Newsletter of The Tarot School
ISSN: 1529-0565 
Vol. 14 #3 March 1, 2022

 In this Issue:
- Welcome
- Tarot Tip: Choosing Date Attributions
- Wald's Words of Wisdom
- What's Gnu?
- Diviner's Corner: Ornithomancy
- Meet the Reader: Athena Dugan
- Best Practices: Ways to Find Clients Who
                           Pay What You Are Worth
- Upcoming Events
Welcome to a new issue of Tarot Tips!
And a special welcome to our new subscribers.

  This month you came from:
Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Ireland,
Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Romania,
Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
We're glad you're here!

Peace Candle

I've been at a loss for words the last few
days. I kept going back and forth as to
whether or not I should address the current
drama on the world stage. So I pulled a
card. I was hoping for a different topic,
something uplifting, so I chose Theresa
Reed and Kailey Whitman's Tarot for Kids
(a favorite of mine). But in keeping with
the uncanny way the cards work, I drew
The Tower. (Yup.) The book's interpretation
does have a comforting message so both my
issues were addressed!

Expect the Unexpected

Sometimes life throws you a curveball.
For example, something you're counting on
doesn't come through or a shocking change
of events leaves you feeling uncertain.
Everything seems scary and hard. Take a
breath and know that this won't be forever.
Nothing lasts, not even the tough stuff. The
Tower brings chaos and disruption, but soon
you'll rebuild something better.

Wise words for children and adults.

A bit about this issue...

Predicting timing in a reading is a
big subject, and not everyone feels
comfortable doing it. The featured
Tip touches on one of the ways the
astrological associations of the
cards can be of help for those who
do use timing when appropriate.

We haven't run a What's Gnu? column
in a while but we finally have some
big news to share with you! 

We're honored to have the esteemed
Caroline Kenner contribute to this
month's Diviner's Corner. I must admit,
I'd never heard the term Ornithomancy
before. Bird Divination is a specialty
of Caroline's and she gives us a
wonderful introduction to the practice. 

I've seen Athena Dugan online a lot
so I enjoyed Sharonah's Meet the
Reader profile of her. It's nice to
learn about her approach to reading.

Gina's Best Practices column 
touches on an important topic for
professional readers, and Upcoming
Events includes our Tarot Salon
schedule, along with the topics
we're teaching.

And one more thing...
All we are saying
is give peace a chance.

Wishing you love and bright blessings,
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

(More synchronicity. I swear I chose this
article weeks ago! - RA)


I have been an avid reader of your tarot
newsletter and Tarot Tips for a long time.
Let me take this opportunity to congratulate
you on excellent work done on both fronts.

I would be very grateful if you could
explain the time period that is associated
with The Tower. I have always taken it to
denote the period from Nov til April but
have had some mixed results on the accuracy
so far.

Thanking you, yours faithfully


I must admit that I am unfamiliar with any
system that would attribute that time frame
to The Tower. This may be why you are having
mixed results. (If anyone knows differently,
please correct me.)

It makes more sense to say November OR
April. According to the Golden Dawn system
that many tarot readers use, The Tower is
associated with the planet Mars, not a sign
of the zodiac. However, Mars is the ruler of
Aries (March 21 - April 20) and also
co-ruler of Scorpio (October 23 - November

The Tower can also be linked to any of the
Minor Arcana cards that have a planetary
attribution of Mars, giving you the
following date possibilities from which to

2 of Wands (Mars in Aries)
March 21 - 30

9 of Swords (Mars in Gemini)
June 1 – 10

7 of Wands (Mars in Leo)
August 12 - 22

5 of Cups (Mars in Scorpio)
October 23 - November 2

3 of Pentacles (Mars in Capricorn)
December 31 - January 9

10 of Cups (Mars in Pisces)
March 11 - 20

You may come across slight variations in
systems of timing. Joy Vernon has developed
a system that works well for her, and has
created a beautiful color reference chart
you may find useful:

As with most things when it comes to tarot,
find the system that works best for you and
stick with it. Learn to trust it and you
will be able to read timing questions with


 Wald's Words of Wisdom
            Every card in tarot, and every group of cards, is a symbol of some energy at work in ourselves. Court Cards are, among other things, symbols of our relationship to power.


What's Gnu?


Our Birth Card Course has been
very well-received. Some people
love the self-study option, while
others prefer coaching. But some
folks really enjoy a live class
experience. The good news is...

We are finally teaching Birth Card
classes online!
As part of out Tarot 
Salon schedule, we'll be offering
monthly Birth Card sessions over
Zoom. (And that means each class
is only $20.)

February's introductory session was
a great success! The March 21st
class will be on The Fool's place
in our system of Birth Cards. Then
each month following, we'll teach
one Birth Card Set, such as Justice
and The High Priestess.

All the classes are recorded so
you can join any time and have
access to the ones you missed.

Whenever you begin your Salon
Birth Card studies, we'll include
the recording of the Introductory 
Session as our gift.

Be sure to get on the Tarot Salon
notification list to find out when
Birth Card classes are scheduled.
You can do that here:

If you'd like to know more about
The Tarot School's method of
Birth Cards, visit our website
at and find the
Birth Card section on the nav bar.

We're excited to be teaching these
special classes, and would love
to see you there!


Diviner's Corner

Owl Shapeshifter by Lisa Hunt

by Caroline Kenner

Ornithomancy is the practice of basing
divination or omens on birds and bird
behavior.  Ornithomancy depends on belief
in sacred correspondences linking birds
and the Divine.  

More than two decades ago, I read about
ornithomancy in accounts of ancient
divination practices that our ancestors used
to perform.  Those accounts made me wonder
if the birds would speak to me in the same
way they often spoke to our ancestors. 
After all, I was already a birdwatcher, and
a Witch. Why not become a Bird Witch?  

But what drove me to begin practicing
ornithomancy in earnest: my fear and dislike
of highway driving. Highways make me very
anxious. I managed my anxiety by asking the
Highway Hawks and Vultures to help me. 
We’ve all noticed how many birds of prey and
carrion eaters hang out on the verge of the
highways, I am sure.

I ritually requested that the Highway Hawks
and Vultures alert me to danger and speed
traps as I drove. The birds were very reliable.  
I could tell from the birds’ behavior when
there was going to be a speed trap about 85-90%
of the time. Those results motivated me to take
ornithomancy more seriously, and to make it
part of my personal Witchcraft practice.

People practicing ornithomancy believe that
the Divine empowers birds to act as their
messengers. These messages from birds are
an avian theophany, a demonstration of the
Divine’s love and sacred power made manifest
with feathers and a beak. The bird becomes
a numen in the Jungian sense, and, at best,
the observer experiencing the theophany goes
into a state of numinous awe.

One of the best aspects of practicing
ornithomancy: it’s a type of divination that
helps us be more in tune with the ecosystems
in which we live. It is a beautiful practice to
regard birds as manifestations of the soul
in Great Nature.

For those of us who cannot walk in wild
nature as often as we would like, but would
like to learn ornithomancy, here are some

We need to open our minds and hearts to
suddenly seeing a bird’s image, instead of a
living bird. The Divine speaks in myriad
ways, and they know how to speak to us in
modern imagery. If you cannot walk in a
natural environment every day, keep an eye
out for messages from the Gods and spirits
phrased in human-created images.

There are many cartomancy decks featuring
birds and animals that can be consulted as a
form of ornithomancy. Some of my favorite

Lisa Hunt’s The Winged Enchantment Oracle,
with Lisa’s beautiful art. There are thirty-nine
cards with gorgeous shape-shifting bird-humans
that will inspire many people. (The picture at the
top of this article is from that deck. - RA)

I love Paulina Cassidy’s SpiritSong Tarot,
illustrated with animals as well as birds,
in her delicate and intricate style.

Druid Animal Oracle and Plant Oracle, both
by Will Worthington and the Carr-Gomms, are
wonderful for nature-based divination. The
Plant deck has some animals and birds in it,
as well as sacred plants. 

I think ornithomancy is due for a revival. 

Awesome Resource:

Bird Symbolism & Meanings (A to Z List of Birds)

About Caroline:

Caroline Kenner

In 2012, Caroline Kenner founded The Fool’s
Dog Tarot app company with her husband,
Jason Linhart.  Caroline calls herself a
Washington Witchdoctor.  A native of
Washington, DC, Caroline became a Pagan
community organizer starting in the early
1990s.  Caroline is a third degree Witch
initiated in two different traditions, one
in Ireland, and one in Delaware.  She is a
visionary mystic and a healer. 2022 marks
Caroline’s fiftieth year reading Tarot cards.

Caroline and her husband Jason recently
retired to Olympia, Washington, where
Caroline continues her magical practices. 
Look for Caroline’s and Paula Millet’s
forthcoming Kickstarter, for Boadicea’s
Tarot of Earthly Delights
, later this spring.

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


Meet The Reader

By Sharonah Rapseik, Ph.D., CMAP

Athena Dugan

Athena Dugan is a certified Labyrinth
Facilitator and VIA member with Veriditas,
a regional representative for the Philadelphia
area, and the Volunteer's Chair with The
Labyrinth Society. She is a labyrinth
creator, co-host of radio show Living
Labyrinths; the Labyrinth Tender for the
Philadelphia Pagan Pride Day event; founder
and creator of company, Walkers of the
Labyrinth. Athena facilitates labyrinth
walks, creates temporary labyrinths,
meditations, and is a Soundbath

Athena is a Pagan practitioner, and an elder
within her tradition. She is the designer of
the handmade, one-of-a-kind crafts and
accessories brand, Earth’s Energies, an
online Pagan shop. As a Tarot reader, Athena
works organically, using the intuitive
impressions in reading her cards. She loves
walking the labyrinth and djembe drumming.
She is an illustrator and tends to her vast
collection of books on magic, the arts and
other various subjects, and an extensive
collection of tarot cards.

Sharonah Rapseik:
Athena, what makes your tarot practice unique
and how do you express it?

Athena Dugan:
As a labyrinth facilitator, I work with both
Tarot and Labyrinth cards. It's all about
the inner work when walking a labyrinth,
and these cards help clarify the message(s)
received while walking a labyrinth.

The labyrinth cards I work with for my
readings are designed like an oracle system.
The Labyrinth Wisdom Cards are made by
Tony Christie and The Sacred Path Labyrinth
 by Tracy Andryc. They are not a full
deck of 78 cards like a Tarot deck but are
deeply impactful with oracular guidance. 
Like the Minotaur today has evolved to
represent the shadow self, the labyrinth cards
focus on the wisdom from which we can do
the inner work and shed light on becoming
whole by getting to the center of our self.
As we get to the center of the labyrinth, the
answer becomes clear, the message is heard. 

I offer readings when I host labyrinth
walks, and use the labyrinth cards as an
oracle.  Sometimes, I will use the cards
by themselves, or sometimes mix them
with different Tarot decks, depending on
the energy that calls for it. I work with the
Celtic Cross spread, sometimes 3, or 4
card layouts, or just a single card pull. 
The reading helps clarify the messages
they may have received while walking.

Like walking a labyrinth, these cards will
transmit information to guide you towards
wholeness. You can work with the wisdom
of the cards as you walk the labyrinth. 
Sometimes I will have the walker pull a card
beforehand and concentrate on the information
on the card. The wisdom is in the walk.

Sharonah Rapseik:
Thank you Athena, it’s been a pleasure to meet you!


To follow Athena: 


About Sharonah:

Sharonah Rapseik 

Sharonah Rapseik is an Artist / Designer,
Author, Tarot Reader, Radio Host and
Producer for Psychic Talk Radio.

Visit her at:
Best Practices for Professional Readers

By Gina Thies  / /

“How Much Do You Charge For A Reading?” 
“Do You Give Discounts?”

These two questions are asked all the time
when prospects are shopping for a reading.
They might be asked independently of each
other or somewhere in the midst of an
explanation of your services.  

Spiritual entrepreneurs are commonly
uncomfortable about sounding salesy.
These questions can be a source of anxiety
for some, but they are very reasonable
questions. When shopping, if you are
uncertain about the cost of an item and
whether or not it is discounted, you'd ask
the same things. 

In retail merchandising, things are commonly
mis-marked or get placed in the wrong area.
But in the case of an online practitioner,
the cost should be clear. When someone
contacts you and asks these two questions,
several things might be happening: 

1. They might not be able to navigate your
website easily. 

2. They are accustomed to talking to a
person and are looking for personalized

3. They are hoping to negotiate the price.
Other people have bent the rules for them so
they expect you will, too.  

Do not go into a panic if you are challenged
with these scenarios. You need to reaffirm
that what you charge is competitive and
valuable. If you give something away for
free, how are you going to get from $0 to
$150? In building repeat clientele, if your
fees are normally $75 for instance, and you
give a discount of $35, are you going to be
able to get that client to pay the $75 next

Price negotiation is all about objections.
These questions seem innocent, but in
reality are objections to the cost and a
desire to see if there is wiggle room.
Should a person tell you that your fee is
too expensive, ask them what are they
comparing your fee against. Is the other
person offering the same skill set or time?
You need to make sure they are comparing
apples to apples. 

Admittedly, the discount question from
someone price shopping irks me. The years of
study, investment of money, sweat and tears
to get to the professional level, are of no
concern to these people. I ask, when you go
to work do you tell your boss you’ll
discount your earnings? Hardly. 

My solution was to price my services for
live readings as time-based sessions. After
all, they are purchasing a chunk of your
expertise and experience, not the card
reading. You should be demonstrating the
value of what you offer. 

When they inquire about your cost, ask them
what they are specifically expecting to get
from a reading session. You’ll be surprised
at the responses you get. Also keep in mind
it takes time to answer these inquiries so
if your business is coming from online
sources, set up your information with clear
ways for customers to take action. I can
attest that not a high percentage of the
people that ask about my charges proceed
with booking a session. If they want
pricing, I respond with a link to the page
where they can make a choice on what they
want, very simple.


What to Charge for a Reading - Eva Sawyer

6 Pricing Strategies for Tarot Professionals - Ethony

Six Signs You’re Ready to Begin Charging for
Your Tarot Readings -- Theresa Reed



Upcoming Events:

The Tarot School's Tarot Salon on Zoom!

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

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

  7 - Issues of the 4 Queens
14 - Esoterics of the 4 Queens
21 - Birth Cards: The Fool
28 - TBA

Get on the notification list to see
what we'll be teaching each week.
Find the form and register here:

Readings with Ruth Ann

Readings with Ruth Ann

Running The Tarot School with Wald keeps
me pretty busy, but I still love giving readings!
If you would like to book a private reading
with me over Zoom, send an email to and we'll discuss it.


Do you have a question or comment on anything tarot?
Suggestions for future topics?
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Directors: Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone