Shout Out

Shout Out: Alison, New Member Reading Co-ordinator

Written by: Alison

I’m Alison, and I’ve been looking after the New Member Reading requests for TABI for the last six years. It’s a great way to get to know New Members as well as some of the established readers on a one-to-one basis, away from the Forum. I’ve really enjoyed this role, although I’m just about to step down and let someone else take over the reins.

My interest in tarot goes back to my childhood, although it was the artwork as much as anything that caught my attention then. I remember thinking how great it would be to make my own. I still think that, but I’m only a couple of cards closer to achieving that aim than I was back then! My first tarot deck was the Sharman-Caselli (Connections Book Publishing, 2005), which I found in a local bookshop. The images have a simplicity to them that appealed 
to me then – I didn’t want anything complicated.

That was the deck I used on the TABI training course, back in whatever year that was. By the time I started the mentored reading programme, I was using that and Anna Franklin’s Sacred Circle deck (re-released Llewellyn, 2014). A wonderful seminar on the Sun card from the Thoth Tarot (US Games, 2005) given by Emma Sunerton-Burl and Semele Xerri at the TABI conference in 2008 saw the beginning of my conversion to that deck, which remains one of my favourites. I now read mostly with that and the Wildwood (Connections, 2011) and, thanks to Alison Cross’ wonderful FB study groups, I’m also using the Shadowscapes (Llewellyn, 2011) deck more often.

I’m intrigued by the Lenormand decks but, despite attending Chloe’s great workshop in London last year, am still at the ‘fascinated from afar’ stage. Work in progress!

I live in Somerset, not far from Glastonbury. I work part-time for an animal charity shop and part-time as an editor and proof-reader, as well as running astrology workshops in Glastonbury and doing readings. Venus in Gemini – I love the variety! I also maintain a blog, looking at tarot and astrology (, which I really enjoy. If I could afford to stop everything else, I’d just write – and I’m sure that there’d be a strong element of tarot and astrology involved!

As for choosing a tarot card to illustrate this…

Aarrggh! Tough decision. To represent looking after the NMRs, I think I have to go with the Knight of Pentacles. It’s associated with Virgo, so there’s the organising part of the role. A quest, yes – for readers – but it requires time and patience. But which deck? The Thoth or the Shadowscapes (a lovely earthy dragon)… As a Taurus, I think I’m drawn more to the dragon – so Shadowscapes!

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