Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Astrological Forecast for July by Astrologer Michael Symms

Tarot Tributary “Aries Point Transits in July 2010”

In our Astrology, the Aries Point is the zodiac position of 00Aries00. The Sun’s position at this degree occurs at the moment of the spring equinox. The Aries Point is considered to be extended and applicable to the beginning of each Cardinal sign of the zodiac, each of these 90 degrees apart from the next: The entry of the Sun into Cancer marks the summer solstice, Libra the fall equinox and Capricorn the winter solstice. This is a special series of points in the zodiac, symbolizing (among other things) in natal astrology exceptional public exposure, a “coming forward”.

For most of July 2010, both Saturn and Uranus will be transiting in opposition to one another within partile aspect to the Aries Point. This is a powerful and uncommon combination transit for any horoscope with a planet, luminary, angle or important midpoint located at an Aries Point. I will offer a generalized overview of the type of symbolic energy this conveys to anyone who was born with the Sun at the Aries Point, and some examples of possible manifestations. Of course, this “disclaimer” is appropriate here: each horoscope involves much more than the Sun, and the synthesis of the full horoscope and any concomitant transits, directions and progressions combined with the current specifics of the individual’s life would be necessary for any targeted, informed projections – predictions, if you will. So, this is a generalized overview – not a specific prognostication for those of you currently affected by this transit of Saturn-Uranus to your natal Sun. However, much of this will ring true for many of you in broad terms.

You will most often have the Sun at the Aries Point within <>
March 20 or 21…June 21…September 22 or 23…December 21 or 22.

Saturn represents controls, tradition, authority, the status quo, duty, ambition, nose to the grindstone. In transit, Saturn often brings restriction, challenge, testing, something very serious, even severe - and it’s usually not a fun time. It can also bring health concerns. It’s often something of a downer. But let’s not buy into the traditional cliché of the Great Malefic. Let’s think of it as most often somber, perhaps a “policeman” of sorts, symbolically. (Policemen are often feared but they also, when functioning appropriately serve an indispensable and beneficial purpose.)

Uranus represents excitement, individuality, innovation, maximum individuation and freedom, unconventional intensity, rebellion, eccentricity. Uranus in transit often brings change - suddenly, sharply, even shockingly or unexpectedly, as well as an explosion of individual expression of needs. Uranus is like an old Monty Python segue: “Now for something completely different!” (…with a big splash.) Uranus can bring recklessness or out of control disorder, but it can also bring innovation, progressive brilliance or liberating self discovery.

So, Saturn is Lawrence Welk…Uranus is Jimi Hendrix, circa 1967. (I show my age here; some of you will understand this analogy to a tee!) OK, I’ll try another: Saturn is Norman Rockwell…Uranus is Salvadore Dali.

Saturn and Uranus are squaring off, and when this occurs we can expect to see a break from the old and traditional to something new and quite different. This may include a long slow struggle of conflict with someone culminating in a major break from the status quo. It will often (but, please, not necessarily) coincide with a break up of some kind of relationship(s) – this could be a significant other, a location of residence, a boss, a friend, a job, etc. Major change, probably accompanied by stress and conflict, is almost a given. (But take heart; these changes must be and, even if it is difficult, it is most likely vital to your personal growth.) With the Sun in your natal horoscope “receiving” this phenomenon, the change will likely be significant to the very core of your persona, the energy within that drives you. At best, this will be quite liberating and beneficially dynamic. With the Aries Point the scene of this symbolism, this is likely to happen with a high level of visibility. The changes will be seen and known by all. Even if the changes are more subtle, philosophical or psychological, people will see, know, feel a significant change in you, your personality, status or outlook and who you really are.

Many variables will affect the manifestation of this transit, and let me point out that the timing of any related developments isn’t restricted to mid-July through early August. Big changes in your life could easily occur in this span of time, but gradualism to some degree is the norm for high impact development, which this transit promises for most of you. And make no mistake, details of probable manifestation and timing triggers can only be assembled and understood on a completely individual basis based upon the uniqueness of each person and the synthesis of each horoscope. I hope that for those of you born on the days or the days immediately adjacent to those listed above, this overview will be useful and supportive to your own personal experience.

Kind regards and well wishes to all of you!

Michael Symms

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Tarot Tributary- A Salute to Astrology...

Hello everyone!

In the upcoming months The Tarot Tributary will be grazing the subject of astrology and Tarot usage. Before Tarot, I found bliss in learning about astrology through very superficial study. Because astrology is still a fundamental part of me, I have been elated to find Tarot decks that depict astrological glyphs on the cards. The first of such cards for me were Mythical Goddess Tarot, and for many of you Aleister Crowley's Thoth deck may have you mystified by its strong usage of astrology and other spiritual systematic orders.

This is why I've decided to spend some time with decks that highlight astrology and an astrologer expert to help teach us!

Michael Symms is someone I met through Noel Tyl's website. Through the generosity of a free reading of my chart, I've come to learn about Michael first and foremost as a very accurate and bright astrologer. Secondly, a person who is really good at keeping confidences. Thirdly, a musician. Fourth, as an Astro fanatic who hails from Austin, Texas. Lastly, as a comforting friend.

Michael is also willing to grace The Tarot Tributary members with some mini readings of individual charts, so be on the lookout for this opportunity (also sign up to be a follower of this site on Blogger). In the meantime, please welcome Michael Symms to The Tarot Tributary.

The Tarot Tributary- A Salute to Astrology... Astrologer Michael Symms

RD: What brought you to the world of Astrology?

I had always had an interest in astrology, read books, etc., but never could really grasp a coherent understanding of what it was all about, what it could do, how you could practice it. Everything I read was full of “this means that” – much of it either clichéd or confusing, even contradictory.

My deeper study of astrology began in 2006 and took a quantum leap when I discovered the teachings of Noel Tyl in the fall of that year; much to my surprise, I quickly found myself understanding his methods of analysis and finding it repeatedly and powerfully verified in my own horoscope and life as well as those of family and friends. From the beginning, his techniques and his teaching thereof just resonated within me to a remarkable degree…and at a very deep, visceral level. I began participating in weekly vocational exercises he conducted on his public website early in 2007, did well, caught his eye and received his encouragement; not long after, he contacted me directly. Soon after, I was enrolled in his certification course and he has been a wonderful and extremely supportive mentor and teacher ever since.

I was inspired to a more serious study of astrology in a quest to understand a difficult and major turning point in my life that occurred in late 2005. And, thanks to Noel Tyl, I have found my way in astrology and, I strongly believe, my true calling.

RD: For those who are not familiar with astrology, can you describe the study?

There is a veritable plethora of astrological methods and techniques, and in fact much debate and - quite frankly - open conflict among astrologers regarding its “proper” practice. Let me set that aside and simply summarize and outline the study of astrology as I have learned from my brilliant and accomplished teacher:

I practice astrology that is aligned with psychological need theory. The relationships between the planets (including the luminaries; the Sun and Moon – and yes, including Pluto) in our solar system based on our locational perspective at the moment of our birth coincides fascinatingly with the imprint of who we are at birth and the initial conditions we are born into. As we project the horoscope through time (using solar arcs, transits and secondary progressions), we so very often find an amazing expression of the astrological symbolism synchronized with the actual developments in our life. The horoscope gives us tremendous insight into who we are and how we came to be that way. Human development coincides with horoscope development; planetary projections. We can draw many reliable suggestions from the horoscope about developmental dynamics; parental issues, self image, self esteem, sexuality and much more, even optimal vocational channels. This opens up the astrologer and the client to an enriching discussion that can be beneficial and therapeutic in any number of ways. Looking forward, we can project times of probable opportunity, success or challenge, and even potential health threats. Ideally, this will strengthen the client’s ability to cope with life’s challenges and enable them to position themselves strategically for future success.

RD: Being a protégé of Noel Tyl, what separates your education from that of many other astrologers?

Noel Tyl is a gifted teacher, but one thing that stands out to me is that he teaches us how to use the astrology to help real people in real time. We are required to demonstrate our ability to conduct consultations effectively, without using astrological jargon. We learn to talk to the client supportively about their life and its development in plain words. The consultation is designed to help, assist, enhance the client, not to “perform” or demonstrate our technical grasp of astrology or the language of astrology. We can teach astrology, but that is a completely different format than the private consultation.

RD: What are the benefits of astrology and how has it helped you and your clients?

Astrology can help guide you to the optimum career channel, can help you plan and strategize the steps you take towards your goals at specific times, can identify areas and times of special health concerns and more. But I think the most beneficial potential of astrology lies in the ability to improve yourself by improving your self understanding; finding a counseling astrologer who can help you see your life development in a helpfully objective, non-judgmental way. Noel once remarked, “It’s very empowering to understand who you are and how you became who you are.” The more I thought about, the more I realized, for me personally, it’s very true.

Two very specific but different examples from my experience of how the practice of astrology can help us:

1. “Marsha” is a lady in her late 60’s; her horoscope showed a strong convergence suggesting the potential of critical illness. I made it very clear to her that now was the time to make sure that all precautionary measures were taken; among other things, our discussion revealed that that Marsha hated mammograms and was past due for one. I drove home the point that it was a serious matter…I learned soon afterwards that she had gone in for the mammogram and a malignancy was found. She had to undergo a mastectomy, but the cancer had not yet spread and was entirely removed.
2. “Sharon” is a young wife and mother in her mid 30’s who had suffered chronic depression throughout her life. The horoscope clearly suggested this and that this was directly related to unfinished business in the early home; in this case “father” issues. She was a stay at home mom and homemaker, but she was discontented. The horoscope clearly suggested a tendency to “give herself away” – to deny self in favor of others, problematically…therapeutic balance required her to seek and accomplish self satisfaction. Additionally, the horoscope suggested interrupted education. During our discussion, I pointed out to Sharon that her father’s disinterest and her life long efforts to turn this around were simply not going to change this man and that he was the one who was at fault, not her. She admitted that from a very tender age, she wondered, “what was wrong with me”. (This offered her objectification and validation…had she ever heard this before?) I suggested that she accept this for what it was and that it may be healthy to tell him as much. (To distance herself from this cycle of rejection.) I then suggested that she resume her studies in community college and resume her years-dormant career. This all validated what she had been contemplating. She called me the next year to update me. She had resumed her education with stellar success and continuing long term goals and had found a job in her field of experience that she loved. She was full of enthusiasm, self satisfaction and a greatly enhanced self worth. Her depressive episodes had greatly declined.

RD: Who(m) have been the most influential astrologers in your life?

Noel Tyl is front and center by far. Even before I knew him…when I started reading his books, I began to really understand astrology and the synthesis of the horoscope. Then, I engaged him through his web site and he, very quickly, recognized a level of talent in me that, at that time, I didn’t. He became not just a teacher but a mentor. I never would have become a serious astrologer without Noel. You know the old proverb, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”? I believe I was meant to learn from him.

There are many fine astrologers. I think we must respect the giants of history and there are too many to mention. I will mention that contemporarily, before I encountered Noel, I learned a lot more than I ever had known before from the writings of Robert Hand. Now, many of my favorite astrologers are students and graduates from Noel Tyl’s Masters Degree Certification Program: Lauren Delsack, Don McBroom, Kathy Rose, Hiroki Niizato, Jill Amery, just to name a few…there are more, and I apologize to them for their omission here…these are world class astrologers.

RD: If one wanted to get into astrology and came to you for advice, what would be the one book that you would faithfully remove from your bookshelf to loan them?

Noel Tyl’s “Synthesis and Counseling in Astrology”, hands down! But only if they are very serious, and already have a fundamental grasp of basic astrological symbolism…it’s not entertainment or razzle-dazzle, it’s teaching – it’s really a massive, advanced-level textbook!

RD: Many Tarot decks emphasize the usage of astrology meanings and symbols (such as Vicky Noble’s Motherpeace Tarot and Sage Holloway and Katherine Skagg’s Mythical Goddess Tarot). If you ask any Tarot reader for the one or two cards they have problems relating to, it will almost always be The Moon and the Hanged Man. Can you tell The Tarot Tributary audience about the qualities of Moon/Neptune/and or Pisces?

Neptune is of course the “modern” ruler of Pisces (traditionalists would say Jupiter) and I accept it as such, so there is much overlap between Neptune and Pisces in the astrological symbolism; more so than some other signs and their respective ruling planets. Neptune dissolves boundaries, all boundaries; Neptune transcends physical divides, also the ego. For example, Neptune can symbolize empathy on the one hand, and make us vulnerable to exploitation due to enhanced sensitivity on the other. Neptune can confuse but can also inspire, especially creatively, artistically, musically. The sign of Pisces can symbolize feeling that transcends, a need to understand the intangible, a need to feel and sacrifice, sometimes an ability to feel what others typically don’t; even an ability to feel what someone else feels.

The Moon in our astrology represents first and foremost our reigning emotional need; also our roots, our history, our memories, our home, our mother, our intuition, the feminine. The Moon, symbolically, runs as deep as the oceans it moves. The Moon in astrology is as important as the Sun. The Sun gives light and the Moon reflects it powerfully. The Sun and the Moon need each other and are made to work together in symbolism as well as in our material world here on earth. The Moon by sign and aspect in the horoscope describes our strongest psychodynamic need.

The Moon in Pisces or in strong aspect to Neptune suggests subconscious as well as emotional sensitivity and can inspire special sensitivities of an empathic or spiritual nature. This can include enhanced psychic awareness. When the qualities and needs symbolized by this combination are not well integrated into the personality, confusion, emotional insecurity and/or vulnerability can be manifested. Extreme sensitivity of feeling can be overwhelming. And I think it’s reasonable to suggest that people with a strong Pisces or Neptune accent in the horoscope usually need to be very cautious about any sort of experiences involving drug or alcohol use. I would also venture to say that they probably need to be well grounded within their own sense of self, their ego, lest they be acutely vulnerable to exploitation by others or – the other side of the coin – a “victim” mentality and/or excessive “neediness”, if you will. Neptune energy can be very difficult to balance.

RD: When I first started out investigating astrology, I met many different astrologers online that were less than useful (and that is putting it politely as the unfortunate truth is that there are more bad astrologers out there than you can shake a stick at). What do you suggest for others to look for when they are searching for a solid astrologer such as yourself?

I think you want to find out what it is they actually do and how they conduct a consultation. Ask them to explain it to you. ‘What should I expect this consultation to consist of, how is it to be structured, and how do you think it will be useful to me, how might it help me?’ The answer will tell you a lot, and help you make an informed decision. You might also suggest what it is that you expect, to make sure your expectations are conducive to the astrologer’s style.

RD: In your readings with people, what is your preferred method and what would one expect in a reading with you?

I pretty much try to cut to the chase very quickly, to flesh out what I sense are the major developmental issues suggested by the horoscope. I may begin with a discussion of what I see as a major personality inclination, but we get to the nitty-gritty of developmental strengths and challenges very quickly, so as not to waste time and to verify the symbolic expression as lived by the client, because the horoscope does not define the person, the person defines the symbolism into specificity. (Predestination is not in my vocabulary; free will is - and the horoscope is not a symbol of what will be, it is a symbol of what can be.)

Then we’ll review their development based on the continual projection of the horoscope symbols so I can see how these symbols correlated with the individual’s development. We’ll have a rich discussion about these important times of development and I’ll learn much about how their lives express certain symbols at certain times in the past. This is a reliable way to project most accurately how future measurements are likely to manifest in real life. I’ll pick out certain times in their life based on measurements that transpired through the past and much will be enlightened. This will establish a sense of flow that helps me bring the horoscope tightly in step with the human it represents and it also helps me verify the birth time accuracy by noting a correlation between major angular (Ascendant and Midheaven axes) contact and important events. This is very important for future projections.

We will touch upon much in the life of the client in an effort to enhance self understanding helpfully, and objectify things; particularly difficulties – why did they really happen the way they did, and why does it still upset me? – was it really my fault? – This is not an uncommon line of conversation, for one example. (It’s hard to see ourselves and our life’s “sticking points” objectively, and we often carry burdens that we don’t deserve to carry. Part of the astrologer’s job, as I see it, is to – where needed - helpfully, supportively, sensitively offer an objective view of difficult times and factors of development.) I’ll explore anything the horoscope suggests is significant, from the parents to siblings, to sexuality, possible feelings of inferiority, the health profile, talents, strengths, vocational inclinations, etc. The objective is to enhance the client’s persona and life by offering insight and support through rich and meaningful discussion.

Then we’ll look forward from the present landscape of the client’s life towards the symbolic astrological measurements ahead with the goal of identifying and achieving the client’s goals over the coming year or so, and develop a strategic timetable and plan of action. I will make it clear that the client’s attitude and active involvement is essential to achieving any goal. (Noel Tyl points out often – planets don’t do anything, people do!) This stage of the consultation will usually begin with me asking, “What do you see for yourself in the next 6 months or the next year or so.” The answer to this question will enable me to make my most accurate projections of what is possible, what is probable and how the timing is most likely to occur.

I’ll usually wind down by a quick review of any key points that would most helpfully be carried forward from the consultation by the client and a most encouraging and supportive synopsis of what we have accomplished during the consultation. I will ask them to stay in touch and let me know how things develop and I will thank them for the time and honesty they have shared with me and for the confidence they have shown in me.

RD: In Tarot, there have been new discoveries of the old, as new information comes out to suggest that Tarot may derive from spiritual teachings of Kabbalistic origins or even from ancient Egypt. What was the biggest moral/spiritual lesson you’ve learned from your practice of astrology that lends to your philosophy about life.

My spiritual beliefs are the foundation of my philosophy on life and this was quite fully developed for me before I became an astrologer or began my serious studies. What the practice of astrology has done for me in that regard is to verify and enhance my existing outlook. That is, there is much more to our world and our existence than can be scientifically measured from the material plane (at least to this point in human evolution), that there are reasons we are here and we in fact came here (to the material plane) by choice, essentially on our own terms to work out our own challenges. For me, the horoscope is a symbol of the existence we chose in the present incarnation.

However, let me be clear: the horoscope represents who we are now and I use it to offer practical support to people, not to explore past lives or project my spiritual values and belief system on anyone else. A counseling astrologer must be objective and non-judgmental about these subjects – It’s not about my views, it’s all about the client. So my philosophy and spiritual orientation are quite separate from the one on one consultation, quite as it should be.

RD: Would you like to share with us a moment in your practice where a reading gave validation to your skills as an astrologer (that AHA moment!).

One of my most early consultations was a client, we’ll call her “Ellen”, whose horoscope suggested most vividly an inadequate father relationship (a father who failed her) leading directly to a problematically obsessive need to establish her own self worth and find the love of her father in a love relationship. This was accompanied by a deeply intense, emotional sexual profile. (I had been somewhat ‘scolded’ by Noel in a previous lesson because of a measure of timidity, a reluctance to present strongly to a previous client a major point of analysis – essentially due to a lack of confidence; what if I was wrong?) I zeroed in on this very quickly and directly with Ellen and she instantly gushed out all of the emotion you can imagine with this kind of cycle of relationship difficulty, with amazement that I had cut right to it, exactly. She was in tears and validated all of this in great detail. We discussed it all with great sensitivity and she was relieved to get it off her chest because she had an astrologer who knew her and understood, supportively. I won her confidence and trust conclusively within 5 minutes. When we began the past measurement based review of her life, I asked her about “all of this great difficulty and angst that seems to have began around age 6 or 7 and continued through the age of 13 or so” and she gasped loudly and explained to me that she had been molested by extended family members beginning and ending during that same time frame. I learned that she had repressed the memory of it all and it had been brought out during psychoanalysis some years thereafter. From that day forward, given a documented birth time, I knew I could trust the horoscope and my analysis of it. My teacher was right.

RD: Final parting words, for those who are interested in having a reading with you, how may they contact you and how much do you charge?

You can reach me by e-mail at or by cell phone at 512-630-3242. I currently charge $85 for a comprehensive consultation. This usually lasts one hour, give or take 15-20 minutes. I ask that you offer me the source for your birth time, hopefully a birth certificate record. If major rectification is required, there would be an extra fee, usually $65. I am not qualified for horary work, but I will do elective work – the fee would depend on the details of what is required; just call or e-mail me with your request and I will quote the price.

Thank you, Remi…it’s been a pleasure!

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Tarot Tibutary Book Review: The Back in Time Tarot Book by Janet Boyer

Name of Deck: The Back in Time Tarot Book
Author: Janet Boyer
Publisher: Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc.
ISBN: 978-1-57174-587-3/SKU: 9781571745873

“Look Back in Time to Shape Your Future"- Janet Boyer’s The Back in Time Tarot Book

I have been a long time fan of Janet Boyer. Period. When I first became involved in Tarot and Oracle decks is when I found her website and thought the Divination Gods were shining on me. I was relieved to have found a site where I could actually preview many decks and get someone’s personal opinion on them. That is when my “she crush” with Janet began.

What any new beginner eventually learns is that the little white book (LWB) included in many decks just don’t cut it. So over time I have accessed many fine instructional books on Tarot. Some of which I learned a lot, others of which I learned nothing more than mysticism within a nebulous pool of mysticism.

When Janet Boyer’s The Back in Time Tarot Book came out I had a chance to take a peek at it through Google Books and I was stunned! I, in my firm mind, thought this book was noteworthy but very contradictory to my very strong and and solid belief that the LWBs included with a deck held the secret in firming up one’s readings! Because I love Janet a lot I had a hard time selling this book to others. I did often suggest this book, always with the addition of my personal qualifier of “ I love Janet Boyer BUT…”

Till one day I got this book in my hand from my local bookstore. At this point of the review is where I revisit the problems of personal belief systems. The problem with personal belief systems is that they can easily become shattered.

The Back in Time Tarot Book indeed shattered my personal belief into many small incongruently shaped pieces! A method I thought that had some fundamental flaws turned out to be a system that was just fundamentally fundamental! I do not want to give away too much of the information within this book as the basic method and message of it is quite clear and simple. To say what I learned would basically reveal too much and keep many from purchasing this book. However, I will share the following about this book…

This book is definitely for the straight up beginner who has just opened their brand new deck or the seasoned reader who thought they’ve explored everything.

I consider myself intuitive, and maybe this contributed to the reason my readings were quite solid at the beginning of learning Tarot. Reading Janet's book almost one year to date of picking up my first Tarot deck basically knocked off my feet! Janet shows you a very simple approach in broadening your intuition with your current deck of choice or with any deck you pick up when you find yourself without your own humble deck. After reading through just one exercise and applying it, my intuition seriously opened up twofold in dealing with the cards! I no longer firmly look at the numbering system with the cards and try to retrieve the meanings to it, I look at what the cards are telling me. Furthermore, when I read someone for the first time, I can get an overwhelming sense how that person may feel emotionally because Janet’s technique moves your readings to another level. A level apart for intuitive reading but to a level of empathic reading. For those who do Tarot professionally, I feel this book is a must as you will be able to connect with your sitters on a higher level because you are able to access their emotional bank. I guarantee your clients will return due to the emotional connection you establish with them through this method.

Another perk about this book is that you get personal anecdotes from other Tarot dignitaries. The Back in Time Tarot Book is like a memoir of sorts where your favorite deck creator is exposed. My favorite so far, is Zach Wong creator of the Revelations Tarot. Through this anthology, I learned about Zach in a really sensitive and artistic light. I now know Zach isn’t a 50-year-old man with gray hair and a lightning cane creating decks out of his basement, as we think most Tarot or Oracle creators are in their personal life. Zach speaks about his personal trials in his section entitled “Unrequited Love” where he uses the Back in Time (BIT) method to tell a story about his experience of unrequited love and gives life to the meanings of the cards in his deck.

The Back in Time Tarot Book also shows people how to use the cards to write stories and to create lively characters. There are so many applications in using the BIT method, I think this book is simply ingenious and makes rigorous studying of the Tarot obsolete as you remember the card meanings based upon your elicited emotions!

Ratings: (Out of a total of 6 Stars, 6 being the highest of rank)

Insight: 6+ Stars
Readability: 5 Stars (This book is easy to read and could be read in as little as one or two days. I enjoy Janet’s writing style as its thorough and clear)
Creativity: 4 Stars (This is a highly creative book, but aspects of it become redundant over the course of literature but gives you a chance to see how each deck creator interprets a particular card differently)
Usability: 6+ Stars

"Janet Boyer's reviews show insight and a keen understanding of the practice
of tarot. If you're looking for first impressions, you can do no wrong in
reading what she has to say."- Timothy Lantz of The Archeon Tarot

Janet Boyer is well known for her contributions in making divination more accessible to the masses. In this Tarot Tributary Interview with Janet Boyer we discuss the current highlights in her life and her exploration with Tarot...
Interview by Remi Daily of The Tarot Tributary

RD: This is my staple question: What originally brought you to the world of Tarot?

It was the strangest thing, really. One day, I just "felt" that I was supposed to begin learning Tarot. In fact, my husband remembers the day much better than I do. We were just sitting at the dining room table together talking and I come out with "I feel to learn Tarot". This wasn't the first time I had a sudden cosmic knowing about pursuing a new path, and I'm sure it won't be the last! The flash of claircognizance occurred about seven years ago. At that time, I tried researching Tarot on the web (I live in a rural area in the Northeastern U.S. and we have NO New Age bookstores anywhere near us, let alone regular bookstores!), but it was slow going, and very confusing. I couldn't figure out why certain keywords and phrases were ascribed to various images and it didn't help that I was trying to learn Tarot with Thoth images AND Rider Waite decks--two very different traditions.

RD: I bought many of my first decks based upon the recommendations from your website and gosh am I ever so grateful! What spurred your decision in creating a website of this type?

For several years, I was the New Age Editor at The founder provided helpful suggestions to her Editors for increasing the scope of their work. One of those suggestions was to post reviews to As I began to do so, I found that reviewing was challenging but rewarding, fulfilling my desire to share great books and products with others. In terms of reviewing Tarot decks, I began doing that because I became interested in Tarot and wanted to share my experience with decks, too. Also, like many, I only have a certain amount money to spend on books and decks—and I was becoming increasingly frustrated that one major Tarot deck review site was only showing the prettiest cards from the deck. So I’d buy a deck based upon their card selection and the glowing reviews (you see, they only posted positive reviews—no doubt to increase sales commissions as affiliates), only to be disappointed that they cards they chose to put on their website were NOT representative of the deck as a whole. Tired of being misled by gushing reviews, I decided to become a crusader on behalf of the buying public by writing honest reviews—including large card scans, more cards (at least 12, sometimes up to 19), and a few cards that were the LEAST attractive to me (for balance).

RD: Each time I peruse or one of your other sites, I am always amazed of your knowledge about Tarot. Where did you seek out your knowledge, and was it accumulated through a personal journey or through scholarly pursuit?

Although I own over 100 Tarot books, I’ve only read a handful. I feel like the Universe puts up roadblocks when I attempt to read other Tarot books so I can be a “clean slate” for innovative, fresh ways to see and use the cards. I was involved with several Tarot Yahoo Groups over the years, and I think I learned card basics by osmosis (I have an almost photographic memory). The rest of my knowledge came from directly working with the cards and recognizing the universal archetypes that are found in other disciplines that I had long studied—theology, personality systems, psychology, metaphysics, etc.

RD: For those who are coming to know Janet Boyer for the first time, and those who are long time fans, are probably not aware of the many hats Janet wears- and I mean many. But out of all the hats you don day-to-day, which hat(s) do you cherish the most?

Wow, what a great (and tough) question! *pauses to think for a while* I think the many hats I wear are outgrowths of certain archetypal patterns I embody and the values I hold dear. The main archetypes of my personality are Teacher, Rebel/Pioneer/Visionary, Creator and Judge. The values I hold dear are innovation, originality, gumption and fearlessness. Imagine them at the top of a symbolic tree, as it were. Every hat I don is a proverbial branch on that tree, and some overlap as they spread out. As a result, it’s difficult to isolate a particular “hat” as most cherished. Whatever hat I’m wearing at the time is the one I cherish the most—I give my all to whatever I choose to do. “Half-assed” isn’t part of my vocabulary.

RD: Before we go into some detail about the many hats of responsibility and talents that you have, I would like to comment on your writing. I LOVE your writing. It is a fusion between technical print writing and the robust stuff found in the Lifestyle section of the New York Times. Who/what inspired your writing prose?

Why thank you! That’s quite a compliment; in fact, probably the best compliment I’ve ever received on my writing! I suppose my style of writing is just an outgrowth of how I am in “real life”: intelligent, knowledgeable, insightful, enthusiastic, analytical, clear and pointed. My style evolved as I wrote (the only way to become a good writer is to write—a lot), but the traits that I embody as a person were always at core. I’ve always been a communicator; in fact, I used to be a practicing, ordained minister. So there’s a lot of Teacher in what I write; I want to inform, but if I can do it in an entertaining way, all the better. My High School English teachers and one of my college professors were my greatest inspirations; everything else was learned via trial, error and lots of writing!

RD: Okay, now onto your many hats:

Teacher: Of The Tarot Classroom
Reader: A professional Tarot reader
Editor: An editor for
Tarot Guild: Director of Communications and VP of Certification
Tarot Today: Talk show host
Reviewer: Amazon’s Top 10/Vine Reviewer
Author: The Back In Time Tarot/BIT Method
Deck Creator: Coming soon The Christmas Tarot

I am sure I’ve probably missed a few, but wow, just writing that list made me exhausted! So if you don’t mind, sharing with our audience a little more about each of the above?

And don’t forget homeschooling Mom and wife! To be honest, *those* are my favorite roles. I love my husband and son; they are such a joy to me. They support me in everything I do. And, quite frankly, I couldn’t do what I do vocation –wise if it wasn’t for my husband. He’s such a blessing.

Tarot Classroom – When several people email to ask if I’d teach them Tarot, I had the idea to start an online Tarot Classroom to teach people as a group. It’s proving so popular (my students are from all over the world—France, America, Australia, the U.K. etc.) that I’m opening up Tarot Classroom 3 on March 15, 2010.

Reader – I read for a worldwide clientele, most via email. They tell me I’m extremely accurate, as well as compassionate. :o)

Editor – A few years back, author and deck creator Mark McElroy started the Tarot Channel blog. I enjoy posting Tarot related-news, exercises and reviews there.

Tarot Guild – This is a new venture (and adventure!) for me. Co-founder Dax Carlisle asked me to be the VP of Certification. When he convinced me as to why some people might want certification, I agreed. My duties have increased in the last few months; I’m also their Director of Communications (in charge of publicity, publishing and media relations), and am heading up the debut Tarot Guild Anthology Volume 1.

Reviewer – This is in my blood! I’ve always blabbed about books, decks and products I like and I can’t see myself ever stopping.

Author – Back in Time Tarot pretty much fell into my lap while taking a bath. When I asked my author friend Judika Illes to contribute a BIT Snapshot to my book, she liked the book premise and BIT Method so much, she asked to show it to “a friend in publishing”. That friend happened to be Greg Brandenburgh, Marketing Director for Hampton Roads publishing. I had a book contract within a month’s time. I’m currently working on a Tarot Classroom book using my Tarot Detective 7 Clue Method, and have an outline of several other books.

Deck Creator – My husband and I both love Christmas! For years, I Googled “Christmas Tarot”, hoping someone somewhere had created one. When it never materialized in searches, I decided to script my own in 2008. I think I had the entire deck scripted within a few weeks time. My husband has completed the Moon card so far. We don’t have a publisher yet. We also have to other decks we’re working on; because someone stole the idea of the Christmas Tarot a few months after I announced this creation of ours, I’m keeping the other ideas top secret.

RD: Two things I really want to talk about would be the creating of Boyer House and The Christmas Tarot. I’m so excited about Boyer House! So excited. I think its because I have valued your opinion about divination decks for a long time and I feel if anyone would be good at producing divination products it would be you. With that said, what has been the biggest joy and discomfort of the birthing process of the Boyer House? What will Boyer House bring to the table that Lo Scarabeo, Lewellyn, US Games, and other publishing houses may not bring?

My intent for Boyer House was to self-publish an annual Tarot anthology and my own Tarot books (the market isn’t exactly clamoring for Tarot books right now). However, when I joined forces with Dax and the Tarot Guild, we found that we shared the same intent and vision for a Tarot Anthology. So I suggested we call it the Tarot Guild Anthology and I’ll be the Acquisitions Director and Editor for that project. Originally, Boyer House was going to be through CreateSpace. I may bring my own books to the world in that venue, since starting an actual press takes time and money. With CreateSpace (owned by Amazon), start-up costs aren’t an issue.

The Tarot Guild plans on becoming an actual publisher of Tarot books and decks, so Boyer House will be an “imprint” of theirs I think.

RD: With The Christmas Tarot, what is the significance of a Christmas theme? After this deck, will you and your husband Ron plan to create more of your own decks?

Simply put, the significance of the Christmas theme arose because 1. We love all things Christmas and 2. No one had done it before. Yes, we’re doing more decks! I’m actually even more excited about our second deck because it’s original, hilarious and adorable. Ron plans on painting the Fool and one or two other cards for the second deck; I plan on sending the proposal to U.S. Games once he’s done with a few sample cards. (He’s been busy painting a large commissioned “Tarot card”—a vampire-themed Lovers. Once that’s done, then he’ll concentrate on our deck projects.)

RD: I have nothing but praise for The Back in Time Tarot Book, and I will keep that contained and confined to the book review. However, which deck is your all time favorite deck (for both Tarot and Oracle)?

Why thank you! That is so kind. I’m thrilled you love my book. Gosh, it’s virtually impossible to pick an all time favorite, because life is made up of “seasons”—and some decks are more utilized and beloved depending on a particular time. Right now, if someone said “I’m sorry. We’re taking all your decks away—except one. What will it be?”, I’d have to answer the Universal Waite.

RD: As Tarot continues to evolve, what do you see as the next of things to come in the Tarot deck creating process (symbols, colors, maybe even holograms, etc.)?

I see a group of visionaries not beholden to a publisher, public opinion or the “old guard” taking Tarot into their own hands via blogs, self-publishing, art and innovative methodologies. They will introduce new ways of seeing, experiencing and using Tarot—fresh ideas not connected to stuffy history, complex esoteric “brotherhoods” or arcane rituals intended to make the user feel “superior” or “special”. Tarot for the people, and by the people.

RD: What is your favorite deck spread, especially for beginners and why?

You can’t beat a 3-card spread, whether it’s a Past-Present-Future, Pro-Con-Advice, Robert Place’s fascinating 3-card method where the images “talk” according to how they’re facing, elemental dignity readings, etc. You can glean tons of insightful, helpful and useful information from a 3-card reading if you know what you’re doing.

RD: This is the final question. Why is it that you chose to do the things you do?

I was born to create, teach and innovate, so those traits and patterns touch everything I do. However, I only choose to do those things that make me feel alive, curious and engaged. If I feel a sense of dread, boredom or flatness when an opportunity comes up, I simply won’t do it. Promises of money and fame won’t budge me (and I’ve passed up several opportunities for both). I can’t be bought. I am, therefore I create—but only if it enlivens me and aligns with what I value in life.

The Tarot Tributary thanks Janet Boyer for a wonderful interview and wishes her the best in all of her endeavors!

This interview is copyrighted by Remi Daily of The Tarot Tributary. Any use of this material requires permission by Remi Daily and The Tarot Tributary.

Archeon Tarot Channeling Exchanges

Dear Remi, I would love this. There is something I amm interested in, but I don't know if it is too broad.
I seem to have inherited an inner conflict/ false afirmation that spiritual idealism and practical money earning can not walk hand oin hand. The pattern of this especially strongly on my mother's side.
My question is : is there some one or an event in my clan line that needs to be redeemed so that this can be layed to rest?

The first intuitive voice I got about this subject matter that if the issue with money comes from your mother's side its due to a male influence. Maybe her Father, or grandfather, or someone down the line. I think they have issues with money and spiritualism because they either saw firsthand how those with power (greed) used spirituality to cheat them and others around them. This male figure was really a sweet man who was like either a baker or someone who worked skillfully with their hands (craftsman) and his main concern was providing for the family that he really loved. He was highly spiritual himself but the person who he holds contempt for may have not owned their spirituality in the same regard as this male figure in your mother's line. The more I dig.. the more I feel as though this person was your mother's Father or Grandfather... not further than that.

Lets see what the cards have to say...

Yes, there indeed was an issue with money that caused dissapointment where there is a lot of apathy. (Four of Cups)

The Sun (reversed)
The Moon (reversed)
Hearald of Swords (reversed)
The Magician (reversed)
2 of swords (reversed)
5 of pentacles

So the cards tell me that there was trickery involved, even a loss of namesake for this male figure in your mother's lineage in dealing with someone who was either 1) Powerful or 2) Head of a religious/spiritual institution. This person the male figure knew pretty well actually so not only was there deception on one level of how this person presented themself to the world around them, but that there was a friendship lost or a mentor lost. Through time, victory is gained.

I asked if it was your grandfather or great grandfather, and I got Knight of Swords- I am taking this to have been your grandfather.

I asked to know more about this Magician character. I got:
High Priestess (Rx)
Ace of Swords
Two of Pents (rx)

So this person your grandfather probably had issues with is someone that may actually have been female or someone who many would go to for clarity and to keep one's secrets. Maybe a high priestess sort, pope, bishop, psychic... but I think this person may have had some problems in finance... because of the two of pents (rx)

I think your grandfather wants to say that you and any of his offsprings should have a balance between mind and spirit... to not use one's funds wastefully in the sense that greed, dependency, or a sense of entitlement should take over how you handle and do things with money.

I hope this resonates...

The person with this inquiry wanted their feedback confidential, but I think its safe to share the following:
1) The person was the querent's great-grandfather (their mother's grandfather)
2) He did grow up in a home where his father was a baker, but the person this reading is about eventually took on producing a finely crafted product that was immensely popular and well known.
3) He was a type of social philanthropist.
4) Where I went wrong was to characterize the Magician as a female. This person wasn't a female, but was considered prominent. The High Priestess represented a person with a higher order of knowledge and authority and was someone the grandfather confided in.
6) Yes, the Magician underminded the grandfather and those close to the grandfather in many ways.

Deck Review: The Archeon Tarot by Timothy Lantz

Name of Deck: The Archeon Tarot
Creator: Timothy Lantz
Illustrator: Timothy Lantz
ISBN-10: 1-57281-488-8/ ISBN-13:978-1-57281-488-2

Reviewed by Remi Daily of The Tarot Tributary.

“The power of Timothy Lantz’s art is awe inspiring. His
multi-dimensional imagery draws the individual toward spiritual
awakening, stirring the emotional repertoire of the soul. Timothy’s
gifted work contributes to a wealth of tarot imagery offered through
US Games throughout the world. I am eager to acquire a deck of my own”- Isha Lerner creator of Inner Child Cards

The Archeon Tarot brings to mind the era of post-industrial music. Wikipedia describes post-industrial music as an experimental musical style that draws on transgressive and provocative themes. Some people may not have understood the antics of Marilyn Manson or Trent Reznor of NIN, but no one could escape the rhythmically and wonderfully addictive beats of their songs. If you look beyond the darkness of the façade, one will find two artists who are profoundly intelligent, gifted moneymakers, who have refined interests in the classical arts. These well-known leaders of post-industrial music represent what the Archeon Tarot is to me. The Archeon Tarot is a dark deck that isn’t so dark and beyond the images on the card you will find within the little white book a strong sense of depth entrenched in refined philosophical and artistic tastes.

I personally fell in love with this deck because of Timothy Lantz’s take on the High Priestess card. The High Priestess is personified with a glowing ball of Earth that hovers over the chest and stomach of a woman as she looks within for answers. Eager to get this deck in my hands, I immediately open it up and internally sighed. Fourteen cards that make up the 78-card deck display nude or semi-nude human forms, all female except for one male. Initially, this realization attacked my prudish sensibilities. However, as I was going through the deck I couldn’t keep from humming the refrain from Marilyn Manson’s song “The Beautiful People”. Despite the nudity, the models are esthetically attractive.

At first I had some difficulties using the deck due to my squeamishness of nude forms but second sight told me to hold onto this deck as I will find something special about it. When working with any deck, if the deck can provide you any insight and accuracy, you tend to look beyond any initial superficial indifference.

There is a transparent feel with these cards being owed to the layers of opaque images superimposed over another. For some readers, this transparent style of layering activates the intuitive nature while a connection is formed between the layering and the reader. The layering provides a message of what is real in conjunction to what is tangible and what lies beyond for each card. This experimental style, which Lantz calls symbolism, is what invokes transgressive and provocative themes that may be brought forth during a specific reading.

The symbols used for some of the cards may not be symbols or images readily accessible to everyone. Such examples would be the appearance of the crow or the few unexpected appearances of a Native American chief and its association with the moon. However, those who are learned in the history of the Tarot will find amusement in the Five of Wands card that features an aboriginal man with a hand imprint on the left side of his chest. The hand imprint on the chest is Lantz’s ingenious way of representing the internal/external conflict or changes one endures within the human form. Lantz also does something with the seven of swords that many contemporary decks have abandoned as he features this card with the image of a magpie holding a gold pocket watch in its mouth. This deck is a perfect balance of integrating the old with the new.

The color choices of the deck may appear dark but is accompanied with pleasing washes of accent colors. The accent colors are in hues of blue, red, yellow, and white. Despite the additional color, the images on these cards lend to an old-world photograph feel, similar to stumbling upon aged yellowed photographs in a time capsule you have just uncovered.

“Consider The Archeon Tarot a window into the mythology of one man’s world, or at least how he imagines his world to be.” would be the best way of summing up the artistic license Lantz has taken in formulating the meanings for the cards. I really do enjoy the LWB for this book as there is a list of word descriptors for each card in its upright and reversed form. For the major arcana, inspiration is a quote from a famous archetype in history or a quote from Lantz himself depicting the energies of the minor arcana. I relish in the quotes provided for Leonardo DaVinci and Eleanor Roosevelt for the Chariot and the Strength card:

“Obstacles cannot crush me. Every obstacle yields to stern resolve. He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind" -Leonardo DaVinci

“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face…. We must do that which we think we cannot”- Eleanor Roosevelt

To sum up this deck I would compare it as the Quantum Tarot meets Vertigo Tarot. The Vertigo Tarot seems far darker in its illustrations than the Archeon, but uses the same juxtaposition of images on the cards. The background of The Archeon Tarot is very cosmic, mimicking The Quantum Tarot. Recently I’ve been exploring the world of Edgar Cayce and found a connection between the Cayce’s visions of the pre-mortal world and The Archeon deck. Cayce states that before we come to Earth we sometimes spend time on other planets expanding our thought forms to the qualities of that planet before we inhabit a body on Earth. Each card from The Archeon reminds me of traveling through space and being able to slow down just long enough to find the face of a vibrant Queen of Cups (who is Lantz’s wife) ruling over a particular solar system or an Indian Chief residing over a fiercely red planet called The Emperor.

How I Use This Deck:

The Archeon Tarot tends to give me succinct and spot on messages when reading for others. However, I am more connected to this deck on a spiritual level than on a divination level. It has been my spiritual best friend as it gives me astonishing and penetrating advice and insight into personal and spiritual matters. I often pull this deck out if I want to know their true motivations or understand the essence of other people’s soul as this deck seems to illuminate the positive and dark sides of personalities in an honest light. Recently, I’ve used it more as a channeling deck in conjunction to my spiritual questions.

There are no spreads highlighted in the LWB other than the traditional Celtic Cross. I usually use my personal 6-card spread that I came up with and it works well with this deck. I also enjoy using this deck in predicting for others what lies for each week in the month ahead using a 9 or 12 card spread that I will eventually post. This card is also good with the traditional Past, Present, Future spread.

Ratings: (Out of a total of 6 Stars, 6 being the highest of rank)

Cardstock Quality: 5 Stars (a good glossy finish, but the cards tend to warp a little in humid weather)
Insight: 5 Stars
LWB: 4-5 Stars
Readability: 5 Stars (you can use your intuition or simply use regular RW meanings but I find using Lantz’s meanings lends to more accurate readings)
Creativity: 5 Stars (given mostly in part to the creativity of the LWB)
Symbolism: 5 Stars

A Final Word About the Deck from the Deck Itself:

Eight of Cups Reversed (quoted from the LWB of The Archeon Tarot):

Tempest looks back at the destruction in her wake…
Trouble with commitments, boredom with lifestyle, feeling stuck in a rut

Okay, so when I first pulled this card I said to myself “Wow, this deck has a sense of humor” so I shuffled once more and then pulled another card from the spread and guess what… it was the 8 of cups reversed again! So I guess its being serious. But I take this card as representing the fact I tend to use this deck in matters when I am feeling stuck in a rut, disappointed with others and need guidance or when I’m bored. But maybe it can be related to something else… The traditional card meaning for the 8 of cups is drawing one into the wider world of surprises, adventures, creative energy, new opportunities, and the question for knowledge, and taking risks.

All rights are reserved to this deck review by Remi Daily. If you wish to use this review, please contact me for permission or please credit the review to Remi Daily and The Tarot Tributary.
Timothy Lantz is the creator of The Archeon Tarot. In this interview I had the chance to talk to Lantz about his work, upcoming goals, and who he pays tribute to in the world of Tarot:
Interview by Remi Daily of The Tarot Tributary.

Isha Lerner, a fellow deck creator, stated this about your deck:
“The power of Timothy Lantz’s art is awe inspiring. His multi-dimensional imagery draws the individual toward spiritual awakening, stirring the emotional repertoire of the soul. Timothy’s gifted work contributes to a wealth of tarot imagery offered through US Games throughout the world. I am eager to acquire a deck of my own”
Isha Lerner’s Question for Timothy:

What was the passionate force behind the creation of Archeon Tarot and what exactly is the title of the deck referring to?

My main motivation for creating the Archeon Tarot was simply the joy of creation. I’d been a casual fan of the tarot since I first discovered it in my junior high days. Something about the powerful nature of symbolism inherent in the tarot really drew me to the cards and the thought of creating my symbology was intoxicating.

Archeon stems from ‘archon’ which is a word I came by through its use in ancient Greece, meaning a magistrate or leader. That alone, however, wasn’t quite what I had in mind for a title. I wanted to create a new word that would, in essence, be a symbol of all the things that fascinate me and perhaps, define how I strived to live my life. Thus using ‘archon’ as my root, I happened upon “Archeon” which I then defined as a word that meant teacher, leader, artist, lover… all the things we should aspire to be, and could be if we tried.

RD: This is my standard question: what originally brought you to the world of Tarot?
The iconography of the whole thing I suppose. I discovered the Tarot while I was fairly young, and it had this whole taboo and mysterious aspect surrounding it. Couple that with the symbolism of the cards and it was like something just clicked inside my brain. I knew it was something I had to get my self into.

RD: Many people have described this deck as being dark. But I never have been able to evaluate the deck in that manner. Do you consider your deck dark and what do you hope your deck ultimately provides for the user?
I’ve never considered the Archeon a “dark deck.” It’s so full of light and life and hope. I can see how it comes by this association though. My art style was once described as a kind of “beautiful melancholy” and I think that’s spot on. There’s maybe a little sadness in the way I color my images, a longing for brighter things and better days. It’s this moodiness that I think people tend to read on the surface as “darkness” but I think when you really look closer at the art, this just focuses the lighter aspects of the images and pushes them out into the forefront.

RD: In the creative process of The Archeon Tarot, what were your challenges (maybe you were going through a personal challenge(s)) that magnified the creative process?
The biggest challenge for me was trying to reign in all of the wild ideas I had. I really wanted the Archeon to be accessible to people who were already familiar with the tarot. At the same time, I felt the need to inject my own ideas and beliefs into the deck. Trying to maintain a balance between adding something new and staying with the established was tricky. In the end, I think I probably leaned more towards the traditional than I could have, but I felt it best not to alienate the dedicated tarot community by changing too much, especially since this was my first deck.

RD: In creating the visual archetypes for the cards did you center your images based upon people you’ve encountered in your personal life history as inspirational images?
To some extent, that is the case. While all of the cards have been filtered through my experiences, some are definitely influenced by people I have met. The rest are simply reflective of ideas or beliefs that I have come to know as my personal mythology.

RD: Those who are not familiar with your artwork can go to and peak into your creative mind. I must say that your personal artwork is so breathtakingly serene and beautiful but also teeters on the line of internal upheaval within the subject. I liken it to the angst of Greek/Roman mythology fused with the modern, glamorous touch of a rocker lifestyle. Do you find your personal artwork to have a different “essence” than the artwork you chose to use on your deck?
I wouldn’t say that there is a difference so much as a refinement. The Archeon was really one of my first forays into this style of art. I grew up stylistically during the year in which I worked on the cards and it’s an evolution that still continues. I think as you look through the 78 images in the deck you can begin to see the formation of a sensibility, or aesthetic which has become more keenly defined in my later work.

RD: Do you plan to create another deck, if so what do you plan to do differently (PS I personally love larger cards so do you think you might make your cards slightly larger)?
I am at present working on a new deck. I think it will ultimately be a lot different than the Archeon. As I mentioned, I really tried to remain faithful to the traditional symbolism of tarot with the Archeon. My next deck will be more of unfiltered experiment. I have certain ideas that I want to explore within the confines of tarot that simply didn’t belong in the Archeon. The next deck will be based on these more challenging ideas.

RD: In deciding the content for your LWB, why did you chose short, descriptive phrases for the cards instead of maybe going into the story about the cards as you did for the Major Arcana?
As I was working on the deck, I heard from so many people that they never even look at the LWB. At first, I found this terribly discouraging, and to some degree I’m sure it influenced my decision somewhat when it came to the minor arcana descriptions. In my defense, I felt since I wasn’t deviating too wildly from the established traditions, it would be more important to focus on where I had made changes. The bulk of these were described well enough for those who bothered to look for them. Meanwhile, people just starting with tarot really just need a primer. To try to cram everything I had to say about tarot into a LWB seemed impossible, and there are far better teachers and texts out there than what I could accomplish in those pages. By providing a single quote or bit of flavor text to help influence a person’s perceptions of the card, along with a list of key words, I felt it served the purpose of the LWB in that it provides a starting point to anchor you as you begin your own tarot journey.

RD: Just recently I’ve been exploring the world of Edgar Cayce and found a connection between the Cayce’s visions of the pre-mortal world and your deck (Cayce states that before we come to Earth we sometimes spend time on other planets expanding our thought forms to the qualities of that planet before we inhabit a body on Earth). I was wondering if you followed some metaphysical thought and may have applied its approach to your cards?
I think it would be impossible to avoid having your own beliefs penetrate into a work such as this. It’s a very personal project on a lot of levels.

RD: In the LWB the highlighted spread is the Celtic Cross, are there any other spreads you find that work extremely well with your deck that you would like to share with others currently using your cards?
I toyed with the idea of including my own spreads in the LWB. Here again, I decided to stick with the traditional. The beginners will expect (and need) that foundation, while those further along will ultimately have discovered and tried other spreads. I’m a fan of 3 and 5 card draws when I read for myself, but ultimately I felt the book should serve as a gateway rather than a list of how I do things.

RD: My personal question, why the many numbers of nude forms?
It’s all symbolism. Ultimately, the tarot is about the human condition. Who we are, what we think, what feel, how we make connections in our lives. It can strip us down to our core and expose us for what we really are. Human. What better way to express what it is to be human, than showing the human form? I think there is a nobility to the human form that shouldn’t be a cause for shame. We all have the same parts and there’s nothing in my imagery that hasn’t been depicted by artists since the first human drew on cave walls. I know this seemingly flies in the face of a lot of conservatives, but isn’t tarot about expanding your understanding of yourself? I would challenge those who have a problem with the nudity in the Archeon to take a closer look at why it bothers them so much.

RD: What do you plan to feature on your long awaited Archeon Tarot website?
The Archeon tarot website has existed since the deck was first published. During that time, a lot has changed technology wise and for me professionally. I decided this year to revise the site and fold it into a subsection of my new website which I hope to launch in 2010.

RD: This is the final part of the interview when I ask for you to pick a deck or a card from a deck other than the one’s you’ve created to reflect on. You may comment about the things you like about the deck or things about the deck or card that is also emulated in your deck.

The Vertigo Tarot by Dave McKean

McKean’s art inspired a revolution in the design world. In the Vertigo Tarot, we see the artist at the pinnacle of his craft. Seamlessly blending text and images to create a new visual language, the Vertigo Tarot stands out as a benchmark of modern design, and an inspiration to a new generation of artists.

RD: Thank you so very much for your time in doing this interview.
You are most welcome

Inner Child Cards by Isha and Mark Lerner- Deck Review

Name of Deck: Inner Child Cards- A Fairy-Tale Tarot
Creator: Isha Lerner and Mark Lerner
Illustrator: Christopher Guilfoil
Cost: $34.95 US
Where you can get the Deck: Online, through any retail bookstore, Isha Lerner’s Website (

Once upon a time, Mark and Isha Lerner came together and created a deck full of archetypal childhood stories as means to communicate the Tarot with children and those who are young at heart- our inner child. Four years in the making, The Inner Child Cards feature fairies, gnomes, deceptive animals, knights, and princesses melded with the culture of the Tarot where demons and other deeper and sometimes dark characters are perceived to be alive within us all.

Fables and fairy tales are often moral lessons to be learned and carried throughout life’s journey. As we grow older, we forget about these stories and the Inner Child Cards remind us of these lessons in magnificent, Technicolor usage of fairy-tale images. The combination of fairy tale personalities and the teachings of human psychology found in the Tarot make for famed narratives useful to any Tarot user.

In this deck the four suites are Wands (depicted as butterflies), Swords, Hearts (depicted as winged hearts), and Crystals. In traditional Tarot, Cups always represent emotions and this is where the Lerners have integrated the icon of Hearts. I especially enjoy the switch from Pentacles to Crystals in this deck as it conveys the full meaning of prosperity: material, earthly, physical, and emotional. Other changes include the royal court where Child=Page, Seeker=Knight, Guide=Queen, Guardian=King and the naming of the individual major arcana cards reflecting the themes behind many fables (i.e. Hansel and Gretel as the Lovers, The Yellow Brick Road as Strength, Cinderella as the Moon , etc.).

The large book included with this deck serves as the illuminating waters for the cards. The book, about 291 pages, gives one a complete explanation of the cards the way the creators have envisioned them. Also, there are six highly innovative card layouts presented by the Lerners: the CHILD, Hopscotch (a Kabbalah Tree of Life spread), Wishing Well, Rainbow, Spiral Staircase, and a simple new take on the three-card spread layout called What’s Around the Corner.

The deck fully takes advantage of vibrant primary color combinations and a wonderful use of symbolism. I have chosen to share a few of my favorite cards and also other cards randomly picked from the deck in order to perform the five-card CHILD spread:

C=1st card: Represents your receptivity to the world around you.
The Star- In the time of twilight you see a huge star, similarly depicted in nativity scenes over Bethlehem, a youth steps up to drop a coin into a water well. Underneath is the caption “Wishing Upon A Star.” Traditionally the Star card in Tarot tells us about inspiration, beauty, inner guidance, and hope but it also asks us to take all of these things and step up to the plate, applying a little elbow grease in achieving what we want while holding onto our dreams.

H=2nd card: Dictates how you climb higher within yourself to reach a new level of spirit and understanding.
The Eight of Crystals- Shows us a little female gnome in a pair of skates etching into the ice the figure (number) eight. In the world of ice skating, perfecting the figure eight requires work and patience and signifies a transformation of talent from being a novice skater to one with more skill. The figure 8 also represents the infinite, reaching our infinite potential in an endeavor.

I=3rd card: Symbolizes individuality, independence and developing within.Four of Swords- Four youthful boys are steering a log raft down the river with their swords, while one of them is fishing. Four of Swords traditionally indicates rest. In this card the fishing youth is the odd one out, for the Lerners fishing is the equivalent to rest and relaxation of the mind. This card tells one not to rush the mental process, let your mind rest and free itself in order to bring forth the messages you need to know in order to take charge in life’s upcoming journeys.

L=4th card: The new life you are constantly creating.
Two of Hearts- A card of two mermaids sitting on two separate rocks on the shore. Each is holding a winged heart connected by a rainbow with dolphins flying high above.
The rainbow represents a connection and the dolphins represent spirit/mind. Two of Cups traditionally represent a connection of love or attraction between two individuals. The card capitalizes on the mind aspect of the Two of Cups, lending a friendship partnership feel.

D=5th cared: Your doorway into the world and the challenges one might face.
Guardian of Wands- This card is different in its connotation than many Rider-Waite interpretations. This card is the card of spiritual healing and travels. Archangel Raphael is the ruler of this card and can be further explored by Raphael’s association with King Solomon.

The cards are intentionally big (3 8/16” by 6 ¼”) which is a lot of room to incorporate many symbols and images without them being cluttered. However, the sizing can make the cards difficult to shuffle (which was also an intentional aspect of the cards when created so that one can grasp the concept of youth and having everything surrounding us as being large and inaccessible) and through trial and error I’ve found my own way to shuffle the cards at the corners while holding them vertical. The backs of the cards are of a deep purple with a blazing emblem of a yellow sun and are reversible. The card stock is durable but does not appear to have a protective glossy coating over them. The packaging holds both the book and cards in a box. It is hard to find a bag to fit the cards, but at the same time the packaging it comes in looks fashionable tucked upon a bookcase.

My personal experiences with this deck have been ennobling. I call the Inner Child Cards my “Pluto” deck. Even though it appears as a deck with a light-hearted theme, this is a very serious deck that reaches to the heart of the matter and has the ability to ferret out excess energies in order to find solutions to a problem. I reach for this deck in conjunction with other decks during a read if a problem is indicated. Inner Child Cards also serve as an oracle of sorts because the Lerners’ interpretations of the cards are always positive with a different outlook than the traditional Raider-Waite meaning. However, one can also throw out the meanings the Lerners have for the cards and easily use it in regular Rider-Waite or Golden Dawn form and have as revealing messages. The Lerners suggest using only upright meanings. I am an advocate of utilizing reversed cards during a read, but this is personal preference. The way the selected images on these cards are laid out on the cardstock makes interpretation of reversed cards a breeze.

Inner Child Cards appeal and work best for those who are familiar with fables and fairy-tales. The stories/symbols associated with each card allow for deeper meditation and meaning. Those who love bright colors will be drawn to this deck. Those who are really interested in the way color, numbers, and astrology work in the Tarot will find this deck amazing as the accompanying book taps into the culmination of these ancient traditions. This is an excellent purchase for the experienced Tarot muse looking for something deeper yet unique and also for the non-experienced Tarot user fascinated by fairy-tales and fables.

Listing of the Major Arcana Cards:
0- Little Red Cap; I-Aladdin and the Magic Lamp; II-The Fairy Godmother; III-Mother Goose; IV-The Emperor’s New Clothes; V-The Wand; VI-Hansel and Gretel; VII-Peter Pan; VIII-Beauty and the Beast; IX-Snow White; X-Alice in Wonderland; XI-The Midas Touch; XII-Jack and the Beanstalk; XIII-Sleeping Beauty; XIV-The Guardian Angel; XV-The Big Bad Wolf; XVI-Rapunzel; XVII-Wishing Upon A Star; XVIII-Cinderella; XIX-The Yellow Brick Road; XX-The Three Little Pigs; XXI-The Earth Child.

Ratings: (Out of a total of 6 Stars, 6 being the highest of rank)
Cardstock Quality: 3 Stars
Insight: 6 Stars
LWB: 6 Stars
Readability: 5 Stars
Creativity: 6 Stars
Symbolism: 6 Stars

A Final Word About the Deck from the Deck Itself:

Here is when I have the deck speak for itself by pulling one card...

Six of Hearts (quoted from the LWB of the Inner Child Cards):

"It is an ancient belief that storks are heralds of new life. They are seen frequenting ponds and marshes, which has given rise to the belief that the spirits of unborn children wait in these places, seeking a new mother or a new life. Thus, storks are known as soul carriers.

In this card, something holy is occurring. Five mermaids are joining with each other and rising from the sea. The sixth mermaid, flying upon a stork, is offering a spiritual lifeline from above. In ecstasy, the five emerge from the ocean, representing the unconscious, into the air and sunlight, representing higher revelations. They rejoice as they touch one another and reach skyward. A transition is taking place. It is as if emotions have surfaced and are now being released.

Imagine that the sea has claimed your tears and the Sun is drying your eyes. This is an inner healing, and on that you deserve. The number 6 represents support, dedication, responsibility, and unity. It can also signify the need to balance your emotional life. This may be the time for a family healing or resolution of conflict with a loved one. A deep, heartfelt connection with your friends or community may be happening."

Well said deck…

Love and Light,

Isha Lerner Interview- Inner Child Cards

Isha Lerner is the creator of several Tarot decks including the Inner Child Cards, Tarot of the Four Elements, Triple Goddess Tarot, and Power of Flower Cards. Recently I, and other fans of Isha Lerner, had the wonderful opportunity to ask questions from this celebrated Tarot deck creator. In tribute to her work, the following is the long awaited interview with Isha Lerner:

What originally brought you to the world of Tarot?

My experience with the tarot happened in an organic and natural way.
I didn't go out looking for the tarot nor did I make a conscious decision that
I wanted to study and learn tarot. It appeared naturally in my life in my
late teens and continued to grow as an interest and a passion in my life
ever since. I had a profound dream in my early twenties that invoked a deep
curiosity within. In a way this dream confirmed to me the reality that I had
worked with the tarot in other lifetimes. I do not profess to know the exact
way in which past lives effect our present life, but I have come to believe
that there is a chord or thread that connects a soul journey from life time
to life time.

I dreamed I was a little gnome or tree like being, gnarly old with very
crooked fingers, short, a bit fantasy like. I was with a male partner of the
same origin and we were sitting behind a large wooden slat, perhaps a fallen
tree, working with the tarot cards. There was a line miles long of little
people waiting to have us look at their cards. It was quiet, mystical, and
full of nature and bird song. I awoke with a deep truth within that this
dream was a vision. It resonated deeply and showed me one of my lifetimes
with the cards. I hold the dream dear to my heart.

For over thirty years I have studied, created, and played with the
archetypes within the 78 card deck and I continue to learn and expand my
understanding of the cards. They are an endless source of wisdom and
teachings for me.

In general, when using your decks I always feel that I've taken a
tour not only around the world but also through history. What of
your personal background do you believe contributes to this sense of
journey as one use your decks?

My hope is that the decks I have created may expand one's understanding of
archetype and the mystery of humanity as explored within the cards. They are
endless teachers and the wisdom held within the context of the 78 cards is
endless and I believe is infinite. My truest belief is this: The tarot is
encoded in our DNA as a source or a guideline to follow as we progress as a
living being on earth. I believe the tarot has been passed down perhaps from
other planets and is a perfect representation of the individuation process,
the same process found in folklore and fairy tales. This is the passion
behind the Inner Child Cards: A Fairy Tale Tarot.

What separates the first edition of the Inner Child Cards from the latest edition?

Very little. We decided to create an update with the information in the
first two chapters and to change the cover on the box as a way to perfect
the deck. We did find that it might have confused people but it is
fulfilling to have attempted to bring the very best of the cards and imagery
to the public. I prefer the new box with Little Red Cap on the cover,
however, the pink cover with the Child of Wands is still adored by many.

My favorite of the Inner Child Cards is Wishing Upon A Star,
before that it was Little Red Riding Hood. What card would you
consider as your favorite from this deck and why?

My favorite card has always been the Earth Child known as the World Trump 21
in the traditional tarot. I love the image and the idea within the image as
a soul returning for rebirth, full of love, and devoted to a new cycle of
service on planet earth.

Kat Black, creator of the Golden and Touchstone Tarot, mentioned
that in finding the images to be used for her cards she felt like a
casting agent, mulling over art images in her mind for the perfect
faces for each card. Did you find picking the right fairy tales for
your cards an easy process or one as equally occupying as Kat's

Once the concept of the Inner Child Cards fell into our hearts the
co-author, Mark Lerner, and myself, felt as if each Major Arcana card was
blessed with a falling star, a fairy tale, that came from the sky, right
into our heart and mind. They all fell into place very quickly and easily
and it all felt so pure and perfect. It was a joy.

Do you plan to create another deck, if so will you be in the
process of experimenting with different color hues and pallets than that of the Inner Child Cards?

I have created several decks since the Inner Child Cards which includes The
Power of Flower Cards, The Triple Goddess Tarot, and the Tarot of the Four
Elements. I am in the process of completing another deck, The Castle of the
Soul, which is a sequel to the Inner Child Cards. This deck puts the
individual in the castle where true love is found. We explore what it is
like for us to live within the context of this divine love. Do we accept it
or reject it? The cards will help us see.

I found that the book that comes with the Inner Child Cards to be
quite illuminating and would like to know how the Inner Child Cards
workbook is different, or can add more insight than the LWB included
with the cards?

I wanted to add more information about the mystical meaning of fairy tales
and so the workbook extends my study and includes within the first three
chapters a repertoire of research regarding fairy tales. Each card is given
key notes from which to study.

Just recently I've used the Rainbow Layout in a reading and I was
astounded by how well this spread works, especially when using Thoth
interpretations in conjunction with your interpretations. Do you
consider The Inner Child Cards more of a RW deck or does it have its
own feel?

I would say both. If a person is familiar with the tarot, any deck can be
used and understood. This is why I feel it is important for a person to
learn the basics of tarot and ground a deep understanding of the cards from
a historical perspective. From there the individual can learn and extend the
experience with tarot and individualize it.

In using the Rainbow Layout to uncover past issues, do you find
using flower essences after an Inner Child Card reading helps the
querent ease into the needed transitions/transformations as indicated
by the spread? If so, how? What/which of your flower essences you
feel work well with the nature of the Inner Child Cards?

I am a huge fan of using flower essences as a follow through with an
astrology or tarot session. They assist with so many blocks whether
emotional, spiritual, mental or physical. I recommend several different
flower essences depending on the specifics a person's needs and challenges.

Why is it that you prefer to read the cards only in their upright

I respect each individual's choice and preference regarding this subject.
For myself, I prefer to avoid reversals. Perhaps it is my own personal need.
Reversals create duality for me and I am seeking in this lifetime to avoid
duality or fear. Each painting was created upright, and within this
fullness, the whole story of its nature is revealed. If we know the cards
well and look deeply enough, we will find whether the cards chosen is a
challenge of a gift, and whether or not there are parts of our own psyche in
need of help, healing and deeper understanding. This process works for me
and when teaching my classes we discuss this thoroughly and I am not biased
as to what an individual chooses to do.

This is the final part of the interview when I ask for you to
pick a deck or a card from a deck other than the one's you've created
to reflect on (preference would be something from my collection but
can also be a deck from your personal collection). You may comment
about the things you like about the deck or things about the deck or
card that is also emulated in the Inner Child Cards.

I have a trusty relationship with the Mother Peace Deck which is hands down
my favorite tarot deck besides the Inner Child Cards and the Aquarian Tarot.
I have a very old Mother Peace deck that I have used since the early 80's. I
feel it captures the essence of the feminine in a profound yet simple way
and I love the interpretations of the cards. I respect the work of Vickie
Noble and Karen Vogel.

I use this deck when a woman is in crisis and in need of a very serious look
at her situation. The cards never fail me and this deck in particular is
extremely close to me and special.

Thank you for the opportunity to share some of my experiences and thoughts
regarding tarot. Much love, Isha Lerner

The Wishing Well Spread- Inner Child Cards

The LWB for the Inner Child Cards features a spread called the Wishing Well. It is a simple one card spread. You shuffle the cards and then spread them in a circle. From that circle of cards, you pull one card while thinking about your question (this works well if you use a large surface, like the floor). The card pulled holds your answer.

I performed this one card spread for someone who asked:

Yesterday an appraiser came to see an old religious painting that i am trying to sell, and he told me, that he has to counsult with another expert before he give us his opinion! he told us that he wold gives us his final opinion next monday, so i would like to know, what type of nes he could give me!

The card I pulled was The of Crystals (Pents).
This card was pulled in its upright position. My response to this person was:Hi,I asked the question about the NES (is this some type of document describing the condition of the artwork, because that's how I asked about it in that term).I did the Inner Child Spread of the Wishing Well, which is a one card spread. I pulled from the outter circle of cards the Ten of Crystals:"Christmas Day carries the potential for great joy and expectations. Dreams may come true, and the rekindling of family ties and friendly sharings brings warmth and love into the home."
This is commonly a card of wealth, riches, abundance, prosperity. In Golden Dawn/Thoth meaning the number 10 of the card can be significant. Maybe in ten weeks or ten months you will sell this piece or the NES figure may have a multiple of 10 in it.Intuitively, I get that you may value this piece so much that you may not sell it but pass it down through series of generations. Or its a piece that has been in your family forever. Either way, it brings you much riches.It seems as though in appraising this piece you had to/or will be communicate some significant information about it in order to get the value you want.
The person replied to my inquiry:
thanks for the reading!! well its not my painting, its a client's painting, and you are right has been in the family for sometime, and i know that its from a well known mexican painter, and we need the NES to find out its value on the market, so we can try to sell it!! thanks for the great rrading, it was very acurate and hopefull
Later on they shared this with me....
i want to tell you that i just recieved some promising news today, the appraiser liked the painting and consider it as an original art piece! and it, but he wants to get a 2nd opinion
In doing this read, I used the Lerners' interpretation found in their LWB. But I also used the Golden Dawn interpretation of the card. Not to mention, since I do intuitive readings, the picture of the gnomes enjoying a nice evening at home was my intuitive hunch that the artwork was in the family for a long time, probably even passed down from generations because the 10 of coins card represents the passing on of tradition. In the Golden Dawn 10 of coins also represents communication. Can't wait to hear about any other news.