Relax. It's not woo-woo.
My philosophy of tarot is grounded on intuition, the idea that you already have your own answers but may need a way to tap that personal wisdom. So I won't be casting spells or lighting incense or waving my hands around with my eyes closed.
What I do is this:
First, I ask you to get comfortable with both me and the cards. I have several decks for you to choose from -- I want you to pick one that resonates with you. I use traditional decks in the sense that each has 78 cards broken into two categories, with one of those categories broken down into four suits, each suit consisting of ace through ten, with four court cards (like face cards in a regular deck). But aside from that, they're wildly different.
After you've chosen your deck, I'll ask you to shuffle it in whatever manner you like. As you're doing so, I'll ask you to think of what question you'd like to ask, or even if you want to ask a specific question at all. Some people just want what I call a "snapshot" of their lives at the present moment, a look at the various energies and forces at play and how they work together or work against each other. But if you have an area of specific concern -- say, a job or relationship issue -- I'll help you frame the question in a way that will get you the most useful information (and remember, in tarot, it's only fair to ask about yourself, not peek into other people's lives).
When you feel as if you've shuffled the cards enough, I'll ask you to cut the deck into three stacks and then restack them in any order you feel like.
Now it's time to lay out the spread (this is what a selection of cards is called, with various meanings assigned to each card position). There are many different spreads to choose from, from one card spreads to multi-branching fifteen cards spreads. Which spread I choose depends on what kind of information the querent (that's the person getting the reading) wants to know. Some work well for comparing and contrasting two ideas -- others show a central issue and all of the forces affecting it.
Once I have the cards laid out, I'll flip them over and see what's there (If you wish, I can also start my digital recorder at this time, if you'd like the option of having a recording of the session sent to you as a digital file). At this point I'll give you an overview of the reading -- what issues I see in the overall spread. And then we can go card to card. I'll explain what each card means, how it functions within that particular position, and how it relates to your question (and to other cards).
You get to ask questions. I do too. So you'll hear a lot of "Does this make sense to you?" or "Is there anything in your situation that relates to this idea?" Like I said, I'm not psychic. My job is to help you see the patterns in the information, and the more I know, the better I can help you.
Of course, tarot works even if you don't feel like telling me anything (even your question can be kept to yourself if you're not comfortable sharing it). In these cases, you'll have to do even more of the work, for while I can share possible interpretations, you'll be the one connecting the dots in the end.
When we're done, I'll sum everything up. You get to ask more questions. And then we're done. If you'd like a record of your spread, I can also e-mail that to you as a jpeg file (on most decks anyway -- one of my decks is not available on the software I use).
And that's it. No woo-woo (unless you like woo-woo -- in that case, let me know and we'll talk woo-woo).