Finding Wisdom Through Tarot

Writer Michael Cheung speaks to Hong Kong-based spiritual counsellor Letao Wang about his approach to tarot card readings and what purpose it serves in this day and age.
20 Jul 2022
Words by: Letao Wang

Fascinated by the world of tarot but have no idea how to read past each illustrative card? Hong Kong-based spiritual counsellor Letao Wang has honed his own techniques, by combining the practice with Western Astrology, Numerology and clinical psychology in order to decode the cards. Using analysis techniques widely adopted by modern psychologists, Letao unlocks innate wisdom from the cards to share to those who ask.

Letao Wang, spiritual counsellor and tarot reader in Hong Kong

Please tell us about yourself, who you are, and your upbringing?

I have been a spiritual counsellor in Hong Kong since 2014. I grew up in a multicultural environment with Chinese parents and was educated in Japan and Australia.

Do you recall your first encounter with tarot cards? What do you remember of the event?

It was back in 2009 when serendipity brought me to a psychic shop in Sydney, Australia, where I had my first tarot card reading. There I encountered the person who would become my spiritual guru, who would teach me everything about astrology and mythology. I never had any exposure to mysticism or spirituality prior. It left a strong impression.

Tell me more about your guru, and how you honed your practice?

Paris Debono was the teacher who first led me on my spiritual discovery path, when I struck it lucky one day whilst strolling down the street with a friend in Newtown, Sydney, where I was drawn into Paris’ shop to receive my first reading – it was really an eye-opening experience. Later, I returned to Paris for another reading session. I felt very inspired. Slowly, I became a regular, until one day, as if he had been waiting for a very long time, he said, “You are very gifted. Are you interested in learning astrology?” The rest is history.

I didn’t start reading for clients during the early days of my apprenticeship. As you can imagine, doing readings for clients can be a huge ask. Every word exchanged during a counselling session carries weight, because it could impact a client’s life. It took 5 years of studies to gain the courage to establish myself as a professional.

What made you move to Hong Kong?

It was almost like the universe called me to this bustling city. Back in 2011, I was living in Tokyo, and the infamous 2011 Tohoku tsunami occurred in Japan. Just 2 weeks after the tsunami, I was suddenly offered a job in Hong Kong, so I made a decisive move.

In astrology, the planet Neptune is symbolised by the god of the ocean, Poseidon. Funny how the tsunami was the trigger of my move. Thinking back, I felt like I was carried by the divine ocean/Neptune to Hong Kong, and it was one of the best decisions I have made.

Your readings with private clients are based on a structure of an astrological analysis and a card divination reading. How did you come up with this approach?

I realised that different ways of divination have unique strengths, and that they work very well together when we adopt and combine methods with a therapeutic session. My session usually contains two parts: analysis and treatment. My techniques and studies are rooted in astrology, mythology, tarot, and numerology. For treatment, I use cognitive behaviour therapy, combined with mindfulness during a session, both of which are commonly recommended by modern psychologists.

Bringing together the new age with clinical psychology, astrology, and cartomancy is a bit like using traditional Chinese medicine and Western medication. The remedies work together to help us gain deeper insights into our lives.

close up of Letao Wang doing a tarot reading for the new moon in Leo
“Perhaps what I really love about doing readings is not just about discovering the future but essentially bringing a touch of healing, and a therapeutic element to the client’s life.”

What tools do you primarily use in a reading?

With my practice, I will use my own cards, which I designed. The deck is based on astrology and mythology. Sometimes I deploy the traditional Rider Waite tarot too.

How has your practice evolved between your 20s and now, embarking on the journey in your 30s?

In my 20s, I was more of an apprentice, studying under a guru and observing him doing readings. There was a lot of reading, journaling, shadowing and practice. I focused on gaining knowledge and becoming more knowledgeable as an astrologer. In my 30s, to further my skills to become a more wholesome spiritual counsellor, I took my Master’s in Counseling at Monash University. Perhaps what I really love about doing readings is not just about discovering the future but essentially bringing a touch of healing, and a therapeutic element to the client’s life.

Knowing you travel extensively to attend spiritual workshops and events to master your craft, has there been a particular experience that left a strong impression?

One of the best travelling experiences I’ve had was attending a spiritual workshop in Nagano, Japan, in 2018. It was hosted in a beautiful village, and I can still recall the starry night skies. The workshop was about dream interpretation. At the workshop, I first discovered the world of dreams and how to work with our dreams for manifestation. I was fascinated by the topic!

Tarot card deck designed by The Kingdom Healer, Letao Wang
Tarot card deck designed by The Kingdom Healer, Letao Wang

How would you advise first-time clients to prepare themselves for a reading?

Many first-time clients can be nervous and are unsure of what to expect during a spiritual counselling session. I usually ask them to relax and see our session as a way to discover their potential and talents and resolve the blockages they encounter from time to time. Perhaps to make the counselling session more informative, it is recommended that we clarify what we are trying to seek from each session. With a sense of purpose, it is much easier to gauge and tackle the issues. Healing is a long process, and I remind clients that we are always in charge of our lives. A session can work like a torch, illuminating the path already in front of us.

Why do you think tarot card readings are particularly relevant to this age?

Divination has been practised for thousands of years. Regardless of time and place, we experience stress when there is uncertainty, and thus we want to seek insights into our lives. Using the ongoing global pandemic as context, I have noticed that clients who have decided to make a reset professionally, leave a relationship or move to a new country are going through their first or second Saturn Return or an important Saturn Transit. In astrology, Saturn is the planet that does the reviewing; it brings karmic lessons as well as cleansing. Through the analysis and therapeutic process, clients gradually begin to understand what is happening to their lives from a cosmic point of view, allowing them to process anxiety and develop a different perspective on themselves.

What are your ambitions for the future?

The next several years for me will be invested in writing and publishing! I am working on an astrology book focussing on healing and self-love through the wisdom of astrology. I hope this book will make astrology more accessible to people. I also want to engage in more workshops globally, so I’ve been talking to some of my fellow spiritual masters in the US about collaborations!

Speaking about the future, what should our readers expect from your monthly tarot card readings that you are creating exclusively for The New Moon?

The themes for these readings will coincide with the cosmic location of each new moon. Each new moon cycle is a period of renewal, when we can make a conscious emotional reset. The monthly readings will provide general guidance on what we can focus on and which matters require your awareness or attention. I hope that these readings will offer some helpful advice!