Welcome to Mystic Mag‘s intriguing interview with Ivan Westley, a true master in the mystical arts of tarot and rune divination. With his deep knowledge and intuitive insights, Ivan has become a renowned practitioner, guiding countless individuals through the enigmatic realms of the tarot cards and ancient runic symbols. Today, we have the privilege of delving into Ivan’s journey, his profound connection with divination, and the transformative power of his readings. Prepare to embark on a captivating exploration of the unseen as we delve into the fascinating world of tarot and rune divination with the incredible Ivan Westley.
What inspired you to become a Master Tarot and Rune Divination Practitioner, and how did you first get interested in these ancient forms of divination?
I was interested in taking a multi-week rune course with my wife in 2012, but I couldn’t commit to the first course due to work obligations. I work a day job. So that fell by the wayside. I was playing in the local music scene during that time.
As an independent artist, my creative interest was focused on music. I decided to stop playing music back in 2019. I was fed up with the music scene. I was tired of exhausting my creativity and energies into something that wasn’t doable for me anymore.
But around that time, my wife, and I, would visit crystal and metaphysical shops. She’s big in the crystals, Oracle and Angel cards. So, when I would go and visit the shops with her, out of the corner of my eye, the tarot cards would catch my attention. I wasn’t interested in them at the time, but I was curious, and I was also intrigued with the different themes of tarot cards that were available at the time, not just the traditional Rider- Waite decks, but we’re talking about Harry Potter theme cards, Steampunk and Vampire cards. I was surprised that tarot cards were available in different themes to please anybody interested in tarot.
When I stopped playing music after 27-plus years, I took some time off at home from work and my wife surprised me with a beginner's tarot deck. Out of the blue and during my time off at home, I went through the tarot cards slowly and read the guidebook that came with the deck. Some of the images on the cards popped out and I was able to identify them right away with what I was going through at the
I was discouraged from the music scene and lost. I had time to do some self-reflection via tarot, so cards like the Eight of Cups (Regeneration), Hermit card (Introspection)and the Four of Swords (Rest) made a connection with me and what I was going through at the moment. These cards spoke to me right away and I knew there was something with Tarot that piqued my curiosity and made a connection while I went through the process of learning about them before I took any courses. As I continued my tarot studies, I discovered this was a great self-improvement tool. It helped Answer some questions such as; why was I always angry? Why do I feel let down by certain things in life? Tarot helped me think about it and reflect. It started filling the void and bettering my situation.
I started taking Tarot workshops and while I was learning and getting more involved with the tarot cards, I realized that this is something that I wanted to do professionally and help out others as well. The mystical side, the arcana or secrets of tarot is what drew me to wanting to work with them and during that process too, I learned how to trust my instincts and my intuition through the card readings, and that got me into starting my business, Rebel Star Divination. And once that kicked off, I did tarot for a while and did readings for customers, social media stuff, and a lot of videos and I felt that with tarot, I was getting lost in a sea of other social media people doing the same thing. I find
especially as a male in the divination medium business, which seems to be female dominated and has a lot of female energy, I felt like I was getting lost in the shuffle, maybe not getting enough credit for what I was doing.
And at that time my interest in Runes came back and I realized that not everybody was doing runes on social media. You didn’t see a lot of rune posts. Everybody’s post was either based on tarot, oracle, crystals or astrology. I don’t do astrology and I don’t do crystals. So, I got into the runes. I feel that runes give me a connection with nature based on energy and a personal link to my energies similar to Chakra. Runes is a personal practice and a deeper connection to the mysteries from within ourselves and to the cosmos. I bought my first rune set and many books about rune divination, their traditional meanings, the history of the runes, Norse mythology, Icelandic Sagas, and folklore. I took a few courses online and did daily practical rune exercises and rituals. And that is how I became a Tarot and Rune practitioner by trade.
What type of services do you offer?
In-person readings, which was hard during the pandemic with COVID, so a lot of my readings, when I started off my business back in 2019, were online. On my website, I offer online readings, 30 minutes, 60 minutes Tarot card readings through Zoom chat. I also offer online rune readings.
And I offer a special service that myself and my wife Christine from Wisdom within the Winds do together for our customers called The Hermit and The High Priestess. This is a collective intuitive tarot/rune & oracle card reading, which is interesting because the customer will get two perspectives in regard to their question. I start the session with my tarot and runes and then switch over to Christine to give her perspective on the oracle cards and any messages that channel through her. Afterwards, we do a cross-examination of the card results and show double confirmations on the messages intended for the client.
If clients aren’t comfortable being in front of the camera online on Zoom with me to do an online reading, I have a shop on my site where I offer e-readings as well where people could email me the question and I’ll answer them with the PDF file of the results, and a picture of the card/rune spread. The e-readings services that I offer are a Modern Rune Spread or a Tarot/Rune reading. I am also a workshop instructor. I teach an Intro to Runes workshop online and in person.
How do you incorporate intuition and personal insight into your tarot and rune readings, and how do you balance this with the traditional meanings of the cards or runes?
When I did my card readings in the beginning, I didn’t know if I did have intuition, and I thought maybe that was something that you were gifted with. But intuition is something that everybody has. It’s just a matter of trust in yourself to break down those walls that confine your abilities. It takes time and practice to gain that confidence by trusting your instincts or intuition. So, when I do a card reading for somebody, I base a lot of my readings on the traditional methods or meanings, whether it’s tarot or runes. You must know the traditional foundation of your divination practice. You must know the history. How did it start? How did it come about? The meanings behind the cards and the runes? And not just rely on the little white booklet that comes with a tarot deck or just read one book on rune divination. It’s best to read multiple sources.
And then from there you can compare similar notes and build your foundation based on tradition. Once that is established, you can add your observations and style via practical homework or exercises. When I do a reading for somebody, it’s a blend of traditional knowledge, skills, and intuition.
Sometimes I don’t stick to the card position’s meanings of a spread. If I do a three-card spread of past, present, and future, I’ll use that template to kick off into more of an intuitive, collective message. I tend to gloss over the cards or do a general scan and I’ll see a collective message or theme and then I’ll break it down one card at a time to provide additional details to answer the clients’ questions. I do maintain a
balance of traditional meanings with the intuitive.
Later through practice, adaptability will play a role in helping you develop your reading style. If you stick too much with the traditional card positions in a spread, you’re closing yourself off in a box and not expanding your perception which can hinder you from getting any additional messages or seeing the larger picture.
How do you stay grounded and centered when giving readings for clients who are experiencing intense emotions or going through a difficult time in their lives?
When I deal with the customer and their question is a little bit heavy or dark, I feel it’s my job to be there as that sympathetic ear or that bartender when you go to a pub or a best friend and you’re sharing with them something and don’t want to hear any negative feedback or personal opinions in return. You just want to vent and let out your thoughts. You want your client to know and feel that they are in a
neutral space to share, and I am there as a balance of hearing them out and in a calm state to help.
I try to see myself in their situation and if the timing is right, I’ll bring in some of my personal experiences to give me that connection with the customer’s situation to show that they are not alone in dealing with it. I maintain my balance before I do a reading with meditation. I clear away anything that’s been going on through my workday and regain neutral ground or balance before the reading session starts.
I want to show the customer that I’m not on one side of the fence and that I’m in the middle, to hear them out and to help them out by staying calm and maybe offer personal advice that would help them, without pointing a finger at them or knocking them down a peg and making them feel worse. You don’t want a customer feeling bad after a session where they won’t want to come back or book another session. You want them to feel good. You want them to move on their path, on their life’s journey and you want to feel good. At the end of the session, you helped them out and were able to guide them. You want to shed light on their path.
That’s why I chose the lighthouse icon for my Rebel Star Divination logo. I chose the lighthouse because it best represents helping people out and showing the light for those who are a bit lost or in the dark and giving them a helping hand.
Can you share some tips for beginners who are interested in learning tarot or runes for themselves? What resources or practices would you recommend?
The main important factor I find for anybody getting into divination, whether it’s runes or Tarot is to learn the traditional methods & meanings. Learn the history and the beginnings of tarot or runes. Don’t just rely on a quick cheat sheet or the little white booklet that comes with the tarot deck and think, hey, I’m ready to do professional rune and tarot readings.
Read as many books as you can and balance it with practical work or exercises. Personally, I buy a lot of books. Books on tarot/rune divination, and you will see the similarities in theory from different authors. And once you see those similarities, you know, OK, that’s got to be a traditional foundation that I can base my method on and build from the ground up, add your own character to it and create your own
style which will help you stand out from others.
When it comes to readings you can colour pass the lines and create your own character and grow from there with the solid foundation of traditional knowledge or wisdom of divination. For rune divination, I would recommend learning about them by doing your own research and reading from different sources and books and balancing that with a lot of divination practice or runework exercises. I suggest learning Norse mythology, the Poetic and Prose Eddas, Icelandic Sagas, and multiple resources on runes. Different authors will have different insights and will give you a different perspective as well. You need both the knowledge and practical work to create a solid foundation.
How do you see the role of tarot and rune divination evolving in the future, as more people become interested in alternative forms of spirituality and self-discovery?
What I do see on social media like Instagram and Facebook, is that there are a lot of people doing tarot, but not many rune posts which gives me an advantage and helps me stand out from the other accounts. The profiles on Instagram and Facebook now will have you believe that once you get into Tarot, that it is mandatory to learn about crystal or astrology. That’s a myth.
I don’t mix astrology or crystal with my readings. I have respect for those who do blend in all the elements, but it is not my thing. To each their own. I just stick with the cards or runes. I consider myself more of a street reader. The divination medium will forever evolve, and I do see people come and go in a short amount of time. I see people who bought their first tarot deck, they read the little white book and suddenly, they think they’re pro and they fade away. They realize it takes a lot more work. There are tarot readers that I follow who have been doing it for 30 years. Sometimes it’s on and off. I understand through life there are phases and changes where you might have kids or something’s happening in life where you put the cards away – and then they come back to it.
But there are a lot of “fly by night” people, Tick Tock people, and Instagram people who probably want to get into it to try and get as many followers as they can have and instant recognition, which is the opposite of my beliefs and what I do. Whether I have a low Instagram account following or not, it doesn’t matter; I find that the content that I provide, whether its videos, card spread posts or rune facts; I put out solid content on my social media. Divination is more acceptable today than it was years ago. It’s not taboo to mention if you do tarot or runes anymore.