Vol. 15 #4 / April 1, 2023
In this Issue:
- Tarot Tip: Quickie Reading Prep
- Wald's Words of Wisdom
- Diviner's Corner: Meteormancy
- What's Gnu?
- Meet the Reader: Winifred Tannetta-Costello
- Upcoming Events
Welcome to a new issue of Tarot Tips!
And a special welcome to our new subscribers.
This month you came from:
Australia, France, Italy, Japan, Nepal, Norway,
Philippines. Romania, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand,
the United Kingdom, and the United States.
We're glad you're here!
It is with deep sadness that we commemorate
the recent passing of Lelia Dickenson, one of
the co-founders of The Tarot School.
Back in the 20th Century (the Winter of 1994
to be exact), we were hanging out with Lelia
and another friend, Irene Kendall, at The
Open Center, a wholistic learning center in
SoHo. Although the four of us were very
different, we all shared one thing—a love
On this particular evening, we were
discussing how although we knew of
occasional one-day or weekend workshops on
tarot, and even a 6-week introductory course
or two, there was nowhere to study tarot in
New York City on a continuing basis –– no
place where one could study the cards
in-depth. If you went to a class, there was
only enough time to spend a few minutes on
each card. After that, except for a few good
books, you were on your own. (The tarot
community as we know it now didn’t exist
at the time.)
“Wouldn’t it be great if there were someplace
we could meet to study tarot every week,”
asked Irene; “someplace where we could
take time with the cards?”
Not being content to just talk, we made
plans to change this sorry state of affairs,
and a couple of months later, The Tarot
School opened its doors.
The two of us made the commitment to
lead a weekly 3-hour class at the Source
of Life Center in midtown, and Lelia and
Irene agreed to come as often as they could
to help out. We put out a flyer at the Source
of Life, bought an ad in a local New Age
newspaper, and waited for a flood of
At first, there were only two or three
students each week. The truth is, there were
a couple of times when nobody came at all.
But optimism, patience and perseverance
eventually paid off, and The Tarot School
grew in surprising ways. 28 years later,
our weekly classes are still going strong.
After awhile, we started planning our first
tarot conference, The New York Tarot
Festival, which was held in 2002. The
following year, we started producing the
annual Readers Studio. Lelia and Irene
managed the on-site operations all those
years. If you attended and had a good
experience, they had a lot to do with that.
Sasha Graham summed up how so many
of us felt about Lelia when she wrote the
"Lelia’s warmth and energy were among
my favorite things about her. No matter
what was going on for the Readers Studio
staff, she always grounded us and made us
feel like everything would be okay. Her
deep laugh, soft eyes and kindness were
a salve for the soul."
Lelia has been a dear friend for over 30
years. Her laugh, her smile, and her magic
will reside forever in our hearts.
~ Ruth Ann & Wald Amberstone
P.S. If you would like to watch the replay
of the memorial tribute to Lelia Dickenson,
the ceremony begins at the 1 hour 5 minute
mark here: https://client.tribucast.com/tcid/41456434
And one more thing...
"Joi" is a statue that Lelia created for the
Rivers Run Community Garden, which
was very dear to her heart. If you would
like to honor Lelia's memory, please
consider a donation toward the upkeep
of her statue and support of the garden's
community programs here:
Wishing you joy along the tarot path,
Ruth Ann, Wald, Gina and Sharonah
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!
QUICKIE READING PREP
[Note: This article originally appeared in
the August 5, 2002 issue of Tarot Tips,
before reading over Zoom was even possible.
While the specifics of how and where you
conduct "emergency" readings –– if you
even do them –– may not apply to you, the
self-care techniques are useful in many
contexts. ~ Ruth Ann]
I would like to know if you can give any
suggestions for a quick way to get prepared
to give a reading. I usually do meditations
and clearing as a part of my personal ritual
to prepare but this is a bit time consuming
and I allow for it, but sometimes I get
people who want to get an emergency reading
after I have just walked in the door from
running errands. Is there a good technique
for preparing or is it necessary at all?
Thanks as always,
Thanks for this interesting question,
The first thing to do is check your inner
state. If, even though you've been rushing
around, you feel up to giving a good
reading, then there are some quick and easy
things you can do to help you settle your
If, however, you feel pressured, hassled, or
imposed upon by your client's "emergency,"
you'd both be better off if you can
reschedule the reading for a time when you
can give them your best.
If a phone client calls the moment you walk
in the door and you decide to do the
reading, ask them to call back in ten
minutes while you prepare yourself to give
them your undivided attention.
Here are some simple ways you can center
your energy just before a reading -- whether
your day has been hectic or not. Feel free
to use as few or as many of these
suggestions as you like. None of them take
more than a
• Running Water
Running water is one of nature's best energy
cleansers. If you can take a quick shower,
that's best but often there's no time. In
that case, go to the sink and let cold water
over the pulse points at your wrists. Splash
some inside your elbows and just below your
earlobes. Finally, dab some cold water on
your third eye, the space between your
eyebrows. None of this should disturb your
makeup if you're wearing any. If you're not,
you can wash your face more thoroughly but
end with some extra attention to the
• Clear Your Space
The rest of your house may be a mess but
make sure the area where you're doing your
reading is as clear as possible. Even if the
session is being held on the phone, you want
as few visual distractions as possible in
your immediate area.
If allergies/asthma are not a problem for
you or your querent, light some incense
before they arrive. This will help to raise
the energy vibration of the room and also
help to shift your consciousness. I
recommend a light scent such as Nag Champa
or Sandalwood. You may wish to extinguish
the incense right before your guest arrives.
Put on some soothing music as you prepare
for your querent's arrival. You can keep it
on or turn it off during
the reading as you both prefer.
As an alternative, sit in silence for a
short while -- even if its only for 30
seconds. Watch your breath and quiet your
mind. You may feel that for meditation to be
of any use, you need to sit for longer. Of
course if you have longer, that's great. But
to sit with intention for even a very brief
period is still beneficial. Close your eyes,
take three really deep breaths, and let your
thoughts drift away.
BEFORE THE READING BEGINS
Here's that water again. Offer some to your
client and make sure to pour yourself a
glass as well. Even if you don't tend to
drink much water at other times, I find it
very helpful to keep my energy balanced
during a reading.
Place a piece of your favorite crystal on
the table. Crystals are known to have
specific properties and one of the following
may be useful as a quick energy balancer:
HEMATITE: Grounds, protects
MALACHITE: Dispels stress, anxiety
OBSIDIAN: Wards off negativity, grounds
PYRITE: Dispels anxiety
QUARTZ, ROSE: Tranquilizes, calms
QUARTZ, SMOKY: Balances emotions
TOPAZ: Relaxes, balances
Especially if this is an "emergency
reading," the querent's own energy could
use some centering before you begin as well.
There are a few ways you can do this
together at the beginning of your session:
1) Breathe together - two deep breaths
should do it. If you feel comfortable with
each other, hold hands while you do this.
2) Pray - offer a brief opening prayer.
3) Chant - a simple OM for one or two
breaths is a marvelous way to connect and
center. Ask your querent to join in if you
think this is appropriate.
• Clear the Deck
Even if you do nothing else, clear your deck
before you begin the reading. A very simple
but effective method of doing this is to
place your cards face-down in a stack on the
table in front of you. Cross your hands at
the wrists and hold them over the cards.
Then separate them with a quick, forceful
movement and feel the energy clear.
I strongly recommend doing this (or another
clearing method of your choice) before every
reading –– even those you do for yourself.
I have noticed that my readings go more
smoothly and have more power if I've taken a
little time for myself before I begin, even
if it's just a few minutes.
Oh, and one last tip -- always remember
the BIG rule: Breathing Is Good!
Wald's Words of Wisdom
Meteormancy is a form of divination that
involves the interpretation of meteorological
phenomena, such as clouds, lightning, thunder,
and wind, in order to predict future events.
It is an ancient practice that has been used by
many cultures throughout history, including
the Greeks, Romans, Chinese, and Native
In meteormancy, the diviner typically
observes the behavior of the natural
elements and interprets their patterns and
movements. For example, the direction of the
wind, the color and shape of clouds, the
frequency and intensity of lightning, and
the sound of thunder may all be analyzed in
order to make predictions about the future.
Some practitioners of meteormancy also use
specialized tools, such as weather vanes or
barometers, to aid in their readings.
Meteormancy has been practiced for thousands
of years and has been an important part of
many cultures and religions. In ancient
Greece, for example, the philosopher
Aristotle wrote extensively about meteors
and their relationship to the earth and sky.
In the Middle Ages, meteors were often seen
as omens or signs of divine intervention,
and their appearance was closely monitored
by astrologers and alchemists.
One of the most well-known forms of
meteormancy is storm divination, which
involves observing the behavior of thunder
and lightning in order to predict future
events. In some cultures, thunder was
thought to be the voice of the gods, while
lightning was seen as a powerful force that
could strike down enemies or bring good
In addition to storm divination, other forms
of meteormancy include cloud reading, wind
divination, and rain prediction. Cloud
reading involves interpreting the shapes and
colors of clouds to make predictions about
the weather or future events. Wind
divination involves analyzing the direction
and strength of the wind to make predictions
about future developments. Rain prediction
involves observing the behavior of rain and
moisture in the atmosphere to predict future
Today, meteormancy is not widely practiced
as a form of divination, but it remains an
important part of many cultural traditions
and can be a fascinating way to explore the
connections between the natural world and
We’d love your suggestion or submissions
for this column! If you have an idea or would
like to contribute, please contact us at
UNLOCKING THE TAROT
22 Keys to Understanding Its Symbolic Language
by Wald Amberstone and Ruth Ann Amberstone
Well, this was a surprise! Apparently,
Weiser Books is re-releasing our book,
The Secret Language of Tarot with a new
name and a new cover. What's particularly
surprising is that they haven't told us!
It's not coming out until November, so
maybe they haven't gotten around to it yet?
We found out when we were approached
by a company wanting to help us market
the book with a video trailer. Their email
featured the new cover.
With so much piracy going on these days,
our first reaction was to be very suspicious.
But it's legit!
We're excited that our book has been given
a new lease on life and that a whole new
generation of people will be introduced to
our unique approach to tarot symbolism.
It's available to pre-order from Amazon but
please be advised that if you already own a
copy of The Secret Language of Tarot, it's
the same book.
You can order an autographed copy of the
current version directly from us right now
–– and get a bonus recording of our class on
Learn about it here:
Meet The Reader
By Sharonah Rapseik, Ph.D., CMAP
Winifred Tannetta-Costello has been learning
and practicing Witchcraft, in one form
or another, since she was 16. She has over
35 years of direct experience, study and
knowledge in Paganism, Goddess Traditions,
Witchcraft, Faery Seership, Tarot, Folk Magick,
Reiki and Energy Healing.
From 2010 - 2016 Winifred was the Lead
Coordinator for Western Massachusetts Pagan
Pride Day, a community based a group that
provides education, resources, and events
for folks interested in Paganism.
From 2006 - 2020, Winifred operated her own
brick and mortar business "The Awentree" in
Easthampton, Massachusetts, which she now
operates as an online shop. She has a healing
studio space where she works with students
and clients in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Winifred, what makes your tarot practice
unique and how do you express it?
I was given my first tarot deck, The Morgan
Greer, on my 16th birthday. (And, yes, I
still have that very same deck.) Since that
day, I have been an intuitive tarot nerd. As
a lifelong practicing Earth Mystic, Intuitive
Healer and Witch, my approach is an
integrative one. I draw from intersecting
crossroads of knowledge, intuition and
spirit communication to bring forward the
combined wisdom of old world mysticism,
divination and spirituality.
I believe in empowering your personal
agency and free will rather than telling you
a “possible” future as I connect with my
Spirit Guides, while drawing upon a strong
knowledge based foundation. Standing
between the worlds, my tarot readings are
heart-centered and spirit-led as we peer
through the Veil; seeking guidance from
Thank you Winifred, it’s been a pleasure to meet you!
To follow Winifred Tannetta-Costello:
Sharonah Rapseik is an Artist / Designer,
Author, Tarot Reader, Radio Host and
Producer for Psychic Talk Radio.
Visit her at:
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!
3 - The Moon
10 - The Sun
17 - Birth Cards: World – Empress
24 - TBD
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,
© Copyright 2023 The Tarot School - All Rights Reserved
Directors: Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone