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on Jan. 06, 2011 :
I just finished Christiana Gaudet’s book Fortune Stellar: What Every Tarot Professional Needs to Know. I started my professional tarot practice a little over 5 years ago; with each new section of the book came the recurring thought, "I wish this had been around when I was starting out!" I find myself flipping through again and again, doing the end-of-chapter exercises and reconsidering elements of my current practice.
A book unlike any other I have come across, Fortune Stellar is a treasure-trove of insight and advice from a practiced master who eagerly encourages the reader to benefit from her experience. A concise, 8-section structure methodically explores the creation and operation of a successful tarot business. Throughout the book is evidence of great wisdom and subtle humor. For example, Gaudet offers this cautionary advice on trades and barter: "If you do decide to accept trades, recognize that you could end up with ten massages a week! That could be heavenly—unless you were counting on buying groceries with your tarot proceeds." Interwoven are informative and entertaining tarot essays, the stories of four very different tarot professionals, and, my favorite, personal anecdotes amassed through 20-plus years of on-the-ground experience.
Fortune Stellar is accessible to tarot readers just venturing into the professional realm, useful to the seasoned professional, and applicable to almost anyone in between or on the fringes. I love that parts of this book are appropriate for any entrepreneur with a client-centered holistic practice (in fact, in the past month, I have recommended it to a massage therapist, a yoga teacher, and a reiki master), while remaining spot-on tarot-specific enough to aptly forewarn the “newbie” and delight anyone who’s “been there.”
Fortune Stellar covers a breadth of topics that face the professional tarotist, and Gaudet deftly guides the reader from existential concerns, such as creating sacred space and the nature of service, through issues of ethics and personal intention, to such basic, practical matters as how to take payment and what to do if you dislike a client (it happens!). My one critique is that each chapter could be a book (or a podcast, or video journal or an online webisode) unto itself. As any first book should do, Fortune Stellar has me wondering what else this Grandmaster has to share, and leaves me chomping at the bit for more from her.
At its core, the book is a stunningly thorough how-to manual that relies on a simple insistence that, once practical matters are addressed, the tarot is your best guide. This reminder is key, as the truth of this fact is, ultimately, central to the success of any Tarot professional. Remember that, and let Christiana Gaudet help you with all the rest!
(reviewed long after purchase)