Announcing the Video Companion Course to Holistic Tarot

B A C K G R O U N D   N O T E S

Some of you may know of the online video companion course to Holistic Tarot already. I put out the first few video lectures for the series this past week. The videos supplement the study guides and handouts, which supplement the book, Holistic Tarot. To check out the course outline and description, click on the above hyperlinked banner. This blog post is just to offer some of the behind-the-scenes commentary.

Offering a Beginner’s Tarot Course

I have been pressed ad nauseum about offering a beginner’s tarot course. While I haven’t felt called to start production of materials with that specific intent in mind, as in an online multi-media course that teaches you how to read a deck of cards, I wrote Holistic Tarot with that specific intent (i.e., to instruct on tarot at the beginner level) in mind. Then when the book launched back in 2015, I created a portfolio of syllabi, study guides, and handouts to help people navigate the 800+ pages. That was my “beginner’s tarot course.”

Still I got pressed. Apparently that wasn’t what many of you folks had in mind when you think “beginner’s tarot course”?

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Holistic Tarot and the Practitioner of Craft

Holistic Tarot gets criticized for allegedly being unkind in its treatment of practitioners of craft, in particular witchcraft. Folks have interpreted my book as proposing that the magic of divination ought to be stripped of tarot entirely and that I’m telling you to approach tarot from a staunchly atheistic point of view. I wonder why for so many, life choices must be so mutually exclusive. Why does my personal spirituality let alone religious beliefs need to be apparent in everything that I produce?

The book’s tone has never been shy or misleading about taking an academic approach to understanding tarot. That is hardly a concentrated attempt to strip magic from tarot, an allegation rendered even more absurd if you know anything about my personal background. Also, I wrote Holistic Tarot as a beginner’s tarot book with a specific target reader in mind.

My intention for the book is to get you to a level of technical mastery over tarot. Technical mastery. That means yes, in the beginning, magic is stripped of the tarot the same way when you first learn a musical instrument for the purpose of someday mastering it, you strip all artistry from the practice of that instrument.

During your first 10,000 hours of lessons for mastering violin, it’s about how you hold the bow, how to string your own instrument, how to straighten your own bridge, how to tune your instrument, how to hold a whole note with no vibrato, not allowing you to use any vibrato at all until you’ve mastered your bow work, then how to master the vibrato, perfecting the execution of various techniques, rote learning, stripping you of all personal creativity and compelling you to learn technique your teacher’s way, playing boring scales and etudes until your fingers are blistered and your neck is bruised. It’s hardly musical at all. You could argue that such an approach is stripping the musicality from music.

Continue reading “Holistic Tarot and the Practitioner of Craft”

A Comparative Analysis of Fortune Telling and Divination: Free Lecture

Click on image for direct link to unlisted YouTube video.
Click on image for direct link to unlisted YouTube video.

A Free Online Course Presentation

Is there any value to making a distinction between fortune telling and divination? How might Chinese perspectives compare to or inform Western perspectives? This free video (or audio) lecture will examine the etymological origins of the words for “fortune telling” and “divination” in the Chinese language, apply medieval esoteric Taoist texts to tarot reading, and propose a theoretical framework through which to read tarot, as either a fortune teller or a diviner, though the two are not mutually exclusive. We will then run a comparative analysis of that with Western perspectives and examine Western esoteric texts on the subject.

The video lecture is about 34 minutes in length. Click on the below to begin watching. Although it is in video form, you can also listen to it as an audio.

Continue reading “A Comparative Analysis of Fortune Telling and Divination: Free Lecture”

A $15 Online Tarot Course: Tarot as a Tool for Craft

$15 USD

An expansion on the talk I presented at the Theosophical Society of the East Bay, this is a video (or audio) course that covers how a practitioner of craft might use tarot, from triggering intuitive creativity for self-empowerment, divination, and amplifying psychic ability to communion with celestial contacts, mediumship, and summonings. This is an intermediate course that presumes proficiency with tarot. Subject matter also runs into esoteric and mystical applications of the tarot, so the tone of the course might not be right for everyone.

Also, just so you are aware: the tenor and value propositions of this course goes in a diametrically different direction from Holistic Tarot.

Video Lecture Screenshot
Video Lecture Screenshot

I’m really excited about this course and I hope you are, too. If you are a practitioner of craft, whether it’s just dabbling, still finding your path, you identify as a witch, magician, diviner, medium, psychic, or shaman, I just know that this course will deepen and enhance whatever amazing mojo you’ve already got going on.

This course is not about teaching tarot. I do not teach you tarot. In fact, I pretty much assume throughout the lecture that you already know a lot about tarot. Rather, this course is about deepening and broadening your relationship with your tarot deck so that you can get more metaphysical mileage out of it.

What Holistic Tarot taught was only the first of the five pillars that are discussed in this course. This course will deconstruct the form and mechanics of using tarot for:

  1. Intuitive Creativity to achieve self-empowerment;
  2. Divination to connect to what Paul Foster Case called the Cause of Causes—the Universal Intelligent Life Energy;
  3. Psychic Readings both to amplify your innate psychic ability and to use tarot as a training tool for strengthening your psychic ability;
  4. Celestial Contacts to connect with deities, angels, ascended masters, devas, or the metaphysical force affecting physical conditions; and
  5. Netherworld Contacts and using tarot for mediumship, ancestral connections, or connecting to entities of nether-worlds and other-worlds.
Workbook Page Spread Preview
Workbook Page Spread Preview

A workbook with exercises to help you learn and master the mechanics of such tarot operations will also be provided to supplement the video lecture.

Finally, you will have the opportunity to ask questions and the most frequently asked questions will be answered in a follow-up FAQ video that will be sent to you. There may be multiple FAQ videos delivered to you by e-mail from time to time thereafter, dependent on the inquiries that come in.

Deliverables

You will receive:

  • Online private access to a video lecture [length: 1 hour 15 minutes]
  • A PDF digital file of a 49-page workbook
  • Sub-folder files of supplemental reference material
  • Access to subsequent FAQ video(s) or e-mail(s) [TBD]

Continue reading “A $15 Online Tarot Course: Tarot as a Tool for Craft”

The Metaphysician’s Day Planner – Order Today

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$25

The Metaphysician’s Day Planner

I juggle a full-time day job in corporate law with writing and publishing books, doing interviews and talks for the book tours, part-time professional tarot reader and astrologer, blogger, avid home cook, and pro bono legal work on the side, all while being a metaphysician and keeping myself buried in metaphysical studies, so I do get asked a lot about how I organize my day. How do I make sure I am on top of my schedule of court appearances, hearings, and conferences for work, my client reading list for tarot and astrology, food prep for the week and menu planning, domestic chores, personal health and fitness, and everything in between?

With a day planner, of course. There is a set way I organize and format my personal day planner to cover everything I do. And now I’d like to share it with you. I’ve put together a 2017 day planner and organizer for the metaphysician.

It’s part day planner–annual, quarterly, monthly, and daily. And it’s part grimoire.Carrying around metaphysical correspondences and quick reference sheets helps immensely with memory retention. It’s my approach to broadening and deepening my esoteric knowledge.

Out on the market right now you’ll see a ton of beautiful, vibrant, inspiring, mind-body-spirit-based day planners and calendars rolling out for sale now.

Mine is none of that.

So if you’re looking for something with lots of pastel colors, inspirational quotes, affirmations, and space for you to jot down your secret desires, then this is not it.
Rather, this is a glimpse into how I organize my life and how I balance professional and personal accomplishment with esoteric studies. I don’t spend three hours filling in blank workbook prompts on what I love about myself. I don’t need “go get ’em, tiger” quotes in sans serif font printed in glittery hues across my planner cover. Instead, my planner is about optimizing the hours of my day and getting stuff done. I need a day organizer that helps me get stuff done. I don’t want color, because color ink is expensive. I want substance and I want economy.

That’s what my day planner is all about. And I’d like to show it to you. I made one up for my sister Cindy, so you’re going to see screenshots of hers for illustration.

Continue reading “The Metaphysician’s Day Planner – Order Today”

Event in Sonoma: Taoist Magic and Tarot Divination

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The first hour will be a talk on Taoist cosmology, the history of Fu talismans, the 13 principles of craft as derived from the Yellow Emperor’s Classics of the Esoteric Talisman, intersections of science and magic, and how practitioners use divination to know and then craft to change.

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The second hour will be a hands-on workshop where you will use tarot divination to help you design and craft a Fu sigil, working with Chinese oracle bone script. Fu sigil paper consecrated on 11/11, cut and prepared at 11:11 am, and then consecrated at 11:11 pm will be provided for your use. You can take some home with you to craft the sigil. It is recommended that the final sigil be crafted on the day after the workshop, on the full moon.

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I’ll bring my Jiao Bei divination moon blocks and set them out on the table top for anyone who seeks to use them for a personal divination. Free for your use at any time during the event. Please handle respectfully.

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Event Downloads:

The 13 Principles of Craft (PDF)

Tarot and Fu Sigil Crafting Workshop Handout (PDF)

Zip File of Oracle Bone Script and Sigil Images

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All attendees will also go home with a consecrated and blessed pocket gemstone, with the hopes that it helps you along in all your magical endeavors.

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For more detailed metaphysical correspondences of the gemstones per my perspective, check out this previously uploaded PDF for a glossary of gemstone correspondences. Find the entry for the stone you picked (or the stone that picked you…) in the PDF if the one-two word correspondence on the yellow card wasn’t clear.

Glossary of Gemstone Correspondences (PDF)

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Limited copies of Holistic Tarot and The Tao of Craft available for purchase for $20 each.

There will also be book signings if for some reason that interests you.

Beginner Learning and Teaching of Tarot: A Socratic Method

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I often get asked how I would teach tarot to a beginner, what Lesson 1 would be, and also how to learn tarot if you are a beginner with no past exposure to tarot.

Recently I had an encounter where I gave my version of Lesson 1 of beginner tarot and I’ve been granted permission to share a transcript of it. Of course, this is paraphrased, but my memory for details is pretty good. I dare say this is a pretty accurate representation of the conversation and discourse that took place. I taught by the Socratic Method, though I wonder if she realized that.

The cards drawn and as identified are the actual cards from the Lesson 1 reading experience. For those who are more familiar with tarot techniques, basically what I did was first have her select her significator card, perform the Opening of the Four Worlds from the First Operation of the Opening of the Key, and then from the card pile she found her significator, draw three cards at random and perform a three-card past, present, and future reading.

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If you’re at all curious how I might teach Lesson 1 of Beginner Tarot, here it is, as a downloadable PDF.

Download “Beginner Learning and Teaching of Tarot: A Socratic Method” (PDF)

Waite-Smith Tarot Keywords Study Deck

10/06/2016 Update: I have exciting news to announce soon enough! For the time being, I’ve de-activated the zip file download link in anticipation of the cool news to come! All my love.

10/08/2016 Update: Read about the exciting announcement of a new deck to be released here.

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I don’t know how you feel, but I really like how this deck looks.

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And the card backs. I love the card backs. Oh, wait you probably can’t see it that well in the above pic. Here you go.

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Two versions. Two different card back designs. Two different sizes. I like the big one better. That’s the black one above on the left, at 3.5″ x 5.75″.

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This is the second version. Can you spot the difference? One has astrological/elemental correspondences in the top corners and this one above does not. There is a third version, too, but we’ll get to that.

September 20. That morning I pulled the Ace of Wands from the Tarot of the Holy Light and thought it pertained to this book I’m working on at the moment. So to heed the divinatory message, I was outlining and note-taking for the manuscript. For some reason (won’t talk about it now) I needed to look up card images from the Grand Etteilla. Then a bunch of loose ends connected with each other in my head. Now I wonder if maybe the Ace of Wands had nothing to do with that book I was/am working on and instead has to do with this, what this post is going to be all about.

Card I pulled that morning, as posted on my Instagram. From the Tarot of the Holy Light.
Card I pulled that morning. From the Tarot of the Holy Light.

A few days prior I had a conversation with a friend who was lamenting about how she wanted to learn to read tarot with reversals but she found the upside down images visually distracting, so much to the point that she couldn’t get over it. I then thought about how the card layout of the Grand Etteilla would work quite well for someone like her, if the larger box featured the card image upright and the smaller box had it going in the opposite direction.

Let me explain.

Continue reading “Waite-Smith Tarot Keywords Study Deck”

The Chariot Card: Guest Post at BiddyTarot

Banner from BiddyTarot
Banner from BiddyTarot

Brigit’s BiddyTarot is one of the most popular (I even dare say the most popular) tarot spot on the web. And it’s for good reason, too. She sustains the site with incredible content. Brigit is compiling a free e-book, Real Life Lessons from the Major Arcana, a collection of 22 essays by 22 tarot authors, each writer covering one Major Arcanum.

I chose Key VII: The Chariot for personal and sentimental reasons. Click on the above banner to go straight to my article over at Biddy. Also, be sure to download the entire e-book for FREE (how cool is that!) by clicking on the below banner or going here.

Continue reading “The Chariot Card: Guest Post at BiddyTarot”

Tarot Summer School at the Tarot Readers Academy

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Summer School 2016 at the Tarot Readers Academy will be in session just after the summer solstice, beginning on June 21. Here’s the schedule of courses and lots more info from our headmistress Ethony.

Whether you’re a tarot beginner (in which case may I suggest you check out “Introduction to Intuitive Tarot,” “Tarot and Pop Culture,” or “Unlocking the Major Arcana through Yoga”), proficient with tarot but looking to take your practice to the next level (ooh–check out my class on “Learning the Opening of the Key” *tooting my own horn*) or you’re aspiring to become a professional tarot reader (check out “Party Readings for Tarot Professionals” or “Tarot, from Hobby to Profession”), the first ever Tarot Summer School is a magnificent trove of tarot studies. A complete list of all course offerings is here, via this link. I’ll be a student, just like you, sitting in on all the courses. So many of them are getting me super excited!

There will also be campfire Q&A sessions where all enrolled students can come together (over the Internet; I don’t know how it works; it’s magic; you’ll have to ask headmistress Ethony) and I will try very hard to make it to one of those campfire sessions so if you want to chat with me, ask me your tarot questions, or whatever, you’ll want to enroll and gain access to the campfire Q&A.

Check out the below link to read all the course listings, meet the faculty, and watch everybody’s course introduction videos. It’s a really diverse group of tarot personalities.

www.tinyurl.com/tarotsummerschool

And to give prospective students a free preview of my course, “Learning the Opening of the Key,” I’ve uploaded and made available the first video installment of the lecture series, the Introduction. Check it out:

If that sneak peek into my full course piqued your interest, then enroll today! It’s only $24 USD per course. Or get the lifetime access season’s pass for $199, which gets you all the courses this semester.

CLICK HERE TO ENROLL

And if I did not manage to pique your interest, then… *shrug* doh. I did my best.

But do check out everybody else’s course offerings even if mine isn’t your cup of tea. I know at least one of those master classes is making you go “ooh!!” Embrace that “ooh!!” and your woo, and we the instructors at Tarot Readers Academy will see you at Tarot School this summer.