Tarot Readings – Yes/No Answers

Every now and then I encounter someone who wants me to flip a a card or two to give them a Yes/No answer to some question.  I always tell them, “I cannot do that.”  Even if I could do this, I don’t and I won’t.  I believe when a psychic (or Tarot reader) gives someone a yes or no answer, especially when they want to know what to do or are faced with a life-changing decision, the psychic is responsible for providing information — not answers.

Every adult, who has the capacity to think and make decisions on their own, should take charge of their own life and not be dependent upon someone to tell them what they should or shouldn’t do.  Parents generally tell their children what to do as part of their learning process.  Once they are able to go out on their own and spread their wings, they may still reach out to their parents for guidance from time to time.  Psychics can also guide them, but not by providing yes or no answers.

The job of a psychic, in my opinion, is to guide their clients by providing them with options and possibilities.  While psychics may present their clients with information that may be more favorable for one course of action, it is solely up to the client to decide what they want to do with the information.  Not every client listens to what a psychic tells them, especially if it is not what they want to hear.  Tarot cards can show them what is possible.  Once they know what is possible and what they need to do, they can then decide if they want to do it.

The job of a psychic or Tarot reader, in my opinion, is to guide their client and avoid telling them what to do.  The last thing they want is to be blamed for the outcome of a situation.  I recommend steering clear of yes or no types of readings and find out if the client is willing to let you provide them with information that can help them make an informed decision.  If not, do what I do, tell them what you can do for them…and if they don’t want that, let them know that you are sorry you cannot help them and send them on their merry little way.

Do you have any thoughts out there regarding yes/no questions that you would like to share?

Posted in Ethics, Personal Growth, Tarot Insights | 2 Comments

Teaching Classes, Workshops and Seminars at Community Colleges

Community Colleges Serve Their Community

I would like to share some thoughts about teaching non-traditional subjects such as meditation, yoga, salsa dancing, photography, etc. at a community college. Since I have been teaching Practical Tarot for a little over 12 years at Santa Monica College (“SMC”) as part of their Community Education program, I felt it might be a good idea to share my thoughts and insights with others who may contemplate teaching something nontraditional (or other non-credit classes) in the future. If you want to know how to submit a teaching proposal, every community college has specific guidelines posted on their website. If they accept your proposal, the college will promote your classes along with their other classes each semester.  You should promote your classes too. If you know of a community college in your area, check out what classes they offer for the community; maybe you can teach something they might be ready to embrace. Even if the college already offers a similar class, see if they need an additional instructor, or you can develop a slightly different class they might consider. Why not check out several other community colleges to see if they are open to your idea. Do not give up.  You never know when someone may decide to stop teaching a class and your proposal might arrive at the right time — they may be looking for someone just like you to fill a spot. Timing is everything.

Credentials, Information About Classes and Class Schedule

When you submit your class proposal and provide the college with all of the information they request, which includes a description of your class and a short bio, you should have a website or blog that provides them with additional information about you, your background and qualifications. If you don’t have a website or blog, you can get something up and running in a matter of weeks. Most people want to take a class from an instructor they feel connected to. Make sure your marketing and promotional materials properly reflects you, your style of teaching, personality, etc. Prospective students will check out your site when they are looking for classes after they receive a new catalog from the college. Some people may just be looking for a class like yours and Google you. Feel free to check out my Tarot Classes page on my website for ideas, if you need them.

Once you are on the college’s teaching schedule, make sure you include your class information on your website or blog and link your class information to the college’s registration page. Make it easy for potential students to register.

Scheduling Classes

If you intend to teach a class that meets more than three times in a semester, you may run the risk of cancellation due to low enrollment.  To avoid having a class cancelled, make sure your first class does not start the day after a holiday — New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day and be mindful of religious holidays, too.  Always make sure there are enough weeks in a semester to teach your class, especially if your class meets more than four times in a semester. On occasion, you may need to account for a skip date due to a spring break or some other college hiatus.

Marketing Surveys

SMC wants their community education instructors to provide their students with marketing surveys so they can evaluate their marketing efforts. I distribute and collect them on the first day of class. I look at them before I turn them in because I want to know if my efforts helped. When you work with a college that promotes your classes, you should view your relationship with them as a partnership and help them promote, too. If the college you work for provides their instructors with marketing surveys, use them. If they do not provide them, why not create a survey of your own and share it with the college.  If you need a sample form, let me know and I’ll send you a redacted one.

Class Attendance

Be aware of your community college’s refund policy. If you notice that one or two students disappeared after your first class, this might be because the student had confidence issues, or they did not like your style of teaching — perhaps they had different expectations of what they wanted to learn. Some students have work conflicts that turn up; they may want to complete your class, but it just doesn’t happen. Why not reach out to them and see if you can accommodate them in the some way. If you lose students after the second or third class, it may be because of work, family obligations, illness or planned vacations.

At the beginning of each new class, I introduce myself, tell my students a little about my background and what they can expect to learn in the class. I ask them to introduce themselves to one another, tell me what their experience with Tarot is (if they have previously studied or are newbies), and what they expect to walk away with from the class in six weeks. I always ask my students to call, email or text me if they are running late, or if they are going to miss a class. I structure my classes so I review the previous week’s material at the beginning of each session; this makes things easier for students to catch up and not miss any material. If they miss two consecutive classes, there is not much I can do due to time constraints — several of my classes are 6 weeks in length (three hours each session). If someone needs to leave early, I usually like to know at the beginning of the class so I can accommodate them accordingly.

Testimonials and Evaluations

SMC wants their students to fill out instructor evaluation forms. I hand them out on the last class and I review them before I turn them.  Evaluations let me know what worked for my students and what didn’t. A teacher’s ego likes to be stroked; sometimes the reviews do that and other times, they provide constructive criticism. The information the students provide in a evaluation help me become a better teacher. If they provide me with some suggestions that I can incorporate going forward, I will. Of course, there are some suggestions I opt not to implement because of my class objective.

Every class I teach contains a a mixture of people from all types of backgrounds, careers, lifestyles and experience.  They provide a unique blend of energies. Over the years, friendships have blossomed and continue outside of the classroom because of the students’ interest in Tarot and the bonding that occurs when they read for one another. Many of my former students have also become my friends.  I highly recommend teaching community education classes or attending them because it will enrich your life.

I hope this information inspires you to think about teaching a class — or just taking one at your local community college. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out to me. I love to share my knowledge with others.


Posted in Education, Empowerment, Personal Growth, Relationships | Leave a comment

Pandora — Hope for a better new year!

Today is a new day and a new year — 2018.  Take a moment and breathe.  Think about where you came from, what you have accomplished thus far — without commentary and judgement.  Realize that no matter how difficult your life gets from time to time, take a moment, or two, or three, or four to count your blessings.  Everyone, no matter how pitch black their life may be at times, can find a pocket of light somewhere.  Find yours and embrace it.  This light is called hope.

Pandora figurine*

Pandora figurine*

Myths have a wonderful way of explaining things philosophically.  It’s always nice to be able to blame someone or something for what happens to us — usually bad things. Take the myth of Pandora’s box for example.  Pandora was blamed for all of the evils of the world because she opened the box. When she re-opened it and let out “Hope,” she gave us the tool we needed to make things better.  If you want to blame someone for the bad things that happen to you, blame Pandora, but thank her for re-opening the box and giving us that of pocket of light too — hope!

Remember to thank people for the good deeds they do and the bad things they do, too — even if you only do this in your thoughts or prayers.  Why?  Because sometimes we need a kick in the head to evolve — change our lives; inevitably, the Creator finds the best possible way to put us where we need to be, even if we don’t think so.

My late Astrology teacher, Jan McLevitch used to say, “We are privileged to live on the planet earth — it is the Oxford of the Universe.”  Imagine it if you will, that you are able to experience all sorts of things — good and bad.  You can choose to grow and evolve or remain safe — temporarily.  Whatever you choose, embrace whatever lesson is in front of you.  Be willing to evolve and accept what life gives you.  If  you are blessed with smooth sailing for a while, do not take it for granted or think it will always be like this.  If you are dealing with difficult situations — finances, career, relationship or medical “stuff”, embrace it — know that it is temporary as well.  Learn what you can do to make your life better; share your love and support with others — make someone else’s life better while you are at it.  Remember all things are temporary — good and bad.  Embrace the good stuff — savor it and express gratitude.   Embrace the bad stuff and find a way to deal with it as positively as possible.  Be grateful for EVERYTHING that you experience.  It will make a better person.

*This plaster figurine of Pandora has been a part of my life since I was a teenager.  She represents my love of classics, mythology and art.  However, she has always been a reminder that no matter what evil exists in the world, you can always hope for things to turn around — and to take action toward creating positive change.  This is why I tell people “NEVER GIVE UP!  FIND A WAY TO MAKE THINGS BETTER…AND ASK FOR HELP, IF AND WHEN, YOU NEED IT!”

Happy New Year everyone!  Welcome hope into your life — now and forever.  Do you have any thoughts you would like to share?  Please do.

Posted in Empowerment, Personal Growth | Leave a comment

A Holiday Memory of Caring

Throughout my childhood, my father invited a wide variety of people over for Sunday brunch or dinner. My parents always treated them as if they were part of our family. So, it makes total sense to me that many of my friends have become my family. So, when I received mail from The Salvation Army offering a matching donation for every dollar I donated, it brought forth memories of Ollie – a woman I only met twice. She was a light-skinned, Black woman, tiny and petite — and a smoker. Most adults I knew back in the 1960s smoked; no one really knew that smoking could cause cancer back them.

My Dad connected with a lot of people, from all walks of life — wherever he went. I believe he met Ollie when he walked into one of The Salvation Army stores and just struck up a conversation with her. He was like that.  My mom took us girls, my sister and I , holiday shopping.  We had an annual tradition — go shopping downtown so we could look at Marshall Field’s window decorations.  We often passed a Salvation Army volunteer.  They were often freezing because of the Chicago winter and the winds.  Seeing them ringing a bell always made me ask Mom for a quarter or two to put into their bucket. I always felt if someone was out there freezing and doing something good, I should make their efforts worthwhile.

One Sunday, Dad drove to where Ollie was living and brought her to our house for a visit; he always took her home.  We had a few neighborhood friends over and all of them played penny-ante poker for hours.  This might have been where I picked up my habit of driving my younger acting classmates home after classes; I didn’t want them taking public transportation late at night — my maternal instinct, I suppose.  I only remember Ollie coming to visit us twice.  She loved my dad and he loved her – so I loved her too. In retrospect, I can see how my Dad’s words and deeds have shaped my character.

I later learned that my dad used to drop by The Salvation Army store and visit Ollie quite often.  She sent him home with a box of clothing — twice. She used to tell him “Eddie, get your box out of here, I’m tired of stepping over it.” In fact, she knew what size clothing Sheila and I wore. I think she knew we didn’t have a lot of money back them and I am sure my Dad did favors for her and the other people who worked there.  He was like that.  I believe that was her way of repaying his kindness.  In those boxes were two items that I loved dearly and wore out – A red flannel printed granny-type nightgown, and my most favorite item of all, a red flannel, mismatched pair of pajamas. They were warm and comfortable and chosen for me with love. I wore both items until they were ready for the trash. I guess this may have created my lifelong habit of only buying clothing that I am attached to and wearing my favorites until they fall apart.

Ollie died too young – cancer. When I wrote a check to The Salvation Army earlier this year, my memories of Ollie came flooding back. I said a blessing…”This is for you, Ollie. Thank you for your kindness and generosity. I am giving back.” When I received the aforementioned annual end-of-year charity request from them, I wrote them another check, included the matching donation form, and said aloud, “Thank you Ollie. I will never forget you.”

Take a moment and remember someone who did something for you when you were a child — just because. Pay it forward however you choose. While you don’t need to give money to a charity, be charitable. Make someone’s day and life a bit better. Try to do a deliberate act of kindness whenever you can — every day if possible — not just during this time of year — all year long. Happy Holidays to you!

Posted in Empowerment, Kindness | Leave a comment

Thanksgiving, gratitude — and other thoughts

Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, this American holiday is a time for giving thanks, or if you prefer, having gratitude for the good things in your life.  Yes, there may be challenges or situations that can alter the quality of your life or even your financial situation; these things can be life altering.  They could be anything from medical conditions that need attention — yours, your loved ones and/or pets you may have, to rethinking your career, and your professional and/or personal relationships.  Embrace gratitude for the not-so-good things in your life as well as the good things because they help you grow, put you where you need to be, and most important of all, they will improve the quality of your life and build character.

Nothing is ever perfect for very long.  “Life happens.”  “Drama happens.”  “Things change.”  You can complain about it and that is OK.  But to complain and not come up with an action plan to change things, would not be OK.  Take a moment and shift your thinking; see bad things as necessary for personal growth.  If everything were perfect all the time, things might get boring.

Spend a little time this holiday season to assess your life as you have been living it and figure out what “nasty things” are present and if there is something you can do to either manage them or eradicate them.  Look at the upcoming new year as a chance to change things for the better.

You may feel knocked down for a moment or two and that is OK.  Just remember that there are many things you can do to improve your life regardless of any and all challenges you may be dealing with right now.  Take a moment or two to acknowledge the “good stuff.”  Then take a moment or two to acknowledge the “bad stuff.”  You need to see everything without rose-colored glasses.  That IS important.

Be grateful for the ability to see your life as you have been living it and see what you need to change, or what changes are going to smack you and knock the wind out of you.  Changes are always good in the long run.  The process of change can be horrible, scary and in many cases test your faith.  My favorite saying is “The Creator would never drop me on my head and throw me in the gutter.”  When you have desire, an open heart, faith, hope (even if it seems as though all hope is lost) and a willingness to stand up and just plunge in, know that there is magic and miracles around the corner — but they may take time to manifest.  This is where TRUST comes in handy.

If you are having a problem embracing gratitude and need to make changes in the new year, or are confronted with changes, here is an article on the Law of Attraction that has some wonderful tips to help you improve your life and shift your thinking.  You can attract what you want and need.  This article also contains my #1 Law of Attraction Tip.

The #1 Law Of Attraction Tips From 50+ Personal Growth Bloggers

Please read the article if you have not already done so and share it with anyone you think may benefit from it.  (They keep adding tips from time to time.)  Help someone make their holiday season a bit better.

I am grateful for being able to share my thoughts and this article.

Thank you.

Posted in Empowerment, Personal Growth | Leave a comment

Online/App Dating: Rejection can be a positive thing

Welcome to Rejection

(c) Can Stock Photo / 72soul

Dating can be daunting — especially with online/app dating, which has become most people’s only way to make a connection.  Even if you have good self-esteem, the process of finding a partner can be devastating and make you doubt yourself.  Trying to spot and avoid inappropriate people, catfish and scammers can really take its toll.

Millennials through Baby Boomers are frustrated and want to give up looking for someone. Why?  Rejection!  No one likes to be rejected.  No one likes to reject anyone either, but everyone does it.  Why?  Here are a few reasons why:  they look creepy, their photos are old, I don’t feel any chemistry, they didn’t fill out their profile, they cannot write complete sentences, we have nothing in common, they are narcissistic, they look old, they look too good to be true, they are fat, they are too thin, they have kids, they live too far away, I’m not their type, or their lifestyle is different.  These are a few of the reasons people reject potential dates.

On the other hand, when you find someone who you think can be a good match, they might ignore you or turn you down.  It happens.  You have to believe you are entitled to find someone who wants to be with you, too.  Granted, it’s a numbers game.  The older you get, the harder it is to find someone with baggage that you both can deal with.  Baggage comes with age.  Anyone who tells you then have no baggage is in denial.  Life experience, issues and fear, etc. can be considered baggage.  The only thing you need to do is to manage your baggage and not let it get in the way of your relationship and hope that your partner does the same.

One of my jobs is to encourage people to hang in there and never give up.  When dating gets really difficult, take a break.  Work on getting your confidence back.  Start feeling good again and just get out there when you are feeling stronger  I contributed a quote to ThisIsInsider.com for their article “6 people reveal why going on a dating hiatus may be your best tool in finding love”.  Give it a quick glance.  It might help shift your thoughts.

Do not let being rejected, or rejecting unsuitable prospects stop you from finding a partner.  If you are looking for a hookup, ask yourself why you don’t want a relationship?  Adult up.  A good, solid working relationship with mutual respect and love is the best thing in the world.  Love isn’t easy and can be painful; the search for love might be even more painful.  It’s worth it in the long run — finding someone to to share your life with you — friendship and companionship, and most important of all…intimacy.  If you get a good person who wants to do the work, it’s better than waiting for a soulmate.  Not everyone gets to be with a soulmate…and not all soulmates do the work.  I had one and he breadcrumbed and ghosted.  He was afraid.  I wouldn’t be who I am today if he had done the work.  I believe he did me a favor.  I frequently say a prayer for him and thank him for the gifts he gave me when he was part of my life.

Look at your issues, your fears, your self-esteem, and confidence; work on yourself.  Seek someone who can help you get back on track if you need the help.  A  really good professional psychic or Tarot reader can spot your “stuff”, give you things to think about and empower you.  Once you know what you need to work on, you can seek additional help if you feel you need it.  That’s what therapists, psychologists, dating and relationship coaches do — help you.  Of course, I’m always willing to help — Tarot cards in hand, guides on board and ready to spot you and empower you!

Posted in Dating, Empowerment, Personal Growth, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bring Back Joy – Quickie Tarot Spread

The tragedy that occurred yesterday at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, once again, serves as a reminder that we no longer live in a kinder, gentler world.  Everything cycles throughout history, and currently, things are chaotic, to put it mildly.  Unbelievable acts of violence are happening every day.  If we focus on the bleakness and tragedy, our inner light becomes dim.  If we are not careful, we may lose hope and feel mostly pain and sorrow.  I like to tell people to look for pockets of light and focus on them so the light can grow bigger and brighter. Ideally, we want a balance between light and dark.

When I was younger, I was the eternal optimist.  I was happy, even though I experienced bullying and sexual harassment growing up.  I became stronger for the experience.  I was fortunate enough to have had wonderful friends; I also I tapped into my inner strength without knowing I was doing it.

As I walked to my car this evening, something flashed in my head.  Bring Back Joy!  I cannot remember the last time I really felt unbridled joy.  So I decided I should pull 3 Tarot cards for guidance.  I want to know what we can do to bring great joy back into our lives.  Guess, what?  Two cards came out together so I pulled two more and now it is a 4-card reading.  Here is how we can bring back joy into our lives on a daily basis, regardless of what is going on in the world, and in other areas of our lives.

Bring Back Joy Tarot SpreadPardon, Donatello’s body to the left of the cards; the Pirate kitty MUST be by his mommy.  The second card, the Nine of Pentacles shadows the first card, the High Priestess.  The High Priestess sits between the spiritual and the physical planes — the two pillars, Boaz and Jakin. We reside in the physical plane and we are spiritual beings, whether we like to admit it or not.  She represents going within and connecting to our higher self.  In plain English, we should connect to our intuition.

The Nine of Pentacles shows us a lovely lady in a lush, comfortable garden.  This is a reminder that if we trust our intuition, we can bloom and grow and have a lovely life — one that is happy no matter what is going in other areas of our lives and the world.  The artist, Pamela Colman Smith, put a little bitty snail near the bottom of the card.  Gotta watch those hungry snails because they can muck with our gardens — our plans.  We can still accomplish what we set out to do, but we may have a few challenges along the way.  Life would be boring without a little drama and excitement, right?  Do what I do … roll with it!

Moving on to the next card, the Seven of Swords (aka Thief of Swords), I decided it would be a wonderful idea to read it as a reversed card.  The sevens, as I see them, represent the second level of completion and it also is about choice.  In this card, the sneaky thief is trying to get away with the swords he stole from the camp.  I can look at this card three ways:  1) The thief gets caught; 2)  A certain chapter of our lives is now complete; and 3) Let go of whatever no longer serves you.

The last card, the Two of Swords, relates directly to the High Priestess.  With the twos, of which The High Priestess is one, it is about seeking choice, finding balance and accessing or trusting intuition.  The swords represent thinking and therein lies most of the problems of the world.  Our minds go into overdrive.  As I look at the Two of Swords, it circles back to the High Priestess.  If you don’t see what the solution is or what choice you need to make, trust your intuition.

Building the reading:

Guess what?  Trust your intuition!  By doing so, you can achieve what you want (which will incidentally give you joy).  Once you are on the road to finding joy, living it and experiencing it, why not let go of dark thoughts, negativity and anything in the world that will hold you back?  Put things in perspective.  When you are faced with choices and you want to feel joy, trust your intuition.  Go full circle.  Choose to let go of things that keep you from feeling joy.  If you have a problem doing it, think about it for a moment, then once you have thought about it, let your intuition override and guide you.

If you have any thoughts or another way of interpreting these cards, please leave me a comment.  I’d love to read them and I will comment back accordingly.

Thank you.

Posted in Intjuition, Personal Growth, Tarot Insights | 1 Comment