Mystery Deck: Clue 1

I'm the mystery deck of the week. I'll give you five clues–one for each day. I'll tell you the answer on Saturday.


There is a prize included so guess away! Every guess–wrong or right–counts.


First Clue: The first thing many say of me is how attractive I am. I try to not let it go to my head.


Don’t forget to guess on each day!

What Inspired Theresa Reed To Learn Tarot

by Theresa Reed

Reed-515121_web-199x300I’ve always been that curious child who couldn’t wait for Christmas day to arrive.  I’d get up late at night just to pick through the presents under the tree and try to figure out what treasures were waiting for me to unwrap in the morning.  I also had the good fortune of growing up with some very intuitive women so the psychic stuff was ordinary business in my household.

That combination is what probably is what drew me to tarot and other intuitive arts. But my doorway to tarot happened quite by accident.

As a typical teen, I struggled to figure out who I was and what my path might be.  I remember taking those vocational quizzes in high school and although they gave me some general direction, those tests never answered the deeper questions.  Why am I here?  What path might be best?  Does Doug think I’m cute?  (Well, that last question wasn’t very deep but I did lose sleep over it.)

At some point, I became fast friends with a girl who shared the same interests in underground music, subculture and foxy musicians (we are still friends to this day in case you are curious).  She also had an unusual mother who was a pianist and a psychologist.  And she happened to have a keen interest in astrology.


One day she sat me down and laid out my astrology chart.  I was blown away at what I learned!  Finally, I felt I had some answers on what made me tick!  This opened up a whole new world for me and I began to grab any astrology book I could get my hands on.

There was not much out there back in the day so pickings were slim.  It didn’t matter – I was gung ho and studying as much as I could.  One day, my parents took a rare trip to the mall and I went into the bookstore (I never cared much about clothing – but bookstores were already a dangerous addiction for me).  I headed straight for the new age section to see if there were any new astrology books. 

Marseilles_0FoolAs luck would have it, there were none.  But I did spy a tarot deck – the Marseilles Tarot!  I remembered seeing them on some television show and decided to buy the deck without much thought as to what I’d actually do with it.  (Little did I know on that fateful day that I’d be reading tarot full time one day.)

But once I opened the box and began playing around with it, I started to notice something odd happening – I felt my intuition kicking in and sometimes things would come out of my mouth simply from looking at the patterns.  In other words, I picked up on tarot rather quickly.  It wasn’t long before I tossed the book aside and began to read in earnest.

A few months later, back at the bookstore, I discovered the Rider Waite deck and that’s when the tarot really began to “sing” to me.  The images were clear, evocative and in my teenage mind, super cool! 

MR78_6It wasn’t long before I was occasionally reading for friends and they often remarked at how accurate the readings were.  This inspired me to keep going and keep learning.  I still practiced astrology but tarot seemed to resonate more with me so I poured myself into studying it and perfecting my skills.

For me, the tarot gave me insights, direction, things to consider and ponder.  It was a wonderful self development tool and a fantastic way for my introvert nature to connect with other people (I often called tarot an “instant friend maker”).  How lucky I am for connecting to my friend and finding my way to tarot – which became my closest friend and ally on my life’s journey.

Theresa Reed,  March 2013


Bio:   Theresa Reed (alias: The Tarot Lady) is an intuitive Tarot reader, astrologist, teacher, mentor & yogi with over twenty years of professional experience, industry street cred for miles, and thousands of clients in her digital rolodex. She’s devoted to helping people make better decisions & lead happier lives — using Tarot as an instigational tool for confident, bold & emotionally-intelligent action — in life, in love & in business. She is also the founder + leader of The Mystical Mogul Movement – a mission to help spiritual + metaphysical business owners get their sh*t together,  build strong + profitable empires, and experience the freedom they want + deserve.  Because running your own business is HOT — and even mystics gots to pay the bills.   Find her at:




What Inspired Me to Learn Tarot by Elizabeth Hazel


Elizabeth Hazel wears many hats including astrologer, author, deck creator and columnist. She is the editor of the American Tarot Association's members-only Quarterly. Her book, Tarot Decoded (Weiser Books, 2004) is the first handbook of tarot dignities, and gives a wide range of techniques for expanding tarot readings using numbers and astrology. She is available for consultations. You can reach her at

When Lynn of U.S. Games asked who or what inspired them to study Tarot, Elizabeth responded with such an intriguing answer, that we asked her to expand upon it.  Enjoy her very interesting response.

Elizabeth's Answer:

My hometown library was split into two sections. The kids’ books were shelved on one side of the central walkway, and the adult books were on the other side. By the time I was nine I'd read all the books in the kids’ section. The librarians wouldn't let me read the books in the adult section. All that was left was the encyclopedias. These were shelved along the central walkway for easy access.

So I read the encyclopedias. In order. When I got to "C" in the Encyclopedia Britannica, there was an article on "Cards." Most of it was about playing cards, but at the end there were some pictures of tarot cards. They seemed awfully familiar. I had to have them!

A ten-year-old kid is pretty much at the mercy of parents when it comes to shopping. Whenever we went to a store or to the new mall, I searched and searched for a deck of tarot cards. Finally I came across a magic shop. I was thrilled when I discovered tarot decks in the big glass case under the cash register. I had saved up the allowance I got for doing chores, so I could afford them. I bought the Aquarian Tarot because the drawings and bright colors reminded me of Peter Max. Yes, I was an art snob at ten.

There was a LWB included with the deck, but it was very basic. I went back to the magic shop a month later and looked at the other tarot decks. The one that really attracted me was the Thoth Tarot. The shopkeeper didn't want to sell it to me, and tried to discourage me. I haggled with him until he sold it to me. I was about eleven years old at the time. I still have both of those decks…and hundreds more.

Looking back, both the Aquarian and Thoth tarots were very recent releases in the early 1970s. Without knowing it, I got them hot off the press. I used these decks for years while learning. The Aquarian Tarot spoke to me in a more personal and mundane way. The LWB included in the Thoth Tarot was invaluable from the standpoint of learning how to actually use the tarot and the deeper meanings and attributions behind the card images. The Thoth Tarot did a better job at helping me develop a “magical mind,” delving into esoteric mysteries, dreams, and omens. It took both decks to learn different lessons.

Thoth_0FoolThere weren’t any tarot books available in the Midwest at that time. I had to learn through trial and error and be my own guinea pig. I kept a tarot journal before anyone had ever written about keeping one – or before I ever read a recommendation to keep one. It seemed sensible. I learned to read the future by looking backwards at spreads to see what happened to me. I created a loose-leaf notebook with pages for every card, and wrote down things I discovered about what the cards could mean, which was a lot more than either LWB suggested.

A few friends found out I could read tarot cards when I was about sixteen or seventeen. I did a few readings for them, but it was all pretty hush-hush and reluctant. I did a ton of readings in college, and there were more resources and books available there. I read Crowley’s Book of Thoth when I was around eighteen. It fueled my tank to keep going, to keep studying the tarot. I found an astrology teacher when I got out of college, and was able to fuse tarot and astrology with ease. There was no one around to suggest doing otherwise. I thought they belonged together – it seemed such a natural combination.

I had no clue that fusing tarot and astrology was unusual until I attended the first International Tarot Conference in Chicago. Janet Berres told me it was rare for people to use them together! It was baffling.

People now have nearly universal access to hundreds of tarot decks and books, websites with information, internet tarot groups and organizations. None of that was around when I got started, or at least I didn’t have any access to it. None of the scholarly books were even a twinkling in the writers’ eyes yet. I had to learn and develop tarot-reading skills in secret, because the tarot was considered a shady, black magic thing. It got a lot of disapproval. It was taboo. It wasn’t something a nice girl did (although it wasn’t as bad as having sex, it was right up there). There wasn’t any positive encouragement for studying the tarot – quite the reverse. There were penalties and warnings. Maybe this wasn’t the case in more sophisticated cities on the east or west coasts, but it certainly was in the white, uptight Midwest.

Aquarian_3WandsSo at least for me, my early years of learning tarot weren’t just about learning card meanings and spreads. It was about weighing and balancing social approval or disapproval, of knuckling under to adult and parental disapproval, or of taking the risk of violating that particular taboo. I had to decide what was more important on my own terms. Did I have to believe everything adults told me, or should I push the limits and face censure because I disagreed with them? That’s a hard question for a teenager to answer. The pressure wasn’t coming from my peers – it was coming from adults. Did I love the tarot enough to take risks? I did, but I was canny enough to keep it very quiet, very secret. It took many years before I was able to do tarot readings openly for friends or clients.

It was a Hanged Man situation. What was I willing to sacrifice? It was more than just the time and effort to learn – it was a potential sacrifice of social approval, of being marginalized, excluded, and even banned from the company of others. It was a big struggle to keep studying, even in secret, without a teacher or any source of guidance or direction. There was no external sources of approval – only my private delight in making new discoveries. My desire to master the tarot was stronger and more powerful than the fear of sacrifice or censure.

How many people who want to learn tarot have to face that risk? Maybe some, maybe none. I don’t know. The forbidden nature that the tarot had in the 1970s has faded a lot and they’re more or less mainstream now. But there are still some places and people who disapprove, or feel that they’re evil in some way.

Perhaps the more a person is willing to sacrifice for tarot wisdom, the more wisdom can be gained along the path. No pain, no gain.

February 2013

Images used: Aquarian Tarot Fool, Thoth Tarot Fool, Aquarian Tarot Three of Rods

Winners Of The Guess The Deck Contest Announced

Winners from last week's contest announced! Did you win?

Congratulations to our first place winner: Bernadette Montana who wins the Vanessa Tarot.

And to our second place winner: Terri Clement who wins her choice of one of six magnet sets.

Thanks to everyone who commented! We used to generate the winners.

Guess The Deck: Answer Revealed

All week we've been guessing what deck I am. Were you successful? Did you know right away? What clue gave it away for you? Are you still scratching your head?

I'm the Vanessa Tarot published in 2006.  Here's what US Games says about me.

Taking their inspiration from pop culture, the sassy but sage
characters of Vanessa Tarot playfully reinterpret traditional female
roles. With humor, glamour, and an attitude of adventure, the daring
darlings of Vanessa Tarot share all their arcane secrets. This charming
deck invites readers to join in the joy ride exploring life through the
fanciful imagery of tarot. Presented in a keepsake tin, Vanessa Tarot
includes 78 cards with 30-page instruction booklet.

"Vanessa Tarot has taken its inspiration from several areas of contemporary pop culture including female role models from the small and large screens of television and cinema, life-like fashion dolls, and heroines from comic books. In the same way that dolls encourage imaginative role-playing, Vanessa Tarot provides scenarios for examining our fantasies, fears, decisions, desires, and choices. The sassy but sage characters of Vanessa Tarot playfully reinterpret female roles, occupations, and social stereotypes from the housewife to the witch, and the princess to the scientist."

— Lynyrd Narciso, Introduction to Vanessa Tarot

See what Dan Pelletier has to say about this deck.

The Vanessa Tarot does for illustrated pip Waite-Colman-Smith based decks, what Major Tom's Tarot de Marseille did for the Marseille version Tarots, and dragged it (the Tarot) into the 21st Century.

The Vanessa Tarot will perhaps be the most overlooked Tarot of 2007. 'Serious' Tarot folks will eschew it, many will never get past the Magician — and will poo-poo it as a silly novelty. But the Vanessa deserves a closer look. It's nothing short of brilliant!

Let me start with the LWB — it deserves framing. This should me the new standard for LWB's. It is well written, concise, and is arraigned by numerical value as opposed to suits. And what is said about each card — makes sense. Some folks enjoy saying 'Tarot is a language', perhaps because such a statement eludes cogent response, However the Vanessa Tarot IS a language. Gone is the weighty esoteric symbology, leaving behind clean image concepts — that translate smoothly into nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs and articles. Many cards easily fill encompass several of those labels.

Yes, it's a feminine deck albeit not feminist. Marketing may well relegate it to the early teen female market segment of the populations, and that’s a shame. The deck is also multicultural.

Some examples: The 10 of Wands eschews the burdening issues and displays an attitude of study — or 'workload'. The Knight of Wands wears a parachute and stands in the doorway of an aircraft in flight. In the Four of Cups, she sits in front of the Tarot Café, while a hand enters the picture from the left offering a cup. It's tres mondo coolaroonie!

The cards measure 9.5cm x 6cm, perfect for your hands, and get this … they come in a metal case.

This deck, and the LWB rock …

Here are a few images from this great deck.





You can have your own copy if you like. Just go here.

Remember we are drawing a name from all comments left this week including on this post. You could win your choice of our Tarot magnet sets. Would you pick the Fool set?

Guess the Deck: Clue #4

I'm full of sass and like to tease. That's why you'll find a Sarah Palin, a Sophia Loren, a Samantha Stevens as well as a Snow White and a Sleeping Beauty within my 78 cards. Was it intentional? Some were but some were not. Ms. Palin wasn't even on the national political scene when I was published.

What deck am I?

Since today is Valentine's Day, what would you say to a lover who gave you these? Remember that all guesses this week will be put into a drawing. You could win your choice of our new magnet sets.

Guess The Deck: Clue #3

Some things you might not know about me.

I'm a petite deck that will easily fit the smallest of hands. I love to be tossed into a backpack to head out to do readings for friends. I'm the perfect Tarot for someone with a sense of humor.

I am an ethnically diverse deck with an African American judge and an Asian beauty queen ruling my world. On one card, five diverse bridesmaids compete for one tossed bouqet.

What deck am I?

All comments will be entered into a drawing. The winner will get their choice of our new magnet sets. What would you stick to your fridge using the Magician set?

Guess The Deck: Clue #2

Happy Mardi Gras! To celebrate this holiday with a French name, I'll tell you that I have a French flair for at least two cards. Both are in the suit of l'amore. One is a ruler of the heart while the other sits alone in a cafe.

What deck am I?

A winner will be chosen from all comments left this week. You will have your choice of one of our new magnet sets. Check out the Wheel of Fortune set here.

Guess The Deck: Clue #1

This week will be a guessing game. Monday-Thursday we will give you clues to guess the deck. Friday we will reveal it.

Today's clue is about men and horses. Or is it? My armored friends wear the uniforms of the jobs they have chosen. While two are hard at work, the other two are not. A love letter, a motorcycle, a plane and a toolbox are what they employ. And did I mention? They aren't boys.

What deck am I?

We will draw one winner from all comments. That person will win their choice of our brand new magnet sets. Check out the Strength set here.