Newsletter of The Tarot School
ISSN: 1529-0565 
Vol. 12 #1 / January 1, 2020
 In this Issue:
- Welcome
- Tarot Tip: The Year-Long Spread
- Tarot School Aphorism
- What's Gnu?
- Diviner's Corner: I Ching
- Best Practices: Pros and Cons of Hourly vs. Flat Fees
- Upcoming Events
Welcome to a new issue of Tarot Tips!
And a special welcome to our new subscribers.

2020 Happy New Year!

To all our tarot students, friends, and colleagues
around the world, HAPPY NEW YEAR! May your
days be filled with Inspiration (Wands), Love (Cups),
Clarity (Swords), Health and Prosperity (Pentacles)!

To start off the new Roaring Twenties, we're happy
to share one of our favorite New Year's techniques,
the Year-Long Spread. Jenna Matlin has contributed
a wonderful article on the I Ching for the Diviner's
Corner, and Best Practices takes a look at the pros
and cons of charging clients by the hour as opposed
to a single flat fee. 

We have a lot to look forward to this year, and are
glad of your company!

And one more thing...

Sacred Space Astoria Logo

If you live in or near Astoria, New York and are
looking for work as a reader, yoga teacher or
holistic healer, the brand new Sacred Space Astoria
healing center is hiring!

In addition to yoga instructors, they are also hiring
all types of energy workers, healing arts practitioners
and readers, including but not limited to reiki, EFT,
crystal healing, astrology, shamanism, past-life
regression, sound healing, mediums, psychics,
intuitives, and tarot/oracle card readers. 
You'll find more details and how to apply here:

Tell them we sent you!
With love and gratitude on the tarot journey,
Ruth Ann, Wald, and 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

Calendar pages

The Year-Long Spread is a powerful Tarot School
technique that is a good way to start the New Year,
although you may begin to work with it any time.
It is a combination of a spread and a practice that is
done every day for a year. At the end of that time
you may, if you wish, continue your practice with
a new spread.

As you probably know, it's a common practice
among tarot enthusiasts to pick a card every day
and contemplate its message. This spread will
elaborate on that practice and give you a mighty
piece of contemplation to do.

For this exercise you will need a dedicated deck
that you don't use for anything else during the coming
year. You will also need a special place to display the
cards for reference. There'll never be more than five
of them at a time so you won't need a big space.
Your altar might do very nicely. 

You may wish to take a picture of the cards each
morning to refer to throughout the day. This can also
be useful if you are uncomfortable leaving cards out
because of pets or other people in your home.

In order to do this spread properly, you will need to
know your Birth Cards. If you don’t already know
them, use the handy Birth Card Calculator on our

What To Do:

1) Take your two Birth Cards out of the deck. Place
them side-by-side at the top of the layout.

2) Make a separate deck out of the Major Arcana (minus
your Birth Cards) and draw one card from this little
deck for the year. Place this card below the Birth Card
on the left.

Contemplate the Year Card as your theme for the year.
Spend some time every day for the next year doing at
least a small contemplation on this card. Contemplate
this Year Card in the context of your Birth Cards.

3) Shuffle the remaining Major Arcana back into the
rest of the deck. Pick one from this deck as your theme
for the month. Place this card below the Birth Card on
the right.

Contemplate this Month Card within the context of the
Year Card and your Birth Cards. These cards together
will contain an augmented message for the month.

Each month, return the previous Month Card to the
deck and draw a new card for the new month. If you
pick a card you've drawn before, you may work with it
or draw again.

4) Shuffle the remaining cards of the deck carefully
and thoroughly once each day and then draw a card for
the day. Center this Day Card below the previous two. 

Contemplate all five cards together as your message
for the day.

If you do this Five-Card Contemplation each day,
changing the Day and the Month cards at the appropriate
times, by the end of the year your sense of yourself,
your year, and tarot will be very intricate, very detailed,
very large and very true.

This is only a 5-card spread but it's a tough one.
We've been doing this practice ourselves and find it
very powerful. 


 Tarot School Aphorism
            Tarot is a bridge between the silence of origins and the chatter of manifestation, a bridge that has taken centuries to build and is still under construction.   ~ Wald Amberstone,


What's Gnu?


We have a very exciting year planned for 2020!
Here's a preview of what's coming soon: 


Hosted by Sasha Graham (one of our beloved graduates),
this is a great way to kick off the year! See Upcoming
Events below for the details.


This long-awaited and hotly anticipated course on
The Tarot School's system of Birth Cards is finally
complete! It contains the most comprehensive lessons
on Birth Cards we've ever created, and it will be
available very soon!


These intimate gatherings in our home
are where we try out new techniques and
enjoy group readings that can be done
nowhere else. If you live in the NYC area,
contact us to be put on the weekly invitation
list. We look forward to seeing you there! 


After a year-long hiatus, we'll be resuming our
program of intensives. Watch this newsletter
for dates and details.


There are still some seats available for our
international tarot conference at the end of
April. Some say it's the best and biggest
tarot party in the world –– not to mention
the fabulous instruction from some of your
favorite teachers and authors! Come join us.
You know you want to! 

Get all the deets at


The Tarot School will be 25 years old next
month! It's been an amazing adventure and
we're still going strong. We'll be celebrating
all year so watch for special offerings and events.


Diviner's Corner

by Jenna Matlin

I Ching hexagrams

When I am not reading tarot for clients, I am using
I Ching for myself. I am consistently blown away by
the incredible accuracy and wisdom of this divination
tool. What I love about the I Ching is the connection it
makes to our natural world and how it seamlessly
integrates with Feng Shui and Qi Astrology. 

The I Ching comprises of 8 trigrams. A trigram is a
column of 3 broken (two mini-lines with a space
between) or solid lines.  Each trigram depicts an
aspect of nature such as “Lake” or “Earth”.
These trigrams are combined to create 64 complete
fortunes of 6 lines called hexagrams. Additionally,
there is an aspect called the “changing line” that
represents what is on the cusp of changing and what
it is changing into. In tarot we would use a spread and
multiple cards to indicate change and movement, but in
I Ching those things are already built into the system.

The I Ching was originally divined by casting joss
sticks, but nowadays people will toss coins or pick up
an I Ching card deck. Each of the 64 fortunes convey
the breadth of human experience. My favorite hexagram
is 45: Lake over Earth meaning “Gathering: The King
enters his temple…Fruitful to have a direction to
go.” Water pools into a lake in a depression in the earth,
all things (water, people, animals) gather to drink. 

I also appreciate hexagram 21: Biting Through.
The 21st hexagram depicts the trigram of Fire over
the trigram of Thunder. Thunder booms from heaven
to enforce something difficult but true. Biting Through
means to force your teeth to meet through tough hide
or even bone. For me, this hexagram feels like a mix
of The Tower, The Emperor, and the 9 of Wands.
Through perseverance and correct use of force,
success can be obtained, though not easily.

It is true, though, that Chinese words and concepts
do not always translate easily into English or western
models of thought. As an example, Hexagram 54,
Marrying Maiden, needs cultural context to reveal its
true nature. Hexagram 54 depicts the trigrams of Thunder
over Lake. At this point, it is helpful to know that
each trigram corresponds to a direction and a family
member. Thunder is eldest son, and Lake is youngest

At first glance, it might appear as a happy hexagram
as maidens marrying usually has positive connotations,
but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Here you
have the eldest son (who represents familial duty and
loyalty) suppressing the youngest daughter (and thereby
least powerful family member). Or, you have the eldest
son of an already existing family marrying a second wife.
The second wife in a traditional Chinese family had
almost no direct power. She sublimated herself to the
official wife, wife number one. She may come as a tribute
or peace offering between two houses. Her children would
never be in line for inheritance over the first wife’s children.
As a result, the appearance of this Hexagram means to be
powerless, and can represent an undertaking that is filled
with misfortune.

Because of the nature of interpretation and cultural
differences, I recommend buying a variety of books with
different explanations to deepen your understanding of
this amazing system. 

Happy tossing!


The I Ching by Wilhelm/Baynes (Considered by many
  to be THE definitive book on I Ching)

I Ching: Walking Your Path, Creating Your Future 
  by Hilary Barrett (Great beginner’s book)

The I Ching: A Guide to Life’s Turning Points
  by Brian Walker


• This is a website version of Wilhelm/Baynes’ book
  The I Ching:

• I love this resource as it contains interpretations
  from various authors which rounds out understanding:

About Jenna:
Jenna Matlin, M.S., author of Have Tarot Will Travel
and Have Tarot Will Party conducts in-person readings
in Durham, NC, as well as via phone and online. Jenna
also teaches tarot, Lenormand, how to build intuition,
and coaches other tarot entrepreneurs in business.
You can find her at

We’d love your suggestion or submissions for this
column! If you have an idea or would love to
contribute, please contact us at


Best Practices for Professional Readers

By Gina Thies  / /

When setting up your reading services, you’ll need to
decide whether to charge for your time by the hour or
as a flat fee. No matter which you choose, it’s best
to be clear about that in advance to avoid confusion
for your clients, and for yourself as well. What are
some of the advantages and disadvantages of each
way? Lets take a look:

Flat Rate Fees:

One of the advantages of charging a flat rate is there
is no pressure to perform due to time limits. You can
also customize with add-ons and have different flat
rates for different services.

The disadvantage of charging flat rates is that there
is a danger of putting in more time/energy and not
pricing accordingly.

Hourly Fees:

The greatest advantage of charging by the hour is the
flexibility to prorate your time. For some
practitioners, this makes it easier to stay on task.

The disadvantage of charging by the hour is not
sticking to  the allotted time and not charging
properly when  a session goes into overtime. 

Another thing to consider is that most people are paid
by the hour. If you charge $200 per hour and your
client only earns $15 per hour, the difference may be
difficult for them to justify.

There is no right or wrong approach here. The choice is
a matter of knowing yourself and your clients. Being
clear about costs upfront makes for a more enjoyable
reading experience for all. 

Upcoming Events:

• January 15, 2020

The Tarot School's Keep The Holidays Going Party, January 15th at The Crooked Knife, NYC

The Tarot School's 2020 Keep the Holidays Going Party!
Wednesday, January 15th  6:30 pm

The Crooked Knife
29 East 30th Street, New York City
(Bring cash for separate checks!)

RSVP Sasha Graham
• January 6, 13, 20 and 27, 2020


Tarot Salon
Forest Hills, New York

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

• April 23, 2020

2020 Divination Day

2020 Divination Day

Featuring these exciting presentations:

* Karin Dalton-Smith: Tea Leaf Reading
* Gina Jean: Domino Divination
* Mitchell Osborn: Intuitive Animal Communication

Single Day Passes are available!

• April 24 – 26, 2020

2020 Readers Studio & Divination Day Poster

2020 Readers Studio

Master Class Instructors:

* V.
* Liz Dean
* Theresa Reed

... plus Study Groups, Breakfast Roundtables, and much more!


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Directors: Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone