Vol. 9 #9 / November 1, 2017
In this Issue:
- Tarot Tip: A Look at the Tower Card
- Tarot School Aphorism
- What's Gnu?
- PsychWise: Experimenting with Tarot
- Best Practices: Caveats, Disclaimers and Other Notices
- Upcoming Events
Welcome to a new issue of Tarot Tips!
And a special welcome to our new subscribers.
Although we at Tarot Tips and The Tarot School
do our best to maintain an attitude of gratitude
throughout the year, we're happy to have this
opportunity to thank you directly for your
presence in our lives and support of our work.
This time of year is filled with holidays of all
sorts, no matter where in the world you live.
May the awareness of gratitude, for things large
and small, unite us all as we work towards a
more peaceful world -- both inner and outer.
We are joined this month by Beverly Frable,
who has a very informative Tip on the source
of The Tower card. (It is an unfortunate
coincidence that once again, a Tower experience
has made headlines. Our hearts go out to all
those affected by yesterday's terror attack in
New York City!)
In PsychWise, Dr. Art Rosengarten, who will be
presenting at the 2018 Tarot and Psychology Conference,
discusses experimenting with tarot. We also discuss
notices, caveats and disclaimers in the Best Practices
And one more thing...
If you haven't already seen it, take a few
minutes to read this exciting article in the
New York Times about how tarot is trending!
It's beautifully written, and features people
we know, too.
Click here to read the article.
With love and gratitude on the tarot journey,
The Tower. We all know that it represents a
Ruth Ann, Wald, and Gina
Tarot Tips is here to help you with the practical side
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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
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with other Tarot Enthusiasts!
A LOOK AT THE TOWER CARD
transformation, often one that’s abrupt and
Have you ever thought about the source of this image?
Or wondered how it has changed from the earliest decks
to more “current” ones?
There are two theories regarding the inspiration for
the origin of the image.
One thought: The image is based on the Genesis story
regarding the Tower of Babel, depicting the tower as it
collapsed. The Tower of Babel story tells of the
descendants of Noah building a tower that would
“reach to the heavens.” Their goal was to be like
God, no longer needing Him. This displeased God,
and He destroyed the tower. The image of the Tower,
consequently, is a depiction of God’s anger: a
toppling building, punishing those who were building
it, and displacing the crown representing human vanity.
The painting shown below captures the Tower of Babel
from a Book of Hours for the Duke of Bedford, completed
with falling figures.
The second theory is the most likely (in my opinion).
This one claims that the inspiration for the image of
the Tower is based on the legends of the Infancy Gospel
of Pseudo-Matthew (that’s a mouthful!). The Infancy
Gospels were popular in medieval times, telling of
things such as destruction of false idols and other
Divine acts against falsehoods. Petroglyphs (basically
rock carvings) dating back to the 13th century capture
scenes that depict these stories. Check out the one
below. This particular one is located at Amiens
Cathedral, the largest of the three great Gothic
cathedrals located north of Paris, France. The
highlighted scene is what some claim inspired
the Tower image we recognize today.
A close-up clearly shows how similar this image is to
the Tower card:
You’ll notice that neither image includes flames.
None of what I’ve read so far offers explanations
of why flames were added, other than to possibly
highlight the destruction of the tower. However,
it is noted that the direction of the flames differs
depending on either the region that created the
deck or the deck’s creation date.
Early TdM decks show the Tower with flames
shooting FROM the tower and TOWARD the sun.
Decks that show this image are sometimes referenced
as “Type I” Tarot de Marseilles (TdM).
Check out the image below, a Jean Noblet (c. 1650),
restored by Jean-Claude Flornoy.
Other decks that are considered “Type 1” TdMs
include the Dodal (c. 1701), and Jean-Pierre Payen
This differs from what is sometimes referred to as
“Type 2” TdM decks, which show The Tower with the
flames shooting TOWARD the Tower, FROM the sun.
See the example below.
This image is taken from a Conver TdM (c.1760).
Other TdM decks that fall into the Type 2 category
include the Claude Burdel (c.1751) and the François
FYI: There are other differences between Type 1 TdMs
and Type 2 TdM decks. In fact, I’m aware of at least
10 other Major Arcana image variations between the
two types. It’s an interesting topic to research for
those who may be so inclined.
Fun comparison: Check out The Tower as shown in
a TdM deck, Rider-Waite-Smith, and Thoth. Which
style do you prefer?
Feel free to share your thoughts on the Readers Studio
Beverly Frable is a professional tarot consultant,
having studied divination under the direction of
many of the world’s renowned experts while
attending tarot events across the United States.
You can learn more about her at:
Tarot School Aphorism
JOIN US AT THE
2018 TAROT & PSYCHOLOGY
(NOTE: If you have already registered for the 2018 Readers Studio and would like to
add the Thursday, Tarot & Psychology Conference to your registration, contact us
for the coupon code to get the special 2-conference discount.)
EXPERIMENTING WITH TAROT
by Art Rosengarten, Ph.D.
The unseen and invisible worlds operating beneath
the Tarot process will be brought into clearer focus
and understanding by “experimentation.”
A wider meaning of experimentation is called for,
however, not necessarily the narrow application of
strict scientific procedures, but more generally
“taking a course of action tentatively adopted
without being sure of the eventual outcome” as the
word ‘experiment’ is defined. “To try out new
concepts or ways of doing things,” from the Latin
experiri or 'try'. “Try it!” is the message.
Studying card patterns that appear “randomly” via
divination in a slightly more scientific manner
requires a little more structure and procedure. My
own way has first been to contemplate the manifest
structure, and possible meanings of a given spread.
Then take the additional steps of quantifying,
comparing, contrasting, wondering about, analyzing,
and eventually, assembling and organizing this data
into a formal study of sorts. This study could be
coherently presented to others, though not likely replicated,
(a cornerstone of hard science), which cannot easily be
done here due to the very nature of nature. This
essentially is what empirical investigation of Tarot
has meant to me. The essence of my scientific attitude
is, in effect, “try it,” and then ask the question
“What can be learned from this?”
Study subjects are abundant. They can be found
literally anywhere –– ordinary life, friends, family,
complete strangers, and special populations from
presidential candidates to truck drivers, to fleeing
Syrians. It’s up to you. All of them can be studied
through the synchronistic lens of readings. Why not?
In my doctoral research (1985), I studied readings of
eight members of an experimental dream group I was
conducting in San Francisco.
Subjects should not be limited by time or space either.
They could be your friends and neighbors today, or
just as easily, public and historical figures of the
past, fictional characters, even larger entities, such
as nation-states, ethnicities, gender studies, planets
in the solar system, or rats in the castle. Some
experiments I’ve tried have been addressed to the
dead. Some might be to the ‘yet-to-be born,’ the
“undead,” or even the “seemingly dead” like
your Aunt Agnes or Uncle Joe. There really is no limit
to whom or to what an experiment might be directed, or
invited in for questioning.
As with all good science, the experimenter must come to
the investigation with an unbiased and open mind. This
is no different than the proper attitude of a Tarot reader
coming to a reading, a psychotherapist coming to a
therapy session, or a nuclear scientist coming to an
electron. In fact, it may be a general rule of life.
Rule number one: Leave your “ego” behind, it’s
contaminated. This includes your personal beliefs,
theories, preferences, credentials, accomplishments,
and opinions, even your knowledge itself. Leave them
at the door. This way the Tarot oracle can do the heavy
lifting, as it should.
(Excerpted from Art's new book, Tarot of the Future:
Raising Spiritual Consciousness.)
Dr. Art Rosengarten is Director/Psychologist of
Moonlight Counseling (www.moonlightcounseling.com)
in Solama Beach, California and creator of Tarot of The
Nine Paths: Advanced Tarot Deck for the Spiritual Traveler.
He is a featured presenter at the 2018 Tarot & Psychology
Conference in New York.
Best Practices for Professional Readers
CAVEATS, DISCLAIMERS AND
By Gina Thies
www.tarotadvisor.com / www.facebook.com/tarotreaders
www.tarotcoupling.com / www.oraclesoup.org
Read the fine print! One may suppose that this commonly
used verbiage isn’t necessary for simple interactions.
But for those of us in the business of foresight, forewarning
and “parahelper” roles, it is a very necessary part of business.
The fine print and warnings on such things as coffee
cups like CAUTION: CONTENTS VERY HOT! or
PROFESSIONAL DRIVER - DO NOT ATTEMPT
amuse me. However, it’s very entertaining until it isn’t.
The realization is that people need such warnings
because, well – we’re only human!
I’ve learned over years of providing readings that it
is imperative to inform querents of what you can and
cannot do as a reader. I have also learned to use
caveats and notices all over my website, and I also
give a brief “spiel” to new clients on what to
expect in a reading with me and my services.
Why?...because people tend to gloss over the fine
One of the other areas where it is important to provide
a notice is about the terms of using your website and
acceptance of payments. In the last few years many
payment gateways or merchant services have declined
business with tarot readers/psychics because they have
to deal with too many charge-back issues. I have
managed to only encounter 3 in over 15 years, 2.5 of
which I’ve won!
Clear stipulation for using your services whether in
the form of a notice, disclaimer or otherwise informing
the end user of the terms of service will save a lot of
confusion and unpleasant surprises.
You'll find my own Code/Caveats here:
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