Readers Studio 2011 – Spread Collection

The magic continues! I was absolutely thrilled to find in my e-mail a PDF from the illustrious Barbara Moore containing Tarot spreads that workshop participants developed during Barbara’s presentation at the 2011 Readers Studio. Awesome presentation, incredible lady – high energy, very organized, very professional … and yes, she IS a fashionista!

The first thing that impressed me was the background on the landing page – the most gorgeous red with a vine-like motif. You can see it on her site: As I went further into the document, I was impressed by the organization, and the respect for her own work, as well as the work of the workshop participants. I am sure that everyone who submitted their spreads to her appreciated the caveat at the beginning of the PDF to remember that these spreads are for private and personal use by the contributors, and that the creators of the spreads retain all rights. A gentle reminder to be considerate, and professional.

There are 70 unique spreads in this PDF – what a wonderful resource! The spreads are listed by name, with the names of the individuals that developed them, the position meanings, and a graphic of he positions. With 70 spreads, this took some time to put together! I am sure that I speak for all of us in saying Bravo! and Thank You! to Barbara for putting this all together!

I am going to randomly go through and list some of the spreads, and their creators. The lead spread was created by James Wells and Danya Smith, and is entitled “Based On The Elder Of Fire In The Gaian Tarot”. This is a five-card spread on healing the earth.

Carolyn Cushing and Geraldine Amarol developed a spread entitled “Inspired By The Gaian Tarot Six Of Water”. This is a six-card spread, with five cards drawn from the Minor Arcana and one card from the Major Arcana.

Corrine Kenner, Beth Owl’s Daughter and Joanna Powell Colbert developed a seven card spread entitled “What will we see as William and Kate’s marriage unfolds?” What a great question! Remember – the marriage ceremony was on the Friday of the Readers Studio!

Susa Black developed a five-card “General Spread”, with a sixth card used as a significator. It was suggested that the significator be read in pairs with each of the other five cards.

Phyllis Grimes, Beth Roth and Val Sherill developed a five-card spread entitled “My Unusual Gift Spread”. This is a great spread for bringing better understanding to ones gifts.

Cheryl Ryder and Susa Black developed a five-card spread entitled “General Spread To Help Achieve A Desired Outcome”. This will come in quite handy!

Stephanie developed a five-card spread inspired by the 5 of Cups entitled “Moving Forward After Disappointment”. We can all use that one at one time or another, and it is a powerful tool to use with our clients.

Kate Chapman and Anthony Louis developed a seven-card spread based on the 7 of Coins from the Marseille Tarot. A spread about why we might fail at our project or how to get the best out of a situation/project. We’ve all been there – in both instances!

Donnaleigh de la Rose and Valerie Sylvester developed a five-card spread entitled “Inspired By The Hierophant/Wounded Healer/Aries”. I would not expect less from these lovely ladies!

Jaymi Elford and Theresa Reed developed a five-card spread entitled “The Ritual Manifestation Spread” (for use anytime, or when you want to manifest desires, dreams etc.). I love ritual work, and I loved this spread!

Bev Haskins and Thalassa developed a seven-card spread entitled “A King of Swords Spread – Theme: Rigidity and Authority”. This is an incredibly empowering spread!

The last one that I am going to mention is the card spread developed by Koneta Baily and myself. It is a nine-card spread that we entitled “The Ribbon of Time”. It is based on the Knight of Coins from the Tarot of Dreams. Koneta has this one up on her blog site – Enjoy!

Many thanks to Barbara, and to all of those individuals that choose to contribute to this compilation. There is a wealth of experience and wisdom on these pages!

© June 2011 Bonnie Cehovet

Journey To The Readers Studio 2011 – Part II

(The image above is the Magician, from Joanna Powell-Colbert’s “Gaian Tarot”.)

As you saw in Journey To The Readers Studio – Part I, my literal journey to the Readers Studio was not that great. Something that I did neglect to mention was coming into La Guardia at night. I love the lights! Lights at night, and coming in over water during the day (this would be for Sea-Tac, my home airport) are breathtaking! Today I am going to talk about the things that went well – and there were many of them!

The first person that I saw as I approached the desk at the Marriott was Canadian Tarotist James Wells. How nice to talk to such an upbeat, loving person at the end of such a horrendous journey! This was very fortunate, as I soon found out that my roommate, Anna Burroughs Cook, had not signed in! I had left her a message to go ahead and sign in, that I would be there late Friday night, but she never got the message. I flip flopped all Friday night between hoping that she was just rooming with another person upon finding out that I was not there yet, and worry that she had taken sick and was unable to come. At this time I was not aware that she had not gotten my message.

I signed in, got my room key, and went up to my room. Quickly turned around and went back down, as the keys (both of them) would not work. The gentleman at the desk reset two new keys, and went up to my room with me to make sure that they worked. They did – yes! Showered, washed my hair, and crashed.

I went down to the ballroom where they were holding the event, and immediately felt right at home. I met Beth in the hallway, and she introduced me to the lady (I do apologise – I have forgotten her name!) who located my registration packet for me, and advised me not to lose the little icons for dinner and desert for the banquet that night. I set my stuff down at a table, placed a book that I had brought with me on the exchange table, and my flyers for my upcoming book on Birth Cards on the table outside designated for that, and then went to look at a few of the vendors. They had such great stuff!

I spoke to several people, and had several people come over and introduce themselves to me, including Theresa Reed (who told me that Anna had been there the day before, and had left when she found out I was not there yet) and Kate Chapman. Lovely ladies! I am so happy that Kate decided to come – she is an incredible person (as is Theresa!). Koneta Bailey came over to introduce herself, and we talked for a few minutes. Fortunately for me, she came over to my table, and became my partner for Saturday’s presentations. She is way nice, very, very smart, and shuffles like nobodies business!

Before I forget – thank you Llewellyn for the miniature decks in my welcome packet ( the “Das Feen Tarot” and the “Dragons Tarot”)!

The first presenter on Saturday was Barbara Moore (who is indeed a fashionista!). Barbara took us through the process of creating a Tarot spread, from the focus (on the question), to defining positions and developing a layout. She discussed the dynamics of a single card spread, pairs, lines, circles, and the cross. I loved her discussion of cards moving within a layout. Koneta and I developed a spread that we termed the Ribbon of Time Spread. I say “we”, but the credit goes to Koneta on this one! I hope that I can find a way to present this spread that shows how beautiful it can be!

BTW – Barbara is not above bribing people! She searched NYC for the best bakery, and brought cupcakes with her to give to those individuals that were willing to share the process of creating their spreads! At the end of her class those who wished to share gave Barbara a copy of the spread that they had created, with the knowledge that she will be creating a PDF of them, and sharing with all participants. This will be incredible! Bravo Barbara!

Before the class began I had the good fortune to meet Tarotist/author Paul Quinn. If you ever get a chance to meet Paul, please do so! He is a wonderful gentleman! At the break I got to meet Gina Thies (hopefully I have spelled Gina’s name correctly!). She is a lovely lady, and had one of the most creative costumes going at the banquet Saturday night!

Koneta and I lunched with Joanna Powell-Colbert and the Gaian Tarot Circle people. They are a wonderful group of individuals, and the lunch was really very good! I did not go exotic – I had a hamburger, which is something I had not had in a long time. The food and the conversation were magickal!

The afternoon session was lead by the esteemed Caitlin Matthews. One cannot help but be absolutely in awe of this lady! Aside from her incredible warmth and wisdom, she has an excellent singing voice! She used song to get the group to quiet down after each exercise, so that she could continue speaking. I have only seen this done in ritual before, and it was absolutely amazing! Her presentation was on Hunting the Lady – Using the Significator Skillfully. She discussed choosing the significator in a random fashion, working with a spread entitled the Web of Life, using two chosen significators as map references (When Significators Meet), using a chosen significator in a spread entitled the Tarot Council (from Rachel Pollack), using Ancestral Resources (from the new Celtic Wisdom Oracle by Caitlin Matthews), and using a random significator in a spread entitled Supporting Our Priorities. There was also a Royal Wedding Present spread, and a spread entitled the Wheel of Souls (from the work of Daan van Kampenhout).

Caitlin used the Wheel of Souls spread in a very memorable manner – she asked for a volunteer from the audience that was willing to work on a personal issue publicly, and then brought her up on the stage. (The volunteer was a lovely lady whose name I have forgotten!). Audience members were then chosen, on at a time, by the lady getting the reading, to come up on stage and act as one of four Souls (Universal Soul, Family Soul, Tribal Soul and Individual Soul). The whole performance was mesmerizing! Thank you to everyone who participated – you were truly gifted with the Sight!

Tomorrow, in Part III, I am going to chat about the banquet, the vendors, and whatever else comes to mind! Please join me!

(c) May 2011 Bonnie Cehovet

Who’s Who At The Readers Studio Part 2

This is Part 2 of Who’s Who At The Readers Studio. Barbara and Caitlin will both be presenting (I am looking forward to hearing what each of these ladies has to say!), and Emily is a very gracious and exciting in her own right, with three very exciting, mind-bending decks to her credit!

Emily Carding:

Emily Carding lives in Cornwall with her amazing husband, ethereal daughter and the glorious Albus Dumbledog. Here she has created various offerings, such as The Transparent Tarot, the Transparent Oracle, and The Tarot of the Sidhe for Schiffer Books. She has also contributed book covers, articles and artwork for several works from Avalonia Books. To date these titles include Towards a Wiccan Circle (Cover), Both Sides of Heaven, (Cover and article- “The Salvation of the Sidhe”, From a Drop of Water (Article- “Nimue: The Archetypal Priestess”), and Hekate Her Sacred Fires (Cover, Article- “Painting Hekate” and internal illustrations)

Emily speaks at specialist tarot events around the world and also works as a storyteller, the perfect combination of her experience in Theatre and knowledge of folklore, myth and magick!

New releases over the next few months include ‘The Norse Gods’ from Avalonia Books, (fully illustrated by Emily), ‘VS’ from Avalonia Books, (Cover and articles by Emily) and the much anticipated book and deck set of ‘Tarot of the Sidhe’ from Schiffer Books! There is also another surprise Tarot release around the corner…

She has also recently created banners for both Three Wishes Faery Fest and Sir Lanval, a new film from Chagford Filmmaking group, the latter which can be seen on display as part of an art and props exhibition in the Flavel!

She is currently working on lots. You’ll just have to wait and see 🙂


 Caitlin Matthews:

Caitlín Matthews is a respected teacher of the ancestral and shamanic traditions of Britain and Ireland.  As a recognized wisdom-keeper and elder, she teaches these traditions, re-awakening memory of ancestral wisdom for faith groups, cultural institutions and communities of the Celtic diaspora worldwide. She is the author of over 60 books and is the originator of  three tarots: The Arthurian Tarot, The Da Vinci Enigma Tarot and The Celtic Wisdom Tarot, as well as many divination systems including The Celtic Book of the Dead and Celtic Wisdom Sticks: An Ogam Oracle. Her Celtic Wisdom Oracle: Oracle Cards for Ancestral Wisdom and Guidance comes out in March 2011.

With John Matthews she is the author of the Storyworld series of storytelling cards which enable  families and communities to share inspiration and imagination. She also specializes in teaching traditional European spirit-consultation oracles where the diviner draws directly upon the spirits of nature or on the ancestral spirits for answers. She is a co-founder of the Foundation for Inspirational and Oracular Studies, dedicated to the sacred and ancestral arts that are held in oral memory and practice.  Caitlín lives in Oxford where she has had a shamanic healing practice for over 20 years.

Caitlín says, ‘I am very much looking forward to this event.  The energy and inspiration that abounds in the US for tarot is unequalled anywhere in the world.  How we open the windows of tarot and how we walk through them seems very important to me at this time.

Our sense of tarot community is enhanced when we share our ideas and projects: there is no diminishment of any individual when we come together because our collective wisdom returns us to our tarot tribe.  This is a safe space and opportunity for many to discuss, swap ideas and encourage fresh growth in our tarot lives. When we return home – however uncaring our family or collective may be of tarot – we feel the glow of reconnection with the source of inspiration.

The kindness, friendship, patience and generosity with which we practise brings vital attributes to the world of divination, dispelling the false notion surrounding our craft.  If you are “just a beginner” or someone who’s “had a pack for a long time,” or someone who “doesn’t do tarot properly” then you will enjoy the Readers Studio 2011 – what you understand about your pack is more interesting than what you don’t know.

Your imagination has no bridle, unless you let others rein you in.  Stretch and return to your own beautiful shape as you join us for a grand get-together! Who knows what we’ll shuffle into life?’

Many blessings

Caitlín Matthews


My USA Amazon blog:

My UK Amazon page:



 Barbara Moore:

Barbara Moore Tarot has been a part of Barbara Moore’s life for over twenty years. Right from the start, tarot intrigued her with its marvelous blending of mythology, psychology, art, history, mystery, and magic, as well as its eminently practical applications. In addition to providing professional readings, Barbara consults for both Llewellyn Worldwide and Lo Scarabeo and is one of the founders of the Minnesota Area Tarot Symposium.

Barbara enjoys giving a voice to tarot cards not only by doing readings but also by writing the books that accompany decks. She has had the good fortune to write books and booklets for several decks, including A Guide to Mystic Faerie Tarot, The Gilded Tarot Companion, The Enchanted Oracle, The Mystic Dreamer Tarot, The Vampires of the Eternal Night Tarot, The Witchy Tarot, The Dream Enchantress Tarot, Tarot of the Sweet Twilight, and Shadowscapes Tarot, Pagan Cats Tarot, The Pagan Magical Kit, and The Book Shadows Tarot, volumes 1 and 2. In the fall of 2010, her new edition of Llewellyn’s Tarot for Beginners was released.

A Hermit at heart, Barbara has been getting out and about more, speaking at conferences, such as MATS, TABI, and Readers Studio, as well as appearing on Beyond Worlds. When not exercising her newfound social skills, she is busy playing with her cards, writing Llewellyn’s tarot blog, designing an exciting new tarot deck, and working on a novel that may very well include fortune telling.

You can contact Barbara through her website:

Note: Barbara asked me to let people know that she can be found on Face Book, and to not be shy about friending her. She also encourages people to come up and introduce themselves at the Readers Studio.

Part 1 Of  Who’s Who  At The Readers Studio can be seen here – .

© October 2010 Bonnie Cehovet

Shadowscapes Tarot

Shadowscapes Tarot

Author: Stephanie Pui-Mun Law & Barbara Moore
Artist: Stephanie Pui-Mun Law
Llewellyn Worldwide
ISBN #978-0-7387-1579-7

The minute that I opened the package, I was stunned! The box that the “Shadowscapes Tarot” deck and companion book come in is awesome! Okay – it is a regular box – opens at the top – but the color and imagery are … absolutely amazing! The imagery very much reminds me of the work of one of my favorite artists – Lisa Hunt. There is depth and flow here, along with a very “otherworldly” feeling. The colors used go from pale to deep lavender, with the name of the deck in deep lavender, using a gorgeous script font.
The imagery is that of the Queen of Swords, a female figure holding her hands out in front of her, butterfly’s fluttering around her head, her pale lavender gown flowing, with deep purple flowers at her feet. I could meditate on the cover alone forever, it is that striking!

A bit of background is called for on the artist. Stephanie is a professional artist whose fantasy illustrations regularly appear in magazines such as “Realms of Fantasy”, “Cricket”, and “Cicada”. With a degree in computer science, she spent three years as a software programmer. She left this world after three years and began painting the worlds of dreams and the fae full time.

Her artwork is inspired by mythology, legend and folklore. Influenced by the art of the Impressionists, Pre-Raphaelites, Surrealists and Mother Nature herself. Through her artwork, Law takes us into the world of fantasy, where we can allow ourselves to access that sense of wonder that opens us up to the sacred in life.

Stephanie is also the author and illustrator of “Dreamscapes: Creating Magical Angel, Faery & Mermaid Worlds with Watercolor” and “Dreamscapes: Myth & Magic”. Her work can be seen at

This project was put together in an interesting manner. Stephanie did the artwork, as well as commentary on the cards, and divinatory meanings. Barbara provided the commentary on Tarot itself, how it is used, and created/presented the spreads in the companion book.

This is a full 78 card deck, following traditional style and titles. Strength is VIII and Justice XI. The suits are Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles, with the Court Cards entitled King, Queen, Knight and Page.

The 253 page companion book has a blue/lavender cover, Picturing the Page of Pentacles. A female figure sits atop a pile of rocks, her right hand on the rocks, her left hand holding up a globe. In front of the pile of rocks is the symbol for the suit of Pentacles. An owl sitting on a tree limb appears in the lower let hand side of the picture.

The Introduction, by Barbara Moore, covers getting to know your deck, developing meanings for the cards, understanding numbers as the work within the suits, the elemental and life area associations for the suits, developing questions, understanding positions within a spread, using reversals, and the process of performing a reading, She also discusses ritual in connection with the Tarot, cleansing the cards, and keeping a Tarot journal.

At the end of the book, Barbara presents the following spreads: the One Card spread, the Three Card spread, the traditional Celtic Cross spread, a five card “Is Love In The Stars?” spread, a seven card “Will It Last?” spread, a four card “Balancing Act” spread, the seven card “A Journey” spread, a four card “Message From The Universe” spread, and a six card “Dream Come True” spread.

The cards are each presented with a full page black and white image. On the facing page (for the Major Arcana) is the card number and title, surrounded by delicate floating leaves. This is followed by Stephanie’s written commentary on the card, and the meanings that she has developed for the card as it appears in a reading.

The Minor Arcana (Pips and Court Cards) are presented with a full page black and white scan of the card, followed by commentary on the card and card meanings. It should be noted that as Stephanie does not read with reversals, she has not included reversed meanings. From the book:

The Chariot

She is Winged Victory, the goddess Nike, or Maeve. She comes sweeping from the skies, confident and sure of herself. She as summoned the unicorns of the sea out from the foamy depths. They serve her willingly, bowing as is ever in their nature to such purity of intent. The ocean swells themselves are tamed beneath the enchanted wheels of her chariot. The glittering waves crash and roar with the strength of the sea, but as she guides her unicorns across the glistening track, the waves fall still before her and into a quiescent and shining mirror path.

This stillness in what is eternal motion stirs awareness in the denizens of the deep. From underneath, the spirits of the ocean whisper to the sea god, and in a swirl of aquatic color, they dance to the surface to greet one whose willpower and mastery is os undeniable as to be capable of overcoming even the wild, natural fury of the seas.

Meaning: Triumph over obstacles, achieving victory, focusing intent and will, establishing an identity, self-confidence, maintaining discipline, assuming the reins of power and authority, and driving with the unwavering certainty in a cause. Control must be exercised in a constantly changing environment that can and will present challenges – in the landscape of a world that is constantly shifting with people and emotions and circumstances all around. Like the tenuous border where sea meets sky, a constant tension of push and pull of air against liquid is maintained, and to ride to victory, one must be able to achieve the confidence and knowledge to walk upon that fragile surface.The cards themselves are 2 ¾” by 4 5/8”, of good quality card stock. The backs are done in a lavender and gray/white, with imagery in the center, and are reversible. The card faces have a thin silver border. The Major Arcana show the card number, in Roman numerals, and the card title at the bottom of the card. The Pips show the card number and suit at the bottom of the card, while the Court Cards show the card title and suit at the bottom of the card.

The Pages are all standing, with the Pages of Wands and Swords facing left, and the Page of Cups facing right, and he Page of Pentacles looking straight out from the card. The Knights are all riding mythical creatures, with the Knights of Wands and Cups facing left, the Knights of Swords and Pentacles facing right. The Queens are standing, with the Queens of Wands, Cups and Swords facing right, the Queen of Pentacles looking straight out from the card. The Kings are all standing, with the Kings of Wands, Cups and Swords facing left, and the King of Pentacles looking straight out from he card.

Done in watercolor, the colors are all pastels, predominately lavender, yellow, blue, and a muted orange/red. The style is fantasy (again – much like artist Lisa Hunt’s work. There is a continual feeling of flowing throughout the cards.

One of my favorite cards is the Fool. A female figure stands atop a pinnacle, rising up at the edge of the world, her arms outspread. A fox sits at her feet, unable to comprehend the leap of faith (and literal leap) that the Fool is about to take.

Many of the cards show animal imagery – fox appears in the Fool, owl appears in the High Priestess, birds in the Lovers, Strength, the Hermit, Judgment, and the World, horses and sea creatures in the Chariot, lion in Strength, butterflies in Justice, dragon and phoenix in Temperance, fish in the Star, and many more, including foxes, lions, cats, unicorns and more.

This is a gentle, magical deck. It is not a deck to learn with, but with an understanding of the card meanings this deck is very easy to read with, and could be offered as a reading choice to clients of all ages and backgrounds. It is well worth is to visit Stephanie’s site (, as, aside from scans of the cards she offers four resin figurines based on figures from the deck (The Fool, The Empress, the Emperor, and the World), Limited Edition Lithographs, Limited Edition Glicees, original paintings, drawings, sketches and more.

© April 2010 Bonnie Cehovet