Vol. 7 #6 / July 1, 2015
In this Issue:
- Tarot Tip: That's a Good Question! 1–3 Card Reading Topics
- Tarot School Aphorism
- What's Gnu?
- PsychWise: Ask Dr. G. – Reframe and Rename: A Simple
Method for Doing "Therapeutic" Spreads
- Tarot Card Showcase: Knight of Swords
- Best Practices: Why Clients Don't Buy
- Upcoming Events
Welcome to a new issue of Tarot Tips!
And a special welcome to our new subscribers.
We are in the second half of 2015 an it seems to have
come upon us very quickly! To some of us, mid-year
brings review and reflection of the first half of the year.
We evaluate the resolutions or commitments we made
at the beginning, and sometimes we make adjustments
so we can achieve what we set out to do.
Change and adjustments are the core subjects of this
issue. We have come to know that Knights in tarot
represent change and the showcase card, the
Knight of Swords, demonstrates this very well.
The tip this month is all about questions. You’ll find
awesome questions for quick, short or mini readings that
would be handy for parties or fairs. PsychWise offers a
wealth of advice on therapeutic reading techniques, and
the Best Practices column answers a question from one
of our subscribers on why clients ask about pricing and
end up not buying.
And one more thing...
There has been an unprecedented rush for
seats at the 2016 Readers Studio (and
Tarot & Psychology Conference). 85 seats
have already been claimed! The updated
website won't be ready for awhile, but
if you already plan to be there, you may
not want to wait to register.
May your tarot journey be awesome and sunny,
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!
1–3 CARD READING TOPICS
What’s your question?
That is usually how a tarot reading begins. It seems
simple enough. But the response is often less than ideal
for a good reading. A good tarot reading often depends
on a good question that is specific and focused. Alas,
although that works in theory, many querents don’t have
a focused question, or have too many questions, or
worst of all for most of us, just want a general reading.
Framing relevant questions can be time consuming
and distracting for some querents. People are often
self-conscious and may have some resistance to
revealing their most intimate concerns.
It is an important part of the reader’s job to put their
querents at ease, and to be prepared for those times
when it is difficult to pose a question, especially for
One of the simplest ways to develop a question is to follow
the Who? What? When? Where and How? formula. Then,
think about the action to be taken or the reason for the focus
and finally, the querent's desires and feelings. Questions of
all sorts can be formed from these.
Here are ten suggestions for questions that querents might
find useful for 1-3 card spreads and/or popular general
1. How are my attitudes/feelings contributing to this
2. What story needs to be told?
3. Who do I need to consider?
4. What are my strengths?
5. When am I at my strongest/weakest?
6. Where would this take a turn for the worst/best?
7. Do I have all the pieces in place to proceed?
8. What is most useful in this situation?
9. What is expanding in my life?
10. How does XYZ see me/us?
Resource: For more suggestions, check out our
study guide, What Should I Ask? It contains over
300 questions arranged in 14 categories, making it
easy to find a good fit for your reading needs.
What Should I Ask?
Tarot School Aphorism
NEW READERS STUDIO POSTER ART!
Legendary tarot artist, Robert M. Place has just put the
finishing touches on the poster art for the 2016 Readers
Studio! With this image, we're pleased to pay homage to
the increasing number of men in the tarot community.
Thanks, Bob for your wonderful work!
Over at the Readers Studio Facebook Group, we've named him
"Richard Grant." He'll welcome you and grant you a great
time, wonderful readings, and maybe some wishes! We're also
creating some hilarious backstories for him -- so come on over
and join in the fun!
PsychWise – Tarot & Psychology Q & A
with Elinor Greenberg, PhD, CGP, CPTR
REFRAME AND RENAME: A SIMPLE METHOD
FOR DOING "THERAPEUTIC" SPREADS
Dear Dr. G:
I am not a trained, licensed therapist, yet I would
like to offer readings that are therapeutic. What are
some suggestions to help me understand how to
best help my querents?
If you would like to offer therapeutic readings instead
of the usual predictive readings, one of the easiest
ways to do this is with the method that I call:
“Reframe and Rename.” This method lets tarot
readers do what you do best, read the tarot cards,
while shifting the reading itself in a therapeutic
direction. I will show you what I mean.
Step 1: Reframe the Question
By “Reframe,” I mean that you help querents restate
their question so that it relates to gaining insight,
making changes in their approach, or acquiring new
skills. All of these require querents to think more
deeply about themselves and take an active role in
creating the circumstances in which they can achieve
their goals. That process in and of itself can be
therapeutic and, if done seriously, can lead to
significant personal growth.
If we look at romance readings, you will see what I
mean. Let’s take a question that most tarot readers
are very tired of being asked: “Will I meet my soul
mate?” (I won’t even get into the issue here about
whether as a psychotherapist I believe in soul mates).
This question has at least two things wrong with it
from a therapeutic point of view:
• It is phrased so that it gets a “yes” or “no”
answer (life is rarely as simple as that!)
• The querent is essentially passive: getting or
not getting a soul mate from this point of view is
something that happens to her or him, instead of
something that the querent has an active role in
If your querent is open to a more insight-oriented
approach, you can reframe that question as: “What do
I need to learn in order to meet my soul mate?” Or,
for a more action-oriented approach: “What do I need
to do in order to meet my soul mate?”
• What do I need to think about before I look for my
• Is there anything in myself (or in my life) that I
need to attend to before I can meet my soul mate?
Step 2: Rename the Spread Positions
If you want to do insight-oriented tarot readings, you
need spread positions that support insight and suggest
new things that the querent might want to learn or do
to get the outcome that they want. I call this
“Rename” because the easiest way for most tarot
readers to do this is to take a spread that they
generally use and rename some of the positions so that
they encourage introspection, insight, or action
instead of predicting what will happen or simply
describing what is going on in general around the
The basic virtue of my “Reframe and Rename” method
is that it does not require the tarot reader to learn
how to be a therapist. That would be impossible
without years of specialized training. I have spoken
with many professional tarot readers who, in an attempt
to be helpful, have become more deeply personally
enmeshed in their querents’ lives than they initially
intended. Generally, they have sought me out when they
wanted to extricate themselves as gracefully as
possible from what has become a futile, frustrating,
and time-consuming situation. Many querents are
desperate for help, unrealistic about a tarot reader’s
“powers,” and would love you to fix their life for them.
These clients often lack boundaries and, if given any
encouragement, will contact you at all hours for free
advice. It is for this reason that I advise tarot readers
to not give in to the temptation to give advice that
goes beyond what the cards actually say, and to
never get directly involved in solving the querent’s
Example: A Simple 3-Card Reading
Most of us can do a simple and quick 3-card reading spread.
Instead of the usual, “Past-Present-Future” or “Body-Mind-
Spirit,” you can rename the spread positions so that they
encourage self-reflection and action. Below is a very basic
example that can be adapted to almost any topic:
What do I need to think about with regard to my question?
Key word: Think
What feelings do I need to deal with because they directly
affect my question?
Key word: Feel
What do I need to do to get what I want?
Key word: Do
This reading can be done as usual with the full 78-card
deck. This is very easy because you do not need to prepare
the deck in any special way before each reading. This makes
it the ideal version if you only have a short time for each
reading. If you have more time and are willing to do a bit
of preparation, another version of this reading can be done
that only uses the four Minor Arcana suits. If you use just
the Minor Arcana, I suggest that you use a deck like the
Rider-Waite-Smith deck that illustrates the Aces through
10s of each Suit with evocative pictures.
Here is how to do this:
1. Use only the four Suits: Separate your deck into the
four suits and form each one into a separate face down pack.
Remove the Major Arcana cards and put them elsewhere.
You will then have 4 separate packs that are placed face-down:
one of Swords, another of Cups, another of Wands, and one
2. Have the querent shuffle each pack separately:
Without telling the querent anything about the suit of
each pack, I ask the querent to shuffle each of the four
packs separately while thinking about their issue.
3. Have querent choose one card from the Swords pack:
I say to the querent that this card will represent, “What I
(the querent) need to think about with regard to my
• 2 of Swords:
I need to think about a choice that I need to make soon.
• 6 of Swords:
I need to think about whether I should be leaving.
• 9 of Swords:
I need to think about what is worrying me so much.
4. Next the querent chooses one card from the Cups pack:
This represents for the querent, “ The feelings that I need to
deal with.” Lay this card down next to the first card.
• 2 of Cups:
I need to deal with my feelings about romantic love.
• 5 of Cups:
I need to deal with my feelings of loss.
• 7 of Cups:
I need to deal with my feeling of being afraid to focus
all my attention on one goal for fear of losing out on
5. Have the querent draw a final card from only
one of the remaining two packs:
This card represents, “What do I need to do to optimize
my situation?” It can be informative to see which suit
(Wands or Pentacles) that the querent unknowingly chooses
In general, I tend to see the Wands cards in the “Do”
position as representing leadership and initiative, and
the Pentacles cards in the “Do” position as relating to
following a preset pattern that someone else has come
up with, attending to details, and being scrupulous
about finishing projects.
Some examples of Wands in the “Do” position:
• Ace of Wands:
Start the project now. or Take the initiative.
• 2 of Wands:
• 5 of Wands:
Compete with others.
Some examples of Pentacles in the “Do” position:
• 3 of Pentacles:
Cooperate with others
• 7 of Pentacles:
Carefully evaluate whether further effort will be worth
what you get out of it.
• 8 of Pentacles: Do each aspect as carefully and
consistently as possible.
LAYOUT: THINK (1) FEEL (2) DO (3)
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.
Gemini (Mutable Air)
Force = Air, Mind, Thought, Boundary
Form = Fire, Spirit, Intuition, Energy
Prince of the Chariot of the Winds,
Emperor of the Sylphs
Love of excellence and a will to prevail combine
to make a fierce competitor. Irresistibly attracted to
goals and quests, protected from conscience by the
banner of righteousness, no opposition is permitted
to stand and there is no objection to violence and
cruelty. Active, restless, ambitious; a seeker of glory
and a servant of causes and masters; disloyalty is the
Hero, liberator, crusader, killer. Respecter of skill,
admirer of courage, lover of justice, believer in
Action is instinctive, immediate, absolute and sure.
Arrogant, impulsive, unconcerned with niceties. A lion
on the field of battle. A bull in a china shop.
Symbols of Air: Clouds, flying birds; windblown trees,
horse’s mane, plume and cloak; butterfly and bird
ornamentation; winged shape of plume, and wing on
knee joint of armor.
Symbols of Fire: Desert-like landscape; fiery shape of
horse’s mane; red of cloak and plume. Horse: Symbol
of movement and change.
Armor: Ritual skin; symbol of transformation and
allegiance to a cause, a leader, an institution, or a
You've found the back door to the
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Best Practices for Professional Readers
QUESTION: I've been on Facebook and receive inquiries
from potential clients about my reading services.
However, I let them know my prices, and then I either
hear, “Oh, I'll think about it,” or “I'll get back to you,”
and they never do. Why does this happen? Is it normal?
Then I get someone who comes along and they actually
pay for a reading.
ANSWER: This issue is one of my pet peeves and
one I've had to handle many times in my practice.
You are not alone. Unfortunately, this is common and
normal behavior for many consumers, not just those
interested in tarot readings.
We are consumers that have many services, products
and offers thrown at us all day, every day. With so many
choices, consumers will “shop” you to check out
what is being offered and whether or not it’s a fit
for budget, time and perceived benefit.
What is offered, perceived value, benefit and necessity
play a huge role in buying anything. Information about
cost or pricing does not help conversion in most cases.
For anyone who has ever worked in sales or marketing,
the cardinal rule is to not focus on cost but instead
to focus on lifestyle and how what you are selling
improves or contributes to making their life better.
When a potential client contacts you, you have an
opportunity to sell yourself rather than just give
pricing. Take the time to invite them to check out your
website. Screen them with a few questions to understand
what the potential client wants. The difference between
paying you rather than another reader may be the
connection they feel with you because of the interaction.
We all are willing to spend our hard earned money at
places or with people who seem to care about us.
Make sure pricing is visible on your profile or website,
and perhaps post a price list in pdf format that can be
downloaded or that can easily be copied and pasted or
attached in an email. Be aware that people will not buy
if your services seem obscure or are not well positioned
in their minds.
I offer mentoring designed for anyone who needs support
in building audiences and who desires to understand and
find ideal clients. For updates on upcoming trainings,
contact me by email or through www.tarotadvisor.com
Forest Hills, New York
July 6, 13, 20 and 27
Our popular Monday night Salons are the
hottest thing in tarot instruction!
Readers Studio Teleconference -- Free!
August 23, 2015
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.
2015 Summer Intensive
Forest Hills, New York
The Court Card Array: Special Knowledge and Applications
July 25 – 26, 2015
Within the shape of the Array, Court Cards are
transformed. They become the heat and the light,
the passions and the powers, in yourself and in your
personal world. These things are natural secrets,
partially because they are not commonly known,
but more importantly, because when you release
them in yourself, the everyday world becomes
unaccountably more vivid, and you become more
effective in it.
San Francisco Bay Area Tarot Symposium
August 15 – 16, 2015
San Jose, California
Join our 7,100+ fans and join the fun!
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