Vol. 8 #5 / July 1, 2016
In this Issue:
- Tarot Tip: 20 Generic Positions That Fit Any Spread
- Tarot School Aphorism
- What's Gnu?
- PsychWise: When Is the Question Not the Appropriate Question? (Part 1)
- Best Practices: Go Autopilot! Tools To Automate Your Tarot Business
- Upcoming Events
Welcome to a new issue of Tarot Tips!
And a special welcome to our new subscribers.
To all of our U.S. subscribers – Happy 4th of July!
You’ve got questions? We have answers! That’s
tarot-related answers of course! Here we are again
bringing you the best in practical tarot tips and
techniques from a team of experts.
Every tarot reading begins with a desire to have
something known. You can ask anything of the cards
and be assured you’ll get an interesting answer!
This issue has all sorts of interesting information about
two aspects of the reading process – the position and the
question. You’ll get a handy reference on position topics
that you can use with your spreads and Dr. G shares her
way of reframing questions for querents. It seems this issue
is all about streamlining the tarot process, but your business
may also need a bit of streamlining, so ‘Best Practices’
includes advice on automating your tarot business.
And one more thing...
We’re going to be part of something special, coming soon!
Watch your email for details.
With love on the tarot journey,
Ruth Ann, Wald, Gina & Elinor
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!
20 GENERIC POSITIONS THAT FIT ANY TAROT SPREAD
Tarot layouts are as numerous and varied as the readers who
use them. Designs are created to allow ease of viewing the
cards for both the reader and the querent. All tarot readings
aim to produce advice, guidance, insights or relief to the
seeker, but posing good questions to get to the heart of
the matter to be explored always requires forethought.
So does your choice of tarot spread, because the specifics
represented by its positions ultimately point out all
Think of tarot spreads and positions as detectives or
interviewers who assist in finding information that will
get to the bottom of a mystery.
Here are 20 position topics/questions that prove useful in
almost any tarot reading. This compilation works for a
variety of readings styles. Specific details such as name,
dates, etc. and interrogative pronouns or questions (what,
who, how, when, where) can also be assigned positions
when appropriate. The bonus is that 2-3 cards can be used
for each position, creating endless combinations and spread
1. Powerful Influences/Contributions
2. Starting Point/Reading Objective
3. Key/Main Aspect/Focus of Situation
4. Description of Situation/Person/Event/Atmosphere
5. Background/Back-Drop/Behind the Scenes
6. Patterns/Tendencies that are Noticed or to Consider
7. Introductions/Beginnings/First Appearance
9. Significant/Relevant Cause or Occurrence
10. Obstacles/Challenges/Missed Opportunities
11. Warnings/Red Flags/Anxiety
12. Significance to You/Others
14. The Base/Foundation/Support
15. New Knowledge/New Discovery
16. Positive/Negative Thoughts/Influence
17. Greatest/Expanded Awareness
18. Joint Solution/Collaboration
19. My Task/Your Task/ Their Task/ His or Her Task
Tarot School Aphorism
We are super-excited to introduce the new logo for the
2017 Readers Studio by tarot deck creator and designer,
Ryan Edward! Isn't it cool?
If you click on the logo, it will take you to the "back door"
registration page where you can get on an 8-month
payment plan. Go ahead, click it!
PsychWise – Tarot & Psychology Q & A
with Elinor Greenberg, PhD, CGP, CPTR
WHEN IS THE QUESTION NOT THE
APPROPRIATE QUESTION? (PART 1)
QUESTION: I read for private clients as well as
at psychic fairs and group events like bridal
showers. I am frequently asked to do readings to
answer questions that make me really comfortable,
such as health readings or “yes/no” readings to
questions like: “Is my husband cheating on me?”
or “Will we have a happy marriage?” Do you
have any suggestions on how to handle this?
ANSWER: I, too, have been asked to do many types of readings
that make me uncomfortable. Some of the issues I was asked
Dr. Elinor Greenberg, PhD, CGP, CPTR
to read about felt outside my level of competency, others made
me uneasy, and some simply seemed awkwardly suited to
Tarot (such as timing questions where the querent wants to
know: “When will such and such happen?”)
When I thought about this in relation to myself, I realized that
the first thing that I needed to do was be honest with myself
about my personal limitations and what I truly believe about
Tarot readings. Once I got that straight, I needed to do some
advance preparation and plan ahead of time what types of
readings were a good fit for all the different situations
that I do readings in.
Below, I break these issues into categories and give some
personal examples to illustrate them. My intention here is not
for you to copy me, but to give you a template that you can use
to think about these issues for yourself.
• Find your Comfort Zone
All of us have different areas of expertise. When I was
studying at Wald and Ruth Ann’s Tarot School, the second
half of every class was devoted to the students reading for
each other. It quickly became apparent to me that:
- I was very uncomfortable delivering bad new to the
querent. I found myself squirming to find ways to
positively interpret the cards in a way that made the
- My strongest asset was my psychology training. It was
very easy for me to see how the cards in almost any reading
could be used for personal growth.
- Other students were better (or simply more confident) at
giving simple, concrete, definitive answers, such as:
“Your boyfriend is never coming back to you.”
• Take Advantage of Your Strengths
I decided to craft a way of reading that took advantage of
my strengths and called it “Tarot Counseling.” Basically,
Tarot Counseling as I defined it consisted of my designing
and interpreting the spread to highlight how the problem
or issue the querent wanted a reading about could be
reframed as an opportunity for personal growth.
• Change the Question to Fit Your Reading Style
The most important thing to remember is that most querents
have very little knowledge of Tarot reading and therefore
have little or no idea about how to phrase a useful question.
You are the expert and you can use your expertise to help
them craft a question that you feel confident can be answered
by the way you read. Often, this means suggesting a change
in the phrasing of the question. Below is an example:
Querent: I think my husband is having an affair. Please
do a reading so I know if he is cheating on me.
Me: In a situation such as yours, I have found that I get
better results if I ask the cards a somewhat broader question.
For example, we could ask: “What do I need to know about
my relationship with my husband now?” This allows the
possibility that other women may come up as an issue,
as you suspect, but also allows us to cast a broader net and
look at other issues that may also be important in your
relationship right now.
I would also like to custom design a spread especially for you.
It should include some positions that give you guidance about
how best to proceed in your situation in order to have the best
possible outcome. For example, we could have a card that tells us,
“What is the most useful thing for you to do now?” and another
that tells us, “What you should not do.” Are you willing to try
this expanded version of your question?”
• Context is Important in Formulating an Acceptable Question
When I think of context, I think of three main variables:
1. Time: How much time do I have for the reading?
There are some questions that are simply too complex to be
answered by a 10-minute reading at a psychic fair or a
celebratory event. For example, one querent started telling
me a long complicated story about her family dynamics and
wanted to know how to help everyone get along better. That
sounded as if it would take more than 10 minutes just to
frame a useful question and multiple separate readings to
address everything the querent was concerned about. I
suggested that she simplify her question and ask:
Question: “What can I do now to help my family?”
I did a simple 3-card spread that works well for querents
who want to take some form of action, but are not certain
what to do that would be useful. Below are the card
Card 1: Attitude —What is the best attitude that I could
Card 2: Do —What action should I take?
Card 3: Don’t Do —What should I avoid doing now?
Here are the cards that came up and how I read them for her:
Card 1: 9 of Pentacles (A prosperous looking woman alone in
her garden with her bird)
Card 2: 6 of Pentacles (A merchant weighing how much money
to give to each of two beggars in front of him)
Card 3: Knight of Swords (A Knight on the back of a running
horse, swinging a sword)
My Interpretation: Your “Attitude” card shows a woman
alone in a fenced in garden. That suggests that, although
you are eager to intervene, you will get the best result now
by keeping your feelings to yourself. You need to have a
neutral attitude and not get overly involved mentally and
physically in what is going on. Your “Do” card suggests
that you need to pause and weigh carefully how much you give
to the participants of what you have—whether that is your
energy, advice, or your money. You need to think hard about
what is fair. Your “Don’t Do” card advises you to not
rush in and impose your ideas and judgements about the
situation. Basically this cards says, “Think carefully,
keep your thoughts to yourself right now, and don’t do
anything impulsive.” Overall, the cards strongly suggest
that you not directly involve yourselves in what is going
on, stay fair and balanced in whatever you do, and avoid
impulsively rushing in to try and fix things.
2. Gut Feeling: Does this question feel unethical to me
or make me acutely uncomfortable?
I will not do a reading on a topic that my gut feeling says
is wrong to do. As everyone’s standards are somewhat
different, I would simply suggest that you pay attention to
your own reaction to the question. If it makes you squirm
in some way, guide the querent to ask a different question.
For example, when a male querent asked for a reading on how
to hide from his wife that he was cheating on her, I said
that I didn’t do that type of question. I suggested that
instead we talk about his overall goal for his marriage now
and then do a reading on how to achieve that goal in a way
that was best for all concerned. He agreed to this
3. Type of Event: Does the question feel appropriate or
ethical for this event?
I once was doing Tarot readings for a bridal shower when the
mother of the bride asked me to do a reading on whether her
daughter’s marriage would be a success. I gently told her
that because so many factors went into making a marriage a
success and that all marriages had inevitable ups and downs,
my policy is to not do that type of reading. I also said that I
did not do readings about other people. I then quickly offered
to do a reading for her about what she could do to help this
marriage be a success. She liked that idea and we proceeded
to do a very interesting reading that she said gave her some
insight into the role of being a mother-in-law for the first time.
• Yes/No Readings
I rarely agree to do “yes/no” readings. Life is complex
and I view all Tarot readings as a snapshot of a moment in
time. Twenty minutes after the reading, something could
enter the picture that changes the outcome. As a result,
when asked to do a reading where the querent simply wants
to know something absolutely definitive, like “Will he marry
me?” or “Will I win the lottery” or “Will I pass my
exam?”, I explain my view and offer to do an expanded
reading that gives a fuller picture of what is actually
going on right now.
To be continued in the August issue of Tarot Tips...
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.
ADVANCED BIRTH CARD INTENSIVE
ENVIRONMENTS OF POWER
In tarot, the place where the powers of heightened
self-awareness begin is the individual Birth Card
Everyone without exception is a variation on the
themes of their own Birth Cards.
Each Birth Card landscape contains contexts for
living ranging in scale from the small to the
enormous, from the everyday to the inconceivable.
Coming to know those things, you begin to have a
choice of the size and shape of the stage on which
to play out the drama of your life. To pursue such
a choice is a choice in itself. What is possible
for you ranges from very little to a great deal.
The first step in the process of choice is to enter
your own Birth Card environment and explore its
possibilities and powers.
In this intensive, you will not be doing Birth
Card readings. Instead, you will open a hitherto
unseen doorway into your own Birth Card landscape
and step through for the first time. A choice will
become possible for you, and a path will open for
you that you might never have imagined.
Come and join us for the sheer adventure of it!
Dates: Saturday & Sunday, July 9-10, 2016
Times: 11am – 7pm both days
Seating Limited to 10
Location: Forest Hills, NY
Directions: Provided upon registration
Best Practices for Professional Readers
TOOLS TO AUTOMATE YOUR BUSINESS
By Gina Thies
Over the course of a business day, there are many to-do list
items that require attention. No longer are these items
limited to returning phone calls and emails or sending
faxes, but have branched out to include blog posts, content
management and SEO tasks.
For the tech savvy practitioner, these items may be par for
the course. Less well-versed practitioners may outsource
setting up and using automated tasks, or they may leave it
to their webmasters to do what’s needed. In these times,
websites need to be and do many things and believe it or
not, your website makes you a 24/7 business operation!
One of the best reasons to automate your business is that
you’ll have more time to expand your business without
getting bogged down by tedious activities like analytics.
Automating your business could range from the very easy,
such as setting email preferences to the more involved, such
as installing software or plug-ins for Google Analytics.
Recently I mentioned using an online scheduler for booking
appointments. Site health checks, social media metrics and
visitor metrics can also be tracked automatically. Invoicing,
bill paying and accounting are all candidates for automation,
and are highly recommended as time and energy savers.
Hosting services like Wordpress have plug-ins or apps that
you can install to do many business tasks. Quickbooks and
Outright (http://outright.com/) are services which allow you
to import and export sales data and automate bookkeeping.
For social media, Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, etc. are services
that allow you to sync your accounts and manage them more
Happy automating and be well!
Forest Hills, New York
July, 11, 18 and 25
Our popular Monday night Salons are the
hottest thing in tarot instruction!
Readers Studio Teleconference -- Free!
July 24, 2016
Come hang out with us on the phone or online
at our monthly informal get-together. It's a
great chance to catch up with each other and
brainstorm new ideas.
Advanced Birth Card Intensive: Environments of Power
July 9 – 10, 2016
Each Birth Card landscape contains contexts for
living ranging in scale from the small to the
enormous, from the everyday to the inconceivable...
Join our 8,330+ fans and join the fun!
Up to the minute news, mini lessons and more...
Do you have a question or comment on anything tarot?
Suggestions for future topics?
For information on tarot classes, courses,
© Copyright 2016 The Tarot School - All Rights Reserved
Directors: Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone