Which is the best Tarot deck?

June 23, 2010

I just uploaded a new video to YouTube – Which is the best Tarot deck? The direct link is below:

Comparing the Church of Light, the Thoth, and the Rider decks to see which one can be read by someone who does NOT have specialized knowledge of the Kaballah, astrology, the Tree of Life, etc.

This means that the questioner is going to be able to contribute and to participate more in the reading, since he or she will be able to make something of the illustration. This is a good thing.


Free reading with purchase of Tarot course

June 4, 2010

Some of you may know that I put together a comprehensive Tarot Home Study Course. There is a video for each of the 78 cards, as well as separate videos on Court Cards, exercises, The Suits, The Celtic Cross, and so on. There are 94 videos in total (about 24 hours of instruction), as well as separate mp3 files of the audio that may be burned to cd or added to ipods.

The format is the same as in the YouTube videos – the camera is focused on a card or cards on the table – but the content is new and different. There is more emphasis on giving examples of what cards would mean when they answer particular questions.

For the month of June, and in the Spirit of Giving, I will do a free reading – now, or whenever you feel like it – for anyone who buys the Course.

There is a ‘Buy Now’ ($49 US plus shipping) paypal button at http://www.thetarot.ca, as well as a short introductory video about the Course.

Send your question(s) to bllntr@yahoo.com and I’ll email you back an answer as an mp3.


What is the reader’s responsibility?

May 5, 2010

If someone asks or pays you to read their cards, then they probably think you know more than they do about what cards might mean, or how to make sense of a combination of them.

You may not be a Grandmaster of the Tarot World, but you are expected to know a bit more about cards than the local postman or the checkout person at your neighbourhood store. You have let it be known that you have an interest in – or an ability with – reading cards; that’s why the person asked you in the first place.

So you turn over a card – let’s say it’s the King of Cups, reversed – and the questioner says: What does this mean? You have to give an answer. You can’t say: Well, what does it mean to you? If they already knew what it meant, they wouldn’t be consulting you.

It can help to think of a reading as giving the weather forecast. You might tell a friend that it’s going to rain tomorrow morning. That is enough information. You don’t need to say that we will have one sixteenth of an inch of rain starting at 8.17 am and ending at 12.43 pm. It’s going to rain; the friend can figure out how he wants to handle the situation.

So, with the King of Cups reversed. You don’t have to specify that Bill, a friend since childhood, is going to come with you to small claims court, but at the last minute will be called in to work and so will let you down and cause you upset.

On the other hand, you can say that someone is going to offer emotional support but for one reason or another won’t be able to follow through. Or, if you ask for emotional support, you won’t be surprised when people say that they can’t help at this time.

This is valuable information for the questioner who can then decide how best to deal with his or her life and its lessons.

It’s enough for the reader to provide the outline or the template,  and let the questioner fill in the blanks.


One way the Tarot can save your life.

May 2, 2010

Since so many Tarot questions are about relationships, it is worth considering why we need people, and what they are in our lives for.

There’s love and company and companionship, of course.

Edgar Cayce points out, however, that: The faults we see in others are our own faults.

This is true. So when we get worked up about, or overly upset by someone else’s behaviour, and if we still have enough self-possession to remember his point, then we won’t blindly be led by our own knee-jerk reaction and blame or criticise the other. Our opinion of him or her may be accurate, but it is also irrelevant. We can’t change people to suit ourselves.

On the other hand, if we can turn the spotlight onto our own self at moments of emotional charge or crisis, we will discover that our image of ourselves is skewed or unrealistic or incorrect in some way that we ignored – or hadn’t wanted to acknowledge.

So, we see bad driving every day and we generally ignore it. When we react strongly, however, and get worked up about other drivers’ behaviour, that is the sign that our own driving isn’t as wonderful as we think it is. At such times, we benefit if we get the point and focus on driving more carefully – and thank those idiot drivers for re-directing our attention to where it can do some good.

Seeing and accepting the truth brings peace, and relief, and release from the grip of the emotion or the over-reaction.

If we learn a lesson, we won’t have to repeat the experience (again and again and again until we get the point).

So with people: there’s no reason why anything that anyone says should upset you, and if it does, you’re seeing yourself but not recognizing what is going on.

Turn your attention onto you; figure out what you can and should be learning about yourself. This way lies freedom. The alternative is continuing to go round in circles, cursing a world of your own making.


Good advice; or is it?

April 22, 2010

We probably all give and receive what passes for “good advice“.

So, “looking before you leap” is likely a good thing. It makes sense to think matters through, rather than throwing oneself blindly into the known or the unknown. Being careful in this way can prevent a lot of problems, and save you time and wasted effort. This is ok.

However, some people are overly cautious. If we advise looking before leaping here, we may be encouraging the person to delay beyond a sensible point. We may be contributing to even-greater paralysis, which might be ok, but life is for living, is it not? Can we, as Rudyard Kipling suggets we should:

… fill the unforgiving minute, with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run?

With this in mind, pause when you turn a card, and say nothing for a few seconds or longer to let your greater intelligence present a lot or a little information to the conscious mind.

When you turn a card, it isn’t really just a trigger for the reader to show how much he or she knows. or to talk about something that they happen to find exciting at the time.

The reader might remember that a card is part of an answer to someone else’s question – that may not be the kind of question the reader would ever ask.  Yet it is important enough to the person who asked. We are the reader first, and not automatically the all-wise, all-knowing expert.

John Ballantrae
http://www.thetarot.ca for The Tarot Home Study Course
and more.


How reading cards is like playing a round of golf.

April 18, 2010

I have never played golf, but I’ve seen it on tv and have a general idea of what is involved.

Let’s say the golf ball is 145 yards from the hole, and you know you can reach the green with one shot. The club you choose and how you swing it will depend on many small decisions – the ball may be lying on short grass or long; or on pine needles beneath a tree; or in a sand trap; there may be a strong cross-wind or no wind at all; humidity may be a factor to consider.

Someone asks: Will I marry?, and you turn the 6 of Coins. The card is a bit like the golf ball mentioned in the previous paragraph – you know what it is and generally what to do with it. Yes, you’ve seen the card before, but if we consider that each moment is unique, then you probably haven’t played that card before for that questioner at that part of the reading, preceded by other particular cards.

So. Can you interpret the card, using your knowledge, as if you had never seen it before, yet you still know what to do?

The golfer never played that ball from that exact spot in the same weather conditions, yet can still play a great shot.

Can you take the symbolism of the card and interpret it in connection with, not just the question asked, but as well as the point you are at in the reading? It could be the first card, so you need to give some background information or emphasize certain parts of the picture. It could be part-way through the reading, so you don’t need to say as much because you have already given a basis for understanding with earlier cards.

If you were to look at a card and resist the temptation to assume you already know what it “means” – from something you memorized in a book, or from past experience – what new insights would you have? A lot of them, I suspect. You will probably be closer to giving a personalized answer that makes more sense to the questioner – and have a new confidence in your ability to read cards.

http://www.thetarot.ca. For More.


Can’t we just answer people’s questions as they ask them?

April 12, 2010

Why can’t we just answer people’s questions as they ask them?

Someone might want to know: When will I get married?

The reader might not want to give a date; or might might feel more comfortable looking at the dynamics of relationships for that person.

But the questioner wants to know, rightly or wrongly: When will I get married? In the end, it’s not about the reader, so why not say: It’s not my speciality, but let’s see what we can do.

Will you be married within one year?
Pick a card and read it. Upright means Yes; reversed means No. The card shows the reasons.

The Emperor reversed: No, you won’t be married within a year, because you want someone strong and forceful and you haven’t met him yet. Or you meet someone who is too strong and too pushy, and you find it doesn’t suit you. Either way, the questioner is going to recognize the person, so you’ve given enough information without taking away the questioner’s ability to enjoy or learn from what will happen between them.

Within two years? 3 of Cups. Yes, you will be married within two years. So there’s at least one relationship that doesn’t go well enough before you meet the right person. Marriage looks good and happy and cooperative with a lot to enjoy and celebrate, so you and your extended family get along well. The atmosphere of the card is a good match with a happy and fulfilling relationship.

Will marriage have taken place by the winter of that year? Knight of Batons, upright. Yes and with this card, you can be considering travel plans, or going back to school for better qualifications. It could be a destination wedding.

Backing up a little in time: Will marriage have taken place by the fall of that year? Queen of Swords, reversed. No, it won’t. Why not? Perhaps to fit the plans of an older woman – a mother of one of the people? It could be some battle-axe of an older woman who is against the marriage, but the first Yes card is the 3 of Cups and is friendly, so let’s assume that the couple won’t have to overcome strong objections to the marriage. If the Yes card had been the King of Swords, then this reversed Queen would have told a different story.

So: Wil you get married? Yes, near the end of a year from now.

Some people just want a general picture of future conditions with, ideally, something to look forward to. It may not be what we are looking for or would be content with; but the reading is for and about the questioner, and not about us.