A Companion Course

The primary text for this course is Holistic Tarot: An Integrative Approach to Using Tarot for Personal Growth. This Companion Course consists of video lectures, which you can access by links below and Study Guides.

Please watch, check out, download, access, use bits and pieces of the companion course for free! Do not feel any hesitation about working with parts or watching the videos without payment. And please help me spread the word about the course and my book by sharing the video links or site pages freely!


The Companion Course to Holistic Tarot

I don’t think having a copy of Holistic Tarot is required for you to utilize this companion course or reap benefits from it. It does help, however, since I make references to pages in the book but don’t discuss the actual contents. The syllabus for the companion course is also a specific syllabus for navigating Holistic Tarot. Nonetheless, I was mindful of those who might not have the book and tried to craft a series of videos that would still be instructional for such folk.



The Holistic Tarot Companion Course consists of a video lecture series. Each video in the order that I recommend you watching them is linked below.

Closed captioning is provided for the Deaf and H/H, or if for any reason you need English subtitles, so once you are taken to the YouTube page, if you need closed captioning, be sure to click on the “CC” icon to turn the subtitles on.

Attn: Tarot Beginners

If you are new to tarot and don’t yet have a copy of Holistic Tarot, watch Videos 1, 2, 3, and 4 linked below. You can also watch the old 2014 book trailer announcing the publication of Holistic Tarot, here.

Then go to the Study Guides page and scan through the “Study Guide for the Beginner Tarot Student.” You can download the PDF directly by clicking on the below banner. You’ll then be working through Videos 5, 6, and 7 at your own leisure and discretion while you complete your Beginner level study.




Then work through the book, following the order recommended in the syllabus, and in your own time, watch the rest of the video lecture series.

Attn: Intermediate Readers and Beyond

Holistic Tarot is not light or riveting cover to cover reading that you’d take with you for a day at the beach. It’s not a thriller. It’s a reference manual that you dive into here and there for, you know, reference.

Continuing education as tarot readers is how we grow and deepen our practice. I still take beginner tarot courses from teachers with radically different approaches or styles from myself to add new dimensions to my own work. So if you’d like such a course, then start by skimming through the “Study Guide for Tarot Beginners” to see if anything in there interests you and “spot read.” Then watch Videos 1 through 7 linked below. Bear in mind that the video series is targeted specifically at tarot beginners.

Video 01: Introduction

4 minutes 44 seconds

An introduction to the classical and analytic approach to tarot that Holistic Tarot takes and how to work through this companion course. The video lectures will be academic in approach with the tone of graduate level curriculum.

Video 02: Symbolism

7 minutes 56 seconds

How classical studies in tarot deepens your grasp of symbolism. This video includes a quick dive into art history to demonstrate how knowledge of history and culture enriches your appreciation of symbolism.

Funny Personal Background Story Here: I had a dentist appointment prior to recording this video where I had three cavities filled. My mouth was shot up with numbing agents and I was drooling involuntarily. Still, I had already intended for my own schedule and to-do list to record the video that day so I persevered forward, swollen mouth notwithstanding. Unfortunately, for some of the beginning bits, I sound like I’m talking with a mouthful of cotton. Because I was.

Video 03: Journal & Cards

12 minutes 37 seconds

Keep a tarot journal by assembling the Holistic Tarot study guides, handouts, and your own journal notes into a three-ring binder. By the way, here are a few of my recommendations for RWS-based beginner tarot decks. An overview of the tarot structure, the Major Arcana and the four suits of the Minor Arcana, will also be covered.

Video 04: Superstitions (Part 1)

34 minutes 07 seconds

In this first of two installments on addressing myths, superstitions, and common lore around the tarot, we explore whether tarot is evil, superstitions around Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot, whether tarot came from Egypt, and some thoughts on tarot and the Bible.

Video 05: Superstitions (Part 2)

16 minutes 51 seconds

In this second installment on addressing myths, superstitions, and common lore around the tarot, we explore the zeitgeists from which the early cards sprang. Topics such as whether your first tarot deck needs to be gifted, how to store your tarot deck–in black silk or a wooden box, the correct way to shuffle a deck, card reversals, and the emotional value of superstitions are discussed.

Video 06: Cards & Spreads

31 minutes 52 seconds

We begin with an outline of tarot card trends over the last century, how to apply critical theory to interpret a tarot card (we’ll be using Key 13: Death to demonstrate), and talk about what a tarot spread is. Then take out your tarot deck and follow along a guided tarot reading with the Wirth Cross.

Video 07: Bonding With Your Deck

19 minutes 32 seconds

So you’ve got a new deck (either tarot or oracle). What does bonding with your deck mean? Why would you need to configure a deck by bonding with it? Presuming you are open to the idea, how do you bond with a deck? This video lecture addresses how to program 78 pieces of cardstock to your personal specifications. How do you take that off-the-rack tarot deck and custom tailor it to you? Suggestions are offered ranging from practical and mundane to the mystical and magical.

Toward the end of the video, I address the intermediate and advanced tarot readers, challenging them to make a concerted effort to bond with a tarot or oracle deck that is in direct contrast to their personal ideological and spiritual leanings.

* * *

Videos 01 through 07 coincide with the Study Guide for Tarot Beginners (PDF).

Videos 08 and onward will presume tarot proficiency commencing at the Intermediate level.



Before proceeding with the subsequent videos, begin putting together your Intermediate study tarot journal. Be sure to check out the supplemental downloads for the Intermediate level.

* * *

Video 08: Interpreting a Reading (Part 1)


In this first of two installments, we break down the various approaches to interpreting tarot cards by understanding different paradigms of critical theory. Significators and a simplified version of the first part of the First Operation from the Opening of the Key are taught. Guided tarot readings are used to demonstrate how critical theory becomes practical. Then we revisit the results from the guided Wirth Cross reading back in Video 6.

Video 8 Handout | Critical Theory Technique to Interpreting Tarot Cards (PDF)

8 x 8 JPG Image File   |   6 x 10 JPG Image File

Video 09: Interpreting a Reading (Part 2)


In this second installment on interpreting a tarot reading, we build upon the simplified First Operation instructed in Part 1, address court cards, and then take a tour of Waite’s version of the Celtic Cross.

This video lecture will also address how to deal with blanking out about a card meaning in the middle of a reading, feeling discouraged about being wrong or inaccurate, and–to the intermediate and advanced readers–how to overcome spiritual burn-out. Writers deal with writer’s block. Tarot readers deal with reader’s block. Here is what you can do about it.

Video 10: Rote & Active Learning


Applying educational psychology to learning tarot, this video lecture will cover techniques for both rote and active forms of learning the card meanings toward mastery of the craft. Through the course of the lecture, we’ll address tarot and the four elements, tarot and numerology, and how to advance your fluency at reading tarot.

Video 11: Knowledge & Wisdom


After rote and active learning processes comes meaningful learning. Meaningful learning of tarot is about building your knowledge base, expanding your psychic horizons, and attaining wisdom. How do you apply tarot knowledge toward the attainment of wisdom?

Do you need to master astrology, or psychology, numerology, the Kabbalah, Hermeticism, or any other –ism or –ology to become a masterful tarot reader? What is knowledge, what is wisdom, and what are the distinctions between the two as expressed through tarot archetypes?

Video 12: The Integrative Approach


What is the integrative approach to tarot? How do you use tarot productively toward personal growth? Whether you consider yourself deeply spiritual or not spiritual at all, learning tarot can and will optimize your decision-making abilities and help you navigate difficult situations.

Video 13: Closing Remarks


The companion course to Holistic Tarot is intended for Beginner level study and to guide that Beginner level to Intermediate. By Video 13, you will have completed the Intermediate level of study. After completing the course, where do you go from here? This video lecture will offer a few different directions. Also, in my closing remarks, I get personal and share what tarot has meant in my life.


New videos will be added to the tarot lecture series periodically. Be sure to check back or subscribe to my YouTube channel for updates.

New documents will also be added to the Study Guides page from time to time, so if you don’t want to miss out, add me on Twitter for updates.


Study Guides

Click on the below banner to access all syllabi, study guides, and supplemental downloads for the companion course.


Cost of Course

FREE, if…

… 5% of your average daily income is less than $13, or

… you’re unemployed, or

… you’re a student and still in school, or

… you’re a homemaker and do not personally earn an income, or

… you’re retired, or

… you’re a veteran, or

… you’re a client of mine who has booked multiple readings from me in the past. (Thank you, by the way.)

If you’re in school right now, then you should be saving your money, so don’t send me $13. The Asian mom in me will be very angry with you if you send me money. Save it and study hard. If you’re a homemaker and you’re not the breadwinner, I understand that in some family situations, expenditures can get a bit political and I don’t want to become inadvertently part of your worries, so if you don’t earn your own income, this course is free to you. Retired folks have a special place in my heart because my parents are retired and I don’t need to be accepting money from people like my parents. Veterans also have a special place in my heart because I like freedom.


$13 USD suggested donation

It’s a one time payment only, meaning just one donation of $13 covers all companion course materials, past, present, and including all future added materials.

As you can see, all course materials are made available to the public, so payment is on the honor system. And no, I don’t check or monitor people.

Why did I set it up this way? Because if 5% of your average daily income is over $13 USD, then that means you make over $67,600 per year. (260 working days in a year; about $260 for your daily income if you make $67,600, so 5% of $260 is $13.) If that’s your income and you reap the benefits of the complete course, meaning you’ve downloaded every study guide, handout, and enjoyed every video, then come on– you can fork over $13.

Remit payment by sending the dollar amount by PayPal to the e-mail address benebellwen@gmail.com. Yes, it’s going to say “James Zhang from Castro Valley.” That’s the Hubby.

You can also use the following link to pay by credit card:


Alternatively, pay the $13 by Amazon Gift Card, sent to benebellwen@gmail.com.

Direct link to Amazon gift card orders here.