When it comes to astrology, palm and Tarot reading, everyone is either a believer or a sceptic. Some say it’s a spirituality thing, other call it a bluff, a scam. We’re not sure which side we should lean on when it comes to this, and since Doctor Strange isn’t a real person, we had a chat with a professional Tarot Card reader, Sarah May Low.
Apart from looking into your future, Sarah is also a dance scholar and choreographer, social influencer, women’s shoes designer, singer, actress and emcee.. Phew, now that’s a resume. Interested to know how Sarah manages her busy life and how she got into Tarot Cards, because we’re sure it’s not because of Dungeons & Dragons, we had a chat with Low before her busy night at Johnnie Walker’s Blacklist 2.0 Party…
What got you into Tarot Card readings?
Believe it or not, I was a skeptic. There’s a long story behind this but to summarise, the reason why I started exploring and studying divination arts was to prove that it is a hoax or scam. To prove this, I’ve had a Tarot Reading from a Gypsy in Melbourne, my fortunes told by a Master in Thailand, a past life reading in a cave in Ipoh and at least 20 other types of readings. I even went for Astrology courses with a top astrologer in New Zealand, I-Ching courses with a Taoism master, meditated with monks and nuns in the jungles of Pahang.
I found that exploring philosophy, new age spirituality and esoteric sciences made me an enlightened person and changed my perspective and views of life to a more positive one. Originally, I was really interested in studying Palmistry and had approached a famous Palm Reader, but that didn’t happen and she suggested Tarot instead and here I am now. Tarot isn’t a widely-pursued form of art, so I see it as a very bold choice which helps me stand out.
Have you always thought that you’d be a professional reader, because not everyone grows up being one?
I was in the pure science stream in high school. While my classmates wanted to be doctors, nurses, pharmacists, accountants and engineers, I daydreamed about being a performer. As goals are dreams with actions, I put in a lot of hard work and years of training and eventually began singing, dancing and acting professionally throughout my late teens and early twenties.
In my mid-twenties, I pursued a Masters degree in Performing Arts and also focused on my corporate career in media. I was always in client-facing roles in my 9 years in media, so I often use “What’s your horoscope?” as my ice-breaking line. I found that I was pretty good at being a person’s confidante. Since a lot of people were fascinated with my knowledge in astrology, horoscopes and divination, I started to put in more effort in studying Tarot 5 years ago. In fact, my first few querents (which means ‘clients’ in Tarot Talk) when I started reading professionally were clients from the Advertising agencies I serviced.
For the uninitiated, how do the readings go about?
I always start off by telling my querents that there are many branches of tarot readings and that the style of Tarot I practice does not provide guidance for subjects related to health, finance or legal issues, they should seek advice from professionals who are qualified in those areas if they are looking for such answers. Then, I ask them for their question – if they have a specific question or if they would like a general reading on categories like career or relationship. Many people assume that a Tarot Reader “already knows” what they want to ask.
Fact is, I’m a Tarot Reader, and not a mind reader. I would need to know first of all, what the querent’s question is as I need to know what card spread to unfold – Celtic cross, horseshoe, pyramid spread or so on. The cards also mean different things in different settings. For example, The Empress card can signify abundance and wealth in a business or career setting but means potential motherhood or pregnancy in a love & relationship reading. With all these different types of outcomes, I can’t wait to see what unique readings come out of my querents at BlackList 2.0 this Friday.
From a professional standpoint, how would you explain the readings to sceptics who call it a bluff?
It depends on my mood and depending on the motive behind the question – if they are genuinely interested to explore and gain knowledge, or if they just want to challenge and prove me wrong. If it’s the latter, and I am rushing for time, I’ll tell them “Very good! Believe in whatever you believe in and don’t let people tell you otherwise!”, give them a big smile with two thumbs up and then change the subject quickly. If I’m feeling cheeky and have got loads of time, the theatre actress in me comes out and I tell them I’m also into witchcraft, run a multi-million dollar side-business selling cauldrons, lizards tails and unicorn tears and that I see a ghost standing behind them.
First of all, I’m a big believer in respecting everyone’s opinion – everybody is entitled to their own opinion. I find it pointless to explain myself to anybody who already has a set opinion on a particular subject, unless that individual is sincere in exploring and understanding Tarot. Life is short, I don’t need to waste time and explaining myself to anyone. The only person who I explain myself to is my mother as she gave birth to me and raised me to be the person I am today.
However, for the former and to anyone who would like to know more about Tarot, I always refer them to Google on works from Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Carl Gustav Jung who found analytical psychology. In the 1930s, Carl Jung conducted research on several forms of divinity art such as tarot cards and Chinese i-Ching divination. In summary, tarot cards are “accurate” because the images of the cards reflect a person’s inner voice, insecurities, and sub-conscious mind. Hence, I use tarot as a tool to help life-coach my querents on their personal development. I hope that the guests at BlackList 2.0 will learn to appreciate and take the time to understand Tarot in its own unique form.
You’re a Tarot Card Reader, social influencer, dancer and more. How do you balance it all out? Sounds like a pretty crazy routine.
I have pretty good time-management skills, self-discipline and a high level of focus. I find that most people’s downfall is their self-doubt, constant fear of missing out and inability to say no. I constantly prioritise and keep my head in the game, just like the song in High School Musical. Always know what your priorities in life are and stop doing things that waste time as there’s a difference between having fun and doing things that don’t help you grow.
During the day on Monday to Friday, I am at work, while the evening on weekdays and weekends are reserved for my private readings and corporate shows. In between this, I exercise 4-5 times a week, go out for two social events a week, practice the ukulele once a week, plan my marketing strategies and social media postings, go out for family dinners if I am back in KL, or speak to my family on the phone twice a week if I am abroad. I would consider the upcoming BlackList 2.0 a social event, as I’m able to meet bold individuals and create an impact together alongside other talented curators, such as Talitha Tan and Chef Nathalie Arbefeuille, who are excelling in their own dreams.
My other passions such as dancing, singing, and contributing dance articles to publications are usually on a project basis, so I adjust my time accordingly.
If you could pick just one of all the things you do, what would it be?
Putting my family first – being a good daughter and sister. I’ve led an amazing life – from Miss Malaysia pageants, ambassador of a famous Fitness gym, had my own runway show for my shoe label, a jet-setting career and many more. I was a serial workaholic where on two occasions I worked myself to the point I was hospitalised from exhaustion and suffered complications in my digestive system. When my father passed away late last year, I spiralled to my lowest low. I went off Social Media for 6 months, reflected, went on solo trips and learned the ukulele which became a form of therapy for me. My father’s passing was traumatising for me as I regret not spending enough time with him when he was still alive. So my priorities in life now are – my family, my health and doing things that make me happy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still fiercely ambitious. I want to pursue my Ph.D., start an academy, write a book, conduct courses and travel to so many countries. I always give myself a daily reminder so that I keep track of my main priorities.
Pick anyone in the world you’d like to do a reading for, who would it be?
My fellow Aquarius – Oprah Winfrey. It’s amazing how she was able to build such an empire from humble beginnings. She is someone who has an amazing sense of self-belief, always firm with her decisions, is a fantastic motivational speaker and is a Master of the Law of Attraction, which she has preached many times on her show. To be frank, I don’t think that she needs a reading from me because she is already good at manifesting her dreams. It’s more of me wanting to learn her secrets.