Newsletter of The Tarot School
ISSN: 1529-0565 
Vol. 8 #6 / August 1, 2016
 In this Issue:
- Welcome
- Tarot Tip: Traditional and Not-So-Traditional Suit Associations
- Tarot School Aphorism
- Q & A: Storing Your Tarot Cards
- What's Gnu?
- PsychWise: When Is the Question Not the Appropriate Question? (Part 2 - The Chalice)
- Best Practices: Divide and Conquer Your Budgeting Woes!
- Upcoming Events


Welcome to a new issue of Tarot Tips!
And a special welcome to our new subscribers.
Happy August! There’s not too much to say 
about this month as no major traditional 
national holidays are on the calendar – at least 
here in the U.S. Here we are in the midst of a
presidential election year. So in a traditional
format, every 4 years August means evaluation,
vetting and decision-making.
When it comes to card reading, how do you 
decide which meanings to assign to a particular 
suit? Certainly there are standard traditional 
meanings but in this tip you’ll discover less 
traditional interpretations for each of the tarot suits.

Dr. G. presents Part 2 of “When Is the Question Not the
Appropriate Question?” which demonstrates the use of 
the Chalice Spread. And speaking of decision-making, 
The Best Practices column has really great resource 
information on how to decide on divvying up your earnings. 
And one more thing...

In just a couple of days, Wald will be off on a grand
adventure to teach in China! This will be his first
time there, so feel free to stop by The Tarot School
Facebook page to wish him luck and Bon Voyage.

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!

Tarot Tip
You may find yourself a perpetual student of learning card
meanings. What do the cards mean, where did these meanings
come from, and why?

To begin, you have to look at tarot’s history to find the
source of card meanings, both exoteric and esoteric
meanings. We have only slivers of evidence of tarot’s
historical origin, however much has been brought to light by
research. We know that tarot was mostly used for divinatory
purposes during in the 18th century. A major figure in that
history who became famous for legitimizing tarot card
reading as a profession was Etteilla/Alliette.
Researchers credit Jean-Baptiste Alliette (1738 – 1791),
also known as Etteilla, as a source of the basic cartomantic
meanings of the tarot cards that we have inherited in modern
tarot divination. Etteilla began studying the practices of
the fortune-tellers of France in his early teen years. His
later published writings on common cartomancy, which author
Ronald Decker tells us in his The Esoteric Tarot: Ancient
Sources Rediscovered in Hermeticism and Cabala
Books, 2013) was the basis for Ettelia’s influence on
tarot cartomancy worldwide. He is best known for The
Book of Thoth Tarot and The Petit Etteilla deck.
The general meanings that emerged for the suits in
Etteilla’s tradition are as follows:

Swords/Spades:  Spiritual ideals and Matters of the Heart

Cups/Hearts:  Prospects and Power

Wands/Clubs:  Money and Possessions or Goods

Pentacles/Diamonds:  Relationships/Partnerships

Some modern suit associations are:

Swords/Spades: Challenges, Struggles, Intellectual Pursuits

Cups/Hearts: Inner Knowing, Wants, Desires, Moods

Wands/Clubs: Ambition, Growth, Progression, Spiritual Matters

Pentacles/Diamonds: Manifestations, Values, Property and Wealth

Suit associations and attributions are complex, and several
modern traditions exist besides the ones already mentioned.
The meanings of all the cards and symbols of tarot continue
to evolve. 


 Tarot School Aphorism
            "What else is there to tarot besides meaning? There is feeling, emotion. There is conditioned reflex, which is shared by mind and heart. There is experience, through meditation, but felt as physical. There is intention, focus, awareness."

Q & A

Someone asked me recently why tarot cards are traditionally
kept in silk.  Do you happen to have the answer to that?
~ Andrea


Hi Andrea,

Silk is said to be an especially good psychic insulator.
That said, you can store/protect you cards any way you like.
You can wrap your deck in a natural fabric (silk, cotton,
velvet, etc.), keep it in a bag or wooden box — or even in
the original packaging. If you have an altar and wish to
display the cards “au natural,” that’s fine, too. 

How you store your cards mostly depends upon your personal
preferences, and where and how you use them. If you tote
them around with you everywhere you go, a sturdy tarot bag
would be better than the original box or a simple piece of
fabric, for example. (Of course, you can wrap your cards in
fabric and then put them in a tarot bag!)

I keep my personal reading deck in a beautiful hand-tooled
leather case that was made especially for me as a gift. I
wouldn’t have naturally gravitated toward leather, but it
was made with love and respect in my favorite colors, with
symbols that are personally important. I adore the fine
craftsmanship, the textures, the heavenly smell, and the
lovely energy. It does an excellent job of keeping my cards
safe. And as a bonus, it just happens to be lined in raw
silk! :)

The main thing is to protect your cards from the elements,
small children, and pets. The rest is up to you.
~ Ruth Ann 

Kim Wilborn's Tarot Telesummit 3 -- Tarot Wisdom 
has been featuring fabulous free tarot educational
interviews / mini-classes. Gina's is on today and
ours is on tomorrow!

Click the banners below for all the info on how to
listen in for free. There's also an option to get the
mp3s of the whole series -- plus some great bonuses --
if you're just joining in now! 


            Tarot Wisdom Telesummit


PsychWise – Tarot & Psychology Q & A
with Elinor Greenberg, PhD, CGP, CPTR

If you missed Part 1, you can read it in the July issue here: 

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 (cont.):

• Romantic Yes/No Questions 

I like to use Wald and Ruth Ann’s “Chalice Spread”
when a querent asks about what a boyfriend actually plans
to do or asks a “Does he love me?” type of question. I have
found “The Chalice Spread” to be very reliable for
romantic readings, so I will outline it below for you. 

1) Have your querent shuffle, cut the deck, and hand you
5 cards without looking at them. You can use whatever
instructions you normally give your querents. 

2) Arrange the cards in the spread below. The first 3 cards
are arranged vertically in a cup shape with Card 1 forming
the right tip of the cup. The 4th card is the base the cup
rests on and is placed horizontally. The 5th card is placed
facedown on a slant into the “cup.” It stays face-down
throughout the reading. It is an optional card that the
querent can choose to have read or not. I tell the querent
to think of it as a magical wand or swizzle stick that the
querent can choose to turn over if he or she would like a
different energy or outcome in the reading than the first 4
cards show. 

                    The Chalice Spread

Card 1: What does he feel about me? 
Card 2: What does he think about me? 
Card 3: What will he do now? 
Card 4: What is our relationship based on?
Card 5: Optional action I could take

The Situation: 

My querent has gone out with a man she really likes three or
four times, but he hasn’t called or texted her since their
last date two weeks ago. She is shocked and perplexed by
this because up to now their relationship has been very
positive and romantic. She is concerned that he is
“ghosting” her (disappearing without saying goodbye or
explaining) and she wants some clarity about what might be
going on before she reaches out to him.  She asks me to
answer a simple yes/no question: “Have I just been ditched
by this guy?” I suggest that we reframe her question as:
“What do I need to know now about this guy’s feelings,
motives and intentions towards me right now?” When she
agreed, I suggested we do a “Chalice Spread.”  Here are
her cards and what I said: 
Card 1: 4 of Cups 
Card 2: Q of Cups 
Card 3: 9 of Cups 
Card 4: 6 of Cups


My Interpretation: 

All your cards are in the suit of Cups.  This suggests to me
that your boyfriend is a romantic by nature and that your
relationship has likely been intensely romantic and loving.
I can see why you would be perplexed about his sudden

Card 1: (What does he feel about me?)  The 4 of Cups
sheds a little light on the matter. It shows him sitting back
with crossed arms and refusing to reach out for the cup of
love that you are offering him. The esoteric name for this
card is “Blended Pleasure,” which suggests that he has had
so much love from you and the relationship, that he feels
quite full, and any more would be too much for him to
take in right now.
Card 2: (What does he think about me?) The Queen of Cups
shows one of the most romantic and loving women in the deck,
the Queen of Love herself. Your instincts that he has strong
positive feelings about you are correct. He thinks of you as a
loving, very feminine, and desirable woman.
Card 3: (What will he do?) The 9 of Cups shows another
seated man with crossed arms with nine cups behind him.  
This suggests that your boyfriend is feeling very satisfied
with what he has right now and does not want to move forward
at this moment to get the final cup (i.e. a full, committed

Card 4: (The basis of your relationship) The 6 of Cups
shows a boy handing a cup filled with flowers to a girl.  
This card is usually associated with past good memories of
loving times.   
All of this suggests to me that your boyfriend has been very
satisfied with your relationship, but wants to take a break
right now. He still feels very good about you—you are his
Queen of Cups — but he has put the relationship on pause. 

This reading focuses on the present, so it does not give us
any information about whether his withdrawal is temporary or
more permanent. When we look at Card 4 the 6 of Cups that
represents what your relationship is based on, it suggests
that this type of brief, intense romantic relationship
followed by sudden withdrawal may be part of a repeating
pattern: He enjoys the giving and receiving of love and all
the good feelings, but then feels “filled up” and
withdraws without warning.

I would conclude from these cards that your boyfriend is
not ready to move forward right now and is uncomfortable
telling you so directly.  
Would you like to turn over the 5th card and put some
different energy into this reading or are you content with
what is going on in the cards so far?” 
My querent said that she was relieved that she hadn’t
imagined all the romantic and loving feelings between them,
but wanted to see if there was any possibility of moving
things forward despite what might be his tendency to
literally “love them and leave them.”  I told her that
she had to turn that card over herself, as it was a magickal
act that would add her energy and intention to the reading. 
She turned over Card 5 and I read it. 
Card 5: Key 18 The Moon 
My Interpretation: 

First I described the card to the querent: “Key 18 shows
a little purple crayfish crawling out of a pool onto a path.  
Ahead of her are a dog on the left side of the path and a
wolf on the right side. There are two towers or edges of
walls in the distance. It is night out and there is a crescent
Moon with a face shown against the Sun in the sky above.
Little flames in the shape of the Hebrew letter Yod are
falling from the Sun.” 
Then I interpreted it for her. “In general, this card is
about evolution. You are the little crayfish and you have
elected to evolve by turning over this card. Unfortunately,
evolving involves you leaving your nice warm pool to go out
in the world and have adventures that you can learn from. 
In everyday terms, the pool is like a warm cup of love that
you have been immersed in. To progress further in your life
and get what you want, this card suggests that you need to
take action, leave this particular cup of love behind you,
and go off on a voyage of discovery and personal growth.”

Then I asked the querent what she saw in the card: 

“I am struck by the fact that the crayfish’s path goes
between the dog and the wolf.  I think that they represent
the two sides of my boyfriend or two possibilities about
him.  At first he seemed liked the dog: tame, loving, safe,
and loyal.  Now I am thinking he may have a hidden wolf
side that is actually selfish and predatory. If he really is
more wolf than dog, I have to be careful because he is
wilder than he seems and could hurt me. If he is the dog,
then he is tamer, not a threat, and more likely to stick
around if I am patient and encouraging. 

As this is my path, it seems to me that the ball is in my
court. My next move is to find out his intentions in a way
that feels safe to me. I can’t go any further on the path
without dealing with the wolf and the dog. I think I need to
find a nonthreatening way to have a talk with him about what
is going on with us. I will text him and suggest we go for a
walk in the park together. The weather is beautiful and I
don’t think that will feel like too much pressure. That
way, we can talk more casually and I can get a sense of
where he is with our relationship. If he does not answer my
text, that is an answer, too! In that case I will probably
call him and force the issue. I don’t like ending something
so wonderful with so many unanswered questions.”


When someone consults you for a Tarot reading, you are the
acknowledged expert. You are likely to know much more than
your querents about what type of questions work well for
Tarot readings, how long the reading they want is likely to
take, and which topics might be unethical for you to do a
reading about. I am suggesting that you take your expertise
seriously and take charge of helping your querents shape
their questions into ones that you are confident will lead
to a useful Tarot reading from you.   
One of my psychotherapy trainers said something to me
that I still find comforting: “Isadore,” I asked,” one of my
clients wants me to do Core-energetics with them. I don’t
know Core-energetic therapy and I am not particularly
interested in learning it. Do you think I should do it anyway?”  
“Elinor,” Isadore said, “You are a boutique, not a department
store.” Isadore’s point was that I needed to stay true to who
I am and that I could not possibly offer all that anyone might
want, only what I have to offer…and that was enough.

Dr. Elinor GreenbergDr. 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. 


Best Practices for Professional Readers
By Gina Thies
Quite frequently I come across people using tarot readings
as a way to supplement their income. Some people hope that
it will be a permanent and single way to support them
As a tarot business mentor, I time and again tell fledgling
professional readers to look at their budgets and to
realistically consider a figure in terms of what their
budgeting needs are, and then use it as an earnings goal
for their business.
For example, if you want to totally replace the income from
a current job where you earn $4,000 a month after taxes,
logically it means that you would need to make approximately
$1,300 or more a week from tarot readings. Remember that
30-40% of this should be set aside for income tax purposes.
This means that if you charge $100 for a session, you’d
need to book 13 clients a week.
Most financial experts who break down budgeting estimates
say that one third of your earnings or paycheck will go
towards rent/mortgage, insurance, and taxes, and 15-20% of
earnings for car payments, car insurance and gas. 5% would
go towards utilities, 5-10% clothing, 5-15% in debt repayment,
and 5-10% towards savings, 10-20% food/supplies, 3% for
medical, and 5-10% miscellaneous. In short 75% should go
towards your expenses and 25% for savings.
Keeping in mind that business fluctuates, you’d have to
make certain that you could actually attract and maintain
those 13 one-hour appointments per week in order to make
your budget. You could also charge more and book fewer
clients, but a price point of $300 a session may not be
appealing for the area you serve.
So to recap, it is best to begin with what your current
budget needs are and then work out how much you need
to work to cover that budget. Doing this also has the benefit
of letting you know whether you are charging too little or
too much.
I am not a financial expert, so please know that this is a
suggestion. There are several agencies that offer help with
budgeting, and tax professionals that provide tax advice.
Some of the companies and agencies are non-profit and have
valuable resources online that pertain to your financial
literacy, credit and savings such as Consumer Credit
Counseling Services
( and
Smart About Money ( 



Upcoming Events:

Tarot Salon
Forest Hills, New York

August, 1, 15, 22 and 29
(Note: There will be NO CLASS on August 8.)
Our popular Monday night Salons are the
hottest thing in tarot instruction!

Readers Studio Teleconference -- Free!
August 28, 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.

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