About Benebell

I’m the author of Holistic Tarot (2015) and The Tao of Craft (2016), both published by North Atlantic Books. I’ve also created a tarot deck, the Spirit Keeper’s Tarot (First Edition, 2018; Vitruvian Edition, 2019), which comes with a companion guidebook, The Book of Maps.

For a more informal narration of my bio, check out:

About Me

Speaking Engagements

I’ve done speaking engagements about various metaphysical and occult topics at the Bay Area Theosophical Society, San Francisco Bay Area Tarot Symposium 2015, Northwest Tarot Symposium in Portland, Oregon in both 2016 and 2018, Stanford University, U.C. Berkeley, PantheaCon 2018 in San Jose California, and headlined as a master class presenter at Readers Studio 2018 in New York, New York alongside Mary K. Greer and Rachel Pollack, and a key presenter with Rachel Pollack at the 2018 U.K. Tarot Conference in London, England. In 2019 I headlined at the Masters of the Tarot conference hosted by the Omega Institute in Rhineback, New York. In 2021, I was a featured speaker at the inaugural Southeastern Tarot Artists and Readers Conference.

Send Mail To:

Benebell Wen
P. O. Box 20021
Castro Valley, CA 94546


What do you mean by “occult”?

For many, the word “occult” conjures a feeling of intimidation, fear, and the unknown, which becomes the breeding grounds for misapprehension and even bigotry. To me, the meaning of “occult” is simple: it’s the unseen side to whatever is presently visible to you. It is a property of space and how space acquires energy. My study of the occult is nothing more than the study of what I can intuit, but cannot perceive through my physical senses.

Should you be avoiding the occult? That depends on you. I am a strong proponent of education, in all areas, because knowledge enables us to be independent, and independence enables us to become transcendent. Yet there is wisdom to avoiding the occult, because when knowledge is wielded irresponsibly, you can use it to hurt people, even hurt yourself. Knowledge has the risk of being manipulated for disastrously selfish effects. That’s why I’m a proponent of pairing occult study side by side with religion-guided cultivation of virtue.

Should you be avoiding the occult? Well, is ignorance bliss? If you answer yes, then perhaps the occult should be avoided after all. Whether you want to understand the occult or not, it exists and unseen energies affect you. By understanding the occult, you learn how to navigate around those unseen energies so they don’t affect you or your loved ones in malefic ways. Occultism to me is just a science. You can choose to understand it so that it becomes technology or you can choose to ignore it and remain pushed around by Fate.

Social Media Connections

Twitter_tarotanalysis Instagram_bellwen Facebook_benebellwentarotyoutube_benebellwen_icon.jpg

For a full service listing of divinatory reading options I offer, click on the banner.
For a full service listing of divinatory reading options I offer, click on the banner.

64 thoughts on “About Benebell

  1. Pingback: Hello! An Introduction. | Benebell Wen

    1. Jeff

      Hi Benebell, super quick question–does your natal Mercury happen to be in Virgo? I saw your Sun, Moon, and Ascendant (and I share your Aquarius Ascendant and Leo Moon, though I have Sun in Virgo), and I’d be almost willing to bet you have Mercury in Virgo (having read your Holistic Tarot book and seen enough of your website and other materials) and given your Libra Sun, there’s a good chance Mercury would be in Virgo in your chart. Thanks so much for everything you do!


  2. Argus

    I’ve looked at Tarot with fascination. On my desk in front of me now my current favourite (Hanson-Roberts) although the Rider is almost equal. I once posted on a wee trial I conducted: it seemed that no matter how I shuffled I would randomly cut and produce The Star. So I took some numbers and it was quite unbelievable. Doesn’t happen now (a quick try: Nope! The Fool … )


    1. sybes1

      Wow. How have I missed your blog and review of The Wild Unknown Tarot before today?? Your review is very thoughtful and now (as a Tarot student) I wish I had books that would explain The RWS, the Thoth System and the Marseille system! Suggestions?? I love that you’re a lawyer (right brain/left brain) and that you live in Northern California! Me too!
      Anyway, now I am definitely a fan.


      1. Hi sybes1! Well, I can’t help but put in a plug for my own book, Holistic Tarot, which is keyed to the Rider-Waite-Smith. 🙂 You can learn more about the book if you click into the “About Holistic Tarot” link on my website. Thanks so much! – b


  3. Argus

    I think I’ve deleted it. I’ve just been googling all my blogs, no joy. (Recently I revamped and cleared quite a bit of old stuff.)

    But: in essence, new pack, effectively doodling with it by absent-mindedly shuffling and cutting I noticed that one card was coming up way more often than by random. So I did a wee unofficial trial and tallied my results over quite a few tries.

    The Star came up about nine times, Fool about five, other trumps more or less filled out the balance in dribs and drabs. I don’t think there were any minor arcana at all, which is really unexpectable. I was so impressed I posted. Dammit~!

    I may just try the whole exercise again, sometime, see what happens. Don’t wait up …


  4. @ Jenna: I didn’t know about the tarot conference in China! Sadly I couldn’t get the link to work on my end, but I love the idea and will go hunting around for more info. Thanks!

    Re: comparative analysis of I Ching and Tarot: that would probably take a book! I do get into it a little bit, at least superficially, in the book I just wrote on tarot.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: New Release: Holistic Tarot | NAB Communities

  6. Hello Benebell,

    I just found your book. (I love most everything North Atlantic does! Can’t wait to dig in.)

    I’d love to have you on my podcast in February to talk about it . . .

    My name is Douglas Bolles and I cohost an online “radio” show called 42 Minutes in which we naturally discuss “the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything”. The podcast is recorded Tuesday mornings at 11:11 am Eastern, and has its genesis in a book that came out September, 2011 (The Sync Book), of which both my cohost and I are authors. I live in Boise, and my cohost is in Denver. We explore connection, and meaning normally, and its relationship to art, and the intuitive artistic process. We also really like synchronicity.

    If you have any interest in participating in a short interview (only 42 minutes) with individuals keenly interested in meaning, existence, myth, and art, please get in touch with me and we’ll get you on the schedule! (Feb. 17th?)

    Thank you for your consideration,
    and I look forward to this lovely book!


    Douglas Bolles


  7. Hello lovely,

    So happy to find your blog, I am a fan of tarot too! I am currently doing a 30 tarot challenge on my blog 🙂 I am definitely going to be interested in following your posts!

    Love & Light!


  8. Hi Benebell! My name is Linnea Gits. I am a designer and artist and am a partner in a small design studio in Chicago called “Uusi”. I started work on a tarot deck (based on the Marseille tarot) a few months ago for our studio as we loved the direct, simple and almost holistic approach of that early deck and it’s tantric-like modernity with the graphics. Our studio focuses on finding the essential beauty in everyday items and we couldn’t resist exploring the undeniable and exceptionally relevant power that the universal, yet intimate images of the tarot held.

    Last week, half way through designing our deck I suddenly felt the need to move out of my intuitive approach to these symbols and read more about them. I didn’t want a claustrophobic direction manual. I wanted something almost painterly, soulful yet deeply serious and practical. It seemed like an impossible combination (much like the tarot itself!), but then I stumbled on your book and it is exactly what I was dreaming of!!! I haven’t been able to put it down and I can’t thank you enough for using your natural talents so beautifully and generously to underscore the deeply meditative side of the tarot and bring it back into the modern conversation.

    Linnea Gits


    1. Thank you, Linnea!

      The Brut Tarot looks amazing and I just backed your Kickstarter campaign. I’m excited and can’t wait for it to come out! I also love the TdM and wish you the best of luck with your deck!

      Btw, your studio’s products are all so amazing! I’m in love!

      – b


  9. Hi Benebell!

    Thank you for your wonderful compliment on our work and also for backing our BRuT tarot on KS – very cool!! I was wondering if it would be possible to get your permission to share your book with our backers? So many of them are playing card collectors who are braving the deep waters of the tarot for the first time because they collect Uusi decks. However, many of them are becoming intrigued with the tarot and have asked us for a book we would recommend so they can learn more about it. Your book is an exceptional resource and one we would love to share with them. Just let me know if that would be ok. If you’d like, you can email me at the studio with any imagery, links or content you would like to share. studio@uusi.us

    All the best,


  10. I am part way through your book, and I am finding it extremely good… so thorough, and I like the way that you combine eastern and western thought. I myself love the psychological approach, so this book does resonate with me, but above all, it is the breadth and depth of the knowledge that makes this a truly monumental text! well done… a true classic.


    1. Hi Joanna! I checked out your website and LOVE the content! Wow. Color me impressed. I’m now a follower. I’m so grateful to hear that my book resonated with you! I know it’s keyed to the RWS and by the title of your site, you’re a Thothy. (I work with the Thoth, too, and pull it out for the “important” readings from time to time.) So happy to hear from you, truly, and I wish you the best of luck on your Thoth journey. I’ll be reading along on that journey and can’t wait to see what’s in store! Lots of love, B.


  11. Jillian

    Just randomly stumbled across your blog and am excited to add it to my reading list. I have been trying to learn more about the Tarot craft for the last ten years. I too am an attorney from northern California and am inspired that you’ve made time in your life for your non legal interests. Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of your book.


    1. Hi Jillian:

      Nice to meet a fellow NorCal attorney! Glad you didn’t say SoCal attorney! ;-D Just kidding. Well, half-kidding.

      I hope the book proved useful for you and I’d love to chat more with you on tarot any time!

      – b


    1. Hi Ron!

      I don’t have any cards for sale, so I’m not sure. Oh– you mean my Chinese oracle script cards? Oh, have at it! Please! Share away! Do as you will. I think I stated as much in the accompanying Guidebook. Yes– share on FB, Pinterest, your site, everywhere! No need to link back here but if you private-message me a link so I can take a peek (only to satiate my personal curiosity!) that’d be so cool!
      – b


  12. Tony

    Hello, I was just reading an extract of your book on Amazon and I thought it must be good as you don’t say the the two sphinxs are pulling in two directions (they are not are they, it’s just the way they are painted so we can see them from the side).


  13. Tennessee

    Hi Benebell: I am in awe of your productivity on your blog. How in the world do you manage to blog, do tarot readings, write books AND work a day job at the same time? I’d love to know your secret.


    1. I get asked this question more frequently than any other question, even from my own family! Just the other day it was 7 am and my sister was texting me. I mentioned I was baking and making seasoned croutons at the moment and then she went, “Ugh. I don’t know how you find the time for everything. Freakin’ making your own croutons on the same morning you have court?!”

      I don’t think there is any secret to it. I just plan, plan, plan, have checklists that I refer to constantly, and I make sure I’m up at 6:30 every morning and doing *something* productive as soon as I am literally holding on to my first cup of coffee. I take everything with me everywhere I go so if there is any moment of free time, I’m using it to do something. Guess that’s all there is to it! 🙂


      1. Tennessee

        Checklists are a good idea, thanks. Also, my commute to the office is about 50 mins (I take the train). My plan for 2016 is to get on that sucker early enough to get a good seat. Perhaps I can get some things done during the ride. Thanks for the inspiration and have a great start to the new year!


  14. hhag118

    Loved this! I’m a 58 year-old African-American male and you’ve inspired me to take the Tarot deck I’ve used only for myself for the last 20 years, and a few of my high school students, out into the wider world. I also think the idea of a pseudonym is kind of cool!


  15. Pingback: Holistic Tarot Review | Mom On A Spiritual Journey

  16. Pingback: 17 Courses of Tasty Tarot | BiddyTarot Blog

  17. How do I leave a note about an error in the text? Well, I guess here’s pretty good, actually. Throughout The Tao of Craft, Amitabha is spelled Amithaba. The former is correct, and appears in some places, but the majority of them are the latter.


  18. Pingback: Benebell Wen inspired Post-Arwen’s #tarottag15 – RoseRed Tarot

  19. Pingback: 17 Courses of Tasty Tarot | Biddy Tarot Blog

  20. Rivkah Moore

    I just read your review of TWU tarot deck (I don’t own it) and found it very thorough. I do have your Holistic Tarot which arrived recently and I have a question for you….with so much incredible detail, you have hardly mentioned the Tree of Life and all the teachings that go with that. This surprised me, especially because my study over the last 3 years has been mostly Paul Case and Aleister Crowley. I use the Crowley deck (because Case doesn’t have a full deck and even the major arcana you have to colour yourself). I also have a Rider Waite deck but the imagery doesn’t appeal to me much (the Death card is very tame). However, I also have some issues with the Crowley deck – after much contemplation, I prefer having Strength as number 8 and Justice as number 11. The TWU deck is quite intriguing but I see it also puts Strength as number 11.
    Nice to see your website!


  21. Teo Nilsson Dahl

    Hello! I’m reading The Tao of Craft on kindle right now, I’ve gotten about halfway through the book but I’m wondering about invocations. You’ve clearly stated that unless I’m the son of a Taoist sorcerer or I’ve been initiated into a Taoist tradition I ought to either: Brute force compatibility with an existing invocation by incessant repetition. Or, should I be metaphysically gifted, I could form my own invocations. Thing is, I would not dare call myself metaphysically prodigious, had I been that I likely would have been drawn to mysticism at a younger age than 20. This leaves me with but one option, thorough repetition. Only problem is, I am not only not gifted, I am also lazy. Having to attune myself to an invocation like that would be incredibly boring.

    As such I am wondering, to what degree is the I Ching and its ability of divination usable in this situation? Though my understanding of the book of changes is clearly limited, I do know how it works in theory and I have made use of it on several occasions. Seeing as how the text, through the hexagrams contained within, is closely connected to the metaphysical workings of, well, everything, could it not be used by one less gifted in the art of esoteric Taoism to formulate invocations, and possibly check if these invocations are servicable?


  22. Rosalyn Marie

    Hello Benebell! I am new to your work! You are so generous to give out such helpful information. I would like to study Tarot and become a reader. I see you have online classes. This will be helpful to me also. They are very reasonably priced. Thank you for all the priceless information.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Pingback: Taoist Mystic Dreamwork and Oneiromancy: A Rambling – benebell wen

  24. Pingback: Lon Milo Duquette is Not Racist: PantheaCon Backlash – benebell wen

  25. Ms Wen, I just discovered your site a few days ago … and it’s full of the information that I need right now. I’ve been studying tarot, and reading the cards, since the 1970s (I was a teenager). I first read professionally in the early 1990s. As I near retirement, I am trying to turn my background and experience into a full-time source of income. You are such a dear for providing this information ! You are truly a Teacher and Guide … I get very tired of the commercialism of so many websites (but I do understand their need to garner income!!) God Bless you !!


  26. Pingback: I made up a new tag – WWBD – Modern Mystic Mother

  27. Pingback: Take a journey with me through the SKT – Modern Mystic Mother

  28. Gladwin subakaran

    Hai bene… June- 22 -2019 my son birthday… Basically I’m from South India Christian… I want one lucky name for my son … Please can you suggest me


  29. Leonard

    Question for you.
    Have you ever cross referenced northmen, viking runes with your research?
    If you have or have not, you should know that the runes mean mystery.
    There are 3 futharks, nordic, and then the old english, and the other the germans cam up with…
    There is a positive and negative meaning as well as a numerical and alphabetical value to them, just got your book very highly interesting, if you have the time to answer, that would be great, i am a researcher as well as a human soul searching for troth, nordic for truth, thanks for reading mrs. wen.


  30. Pingback: Bridging the Gap Between Pagan Belief and History – JiJi Wong

  31. I bought your book a few years ago but have not had a chance yet to work with it. I am not a reader, so it takes a long time for me to move away from my life as a dreamer (symbols and imagery as my language). As an astrologer I have found that both the Tarot and Palm Reading all come from the roots of Astrology and in Palm Reading, the chart is literally laid over the hand which I find quite fascinating. Tarot basically used the archetypal symbolism of Astrology in ancient times.


  32. John

    Hi Benebell love your book. Undoubtly for many years of study. But for the next edition I would recomend a booklet format. I am kind of scared to open the book widely to avoid cracking.The rest of it a masterpiece. Love who you are a woman full of wisdom. Kind regards John.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s