Newsletter of The Tarot School
ISSN: 1529-0565 
Vol. 5 #8 / September 1, 2013

 In this Issue:
- Welcome
- Tarot Tip: Story Circle Technique
- A Special Announcement
- Tarot Card Showcase: Nine of Pentacles
- Best Practices: The Power of Co-Creation
- Featured Tarot Blog: Tarot Cards, more than just a deck of cards 
- Upcoming Events

Welcome to a new issue of Tarot Tips!
And a special welcome to our new readers.
September is here -- or as we like to call it, "Back To
Tarot School Season!" 
We took a little time off from teaching last month, but
we're raring to go with new classes. Our Monday night 
NYC classes resume on September 9th. We'll be starting 
our exploration of the Suit of Wands, so if you're in the
Manhattan area, do stop by! 
And starting on Thursday, September 12th, we have an
exciting new teleseries on The Hanged Man, Death,
Temperance and The Devil. (Keep reading for more info and
how to join the class.) This month's Tarot Tip is one of
our favorite group activities. The Story Circle is a great
way to play with tarot at a party, in a class, on an online
group or forum -- or even by yourself. 
The showcase card for this issue is the lush Nine of
Pentacles, where we explore some of the card's beautiful
symbols. This month's Best Practices column was submitted
by Brigit "Biddy Tarot" Esselmont, who will be making her
first trip to Readers Studio next year and leading one of
the popular evening study groups. Her article gives you a
behind-the-scenes look at her process of co-creating custom
spreads with her clients. 
There is yet another blog find, plus an announcement of an
exciting tarot event!

And one more thing...
Earlier this year, we were interviewed by Dr. David Van
Nuys on his ShrinkRap Radio show about the marriage between
tarot and psychology. A volunteer recently transcribed the
interview and it's available to download for free. You'll
If you want to listen as you read along (always more fun!)
or check out more informative interviews, you'll find them
Yours truly on the tarot path,
Ruth Ann, Wald & 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 Tip
The Story Circle is a wonderful group activity that
especially lends itself to working with Tarot cards.
Each person shuffles their own deck and places it face-down
in front of them. One person starts by turning over his or
her top card and begins a story based on a character or
event portrayed in the image. After about a minute (no
shorter!), that person stops and the next person continues
the story by turning over their top card and picking up on
the sequence of events. And so it goes around the group.
There are only three rules:
1) The story must begin with "Once Upon A Time...."
2) The story must end with "And they lived happily ever
after" (giving the next-to-last person the opportunity to
plunge the characters into deep water!).
3) The character who is introduced in the first card must
appear in every subsequent "chapter."
You can create a Story Circle all by yourself, using
essentially the same rules as for a group. The only
modification is that you must choose all the cards
  • First, pick the number of cards you want to use to create
  • your story. 
  • Then, choose those cards by any method you like from a
  • shuffled deck and lay them out face-down in a horizontal
  • When all the cards are in front of you, turn over the
  • first one and begin your story, which will, of course, be
    in writing. 
  • Let it take you as far as you wish, then turn the second
  • card and continue the process. 
  • When you reach the next to the last card, it has become
  • customary to plunge the story into its dramatic depths, and
    then create a happy ending with the very last card of the
    When you are done, you will have written a wonderful, and
    completely unexpected piece of fiction. This exercise can
    really get your creative juices flowing.
    Tarot Tips - 78 Practical Techniques to Enhance Your 
    Tarot Reading Skills by Ruth Ann & Wald Amberstone 
    Get your autographed copy at:


    We are excited to share with you a FREE event we're 
    going to be a part of this month!
    Twenty-two powerful Tarot teachers are coming together to
    help you deepen your connection to each card in the Major
    Arcana. Together we'll journey through the Majors from 
    The Fool to The World, gaining new insight and wisdom, 
    and connecting to the energy of each card through powerful
    guided meditations. 
    Our colleague Kim Wilborn will be interviewing us, along
    with 21 other Tarot teachers who will each share their
    insight, experience, and knowledge of a different card.
    There's no cost to attend, and even if you can't attend the
    talks live, you will get access to each replay for 48 hours.
    Join us and experience:
  • Suzanne Corbie: The Journey of The Fool
  • Lyndal Bronwyn: Living the Highest Level of The Magician Archetype
  • Stephanie Woodfield: The High Priestess - Awakening The Divine Within
  • Krystal Alexander-Hille & Alexander Retrov: 
  •     The Empress - Discover the Goddess Within
  • Shannon McLeod: Be Large and in Charge - Like an Emperor
  • Lisa Allen: The Hierophant - Tried and True
  • Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone: The Lovers: Opposites Attract
  • Pamela Eakins: The Chariot - Become a "Knower of the Field"
  • Kooch Daniels: Viewing the Strength Card as a Message of Inspiration
  • Michelle Skye: The Wheel of Fortune - Navigating the Ebbs and Flows of Life
  • Melanie Marquis: The Hanged Man
  • Ferol Humphrey: Death Card Tarot
  • Klara Adalena: Temperance
  • Amanda Donnelly: The Devil
  • Janet Boyer: Surviving and Thriving after The Tower Experience
  • Shela Skarp: Starlight, Starbright
  • Christiana Gaudet: Mysteries of the Dark, Power of the Light: 
  •     The Mystical Path of The Moon
  • Brigit Esselmont: Your Abundant Life: 
  •     Embracing the Positive Energy of The Sun to Create Positive Change
  • Arwen Lynch: Judgment Calling! Pick up the Phone
  • Nancy  Antenucci: A Brave New World
    We'll be talking with Kim on September 19th 
    about The Lovers: Opposites Attract!
    If you would like to strengthen your alignment with a
    spiritual tool that can bring you clarity and insight while
    it lights your way to joyfully fulfilling your personal

    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.


    Astrological Attribution: Venus in Virgo
    Qabalistic Attribution: Yesod in Assiah
    (Foundation in the World of Manifestation)
    Esoteric Title: Lord of Material Gain
    Traditional Meanings: 
    The work of the hands is finished. Now
    it is time for the work of nature.
    Others have gone before you -- a lineage
    of labor has created your inheritance,
    which is ripening in the summer sun. 
    Restrained, graceful. Silent, contemplative. 
    Slow, rich. Appreciative, content.
    Mature relationships. Solitary enjoyments. 
    Wordless certainty. Nothing wasted.
    Two Trees: Symbolize the Left and Right Pillars of the 
    Tree of Life, while the central figure in the card represents
    the Middle Pillar.
    Wooden Fence and Cultivated Garden: An indication of the
    orderliness of Virgo. The buildings in the background,
    together with the garden, represent an estate and symbolize
    wealth by inheritance. In this card the wooden fence is a
    symbol of property, ownership and the manifestation of
    wealth. The cultivated garden is a symbol of order, comfort
    and safety.
    Grapes: Symbol of abundance not quite available or complete
    -- the soon-to-be fruit on the table, the not-yet-pressed
    wine in the glass. Bunches of grapes, particularly,
    symbolize fertility and also blood and sacrifice,
    especially when the grapes are red. An enclosed vineyard,
    as in this image, was a Christian allegory for the Church.
    The purple color refers to Yesod (Foundation), the number 9
    on the Tree of Life.  
    Symbols on Robe: A reference to Venus
    Hooded Falcon: Especially during the Renaissance, the
    hooded falcon symbolized hope for a light to illuminate the
    darkness. The falcon was a royal hunting animal and the
    hooded falcon was a symbol of court life. The falcon, like
    the eagle, with its high flight and strength, represents
    freedom of the spirit. In Egyptian mythology, the falcon
    was the sacred animal of the Sun God, Ra, and Horus
    generally assumed the form of the falcon. In this card the
    hooded falcon is a symbol of high social status, modesty
    and self-control, and potential freedom and power.
    Snail: The snail is considered to be a lunar symbol because
    of the shape of its shell and because it alternately shows
    and withdraws itself and its antennae from its shell. In
    this regard, the snail is also considered a general symbol
    of constant renewal -- just like the waxing and waning of
    the moon. This lunar aspect is another reference to the
    Sephirah of Yesod (#9) on the Tree of Life. The spiral
    shell also relates the snail symbolically to fertility,
    conception, pregnancy and birth. Snail shells were valued
    as money, as well as fertility amulets, in primitive
    cultures. Here, it is a symbol of patience, the slow
    movement of ripening and maturing -- its red and blue
    coloring a balance of action and restraint. 
    Positive Keywords: Fruitful, mature, ripe, pensive, 
    independent, wealthy, steady, safe, protected, attentive, 
    reward, inheritance and opulence.

    Negative Keywords:  Lazy, unproductive, anti-social, 
    poor, crude and unrefined.

    Tarot Affirmation: I am sympathetic to the feelings of 
    others while taking care of my own needs.


    When we look at the world, it is a universal habit to look
    at what's there. Our attention goes to what there is, not
    to the spaces between. But those spaces are deep and filled
    with mystery, especially in tarot.
    In this set of classes, we will be crossing such a space
    five times, in five different experiences on five different
    paths. These are the most dramatic cards of the Major
    Arcana, and they pass through that impenetrable source of
    creativity in our lives called the Void of the Unconscious.
    These are five of the six paths that cross the unconscious.
    They are The Hanged Man, Death, Temperance, The Devil 
    and The Tower. Come and enjoy the ride!

    The Hanged Man, Death, Temperance, 
    The Devil and The Tower
    5 Thursdays,  September 12, 19, 26, October 3 and 10 

    9-11pm Eastern Time
    Tuition: $119 for the series -- includes .mp3 recordings! 
    Earns 10 Degree credits for live participation 
    You'll receive the mp3 recordings even if you can't attend the classes.

    Best Practices for Professional Readers
    By Brigit Esselmont ("Biddy Tarot")
    I love creating customized Tarot spreads for my clients and
    have been doing this for years in my professional practice.
    But something I've only just started doing, with wonderful
    results, is co-creating the Tarot spread with my client.
    As soon as I receive a request for a Tarot reading (via
    email), I start unpacking my client's question(s) and
    situation to get to the heart of the matter. What's the
    real question they're asking here? How can we draw upon 
    the Tarot cards in a way that will answer their question and
    give them a path forward? What language are they using?
    I brainstorm a series of 'mini questions' that form the
    customized Tarot spread, drawing on the client's specific
    situation, desired outcome and language used. I then send
    this to the client, before it's even time to do the reading.
    This is where the magic happens.
    I ask my client to go through the Tarot spread I have
    designed and to contribute what they want to see added or
    changed. Oftentimes, the client gives me the go ahead as
    is. But other times, we engage in a dialogue about what's
    really on their mind and how we can use the Tarot to help.
    It's a wonderful process because it engages the client from
    the get-go, it shows that you truly care and want to get
    the most value out of the reading for the client, and it
    ensures that you and the client are both on the same page
    about what's possible and what's most helpful.
    If you're not already doing it, why not give it a try? For
    your next reading, create a Tarot spread and ask for your
    client's input before you start the reading.

    Resource: Want to know more about how to design your
    own Tarot spreads and create strong connections with your
    clients? You'll love my Masterclass on DIY Tarot Spreads
    available here
    About the author: Brigit is a professional Tarot reader,
    teacher and mentor at
    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

    Featured Tarot Blog
    TAROT CARDS, more than just a deck of cards

    Professional practitioner Shubhra Jain writes about 
    her experience and expertise with the tarot cards and
    Very powerful insights from a wonderful woman.
     Upcoming Events:

  • September 22, 2013
  • Readers Studio Teleconference -- Free!
    Come hang out with us on the phone
    at our monthly informal get-together.
    It's a great chance to catch up with each
    other and brainstorm new ideas.
  • April 25 - 27, 2014
  • 2014 Readers Studio

    6-month payment plans available!


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    Directors: Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone