Newsletter of The Tarot School
ISSN: 1529-0565 
Vol. 13 #8 / April 1, 2021

 In this Issue:
- Welcome
- Tarot Tip: 4-Card Moon Phase Tarot Spread
- Tarot School Aphorism
- Student Spotlight: Scott Martin
- Diviner's Corner: Chresmomancy
- Best Practices: Red Flags That Signal
                           Problematic Clients
- Upcoming Events
Welcome to a new issue of Tarot Tips!
And a special welcome to our new subscribers.

        The Fool

Happy Day of The Fool!

It seems odd to be publishing an April issue
of Tarot Tips. In fact, the last time we did
that was in 2015! Usually, we're much too
busy preparing for Readers Studio at the end
of the month. It was a familiar routine for
18 years and it feels weird now. Although
we don't ascribe to the popular interpretation
of the card, it really did feel like The Fool
fell off the cliff last April when Wald was
so sick with Covid-19. Thankfully, he is
still with us but it's not safe yet to gather
in large numbers, hence the opportunity to
publish an April issue.

This month, we feature a wonderful spread by
Monica Bodirsky that works with the phases
of the moon. We also take a brief look at
Chresmomancy. Not sure what that is? Read
on. The Best Practices for Professional
Readers column outlines danger signals that
suggest a client may be especially difficult.
Of course, there's a new Tarot School
Aphorism from Wald, and the schedule
of upcoming classes. We'd love to see you there!  

And one more thing...

Stuart Kaplan with Wald and Ruth Ann Amberstone
Today would have been Stuart Kaplan's
89th birthday. Although he sadly passed
away last month, we will always think
of him on April 1st. If it weren't for him,
the classic Waite-Smith image of The Fool
would not have become the international
icon that it is.

This picture was taken when we visited
Stuart at the U.S. Games headquarters
several years ago. Of all the cards in
tarot, The Fool is closest to the divine
source. We like to think of Stuart walking
alongside him as they create the world
with their steps. 

All the best on your 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

by Monica Bodirsky

4-Card Moon Phase Spread

Moon Phase divination cloth and the Shadowland Tarot
by Monica Bodirsky

When you look up into the night sky, do you
feel a sense of comfort and wonder knowing
you are seeing the same unchanging moon as
our ancestors? I certainly do, and I have
spent over four decades practicing cartomancy
and have landed, figuratively, on the moon.

There seems to be an obvious connection
between the monthly cycles of women and
the period of time it takes for a full cycle of
the moon to complete, but in Norse culture
Mani is the ‘man in the moon’ and a male
energy/deity illustrating how fertility and
agriculture can encompass all gender

It takes an average of 29.5 days for a full
synodic period or lunation to occur. Most
cultures named each moon cycle or month
based upon the season and environment.
Apart from agriculture and weather, there
is also a symbolic correlation between our
ideas of decreasing, increasing, fullness
and emptiness that is reflected in the moon
phases of Waning, Waxing, the Full Moon
and the Dark or New Moon.

Moving in harmony with the moon’s cycles
allows me to enjoy the slipstream of its
energy. This feeling is similar to swimming
with instead of against a tide. I time my
readings with the moon’s cycles but have
also created spreads that don’t necessarily
need to coincide, and instead use the
symbolic meaning of each period in the

Here is my most frequently used Moon Phase
spread, especially useful for resolving
challenges arising from problematic or
cyclic patterns. I sometimes refer to it as
the ‘Stop the Lunacy’ spread.

To begin:

1.    Pick a time and place where you can sit
comfortably, take a few deep breaths, ground
and begin. Get your favorite deck of cards,
(by the way, this spread works for any
oracle) and remember to take notes either
during or after your reading. 

2.    Ask a question about a situation
requiring clarity.

3.    After shuffling, begin by placing card
#1 face-up at the top or twelve o’clock

4.    Next, place the second card in the three
o’clock position, the third in the 6 o’clock
position and finally the fourth card in the
nine o’clock position.

5.    The first card is in the Full Moon space
and represents the energy of what is currently
at its apex in this situation. Contemplate
whether this is positive or challenging and
record it.

6.    The second card is in the Waning Moon
position and represents the energy of
decrease in this situation. Make a note and
reflect if this is unexpected or has a
connection with the full moon energy.

7.    Move on to the third card in the six
o’clock position, which represents the Dark
or New Moon, both about beginnings and
endings as well as a time of stasis to
reflect. This is a time when the moon is
completely dark in the sky and is a pause
before it begins to Wax or increase in
visibility. This card is key to understanding
the core of the issue and will assist you
moving forward.

8.    The final and fourth card is in the nine
o’clock position and represents what is
suggested to increase as a result of the
Dark Moon reflection. A fresh start and a
new perspective will assist in seeing this
challenge differently and result in a shift
of awareness so that you may gain clarity to
break the less than desirable aspects of the

9.    Don’t forget to sit with your notes and
review. Try it again in a month and see what
has occurred with the same pattern or issue
you are resolving.

Thank you for reading this and please enjoy
the tarot spread as well as the power of the
moon. Move with its energy as it ebbs and
flows, and I wish you all peace and health
as we move out of the Dark Moon phase of
last year and into the Waxing Moon phase

About Monica:

Monica Bodirsky is the artist and author of
the Shadowland Tarot, The House of Shadows
Lenormand and the upcoming Shadowland
Lenormand. She is an advisor, offers online
classes, and is the founder of C.A.T.S.
(Coffee and Tarot Society), and the
WITCHfest North Arts and Culture Festival.

A reader for over 40 years, Monica has been
invited as a key speaker at many conferences
and has experience as a tarot expert for
feature films.

You can contact her at: or
watch IGTV@monicabodirsky or
YouTube @monicabodirskyshadowland.



 Tarot School Aphorism
            Tarot is old, and its sources are ancient. But at every moment of its history it refreshes itself and becomes new.  Could anyone have predicted in any of its many moments what tarot would become? I think not.  So what will tarot be tomorrow? What world and time will it reflect?  ~ Wald Amberstone


Student Spotlight

We are very proud of our Tarot School
students, many who have become
successful authors, teachers, and deck
creators. From time to time, we will
tell you about their new creations or
upcoming public appearances.

If you are or have been a student
of ours and would like to be in the
spotlight, send us an email.


Scott Martin

It is said of parents and teachers that they
should never play favorites. And even though
we dearly love all our students, we're going
to break this rule and say that Scott Martin
is among our favorites. He came to us as a
tarot neophyte, and we have watched him grow
to become an accomplished reader and
presenter, published tarot author, and an
expert in his own right. A consummate
student, he is always learning and still
joins our classes from time to time. Scott
has also been an invaluable member of the
Readers Studio staff.

Having spent much of his adult career
teaching theatre (in its many aspects),
playwriting and directing, Scott drew upon
that knowledge when writing his first book,
Bringing the Tarot to Life, Embody the Cards
through Creative Exploration
. This ground-
breaking approach to tarot shows how to
use theatre games and acting techniques
to gain new insights into the cards, and the
Tarosophists Association awarded it Best
Mass Market Book of the Year for Innovation
and Insight.

Scott has broken new ground again with his
new book, The Silent Doorkeeper: The
Alchemical Tarot Shines a Light on Covid-19
For 78 days at the beginning of the
pandemic, he drew a different card from
Robert M. Place's classic deck to guide him
during this exceptional time of crisis. The
book also contains full-color illustrations
of all the cards.

The student has become the teacher. Here is
what two of Scott's teachers have to say
about his new work:

"There is so much tarot in the world these
days that a piece of sparkling and
invaluable originality in this field is a
true rarity. Scott Martin has created just
such a rarity. He shows us how easy it is to
answer any question with any card from any
deck, even one that’s unfamiliar. This book
is a must-read, not only because of its
revelatory technique, but because this
78-card reading with Robert M. Place’s
landmark Alchemical Tarot is on a subject
of central importance to the whole world
today." ~ Wald Amberstone

“This should be an instant Tarot classic.
Seriously. A simple yet deep way to get to
know a deck, and to explore an intense and
powerful subject, with a 78-day reading that
comes down, finally, with a feeling of
destiny, to a single card. Brilliant.” 
~ Rachel Pollack

Get yours here:


Diviner's Corner

Pythia, the Oracle at Delphi

Chresmomancy (alternatively Chresmonancy)
is divination in which prophecy is ascertained
from the diatribe of someone who is driven
to a frenzied state through induced trance
or by spirit possession. It was a form of
divination practiced by the Pythia at the
oracular shrine in Delphi who spoke
enigmatic messages while in a trance induced
by vapors. Ambiguous communication in poetic
verse was confusing so trained augurs or
practitioners interpreted the utterances. 

The words of someone or something that comes
from the ethereal world is common to religious
practices such as Santeria, in which practitioners
communicate with deities called orisha or santos,
to receive important messages. In other practices,
the chresmomancer would listen to the words of
a mentally disturbed individual for divinatory

The practice of giving advice or prophecy to
kings was often left to the court fool, who
was considered the only one who could
deliver news to a king because they were
considered to be mad or crazy.  

Other methods of chresmomancy involve the
interpretation of magic sounds or ethereal
voices and foreign words. In modern times,
chresmomancy is associated with channeling,
which became popular with the New Age

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  / /

During a conversation with my longtime
mentor, a soul entrepreneur and reader for
probably half a century that I’ve known for
25 years, I asked the length of time she had
known clients. She said, “Well, of the ones
still alive, a very long time, like you, 30
years or more!” That’s incredible! Then the
conversation turned to dealing with the most
difficult clients. We all will get at least
a memorable one in our professional tenure. 

I believe we are tasked to help people, and
it’s difficult when you are empathetic and
feel a calling to assist but have to turn
someone away. It is also challenging to
avoid working with someone when it is
essential to your income.  

The potential for interaction with less than
ideal clients is plentiful. It can happen at
a gig event, they can show up as a one to
one appointment, or on your social media
platform or account. 

Here are some of the types that I've
identified and suggested ways to manage a
situation if it happens: 

1.  "I Don’t Believe In This Stuff
     (but want a reading anyway)."

They are curious, sure, but they are also
telling you that your reading is undermined
by their beliefs and implicitly asking you
to prove your gifts. If you aren’t a reader
who predicts, they will want to know why
not. If you ask what question they may have
for the reading, the response is typically
“just the future.”  You’ll need to control
this type of reading with structure. If they
are simply getting a reading out of
curiosity, do a little digging. They are
perhaps on a journey of spiritual discovery.
State how your process works and how you can
and can’t help. Trust your intuition on
whether this is a worthwhile pursuit. 

2.  Long Questions Demanding Specific
     Details of Who?, What?, When?

In my opinion, people seem to be heavily
reliant on timelines because it gives them a
way to look forward to when there will be an
end to pain or the beginning of joy, or a
resolution to whatever crisis they may have.
People have an aversion to delays and
waiting.  These days it’s all about instant
gratification. Once, when I asked a client
why it was so important to know when her on
again-off again romantic partner would
return, she said, “So that I can prepare”. 
Curious, I asked, “Prepare for what?” In her
mind, it was a mental preparation.
Ultimately, a timeline falsely implies
control of the situation. They also are
keeping score. If what you predict does not
come to pass as foreseen, you’ll probably
hear about it.  

3.  They Want It Cheap And Fast. 

These types want discounted services, the
shortest time slot possible, just a quick
question, etc. If you don’t value your work,
they won’t either. You can price your
services for all types of budgets.

4.  They Ask You To Interpret Cards They
     Pulled For Themselves or A Reading
     From Another Reader.

You might be shaking your head on this one.
I have had people contact me to review cards
they have pulled for a self-reading, but
they didn’t want a reading per se. Ok, it’s
a tarot lesson and I have a fee for that
service. The session costs more than a book
that they could purchase. I love when
clients send me pictures of spreads done by
other readers (which they have already paid)
and ask what I see in the spread without
paying me. What I see is that you’re trying
to get a free reading! Trust me, it won’t
just happen once. 

5.  Complaining of Bad Prior Experiences
     With Readers

Relationship experts say it’s not a good
idea to speak negatively about an ex on a
first date. I think about this when I get a
potential client and they spend they first 5
minutes of a session telling me how they
have had bad experiences with other readers,
so they are leery. If they genuinely have
had negative experiences, it happens but
they are telling you of the wounding they
don’t want to experience, some of which may
not have been the fault of their former

6.  Weird Or Obscure Details 

This one is challenging to figure out. If a
prospect communicates by email or text to
explain a pressing issue they want a reading
about and it is unusual, nonsensical, out of
context, or a rant, book cautiously. If you
have been reading this column for a while,
you’ll have heard me suggest prepayment
policies. If it's your gut reaction that
something might be off with the person,
you may want to trust your instincts. 

7.  High Maintenance or Very Needy 

If you have a client that wants a weekly
session, it’s ok if they need a little hand
holding through tough times. What I refer to
in this scenario would be constant emails or
texts without appointments, lots of
questions before or after the appointment,
or they want to update you frequently. They
will ask what you said in a reading means
just to spark a conversation. These people
often lack support systems in the form of
family and friends. This signals potential
boundary issues where they will increasingly
feel entitled to your time. Warning – do not
feed this beast! 

Upcoming Events:

The Tarot School's Tarot Salon on Zoom!

• April 5, 12, 19, and 26, 2021

Tarot Salon on Zoom!
7:00 - 9:00 pm EDT

Our popular Monday night classes are
now online so you can attend no matter
where you live!

Register Here:

Astrology in Tarot: The Minor Arcana w/ Wald Amberstone

• Saturday, May 15, 2021

The Magic of Astrology in Tarot: 
The Minor Arcana and Court Cards
w/ Wald Amberstone

Cheryl Ryder and the Albuquerque Tarot Tribe
Meetup are excited to host Wald's newest
presentation on astrology as it specifically
applies to tarot.

This is what he has to say about it:

Meaning in tarot is many layers deep, and
each layer is a whole discipline unto itself.
Qabalah, alchemy, astrology, numerology,
psychology — all these add their wisdom
to the knowledge of self and world that
tarot gives us in such abundance.

In this class, we’ll look at how the basic
symbolic elements of astrology fit so
perfectly into the structure of a tarot deck.
We'll be looking at how each Minor
Arcana card fits into the structure of the
Zodiac Wheel of the Year, the Decans, the
Modalities of the signs (Cardinal, Fixed,
Mutable), and how to blend them together
in tarot readings.

2 classes for the price of one!

When you register, you will be sent a
Dropbox link to the recording of Wald's
previous presentation on The Magic of
Astrology in Tarot: The Major Arcana.
You will also receive a link to the four
session handouts. 

Time: 2:30 pm EDT 
Location: Zoom
Tuition: $20
Register at:

Note: You do not have to join the Meetup
if you don't want to. Just make sure to
indicate that the money is for "May 15th
Wald Amberstone Class"
in the comment
section for PayPal or on your check in
order to get confirmation for this event.

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