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BTP45: How to Become Your Own Tarot Authority with Ethony


When you're learning to read Tarot, there is so much different information and knowledge to take. You've got to learn the Tarot card meanings, how to do a reading, how to deal with difficult clients, how to interpret the numbers, how to make connections in the cards, and so on.

With so much information, you may find yourself relying on your Tarot books and resources in fear of getting it wrong or slipping up in your next Tarot reading.

But how do you know when you can finally stretch your wings and fly? Or in other words, how can you learn to trust yourself as your OWN Tarot authority instead of just relying on others?

In today's podcast, I welcome Tarot reader and teacher, Ethony. Creator of the Awakened Soul Oracle deck and the Headmistress of the Tarot Readers Academy.

In this episode, you’ll learn…

  • How Ethony sees the Tarot as a ‘book of life'
  • Why Tarot books can actually help you become a confident Tarot reader
  • Why you need to get to know your deck inside and out
  • Why comparison is the enemy of reading Tarot with confidence
  • Ethony's advice for becoming your own Tarot authority

Additional Resources:


You’re listening to the Biddy Tarot Podcast, and this is Episode 45: How to Become Your Own Tarot Authority with Ethony.


Welcome to the Biddy Tarot podcast, where you will learn how to connect more deeply with your intuition and live an empowered and enlightened life with the Tarot cards as your guide.

Listen as Brigit and her guests share their very best tips and strategies to help you read Tarot with confidence.

And now, here is your host Brigit Esselmont.


Hello and welcome back to the Biddy Tarot Podcast.

As always I am super-excited to be talking Tarot with you today.

Now when you’re learning to read Tarot there is so much different information and knowledge to take in.  You’ve got to learn:

  • The Tarot card meanings
  • How to do a reading
  • How to deal with difficult clients
  • How interpret the numbers
  • How to make connections in the cards

…and so on.

With so much information you might find yourself relying on the Tarot books and resources in fear of getting it wrong or slipping up in your next reading.

But how do you know when you can finally stretch your own wings and fly?

Or, in other words, how can you learn to trust yourself as your own Tarot authority, instead of always relying on others for that kind of knowledge?

So in today’s podcast I welcome Tarot Reader and teacher, Ethony.

Ethony is an amazing woman who can’t seem to stop creating awesome, awesome Tarot content.  She’s the creator of the Awakened Soul Oracle deck, and the Head Mistress of the Tarot Readers’ Academy.

She was born in Canada, raised in Australia – so you’re going to hear a little bit of an Aussie accent – and now she’s living back in Canada with her young son.


Brigit:  Ethony, I’m thrilled to have you on the show – welcome.

Hello and welcome, Ethony.  It’s so good to have you here.

Ethony:  Thank you so much for having me.

Brigit:  We’ve got lots and lots of good stuff to talk about today, but I want to hear a little bit first about your journey with Tarot.

How did you find Tarot?

Or maybe, how did Tarot find you?

Ethony:  It was a little bit of the Tarot finding me.

I can to the Tarot through my spirituality being Wiccan.

When I was 15-years old I was working at a very well-known shop called the Pickled Fairy & Other Myths, in Fremantle.  You get to dress up like a fairy – it is legit amazing – and sprinkle glitter everywhere.  Amazing job!

And I was working there and they had a beautiful cupboard full of Tarot decks.  And a part of, I guess, Witches journeys, or people who are on a Pagan path, they find tools that support their spiritual path, and the Tarot was one of them.  And I bought the Mythic Tarot with one of my paychecks, and it was pretty much love at first sight.

And since then, I have now got a lovely extensive collection and I’ve been reading ever since.

Brigit:  Wonderful.

What is it that you find special about Tarot?

Where’s the magic for you?

Ethony:  Everything is magic!

I love the Archetypes.  I love the artistic representation that every evolution of Tarot gets to show us.  I love that it is a deep spiritual Book of Life.

There is a reflection of our experiences as a collective human race, as spirit having a human experience.

And that’s quite an amazing thing.

It can show us things that need to be discovered.  It can show us answers or options.  It can show us reflections of ourselves, very deeply.

So, for me, it’s a very – I know for some people it can just be pretty pictures – but, for me, it is a full spiritual tool.

It’s got a complete and complex system that’s built into it – Numerology, the Tree of Life, Astrology, the Archetypes – so I adore that.

I love the deepness and the richness that Tarot, in 78 little cards, you can get all of this amazing learning from.

Brigit:  Yes, absolutely.

And I think just earlier you said Tarot is like a Book of Life, and I love that because I’ve often looked at those 78 cards and just thought:  How did someone get all of the ideas of human-beingness, and put them into 78 cards?

It’s quite amazing.

So how are you using Tarot now in your everyday life, both personally and professionally?

Ethony:  So personally, for myself, I use it as a way to check in with my Higher Self and my Guides.

I work very closely with my Spirit Guides, so I check in with them.  Sometimes you know I need to our little Ego out of the way – that conscious part of ourselves that likes to be in control. So it by-passes that for me and allows me to get some options.

I journal with it.  I use it as a writing and a creative tool.  And I’m creating decks as well.

So that’s how I use it personally.

And for my clients, I use it both for Tarot readings in a predictive fashion, as well as more of a Soul Coaching capacity.

I’m an Aura-Soma Consultant and Reader as well, so I use that for that.

And also to help people with their businesses.  So often we can have those blocks about why we keep making the same mistakes.  And this is true for relationships, for work – we keep going through these cycles and it can really help people bust through maybe why they’re doing some things that have been programmed.

So as much as I’m a card-singer who will say, “This is what’s most likely to happen in Spring, Winter, whenever,” I love the deeper aspect and getting people to ask the really nitty-gritty questions about their life and their spirituality.  Because those aha moments, those lightbulb moment – when you can watch someone have a break through with Tarot, it’s amazing.  There’s nothing else like it.

Brigit:  Absolutely, and it’s so nice to see that connection in with something much deeper than, perhaps, what they’re used to at a day-to-day level.

So you also teach Tarot.  Tell me a little bit about how that is going for you. But more – I guess where I want to take this is:  How do you find yourself supporting students of Tarot?

Ethony:  Holding space is quite a big thing – and bringing people together.

So when I was – and I just missed you when I was in Melbourne – I was able to bring some students and some YouTubers together that live in the same city and have never met each other before.

And they were clients of mine, students of mine, and other YouTubers.  And it was so cool to just be able to bring everyone together.

So creating space and creating connection is really important.

It’s also about being there to be the sounding board.  Because I remember when I started to officially sort of learn Tarot through my teacher, it was invaluable for me to have someone who’d been there and done that, and had been reading for 25 years at that point that I started training with her – to ask her questions and say:  Am I on the right track? How can I fine tune my practice? Am I asking the right questions?

So it’s really important to have that aspect as well.

And then the structure.  So giving people:  Here’s where you can start, and here’s where you can finish, but then you’ll have all of this in-between that you’ll have life-time access to, and that there’s always additions to.

So it’s kind of across the board, but that’s some of the ways that it’s been great.

Brigit:  So as a Tarot teacher how do you help people get into this place where they’re not just looking to a teacher to tell them what to do, but they’re starting to trust their own knowledge, and their own connection with the Tarot?

How does that sort of happen for you?

Ethony:  It happens through a lot of self-reflection – instigating a lot of self-reflection.

I’m a big believer in a self-reflective practice, and a self-reflective life.  I guess that comes very much from my Pagan and Wiccan roots – journaling and having Mirror Books, and Books of Shadows, and things where you can go back and really contemplate things. Every part of what I teach in my courses has a self-reflective aspect to it.

And then I ask a lot of questions too:

  • What does this card bring up for you in a relationship reading?
  • How would you then change this, if it was for a work reading?
  • Looking at different decks, and then does it change those aspects as well.

I’ve heard of people saying, “Don’t consult books or websites,” whereas I don’t ban my students or anything from looking at outside sources.  Because I think all of them can add to the inspiration and jump off points; and add to the tool-belt.

But I also highly recommend that they always go with what their gut instinct is, and what their first connection is with the Tarot.  And to always trust that above anything else.

Brigit:  Yes, absolutely.

I think books and knowledge and information certainly have their place, but it’s getting back to that place where you can trust yourself, I suppose, in a Tarot reading.

So what would you say are some of the tips?

If a group of Tarot beginners was in front of us and they were like, “How do I know if I’m right? How do I get this thing?”

What would be some of your tips on how you can become your own Tarot authority and get in touch with what you do know about the Tarot?

What would be your advice?

Ethony:  One suggestion that I would totally make for beginners is to really get to know your favourite deck well.

We can get really bombarded with information.  We can actually get over-stimulated, and have so much choice. So pick a deck that really, really connects with you – it doesn’t matter if it’s a Rider-Waite-Smith, or Thoth a or even just a completely different set of Tarot all together.

And really get to know it, because every deck is going to have its own language.  Every deck is going to have its own symbols, and its own meaning.  And there are so many theme decks out there. So get to know it.  Write about each card.  Really look at each card. Connect with it.  Meditate with it.  Journey with it. Use it for yourself in daily readings and draws, and see how those elements of those cards come into your life.

Create your own foundation with that deck, so that you can really learn to trust yourself.  And then you’ll find that the second that you’re able to trust yourself with one deck, it’s much easier to transfer that information, even if it’s a completely different system.  Because you’ve gone through the process of building your own confidence with it.

You’re building your own dictionary.

Brigit:  Actually I’m curious on this topic about decks, because I literally sat with the Rider-Waite probably up until a few years ago.  And I really didn’t like reading with any other decks.

What’s been your experience?

How do you shift from one deck to another?

Or are you a bit loyal, like me?

Ethony:  I actually hated the Rider-Waite.

I think it’s because I also saw the US Game System one that has the really stark bright yellows.

Brigit:  Yes, it’s not nice.

Ethony: And I was like, “Oh no, that’s ugly.”

And because my first deck was the Mythic Tarot which was based on Greek mythology, because I’m a huge mythology buff.  That’s why I was really connected with that deck.

I am a loyalist though in regards to, I have decks that I work with quite a lot; but then I do swap out and transition my working group every season.  A very Pagan thing to do! So with every turn of the Wheel there will be decks that really like to be used in Summer, and Autumn, and Winter, and Spring.  And then some decks, like the Victorian Romantic Tarot, loves romantic and love readings.

And the new Animal Totem Tarot by Llewellyn – I adore that deck.  It’s new, and it’s just been so bang-on for work and career readings, it’s been scary.

And then my Morgan Greer is like my love. And then the Druidcraft is kind of is something that I can’t not work with every day.

Maybe it’s just because I’m a Gemini and I tend to be like, “Ooh, that’s so pretty,” but I work with quite a few decks at a time.

Brigit:  So let’s say if you are a Tarot beginner, or you’ve just been reading for a short period of time, do you think it’s important to be able to change decks, or is it better to stick with the one deck until you feel really confident with it?

Where do you think that sits?

Ethony:  I feel that if – it depends on the way that you learn – but I don’t know many people who would be able to learn a system that is as complex as the Tarot.

Unless you’re going to be the type of reader that just really associates one or two things with each card, and I don’t know many of those.

But because it’s such a complex system, I do feel there is a lot of value to getting to know a deck.

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And I even suggest to my students, get to know the Rider-Waite-Smith. Use the Universal or the…..the vibrant one…

Brigit:  The Radiant Rider-Waite.

Ethony:  Or a very Rider-Waite-esque deck – and there’s a million of them out there.

So use one of those.  And the reason why I say that is because most of the copy that you find, on the Internet or books, are based on that.

And I call the Rider-Waite-Smith the bones of Tarot.  They are the skeleton that holds everything up.  Everything else – even the Thoth, because that came after, unless you’re a Thoth enthusiast – and a lot of people are, and they believe that’s the only deck – it freaks me out to be honest!

But learn the Rider-Waite, even if it’s just a few things about the Rider-Waite-Smiths for each card, because the majority of the content out there is on the Rider-Waite.  And you can build from there.

Brigit:  Absolutely, yes.

So what are some other tips or pieces of advice that you’d have for Tarot readers who are just starting out, who want to become, again, confident in what they know and their own Tarot authority?

Ethony:  So there are a lot of people out there like you and me, and a lot of professionals who have been doing this for a long time, so don’t compare yourself overly to people who’ve been doing this for a long time, who know a lot, or who have a lot of information out there.

Comparing yourself, even the way that you do your practice, it’s going to be extremely personal.  Some people can walk down the street, and sling cards at anyone, at any time.  Some people love to do rituals.  Some people only, only let a few people, or even just themselves touch their cards; and other people like me are like, “Yeah, go for it!”

As long as your hands are clean you can go for it.

So it’s a very personal thing, because it does click into that kind of ritualistic part of our brains and our Psyches.  So don’t compare yourself to anybody else.

If you read in a completely different way, that’s cool.  As long as it makes sense to you and you’re enjoying it, and you’re getting what you need out of it, and your clients are enjoying or your friends are enjoying it – just do your own thing.

At the end of the day it has to be something that means something to you.  It has to have value to you.  So no matter what anyone says, no matter what books say or websites say, or Coaches or programs – do your own thing at the core first.

Brigit:  Yeah, absolutely.

I’m just sort of reflecting back when I was first learning Tarot, and looking at all these other Tarot readers, and assuming that they were all Psychic and that they could all speak to dead people, and just see the whole future in front of them. And I’m like, “I can’t do that!”

But it de-railed me.  And it got in the way of me being able to read with confidence.

So I think comparison-itis is kind of an enemy in some respects to this.

Ethony:  It absolutely is.

And I created that fun little quiz about the different types of Reader personalities, and it’s true – some of us are Mystics, and some of us can use our Clairs.  Some people will never connect into that and they will just use it as a counselling and healing tool.

Other people will use it for a more Shamanic purpose.  Other people will just tell you straight up what the cards mean – no nonsense, no fluff , nothing.

There is nothing wrong with any one style of reading Tarot.

Brigit:  Yes, absolutely.

So we’ve covered ‘get to know your deck quite well,’ so you’re feeling really good about the actual Tarot cards.

The other one has been ‘avoid the lure of comparison-itis.’

Anything else that you want to share around becoming your own Tarot authority?

Ethony: I guess the only other thing that I would say is that, it kind of goes on to what I was saying about comparison – but just there’s no one right way of doing things.

That’s probably the biggest takeaway, there’s really no one right way to read the Tarot. And to really look at trusting your instincts, and not over analyzing everything.

And to be okay with the fact that sometimes you’re going to get things wrong, and you may predict something that didn’t happen, or you may make a mistake.   I mean I remember I even did it.  I used to get a couple of the Wands cards mixed up because they look so much like another Wand card.   And I was like, “Oh no, that wasn’t the Seven of Wands, that was the Nine of Wands,”

And it was like, “Okay, well you know, I’m human.”

You’re going to make mistakes, and that’s cool.  Have a sense of humour about it, and enjoy it.  This isn’t supposed to be some thing where you get put in a dungeon with a pack of Tarot cards and you’re not allowed out until you know everything. It’s meant to be a companion for life, right?

It’s meant to be fun as well.  Enjoy it.  It should be joyful thing.  It should be something that – I mean I know I wake up in the morning and I could talk about Tarot until I go to bed.

Brigit:  Yes.

It makes such a difference when you are in that sort of place of enjoying it, and just being – well I want to say light-hearted, but we know it’s not, we know it’s actually very deep work.  But when you can sort of be in that more playful space with Tarot, I think some really nice things come out of it; whereas when you’re stressed and going, “Oh my gosh, am I doing it right?” and those kinds of things – takes you to a very different place.

Ethony:  Yeah, totally.

Brigit:  So, I’m curious what your thoughts are around, say, training?

And even certification in terms of – I want to say like validating your skills, or helping you feel like: ‘Yeah, I’ve nailed this.  I’ve got all the knowledge I need right now.’

What role do you think that training and certification plays in that?

Ethony:  I was trained. I was trained officially in 2005, by my teacher Gail.

It was probably one of the best things I ever did.  I learnt a lot from books, and I knew the basic meanings of things, so when I went in to do my training I kind of knew a little bit more than everybody else there, in regards to the fact that I knew more of the meanings and I’d read quite a few books.

But it wasn’t until I was able to actually watch someone who had walked that path before; who knew how to avoid pitfalls; who could answer questions that were not in the book that were specific to me. I remember calling her and saying, “I had this experience with my Guides last night in a Tarot reading.  Am I going crazy? Has this ever happened to you?”

She was like, “Yes, that’s happened to me.”

We talked on a level that was in such a deep understanding because she’d been there before.

I loved getting the structure.  I loved getting the feedback on my readings, because she actually watched us do readings for each other, and at the end we all brought a friend and we had to read for complete strangers.

And she actually said to me, “You have a gift for this.”

And I never probably would have pursued this to be the full-time job that it is for me if she hadn’t said to me, “You have a gift for this.”

And it’s not that I needed someone external saying, “You’re good at this,” but it was really just confirmation that I was on the right track.  You don’t want to – you don’t see any professional, in any business, go through their entire life without mentoring or coaching.

I worked in the Corporate world for 15 years. I went on plenty of courses.  I did Diplomas.  I went to conferences.  There’s training and professional development. It’s exactly the same thing.

So for me – and we both offer certification and courses – it’s about having structure, and support, and a Community.  And being able to get feedback, and ask questions.

And it’s not for everyone, but some people – and I think a lot of people – want to reach out and feel like there is a connection, and there are people out there who are doing the same thing. Because it can be a very lonely thing.

I’ve got clients who live in places in the world where they don’t tell their friends that they read the Tarot, because it’s very misunderstood.  But we can jump on Skype and talk about it, and then they immediately feel like they’re not alone.

So there’s a big part of that for me that is huge.

So I got a lot out of my training.  I love spending time with my clients and my students, I love it.   And it’s really nice to get the confirmation that you’re on the right track, no matter what you do.  You can be Wiccan and be initiated into a Coven – same thing.  You can be working as a Chef and do an apprenticeship – same thing.

But, like I said, I don’t know any professional who’s been in their job for a long time who hasn’t had coaching, mentoring, or training.  And I just feel like it’s exactly the same thing; as long as it’s the right teacher, I say go for it.

Brigit:  So let me just touch on that one.

So if you’re new to Tarot, or new to the on-line Tarot space, maybe you’ve been dabbling for a little bit, how do you know who to align with, or follow, or listen to, as a Tarot teacher?

Because there are so many Tarot websites on-line, or authors – so many different places you could learn about Tarot.  So how do you know who’s the right person for you?

Ethony: I would do a little bit of research. Not looking for anything bad on people, but just spend time with people on their websites, or their YouTube channels, or reading their content.

Reach out to them. You’re going to get a very clear, I guess, vibe off them if you do reach out.  Especially if someone is in a space where they are a teacher, there should be a level of professionalism that comes with wanting to speak someone about their program.

I would highly recommend if you can, finding YouTube videos of them, or listening to them, because I remember a while ago I joined a course and the person who does the course, I couldn’t actually listen to this person’s voice.

So do a little bit of research, but trust your gut.  You’ll know.

Brigit:  Yeah – good advice.  Awesome!

That sounds like there’s a little man who really wants your cuddles.

Ethony:  I’m sorry.

Brigit:  No – this is the absolute beauty of the work that we do – we can integrate it with our family commitments as well, so I’m sure we treasure it.  We absolutely do.

Ethony:  He’s so amazing.

He’s just turned two last month, and he’s just going through this phase where it’s like, “Mummy, Mummy, Mummy.”

Brigit:  Yeah – it doesn’t stop.

Ethony:  And I’m treasuring it because I know one day I’m going to drop him off at University and he’s not going to want Mummy, Mummy, anymore.

It’s going to be like, “See you later.”

Brigit:  Absolutely – and it goes so quickly.  That’s so clichéd.

Ethony:  I know, but it’s so true.

You turn around and you’re like, “Oh, they’re two.”

Brigit: “Oh, you’re big.”

That’s cool.

I’ve really enjoyed today’s conversation, and talking about how you become your own authority with Tarot, and really how do you learn Tarot in a way that you’re confident.

Tell us a little bit about where we can find out more about you.

Ethony:  Sure, so you can check out my website which is

And the Tarot Readers Academy which is, where my courses are, and we’ve got Summer School which you’re a part of!  Your amazing course.

And I have, as I was saying, the free Personality Quiz, and there’s a whole bunch of tutorials, and I’ve got YouTube videos, and just a bunch of good stuff.

Brigit:  You’re a busy lady!

Ethony:  I am, I know.

Brigit:  That’s great.

We’ll make sure we post those links over on the show notes, which you will find at

Ethony, I just want to say a very big thank you for being here on the Biddy Tarot Podcast. It’s absolutely great to connect, maybe a little bit more so because you’re a fellow Aussie, well at least you’ve got an Aussie accent.  I can call you an Aussie.

Ethony:  I am an Aussie.  I am an Aussie.

I have my citizenship.

Brigit:  Well thank you so much, and I look forward to connecting again soon.

Ethony:  Thank you so much Brigit.



Brigit:  So there you have it.

That is how to become your own Tarot authority with Ethony.

Now if you loved today’s episode, make sure that you leave a review on iTunes, and subscribe to get the latest podcasts.

You can also head over to to get access to the show notes, the transcript of today’s call, and all of the extra links to find Ethony on-line.

As always, it’s been an absolute pleasure to speak with you, and I can’t wait to connect again next time.

Bye for now.



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