Tarot Summer School at the Tarot Readers Academy


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.


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.


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.

Is Tarot Reading Bullshit?

I came across this video clip on the interwebs. It seems to be from one of those rational skeptic shows, one called “The Bulls**t Detective” (Series 1, Episode 4), meant to debunk “pseudoscience and . . . new age nonsense.” By the accent of the show’s host, Alasdair Jeffery, I’m assuming it hails from the UK. Not so sure of the language of the subtitles. If you’re a tarot reader, I strongly recommend that you watch this and, I hope, read my assessment of it below.

Three tarot readers are showcased: Paul Hughes-Barlow, professional tarot reader for over 20 years; Laura Boyle, professional psychic and tarot reader; and Andy Cook, a professional tarot reader with 7 years of tarot reading experience. The three practitioners (per my view) are named in the order of tarot mastery. That assumption of mine comes mainly from my high respect for Hughes-Barlow and his work and, at the end of the video, how Cook kind of loses his cool as the TV show host Jeffery quite deliberately goads him on.

Continue reading “Is Tarot Reading Bullshit?”

The First Operation: Adapting a Traditional Method in the “Opening of the Key” to Contemporary Tarot Applications

The First Operation is the first step to an extensive divination method called the “Opening of the Key,” a method associated with the Golden Dawn approach to tarot reading. Paul Foster Case’s book, Oracle of the Tarot (1933) provides a great instructional on the First Operation. A PDF of the book can be downloaded HEREFor a recent publication on “Opening of the Key,” read “The Golden Dawn Opening of the Key Method” by Marcus Katz of Tarot Professionals, linked HERE.

Now I’ve extracted the First Operation method from the Opening of the Key to use contemporaneously with modern approaches to tarot reading.

Selecting the Signifier

There are many ways of selecting a signifier card, also known as the significator. A classic “old school” Golden Dawn approach is to use The Magician for a male and The High Priestess for a female. However, I was taught to use court cards. The following is my court card approach to selecting the signifier:

Astrol. Signs, Sun Sign Dates


Court Card Signifier
Aries, MAR 21 – APR 19


PAGE for young female
Leo, JUL 23 – AUG 22 KNIGHT for young male
Sagittarius, NOV 22 – DEC 21 QUEEN for adult female
KING for adult male
Cancer, JUN 21 – JUL 22


PAGE for young female
Scorpio, OCT 23 – NOV 21 KNIGHT for young male
Pisces, FEB 19 – MAR 20 QUEEN for adult female
KING for adult male
Libra, SEPT 23 – OCT 22


PAGE for young female
Aquarius, JAN 20 – FEB 18 KNIGHT for young male
Gemini, MAY 21 – JUN 20 QUEEN for adult female
KING for adult male
Capricorn, DEC 22 – JAN 19


PAGE for young female
Taurus, APR 20 – MAY 20 KNIGHT for young male
Virgo, AUG 23 – SEPT 22 QUEEN for adult female
KING for adult male

Continue reading “The First Operation: Adapting a Traditional Method in the “Opening of the Key” to Contemporary Tarot Applications”