Review by Bonnie Cehovet
“Fortune Stellar” is meant to act as a guide to individuals who are contemplating reading the Tarot as a business. The book is set up as eight easy lessons that help the individual reader create a Tarot business that reflects them, their beliefs, and their needs. The lessons include: (1) Structuring Your Tarot Business, (2) Your Professional Code of Ethics, (3) Structuring A Professional Reading, (4) Difficult Clients, Questions and Cards, (5) Growing As A Tarot Reader, (6) Mentoring and Teaching, (7) Appearances and Performances and (8) Fostering Acceptance In Local Communities.
In her introduction Gaudet talks about using the Tarot to make a difference in people’s lives. She places emphasis on the Tarot reader becoming a representative for Tarot to the community at large, indicating that Tarot readers by necessity need to inform themselves of Tarot’s history and culture. She also notes that in some of her discussions she refers to the word “magick”, spelled with a “k”. Gaudet defines this as the process of setting intentions and manifesting will through spiritual means.
Each of the lessons include an exercise that will help put the information shared in each chapter to use in the reader’s practice. Four of Gaudet’s students (that have moved on to become readers themselves) are featured as they work through the exercises to provide an example of how to work with this information.
Subjects covered by Gaudet are developing vision and mission statements, branding, marketing, setting fees, third party reading, reading for charity, comprehensive versus custom spreads, client dependency, continuing your education as a reader, mentoring and teaching, and interacting with the community.
Interspersed throughout the book are short essays on different Tarot topics, including Hermes Trigmegistrus and Court de Gebelin, Pythagoras, Interpreting the Court Cards, Tarot and Kabbalah, Types of Tarot Decks, Interpreting Reversals, and Tarot In Popular Culture.
There is an appendix covering contact information for Tarot organizations, conferences, on-line Tarot resources, and a recommended reading list.
The book was well thought out, and well presented, but I felt that it needed to be more in depth – both the lessons and the essays. I also felt that information on how to read the Tarot should not have been included in a book that was directed at readers who were considering going professional, or professional readers looking to take their business to the next level. It will be of use in setting a direction for readers to go in forming their own business, but it is only a starting place.
© December 2010
Bonnie Cehovet is Certified Tarot Grand Master, a professional Tarot reader with over ten years experience, a Reiki Master/Teacher and a writer. Bonnie has served in various capacities with the American Tarot Association, is co-founder of the World Tarot Network, and Vice President (as well as Director of Certification) for the American Board For Tarot Certification. She has had articles appear in the 2004 and 2005 Llewellyn Tarot Reader.