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”

Astrology Course for Beginners (Independent Study)

$40.  USD

Installment Payment Plan Available! (Details Below)

This is a beginner’s course on how to read both a Placidus and a Whole Signs astrological chart with the tropical zodiac (the sidereal zodiac is not taught in this course, though we will cover the differences between a tropical and a sidereal zodiac). Yep, that’s right. Both will be taught. The mission of this course is to get you to know how to read both Placidus and Whole Signs, even if Whole Signs is my preferred system. (Meaning, there’s going to be a bias in favor of Whole Signs…)

This course does not teach chart construction and will only cover how to read a chart that you already have on hand, Placidus or Whole Signs. After covering the basics, you will learn how to read a natal chart, perform transits astrology readings, get a sense of both traditional astrology and modern astrology, dwarf planets and asteroids included, and if I’ll be damned, you are going to have one rock solid foundation in Western astrology that won’t be beat.

Competitive in content, by scope and depth, to beginner astrology courses that cost in the hundreds, Astrology Course for Beginners is intended to be budget-friendly, so everyone can learn how to simplify the complexities of Western astrology.

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An I Ching and Tarot Divination How-To– Give This a Try

I’m going to walk you through an easy beginner’s methodology for I Ching and tarot divination. We’ll be doing a simple one card tarot draw plus casting I Ching hexagrams by the coin toss method. So in addition to the instructions here for the I Ching divination, I’m presuming you have a tarot deck and know how to operate one. If not, no worries. This doesn’t need to be I Ching and tarot. It can just be I Ching! 🙂

I use traditional coins for my personal practice, but we won’t be needing those today. Any three coins of the same value in your change purse will do. Go find three pennies, or three nickels, or three quarters–whatever pleases you. And give them a good wash.

Here I’m using disinfectant soap and water. Dry them thoroughly. You can use a towel. Anything. Just be practical.

Continue reading “An I Ching and Tarot Divination How-To– Give This a Try”

Why the Suit of Swords is My Favorite

English Magic Tarot by Ryn, Doodley, and Letcher

In a social justice law course I took back in my law school days, the professor went around the room on the first day of class and asked each one of us to offer what we think brings about social change in this world. A classroom populated by, um, well, white folks, offered thought bubbles like grassroots mobilization, advocacy, charismatic leadership, lobbying, equal access to justice, public policy, etc. Funny, I was thinking about it from a different perspective.

When it was my turn, I said, “Pain.”

Pain is not only the impetus for social change, but it is the impetus to greatness. Profound feelings of marginalization lead to zealous advocacy on behalf of others. Even when your pain looks different from my pain, the common emotional denominator between our pains is the same, and through that common emotional denominator, you and I can connect, create an incredible, powerful fusion, and together, through collectivism, become the impetus for social change and for mutual greatness.

Continue reading “Why the Suit of Swords is My Favorite”

How to Create Your Grimoire: Inspiration from One Approach

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When you’ve dedicated yourself to the study of craft, you’re going to want to start your own written record of the path. It is the most natural thing and the concept of keeping a grimoire, book of shadows, or book of methods is found across all of the cultures of magical traditions, East to West. Now it’s your turn to feel that pull. You’ve got your big, beautiful blank book ready to go. Where do you start? How do you start?

By its nature, a private journal means no one can tell you what to do. Yet some of us just want tangible insights for inspiration, so that’s what this is. I’m most certainly not trying to tell you how to keep your own private journal. My own grimoire does not come close to following the instructions I am about to give.

Yet the other day, I was thumbing through a rather incredible tome, quite esoteric in nature for sure, and that tome offered some of the most brilliant insights into grimoire organization that I have ever come across. So I shall share that text with you today.

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That’s right. It’s The Professional Chef by The Culinary Institute of America.

Okay, it’s a cooking book. But I swear if you went through this thing you’d agree it’s esoteric as hell. Who knew broth making and a roux could be so complicated. I digress. And I’m serious. This book provides incredible insights into how you might consider organizing and creating your grimoire.

Continue reading “How to Create Your Grimoire: Inspiration from One Approach”

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”

Your Prosperity Adviser: A Personal Astrology Report

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$40

25+ page report

I believe in a Divine, and I believe that we are each born with a map for navigating our lives. That does not mean we have a fixed destiny, but quite the contrary. Our potential is expressed as a garden of forking paths. We decide which forks we take, but we must also live with the consequences.

The map I speak of can help us make sense of that garden, perhaps even shed light on potential consequences before we take a single step, and therefore better ascertain which fork we want to take. By reading our own map, we can best mark a route toward our desired destination.

The map? I believe it is our birth chart. As above, so below. What the Divine sets in the heavens above, if we possess the drive to learn about it, is the grand omen of our success and our failures. Our lives and by extension our birth charts map out a collective tree of if-then statements. If we choose this course, then that will be our outcome. The possibilities of this and that are embedded into our birth charts and availed to us for access, if we so choose to gain that insight.

Continue reading “Your Prosperity Adviser: A Personal Astrology Report”

Method Journals: Documenting Your Woo-Woo Experiences

Journaling 01 All Journals

I’m often asked about my own journaling methodologies and how I document my personal work. At any given moment in time, I have the above-pictured four books/journals/what-have-you. Each one serves a different purpose for me.

If you want a more in-depth peek inside that big black one you see pictured above, check out this video I uploaded onto my YouTube channel:

Continue reading “Method Journals: Documenting Your Woo-Woo Experiences”

Chiron Black Moon Lilith and White Moon Selena Natal Astrology

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$30 USD

What is your soul’s purpose?

What challenges and trials do you face along your life path that might be sourced from karma, however you define karma?

What facets of your shadow self can be revealed by your birth chart?

How might we express that part of your inner self that is divine? What facet of Divinity do you inherit so that you might carry out missions that the Divine has set for you?

While I won’t be able to answer those questions fully, we can begin the search for the answers by starting with your birth chart and more specifically, your Chiron sign, the positioning of Lilith, and the positioning of Selena…

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For $30, you’re getting:

  • JPG file of your birth chart constructed under the whole signs system
  • PDF written reading report of the house and sign analysis for your Chiron, Lilith, and Selena, word count approx. 3,500 words (about 13 pages).

To order yours today, just e-mail me the following:

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Time of Birth
  • Location of Birth
  • To avoid any potential faux pas with pronouns, please also provide the gender you identify as

Email contact:

benebellwen (at) gmail (dot) com

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The Chiron, Lilith, Selena reading is spiritual in its dimension.

It addresses your inner darkness and your inner light.

This is not a reading about your love life, your career prospects, your personality, and none of it is predictive in nature. This is not about “what is going to happen.” This is about “why do certain things happen to you.”

I presume that your birth chart is a map of your personal unconscious, all that you are and the sum of your experiences, your nature, and your karma. I then presume your personal unconscious is connected to a greater collective unconscious, an expression of Divinity, and that you inherit at birth a piece of that Divinity. What piece? What part of you is Divine? Likewise, based on your own past, and presuming there are past lives, what is the darkness within you that you must shine that Divine light on?

For the answers to those specific questions, I believe three obscure points in your birth chart can reveal those insights– Chiron and two personal sensitive points, black moon Lilith and white moon Selena.

Altogether, house and sign analysis of these three points in your birth chart will offer a glimpse into your soul’s purpose, what inner shadows tend to cause rifts and tensions in your life, and what part of you emanates with pure divine energy.

In other words, a Chiron, Lilith, & Selena reading is spiritual in its point of view and framework. The focus is clear and niche: let’s ruminate on your personal spiritual journey. This astrology reading report is about your spirituality and how you are connected to Divinity. I also believe it’s an empowering supplement for your own personal shadow work and exploration of the parts within that need mending.

When you order a reading report, you will receive as a JPG image file your birth chart, constructed under whole signs, using SolarFire Gold. It will look like the following sample chart:

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Sample birth chart generated by SolarFire Gold.

I encourage you to explore every facet of your birth chart later, in your own time. For our reading purposes, we will focus on three specific glyphs in your chart–the one for Chiron (in the sample chart above, you’ll see it as a green symbol in House 11 under Taurus), black moon Lilith (in House 2, Leo), and white moon Selena (in House 6, Sagittarius).

The structure of the reading you will get will be organized in three sections—Chiron, Lilith, and Selena. For each section, I will provide a general overview of that astrological feature and its correspondences. Then I will identify the house and zodiac sign placement of that feature in your birth chart.

The reading will be a minimum of 3,500 words, delivered to you by e-mail attachment as a PDF digital document. The text is not computer or automatically generated by a preexisting program. The text is unique to my interpretive approach to the three astrological features, based entirely on my own studies, observations, and written in my own words. However, the text for the points in the twelve houses and in the twelve signs are pre-written by me, which I then apply and transfer to your reading report as applicable.

When I see notable angular aspects to your Chiron, Lilith, or Selena signs, I’ll make note of that, too. For the purposes of this short,  budget-friendly reading (it’s only $20…), I’ll only be observing conjunctions, trines, and oppositions to key points I’ve ascertained as most influential over your Chiron, Lilith, and Selena.

So what exactly would house and sign analysis of Chiron, Lilith, and Selena cover anyway?

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Chiron: Your Soul’s Purpose

Although Chiron is not unanimously considered a planet in astronomy (some say it is an asteroid, others a centaur), in astrology, for the purposes of analyzing your natal chart, it is referred to as a planetary body. Chiron, known in astronomy as 2060 Chiron, is a minor planet in our outer solar system that orbits between Saturn and Uranus. It was discovered in 1977, named after the centaur, half man and half horse, from Greek mythos.

In astrology, Chiron denotes our deepest wounds and the efforts we exert to heal those wounds. It shows the areas we try to over-compensate as a result of past hurt. However, it also shows how extraordinary the human will is: what once hurt us becomes our greatest strength.

Chiron reveals where our greatest healing power lies. It points the way to our soul purpose—how it is we will best contribute to the world at large, how we influence others, and the type of impact we will have, the legacy we can leave behind after we’re gone.

Your Chiron sign sheds light on global, environmental, cultural, and social influences that will bear relevance on what your weaknesses might be and how you might try to overcompensate for those weaknesses until ultimately, they become your strengths. The house your Chiron is domiciled in then gets more specific, about you as an individual, and how those influences play out for you.

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Black Moon Lilith: Your Inner Darkness

Per modern astrology, black moon Lilith is a sensitive point in a birth chart that represents a point along the elliptic or orbit of the moon around the earth. Black moon Lilith is the apogee of the moon’s elliptical orbit around Earth, where Earth is one of two foci. It is an abstract geometrical point along the moon’s orbit.

Take care not to confuse black moon Lilith with the asteroid Lilith (1181 Lilith). There is also a dark moon Lilith, which is a hypothetical second moon of the Earth. That hypothetical second moon, or dark moon Lilith, is believed to be a literal celestial body orbiting around earth. In contrast, black moon Lilith is only a sensitive point, and not a celestial body like the asteroid Lilith or hypothesized dark moon Lilith.

Interpreting black moon Lilith has risen in popularity among modern astrologers. I read black moon Lilith as aspects of the shadow self that bring on the negative karma, life challenges, and personal trials we experience. These aspects could be transgressions from a past life or dark aspects of our childhood that have a detrimental effect in our adulthood, often on a subconscious level. In a sense, black moon Lilith is about exploring the darkest nether regions of our personal psychology, the skeletons in your closet

Your Lilith sign will reveal what influences you’re being born into and the house it is domiciled in sheds light on how specifically it is going to affect you.

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White Moon Selena: Your Inner Light

The final point we will address in this reading is Selena. White moon Selena is a sensitive point in a birth chart based on a hypothetical orbit that forms a perfect circle around the earth. In terms of its nature, characteristics, and essence, white moon Selena is considered a polarity of black moon Lilith.

White moon Selena expresses pure light within you, that facet of the sentient you that is in part Divine. We are all connected to the Divine, to that God principle, and white moon Selena reveals the essence in you that is Divine, and how you specifically connect with the Divine. It is that part of you that is in resonance with the God principle. Where does your Inner Light shine the brightest and how can you best utilize that Light to fulfill the higher purpose you’re called upon to fulfill? That’s what we will explore with your white moon Selena.

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Guardian Spirits Since Birth

Your “Inner Darkness, Inner Light” reading also includes examination of the Hermetic Lot of Spirit in your birth chart. From the Lot of Spirit, we can see archetypes and profiles of guardian spirits that have accompanied your life journeying since birth and why they accompany you. What is the purpose these particular guardian spirits serve in your life? What greater spiritual mission are they tasked to help you accomplish this lifetime?

The Guardian Spirits section, or “Revealing Guardian Spirits through the Hermetic Lot of Spirit” covers an elemental guardian expressed per Judeo-Christian delineation of archangels and your directional guardian expressed per Chinese Taoism. Then, based on house and sign analysis of your Lot of Spirit, the reading will reveal the specific profiles of your spirit guides and why these particular spirit guides are with you.

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This is not a birth chart reading.

I mean, okay, yes it is, sorta, in the literal sense that I am reading your birth chart to put together this report. So yeah, it’s literally a birth chart reading BUT it is not a birth chart reading. Let me explain.

If you came to me asking for a “birth chart reading,” what I would do for you as an astrologer is scan the entire chart and assess all the key or notable facets of the chart as they relate to your personality, your life path, and various parts of your life like career and love. I might point out what’s unique about your chart, and therefore unique about you. I would definitely tell you about your sun, moon, and rising signs. I may cover the positioning of all the major planets from our solar system and what that might mean about you and your life. That’s what I call a “birth chart reading.”

This is not a “birth chart reading.”

Instead, I construct your birth chart and then zoom in on only and exactly three features in your chart– one feature is a dwarf planet (or asteroid, depending on who you talk to), and two aren’t even objects. They’re certain angles or mathematically calculated points in the heavens based on your date of birth, time of birth, and also location (geographical coordinates) of birth. It’s a geocentric model (meaning it’s from the perspective of where you were born looking up at the heavens at the moment of your birth).

This will not be light reading.

Of course I want to think of myself as compassionate and empathetic. For sure–and I really maintain this–these readings are not judgey. However, I do want to emphasize that Chiron unearths deep wounds and how embracing those wounds lead you to your greatest personal strengths and how it is you were intended to serve a greater good, which greater good you’re intended to serve. Lilith expresses the part of you that’s dark, that’s not so shiny and pretty, that’s not so graceful, and the nature of mara someone like you, per your birth chart, needs to face to transcend that darkness and find inner light. By their definition none of what I just mentioned could be “light reading material.” Selena, though, is comparatively lighter, but of same gravity and weight as what is discussed through Chiron and Lilith. Selena reveals that part of you that is pure divinity, that you inherit from the Divine so that you can utilize that inheritance in positive ways here on earth.

Limitations in Scope

Reading a natal chart for an astrologer can be a bit like deep-diving down a rabbit hole. Once you start, there’s so much to unpack. For instance, without looking at any other facet of your chart, only concentrating on Chiron, Lilith, and Selena, we should also be looking at all the angular aspects between these points and other celestial bodies in your chart. Not just celestial bodies like the traditional sacred seven or the modern planets we observe, but also the Hermetic Lots (Arabic Parts), the midheaven, imum coeli, ascendant, co-ascendant, polar ascendant, it just goes on and on.

We should look at the unique lattice created by the pattern of Chiron, Lilith, and Selena in your chart, but alas, for a $30 e-mail reading, we won’t. It would be impractical to cover the full breadth and scope of what you should cover when examining your Chiron, Lilith, and Selena. So for our $30 reading purposes, we are focusing on house and sign placement only.

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For $30, you’re getting:

  • JPG file of your birth chart constructed under the whole signs system
  • PDF written reading report of the house and sign analysis for your Chiron, Lilith, and Selena, word count approx. 3,500 words (about 13 pages).

To order yours today, just e-mail me the following:

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Time of Birth
  • Location of Birth
  • To avoid any potential faux pas with pronouns, please also provide the gender you identify as

Email contact:

benebellwen (at) gmail (dot) com

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.