Vol. 16 #2 February 1, 2024
In this Issue:
- Tarot Tip: Tarot for Decision Making
- Wald's Words of Wisdom
- Diviner's Corner: Body Divination
- Meet the Reader: Andrew Barker
- Tarot Book Report: New Directions in Tarot
- Best Practices: "Must Have" Essential Support
- Upcoming Events
Welcome to a new issue of Tarot Tips!
And a special welcome to our new subscribers.
This month you came from:
Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, India,
Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Sweden,
the United Kingdom, and the United States.
We're glad you're here!
“Your work is going to fill a large part of
your life, and the only way to be truly
satisfied is to do what you believe is great
work. And the only way to do great work is
to love what you do. If you haven’t found it
yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all
matters of the heart, you’ll know when you
find it.” — Steve Jobs
This quote gets to the heart of how Wald and
I feel about our work with The Tarot School,
even after 29 years. But what exactly is
"great work" in this context? I found a
definition that explains it very nicely:
Great work is "work that brings both
professional excellence and personal
fulfillment, work that you are passionate
about and believe in, and work that aligns
with your values and sense of purpose. It's
the kind of work that makes you feel that
you are living a meaningful and satisfying
It's also about enjoying the process and
finding joy in your daily tasks. In any
endeavor there are tasks that can be tedious
but for us, the "creative high" that comes
after having a new understanding, creating
a beautiful design or exciting technique
more than makes up for those moments.
Although Wald and I were both tarot
practitioners before we met, I don't think
either of us had any idea how large a part
of our lives tarot would become. We started
The Tarot School in 1995 with the simple
goal of providing a place where people could
explore tarot on an ongoing basis, as opposed
to an occasional weekend workshop with a
visiting teacher. (There were very few tarot
resources back then.) It grew in ways we
could never have anticipated and is still
Every now and then we'd ask ourselves what
we might do if we ever retired. The answer
was always the same –– we'd keep doing
what we've been doing. We can't think of a
better or more enjoyable use of our time.
We take deep pleasure in sharing what we
discover, and we hope that our efforts are
contributing something meaningful and
worthwhile to you and the tarot community.
And one more thing...
It has been a tradition of ours to give you a
Tarot School birthday present each year on
February1st. In celebration of our 29 years,
we have a very special gift for you!
We started our Tarot Salon classes this year
with The Year-Long Spread, a signature
technique of ours. More than just a spread,
it's a practice that will support you throughout
the whole year.
Through the end of the month, we are granting
you special access to the replay of this lively and
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 FOR DECISION MAKING:
Using the Cards as a Guidance Tool
Tarot cards can serve as powerful aids in
decision-making. By tapping into the wisdom
and symbolism of the cards, you can gain
insights, clarity, and a fresh perspective
on your choices.
Define your question:
Before you start drawing cards, it's
important to clearly define your question or
decision. Take some time to reflect on what
you need guidance on and formulate a
specific question. Avoid vague or ambiguous
inquiries; instead, be precise and focused.
Choose a spread:
Select a tarot spread that aligns with your
decision-making needs. There are various
spreads designed specifically for
decision-making, such as the Decision Cross
or the Choice Spread. These spreads provide
a structured framework for exploring
different aspects of your decision and can
offer valuable insights.
Shuffle with intent:
As you shuffle the cards, focus your
thoughts on your question or decision.
Visualize the cards being infused with your
energy and intention. This will help
establish a connection between you, the
cards, and the decision at hand.
Lay out the cards:
Once you feel ready, lay out the cards
according to your chosen spread. Take a
moment to observe the cards and notice any
immediate impressions or intuitive feelings
that arise. Trust your instincts as you
interpret the cards' meanings in relation to
Analyze the symbolism:
Tarot cards are rich in symbolism, and each
card carries layers of meaning. Look closely
at the imagery, colors, and symbols depicted
on the cards. Consider how they relate to
your decision and the various options you're
considering. This analysis will provide
additional insights and perspectives.
Notice patterns and connections:
Pay attention to any patterns or connections
that emerge among the cards. Do certain
cards appear frequently? Are there cards
that seem to represent opposing choices or
influences? These patterns can reveal
important factors to consider and highlight
Reflect on your emotions:
While analyzing the cards, be mindful of
your emotional responses. Do any cards evoke
strong feelings or resonate with you on a
deeper level? Emotions can be valuable
indicators of your true desires or concerns.
Take note of any emotional shifts or
intuitive nudges during the reading.
Decision-making often involves weighing pros
and cons, considering different
perspectives, and finding a balance between
logic and intuition. Use the tarot cards as
a tool to explore the various aspects of
your decision. Are there cards that
symbolize opposing forces or conflicting
energies? How can you find a harmonious
Trust your intuition:
As you interpret the cards and reflect on
their meanings, trust your intuition. Your
intuition is a powerful ally when making
decisions. Sometimes the cards might offer
unexpected insights or suggestions that go
against logical reasoning. If something
feels right intuitively, even if it doesn't
make immediate sense, give it the
consideration it deserves.
Take decisive action:
Once you've completed the reading and gained
clarity, it's time to take action. The tarot
reading is a guide, not a definitive answer.
Use the insights gained from the cards to
inform your decision-making process, but
ultimately, trust yourself and make the
choice that feels most aligned with your
values, goals, and intuition.
Remember, tarot is a tool for
self-reflection and guidance. It can help
you explore possibilities, gain new
perspectives, and make more informed
decisions. Practice regularly, and over
time, you'll become more adept at using
tarot as a decision-making tool. Here are a
few additional tips to further enhance your
Journal your readings:
Keeping a tarot journal can be immensely
helpful in tracking your decision-making
process. Write down the questions, spreads
used, card interpretations, and any personal
insights or observations. Documenting your
readings allows you to review them later and
identify patterns or recurring themes.
Consult multiple spreads:
If you're grappling with a complex decision
or seeking a comprehensive understanding,
consider consulting multiple tarot spreads.
Different spreads offer different
perspectives and delve into various aspects
of your decision. Experiment with spreads
that focus on different timeframes,
potential outcomes, or specific areas of
Meditate with the cards:
In addition to traditional readings,
incorporate meditation into your tarot
practice. Choose a card that represents your
decision or embodies the qualities you're
seeking. Place it in front of you and enter
a meditative state. Allow the card's energy
to guide your thoughts, feelings, and
intuitive insights. This meditative
connection can offer deeper clarity and
Seek input from others:
While tarot is a personal tool, sometimes it
can be beneficial to seek input from trusted
friends or advisors. Share your tarot
reading with them and discuss your
interpretation of the cards. Their
perspectives and insights may provide
valuable alternative viewpoints and help you
consider aspects you may have overlooked.
Take breaks when needed:
Decision-making can be overwhelming at
times. If you find yourself feeling drained
or stuck, take a break from tarot readings.
Engage in activities that rejuvenate and
recharge you. Return to your tarot practice
with fresh eyes and a clearer mindset when
After making a decision based on a tarot
reading, regularly reflect on the outcome.
Was the decision aligned with the guidance
provided by the cards? How did things
unfold? This reflection process allows you
to refine your understanding of tarot's role
in decision-making and learn from your
Tarot can be a powerful ally in your
decision-making journey, offering guidance,
clarity, and fresh perspectives. Remember,
the cards don't make decisions for you but
provide insights to help you make informed
choices. Trust yourself, honor your
intuition, and embrace the wisdom of the
tarot as you navigate life's complexities.
Incorporate these tips into your tarot
practice, and you'll find that the cards
become an invaluable tool for
decision-making. With time and experience,
you'll develop a deeper connection with the
tarot and cultivate your own unique
approach. May your tarot readings be filled
with guidance, illumination, and the
empowerment to make choices that resonate
with your highest good.
Wald's Words of Wisdom
Human beings have long been intrigued by the
mysteries hidden within our physical forms.
Just as we gaze at the stars for cosmic
guidance, so too have we turned to our own
bodies to uncover deeper meanings and
insights. The ancient Greeks, pioneers in
the realm of divination, believed that every
aspect of the human body held mantic
Delving into the art of divination through
the body reveals a fascinating blend of
magico-religious traditions and scientific
inquiry. This practice encompasses a broad
spectrum of techniques, each offering a
unique lens through which to interpret human
behavior and personality traits. These
methods range from reading facial lines,
scrutinizing the shape of the head, to
deciphering the secrets hidden in our hands,
moles, and birthmarks.
• Phrenology emerged as a prominent yet
controversial field during the early 19th
century. It claimed to decode mental
capabilities and character traits through
the study of the head's shape and cranial
bumps. However, as scientific understanding
evolved, phrenology's credibility waned,
leading to its eventual dismissal as a
• Physiognomy offers insights into
personality through facial analysis. This
practice suggests that our outward
appearance can provide clues about our inner
character, a concept that has intrigued
humans for centuries.
• Lipsology, another intriguing method,
involves interpreting lip impressions on a
card or paper. While considered a
pseudoscience, lipsology has garnered recent
popularity, with a growing number of
practitioners delving into this unique form
of character analysis.
• Metoposcopy is a lesser-known but
intriguing form of divination focuses on
interpreting the lines and wrinkles of the
forehead. Each line on the forehead was
believed to be tied to a specific aspect of
one's life, such as love, health, or
• Podomancy, also known as 'solestry,'
involves reading the feet to glean insights
into personality and destiny. Practitioners
believe that the shape, lines, and textures
of the feet and toes hold key information
about an individual's path in life. Each toe
is associated with different aspects of one's
character and future, and even the way one
walks is thought to reveal certain traits.
• Palmistry is the most widely recognized
and practiced of all the methods of body
divination. Known also as chiromancy,
this ancient practice involves studying the
lines, shapes, and features of the hand to
predict future events and reveal personality
traits. Palmistry is grounded in the belief
that the hand is a miniature reflection of
the larger cosmos, with each line and
mound representing different aspects
of life such as love, health, wealth, and
career. The heart line, head line, life line,
and fate line are among the most scrutinized
features in a palm reading.
While these practices may not conform to
strict scientific standards, they continue
to intrigue and provide a unique perspective
on self-understanding. Whether for
entertainment, personal reflection, or
cultural exploration, the study of our
physical traits as a window to our inner
selves remains a captivating journey into
the human experience.
The Art and Science of Hand Reading
by Ellen Goldberg
The porcelain phrenology head and
palmistry hand in the above photo
are available to purchase from
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
Andrew Barker has been working with tarot
and oracle cards professionally for over 10
Andrew likes to say when he’s not “slanging”
cards for people, working his “muggle” job,
listening to Taylor Swift, reading 14,000
books, and cursing like a sailor on leave in
his readings, he loves to study metaphysical
topics like crystals, unicorns, dragons,
tarot, the Angels, and more!
Andrew currently lives in the Washington, DC
area, by way of North Carolina.
According to Andrew, his journey with the
Angels started a few years after he was
being made to “pray the Gay way.”
Miserable, lonely, and suicidal, Andrew
realized that the Angels were truly there
for him with open wings and helped him
embrace his fabulousness!
Andrew is also a fabulous and very wise
tarot reader. He believes that...
“A tarot reading is an empowering way to
gain clarity and guidance about situations
in your life, a cosmic invitation to your
guides and the Angels that you are ready
for help, a permission to grow and succeed,
and a (very loving) smack in the face.”
Andrew also says that a tarot reading is
not a tool to escape responsibilities and
consequences. It is not for people who
want a quick fix –– not a magic wand to
make their problems and troubles disappear.
Tarot should certainly never be used to spy
on a third party without their knowledge or
consent. He also doesn't like to read for people
who try to correct him as to what cards
mean and twist the reading to make it suit
what they want to hear.
Andrew, what makes your tarot practice
unique and how do you express it?
My tarot practice is unique because of
my unique perspective of the world
and my work with the Angels. In every
reading, I strive to empower people to
access their own spiritual guides and
intuition. I know that we all have
access to the Angels and higher realms,
and I believe that tarot is one of the
most amazing tools to bridge the gap!
Thank you Andrew, it’s been a pleasure
to meet you!
To Follow Andrew Barker:
To purchase Andrew’s Goodies:
Sharonah Rapseik is an Artist / Designer,
Author, Tarot Reader, Radio Host and
Producer for Psychic Talk Radio.
Visit her at:
Tarot Book Report
by Sharonah Rapseik
New Directions in Tarot: Decoding the
Tarot Illustrations of Pamela Colman Smith
by Scott Martin
Thank you, Scott Martin for this fresh, new
exploration of tarot where we examine how
Pamela Colman Smith's theatrical knowledge
and experience came into play when she
illustrated the iconic cards of the Rider-
Pamela Colman Smith spent much of her early
life in the theater, from making miniature
stage productions to creating costume and
set designs, as well as acting in her own
costumed story-telling performances.
Well versed in theater, Pamela projected
this knowledge into her illustrations for
the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot deck. This book
inspires readers to see and understand the
tarot cards through her eyes as actors on
Scott Martin is the perfect author for this
book. He began pursuing his fascination with
tarot after retiring from teaching theater
arts on the secondary and college levels,
and directing theatrical productions and
mentoring graduate theatre art students at
the City University of New York.
In New Directions in Tarot - Decoding the
Tarot Illustrations of Pamela Colman Smith,
he provides new ways of interpreting the
cards through observation of the technical
elements of a play; including plot, dialogue,
music, and even the actors' positions on the stage.
You will discover how to approach tarot card
meanings by observing the cards as actors
through examination of their facial expressions,
gestures, postures, costumes and much more.
As a teacher, Scott skillfully guides you
through thought-provoking exercises to
discover new card meanings that you can
add to your own.
This beautiful full-color book, published by
REDFeather Mind Body Spirit, also includes
a reference section for all of the Minor
Arcana cards devoted to their traditional
card meanings and their astrological
attributions, and another section for all of
the Major Arcana cards devoted to their
traditional card meanings and their Golden
Dawn esoteric functions. It is written in a
style that is easy to understand and gifts
the reader with brand new ways to interpret
and read tarot.
Scott Martin has been involved in theater
since he was a high school drama student.
He pursued his interests in college, earning a
B.A. in Speech and Theater, and in graduate
school with an M.F.A. in Directing.
Scott has taught theater and directed plays
in high school, community, and regional
theaters for 36 years. He has performed and
directed in community and regional theaters,
summer stock, and the Off-off Broadway
theater. Currently, he works as a mentor for
the New York City Department of Education
in the Arts Matter Program.
After retiring from full-time teaching in
2002, Scott pursued his fascination with the
tarot. His studies began at The Tarot School
with Wald and Ruth Ann Amberstone. He
has also studied with Rachel Pollack, Ellen
Goldberg, Elinor Greenberg, Robert Place
and Mary K. Greer.
Scott has also written, Bringing the Tarot to
Life: Embody the Cards Through Creative
Exploration, which won the 2017 "Best Mass
Market Book of the Year for Innovation and
Insight" awarded by The Tarosophists
Association. In addition, he is the author of
The Silent Doorkeeper, The Alchemical Tarot
Shines a Light on Covid-19.
Scott Martin is available to conduct
workshops and teach classes, based on the
material in his books.
You can follow Scott at:
Scott Martin's new book, New Directions in
Tarot: Decoding the Tarot Illustrations of
Pamela Colman Smith, is now available for
pre-order on Amazon!
It is published by REDFeather Mind Body
Spirit - Schiffer Publishing Company
Best Practices for Professional Readers
"MUST HAVE" ESSENTIAL SUPPORT
By Gina Thies
www.tarotadvisor.com / www.facebook.com/tarotreaders
www.tarotcoupling.com / www.oraclesoup.org
As a sole proprietorship or small business
owner, finding solutions and support to
manage tasks that may distract from focusing
on both service provision and business
management is crucial. Balancing these roles
can be challenging, but it is essential for
the success of your enterprise.
To ensure your business is both functional
and profitable, it's important to assess the
need for and use of emerging technologies or
support services. Running a business alone
can consume a significant amount of mental
space; thus, having the right support can
enable you to manage your energy and time
Here is a list of essential supports for
your small business:
• Financial/Bookkeeping Support
Financial and tax advice from an expert is
invaluable. Consulting with an expert is
crucial for your business's success,
ensuring compliance with tax laws and
identifying potential gains or losses.
• IT Support
Unless you are a tech expert, establishing
a relationship with a trusted tech team is
advisable. This could include a web designer
and/or tech support from your preferred
computer manufacturer. Quick recovery
from technical malfunctions or crashes is
vital to keep your business operational.
• Legal Support
Legal advice is a necessity for everyone,
especially business owners. It is crucial
for the legal aspects of running a business,
such as expansion, hiring employees, or
• Mentoring Support
Advice and support from industry leaders
can be incredibly valuable. Not only can
you gain new insights and ideas, but you
can also build a network and, in the future,
mentor emerging entrepreneurs.
• Insurance Support
Depending on your location, number of
employees, workplace, and other factors,
consulting with an insurance broker familiar
with business insurance needs is essential.
They can assist in finding specific policies
tailored to your insurance requirements.
The journey of a soul-preneur is filled with
unique challenges and opportunities. By
securing essential supports in financial
management, IT, legal matters, mentoring,
and insurance, you can navigate the
complexities of running a small business
with greater ease and confidence. These
supports not only safeguard your business
but also empower you to focus on growth and
innovation. Embracing these resources is a
step towards ensuring the sustainability and
success of your entrepreneurial venture,
allowing you to thrive in your passion while
maintaining a solid operational foundation.
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!
4 - The Birth of a Question
11 - 8 of Wands and Cups
18 - 8 of Swords and Pentacles
25 - Secret of The Lovers
Get on the notification list to see
what we'll be teaching each week.
Find the form and register here:
The 2024 Readers Studio: April 26 - 28
Divination Day: Thursday, April 25
Join us once again at the LaGuardia Marriott
in New York as we finally gather together
to celebrate the return of our beloved tarot
conference. This is only made possible due
to the dedication of the new showrunners,
Michelle and Roger Welch! Our gratitude
knows no bounds.
Please come so we can hug you!
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
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
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 2024 The Tarot School - All Rights Reserved
Directors: Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone