What is “Champagne for the Soul” all about?

Published on June 28, 2014 by   ·   No Comments

Why Champagne for the Soul?  It’s my own playful spin on Chicken Soup for the Soul.  Yes, we need sustenance, but we also need play and fun.  We need to explore all of the subtle energies that surround and influence us without fear or reservation.  Champagne for the Soul is about celebrating yourself in positive and helpful ways.

So who are you?

My name is Chris S., but most people (especially those finding me through this site) know me as Janessa Jaye Champagne.  In addition to performing, my interests include energy work and tarot/oracle card reading – among other things!  I hold an MA in English from the University of North Dakota, and I have taught college classes in Women and Gender Studies at UND as well.

How long have you been reading tarot cards?

I’ve been reading cards since high school.  One day I just bought a deck and started throwing cards.  It was that simple.  Anyone can learn to read the tarot.  You don’t have to be Miss Cleo or one of LaToya Jackson’s psychic friends.  You do have to be willing to spend some time with it.  One of the beauties of tarot is the complexity of symbolism.  You can really enrich your life by taking time with a deck and studying all of the visual stories.

What typically happens in a reading?  Isn’t it scary?

There is nothing scary about tarot!  Typically, after cleansing the cards I shuffle them for a while and then have you do the same.  There is no set pattern or “rules” for how to do this.  A reading is often just about what “feels right” in the moment.  After the cards are shuffled, I lay them out into one of several spreads that I use.  Then we just talk through what the cards can mean, what the positions in the spread refer to, what influences and questions are emerging, etc.  People are always welcome to ask questions if something is a little unclear, but remember that you may be getting new or even uncomfortable information.  Allow the information to sit with you for a while.  My style of reading is not about saying, “This thing will happen on this date” but rather about exploring the energies, influences, and people around you and helping you come to a better understanding of the situation(s) you face so that you can navigate them more easily and make better, more informed choices.  The experience should be empowering, and can be very emotional.

But what if the cards say I’m going to die?

This is a question I get a lot, and seems to be one of the biggest fears about the tarot – isn’t it going to say I’m going to die?  Remember that the tarot is a symbolic tool, and nothing in our lives is set in stone.  There is indeed a “Death” card, but it doesn’t necessarily mean physical death.  Death is all about transformation and change, and this is the spirit of the card.  Death is a part of all of our lives – no one lives forever!  But if a relationship “dies,” we are reborn in that way.  Or if we take on a new job, or become a parent, or any number of things.  When we start these new paths, the old self dies away to make room for the new self.  If someone close to you has passed, this card can pop up to remind us to honor our grief but to also look for the reminder of transformation that death offers.  There certainly are times where it could mean our physical death – if you have a terminal illness and your health has been declining, it might mean that death is approaching.  But it could mean that your illness has put death in the forefront of your mind and these thoughts are affecting your energy. Nothing is set in stone, and what happens will happen.  The important thing is the message, and what we are meant to learn from the situation.

If this is about helping people, why do you charge?

This is a great question!  When I was first toying with the idea of doing readings for pay, I asked a friend of mine who is also a reader this question.  She said, “People are more invested in listening to a message they have to pay for.”  This is part of the reason – readings are fun and entertaining, but their purpose is to help you recognize the energies and influences around you.  If you are willing to invest a little bit of money in the process, then you are probably willing to listen to what comes out of the reading.  Even if you only decide that the reading was for fun and entertainment, you might listen a little more closely and take it a little more seriously. 

But is it also because I have some skill that others don’t?  Of course not!  As I said before, anyone can learn to read the tarot.  But for some, they don’t have the time/energy/interest/patience/attention or whatever else to sit down and really study the tarot.  And that is just fine.  After all, everyone could potentially learn how to cut and style their own hair.  But I’m glad that I have someone I can go to instead.  They are providing me with a service that allows me more time to focus on my interests – like studying the tarot!  For this service, I’m willing to compensate them for their time.  So too with the tarot. True, it may seem more exotic than taking your car in for an oil change, but the concept is the same. 

How does someone get an appointment with you for a reading?

I am available by appointment, just reach out to me at chrismstoner@hotmail.com and we can schedule a session.  I occasionally will have a scheduled reading day at a local venue like the Urban Stampede or a special event; these will be announced in the Announcement section of this site as well as on the Champagne Dreams Productions facebook page – be sure to “Like” us if you haven’t already!

Anything else people should know about tarot readings?

Messages are all around us, all of the time.  Sometimes you just need to see them come together in the cards.  But be willing to listen to what the universe is putting out there for you!

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