Newsletter of The Tarot School
ISSN: 1529-0565 
Vol. 8 #9 / November 1, 2016
 In this Issue:
- Welcome
- Tarot Tip: Tarot Protection Spread
- Tarot School Aphorism
- What's Gnu?
- PsychWise: Tarot Suits as a Personality System (Part 2)
- Best Practices: Coming Out of the “Tarot Closet”
- Upcoming Events

Welcome to a new issue of Tarot Tips!
And a special welcome to our new subscribers.



As we enter the season of gratitude, we want to
tell you how much we appreciate you! Whether
we have met in person or not, our love of tarot
connects us. We feel that connection in everything
we create and teach, and hope our efforts bring
you joy. In case we don't say it often enough,
thanks for being part of our lives!
And one more thing...

This issue is on the long side, so we'll keep this
section short. 

With love and gratitude 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

Some practitioners believe the tarot deck is a portable
sacred temple that adapts to a variety of uses. One
particular use that always comes in handy is protection for
your person, things, family or dwellings. Tarot cards, and
in some cases particular card images and suit symbols, are
also used as talismans, amulets or charms. 

The following is a simple ritual that can be used daily or
at any time for clarity, fortifying the spirit, and
protection as needed. In the theory of magic, intent is
central, as is some sort of ritual. No less important are
focus, clearing/banishing, etc.

Here is a simple set-up that can be left on an altar or any
private area that you designate as sacred. You’ll want to
make sure all 4 elements are represented on your altar,
traditionally associating Air with East, Fire with South,
Water with West, and Earth with North, and you’ll want to
use a ritual for clearing and centering before you begin.

In cross (+) formation, place either The Magician or The
High Priestess at the top in Position 1. In a horizontal
display, the 4 Aces should be placed in positions 2
(Swords), 3 (Wands), 4 (Cups), and 5 (Pentacles).
Underneath, in Position 6, place The World, Across the
4 Aces, place a card that represents your intention, or
write the protection/intention on a piece of parchment
and place it in Position 7. 

                     Spread Positions
While looking at your spread, meditate on your situation and
use this affirmation:

I align myself with light.

I align myself with love.

I feel the power within me and the power that surrounds me.

I ask for and accept the protection of the Guardians of Air,
Fire, Water and Earth.

I am (this situation is) protected. I am safe and I am defended.

I am shielded by white light and no shadow will penetrate
this light.

Peace, love and calmness exist all around me (this
situation) now!

As above, so below.

So mote it be.

 Tarot School Aphorism
            "What is possible cannot be measured because it is not finite. The lesson of Birth Cards is that you are what is possible."


The fabulous Ryan Edward, creator 
of The Maybe Lenormand,  has
designed the poster art for RS17
and we are just delighted with it!
(You can see it a little further down.)

In addition to a description of what you can expect at
The Readers Studio and Tarot & Psychology Conference,
you'll find information on...

The Presenters
Celebrity Readers
Your Hosts

Wednesday Bus Trip to Manhattan (it's Free!)
The Tarot & Psychology Conference
Your Foundation Reading Experience
Included Meals (Thurs. cocktail party, Friday luncheon,
   Saturday Dinner Banquet, Sunday Breakfast)
Breakfast Roundtables and Morning Meditations
Guide to Evening Study Groups (new expanded design!)

Complete Schedule of Events (to help you plan)

The Hotel
Travel Tips
Magical Meditation Room
Readers Studio Lounge

Payment Plan
Cancellation Policy

Freebies and Give-Aways
RS Survival Guide
RS Communities
Study Group Proposal Guidelines
Vendor Application
Advertising in the Program Book

Attention Vendors:
The RS17 Merchant Faire was sold out but
1 table (or 2 half-tables) has become available.
Contact us if you're interested!

You'll find all of this at!


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

Part 2: Identity Issues                                   

I have been thinking a lot since my last column about the
issue of Identity and how the way that we think about
ourselves can be very different from an objective appraisal
of who we actually are. One of the reasons that I like
Tarot as a Personality System is that a Tarot reading is
often a good way to discover hidden aspects of ourselves
and correct our misperceptions.  

In my last column, I spoke about myself as a “Wandsy/Swordsy”
kind of person. Some of that came from true self-awareness,
some from my initial experience with laying out the Aces
for my first Elemental Array (Wands, Sword, Cups, Pentacles),
and the rest came from various Tarot card divination readings
about me.  If asked what card best represents me, I might say
the Queen of Wands because I identify with her bold, sexy,
strong persona; but when I start a new endeavor that involves
learning a new system from someone else, my Tarot readings
have quite clearly shown that I shift into being the Page of Swords
An Example:  

Early in my career as a Gestalt therapist, I realized that I
needed to know more about what are commonly called
personality disorders. I had some unusual and unpleasant
experiences with clients that pointed out this serious gap
in my knowledge. Most of my clients were doing well,
but a few had sudden regressions that puzzled me. Just
when I thought that my client’s therapy was going well
(and these clients would initially tell me how wonderful
I was and how great it was to be in therapy with me),
something would happen and they would suddenly shift to
hating me.  

One ran screaming from the room cursing me. Another
got insulted at the diagnosis that I gave him for insurance
(which was required in order for him to get reimbursed).
He said that if that was what I thought of him, he could
not be in therapy with me, and he stopped payment on
his check.  My supervisor suggested that I find a good
specialist on Borderline and Narcissistic disorders and
study with that person. When I finally chose James F.
Masterson’s program after diligent research, I had a Tarot
reading about whether this was a good match for me.

Some background: My Tarot reader was a lesbian, feminist,
pagan colleague who used a Thoth deck. Before the reading,
she told me that in her opinion studying with Masterson was
going to be a huge mistake since he was an uptight, male

The Reading:  She did a simple 3-card reading. I don’t
remember the middle card because Card 1 and Card 3
clearly showed what was going to happen.

Card 1: My starting point going into the Masterson
Institute—Page of Swords

Card 3: Where I would end up as a result of my
studies—Key 4 The Emperor 

We both agreed that this reading showed that entering the
Masterson Institute, despite our misgivings about
Masterson’s autocratic personality style, would be a
positive transformative experience for me. I would go from
being a beginner who relied on my own intelligence (Page of
) to becoming a master of this topic with a wide
breath of knowledge (Key 4 The Emperor). And that is exactly
what happened!

When I first saw the Page of Swords come up as me in that
reading, I understood it immediately as a reference to my
lack of deference to authority and being somewhat defensive
and determined to think through everything for myself—not
just take my teachers’ opinions as necessarily true. 

When I first entered The Tarot School, the Page of Swords
again showed up in an early reading. This made it clear to
me that the Page of Swords symbolically represents the
aspect of my personality that comes to the foreground when
I start to study in an established school that teaches someone
else’s approach. My Page of Swords' defensive stance
relaxed as I learned more and found my place in The Tarot
School. As I relaxed, my Queen of Wands emerged again as
dominant and I began inventing new projects for myself,
including developing and teaching my own Tarot Counseling
system and presenting at Readers Studio conferences—and,
of course, now I have added this column.

The above experiences made it clear to me that I would have
to add the defensive and mistrustful Page of Swords to my
repertoire of possible identities.

A Basic Point: Identity is Fluid

I like to say that calling ourselves “I” or “Me” is
a misunderstanding of reality. We are actually a group of
sub-selves that more or less co-exist happily in peace or at
war with each other within the same person. What I call a
multiplicity of sub-selves is described in some therapeutic
systems as drives, forces, layers, or functions of the
person. Whatever name we give to them, they are what make
inner conflict possible. If we were really only one being
with a single point of view, what could possibly be in
conflict within us? What makes inner conflict possible is
that our “I” is really a “We.”  

This situation has its good side as well. Our multiplicity
of sub-selves is also what allows us to adjust to the
dizzying variety of life situations that we are likely to
encounter. If we were as simple, monolithic, and inflexible
as the singular word “I” suggests, how could we ever
adapt to all the other people around us? Our identity is
more fluid than it appears because all of us are more
complex than we appear. Different sub-selves come to the
fore or recede depending on our needs and circumstances. 

Translated into Tarot terms, this means that we need more
than one Tarot card to represent our identity in our Tarot
personality system. As in the example I gave above,
although I often act as the Queen of Wands, I am also the
Page of Swords in certain situations.  Moreover, my Birth
Cards are Key 6 The Lovers and Key 15 The Devil and
they too describe me very accurately. I could delve deeper
and find many more Tarot cards that would express aspects
of my personality.  Some come out rarely, while others
seem to dominate my thinking and behavior for long
periods of time. 

Our level of self-awareness, our belief systems, and our
vocabulary determine how aware we are of these distinctly
different aspects of our personality. One of the reasons
that I find Tarot appealing as a Personality System is that
it gives us a visual vocabulary that is ideal for expressing
the nuances of our personality and its fluidity.  Right from
the beginning of my studies, I was told that I (and everyone
else) have all 78 cards within me.  What differs is which
ones I choose to express, or which are spontaneously evoked
by my circumstances and inborn temperament.

The Dominant Sub-Self

Most of us tend to see whichever sub-self we primarily
identify with (or the one that generally has control over
our mouth and actions) as who we are, and the rest of our
sub-selves are ignored or out of our awareness. Then we
are surprised when we do or say something inconsistent
with that view. In an effort to have an impact on our life, the
sub-selves that are relegated by us to the unseen background
will make their points nonverbally with any means at their
disposal. For example, if their agenda differs from that of
our dominant sub-self, an intrapsychic fight over the issue
is likely to occur. We can think of this as a subconscious
5 of Wands moment. As the inner, ignored sub-selves fight
for their agendas, they may succeed in banding together
enough to give us a sudden impulse that sabotages the plans
of the dominant sub-self. Then the real situation is more
like the beleaguered 7 of Wands.  If the inner attackers
prevail, it may lead to the overthrow and humiliation of
the dominant sub-self and then we have an intrapsychic
5 of Swords situation, or we may feel trapped in the
8 of Swords.

Example: The Mutiny of the Sub-Selves

Think of a time that you made a plan to do something
constructive, such as go on a diet, stop smoking, pay your
bills on time, or clean your house. Let’s take the diet
example. “You” are clear about what you want: to lose
ten pounds before vacation by cutting calories. Who then
gave you amnesia when ordering at the restaurant? Instead
of grilled fish, there is a hamburger and French fries on
your plate and you are eating them. Your plan to lose
weight by substituting less caloric food was sabotaged by
other sub-selves who literally seized control of “you”
and gave you an overwhelming impulse that got you to
order what “they” wanted to eat, not what “you” had

I think of this as a “mutiny of the sub-selves.” No
matter which sub-self wins, there is no inner peace because
the conflicting goals have not been harmonized and the
struggle for dominance and control will continue. “You”
will make goals without consulting all parts of you, and
“they” will do their best to sabotage them because
“they” want something different. If you want inner
peace and more control over what you actually do in your
life, here is a simple model using Tarot cards that has
worked for me and might work for you: 

1.  Recognize that an inner struggle is going on within you.
2.  Identify the different combatants and their points of view.
3.  Find a solution that they all can agree on.

              Tarot Exercise:  Resolving an Inner Conflict
Step 1. Ask yourself the question: What am I conflicted about today?

Step 2. Choose a card from your face up deck that represents
“you” with regard to this conflict. This works best when
you look through your Tarot deck with an open mind and
choose this card by gut feeling without any preconceptions. 
  •  Put this card in the center of the spread face up.
  •  Say what that card means to you in this situation.
     You may want to write it down.

Step 3. How many basic positions are there in this inner conflict?
  •  Shuffle and cut your deck as usual.
  •  Draw as many cards from the face down deck as you have
     different inner points of view about your issue.

Step 4. Name the point of view each card represents.
  •  After you name a card’s point of view, turn it over and
     place it around your central card wherever you feel it belongs.
  •  Meaning: Say what this card means to you in that position. 
  •  Agenda: What does this particular inner sub-self want? 
  •  Continue until you have laid down all of these cards around
     your original card that you picked to represent the dominant
     “You” in this situation.

Step 5. Look at the relationships between your central card and
these other points of view.
•  Do any naturally seem to support your central point of view?  
•  Do some seem antagonistic to it?  
•  Where are the conflicts?
•  Is any Suit in the majority?

Step 6. Draw another card from the face down deck that
will represent a way to harmonize these points of view. 
Turn it over and place it across the central card.
•  What does this card mean to you in relation to your issue?
•  How could you use it to harmonize the different needs of
   your sub-selves?
•  How does it relate to your initial card that it crosses?
•  You will know if you have hit on a good compromise
    because there will be a sense of relief and rightness—
    a sense of “This could work well enough.”

NOTE: This is a compromise among warring parts
of you that is meant to quiet an internal conflict.  
Therefore, it may not feel perfect. It should, however,
feel adequate. What this method aims for is to find a
compromise that is good enough that all the sub-selves
involved can agree to it. This is very similar to an
attempt to reach a consensus in any group of people.  
The idea is put to a vote, and if the solution proposed
is acceptable to all (even though it may not have been
anyone’s first choice), the motion goes forward and
people stop arguing. In our case, this means inner peace 
prevails for a while. 

                     A Sample Reading for Mrs. S

The Querent’s issue: I am feeling very housebound and
would like to go out tomorrow with friends and do something
unplanned and spontaneous. My husband wants me to stay home
with him. I am very bored and staying home does not sound at
all appealing. I am not sure what to do.

Background: Mrs. S described herself as an extrovert who
likes to be out and about with her friends. She enjoys
meeting new people. She says that she feels revitalized
through her interactions with others. She described her
husband of many years as a home-loving introvert who is
rarely comfortable around other people. He is satisfied to
have her as his main companion and often finds being with
other people draining. As a result, he prefers her to stay
home and keep him company. This situation creates a
conflict whenever she would rather go out and have
spontaneous social adventures instead of staying home
with him. Mrs. S says that she would welcome his company
when she went out, but what is fun and invigorating for her,
would be painful and boring to him. She said that she felt
very conflicted about what to do.  

Mrs. S’s Goal: I want a Tarot Counseling reading to
clarify what is going on internally within me to create this
conflict and, ideally, I would also like to find a solution
that both I and my husband can live with.

Step 1: My Conflict—Should I go out tomorrow and
socialize with friends even though my husband wants me
to stay home and keep him company?

Step 2: My dominant conscious attitude (sub-self)
            – Ace of Cups

Meaning to Querent: I want to go out and refill my Cup.  
Agenda of this Sub-Self:  Socializing to revitalize myself.

Step 3: She pulled 4 more cards to represent the opinions of
her other sub-selves who seem to be involved in this issue.

Card 1: 10 of Pentacles
Meaning to Querent: It would keep peace in the home if I
stayed home and sat around, but I would feel like the old
man in the card—an onlooker. I want to be one of the
people out interacting in the world.
Agenda of this Sub-Self: Keep Peace in the home and stay

Card 2: 5 of Wands
Meaning to Querent: This sub-self is ready to fight with
my husband about this issue.
Agenda of this Sub-Self: Fight for my right to go out
whenever I want.

Card 3: 4 of Pentacles
Meaning to Querent: This part of me is focused on
holding on to all the good things that I already have.
It doesn’t want to fight because it sees open confrontation
as putting the good things that I already have in jeopardy.  
Agenda of this Sub-Self:  Hold on to what I already have.    

Card 4: 3 of Cups
Meaning to Querent: This sub-self just wants to go out and
have some fun!
Agenda of this Sub-Self: Let’s party.
Card 5: The Solution—Ace of Pentacles
It took the querent a couple of minutes to understand how to
use this Ace to solve her problem. The Ace itself suggested
newness, something she wanted, but now the Suit had switched
from Cups to the realm of Pentacles. Two of her four
sub-self cards were in this suit (10 of Pentacles and 4 of
Pentacles). This suggested to her that she should think
about what she already had at home (Pentacles) that could be
used in the service of her desire (Ace of Cups) for novelty
and social interaction outside the home.

At first the querent thought that the Ace of Pentacles was
suggesting a new absorbing project that she could do at
home—like cleaning out her closet, or getting out her
rarely used paints and coloring a mandala. However, none
of the above addressed her need to get out of the house, see
other people, and experience novelty.

Then the compromise solution occurred to her. Mrs. S
lives in a condo development with a clubhouse just a
short walk away. The clubhouse has a pool, a gym, and
lots of exercise classes full of people. One of the reasons
that they bought here in the first place is because she
liked the idea of having someplace to go where people
congregated. She realized that she also had a very practical
Pentacles practical project to do there as well. She had
lost her membership card and needed to pick up a new one
at the clubhouse in order to use their facilities. She was
pretty sure that her husband would be happier knowing
that she was nearby and would be back in a few hours.

Was this perfect? No. Was it good enough? She thought so. 
Mrs. S said that this compromise certainly felt more
interesting and hopeful than starting a fight with her
husband or resentfully staying home.

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. 

Dr. Greenberg is the author of Borderline, Narcissistic, and Schizoid
Adaptations: The Pursuit of Love, Admiration, and Safety
, which
demystifies the diagnosis and treatment of personality disorders.


                                          2017 Readers Studio Poster by Ryan Edward Capogreco
                      The 2017 Readers Studio website is here!

                 Click the poster above
                 to get on the 4-month Payment Plan!


Best Practices for Professional Readers
By Gina Thies
October kicks off a busy professional reading gig season for
the last 3 months of the year. I’m typically booked for as
many as 10 to 12 events in October alone. Doing this work
puts me in the position where I meet individuals from all
walks of life that are exposed for the first time to a
legitimate tarot reader. Sometimes, I have an after hours
encounter, an opportunity to share my gifts.

Just recently, after working a Halloween party, I stopped at
a local restaurant to pick up a “to-go” order to have at
home. I ordered a drink at the bar to enjoy while I waited
for my order to be prepared. 

A gentleman walked in and sat in a seat near me, greeted the
bartender, and ordered a drink. We found ourselves chatting
and I mentioned my day was over and I was looking forward
to going home to relax. 

He asked, “What do you do?” I replied, “I am a psychic.”
He protested against believing in such things. Being very
accustomed to this sort of reaction, I did not insist on
anything. He then asked what I could “see” for him.
Since I was “off duty,” my tarot cards were in the car.
I asked him to give me his hands instead so I could read
his palms. After a few moments he said, “There is no
way you could have known all of that from looking at my
palms!” and asked for more.

Then the gentleman said something I didn’t expect.
He said, “You have shifted what I believe. I now have to
reevaluate my perceptions, beliefs, etc. This is incredible!
Thank you for your insights. May I pay for your drinks
and dinner?”

Immediately I was reminded of times when I would have
never mentioned what I do in public. I thought of the
countless people who have had to hide or still hide out
in the ”tarot closet,” and some for very valid reasons.

Often I tell students and other readers that a spark shines
brightest in the dark. This work often brings light to some
of the darkest situations in human existence, but if you
choose to offer this service to others, it’s a lot more
challenging to do it from the closet. Also, people are more
open if you are confident, certain of your gifts and your


Upcoming Events:

Tarot Salon
Forest Hills, New York

November 7, 14, 21 and 28

Our popular Monday night Salons are the
hottest thing in tarot instruction!
Tarot School Intensives

2016 Fall Intensive
Forest Hills, New York

November 12 – 13, 2016

It has been our experience that the single biggest factor in
achieving happiness, fulfillment and all kinds of personal
power is a deep, detailed self-knowledge. Heightened
self-awareness is the key to choosing the experiences you
want to have.

The Tarot School specializes in techniques of self-knowledge.
Tarot Psychology is the main body of those techniques, and
the Court Card Array is the most detailed and specific of
them all.

Court Cards are the most complex cards in tarot. But when
they come together in the small universe of the Court Card
Array, their energy becomes nuclear.

Within the Array, Court Cards are transformed. They explain
who you are and what you can do in the normal world of
everyday life in more detail than any other form of Tarot
Psychology. They intensify normality by an order of
magnitude. And if you want more there is more, as much
as you’d like.

This is an advanced intensive. It is not for beginners. We
will share more with you here than has ever seen the light
of day before. If that appeals to you, come join us in

Click Here to register!

DATES: Saturday, Nov. 12 - Sunday, Nov. 13
TIMES:  11am – 7pm both days
LOCATION: Forest Hills, NY (address provided upon registration)

Readers Studio Teleconference -- Free!
November 20, 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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Directors: Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone