Archive for October, 2014

After having my tarot book The System of Symbols published in Italy by Spazio Interiore as IL Sistema Dei Simboli, I was interviewed by Mariavittoria Spina of OltreConfine. She has very kindly let me run the interview so that my English speaking audience can enjoy it too.

IL Sistema Dei Simboli - Tarot bookIn this interview you’ll learn how I came to be a tarot reader, more about my life as a psychic, and some of my insights into tarot.

Mariavittoria SpinaMariavittoria Spina

Interview with Toni Allen
By Mariavittoria Spina

Fond of art and photography, Toni Allen is a British astrologer and Tarot reader, internationally known. An expert in Bach Flower Remedies, symbolism, and Vedic numerology, Allen is a natural born psychic medium who has been working as a teacher and lecturer for several schools of Astrology and Tarology for nearly thirty years. Her extraordinary ability in interpreting Tarot meanings, and the originality of her readings, have made her known throughout Europe. As a teacher, she encourages her students to develop a personal approach based on practice, while giving spiritual insights and practical advice, revealing how the 78 Arcana can be seen as symbolic reflections of life and universe.

Toni Allen’s first book, The System of Symbols (translated into Italian as Il sistema dei simboli), is an effective manual for divination, presenting new and inspiring ways of looking at Tarot on the basis of their essential meaning related to numerology and ancient symbolism, despite the many different pictorial representations of the same Cards. Her book offers greater insights to the controversial interpretation of Minor Cards, presenting further advice to experts as well as very practical user-friendly guidelines to beginners.

How did you know about Tarot and Tarot reading?

I first came across Tarot back in the late ‘70’s when I was at college studying photography. My room-mate used Tarot and was always sitting across the room asking the cards questions and then getting excited by the answers. I hadn’t a clue what she was going on about at first. You’ll love to know that she was half Italian. She went home to Italy during the holidays and would come back with amazing stories about a Tarot reader she and her mother regularly visited high up in the mountains. As time went by we would start to see the Italian Tarot reader’s predictions come true and be awe struck at how somebody could possibly know these things that hadn’t happened yet.

My friend would also sometimes sit down and draw the cards; but at the time it was something she had an interest in, and because I naturally experienced many psychic phenomena it wasn’t something I wanted to become involved with.


Note: this text is a translation adapted from the original interview appeared on N. 13 of the Italian publication OltreConfine (OltreConfine. Speciale Tarocchi, Edizioni Spazio Interiore, 2014, pp. 36-47).
About the original interview see OltreConfine N.13: http://www.oltre-confine.com/ultimo-numero.php
About the Italian publisher Spazio Interiore see: http://www.spaziointeriore.com/
About the Italian translator and interviewer see: http://www.progettovajra.net/

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Visiting Lilly by Toni AllenThe other day I had lovely feedback from someone who’s just started reading Visiting Lilly. Part of his enthusiasm was that he lives locally to Farnham, and knows all of the locations, so instantly gained a sense of belonging to the story, and of it being about people he could relate to.

Now, I’m fully aware that not everyone lives near Farnham, Surrey, UK.

For those of you who don’t I shall build a sense of location, periodically adding new photos, so that you too can see the places that DI Jake Talbot and Frankie Hayward visit.

Farnham Police StationOur first stop on this virtual tour of Farnham and surrounding areas is Farnham Police Station, where Talbot works. Built in 1963, it’s now due for demolition. The irony is that I started writing Visiting Lilly way before the police began their scheme of selling off prime location buildings and streamlining police infrastructure. Of all things, ‘Retirement Living Apartments’ for the elderly are to be built where Farnham Police Station once stood. I think I’ll give them a call and see if they have space for Lilly, because they sound much more pleasant than Mellow Acres in Guildford, the dreadful care home she’s living in when Frankie first tries to visit her.

From Visiting Lilly

“On the side of Farnham Police Station are bas-reliefs of rural life, and this is the scene from Visiting Lilly when Talbot stop to look at them.

On his way to work, Talbot took a drive past Hayward’s to check that his window had been fixed and that Charteris had shifted his vehicle. The key he’d confiscated had been from a dark BMW. The only visible cars matching that description were tucked away on hard standings, bright rays of hopeful sunshine bouncing off their polished paint work. Hayward’s house looked secure, and Talbot wondered if his cat had come home—a good point of human compassion to open their next conversation.

Farnham police station looked grim as ever. Talbot speculated whether anyone had ever found the pigs allegedly hidden away in the rural bas-reliefs decorating the exterior. He’d often looked for them, wondering if the myth held any truth. People wanted to be part of the same tribe, see what others saw, point and say, ‘there are the pigs’.

So who was pointing at astral travel and visiting people in the past? Who was believing in that?”

Not a Pig in sight!Farnham Police Station bas-relief3 Bas reliefs Farnham Police StationBas reliefs Farnham Police StationPolice Station bas reliefs, Lower Downing Street, Farnham.

Cast in concrete by Rachel Brown and Carol Hodgson, 1961. A series of panels illustrating Farnham’s agriculture and the Bishops of Winchester, Farnham Castle and Farnham Park.

Can you spot the pigs? Or don’t they exist?

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Visiting Lilly by Toni AllenI’m thrilled to receive a 5 star review for Visiting Lilly from fellow mystery writer Robert J. Ray, author of the Matt Murdock Mysteries.

Robert J. Ray says of Visiting Lilly:

Professional Tarot guru Toni Allen joins the ranks of mystery writers with a debut novel that whisks the reader on a journey in quest of the Astral Plane, where two lovers—a lovely elderly lady in a care home, and an isolated young man who remembers their past—do their utmost best to keep their love alive. Allen’s work is fascinating because she conceals this unlikely search for love beneath the bones of a police procedural. The setting is not hurried, touristy London, but the idyllic outskirts of Surrey. Welcome to the genre!

Robert J. Ray is author of the Murdock Mysteries and The Weekend Novelist Series

Robert J. Ray books on Amazon

The Weekend Novelist Rewrites the Novel

The Weekend Novelist Writes a Mystery

Bob and Jack’s Writing Blog


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