What's in a Name? Quite a Lot Apparently!

You must know by now that the lovely Steven Bright and I are working on a new magazine, its main focus being Tarot but we wanted the freedom to incorporate other divination tools as the magazine grows.  Oracle World was the perfect name, it flowed off the tongue and summed up beautifully what we were trying to achieve.       We did Google searches to make sure this had not been used, and it all looked good to go.  Then we found out that a major computer company called Oracle Open World had trademarked the name then there were all sorts of complicated Trademark and Copyright issues.  Although Oracle World was not taken, it was still ‘dodgy’.

After much discussion, Steven and I reluctantly decided not to go ahead with the name, after copious amounts of coffee (caffeine free for Steven, he is good) and a lot of giggling when ridiculous names came up with many innuendos, we decided the only way to be completely sure of no repercussions, was to create a unique name of our own. The merger of Esoteric and Oracle came together, so there we have it The Esotoracle (Magazine).

The content makes me smile with pride, this is going to be FABULOUS.  So, what is in a name?  Not a lot really, it takes nothing away from the content, hard work, contributions and dedication to a wonderful publication coming your way in October.

Review of the Chakra Wisdom Tarot by Tori Hartman

Review of the Chakra Wisdom Tarot by Tori Hartman (Watkins Publishing) £16.99
By Kim Arnold

Having seen and been very impressed by Tori Hartman when I attended a workshop by her at Atlantis bookshop many years ago, I was excited to be asked to review this deck.

Before I delve into the merits of the Chakra Wisdom Tarot, let me tell you my observations on Tori. Having sat through many workshops/talk/lectures on chakras, I will be very honest and say NO ONE has ever impressed me, usually they drag out the same old chakra woo woo and I leave thinking that was time I will never get back! Anyway, fast forward to Tori Hartman, I genuinely loved her workshop, it was fast paced, packed with knowledge, interactive and she is a delight to listen too. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am she will be joining us at the London Tarot Festival in June.

Watkins have done a great job sparing no expense in putting this set together. The 112 page booklet goes beyond what you would usually expect from an accompanying book. It is full colour, packed with diagrams, lots of spreads to try and ideas for manifesting as well as information about the chakra system. The cards are colourful and although not completely traditional, each card is clearly recognisable and the illustrations perfectly in synch with the element and meaning. These cards make you tap in to YOU. Not just what is happening on the external part of your life (work, love, finances, family etc) but it encourages you to see what is blocked within you and ideas on how you can work on yourself. Also, you do not need to know anything about the Chakra system to work with these cards, but you will learn plenty along the way.

I chose the ‘Your Path to Manifesting’ spread, for a trial reading, I have shared the image of my reading but will just choose a few cards so you get the drift.

Card 1. How your roots are deepening – Strength – I fully understand this card in this position, as I get older I feel more secure, not only in myself, but in my determination to continue to grow.

Card 2. The feelings that are driving you – The Devil – errmmm …. pushing boundaries?

Card 6. What do you do to support yourself intuitively – Judgement – Reminding myself that I can always improve. I like the idea of Angel Gabriel being around.

Card 7. How will your dreams support the universe? Ace of Cups – Being committed to a goal and trust that support comes when needed.

The reading was a real eye opener for me, and has given much clarity in areas I did not know needed focus. I also used these cards with my monthly meditation group, I had everyone pull a card and everyone had a message which related to their life.

These cards will be a fabulous edition to your Tarot collection, they offer something different and encourage you to look deep within. Go buy a deck, you will not be disappointed! Tori will be speaking at the London Tarot Festival on 1st June.

Chakra Meditations by Swami Saradananda

(Watkins Publishing £15.99)

I love it when a deck for review lands on my doorstep, often, it is not a deck I would be drawn too, but when working with it, it becomes a familiar friend. The Chakra Meditations deck was like opening a box of delicious chocolates, inspiring artwork and guidance via lovely quality cards.

Each month I hold an intimate meditation group for around 15 people, I decided we would use these cards as part of our evening. Not all the cards were suitable for group work, but we chose a few we were able to work with. The Sacral Yantra Meditation was fresh to us as a group and one card in particular, the Root Chakra (Muladhara) with the Oak Tree visualisation was both empowering and calming.

I was a little confused by the bordering colours of the cards, I always connect red with the Root Chakra not the yellow used, and green bordering for the Sacral, not orange which I am more familiar with, however, this did not deflect from the energy of the cards.

The Large white book does explain the colours used and more in-depth information on the card meanings. There is a page included with instructions on preparing for meditation and how to choose a card. This is helpful for anyone starting out.

I feel these cards are perfect for your personal journey, the idea of pulling a card each day and quietly working with a visualisation or gentle exercise is inspiring.

I recommend these cards, particularly if you have a busy life and need to calm the mind body and soul.

Review: TarotFest Switzerland 3/6/2017

As we start to create a fabulous programme for our Bi-annual Swiss TarotFest, I thought a perfect time to share our review from 2017.  Cannot wait to do it all again.

Please enjoy this beautiful Video by Franzi Sunshine Kindler, it gives a perfect taste of the day 

Almost a year to the day, Wicca and I sat around a table at Castle Liebegg with a mug of coffee and chocolate on the table and discussed the possibility of having a Tarot Festival at the Castle.  This weekend I and 7 others flew in from London to experience a year of planning, finally the day had come.

We were on the 7am flight from Gatwick so we all had a 3am start.  On arrival at Zurich we took the train to a place called Aarau where we were met by Wicca’s wonderful husband Biba, who took our luggage so that we were free to explore, because of our delayed flight we did not have much time, and had a quick lunch before getting on another train to start our VIP journey, a private tour of the Witchcraft Museum. Wicca is a true inspiration, not only does she speak English beautifully, her dedication to her Museum is remarkable.  Now, I am not going to tell you much about this, as next year the Museum moves to Castle Liebegg and I strongly recommend you go for yourself, but as a private group we were given the absolute privileged to experience an important part of Lenormand history. Mind blowing!  After we finished the tour, we were driven to the hotel where a huge pile of Swiss chocolate was waiting for us with a hand written note from Wicca welcoming us to Switzerland. That evening Wicca, Biba and the lovely Isobel joined us all for dinner where we sat outside on a warm evening eating pizza, laughing and enjoying the energy of this lovely place.  We were shattered at the clock ticked towards 10p.m., tomorrow was going to be a day to remember.

David Wells and I arrived at the Castle early on Saturday, the sun was shining, the birds were singing and the energy was beautiful. Lots of hustle and bustle from Wicca’s team of helpers who worked so hard throughout the day ensuring that everything ran smoothly. Wicca opened the Festival by making announcements in German then I did the same in English, then she did a meditation and blessing to start the day.

I kicked off the day with a workshop on how to connect with spirit through the cards, I had everyone work out their birth card and what it meant to them, and we used this card as a significator to ask a question.  Followed by a coffee break the next workshop was with Kirsten Buchholzer, I was unable to attend as I had a reading but the feedback was great.

Lunch was served in the Castle grounds, the sun was still shining as we sat under umbrella’s talking Tarot and enjoying the freshly prepared food.  There was plenty of everything which is how I managed to put on 2lb in two days!  (Tarot diet started today)

After lunch the workshop was hosted by Wicca who showed us how to create a Tarot spell, this was such fun as we were all covered in glitter and the finished item was something for us all to take home.  It was a delight to meet with Susanne Zitzl, what a lovely lady, again speaking beautiful English, her work is going to be published in English hopefully later this year, although Susanne may not be so familiar to us in the UK please look her up, she has done some amazing work. After a welcome break Regula Elizabeth Fiechter hosted the next workshop, I took an English meditation group whilst this was going on, but was delighted that Regula gave me the 4 ‘missing’ cards from the Mystical Lenormand deck and a signed book from her and artist Urban Trosch whom I had the privilege of meeting.

Our David Wells was the final speaker of the day, a lovely reading using the Tree of Life, so many things made sense.  Wicca and I emotionally closed the Festival with a huge thankful heart and a feeling that we had done it!  I haven’t even mentioned the Market Place where I purchased a lovely Goddess made from Tiffany glass, if I had room in my luggage I would have spent a fortune.

I have to give a huge thank you to Wicca, Biba and her team, I could NEVER have done this without them and I owe them so much. The organisation was amazing and the day ran effortlessly, the venue is breath taking and I know many tears were shed throughout the day because of release and joy. There was much laughter this weekend that I cannot share with you (too naughty) but every emotion was experienced, this is a very special place.

I feel so truly blessed today to have made new friends from Switzerland, Germany and the US.  In fact the day was so good, we are going to do it again in 2019.  As I said next year the Witchcraft Museum opens in the Castle and I know our TarotFest will go from strength to strength.  Everything is looking very positive for the future.

That is all for now, I have to spend time on my October UK Tarot Conference, and I am buzzing with ideas!

“I just wanted to thank you for the organisation of our own Swiss Tarot Fest. It has been a marvellous day with very fascinating speakers and workshops (not forgetting the wonderful opportunity to book a reading with the speakers!). Even though some of us don’t know the tarot cards as good as you guys do, it was very well explained in the sessions and I had really lots of fun and learned quite a lot (beside spending way too much money shopping at the market!). I’m very much looking forward to the next Tarot Fest here in Switzerland and will most certainly spread the word around. 😉 Kindest regards and thank you again!” Ines 

TarotFest Switzerland coming 2019 please register your interest for updates. 

Margate and TS Eliot & The Wasteland (who knew)

Margate shelter

I only recently found out that this very shelter, about 5 miles from where I live, is where T S Eliot wrote some of his famous lines from the Wasteland.  In 1921, after suffering a nervous breakdown he came to Margate to recuperate, in this very spot he allegedly spent many hours pondering and writing.  I don’t think the extract below was the actual part he wrote whilst he was here, more likely the part about poverty, Margate has long been known as a dump. However, this delapidated shelter looks out to sea, and in the evening you will see beautiful sunsets so famously painted by Turner. I am sure the sea air and warm summers played a key part in his recuperation. I can remember as a child spending many happy summer days on the beach just metres from this shelter.  Margate has been through some tough times, and is now under regeneration with some wonderful results, in fact it is becoming trendy again.  However, it does seem a shame that one of the greatest poems written in the 20th century does not have any recognition here in Margate, more likely to have his name etched through a stick of rock than a celebration plaque for all to see.

I can’t claim to be a Margate girl (actually I wouldn’t want to lol) as I was born in London, but my family moved here when I was a child and it was a thriving seaside town.   I am now curious to find out more about this famous poet and his association with the Town.  So why is this written in my Tarot Blog? Read on, a short extract from The Wasteland.

The Waste Land   1 The Burial of the Dead (Extract)

Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante,

Had a bad cold, nevertheless

Is known to be the wisest woman in Europe,

With a wicked pack of cards. Here, said she,

Is your card, the drowned Phoenician Sailor,

(Those are pearls that were his eyes. Look!)

Here is Belladonna, the Lady of the Rocks,

The lady of situations.

Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel,

And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card,

Which is blank, is something he carries on his back,

Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find

The Hanged Man. Fear death by water.

I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring.

Thank you. If you see dear Mrs. Equitone,

Tell her I bring the horoscope myself:

One must be so careful these days.


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A Decade of Kim Arnold’s UK Tarot Conference Evolving 2010 – 2020

What a decade it has been for Tarot; the joy of seeing Tarot become more mainstream, with card images featuring in high profile adverts is getting people talking.  Certainly, when I began reading 30 odd years ago, you were regarded as some kind of woo woo weirdo if you read the cards, or if you had any association with the ‘new age’ movement. People were definitely more narrow minded then. I won’t get in to the church nonsense, and prefer to block from my mind the cost of new tyres on my car as nails became a regular occurrence. This was only one of the numerous ways in which the Evangelist Church protested against my use of Tarot cards and the fact that I owned an esotorical shop. (Apparently, if you are a Church member, you are entitled to act as Judge and Jury)! I have always been passionate about Tarot and this has been the instigator of many upsets over the years. One example that comes to mind involved a major article in “The Independent” newspaper 16 years ago about my Conference, entitled “Tarot comes out of the Suburbs and in to the 20th Century”. This resulted in concerted condemnation from the Tarot community around the world. Total misinterpretation of what I had written, etc. etc.  It was hurtful and unacceptable to be vilified by those you assume are on your side in promoting Tarot as a positive tool.  However, I moved on in the way I believed I was meant to, by creating and organising what became the annual UK Tarot Conference.

There must have been thousands of new decks produced over the last decade, and many have passed through my hands for reviews. From quirky, traditional, modern, saucy, and some just plain weird, we accept that each of us have our own ideas of what works for us and what doesn’t. This is what makes Tarot so wonderful, it’s wonderful ability to be both diverse and inspirational.

This is a brief summary of the UK Tarot Conference during the past decade.   I have missed a few of the years, not because they were not inspiring, but because I am homing in on key and memorable moments.

In 2010, after a few years of varied venues, we finally found a ‘home’ at the Thistle City Barbican Hotel, Mary Greer was our key speaker and Hermann Haindl shared stories of how he created the Haindl deck and also his teenage years as part of the Hitler Youth. Hermann had us belly laughing with his stories. Such a kind, gentle man.   It was an honour to have met him. Sadly, Hermann passed away in 2013.

2013, our 10th anniversary celebration saw our first Thursday evening event.  With the help of Geraldine Beskin, I booked a private pod on the London Eye to represent the Wheel of Fortune, Geraldine wrote a historical tour especially for us and we ended the day at Atlantis Bookshop for more talk and food. It dawned on me then that the Thursday evening prior to the Conference should be a regular event, and so the pre-conference evening was born.   2013 was significant in many ways. My book “Tarot Masters” was written and produced in honour of our 10th anniversary, featuring the stories of 22 wonderful Tarot teachers who had spoken at the Conference in previous years and my 22 Major Card Tarot Master deck based on my 22 contributors was self-published.

Jumping to 2015, when the lovely Jonathan Dee joined us as a Speaker. He was the funniest, sweetest man, and his sense of humour really appealed to me. To this day, something he said during his workshop still makes me laugh. Martin (husband) said to me, “you were the only one who laughed. I knew you would find that funny!!”    Jonathan was one of those people that once you met him, you wanted to be his friend for life. I was devastated to learn that a few days after attending the Conference he passed away due to a brain tumour.  His publisher later told me, that when I approached Jonathan and asked him to speak at my Conference, he was very excited and happy as he said it gave him a sense of being part of the Tarot community after a few disappointments. After the event he was full of stories about the warm and wonderful reception he received at the Conference. It makes me very happy to know that his final days were happy.

2016 turned out to be the busiest year. The UK Tarot Conference is entirely my own work, inspiration and creation; therefore, I had never worked with a partner before. However, I wanted to spread my wings but, for some unknown reason, even allowing for the increasing numbers and greater success of the Conference, I had lost my confidence. I spoke with Geraldine and Bali of The Atlantis Bookshop and suggested that we create the London Tarot Festival.  Within a few months the venue was booked, and we were on our way to a new Tarot event in London.  The Festival was always intended to be a taste of Tarot and not as in-depth as the Conference.      Always one to go overboard, I also approached my dear friend Wicca Meier-Spring about a Tarot Festival in Switzerland, and this was born in 2017.

2017 saw our last event at the Thistle city Barbican which was headlined by Sasha Graham who I had met at the New York Readers Studio the previous year.  Now, we were literally turning bookings away as we were hitting capacity months before the Conference. Kim Arnold’s UK Tarot Conference was exceeding expectations.       Swiss TarotFest was launched this year and many new friends made worldwide.  Although, there is of course, a serious aspect to these events, I have never laughed so much as with the very naughty David Wells and my girls from the UK.

In 2018 we took our seats in our new Tarot home, the Holiday Inn Kensington. Rachel Pollack and Benebell Wen were our very special Key Speakers. The venue was excellent, attentive and efficient staff, prestigious location and a room fully equipped with monitors enabling every attendee full access to the presentations.

The 2019 Conference saw the launch of “The Esotoracle Magazine” a joint venture with Steven Bright. Our Key Speakers were Mary K Greer, Davide de Angelis, Avril Price, Richard Abbot, and Katrina Wynne.  Again, we came away from the event full of wonderful stories and having renewed existing friendships and enjoyed making new ones. We truly are a Tarot family!

Over the years my Conference has been privileged to launch new decks, grant access to Speakers who have been exclusive to our Tarot community in the UK and, most importantly watch our Tarot family grow. Lifelong friendships have been formed. I promise you I take nothing for granted and consider it an honour to serve the Tarot Community.  I confess It has not always been an easy ride, some years have been more challenging than others, but I promise you I put my heart and soul into each and every Conference.

With that in mind, I look forward to seeing you next year as we are joined by ………………. Sorry you will have to wait until January for that announcement.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year my darling Tarot family, may you all be blessed with health, wealth and much joy in the coming year.    Kim xx

What’s in a Name?     Welcome Esotoracle Magazine

Apparently, a lot!   You must know by now that the lovely Steven Bright and I are working on a new magazine, its main focus being Tarot but we wanted the freedom to incorporate other divination tools as the magazine grows and needed a name to reflect this.  Oracle World was the perfect name, it flowed off the tongue and summed up beautifully what we are trying to achieve.       We did Google searches to make sure this had not been used, and it all looked good to go.  Then, recently, we found out that a major computer company called Oracle Open World had trademarked the name then there were all sorts of complicated Trademark and Copyright issues.  Although Oracle World was not taken, it was still ‘dodgy’.

After much discussion, Steven and I reluctantly decided not to go ahead with the name, after copious amounts of coffee (caffeine free for Steven, he is good) and a lot of giggling when ridiculous names came up with innuendos, some too naughty to print here, the merger of Esoteric and Oracle came together, so there we have it, Esotoracle Magazine.

The content makes me smile with huge pride, this magazine is going to be FABULOUS.  So, what is in a name?  Nothing really, it takes nothing away from the content, hard work, contributions and dedication to a wonderful publication coming your way in October.