Vol. 9 #10 / December 1, 2017
In this Issue:
- Tarot Tip: Tarot, Sacred Space and Your Magical Practice
- Tarot School Aphorism
- What's Gnu?
- PsychWise: Working with Tarot in Psychotherapy and in Psychological Groups
- Best Practices: Review Me, Review You
- Upcoming Events
Welcome to a new issue of Tarot Tips!
And a special welcome to our new subscribers.
This is the season of wishes and dreams, of
giving and receiving, and of being as kind to
each other as we can. This year has been difficult
for many of us, and the holidays are often
experienced as a mix of joy and tears. If you've
been going through a tough time, tarot can be a
trustworthy companion. Of course the cards are
great for giving us some perspective through
readings, but they're also great listeners!
Go through your deck and find a card you
find particularly comforting. Choose either
the main character in the card or another image,
such as an animal, to be your personal confidant.
You can tell it anything you want. You might
receive a response (or not), but the important
thing is to have someone to talk to who will
listen, accept and support you unconditionally.
Gina Thies is taking this month to finish work
on her upcoming deck, Tarot of the Moors.
But she did bring together a great group of
columnists happy to share some of their
expertise with us all.
This month's Tip is by Sasha Graham, who adds
a magical perspective to this magical season with
her insights on sacred space and tarot practice.
In PsychWise, Jayni Bloch shows us how tarot can
be effectively used in psychotherapy sessions, and
Jenna Matlin discusses the tricky issue of online
reviews in the Best Practices column.
If you'd like to write a piece to be featured in a
future issue of Tarot Tips, let us know!
And one more thing...
In keeping with the spirit of giving, please
consider contributing what you can to the
James Wanless Cancer Fund. James is
the creator of the Voyager Tarot -- one of,
if not *the* original decks using collage.
(And this was before PhotoShop, folks!)
The Voyager Tarot has been a gift to the
tarot community, and helping James during
this difficult time is one way we can give
back. If enough of us give even $1, it will
make a difference.
There are only 14 days left!
If you're not familiar with Voyager, you can
check out James' website here:
And get a free Card-of-the-Day reading here:
With love and gratitude on the tarot journey,
Have you ever cast a Tarot spell? Magical results are
Ruth Ann, Wald, and Gina
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.
Spread the experience of tarot - share this newsletter
with other Tarot Enthusiasts!
TAROT, SACRED SPACE AND
YOUR MAGICAL PRACTICE
often surprising as the best things in life should be.
Tarot spells often lead us to places where unanticipated
wonders await. Unforeseen pleasures are akin to
synchronicity, the universe’s way of wrapping its arm
around us, leaning in and whispering into our ear,
“Oh yes. You are on the right path.” Unexpected
pleasures confirm and let us know that we chose well.
Sacred space occupies the place between the mechanical
aspects of tarot spell crafting and the tarot spell’s
manifested results. Sacred space is the pliable and
expansive place where creative possibility exists. Like
a crossroads, it is a threshold where multiple
possibilities converge. The place where forest meets
field. Where cultivated vegetable gardens meet wild
thorn bushes. Where lips conceal unspoken words.
Where inside meets outside. Where the known and
unknown collide. It is the membrane, the very skin of
our psychic reality. It is where we pass into the interior
of a tarot card to interface directly with the Arcana.
To use tarot as a gateway, center the mind and enter
the card using your consciousness to explore. Guided
meditations are helpful for this purpose. Tarot cards
may be used at a gateway but, then again, anything can.
Remember, you can enter an herb, plant, rock, tree, or
any object just as you would a tarot card.
Sacred space is the place where questions fall away
and instinct becomes paramount. Intuition becomes
our torchlight. If a line exists between our creative
imagination and reality, it must be a fluid one.
Perhaps it moves like the ebbing sands of the ocean?
Or is the line gauzy and thin, like the earth’s delicate
atmospheric membrane? We become the fecund earth,
and the sustaining oxygen bubble becomes the boundary
between us and the possibility of an ever-expanding
Is the sacred space manifested by tarot spell-casting
always at our fingertips? Is it not sacred space that
opens between lovers, bodies entwined, skin caressing
skin, souls lit with passion fire? Isn’t this exactly
the space that occurs for the painter between himself
and his subject? Between a writer and her journal?
Doesn’t a walk in the woods reveal sacred space at
every turn? The discovery of a waterfall, an explosion
of wild roses, a craggy old fruit orchard reverberates
with the magic of gateways, story and possibility?
If we discern the subtle difference of sacred space and
creative imagination we realize how powerful we are.
We recognize our singular point of consciousness is the
filter of that which passes before us. We easily see
that what we focus on becomes a reality.
Magical practice gives us an opportunity to experiment
with the nature of how the universe is constructed.
Science tells us inside our atomic matter there is more
“space” than actual “stuff.” We don’t just spring from
nature. We are nature. Our bodies are made of ancient
stardust. All that space found inside of our cells and
atoms the scientists speak of? My instinct tells me it is
sacred. We don’t just create sacred space. We are made
of sacred space. We are imbued with it. Tarot reading,
creative pursuits and a magical practice bring it out of us.
Every time we invoke magic, we really invoke ourselves.
Ourselves as we have always been intended to be.
Sensitive. Brilliant. Inventive. Authentic. Unique.
Powerful. Knowing this, it is possible to weave sacred
space beyond mere spell-casting and into every aspect
of our daily life.
Cast your cards wisely. I believe in you.
Check out Sasha’s books: Tarot Diva, 365 Tarot
Spreads, 365 Tarot Spells and keep an eye out for
her 2018 release, Llewellyn’s Complete Guide to
the Rider Waite Smith Tarot Deck.
In addition to writing the above-mentioned books,
Sasha Graham served as editor and contributing writer
of Lo Scarabeo's Tarot Fundamentals, Tarot
Experience and Tarot Compendium. She is creating
her first tarot deck with Marvel and Disney artist
Mirco Pierfederici, The Haunted House Tarot.
It will be released by Lo Scarabeo in 2018.
You can learn more about her at:
Tarot School Aphorism
JOIN US AT THE
2018 TAROT & PSYCHOLOGY
(NOTE: If you have already registered for the 2018 Readers Studio and would like to
add the Thursday, Tarot & Psychology Conference to your registration, contact us
for the coupon code to get the special 2-conference discount.)
WORKING WITH TAROT IN PSYCHOTHERAPY
AND IN PSYCHOLOGICAL GROUPS
by Jayni Bloch, M.A.
I find that if I use images in my psychotherapy work
with clients, their psyches respond more positively
to their ‘healing’ process. Images, and especially
archetypal images like those found in the Tarot,
are medicine in the healing process.
Our Souls are seeking guidance on our path through
life with all its challenges. I believe that our human
nature longs for connection with the mystical side of
our beings, which are usually suppressed in our linear,
rational obsessed society. When using images, we
reawaken that side where we find ‘soul-guidance’.
After all, ‘divination’ comes from the word Divine,
which is about connecting to something deeper and
beyond our rational minds and physical existence.
Images connect us to the world of essential universal
principles, the world of archetypes, which is where we
connect to the Divine.
During a recent workshop where I teach healing
principles and general psychological philosophical
subjects about the workings of the psyche, I presented
two completely different image types, of which the 12
participants had to choose one of each set, blindly.
One was the Mary-El Tarot – Landscapes of the Abyss
by Marie White (http://www.schifferbooks.com/the-
mary-el-tarot-4816.html). The other set of images was
the Medicine Cards – The Discovery of Power through
the Ways of Animals, by Jamie Sams and David Carson.
Most of the participants were familiar with the Tarot,
so I surprised them by juxtaposing two unexpected card
sets, in the same reading, to stimulate their imagination
in their encounter with the unfamiliar. It is amazing what
transpires immediately by association and imagination.
Then I asked them, without looking at the official
interpretations, to write a short story, with a clear
title, about the cards they got, as well as form a
ceremony or action, to consolidate the message they
got from their psyche’s response to the images.
An additional task was to observe the synchronicities
immediately after the reading, in the material world as
well as their dreams at night, to recognize connections
and correspondences with the reading.
This process is powerful in the sense that the reading
continues in daytime dreamtime as well as nighttime
dreams. The other factor is the action they take or the
act they perform to consolidate the message in their
psyches. A message left in the brain only is half a
message. It’s got to become manifested through
action. Our psyches believe the message when we
act on it.
An example is a woman in her late forties who has just
lost her mother and is also experiencing changes in her
career. This is her story. She arranged objects and
herbs around a printed sacred geometry image I gave
them all to start the inspiration on which they could
build whatever came to them in their process.
The cards she drew were, a Blank Shield Card (from
Medicine Cards) and the Knight of Cups (from Mary-El
Her story is titled:
The Illumination of the Medicine Woman.
On the morning of her birth, the Medicine Woman
awoke to the fullness of the sun. Dazzled and dazed,
she couldn’t remember who she was. She patted
around but could find nothing to either identify
herself or tell her what to do next.
A beautifully dressed Knight rode up. His horse had a
handsome saddle, and his own plumed hat indicated a
high station. Most notable was his throat jewelry:
lapis lazuli of the finest quality. By merely looking
at her he seemed to understand her predicament and
said, ''I was told in a dream that I would find a
Medicine Woman, born this day and in need of my
Attempting to answer, the Medicine Woman could only
grunt — tapping at her throat frantically. The Knight
smiled kindly in response, and pointed to some sacred
herbs, trees and flowers growing close by. ''Take this
sack and gather as many of those plants as it will hold.''
The Medicine Woman did as she was asked and returned
to the Knight, her little medicine bag bulging with
leaves, flowers, bark and berries. But still she could
utter no words of thanks. Unfazed, the Knight instructed
the Medicine Woman to catch a fish and offer it to the
Creator as thanksgiving. She did this, but was still
unable to speak.
The Knight continued his instructions, this time asking
her to wait for an animal sign. The Medicine Woman sat
and burned some sage, offering another silent prayer of
thanks. When the smoke had cleared, a lovely blue
feather fell to the ground. Looking up, the Medicine
Woman saw nothing more than some wispy clouds and
the radiantly shining sun.
Certain she had everything she needed to begin her
journey, she ran to the Knight to show him her sign.
But when she tried to speak –– nothing.
The Knight reassured her. She had done everything
perfectly and the Creator was well-pleased with her
efforts and offerings. However, the final step in her
initiation was not known to him. It was something she
needed to discover on her own.
Tired and somewhat discouraged, the Medicine Woman
climbed down the bank to the river that ran along the
forest’s edge. She sat awhile, finally closing her eyes
to sleep. It was in her dream that she saw it: the
sixteen-petal lotus floating luminously in the water.
She opened her eyes and was surprised to see the moon
rising over the tree tops, the sky nearly dark.
And there in the moonlight she could see it: her lotus
flower: Only too far for her to reach; and she
couldn’t swim. The flower seemed to glow in the
moonlight, rivaling the moon’s own beauty. Something
deep inside her ached and cried out — and she
couldn’t believe her ears. She was speaking softly to
the flower, beckoning it to come a little closer, so
she could have it to cherish and love.
Hearing her lovely voice, the lotus moved gracefully to
the shoreline and allowed itself to be lifted from the
water. The Medicine Woman had all she needed now and
could remember her life’s purpose. Her healing
journey could begin.
This is a beautiful example of a true healing experience
that will still unfold in the future. The medicine name
'Music' came up for her while in the group.
A second example of a healing story that came out of
this two Card reading is the following: A lady got the
images of the Wild Boar and the Star.
This woman struggled to tell a story about these two
images. She came for an individual session for that
reason, so she could overcome her resistance. She also
reported dreams filled with anxiety about fear of
failure. Her current circumstances demonstrated that
fear clearly in how hesitant she has become to take on
a new innovative task in her job, because of the
familiarity with the old and familiar. It is obvious to
me how desperate her soul is to be creative and
innovative, but her conventional ideas of her self-image
inhibits her to venture further than the accustomed.
I asked her to just begin to tell me what she imagines
when thinking about these images. She started climbing
into a tree out of fear for the Wild Boar. She felt
that the Boar had a message for her, but she was too
scared to get out of the tree. Sitting in the tree made
it impossible for her to see the Star, and that too
made it more urgent for her to get out of the tree.
Because she tends to intellectualize and has previously
divided herself into practical ‘body-intuition’ and
‘higher mind’/true-Self, I realized that she is separating
herself from these two aspects of herself by hiding in
the tree of intellect, where she is out of touch with both
her body-instinct and her higher guidance. I wanted her
to realize this without me telling her what I think, so I
prompted her with a suggestion.
‘’If this were my story, I would want to be in touch
with both my instinctive practical power to do things
that work as well as have access to the higher
guidance that I know is there for me, so it would be
important for me to get out of my tree of rationalization
that kept me from both.'' Her eyes lit up as she realized
the suggestion was true for her, and her story followed
with her getting out of the tree of hiding to receive the
message of the wild Boar where she could also see the
Star and move in her presence. I asked her what action
she plans to take upon this realization to make it real
in her life.
The visceral sensation of truth was so powerful in
this experience that she promised herself to bring
the essence of the Wild Boar and the Star inside her
by reminding herself of the affirmation: "Hiding in
the tree of intellect confirms my fear of failure.
I love and accept myself completely and choose to
get down to earth so the star is with me and the
sky is the limit.''
Now it was possible for her to give her story a title:
Coming Down to Earth gives me the Limitless Sky.
And the action she takes is to notice when she is in
the tree of rationalization, so she can climb out of
there to be in her Wild Boar that has access to the Star.
She will practice this process and adjust as she becomes
aware of more.
Helpful Summary of the Process:
• Always start with an intention, a statement of
intention to see, hear and speak from 'truth', or what
you need to see as truth, or ask a specific question.
• Ask for protection and guidance.
• Use unexpected, unfamiliar images from unusual,
different card sets.
• Keep it very simple: two- or three-card readings.
• Tune into your Soul-imagination, and write a short
• Give your story a title.
• Observe synchronicities in actual events as well as
your nightly dreams, and recognize how they relate and
correspond to the reading in surprising ways.
• Adjust your story according to the dreams and
• Act on your awareness, following the direction of
the reading, or design a ritual to make the reading
prominent to your psyche. Use fun objects as well as
herbs, stones, feathers, candles, fires, images, and
whatever speaks to you.
• Thank the Universe.
Love and Blessings,
Jayni Bloch, M.A.C. Psych. Assoc. practices as
Kanata Psychotherapy Centre. She is registered
with the College of Psychologists in Ontario since
1998 in Canada and previously with the Medical and
Dental Council of South Africa as a Clinical Psychologist,
for 18 years prior to coming to Canada. She is a
Psychotherapist Practitioner of Cognitive and
Spiritual Healing modalities, Teacher, Artist, Author
Best Practices for Professional Readers
REVIEW ME, REVIEW YOU
By Jenna Matlin
Third party reviews can make (or break) a business.
Now more than ever, businesses, even one-person tarot
reading businesses, have to bring their A-Game for
every person and in every experience.
In the past small businesses relied on word of mouth
and community good will. Word of mouth reach was
limited because it was confined to one-on-one
interactions. Now one “mouth”will reach millions of
“ears”, and what they have to say about you (for
good or for ill) will exist for all of perpetuity.
According to a study conducted by the Harvard Business
School, a one-star increase translates into a 9% jump
in revenue. Conversely, the first bad review can
result in a 13% drop in sales. Never before could so
few words mean so much.
In order to embrace the review-age, the first step is
to not be afraid of it. In fact, it is in your best interest
to welcome it. Let your clients know where you
are online and ask them to leave reviews for you.
When you get a good review you can usually leave a
public comment thanking them, or you can reach out to
them privately. Good reviews are helpful because, from
their eyes, I learn so much about myself. My reviews
have repeating descriptions such as “warm” and
“like a sister or best friend.” I was able to use these
key words in my website copy and marketing to their
Bad reviews are tough, though, there is no way around
it. But even in the most unjust review there lies a
grain of truth or a lesson that has great potential to
make me a better reader and business owner. When you
get a bad review, go ahead and take a moment to rail,
cry, shake your fist at the heavens for the injustice
that has been visited upon you.
Then attempt to reach out to them privately and see if
you can fix the situation. Ask them what you can do to
put yourself back in their good graces. Apologize if
there was an honest to goodness mistake on your part
and if necessary, give them a refund. Hopefully you
will have repaired a relationship and from there you
can ask them to please modify (or remove) their
If the client refuses to remove the review, ignores
your attempts to repair the issue, or is a client you
cannot identify, then your only other recourse is to
publicly respond to the bad reviewer’s allegations.
In the public response do not attempt to defend
yourself (though you badly want to) or argue with them.
Instead, apologize for their inconvenience and offer to
give them a refund.
As much as you want to clear your good name, doing so
on such forums will only make you look like you are
unwilling to receive criticism. Once you have offered
to repair the reading, and responded publicly, there is
nothing more you can do but move on, learn from it what
you can, and keep racking up those good reviews.
Reviews can be a reader’s best friend or worst enemy,
but reviews and consumer driven reviewing are here to
stay. The sooner you embrace it, the sooner you can
turn reviews to your advantage.
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