Vol. 3 #11 / November 1, 2011
In this Issue:
- A Note from Ruth Ann
- Tarot Tip: Dealing with Naysayers and Non-Believers
- Tarot Card Showcase: Five of Cups
- Upcoming Events
- Best Practices: Key Components for a Tarot Code of Ethics
- Featured Tarot Blog: Tarot Tactics
Welcome to a new issue of Tarot Tips!
And a special welcome to our new readers.
We're keeping this welcome intro on the short side
this month to make room for a special note from
What does it mean when a tarot reader is said to be
an "ethical reader"? Should tarot hobbyists have
ethics or is it just for those at a professional level?
Questions that should or should not be addressed in
a reading have become a big topic for the modern
tarotist. The other major issue is confrontation by
those who "don't believe in tarot cards." These
topics are our focus in this issue.
We would like to thank you once again for your
support during our hiatus. It is good to be back,
bringing you the best in practical guidelines for tarot
students of every level.
Yours 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.
Spread the experience of tarot - share this newsletter
with other Tarot Enthusiasts!
A NOTE FROM RUTH ANN...
With a mixture of sorrow and gratitude, I'd like to
take this opportunity to mark the recent passing of
Steve Jobs. I've always felt a special kinship with him
because we share a birthday. But more than that, it is
only because of the vision and pioneering work of Steve
and the amazing Apple engineers that The Tarot School
My first home computer was the original Macintosh and I
have never wavered in my devotion (yeah, I'm one of
those people). Almost everything that I personally do
for the school and for Readers Studio is done on a Mac.
The personal computer has made so much possible for us
all. It's so easy to take it for granted, and I must admit
that I spend so much time at one that it's sometimes
hard to remember what life was like before-hand. But if
you take even a minute or two to reflect on the incredible
number of ways our world has evolved as a result, you
may share in my feelings of awe and appreciation.
Steve's Birth Cards were the Wheel of Fortune and The
Magician. In reading his wonderful biography by Walter
Isaacson, the themes of these two cards are reflected
on just about every page. If you read the book, keep
that in mind as you go along -- it's freaky! (BTW,
Woz is a Tower/Chariot.)
There's a quote in the book from Stuart Brand, editor
of The Whole Earth Catalog, that reads: "A realm of
intimate, personal power is developing -- power of the
individual to conduct his own education, find his own
inspiration, shape his own environment, and share his
adventure with whoever is interested."
I am deeply grateful for the ongoing opportunity to
share the adventure of tarot with you.
DEALING WITH NAYSAYERS AND NON-BELIEVERS
There are a lot of clients or friends who come around
who don't support my belief in tarot -- part of this is
due to Christianity. They say that they don't believe
it, and it's against God, etc. What do you do when this
I've been a tarot enthusiast for several years.
Over the years, we have been asked about this situation
many times. Depending upon whom you ask, you'll get
different opinions and advice on how to deal with this
issue. Here is how we have handled it ourselves.
If your clients don't believe in tarot, assuming
tarot is why they are your clients in the first place,
there's probably some contradiction within them. It
may be helpful to clear the air around what they are
getting from your services. Basically, ask why they
would pay to hear information or guidance that they
are already discounting.
It is not necessary to believe in anything to benefit
from a tarot reading. Perhaps what your querents
think is that they are giving up control in some way
when they ask for advice or help from the cards.
When you respond to or defend yourself against this
prejudice, there could be all sorts of reactions and a
lot of further defending to do. There are no finite
answers to this dilemma. The scenarios are too unique
and complex. Here are some suggestions and areas you
may want to evaluate:
1. Have you defined what you believe about tarot?
You could be struggling with your own beliefs or
cultural positions on the cards.
2. Practice discretion and discernment.
Recognize when you are in the company or environment
of those who will judge you.
3. Find a like-minded community. There are many
tarot enthusiast communities and meet-ups where you
can toot your horn about tarot. If you can't find one,
start one or join one online.
4. Start attracting the ideal. Who would be your
ideal client? Are you putting out a defensive vibe,
or feeling like you always have to explain your
personal beliefs? Find a way to attract what you want
for your practice.
5. Educate. Use the opportunity to educate doubters
about what tarot is and isn't. Keep in mind of course
that they may not care. However, you can use little
one-sentence explanations that become affirming for
your own stance on tarot. For instance, "Tarot tells
a truth no matter what you believe." Or "As a
reader, I strengthen knowledge of your possibilities."
Sometimes, it is best to respectfully acknowledge them
with a simple "I understand" and move on.
6. Shame, Guilt and Fear. Keep in mind that these
emotions/conditions are in response to what we should
or shouldn't do or accept socially and morally. Guilt
is usually internal and shame is usually external.
Examine areas where these may play out in you.
The trick is not to become defensive and argumentative.
Do your best to listen respectfully to your querent's
objections and answer them calmly without raising your
voice. Sometimes, the mere act of doing a reading for
them that is truly helpful can modify their opinion.
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.
FIVE OF CUPS
Astrological Attribution: Mars in Scorpio
Qabalistic Attribution: Gevurah in Briah
Esoteric Title: Lord of Loss in Pleasure
The Five of Cups is possibly the third most disliked
card in the deck. It causes emotional discomfort simply
to see the figure wrapped in a black cloak and the
overturned cups near the riverbank.
Often associated with the saying "crying over spilt
milk," many interpret this card to mean getting over
what is already lost. It is sometimes said to indicate
that the pleasure in something or someone dearly loved
or meaningful is being disrupted.
Another way to approach this card is through its
esoteric title. The phrase "Loss in Pleasure" can
easily be misunderstood as loss of pleasure. However,
loss in pleasure more aptly describes the paradox of
delighting in a pleasurable act or indulgence, while at
the same time experiencing (or causing others to
experience) a negative consequence. For example,
that double-fudge chocolate cake that tastes so divine
when you're eating it can engender a mixed emotional
experience if you know you shouldn't be having it.
When it comes to matters of serious addiction, the
addict's "good time" can erode or even destroy close
Fives are related to strife, struggle, chaos and
changes. The Five of Cups brings this discord to the
emotional level, mainly in relationships or happiness.
Seated in Gevurah, the Five of Cups is not pleasant --
it's meant to be a learning experience.
The Five of Cups commonly suggests frustration,
disappointment and emotional loss. The overturned cups
could represent focusing on what has been lost or
spoiled instead of looking at what remains in the two
cups still standing. Or possibly, those cups are also
tainted in some way and present the querent with the
challenge of learning to ignore them in order to move on.
In a reading this card can be interpreted as fear,
sadness and despair. You may have a realization that
you don't have the support you need from friends or
family. You may resign yourself to accept failures or
loss as "water under the bridge."
Positive Keywords: Self-discovery, self-preservation,
release, flow and change.
Negative Keywords: Emotional loss, grief, regret,
endings, depression and discontent.
Tarot Affirmation: I honor the changes and transitions
in life. Valuable lessons are learned, and disappointments
or losses are a bridge to positive new experiences.
CARD STUDY COMPLETE: SUIT OF PENTACLES
Card Study Complete is a course that aligns itself as
closely as possible with the energy of the seasons.
With this series we take a look at the Minor Arcana in
the form of the Suit of Pentacles, usually associated
with the upcoming season of Winter.
In these four classes, you'll find out that the Suit of
Pentacles is magnificent. It's a whole world all by
itself, and one quarter of all there is. And if you
don't already know it, you'll also begin to realize
that the Minor Arcana cards are anything but minor.
Pentacles is the suit of the body, symbol of earth, of
what is complete and solid and real, the gift of freedom
and connection to every individual person and thing.
This series will be full to overflowing with information,
with new perspectives, and with exploration. If you
treasure the useful, the provocative and the enjoyable,
11/17 The Symbol of the Pentacle
12/01 Ace - 5 of Pentacles
12/08 6 - 10 of Pentacles
12/15 The Court of Pentacles
4 Thursdays: November 17, December 1, 8 and 15.
9-11 pm Eastern time
Tuition: $80 for the series -- includes .mp3 recordings!
Earns 8 Degree credits
You'll receive the mp3 recordings even if you can't attend
Sunday, November 20
Free Readers Studio Teleconference
Open to all -- Join us for an informal get-together
which is often surprising and always fun!
1:00-2:30 pm Eastern time
Sign up and get the call-in details at:
LaGuardia Marriott Hotel
April 27-29, 2012
The Readers Studio
East Elmhurst, New York
Speakers include: James Wanless, James Wells,
Shawn Nacol, Nancy Antenucci, Marcia McCord,
Jude Alexander, Mary K. Greer, Barbara Moore,
Thalassa, James Ricklef, Courtney Weber, Frances Ktenas,
Paris Finley, Chanah Liora Wizenberg, Ciro Marchetti,
Sheilaa Hite and Mike Hernandez.
Best Practices for Professional Readers
KEY COMPONENTS FOR A TAROT
CODE OF ETHICS
Ethics in any field is a way of defining the
expectations of those within a profession or
organization. Expectations fall into the two
categories of the knowledge and the behavior of
the members. This also includes personal morals
The study of esoteric and spiritual tools usually has
an underlying mission of soul evolution. The interest
in tarot for most may come from an underlying drive to
help and heal others. By contrast, charging for this
service may not seem spiritual. I am sure no reasonable
person intends to make money from tarot unethically.
Professional to professional, I cannot think of why you
would not want to establish some ethics for what you do
as a reader. Ethics in tarot as a profession came out
of a need to legitimize honest readers and offset the
bad reputations created by dishonest readers in the
past. Here are some components to consider should you
want to adopt or revamp your code of ethics.
Codes of ethics in general may include:
1. A commitment to adhere to a professional standard
of skill and knowledge.
2. A promise to protect the interests of clients and
3. Personal or professional accountability,
including referring clients to a licensed professional
for advice of a legal, financial, medical, or
psychological nature that you am not qualified to
Your code of ethics is also a good place to outline
what types of readings you will not perform, such as
third-party "spying" and predicting winning lottery
A well-communicated code is really about your
reputation with those who are or could potentially
become patrons, and is a good way to reassure them
of your professionalism.
Questions arise when developing or transitioning
to professional Tarot Reading status to earn
income. These can range from "How can I make
money with Tarot?" and "How do I get started?"
to more complex technical and business questions.
You may already be up and running and have
questions about how to enhance or ramp up your
business. We would love to hear from you. Send any
questions, or interest in a future class on the
Business of Tarot, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join our international event as hundreds of tarot
readers, teachers, authors and artists gather for three
extraordinary days of tarot study and play.
THE READERS STUDIO
April 27 - 29, 2012
LaGuardia Marriott Hotel, New York
for all the details!
Featured Tarot Blog
Come and be a part of a brand new blog!
Tarot Tactics, written by our own Gina Thies,
is uniquely geared for the professional reader and
novice tarotists. Gina shares her experiences of
strategies and advances made as a modern reader.
This blog has tarot history and connections to tarot
from other traditions. Make sure and stop by and
see who will appear on the Who's Who in Tarot page!
Join our 3,530+ fans and join the fun!
You never know what we'll say next...
Do you have a question or comment on anything tarot?
Suggestions for future topics?
For information on tarot classes, courses,
© Copyright 2011 The Tarot School - All Rights Reserved
Directors: Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone