Monthly Archives: July 2012

Conversations Overheard – Temperance/Hierophant

I have been trying to think of ways in which I could make the Birth Card pairs come to life. I thought that it might be fun to have a Birth Card pair chatting over coffee or drinks. I was going to work with the gentlest Birth Card pair that I could find, just so the conversation would be, shall we say, a “nice, quiet one” Best laid plans, and all of that. The first two individuals that choose to speak were the ones that were the hardest for me to write about – The Devil and The Lovers. They choose to speak over drinks … fair warning! Today’s Birth Card pair are Temperance and the Hierophant. We join them as they are walking through Butchart Gardens, in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Temperance takes the guise of Amelia DuBoise, a tall, slender fortyish red head. She is dressed in a peach colored silk pant suit by St. John, with pearls in her ears and a long strand of pearls around her neck. Her shoes are low heeled pumps by Bandolina in beige, and she carries a beige envelope purse by Yves Saint Laurent. The Hierophant takes the guise of Jonathon Vanders, a silver haired sixtyish gentleman, with an air of serenity surrounding him. He is wearing a cashmere sweater by Facconable, with dark gray slacks by John Varvatos, and tasseled black loafers by Salvatore Ferragamo.

Scene: Butchart Gardens, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. It is a  beautiful, sunny day – Amelia and Jonathon are slowly strolling around the lush grounds in quiet conversation.

“I absolutely love coming here.”, Amelia spoke, as they stopped in front of a colorful display of roses in the Rose Garden. “The seasons are all represented in stunning fashion … Mother Nature in all of her glory.”<p>

“The Butcharts were such lovely people to work with. They understood color, and how to mix flowers together for best effect. They also knew from their souls that the gardens they set up would last for many generations, and that they would be a much needed respite from the daily world.” Jonathon stood, hands in his pockets. Without saying, they both knew that not all of the people that they had worked with were of this caliber.

“Let’s walk over to the gazing ball … that is always interesting. People who take the time to gaze into it see things about themselves that they would never have known.”<p>

“Jonathon, you are so right! Set amongst the lovely flowers, the mindset is one of peace and tranquility. Just the right setting for tapping into Spirit. Each time we come here we have the opportunity to leave more information … to “freshen it up”, as it were. People think they are seeing flowers, and they smile, but the flowers are specific colors, with specific vibrations. No one leaves this area the same as when they came in.”<p>

“We need to help humanity restore its balance, to update values and beliefs, to put our spiritual base into the perspective of each chronological time. How many times have we done this!” Jonathon smiled. They had indeed done this many times, tweaking it so that it would be accepted. They both knew that this part of their work was almost finished. New times were coming, and how humanity related to Spirit, how they placed it in their lives, was going to become much more complex … or much simpler, depending on how one looked at things.<p>

As they left the gazing ball, they walked in the direction of the Fountain of the Three Sturgeons. Once there, they sat on the benches for a moment, mesmerized by the flow of the water. It was cool here, with a timeless quality to it.<p>

“Do you want to go through the Japanese Garden?” Jonathon said, as he turned to Amelia. He knew that she loved it there.<p>

“Yes, please! That is such a place of balance for me!” exclaimed Amelia.<p>

They walked over the short bridge, with its gently curving rail,  in companionable silence, taking time to look at the gentle brook that flowed underneath it.  They walked through the garden, admiring the foliage and the statuary. This was a place of statement … profound statement.<p>

“Let’s stop at the Star pond, and then head on over to the restaurant for lunch.”<p>

Jonathon looked at his watch and laughed. “Lunch? It is almost 2 pm – times flies when we visit these lovely gardens! Lunch it is! Did you know that Mr. Butchart used to keep his ducks in the Star pond?”

“You are always a font of information, Jonathon! Yes, I remember when you encouraged him to do just that. I think that you were a little surprised when it was brought together so quickly!”<p>

“In my defense, we had just started working with him at that time!”<p>

“Yes, we had. That was one of our easier assignments – the creation of Butchart Gardens. It has served its purpose well. Many have been healed by coming here, many more have been healed by working here.”

“Healed by working here … yes, that is true. Aligning with Mother Nature brings something together in the human nature. It allows room for peace, and for just “being”.”<p>

“Are we coming back for the concert and fireworks tonight?” Amelia asked.<p>

“Of course we are! I would not miss that for the world. I want to see how well the orchestra is doing (it was not easy getting them to all come together!). The pyro-technic crew – they are another story! They truly understand the work they are doing – on both a physical and a spiritual level.”<p>

The force of healing and balance, and the force of personal beliefs and traditions. Truly a gracious couple!<p>

Scans are from the “Tarot Lovers Tarot”, by Karyn Easton (

© July 2012 Bonnie Cehovet


Posted by on July 26, 2012 in Birth Card Pairs, Tarot


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Conversation Overheard – Justice/High Priestess

Conversation Overheard –

Justice/High Priestess

I have been trying to think of ways in which I could make the Birth Card pairs come to life. I thought that it might be fun to have a Birth Card pair chatting over coffee or drinks. I was going to work with the gentlest Birth Card pair that I could find, just so the conversation would be, shall we say, a “nice, quiet one” Best laid plans, and all of that. The first two individuals that choose to speak were the ones that were the hardest for me to write about – The Devil and The Lovers. They choose to speak over drinks … fair warning! Today’s Birth Card pair are Justice and the High Priestess. These are two calm, dignified ladies. We join them over lunch at . The High Priestess is represented by Jaqueline Lefevre, dark haired, with deep brown eyes. Justice is represented by Edith LeCroix, blond, with gray eyes.

Scene: The Baguette Cafe, in Las Vegas. It is a noon on a weekday, and the cafe is humming with activity. The decor is in subtle shades of cream and pale blue, the tables covered with gleaming white cloths. The atmosphere is one of “doing business”. You just know that serious things are happening at these innocent looking tables! Two women are seated at a table in a bay window overlooking a gardened terrace. The shorter woman, Jacqueline Lefevre, is seated on the left hand side of the table. Her dark hair tumbles over her shoulders, and her light pink suit is complimented by gold earrings and a gold necklace. She is wearing mauve open toed heels, and carrying a mauve clutch purse. Sitting opposite her is Edith LeCroix. Slightly taller than Jaqueline, she has short blond hair, and is wearing a light blue business suit. She is wearing light gray heels, and carrying a light gray clutch purse. Both women favor French nails, cut short.

The waiter appears at their table. “Are you ladies ready to order?”

“Yes, please”, Jaqueline responded. “I would like an omelet pannini, with a small salad and coffee.”

Edith smiled – “Ever the omelets!”

Jaqueline laughed. “I know, I am very predictable!”

Edith looked up at the waiter. “I will have the soup of the day, a side salad, and a croissant.”

The waiter responded “And what would you like to drink with that?”

“Please bring me coffee.”

As the waiter hurried away to place their order, the two women looked at each other.

“Jacqueline, I am so glad that you could make it for lunch. We never seem to have much time to check in with each other any more.”

“I know, the world seems to be moving so fast. It is sometimes hard to stay grounded, and yet do what we need to do. It was a wonder that we found this place – a bit of a respite in the busy world of day to day life. I have never seen so many people in one place who know who they are, why they are here, and where they are going.”

“And here I thought people came here for the food!” Edith laughed.

Jaqueline raised her eyebrow in mock severity. “I know very well that you can see the lights dancing around most of the people sitting here. This café is a point of contact for those ready to move into the future, and those who have made the agreement to help them get there.”

“And here I thought that I was the serious one!” Edith picked up her delicate coffee cup, inhaling deeply of the rich scent. “My guess is that many, if not all of the people here have worked with you.”

“Yes, they have. Either that, or they have worked with people who have worked with me. The mysteries can be accessed in many different ways, but it has to be direct access. There really is not need at this time for an intermediary. The Prophets and seers of ancient times were there because people were not ready to access the wisdom directly. They needed the sense of “one off” to be comfortable.”

Both women were silent for a moment, reflecting on times past. “Access to the mysteries has actually made my job a bit easier.” Edith smiled as she said that. “The human race knows that is needs to be accountable for itself, for thoughts and actions. And they are recognizing that this is on a global, country, city, local community, and individual basis. Blaming the individual or entity above them for the consequences of some action no longer holds true. Fairness and equality are spiritual qualities, only reflected through the laws of the land. We still see different versions of “As Above, So Below” in different countries, but the thought is there.”

The waiter brought their lunch, placing it before them with a flourish. “Is there anything else that I can get you ladies?”

Both women indicated that they were fine, and began eating their lunch. The Baguette was known for the quality of its food – calling itself a café was a misnomer. The menu had a decidedly French flair, and the food was always fresh and plentiful.

“Is there any way that I can be of help to you? Anything that I can make known that would increase the consciousness of accountability?”

Edith responded “No, I don’t think so. We don’t want to make too much available too soon. This is a very precarious time for humans – they are taking in wisdom at an enormously accelerated rate, but we still don’t want to overload them.”

“I agree. I am pleased to see that they are taking accountability. They are floundering with the greening of earth, but they will learn. Mother Earth has a way of speaking up for herself – she won’t allow the balance of nature to get too precarious. What was will never be again – many species are extinct, many more about to be – but that was written into the Master Plan. It is simply that it can go no further.”

Their waiter was standing at their table, ready to clear the lunch dishes. “What would you ladies like for desert?” he asked.

They both spoke at the same time: “The sampler plate, please!”

The waiter smiled. “Would you like more coffee with that, or perhaps a glass of wine?”

They both asked for more coffee, which was immediately refilled. In the blink of an eye they had a lovely blue patterned plate in front of them. It was covered with a lace doily, upon which were placed several small cakes and bon bons.

The women drank their coffee and devoured the pastries. This was heaven! Every day should have a respite like this!

The check was paid, and Jacqueline and Edith exited together. It would have been of interest to anyone watching them that as they turned to walk down the sidewalk there was a sparkle of energy in the air, then nothing. Both women had vanished. The waiter smiled – he knew they would be wherever they needed to be, and that they would with certainty grace the café again.

The images shown are from the “Tarot Lovers’ Tarot”, by Karyn Easton (

© July 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

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Posted by on July 15, 2012 in Birth Card Pairs, Tarot


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Review – Le Tarot des Femmes Erotiques

Le Tarot des Femmes Erotiques

Created by: The Witches at
Images curated from vintage erotica collections

Le Tarot des Femmes Erotiques

The most beautiful women of the
early 20th century echo tarot’s
traditional images in a complete
deck offering divinatory depth,
power and delight.
An intimate window on history, an
esoteric tool of personal discovery.
(from the card accompanying the deck)

“Le Tarot des Femmes Erotiques” is a 78 card deck, created by the witches at It is a traditional deck in that it follows the 22 card Major Arcana, 56 card Minor Arcana template. Justice is VIII, Strength is XI. The suits are Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles. The Court cards are Novice, Lady, Chatelaine, and Queen.

The Major Arcana has been renamed as follows:

The Fool – The Fool
The Magician – The Magician
The High Priestess – The Witch
The Empress – The Goddess
The Emperor – The Abbess
The Hierophant – The Shaman
The Lovers – The Lovers
The Chariot – The Chariot
Justice – Justice
The Hermit – The Hermit
The Wheel of Fortune – The Wheel
Strength – Strength
The Hanged Man – The Fairy
Death – Death
Temperance – Temperance
The Devil – The Devil
The Tower – The Tower
The Star – The Star
The Moon – The Moon
The Sun – The Sun
Judgment – Rebirth
The World – The World

The cards come in a beautiful, lavender colored hard cardboard box, with a life off top. The card name is on the top of the box, in gold lettering, with the image of the Two of Cups. There is no LWB (Little White Book) that accompanies the deck, but there is a PDF download of the card meaning on the site –

From the PDF:

The Magician
As Above, So Below. Her body is only slightly hidden by the fabric, but herface conceals all. Will she teach you? The appearance of this card indicates you’re in a time where much power is flowing through your life, where you can juggle the four elements like stones. Present in your life is much skill, craft, and cunning.

The Shaman
Accept the Mystery. Here is a woman who charms the snakes. Although nude, she is in complete control. How does she do this? This card is about ritual and conventionality. Ritual is neither required or sufficient, but a gratuitous grace. Conventionality in its ceremonial garb is not always restrictive, but a well-traveled path toward mystery.

Ace (of Cups)
The Gift of Loving. She sits on the floor, her body naked and in profile. A string of beads flows over her arm and around her neck. In another life, perhaps she was a mermaid. The chalice—is she offering it to us? Cups express the element of Water. The energies of Cups tell us about the love that is in our heart, sometimes romantic, sometimes for friends, sometimes a loving connectedness of our heart to the heart of the universe. When this card appears, everything is better, because everything is better with love.

Chatelaine (of Pentacles)
She Who Controls the Money. Dressed in a toga, belt, and sandals, she
commands the little gods of the world. Someone in your life will be your
mentor, and show you how success in the world is to be obtained.

The cards are 3 1/3” by 5”. The card backs show the same deep lavender coloring of the box, with the deck name in gold lettering, above the image of the Magician. Gold accents run across the bottom and up the sides of the card back, which is not reversible.

The card faces show a yellowish/gold background, with a gold accent border set ¼” in from the side. The images were carefully curated from vintage erotica collections that are available on eBay, and are sepia colored. I found them to be thought provoking, and to embody the energy of the cards that they represent.

The Major Arcana show the card title at the top, and keywords across the bottom. The Pips (numbered cards) show the card icon across the top (beautifully crafted small icons, with the number of icons indicating the card number), and the card theme across the bottom. The Court Cards show the card title across the top of the card, with the suit icon on either side, and the card theme across the bottom. All lettering on the cards is in gold.

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This deck intrigues me. A few of the cards that stood out were the Nine of Wands (A Pause in the Struggle), the Chatelaine of Wands (Friend of Women), the Ace of Cups (The Gift of Loving), the Two of Cups (Romance), the Lady of Cups (She Seeks Intuitive Wisdom), the Five of Swords (Defeat of the Mind), the Six of Swords (Retreat From Travail), the Nine of Pentacles (Solitary Creativity), the Novice of Pentacles (Opportunity), the Fool (Begin Life’s Adventure), the Magician (As Above, So Below), the Shaman (Accept the Mystery), and the Hermit (Withdraw, and Change Direction).

This is a beautifully done deck, and carries the themes through well. While it’s primary appeal may be as an art deck, it could also work as a reading deck.

“Le Tarot des Femmes Erotiques” can be purchased here – .

© July 2012 Bonnie Cehovet


Posted by on July 13, 2012 in Tarot



Review – Tarology – The Poetics of Tarot

The Poetics of Tarot

With: Enrique Enriquez
Film By: Chris Deleo and Kimberlie Naughton

A documentary is something that, to my knowledge, is very new to the Tarot world. As the Tarot is considered best viewed as a story, this documentary becomes an oral history of present day Tarot. No, it does not delve into Tarot history. What it does is explore the Tarot through the eyes of New York based Tarotist Enrique Enriquez. Why do I seem to be emphasizing Enriquez’ home base? Because New York is a very active, exciting city, where one finds a diversity of both people and ideas. We enter a new world as Enriquez takes us around the city, literally showing us the Tarot in real life.

The oral history aspect of this documentary is given even more depth through the inclusion of short interviews with various people in the present day Tarot world, including Rachel Pollack, Marcus Katz, Mary K. Greer, Robert Place, Carrie Paris, Shawn Nacol, Dan Pelletier, Wald Amberstone, Donnaleigh de LaRose, Paul Nagy, Sasha Graham, Thalassa, Camelia Elias, and many more. There are also contributions from non- Tarot individuals including Seb Leon, Kevin W. Haus, and Christian Scheidemann.

The documentary runs for approximately 90 minutes, with an additional two hours of bonus material featuring extended interviews and deleted scenes. From the main menu, you can choose to either watch the video (which I will be doing many times over!), or you can watch individual interviews, interviews done at the 2011 and 2012 Readers Studios, and an awe inspiring journey through the Marseilles Tarot physical postures with Enriquez.

I loved the Readers Studio interviews, as this is a wonderful way for those in the Tarot world to see and hear the people that they interact with on the Internet in a relatively “in person” manner. This alone is worth the price of admission! We are invited into Rachel Pollack’s home, to listen to her talk about the Tarot, and to actually get to see the paintings behind her “Shining Tribe” Tarot, and hear a bit of the background behind the cards.

Robert Place speaks just as expressively as Enriquez does – his hands never stop moving! And in the background … I sat there drooling, as there were literally stacks upon stacks of books on every surface behind him! Seventh heaven!

With Camilia Elias we get a bit of background into the work that Enriquez does, including an explanation of just what poetics is.

Where to begin with Enriquez and the main video. Just jump in, I think. I will ramble on for a few, babble a bit, and hope that some of my excitement will come through in a manner that is comprehensible! I have followed Enriquez’ work for some time now, and admire him greatly. If he were a different kind of person, his views (which are non-traditional, to say the least!) would cause either a minor riot, or a major schism within the Tarot community. I found it interesting that it was through Tarot that Enriquez was able to connect to New York City when he first moved there. To begin with, Enriquez sees the Tarot as a “fringe activity” in modern day life, as opposed to being a mainstream source of wisdom. He does not believe in divination, he does not pay any attention to Tarot’s esoteric background, or anything written about the cards.

The pasteboard masquerade for him is the images the cards hold. For him, the older Tarot decks act as cultural artifacts. His work is with the Marseilles Tarot – in this video he pays homage to the late French artisan Jean-Claude Flornoy, and two of the decks that Flornoy restored – the Jean Dodal Tarot and Jean Noblet Tarot. I am going to insert a link here that is not in the video, but I am going to include anyway. It is the link to Enriquez’ 2010 interview with Jean-Claude Flornoy –

Enriquez feels that we can update what we say about the cards without updating the imagery. He feels that the most appropriate imagery is that of the decks that he regards as cultural artifacts – the older decks in the Marseilles tradition. He states that the Marseilles Tarot has a very specific language of its own. He is very much about the movement shown in the cards – paying attention to the hands, paying attention to the body posture. How this flows from card to card in a reading is incredible when you watch him do it!

I have to say this – Enriquez and the film makers (Chris Deleo and Kimberlie Naughton) did such a tremendous job in making this video not only shine as far as content go, but flow in a very unique manner. You do not want to move away from your screen when watching this video. It is not something that you can listen to while doing something else – you must watch every nano-second, or you will miss something important!

Enriquez has a timber to his voice, and a way of speaking, that makes you want to listen. Even when he is saying “Toss aside everything that you know, and try this” (and no, he did NOT say that, but he is asking that we open our minds to a different way of doing things), you want to listen!

We walk with him through one of the most expressive, vibrant cities in the U.S. – New York City. We watch as he draws on sidewalks and walls – draws with chalk, but also draws with his whole body. His focus is on the body posture in the images, and how it changes.

In different parts of the video he is walking around the city, pointing out the resemblance between signs and the images in the Tarot, and the structure of buildings and the Tarot. Once he points it out, you wonder why you never saw it before!

Before I forget, I am going to add something else here (I told you that I was going to ramble on!) – the background music was simply background music – it was appropriate, it was there, it helped hold things together, it helped to create mood – but it was never intrusive, it never wanted to take center stage.

At different points in the video Enriquez talks about letters – again, it was amazing! He was doing full scale drawings on the wall as he was talking – the letters really gained a life! Did you know that the letter “D” was a pregnant letter “I”? Did you know that the letter “C” was the letter “I” with its arms out around something? Poetics in action!

The action is sometimes inside (in a classroom, or in coffee shops), sometimes it is walking down the street, sometimes it is in lovely park settings. It is where it needs to be, and it is stunning! Watching Enriquez work is like watching a ballet dancer in his prime – incredible!

I personally want to thank Enriquez for including his family in this video (and to thank his family for being willing to be included!). We often see him walking with his young daughter – who is so lovely, so full of life and her very own wisdom!

As a final thought – and no, my thoughts are not in any particular order! – I share this with you: Enriquez sees the wisdom being passed on through the Tarot as craftsmanship. It is all about the early craftsman, all about the early Marseilles images.

A small sample of Enrique’s work can be seen here in the “Tarology – The Poetics of Tarot” trailer – .

If this video touches you, and you want to learn more about the Language of the Birds, please visit Enrique’s blog – . You can also find him on his Face Book page – .

© July 2012 Bonnie Cehovet


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Posted by on July 8, 2012 in Tarot


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Review – The New Tarot Handbook

The New Tarot Handbook
Master the Meanings of the Cards

Author: Rachel Pollack
Llewellyn Worldwide
ISBN #978-0-7387-3190-2

“The New Tarot Handbook” is a 280 page journey through the magical world of the Tarot. In her introduction she talks about the influence that author Eden Gray had on her Tarot studies. She refers to her as the mother of modern Tarot studies, noting that while Gray’s book (“Tarot Revealed”) was written in a very short, concise manner, it was also backed by a world of wisdom. Pollack is revising that tradition – short, direct, yet backed by deeper knowledge and wisdom. IMHO, Pollack has succeeded in a stellar fashion!

Pollack advises the reader to work with this book in whatever manner seems right to them. In her introduction to the Major Arcana, she talks about the “Fool’s Journey”, with the Fool representing the soul, who travels from birth, through the challenges of life, to death and beyond, to spiritual enlightenment.

How does this journey go? How can we best study it? We are accustomed to seeing this journey represents in one of two ways – divided in half, or divided into thirds (with the Fool standing above the cards). This time we see a couple of interesting changes – the cards divided in half (1-10, and 11-20, with the Fool and the World at either end of the row between them, or divided in half (1-10, and 12-21), with the Fool standing above, and Justice standing in between. In dividing the =Major Arcana into thirds, the Fool sits above, with the three lines being 1-7, 8-14, and 15-21. The 3X7 version has always been my favorite – it can be studied vertically as three rows of seven cards each, or horizontally as seven rows of three cards each.

Note: In the 3X7 version, the first seven cards are seen as the outer challenges of life (growing up, dealing with parents and society, learning to love, creating a successful life). The second row of seven cards are seen as representing a profound transformation, ending with the death of everything that once seemed important. The third row of seven cards are seen as representing what Pollack refers to as the “Liberation of Light”.

Each Major Arcana card is presented with a black and white image, keywords, a discussion of the card, divinatory meanings, reversed meanings, and a short reading that will help the reader place the energy of each card in their life. I think the reading that was presented with each card was my favorite part of the book! Each reading was given a specific form, with a magical Nike-like “swoop” above it! Absolutely entrancing! (Note: the “swoop” is also across the keywords, but it really shines in highlighting the readings!)

Sample keywords from the book:

The Fool: freedom, risk, young in spirit, immature
The Hermit: alone, wisdom, guidance, maturity
The Devil: obsessions, bad relationships, low desires or beliefs (but also sexual life energy).

A sample reading from the book:


1 2
3 4
5 6

1. How am I strong?
2. How am I weak?
3. What do I need to be strong?
4. When do I need to be weak?
5. What strengthens me?
6. What weakens me?

In the introduction to the Minor Arcana, Pollack discusses the suits and their associations, and the numbers, and their associations. From the book:

Wands; Fire – masculine energy – action, optimism, sexual desire, adventure, forcefulness, competition

Cups: Water – feminine energy – emotion, love, relationship, imagination, happiness, sadness, family

Swords: Air – mind – mental activity, conflict, heroism, grief, justice, injustice

Pentacles: Earth – body – nature, work, money, possessions, security

Each card is presented with a black and white image, the associated element, the theme, a discussion of the card’s energy, divinatory meanings, and reversed meanings.

Note: The theme remains the same throughout the suits for each specific number. How this plays out is determined by the card’s associated element.

From the book:

The Six of Wands
Element- Fire
Theme – unequal relationship, generosity

The Five of Cups
Element – Water
Theme – Difficulties

The Nine of Swords
Element – Air
Theme – intensity, high degree

The Six of Pentacles
Element – Earth
Theme – unequal relationship, generosity

The Court Cards are presented with a black and white image, elemental combination, physical quality, theme, a discussion of the card, divinatory meanings, and reversed meaning.

From the book (physical quality):

Page of Wands: a child or young person with light hair and blue eyes
Page of Cups: a child or young person with light brown hair and gray or hazel eyes.
Page of Swords: a young person with brown hair and brown eyes
Page of Pentacles: a young person with very dark brown or black hair and black eyes

At the end of the book Pollack discusses how to do a reading, and presents several different two and three card spreads, a five-card spread entitled The Doorway Spread, a five-card spread entitled Dr. Apollo’s All-Purpose spread, and a traditional ten card Celtic Cross spread.

The energy of this book is fresh, and flows well. A true gift to reader’s of all levels of experience!

© July 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

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Posted by on July 7, 2012 in Tarot


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Review – An Introduction to Transformative Tarot Counseling

An Introduction to
Transformative Tarot Counseling
The High Art of Reading

Author: Katrina Wynne, M.A.
Cover Art: Qahira Lynn
Sacred Rose Publishing
ISBN #978-1-937493-09-7

“For all those who love Tarot
and desire to live
its wisdom.”
Katrina Wynne, M.A.

“Transformative Tarot Counseling” – that says it all! Tarot truly done is a form of counseling, even if the intent behind the reading is divination. It is indeed the “High Art of Reading”! Wynne defines “Transformative” and “Counseling” as follows:

“Transformative – allowing change to emerge. It is the process by which magic can occur. Magic is the fine art of changing from one form to another, moving from the known through the unknown, bringing the unconscious to light.”

“Counseling” – the practice of interacting with others in an affirming and supportive way. The skills utilized in this style of working with Tarot reading respects the client’s wisdom, and boundaries, allowing a deeper experience of the cards.”

This 81 page book makes a dynamic statement for Tarot as a tool of empowerment. It honors both the reader and the client, and allows them to both see the cards through the eyes of the client. The issues involved are the client’s, the understanding is the client’s, and the actions to be taken are up to the client. The reader is there to assist in the process.

Insight and integration are the goals of Transformative Tarot Counseling (TTC). Wynne writes: “The goal of a Transformative Tarot Counselor ™ is to provide a safe and professional environment to afford the client the opportunity to go as deeply into their process as they choose to proceed, within the “scope of practice” of the reader.

In her chapter on “Tarot Magic and Change”, Wynne defines a reader’s “scope of practice” as knowing when to refer a client to an appropriate and effective healing or helping professional. She also recommends that it is in their best interest for readers learn more about counseling skills and ethics, so that they are better able to understand the delicate role that a reader occupies when serving the public, and so that they understand their limitations.

Personal note – I wholeheartedly agree! Every reader needs to develop a list of professionals that can be used as recommendations for their clients as appropriate (issues of elder care, substance abuse, rape, depression etc.

The Tarot is at heart a transformational journey – the Fool’s Journey, a journey of individuation. It transforms through the use of symbols and imagery. Wynne calls this the “Sacred Journey of the Soul”. She then goes on to discuss Israel Regardie’s connection between magic, psychology, and individual transformation. He defined the basic stages of magic as (1) Divination, (2) Evocation and Vision, (3) Invocation, and (4) Initiation. At the end of this chapter there is a thought provoking section on how these four stages of magic appear in a reading.

The “dialectical method”, developed by the 19th century philosopher Hegel, is then discussed. Here we see the concepts of Thesis, Antithesis, and Synthesis. In reference to a Tarot reading, this describes the dynamic tension brought out during a reading between the client’s issue(s), what the reading presents, and new concepts/ways of looking at the issue(s) that are developed from the reading. Wynne makes a very important point when she notes that each card has the potential of evoking a response from the client.

Throughout this book Wynne gives working examples of how the concepts she is discussing actually work in a reading. This is of great benefit to experienced readers, as well as those who are relatively new to reading the Tarot.

The chapter on Jung and Alchemy talks about the process of individuation as defined by Jung, as well as the archetype of the Shadow (the hidden parts of our personality that we are afraid to look at, our fears). The Shadow is often viewed as repressed or suppressed energy that can show up in a reading. In looking at the two types of readings she discussed earlier in the book, Wynne notes in this chapter that the insight-oriented reading style (basically an interpretive style of reading) stops at the Albedo stage of the alchemical process. The TTC method offers an experience of the cards message, and supports the transformative potential of the client (and the reader).

One of the most important chapters in this book, if not the most important chapter, is on counseling skills. It is one thing to understand the Tarot (or any modality that functions as a tool of empowerment), it is a totally other thing to be able to work with a client in making best use of that modality, and doing so in an ethical manner. In this chapter, Wynne discusses counseling versus predictive reading styles, following or leading the client in a reading, engaging the client in their own reading, employing the skills of patience, the ability to listen well, the reader being aware of their own psychic impressions, transference, compassion, and more.

In her chapter on ethics and responsibilities, Wynne addresses the responsibility to honor the needs and boundaries of the clients. She also emphasizes the need for each individual reader to develop their own ethical guidelines. I loved that this chapter was broken down into for areas: (1) ethical guidelines, (2) power dynamics, (3) boundaries, and (4) legal issues. Examples are included throughout this chapter that help make it easier to understand this material.

Sample readings are presented so that anyone working with this book (yes, one works with this book, one does not just read it!) can put the information presented to actual use. All levels of readers will benefit from these sample readings. Wynne has also included a short write-up about how to follow the TTC reading process, which I find very beneficial.

At the end of the book is a bibliography including books and online resources. This small book is the beginning of a much larger process … I encourage anyone that wants to bring more depth to their readings (including readings for themselves) to include this book in their library!

© July 2012 Bonnie Cehovet


Posted by on July 5, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Review – My Tarot Journal

My Tarot Journal

Author: Katrina de Witt
Create Space
ISBN #978-1447622292

I believe that I have just come across one of the most valuable tools that a Tarot student (or a Tarot reader) could have in Katrina de Witt’s “My Tarot Journal”. At 11 inches by 8.5 inches, and 490 pages, this is a book to be reckoned with! The cover backs its up – a white background, with the image of a Raven with its wings spread over a central image, that of a woman, dressed in black, with a Raven on her left wrist. In the upper right hand corner of the image we see the limbs of a tree, with a full moon behind it.

The front page makes one sit up and take note – under the heading “My Tarot Journal” it has a line for the journal keeper’s name, the date the journal was started on, and the deck that was used. All levels of Tarot student will feel at home using this journal, and the template is set up so that all styles of Tarot decks (Rider-Waite-Smith, Rider-Waite-Smith derivatives, Thoth and Marseille) can be used.

This journal is the journal keeper’s journal – i.e. the individual that keeps the journal will decide how it is to be used. You can study an entire deck, individual cards, record readings, and much more! Your imagination is the limit here! Don’t limit yourself to your deck and its companion book – bring in any resources that you wish – Tarot, Runes, I Ching – your only limitations are the ones that you place on yourself.

The presentation for each card starts with a blank page. De Witt suggests that this page may be used to be creative – to define the image of the card as you see it. The book is a large one, so you could place a scan of the card (or the card itself) on one part of the page, and a collage of the card’s energy, or a personal drawing, elsewhere on the page.

There is a template presented for each card, including the following categories:

Keywords/Reversed Keywords
Personal Description
Significant Details
Color Symbolism
Symbolic Correspondences
Astrological Correspondence
Numerological Correspondence
Rune Correspondence
I Ching Correspondence
Elemental Correspondence
Alchemical Correspondence
Cabalistic Correspondence
General Interpretation
Person and Personality Traits
Work, Career, Education
Finances and Home
Personal Relationships
Health and Healing
Path Working

At the beginning of each suit of cards, the following categories are presented:

Zodiac Signs
Elemental Spirit
Human Experience
Psychological Function
Life Stage
Highest Power
Areas of Influence
Less or Absent (suit)
More or Excessive (suit)
Strengthened By
Weakened By
(+) Positive
(-) Negative

I love the template for this book! I do plan to work with it – I just need to decide which deck I want to use. The emphasis for me will be on the Cabalistic connections, the Tree of Life, and Path Working. Each individual using this book will define what they want to do with it. Dream big!

© July 2012 Bonnie Cehovet


Posted by on July 4, 2012 in Tarot


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Incredible insight here!

Anthony Louis - Astrology & Tarot Blog

Robert Place is one of my favorite tarot authors.  He is a true scholar who knows the history of the tarot in fine detail.  Recently I came across an online interview with Robert done by tarot author Dusty White as part of his free lessons on the tarot.  The material was so fascinating, I took notes on Robert’s comments as I listened and decided to post them here.  Please don’t expect polished writing; the format is pretty much how I take notes when I listen to a lecture.  I highly recommend listening to the interview.  My notes just capture the main themes.

Here are my notes on the interview:

Robert Place is the creator of The Alchemical Tarot.  There is a new version available: The Alchemical Tarot Renewed (3rd Edition).  There is a new book Alchemy and the Tarot to accompany the deck.

The Hanged Man Card:  Gebelin discovered…

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Posted by on July 3, 2012 in Uncategorized