Email Tarot Readings

pents10When getting a tarot, or any other kind of reading, we are often worried about what will be seen and what kind of shame will be exposed by going to a reader. If at any point you get to have a live reading in person, you quickly realize that those fears are unfounded.

Your reader is there to help you get an answer to a burning question, reveal available options that you might not be seeing, and to bring you some peace of mind. The last thing a reader wants to do is to upset you or to try and delve into a personal matter you don’t want scrutinized. We just don’t do that. Once you’ve been to an ethical reader it becomes a lot easier to have one done. Your fears are allayed and you can get in there and ask what you need to know.

And it’s even easier by email; you ask your question and

Electronically – there’s no visual cues to cold read with. This basically means that they won’t be able to make it up as they go along. No facial expressions and no body language to gauge your reactions from and to respond appropriately. General broad readings that apply to anybody can quickly be spotted.

Other upsides are that you don’t have to be clear your diary or wait to be seen. Send you email question and you’re done.

Any other bonuses? Variety. There are so many readers to choose from, you really can shop around to find the best fit. Get recommendations, find testimonials, ask friends who have had readings about their experiences and who to contact and who to avoid. There are many people who have been to bad readers and are very happy to warn you about the pitfalls that you may encounter. However, there will also be many people who have had wonderful experiences with readers – get them to give you names and how the experience was for them.

Take the plunge and have a reading with somebody that resonates for you.

Get a tarot reading


Mercury Retrograde

BronzeAs a Cartomancer, I start to get a noticeable increase in reading requests around the times of the planet Mercury going in, what appears to be, a reverse direction.  This happens about three times a year for about 22 days at a time.

There are many excellent resources explaining what Mercury Retrograde is and how it functions astrologically, (for an excellent detailed resource try PANDORA ASTROLOGY) but I’m not going to delve into the finer points of astrology here.  This post  is just a short piece addressing what we will be experiencing during that time.

When Mercury turns retrograde, we will have loads of adventures and then Mercury turns direct againFor about two weeks before and after M-Retrograde you will feel it – as it arrives and as it leaves: This is called the shadow period.

During this time, usually, I have many clients wanting readings.  Everything’s going wrong – their lives are all over the place… the good news?  It’s not you, it’s just Mercury retrograde.

What Happens?

You’ll start to notice an inordinate number of miscommunications.  In fact, everything ruled by Mercury in astrology seems to be a little topsy-turvy.  Aside from arguments, you’ll notice traffic and travel plans and actions are delayed.

A simple to read resource at CRYSTAL LINKS gives a brief overview:

Medical or Dental: Diagnosis made could be wrong, appointments rescheduled or cancelled.

Business: Problems with contracts, meetings, merges, paper work, etc. (Sign Nothing)

Telecommunication: Phones, satellites, computer systems and related

Travel: Lost luggage, flight delays, vehicle problems, getting lost even with a GPS system

Decisions: You feel indecisive

Relationships, friendships and partnerships: Changes made and reviewed (don’t marry now)

Written work will be redone due to errors or change of content.  Creativity could be stifled.  If you start a diet,you’ll quit when retrograde is over.  Emotions are heightened.  Purchases may be returned: They may be broken or you’ll decide you don’t like them.  Many things simply won’t add up!  If you play a trick on someone it will backfire on you.

During this period of heightened sensitivity Mercury is sometimes said to be entering the underworld, so don’t be surprised when your intuition is off the charts.

What Do You Do?

I find that when I avoid the basic pitfalls of Mercury Retrograde as stated above – I tend to coast through fairly unscathed.  I avoid starting things, purchases, travel and signing anything.  I tend to focus on doing things that have been piling up, reconnecting with old friends, spending time re-establishing relationships, suddenly reconnecting with old clients.  This is you “RE” time and I hope that it will be fairly smooth sailing for you.

Click HERE to check if we’re in Mercury Retrograde – or just to get the next dates.


Posing Your Question


Getting a card reading is fantastic.  So many avenues of exploration and so many ways to maximize your time by avoiding that which doesn’t work and focusing on what really works for you.

question-mark-stockimageSo how do you, as a Querent, formulate a question that gets the best answer?

It seems to me that different ways of asking works for different readers, however, there seems to be a few common themes regarding which questions work best.

One simple method that works really well, is to keep things positive.  Quite literally.

Our subconscious has a problem understanding little words that negate; remove and avoid the “no” words, the “not” words and the “don’t” words.  It is FAR easier to answer “Is he faithful” than “Is he unfaithful”.

I can easily let you know if your planned purchase is what you really need, than having to work through a “This isn’t what I need, right?”  It’s a really small thing, but framing questions this way saves you time and money.

“How is that?”, I hear someone ask.  In-person readings are normally charged by time, the longer it takes to re-frame your question by your reader, the more time’s spent and the monetary amount is slowly increasing with the minute hand.  If you’re choosing an email option, emailing back and forth to clarify the question is going to really mess with your delivery time.

Another great way to frame a question is to avoid “yes” or “no” questions.  Depending on your reader, a closed question often doesn’t get much response.  A few readers might include the “why” with the yes/no answer, but you’re severely limiting the kind of feedback your question could generate. Asking Open-Ended questions prevents your reading being limited…BUT…

9HeartsDon’t ask too broad a question either.

You want to limit the range of your question to a certain degree so that you can get a workable answer to your questions, and not standard stock-phrases that don’t really mean anything.  Striking this happy medium can save you time and money.  Luckily most readers and seers will help to re-phrase your question into something more appropriate to their answering style.    If your questions are too nebulous, your answers will be just as vague.  The cards tend to answer in the way that the question was asked.

Neutrality.  You want to be in a calm space for your reading.  Being desperate or emotionally distraught at the reading seven-diamonds-carddoesn’t do you or your reader any favours.  Also, keep an open mind.  Are you having the reading to gather information that could help you, or is it to prove that you are right?  If the issue to be read about is upsetting for you, try to wait until you are in a better space, or ask for an email reading.  In the email, try to stay on topic and ask for what you want.

The best thing over all is to write down your questions before-hand.  There is no need to feel that it has to be a spontaneous response in regards to your questions.  A well worked out question that’s written down saves loads of hassle, time and money.

The last point I want to address is that you are asking the questions – keep yourself as the focus.  You want the best for you, limit or avoid asking about other people.  Of course we are all inter-connected so to some degree another person comes up in your reading, but they are coming up in relation to you.  Try to keep the focus on you and you’ll get much clearer questions.  To sum up:

  • Keep the phrasing positive
  • Avoid closed “yes” or “no” questions by asking Open-Ended questions
  • Don’t ask too broad a question either – the more specifications, the better it is for you
  •  Stay Neutral
  • Keep yourself as the focus

There are  also the “37 Questions” by  Alec Satin.  He no longer has his blog up, but a significant post that he shared was:

“What do you ask the tarot when you don’t know what to ask?”

It is 37 of the best tarot questions by  Alec Satin to get you started.  You can customize any of these questions to best match your particular situation.

What do I most need to know questions

  • What do I most need to know about my love life?
  • What do I most need to know about my career?
  • What do I most need to know about the situation with my sister/brother/husband/friend/mother?

How can I move forward questions

  • How can I move my career forward?
  • How can I move my love life forward?
  • What’s trying to come forth in my life?
  • What’s the strongest foundation to build upon?


  • I can go two ways. Help me decide which way to go.
  • What are the pros and cons of these two choices?
  • How can I make the best possible decision?

Do this – Don’t do this questions

  • What should I do about the situation with my work?
  • What shouldn’t I do about it?
  • What should I do about the situation with my sister/brother/mother/father/spouse?
  • What shouldn’t I do about it?

Blessings in your life

  • How can I restore my hope for the future?
  • What blessings do I bring to my life?
  • What blessings do my friends and loved ones bring to me?
  • What blessings are coming to me from the Divine?
  • How is fortune smiling on me?
  • Where is love in my life?
  • How can I know that there is meaning in my life?

 Hidden things

  • What am I ignoring?
  • What am I not seeing?
  • What’s holding me back?
  • What am I denying?
  • What am I seeing that’s not true?
  • What have I forgotten?
  • What could trip me up?

Snapshot questions

  • What can I learn from the past?
  • What is the future telling me?
  • What cycles are impacting me?
  • What have I learned?
  • Where am I strongest?
  • What should I look out for?

Action questions

  • What if anything needs to be done?
  • How can I communicate this in the best way possible?
  • How will the trip go?


Some other sites that address how to ask a great question are:


Donnaleigh’s site gives some great question formulation advice:

What is the best way to ask a question?


Llewellyn Worldwide Journal gives some practical question tips:

Ten Practical Questions to Ask the Tarot


Aeclectic Tarot Forum has an extensive list of possible questions:

List of Tarot Questions


BiddyTarot has a great list of what not to ask:

What NOT to Ask the Tarot



Cartomancy – Ivan Vladimirov 1928 Russian Federation

Cartomancy requires no belief from our querent/sitter/seeker and also requires no specific religious or spiritual belief. All that you need is to be comfortable enough to ask questions and an open mind to hear the answers.

The reader asks your question and the assembly of cards is interpreted to synthesize an answer.  The individual cards become part of a larger complete story.  They are acting as the symbols of concepts which are being translated into language without taboos and no precepts to dictate their method.

The reader reads that which they see in the cards and tries to place it into an understandable framework for the person asking.  To facilitate this, the reader might ask a few clarifying questions.  The more focused the seeker’s question, the less need for clarification.

The range of information available is limited only by your imagination.  Each reader has their own unique methods of placement and reading: from traditional to personally styled and everything in-between.

My OCD-like little quirk is that I stick to this one rule when I read:  If I see it once in a reading it’s possibly going to be a true interpretation of what is in front of me, if I see it twice it’s most probably accurate, if I get the same information three times it has then become a certainty.

Why would I stick to something like this?  Simple – it’s a personal crutch that developed because when I use it, it works for me and delivers great results.  Do other methods work? Absolutely!

Cartomancy defined from around the Web:

Webster’s 1913 Dictionary


The art of telling fortunes with cards.


noun: cartomancy
  1. fortune telling by interpreting a random selection of playing cards.
late 19th century: from French cartomancie, from carte ‘card’ + -mancie (see -mancy).

From Wikipedia


as “one who seeks” is derived, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, from the Latin quærēns “seeker,” the present participle of quærere “to seek, gain, ask.”

It is clear that Querent became used to denote “a person who questions an Oracle” because it is usually when you have a problem that requires Otherworldly advice that you would seek out the oracle in the first place.


(from Latin divinare “to foresee, to be inspired by a god”, related to divinus, divine) is the attempt to gain insight into a question or situation by way of an occultic, standardized process or ritual.[3] Used in various forms throughout history, diviners ascertain their interpretations of how a querent should proceed by reading signs, events, or omens, or through alleged contact with a supernatural agency.

Tarot reading

is belief in using cards to gain insight into the past, current and future situations by posing a question to the cards, i.e. cartomancy.

The Fortune Teller, by Art Nouveau painter Mikhail Vrubel, depicting a cartomancer

 Cartomancy is fortune-telling or divination using a deck of cards. Forms of cartomancy appeared soon after playing cards were first introduced into Europe in the 14th century.[1] Practitioners of cartomancy are generally known as cartomancers, card readers, or simply readers.

Cartomancy is one of the oldest of the more common forms of fortune-telling. It is similar to tarot card reading in that various card spreads are used, such as single card, “Destiny Square,” and 3 cards.[2] The tarot can also be used in cartomancy.[3]

Cartomancy using standard playing cards was the most popular form of providing fortune-telling card readings in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. In English-speaking countries, a standard deck of Anglo-American bridge/poker playing cards (i.e., 52-card, four-suit set) can be used in the cartomancy reading; the deck is often augmented with jokers, and even with the blank card found in many packaged decks. In France, the 32-card piquet playing-card deck was, and still is, most typically used in cartomancy readings, while the 52-card deck was, and still is, also used for this purpose. (A piquet deck can be a 52-card deck with all of the 2s through the 6s removed. This leaves all of the 7s through the 10s, the face cards, and the aces.)

A Short History of Playing Card Divination


Wahrsagerin (Fortune Teller)

The earliest European record of playing cards is from 1332 when King Alfonse XI of Leon and Castile banned them.  The cards journey (the Saracen deck) is posited to have come up from Morocco into Spain.

These 15th Century Mamluk cards have 4 four suits – cups, coins, swords, and polo sticks.

The Mamluk Sultanate 1250–1517 emerged from Egypt and Syria, spreading across the Middle East. It’s capital, Cairo, became the Arab Islamic world’s economic, cultural and artistic center.
Mamluk 1500
Discovered in Istanbul, The Mamluk cards are thought to be the, then modern, adaption of the cards used in the Chinese (Late Ming) dynasty card game of Mǎ diào.  The connection here is that there were established trade between the Middle and Far East. 

Chinese cards are documented as early as the 9th century during the Tang Dynasty (618–907).

The argument against the Arabic origin of European cards is that Qur’anic law forbids gambling and creating human images (The Court Cards).  The Arab world adopted monotheism under the  Islamic (Muslim) religion after The Prophet Muhammad unified the Arabic people under the umbrella of Islam during the 7th Century, meaning that human imagery may have been outlawed since the 7th century. 

However, the cards were not necessarily used for gambling.  Even today many Muslim families traditionally use playing cards for games that do not involve any gambling.

The alternative origin (of European playing cards) could be Indian playing cards – which  had seven to ten suits.  So either our cards come from China or from India.  There is also the likelihood that that both of these card systems  were circulating at the same time.

There is a beautifully reconstructed Mamluk deck published in 1972 by Jan Bauwens and Aurelia Books of Belgium.

It is most likely that many people used many different types of cards for divination, using personal blends of family and folk traditions.

What then, would be older than the cards ?

There are several systems of divination using archetypal ideas, which, when represent by items that could be mixed to form a random pattern, like the runes, the Hebrew Alefbet or the I Ching.  The resulting pattern would be used to divine situations or to perform magic.  Infact, in 19th century when the Tarot developed it’s complex esoteric correspondence system, many, like Waite and Crowley, associated the Hebrew letters with the trumps.

The history of the cards appear to have more of an alternating, interweaving connection than being a straight line of evolution to modern day cards.

For much more detailed and fascinating reading concerning the history of cards, try these sites:

Mary K Greer: Origins of Playing-Card Divination.

Mary K Greer: What every newbie tarot should know…

House Of Playing-Cards

A Concise History of Playing-Cards

Playing Cards Wikipedia




Facebook Page:

Lenormand Cards


Many people hearing of Lenormand cards are intrigued, but if you’re not a card reader – generally you wont know what we’re talking about. 

Lenormand cards are originally a reduced pack of playing cards with a picture and title associated with each card.  It is a modified full deck (52 cards) – having removed the 2 pips to 6 pips which means it contains 36 cards.  (Unless it’s German decks where they replace the Aces with the Twos.) 

Originating in Germany as “The Game Of Hope” (Das Spiel der Hofnung) it was created by Johann Kaspar Hechtell who made it circa 1790.

Johann Kaspar Hechtel

Johann Kaspar Hechtell

Portrait of Lenormand

Mademoiselle Marie Anne Adelaide Lenormand

The Cards as we know them are named after Mademoiselle Marie Anne Adelaide Lenormand.  On her passing in 1843,  36-card decks appeared with the same symbolic imagery as “Das Spiel der Hofnung” and were attributed to her.

Wikipedia does not have much to say about her:

According to them: She born on 27 May 1772 in Alençon, Normandy, to Jean Louis Antoine Lenormand, a draper, and Marie Anne Gilbert.

 Lenormand was orphaned at the age of five and educated in a convent school. Lenormand left Alençon for Paris in 1786.Mademoiselle Lenormand claimed to have given cartomantic advice to many famous persons, among them leaders of the French revolution (Marat, Robespierre and St-Just), Empress Josephine and Tsar Alexander I. She was active for more than 40 years.

Lenormand cards are a cartomantic system have just started their global revival within the last few years.  There is a recent trend towards traditional European card reading systems, and the Lenormand revival is one facet of that.

If you’d like to learn more, why not click on one of these pictures. These are a few of the astoundingly talented people practicing cartomancy:

(Just a note:  There is absolutely no affiliation with any of these readers, they are just respected leaders in their field)

Donnaleigh de LaRose


Mary K Greer

Tali Goodwin

Tali Goodwin

Marcus Katz

Marcus Katz of the Tarosophy Tarot Association


Camelia Elias from Denmark

Malkiel Rouven Dietrich

Malkiel Rouven Dietrich A German Card Reader who also does English language videos


Fortune-Telling by Cards


This is the short first chapter of Foli’s 1915 book on reading with cards.  The history of card reading is still quite contentious and there are many superb people diligently researching the rich and fascinating history of reading with Tarot and playing cards.  I find this book charming and fascinating and thought I’d share a bit here.

Fortune Telling by Cards, by P.R.S. Foli


How we got our Pack of Cards

Where do they come from?—The Romany Folk—Were they made in Europe?—Suits and signs—The power of cards—Their charm and interest—Necessity for sympathy—Value of Cartomancy.

Where do They Come From?

WHEN we take up an ordinary pack of cards to deal them out for a rubber, or to lay them down in the careful deliberation of Patience, or when we watch them being used as the inexplicable instruments of a something that, with a feeling akin to superstitious dread, we prefer to call coincidence, we do not often stop to think of the varied and eventful history represented by those smooth, highly-glazed playthings.

The actual and authentic history of playing cards only goes back about five hundred years, and various theories have been mooted as to the source from which Europe obtained them. It is an established fact that in past ages many eastern peoples, notably those of India, China, and Chaldea, possessed cards which differed materially both in use and design from those known in the West at a later date. It is impossible to trace these prehistoric beginnings of card-lore, but there seems little doubt that the Wise Men of eastern lands regarded their cards with none of the contempt usually bestowed upon them in the West. They held them in high esteem as mediums for the partial revelation of the Unknowable, and included them as a part of their mystic lore.

The Romany Folk.

It is thought by many that we owe our cards to the gipsies, who are supposed to have been the offspring of a low caste of Hindus, and who, driven from their own land, found their way, as fugitives, through Western Asia into Egypt, and from Northern Africa into Europe. It is certain that all kinds of fortune-telling, whether by Cartomancy or whatever method, are inseparably connected with that curious, fascinating, highly gifted and elusive people. They excelled in music and ail mechanical pursuits; they could learn a language, or distinguish themselves in metal work, with equal ease; but they had to live more or less on the defensive, as very children of Ishmael, and years of persecution only deepened their craftiness, sharpened their intuition, and rendered them more keen to assert their mysterious power over those who oppressed and yet inwardly feared them.

These Romany folk have preserved intact the ancient lore of the East, while incredulous Europe has turned the sacred pages of divination from the book of fate into mere instruments of amusement, and a vehicle for winning or losing money. The gipsy remains a past master in the art of Cartomancy, and though we may scoff, there are very few amongst us who do not feel a sense of disquietude when brought face to face with an instance of her uncanny power. We can afford to laugh when the sun of our lives is shining brightly and all is well in mind and body, but there come dark days in the lives of all, and then some are impelled to seek the aid of these weird sons and daughters of an unknown land.

By many, perhaps by the majority, this inexplicable gift has been vulgarised and debased to a mere means of extorting money from the ignorant and the credulous; but by some it is still held as a sacred faith—possibly no more superstitious than some forms of unenlightened or perverted Christianity

Were They Made in Europe?

Another theory separates the cards of the West entirely from those of the East, and holds that the western were originally made in Europe. This is as it may be. A writer of the latter part of the fifteenth century says that cards were first known at Viterbo in 1379, and that they had been introduced by the Saracens, who, with the Arabs and Moors, have the credit of planting the seeds of Cartomancy in Spain. It is certain that at first cards were called by the name naibi; and the Hebrew and Arabic words, Nabi, naba, nabaa, signify “to foretell.” It is also widely believed that the idea of playing games with cards was an after-thought, and that their original purpose was for the practice of divination.

The earliest cards were the Tarots, of which we speak in another chapter, and it is supposed that some one had the bright idea of adding the numeral to the symbolical cards, so as to play games with them. This addition was made about the middle of the fourteenth century, and at the beginning of the fifteenth century there was a pack in Venice composed of seventy-eight cards, twenty-two symbols and fifty-six numerals; with four coat (court) cards, king, queen, chevalier, and valet, and ten point or pip cards to each suit. The fifty-six numerals were subsequently reduced to the present number, fifty-two, by the rejection of one of the picture cards.

The Spaniards discourteously abolished the queens, but the French, true to their reputation, kept the dame and rejected the chevalier. The early German packs were the same as the French, but the queens again were cast out in favour of a superior knave called the Obermann. England accepted the Spanish or French pack as she found it.

Suits and Signs.

There have always been four suits, but there have been many changes in the signs used to mark them. The original quartette were:—Cups, supposed to be emblematical of Faith; Money, representing Charity; Swords, figuring Justice; and Clubs, typical of Fortitude. These signs are still retained in the Tarots, and in Italian and Spanish cards. Old German packs have bells, hearts, leaves, and acorns; and during the fifteenth century the French adopted spades (pique), hearts, clubs (trèfle), and diamonds.

There is some difficulty in tracing how we come by the word spade in this connection. It has been thought to be a corruption of the Italian word spade, meaning swords. It is not known why the French should have called this suit pique. Our suit of clubs is known by the French as trèfle, from their drawing the sign like the trefoil; and the Germans call it Eichel from its resemblance to an acorn. Our name is supposed to show Italian influence, though where the connection between the word bastoni and our sign is to be found, I am at a loss to say. The heart sign needs no explanation, and is found in French, German, and English packs. It corresponds to the Spanish and Italian sign of cups. By some curious evolution the signs of money and bells were squared into the French carreaux, our diamonds.

Many of the packs used in the fourteenth century were of the most artistic and costly nature, and in some cases the court cards were drawn so as to represent historic characters.

The Power of Cards.

Fierce controversies have ranged round these apparently simple pieces of glazed pasteboard. They have exercised such an irresistible fascination upon the minds of men and women of all grades and ages that others have risen in wild revolt against this power, which had no attraction for them, and which they longed to crush out of existence. There are still those amongst us who will not have a card in the house, and who, even if they do not use it, acquiesce in the term “the Devil’s books,” which has been applied to the pack.

With their use for gambling purposes we have nothing to do here. As the instruments of Cartomancy we give them our respectful consideration. We would urge those of a morbid and unhealthy turn of mind to beware of letting this practice take too strong a hold upon them. No reasonable being need be ashamed of confessing a certain fear of the Unseen and the Unknowable; but, on the other hand, no sane person would take a pack of cards as the rule and guide of life, the final court of appeal in any matters of moment.

Their Charm and Interest.

There is much amusement to be derived from the study of Cartomancy, and it is not to be denied that there are certain persons who appear to have the power of making the meaning of the cards vivid and convincing, while in the hands of others there seems neither rhyme nor reason in their manipulation of the most carefully shuffled pack. We may call things by what name we will, but strange coincidences meet us at every turn, and now and then there seems but the thinnest veil between us and the Future, which is so sedulously hidden from us.

There has been a great revival of interest in all matters relating to occultism in the immediate past, and if we are to believe what we read and hear, educated men and women of to-day are going to have their fortunes told as eagerly as did the great men and famous women of France during the stormy period of the Revolution, and under the sway of the great Napoleon himself. Many curious and convincing instances of accurate foreshadowing of future events are told with regard to the famous Mademoiselle Lenormand, and other cartomancers who held undisputed sway over the minds of society at a time when credulity was supposed to have been cast off with the trammels of a worn-out creed.

So when the fortune-tellers of the twentieth century take a pack of cards and proceed to read the mysteries revealed therein, they are following the example of the wise men of Chaldea, Egypt, and China, the Flowery Land of the East, to say nothing of their European predecessors.

Divination by cards, therefore, is of great antiquity and of world-wide popularity. Formerly it was combined with a knowledge of astrology; but now it is considered sufficient to follow the general rules laid down by one or two famous cartomancers, and to rely on intuition and experience for details.