Thursday, January 24, 2013

Guest Post From A Tarot Newbie- Tarot Foundations by Brigit Esselmont

Mark & Mandy in SIL's kitchen
(Sadly, right before the Broncos
blew their playoff game.)
Hello, hello everyone!  Today you get a break from me and my writing, and we begin a week long countdown to an exciting giveaway here at 78 Whispers!  In the meantime, I have recruited a handsome, funny, articulate man (my husband Mark) to share his thoughts on Tarot Foundations: 31 Days to Read Tarot with Confidence by Brigit Esselmont, because while I am an avid reader of everything pertaining to tarot, my great passion, I am also experienced at reading tarot.  That does not mean this book has not been helpful to me; far from it!  I learned something from every single Lesson and Activity, and that is astounding to me!  But I thought you may enjoy the thoughts of someone who owns a deck of tarot cards only because he won them at San Francisco Bay Area Tarot Symposium  (they happen to be The Steele Wizard Tarot, self published by the amazing Pamela Steele) which he attended to be with me (and be in San Francisco, our favorite city we dream of moving to), and has never read a tarot book in his life.  I think he gave me one reading, in which he predicted my death (just kidding, just kidding) but the deck is so suited to his personality he has enjoyed just looking through it, though not much more.

If you would like to get caught up on my work with Tarot Foundations: 31 Days to Read Tarot with Confidence you can find those posts here.

So, with no further adieu, please welcome Mark to 78 Whispers!

Hi All!

I was asked by the lovely Amanda to write a guest blog for my take on Brigit Esselmont’s Tarot Foundations: 31 Days to Read Tarot with Confidence.  I will tell you now that I have no experience with Tarot decks other than watching the magic performed by other professionals.  I am the equivalent of a roadie, always around to enjoy the show but not skillful or confident enough to step into the spotlight.

Since Amanda has been a practicing Tarot reader for some time, quite experienced in readings and the intricacies of the cards, she asked for my take, a beginner’s take, on Brigit’s book.  After all I am the target audience.  I am, to say the least, a conflicting mess of excitement (you mean I can read cards?!?) to terror (I’m no psychic!).  With these emotions I began my journey. 

To my relief I was not asked to set up a booth and practice trial and error on innocents.  Instead the book starts out benignly enough (and right at my speed!) with a simple introduction to the author (who is very encouraging!) and the first five days of setting up your success.  The book is laid out so you expand your knowledge and confidence a little at a time.  Lessons are divided up over 31 days with most lessons only one to three pages in length.  This means you will not be required to invest an innumerable amount of hours into this endeavor.  You can take as much time as you feel comfortable with and can do multiple lessons a day if you feel like you have momentum.  I love the flexibility this offers as I’m sure most of you will appreciate being able to slip this in whenever your busy lives allow.   I feel “lessons” isn’t quite the right word.   These are not boring “do as I tell you” lessons but actually an immersive bonding exercise aligning you spiritually with your deck and yourself.  And did I mention fun?  I quite enjoyed learning about the cards, spreads and feeling more confident as I handled the cards.  These are more like experiences than lessons, as each section has you practicing or engaging with the Tarot on some level.  Just like life each experience builds on the one before it. 

The whole experience is quite insidious (in a good way!) in luring you in and moving you forward.  I am still working my way through my journey as I write this but I feel Brigit has paved a smooth road for me to follow and I assure you I will be speeding down it in short order.  As the title hints this is a foundation and the author does quite well at establishing a framework that I can say I feel comfortable and confident with my capabilities as a future Tarot reader.


Thank you, Handsome, for chiming in!  I think his praise is even more moving than mine, as he is truly starting at basically no knowledge and learning from there.  If you are intrigued and excited, like Mark, you can Click here to visit Biddy Tarot.

(If you purchase anything from this link, I will earn a portion of the sale as an affiliate, but I am not really interested in selling you anything.  I just want to share exciting resources and my own experiences with the cards.)


  1. Wow, how great you managed to get your husband to read a book on tarot and then write a review of it! My husband is indulgent of my tarot interest, but usually the most I can get out of him is to turn and look at my latest deck and say, 'Wow! Look at all the colours!' (He is enthusiastic because he knows I love it, but he's not actually interested. Bless him!)

    Now, as it's a 101 book, could you tell us what it can bring to those who are already familiar with tarot?

    1. Brigit, from Biddy Tarot... I hope you don't mind me stepping in here! I had about 15 people review the eBook before I even launched it. I had beginners right through to advance Tarot readers who also taught classes. I thought the advanced readers might be a little bored with it as the eBook is there to really cover the bases and lay the foundation. But I was pleasantly surprised when they came back saying they had learned a lot through the activities in particular.

      My aim here is to not just teach the theory, but to get readers to actively participate in exploring the cards and creating personal meaning from them. Even if you've had years experience, you are going to learn something new from doing the activities.

      Hope this helps!! Brigit

    2. I think Brigit did a great job of explaining for herself what this book offers intermediate to advanced readers, and your comment reminded me to add a link to my previous work with the Lessons and Activities at the top. Thanks, Carla!

      I thought I was doing Brigit a favor and that I would be bored with doing the Activities, but I discovered I was uncovering more things about the cards I either did not know before or I was bringing to the surface, so that I could use the knowledge with intent. I got something from each and every exercise and I honestly was surprised but I will not be the next time I see and use a Biddy Tarot product.

      The Lessons are pretty much what most of us who have some experience reading expect, but the Activities really helped with sussing out where I may have tucked those tidbits, plus added some more for me. It was very worthwhile.

      I hope that answers your question, Carla!

  2. This is really adorable. And I also tip my hat to him for trying this! Very nice. I loved his comments on how it went and I like that he's building confidence in doing these exercises. Kudos to him!