Newsletter of The Tarot School
ISSN: 1529-0565 
Vol. 15 #12 December 1, 2023

 In this Issue:
- Welcome 
- Tarot Tip: Best General Questions for Tarot Readings
- Wald's Words of Wisdom
- Meet the Reader: Patrick Valenza
- Diviner's Corner: Introduction to Lenormand
- Upcoming Events
Welcome to a new issue of Tarot Tips!
And a special welcome to our new subscribers.

🌎 This month you came from:
Australia, Ireland, Lithuania, Taiwan,
the United Kingdom, and the United States. 
We're glad you're here!

Believe in the magic of the season

As we bid adieu to another year filled with
its highs and lows, it's time to pause,
reflect, and embrace the enchanting magic
that the season brings. In a world that
often moves at breakneck speed, there's
something truly special about the way the
holiday season wraps us in its warm embrace,
urging us to believe in the magic that
surrounds us.

This year, let's take a moment to connect
with the mystical and profound wisdom of
the tarot. Each card holds a story, a lesson,
a mirror reflecting the tapestry of our lives.
As we shuffle the deck of our memories from
the past year, let's draw inspiration from
the cards that have played a part in our

The Fool, ever the optimistic wanderer,
reminds us to approach the future with an
open heart and a curious spirit. Despite the
challenges we may have faced, The Fool
teaches us to embrace the unknown, for
within it lies the magic of new beginnings.

The Magician, with his skillful mastery of
the elements, encourages us to tap into our
innate talents and manifest our dreams. As
we transition into a new year, let's channel
our inner Magician, believing in our
abilities to create positive change and
shape our destinies.

The High Priestess, a symbol of intuition
and inner wisdom, invites us to trust our
instincts. In a world often filled with
noise, the High Priestess teaches us to
listen to the whispers of our hearts,
guiding us toward authenticity and

The Wheel of Fortune, forever turning,
serves as a reminder of life's cyclical
nature. It encourages us to find solace in
the fact that change is constant, and with
each turn of the wheel, new opportunities
for growth and joy emerge.

As we gather with loved ones and reflect
on the year gone by, let's carry these
tarot-inspired lessons with us into the
future. Believe in the magic of the season,
for it is a time when the ordinary becomes
extraordinary, and the simple act of
kindness or a shared smile can spark the
most profound transformations.

May the coming year be filled with the
warmth of connection, the joy of discovery,
and the magic that resides in every heartfelt
moment. From all of us to you and yours,
here's to a season of love, laughter, and
believing in the extraordinary magic that
lives within us all. Wishing you a magical
and joyous end to the year!  

And one more thing...

Magic Universe Interview with Wald Amberstone and Ruth Ann Amberstone

Last month, we were interviewed by Sharonah
on her Magic Universe radio show. We had a
great time and you can catch the replay at

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!

Tarot Tip

Embarking on a tarot reading is a journey
guided by the questions posed. The tarot
cards serve as a conduit for intuition and
heightened awareness, offering profound
insights. However, unless you possess the
uncanny ability to read minds, determining
what a querent truly needs to know can be
challenging. Similarly, querents may not
always be aware of the questions that would
unveil the guidance they seek.

Each tarot card is a treasure trove of insights,
offering pathways to self-understanding,
auspicious guidance, and healing revelations.
The efficacy of these answers hinges on how
the question is shaped by either the diviner or
the querent.

The nature of the question significantly
influences the clarity of the response.
Open-ended inquiries create space for a
spectrum of possibilities to emerge, whereas
vague questions can complicate readings,
potentially leading to drawing additional
cards. In such instances, the querent may
attempt to contort the information to make
it “fit” the answer they were hoping to receive.

Within the 78 cards of a traditional tarot
deck, each card holds multifaceted meanings
that span all facets of life. Similar to a
thorough investigation, tarot readings
should address the who, what, where, when,
and how, with the active involvement of the

Here are some suggestions of general
questions that can work well:

•  How is [specific factor] affecting
   [another specific factor]?

•  How can I make progress in my current

•  Please provide insight on [a specific topic].

•  What lesson can be gleaned from
   [a particular event or circumstance]?

•  What is needed to understand the dynamics
   of [a given situation]?

•  Assist me in comprehending this situation
   by providing insight.

•  What is the root cause of the current

•  What valuable lessons can be learned from
   [the past/present/future]?

•  What path forward is most beneficial for me?

•  When did [a significant change] occur?

•  Describe the best possible outcome given
   the current circumstances.

•  Where can I find resources to assist with
   [a precise topic]?

•  What would be the result if I chose
   [option A or option B]?

In all tarot readings, prioritizing the
highest good for both the seeker and the
practitioner is paramount. While some
practitioners may rely solely on their
intuitive gifts for answers without formal
questions, it's crucial to periodically
check in with the seeker to ensure the
reading aligns with their needs. Striking a
balance between intuition and thoughtful
questioning ensures a tarot reading that is
not only insightful but also deeply resonant
with the querent's journey. 


What Should I Ask? 

This Tarot School Study Guide is a
compendium of practical questions that
address many day-to-day concerns. You
can ask them just the way they're written,
or allow them to get you thinking of
more personal versions.

Over 300 questions are arranged in 14
categories, making it easy to find a good
fit for your reading needs.


 Wald's Words of Wisdom
            Tarot, like the Great Sphinx, is a riddle without an answer. Whether someone knows, or ever really knew, the answer is not important for us. For us, there simply isn’t one—and far better that it is so.


Diviner's Corner

by Layla, the Lenormand Reader

Golden-Reverie-Lenormand-Dog by Ciro Marchetti
Image from Ciro Marchetti's Golden Reverie Lenormand

Do you wonder what makes Lenormand different
from other decks you’ve worked with?

Hi there! I’m Layla, the Lenormand Reader,
and I want to tell you what makes Lenormand
different, and I mean really. I know you’re
picking up something special about it, so I
want to articulate it for you.

Not only will this make things clearer, but
it will actually open you up to new
interpretation techniques that you can carry
over to other practices, including the Tarot.

The first thing that makes Lenormand
different is that it is not esoteric - at all!
The symbols on Lenormand’s cards are
from everyday life: the Coffin, the Sun, the
Heart, the Key, etc. are all everyday things
that we can immediately connect with.

This means that we don’t need to first learn
a ‘language of the cards’ so that we can
then ‘speak’ it in our readings. This is
unlike the Tarot and many Oracle decks. With
the Tarot especially, we need to first get
an understanding of what all these symbols
are, starting with the basic meaning of the
four suits, then building up to the major
arcana, and eventually delving into the
esoteric symbols which can also depend on
the deck illustrator (e.g. Rider-Waite-Smith
vs. Golden Dawn vs. Thoth Tarot, etc.).

But it is not so with Lenormand. We know
that a key opens doors, that the sun is
bright, that a coffin represents an ending,
and so on. So we can make an immediate
connection with the cards. There are only a
few Lenormand cards that seem a bit ‘mute’
at first.

Another key feature of Lenormand’s deck is
that it is a small deck, only 36 cards, and
its cards are read upright, although some
authors have ventured into reading them in
reverse. This is very different from the
Tarot which has an abundant 78 cards that
can also be read in reverse. 

So what do everyday symbols and a small
number of cards do for diviners who need
depth of insight? How do we get a wide range
of meanings from Lenormand’s humble deck?


Reading cards in combinations is what opens
doors to a very wide range of meanings.
There are 630 card pairs and 7,140 triplets!
(Depending on the basis for combining.)

Obviously, it is not possible to memorize
the meaning of all these combinations. The
key with Lenormand is to understand the
essence of individual cards so we can make
sense of them in combinations, spontaneously,
and for the context of the question at hand.

I call this the interpretive imagination and
reading cards in combination is the 
cornerstone of the Lenormand practice.

Now, how do combinations affect how we
do layouts in Lenormand?

Great question! 

Lenormand layouts are precisely driven by
the fact that we read the cards in combinations.

You might have heard of or seen the huge
Grand Tableau spread. It is a big layout that
uses all 36 cards of the Lenormand deck.
They are arranged in a big rectangle and the
Tableau comes in a few different versions.

Tableau-style layouts are totally unique to
the Lenormnd practice. They involve laying
out the cards in a geometric configuration
so we can read all sorts of lines, including
rows, columns, and diagonals.

This way, we get plenty – and I mean lots! –
of insights from reading all these ‘sentences’.
It is a deeply engrossing and satisfying
experience to lose oneself in all these lines
to dig amazing insights out of the reading.

And it is precisely because we need to read
Lenormand’s cards in combinations and
sentences that we have them laid out in
geometric configurations.

So, do you see how the key features of
Lenormand’s cards drive the way we read

The Lenormand way is very different from
other practices, and I find that this surprises
students when they join my programs. They
come to the courses expecting that Lenormand
is done the same way as with other decks, but
just with a different set of cards.

Not so. The Lenormand way is genuinely
different. And this combination business
has a way of enhancing our interpretive
imagination in deeply fulfilling ways.

I invite you to try and discover how you can
carry over Lenormand skills to other
divination methods.

About Layla:

Layla, the Lenormand Reader

Hi! I'm Layla, the Lenormand Reader, and
I have been reading Lenormand for over 20
years. When I set out to learn Lenormand,
I discovered that there wasn't a lot of
literature about it, and what I could find
wasn't always consistent. This caused me to
struggle but it also inspired me to create
Lenormand Reader, one of the only
comprehensive resources for learning and
mastering Lenormand. I encourage you to try
your hand at Lenormand and discover how it
can deepen your interpretive imagination in
the most interesting and creative ways.


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

Patrick Valenza

Patrick Valenza is the creator of the
Deviant Moon Tarot, published by US Games
Systems Inc. He is also the creator of several
independently published tarot and oracle decks
through his company, Deviant Moon Inc. He
was born and raised on Long Island, New York.

Aeclectic's Tarot Forum readers voted the
Deviant Moon "The Tarot Deck of All Time"!

The Deviant Moon Tarot honors the Rider-
Waite-Smith structure but offers a unique
surreal approach that make one think of
"Salvador Dali meets Tim Burton". Born
of Patrick's exploration of his childhood
dreams and nightmares, it's designed to
shine a light on the deeper parts of the
subconscious as well as the deep inner
workings of the shadow side of life. It's
unique artwork features rich, vibrant colors
and fantastical and sometimes disturbing
moonlit artwork that shape-shifts textured
images of graveyards, tombstones and even
those of an insane asylum along with
bizarrely, beautiful humanoid characters set
against derelict Gothic industrial backgrounds.

Be prepared, this absolutely stunning tarot
deck will give you big intuitive hits!

Patrick Valenza is also a talented author. His
fully illustrated book Deviant Moon Tarot,
also published by US Games Systems Inc.,
takes you behind the scenes of Deviant Moon
into Patrick's "laboratory" to glimpse his
creative inspiration and artistic techniques.
In this book, Patrick also offers expanded
meanings and interpretations for both upright
and reversed card positions.

Patrick is currently completing work on the
upcoming Deviant Moon Oracle, which is
expected sometime in 2024. 

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

I believe all deck creators have their own
personal connection to the tarot, each one
being special and unique. For me, it was
accidentally discovering these wonderful
cards as a child, studying them intensely,
and creating my own versions into 
adolescence. Tarot's mysterious imagery
has influenced my art throughout life and
has shaped the way I see the world.

Thank you Patrick, it’s been a pleasure
to meet you!


To Follow Patrick Valenza:




(You can also commit yourself there as as an inmate
by subscribing to The Fenwood Newsletter)

You can contact The Asylum at

About Sharonah:

Sharonah Rapseik 

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

Visit her at:


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.

Classes are recorded and all levels
of experience are welcome!

December 2023:
  4 - 6 of Swords and Pentacles
11 - Mood, Magic and Mystery of Color
18 - NO CLASS – Winter Break
25 - NO CLASS – Winter Break

January 2024:
  1 - NO CLASS – Winter Break

  8 - The Year-Long Spread
15 - 7 of Wands and Cups
22 - 7 of Swords and Pentacles
29 - 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

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
powerful reading. 

If you have a working knowledge of the
Tree of Life, you may request a Birth Cards
Synastry Reading
. I will compare your
Birth Cards with those of one or two others
to give you a deeper understanding of your
relationship with them.

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
a change!

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
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Directors: Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone