Author Archives: USGS Staff

Tarot Mystery #4

Mag 120 It's time for another Tarot Mystery!

Don your deerstalker, grab your magnifying glass, release the bloodhounds–and let the guessing begin!

Below, please note the 8 of Pentacles and 6 of Pentacles from the Tell-Me Tarot deck. What is their Tarot Mystery?

Here's a clue: Tarot Mystery #4 happens to be a "thing".

Tell Me 8 P Tell Me 6 P 

Based on the cards above (the order is important!), can you guess what it is?

Have fun!

The ISBN for the Tell-Me Tarot is 978-1-57281-631-2 and available at your favorite online or brick-and-mortar retailer. If you don't see it, just ask!

— Janet

Madonna Re-Invention Tour Features Tarot Cards

Reinvention Back in 2007, I discovered this live video background used during Madonna's 2004 Re-Invention Tour. Get a load of how many Rider-Waite images are put in motion for the re-mix version of the song Hollywood! I love this song anyway, but now I love it even more because of this awesome video…

How many cards can YOU spot in this awesome moving montage?

— Janet

Lisa Hunt Off the Canvas

Lisa on Bike We've all read interviews with Tarot authors, artists and deck creators.

While fascinating, I thought it would be more interesting to catch one of our Tarot artists and/or authors off guard–you know, like jumping out from behind a virtual tree on Facebook Chat and throwing free association words at them.

That sort of thing.

Fortunately for me, our beloved Lisa Hunt was game (but she did want to get a glass of wine in her first!). Ha!

But not wanting her to escape my playful, interrogatory web, I just started posting words for her to associate with. My words are in black, hers in blue:


Art  Soul
Color Endless
Family Love
Politics Hate
Environment Sad
Ghosts Consuming
Tarot Connections
Bikes New
Food Ritual
Reading Always
Bells Whistles
Coffee Good Morning
Facebook Addicting
U.S. Games Systems Optimism

Now, you may be wondering why Lisa said "new" to bikes, but if you're one of her Facebook Friends, you know that both she and her daughter just got new bikes! In fact, that's our Lisa here–on her new bike!

As if my nosy ambush wasn't enough, I went "behind" Lisa's back to ask her husband, Kort, some equally nosy questions. I even had the gall to ask if he could share a never-before-seen painting from Lisa's upcoming Ghosts and Spirits Tarot! And he did. Below. Towards the bottom. (But first, check out this fabulous time-lapse video of Lisa painting Battlefield Ghosts! Pay special attention for clay helpers and a bony hand painting while she works…)

Kort, what surprises you the most about Lisa's art process?

What surprises me most is Lisa's ability to make her creative process look effortless when I know how much goes into each and every creation. I can't imagine being constantly creative with such technical fluency as I see in her.

What do you admire most about Lisa?

Her openness to exploring new techniques and her drive to keep pushing her art forward even with all the other things going on in her life.

What strengths does Lisa bring to your life that complements you well?

She keeps me on my toes and doesn't let me slack off into complacency. She urges me to be the best I can be in all that I do and is so very supportive.

What are your shared values/loves?

Our love of art and creative expression is first and foremost, along with dedication to family. Our shared interest in learning, fantasy, sci-fi and so many other things are the multicolored sprinkles on the icing of the cake.

What are your thoughts on Tarot? Do you use the cards in any way? Do you and Lisa talk in "Tarot code" or anything?

I see tarot both as a form expression from the view of the tarot creator, and as a tool for self discovery for the practitioner. While I am intimately familiar with it from working with Lisa's art, I am not really a tarot practitioner. I have some decks and do dabble now and again, but mainly I appreciate it for the art. I see it more as a psychological exercise rather than any sort of supernatural tool. Lisa makes rather frequent tarot references in conversation and at times pulls a card or two for me in the morning or before bed at night. Her artistic and tarot influences are an integral part of the household. Even the kids are into tarot having created their own cards.

Ankou At this point in Lisa's life, what card do you feel most captures her and/or her art process? What card do YOU most identify with right now?

Lisa is so prolific that I don't feel any one image can encompass the entirety of her art process.  But one that really resonates with me currently is her Ankou (King of Pentacles) piece from the Ghosts & Spirits Tarot.

Lisa is working on the Ghosts and Spirits Tarot right now for U.S. Games. Have you two experienced any ghostly apparitions since she's began work on this project?

Indeed we have. We had a working vacation up in Savannah, GA and Tybee Island and while we were sitting on the porch of our B&B, we both saw a swirling mist emanate from the house and dissipate into the air. We checked the location and could find no reason for the phenomenon. We also had an encounter or two while touring the city of Savannah.

Lastly, what do most people NOT know about Lisa that you'd like to share or wish other people knew about her?

Lisa is an intensely private person who was initially reluctant to embrace the cyber world and the potential intrusions she felt it would place upon her. However, she is a deeply loyal person who loves people and is very appreciative of all of the people who support her art and vision. There's an intensity about Lisa that influences everything she does. Her paintings and work with tarot are a reflection of that concentrated energy. Whether it's her work, being a wife & mother, playing piano, cooking gourmet, running etc; Lisa approaches everything and every moment with a passionate mindset. I affectionately call her my "brilliant Lis", though there is a humbleness about her as well.

Kort, thank you so much for your time (and images!) And thank you, Lisa, for being such a good sport. You are such an inspiration!

The gorgeous painting above is Ankou. So pretty…and ghostly!

If you'd like to keep tabs on Lisa's progress on the Ghosts and Spirits Tarot, you can join her Facebook fan page at this link or follower her Dynamic Dreamer, Art Weaver blog here. You can also visit Lisa at, where she has information on all her decks, as well as prints, specials, musings, news and more. 

— Janet

Queens of Tarot

Queen Pents FaerieI was looking through one of my Tarot journals and discovered that I wrote "Inherited Power" for the Queen archetype. (Unfortunately, for many years, my Tarot journal wasn't a centralized destination, but scribbles in any tablet I could find!).

I'm pondering this phrase now–what I meant by that, for example–and thought I'd ask you how you see the Queen archetype, especially as reflected in the Tarot.

Queen of Pentacles, Queen of Cups, Queen of Swords and Queen of Wands–how does each of the four Tarot Queens differ from one another? Is their power always "inherited"? How does their power differ from the Kings both archetypally and within a reading?

I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences on the Queens of Tarot!

— Janet

The Queen of Pentacles image is from the Faerie Tarot by Nathalie Hertz. ISBN 1-57281-600-7. Available from your favorite online and brick-and-mortar store.

And the Winner of the Sun and Moon Tarot Is…

Congrats Thanks so much to Angie, Elise, Tara, Cosmo, 3Jane, Debi and Lynn for contributing such thoughtful replies to our very first Tarot Dilemma!

As you know, our first Tarot Dilemma, What Should Donna Do?, was also a giveaway, which means–you guessed it–time to announce the winner of the Sun and Moon Tarot by Vanessa Decort!

And the winner is…

Drum Roll


Hearty congrats to you, Cosmo! Please send your snail mail address to and HQ will send your new deck right out.

Thanks for playing, all, and stay tuned for yet another giveaway to be posted this week!

— Janet

Tarot Dilemma #1 – What Should Donna Do?

Woman Holding Q Mark I'm pleased to introduce another great feature to the Fool Stop Tarot Blog–Tarot Dilemmas!

Tarot Dilemmas are fictional situations where YOU get to test your skills as a reader.  Consider the dilemma, ponder the cards and render your advice–it's that simple…and fun! There are no wrong answers, so let those insights fly.

The benefits? Beginners get reading practice and seasoned Tarotists hone their skills–and we all gain from seeing the cards in new ways!

But this inaugural Tarot Dilemma has yet another benefit.

Oh yeah, baby…it's giveaway time again! Woohoo!

This time, you can win the new Sun and Moon Tarot by Vanessa Decort. You may remember that I profiled this deck a few weeks back (click here to read the post and see card images).

Cover 180 How can you win? Simply share you take on the cards for this first Tarot Dilemma as if you were actually giving this fictional person advice. Want to multiply your chances of winning the random drawing? EVERY post you make on this thread counts as an entry!

No one-word answers, though, or mere words of agreement or disagreement. Instead, please contribute thoughtful and honest information, feedback and advice to our make-believe querent or your fellow posters–as well as any questions you may have (in case you happen to be insanely curious like myself).

Remember to be considerate! (But I didn't have to tell you that…you guys are great.)

So without further ado, I present our first Tarot Dilemma!

Donna Rambunkle has a problem.  [Suddenly, I feel like Gene Rayburn from Match Game…]

Her pre-teen daughter, Seneca, has been uncommunicative and moody. Donna isn't sure what's wrong or how she can best relate to her daughter. She wants to be supportive, but not intrusive–available, but not smothering.

She comes to you for advice. From the Fenestra Tarot, you draw the following cards:

Fenestra 6 Cups Fenestra 2 Sw Fenestra 9 Pents 


Based on the above cards, how do you assess the situation? What will be your advice to Donna?

Remember, all thoughtful, considered posts will be entered in the random drawing to win the Sun and Moon Tarot by Vanessa Decort…but you only have until Sunday, August 29, 2010, midnight EST to post!

Have fun, and good luck! 

The Fenestra Tarot is illustrated by Chatriya Hemharnvibul. You can find out more information about this deck at the U.S. Games Systems, Inc. website at this link. The ISBN for this deck is 1-57281-560-4, and is available from your favorite online retailer or brick-and-mortar store. If you don't see it in stock, just ask for it.

— Janet

Seasons and the Minor Arcana

Four Seasons Some Tarot readers correlate the four seasons with the four suits of the Minor Arcana for issues of timing in a reading. Not everyone is comfortable forecasting seasonal timing in Tarot readings, of course.

Others make a mental association for interpretative purposes, noting the symbolism of a particular Minor Arcana suit reflects abstract or literal qualities of its seasonal counterpart.

I'm curious: Do you associate the four Minor Arcana suits (usually named Wands, Cups, Pentacles and Swords) with a seasonal counterpart (Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter)? If so, what is your reasoning?

If you've actually used a seasonal association when reading the Minor Arcana cards (Aces-Tens), how has this particular correlation aided your readings or expanded your interpretation of a particular suit or card?

Here's my personal correlations:

Four Seasons 2 Spring – Wands The "budding" of the Ace of Wands reminds me of the budding trees of Springtime. In the Tree of Life. It is said that the entire Minor Arcana "springs"–and is contained–within the Ace of Wands. I associate the Wands with the element of Fire.

Summer – Cups Water, water everywhere in the Summer–pools, lakes, fountains, margaritas…I associate Cups with the Water element.

Autumn – Pentacles A time for harvest and reflection, as well as preserving the bounty of the summer. Autumn is often a busy and materialistic time of year, with kids going back to school, major holidays occurring, and those in winter climes having to save extra money for heating. In cooler climates, many go back to "indoor" hobbies such as reading, crafting, woodcarving, baking–endeavors often neglected in warmer months. I associate Pentacles with the Earth element.

Winter – Swords Where I live, Winter can be bitterly cold, but the clarity of the air and purity of the rural snow is unmatched. I associate the Swords suit with the element of Air.

I'd love to hear your thoughts about correlating seasons with the Minor Arcana suits and how such associations can aid in building our cache of card meanings, as well as illuminate Tarot readings.

— Janet

What Card? Twitter Game

Q Mark 120 I've created a new fun Twitter game called What Card?

I'll post a Tarot card meaning/description and you guess the card. Just use the #WhatCard hashtag when posting your answer!

First one is now up; just go to and follow U.S. Games Systems and post your answer when you see a What Card? post.

Feel free to post your own What Card? challenge! Don't forget to use #WhatCard when you make your post.

Have fun!

— Janet

Tarot Mystery #3

Sherlock 180 Alrighty, super sleuths–it's time for another Tarot Mystery! (Formerly known as Tarot CSI).

For Tarot Mystery #3, all the correct guesses (one per person, of course!) will go into the magic top hat for a random drawing.

Your prize?

The funkadelic 88-card Morgan's Tarot, recently re-released by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.!

You must have a correct answer posted by Thursday, August 19, 2010–Midnight EST.

Without further ado, here's the latest Tarot Mystery:

What scenario is portrayed by the three cards below? (Note: it's NOT an actual crime!)

Sun Hierophant Page of Coins 
Tarot Mystery #3 is brought to you by new favorite deck, the Modern Medieval Tarot by Shayn Amber and Tim Wetherell (ISBN 978-1-57281-588-9).

Have fun and good luck!

— Janet

Guess the U.S. Games Deck #2

Question Smiley Quick Note: A little bird told me that the fine denizens at U.S. Games Systems HQ really dig these Guess the Deck posts. Although our V.P. of Marketing and Sales–Codename Corporate Ron–tried to bribe me with a Buffalo Nickel, I stayed resolute, refusing to divulge the answer to Guess the Deck #1. In another sneaky maneuver, he asked our Creative Director who, unfortunately, relayed the correct deck to Corporate Ron. A word of caution to the Art Department: Loose lips sink ships. If anyone around HQ starts to ask you a string of questions about a deck, be on high alert! He (or she) is trying to solve Guess the Deck the easy way.

Back to our regularly scheduled program…

Hi folks! It's time for Guess the Deck #2. Listens as the cyber-crowd goes wild.

Which USGS deck has a creator that:

  • Switches traditional masculine/feminine suit associations by making Pentacles masculine and Wands feminine
  • Embodies the King of Cups card
  • Is a Pisces
  • Favors the number 4
  • Considered The World the most challenging card to render
  • Re-names the Pages as Heralds

Have fun!

— Janet