Vol. 2 #4 / February 15, 2010
In this Issue:
- Tarot Tip: Negative Cards in Positive Positions (Part 3)
- Tarot Card Showcase: The Devil
- Best Practices for Professional Readers: Dispelling the Devil
- Featured Tarot Blog: Tarot Healing by Lisa
Welcome to a new issue of Tarot Tips!!
This issue comes on a day that in ancient times
was a preparation for Spring's arrival, when the
gods released health and fertility. It was a time
of structure but also a time for letting loose,
feeling free and celebrating!
One of tarot's most infamous cards - The Devil
- will be the focus of the Tarot Card Showcase.
The Roman festival observed on February 15th
was a spring cleansing ritual known as Lupercalia
(purification by means of a goat) in which the
city was also blessed to avert evil spirits.
In the spirit of celebrating, we encourage you to
revel a bit for all the hard work you do in tarot.
We'll continue with the last installment of the
series on "negative" cards and we're featuring
a new tarot blog. It all promises to be fun and
As an interesting side note, we've noticed a
devilish synchronicity this week. The three of
us all independently wrote pieces about (or
mentioning) The Devil! Wald's and Gina's
articles are below, and Ruth Ann was pleased
to participate in tarot deck designer, Kris
Walherr's "Most Romantic Week on the Blogosphere"
event by contributing a post called "A Date With
The Devil." You can read it at http://bit.ly/98ENLq
And if that wasn't weird enough, Sasha Graham
also posted "The Devil and Valentine's Day" on
her newly renamed Sasha Graham's Tarot Diva
Blog at http://tarotdiva.wordpress.com/
Your light-bearers on the path of tarot,
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!
NEGATIVE CARDS IN POSITIVE POSITIONS
Tarot, like humanity, has a context of infinity
and a context of everyday. These two contexts
work simultaneously and together, but the laws
governing each of them are very different. The
principle of General Negativity, the subject of
our last installment, works perfectly and
effectively on a grand scale. On that level, any
kind of existence or real experience is a positive.
But up close, on the smaller, more intimate scale
of everyday life, it isn't so easy to find the
positive side of everything. Some tarot cards
certainly seem scary, painful and unhappy, so how
do you find a way to say something positive about
them when you have to?
This is the place for the theory of Special
Negativity in tarot, which says briefly that every
card, no matter how bad it looks, has a positive
Sometimes it just takes awhile for the positive
side of a painful experience to reveal itself.
Even the effects of the scariest cards may turn
out for the best if you wait long enough.
But what if you're working with a spread that has
pre-determined positive positions, and a clearly
negative card turns up in one of these? Where do
you find the positive aspects you need right now,
and that our theory says are there in every card?
The answer to this problem is card knowledge.
Every card is about a lot of things, not all of
which can be seen in the picture. If The Devil
shows up, for example, it is useful to know that
his Esoteric Function (every Major Arcana card
has one of these) is Mirth, or Laughter. He may
be advising you to get over yourself, to lighten up
-- have a party, go to a comedy club, or see a
We all know that Death moves us forward, even
when we don't want to go, transforming us and
removing from our lives what is useless and
The Tower is called the Exciting Intelligence (all
the Majors have an Intelligence, too), bringing us
the high energy of the risks we take and the
breakthroughs and dramatic growth we experience
when we're at the top of our game. Even the
picture, with its high-intensity phallic energy,
suggests sex that will knock your socks off.
Every card has an Astrological Attribution, and
also a position on the Tree of Life. Some of these
strongly suggest new ways to look at familiar
pictures with uncomfortable themes.
For example, the number 4 in all the suits of the
Minor Arcana is associated with Jupiter, and with
the qualities of mercy, grace and expansiveness on
the Tree of Life. So both the 4 of Cups and the 4
of Pentacles are the grace of their respective suits,
and mercy and generosity flow through them always,
in spite of the constriction we may normally feel
when we look at these cards.
It's almost always true that knowledge sheds
light, and light is the antidote to darkness and
negativity. When a positive interpretation of a
negative card would come in handy, all you have
to do is shine the light of knowledge on it. This
knowledge, which is readily available, is the
underpinning of our theory of Special Negativity
in tarot. It states in full that the good and the
bad in a card are equally present, and available
to any reader in all situations, no matter how
good or bad the card may look.
Did you miss Parts 1 and 2? You can read them,
Tarot Card Showcase
In this section we will feature tidbits on a
specific tarot card. While there are many
systems and decks to choose from in the world
of tarot, here we use the Universal Waite
Tarot images and symbols.
Copyright 1992 U.S Games.
Esoteric Title: Lord of the Gates of Matter;
Child of the Forces of Time
Astrological Attribution: Capricorn ( ruled by Saturn)
Qabalistic Attribution: Hod (Splendor) to
Esoteric Function: Mirth
The Devil is more than he appears to be. Illusion
is prominent within The Devil for we cannot
believe only what we see. In becoming chained to
the illusion presented to us in the picture, the
mind only sees appearances. We see only the
apparition of the shadow (fear and limitation).
Through the realms of Ayin (Hebrew for "eye"), we
can change our view and transcend the limitations
of ordinary perception, thus seeing past the
obvious to gain awareness of the subtle.
The more aware and conscious we are of our light
and potential, the more we must be aware of the
tricks of The Devil's illusion. This path calls
for us to look carefully and clearly at all the
parts of ourselves in order to understand how all
those parts work, which leads to a true
understanding of ourselves as physical and
The symbolism in The Devil has many ties to the
ancient gods of Greek and Roman cultures. The most
common connection is to Pan, but it may also be a
combination of horned god/satyrs Pan and Comus.
Comus was the god of festivity, mirth, and
nocturnal revelry. During his festivals, resembling
Mardi Gras and other festive traditions of today,
men and women exchanged clothes - a reference
to the average person's misrepresentation of reality
represented by The Devil. Comus was depicted as a
young man close to unconsciousness from
overindulgence in wine. He had a wreath of flowers
on his head and carried a torch that was in the
process of being dropped.
Positive Keywords: Practicality, freedom, laughter,
comedy, silliness, passion, force, fascination, awe,
delight, pleasure, richness and energy.
Negative Keywords: liar, villain; darkness,
weakness, panic, chaos, bondage, fear, danger,
sin, jealousy, hate, greed, sloth and anger.
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You never know what we'll say next...
Best Practices for Professional Tarot Readers:DISPELLING THE DEVIL
By Gina Thies
There have been many times when I have had to
quickly explain The Devil to an already nervous
querent. The Devil is intuitively perceived as a
largely negative card that can provoke powerful
reactions from querents. These reactions can be an
excellent starting point for the reading,
especially when they say, "Don't tell me
The representation of the Devil comes to us from
the ancients and is most likely a combination of
aspects of the gods Atum, Set, Min, Typhon,
Priapus, Pan and Hathor.
Saturn, the planet of Binah, the Great Mother,
rules the astrological association of the Devil,
Capricorn. Even as Saturn is masculine, this
connection would give the Devil feminine energy.
Capricorn partnered with Saturn indicates a
"settling of accounts". This was seen in the
festival of Saturnalia, when everyone was
considered equal but after the festivities it was
time for all taxes to be accounted for and paid.
Pan, the most popular correspondence, was a god
who played music that could incite fear, panic,
terror or sexual arousal. He was also known as
fascinated and obsessed with the nymphs, all
issues seemingly inherent in The Devil. Bes, the
Egyptian dwarf god was believed to be both deity
and demon. Bes was also a patron of childbirth and
the home, and was also associated with sexuality,
humor, music and dancing. Although a demon, this
protector of women and children was not considered
In a deep study or contemplation of The Devil
card, you may find yourself understanding
different psychological processes and archetypes
found in mythology that dispel misperceptions of
The Devil. I realized as I learned about The Devil
that some of the things we think of as "evil"
are essential to evolving and knowing ourselves.
I often delve beyond the traditional
interpretations. For instance, The Devil may not
always address the usual meanings given for the
card like lies, lust, trickery or temptation. It
could relate instead to a lack of humor, spiritual
weakness, not feeling in touch with the Higher
Self, indecision about leaving a job or
relationship that is not healthy, a dysfunctional
upbringing, father issues, or problems with
structure. These ideas can open the way for
Solution-focused readings offered over a few
sessions would transform and empower your clients.
It may take a few readings to even get the querent
to accept what the cards offer, so perhaps an hour
reading could be broken into two 30-minute
sessions, if you can do a little assessment when
setting the appointment to determined how you and
the tarot can best assist your client. This will
help you to set your business apart and build
Questions arise when developing or transitioning
to professional Tarot Reading status to earn
income. These can range from "How can I make
money with Tarot?" and "How do I get started?"
to more complex technical and business questions.
You may already be up and running and have
questions about how to enhance or ramp up your
business. We would love to hear from you. Send any
questions, or interest in a future class on the
Business of Tarot, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet your favorite Tarot authors and deck creators
at the 2010 Readers Studio!
Here are just some of the Tarot
celebrities who will be there...
Mary K. Greer * Robert M. Place
Elinor Greenberg * Paul Quinn
Dan Pelletier * Donnaleigh
Rachel Pollack * James Ricklef
Corrine Kenner * Ciro Marchetti
Joanna Powell Colbert * Thalassa
Oh, and the shopping is divine!!
REGISTER NOW to make sure you don't miss out!
Featured Tarot Blog / Newsletter
TAROT HEALING by LISA
Lisa Lloyd is a healer and tarot reader in the
United Kingdom. Lisa's blog offers a personal
journey through the tarot. An excellent resource
for spreads and very detailed readings.
Do you have a question or comment on anything
tarot? Suggestions for future topics?
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Directors: Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone