A Reading For a Relationship with a deity or spirit

I’ve been working with doing relationship readings for a living person and a dead person. Then I thought you could do this with a spirit or deity that was personally meaningful. So I decided to ask the Elemental Tarot, by the wonderful Caroline Smith if this was a good idea, using Zoe  Matoff’s 3 card “Don’t do/Do” spread, with a 4th card for result, and a look at the bottom, for what’s at the bottom of the issue.

The positions are 2 1 3

bottom card

Card 1, the Issue–card 20, Judgement, which shows Pluto opening his arms and giving “Forgiveness” (card title) to souls in need of release.

Don’t Do–3 of Air, “Breeze,” dedicated to Kuei-Hsing, the Chinese god of scholarship. This is the only Minor card in the reading, and a clear statement not to make this a head thing.

Do–Shaman (Hermit). The book, written, I believe, by John , Astrop, Caroline’s husband, says “He is the instrument of communication between spiritual heaven and material earth.” In other words, Go for it!

Result–Hanged Man, or Sacrifice. Here i differ from most people (including the book) in that I do not see the H.M. as painful or stuck, or anything negative, but rather a powerful connection through surrender to the divine. Each Major card in this deck has a short quotation from “The Thunder, Perfect Mind,” from the Nag Hammadi library, written as if from the voice of Sophia, the divine feminine power of Wisdom.
The line here, perfect for whether or not to do a reading, is “I am the knowledge of my inquiry..”

Bottom of deck–Choice (aka The lovers), whose theme is Passion. Though it includes the Christian idea of the Tempter (a red figure, not a snake here), the line from Sophia is “Whatever I will happens to me.” So at the bottom of doing a reading like this is to will it.

Image may contain: 1 person

Published in: on January 12, 2019 at 6:18 pm  Comments (6)  

WHAT IS TAROT FOR? Montreal Edition, Part 3

This is the final part of my list of things that people have done, or can do, with Tarot. All the things listed in these 3 parts have actually been done, by myself, by others in contemporary Tarot, or in the past. And more uses are showing up all the time. As I’ve written in the past about the cards, the only thing I can say for sure is that we will never come to the end of it.

The Tarot can be used in conjunction with special events, particularly readings done in connection with spiritual or religious traditions.
For example, at the Equinoxes (the Autumn Equinox, of course, just happened), we might ask the cards how we to find balance in our lives. What is in light? What is in darkness? How do we balance or harmonize them? In Autumn we might ask as well, what do we carry with us into the darkness of Winter? In the Spring Equinox, we might ask at the end, what new thing will emerge with the light?

Samhain/Halloween (coming up) is a time when many people do readings, for they consider the veils between worlds to be the thinnest. I know someone who only reads the cards, or has someone else read for him, on this one day a year. He told me once that reading at any other time would be a kind of rudeness, like knocking on a door when you know you’re supposed to leave the other side alone. For many Wiccans, however, while they do read the cards at Samhain, they also use Tarot as an integral part of many festivals and initiations.

On the Jewish holiday of Rosh HaShanah (also recently passed) a famous tradition says that God inscribes in “The Book Of Life” what will happen to every person over the next year, and that this book is sealed ten days later, on Yom Kippur. However, we are told, “Penitence, prayer, and charity avert the severe decree.” Some might use Tarot to get a glimpse of “what is written,” but others might ask for guidance on how they carry out those three vital tasks–What should I atone for? How should I frame my prayers? Where do I need to give charity?

Easter can inspire a reading about death and rebirth and what needs to be honored or celebrated. This might be the place to point out that the widespread belief that the Tarot is somehow anti-Christian, even “Satanic,” is simply not true. The original Tarot decks, from 14th century Italy, are deeply Christian.

People use the Tarot for healing, both physical and emotional. The simplest way is to gain understanding, that is, to ask the cards about what has happened, and what is the result, and how to heal. But people also use the cards more directly. I’ve known people who have someone lie on a table and then place cards on the person’s body, for the energy associated with that card to enter into the person’s psychic or physical field.

More commonly, perhaps, people choose a card–either deliberately or by random choice–to represent what they need, then create an affirmation inspired by that card. As well as writing the affirmation, and saying it, over a period of time, they may simply take out the card and look at it through the course of the day. Some place it in the corner of the bathroom mirror so that it becomes the first and last thing they see each day, and throughout the day.

Many people know of my practice of Wisdom Readings–asking the cards questions about life rather than personal issues. The first two Wisdom readings were one card each. What is the soul? The answer, from my own Shining Tribe Tarot, was the Ace of Birds, an image of an owl staring intently at us from the darkness. The soul has the qualities of the owl moving silently through darkness (owls can fly without making any noise), searching–hunting–for what will nourish it.

A few days later, I asked the cards, “What is the Tarot?” and got the Six of Trees, an image of a woman blithely striding through a strange forest of trees filled with the images of owls. Thus, the Tarot becomes a guide helping us to move through “The Forest Of Souls,” (the title of a book that came from these readings), our own and everybody else’s.

Another form of Wisdom Readings is to create a personal reading inspired by a particular teaching. My favorite comes from a great rabbi named Hillel, who lived and taught around the time of Jesus. He famously wrote “If I am not for myself, who will be? If I am for myself alone, what am I? And if not now, when?” In situations of conflict we might ask three questions.
1. How do I need to be for myself in this situation?
2. How do I need to be for others?
3. What must I do right now?

Now, as promised at the beginning of Part One, I will end this long look at the uses of Tarot with a spread designed to help us understand our own relationship to the cards. There are five questions. You can lay them out in any pattern you like.
1. What is the Tarot to me?
2. What am I to the Tarot?
3. What gift(s) do I bring to the cards?
4. What gift(s) does the Tarot offer me?
5. How can I best use that gift?

Published in: on October 12, 2018 at 4:29 am  Leave a Comment  

WHAT IS THE TAROT FOR? Montreal Edition, Part 2

This is a follow-up to, you guessed it, Part 1. Looking at the list, I realize I did not exactly get halfway. So–there might turn out to be a part 3!

Teaching tool. The Tarot has been used to create pictorial versions of complex ideas and information, from Graeco-Roman Gods and Goddesses, to human anatomy, to quantum physics, to both astrology and astronomy. The idea of visual expression of big ideas has always captivated people. Many people will know the beautifully drawn 15th century Tarot de Mantegna, not in fact a Tarot deck at all, but a set of teaching cards expressing the spiritual and philosophical ideas of the Renaissance.

A symbolic representation of complex doctrines, especially magical and occult. After readings, this is probably the most famous use of the cards, as a fairly strict representation of what is called Western Kabbalah (or Qabbala). Historically, this began relatively late, in the 19th century (though we should not rule out secret or unknown traditions going back much further)

Linked to this use is the idea of the cards as a Memory Palace, that is, a pictorial structure that aids the mind to contain and classify vast amounts of information. Every card becomes a physical representation of places and lines on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, precise astrological attributions, gods, angels, demons, and other powers, alchemical processes, magical operations, and much more. The idea of a Memory Palace–which began in the Renaissance, the same time as the Tarot–might seem like a vast exercise in cataloging information, but is really much more. For one thing, the structure is used in rituals and meditations. Even more, if one way to think of God is All-Knowing, then the more humans can know the more we can become like God.

As part of its magical traditions, the Tarot is used to speak to spirits–angels–gods–demons–fairies–orishas–loas, and other non-human intelligences.

The Tarot can help in magical actions to summon such beings. And–just as important–to release them, and send them back to their own realms and dimensions. During this whole process the Tarot can be used as a kind of psychic, magical shield to protect us.

At the same time, we can use the Tarot as part of a ritual to open us to a particular energy. Once, at Delphi in Greece, I led a ritual I called The Opening To Apollo, inviting the god of prophecy, music, and poetry to enter us. For me, at least, this had very powerful results. The Tarot was a major part of focusing our energy for this opening.

The Tarot can be used to speak to the dead, most famously at Samhain/Halloween. People have also used the Tarot both to summon dead spirits, and then release them.

We can also use the Tarot to talk to the varied energies of our own souls. Both the Ancient Egyptians and the Jews (as well as many others) have taught that we do not have one soul but several, operating at different levels. In Jewish tradition one of our souls is said to come to us on Friday night, for the Sabbath, and then leave again Saturday night (don’t worry, there are two others to carry us through the week). One year I did a reading every Friday night, and then another every Saturday night, the same questions for fifty-two weeks, all addressed to this third soul that spent all week away from me.

The Tarot can be used to open gates to other worlds or dimensions, to navigate through these realms, then return, and close the gates.

Returning to the more mundane, the Tarot can be used to spy on people. This is essentially what we are doing when we ask the cards, “Is my partner having an affair?” Many people refuse to do such readings on ethical grounds. But suppose you were a private detective who used Tarot as one of your tools? And if detectives can ethically try to find out if someone’s partner is having an affair why not a Tarot reader?

An even more questionable practice than spying is using the cards to manipulate people. This is akin to scamming people, for the reader interprets the cards to get a desired effect–no matter which cards turn up in the reading.

People have used the Tarot to look for lost objects (I’ve tried this, without a great deal of success).

Magic tricks that are done with ordinary playing cards can also be done with Tarot cards. This can give the tricks a symbolic, even spiritual level.

Tarot cards can be used in telepathic experiments. Playing cards are often used for this. One person looks at a card and another person tries to guess what suit it is. Because Tarot cards carry a powerful symbolic meaning they might greatly increase the chances of telepathic contact. (As far as I know, the experiments done at Duke University and other places never seemed to consider the importance of meaning in telepathic transmission.)

Here we will pause and save the rest for Part 3.

Published in: on October 10, 2018 at 4:26 am  Leave a Comment  

WHAT IS THE TAROT FOR? Montreal Edition, Part One

In April, I spoke at Readers Studio and began my talk with a printed list titled “What Is The Tarot For?” in which I tried to enumerate all the ways people have used the Tarot, without regard to validity, morality, seriousness, or any other criterion by which one use would be considered valid, and not another. After the event I published that here.

In September I was invited to the first Tarot Love and Light Festival in Montreal, with a group of wonderful teachers. I was asked to give two talks, and thought why not use the list I had made for Readers Studio? So I dutifully printed up 100 copies, carried them in my suitcase, and then when I arrived at the event discovered I’d left it back at the Air B & B.

After a few minutes of panic, I decided my subconscious had decided I needed to do it fresh. So, since I was not speaking until after lunch I took the time to make up a new list. Some of the same things are on it, but some are new, and some have more detail. Because I was doing on the spot, it is in no particular order. And it ends with a simple reading anyone can do to examine their own relationship to the cards.

Here is the list (with occasional notes). Because it is fairly long, partly due to the notes, and partly to fresh ideas, I am publishing it in two parts.


Playing games–this is the oldest use of the cards that we know. The game for which they were made (in Italy, in the early 15th century) is a trick-taking game, the ancestor of bridge and others, called variously Il Trionfii, Tarocchi, and les Tarots. But there are other games one can play with Tarot cards. I myself created a game called Creation that combines qualities of bridge, poker–and magic.

Predicting the future. This is probably the most famous use. Many assume it’s the only use, or at least the only way to do readings. But of course it’s not.

Scamming people. This involves fake readings, usually in which the reader claims to discover some evil magician has cast a spell on the person having the reading. “Luckily,” the reader will assure the mark that she or he can lift, cancel, or destroy the spell, but of course this will cost money. Usually it’s a small amount at first, then more when the evil spell turns out to be stronger than “expected.” People have been known to pay tens of thousands of dollars to scammers.

A slightly less virulent form of scamming is cold readings, in which the reader uses various tricks to seemingly reveal deep secrets the client has not consciously shared

A tool to spur psychic talents. Just because scammers can fake psychic readings doesn’t mean no one does them for real. For some people the pictures on the cards trigger psychic connections.

Art. From its earliest days, the Tarot has been an art form all its own, and a great many talented artists have used it as a showcase for their work. This use of the Tarot has exploded in recent years, largely due to crowd fund-raising campaigns allowing talented artists to reach a public without having to satisfy a publisher.

A mirror of the self. Many people read the cards this way, not to predict, or answer questions, but to gain insight into who they are.

A way for different selves to talk to each other. From my experience with friends, and my reading, I am more and more convinced that so-called “multiple personality disorder” is not a mental illness but a reality for certain people. And all of us have different sides of ourselves that may seem at odds, or at least cut off, from each other. The Tarot can be used as a way to reveal these different sides and have them talk to each other.

If the Tarot can be a mirror, it also can be a fun house mirror. That is, we can exaggerate aspects of ourselves to see them in a clearer light.

Dream interpretation–this is one of my favorite things to do with the cards. Some people use a set spread to understand dreams, with questions such as “What does this dream tell me? What action do I need to take?” etc. My own approach comes from Gail Fairfield’s brilliant book, Choice-Centered Tarot. This is to write down the dream, separate it into distinct parts (“1. I am walking down a dark street. 2. I hear someone call my name, etc.”) then draw a card for each thing you’ve written down. The card is not meant to explain the dream, or tell you what to do, but to enter more deeply into it and discover its meaning for yourself.

Poetry. Curiously, the oldest known use for Tarot cards beyond playing a game involved poetry. This poetry was not philosophical, or magical, as our modern viewpoint might expect, but rather satirical. That is, in a salon someone might read a selection of poems using the titles of the trump cards, what today we call the Major Arcana. But the poems would really be witty jabs at specific members of the court.

Today, many poets, such as Timothy Liu, have used the Tarot in more serious ways. Several collections of Tarot poems have been published, including one by myself, Fortune’s Lover. https://www.amazon.com/Fortunes-Lover-Book-Tarot-Poems/dp/0979420849/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1539100723&sr=8-1&keywords=Fortune%27s+Lover%2C+Rachel+Pollack

Story-telling. This is another of my favorite uses. I have several times taken a group of cards at random and seen what story they suggested. Caitlin Matthews and I once edited a collection of such stories, called Tarot Tales. A number of the stories in my book, The Tarot Of Perfection, were done this way. Other people do readings to explore a story already underway. For example, you could do a Celtic Cross reading for one of the characters in your story, or ask such questions as “What does this character desire? What is the risk? What unexpected obstacle will arise?” Or even, “What secret is this character hiding?”

end of Part One.

Published in: on October 9, 2018 at 4:09 pm  Leave a Comment  


Teaching at Omega Institute this past week, with Mary K. Greer (and on the previous weekend, Liz Dean, Melissa Cynova, and George Koury) I was looking through my notes from Omega 2013 and found some Tarot aphorisms I had written down. I added some new ones and decided to share them with the class. Now I’d like to share them here (maybe with an edit or two). They express what the Tarot has meant to me. If they seem puzzling, or provocative, that’s their purpose.

From 2013
Every card is a door
Every card is a world.
Every card is a living being.

A Tarot reader is an Opener, someone who opens the way.

The reading does not come true.
It becomes true.
Every reading begins a journey and a process of becoming.

How does Tarot mean?
Where do meanings come from?
How does an individual card come to mean something?

The meaning of the card evolves through every reader, every reading.
Meanings accumulate over time, they propagate, have children.

The eye can’t hit what the hand can’t see.
The hands, in shuffling and laying out the cards, see them before the eye.

The Three Sisters: Desire Divination Destiny

What you love, loves you.
To become a Tarot reader, you just need to love the Tarot. It will love you back.

From 2018
Tarot is a living being. The cards are its extension in the physical world.

Tarot comes from the future. We are the necessary servants to bring it alive.
Every reading, every question, brings it further into life and consciousness.

We are the agents of Tarot’s evolution.
We are the Tarot’s reproductive system.

Published in: on August 13, 2018 at 5:01 am  Comments (11)  


The wonderful Camelia Elias asked me to contribute to a project in which she asked various people to come up with “21 +1” rules for Tarot reading and divination. I’ve asked her if I could share them here, and she said that was fine.

She actually wanted them unnumbered, but I’ve included the numbers here, because they inspired my rules.

Some people will recognize the first four as what I’ve called “The First Directive,” featured in various of my stories and books, in particular my story “Visible Cities,” just published in the current issue of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

here are my rules:

Rachel Pollack

1. See what there is to see.
2. Hear what there is to hear.
3. Touch whatever you touch.
4. Speak the thing you must speak.
5. Speak only the thing you must speak.
6. The client knows what they want. Do not change their questions.
7. Keep moving.
8. The Tarot may be scary, but the Tarot is your friend. Or to put it another way, “Fear not! Ishtar is here.”
9. Don’t be afraid to tell the truth. Someone’s life may depend on it.
10. What’s true today may not be true tomorrow.
11. You can’t go forward if you won’t look back.
12. Keep your feet in tradition, and your head in the light.
13. The one forbidden rule of divination—do not predict the day and manner of a person’s death.
14. The Tarot is a map of the Land of the Dead.
15. Be tricky.
16. Dazzle.
17. The Tarot will heal if you allow it.
18. From the back of the head, the Presence is below. Thus, the Presence is above, and glory fills the Earth. (from Ha-Sefer Raziel Ha-Malakh, the Book of the Angel Raziel)
19. Open your heart to the Sun.
20. Wake up!
21. It is always possible, at any moment, to see everything at once. Just don’t count on it, or try to force it.
+1 The eye can’t hit what the hand can’t see.
Dream like a butterfly, go home like a bee.

Published in: on July 11, 2018 at 11:47 pm  Comments (5)  


The wonderful French Tarotist Oephebia Laidi asked me to join in “interviewing” the different Major Arcana cards. By luck, I got the Devil, and decided to take the “interview” idea literally. I suspect that of all the Major cards, the Devil is the one who would most like the attention of an interview. As Mick Jagger put it, “Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a man of very great renown…”

Before the actual interview, here is a Devilish personal tidbit, as promised on Facebook: Way back in ’73 or so, I was invited to an orgy with Mick Jagger and Germaine Greer (now there’s an odd couple). I’m happy to say i declined.

Here is the interview:

(All answers are the Devil him/herself speaking)

Possible meaning of the card,
Darkness. Never underestimate darkness. Remember, All things may come out of darkness, but only light can come out of light. And if the universe is mostly dark matter and dark energy, doesn’t that make my magic stronger than the Magician’s? Passion, obsession, wild times. Addiction, especially when paired with the Aces (Cups-alcoholism, Swords-drug addiction, Pentacles—money and work addiction, Wands—sex addiction). Comedy, mirth (don’t take that scowl too seriously). Obsessive relationships, love “gone bad,” feelings of being trapped. Pride (as if that’s a bad thing!! “Say it loud! We’re gay and proud!”).

Mythology or folktales attached to your assigned card (when possible),
There’s so much! There’s all the Western Devils, Satan, Lucifer, Samael, Lilith, Iblis, Ba’al-ze-buth (okay, Beelzebub, bub), Baphomet, Ashmedai. Have you ever thought about the fact that God is just called “God” but I have more names than you can remember? So who’s the important one?

Numerology connection (when possible, as the court cards have none),
15 “reduces” (as if I could be reduced!) to the Lovers. Some people say I’m a “corruption” of love, but I say, I’m the one who actually likes sex. O is the 15th letter of the English alphabet, as in “Oooo.” 15 consists of a 1 and a 5. When the Magician and the Pope get together they produce me!

Element traditionally associated with your card,
Earth. Nothing like being grounded. Fire can burn itself out, Water can just spill, Air can blow away, but Earth will always remain.

Astrological association (ruler, planet etc.),
Capricorn. Go ahead, call me an old goat. I consider it a compliment.

Meaning of the symbolism found in the card,
Meant to scare you—the scowl, the torch, the open hand (what you see is what you get, pal—no secret divine mysteries, as with the Pope/Hierophant), and of course, the chains. The chains are wide enough for my subjects to slip them off and walk away But do they want to? Have you noticed that they’re smiling?

Shadow side,
Light. It’s kind of embarrassing, but my hidden side is light.

Crystals associated with the card,
Not into crystals much but I like stones. Onyx, obsidian, jet. Rubies are good. Supposedly they go with Cancer, but what’s a crab going to do with a nice blood-red ruby?

Herbs, flowers or essential oils connected to your card.
Kind of improvising here, but I go for deadly nightshade, mandrake, ergot, black fungus, opium—alcohol is not an herb, is it?

So that’s it. and now,here’s the link to oephebia’s whole set of card explorations: https://oephebia.wordpress.com/2018/07/07/major-arcana/

Published in: on July 8, 2018 at 4:31 pm  Comments (1)  


I have been taking a class on Jewish mysticism, taught by a brilliant man named Robert Micha’el Esformes. He mentioned recently that Hebrew had two words for “why,” one for how things came to be, and the other for what is their reason or purpose. I was so struck by this that I wrote the following short essay.

Thoughts on “Why”
Rachel Pollack

Those of us of a certain age may remember the old-time comic, “Professor” Irwin Corey. Corey would come onstage wearing a shabby, ill-fitting tuxedo and high-top basketball shoes. Then he would spout pompous nonsense.

When he appeared on television, such as the Tonight Show, where he could sit down with the host, they would go through a set routine. Johnny Carson would ask “Why do you wear sneakers?’ The professor would draw himself up and proclaim, “You pose a two-part question! ‘Why?’ has plagued philosophers and scientists throughout the ages. Far be it for me—in the short time allotted to me—to attempt to answer the eternal question, Why?”

Then he would pause a beat, and say, in a calm voice, “Do I wear sneakers? Yes.”

I thought of Irwin Corey when Reb Micah’el told us that Hebrew has two words for Why. Language shapes our thoughts far more than we realize. Having two words for why allows us to view existence itself in a new way, what we might call origin and purpose.

Why does the Sun exist? Because pieces of previously exploded stars came together and forged a new blazing body of heat and light.

Why does the Sun exist? In order to make life, and ultimately consciousness, possible.

There’s a famous question in philosophy and science, “Why is there something instead of nothing?” With only one word for “Why” we tend to focus only on origins. Indeed, many will dismiss the idea of purpose, or what we might call destination, as a kind of mistake in how we think, even a sentimental distraction.

But having two words for why allows us to ponder both sides, or both ends, of the mystery of existence.

I am certainly no expert on Lurianic Kabbalah, but it seems to me that the teachings of Isaac Luria are deeply ingrained in the double meanings of why.

Why do we exist? Because the primordial being, the hermaphroditic Adam Kadmon, separated into two, the male Adam (whose name means clay, or dirt) and the female Hava, or Eve (whose name means life).

Why do we exist? Because a world of broken vessels needs us to repair it—tikkun olam—and in so doing, re-unite the two parts of the Divine that separated when the world broke, the male Holy One, or King, who dwells On High, and the female Shekinah, or Presence, who dwells in exile with humanity.

It is partly through our human contemplation of Why, both the origin and purpose, that we can help restore the separated parts of God.

Published in: on May 31, 2018 at 12:46 am  Comments (4)  


Here is another part of the material I put together for Readers Studio. It comes under the category of pondering what Tarot is, what it means to us, and how we use it. The reading at the bottom, based on what I call “The First Directive,” is one I will be doing in my upcoming Tarot On The Hudson class here in Rhinebeck, May 26 (if interested in joining us, please write to Zoe matoff, zoemaat@hvc.rr.com. I also hope to do an exercise inspired by the suggestion from Simone Grace Seoul’s teacher.


1. Seeing and saying are almost the same word. In Hebrew or Arabic style, they both would be SNG. Can we Say if we don’t see? Can we See if we don’t say?

2. In Tarot begins responsibilities. This is a paraphrase of a famous story title, “In Dreams Begin Responsibilities,” by Delmore Schwartz. What is the responsibility of a Tarot reader? What is not the reader’s responsibility?

3. “You ask me for a reading. I tell you not your future but a seed for a dream.” Simone Grace Seol, Korean Tarot reader. What is a seed for a dream? How do we tell that to someone?

4. And from her teacher: “Look at them in a relaxed state and say out loud what you see.”
An exercise, and a way of reading:
Have deck in front of you face down.
Close eyes, and breathe, to put yourself “in a relaxed state.”
Let yourself feel energy of deck, and of top card. Do not try to guess what it
might be, or mean.
Turn over card. Staying in relaxed state, simply look at it.
Say what you see. Not what you think it means, but just what you see.

4. “There is no knowing for a fact. The only dependable things are looking and listening.”
Richard Powers, novelist, in “The Overstory”

5. “The First Directive” (as used in my fiction, in various contexts, since 1980’s)
See what there is to see.
Hear what there is to hear.
Touch whatever you touch.
Speak the thing you must speak.

As way to read Tarot. This can be done as a spread, for the way you read cards, but also these are questions to keep in mind when reading for others.
1. What is the essential thing to see, in a single card, in the reading.
2. What message are the cards telling us? How can we hear it?
How can we hear what the querent is trying to say to us? How can we bring
that to the reading?
3. What is the thing in the reading, in the querent’s life, that we must truly touch?
How can we touch it/them?
4. What is the essential truth of the reading? How do we make sure to speak it?

Notice there is no “Feel what there is to feel.” This was not conscious, but obviously deliberate. But your guess as to why ss as good as mine! And notice that feeling is part of the way to read cards described above.

Published in: on May 9, 2018 at 4:13 pm  Leave a Comment  


As many here know I was one of the featured presenters, with Mary K. Greer and Benebell Wen, at this year’s annual Readers Studio conference in New York. This is a great event, and I have been to all but one of them (I was ill that year) since the beginning, when Mary Greer and I were presenters. So it was special for me, and I wanted to do something special. Rather than narrow myself to a single topic that I could fully cover in the 2 1/2 hours we each had, I wanted to open it up, look at basics, and what’s special.

For several weeks I took lots of notes, writing many pages in my journal about subjects I might cover, readings we might do, aspects of Tarot in people’s lives. Then i wrote up five pages of handouts, covering many, though not all, of those topics. When we began I told everyone that I did not expect to do it all, but I wanted them to have it. Now i want to share some of that here.

The first page of the material was a list of uses people have found in the Tarot. I titled it the same as this post. Here it is. I hope people will feel moved to comment, question, discuss, and especially add things I missed. I should mention that a number of the items came from suggestions made by my friend Zoe Matoff, who is a brilliant and dedicated Tarotist.

I should also mention that I do not necessarily endorse some of the things. They are simply ways people have used the Tarot.

Ways People Have Used The Tarot

Playing a game
Scamming people
Advice from a wise friend
Healing—through advice from a reading, or directly through the images
Astral travel
Travel to other worlds or stories
Travel on the Tree(s) of Life
Saving lives
Saving yourself
Discovering secrets—in others or yourself, or in the world.
Art—Tarot as an art form or using Tarot to inspire new art
Story-telling, writing, poetry
Honoring/Speaking to/Summoning the dead
Honoring/Speaking to/Summoning spirits, demons, or angels
Controlling spirits, demons, or angels
Visual form of magical doctrines
Magical doorways
Identifying threats or issues in a person’s life, and what to do about them
Legal, medical, financial direction, or decisions
Insh’Allah—discovering the divine will
Arguing with God
To go out and come back

The last is deliberately mysterious and suggestive. I would be interested to know people’s reactions to it.

Published in: on May 3, 2018 at 12:07 am  Comments (7)