Credibility For Entrepreneurs

I do not know one of us in the Tarot world that could not be classed as an entrepreneur. And we are all looking for credibility. This is why the article “Trust Me”, by Quy Huy and Christoph Zott in the WSJ (11/30/09) was so interesting.

The authors talk about how, as an entrepreneur, we can get people to trust us when we have no track record. (The basis of this article were interviews done with key figures at 28 entrepreneurial ventures in the UK – including founders, investors, board members, employees and customers.)

A very important point is made when the authors states  that we need to pay attention to details – we cannot focus so sharply on building our business that we forget to do the things that send a message of credibility. in other words – face. We need to present a professional face, through the appearance of our websites, and  through timely follow-up, with customers, potential customers, investors and potential investors.

Another point that impressed me was what the authors termed “symbolic gestures” – meeting that were held in upscale venues, client testimonials on the web site … things that encourage credibility and “believability”.

Four basic areas of concern were broken down: personal credibility, company professionalism, track record, and emphasizing and building ties.

The main point with personal credibility is that we find a way to reassure people that we are personally capable and credible. It is suggested that an entrepreneur reveal things about their personal history and interests. I would say yes – as long as it is germane to the business. What we try and hide (such as a failed business int he past) will come back to bite us.

The company’s professionalism to me is a big deal. If you are a sole owner/proprietor, then you are the business. If you are in a partnership, then the group is hte business. There should be a professional look to all communications (ads, flyers, business cards etc.), and to the work premises. Business attire should be taken into consideration, as well as the location for the business. Both should encourage clients to come in.

In our world it is not hard to develop a track record. What is hard is to define what that track record is. Look to base your track record on satisfied customers, repeat customers and referrals. Being “right” has no place in the program (and this is my thought as pertains to our world, and not the authors thought in htis article).

Emphasizing and building ties is social networking, pure and simple. Associate yourself with network venues such as Twitter, Face Book and Linked In. Develop a following with people that are connected to your world – that you can help, and that can be of help to you. Partner with other entrepreneurs in real time – give referrals, do Podcasts, Internet Radio Shows, blog … keep name recognition in the forefront. (Please note – these are my suggestions for our world based on what the authors wrote for entrepreneurs in general.)   

Check this WSJ article out – amazing insight!

© December 2009 Bonnie Cehovet

Tarot & Non-Tarot Holiday Gifts

I am bringing you two sites today – the first one is my Twitter peep @Gilannie’s site on ArtFire.com -  Goddess Emporium. Gilanne carries beautiful handmade jewelry items, including earrings, necklaces, and purses. Payment is by PayPal or Amazon. Stop by and see what   beautiful works Gilannie is offering!

The second site is a premier Tarot site – LegacyoftheDivineTarot.com, from the incredible artist and author Ciro Marchetti. This is an interactive site, with card meanings, a Wall of  Knowledge, a Library with articles written by individuals from within the Tarot community, a gift shop with Tarot bags and more, all hand done by Ciro’s lovely wife Maria, an FAQ, a graphics room with downloadable graphics, a birth card calculator, a Reading Room and a private journal to record your readings in. This is a subscription site ($8.00 per month) – very affordable, and a unique giftt o self, or a friend or family member.

 

© December 2009 Bonnie Cehovet

A World of Gifts

Well, this is the second time I have started on this blog – the first time my laptop crashed! Darn ting seems to be doing that on a daily basis lately! The site we are visiting today came under my radar with the publication of the “Tarot Lover’s Diary”. paranormality.com is a site focused on all things paranormal (hey – some people actually place Tarot in this category, so don’t turn tail and run just yet!). There is a world of information here on all topics paranormal.

This is also a wonderful place to shop. There is the “Tarot Lover’s Diary”, which I have kept on my desk and worked with throughout this past year (and the 2010 version is sitting there, ready to go!). This is a wire-bound calendar – and so much more! There are illustrations from the upcoming, limited edition Paranormality Tarot Deck that can be cut out and used as a working mini-deck, samples of popular Tarot spreads, upright and reversed meanings … and more!

There is also a “Tarot Lover’s Notebook”, also wire-bound, which also contains illustrations from the upcoming, limited edition Paranormality Tarot Deck. It also contains upright and reversed meanings, information and associations for each Major Arcana card, samples of some of the more popular spreads, and room for keeping notes.

Other gift items include amulets and seals, jewelry, a sheet of Tarot card meanings, and a Chinese star signs sheet. There is something here for everyone!

Please note – Paranormality gives a ten percent discount to Tarosophy members!

 

© December 2009 Bonnie Cehovet  

Interview With CIro Marchetti

Interview With Ciro Marchetti

I had the great good fortune to meet Ciro Marchetti at Readers Studio 2009. It was there that the Tarot world got the first glimpse of a project that Ciro had been working on for some time – an interactive membership site that was conceived along with the “Legacy of the Divine” Tarot deck itself, the companion story, and the promotional video.

Ciro, along with team members Carlos Rodriguez (FL), Chris Maher (NY), and Rik Hamilton (UK), have put in an incredible amount of work (which started before the deck was even finished). To quote Ciro: “The purpose of this site is to provide a visually rich Tarot environment that will be both entertaining, informative and functional.

This is intended to be an ongoing project, with updated articles, Hall of Knowledge “snippets” (50 word synopsis of Tarot related wisdom), and some completely new features in the future. Various people from the Tarot world have contributed articles and snippets, allowing many different voices to be heard. (I would like to thank Ciro for allowing me to be one of those people!)

Let’s hear what Ciro himself has to say about this stunning world that he has created for us!

BC: Ciro, this was an all inclusive project from the very beginning. How did that come about?

CM: From the learning curve of producing the Gilded Tarot several years ago, I considered there had to be more possibilities and options for telling the Tarot story than simply having 78 images printed on card. Artists throughout history have embraced new media and technology when it became available. From hand prints on cave walls to the latest multimedia feats delivered to your mobile phone. Yet Tarot seemed to have lagged behind, up until very recently. Tarot decks have been modified in thousands of ways from variations of size, system, theme and image style, but all still based on an image printed on card. Even web sites and phone applications are still merely reproducing a static image albeit on a screen of some kind.

I felt that this missed a great opportunity to take the genre to a new and different level entirely, namely to incorporate animation and sound to breathe some additional life and allow the “cards” or sequences to better communicate their message. I believe when I did this initially on the interactive CD that accompanied the original special edition of the Tarot of Dreams, this was a first. This Legacy web site is an evolution of that process.

BC: What was the developmental process of the Hall of Knowledge?

CM: This is really a means of virtually replicating a scene from my Legacy story, where I enter through the “Gateway” and experience the various interactive walls. Interactive data bases which when approached, respond by providing a wealth of information and instructions covering an eclectic range of subjects.

BC: Tell us a bit about the lenses that have been incorporated into the Halls of the Major and Minor Arcana. How will they allow for future expansion, and what might we see here?

CM: The larger central lens is the main viewing area that displays the animated video sequence for every card of the suite and arcana. Outside of that main lens each interface has four additional smaller lenses, the first of which is already active. Its a link to a designated card calculator or “Portal”, with appropriate question categories for its corresponding suite. The other small lenses will be activated in the near future with some really great additional features. These will include “talking cards”, and the ability to select any card, add a personal message or greeting and send it by e-mail as a digital “post card”.

BC: Can you explain why the downloads will go faster the more times an individual uses this site?
(Personally, I felt that the download time was very good, right from the beginning.)

CM: We are assuming that some people may not have the fastest internet access or when they log on for the first time the internet may be at a peak time, and the download of all the graphics and video content may reflect that. Nevertheless we have put a lot of effort into compressing the content to be as efficient as possible and hosting the content on high end servers. Much of the content will also be stored in your browser cache, so in fact it won’t have to be repeatedly downloaded.

BC: I love the reading rooms! Can you give us a mini tour, and tell us how they work?
CM: We consider the reading rooms to be one of, if not the most sophisticated reading software available. Its a proprietary one developed by Rik Hamilton, who is not only a master software programmer, but also a tarot reader of many years experience. It offers the Gilded, Tarot of Dreams and exclusively the Legacy decks. The Reading Rooms are designed to simulated a true reading environment. you click and drag cards onto decorated tables to create whatever spreads you wish. You are not limited to simply choosing from a limited list of pre determined spreads.

After a reading, you can type a summary, save it to your “Private Journal” for future retrieval or send it by e-mail to your querant.

BC: What are some of the ways that you suggest for using the animated cards feature?

CM: Beyond simply looking at them to gain a deeper understanding of their message, we believe that they lend themselves to being used as teaching aids by those who give tarot classes.

BC: Could the animated cards be used in a professional reading?

CM: Absolutely, wether from their home base, or at a local coffee shop or book store. By logging on, readers could quickly select and play the animated cards that they have just selected from a physical deck and discuss them with their querant in their context of the reading.

BC: If someone wanted to submit an article for future use, how would they go about doing so?

CM: Simply contact me with a brief description of the subject of your proposed article and short bio.

BC: Please talk for a moment about your gift shop. There are some incredibly awesome items offered, including Tarot bags, shoulder bags, quilts, cushions and reading cloths. (All done by hand by Ciro’s talented wife Maria!) How did this come about?

CM: My wife and I have a lovely house which is elaborately decorated with a number of mystical and tarot related items, many of which are adapted from, or incorporate my imagery. After having hosted a couple of meetings of the local tarot association, many of our guests indicated that they wanted to also have some of the items on display. It expanded from there.

BC: What is included in your graphics room?

CM: I receive requests almost on a daily basis asking permission to use some of my images to decorate other peoples web sites and blogs. So I decided to go one better and produce a selection of tarot themed images, designed to also incorporate plain areas, where people could add their own names (real or professional)

BC: What would you like the Tarot world to know about using this wonderful site?

CM: I think the most important issue is to point out that this site is not merely a source of tarot ‘eye candy”. The content is designed to be visited on a regular basis to be used and to learn from. It contains an ever growing Library of articles especially written for this site by leading authors and figures from todays tarot community.

Other features such as the daily card calculators are exclusive and sophisticated programs in their own right designed to filter their responses via the users input to provide more personal and relevant results.

And last but not least, the site designed to constantly incorporate new features and content.

I want to thank Ciro for taking the time to chat with us. This is an incredible venture, made even more so by the fact that he is including the Tarot community in the process.

BIO: Ciro Marchetti (Florida) is an award-winning artist from the United Kingdom. He studied art in London, followed by a career working in Europe and South America before settling in the United States where he opened a design agency in Miami. In addition to managing his company, Ciro also gives workshops and lectures on digital digital imagery and illustration at the Fort Lauderdale Art Institute, and continues to create his own visionary art. His decks include the “Gilded Tarot”, “Tarot of Dreams”, and “Legacy of the Divine Tarot”.

© October 2009

A New Day

Thanks to Stephanie Arwen Lynch (@TarotByArwen), Twitter crossed my radar just before it became so immensely popular. I have found a wonderful home there, have made many new friends and have come across incredible working information in the Tweets from the people that I follow.

Therein lies the problem. I felt that if someone was following me, I should follow them (unless they were just too far out, or not really in my interest zone). At over 600 and counting, I decided to cut back to my main Tarot peeps, and a few other people that I truly enjoyed following. At under 150 people, I can actually see the Tweets that I want to see! That was a huge step, and a huge relief. Now I was enjoying Twitter again!

I have been engaging in #followfriday, and #women2follow out of respect for the people that I was following. I felt that they had something to offer, and that if I could bring them to the attention of others, this was an easy way to do it. This was a Martha Stewart “good thing”, until I realized that I was almost going into panic mode on Wednesday and Friday until I got out my appropriate Tweets. It reminded me of a time many years ago when I realized that every day I was driving to work with my teeth clenched – I loved my job, but my boss was a type A physician that was difficult for everyone to work with.

I looked at why I was engaging in the # scenario, and felt that it was for the right reason. But I had to admit that it was taking too much time, and that I also had reservations about the “air space” that these Tweets were taking up. I looked for a better way to show my respect for those that I felt had something to say.

I decided to stop doing the #followfriday and the #women2follow, and focus on responding to Tweets in a conversational manner, and on ReTweeting. In this way, I would be showing respect for my fellow Tweeter’s, and getting their information out there.

This works for me, although it may not work for others. Twitter is a social media, the same as Face Book, Linked In and My Space. Each of us has to define how we want to present ourselves, and what we want from each venue. While some people will work with the Twitter apps, enjoy doing so, and benefit from them, just chatting works for me. I can share what needs to be shared, and promote what needs to be promoted, within my personal time constraints and still enjoy myself.

For those that have been on my #followfriday and #women2follow lists, please do not regard this as disrespecting you. We will still chat, and I will still RT your Tweets! I would also ask, in turn, that I be taken off of your #followfriday and #women2follow lists. I deeply appreciate being there, but it is time to move on.

WSJ – 6/2/09

I love the WSJ (Wall Street Journal)! Today’s technology section had so much good stuff in it that I decided that it needed a blog of it’s own. What set of this lovely section? The seventh D: All Things Digital conference last week in Carlsbad, CA.

There are several interviews included (Steve Balmer on Microsoft’s new entry into the search war, Carol Bartz on how Yahoo’s organizational structure got in the way of innovation, NBC Universal’s Jeff Zucker on why TV is still paramount, John Malone on how to get consumer to pay for content they now get for free, Roger McNamee and Jon Rubinstein on how Palm hopes for a comeback, Twitter’s Evan Williams and Biz Stone on finding revenue in Tweets, and Mark Cuban on why Internet video has been disappointing), and some very interesting blog links.

Out of all of the above, I was rooting for my homeboys (Microsoft), and not surprised at the interview with Carol Bartz (the new Yahoo CEO, replacing Jerry Yang). I have read interviews with her before, and I will say this – she is who she is – brash, hard nosed, and not someone that I would want to work with (or under). I am sure that she will do a good job – but at what cost? She resented the question about her moving from running a computer generated software company to running an Internet site like Yahoo, and likened Jerry Yang’s attempt to show her an organizational chart to a Dilbert cartoon. When asked about bringing in a strong number two that was more “Internet-y” (yes – that was how the word was written!), she abruptly insisted that she did not need a number two because that would remove her from the business. My take – I hope her board reads her interviews, and reigns her in!

I really like Twitter, but tend to wonder about its future myself. I am only minimally business savvy myself, but after reading the interview with Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone, I do give myself more credit! These boys have no plan, and have basically built the site by allowing tech savvy people to associate applications that they come up with to Twitter. The boys are happy with this – I think it is a big, chaotic mess!

On to the really cool links in this section! Under phone culture we have Tokyo Mango, written by Lisa Katayama – www.tokyomango.com. She talks about a treasure trove of things Japanese, and has a book out entitled “Urawaza: Secret Everyday Tips and Tricks From Japan”.

“Get Rich Slowly” – www.getrichslowly.org/blog – is a blog written by J. D. Roth – an average person showing people how to educate themselves about money. A major component of this blog is the ability of the reader to add their own theories/strategies for dealing with financial matters. On today’s blog, Roth addresses “lazy portfolios”, and gives some excellent examples. There is an incredible amount of information on this site!

“Bargaineering: Egineering A Richer Life” – www.bargaineering.com/articles – is a blog written by Jim Wang, focused on the role money plays in readers lives. Great site, with a wealth of information presented. I have to stop and read an author who writes things like “Five Life Lessons My Dog Has Taught Me”!

I hope that you enjoy this material as much as I did. Lots of food for thought – well presented, well thought out.

The Tarot Guild

One of the items that I picked up at the Readers Studio ’09 was a brochure on the Tarot Guild. Had I been paying more attention, I would have realized that there were two brochures put out – one on Friday, and one on Saturday. The difference between the two was in the spread that was presented in hte middle section.

I picked up the one on Friday, which had the Tarot Squared spread. What we have here are three horizontal columns, three vertical columns, and two diagonal paths. The numbers themselves go around in a spiral formation, fromt he middle, to the bottom, around to the left, and cicling back to the original number. This is quite a well done spread, and, as the brochure states, it can be customized for specific questions/issues quite easily.

The thought that went into the presentation of this spread equates with the thought that went into the brochure itself, which in turn reflects the thought behind the Tarot Guild ( http://www.tarotguild.com ). The Tarot Guild was created as an organization of interest for those of all levels of interest and eperience in the Tarot world. They have been meeting since 2004, and now have over 350 members.

The philosophy of the Tarot Guild is that the Tarot acts as an allegorical tool, bridging the conscious and unconscious mind. It is up to the practitioner to enhacne the experience of self-discovery and self-communication.

The discipline of Tarot must have at its core a concern for the Seeker’s empowerment, and the goal of helping them to realize their own inner resources. The Seeker’s values and beliefs, as well as their current capacity for self-determination and common humanity must be respected.

The Tarot Guild operates in several diferent venues. it’s web site (http://www.tarotguild.com) has as its goal that of becoming a premier Tarot site. It will include proprietary articles as well as information on classes and other community news. It will include information on all main Tarot gatherings/conferences/symposiums, reflecting world wide venues.

One of the goals of the Internet site is to rpovide the type of information that will help others create their own local meetings. In turn, the new groups will be bringing back fresh ideas to share ont he Tarot Guild site. For group leaders, the Tarot Guild will offer ideas for exercises and class materials. For solo practitioners (and most of us really are solo practitioners!), the site will offer ideas for new ways in which to use the cards.

Another venue for the Tarot Guild is their Tarot Salon, a weekly gathering of like minded Tarot enthusiasts with the goal of discussing all things Tarot. Other metaphysical/spiritual subjects may also be discussed, including the Law of Attraction, the Power of Now, Practical SPirituality, Numerology, Hypnosis and more. Short presentations are followed by a question and answer period, and the weekly Tarot mini-session.

The Tarot Cafe is held each Saturday at David’s Coffee (1440 University Ave, San Diego, CA), from 12:30 pm to 4:00 pm. Lunch, lattee’s and Tarot talk available!

A note on visiting the Tarot Guild site – it is a new site, and content will be added. Right now it is free to sign up for the Tarot Guild, so that is something to think about. Also, fred West (the master mind behind the brochures for the Readers Studio) has placed them both on the site in PDF format so that they may be printed out.

As a courtesy, there is an informational survey on the site that doesn’t take that long to fill out.

The Tarot Guild is an up and coming part of our Tarot community, IMHO. 🙂

Readers Studio ’09 – The People

I am a little late in getting my Readers Studio ’09 impressions out there, but it is such a lovely day today that I am going to alternate weeding and writing. 😉 In a previous blog I discussed the horrors of traveling – I really love to fly, but the post 9/11 fiasco at airports is not to be believed. And I had never gone thorugh the automatic sign in with the airlines, which wasn’t too bad, but wasn’t exactly the highpoint of my day, either.

Today I am going to talk about the heart and soul of the conference – the people that I met and interactged with. I am going to start out with the ladies at my table (which was a relatively static arrangement, although soem did table hop. Had I more courage, I might have been doing that too – but I don’t like change, and I don’t have the social courage to do that. 😉

My lack of social courage is the main reason that I want to start with the ladies at my table. They were gracious, intelligent, funny, and totally supportive. I could go around and introduce myself to a few people, and then go back to my table as a touchstone. This meant a great deal to me, and I want to thank each and every one of you for being who you are.

Kudos to Joanna Powell Colbert, Beth Owl’s Daughter, Amy Lamash, Sue Schauer, Sally Clarke, Kelly Schaap, Francesca, Debbie Lake and Ellen-Mary O’Brien – table mates extraordinaire!

There are two other ladies that came over to meet me – one for the first time, the other for the second time. Beth Palladino and I had met at the 2003 Readers Studio, where Winter Wren and I certified her with the American Board For Tarot Certification. The second lady (and I do apologize, but I cannot remember her name!) was also certififed by Winter and I, although I had never met her in person. I appreciate these ladies coming over to my table because it helped bring closure to the loss of Winter Wren, who passed away in September of 2008.

The following are brief impressions, along with any links that I may have for each individual:

Joanna Powell Colbert ( www.gaiantarot.com ) – What an incredible person! Beautiful from the inside out, and does the most incredible work! I cannot wait for the 78 card version of her Gaian Tarot to come out!

Beth Owl’s Daughter ( www.well.com/~zenrose/tarot/ ) – What a wonderful, gracious, ingtelligent and funny person! Very wise, and very gifted, Beth led us through the Beltane ritual on Friday night. What a gift this was to everyone who attended. (And a bigh thank you to Joanna Powell COlbert and Gail Wood for assisting!).

Amy Lamash ( http://www.tarotcalendar.com/ ) – Amy is one of the nicest people you could ever want to meet! She is also the creator of the International Tarot Calendar – information on major Tarot announcements and events, with a special section for on-line or telephone events. Send your information to Amy if you want it to be added to the calendar!

Sue Schauer proved to be a very knowledgible Tarot peep who led a very cool discussion on dark decks! (Which started out when Amy graciously gifted me with the Dark Grimoire, a deck that was in her Llewellyn bag that she already had.)

Sally Clarke, Kelly Schaap and Ellen-Mary O’Brien more than held up their side of the table with wisdom and humor!

Debbie Lake ( http://blog.tarotbroad.com/ ) – LOL I just found Debbie’s blog while searching to see if she had a link anywhere. Debbie is such a gifted person – and one of the funniest, if not the funniest, people that I have ever met. I have so enjoyed seeing her comments on the Internet, and working with her on Johanna Gargiulo-Sherman and Mary Collins web conference.

Francesca ( http://www.spiritualguidedpsychics.com/ ) – I didn’t know until the end of the conference that Francesca was originally an Angel reader, and was, shall we say, “strongly” encouraged by her cousin to learn the Tarot! She also has a degree in Fine Arts, which made for great conversation concerning deck imagery! (Many thanks for the nicely done bookmark!) Francesca also has a new CD out on meditation entitled “Serenity”.

Garnet Schaeffer ( www.mistofatlantis.com , http://readersstudio.ning.com/profile/Garnet ) – Garnet is probably best known in the Tarot world for her magickal wands – and for her intense energy! She is a Realtor, Professional event planner, wand maker extraodinaire, Tarot instructor, Angel Therapy practitioner, student of Astrology and Belly Dancing – and so much more! I was thrilled that you were at the same talbe I was for the Transparent Tarot study – we had a great time (even thoug I understand that the noise level irritated some of the other study groups!).

Elizabeth Genco Purvis ( http://www.marketinggoddess.com/ ) – Better know as “The Marketing Goddess”, Elizabeth is a very nice, down to earth person. She presented a class on coaching on Saturday night, and the next day I heard wonderful comments about how helpful she had been (very specific help, indeed). One of Elizabeth’s greatest assets is her voice – go to her site, sign up for her free audio workshop, and you will see what I mean!

Ciro Marchetti ( http://www.ciromarchetti.com/ , http://www.legacyofthedivinetarot.com/) – Ciro is just as gracious in person as he is on the Internet! I was very pleased to be able to meet him in person. I have included the link to his main site, and to a new, interactive site that I feel is well worth visiting. It will be a subscription site – but the fee is very small, and the contents will be evolving and well worth it! Ciro’s merchant tab le was well visited!

Robert M. Place ( http://thealchemicalegg.com/, http://tarotconnection.net/ ) – I have included two links for Bob – the link to his personal site, and the link to Leisa ReFalo’s PodCast, where Bob’s classes can be found. I was very happy to be able to have the chance to meet Bob in person, after having worked with his decks and books, and having spent time in his tele-classes. Bob’s merchant table was also highly visited! Bob will be presenting at next year’s Readers Studio.

Carolyn Giles – I loved the fact that I got to meet Carolyn! She is writing a really good book on the birth card system originated by Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone. I cannot wait to see it published!

Emily Carding ( http://www.elfwood.com/~willowsmum , http://www.artwanted.com/artist.cfm?artid=23406 )- Emily is a delightful person – part faerie, part banshee (thanks to Rachel Pollack’s Dr. Appollo!). She is the creator of the Transparent Tarot (Schiffer Books), and an upcoming oracle deck based ont he seven directions (also to be published by Schiffer Books). If you get a chance to hear Emily speak, or to study with her – please do! She is a charming, all too energitic faerie person. 🙂

Dan Pelletier ( http://tarotgarden.com/ ) – “That Dan Guy” is a true Magician, as anyone who attended the Readers Studio will attest. From a personal perspective, I got the last copy of the Morgan-Greer Tarot that was on hand, just before I left for the Readers Studio (from the Tarot Garden, of course!). I was searching franticaly for this deck and was incredibly relieved when he was able to manifest it! With grace and charm, Dan gifted attendees with an incredible amount of material from the Tarot Garden for the give-away. We all thank you!

Major Tom Schick ( http://www.majortom.biz/ ) – Major Tom is well known for his Tarot Calendar, and his gracious manner on Aeclectic Tarot. In person, he is ever the gentleman, and I was delighted to be able to meet him.

Solandia ( http://aeclectic.net/tarot/ ) – I have worked with Solandia for many years in submitting reviews to Aeclectic Tarot. She has always been considerate, and a pleasure to work with. In person, she is every bit the gracious person that she is on Aeclectic Tarot. Many thanks for coming to the Readers Studio!

Jordan Hoggard ( http://mystereum.com/ ) – Jordan is the creator of the Mystereum Tarot, and its accompanying books. I had the great good fortune to work with his material, and found it a joy. I had to laugh when during one of the Tarot exercises Jordan was telling us about seeing and feeling the color orange, and how he physically felt it in his body. My immediate thought was – People, this is the creator of the Mystereum Tarot – he won’t be found floating around in pale pastels! 😉 Jordan has more work in the pipeline, so stay tuned!

Shari Smith ( www.tarotforlife.com , http://www.tarotweaving.com/ ) – I met Shari on line some time ago, when she was working with a friend of mine that does coaching. I loved that way she gets things done so quickly, and so well. Quite a techie, too – which I admire, because I am not! Now – the blue hair – I could never carry that one off! Shari is a wonderful woman that will be achieving major accomplishments in her lifetime!

Maribeth Pittman is someone that I have known throughout the Internet, as well as through Johanna’s web conference. Her input is “right on” – I value her presence and her opinions!

Johanna Gargiulo-Sherman ( http://www.johannagsherman.com/ ) – I have worked with Johanna before, but we had never met in person. I was very, very lucky in that I was standing in the front of the room, by a Merchant booth, and … there she was! Very much the wise-woman, carrying her walking stick ( a lovely stick, but a necessity, as she is just getting over (I believe) a broken ankle. I was so happy to get to talk to her, and to hear that the mandala series will continue in the foreseeable future. Johanna also has some new ideas in the works – including a possible Coney Island Tarot, which I think would be a great idea!

Mary Greer ( http://marygreer.wordpress.com/ ) – I did not have a chance to speak with Mary Greer this year, but she was ever present. She is a gifted, knowledgible person who is easy to talk to, and has a true sense of joy about life. I love her blog, because it goes into the true sense of “what is”. Mary will be presenting again at the 2010 Readers Studio (I met her when she presented at the 2003 Readers Studio).

James Wanless ( http://www.voyagertarot.com/ , http://www.greenwisdomcards.com ) – I have worked with James before – reviewing his books and deck, as well as doing a telephone interview with him. I was delighted that he was a speaker at this year’s Readers Studio! I have included two links for James – one to his Voyager Tarot work, and one to his Green Wisdom Cards work. James is an incredible speaker, and a wonderful, giving person. If you have a chance to hear him talk, or study with him – please do! James gifted me with a DVD entitled “The Renewal of America”, which was taped at a talk he was giving in Santa Fe, NM. He uses the venue of a 50card layout entitled “The Ring of Magic” to bring insight into what we and our country need to be mentally, emotionally, spiritually, practical worldly, and archetypally to regenerate and reenergize in this time of crisis. It is a gifted presentation – and available on the Voyager Tarot site.

Geraldine Amaral ( http://tarotcelebrations.com/ ) – Geraldine is co-author of the inspiring “Tarot Celebrations”, and a gifted teacher in her own right. I was incredibly happy that she was also going to be a speaker at this years Readers Studio. She is a gentle, gracious person, and gave the unique gift of her book and CD in a beautiful box to the give-away.

Rachel Pollack ( http://rachelpollack.com/index2.html ) – It is always a gift to hear Rachel Pollack speak. She was a presenter at the 2003 Readers Studio, and I still have not gotten over being impressed by her. She is bright, funny, and very quick!

Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone ( http://tarotschool.com/ ) – For the seventh year in a row, Ruth Ann and Wald hosted the Readers Studio – a unique East Coast Tarot event. I was very excited to meet both of them again, and to see how the Readers Studio had grown since its beginning. The addition of the luncheon teaching sessions, as well as the all important (IMHO) meditation room, and the Beltane ritual were enormous gifts.

I am sure that there are more people that should be mentioned here, and I apologize for not remembering who you are. The Readers Studio was a great gift to me, in that I was able to meet in person people that I had known only over the Internet. It was also a bit overwhelming, with all those people!

I hope that visitors to my blog check out some of my Tarot peeps – they all have a great deal to offer!

Amazon.com

By now most people know that Amazon.com created a huge issue for itself in the manner that it changed the ratings for adult content books – resulting in an incredible backlash from authors and readers. The following links are what I consider to be a quality reflection of this issue:

ow.ly/2JTF
http://www.feministing.com/archives/014797.html

I decided to do a three-card reading, and see what information came up. The positions are as follows:

1. What we know about this Amazon.com issue.
2. What we don’t know about the Amazon.com issue.
3. What we need to knwo about the Amazon.com issue.

The deck that I used for this reading was the Robin Wood Tarot. I have added in comments on the issue as I understand it.

1. Six of Cups
2. The Star
3. Six of Pentacles

The Six of Cups – such a friendly little card. What we know a out this issue is not as negative as it may seem. There is a sense of harmony between Amazon.com, their customers and the authors of the books that may not at first seem evident.

Cmment: Allegedly part of the reasoning for Amazon.com taking the action that it did was that there was concern from some consumers that inappropriate content was coming up during searches. Supposedly this is about sales, and not about censorship. There is also a thought out there that this was not a human decision per se, but someone tweaking coding for their own purposes.

What we don’t know it that there is hope – that the situation will be rectified. Looking at the energy of the Star, I would say that this issue will be rectified without the threats that are coming out in posts and blogs on the Internet.

Comment: For some people, this is guerilla warfare, and it is not pretty. (I also realize that not havng your books rated is guerilla warefare on the part of Amazon.com.) The sanest thing that I have seen happen, and the most postiive response so far, seems to be the petition (there may be more than one petition, but I only know about one for sure) that is circulating.

What we need to know about this issue is that, quite literally, finances will be brought back into balance. There will be profit for the company, and for the authors. What more can one ask!

Using Twitter

Sometimes I think Twitter is an alternate universe filled with Internet marketers that jam my screen with self-serving messages 24/7. If I allowed that, it could well be. I don’t look for them, they appear as followers, and I check out each profile that comes my way to see if we have a shared interest, or if they are in a field that might be helpful to me. I am very quick to stop following people whose messages are not interesting, or who basically have nothing to offer.

I am very new to Twitter, so I have only a basic understanding of its various applications. (And yes, I did get taken in by the Twitter Pro April Fool’s prank! I thought it was funny, and I did have to admire the techie expertise needed to pull that one off!) I like the social aspect of Twitter – the Tweeting between friends, and the ability to get and give feedback on whatever an individual wishes to post. However, I am also interested in how I can possibly use Twitter to market myself and my products. This leads to a very basic thought – before you can make Twitter work for you, take the time to understand what brought you there in the first place – “why” you are on Twitter, and what you hope to get from it.

Relevancy is a huge issue in marketing – you want the time and effort that you expend to mean something. You can do that with Twitter by following those people that have similar beliefs/goals, and reaching out to them so that they become part of your network (and you become part of theirs).

One thing that you can do here is see who is following the people that interest you – if they have something to offer, they should be part of your network too. You can also use the “Find People” function to locate specific people that you might be interested in following. Using Mr. Tweet (MTweet.com) is also helpful in finding relevant people to follow. MrTweet is billed as a “personal networking assistant” that helps you improve your Twitter experience with the use of statstics.

You can also use Twollo (Twollo.com) to find people with similar interests automatically. Twollo works via keywords, and for me, did not work as well.

Be willing to give a pat on the back, or a bit of positive advise to someone that you are following. If the comment that you want to make is of a sensitive nature, then send them a Direct Message (DM), so that only they will see it. Show patience and courtesy at all times. A personal note about DM’s – If someone sends me a DM that they have clearly typed in themselves, that is one thing. If the DM is an automated response to my following them, I have to take a good look at if I want to continue doing so. Automated DM’s aren’t worth my time, and show a lack of respect, from my viewpoint.

Be willing to share links –whether it is just a good laugh (we all need those!), or a link to timely information, or a new way of doing things. You build credibility by sharing worthwhile information. I follow several different coaches/marketers because of this – they promote their own business, yes – but they also share worthwhile information that helps me get where I want to go.

All of this looks like it would take a fair amount of time – and it does. Time spent on Twitter is two-fold – making personal connections (the “water cooler” syndrome), and marketing. You time will vary from day to day, depending on where your priorities are. Allow for the time needed to make Twitter work for you.

If you want to follow the upcoming trends of what is being Tweeted about on Twitter, go to Twitterfall.com. Through the use of custom search words, you can see what is trending in any specific area. Excellent marketing tool!

This link will take you to a blog that describes ten Twitter tools that will enhance you use of Twitter, such as Tweetdeck (shows the last 200 Tweets made by your followers); Twhirl, which does the same thing as Tweetdeck, with the capability of following multiple accounts; Tweetburner (which will shorten, send out and track links sent via Twitter, and more: TwiTip.com.

There is more! Here is a link to 27 Twitter applications for small businesses: smbceo.com.

I leave you with a link for a free e-book for beginners to Twitter (no – I did not write the book, but I am happy to pass it on!): Wellbeing.int.com.