Newsletter of The Tarot School
ISSN: 1529-0565 
Vol. 6 #8 / September 1, 2014

 In this Issue:
- Welcome
- Tarot Tip: 10 Tips for Tarot Collecting
- Tarot School Aphorism
- Tarot Card Showcase: Eight of Wands 
- Best Practices: The Art of Reading in Good Form
- Featured Tarot Blog: Tarot Taxi
- Upcoming Events
Welcome to a new issue of Tarot Tips!
And a warm welcome to our new readers. 
We hit the jackpot this month with an awesome tip on
building and curating a tarot card collection from expert,
Paris Finley! It's longer than usual, so we're keeping this
section brief.

And one more thing...
The 2015 Readers Studio website is live! If you 
haven't checked it out and seen the wonderful new
poster art by Robert M. Place, head over to
You can still get in on a 6-month payment plan
when you register before September 30th!
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 Paris Finley
I'm assuming you're at least a little like me. You like a
lot of decks. You don't have unlimited money. You have
limited time to investigate.
If that's true, then these tips will help. I know. I've
already made all the mistakes any one human can possibly
make while collecting, so just read for a few minutes and
save yourself a lot of grief.
1. Know why you collect
Why do you collect? Are you searching for the perfect
reading deck? Are you a fan of certain kinds of artwork? Are
you interested in Tarot history? Are you an eclectic
collector - just picking what suits your fancy? Are you an
investor? Do you want some "study" decks?
When I started, I just acquired. I didn't have a focus. I
ended up with dozens of decks that, in retrospect, don't
really interest me.
Now I know that I like decks based on specific artists
(Bosch, Dali, Klimt, Dürer, Blake - there are many of
these) and Tarot de Marseille style decks. I like some 
decks because the artwork is just so spectacular. I'm 
not providing you with examples because there are 
many of these, and if I leave out someone, I'll just feel 
bad about it. Plus, my taste might not match yours.
What has happened is that after being able to articulate
what decks I really like, I don't acquire as many decks 
that end up just sitting somewhere, unloved. By knowing 
why you collect, you can narrow your search and keep 
your collection to the decks that matter to you.
2. The Only-If-You-Like-It Rule
If you like it, someone else will like it. Know how many
were made. Keep the box and the lwb ("little white
book") in good shape. Jot down the price you paid and keep
it somewhere safe. (I take the sales slip and put it into a
ring binder, alphabetically by the deck name.)
3. Manage the Money
Use a separate credit card for your collecting. Learn how to
force PayPal to use the card, not your bank account. [Email
me at if you need help with this.]
When I sell a deck, I put the money into our credit card
account. Our "Collecting Credit Card" becomes a complete
business record.
4. The "Two-Deck-Buying System"
Purchase two of every deck you acquire. Keep one in its
original packaging; don't open it. Wait until the deck is
selling for twice its original price. Sell the unopened one.
You can keep the other. In effect, you're collecting for
"free." Will this always work? No. Sometimes you'll just
end up with a deck you can use as a gift. But many times
you'll end up selling the second one for twice OR MORE of
what it cost you - so your collection grows for free.
5. The "Speculator System"
Buy several of a deck you suspect will be very popular. Sell
as the price increases. Trust yourself.
6. Protect the collection
  • Keep your inventory list online as well as at home.
  • Notify your home insurance carrier and pay the tiny rider as
    your collection grows.  
  • Is it in a safe place? Some people keep their collecting
  • a secret to minimize risk. I have a pot-bellied pig who
    lives in my house. He weighs 110 pounds, has tusks, and we
    have a sign that says "Beware of the Attack Pig." 
  • Mildew and mold are contagious. Do not bring a sick deck
  • into a healthy collection.
    7. Know a little terminology
    Terms to know: 
    vintage, antique, ISBN, lwb, iso, lot, oop, and htf. 
    UPS, FedEx and USPS. International shipping 
    (Find a good post on this by user "photokat" on
    Aeclectic.Net's in the paid-membership
    section for deck collecting and trading.) 
    USPS will ship, tracked, for about $5-6 in the lower 48. If
    value is over $100, pay for the insurance. [If I meet you
    personally, ask me about the box I got through the
    Springfield, Mass., U.S. Postal automated sorting facility
    that went through the gears. Don't be put off by my sobbing,
    OK? Just buy me a drink.] Amazon includes information on
    their listings, especially publisher, year and ISBN. They
    list OOP and HTF decks.
    8. Find the best price for a deck
  • Try multiple sources before buying. (= "Shop around"). 
  • Use a Wish List 
  • Be sure your Tarot friends know what deck is at the top of
    your Wish List. 
    - Offer to trade. 
    - Offer to buy. 
    - Post "ISO" ("in search of") where you can make
              sure you know what your friends are currently seeking. 
    - Let people know you collect and are interested in decks.
  • Try Tarot organizations
  • - Try Facebook groups
    - Try other online groups
  • Join organizations
  • Contact the publisher and sign up for email notifications
  •    [New, deals, newsletter, Facebook announcements.]
  • Try major resellers:
  • -
  • Try independent sellers:
  • -
    - (check your local listings)
    9. Where do I find really old decks?
    [This is the same as asking "Where do I find really
    expensive decks?"]
    Auctions! Find out the local ones. If you don't know that
    you can use Google Maps or MapQuest to find them, you're in
    for a nice surprise: Try typing "boston, ma auction"
    into the search and see what happens.  
    ~ Bassenge  ~ Christie's  ~ Bonhams  ~ Sothebys        
    ~ Freeman's ~ Leonard Joel 
    - Use to search "Auction House" 
       for a starter list. 
    - Try: for a list of 11 fine arts
    auction houses. 
    Auction houses have an email list and can notify you when a
    particular item is scheduled. You do not need to be present
    to win the auction, but if you like getting dressed up and
    going out for the day - to New York or London or Paris -
    well, then, this is your métier. Tell your local antiques
    dealer that you're interested in hearing about any decks she
    or he might come across.
    10. Know where to find information about Tarot decks
    - (a better search engine for Tarot than Google) 
      (An article on collecting) 
    - Try the foreign eBay sites:,,
              and don't forget India (they are very active) 
    If you use Google's Chrome browser, you can get the pages
    translated into your language. If you want to use another
    browser, like Firefox, you can get a plugin for translating
    - Learn how to "save searches" on eBay. 
    - Learn how to set your eBay to search internationally for
               all listings that will ship to you. 
    - Don't be afraid to contact a seller who does not list
              "shipping to US" as an option.
    Learn who your favorite sellers are (mine is "photokat"
    and "worldclassplayingcards"). You'll find photokat
    (Beatrice Neumann) on both and eBay.
    See what others have done:
      (Adam McLean) 
    - (Paris Finley's site) 
    - Use to search Tarot Deck Collection
    Caveat Emptor ("Let the buyer beware!")
    Some "sellers" simply search major sources and return
    the search results as their own. Check your major sources
    first before trying small, private sellers. For example, is an Alibris reseller. So is 
    -- and that's fine, but if you want to use an Amazon reseller, 
    I recommend that you support the efforts of a friend, a local 
    group, or someone who is doing work you want to see continue 
    [like me?]
    Spin. (Go over the ground again and over again. Try lots of
    different things. Collect a variety of decks that you like.

    Walk (the labyrinth.) EARTH
    Dance. (Celebrate and share your passion.) FIRE.
    Swim. (Dive deeply into one area. Animal decks? Famous
    artist decks? RWS decks? TdM decks?) WATER.
    Fly. (Use a deck to read for others.) AIR.
    About the author:
    Paris Finley maintains a website at and his email 
    address is 
    Contact him for a PDF of a much longer 
    and more detailed version of this article.

     Tarot School Aphorism



    Mark you Calendar!

    Register for the FREE
    Spiritual Path of Tarot Telesummit II
    Journey through the Minor Arcana
    to be held October 13 - 24, 2014
    The Amberstones will be presenting a session entitled
    The Sword: It exists, but it's not there!
    Use this link to register:


    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.
    Name: Splendor in the World of Emanation 
    Astrological Attribution: Mercury in Sagittarius
    Esoteric Title: Lord of Swiftness
    Traditional Meanings:
    Something's up. The rush of events. 
    Plans have been activated -- but whose 
    plans are they? What goes up must 
    come down. A journey by air. 

    Infatuation. Rapid growth. Seduction. Quick thinking. Swift.
    Free. Carried away.

    Messages. Letters. Words spoken in haste, like arrows once
    launched, are bound to hit something but not always the
    intended target. 

    Eight Wands: The arrows of Sagittarius in flight. 
    Both the number eight and the image of swiftness are symbols of Mercury.

    Castle on the Hill: Symbol of wishes fulfilled. 
    A white castle is a symbol of achievement. A castle on a hill or mountain 
    is a symbol of destiny fulfilled.

    Stream: Symbol of flexibility and fertility. 

    Trees: Source of the Wands, symbol of Fire. 
    Excerpted from The Tarot School Correspondence Course

    Best Practices for Professional Readers
    By Gina Thies
    I am settling in after returning from the Bay Area Tarot
    Symposium (BATS) where I presented "The Art of Reading 
    in Good Form" to a nicely filled room of tarot enthusiasts.
    So what does the art of reading in good form mean you may
    ask? The word form is often used in athletics in reference
    to how he or she performs their skills. For instance, in
    gymnastics, it refers to correctly using movements and body

    What I am describing as reading in good form means using 
    the right tools at the right time and in the right way. 

    When I started reading tarot, I quickly realized the great
    responsibility is the art of helping without harming. That
    is fundamental to my role as a paraprofessional advisor.

    The beauty of the art of helping with oracular tools is that
    a practitioner can modify his or her knowledge of these
    tools like tarot, Lenormand, etc. to a variety of specific
    situations in the right moment and in the right way. This
    also means being prepared to adjust to each person's
    needs, experience, style or temperament.

    I also thought it was important to talk about therapeutic
    readings. What is a therapeutic reading? I came up with a
    very long definition that I ended up reading to the group
    because it's far too much to memorize. Hopefully it
    resonates with those of you who consider your own readings
    therapeutic, whether they are for yourself or others. 

    Here's my definition:

    "Therapeutic readings involve relationships built on
    empathy and trust where meaningful and realistic analysis
    between, or in conjunction with, one who seeks understanding
    or improvement of their spiritual, emotional, mental or
    material well-being occurs; readings are introspective and
    allow personal reflection in which a querent can articulate
    their concerns without judgment. 

    In a therapeutic reading, the querent will experience the
    reader's undivided attention, as listening is a major
    component of the process. With the help of tarot, the
    querent walks away with new and/or practical ways of
    thinking about their situation, or experiences a shift in
    their perspective on themselves. They also walk away feeling
    empowered, or motivated, to take the necessary steps to
    bring about the change they seek with the understanding that
    change starts from within and that everything is subject to

    The one more thing to consider in your therapeutic structure
    entails knowing how and when to terminate a consulting
    relationship. There are many who speak of querent
    dependency, and I say the problem isn't always with the
    client. Sometimes the reader is negligent in not incorporating 
    closure in their process. Just as the beginning of a reading 
    requires some forethought, so should the ending. 

    Featured Tarot Blog
    A hitchhiker's guide through the tarot (and other tidbits)
    Australian based tarotist Andi a.k.a. Rootweaver shares 
    her tarot adventures with other enthusiasts. Stop by to be
    inspired and informed. There is a lot about tarot,
    cartomancy, Lenormand and the divinatory community. 

     Upcoming Events:

  • September 8, 15, 22 and 29, 2014
  • Tarot Salon
    Forest Hills, New York
    Our popular Monday night Salons are the
    hottest thing in tarot instruction!
  • September 12, 2014
  • Registration opens for the Spiritual Path of Tarot 
    Telesummit II to be held October 13 - 24th
    Mark your calendar and sign up here:
  • September 28, 2014
  • Readers Studio Teleconference -- Free!
    Come hang out with us on the phone
    at our monthly informal get-together.
    It's a great chance to catch up with each
    other and brainstorm new ideas.
  • January 24 - 25, 2015
  • Tarot School Winter Intensive
    The Elemental Array: Special Knowledge & Applications
    Details coming soon! 


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