Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tarot SWOT Analysis

Christy of Tarot Girl Next Door offers a wonderful spread for planning with the tarot in the form of the 'SWOT Analysis System'. Below is an image of the SWOT diagram and a sample reading.

SWOT Analysis

My objective of the reading is to view my options and opportunities in my writing world and tarot world. First, I have to say WOW! 4 Major Arcana cards in sequence 8, 9, 10, and 11.

Artwork © Jennifer Galasso, 2011
Crystal Visions Tarot

Strengths - energies working in my favor - 10 Wheel of Fortune (reversed)
Weaknesses - energies working against me - 8 Strength (reversed)
Opportunities - external energies working in my favor - 9 The Hermit
Threats - external energies working against me - 11 Justice

Wheel of Fortune reversed represents the feeling of no forward movement, a stalled position. My strength is my determination to succeed. No matter how much it feels like I'm walking through quicksand, I'll continue to push forward. The Hermit reveals the need to search within, a time for soul searching. As I look upon the card, I think of 'searching the horizon'. The opportunity for success is there, but the first steps are to decide upon the direction best for me.

Strength reversed signifies the lack of self-confidence, doubt and fear.  My weakness is my lack of confidence in my ability to succeed, a fear of the power found in the upright position of the Strength card.  Justice represents a need for balance, time needed to make the best decision. The threat is of not taking the time to balance the factors and making hasty decisions. 

The figure in The Hermit looks directly at the figure in Justice, but she is turned away, eyes closed. The Hermit waits for the decision to be decided upon. The figure in Strength looks upon the wheel, as if waiting for movement.

Overall - By overcoming my weakness (doubts and fear in my own abilities), I can put my strength (my determination to succeed) into forward motion. By taking the time to reflect internally, the threat of hasty decisions resolves into no threat at all.

Affirmation: I believe in my abilities to move forward and succeed. I will take the time to be patient and search my soul for direction.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Transparent Tarot by Emily Carding

The Transparent Tarot
by Emily Carding

The Transparent Tarot is an original, unique deck with a new approach to the tarot. The deck follows the basis Rider-Waite system, yet brings to life a new understanding and a new view of tarot reading.

Read my complete review, previously published on the Examiner.

To give you an idea of what the cards look like and a view of a quick reading, here is a one card reading for the week. Now, with the Transparent Tarot, this is actually three cards layered to produce one.

Wow! Three Major Arcana cards - should be an interesting week. Below you see the image created by three cards layered - 6 Lovers, 2 High Priestess, 0 Fool. 

Notice how the images intertwine with each other. So, what do we see? The rose captures my attention. The heart flows up from it. In the center of the card, we see a butterfly, the Yin and Yang symbol, a sliver of moon. The open book also draws special attention. So we have a display of symbolism here.

The rose - growth, the heart - love, yin and yang - coming together, butterfly - growth, moon - the unknown. Without even considering the meanings of the tarot card, the symbolism creates its own message.

This week will be about growing, a loving union, and surprises.

Now let's look at the cards. The Lovers - a new relationship or finding balance through choice, The High Priestess - listening to your intuition, and the fool - taking a leap of faith.

Message - There will be a choice to make, listen to your intuition and don't hesitate to move forward.

Another way to look at the cards is through story mode. Below, you will see the cards spread apart, yet connected.

Notice how the yin and yang symbol touches the moon. The choice to be made will have everything to do with my intuition. Perhaps the choice will only be available on a higher level, rather than a physical one. This will be a personal, internal choice, not a action choice. The results will be the freedom to jump with no restraints.

Hope you enjoyed this preview of The Transparent Tarot. It is a deck which grabs both your creative mind and your intuitive mind.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card - Step 13 - Symbols

21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card
Mary K. Greer
In step thirteen of our journey, we explore the symbolism of the tarot.

"As A. E. Waite noted in The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, 'The true Tarot is symbolism: it speaks no other language and offers no other signs.'"

"Emotions bridge what goes on in your unconscious to the meaning you give the symbol. It is through symbols that the unconscious speaks to consciousness."

Artwork © Jennifer Galasso, 2011 
Activity 13:1:  1) List the symbols appearing on your chosen card. Write down what you know about the 'meaning" for each without looking it up. 2) What are the objects used for? 3) Where have you seen the symbol? 4) Do any of them remind you of something else. 5) Can you see a recurring themes? If so, summarize the significance.

  • Swords - Protection
  • Pink Wings - Hope, flight
  • Birds - Freedom
  • Armor - Protection
  • White Feather - Purity, power
  • Pink Jewels - Hope, positive energy
  • Knives - Protection
  • White Snow - Purity, isolation
  • Reflection (of bird) - Self-knowledge
  • Sunlight - Recognition
  • Clouds - Doubt
  • Pink Triangle Necklace - Hope, positive energy
What are the objects used for? Swords, knives, and armor are used for protection. The wings, birds, and feather are used in flight. The jewelry is used to decorate. The snow, sunlight, and clouds are part of nature's healing source. Reflections or shadows allow you to see in another light.

Where have you seen the symbols? Other than the obvious birds, sunlight, and clouds can't say where anything has really appeared to me. Although, I have spent some time recently looking through healing stones, which could refer back to the jewelry in the card.

Do any of them remind you of something else? Not really. A bird is a bird, a knife is a knife. :)

Recurring themes? The card concentrates on common themes of protection, freedom, hope, positive energies, and seeing through the doubt.


Need some extra help with Symbolism? Mary K. Greer goes into great detail in this step, in The Way of the Adept section.


If you haven’t already, grab a copy of the book for a deeper understanding of 21 Ways to Read the Tarot. Available in Print and Kindle.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Inspirations For Survivors

Inspirations for Survivors

"Inspirations for Survivors", a 44 card deck and 96 page companion book, offers encouragement to those stepping through life, seeking helpful guidance.
"In this life, we are all survivors on some level."
Read the full review at the Examiner.


There are a few methods of using these cards in the companion book.

One is as 'a daily motivational tool.' Today's motivation comes in the form of "In the face of adversity find beauty in everyone."

Inspirations for Survivors
The companion book suggests looking deeper into a situation than face value. We do not know what others' situations are, while neither do they know ours.

Compassion toward an enemy can change the world.

As you may see from the image, these would also make wonderful meditation cards. Lose yourself in the calmness of the water and the mysteries of what may lie behind the stone wall. 

Storytelling is another alternative use. Look closely. There seems to be a building beyond the stone piers. Who lives there? Is the scene from an earlier period or a magical land? Is the water of a river or stream, or maybe it's a moat? Does the main character have a problem with quickly judging others? Is there a marital problem which could easily be fixed with a little compassion from both participants? 

These cards hold many possibilities. What do you think? Do you see other possible uses? Do you own the deck and have used them for storytelling or meditation? Did you find them useful? Share your thoughts.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Five Mistakes Most Tarot Beginners Make... and How to Avoid Them

Brigit Esselmont
Guest post by Brigit Esselmont of

You tear open the new deck of Tarot cards you've just bought and you grab your favourite Tarot books. Perfect! You’re ready to start learning how to read Tarot!

But as you flip through the pages and work with your Tarot cards, you soon become overwhelmed, confused and doubtful about whether you’ll ever master all 78 Tarot card meanings let alone do a Tarot reading.

If this is you, then you’re probably making at least one of the five mistakes most Tarot beginners make. Find out how these simple mistakes may be unravelling your Tarot studies and what you can do to avoid them. 

Not Trusting Your Intuition 

No doubt it was your intuition that brought you to the Tarot cards in the first place. Perhaps it all started with a Tarot reading you got, or when you walked into the local New Age shop and were attracted to a deck of Tarot cards, or when your best friend gifted you your first set of cards.

Whatever has drawn you to the Tarot has been a product of your intuition guiding you gently along.

But why is it that so many Tarot beginners ditch their intuition in favour of rote learning the Tarot card meanings?

I often get emails from Tarot beginners saying, “My gut feeling was telling me one thing, but that’s completely different to what I read the card is supposed to mean. What meaning do I use?”

The answer is so simple. Trust your intuition.

The books are there to guide you and to offer suggestions as you learn, but it is your intuition that needs to come forth in a Tarot reading.

Give your intuition voice. Allow it to be the guiding light when reading the Tarot cards. Go with your gut more than what the book is telling you.

Rote Learning In-Depth Tarot Card Meanings

Speaking of rote learning... Many Tarot beginners believe that they must have an intricate and in-depth understanding of every individual card in the Tarot deck.

If your goal is to read the Tarot with confidence, then focus on learning about the larger patterns that influence each card. For example, learn about each of the Tarot Suits, numerology, symbolism, elemental associations, the Court Cards and the Majors. By learning about the systems and the patterns that relate to all cards you will find it much easier to develop your own interpretations of each Tarot card using what you already know.

I also recommend focusing on developing keywords and phrases for each card rather than learning their full, in-depth meaning straight away (this will come later). Create a series of Tarot keyword charts so that you can easily refer to the high-level meanings for each card and build your confidence much faster.

Using Complicated Tarot Spreads

Why is it that so many beginner Tarot books include the Celtic Cross Tarot spread? The Celtic Cross is a complex 10-card spread that is wonderful if you are an experienced Tarot reader, but frightening and overwhelming if you’re just starting out.

I typically recommend Tarot beginners start with a 1-, 2- or 3-card Tarot spread. Don’t even worry about having specific positions. Just draw 1, 2 or 3 cards and interpret the story that you see in those cards. You would be amazed at just how in-depth a 1-, 2- or 3-card can be. Here’s proof – a 2-card Tarot reading about a recent celebrity divorce.

Waiting Until You're Good Enough to Start Reading

“Oh, I could never do a reading for a stranger! Definitely not yet. I don’t even know what Tarot spread to use.”

For some reason, Tarot beginners seem to be paralysed by fear of reading for strangers. Many want to wait and wait until the magic day when they are finally a Tarot “expert”. But will that day ever come? Will you ever know EVERYTHING you need to know? I know I can certainly learn a lot more, and that’s with 15 years' experience reading Tarot professionally.

My advice? Start reading for other people as soon as possible. Start with yourself, then read for friends and family. Then, jump online and offer free Tarot readings on websites such as and Biddy Tarot where you can provide free Tarot readings via email in exchange for feedback. No-one is going to know that you are sneaking a peek in your little white book every now and then. Plus there is a never-ending demand for Tarot readers who are willing to give free readings. Trust me!

Getting ‘Lost’ in the Vast Amount of Information

When I started to learn to read Tarot, I collected a ridiculous amount of information, through Tarot books, online forums and websites. I had so much information that I was completely overwhelmed and had no idea how to make sense of it all.

Instead of buying up big with every single Tarot book that has ever been published, choose just 1 or 2 books and work with those. You can find my recommendations at

Set yourself Tarot study goals – what are you going to learn and in what timeframe? Then, make sure that everything you learn is aligned to your study goals. You can always file any additional information for later reference.

Tarot Foundations
Love These Tarot Tips?

You’ll find even more in my newest Tarot eBook, “TarotFoundations: 31 Days to Read Tarot with Confidence”. Follow my 31 day program and you’ll be reading the Tarot like a professional in no time. Build a personal connection with the cards and take your Tarot readings to the next level. Find out more at

About Brigit

Brigit is a professional Tarot reader with over 15 years' experience. She is an author, blogger and mentor. Her website, BiddyTarot, is incredibly popular amongst Tarot enthusiasts with Tarot card meanings, Tarot guides and eBooks, and regular blog posts to help you learn Tarot.

She is also mum to 2 beautiful girls and lives with her family in Melbourne, Australia.

Examiner Articles

Interview with Brigit Esselmont (Author, Blogger, Tarot Reader...)

How to Read Tarot with Confidence Without Studying for Years by Brigit