Interview With Biddy (Brigit Esselmont)

Interview With Biddy

 I first came across Biddy (Brigit Esselmont) many years ago on the Tarot-L forum. I always found her to be very professional, and quite an interesting person. She is back under my radar with the publication of her e-book, “The Ultimate Guide To Tarot Card Meanings”, and a companion workbook (also in e-book format).

 

Biddy has had her own Internet site since 1999, offering professional readings, card interpretations and more. The branding from her site continues into her e-books, which is something that I was happy to see. Tarot is a profession, and what you will see with Biddy is professional work that is well thought out.

 

Biddy has agreed to chat with us for a bit, so I am going to turn the podium over to her!

 

BC: What piqued your interest in Tarot to begin with? In what manner did it enter your life?

 

BT: When I was 18, I had my first Tarot reading. I was so intrigued by the way the reader used the cards to provide me with insight that I was inspired to learn the cards for myself. At that time, I was a full-time University student, so anything to distract me from my studies was welcome relief! I was also excited by the prospect of using the cards to guide my own life and to provide my own insight.

 

As I began to delve deeper into the Tarot cards, I soon realised that this wasn’t just a fun thing to do on the side, but the cards held such deep and insightful lessons within them. I now see the Tarot as an invaluable spiritual guidance tool that is so complex and meaningful.

 

BC: How did you come to offer readings over the Internet?

 

BT: After discovering the Tarot cards in my late teens, I soon entered the online world of Tarot to further my understanding of the cards. I joined a number of online Tarot communities, such as the Tarot-L forum, and began to see opportunities to connect with others via the Internet. A few years on and I built my own website and started to provide Tarot readings via email. I was also reading with the American Tarot Association’s Free Tarot Network to gain experience. Over time, my business began to grow and now, nearly fifteen years on, I have hundreds of clients worldwide who regularly return for readings.

 

BC: I really like the branding on your e-book, with the use of graphics from your Internet site. It offers continuity for those that visit your site on a regular basis. How did you come to the decision to use this format?

 

BT: With any product or service, it’s important that it looks professional and that it is branded well, otherwise people are going to wonder whether you’re the ‘real deal’. I worked with a graphic designer to come up with a logo and a colour scheme for both the website and the eBooks. I wanted something that was simple and straight forward, but also clean and professional-looking.

 

If you have ever seen earlier versions of my website (i.e. from the early 2000s) you’ll know that the current branding is a HUGE improvement on what it used to be like! (Check it out the earlier versions here – http://wayback.archive.org/web/*/biddytarot.com)

 

BC: Tarot card meanings is the focus of this e-book. What made you choose this topic for a foundation?

 

BT: Nearly anyone who has studied the Tarot spends time learning about each of the Tarot cards. While each person will have their own variations of the cards, there is still a lot of value in understanding the more common meanings of the Tarot cards. So, with The Ultimate Guide to the Tarot Card Meanings eBook, I wanted to provide a comprehensive Guide to facilitate the learning process.

 

Tarot card meanings is also what BiddyTarot.com has come to be known for. Each month, over 100,000 people visit my website, predominantly to read about what each Tarot card means.

 

BC: Tell us a little bit about your inclusion of practical interpretations for the cards.

 

BT: When you are using the Tarot cards for actual readings, having interpretations that are practical, relevant and usable is so important. It’s nice to know what a red cape means, or what the esoteric relevance of the ocean is, but when you are faced with a client who wants to know if their boyfriend will come back to them, you need to know what the card in front of you actually means. So, including practical interpretations was an absolute must for me. I have read a number of Tarot books that fail to provide any tangible advice or insight from the cards, and this leaves many readers in the lurch when it comes to conducting actual readings.

 

BC: I love the Tarot tips and techniques concept. How did you come to include this section in the book?

 

BT: Including the bonus chapters on Tarot tips and techniques was actually on the advice of the wonderful reviewers who read my eBook prior to its release. Wanting to create the best eBook possible, I asked 13 volunteers to read my eBook and provide detailed feedback. One of the suggestions was to include a few chapters on how to apply the meanings of the Tarot cards, and hence the tips and techniques were ‘born’.

 

I think it’s really important to not only be able to interpret the cards, but know a bit about why they are interpreted the way they are. For example, I write about reversed Tarot cards, Tarot and numerology and Tarot card combinations. I also provide 25 easy three-card spreads, so you can start reading straight away, and some of my favourite “Top 10 Tarot cards” for love, career and travel.

 

BC: How did you come to include “context specific” card meanings?

 

BT: How many times have you done a reading when you draw a Pentacles card, for example, in a relationship spread? What has the suit of Pentacles got to do with relationships and feelings?! Sure, as we become more experienced with the Tarot cards, we know how to approach these types of situations, but many people who are still learning the cards appreciate a little guidance when it comes to applying the meanings to various situations.

 

So, the practical interpretations are there to provide ideas on how to interpret each card for specific situations. They are certainly not the ‘be all and end all’ of interpretations (hence why this is a ‘Guide), but they are definitely a welcome starting point.

 

 

BC: I loved the bonus chapters! Added value can be anything, and these chapters are incredible! Please tell us a bit about them.

 

BT: (See the response for Tips and Techniques)

 

BC: What would you like the reader to take away from this book?

 

BT: I would like the reader to feel confident about reading the Tarot cards, and to know that if they need help interpreting the cards they have a comprehensive resource at their fingertips.

 

I would also like the reader to see how widely the Tarot cards can be used. As one of my reviewers reminded me, this isn’t just a book about reading Tarot but a book about life and spirituality. The Tarot cards are so helpful in guiding us through life and showing us the life lessons that are on our paths.

 

In releasing the Companion Workbook alongside the Ultimate Guide, I am also hopeful that readers will start to develop their own Tarot card meanings based on what they’ve read but also what they’ve experienced in readings and in life in general.

 

BC: Do you have any last words for our readers?

 

BT: With something as complex as the Tarot, you never stop learning. In fact, as I was writing the eBook, I was amazed at how much I learned in the process that I can now apply to my Tarot readings and also to my life in general. Whether you are just starting out with the Tarot, or you consider yourself a Tarot expert, know that you can always learn something new. I strongly encourage readers to continue developing knowledge of the Tarot by reading widely, practicing regularly, and developing your own interpretations of the Tarot cards.

 

I would like to thank Brigit (Biddy) for taking the time to talk with us about her new e-book. It is a book that I highly recommend – in depth, inclusive, very professionally done, and with a great deal of “added value” information.

 

You can read more about the book, and order it here: http://www.biddytarot.com/tarotebook.

 

© August 2011 Bonnie Cehovet

 

The Ultimate Guide To Tarot Card Readings

The Ultimate Guide To Tarot Card Meanings –

Learn To Read The Cards Like An Expert

Author: Brigit (Biddy) Esselmont

Self-published

2011

“The Ultimate Guide To Tarot Card Meanings” is a new, 336 page e-book from Biddy (Brigit Esselmont), of Biddy Tarot (www.biddytarot.com). For someone who has publicly stated that she was not enamored of reviewing e-books, this is the second e-book that I have reviewed in a very short time period – and both were excellent books, professionally written, and easy to review. A hint to those who are considering offering their work in e-book format – do what Biddy has done, and make the type large enough to read easily! I know – I can do this myself, but I truly appreciate it when I don’t have to do so.

 

In her introduction, Biddy emphasizes that this book is called a guide for a reason – that it is here to guide the reader, but that any reading depends on the connection between the reader, the Seeker, and the cards. The cards may not mean the same things from reading to reading. The basic meaning will be the same, but how they play out in the reading will not be.  Biddy has also made it a point to provide links to contact her through e-mail, her site, her blog, Face Book and Twitter, for those that have questions or comments. She also notes that this book is a useful resource for all levels of reader, from beginner to advanced.

 

At the end of her introduction Biddy includes a link to “The Ultimate Guide To Tarot Card Meanings Companion Workbook”. By using the workbook, an individual reader is provided with a template for creating their own Ultimate Guide.

 

Bonus chapters one through three focus on numerology, reversals, and card combinations. On numerology, Biddy notes that the numbers 1-9 represent a material and spiritual evolutionary process. While some readers, such as myself, associate numbers with the Court Cards, this book does not. Each of the numbers, 1-10, is defined by their numerological and esoteric meaning.

 

Whether a reader uses reversed cards or not is up to them. I never have, Biddy always has. While is does offer the opportunity to expand the meaning of a reading, my feeling is that the same information is offered by reading the card in relation to its neighbors, so see how it is functioning. Biddy offers several different ways in which to interpret reversed cards that stay away from the negative meanings that some readers give them. A reversed card is not the opposite of the upright meaning, and this is made clear in this section.

 

In Tarot card combinations, Biddy shows the reader how to create their own combinations, which is a gift beyond measure. To see what someone else has done gives us fresh perspective … to be able to then do this ourselves opens up our world!

 

For each of the cards, Biddy presents:

 

  • Relevant quotes that help to understand the card.
  • Images (from the Rider-Waite deck) and detailed descriptions that help the reader to understand the symbolism within each card.
  • Specific meanings for common types of readings (such as love, career, finances, and spirituality.
  • Tarot card combinations and their possible meanings.

 

I love the Quick Reference charts that preface the Major Arcana, and each of the four suits. The charts are very professionally done, with a small color graphic from the Rider-Waite Tarot, along with upright and reversed keywords. What a wonderful reference! (This is also included at the end of the book.)

 

Each card is presented with a color scan of the card, keywords (upright and reversed), quotes, a description of the card, and the card meanings (in a general sense, and in the areas of career/work/finance, personality types, relationship and love, spirituality, and well-being and health), and suggested card combinations for both upright and reversed cards.

 

Bonus chapters four through seven focus on the top ten cards in the areas of love, career and travel, followed by twenty-five easy three=card spreads. An example: the cards listed for love include the Lovers, the Two of Cups, the Ten of Cups and the Four of Wands.

 

Appendix 1 includes quick reference charts for Major Arcana Keywords, suit of Cups keywords, Suit of Pentacles Keywords, Suit of Swords Keywords, and Suit of Wands Keywords. (Note: A color scan of the card is also included.) Sample spreads included are based on the Three Card Spread, with category listings (i.e. choices and decisions, understanding relationships, and understanding a situation).

 

The final chapter is words of wisdom from Biddy on the learning cycle, developing your own card meanings, practicing, believing in yourself, and staying connected. Links are given to various Tarot organizations, and encouragement is given to staying in touch with other Tarot readers. This is important, because as readers we often find ourselves isolated in our communities, without in-person support for out work.

 

I found this e-book to be an excellent resource, very professionally done, very in-depth, and presented in a manner that was gracious and considerate. I look forward to seeing more work from Biddy!

 

© August 2011 Bonnie Cehovet

Here & There

Just a few notes to update what is going on in the Tarot world. I finally managed to get a Face Book page up on my new book, “Tarot, Birth Cards, and You” . I have two webinars coming up – On Saturday, August 27th, I will be doing a webinar with Mary Nale, and on September 21st I will be working with Linda Marson of “Global Spiritual Studies” . On Sunday, August 28th, I will be talking with Dax Carlisle of the Tarot Guild.

The first part of a four part interview with Tarot author/scholar/teacher Christine Payne-Towler (“The Underground Stream”) can be seen here.

I would also like to talk about two e-books that have recently come to my attention. The first e-book is “Psychic Jucy’s TarotSeek™ – Learn How to Read Tarot Cards for Yourself, Volume 1”>“Psychic Jucy’s TarotSeek™ – Learn How to Read Tarot Cards for Yourself, Volume 1”, by Abella Jucy Arthur. More information can be found on her website.

The second e-book is one that I have not read yet myself, but I will be in the near future. It is “The Ultimate Guide To Tarot Card Meanings eBook”, by Biddy. I am very much looking forward to this book, which includes upright and reversed meanings for each of the cards, practical card interpretations, and Tarot tips and techniques.

Stay tuned on September 1st for an announcement about about a unique contest to win a signed copy of my book, “Tarot, Birth Cards, and You”. Everyone is welcome to submit an entry!

(c) August 2011 Bonnie Cehovet