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