I feel tremendous gratitude to all the people who made this book possible and helped me along the way.
Elias, the dead guy, would under different circumstances be listed as a coauthor, but he expressed no interest in that. Regardless, our friendship has literally changed my life through genuine compassion, masterful mentoring and exquisite support.
Without Mary Ennis (www.eliasweb.org) there would be no Elias sessions. I very much appreciate our enduring friendship and am amazed at the courageous grace with which Mary tackles all the challenges of her unique calling.
When Jean Lamb, DVM said she’d transcribe and edit some thirty plus hours of session audios free of charge I was stunned. Little did I know that, beyond the Herculean effort of making the actual book out of scattered sound snippets, she would also be incredibly supportive, generate brilliant ideas, set me off on a Tarot and Runes journey, and offer her birth chart and life for public scrutiny, making the book so much richer. In true Scorpio fashion she poured her heart and power into this book.
When the first draft of the book was finished, I faced an unexpected setback – after all the beautification I could no longer fully relate to my own text. This is when Joyce Foxcroft, an experienced editor and proofreader with a profound understanding of the material, joined the team and put the project back into orbit. She worked on the book almost daily for over a year to make it more genuine, elegant and precise than I could have imagined possible. Joyce’s understanding of my intent was flawless, our collaboration easy and fun.
Despite the incredible team on board this project, I periodically slipped back into self-doubt. Natasha Vsevolodskaya (http://www.thebash.com/classical-trio/reverie-strings-ensemble), my partner and soulmate, kept me on track with love and encouragement, while contributing to discussions with flair and keen wit. She came up with the title and many helpful suggestions. Then Natasha discovered she could draw and became passionate about illustrating the book. Being able to discuss the book with Natasha made it real. Being able to collaborate made it complete.
My parents, Bella Hirshovitz and Hirsh “Zvi” Hirshovitz, made my childhood beautiful, filled with love and freedom, travel, stories and books. Their love, loyalty and lioness-like protection allowed me to perceive the world as friendly and fundamentally safe in spite of birth defects, frequent surgeries and long hospital stays.
When my parents first gave me books by Vladimir Levi, my interest in the mysteries of human personality and psyche awakened. Felix and Larisa Kobrinsky introduced me to astrology and spirituality in general, demonstrating by personal example that there is so much more to life than meets the eye. In addition to books by Osho and Carlos Castaneda they lent me the groundbreaking General Astrology by Alexander Kamensky (Absalom Podvodny www.podvodny.ru) and I fell in love with his keen and thorough, yet lighthearted and paradoxical approach to astrology. He shaped my astrological thinking for life.
Around the time of my Uranus half-return, astrologer Anthony Picco (www.aspicco.com), who later gifted me the designing of this book, showed me a fluency of interpretation and shared his empathic, intuitive approach to astrology in his masterful in-person lessons. His use of flowing Houses alone prepared me for Elias’s suggestions later on.
Listening to me interpreting charts he said I think you may like Steven Forrest (www.forrestastrology.com), which started me on a journey studying Steven’s incredibly rich and solid astrological framework. I immersed myself in his brilliant passionate writing and seminars. Natasha and I had moving, insightful chart readings by Steven and were very affected by his compassionate wisdom and encouragement.
I must also thank Nikola Stojanovic for his insightful degree theory, masterful confident chart reading, generous encouragement and kindness. I remember our interactions fondly.
I am blessed with brilliant and supportive friends.
Sandra Bilotto – accomplished alchemist, seer, intuitive astrologer and brilliant author. Doing weekly practice readings with Sandra was a true gift. Detailed images would come to Sandra as her intuition soared above and beyond the cards. She was one of the earliest supporters and reviewers of the book.
Sandra introduced me to Scotty Brampton (www.scottybrampton.com), an accomplished magician and healer, with whom we engaged exciting projects and adventures in and beyond this world. Scotty is the author of the groundbreaking The Nature of Trauma which is also based on his conversations with Elias.
Sandra also introduced me to Karen Yates – creator, director, healer, magician (wildandsublime.com ; karen-yates.com) – who developed her own healing and divination system, joined our practice readings and supported the book.
We spent hours in conversations with Michael Donkin (Antonio Grub michaelgdonkin.com) – accomplished poet, teacher and explorer – sharing and testing our ideas, including some discoveries we arrived at independently in amazing synchronicity.
It would probably have never occurred to me to practice Tarot if it weren’t for a dear friend, Jean-François Gervais (essencetarot.com), a masterful Tarot reader and teacher, with whom we discussed various aspects of the art, and who later did the website design.
Olga Mulyarova (mulyarova.com) – adept tarologist, seer and good friend, helped and inspired me early on.
The breakthrough in my readings came when I took a course from Enrique Enriquez – brilliant poet, beloved author and generous Tarot teacher. There is an exquisite poetic facet to his Tarot readings. Enrique is an undisputed King.
Folks I connected to on Facebook became part of my life as well. I really appreciate Michelle Young (KISS astrology FB) for her insightful advice, friendship, and great creative group. Michelle emphasized listening and interaction in reading, as opposed to delivering a prepackaged speech. Christina Howson (Readings by a Raven Heart FB) created another fun and friendly practice group. She shared masterful readings and became an inspiring and supportive friend. Carmen Turner-Schott, MSW, LISW (www.8and12houses.com) – astrologer, psychotherapist and published author – created several safe spaces for people to share difficult traumatic experiences and engage the healing process. She encouraged me and graciously offered her endorsement of the book. Ania Rogov (etsy.com/shop/CardMasterBoutique) created a unique extended Lenormand-based Oracle deck which inspired many readings and fascinating discussions while my book was in design stage.
I deeply appreciate Stav Appel (torahtarot.com) for correctly recognizing and elegantly decrypting Torah in Jean Noblet’s Tarot, and for relentlessly sharing his insights despite condescending opposition by some Tarot historians. His discoveries opened a different layer of the Tarot for me.
I can’t list all the fun, supportive, creative and erudite folks in the Tarot de Marseille and spin-off FB communities, but I must thank Bry Grayson for creating the group.
Cards are to Tarot practitioners what musical instruments are to musicians. I’m grateful to all card makers and artists, especially to Sullivan Hismans (Tarot Sheet Revival), Wilfried Houdouin and Yves Reynaud (Tarot Heritage), Pennie McCracken (Endless Skys), Osvaldo Menegazzi (Il Meneghello), Giordano Berti (RINASCIMENTO Italian Style Art), Vincent Pitisci (www.pitisci.com), Pablo A. Robledo (Robledo Tarot) and Patrick Valenza (Deviant Moon Inc.) for their magically reimagined decks and teachings.
In astrology the Twelfth House used to be known as a House of hidden enemies, but it is definitely also a House of anonymous or humble benefactors. I met Jeff Zimmerman as an appreciative client and he soon offered unyielding support and remarkable generosity in every sense of the word.
Rob Foxcroft – classical musician, therapist, poet and empathic listener (www.robfoxcroft.com/book ; meditativelistening.com) – tweaked the title and offered helpful suggestions through the editing and publishing process. His book made me a better listener.
Naomi Goodin offered early editing contributions, reviews and genuine encouragement and friendship. She was that first reader who gave us her thumbs up.
My coworker friends, many of whom also became my clients, offered me their gift of continuous feedback and encouragement. Sekar Gopinathan saw an architect in me when I didn’t. His fluid ever-fresh approach to problem solving and openness to engage creatively with any situation, person or problem showed me the way. Charmane Brown – author, ever-supportive longtime friend and collaborator interviewed me on her Beyond the Comfort Zone podcast (anchor.fm/charm-brown). Charmane’s appreciation of my experiences helped me realize my story is worth telling.
This is my chance to share my appreciation for those authors whose books I cherish. In addition to those already mentioned – brilliant astrologers and writers Caroline Casey, Donna Cunningham, Carol Devine, Pat Geisler, Linda Goodman, Liz Greene, Richard Idemon, Isidore Kozminsky, Tracy Marks, Dane Rudhyar, Carol Rushman and many others.
Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom: A Tarot Journey to Self-Awareness by Rachel Pollack was my crash course in Waite-Smith Tarot.
I was also inspired by Octavia Randolph (octavia.net) – her brilliant writing on Wyrd, her historical saga series and excellent reading suggestions helped me to enter the sacred space of Runes.
Cheers to dear friends and teachers from this and other lifetimes such as Carlos Castaneda, George Gurdjieff, Osho Rajneesh, Seth and Jane Roberts, Scotty Brampton and many others.
Thank you all for being bright threads in the Wyrd fabric of my life.