Pop Culture Tarot

Modern Tarot & Pop Culture

hair musical tarotThe Rider-Waite-Smith deck has appeared in many mediums of modern culture. If you’re an old hippie and you went to see the musical Hair in 1968, you might have been lucky enough to be given a ‘Lovers’ Tarot card souvenir by the cast during, or after the show.

If you’re an old rocker, you may remember the legendary appearance of The Hermit on the inner sleeve of a Led Zeppelin album. Jimmy Page was one of the first commercially successful artists to champion the imagery of the Waite-Smith Tarot and the band used this same image in the musical odyssey they created, called ‘The Song Remains the Same’. In this concert-film, Jimmy Page is filmed climbing up the face of a snow-capped mountain. This part of the film showed Page on a quest for enlightenment, where he sought The Hermit for guidance.

james bondAnother famous film depicting the RWS cards is the James Bond film, Live and Let Die (1973). In this movie, a fortune teller called Solitaire helps her crime boss keep ahead of the law through her predictions with a custom deck designed by Fergus Hall. This deck is based on the RWS deck and the original pack appears in the film alongside the 007 version. Tarot played a central role in the film’s imagery and plot development.

In a visually stunning manner, the RWS deck also appears in the video for Roseanne Cash’s song ‘The Wheel’ (Sony BMG, 1993). There are live-action versions of many Minor Arcana cards from the RWS deck. It’s beautiful!

In 1998 the characters from the Major Arcana appeared in an episode of Xena: Warrior Princess. The episode is in the form of a musical called ‘The Bitter Suite’, and Xena appears as the High Priestess and also as Death.

The Major Arcana had animation treatment and was used as the backdrop for Madonna’s song ‘Hollywood’ during her Re-Invention stage tour (2004). Check out this video clip that shows the RWS imagery coming to life.

More recently, Vance Joy’s mega-hit ‘Riptide’ features The Fool, 8 of Swords, The Moon, and The Hanged Man. These cards are placed into a sequential spread about half way through the music video.

Tarot has been used in many television episodes (even The Simpsons) but they are not often the RWS version. If you think of any other movies, music videos or TV shows that feature the Waite-Smith cards, please let me know!




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Tarot Quote

A Great Quote About Tarot:

I just found a great quote that sums up the essence of the Tarot cards. It’s by Charles Williams (1886 – 1945) who was a novelist, poet, theologian, and member of A. E. Waite’s Fellowship of the Rosy Cross.

Charles Williams - author

He wrote seven occult novels, including one called ‘The Greater Trumps’, and this quote is from that story.

“It’s said that the shuffling of the cards is the earth, and the pattering of the cards is the rain, and the beating of the cards is the wind, and the pointing of the cards is the fire. That’s of the four suits. But the Greater Trumps, it’s said, are the meaning of all process and the measure of the everlasting dance.”

How good is that!



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Learn Tarot the Easy Way

An Easy Way to Learn Tarot:

Have you always wanted to learn how to use Tarot cards but didn’t know where to go? Or have you tried using the cards, but haven’t had the results you desired?

I can explain Tarot in easy terms and I’ll have you feeling confident about doing readings by the end of the day!

During this workshop we will look at…

– How Tarot works…
– A simple method for discovering the meanings of the cards…
– The many ways you can use Tarot cards in daily life…
– Gaining confidence in readings for yourself or others.
– How to use Tarot as pro-active guidance, rather than a passive method of fortune-telling.
– And there will be lots of opportunities to use the cards in order to gain insight about yourself and to gain a glimpse of your future.


Tarot Workshop


This is your opportunity to discover a simple way of understanding the meanings of the cards so you can do Tarot readings for yourself and your friends.

I am a qualified trainer with 30 years of Tarot experience, and in these easy lessons you will be shown how to open the door to Tarot’s wisdom.

Feedback 1: ‘What a great educator Don is. His terminology & the way he explains the processes are so easy to understand.’ – Marlene

Feedback 2: ‘A truly excellent workshop. You are a gifted facilitator and teacher. Thank you for your insight and guidance – it has set me up to have a wonderful week.’ – Charlotte Robinson

Feedback 3: ‘I wish to share my wonderful and awesome experience in attending your Beginner and Intermediate Workshops recently. In a nutshell, you make it so simple and straightforward to get in touch with oneself to answer any questions on any aspects of our life from the Tarot. Not only did your Workshops allay any misconceptions I had about the Tarot, it was so much fun, interesting and insightful all at the same time. Your interpretation of the cards was indeed spot on and succinct. Your interpretation truly reflect how simple and to the point your practical approach of Real Tarot really is. Simply brilliant!’ – Diana M

Don McLeod has:
Certificate IV in Training & Assessment
Diploma of Vocational Education & Training
Diploma of Training Design & Development

Contact Crystal Wave at Grange to reserve your place at this workshop. Give your Tarot reading abilities a boost! Phone: (08) 8235 1817


Crystal Wave logo home


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Judgement Card

When the Judgement Card Appears:

Are you awake? Or are you walking through life as a zombie?

So many trudge along with no motivation, no passion, no goals, and without those big, bold dreams that make it easy to climb out of bed in the morning.

Judgement CardWhen you find the card called Judgement appearing in your readings, it’s time to evaluate your life and be ready to ‘follow your bliss’. This card is all about awakening to your desires and following your heart.

In this card’s image, the angel Gabriel is blowing his trumpet to blast you awake. This is a biblical scene representing the last judgement.

When this card turns up, be prepared for some life-changing notions to dominate your thoughts. The angel is saying that the universe is waiting for you to re-awaken to all the possibilities you used to imagine were your ultimate destiny.

The time is right. Take the steps required to live the life you know you could be living. Rise up and make your dreams a reality. It’s up to you to create the life of your dreams, so wake up to your own potential.

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Tarot Trajectory

Tarot Trajectory:

When it comes to doing a reading, the possibility of seeing a bad outcome worries many people. I can understand that—no one wants bad news—especially if they feel that it’s unavoidable. But Tarot isn’t about discovering a future outcome that is locked into place by the universe. The future is fluid. The future is adjustable.

pinball tarotThe future is like a giant pinball machine. You could pull back the spring and send the metal ball to the top of the game and then stand back and cross your arms and watch it rattle down to the trap at the bottom and say, ‘Oh well, that’s life!” Or, you can stand at the pin ball machine and hit those paddles on the side of the machine and flick that ball back into play for as long as you have the skill and concentration and stamina.

Tarot shows you the trajectory of the ball. It shows you where it’s heading if you settle back and allow life to carry on without any extra effort on your part. It shows you where the traps and the bonus points are — and you can then direct yourself into whatever zone you feel you deserve.

Tarot is an active form of divination. Make your choices and play the game!




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The Sun Card

In The Sun Card – Is the Child a Boy or a Girl?

People who are new to Tarot often get confused by the gender of the child in the card called The Sun. The infant on the horse wears flowers in their hair, so is it a girl? No! The roses are simply there to resemble the crown of a king.

The Sun card of the TarotThe child is definitely a boy. We know this for a few good reasons. First of all, the symbol of the sun is a masculine energy, and The Sun card follows the feminine nature of the card called The Moon.

The child is the son of the spiritual sun that shines at the top of this card, dominating the whole image.

In mythic terms, the sun is linked to the Greek god Apollo, the god of light. This is a card of daylight—a time of activity and consciousness.

We also know it’s a boy because A. E. Waite (the designer of the deck) refers to the masculine gender of the child in his book ‘Pictorial Key to the Tarot’. This handbook which relates directly to these cards says, “The characteristic type of humanity has become a little child therein—a child in the sense of simplicity and innocence in the sense of wisdom. In that simplicity, he bears the seal of Nature and of Art; in that innocence, he signifies the restored world.”

The child is definitely a boy, but it doesn’t make much difference to your interpretations; the child simply represents the innocence of childhood and a child-like enthusiasm for life.

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Active Tarot

Use Active Tarot – Not Passive Fortune Telling:

It used to be that Tarot was seen as a passive situation. You dealt out the cards to discover what was going to happen to you, then you sat back and waited for that future to eventuate. How dull! What a fatalistic, defeatist attitude!

I suggest being pro-active with your Tarot. Rather than seeing Tarot as a reflection of what can happen to you, put your cards to use in your life.

  • Use Tarot for direction—give yourself ideas to pursue—and then work out how to keep on track for the desired outcome.
  • Use Tarot for warnings—to work out if there are any challenges you might encounter along the path you have chosen—and then use it to discover how you can overcome those obstacles.
  • Use Tarot for spiritual insight—contemplate that new awareness until you fully understand it—and then integrate that lesson into your life.
  • Use Tarot for quick answers to a dilemma—and then take action.
  • Use Tarot to make choices—then take the time to explore the situation in more detail.

compassMost people make choices without knowing where that direction will lead and how it will impact them in the short term and in the long term. They leave it up to fate. Tarot offers an opportunity to discover the outcomes of any choice.

Be proactive with your Tarot readings. Tarot is about making the most from potential outcomes. Use it to overcome the fate of wrong decisions!




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Adelaide Tarot Meetings

The Tarot Guild of Australia’s Monthly Meetings have resumed in Adelaide:

This group is targeted to those who make time for regular tarot practice and have achieved a reasonable level of tarot reading ability.

It is aimed at tarot enthusiasts who regularly undertake reading, writing, journaling, illustration, creating spreads and layouts, etc.; both for yourself and for others.

tarot guild logoThe main deck that will be used in the workshop activities is the Rider-Waite-Colman-Smith deck and/or those tarot decks that are based on, or around, this design.

The meetings are hosted and run by Kim and Emma for anyone who wishes to become more proficient in their tarot reading and interpretation skills. If you enjoy polishing your skills through group work, active discussion, and sharing ideas & methods with other like-minded people, then come along and have some fun!

Each month the TGA Monthly Meet-ups will be offering a different tarot activity.

When: Last Wednesday of each month, 7.30 pm to 9 pm. Doors open at 7.15pm.
Where: Rosa Tingey Centre, 38 Palmerston Road, Unley
Investment: $10 per person, per session.

For further information or to register your interest, please contact Kim: 0415 685 070 or Emma: 0412 153 443

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Book Review – Secrets of the Waite-Smith Tarot

Secrets of the Waite-Smith Tarot – A Book Review:

When I heard that Marcus Katz and Tali Goodwin were putting together a book which revealed the inspiration behind the images of the Rider-Waite-Smith cards, I was so excited! I’ve done a fair bit of research about the history and evolution of the cards, but as Pamela Colman Smith had not written any books on her experiences while drawing the cards, I’d come to a dead-end regarding her mindset at the time of developing this deck’s imagery.

secrets of waite smith tarotI’m thrilled with the outcome of their research. The authors had access to Waite’s unpublished writings, Pamela’s letters, her drawings, and photographs of Pamela with her friends that clearly reveal the characters who inspired her Tarot designs. They even visited some of the places she lived, and from this they discovered landscapes that mirrored the images on the cards.

It’s mind-boggling to think that Pamela created all 78 cards in this deck in just over 5 months. Perhaps because of the constraints of this time-frame, in her designs she incorporated people and scenery she knew well.

In this book we learn that Pamela was involved in acting and theatre design at the time of her association with Waite. In her creation of figures for the Minor Arcana, she used images of various stage characters and was inspired by dialogue from famous plays. Katz and Goodwin discovered lots of text from plays of this era that relate directly to her cards.

rider waite originalFor example, one of the unusual aspects of the 7 of Wands is the mismatched shoes on the character defending his position at the top of the hill. This relates to the character Petruchio, from ‘The Taming of the Shrew’. In this play by Shakespeare, Petruchio arrives badly dressed for his wedding, and his boots are described as, ‘one buckled, another laced.’ As Katz and Goodwin explain, ‘All the complex ideas, scenarios, and character interactions of a full play by Shakespeare are carried by this one image.’

queen wands cat csThis is an exciting book that clears up so many of the mysteries of the Waite-Smith deck. In it you’ll discover the name of the cat at the foot of the Queen of Wands, the meaning of the snail in the 9 of Wands, and the name of the dog in the card called The Fool. But these are just ‘fun facts’ that make the book enjoyable to read…the real value of the book is that the authors have provided clarification of the intended meanings of the original Rider-Waite-Smith deck. This is a brilliant book that is going to keep me entertained for a long time!

To see more of Pamela Colman Smith’s artwork, have a look at the video created by Kim Arnold: Click here.


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A Question for the Tarot

Asking a Clear Question:

What’s the number one mistake that I see beginner readers (and some experienced ones) making with their Tarot cards? They don’t take time to work out EXACTLY what they want to know from their reading. If your wording is broad and generic, then your reading will be too!

Suit of SwordsI see it time and time again in my workshops. It’s not unusual to have asked someone to think of a question and then deal out the cards for a reading, only to find that the cards displayed are not telling a consistent story. When I ask them to verbalise the exact question they were thinking as they shuffled the cards, I find that their question was not concise, or it featured two or more situations.

When doing a Tarot reading, you need to decide on the purpose of your reading. In order for your subconscious to be able to offer a definitive answer to any query, it needs to be directed through a simple, clearly defined, unambiguous question.

You need to be able to hold a clear question in your mind if you want your subconscious to be able to give some straightforward direction, therefore, you must work out in your mind the basic essence of the question you would like answered. It’s vitally important to reduce your question to its simplest form. If you need to ask about various situations, do a different reading for each part.

If you ask a vague question, you will have a difficult time interpreting the cards you select, because they will relate to a hazy situation. If you ask a question involving two scenarios, or two different areas of your life, then you will have a mixed answer relating to both areas. This will not be easy to interpret.

A clear, focused question gives a plain, direct answer. It’s a bit like using an Internet search engine: the more details you give for your search, the closer you get to the information you desire.

When you are shuffling the cards, you must only have your query in mind. If your thoughts stray while shuffling, then stop, think back to your question, and reshuffle. Do not allow your thoughts to wander to other topics while shuffling. And don’t think about possible outcomes while shuffling, or your subconscious will feel as though you are asking it to find cards relating to this outcome.

When working out your question, be clear and concise. Find the essence of the question! You might like to say it out loud, so that you can hear whether it’s a good, succinct question. Spending a few moments focusing on the wording for your question will pay off when you see a layout of cards that immediately makes sense and tells its story before your eyes!

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John Matthews Interview

An Interview with John Matthews:

John and Caitlin Matthews live in Oxford, UK, so it was relatively easy for them to be part of the UK Tarot Conference in 2013. Their partnership has resulted in more than 150 books featuring mythology and oracles. At the conference, John Matthews had an impressive range of his books and decks on display.

He was happy to share stories of his involvement with Tarot, and my first question related to the number of years he’d spent working on Tarot and Oracle decks…

John Matthews: The first one we did was the Arthurian Tarot, which is about seventeen years ago, then we had a long gap between that and the next one, but in more recent years I’ve started doing some on my own. Now we’ve started doing a whole new series, and in the last five years we’ve done about five Tarots. Recently we did the Steampunk Tarot, which was a bit of a diversion for us.

John MathewsMister Tarot: Could you tell us more about the Steampunk Tarot?

John Matthews: We’d always been interested in the idea of Steampunk—the whole idea of dressing up and becoming a Victorian character, or pseudo-Victorian character. And the whole thing now has become a big cultural movement, so we thought, well, what archetypes are there in the Steampunk world that might work for this, and we created the Steampunk Tarot. Since then, Caitlin’s just done The Enchanted Lenormand Oracle, the first of the vast realm of Lenormand decks that are coming your way, and I’ve just done The Oracle of Dr John Dee.

Mister Tarot: What’s the story behind the Dr John Dee deck?

John Matthews: It develops the whole idea of the Elizabethan magus as a way of enquiring into your own mysteries.

Mister Tarot: You seem to be on a roll with Tarot decks at the moment—why do you think you are driven to create so many?

John Matthews: It’s a way of thinking…when you’ve done several you start looking at every theme and thinking, ‘How would that be in Tarot terms?’

Mister Tarot: Are there any other new ones in development yet?

John Matthews: The next one, which I’ve almost finished now, is a Sherlock Holmes Tarot. That’s a very interesting example of the kind of thing I mean, because as soon as you start thinking about Holmes, the enquiring detective looking for answers to clues, I thought, well, isn’t that exactly what Tarot does? So, it fit into place very well. Once I’d sat down and started to think about it, within the space of a day I discovered that all of the archetypes were there. All the characters from the Sherlock Holmes stories are all in my Tarot deck…you’ve got the bumbling inspectors, you’ve got Holmes’ brilliant brother Mycroft, you’ve got Mrs Hudson, you’ve got all of the characters that everyone knows so well, and they all work perfectly as Tarot archetypes.

Mister Tarot: Are there any other decks planned for the future?

John Matthews: After the Sherlock Holmes deck there will be the Byzantine Tarot, which looks at the very early Western Magical Tradition before it really became formulated, and how the Tarot images might fit into that. So lots of interesting things are on their way!

Mister Tarot: We will keep our eyes open for these new creations. Thanks for your time, and thanks for bringing such interesting concepts into reality.

Click here for more info about John Matthews.

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Court Cards

Tarot Tip: The Court Cards

All Pages relate to Potential
All Knights relate to Opportunities
All Queens relate to Satisfaction
All Kings relate to Stability

When a Court card turns up in a reading, consider the qualities above and associate it with the element for that suit.

Page of CupsReminder:
Cups = Water = Emotions
Pentacles = Earth = Materialism
Swords = Air = Thoughts
Wands = Fire = Energy

For example, in a reading…

  • The Page of Pentacles shows the potential for making money.
  • The Page of Cups shows the potential for romance.
  • The Page of Swords shows the potential for a new way of thinking.
  • And the Page of Wands shows the potential for a fresh burst of energy to come your way.

Tarot Blessings,
Mister Tarot



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Interview with Caitlin Matthews

An Interview with Caitlin Matthews:

When I was learning about Tarot from books in the 1980s, it was standard practice to choose a ‘significator’ card, which represented the querent. This card was placed upon the table, and other cards for the reading were placed over that card, covering it completely! I was never a fan of this practice, and I soon decided to ignore that rule. It didn’t make sense to me. But at a recent Tarot conference, Caitlin Matthews ran a workshop called “Rejoicing in the Significators” which promoted an innovative approach to this concept. I was intrigued, so I made sure I went along.

One of the ideas suggested at this workshop was that a significator doesn’t have to be consciously chosen. Caitlin suggested choosing one ‘by chance’ to see what comes out to represent you or the client/querent. In the workshop we were shown quite a few novel options for using the significator, and we experimented with these ideas in a few spreads in the workshop.

This workshop was inventive and practical. It showed me a new way of reading Tarot that made use of the significator in an active manner, rather than as passive witness to the spread. She drew upon some traditional, but forgotten techniques of card reading that opened the doors of possibilities for a different approach to Tarot…and that’s exactly what you want from a teacher.

At the UK Tarot Conference I talked to Caitlin Matthews about that workshop on significators, then we discussed the rise of interest in the Lenormand Oracle within the Tarot community, and the future of Tarot in general…

caitlin matthews cropped

Mister Tarot: On a personal level, what do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of using a significator in a reading?
Caitlin Matthews: Well, I don’t like the passive significator which you just choose and it sits on the table and then you put some cards around it…I much prefer that it dances into the deck and then dances out with some friends. And what falls next to them is always very significant! If you’re reading by old methods of juxtaposition, you really do need to have a significator, but modern Tarot has relegated it to a negative, passive place where it’s not doing anything.

Mister Tarot: There has been big interest in the Lenormand Oracle at recent conferences. It seems to have come out of nowhere and become a major focus of Tarot readers. What do you think will be the next big thing to interest the Tarot scene?
Caitlin Matthews: I don’t think we’re done with Lenormand as yet. It’s a 200 year old oracle whose history is still being discovered…but what I personally would like to see is a collection from many hands and from many different European countries…there’s so much more history to be discovered…and some of it is perilously close to being lost…

Mister Tarot: Do you mean that some of the history of divination is likely to be lost?
Caitlin Matthews: Yes, divination in general. I would love to see small Piquet card oracles being better researched and put together. It would be lovely if all the researchers would sit down together…I’d love to edit a collection like that…unfortunately a lot of people just want to be the first at the trough and to find what they find, but it’s so much nicer when people talk to each other.

Mister Tarot: So, oracle cards are likely to be popular still?
Caitlin Matthews: I think oracles and oracle cards are here to stay. But we want oracles that take us deep, not just the surface ones.

Mister Tarot: Where do you think Tarot is heading from this point in time?
Caitlin Matthews: There are an infinite number of ways that it can go. I hope that the old oracular ways of speaking divination will come back up again. Personally, when I’m not reading cards, I’m actually reading from nature. That sense of getting omens from nature is a traditional skill that I’d like to see more of. Also, I hope that air-brushy, very photographic Tarot does not take over…I want real art…I love real art…that’s my personal wish for Tarot. I hope that real art still remains alive and vigorous.

Mister Tarot: What do you mean by real art?
Caitlin Matthews: Real art that is done by hand, as opposed to being done on the computer. I know that there’s a lot of photographic collage-style of Tarot being done at the moment, but they don’t do a lot for me.

Caitlin Matthews is a prolific author of more than 60 books and hundreds of magazine articles. She’s also an avid blogger, and I recommend visiting her site called, ‘Soundings’ in which she explores, myth, divination and the Western Mysteries.

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Webinar Review – The Major Arcana

Webinar Review – Major Arcana Only Readings by Rachel Pollack:

Traditional readings of the Tarot utilize both the Major Arcana (trumps) and the Minor Arcana (suit cards) in each layout. What types of readings can be done using only the Major Arcana? And if we only use the Major Arcana, does this mean that we can only focus on the big issues in life, rather than the day-to-day realities normally shown by the Minor Arcana?

rachel pollackIn this webinar, esteemed Tarot author Rachel Pollack sets out to answer those two questions. She begins with a look at some of the imagery on ancient and rare Tarot decks before sharing the layouts for various spreads that she has developed for Major Arcana readings.

At the start of the recording, the sound quality is poor, but don’t be disheartened, this soon improves and you learn some amazing spreads that can illuminate your spiritual journey. The first spread that Rachel gave was called the Spiritual Challenge Spread. This was a 3 card layout where position 1 (on the left) showed your spiritual history. Position 2 (on the far right) was the challenge your spiritual growth was facing, and the final position (placed in the middle) was for the gift that you will receive from the universe to aid you in your spiritual quest. This third card shows what will help you to deal with the obstacles and blockages found on your spiritual journey.

The best spread, however, was for a Soul Journey Reading. This was done by taking the fanciful (and rather beautiful) concept of a soul journeying beyond the body and returning with a message. In this spread, the questions answered through the Tarot are:

  • Where has my soul been?
  • What has she done?
  • What does she bring back?
  • How do I welcome her?

Major Arcana Logo smallThis is such a lovely concept, and you can create amazing, uplifting stories for yourself by asking these questions and using this spread of Major Arcana cards to touch the deepest aspects of yourself through Tarot’s archetypal imagery.

At the start of the webinar, Rachel stated that one of her aims was to identify the type of readings that could be done with the Major Arcana cards only. At the end of the session, it was clear that if you are using only the trump cards, you not limited by the questions that you could ask—but the answers to your questions are likely to be bound to deep and meaningful interpretations that will need to be considered on a soul level—it’s unlikely to show simple solutions to mundane situations.

Anything presented by Rachel Pollack is worth investigating, and this webinar is a wonderful opportunity to listen to her talk about Tarot’s imagery. It’s also an excellent webinar for those who want to explore a variety of spreads with a spiritual focus.

Title: Major Arcana Only Readings
Presented by: Rachel Pollack
Length of Recording: One hour
Available through: Global Spiritual Studies
Cost: online recording: AUD $14
DVD is AUD $18.50 plus packaging and postage

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Interview with Ciro Marchetti

Interview with Ciro Marchetti – Tarot Artist

Over ten years ago, when Llewellyn Publications asked Ciro Marchetti to do the artwork for a new deck (The Gilded Tarot) he didn’t know anything about Tarot, but he’s come a long way since then.

I had the pleasure of meeting Ciro at the UK Tarot Conference in 2013. One of the decks on display at his table was The Gilded Tarot Royale, which is an updated version of his original deck. It’s a visually stunning Rider-Waite style of Tarot that features realistic people within a mixture of medieval and fantasy art, illustrated in his unique, lush, exotic style.

Ciro MarchettiIn our interview, Ciro told me about his journey of discovery through the Tarot: Approximately fifteen years ago he turned his back on a successful career in corporate graphic design. He sold his company and dedicated himself to full time fantasy-style illustrations. A large portion of his work since then has been the production of Tarot and oracle cards.

He said that the mystical context of Tarot sparked his curiosity and that the world of Tarot seemed to fit other images he was producing at the time. He repeated several times that he wasn’t a Tarot reader, but that he felt it was an appealing challenge to create images that Tarot readers connected with.

How did Ciro start his involvement with Tarot? He had sent examples of his fantasy art to Llewellyn Publications with the hope of being able to do some of their book covers or calendars, however they said, “No thanks, we’ve got plenty for now.” But they passed it along to their divination division, who saw the potential for some stunning Tarot imagery. When they approached him about doing the artwork for The Gilded Tarot, he told them “I know nothing about Tarot!” but their persistence was our gain.


After creating so many decks, I asked if his association with the cards as an artist meant that he has turned into a Tarot reader through assimilation. He said, “I have read experimentally for myself, but I would never have the courage to read for someone else. And to be honest, I am not a good reader, because when you have been so intimately involved in the production of the images, it’s very difficult to read past that. For example, the King of Wands for me isn’t just the Tarot symbolism of that image…for me it’s that God-damn card that I had so much trouble drawing the fingers. It’s really difficult to separate the two.”

Mister Tarot: But when you were creating the King of Wands, surely you had to know the correspondences and some of the traditional interpretations of that card?

Ciro: Absolutely. I research that first, however, very often those items are quite nebulous emotions and characteristics. They are hard to visualise in their true sense. I mean how can you visually communicate qualities like fieriness or calmness? By pose…by dress? It’s quite difficult actually. My role is to take the meaning as I read it should be and I treat it as if I’m playing visual charades. I ask myself, if a card is meant to represent this or that, how do I communicate that in the instant of a freeze-frame of an image?

legacy of divine tarotMister Tarot: Do you get frustrated with only being able to use one panel for all of this emotion?

Ciro: Yes, that’s why I have done so many videos to promote the work. I can tell those stories so much more compellingly with motion and music. And that’s why, when I created Legacy of the Divine, I produced a little one-minute video for every card. It’s a much more powerful way to get that concept across.

Some of these video clips were shown during Ciro’s presentation at the conference. In his talk he explained how he used visual effects to suggest particular qualities and meanings for his oracle cards. He mentioned that he consciously used colours, fonts, and symbols to create an emotional response in the viewer.

In his artwork he often portrays his characters wearing masks, and he said that this was because “I’ve always found masks to be rather intriguing. Masks have a wonderful mystery to them—they hide reality—you can be something different behind them. They make you wonder who is the real person behind the mask?”

Ciro is one of Tarot’s master craftsmen. Through the medium of artwork and videos he has brought Tarot to life in a stunning and unique way. The world of Tarot is richer and more beautiful place because of his unlimited imagination and skill. He said that the most recent deck will be his last…let’s hope that isn’t true!

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Book Review – A History of the Occult Tarot 1870 – 1970

A History of the Occult Tarot – 1870 – 1970

A Book Review: The authors of this book reveal how Tarot didn’t always have mysticism and fortune telling attached to it. When it was invented in Italy in the fifteenth century it was simply a pack of cards used as a game. Esoteric interpretations of the cards only began in the late 18th century.

cover - history of occult tarotThis is the sequel to A Wicked Pack of Cards (reviewed in a recent post) and it traces the influence of occultists on Tarot’s designs and interpretations from 1870. During that period the use of Tarot was largely confined to magical orders and esoteric groups.

This isn’t an easy book to read. The first part contains detailed information on Hermetic literature, Jewish mysticism, the Cabala, and the Rosicrucians. Then it delves into spiritualism, Theosophists and the magical group called Golden Dawn. None of this makes for very satisfying reading—it’s just a drawn out history lesson that offers some background information about where particular pieces of information derived from and it highlights the dodgy reputations of all involved!

It’s not until chapter 8 that we start to learn about A.E. Waite’s influence on the Tarot. The following chapters, however, are once again preoccupied with the personal lives of occultists associated in any way with Tarot.

This book was supposed to be about the development of Tarot and the way that occultists drove its evolution to becoming a spiritual and divinatory tool, unfortunately, it spends too much time exploring the lives of these magicians and most of the time it ignores the cards altogether.

Title: A History of the Occult Tarot 1870 – 1970
Authors: Ronald Decker and Michael Dummett
Published by: Duckworth
Hard cover: 379 pages
ISBN: 0-7156-3122-5

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The Hierophant

The Hierophant

Depending on your background, your response to the Hierophant card will be different from another Tarot reader. Some will see it as an oppressive view of religion, others will see it as a card of spiritual guidance.

20130406085805_00002AIn the days of old, Hierophants were the high priests of the Eleusinian mysteries, which were initiation ceremonies for the cult of Demeter in ancient Greece. In the Rider-Waite Tarot, the Hierophant looks like an Archbishop or Pope. In the early versions of Tarot, this card was known as ‘The Pope’, but A. E. Waite called this card ‘The Hierophant’ so it had a stronger esoteric connection.

Despite its renaming, the image still retains the feeling of organised religion, rather than the mystical flow of spiritual enlightenment that Waite was trying to impart.

Although this card still looks as though a ‘message’ is being ‘preached’ to us, the essence of The Hierophant is that knowledge is being shared with the world. This is significant, as it’s a positive symbol of the spread of spirituality.

pope symbolismFrom The Hierophant, we learn about commitment, rules for living, and tradition. The Hierophant exemplifies the concept of living a righteous life and showing integrity to the world.

When integrity is embraced whole-heartedly, when it permeates every decision you make, then life becomes simpler and more rewarding. But a half-hearted attempt at living life with integrity brings confusion and chaos. The choice is simple, yet with deep and lasting consequences.

The Hierophant card suggests that we offer our knowledge to the world. What wisdom will you be sharing over the coming months?

Tarot Blessings,
Mister Tarot

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Book Review – Wicked Pack of Cards

Book Review: A Wicked Pack of Cards

It may seem strange to do a book review on a title that is out of print, but these days buying a second-hand copy of something worthwhile is only a mouse-click away. Unfortunately though, the book I’m about to review has a hefty price tag attached. A used copy will set you back at least $80. On Amazon, one person was trying to get $688 for their copy! Is it worth it? If you want to learn about the origins and evolution of Tarot cards, then the answer is YES!

Cover - A Wicked Pack of CardsA Wicked Pack of Cards was written in 1996 by two historians and a Professor of Logic. They have meticulously traced the history of Tarot from its invention in Italy in the fifteenth century, to its current role as a divination tool.

From its start as a simple card game with 22 ‘trumps’, to its association with the New-Agers of today, the authors have scoured occult books and historical references from around the world to uncover the truth of Tarot’s amazing journey.

In this book we discover that the Tarot images we are so familiar with have changed considerably over the years, along with their titles. And it was in late eighteenth-century France that Tarot was first used for fortune-telling.

It’s not an easy read, but it is unequalled as a reference book for Tarot history. It takes us all the way through to the late 1800s. The sequel—A History of the Occult Tarot—is devoted to the next stage of Tarot’s development, with particular interest in the influence of Britain and American occultists. But that’s another story!

Title: A Wicked Pack of Cards—the Origins of the Occult Tarot
Authors: Ronald Decker, Thierry Depaulis, and Michael Dummett
Published by: St Martin’s Press
ISBN: 0-312-16294-4

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The Empress of Suburbia

The Empress of Today

In today’s world, The Empress of Suburbia is a caring woman who mothers her children (and anyone else’s children who happen to wander by) with kindness and sensitivity.

In the Rider-Waite deck, The Empress is the embodiment of womanhood. She is an expression of Mother Nature, an Earth Goddess who is shown as a symbol of fecundity, ruling the physical realm with calmness and poise.

The Empress of the TarotSome Tarot decks show her as being pregnant, and this makes sense as the scene around her is always bountiful and rich with life. In Waite’s image of The Empress, a stream flows through the background, representing the surging vitality of life itself. In front of The Empress is a field of corn, another symbol of growth and sustenance.

From The Empress we can learn the feminine qualities of warmth, patience and respect for self and others. She asks us to listen to the words of wisdom that tumble along the stream; to hear the truth that whispers through the treetops on the soft breeze; to know the possibilities of self-expression that lie within the dormant seeds of vegetation; and to feel the ageless knowledge of the earth as it expresses itself in the harvest of fruits and grain.

Empress pregnantOne of the greatest lessons from the Tarot is to make time to listen to the wisdom that each character can teach us. As The Empress of the Tarot reclines on her plush lounge, she expresses the nurturing quality that we crave from Mother-figures. From The Empress we learn to appreciate this nourishment to the soul, and if it is not available from our own mothers, then by attuning to The Empress we can receive the benefits of being valued, encourage and loved through this archetypal Mother Goddess.

Tarot Blessings,
Mister Tarot

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Pamela Colman Smith

Pamela Colman Smith

Happy Birthday Pamela Colman Smith!

Outside of the Tarot community, no-one knows her name…but to those with a leaning to Tarot, we are indebted to the visual interpretations of Pamela Colman Smith. On Feb 16, spend a few moments in silent gratitude to the artist of the Rider-Waite-Smith deck. It was on this day in 1878 that Pamela (known to her friends as ‘Pixie’) was born.

Pixie was born in England, but her father had business ties with Jamaica, and the family moved there when she was 10 years old. They lived in Jamaica for several years. Her Jamaican nurse told her the stories of the land and people, and this folklore became an important part of her life.

When she was 15 she moved back to Brooklyn and during her schooling she was encouraged to study art. By the time she was 19 she had a feature exhibition which was reviewed in the New York Times. By the age of 21 she had gone back to London to become a writer and illustrator and she managed to publish four books, three of which were hers entirely—two included hand-coloured prints and one of the books was a series of Jamaican folk tales with line drawings. In that year she also toured with a theatre company.

pamela cs_by_kate_pragnett_1912

Pamela Colman Smith in the attire of a Jamaican story-teller. Photo taken by Kate Pragnell in 1912.

Pixie spent several years working with the theatre company where she helped with costume design and stage design. One of the members of this theatre group was its business manager, Bram Stoker, the author of ‘Dracula’. Pixie illustrated his last novel, ‘Lair of the White Worm’. Pixie also did illustrations for the poet William Butler Yeats.

It was Yeats who introduced Pixie to the occult society The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Arthur Edward Waite (the designer of the modern Tarot) and Aleister Crowley were members at the time.

Soon after her initiation into the Golden Dawn, the Order broke up into two groups. Many of the Golden Dawn members, including Pixie stayed with Waite’s side of the group. At this time Waite was designing a new Tarot deck which he asked Pixie to illustrate.

Pixie worked on this set of Tarot drawings in a small studio in London’s Chelsea district. She was 31 years old at the time and had become a small, slightly plump woman with an exotic appearance. She worked on the Tarot card project for about seven months. A full coloured set of 80 cards had to be ready for publishing in December 1909 — 78 Tarot cards plus the designs for the back of the card and the nameplate.

Not one of the 80 original drawings for the cards has been found. This is probably because the Rider & Sons Publishing archives were destroyed during World War II bombing raids.

pamela colman smith namedWhen the cards were published, they had minimal marketing and only a few occultists took notice—and most of them were stuck in long-running feuds. The general public did not know what to do with these ‘novelty’ cards. Tarot was considered to be a French custom, not English. It was only when the ‘New Age’ movement ‘discovered’ Tarot in the late 1960s and 1970s that they became popular.

There is little known about the last 35 years of Pixie’s life. We know that she died in 1951 in Cornwall, but the location of her grave is unknown. She was in debt and all of her possessions were auctioned off.

Except for a few art exhibitions during her early career, which had a small amount of success, most of her artwork has disappeared. Pixie would probably have been forgotten except for the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot Deck.

It is thanks to Pixie’s visionary genius (and Waite’s direction) that we are blessed with these magnificent Tarot cards that have continued to grow in popularity.

On the 16th of February remember to say Happy Birthday Pixie! Through her marvellous artwork she will never be forgotten.

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The Burning Serpent Oracle

Burning Serpent Oracle Workshops with Robert Place

The Burning Serpent Oracle is a Lenormand of the Soul.

At last year’s Tarot conference in Melbourne, we had the opportunity to see some advanced copies of the luscious Burning Serpent Oracle cards. And for those who were staying at the conference venue, Rachel Pollack used them in some Lenormand example readings during one of the evenings.

Lenormand readings with Rachel PollackThese cards have now been published and the talented creator of this deck, Robert Place is coming to Australia. He will be presenting workshops on Lenormand-style readings and the history and symbolism of the trump cards of the Tarot. Robert is a gifted illustrator and author. His books and decks include The Alchemical Tarot, Magic and Alchemy, and Shamanism.

If you want to learn about Lenormand from the creator of this magnificent deck, then book your tickets as soon as possible. Here are the dates for the workshops…

Saturday 28th February 2015
Learn directly from Robert Place as he talks about the origins of this C21st mythic deck – which was inspired by the 160 year old Lenormand fortune-telling cards. The Burning Serpent Oracle is a deck which has appeal for both Lenormand and Tarot readers.

Sunday 1st March 2015: Tarot Reading Techniques: the use of techniques and approaches of Lenormand with Tarot.

Monday 2nd March 2015: The History of the Tarot and Renaissance Symbolism of the Trumps.

Burning Serpent Oracle
Both workshops will be held at
Beau Monde International,
934 Doncaster Road, Doncaster, Victoria.

For registration information, see www.tarotguild.org.au
or email: president@tarotguild.org.au

Tarot Blessings,
Don McLeod



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UK Tarot Conference 2014

UK Tarot Conference:

In 2003 Kim Arnold was responsible for launching the first serious Tarot Conference of its kind in the UK. The conference has now celebrated 10 years and is still gathering strength.

UK Tarot Conference 2014

It is rated as one of the best in the world, drawing speakers and attendees from all over the world. Kim’s passion for Tarot continues to grow as she works tirelessly to remove the negative image of Tarot and to enlighten people with the knowledge and wisdom of this ancient craft.

This year’s conference will be held on 10th & 11th October. It’s the UK’s largest Tarot event and a must for any Tarot lover who wants to learn more and develop their skills. It’s your chance to learn from some of the world’s most respected authors and teachers of Tarot.

The speakers for 2014 are Mary K Greer, Geraldine Beskin, Sarah Bartlett, Richard Abbot, Israel Ajose, Kim Arnold, Dr Maria Antoniou and Dr Les Cross.

At last year’s conference I had the opportunity to interview Kim about why she began this event and where it was heading. You can listen to it here…

Some of the workshop topics for this year’s conference include: ‘Soulful Enterprise—Five Steps to a Successful Tarot Business’, ‘Tarot & Intuition: the Interplay of Creativity and Neuroscience’, and ‘The Symbolism of the Waite-Smith High Priestess Card’—in which you will explore the depth of this card’s historic symbolism, and how She has developed in modern times.

For more info on this wonderful conference, click here.

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The Kings and Queens of the Tarot

What does it mean to be a King or Queen of the Tarot?

If you were asked to look at the Kings and Queens of each suit, one of the first things that you would notice is the crown. What does it symbolise? I imagine that most of you will say, ‘authority’. That’s correct, but that is just an intellectual response to the symbol.

If you want to connect fully with a symbol, you need to do it on an emotional level. To do this, imagine having a crown placed upon your head. Step back in time and imagine that you are taking part in your coronation. You become a King or Queen.

kings & queens of the tarot

As a king or queen you were destined for this role of monarch. You have been chosen by God to be the leader of your country. You are the representative of God on earth. You are the chosen one who has supreme control. People love you and fear you. At any time you can bestow upon them a fortune that will change their lives, or you can take everything away from them (including their lives) and there would be no questions asked. They all rely upon you to keep the country running properly. They all rely upon you to keep them from having to go to war. They all rely upon you for guidance. They now have someone to look up to—as their fearless leader and role model of success.

How’s that for power? How’s that for authority? How’s that for responsibility? Picture yourself being a king or queen and being in a parade in your honour. People are cheering as you pass. You are a god-like figure to them.

When you next see a crown in the Tarot, remember that feeling. It’s more than a symbol for ‘authority’—it’s all of those feelings of control and power and responsibility.

You can do this exercise with all the symbols found in the Tarot, or, when you are doing a reading, you might try to truly connect with the symbol in order to get the most information. Take a moment to experience the symbol and gain the message from it. This is a way of making a stronger connection with that symbol and your subconscious mind.

For more information about the Court cards of the Tarot, click here and download my book ‘Real Tarot’.

Tarot Blessings,
Mister Tarot

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Doing Readings for Yourself

Can you do Tarot readings for yourself?

Back in 1997 I went to the Tarot Guild of Australia’s International Tarot Conference. At that event a presenter asked the group if anyone read Tarot cards for themselves. I put up my hand. “I do. What’s the good of being able to read Tarot if you don’t use that skill? I thought everyone did readings for themselves.” The people in the workshop wheeled around and stared. “No, you can’t do readings for yourself,” they all said. “Sure you can,” I replied. “I read them for myself all the time! I use Tarot to find out what’s coming up and I check on various situations to see what choices will work out best for me.” Heads shook in disbelief. They said, “No, you can’t be objective when you read for yourself. You’ll only see what you are hoping for.”

Linda MarsonI’m pleased to say that this attitude has changed. At last year’s conference a presenter asked the same question, “Can you do readings for yourself?” This time just about everyone nodded their heads in agreement. There was even a whole workshop devoted to doing readings for yourself. Linda Marson (from Global Spiritual Studies) was the presenter and she gave some great ideas for spreads that were specifically for self-readings.

In the book “Tarot Masters” by Kim Arnold, an article by Mary K. Greer includes the line, “A major breakthrough came when I realized that while all the books of the time said not to read Tarot for yourself, everyone I knew did.” This concept resulted in her first Tarot book called, “Tarot for Yourself.”

Is there any validity in the notion that you can’t be objective when doing a reading for yourself? Unfortunately, I believe that some people may be inclined to cheat themselves in this way. When they are challenged by what they see, they may try to put a positive spin on the situation, so that they don’t feel as though they are putting a jinx on their current situation, or so that they don’t spend all night worrying about a situation that may not eventuate.

When reading for yourself, there is also the risk that you might not like the look of the cards that have been dealt and you may be tempted to gather them up and re-shuffle, but when you have confidence in your abilities as a reader, and when you see something that you don’t like, then you will realise this as a great opportunity for you to discover more about who you are and where you are headed. It is an opening for you to face your fears and conquer them.

Can you do readings for yourself? I know that you can. But it requires being honest with yourself…and surely that’s not too much to ask?

Tarot Blessings,
Mister Tarot


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A ‘Tower’ Experience

A Positive View of ‘The Tower’ Card:

A year ago, I ran a Tarot Skills class. To start the session, we drew three cards from the Major Arcana.

Mister Tarot has a 'Tower' moment

Mister Tarot has a ‘Tower’ moment

The first card was to show my role as a teacher. Without looking at the cards, I chose the image called Temperance. This signified that I was to keep the information flowing, but in a well-balanced manner. I was to provide a blend of practical and spiritual information.

The second card was chosen by a student. It represented the attitude in which the class was to participate in this workshop. The card intuitively chosen to represent this attitude was Judgement. This showed that they were to open their arms, eyes, and hearts to the call of Tarot.

And the final card? I chose this card to signify the outcome for the day. It was to show that if I fulfilled my role with the energy of the Temperance card, and if the class opened themselves to the teaching as shown in the card called Judgement, then this card would be the result. When I looked at the back of the cards and concentrated on drawing an appropriate image, there was silence and surprised expressions on those around me when I pulled out The Tower! But I was glad to see it…

tower etc

“That’s fantastic!” I crowed. “Look at that—a big, fat, glorious breakthrough is on its way! You’ve come along today with pre-conceived notions of what Tarot is about, and some of you have been doing readings for a while, but you still don’t have confidence in your interpretations, however, during this workshop we’re going to pull all of that apart and give you a new structure as a base for your Tarot skills. By the end of the day the old method of struggling with Tarot will be knocked away and replaced with a new, dynamic way of looking at the cards.”

I kept my part of the deal, and the participants kept theirs, and The Tower made its presence felt (in a positive way) by the end of the session.

Tarot Blessings,
Mister Tarot

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Lenormand Deck & Book Review

The Lenormand Oracle:

Although the Lenormand Oracle has been available since 1850, it’s only recently taken off amongst Tarot enthusiasts. For those who are tempted to break away from traditional Tarot and delve into this form of card reading, the book ‘Learning Lenormand’ is going to be valuable addition to your library.

The aim of the authors is to introduce this card reading system to newcomers and to encourage them to explore other historical methods of divination. Obviously, having a Lenormand deck in front of you as you read this book is going to be advantageous, but the authors suggest that as an alternative, you can create a simple set of cards from your own artwork, or by creating a collage of magazine clippings.

Lenormand Oracle BookUnlike Tarot, the Lenormand cards are not filled to the brim with esoteric symbols, number correspondences, & Kabbalistic references; each card simply shows domestic objects such as a house, a child, or a dog. The authors state, “…it is like a children’s book, because in fact it was designed as a simple parlour game for the whole family. It really is child’s play.”

The book contains some very good research that debunks the spurious tenets of a thousand websites devoted to false histories of the Lenormand oracle. We discover that the Lenormand cards had nothing to do with the famous Parisienne fortune-teller Mademoiselle Lenormand…attributing the name of this card game to this noted seer was simply a marketing ploy used after her death in 1843.

Lenormand OracleThe message of this book is simple…Lenormand is not a form of Tarot; it is a different system altogether. With Tarot, you look at the card and use your intuition to divine a meaning based on the symbols contained within the image; with Lenormand, each of the 36 cards has a set meaning, for example, the image of clover means luck or good fortune…nothing more and nothing less!

For those who want to explore card divination of a different kind, this book is going to be very useful. It has simple instructions that cover everything you need to know about this form of divination.

Title: Learning Lenormand (Traditional Fortune Telling for Modern Life)
Authors: Marcus Katz & Tali Goodwin
Published by: Llewellyn Worldwide
ISBN: 978-0-7387-3647-1


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Tarot Classes

Tarot Workshops:

Discover an easy way to learn Tarot. Over a series of two Sunday afternoon workshops you will discover ancient and modern techniques to read Tarot for yourself and others.

Tarot is a practical and creative way to gain insight about the choices that you are faced with in daily life. It’s a way to release a dynamic system of unlimited creative potential. Tarot can provide the keys to transformation within your personal and spiritual life.

Mister Tarot

Mister Tarot

In these easy lessons from Don McLeod (a qualified trainer who has 30 years of Tarot experience) you will be shown how to open the door to Tarot’s wisdom. In this introductory course you will learn how to use Tarot for self-awareness and personal development. You will understand how to prepare yourself for a reading, so that you can be rewarded with finely-tuned awareness from your Higher Self.

During this course you will quickly discover a simple way to connect intuitively with the symbols and characteristics of the cards. As this course unfolds you will realise the profound and significant spiritual elements of the Tarot, and you will realise how you can incorporate these cards into your soul’s journey.

In these classes…

  • I make a commitment to bring Tarot’s richness and beauty to the forefront of your consciousness. 
  • You will complete the course with the confidence and skills to do readings for friends and family. 
  • While doing this course I guarantee that you will be awed by Tarot’s accuracy, and you will be thrilled by your ability to interpret the cards’ meanings.
  • You will learn a variety of useful Tarot spreads that cover all sorts of situations that you may require answers for.
  • Handouts will be provided so that you can refresh your memory of the most important principles shown during the course.
  • And most important of all, you will have fun along the way!

So, join me (Don McLeod) for a Tarot adventure! These classes are held on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The venue is the comfortable workshop room at Crystal Wave, Grange, South Australia.

The size of the class is kept small to ensure lots of individual attention and assistance, so book early. Phone the lovely people at Crystal Wave on 8235 1817 to find out when the next workshops are available.

workshops generic

Feedback 1: ‘What a great educator Don is. His terminology & the way he explains the processes are so easy to understand.’ – Marlene

Feedback 2: ‘A truly excellent workshop. You are a gifted facilitator and teacher. Thank you for your insight and guidance – it has set me up to have a wonderful week.’ – Charlotte Robinson

Feedback 3: ‘I wish to share my wonderful and awesome experience in attending your Beginner and Intermediate Workshops recently. In a nutshell, you make it so simple and straightforward to get in touch with oneself to answer any questions on any aspects of our life from the Tarot. Not only did your Workshops allay any misconceptions I had about the Tarot, it was so much fun, interesting and insightful all at the same time. Your interpretation of the cards was indeed spot on and succinct. Your interpretation truly reflect how simple and to the point your practical approach of Real Tarot really is. Simply brilliant!’ – Diana M

Crystal Wave logo home


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Meditating with Tarot Cards

Meditation and Tarot

There are two ways to get to know the meanings of the Tarot cards…the hard way and the easy way.

The hard way is to try and learn all of the interpretations.
The easy way is to discover the meanings for yourself.

You can spend years studying Tarot books and learning the interpretations from books, but then you have to reinterpret that information when doing readings. Most people struggle with Tarot studies, and they simply want to get beyond simple memorisation of card meanings. Do you want to bring the potent energy of these cards more fully into your life? Meditation with the Tarot is the key to discovering their deeper meanings.

Meditating with the characters of the Tarot cards always provides interesting and useful information. It results in an expanded awareness of the meanings of the cards on a very personal level. From this you gain greater insight for your readings, and you will learn more about Tarot as a whole. Meditation with the Tarot helps you to feel connected to the cards with greater intensity than simply committing the standard meanings to memory.

During a Tarot Meditation your consciousness will be opened to the infinite possibilities of each card. You will be guided by your inner wisdom to see things in the cards that you’ve never seen before. You will be open to unique personal experiences sparked by the characters featured on the cards. And when you’ve made this soulful connection with each character, they will be more accessible when you are doing readings.

Meditation with the Tarot is an intensely profound method to connect with the cards. The rich, symbolism displayed on each card makes them ideal for subconscious exploration. You will be filled with deep insights and you will connect with them on a soul level.

How to Meditate with the Tarot

To meditate with a Tarot card, such as The Empress, start by looking at all of the details on the card. Now close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. As you focus on your breath, allow your breathing to become slower and deeper. Enter a deep state of relaxation and then visualise the card called The Empress. Hold the image of the card in your mind and see it as a doorway in your mind. When you are ready, take a step through the doorway and into the landscape of that card.003a

Introduce yourself to The Empress as she sits on her lounge and ask if you can talk with her for a while. You can now ask her about the symbolism, energy, and meanings of the card. When you have finished talking, thank The Empress and bring yourself back into your conscious surroundings.

After the meditation, reflect upon your experience and write about it in your Tarot journal. You can do these meditations at any time, and you can lead yourself through them, but sometimes the most powerful results come from guided meditations led by another person. It allows your conscious mind to be completely at rest and it gives you the opportunity to explore the card’s meanings at a deeper level.

One of the best Tarot Meditation courses available is Brigit Esselmont’s ‘Soul Meditations: A Journey Through the Major Arcana’. Brigit says, “Meditating with the Tarot can be used to deepen your understanding of the cards to a level that is very personal and profound. It is also incredibly powerful as a self-healing tool, a method for manifestation or a way to access the Divine.”

soul meditations

When you are ready to create a soulful connection with the Tarot, take a peaceful journey through Brigit’s Soul Meditations. It’s a powerful set of guided visualisations that have been specifically designed to lead you on an uplifting spiritual adventure through the Major Arcana. Make time now to deepen your connection with these powerful cards, so that you can access your inner wisdom. They provide a unique experience of the Tarot that will change the way you look at the cards.

“When you actively engage in the Tarot—through meditation, journaling, and other heart-centred activities—you unlock your potential and open yourself up to a deeply personal and soulful connection with the Tarot. It begins to ‘live’ through you and you no longer have to rely on memorising meanings. Your mind opens up to its infinite wisdom and its infinite potential by connecting with the Tarot cards in this way.” – Brigit Esselmont

I’ve listened to many Tarot Meditations over the last 30 years of my Tarot studies, and this is the best that I’ve experienced. This is a unique opportunity to explore the Tarot in a safe, positive and inspirational manner. But it’s more than just a way to discover the meanings of the cards…the meditations and exercises in this program will integrate the wisdom of the Tarot with your own spiritual path, so that you can fully connect to your higher consciousness.

“The incredibly powerful guided visualisations that underpin the Soul Meditations course will help you connect deeply with your fullest potential; heal emotional wounds; and dive beneath the surface of typical Tarot interpretations—all leading to the discovery of solutions and meanings that are unique and significant to you.” – Brigit Esselmont

The Major Arcana cards are a pathway to enlightenment. Through the rich, symbolic tapestry of these 22 cards you can connect to your inner wisdom, your intuition, and your higher self.

Click here to find out more about Soul Meditations

Tarot Blessings,
Mister Tarot

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New Workshop Venue!

Crystal Wave at Grange is the new home of Tarot in South Australia:

Crystal Wave has been a hub of metaphysical teachings and inspirational products for over 20 years. The owners Pete and Barbara are lovely hosts who are committed to using their shop to create a vibrant and welcoming source of Tarot training. I am now holding my Tarot classes in their spacious and beautiful workshop room, at 677 Grange Road, Grange.

The next workshop at Crystal Wave is called ‘Tarot Simplified’ and it’s an introductory class that is suitable for people who have never used Tarot cards before.

In this class I guide the participants through some of the basics of Tarot, explaining how Tarot works; it’s practical and spiritual uses; and I show some basic spreads that are suitable for beginners. Throughout the session, participants have opportunities to use the cards in readings for themselves, and I help with interpretations. By the end of the class, participants are able to do a reading for another person in the group. The main emphasis is upon showing beginners a simple way of discovering the meanings of the cards, based upon their own intuition.

Workshop ad for Tarot Simplified

Although this class is aimed at beginners, it is also suitable for experienced practitioners who wish to brush up on basic techniques. Sometimes Tarot readers learn the fundamentals from books or classes, but don’t practice enough to become confident in their readings. This class is appropriate for these readers if they want to refresh their knowledge, and remaster some of the core skills of Tarot. Handouts are included in the course.

This will be followed by a workshop that encourage people to continue the journey of their Tarot education. This extra class delves more deeply into the structure of Tarot readings, with sessions on the Major Arcana, The Minor Arcana, Court cards, Spreads, and Tarot Spirituality. This workshop still has an easy pace, with lots of participation, and it offers a higher level of teaching to help the student to progress further in their readings.

Crystal Wave logo homeI look forward to seeing you at Crystal Wave, the new home of Tarot in South Australia!

Tarot Blessings,
Mister Tarot

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Tarot Spread for the New Year

Here’s a Tarot spread for 2014…

At the beginning of a new year, it’s always interesting to do a Tarot reading to give insight about the months ahead.

I’ve created a new spread that shows what you can expect, and more importantly, what you can gain from the experiences of each month.

Shuffle your cards with the following thought in mind…
“What should I be aware of in 2014?”

Place two cards next to each other at the top of the spread. These cards represent significant events for January. Now place a third card over the base of the two cards. This card shows what you will gain from that situation. Continue placing cards (clockwise) in this manner until you have filled twelve spots on the circular layout as shown in the photo below. There are three cards for each month.

yearly spreadIn the centre of your circle place three more cards. The one on the left is for the challenging influences you may have to face during the year. The centre card shows the trend for the year. The final card on the right indicates helpful influences. Place all the cards into this layout before starting the interpretation.

I hope your year ahead is filled with excitement, friendship, romance, and prosperity!

If you want me to do a reading for you, email me through the contact page of this website. For the next week I’m doing Skype sessions, or sending people recordings of their readings for only $25  The readings last for approximately 20 minutes.

Testimonial: “During a personally difficult and confusing time, Don’s Tarot reading gave me the objectivity and clarity I needed. There was also a genuine focus on my well-being. Don’s expertise with the Tarot is very evident.”
– Sue (Blackwood, SA)

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