Newsletter of The Tarot School
ISSN: 1529-0565 
Vol. 4 #10 / November 1, 2012

 In this Issue:
- Welcome
- Tarot Tip: The Marseille Tarot Ethos
- What's Gnu?
- Tarot Card Showcase: The Tower
- Guest Article: Tarot Counseling "Metaskills"
- Featured Tarot Blog: Pre-Gébelin Tarot History 
- Upcoming Events

Welcome to a new issue of Tarot Tips!
And a special welcome to our new readers.
This has been a very dramatic time here on the East Coast of
the United States. We were blessed to have kept our home and
electric power. But so many others (including friends and
family) were not so lucky, and continue to struggle with the
after-effects of Hurricane Sandy. As lower Manhattan is
still in the dark, and public transit systems are spotty at
best, our Monday classes are cancelled until further notice.
Be sure to check our school calendar for updates. You can even sign up
for email notifications when we make changes to the page!
In looking through our back issues of Tarot Tips, we
realized that The Tower had yet to be featured as a showcase
card. The timing couldn't be more appropriate, and so we
present it to you now.
One of the early ancestors of the Rider Waite Smith deck was
the Tarot de Marseille style deck. This type of deck, most
likely from the early 16th century, was named so because the
city of Marseille in France was noted for producing decks of
cards. There are several varieties of Tarot de Marseille
that were originally used as playing cards. Its occult use
goes back to the 18th century, and its use as a divination
tool remains popular today.
A special thanks to Enrique Enriquez for taking the time to
answer a question submitted by one of our subscribers about
the Tarot de Marseille. In addition, we have a special guest
article from Katrina Wynn that discusses how to refine your
reading skills. And while we are on the subject of
historical decks, for any of you who interested in the
history of the cards, we've featured a blog you should
find interesting.
This is a particularly long issue and we hope you enjoy it!
And one more thing...
We believe in the power of group intention and focused
energy. Please take a moment now to breathe deeply and
relax. Focus on the well-being of all those affected by the
storm as you hold them in your heart. Love + Blessings =
And if you care to help in a tangible way as well, please
consider donating to the Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Disaster
Thank you!
Yours truly on the tarot path,
Ruth Ann, Wald & Gina

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
by Enrique Enriquez
I've been a subscriber to your list for some time. I've come
to really love the rich symbolism of the Rider-Waite deck,
but I've also wanted to learn the Marseille's Eteilla
symbolism and meanings. While I'm happy to listen to the
cards for new meanings each time I read, my head gets a
little jumbled automatically imposing the RWS meanings on
cards whose images don't support those meanings.
If you had one tip for someone moving from the RWS system 
to the Marseille's system, what would it be?  And while I know
each deck has its aesthetic, if you had to describe the
difference in ethos between the RWS system and Marseille's
system, how would you do it?
Much Thanks,
Paul Sireci
P.S. - I don't read professionally, but I do use both decks daily.
A description of the Marseille tarot's "ethos" may be tricky
as the literature describing it amounts to a succession of
the personal, subjective projections of its authors. How not
to fall into the same trap?
I wouldn't say there is a Marseille tarot "method." I rather
see it as a "tradition."
That tradition can be seen as having two distinctive moments. 
First there was a time when the image-makers were active, 
printing tarots. So far, we only have retrieved enough pieces 
of that puzzle to outline the passing on, generation after 
generation, of a set of images that have remained somehow 
consistent, from Jean Noblet (1650) to, perhaps, Nicolas 
Conver (1760). Sadly, no commentary about the images 
survived. We know nothing about what these image-makers 
were thinking when they printed these tarots. We only know 
the images are preserved with minimal alterations.
The commentary came later. In fact, I would say the second
distinctive moment within the Marseille tradition came about
in the 1930s, after Paul Marteau "rebranded" these French
tarots sharing a similar pattern as "tarots de Marseille".
With Marteau, the Marseille tarot became aware of itself.
Most people agree that the first appearance of the
"Marseille tarot" notion can be found in Papus, who was 
then referring to these decks either produced in the city of
Marseille or exported to the world through the port of
Marseille; but for all practical purposes it was Paul Marteau, 
head of the Grimaud printing house, who in the 1930s "coined" 
the "Tarot de Marseille" brand and made the deck available 
for sale. It is said that Marteau was reacting to the increasing 
popularity of the RWS deck.
In the last ten years we have seen what could perhaps be a
third act in this narrative with the edition of decks that
hope to "restore" the Marseille tarot images. Most notably
we have Chris Haddar, Philippe Camoin and Alejandro
Jodorowsky, Jean-Claude and Roxanne Flornoy, Yoav Ben-Dov
and Wilfried Houdoin. While the theories and speculations of
all these authors may diverge, the point that remains consistent 
is the preservation of the images. We still see minor additions 
or alterations, just as we observed among Noblet, Dodal, 
Chosson, etc. But the images remain the same.
If we observe what happened after the RWS became popular 
and we contrast it with what has happened to the Marseille
tarot, that difference of ethos starts to emerge. For example, 
the post-RWS "star" is a symbol that stands for something 
other than a heavenly body. Once we are there, any star will do. 
Year after year, we see a proliferation of new decks in which 
the star-as-symbol takes new and different visual incarnations 
without stopping to clearly describe what The Star card symbolizes.
Within the Marseille tradition, The Star is that precise
image of a naked woman pouring water "à la belle etoile"
(under the night's sky). If we were to modify the image we
would be stepping outside the lexicon of the Marseille
tarot. I am using here the word "lexicon" with a precise
intention, as the main characteristic of the Marseille tarot
ethos, the only one on which all the commentators agree, is
that we are in the presence of a visual language. It could
be argued that all tarots are a visual language, but here we
are talking about a language that requires no (symbolic)
interpretation, as it manifests through direct comprehension, 
pretty much like street signs.
For example, we often hear or read how The Star card
represents "hope". But hope is an abstract notion. In the
Marseille tarot, Lestoile give us the experience of being
naked (exposed) kneeling down (surrendered) pouring water
(releasing, dropping, giving). The whole image amounts to a
feeling of abandonment that we feel in our bodies, not with
our heads, and therefore is physical, not intellectual.
If we were to modify the image we see in Arcane 17,
switching it for whatever tickles our fancy, we won't
experience these feelings. More important, once the image
has been modified we won't be able to map its similarities
with Temperance, an image in which a (winged) woman stands,
holding the same vases we see in The Star. If we were to
choose a different image for Temperance, we wouldn't be able
to see these vases she is holding in the two twins embracing
under The Sun. These twins can be mapped into the dogs we
see in The Moon, the two minions in The Devil, the two
persons falling from The Tower, or the two acolytes kneeling
before The Pope.
If we change one image, the language collapses.
The commentators of the Marseille tradition (Marteau, Unger,
Flornoy, Camoin, Jodorowsky, et. al) agree in a few directions:
- Regard the trumps as a whole, not as a series of individual images.
- Pay attention to the characters' gestures and glances.
In the Marseille tarot the gestures of the characters we see
in the cards aren't independent occurrences. We see these
gestures, details and elements, repeated from card to card
in consistent patterns. The Marseille tarot is a tool for
experience. In a sense, we could speak here of a kind of
visual magic, based on two traditional strategies:
- Visual similarity
- Visual proximity
The Marseille tarot "spells" ideas by presenting us with the
recurrence of signs. Elements that look the same are thought
to be conceptually related. Elements that occupy the same
position in the cards are thought to be conceptually related.
An additional direction which I personally find worth
exploring but that has received very little attention is 
wordplay. Tchalai Unger writes about it with some detail,
showing us how LE MAT (another name for The Fool) is a 
word that suggests "fool" but also "mast", "matte" and death 
(as in "check mate"). Jodorowsky also points out how some of 
the trumps names are actual puns, like LE PENDU, which in 
French can be heard equally as "the hanged one" or "hard bread."
Once we consider wordplay, we open a door to a rich French
tradition of both verbal and visual punning that would take
us far back, to Rabelais, Rene Marot, medieval heraldry and
all of their successive heirs: Gerard de Nerval, Jean-Pierre
Brisset, Alfred Jarry, Raymond Roussel, the Surrealists, the
Oulipians, and also esoteric writers like Grasset de Orcet,
Rene Guenon and the mythical Fulcanelli. All of them were
very much aware of the nature of wordplay as an engine for
meditation and thought. Understood within that lineage, the
Marseille tarot becomes a tool to unlock the mind to the
multiversality of signs.
All my Best,
enrique enriquez/hieroglyphic terrorism
For more see Enrique's blog at

#1: New Class Recordings!
We have decided to make all 1+1=TAROT 
mp3s and notes available for purchase. 
You'll find them in the Teleclasses section:
Moving Up
The Tarot School will be moving 
a little further uptown. Watch for an 
announcement with our new address 
once the details are finalized!

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.

Astrological Attribution: Mars
Hebrew Letter: Peh
Meaning: Mouth
Esoteric Title: Lord of the Hosts of the Mighty
The Tower is a bolt from the blue, the arrow of Mars
bringing sudden illumination and violent change.
Intellectual and spiritual arrogance draw down the
lightning of divine wrath. Order and control turn to
chaos and disaster. A burning house means immediate departure and no return.
The Tower itself is a phallic symbol, the explosive
energy of spiritual ambition that reaches to heaven 
and provokes a divine response. The result is 
destruction and release, the violent of orgasmic resolution of pent-up energies. Sex that will knock your socks off!
The Hebrew letter Peh means mouth, which is the organ of utterance, both for 
ordinary words and for the vibration of mantras and words of power.
In a reading, this card suggests powerful, disruptive and unexpected change. 
Old habits and ways of doing and thinking are no longer viable. But without 
the explosive force of The Tower, personal growth reaches the end of the road. 
It is a necessary violence to blast open the virtually indestructible towers of 
notions and ideas within which individual egos are barricaded. 

Positive Keywords: Liberation, illumination, release; creative energy, 
a burst of growth, sudden understanding, breakthrough
Negative Keywords: Trauma, humiliation, divorce; violence, destruction, 
bitter realizations, a broken treasure; reaching the limit, a fall from grace
Tarot Affirmation: I will begin again and be better than ever.

                 The Readers Studio: April 26-289, 2013 — 3 days of intense tarot learning for advanced students and professionals. Produced by The Tarot School. Click Here!

Guest Article
by Katrina Wynne, M.A.
You have studied the cards, practiced reading with your
friends, and have started seeing clients. Now you are ready
for more advanced skills to raise the bar on the quality of
your sessions.
What makes readers stand out from each other? What attracts
you to work with one over another? An unspoken tone or air
around each reader sends signals to a potential client that
attracts them to trust their work together. What are these
subconscious signals?
Feeling-tone attitudes the counselor exhibits in sessions
with clients are called "Metaskills," a term coined by Amy
Mindell, Ph.D. in her book, Metaskills: The Spiritual Art of
Therapy. It is a personal skill utilized in the background
to support the art of therapy, or the art of reading in the
case of Tarot.
Consider a unique attitude that you bring to your work,
something that makes you special. Is it in your tone of
voice, your mannerisms, perhaps your ability to make your
client feel at home.
There is always room to learn additional skills. Here are a
few I invite you to consider:
Humor - One can use humor or light-heartedness to ease a 
client's anxiety. A more powerful metaskill is holding the 
client and their issue in your heart with unconditional positive
regard, compassionate non-judgment.
Beginner's Mind - refers to the Zen attitude of an open
and unbiased mind and heart. See the cards with fresh and
new eyes, aware of many possibilities.
Play - exude a sense of freedom, spontaneity, and joyfulness.
Creativity - a free mind is a creative mind. When you remove
judgment, prejudice, assumptions, and biases, what remains
is an open, creative space where new possibilities may emerge.
Detachment - release from the situation, allowing observation 
without judgment. It's easy to get drawn into the drama of your 
client's story. Try dropping out of the content, while staying 
emotionally neutral, so you can view the guidance of the cards 
with enhanced clarity.
The point is to be more conscious of these subtle skills so
you can apply them wherever they may be most useful. If
there is a skill that you find challenging, that is the one
to practice further until it comes more easily to you and
your reading. This also applies to practicing with yourself
in reading your own cards.
Learn more about metaskills and other counseling skills for working more effectively 
with yourself and others by reading Katrina Wynne's book, An Introduction to Transformative
Tarot Counseling - the High Art of Reading. Kindle version is available on Amazon. 
The paperback version can be ordered by contacting Katrina.
Transformative Tarot Consulting(TM) & Classes w/ Katrina Wynne, M.A.
Katrina Wynne - personal page
Transformative Tarot Counseling - product/service
Tarot Counseling - private group
Tarot Spirituality - open community
Tarot Retreats - open group


The High Deck coming Fall 2012



Featured Tarot Blog
Michael J. Hurst publishes this blog which discusses
medieval allegories and the art of the period that gave
birth to early playing cards. While not an occultist,
Michael does a great job of musing about the iconography of
the medieval and Renaissance periods in relation to tarot.
There are lots of great articles and fantastic pictures and
references. A must-see for tarot history enthusiasts.
 Upcoming Events:
  • November 25, 2012
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    Come hang out with us on the phone
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