What is astrology?

‘Astrology is the study of the planets as they orbit through the zodiac signs, as viewed from the Earth, and the observed correlations with earthly events.’
From my book, Astrology Decoded 

What is tarot? 

‘With no other “book” than the tarot, a person could in a few years acquire universal knowledge.’ From Transcendental Magic by Eliphas Levi

Many people seek understanding through astrology, or through the tarot. One purpose is to gain more insight into yourself or another person, or to enhance your perception of a situation. Another purpose is to find guidance during a difficult period in your life, or with a particular issue, to ask if there is a better period coming, or when and how a problem will be solved.

Have you ever asked yourself questions such as these:

Is your life what you would like it to be?

Do you feel able to do what you really want to do?

Do you feel fulfilled by your important relationships?

If you have an occupation, is it meaningful to you?

Astrology and tarot are both profoundly symbolic systems that can deepen your knowledge of yourself, the purpose of your life, and indeed of life itself.

There is much more to astrology or to the tarot than divining your future.

I believe that, based on many years of experience of working with people, you have the power to create your own life, make choices, find courage when it is needed, find your true direction: in other words, you are in control. What I can offer is guidance to open your vision up to new possibilities; help you to deal with change and challenges; support you in becoming more fully who you truly are, in moving towards finding the inner joy that is your birthright.

I do this by working with you using the wisdom of the ancient symbols of astrology and tarot, to enhance your ability to transform your life yourself – and to make it last.

Click here for information about personal consultations face to face, or by phone or Skype.

If you are interested in learning astrology for yourself, see below, or for London-based courses in tarot see Latest News or the Tarot page.


My next  Astrology Course (working with three other established and talented astrologers) is:

Spring 2019  (date to be announced)  of our new online Astrology School: The ACADEMY OF ASTROLOGY 

http://www.academyofastrology.co.uk/     Visit our website for further information.

We start with our new Foundation Course in Spring 2019. I am the lead tutor who will begin the course, and as time goes on, our four astrologers (Rod, Mandi, Marcos and Sue) will be involved in lectures and teaching. We will offer a progression through many different types of astrological learning. This will be an Astrology School with a difference!! Sign up for free videos, a newsletter, and mini lectures!


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Here is a listing of some of my talks, classes and courses for Autumn/Winter 2018- 2019 so far. I have provided a web link where possible, so that you can read more about it. Email me at info@suemerlyn.com for further information, with no obligation.

The most effective way to contact me is to use the above email address.

Most courses are held in various venues in Central London.  See the web links given by each listing for more information.

Upcoming courses and workshops

My next Tarot Intermediate course

is not yet arranged.    To be placed on my mailing list to receive notification, please email me. 


I am running a Tarot Beginners course at the LSA on consecutive whole day Saturdays from 22 September until 13 October 2018


To book or enquire, the contact details for the LSA are on the link.

As an alternative, a new Tarot Foundation course will take place in January 2019 at Treadwells. Date to be advised – check back.

Treadwells Magical Bookshop is at 33 Store St, London WC1E 7BS (Off Tottenham Court Rd).  www.treadwells-london.com   0207 419 8507  info@treadwells-london.com


To be placed on my mailing list to be informed of dates for future Beginners Tarot classes,  email me on info@suemerlyn.com

What to expect in a Tarot Beginners  course:

Why does this mysterious set of cards hold such fascination for us? I address this question, and delve deeply into the meanings of each card, exploring numbers, elements, and the symbolism of the Major archetypes. We will do this together through interactive teaching, lectures, discussions, learning card layouts, and  story telling. In addition, I will work to develop your intuition through guided imagery.




My next Astrology Foundation course, for beginners, is for the Faculty of Astrological Studies: info@astrology.org.uk

This is a Fast Track course, taught in London over only 6 months, on non-consecutive Saturdays. Same material as the whole year course from October, but faster!!

From Saturday 19 January – 13 July 2019.  For further info, email the Faculty, or me!

I am working with another Faculty tutor, Kim Farley, on alternate Saturdays.


Previous recent astrology teaching experience:

Core tutor (with Carole Taylor) on Foundation Year Astrology 2016-17

The course ran from 8 October 2016 – 1 July 2017 in central London for the Faculty of Astrological Studies 

Held over 4 Saturdays and 3 Modules (one Module per term, ending 1 July 2017)

This was a one year course, and a professionally taught study of astrology, from complete beginner’s level to being able to comprehensively read a birth chart.

 I taught at the Faculty of Astrological Studies Summer School in Oxford in late August 2017 (Module 6, Intermediate Astrology)

Faculty of Astrological Studies: info@astrology.org.uk 

Other courses I’m running (or have recently run) in Summer/Autumn 2017:

Two local Astrology Clubs  in Cornwall and Brighton and Hove:

Cornwall  Day workshop:  What Links Are There between Astrology and Tarot?

Saturday 6 May 2017 

I explored this question with many examples of such links, and considered the significance of these two profoundly magical systems of symbolism for the individual and the wider world.


Brighton and Hove  evening talk: Children’s charts

21 June:  (Summer Solstice 2017)

What differences are there is the astrologer’s approach to the parents of child’s chart, as opposed to the astrological approach to an adult’s chart? Using examples, I explored this topic in some depth.


AND  our new online Astrology course:  Academy of Astrology UK – begins  in Spring 2018. We are four dedicated and professional astrologers who together will launch this new School. Check our website, and sign up for FREE astrology videos and a regular newsletter, plus monthly mini lectures, all aimed at Beginner level.


I will be running other Tarot and/or astrology courses and workshops elsewhere in 2018. Email me for details if you are interested: mailto:info@suemerlyn.com


Recent work:

2 x astrology workshops for the Faculty of Astrological Studies:


Online webinar: Intermediate Interpretation on 11 June 2016

Expand and consolidate your astrological interpretation skills. A case study birth chart will be explored from the point of view of both exploring and identifying the chart’s MAIN THEMES, and putting the upcoming cycles of development into context. Looking at current transits, secondary progressions, solar arc directions and the Solar Return chart, and how these influence the birth chart’s key points.

The Astrological Sun on 24 July 2016

The Sun occupies the central place in the Solar System, of course. In the chart, it symbolizes your core personality and sense of identity and purpose. We will explore the Sun’s meaning over the course of the day, through myth and associations, zodiac signs and the body.

‘What do circuses, gold coins, lions and sunflowers have in common? They are all mysteriously associated with the astrological Sun…’


  • Planetary Magic course: description below

I plan to hold a new Planetary Magic course at Treadwells in 2018 (dates not yet finalised.) If you are interested or want to go on my mailing list for this, please email me on info@suemerlyn.com

Explore the magical meaning of the seven planets from Sun to Saturn

The course covers the symbolic meaning of each of the planets in depth; their myths, associated angels, a variety of magical practises, and is lots of fun while learning. Learn about planetary hours, colours and incenses, sympathetic magic, and the Western Mystery tradition.

This workshop immerses you in planetary magic. Working with the seven traditional planets, from Sun to Saturn, has been at the core of Western magic for over a thousand years. We will explore the mythological, astrological and psychological meanings of each planet as used in magical thinking and magical practice. There will be opportunities for active participation, and students will be encouraged to bring corresponding objects to build an altar to each planetary power. It can be seen as a journey of the imagination, and of learning different kinds of magical ritual.

Testimonial from a student on a previous Planetary Magic Course:

‘I loved every minute. I was a little nervous at the beginning but really enjoyed exchanging thoughts, feelings etc. with the group. I gained a good insight into the workings of planetary magic and how to apply it’ CB


Examples of some previous lectures/classes/workshops in London and southern England

Thursday 20 March at Watkins Books, Cecil Court, London WC2. Talk on Astrology Decoded, and book signing. This has been recorded for YouTube. here’s the link to the talk:


Friday 4 April at Alternatively Speaking, in Shirley, Croydon.

Chart Imbalances

Exploring the four elements and modes, chart shapings and unaspected or heavily aspected planets to see how this affects the individual’s chart. All terms were explained in the course of the evening.

Group leader is Rick Kingsley: rickkingsley@tiscali.co.uk

For details of any talks – venue, times, cost – please email me on info@suemerlyn.com  – also for enquiries about Sue’s availability.


A selection of previous talks/workshops/courses:

A Tarot Intermediate Day Seminar was  held at the LSA on Saturday 30 June 2013 :   Tarot Story Journeys

This Intermediate seminar was intended for those who already have studied the basic meanings of the tarot cards, and wished to recap and expand on their previous knowledge.

One creative way to approach tarot readings is to view them like progressive life stories. We explored ways to expand your understanding and build your confidence in doing readings for yourself and for others. In the process we  revisited the journey of the Fool – your own individual journey  –  through the 22 Major cards, gain more experience of combining cards, and learnt a new astrologically based layout. This was a day packed with exciting new insights and information about the tarot.

Recent International lectures/workshops

Two astrology lectures were given in Melbourne, Australia, in March 2015 for the TS Bookshop (Theosophical Society), and the VAA (Victoria Astrology Association.)

A Tarot workshop was held at the Riviera Reiki Centre, in Villefranche, near Nice in France, in October 2014, evening, (in English): The Fool’s Journey.

Using the timeless magical system of the tarot, I considered some universal questions, such as

  • Where are you going in your life?
  • What is your purpose?
  • Who are you really anyway?

A workshop to find out more about what the tarot can teach us, and how you can learn more about using this ancient deck of cards to begin finding answers to these questions. This workshop was interactive, with exercises and a guided meditation.

Other workshops in the south of France are planned for February 2016, details to be announced. Watch this site!


Tarot Circle
This is an established regular group meeting in its twelfth year, held in North Central London on a Sunday afternoon once a month for three hours.

Open only to those who are already familiar with tarot cards. An Intermediate course level of understanding is needed to be able to join this group.

In this group we work together on a variety of tarot topics, psychic development, and enhancing your abilities and confidence with the cards. Lots of fun and practise!

If you would like more details about Tarot Circle, please email Sue on info@suemerlyn.com .

New members are always welcome, and there is no commitment.


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Sue has been studying, reading and teaching the tarot for over 30 years.


Tarot cards laid out in an astrological pattern, based on the seven visible planets.


I learnt to understand the magical symbols on tarot cards from a wise teacher of the Hermetic Arts many years ago. The cards you can see here in the photo belong to the Classical Tarot, which was my very first pack of tarot cards. A tarot pack consists of 78 cards, of which 22 are the Major cards, which represent universal archetypes or drives in life.

The other 56 cards are the Minor cards – based on the four suits of playing cards plus one extra per suit –  which ‘fill in’ the important details in a reading. If you are familiar with more modern packs such as the Rider-Waite, you will be aware that all the cards in that pack and its derivatives have illustrations. You will notice that these classical cards do not have illustrated Minor cards, but are simply shown as six Pentacles, eight Cups and so on. That was how I learnt to understand numbers, and the four elements represented by the four suits.


Sue as a tarot reader

I approach readings for people with a view to doing my best to translate the language of the tarot into a comprehensible message. I shuffle the cards with you in mind, and hand them to you to shuffle, or cut as you choose, putting your energy into the cards, so this reading is clearly for you.  I then take them back, and lay them out in a pattern of choice. I believe that tarot cards mysteriously mirror what we have in our subconscious minds and in the circumstances that surround us at any given period. The cards do not tell us what we should do, but give indications of what needs to be addressed, and possibly changed, in order to move towards the best possible outcome.

I do not give advice, as advice given to you by anyone else, even by the tarot reader, is not useful. Instead I interpret the wisdom contained in the combination of tarot images. I will tell you what I see, and I try always to do this with compassion. I believe also that tarot cards are never negative, but come from a position of light. True, there are images that seem disturbing, such as the Death card (which means transformation) or the Tower (breakdown of circumstances or breakthrough, awakening).  Life is not always rosy and wonderful, but sometimes we humans go through difficult patches – but there is always a way through. This is what the tarot can do, it can show you another perspective on your situation, whatever that is. Many people who have a reading gain new insight into their next step.


A student makes us all laugh

Teaching the tarot

I love to communicate with others through my teaching practise. I took a Masters degree some years ago at university in order to enhance my knowledge of history of magical symbolism.  I have an MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology, which explored not only the background and the current approaches to astrology, but also led me deep into researching related esoteric subjects, especially the mystery of tarot imagery and its evolution. My dissertation – for which I received a Distinction – was on the subject of comparing the rapid evolution of tarot and astrology during the nineteenth century leading into the twentieth, when both subjects were woven ever more intrinsically together in the ancient Western Mystery Tradition.

In addition, I have studied and meditated to develop my intuition through psychic studies, and have created a way of teaching that involves using guided imagery journeys to deepen my students’ own personal connection with tarot cards. I blend these experiences with giving my classes a thorough understand of the meaning of each card.

  Further details will be posted soon on Treadwells’ website, and on this website, on course content, plus dates.

I will be running my next Tarot Foundation course at London School of Astrology (LSA) 

from 22 September – 13 October 2018 (4 x consecutive full day Saturdays) See Sue’s Diary page. 


To book or enquire, LSA contact details are on this link. 


I spoke on the Influence of  the Minor Card Images at the UK Tarot Conference, held on 8 and 9 October 2015 in London. http://tarotconference.co.uk/ Enquiries or bookings for the Conference 2017 should be made through the website or by phone with Conference organiser Kim Arnold and her team.

  • Check out this site again soon for more news..

To book a tarot consultation in person or by Skype, see Consultations.

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‘That which is above is like to that which is below and that which is below is like to that which is above’    Hermes Trismegistus

What is Astrology?

Astrology is an ancient symbolical system which explores the correlations between the planetary cycles and the star patterns in the sky, and the inner consciousness and lives of human beings on earth. The study of the sky has evolved over thousands of years of careful observation, and the astrologers of long ago found a meaningful relationship between the planetary movements and larger historical events.

The emphasis today is on the individual person, although there are many uses to which astrology can be put. The profound meaning found in the birthchart of each unique individual is seen by astrologers as a reflection of the cosmic patterns that formed at their moment of birth.

This is an example of a birthchart – the patterns on your own chart may look different.

Your Birthchart

The chart for your moment of birth can be accurately calculated and drawn up, and is your unique personal birthchart, or horoscope. A birthchart can still be calculated for you even if you are unsure of your time of birth. Your chart shows the key themes of your intrinsic character, your past and potential experiences, and can help to give you a new perspective on your life.

Interpreting a birth chart consists basically of getting to know the four ‘building blocks’: the planets, the zodiac signs, the houses and angles, and the aspects. Very briefly, these are:

The planets represent basic drives, or archetypes, in the essential make-up of every human being. (e.g. your sense of identity, your need for emotional security, your type of thinking, your way of loving, etc).

The zodiac signs describe the ways in which these drives are expressed.

The houses and angles indicate in which areas of a person’s life these essential drives will be experienced.

The aspects are the relationships between the planets, and show ways in which the planets’ meanings will be enhanced by contact with other planets.

In-depth descriptions and explanations of these ‘building blocks’, and much more besides are in the pages of Astrology Decoded.

The patterns in the cosmos continue to change throughout a lifetime, and are known as ‘transits’ to the natal chart. These together with other astrological forecasting techniques such as ‘progressions’ (when one day of actual planetary movement symbolically equals a year of your life), are used to explore the underlying meanings of, and purpose of, events, challenges and opportunities in your life, usually for the year ahead. Forecasting with astrology will be the subject of a future book of mine.

Using astrology in this way will enhance your self-knowledge. Understanding your experiences astrologically can help to channel your creative responses, and support you in dealing with your challenges.

To book a consultation or for further info and prices click here.


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Sue Merlyn Farebrother

About me and my background
I have been practising as a professional astrologer, as a tarot consultant, and as a teacher for over twenty five years. My teaching of astrology and tarot is at both beginners (Foundation) and at advanced level, and I have taught both privately,  for astrological schools,  and at local authority colleges. In more recent years I have also been lecturing to groups on specific areas of my subjects, or giving introductory talks on one or both subjects. Go to Sue’s Diary for more info on my recent or forthcoming engagements.

I qualified as a professional astrologer and a holder of the prestigious DF AstrolS with the Faculty of Astrological Studies, UK, in 1992. (DF AstrolS stands for Diploma of the Faculty of Astrological Studies.) Before that, in the mid-1980s, I trained as a psychotherapist with the Psychosynthesis and Education Trust, and also undertook a spiritual training in the tarot in the early 80s.

I am committed to my own continuing professional development, and gained an M.A. in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology at Bath Spa University in 2007. My Masters thesis – which was awarded a Distinction – was on the links between astrology and tarot, as I believe both can be used in conjunction with each other to enhance your life and cast light on your deeper needs and potential.

I have also recently undertaken a professional training as a life coach, with a school in Devon called Wise Goose, and expect to complete the training by early summer 2016. I am already working on offering a new and unique service to people, combining tarot and/or astrology with life coaching, which would enable and empower people in their lives. More to come..

My first book, ‘Astrology Decoded: a step by step guide to learning astrology’ is published  by Rider Books UK and is out now. You can order the book now on Amazon.

My approach

I see you as a whole person, not as a problem needing to be solved. My approach is to look at your whole life, as the way you respond to any situation affects every part of your experience – the way you feel and the way you think. You may have issues to deal with (who does not?), and we will work together with these.

But I will also encourage your strengths, your creativity, your personal growth and spirituality. In my view and my experience, there is always another way to work with ANY situation you have in your life. My aim is to engage you more actively in exploring your personal birthchart and/or the tarot cards which reflect your situation. This is a fresh approach to the participation I invite during consultation. Above all, you will gain self-understanding, and a sense of your own power to open your life to creativity, joy and freedom.



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Astrology Decoded: A step-by-step guide to learning astrology

Have you ever wondered what astrology is about, or whether there is more to astrology than the popular sun-sign columns in the media? Are you fascinated by the idea of being able to interpret your own or other people’s personal horoscopes? If so, this is the book for you.

Accessible, entertaining and informative, Astrology Decoded explains, step by step, how to use astrology and how to progress from the very beginning stages to being able to interpret a birth chart. In this guide, I am offering a unique course that will take you through the colourful ingredients that make up an astrological chart, from the meaning of the planets and the 12 zodiac signs to subtle astrological combinations and aspects, and the ways in which these express themselves through a person’s character.

Whether you are a beginner or have some knowledge of this fascinating subject, Astrology Decoded will deepen your understanding, and show you how to use astrology to enhance your life and the lives of others. Discover how the heavenly bodies really do influence us all and, in the process, learn more about yourself and those you care about…

In order to get the most out of the book, your own birth chart is the best teacher. After all, you are the person who knows yourself best! Study charts of others are also given to expand your understanding.

Generate Your Chart

!!Latest News!!

I am starting to write the next astrology book to follow on from Astrology Decoded. Watch this space over the next few weeks for ongoing info on this..
Available now from:
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