Your Destiny in the Deste

From left, top: Reuby of Fire, Emerald of Water; Diamond of Air; and Ebony of Earth

Gemstones / Elements

If you’ve been following me on Facebook or other social media in the past half a year or so, you know that I’ve been somewhat obsessed with the Deste. Besides the lovely aesthetic of the cards, the individualist (or the masochist) in me is impulsively drawn to things that are hard to come by. And the Deste is a pack that is not only hard to find, but it’s also difficult to learn to read — unless you’re fluent in Greek or Turkish, of course!

Four Djans - the Spirit Advisors

Four Djans – the Spirit Advisors

I first saw the cards on Chris’s YouTube channel. Chris is a young man from Greece, who often records cartomancy-related videos in English. And in one of Chris’ videos dealing with his fortunetelling collection he revealed the Deste — an oriental-looking (for a lack of better words) system of divination composed of suites / elements, courts, and ‘core’ cards that resemble the Lenormand. The deck also includes four Horses, four Djans  (magical spirits and advisors), and two matriarchal divinities representing the polarity of good and evil. Attart (also Attartee) is the energy of “light”, while Valide (Valinde) is the bringer of misfortune and doom.  The pack totals 65 cards.

Attart & Valinde

Attart & Valinde

This deck was created by Mara Meimaridi, who is a published Greek author and a hereditary psychic. Meimaridi claims to be a reincarnation of her great aunt, Katina, a powerful witch from the Greek town of Smyrna. Rising up from tragically humble beginnings, just like the famed Voodoo queen, Marie Laveau, of New Orleans, Katina became a force of magical influence in her own town. Guided by a pack of very special cards, the sorceress knew what spells to perform and what potions to use get all she desired. Can you guess what cards Katina had used? You’re right, the Deste!

Three out of four Horses of the deck

Three out of four Horses of the deck

One day, while staying in the house of her late great aunt, Katina, Mara Meimaridi had multiple revelations that led her to locate Katina’s hidden deck. Meimaridi knew how to lay and read these cards. What followed is numerous books chronicling the life and times of Katina, including a cosmology of Attart, Valinde, and other mystical forces influencing our world. In addition, Meimaridi owns a pricy cosmetic line attributed to Katina’s knowledge of magical herbology, while ruling a psychic empire of books, cards, and more recently a Deste-style Quija board. Katina’s adventures captured the Greek audiences so much, that a soapy TV show was produces about the witches of Smyrna.

On the left is the Greek edition, and on the right is the Turkish.

On the left is the Greek edition, and on the right is the Turkish.

Interestingly, the design of the Deste does not resemble Katina’s original pack. Claiming the cards to be too fragile, Meimaridi composed the aesthetic of her deck by using snippets taken from original, antique oriental art. The author published two versions of the deck: the Greek, which is more liberal looking; followed by a flimsily modest, Turkish edition.

After seeing Chris’ initial video about this pack, I spent many hours online hunting for the cards. Eventually I found a Turkish website that sold them. The cards arrived to the western suburbs of Chicago almost two months post ordering. However my excitement of finally having a copy of the Deste quickly turned into frustration. It all boiled down to being incapable to learn using the system because I don’t speak or read Turkish. And apparently Google translate doesn’t either because after typing in whole passages from the accompanying book, all I got was gibberish!

“How am I supposed to learn to read with these cards if I’m having a hard time translating their damn titles?”

Some of Deste’s characters

Some of Deste’s characters

My salvation came in the form of a Facebook Group, founded by Maree Bento, the creator of the Antiquarian Lenormand. Luckily for all of us, Dimitra, of Greek Tarot, who is also a professional translator with a perfect knowledge of the English language, also joined the group early on.

Dimitra has made a generous series of tutorials about the cards. She shared not only the meanings and the reading techniques, but also the back-stories underlying this particular method of divination. I must say that I absolutely adore Dimitra. Besides being a talented and knowledgeable reader, she is cool lady with a Mediterranean sense of humor — something I miss so much in my Midwestern hood. I am thrilled that she has recently agreed to formally teach the Deste. Dimitra’s seminars are accessible internationally. For more information please visit her website.

In the group Dimitra shared invaluable tips, like card combos and keys to understanding the complicated court cards reflective of politics of the harem structure during the reign of the Ottoman Empire. Other group members also helped tremendously by compiling and editing on card definitions, drawing from various sources like Chris’ videos, Dimitra’s translations, and the English definitions randomized by the card drawing application on Meimaridi’s site.

From left, top: Tower; Clouds; Moon; Fox — all of these cards have completely different meanings from Lenormand

From left, top: Tower; Clouds; Moon; Fox — all of these cards have completely different meanings from Lenormand

Even though a lot of the core cards resemble the Lenormand, it is a completely separate system and it would be a mistake trying to read these based on Lenormand theory. For instance, though there are cards with similar titles, like Child and Tower, many of these cards’ meanings critically differ from what we’re used to in Lenormand. For example, the upright meaning of the Clouds card is actually very positive — something along the lines of “the clouds are clearing above your head after a period of dark storms.” Additionally, the core division of the pack includes additional cards that the Lenormand doesn’t; like Camel, Nile, and the East Wind. It’s also important to note that Deste is read both, upright and reversed. It even has its own, unique method of shuffling and a special way of question-framing.

One of the things I particularly enjoy about the Deste is that it was made for spellwork. Both, single cards and card combinations can be applied for magical purposes. Here’s an example of a small beauty ritual I came up with using the cards.

From left: East Winds; Camel; Opium; and Nile

From left: East Winds; Camel; Opium; and Nile

Finally, I find this deck to be people-oriented, as opposed to the Lenormand that, in my opinion, is more event-based oracle. It’s not recommended to use the Deste for day-to-day readings (even though I do that all the time), but to keep its advice for more weighty concerns. Also, Fridays are considered a traditional day for Deste divination.

P.S.

Tomorrow, November 24th, 2013, I’ll be a guest reader on the Lucky Mojo Rootwork Hour along with Miss cat yronwode and Conjureman Ali. If you have a chance, please tune in. The show is always a lot of fun. And who knows… I might even pull a few Deste cards ;-)

A Method to My Madness — 6 core principals driving my divination practice

Honey Jar with Lenormand elementsA couple of months ago I was invited to teach a workshop on divination anchored in the context of hoodoo, which is a primary source of magical services I offer to clients. The specific focus of this course was learning to asses magical conditions, i.e. evil eye, by using a divinatory instrument — be it cards, bones, omens, or what have you.

The workshop was a success, and I’ll be offering a more elaborate version at the Hoodoo Heritage Festival held by Lucky Mojo and the Missionary Independent Church next year.

Although this workshop ties directly to the conjure and Southern folk magic traditions, I believe the “Core Rules” I use in my practice are relevant across the board and help polish any forms of divination.

Below is an excerpt focused on the core principals helping me to get a grip on multiple layers of information that often appear in a single consultation. Please keep in mind that the workshop was designed to help individuals assess a magical (usually personal) case.

A Method to My Madness

1. Pick & Stick:

Don’t jump between various systems, but learn the Ins & Outs of one, preferred method. Practice does makes better! Especially when the questions move away from mundane, and inquire the critical. If you want to know whether a neighbor’s son, who is in the hospital because of a terrible car accident and is in critical condition, will live through August— you probably shouldn’t divine on it with the Bunny Tarot you got for Christmas, and have used only once on Easter.

2. Keep it Simple:

Especially in the beginning — diving into a complicated system of divination tends to span more confusion, discouragement, and eventually stasis. Making something more complicated than it needs to be will not make it better.

3. Set Parameters:Vogue Cover

Decide what means what BEFORE you sit down to read… For example, lets say that you are concerned about being jinxed by a co-worker, and your preferred divination method is the Lenormand. You decide to pull two cards on the matter at hand, and you pull first the Dog card, followed by the Lady card. So does this draw mean that a female co-worker is throwing for you, or does it proves your suspicion to be groundless?

The answer completely depends on the parameters you’ve set prior to the reading. If you’ve decided that positive and neutral cards always return a solid YES (without looking into the context of the draw), and your question was: Has Molly been jinxing me? Then the answer is Yes, she was. However, if you decided that positive and neutral cards stand for positive/pleasant outcomes (basing your answer on the context of the draw), then Molly isn’t jinxing you. On the contrary, she is a loyal and supportive colleague.

The reader is the one responsible for setting the parameters. How you set them is completely up to you. But be sure to make these executive decisions prior to a divination session.

4. Formulate CLEAR Questions:

Formulating clear questions is the most important “core rule,” in my opinion. If your questions are generalized and fuzzy, the answers you’ll get will ALWAYS be shrouded in doubt and uncertainty!

Just yesterday an email client has asked to see if “she and her guy” will ever be together. It’s a common way people ask questions. And as a diviner and a rootdoctor it is my job to correct some MAJOR issues with involving the formulation of this question, prior to presenting it to my oracle.

Lets look at the word ever, and how long it lasts. For instance, a young adult might consider a period of three months to last for ever. Now an adult, a Taurus for example ;-), might be willing to wait for a loved one for decades. While a client who believes in reincarnation, and has recently lost a partner, will consider ever to be a lifetime or two.

And what about the word together? To one person it might mean hanging out together at the same space. To another it represents spending time together as platonic friends? Most likely a statement like that refers to a romantic relationship. But in order to clarify what exactly together means, some input and clarification is needed on a case-to-case basis.

Indeed, ever should be framed as an exact period of time; while together needs to be spelling out the type of a desired relationship. So a better question might look like: “Will I and John Doe be in a committed, romantic, and intimate relationship within the next 3 months?” This way both my client and I share the same understanding of the query, and can interpret the results of the consultation appropriately.

5. Question Everything:

A common misconception circulating within the spiritual community for years states that repeating the same question, or asking too many questions will result in confusing the oracle, or even worse, offending it.

If you hold this belief, please ask yourself the following:

Do you really want to work with an oracle, a system, or an entity that is so capricious that it gives you grief for asking for clarification? Or maybe it has a spiritual ADHD, and it cannot retain focus when asked a series of three to five relating questions?

So what’s going to happen if a client comes to you because have a $50,000 and they want to invest it in one of four aggressive portfolios. I don’t know about you, but in cases like this I tend to confirm, reconfirm, and re-reconfirm my answer. So give your oracle a dose of spiritual Adderall, to keep it in focus and in check :-)

MLClouds6. Assess Your Mental State — Can you read for yourself?

Finally, it’s important to acknowledge that even the best of diviners under certain circumstance is incapable of producing meaningful, and “true” readings when looking into a personal issue of high priority. The fact of the matter is that if a certain situation in our lives gives us anxiety, it renders detachment largely impossible and throws objectivity out the window.

Personally, when I cannot interpret the message of my own divination because there’s just too much going in my life in relation to a specific situation — I choose to pamper myself, and turn to other readers for a second opinion.

No matter what the situation is, I enjoy getting readings from others. It’s a great opportunity to get a different perspective, learn a new technique, and support the diviners’ community by purchasing a reading. And I highly recommend you do it too!

Warmly,

Madame Nadia 

Finding a Lost Object Using the Lenormand

So it might appear like a petty, even a dumb draw; but it illustrates precisely why traditional Lenormand is by far one of my favorite divination systems:

(1) It’s practical

(2) It’s unpretentious

(3) And it’s uber accurate

A Case of a Lost DVD Cover

My husband and I rent DVDs for our young daughter at the local library. She is three and a half, and has been a fan of Angelina Ballerina for about half of her life. So last time we went to the library we rented Mousical Medleys, which is an Angelina Ballerina feature. And today the time has come to return the DVD.

Although the actual disk was still in the DVD player, my husband couldn’t find the film’s case for the life of him. He looked all around the basement — which is our family room, and where the TV is located — but Mousical Medleys was nowhere to be found.

The DVD case wasn’t behind the TV stand. I was neither under the couch, nor in the toy basket.

“I have no clue where it is,” hubby announced in somewhat annoyed manner.

“I’ll find it,” I said.

“How?”

“I’ll throw some cards on it.”

Standing in the doorway separating the unfinished part of the basement from the common area, he gave me the typical look husbands of fortune tellers give their wives when we grab at the “supernatural” to mend the general household affairs — it looks like something like a fuse between the “yeah, right” look, and the “oh shit” gaze — and moved on onto the next item on his to do list.

For the task at hand I picked the Magpie Oracle by Carrie Paris, which is a collection of all the 36 Lenormand symbols in a form of tiny charms. I love using these because it’s easy placing them on letter-size Lenormand house printouts. (Carrie actually provides some cool charts on her site to be used with the Magpie Oracle.) Casting the Magpie charms reminds me casting bones, just in a less involved and formal manner.

So back to the story; For my investigation I used a Lenormand Houses chart, casting 3 charms onto specific houses to try figuring out where the DVD Case is hiding.

The first charm was a mouse! I knew I was on the right track immediately:

(a) the Mice card talks about losses and theft;

(b) the actual MIA object was a cover of an animation about a mouse ballerina and her mousling friend dancers;

I placed that charm on the House position in the chart. The next draw was an Owl, which I placed in the house of Mice. Finally, I drew the Sun charm, placing it in the Birds / Owls space.

Mouse+Owl+Sun on Magpie Oracle

Together Mice+Birds+Sun zoned on a very specific area where the lost object is located. In this specific draw I was interested in physical locations and characteristics attributed to the cards. For instance, The Mice card points to the basement — so I knew the DVD cover hasn’t “left” the family room area. The Birds represent all forms of communication, and our internet modem is located in the basement, behind the TV. The owls, specifically, also made me think of glasses because it’s a card that relates to vision issues — and I keep a pair of glasses right next to the modem, which is by the TV, for the rare occasions when I actually have the time to watch movies with the rest of the crew. Finally, the Sun stands for electricity, and TVs specifically.

Magpie Charms & mini Marseille Lenormand

My conclusion was that the cover of Mousical Medleys must still be right there, by the TV, the modem, and the DVD player.

It took me about 5 seconds to move a few large children books laying on the TV stand, right by the DVD player to find the missing case. “You gotta be kidding me,” I said to hubby who saw me in action and now was scratching his head in disbelief.

the DVD case is "hiding" under books

 

Lenormand couldn’t be more precise. Like a sonar of sorts it gave me an exact location. I didn’t need to invoke spirits, form a psychological profile of my family, or connect to my inner child.

And this is why i love Lenormand!

Finding the lost DVD case

Affectionately,

Madame Nadia 

Tune in to the Lucky Mojo Rootwork Hour today

Image

Tune in to the Lucky Mojo Rootwork Hour today

I’ll be reading cards, mainly Lenormand, but maybe also the Tarot of Marseille; and offering conjure advice on the show this afternoon.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/luckymojohoodoorootworkhour/2013/08/04/lucky-mojo-hoodoo-rootwork-hour-general-call-in-format

When Hitting a Lenormand Plateau

A puzzled Madame Nadia

A puzzled Madame Nadia


I love Lenormand! So you can imagine how terrible I felt when I hit a “reader’s block”.

My interest in this system of divination started just before the massive Lenormand conversion has begun in the United States. I was attracted to the seemingly simplistic look and reading approach, and the very direct and practical responses the cards gave.

Since I couldn’t find any real Lenormand readers in my area I sought after virtual mentorship, receiving a lot of valuable information, guidance, and support from Andy, Fennario, and Mama Whodun. Andy’s blog became my Lenormand mecca, and I subscribed to the Dutch-Belgian school of meanings as I eagerly joined Andy’s free course.

I did my homework with a zeal, produced multiple blog posts, and practiced reading the cards daily myself and, after feeling more comfortable with the system, for clients. I joined a Facebook study group, through which I met many acolytes and even a couple new mentors, while observing how Lenormand is taking the US market by storm and, too often, becoming something slightly different (but this post isn’t about that). And as I attempted to stay purist in my approach to interpreting the cards, I became completely consumed by consumerism; buying hot, new decks and powdery, vintage pecks that suddenly showed up everywhere around me like hot beignets. Everything was la di da sweet…. And then I hit a plateau.

It really hit me when I begun working with the Grand Tableau lesson in Andy’s course. Suddenly what used to be fun and inspiring, now raised anxiety. There was so much details, tricks, and just SO MUCH information yet to be learned and memorized. “Damn,” I thought to myself, “It really will take time to learn!” The Lenormand wasn’t that simplistic in my eyes anymore, and I realized that I have to take a break from jamming more and more technical information into my head if I REALLY wanted to get it.

Sadly, it became clear to me that what I was really doing was racing to an imaginary finish line. Instead of taking the time to learn how to read these amazing cards, now I was lost in competing with a virtual band of readers. And this wasn’t working. I knew that I had to slow down, take a break from the course, and reconfigure my priority list.

All great films have multiple story lines. Sure, the Alpha storyline is what’s most important. However, it is because of secondary story lines that we are able gage the colors and measure the depths of our characters. Without these parallel prisms of information, every film is a rigid composition of only primary “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” sort of colors.

LiliesMy film metaphor is quite a detour. But it makes this post more flavorful. And so is the Lenormand experience I’m striving for. After exiting a self-imposed, mental competition, I’ve searched for new ways to look at the cards without pressure. I figure that there must be other layers and prisms through which each card, and consequently combinations of cards, would reveal information greater than just key words and right-to-left reading technique. I yearn to know how much dust, in a given read, is accomulated on the Rider’s boots; and how sharp is Scythe’s blade, and how sexy is the Lily? I crave those B and C story lines. And so do my clients.

Recently I’ve been feeling a shift in the way that I read. I am walking away from rigid ideas about cards, as I am building a personal library of notions and experiences. I’ve also found a few helpful sources. Taking Caitlin Matthews’ informative webinar, Petit Lenoirmand Method — Past and Future, has been really helpful with building new, and more personalized layers of interpretation. And even more recently, being exposed to the writings of a heavy weight Lenormand champion, Chanah, of Confessions of a Freaky Fortune Teller, who has returned to the cartomancy scene just in time to lift my reader’s block, has been awesome. So there’s light in the end of the tunnel.

IMG_7706I guess that Mama Woudun and Fennario were right after all, saying it takes years before you really start digging the Lenormand. Following their wise advice, I took my relationship with the cards to the next phase. Maybe we’re not living together yet, but we’re definitely going out steady. I feel like I am ready to “meet the family”; that I do care to know what makes big sister Bouquet tick, when is uncle Whip planning to get out of the closet, and what kind of mental illness grandpa Clouds gifted my sitter with. I’m not so obsessed parading my “red, hot” reader’s skills to others anymore. What I am focused on is getting to know the cards’ personalities intimately — and how these play out when we’re together. That’s all.

Cheers,

Madame Nadia

Cinderella Weekends

My husband is finishing his Master’s degree — which means that along my full-time job and my fortune telling and conjure practice, I am also having quite a load on my shoulders taking care of our household, our daughter, and two spoiled fur-babies. And thought it sounds like bitching (and maybe it is :) ), I wouldn’t mind cloning myself if I could. Especially on the weekends, when my to do list looks like a menacing, multi-headed hydra, and a martini-therapy seems like the only sane option.
This weekend my husband is away on a school-related seminar. And I am here — in “charge”! I pulled three cards from my vintage Piatnik, that gave me a perfect reflection of today’s situation.

The Crossroads is about important choices, and the decision-making process. In today’s, simplified, context I see it as being in charge and having to navigate the day for my family.
The House and the Child are quite literal. My decisions will be about my home, and focused on my daughter.

I also feel that the advice within these cards talks about making a conscious decision to have a good day because it could go either way.

In other words, bitching is OK, but don’t forget the blessings! Read between the lines of the laundry list, and enjoy what you’ve got without loosing your mind in the details of what needs to get done.

I’ll try!

Faithfully,

Madame Nadia

The Daily Deal — Personal Lenormand experiences based on daily draws

 

Let me tell you something, my friends; being a storyteller and a filmmaker can interfere with mastering daily Lenormand draws. My innate attraction to drama, high affect and loud personality perform nicely when reading for clients who desire periodic draws with deep revelations. But reading for myself everyday is a different beast altogether.

In our car

As I mentioned before on this blog, my daily practice consists of drawing 3 cards for my husband, and then 3 cards for myself on our way to work. After discussing the cards with my husband (who now can read Lenormand, even though he has never asked to learn it ;-) ), I record our dailies in a notebook along with my predictions. As I pull the cards — and especially if what I drew does not make sense right away — I tend to go over the top with my predictions. Overarching statements create safer umbrellas, when you are not sure what the exact message is. And, since objectivity isn’t possible, the tendency is to go for dramatic keywords I have memorized for each card.

By now dailies have become our own little ritual, and they never cease to surprise me. The Lenormand is precise, and witty, and literal, and I am always amazed when I realize which events playing out in our daily lives the cards chose to foreshadow. Typically these are the things we tell each other in the end of the day, as soon as we are cloaked by the privacy of our Mini Cooper, tend to reflect the morning draws 1-to-1. These are the joyous things we can’t wait to share right away; or the stresses and downers we must vent about, getting it off of our chests.

Today’s Draw: Birds + Rider + Whip, from a “Game of Hope” reproduction deck

This morning I drew The Birds, along with The Rider and The Whip. I had all kinds of ideas what these cards might represent, but it ended up reflecting me having to repeatedly attempt (The Whip) performing a simple computer-related task, and being unable to do it because of a loud group of people (Birds) that held a meeting in the same room I work at. Since I had a headache, and was tired and stressed out to begin with, having a herd of ladies chirping gossip in my ears in the end of the day really terminated my focus and performance abilities. The Lenormand though, was right on.

Our four bosses, and the way they show up in the cards.

As you have probably understand by now, my husband and I work together. We both are artists, working in a therapeutic day school for students with autism, who we adore. We have three female bosses that show up in the cards as the Snake, the Fox, and the Bear. Recently a fourth person joined the leadership team, and we think he might be showing up at the Dog — but we are not 100% on it yet.

The kids we work with have ginormous personalities, whether they are verbal or not. A few days ago, while brainstorming on my biggest project of the year, I’ve decided on a whim to interview one of my high schoolers about his dreams. This particular student (lets call him Luca) is very bright, but I had no idea whether he knew what the word dream means. Also, Luca has a very hard time controlling and organizing his body, and is a very high strung young man. When he is not feeling good physically or emotionally, his anxiety grows exponentially — heavily taxing Luca’s already limited ability for communicating his ideas.

I got lucky though, and Luca gave me some profound answers to my questions about dreams. On his letter board, slowly spelling with one finger letter by letter, Luca explained that dreams are visions coming from the brain. He dreams regularly, and in color. And it looks like movies. Regarding his aspirations, vs. nocturnal dreams, Luca said he would like to sail a boat one day. He also shared some interests that could possibly turn into an actual business in a not so far future.

Needless to say, I had chills running all over my body and tears in my eyes by the time we were done with the interview. The depth of Luca’s inner world blew me completely out of the water, and so did the morning Lenormand draw that looked like this:

Moon + Star + Stork talk about an uplifting feeling about a student’s dreams and aspirations for the future

Have wonderful dreams, my cartomancy friends!

Affectionately,

Madame Nadia

Learning a New Oracle? A couple thoughts on grasping the lingo of a new divination system.

Wolf Metacarpals Runes

Recently I picked up a few new oracles to study. Being a triple Gemini, I never lack in new subject to learn. Patience, however, isn’t my best quality, and I always desire to assimilate new systems so i can practice them right away — which is difficult to do, considering the subject of my interest is new to me; like the Runes I’ve been recently investigating.
On the other hand, the cool thing about my Mercurial tendencies is that I am able to swiftly utilize previously acquired information to produce accelerated learning.
In any case, my intention with this article isn’t to tell you of the pros and cons of my natal chart, but to share a few techniques helpful when working with new systems.
As I already mentioned, I’m currently studying the Runes. Although I have a couple of books at home, I tend to rely primarily on the internet for information. And we all know how “reliable” the net can be, so I am forced to discriminate with all that I find on the subject. Not much fun.

Little Czech Oracle draw with a Deer  Antler “Uruz” rune

I am also working with the Little Czech Oracle, produced by Baba Studio. This little gem packs quite an oracular punch, but since I do not Know Czech I do not understanding the LWB that came with the deck, and it’s hard for me to believe that the publisher will be investing time and money into translating it and making it into a book. So I am left trying to figure out on my own how to work the magic of this divination system.
Nevertheless, even if you are lucky enough to stumble upon a good source of information regarding a system you are attempting to grasp, there is still quite a gap between memorized meanings (which are no doubt a must), and utilizing these in a reading to produce an accurate, Spirit-led narrative that not only validates, but also transforms the querent. It’s one thing to have a decent vocabulary, and another to use it in meaningful, rich and engaging way.
Throughout the years of reading and being read by others, I realized that every good diviner posses a unique way of communicating spiritual messages eloquently. These individuals seem to have a special connection to the oracles they are using, and the way they are translating archetypal information to their clients.
In my own practice I learned that every oracle, be it the playing cards or Lenormand or Tarot, has its own way of sharing information. And not only that, but each oracular tool (i.e. my personal copy of the Game of Hope Lenormand, or my own set of Bones) has its own tone and accent. You might consider this idea strange, or even ridiculous, since I am giving such importance to the “voice” of inanimate objects; but no joke — a simple statement of “You will find a new job soon” is going to be expressed in a different dialect by my Crowley Thoth deck compared to how my vintage Rider-Waite-Smith will deliver this same line. And while my White Owl Lenormand usually takes a poetic approach, the Carta Mundi deck communicates within the “SpeakEasy” genre: saying it “like it is”!

So what are beneficial approaches to learning such linguistic nuances?

Reading Backward:

The Parlour Sibyl deck, one of my new cartomatic obsessions

One approach that has been working well for me is what I call “reading backward”. What I mean by “reading backward” is instead of predicting upcoming events, I divine on a well-known to me occurence with a clear outcome. This way I don’t get stuck, self-doubting my work because I am not fluent enough in a given oracular system. Instead, I focus on the way my system tells me a story I already know. I think about: What kind of themes does it choose to describe the situation? Are there elaborate, fuzzy metaphors, or warm and lacy analogies? Or is it speaking in a painfully straightforward and direct voice that hits my being like an iron feast? By paying attention to such details I can analyze the way my intellect and psyche interpret the language of a specific oracle, letting me to calibrate my “spiritual tuner” appropriately.

Reading Along Other Fortune Tellers:

Another useful exercise I’ve been employing to progress with a new divination system is to read along with other, trustworthy readers — while focusing on the same subject or theme. For instance, I regularly listen to the Lucky Mojo Hoodoo Radio show, on which I have also been a guest in the past. The format of the show include two constant hosts, catherine yronwode and ConjureMan Ali, and a weekly guest from the AIRR collective. Callers, who signed up for a consultation prior to the show, phone-in to receive a free reading and rootwork advice. Their situation is stated by the show announcer, followed by their own description of their case. I do a short divination as the caller presents their situation; and after interpreting my own layout, I “compare notes” with the predictions of my esteemed colleagues on the show. This way I not only practice my divination skills in a controlled environment (i.e. not using my own clients as guinea pigs), but also learn the way my new oracle communicates.

Finally, I hope these two language-based ideas for divining with a new tool will be useful to you. I would love to hear about your own experiences as a novice, tackling a new oracle.

Affectionately,
Madame N.

© 2012 Madame Nadia

Join me on the “Lucky Mojo Hoodoo Rootwork Hour” tomorrow

I am honored to be again a guest on the longest running conjure radio show, The Lucky Mojo Hoodoo Rootwork Hour — alongside my good friend and mentor, Ms. cat yronwode, and one of the most talented and elegant rootworkers of our time, ConjureMan Ali.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the show: The Lucky Mojo Hoodoo Rootwork Hour is a real, live call-in show where the general public gets a chance to ask about actual problems with love, career, and spiritual protection, and we recommend and fully describe hoodoo rootwork spells to address, ameliorate, and remediate their issues.

I am planning to divine with the Lenormand cards, and with a self-made version of the upcoming The Book of Knowing playing cards oracle by Ana Cortez.

I hope you can tune in, and join us during the show in the chat room or on the phone. The show starts at 5 PM CST — 6:30 CST.

See you there!

 

Affectionately,

Madame Nadia

 

A Monthly Draw for August 2012

 

I drew from various oracles to foresee what’s coming up during the month of August. Here are a few images of the various sources of wisdom and the messages that came through for me. I am still working on deciphering what it all means.