The American Tarot Association suggests writing a Personal Code of Ethics for Reading Tarot. I have found this to be very helpful in my practice.  As a reader, you may feel more comfortable doing readings on particular subjects than others.  Below, I have provided my Personal Code of Ethics for Reading Tarot, which you may use as a guide in creating your own.

I believe the Tarot is a powerful link to the subconscious mind and the spiritual plane from where it is possible to attain universal wisdom and knowledge.  I believe the interpretation of Tarot can provide insights into questions, problems or situations as well as future outcomes as may be altered by the Querent’s personal choices and other variables.

My personal Code of Ethics with respect to the use of Tarot is as follows:

I will read the cards without regard to my personal view or judgment in order to shed light upon the Querent’s concern.

I will honor the message of Tarot, listen attentively, and respond respectfully and compassionately to the questions and comments offered by the Querent during a reading.

I will emphasize the positive aspects of a reading without compromising honesty.

I will discern whether questions pertain to financial, legal, or medical matters which are best left to the professionals in those fields of specialized training and licensing.

I will ascertain whether questions pertaining to a third party may be rewritten to address the Querent’s connection to the third party.

I will ascertain whether questions pertain to past- life or after- life experiences because readings of this nature cannot be verified and are, therefore, best left unaddressed.

I will only read for minors with a parent or guardian’s permission.

I will only read for clients in private, and all readings will remain strictly confidential.

Finally, I will do my best to provide the Querent with thoughtful insights and optimism in order that positive steps may be taken toward a resolution.

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Whether you are a beginner or have been reading Tarot for a number of years, reading in public is a challenge.  For the beginner, the experience is a great way to “test your chops.”  You’ll learn quickly where your strengths and weakness are in reading the cards.  For example, reading the Major Arcana may come easier to you than, say, reading the Court Cards. 

There are many tarot readers who have been reading for themselves or their family and friends for years, but taking on the questions of complete strangers is quite another experience.  Reading in public provides an opportunity to polish your interpretative and professional skills.

You can choose to read in public for free, tips, or a set fee.  To get your feet wet, you can offer your services at birthday parties, Halloween parties, office parties, charitable events, or a ladies’ night out.  You can hang a sign up at flea markets, camp grounds, yard sales, and street fairs.   Book stores, selected restaurants, and nightclubs are also sometimes interested in attracting customers with a Tarot reader.  Check for psychic fairs in your area.  You may also want to advertise that you’re available for “Tarot Parties.”

Here are a few “tips” for reading in public:

Agree to a fee ahead of time.  For years this blogger read for free or tips.  However, when you feel comfortable with your skill, a $1/minute is a reasonable and generally well-received fee.

When reading at parties,  arrive on time and appropriately dressed.  Have your host or hostess provide you with a private reading space and a sign-up sheet. Only read for one person at a time.  Third parties in the room can result in limited interpretations and/or awkward moments.  With experience, you will learn your limitations.  Some readers can only read for a length of time or a number of people before they experience feelings of fatique, dizziness, cold, or intoxication. Please stop reading when you’ve come to your limit!  Readings beyond this point will not “connect” anyway.  Do not eat or drink anything but plenty of water during your public readings.  This is unprofessional-looking and soils your cards.  Be sure to “clear the cards” in between readings by shuffling them 2-3 times.  After your public reading session has ended, do a “cleansing” on yourself.  Have a small bite to eat and take a walk in the sunshine, a hot shower, or a spray of your favorite fragrance.

Risky areas to avoid are:  Reading for minor children without permission. Find an adult in charge for permission.  Addressing questions that pertain to financial, legal, or medical matters can get you into hot water!  These are best left to the professionals. 

Read ethically:  Addressing questions that pertain to a third party is “snooping.”  Try to rephrase the question so that the Querent is involved.  For example, the Querent may ask:  “What can you tell me about my boss?”  See if there is something about the boss that the Querent needs to know, for example:  “How can I improve my relationship with my boss?”   Questions about the Querent’s past-life or after-life, or the Querent’s deceased relative or pet are best avoided because neither the Tarot reader or the Querent have any way of verifying the reading.  Read the message of the cards without interjecting your own judgement or opinion.   Try to replace the word “should” with “could.”  Finally, always emphasize the positive aspects of a reading without compromising honesty.  This level of diplomacy, of course, comes with practice, practice, practice!! 

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Shuffling, Cutting, and Spreading Tarot Cards Egyptian-Style!


Many times I am asked “What is the difference between Egyptian Tarot and other traditions?”  There are quite a few differences as outlined throughout this blog, but one of the differences is how the cards are shuffled, cut, and spread.

Traditionally, we sit across from our Querent.  After the question has been discussed and written down and an appropriate spread has been chosen, the reader will shuffle the cards to clear them.  Once the reader is ready to ask the question, the cards are shuffled and cut into three piles moving from right to left.  At least one of the piles is reversed and then the piles are picked up randomly and put back into a pack according to the reader’s sensitivities.  The cards are, twice again, shuffled and cut into three piles moving from right to left, at least one pile reversed, and the stacks returned to a pack.  So altogether, the cards are shuffled and cut three times in this manner.  Three multiplied by three equals 9, which is a magic number in Egyptian Tarot and associated with perfection in the astral plane.

The cards are then laid out in the chosen spread FACE DOWN (except for Yes/No/Maybe Spreads – see blog).  The cards are “flipped” over, either from top to bottom or bottom to top, ONE AT A TIME.  Whether you “flip” from top to bottom or vice-versa will not affect the right-side up or reversed position of the card.  Whether you’re a top-to-bottom flipper or a bottom-to-top flipper, try to be consistent.

Each card is read one at a time so that the reader can focus on the card in its position and not become overwhelmed or distracted by the other cards in the spread.   Once the cards are all turned over, the reader can have a look at the preponderance, if any, of suits, numbers, Majors, Minors, Court Cards, or Tens for overall information about the question.

If there are a couple of court cards in the spread, the outcome may depend on other people and the querent may not have that much power in the situation.  If there are a number of Major Arcana, the querent is pulling in a lot of energy and the question and the outcome is very significant to them.  If there are only Minor cards in the spread, even if the querent is concerned about the question, the circumstances surrounding it may be annoying but not  important in the long run.  If there are several numbers of the same value, consider their corresponding Major Arcana in the answer.  If there are several members of the same suit in the spread, consider what kind of overall energy that lends; and, finally, if there are a couple of Tens in the spread, the situation involves sudden change.

Please also note that, when spreading the cards Egyptian-style, the cards are read from right to left. In other words, the cards will read: FUTURE, PRESENT, PAST.  This is because Hebrew and Egyptian are read from right to left.  At first, this is awkward and counterintuitive to what we’re used to.  Of course, you can read The Brotherhood of Light Egyptian Tarot any way you choose to shuffle, cut, and spread the cards.  Just be sure to be consistent!  Consistency in reading tarot is key in the process of “dialing up” the subconscious mind and getting in touch with the astral plane from whence the needed information comes from.

For donation-based classes in Egyptian Tarot, visit and take The Basics of Egyptian Tarot, and its companion course, Understanding the Minor Arcana of the Tarot.

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This spread is Egyptian Tarot’s answer to the Celtic Cross Spread.  It is an all-around spread for addressing many aspects of a question and is also wonderful for what-surrounds-questions like “What surrounds my new job?”  “What surrounds my relationship?” or “What energies surround me right now?” You will notice that the spread is laid out in a pattern of inverted triangles, The Church of Light Emblem.

The First Position represents the Past, however, the writer has found that many times the Past is still ongoing! The Second Position represents the Present; and the Third Position represents the Future.  These three positions make up the right-side-up triangle.  Notice that the cards are laid out clockwise and read backwards.  This is because Egyptian Tarot is based on the Hebrew and Egyptian languages, which are read from right to left.

The Fourth Position asks what the Querent can do, and is an indication of just how much power the Querent has in the situation.  This card is most telling because it can provide clues to resolution and insight to the Querent’s nature and response to the situation.  As an example, if Arcanum VIII, The Balance, comes up in this position, it may mean that the Querent needs to use discernment, perhaps obtain legal advice, or warn against being too judgmental in the situation among other interpretations.  If a Court Card comes up, look at the characteristics of its corresponding zodiacal sign that may help or hinder the Querent.  If the Court Card represents a man, it could mean that the female Querent could obtain help from a man in her life.  Also explore the possibility of using the female Querent’s more masculine traits – or not using her more masculine traits.  If a Minor Arcana should appear in this position, be sure to look at the spiritual meaning of the card.  If a Ten should come up in this position, look to the element to aid the Querent., e.g. the Querent could be more fluid, ambitious, practical, or aware.

The Fifth Position describes the General Environment surrounding the question.  What energy surrounds the home, the workplace, or the environment of the question?

The Sixth Position indicates the nature of the Challenge or Obstacle in the situation.  Sometimes the card in this position is very positive, say, like The Adept or The Sun.  In that case, there may not be remarkable obstacles or challenges in the situation.  The Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Positions make up the inverted triangle.

The Seventh Position, located in the center of the spread, indicates the Probable Outcome of the situation.  The word probable is emphasized because nothing is written in stone. The Querent, or someone else, can always make choices to change the outcome.  Often times, the reading itself provides the Querent with options and possibilities not considered before that can make a difference.

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This is a popular spread at The Church of Light.  It gives a quick Yes, No, or Maybe answer while providing additional information.  In Egyptian Tarot, cards in a spread are usually turned over and read one at a time, but in the Five Card Yes/No/ Maybe Spread, the cards are turned over all at once to reveal the answer right away.

Be sure to formulate your question so that it can be answered with either a Yes, No, or Maybe and that it is only one question.  “Will I have fun at the dinner party and meet someone special?” is two questions.

Yes cards are right-side up; No cards are reversed. The card in the middle always gets two points, and the other four cards get one point each. The Yes cards are counted, the No cards are counted, and whichever one comes out ahead is the answer.  Unfortunately, Maybe answers are possible too!  Maybe answers mean that the outcome is not yet certain.

In Egyptian Tarot, the cards are read from right to left, and a five card Yes/No/Maybe Spread looks like this:



Remember that Court Cards in Egyptian Tarot just get a sex change, e.g. reversed Kings are Queens, and reversed Youths are female, so reversed Court Cards are not counted as No cards in this spread.If you do not read from right to left, or if reversed Court Cards do not get a sex change in your tradition, you may adjust this spread accordingly.

The Yes/No/Maybe spread can also work with 3cards for less information and 7 cards for more information.  The point system remains the same:  the card in the middle gets two points, and the other cards get one point each.

Give it a try and have fun!

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ImageThree card tarot spreads are fun and versatile.  The adage “less is more” applies because three cards seem to provide just enough information without confusing the issue. 

One of the best Tarot exercises for beginners to learn how to read a spread is by using the Make Up a Story spread.  Simply lay down three cards without asking a question and make up a story around the cards.  Make sure your story has a beginning, middle, and an end — or a past, present, and future.  Do this exercise repeatedly until you feel comfortable reading “stories” into the cards.

A three card spread is also great for a This, That, or the Other Thing question.  For example, “Should I accept the job at the grocery store, the doctor’s office, or somewhere else?  Before you begin, establish which position will represent your two options, and then throw in the “other thing/somewhere else” position.  When one feels that they only have a choice between two options, there is usually a third option that is not recognized yet.

The Problem Solver spread is handy.  It begins with a “root cause of the problem” position, goes on to a “how the problem manifests itself” position, and ends with a “possible solution” position.

The Yes, No, or Maybe Spread can be used with three cards, five cards, or seven cards.  Form your question so that it can be answered by either Yes, No, or Maybe.  Lay down three cards.  The card in the middle gets two points; the other two cards get one point each.  Reversed cards mean No, right-side up cards mean Yes; and if your score is even, the answer is Maybe.  For example if the card in the middle is reversed, it gets two points.  If the cards at either end are right-side up, the score is tied two to two, and your answer is Maybe.  If one of the cards to the right or left is reversed, and the card in the middle is reversed, the answer is No.  If the card in the middle is right-side up, and at least one card to either side is right-side up, the answer is Yes. NOTE: In Egyptian Tarot, the cards are read from right to left, e.g. the card to the right is the past, the card in the middle is the present, and the card to the left is the future.  This is so because Hebrew and Egyptian are both read from right to left.  This is counterintuitive to how we read, so it takes some getting used to.  Of course, if you prefer to read from left to right, that works too!

The Tarot spread possibilities using three cards are endless and with a little practice, you can make up your own spreads. For more information about Egyptian Tarot and donation-based classes online, visit


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One card reading are great for beginners and advanced Tarot readers alike.  Beginners can get to know their deck by doing a one card reading every day and seeing how the card “plays out.”  Daily questions might be: 

What will my day be like?

What message will I receive today?

What will today teach me?

How can I best face my challenge(s) today?

Mix these questions up daily according to how you feel, and make up questions for yourself as they occur to you.  It’s also helpful to keep a journal of your daily readings.  A quick way to do this is on a separate calendar with big squares.  Write down the card, whether it’s reversed or not, it’s key word, and how the card “played out” at the end of the day.  Remember that your “message” may come from a snippet of conversation, a billboard, or a song.  The feeling of the card may be expressed through a piece of artwork you see or the kind of day you had at work. 

A phenomenon becomes clear during this practice.  There will be times when the same card comes up repeatedly for a matter of days or even weeks.  Then, suddenly, a different card will surface regularly.  These cards, of course, reflect the types of energies that are cycling in and out of your life.

For those difficult passages in life, there is a wonderful question offered by Christiane Northrup, MD that is most useful to beginners and advanced readers:   “What is the highest teaching available to me through this situation?”  This writer likes to add the word today to the question.  This one card spread has served as a bridge over troubled waters on many occasions!

A one card spread also characterizes or defines a problem.  It puts the problem in picture form so that it may be “viewed” from a different perspective.  For example, you may ask “What is the nature of the problem I have with…?”

Some readers use one card spreads as yes or no spreads.  The card right-side-up means Yes with some insight, and the card reversed means No with some insight.

Other exercises for one card spreads are:

Sleep with a card under your pillow and see what dreams transpire

Meditate on a card.  Try to walk into it and interview the character(s) in the card.  You might ask them questions like:  What are your responsibilities?  Where are you going?   What do you hope to achieve?

Next week, we’ll look at how Three Card Spreads can be used.

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