My Afternoon With… Tori Hartman & the Chakra Wisdom Oracle cards

Soul & Spirit’s Deputy Editor Danielle Lett met up with world-renowned spiritual teacher Tori Hartman to understand the Chakra Wisdom Oracle cards that helped her tap into her own intuition…

As someone who’s been developing more of an interest in spiritual cards for a while now, I was thrilled to hear that I’d be getting to spend the day learning to read the Chakra Wisdom Oracle cards with the woman behind them herself, Tori Hartman. She was stopping off in London for a few days, and I was lucky enough to catch up with her, one-on-one, for a truly life-changing experience.

We begin our journey by looking back at the history of the Chakra Wisdom Oracle, and how it came into being. “I had a near-death experience back in my twenties,” Tori explains. “As I was recovering, angels started to visit me, telling me these stories that I refer to as ‘fables’. Each one was different, and all dictated to me from one angel or another. After that, I wrote these fables down and I just shoved them in a drawer.” It wasn’t until 20 years later, when Tori had a client who visited her, that the fables reappeared. “I ended up pulling out the fables because I was looking for some paper, and out they came.”

It was from here that her cards were born. “The cards came about through the fables. Even though the card deck came first and toolkit second, the toolkit has all of the original fables in it.” After self-publishing her book stateside, something had told Tori to head to London to begin the next stage of her Chakra Wisdom Oracle journey.

“To me, the toolkit is one of the more valuable pieces of learning this deck. The whole purpose of this deck is that it’s an internal journey. This deck is one that will show you where you are, help you understand your life as it is at this point and reinvent yourself as you need, and really help you to understand that you are fine as you are.”

Tori goes on to explain that during our time together, it will in fact be me doing the work here, aided by her guidance on my spiritual journey. “A lot of people around carry weights on them and they don’t recognise it. I can never teach someone to read cards by speaking to your brain – you have to speak to your intuition. What may not make sense to your brain right now will be on purpose. By the time we finish our time together, you will have a knowing in your intuition. This is how the fables developed in the cards.”

She then taught me the concept of the ‘neutral observer’, a very important technique needed in order to be a reader of this deck. “The idea is that I have to be completely neutral, yet present. People often mistake that for being detached. Detachment is a form of withholding. The neutral observer, however, which I talk about in the third book, simply sits there and says ‘that is interesting’. There are feelings, but there is no opinion. I see myself as a conduit − I’m taking this information and handing it to you. It’s a real honour that I get to join into your spiritual realm.”

Armed with the know-how and grasping the concept of how to be a neutral observer, it was time to get down to this card pulling business I was so eager to try my hand at. After shuffling, I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and the first card that I drew from the deck was ‘Façade’, one of the yellow cards, meaning it related to the third chakra.

Secondly, I drew ‘Impasse’, one of the orange cards that’s connected to the sacral chakra. I then eagerly looked to Tori for her thoughts. “What that tells me is everything I need to know about you from these two cards, as I’m in an energetic state with you. We’ve been speaking for a while and I can see how much personal work you’ve done, and the journey you’re on to really heal this inner child work.” Tori then went on to explain that my façade is my biggest challenge right now, relating to both my internal and external, opening up the question: ‘do I look as I feel?’

“There’s a part of you that wants to be out in the world, and there’s a part of you that’s vulnerable. That’s what façade tells me.” We then look to the Impasse card that I pulled. “I love this card,” Tori says with glee. “I didn’t really know about this card until one of my practitioners helped explain it to me. It’s not a ‘no’, it’s a ‘just not this way’, a ‘this isn’t the way you’re going to get it’. It’s an emotional card, and it tells me part of what’s going on with you is that you’ve been drawing your emotions from an old idea that doesn’t work for you anymore. Sometimes we outgrow things, and we don’t know we’ve outgrown them.”

All of this so far rang eerily true for me, as drawing on from my personal experiences, I do often feel how I look out on the outside often doesn’t best portray how I feel on the inside, and there have been hopes and dreams I’ve held on to in the past that clearly aren’t going to work in the way I had once hoped.

I then pulled my next card. ‘Joy’. “One of the things that comes forward to me immediately, is that if you’re looking at this as a buzzword, is that I’m looking at it as a cliché in your life, and joy has been the biggest thing you’ve chased in your life.” That truth ran deep with me.

Looking back throughout my life, I’d spent a lot of time thinking that I’ll reach a peak of happiness once I’d achieved a particular goal. But in doing that, I’ve neglected other ways in which I can find happiness. So through this reading, and looking back on my life, it was time I stopped chasing one goal in particular, and learned to find the joy in other areas of my life.

“The impasse card tells me that the foundation for the meaning of joy may not be the one you think it is. It’s an old paradigm, and we need to look at how to change that paradigm.”

Tori then takes me through one of her meditation exercise that she often does with clients during readings, of which can actually be found in her book, How To Read The Cards For Yourself And Others. “You and I are standing in a beautiful green field. About 50 metres away, there is a huge wall of water. It’s coming at us − but we’re going to dive under it when it reaches us. We’re going to take a deep breath. As it gets closer up to us, we’re going to duck under, and you’re going to be able to breathe under it. We’re going to dive under it, and we’re fine.”

This allowed me to let any rush of emotions, whether positive or negative, to wash over me, in order to reinforce my role as the neutral observer. By doing this, I could look at the cards I’d drawn with my intuition, and not with my mind.

“When I look at Danielle’s cards, I see darkness, dawn and light. The darkness is the work she’s done, and she’s doing a great deal of attempt to break through the façade. This reading is a huge part in breaking through a lot of old ideas for her. This kind of spread is more seeing through your intuition. Danielle has done a lot of self-work, seeking work and intuitive work. That’s the façade part. Then we look at the impasse card, which is a stop, and it’s telling you ‘it’s not this way’. All the work you’ve done hasn’t led to where you want to go.

What Tori and I did together was poke holes in that old idea that I’d been clinging on to, and looked at how destructive certain ways of thinking can affect my own self-development and the bettering of myself.

“Your strength cannot be with your mind, it must be with your soul. And that’s what this reading is about. Now you have a whole way to look at things through these cards.” And with my newfound knowledge, I left my time with Tori having found a new way to observe what is happening to me, and how I can make the most of what’s going on around me.

Tori Hartman is a world-renowned card diviner, whose 49 fables form the basis of her Chakra Wisdom Oracle series. The card deck and books are all available from Watkins (). To find out more on Tori, visit