Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tarot Foundations by Brigit Esselmont, Day 1

Do you read my blog because tarot interests you but you don't know how to read for yourself?  Or are you a fellow reader who is, like me, always looking to strengthen your skills?  No matter what your interest in tarot, I have some exciting news!  Brigit Esselmont of Biddy Tarot, a site I'm sure you've come across if you've ever Googled "tarot", has a new eBook out called Tarot Foundations: 31 Days To Read Tarot With Confidence, and she has graciously invited me to share some segments with you all!

You all know me.  I have been reading Tarot for over 23 years, and it is how I earn my living.  There is nothing else I'd rather do, even sit on the sofa and eating bon bons and watching a "The Real Housewives of Anywhere" marathon, because even when I am doing that I am pulling cards about the people on the shows.  Do I need a book like this?  The answer is yes, I do.  There is no such thing as having too many skills too well honed.  Beyond that, I love taking beginner Tarot courses because there is nothing like new eyes to really bring to light details I may overlook in familiarity.  Brigit kindly offers a community on her website to participate in learning, growing and trying the activities in this book with others online.  This is included with the purchase of her new eBook.

Over the next few weeks I am going to share some of the Activities with you, although Brigit does recommend you do them in order over 31 days. She has made the lessons brief enough that is totally possible yet chock full of information so they are totally worthwhile!

You may as well start at the beginning so today we'll look at Day 1.  In the Lesson for this day Brigit breaks down the very fundamentals of tarot.
  • What is the Tarot?
  • How does the Tarot work?
  • How can the Tarot be used?
  • Understanding the present or predicting the future?
In a couple of concise yet entertaining pages Brigit neatly explains what I do every day, and does so eloquently.  All of the above questions are answered, and then you'll know, so simple.

We are then taken to the Activities.  I am doing the Activities in my voice, and yours will and should look different, as your answers will be different.  That is just one of the may joys of the Tarot!
The Student & Universal Hope Cards, to me

1.1  Identify Your Personal Motivations
     -What inspired you to learn Tarot?

I happened across a deck of Writer Waite Smith cards in a Hallmark Store (for those not in the States, they sell birthday cards, stationary, ornaments, journals, that type of thing) when I was 12 years old.  I had no idea what they were but as soon as I saw that yellow box I wanted them and I conspired to come up with the $8 they cost (that was a lot more money then!)  When I finally got them home I discovered that while the titles were in English, what I didn't know then was called The Little White Book was in Swedish, so I had this pack of 78 cards with beautiful pictures I had no idea what to do with.  I lived far far out in the country so my access to any book on the subject was limited, and there was o such thing as the Internet, plus there were not nearly as many books available then as we are blessed with today.  I was fascinated by the cards anyway so I used them to tell myself stories and slowly they began to tell me secrets, about understanding myself, about potential futures (that sometimes came true!) and I was always entranced by them.

What I discovered when I eventually had access to books was that the meanings I had come up with on my own were pretty darn close to what Mr. Waite had in mind when he directed Pamela Colman Smith in
painting those images, and the same will be true for you with any deck you resonate with.  The pictures will tell you a story you understand perfectly.  That is the magic of the Tarot!

Looking Inward
I guess I was inspired to learn Tarot because I was like a moth being drawn to a flame.  It was irresistable to me, but I have never been burned.  Tarot has ever had my back!

1.2  How do you plan to use the Tarot cards?
Many times in many religions or forms of spirituality we are admonished to pray.  For me Tarot is where I hear my answers.

I plan to use the Tarot cards for introspection, personal reflection, fortune telling, divination, and to delight me with the share joy of a beautiful deck (the definition of divination is to commune with the Divine).

What is your personal philosophy on the Tarot?  What can/can't the Tarot do?

Mystery, Secrets
I personally believe the Tarot covers every aspect of life.  I believe its 78 little pieces of the universe broken apart and reformed in infinite variety to reflect every situation back to ourselves in a way we can understand.

I believe the Tarot can:
  • Help us clarify and understand our feelings.
  • Help us understand the current energies surrounding us.
  • Take a snapshot in time from which we can divine a probable outcome if nothing changes.
  • Help us make the decisions that help us align best with our highest purpose.
  • Help us create the future we want most.

I believe the Tarot cannot:
  •  Harm myself or anyone else.
  • Affect the free will of any being.
  • Draw negative spirits.
  • Set the future in stone.
This is the first half of the Activities given on Day 1, and even though I completed them quickly and with ease, even I, as a seasoned reader, had to think deeply on the subject and was somewhat surprised with my answers!  The Activities only get more exciting as we start to actually with the cards that make up the Tarot, so watch this space for more to come, and an exciting giveaway!

If I have whet your appetite for Tarot Foundations: 31 Days To Read Tarot With Confidence by Brigit Esselmont, Click here to visit Biddy Tarot to learn more! (Full disclosure- if you purchase anything from the links in this post, I do receive a percentage of the sale.  I will only ever endorse products I both use and believe in, and I have never tried to sell you all anything before, nor is my intention to start now.  I just want to share something I am finding really cool with you, as well as help Brigit spread the word about her new eBook, because she is truly a valued member of the Tarot community!)

These images are from The Pocket Universal Waite Tarot, not my first deck but one I reach for often.  The original artwork was done by Pamela "Pixie" Colman Smith under the direction of Arthur Edward Waite, and this gorgeous recoloring was done by Mary Hanson Roberts.  This deck is published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.


  1. Thanks for sharing my eBook, Tarot Foundations. I'm so glad you are enjoying using it and I love what you've done with the Activities!

    1. Thank you, Brigit, for the great book! I am really enjoying it and I am happy to share something so great!

  2. Love the blog and thanks for sharing the book. I've been doing a lot of research into horoscopes and tarots. Thank you!