Vol. 7 #7 / August 1, 2015
In this Issue:
- Tarot Tip: Insight, Intuition & Instinct
- Tarot School Aphorism
- What's Gnu?
- PsychWise: Ask Dr. G. – Repeat Business: The Art of
Giving a Useful Tarot Reading
- Tarot Card Showcase: 7 of Swords
- Best Practices: Are Online Star-Rated Review Sites
Helpful or Harmful to Readers?
- Cool Tarot Product
- Upcoming Events
Welcome to a new issue of Tarot Tips!
And a special welcome to our new subscribers.
There are several terms used in spiritual and occult
topics that are often interchanged or loosely associated
to mean something specific. What are the differences
between insight, intuition and instinct? It is believed
that the continued use of tarot helps build strong intuition.
This issue offers developmental tips for doing so.
Honest feedback and praise have become the norm for
online consumers. Nothing aggravates professional
practitioners more than users who leave negative or
dishonest comments. ‘Best Practices’ weighs in on the
virtues, or lack thereof, of online review sites.
The Seven of Swords is showcased this issue, and our
own Dr. G offers an interesting perspective on why
clients and repeat business are relevant to therapists
and readers alike, and suggests strategies to maintain a
And one more thing...
Would you like to feel balanced, whole, and supported in every way?
The Celebrate the Goddess Telesummit
is a FREE multi-speaker event that will
show you how to bring the magic of the
Divine Feminine Presence into every area
of your life.
Our colleague, Kim Wilborn is bringing
20 wonderful teachers together for a series
of one-hour calls. Each call is like a mini-class
devoted to a different Goddess, complete with
You'll be able to listen to live calls online, by phone, or via skype,
and 48-hour replays will allow you to listen at your convenience.
The event runs Monday, August 3 through Friday, August 14
with two or three 1-hour calls every weekday.
Yours truly on the tarot journey,
Tarot Tips is here to help you with the practical side
of your Tarot journey. In order to take the greatest
advantage of this newsletter, please send us your
questions regarding any aspect of your tarot study
or practice and we'll do our best to answer them
in an upcoming issue.
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INSIGHT, INTUITION and INSTINCT
Good instincts are natural to everyone, but
sharpening our intuition and keeping it keen
could be said to be of utmost importance for
our role as readers, and as students of
systems that lead to psychic attunement.
A well-developed intuition is commonly
associated with mystical interests or psychic
phenomena. Some assume that intuition and
psychic ability fall under the same general
umbrella as mystic “seership,” while
others view intuition as the “inner knowing”
of self or something outside of self. Intuition is regarded as instinctive
understanding rather than logically thought out conclusions. Developing your
intuition has the benefit of helping you to understand the nature of your world,
and can elevate your experience into the unimaginable.
Seers, mystics and oracles of years gone by dedicated their
lives to accessing knowledge of higher realities. The ability
to use your intuition to reveal important information or wisdom
is a skill that can be developed, much like any other natural talent.
Intuitive impressions connect to your soul as well as your mind
by opening your heart to the highest possible wisdom, inspired by
sources beyond what’s in front of you. Objects or sacred tools like
tarot can be utilized to discover your own intuitive “signature”
and help to validate the messages you receive.
Each tarot card contains a composite of scenes, symbols or
imagery that can prove useful in exercising your intuitive
muscle. These symbols are points of departure that allow the
intuitive imagination to take flight. Novice tarot enthusiasts
come to realize that the cards come to mean different things
in different circumstances. It's your intuition that makes the
connection between your subconscious and card interpretation.
So how do we work in developing this “sixth sense” with
the cards? It is not very different from working with other
objects, but has the advantage of pictorial glyphs.
1. Start with relaxing your body and your mind.
Most people find some sort of meditation is great for this
as it helps to bring serenity to the moment and increases
awareness of your surroundings and sensitivity to the spirit
2. Cultivate spontaneity. Intuitive impressions are best
left uncensored. At first, it may be useful to write down
any first impressions you get with the cards. If you find
that you’re aware of your thoughts and feelings, move onto
the next card.
3. Notice where impressions originate. The way your
intuitive skill communicates with you may not be the same as
it is for another person. Did you see the impression in your
mind’s eye? Did you hear a voice, or have a physical
sensation? In addition to noting what impression you got
from a tarot card or symbol, also notice what sent these
signals, and from where in you they originated.
4. Lay out the cards in a spread of your choice and
walk away. Do not look for interpretations in a book or
try to find a story line. Simply glance at each card and
walk away. You can go for a walk outside or make a nice
cup of tea. The idea is to take your conscious thinking
off of the images, allowing them to roam around your
subconscious for a bit. Walk back to the spread and then
jot down any impressions that come to you. If you normally
use upright cards, then reverse them all. Don't think in terms
of pros and cons or upright versus ill-dignified meanings.
Try to get a sense of the inclinations your intuition is
offering in the moment.
5. Give attention to what you don’t “see.” Are you
getting mental images that have nothing to do with what
is actually depicted on the card? Pay attention to your
environment and be keen to notice anything that is not
normal to your surroundings, or a pain or ache that is
not the norm for your body.
6. Let all these impressions speak to you, and only
interpret the cards at the end and if you must.
Tarot School Aphorism
READERS STUDIO FIRST-TIMER VIDEO!
As we mentioned in the last issue, one of the
things we love most about Readers Studio is
the collaborative energy the tarot community
puts into making it consistently fresh and interesting.
Angelo Nasios took it upon himself to video
a number of RS15 first-timers at the end of
the conference to find out what they liked best
about the event. He then edited the clips together
and posted the video on his YouTube channel.
The result is a fun, energetic look at the Readers
Studio experience. Kudos and thanks, Angelo!
RS16 HOTEL RESERVATIONS PORTAL
Our dedicated Readers Studio hotel reservations portal is live!
It has everything you need to know about your room -- and so
much more. You'll be guaranteed to get the group rate, and won't
have to deal with a person who doesn't know what RS or The
Tarot School is. It couldn't be easier! Remember, you don't have
to pay anything until you check out *after* the event is over,
so there's no reason not to BOOK YOUR ROOM NOW!
Click Here to see how cool it is!
PsychWise – Tarot & Psychology Q & A
with Elinor Greenberg, PhD, CGP, CPTR
REPEAT BUSINESS: THE ART OF GIVING
A USEFUL TAROT READING
Dear Dr. G:
I am an experienced Tarot reader but other readers
seem to get more repeat business than I do. What
can I do to increase the chance that querents will
return to me for additional readings?
When I reflected on this question, I realized that Tarot
readers and psychotherapists often have similar experiences.
The equivalent psychotherapy question is: “Why don’t my
past clients ever refer anyone to me?”
In both cases, I think the answer generally boils down to
the issue of usefulness. In my opinion, the least useful
form of psychotherapy involves the therapist who simply
listens sympathetically as the client complains week after
week, never challenges the client’s perceptions, or
teaches the person any new skills. Clients generally leave
this type of session somewhat relieved to have expressed
their feelings and pleased by their therapist’s interest,
but no wiser about what to do in their day-to-day life than
when they walked into the room. The equivalent type of
Tarot reading is so bland, general, and reassuring that it
makes little or no impact on the querent.
We all have had that type of reading. We ask our question,
the Tarot reader lays out a spread, and then proceeds to
tell us very little that actually applies to our situation;
or conversely, tells us so much that we leave confused. I
had been getting readings like this for years before I
became a Tarot reader myself. However, my experience
changed for the better once I learned to read Tarot and
began to go to the Tarot School’s “Readers Studio”
conferences. There I had access to some of the best Tarot
readers in the world and I discovered that a different type
of reading was possible, one that actually helped me make
important decisions and get useful insight into my life.
When I analyzed what made those Tarot readings so
memorable that I sought out those same readers again and
again, some general principles jumped out at me.
1. Stay focused on the querent’s specific question.
This may seem obvious, but when I go for a reading, I
generally want specific guidance about a particular issue
that is troubling me, or a decision that I have to make. My
favorite readers stay focused on my question and I leave the
reading with some very specific guidance.
An example: One of my most useful readings was by James
Ricklef at a Readers Studio conference. At that time, I was
trying to decide whether to focus my energies on writing and
publishing papers (something easy for me to do) or go back
to work and finish one of the three books that I was writing
(something that felt hard). James’ reading was very definitive
and it definitely suggested that for now, I should focus my
energies on my papers and leave the books for another time.
I left happy and very clear about my next step.
This reading contrasts with many readings that I have
received over the years that either never answered my
question at all or simply gave me vague reassurances that
all would be well no matter what I chose to do.
2. Don’t do long and complicated readings with lots of
I find that I have a limited ability to take in information.
If the important points are scattered among multiple cards
and I am given lots of information, I start to lose focus
and tend not to remember what has been said. If it is hard
for me, a Tarot expert, to take in so many different points,
it is nearly impossible for the average querent. If you do
insist on using a favorite spread with over a dozen
different positions, please be sure to sum up your findings
at the end in a way that answers your querent’s specific
An example: I once got a long and complicated reading from
Robert Place with his beautiful Alchemical Tarot deck. Just
when I was beginning to feel lost and overwhelmed by the
amount of information that I was receiving, he stepped back
and pointed to one card in the spread: Key 3 The Empress.
In this deck she is naked and leaning seductively against a
tree. Bob artfully used this card to sum up the entire reading
and said: “Right now, you are the seductive Empress. You
do not have to chase after what you want. You can relax and
be your beautiful and alluring self, and what you are now
seeking will come find you.” I left that reading very satisfied
because everything that I really wanted to know right then
was contained in Bob’s summation of that card.
3. Avoid being overly reassuring and glossing over the
Some of the most boring and useless readings that I have
ever received involved readers who became uncomfortable
when some of the so-called “bad cards” showed up in my
reading, such Key 16 The Tower or the 10 of Swords. Instead
of simply reading the cards as best as they could and giving
me a coherent and accurate reading, these readers twisted
and turned in order to find alternative meanings for these
cards that might make them seem more hopeful. Or, if they
didn’t know that I knew Tarot, they simply skipped them
entirely and gave a positive reading that the cards
themselves did not support. Nobody likes to be the bearer of
bad news, but sometimes the truth is exactly what the
querent needs to hear.
An example: In retrospect, one of the most enlightening
readings that I ever received was from a reader named
Cassandra who was giving free readings at a new store in my
neighborhood. I had my very bored and restless
eight-year-old daughter with me. We waited in line for ten
minutes, which must have seemed forever to my daughter.
Finally it was my turn. Cassandra read with two sets of
Major Arcana cards and no minors. Key 16 The Tower showed
up in a prominent place in my reading. Just as Cassandra
was explaining to me that this card could mean, among other
things, a sudden insight that shakes one’s foundation or a
fall from heights, my daughter suddenly slipped and fell and
started crying. I had a sudden and unforgettable “Aha!”
experience. Here I was hoping that a Tarot reading would
give me insight about how to be a better person, yet I was
totally ignoring my daughter. That was definitely a
“Tower” moment for me. The synchronicity between
Cassandra’s explanation and my daughter’s fall taught me
an important lesson about my self-centeredness.
4. Leave room for doubt.
I have no patience with Tarot readers who are totally certain
that whatever insight they have about the cards must be correct.
I was once at a Tarot conference when an experienced reader
who believed in the infallibility of her psychic powers did a
reading for a new and impressionable Tarot student. I was
only half listening to the reading, when I heard the reader
suddenly and loudly say, “Oh no! Your sister is going to die!”
Needless to say, the querent became very upset and immediately
left to call her sister, who turned out to be fine. Nonetheless,
the seed of doubt had been firmly planted and the querent
could not enjoy the rest of the conference because she continued
to worry about her sister’s health. I ran into the woman two
weeks later and asked her about the prediction. She said
that it had ruined the conference for her and the only person
in her family who had turned out to be at all ill was a distant
cousin. The reader was simply wrong.
5. End your reading on a positive note, ideally with
something that your querent can do or think about that
relates to their specific situation.
I am recommending the obvious, that you do not end a session
by telling the querent that someone important to her is likely
to die soon or any other dire news. We will all experience
terrible, painful things in our lives that we cannot avoid.
Simply telling us about them in advance is of little use to us
(even if the Tarot reader is correct in her prediction unlike
the one I described above). However, although we may not
be able to change these events, we do have some leeway in
how we choose to deal with them.
One of the things that I like to do when a reading appears
to be about to end on a bad note is to keep laying out
additional cards until a clearly positive card turns up.
The number of cards between the negative card and the next
positive card gives me some useful information about how
long the challenging situation is likely to last and how
seriously the querent should take it.
Let me give two examples using the same outcome card: the 5
of Pentacles from the Rider-Waite-Smith deck. This card
depicts what appear to be two poor people trudging through
the snow, with the smaller figure on crutches with a
bandaged leg. They are passing a building with a stained
glass window that has a pattern of five pentacles arranged
like the first five sephiroth on the Kabbalistic diagram of
The Tree of Life. This card is often associated with
poverty, financial and physical challenges, or homelessness.
Querent 1: Outcome card is the 5 of Pentacles and the next
card is the Ace of Pentacles (A ‘good’ card immediately
follows the ‘bad’ card).
Querent 2: Outcome card is the 5 of Pentacles, then a
reversed Key 10 The Wheel of Fortune, an 8 of Swords, and
finally Key 17 The Star (In essence, there are two more
‘bad’ cards before a ‘good’ card finally shows up).
In the first case, with Querent 1, I was able to reassure
her that although she might briefly feel poor and hopeless,
a new opportunity was going to quickly come her way that
would improve her situation.
With Querent 2, I told her that some patience would be
required of her. She might begin to feel as if luck was
against her, but just when she started to really feel
worried and trapped, everything would turn around and end up
going in a very positive direction after all. I then picked
up the final card, Key 17 The Star, and asked her to look at
it closely. Like most people, she said that she liked this
card and it made her feel relaxed and hopeful. I suggested
that she picture this card whenever she needed a reminder
that her future held good things and that the world would be
generous with her.
If you want to increase the likelihood that querents will
return for additional readings and recommend you to their
friends, be sure your readings are clear and to the point,
sufficiently exciting that the reading keeps their interest,
and that you end with something positive that they can think
A good Tarot reading, like good psychotherapy, reveals what
has been hidden, shines light on the path ahead, and suggest
which attitudes and actions are likely to prove productive.
The best Tarot readers, like the best psychotherapists, end
the session in a way that dramatically highlights what is
most useful and important for the querent to remember, as
both James Ricklef and Robert Place did for me.
Dr. Elinor Greenberg, PhD, CGP, CPTR
is an internationally renowned Gestalt therapy
trainer who specializes in teaching the diagnosis
and treatment of Borderline, Narcissistic, and
Schizoid adaptations. She has been studying
tarot since 1995 and is psychology consultant to
The Tarot School, where she earned a Third Degree
in Tarot. She is a member of B.O.T.A. (Builders
of the Adytum) and has been certified as a professional
tarot reader by the American Tarot Association.
Tarot Card Showcase
In this section we will feature tidbits on a specific tarot card.
While there are many systems and decks to choose from in
the world of tarot, here we use the Universal Waite Tarot
images and symbols.
Copyright 1992 U.S Games.
Moon in Aquarius
Victory in the World of Formation
Esoteric Title: Lord of Unstable Effort
Daring, impulsive, alone. Crafty, indirect, insolent,
slippery. A master of tactics, he avoids confrontation.
Shameless, fearless and cheerful, no respecter of the
Establishment or its rights or property, he has a light
touch in heavy matters. Sometimes he steals things or ideas,
sometimes he plants them. The hidden critical factor, he can
precipitate or defuse a volatile situation. Effective in the
short term, he is a monkey wrench in the works, a lubricant
in sticky situations, and the bubble-gum that holds things
together. James Bond.
Spy, hypocrite, deceiver, manipulator, researcher, thief.
Taking action; hidden motives; indirection and misdirection;
gathering evidence; close shave; coup.
Figure in Foreground: The element of surprise; an unexpected
turn of events
Red Hat and Boots: Symbols of action and energy
Fur Trim: Symbol of the shapeshifter, master of the lunar
powers of change and disguise
Figures in Background: Refer to the Aquarian predilection
for causes and communal action
Tents: Temporary dwellings, symbols of the fast-changing
phases of the Moon — the designs on the tent flaps
(circles and wavy lines) refer to the Moon in Aquarius.
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Best Practices for Professional Readers
ARE ONLINE STAR-RATED REVIEW SITES
HELPFUL OR HARMFUL TO READERS?
By Gina Thies
The Internet has essentially changed how readers and
querents find each other. It has become easier for consumers
to find a diviner who has an online presence, but not so
easy to decide if they actually will meet a particular need.
Many people research services or products to make informed
buying decisions, and online reviews and testimonials are
becoming essential to the buyers' decision-making process.
Or are they?
It is all too easy for a disgruntled client to make their
dissatisfaction known to the public by leaving a less than
praiseworthy comment about the type of reading they’ve
received. And it is a hassle to have negative reviews
Many e-commerce sites use a system that authenticates
reviews by verifying genuine sales or membership. Sites that
are “crowdsourced-based” rely on algorithms to weed out
untrustworthy reviews and those that violate their policies
or guidelines. In a recent article on Fortune.com by Colleen
Kane, she mentioned, “one source estimated that 30% of
consumer reviews are fake”
Untrustworthy reviews were such a problem on a site
frequently used by readers that many displeased merchants
On the other hand, when a client is dissatisfied and gives
negative feedback, the reader often reaches for the “I
didn’t tell them what they wanted to hear” excuse and is
being unreasonable, rather than understanding or
acknowledging that a reader has some level of responsibility
for the quality of the reading. But that is a whole other
talk show, as they say.
As to whether the sites that offer reviews are beneficial to
any business, many people recommend that reviews be taken
with a grain of salt. I once was told that people are more
likely to talk about the bad service they’ve received
rather than give recommendations or talk about their
satisfaction with a service. Why? Negative events overall
have more of an impact on one's psychological state than
We have to be aware that writers of these reviews may or may
not be equipped to write well-considered critiques. Most
reviews are laced with skewed perceptions, both positive and
negative, and whether reviews overall contribute positively
to the consumer experience remains a question. The
usefulness of reviews in any individual situation remains a
personal matter for the consumer, and as always, caveat
But online product and service reviews are a fact of life.
For me this all goes back to being of service as a reader
and making sure you actually take care of your customer.
Have a conversation with them before you flip cards to find
out their expectations and explain what they can expect from
a reading with you. After the session is over, don't let
your querent leave without getting their feedback. Very
often, before they walk away or hang up, you can get a sense
of their satisfaction. In my experience, when customers
spend their hard-earned dollars and aren't happy, they will
say so. That's the time to see if there's any way you can
give them some satisfaction. (Keep in mind, that's not
always possible.) I think it is just good customer service
to contain an issue before it escalates in the form of a
public negative review.
Cool Tarot Product
Anyone who has known us for awhile will think it's
hilarious that we'd tell you about Tarot T-Shirts,
as it's the one venture we attempted since starting
The Tarot School that was a definite mistake. If
you'd like to know the gory details, you can read
about them on our website here:
To be fair, we attempted to make a go of it
before the advent of CafePress, Zazzle, etc.
so perhaps you can grant us a pass. :)
On the other hand, the folks at German-based
Tarot T-Shirts started a venture putting some edgy
(and frankly provocative) original tarot designs
from independent artists and designers from around
the world on T-Shirts, mugs, posters and more.
They're just getting started so not all the cards are
available yet, but what they have so far is pretty cool.
Forest Hills, New York
August 3, 10, 17, 24 and 29
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Readers Studio Teleconference -- Free!
August 23, 2015
Come hang out with us on the phone
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other and brainstorm new ideas.
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