I have been fortunate to be reading tarot cards for over thirty years. During this time, I have read for literally thousands of clients, all of them seeking insight into their life's events through the magic of the cards.
I started reading cards professionally in 1975 at the Occult Bookstore and several other locations around the Chicago area, including The House of Sagittarius Book Store (1979-81) and Healing Earth Resources (1987-92). I opened my own metaphysical bookstore, Evanston's Light of the Moon, in 1992, and continued to do consultations and teach there until its closing in 1995.
During those early years I also taught a number of tarot classes at Northeastern University, Triton College and Northwestern University, garnering enthusiastic feedback from my students. I still teach tarot classes on an irregular basis, so if you would like to study tarot with me, drop me an e-mail stating your interest. My private practice keeps me busy, but variety is the spice of life, and classes are a lot of fun!
The cards have taken me on an extraordinary journey, allowing me to use my talents to raise money and awareness for several projects I hold dear, as well as allowing me to entertain people. In 1989 I read the cards to raise research money for Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and helped to raise funds for The Bard's Circle of the Shakespeare Repertory in 1990.
Reading for parties and at corporate events allows me to give new people a taste of what a tarot reading is about. I have done tarot readings at such prestigious events as Chicago's Mensa Halloween parties, the Art Institute Carnival Night, the Chicago Academy for the Arts Ball, the Mental Health Association of Illinois Gala fundraiser, the Institute for Clinical Social Work fundraiser, and the Chicago Lyric Opera's Gala fundraiser. Bridal showers, birthday parties, bar mitzvahs, graduation parties and holiday gatherings have also enjoyed the excitement that the tarot cards can bring to an event.
In 1997 I founded the International Tarot Society and was President of ITS until 2003, when the organization was closed. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd World Tarot Congresses in 1997, 1999 and 2002 were organized and executed by myself and many hard workers. My International Tarot Society did the groundbreaking work of uniting tarot enthusiasts and professionals together to exchange ideas, build community and create a forum for networking. Ten countries and 42 US states were represented during the three World Tarot Congresses. I'm proud to say that this work has inspired many other such Tarot conferences since.
I maintain a large private practice in the Chicagoland area where I reside with my family and two gorgeous cats.
Features, Interviews & Articles
- Today's Chicago Woman (July 1989 & February 1991)
- Chicago Tribune | Tempo Section December 4, 1997
- Tarot Passages Interview by Diane Wilkes
- Janet Berres: Mistress of the Tarot Steampunk Chicago
- Astrology with Janet Berres! Interview with Hildebrandt Willberforce
My Outlook on the Tarot
Having amassed over 1900 different tarot and divination decks (no, that was not a typoŚ1967, to be exact), I have continuously used the Rider/Waite/Smith deck for my 30+ years of reading the cards. Now that doesn't mean I've used the same deck; when the deck gets worn, I replace it, but I have used the design of Arthur Edward Waite and the artwork of Pamela Colman Smith for all this time.
The Waite/Smith deck speaks to me and is one of the most influential decks of all time; that deck has influenced hundreds of other decks in symbolism and style. I like the clean, clear images that Pamela drew to depict each card. But tarot is really a matter of preference. With so many decks available, people are free to find a deck that really resonates for them, even if it takes a while to find this deck.
When doing a reading, it is important for me to feel relaxed in order for the messages to become really clear to me. When I have read cards under pressure, which doesn't happen often, I have found it more difficult for me to see the flow of the cards.
I like to put querent at ease by telling them that "Some of the cards may look worse then they are. Don't get alarmed, unless I get alarmed. If I start screaming, we are in trouble." That always makes people smile.
Remember that a reading is a roadmap of what is in store in the future. But like most things in life, this roadmap is not etched in stone. I tell people that if they continue along the way they are going, then these things will probably happen. But we all have free will, and can change the difficult things and help them to become easier, as well as delaying the "good" things by not putting any effort into what needs to be done to help facilitate the happy event. A reading is a way of preparing for the future—as the old saying goes "Forewarned is forearmed."