Editor's note: This is first in continuing series of interviews with Cuenca expats.
By Susan Schenck
SS: TC, My tarot card reading with you was amazing. You told me things that were happening in my life and about who I am that couldn’t have come from the community gossip. And you had these “yes/no” cards for further questions, as well as some pendulums. Your reading lasted about an hour and a half, and you were willing to go until I had exhausted any questions! I even bought your little booklet on how to do pendulums, as well as a beautiful moonstone pendulum from you. What is it exactly that you offer the community here in your practice?
TC: I’m an intuitive counselor who uses tarot cards, pendulums, and energy work.
SS: What got you into this practice of divination? Who were your mentors? Where did you learn?
TC: I was born with severe eczema covering my entire body. I have been told I looked like a leper. At the age of two, I developed severe asthma. So as a child, I spent a large amount of time in the hospital. Please don't think I’m looking for any sympathy here. I’m not, I am simply giving you a little bit of my background.
I don't feel like I missed out by spending so much time in the hospital. I really enjoyed the place. The Deaconess Hospital, I have fond memories of her. My wife thinks I'm crazy, because walking into a hospital makes me feel a little homesick.
Now, I should point out that I did spend time out of the hospital too. The nature of my illness was such that I would be out and fine for weeks, even months, then I would have a flair-up and be back in the Deaconess for, well, weeks or months, depending on the severity.
TC: It was my time in the hospital that I became an avid reader. During one of my extended stays, my father gave me a book on cards. It taught not only how to cheat at cards, but also some card tricks. I have to say I was hooked.
My great grandmother Jenny came to visit me in the hospital. On this visit, Jenny saw the deck of cards I’d been practicing with. She made a face and said, “There's a lot better things to do with a deck of cards then play with ’em.” She proceeded to teach me about her cards, the tarot.
My great grandmother also taught me about working with pendulums. I learned to work with chakra and auras from a Mori shaman in New Zealand.
SS: Where are you from in the U.S. and what did you do for a living there?
TC: I’m from Great Falls, Montana, and in the interest of full disclosure, I should point out that I’ve had only two full-time jobs since leaving high school: one, being an intuitive counselor, and the other a stand-up comedian/magician.
Yes, my path was set early on. If my father hadn’t given me that little book on card tricks, I wouldn’t have became a comedy magician. If my great-grandmother hadn’t seen me with that little book of card tricks, she might not have taught me my intuitive skills.
For the longest time, I tried to keep my two worlds separated. I thought that if people knew I was a comedian, they wouldn’t take me seriously as a counselor.
I look at both my “jobs” as part of a whole. I believe my purpose for being here is to help people. Whether that help comes in the form of helping people deal with personal issues, with my readings and energy work, or helping people to just have fun and enjoy life and forget their problems for a while with my comedy and magic.
Actually, I believe that’s why we’re all here, to help each other. Oh, and chocolate, we’re also here for chocolate.
SS: I heartily agree, especially my raw organic chocolate truffles. How long have you been providing these services?
TC: The tarot I started learning when I was ten years old; the energy work I’ve been doing for just over ten years.
SS: Do you run into a lot of skeptics who consider this just “parlor tricks”?
TC: Not a lot. On a few occasions, depending on the person if they are interested, I will explain what I do and why I believe what I believe.
Of course, if they are unpleasant in their skepticism, I tend to go into comedy-club mode and, just like Billy Flynn, I give them the old razzle dazzle.
SS: What was the decisive incident when you knew you had talent?
TC: When my great-grandma Jenny gave me her lucky coin. She said by passing it to me I was now the family healer. Neither my grandmother nor my mother showed any interest or aptitude in her work.
Another very important moment for me was when I met and became friends with one of my inspirations and favorite authors, Richard Webster of New Zealand. He’s one of the most spiritual people I’ve ever known and his books, of which he has written over a hundred, are must-reads. His best-selling books include Spirit Guides & Angel Guardians and Creative Visualization for Beginners.
We became friends after I did a reading for him in Los Angeles at a Mind, Body, Spirit conference. I was actually booked as entertainment, but got to talking with Mr. Webster after my show and when I told him about my background, he asked if I would give him a reading. I later found this quote Richard had given the conference reporter.
“I find it fascinating that TC is both one of the funniest entertainers you could ever hope to see and is also a warm, sincere, empathetic reader. If I needed a reading for any reason at all, TC Tahoe would be one of the first people I'd contact.”
So, that endorsement was a real defining moment for me.
SS: Very impressive! TC, can you explain why or how it works?
TC: For me, the tarot opens my intuition, activates it if you will. I see connections between the tarot cards and the person for whom I’m reading.
The pieces come to me almost like jigsaw-puzzle pieces, and I have to see, feel, how they all fit together.
The chakra and aura attunements that I do are a little different. I use a combination of pendulums, crystals, and other tools to help get your energies flowing properly.
SS: How much do you charge and what is your contact info?
TC: I charge $25 for a tarot reading; chakra and aura balancing is $30. These prices are a third of what I charge in the U.S.
For more information you can visit my website www.tctahoe.com and if you have any questions feel free to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Susan Schenck, LAc, is a raw-food coach, lecturer, and author of the two-time award-winning book, The Live Food Factor, The Comprehensive Guide to the Ultimate Diet for Body, Mind, Spirit & Planet, which has gained a reputation as the encyclopedia of the raw food diet, as well as Beyond Broccoli, Creating a Biologically Balanced Diet When a Vegetarian Diet Doesn’t Work. She teaches raw classes in Cuenca and can be reached at LiveFoodFactor@Yahoo.com.