Newsletter of The Tarot School
Vol. 14 #9 September 1, 2022
In this Issue:
- Tarot Tip: Psychological Challenges in Tarot
XIII Death — Surrender
- Wald's Words of Wisdom
- Diviner's Corner: Oculomancy
- What's Gnu?: Astrology in Tarot Study Guides
- Meet the Reader: Jennifer Steidley
- Best Practices: Avoid these Small Business Mistakes!
- 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, Canada, Hong Kong,
Hungary, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain,
the United Kingdom, and the United States.
We're glad you're here!
I sometimes like to amuse myself by
discovering chain associations, where
one symbol makes me think of another one,
which in turn can lead to a third. That
happened as I was thinking of what to
write here this month.
The month of September is when most
students return to school. (Yes, I know
a lot of classes begin in August but that's
besides the point.) In many past editions
of Tarot Tips, I've gone with a "Back To
Tarot School" theme. (Visit the archives
I created a chalkboard graphic that I've
used a few times but I wanted to do
something different this year.
One symbol that's often associated with
teachers is the apple, as in bringing an
apple for the teacher as a sign of respect
or gratitude. There are apples in The Lovers
card. And two of our Tarot Salons this month
feature The Lovers! (See the Upcoming Events
section.) A cool -- and unexpected -- chain
of associations for this month's issue. :)
I call this technique The Secret Path and
it's fun to use in tarot readings. Usually,
the path is between two symbols but I
suppose you could use more if the symbol
appears in multiple cards.
For example, if the 8 of Cups comes up,
you might notice the crescent moon.
It also appears in the 2 of Swords,
The High Priestess and The Moon.
The 8 of Cups can create a path to one
of the others, which will have a secret
message to impart. Which card(s) to
choose will depend on the context of
There's a lot more to it, but that's the
basic premise. (If you have our Tarot Tips
book, it's in there.) Maybe I'll write it up
as a future featured Tip.
In the meantime, we wish you a lovely
September and hope to see you in class!
And one more thing...
This has been a difficult time for some of
our beloved tarot teachers and colleagues.
Last month, we put out a request for healing
for Rachel Pollack who is battling cancer.
She has been in the ICU but is expected to
be moved to a rehab facility where she'll
have round-the-clock care. A GoFundMe
campaign has been launched to help with
her medical and care expenses.
Please give what you can at
And James Wanless, creator of The Voyager
Tarot (and more!) was savagely attacked and
beaten in Los Angeles a few weeks ago. Here
is the latest update from Julie King:
He is making progress on needing less oxygen
and the hospital reduced the drugs he was
on. Yay! As with any healing there are
setbacks and his is pneumonia. So keep up
the prayers and healing. Visualize his zest
for life and see him whole!
Let us come together to support our teachers!
Wishing you joy along the tarot path,
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!
PSYCHOLOGICAL CHALLENGES IN TAROT:
XIII DEATH –– SURRENDER
by Katrina Wynne, MA, CTM, CTI, CLC
I love my students and the deep conversations
we have on topics in our Tarot world. The
latest of these explorations involved the idea
of “Surrender”, in our work as Transformative
Tarot Consultants™, as well as a message
from the cards.
So…why is surrender such a trigger for
many of us? Just look at our attachments…
what we hold onto…and why we are grasping
This is where the XIII Death card comes in
with a key lesson for our journey through
life…how to let go. Yet, what part of us
resists risks or change? I would say it is
our ego, the part that tries to keep us in
the safety zone, which is actually a box,
Dr. Sue Morter of The Energy Codes labels
our ego the “Protective Personality”, for it
remembers pain from past issues and tries to
block us from experiencing that pain again.
Example: someone had a special relationship
that suddenly ended. Now that person is
hesitant to open their heart again.
Death of a relationship, or any attachment,
including ideas and beliefs, pushes us out
of our known world into new territory, the
unknown. This can bring up feelings of
insecurity, lack of confidence, and possibly
the vibration of fear.
In contrast, stepping into the unknown takes
trust in something beyond the known…and
isn’t that why many consult Tarot cards, to
tap into the unknown?
So, what are we surrendering with the Death
card? …our ego attachment to life being a
certain way. We are releasing control,
learning to be more vulnerable and trusting
in a greater balance and flow in life (XIV
As you work with the XII Death card,
consider these prompts…
• What in my life needs to dissolve or die?
• What am I afraid to change or release?
• Is it OK to experience vulnerability?
• What old attachment do I need to
surrender at this time?
• Can I trust this process?
• Is it OK to leave the known behind to
step into this new possibility?
These can be huge existential explorations
that will certainly lead you into a completely
new you, your unknown self. The unknown
is what Swiss analyst Carl Jung called The
Psyche, and is the key to the Individuation
process…a topic for a future Tarot Tip…haha.
I hope you can align with this powerful
process, and I’ll leave you with this image
for this natural death process…see yourself
as a snake who has shed its skin… because it
has outgrown its old form.
Katrina Wynne, MA, CTM, CTI, CLC
is an internationally renowned Transformative
Tarot Counselor™ and trained psychotherapist
with close to 50 years’ experience living the
wisdom of Tarot.
Contact Katrina at:
TarotCounseling.org - website
MySacredJourney.org - weblog
OracleSoup.org - podcast
Wald's Words of Wisdom
Predicting the Future from the Eyes of a Person
Divination has used a great variety of means
to read omens of the future; these have
ranged from natural phenomena like the
weather and the sky to movement of animals
and birds as well as human traits and
skills. A form of divination which made use
of the latter and read a person’s eyes to
interpret his/her personality and destiny
The term oculomancy is derived from the
Latin word for eyes or sight, ‘oculus’ and
that for prophecy, ‘manteia’. Oculomancy
thus refers to a practice in which the
diviner studied the eyes of a person, its
shape, color and reflections therein, as a
way of interpreting the personality of the
individual. Depending on the psychic skills
of the diviner and if focused deeply on the
eyes of the person, oculomancy would even
provide clues as to the circumstances and
events he/she may face in future.
The color of the eyes was considered an
important clue by oculomancers of the past
in determining the character of an
individual. According to this tradition,
gray eyes denoted prudence, practicality and
moral strength while a person with blue eyes
was believed to be forthright, gentle,
generous, loyal, modest, and forgiving.
According to experts of this form of
divination, brown eyes were associated with
traits like consistency, hope, nobility, and
truthfulness but on occasion its bearer to
could be prone to nervousness. Then again
hazel eyes indicated Intelligence, firmness,
sincerity, ambition, and friendliness while
a person with black eyes was supposed to be
goal-oriented, self-assured devoted, and
passionate but sometimes also extravagant.
Apart from the color of a person’s eyes,
their shape and behavior could also present
important clues to his/her character. For
instance, large eyes indicated sincerity,
industry, loyalty, affection, and
intelligence while small eyes symbolized
honesty, but with a tendency toward
hot-headedness and recklessness. Also a
person with close-set eyes was supposed to
be more intelligent than others. A much more
practical form of divination which has been
absorbed in popular superstition is what the
itching of eyes entailed; for instance
itching in the right eye predicted humorous
circumstances and laughter in store while
itching in the left eye itching presaged
misfortune and Impending sorrow.
The eyes have always been thought to act as
the windows to a person’s soul. The reason
for this not only lies in the obvious way
that eyes express so many human emotions
but also perhaps because the notion of sight
works on various levels. Sight is not only
about being able to see the things of this
world but also about looking into another
world, an alternate reality and into what
the future holds – in a sense of being
far-seeing or being a visionary. Thus it is
no wonder that eyes were thought by diviners
to act as much more than one of the five
senses; according to ancient seers, the eye
could be understood as some sort of conduit
to a person's mind-eye or the inner eye,
which in turn has complete vision over a
person's dreams and eventually images from
the future. Looking at the eye for an
oculomancy expert thus meant peering into
the state of dreams of a person. And dreams
have long been interpreted as a preview to
future events in a person's life. In this
way oculomancy entailed looking into the
eyes as some sort of reflector to a person's
soul as well as having access to his/her
inner world or some spiritual dimension.
Not much is known about the history of
oculomancy and the places in which they
were practiced. However in modern times,
oculomancy has found a way in popular
culture, evidence of this lies in the
mention of oculomancy in the incredibly
popular Harry Potter series of books which
are a favorite with both children and
adults. Professor Severus Snape is a
character in the series who is apparently is
a skilled practitioner of oculomancy,
allowing him to lie however he wants without
revealing himself to other people who knows
the divination technique.
Photo by Bess Hamiti
We’d love your suggestion or submissions
for this column! If you have an idea or would
like to contribute, please contact us at
ASTROLOGY IN TAROT
It's been a minute since we've had something
new in our store so we're particularly
excited to offer you these Study Guides,
based on our popular Astrology in Tarot
And at only $7 each, they're super-affordable!
This series of 3 Study Guides on Astrology
in Tarot, presents clear and succinct ways
of looking at the astrological correspondences
that have been encoded into modern tarot cards
and the way they work together to enlarge the
field of meaning for your tarot readings.
#1. Astrology in Tarot: The Major Arcana
We’ll look at how the basic symbolic
elements of astrology fit so perfectly into
the structure of a tarot deck. You’ll see
how astrology gives tarot the gift of time,
and how tarot in turn gives time meaning.
#2. Astrology in Tarot: The Court Cards
With the Court Cards, the circle of signs
and seasons is established in tarot through
their astrological correspondences. Time is
seen and felt as orderly, and one thing
follows another with predictable simplicity.
#3. Astrology in Tarot: The Minor Arcana
Learn how each of the numbered cards in
the Minor Arcana 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.
"Wald has a particularly unique way of
working with tarot and astrology that makes
it all simple and easy to decode."
~ Cheryl Ryder, Tarot Teacher and Organizer
of the Albuquerque Tarot Tribe MeetUp
CLICK HERE to get your copies now!
Meet The Reader
By Sharonah Rapseik, Ph.D., CMAP
Jennifer Steidley is the creator and author
of three self-published card decks, including
the successfully crowdfunded “Tarot
Disassembled” a 78-card Tarot deck that
deconstructs and reexamines the traditional
symbolism of the Rider Waite Smith Tarot.
Jennifer has been a graphic designer for
over 20 years and has been fascinated by
Tarot throughout her life. An avid deck
collector and self-proclaimed “research
nerd,” she enjoys the process of taking a
deep dive into any subject that holds her
interest. Dissecting the layers of meaning
within a single symbol holds a particular
fascination for her. For her, the common
thread between graphic design and Tarot is
the language of symbolism..
Jennifer, what makes your tarot practice
unique and how do you express it?
My Tarot practice is centered around
symbology and connecting with the
individual symbols found in Tarot rather
than the pictorial narrative. For as long as
I can remember, symbology has held a
special fascination for me. It is a visual
language that I understand somewhere
deep in my core. It’s what drew me to
Tarot from the first moment I laid eyes
on a deck.
The layers of meaning and stories held
within an individual symbol hold endless
fascination for me. I find that when I allow
my intuition to home in on one or two
symbols in a card, I get more precise
messages. I also love the playful way
symbols tend to be reflected in everyday
life. I’ve recently started playing a game
with myself where I look for Tarot symbols
“in the wild.” For example, one day I
spotted a black cat traversing my front
yard. Together, those symbol sightings equal
Queen of Wands energy. For me, keeping an
eye out for those types of synchronicities
is a fun way to work with Tarot, even when I
don’t have a deck in hand.
The ultimate expression of my love of Tarot
symbology can be found in the deck I created,
“Tarot Disassembled.” While I love
experiencing the wide variety of artwork in
the many Tarot decks I own, breaking out the
individual symbols will always have a
special place in my practice.
Thank you Jennifer, it’s been a pleasure to meet you!
To follow Jennifer Steidley:
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
AVOID THESE SMALL BUSINESS MISTAKES!
By Gina Thies
www.tarotadvisor.com / www.facebook.com/tarotreaders
www.tarotcoupling.com / www.oraclesoup.org
Given the current financial situation with
rampant inflation, your business may not be
growing the way you want. But that may not
be the only culprit. Successful businesses
rarely rely on a single plan which focuses
on growth and financial stability.
Interestingly, most small business or sole
proprietorships fail to thrive within the
first two years. There are various reasons
why this could be, including poor planning
and/or understanding what to do when a
business gets stuck. Lack of a strong
business plan can also be a factor. Having
the right attitude and seeking out business
or personal mentors could change the course
of the success of your business.
Here are a few mistakes to avoid:
1) Treating Your Business as a Hobby
Your passion doesn’t necessarily translate
into profit. Many people start their own
business because they assume it will allow
more flexibility and freedom with their
time. But treating your business like a
hobby will probably result in hobby-like
2) Lack of Focus on Core Competencies
Assess whether or not buyers want what you
are selling and at the price you have set.
What is it that you uniquely provide in your
services that gives you an edge over
3) Relying on "The Big Catch"
Putting your eggs in one basket is not the
best plan for long term success. Many
entrepreneurs start out with one or two
great clients. Keep in mind that returning
clients are important but so is
diversification and seeking out new
4) Poor Understanding of Roles
Sole proprietors are responsible for many
aspects of their business. These roles
include marketer, sales, advocate, client
outreach, etc. If these skills are not your
strong suit, get help from someone else.
5) Missed Partnership Opportunities
Don't overlook opportunities with other
businesses that complement yours. Investing
the time in a strategic partnership can give
you access to an audience that you may not
have been able to reach.
For the most part, research shows that most
businesses struggle because of poor
management skills, including time
management. I recommend talking to other
business owners who have the type of success
that you want for your business.
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.
Classes are recorded and all levels
of experience are welcome!
5 - NO CLASS (Labor Day)
12 - The Lovers
19 - The Chariot
26 - Birth Cards: Devil/Lovers
Get on the notification list to see
what we'll be teaching each week.
Find the form and register here:
Readings with Ruth Ann
Running The Tarot School with Wald keeps
me pretty busy, but I still love giving readings!
My specialty is using your Birth Cards and
Elemental Array (techniques Wald and I have
developed) in conjunction with random draws
to give you an extremely personalized and
I excel at giving Readings for Readers so
if you're always giving readings to others,
let me help you with some self-care for
Click Here to book your private reading
with me over Zoom.
Do you have a question or comment on anything tarot?
Suggestions for future topics?
For information on tarot classes, courses,
events and more, go to TarotSchool.com
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Directors: Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone