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One woman's intuition: Erin Buss of Lionheart Tarot

Doing a reading as Sybill Trelawney for Harry Potter Book Day. Sarah Hansen / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 5
Tarot reader Erin Buss with some of her favorite decks. Sarah Hansen / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 5
Erin Buss reading the cards. Sarah Hansen / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 5
A first tarot reading. Sarah Hansen / RiverTown Multimedia4 / 5
Lion Heart Tarot hosts a pop up shop at Rivertown Comics & Games on March 8. Sarah Hansen / RiverTown Multimedia5 / 5

Erin Buss loves to relax with a hot cup of coffee and a good book.

Young adult novels are her favorite but she also has an impressive collection of tarot and intuition books — at least 3 feet worth — on her bookshelf.

Teacher's assistant by day, tarot reader by night, Buss sees many unique parallels between her day job and her side business Lionheart Tarot.

"Children are so intuitive and being around kids makes you more open to all the possibilities that life has," Buss said.

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Being intuitive has always been a part of Buss' life, but it took many years before she discovered she could harness that talent and give it life through reading tarot.

"How I got into tarot is pretty boring I just ... bought a deck," she said. TV, books and movies were an inspiration and when she began asking questions with her first deck something just clicked.

"I was a sensitive child. I was a crier," said Buss. "I went to school for massage therapy and realized that a lot of the feelings and anxieties that I had were not my own, so that was really enlightening, and we studied energy work so that kind of got me down the rabbit hole there."

Today her collection of tarot decks has grown from one to 14. She's driven to Minneapolis to learn from tarot experts and she continues to read extensively on the subject. She regularly pulls a card for the day and describes its meaning for fans of her Lionheart Tarot Facebook page.

The Twin Cities are home to many well-known tarot readers, she said, and one of the more famous publishers of tarot decks, Llewellyn, is located in Woodbury. Her first deck, still her favorite, features Welsh myths and was published by Llewellyn.

"It's the ultimate self-help tool," Buss said. "It's your best friend when she's had a few too many and is being brutally honest and it can be a little bracing sometimes but it's really enlightening and I think it has a positive impact on people. It's a lot of fun."

Buss conducts readings via phone, Facebook, email and text. She hosts pop-up readings in Red Wing and also has read for local events including Girls Night Out, One Shake is All it Takes fundraisers and Harry Potter Book Night at the library.

"I've kind of kept it on the downlow because it's such a small town and it's such a religious community and people see it like fortune telling or witchcraft," Buss explained. "But I see it as magic in the sense that magic is a science that hasn't really been discovered yet ... people thought acupuncture was crazy and now health insurance covers it."

Buss said she tends to believe that tarot works through the subconscious coming out and relating to a truth the person already knows. She said some people are scared to read tarot because they don't want to hear anything bad, but she insists tarot won't tell a person anything they're not ready to hear.

"Just try it," she said. "I do single card readings for $5. Try it and see if you like it. You might like it, you might not. It changed my life."