembled the deck, Cassandra told us that she’d be focusing her reading on us as individuals, since our relationship was still so incredibly new (fair enough). She instantly identified J as an emotionally-generous person with an enormous capacity for love and claimed to be “humbled” in his presence.
As for me, she noted (not incorrectly) that I’d been wounded by a past relationship, and when it comes to trying again with someone else, I “have a wall up”. She explained that I’ll need to work harder and overcome my own obstacles to connect with a new partner. This would typically be the type of info I’d strive to hide from a new romantic prospect, but the environment of Cassandra’s reading put me very much at peace. My truth and J’s truth were out there, written on Cassandra’s tarot deck, and we could decide to take it or leave it. In that moment, everything felt clear, uncomplicated, and refreshingly honest.
I wish I could say that the candid nature of Cassandra’s reading resulted in a deep soul connection that persists to this day. Unfortunately, when J and I departed Spider Goddess to grab a drink nearby, the awkwardness caught up with us. The conversation felt stilted, and we never managed to balance the intimacy of the reading with the inherent discomfort of first-date conversations. Still, I felt deeply grateful to J for his open-mindedness and to Cassandra for orienting her reading on us as individuals. I walked away with a fresh understanding of the way I approach new relationships, and the next time I do click with a guy, I’ll be armed with a valuable store of information about myself.
So, when psychic readings on a first date, would I recommend? As long as you keep your expectations at a reasonable level and use the reading to gather perspective on your own habits — rather than as a way to know if you'll fall in love with your date forever — it’s a surprisingly good move.