Avoiding the Thoth Tarot Because Crowley

A recurring sentiment you’ll hear, even among tarot readers, is that Crowley’s Thoth deck should be avoided, because Crowley. After e-mailing me paragraphs of rehashed Internet research on the salacious nuggets of the man’s biography to lay the foundation of their point, the inevitable question will come: “Should I avoid working with the Thoth because it’s got bad juju?”

I’m always amused when this question is presented for me to answer, as if I have any reasonable idea whether you in particular should work with or avoid working with the Thoth. It’s a matter of personal preference, and so it’s a question I can’t answer without knowing you through and through.

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2019 Masters of the Tarot Conference at the Omega Institute

July 19 – 21, 2019 will be the Masters of the Tarot conference held at the Omega Institute in Rhineback, New York. The Masters of the Tarot conference is an annual tradition started by Mary K. Greer and Rachel Pollack. This 2019, the master teachers featured at the event will be Mary and Rachel, Michelle Tea, author of Modern Tarot and many other works of fiction and creative nonfiction, and the renowned psychic Terry Iacuzzo, author of Small Mediums at Large. Oh. And also, me.

If you’ve ever been interested in attending a tarot workshop held by me, this may be your last chance to meet me in person and pick my brain, at least for a very long time. I won’t be making any public appearances for the tarot in 2020 and some significant plans to shift gears have been in the works for some time now. So at least for me, the 2019 Masters of the Tarot conference is going to be very special and deeply personal. My workshop presentation topic will reflect as much. =)

Also, you’re going to be learning innovative and profound insights into the tarot from living legends: Mary K. Greer and Rachel Pollack.

Michelle Tea is a prolific author who has published numerous memoirs and novels. One of her books, How to Grow Up (Penguin/Plume), is currently in development with Amazon Studios. Tea is the curator of the Amethyst Editions imprint at Feminist Press. Her writing has appeared in Harper’s, Cosmopolitan, Marie Clare, xoJane, and BuzzFeed, among others.

Terry Iacuzzo is a New York City based psychic and regular contributor to CosmoGirl and Seventeen. Way before there was Theresa Caputo of Long Island Medium, there was Terry Iacuzzo, a Sicilian-American psychic medium who came in to this world one Halloween in 1948. Read this fascinating Q&A about being a psychic and coming from a psychic family, featured in the New York Magazine back in 2014.

The tuition for the event is $465, which covers workshops by all the master teachers, all panels, breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the Omega Dining Hall from Friday, July 19 to Sunday, July 21, and daily open classes in meditation, yoga, tai chi, and more.

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How to Read Tarot Cards: Eden Gray’s Hungarian Method

Skill Level: Intermediate & Up

This is the third video presentation of Sightsee the Tarot, a new series I’ve started on my YouTube channel.

If you haven’t watched the previous videos on a psychological approach to the tarot, the Nine-Card Open Face Spread and Self-Help Tarot Journaling (Tarot Counseling), watch those and then return to this session, or at the very least, watch the first three minutes of the Self-Help Tarot Journaling video for the theoretical model distinctions between predictive tarot reading and tarot counseling. I’ll be making reference to those distinctions as we explore predictive tarot reading.

Please note that intermediate proficiency with reading tarot in spreads is presumed. I proceed with explaining Gray’s approach with the understanding that you already know how to read the cards. Also, in terms of a tarot spread, this particular method can be rather vague, and relies heavily on the skill of reading cards in pairs. So elemental dignities also comes in to play.

Nonetheless, armed with a book of card meanings, I think this may still be a good video workshop for the total tarot beginner to work through. So do not be dismayed, tarot beginner! Still give this tutorial a shot!

Continue reading “How to Read Tarot Cards: Eden Gray’s Hungarian Method”

Giveaway: The Simple Tarot Beginner’s Kit by Angie Green

Angie Green, the creator of the Simple Tarot, is running an incredible giveaway for the Beginner’s Kit! You can read a review I did of the deck here.

I get the incredible opportunity to team up with her and run a giveaway through my channel for one of her Simple Tarot Beginner Kits!

Deadline for Giveaway: March 15, 2019

Winner Announced: March 16, 2019

From Angie:

The winner will receive a Simple Tarot Beginner Kit by Angie Green.

From Me:

In addition to winning Angie’s Simple Tarot Beginner’s Kit, you will also win and receive a signed copy of Holistic Tarot.

About the copy of my book: Note that this is from the first print run of Holistic Tarot. There have been subsequent edits, revisions, and many other print runs, so just know that this edition has all the original typos and errors. It’s from the very first batch of HT ever printed. So maybe it’ll be worth money someday? Who knows. Anyway.

I’m also going to include the following in a magical tarot starter kit:

  • a consecrated crystal,
  • a bottle of aura, energy, and space clearing spray,
  • a blank tarot journal that I will intuitively hand-select for you, and
  • a plush velveteen drawstring bag for your tarot deck.

Eligibility for the Giveaway

U.S. residents only. This giveaway is limited to those living in the United States.

Second, I ask that more seasoned tarot readers to please sit back on this giveaway. I’d like this giveaway to be reserved for those just starting out on their tarot learning journey.

So, how do you enter? To enter, complete To-Do #1, To-Do #2, and To-Do #3. That’s it. =)

To-Do #1:

Share any one of the below photos of the Simple Tarot on Twitter, Instagram, or as a public Facebook post with the hashtags #thesimpletarot and tag the deck creator @thesimpletarot and in your caption, share why you’re excited about this tarot deck and giveaway! Or you can gush about all the cool free tarot resources Angie gives away here: https://thesimpletarot.com/resources and share that link.

#thesimpletarot

@thesimpletarot

To-Do #2:

Link to a posting from this website (benebellwen.com) or a video from my YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/c/BenebellWen) that you really liked and felt was insightful to you, including a few short words on why you liked it. 

To-Do #3: Most Important!

Leave a comment to this blog post that includes:

(1) Hyperlink to your completed To-Do #1, and

(2) Hyperlink to your completed To-Do #2.

When you leave your comment, please be sure to include the e-mail address that you’ll check in the event you win, because the winner is going to be notified on March 16, 2019 by the e-mail of record per the comment you’ve left to this blog post.

You do not need to publicize your e-mail address in the comment! It can stay private!

When you fill in the comment box, just input the Email address in the Email line only, where it includes the note, “(Address never made public).”

I will see your Email address, while it remains unpublished on the blog post, and will use that Email address to contact you in the event you’ve won.

Only those who leave a comment below with a working e-mail address (and who reply within 24 hours to the notification that you’ve won) are eligible.

The winner will be announced here on this post on March 16, 2019.

I will e-mail you to let you know you’ve won and will need your full mailing address. I’ll mail you the Holistic Tarot starter kit, give your name and address to Angie, and she will mail you the Simple Tarot Beginner’s Kit.

Selection Process:

The name of each commenter to this blog post (To-Do #3) will be written on a slip of paper and put into a container. I’ll pull a name at random and film the drawing, which I will then post to my Instagram on March 16, 2019.

On the same day, I’ll privately notify that individual via e-mail and update this post to announce the winner.

The winner will have 24 hours to reply to my e-mail and claim the prize. If I don’t hear back from the winner in 24 hours, I’m going to draw a second name and the prize will be awarded to the second runner up, who again, will have 24 hours to claim the prize, and so on, and so on, until somebody claims the prize within the 24 hours of e-mail notification. =)

WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT

3/17/2019 Update

Sorry, sorry I’m late to this! It’s been a hectic weekend!

Image14

#9 is the winner. Hello, Dana! You’ll be getting an e-mail from me in 5, 4, 3, 2…

Website Terms of Use

Self-Help Tarot Journaling (Transformative Tarot Counseling)

Skill Level: All (General)

This is the second video presentation of Sightsee the Tarot, a new series I just started on my YouTube channel.

If you haven’t watched the first presentation yet, the Nine-Card Open Face Spread from Jung and Tarot by Sallie Nichols, go watch that and then return to this session, because we’ll be building on what was covered about Jung and Tarot.

Since this is a journaling-only session where the tarot cards you’ll be working with will appear across the screen for you, you won’t need your own deck and you don’t even need any knowledge whatsoever of the tarot.

Attributions for the cards you’ll be journaling through are going to be provided for you, given through the perspective of Jungian archetypes and applicable in a psychological approach to the tarot.

Start by downloading the supplemental handout linked below. It’s going to be a 10-page PDF file.

Tarot Journaling Hand-Out

Applying Transformative Tarot Counseling Techniques

You can print it out and write directly on the handout sheets, then add it to your tarot journal, or you can copy the questions longhand into your tarot journal and work directly from the pages of your notebook.

This guided journaling session is intended to help you work through any anxieties or frustrations you currently face and arrive at different perspectives, gained insights, and realizations of the answer.

Subject | Key 1 The Magus or Key 2 The Priestess

For the first card we’re journaling through, you’ll be selecting from either Key 1 or Key 2 to represent you. You project your sense of identity out onto the archetype of either the magus or the high priestess and then work through prompts to gain a different perspective of yourself.

This is insight into the inner divine masculine or inner divine feminine, and applying core counseling techniques in a tarot journaling prompt for yourself to help you better realize the anima or animus.

Although I’m a straight female, Key 1: The Magus pulled at me more and I felt I identified more with the magus than the high priestess while going through this exercise, so I journaled with The Magus. In other words, you don’t just simply choose Key 1 because you’re a guy and Key 2 because you’re a girl. It’s more about how you identify with the archetypal energies these keys represent.

Known, Conscious | Key 12 The Hanged Man

For the second card, we’ll all be journaling through The Hanged Man from the New Era Elements Tarot as feaured in the video. There are many reasons I chose this card. In esoteric tarot, it’s considered the most important card in the tarot deck for truly understanding the tarot. It’s the card that facilitates the initiation (which comes after, in Key 13: Death), or transformation of consciousness.

If you’re coming in to this journaling session with a sincere intent to work through a problem you’re facing, then more likely than not you feel a bit like the hanged man and need to figure out what next course of steps to take to progress forward. So it’s just a great card for processing current anxieties, fears, and roadblocks.

Also, it kind of works out perfectly that when this video is produced, the year 2019, 2 + 0 + 1 + 9 = 12, so we’re in the year of the Hanged Man.

Unknown, Unconscious | Key 3 The Empress

Since we’re working with The Hanged Man as the known and conscious, the underlying Key with a common numerological denominator is Key 3 in the tarot, The Empress. Thus, working with that attribution, we journal through The Empress to retrieve insights from our own unconscious, the layers underneath our current known anxieties, fears, and roadblocks.

Next Step | Key 4 The Emperor

The Emperor is a critical card in the tarot Majors to work through for personal sovereignty and achieving a sense of self-determination. It’s about independence and coming in to your own. It also happens to follow Key 3: The Empress in the consecutive order of the Majors. The coming year, 2020, will incidentally be an Emperor year (2 + 0 + 2 + 0 = 4).

In the next video of this series, we will be moving out of the world of tarot psychology and into the realm of fortune-telling and predictive readings with the tarot, working with the techniques and reading style of Eden Gray. Be sure to check the Series Page for the scheduled upload.

Sightsee the Tarot: Series Page

Click on the Series Page for a List of All Episodes

Reading Tarot for Others (Free Book of Maps Chapter Download)

The Book of Maps Vitruvian Edition is going to be a significantly larger volume book than the First Ediiton, with new chapters.

A collection of those chapters are intended to showcase the more practical side of the Spirit Keeper’s Tarot, especially how a professional tarot reader or one who reads tarot for others might be able put the deck into everyday use.

Continue reading “Reading Tarot for Others (Free Book of Maps Chapter Download)”

Sightsee the Tarot: Video Series

SIGHTSEE THE TAROT is a video series on my YouTube channel that takes you on a tour of the tarot, from discovering new books and tarot thought leaders to workshopping classic tarot spreads and tinkering with particular tarot decks.

Together, we’ll work through specialized reading techniques, provocative topics in the world of tarot, or explore notable perspectives and points of view. I’ll guide you every step of the way through these hands-on presentations. Pause as needed and resume the video only when you’re ready for the next step.

When you can’t have a tarot instructor in your home with you, in person, this Sightsee the Tarot series is the next best thing. As your host for this series, here is my objective: to coax you out of your comfort zone and get you to try out a diverse range of approaches to the cards.

Continue reading “Sightsee the Tarot: Video Series”

Shadow Work (Bell Chimes In #37) & Applying it Right Now to A-Z New Age Practices

Bell Chimes In is baaack for 2019. =) And we kick off the series with #37, on shadow work.

Well, it’s not really about shadow work. I realize now in retrospect I never even actually addressed what shadow work is, or even what it is to me. I just jumped right in to my opinions and tangential thoughts.

Anyway, I want to conjoin that video chat with a blog post on the most recent thing to fire up the tarot, pagan, occult, and New Age communities: Doreen Virtue’s “An A-Z List of New Age Practices to Avoid and Why.” At first my response to that article won’t seem to relate to shadow work, but just stay with me. I’ll get there.

Which by the way, is totally okay. Shadow work, that is. It didn’t make it onto Virtue’s list of demonic things. So we’re good. Phew.

Continue reading “Shadow Work (Bell Chimes In #37) & Applying it Right Now to A-Z New Age Practices”

Top 5 Oracle Decks of 2018

Continuing with the 31 Days of Tarot community challenge by Ethony, let’s talk about my top five oracle decks for 2018.

These are my top five oracle decks from the previous year, meaning (1) acquired the deck in the year 2018, and (2) actually worked with the deck in 2018, but most of these were published well before 2018.

The Celtic Shaman’s Pack by John Matthews and Chesea Potter is a deck I plan on reviewing in-depth at some future point. It’s an older deck that was then re-released  (and given a redesign) in 2017, but one I didn’t acquire myself until 2018. And I love it. Wow, I can’t even.

The guidebook that comes with the cards is everything you want to get you oriented in working with Celtic shamanism for yourself. I cannot shower this oracle deck with enough high praise, except to say you’ve got to try it to believe it. You can look forward to me posting a deck review of it this year, in 2019.

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Top 5 Tarot Decks of 2018

In 2018 we saw so many incredibly innovative and ground-breaking decks to name that I could not reduce it down to just five. This was a difficult list to make and I wish I could name more. I even thought about doing a special mentions section, but then even that would get unduly long!

These are my top five tarot decks from 2018, though two of these decks were published in 2017. Also, my own deck, Spirit Keeper’s Tarot, was disqualified, since come on. I can’t pick my own deck.

Continue reading “Top 5 Tarot Decks of 2018”