Story of a Tarot Reading: Torina the Terrible

What Was in it for Him?

Everyone wondered how this sweet-natured good-looking man put up with Torina the Terrible. Torina owned this huge clubhouse on the golf course with its restaurant and bar, spa and the works. She reminded me of Catherine the Great – same looks, same bombastic overbearing personality, and the voice of a drill sergeant, to complete the picture.

How she humiliated him. He was required to be present fawning on her every evening at the casino, at the restaurant, everywhere. She called him a gigolo, she called him her boy … What didn’t she call him? He was always all dressed up for these nightly appearances.

One day I got to ask him how he endured Monster Lady … and why. She was not in any of the questions he wanted to know about. He wanted only to know about his golf game, whether he would ever get good enough to be a pro golfer. He already knew: He was almost.

This man lived for golf. Golf was his love, his only love. Here he could play on a pro level course all day – yes, all day out there doing what he loved best. Practicing his game to his heart’s content.

Did Torina know he was cheating on her with the iron in his hand?

Perhaps we should occasionally ask ourselves ‘What’s in it for him or her or them?

The Beginning and the Ending, The WORLD and The FOOL Tarot Cards

Both The World and The Fool ‘don’t have a care in the world’ because they are spiritual. The World is spiritually mature and The Fool is innocent of the physical world because he is just starting his physical experience at zero.

The World Card. A spiritually mature human repels trouble like a street-wise person repels muggers. ‘Been there, done that, know how to deal with it.’ So The World can be oblivious to problems and no harm will come. With a strong immune system, somehow you get no symptoms.

The Fool Card is a congenital optimist. Facts do not get in his way. He is free without being free of anything specific.

The Fool is when you don’t let reality get in the way, when you just let it fly, are ‘up’ and optimistic … and oblivious, and free-spirited. The Fool depicts that floating-on-air feeling that messes with your mind when you are in love. The Fool (to whom no harm comes) ‘lets it flow’ as he enjoys an absence of all problems. I think he is whistling.


EMPRESS, Rider Waite.

By her side is a shield-shaped like a valentine, which is what most people would apply it as, but it’s actually ancient Celtic porn graffiti of the back end of a female human bending over. On the shield is the symbol for female. The woman lies on a heap of cushions outdoor in the afternoon, nothing to do but lay back and relax.

This is the spoiled woman. The beloved. The ideal woman.

Based on the beliefs of the creators of the deck, a society of magicians, as the 3 in Major Arcana, this card is about fertility, about the birth resulting from the uniting of #1 and #2. So, the Empress is the main card for pregnancy and a pregnant lady. Empress embodies all the fertility goddesses, who were all pregnant, and who were all ‘promiscuous’ by modern definitions. This concept expands to Empress representing resources, even from a commodity point of view (stock market).

Mission Creep!

If you have been doing Tarot for a few years, you have discarded some meanings you used to use and adopted some new ones. More than you think, probably. Maybe a review is in order? Maybe you can improve your game by re-adopting some interpretations you left behind and didn’t even notice.

For more than forty years, I have listed the Tarot definitions I use. I review the lists because they are on my site, and I work with them sometimes.

So I had reason to review them recently. Found some surprises there. THAT means WHAT?? Sometimes I was shocked and grabbed the eraser to delete an entry. Sometimes I was tickled to be reminded of that application.

Maybe a review is in order for your list too.

Let’s dig!


ME: “Tarot, TALK to me!” What can I do to have a clear message every time I ask you something?

Tarot: Fine tune your Tarot. That’s not for every casual reader.

ME: What’s the best way to fine tune?

Tarot: The question is King. Ninety percent of a clear accurate answer is a question that is tailored to produce that best answer. The question must be dead-on, each question in the series of them, if you’re going to rely on the information in the message. The question must state the time frame involved, and from whose perspective the answer is. (Whatever distinctions I, Tarot, do not normally make have to appear in your question!)

ME: I’ll work on that. That is a skill it takes time to develop.

Tarot: Get someone who knows already to tell you. That is a short cut. Saves you years.

ME: I’m listening. What else works for me to hear what you have to say clearly?

Tarot: Well, your meanings for each of my cards, and for combinations of them, must be YOUR words … must be the way you talk, the way you think.

ME: Gee, how do I achieve this?

Tarot: Best way is to practice. Keep in practice. Stay tuned in. Think in Tarot … get yourself there. Practice asking questions you know the answers to, and ask that question over and over so you get not just one way I express something, but several ways, or even all the ways I say that.

See, asking questions you know the answers to makes the meaning of each card obvious. You tend to remember that meaning when it is that ‘known’ and that plain!

If you expand the Celtic Cross spread, it produces three parts that repeat one another to the degree the answer is accurate. These repeats instruct you on the ways I can say the same thing as I make distinctions. It’s a big secret about this accuracy check in Celtic Cross. Never been done before that you could gauge how accurate your information is. That also tells you that you have read it right!

ME: Wow. What can you tell me about the cards that mean individual people? Some readers go by hair color, some by astrology signs, but what is the ideal way to identify people in the story I am following?

Tarot: You want to recognize people in the answers I give you, so when you practice you ask questions you know the answers to about people you know … people you know who are in situations you are familiar with. Donna is about to divorce David and she has unloaded on you about her situation. Ask me to describe how she feels. Ask what her intention is about her situation. Note which cards represent the way she feels.

Then ask what she is actually going to do. Here is where you find that what people intend, what people plan, what people THINK they are going to do … is not what they do, quite often. Being aware of these truisms sharpens your Tarot eyesight.

Make a study of these human interactions. Including your own. Ask “Why the hell did I DO that?” and “Why didn’t I do that?” Keep at it doing these things. Asking your own motives, THAT will grow you up!

ME: What else is important? I want to talk to you like I talk to myself.

Tarot: You got it. I am right there in your subconscious, the way you are programming yourself. When I am in your subconscious, I link you seamlessly to that data bank in the sky—to mass consciousness. Because that’s where I live: I am in mass consciousness. The best way to create this direct connection is to tirelessly ask questions you know the answers to about everything you can imagine. Really. You don’t dabble in Tarot if you want me to talk to you like you talk to yourself.

And read my pictures as words in a sentence. The picture registers in your subconscious, and the message that wants to come out is in your subconscious. They are right next door to one another there. You can pull them right out. Putting another context into the process just complicates it. (But that works too. Everything works: I manage to communicate with anyone.)

The words of the sentence, they are in your conscious mind since you were programmed that way when you were a toddler. You read your own mind when you read the pictures on my cards as words. It’s all right there in one cluster. You practice, practice, practice to get the knack of the Conversation.

So do you have any tips for us in your idea of the cards?

Your subconscious relates to images and the tone or mood of them. Immerse yourself into each character in each tarot card, AND into the card itself (the process, the whole story in the card). For example, in Five of Swords, a bully intimidates his friends and steals their swords that are their life’s work, so its story is about taking advantage, stealing, intimidating, etc.).

Your subconscious knows all. It’s spooky. But the conscious mind is charged with surviving the real world, so it does not access the body of knowledge the other side has. Reading the pictures on the tarot card as words unites the two sides of our minds. The subconscious minds the pictures and their ‘vibe,’ and the conscious (which is programmed from when you were a toddler with language) minds the language. The longer you do Tarot, the more of a Rosetta stone it is, getting both parts of the mind in sync, working together.

Put two cards together. NOW what do they say? What do they have in common? What do they both present? Is there a specific agreement? – a specific conflict? Or do they not have much in common – maybe nothing in common.

Ask questions you know the answers to. This makes the card meaning the ‘unknown.’ This tells you what YOUR words are for that card. WRITE IT ALL DOWN, and file it so you can retrieve it. I use index cards.

You will find your meanings largely in agreement with the standard meanings RIDER WAITE readers use if you use that deck. Why? – because Rider Waite is entrenched in human mass consciousness.

I started this process in 1980 as the result of a science experiment. I have a huge site that lists these meanings, all of which are taken from actual readings in which the pictures directly make the words. I also every day have a newsletter that illustrates 3 cards, one sentence they say, that sentence broken down into which card said what part, then how it’s the picture that said that. It’s short and sweet, far less than five minutes to read it. So it would be a shortcut if you want to know my method: reading pictures as words.

Do you have a field of knowledge that is useful to others?

As a Tarot reader, ask yourself: Do you have a field of knowledge that is useful to others? Like, I was a very skilled court reporter in a very challenging locale (south Florida in the Miami Vice years, owning the office and having mainly lawyer clients who represented banks or major criminals, usually drug related ones. So I can read lawsuit material in detail and nuance, and the same for medical material because that too is the subject of lawsuits.

So if you have such a field of knowledge, ask Tarot questions in that subject, and find which cards relate to which parts of it.

Tarot Talks To You

Tarot is talking to you.
Expectation is to apply outside factors to interpreting a spread. Nope.
Deeply immerse yourself into each Tarot picture. Be each character. Project yourself into that scene. This gives you each individual card’s spectrum.
Now. Look at your spread. Look for elements the pictures have in common. Do two out of three say ‘quickly’? Does the other one say ‘progress’? Is a secondary meaning of one of the ‘quickly’ cards ‘ about the future? Well, your progress will be quick.
Yes, it’s THAT simple!
Tarot as a second language.
Tarot is Direct access to your subconscious through the already-established language pathway.
Just try it on.
Ask yourself something specific. Choose two or three Rider Waite cards.

FOOL as the Zero, the Cipher

The Fool Card, Tarot Card Meaning

FOOL. Zero in a math system is the cipher, the place holder that has no value of its own, but occupies space meaningfully and unobtrusively. Fool echoes those concepts in its meanings, and in its applications. It represents nonphysical, subliminal, super- or sub- conscious levels of awareness; it represents assumptions and faith, an open mind, the unknown, optimistic possibilities (‘anything is possible’), a mind ready to assume and act upon the mysteries, a zoned-out or autopilot consciousness. Fool even means ‘not present.’ Fool is the hypothesis stage of scientific inquiry. Fool is the assumption.

Fool is free and freedom, optimism. Fool depicts the concept that a physical human person who is living in ‘out-there’ reality is exempt from harm. Think ‘God protects fools and drunks.’

Naturally, Fool is the start of something, being the zero. That’s a fairly rare meaning in my experience.

As a person, Fool is an optimist, usually young, a naive person with a ‘let it be’ mentality. It can also be some careless heedless person who isn’t looking where he or she is going.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice story, the inspiration for the iconic film ‘Fantasia,’ is illustrated here. Magicians calling up spirits (and professional exorcists as well) wear black wool robes to insulate themselves from otherworldly entities, so that is what you see here.

Both the Sorcerer’s Apprentice story and the Pandora’s Box story tell of a good spirit among the mischievous ones, whose release is delayed, who is stuck in the container when the person closes it … locking the barn door after the herd gallops off. Things are ‘way out of control right under his nose. The baddies get a head start, you see (and ain’t that the truth), but the good spirit speaks up and is released in both stories – and that fact may apply to there being a delayed reprieve, or a delayed solution, to the mess in your Tarot inquiry.

See the veiled cup in the center there with the red line around it? – that’s the good spirit, called ‘hope’ in both stories. And that’s a focal point to Seven of Cups.

So the moral of the illustration here is that there is hope when things go wonky.