La Vera Sibilla Readings Tomorrow on the LMRH Show

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3X3 Sibilla matrix spread 

La Vera Sibilla cards have been sort of an obsession of mine for almost a year now. It’s a fascinating, pack of 52 fortunes that is read upright and reversed. Each card sports a small square on the left, top corner, with pip inserts corresponding to suits and numbers of a traditional playing cards deck, as well as two “lottery” numbers at the bottom of each card. Like other “sentimental”* packs, La Vera Sibilla look like a not-so-far-removed cousin to the “The Parlor Sibyl” family.

 

tarot-sibylle-des-salons

a Parlor Sybil deck

 

Learning how to read the Sibillas has been challenging. Firstly, I do not speak Italian. And secondly, when you finally find access to the cards’ definitions, there is a ridiculous amount of meanings to memorize for each card. So far the 52 shady ladies of La Vera Sibilla pack turned out to be consistently and unapologetically on point — just like I like it.

 

If you’d like to experience the Sibillas in action, I’d be thrilled if you tune in to the Lucky Mojo Rootwork Hoodoo Hour show, today, Sunday, May 29th, over on blogtalk. The show airs at 5:00 PM Central Time. I will be filling-in for Miss Cat, and co-hosting the show, reading fortunes, and prescribing conjure remediations alongside  ConjureMan Ali. The show is also archived, and available for later listen over on on iTunes.

Hope to see you in the chatroom ❤

Madame N.

 

PS

Please let me know if you’d like to read more about my experience with La Vera Sibilla, or see sample readings.

 

  • Sentimental decks refer to oracle decks that were read primarily by women, for women. The readings were centered primarily on romantic

 

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a ‘Deste’ Love Reading

I have been getting a lot of Deste-related questions recently from folks who want to learn the deck. The Spirit of Deste — and if you read Deste you know exactly what I’m talking about — has been quite pushy about wanting me to give it more attention. Although I am far from mastering this oracle, I thought it would be helpful sharing an actual reading I’ve recently done for a client. Luckily, the client was gracious and has given me permission to share her consultation with you.

In addition, I have a couple of important announcements tucked at the end of this post — so make sure to check them out before you click on and away from my blog 😉

To the Reading, then:

My client wanted to know about the prospects of her relationship with a colleague, whom she’s been involved with for several months now. I drew the Imperial Cross — thanks Dimitra for teaching me this technique. Essentially, it’s a similar layout to what we refer as the Celtic Cross, but Miss Meimaridi calls it the Imperial Cross.

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an Imperial Cross layout + a Djan for advice

Dare Reversed (Rx) in the center represents the man you are in a relationship with. By being reversed we see already that the situation isn’t ideal. The card in general foretells of reversals of fortune, and having to wait for what you want. Your situation is influenced by outside forces — it’s not in your own hands. Most likely it’s family issues that interfere with your relationship.
Clouds represent the obstacles. You want clarity, yet this desire isn’t possible at the moment. With the Anchor to the right of the Clouds, it seems like what you really want is clarity in regard to the stability of this relationship.
Gate Rx stands for the fear of the negative influence this relationship could have on your work / career situation. Also, if your guys was waiting for a promotion at work, Gate Rx below his significator card, Dare Rx, it doesn’t look likely.
Assyranta is a female in a position of influence. Is he married or in a committed relationship? It sure looks like that with Assyranta on above Dare Rx that is on top of Gate Rx.
In that case, she is in control of the situation, and he won’t leave her / divorce her.
~ after the reading the client had confirmed she is involved with a married man ~
Zara, the white horse of the diamond suit, shows the bright promises of the past; it looked like this relationship would blossom into a more fulfilling and easier to handle romance, and that the man you are dating would be a suitable choice for a partner.
With Anchor placed in the position of upcoming events, I don’t think you’ll be leaving him soon. Anchor is a card of stability. I do not foresee a major change in the status quo, so to speak, in the near future. It also shows that if he is in another relationship, he’ll continue going between both of you. Butit’s important to remember that the Anchor is a positive card. So it’s quite possible that your outlook on the relationship will become a bit more positive, and so you won’t want to make changes.
The Mice Rx tell us that you have hopes for this relationship to work out, and regain the things that were lost in the near past.
You have people around you that push you to stay in the relationship with him, while others sway you against it. This is shown the reversed Fish card. It makes you feel like others know better than you. You are stuck in the middle, unable to make a decision, and wanting others to decided for you.
Your own feeling is that you are willing to give him one last chance. The Tomb Rx states so.
For now, as seen by the Letter card, you will continue communicating with him.
Bedes Rx is the advice card. It doesn’t show great potential for the relationship because you have a lot working against you. Bedes talks about having to wait for a very long time, and be extra patient to get this relationship to a place that is truly healthy and good for you.

I hope this sample reading was helpful for you. Please feel free to respond in the comments about your experiences with the Deste, and how do you handle love consultations.

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Madame Pamita, Johannes, Madame Nadia, & Elvyra at the Hoodoo Heritage Fest 2013

As you may already know, I will be presenting two workshops at the Hoodoo Heritage Festival in California, in the first weekend of May. One of the workshops might be of special interest to you, and so I thought I’d share the details.

Beyond the Reading: Using Tarot, Lenormand, and Playing Cards in Rootwork is a workshop crafted to teach how to use Tarot, Lenormand, and Playing Cards to diagnose yourself or a client and decide which spell to use for any given situation, how to customize that spell for maximum effectiveness, and even how to incorporate your cards into hoodoo spells.

This workshop will take place between 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM, on Saturday, May 3, 2014.

You’ll even get to take home some awesome conjure goodies when you sign up for the workshop.

On another note, I will be on the Lucky Mojo Hoodoo Rootwork Hour, along with catherine yronwode and ConjureMan Ali, this coming Sunday, at 5 PM CST. I hope you can tune in, and join the live chat that’s always loads of fun. The show is also archived, and available for later listening.

Better Later Than Never — Bringing Madame Duberckowski to American Fortunetellers

Man card from Madame Duberckowski’s Fortune Telling Cards deckI am a procrastinator, and there’s no point denying it. But to defend myself I must disclose that even though I took the interview with Amelie over a year ago, around last Christmas my house was broken into and my laptop stolen. Along with the computer, an almost fully edited video of this interview was also gone.

So it took me a long time to get back into editing it from scratch. I really wanted to complete this piece because I felt that Amelie and I had an amazing, almost magical, connection; and I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with her about various things in addition to her gorgeous and fun deck. I found Amelie to be warm, funny, and inspiring. I adore her art, and find her cards to be so very different than anything else on the market. Both her attitude and her creations are fresh and upbeat. Not like many other decks that heavily draw upon, and too often completely reproduce, the same old RWS pattern, etc. “Madame Duberckowski’s Fortune Telling Cards” is a stand-alone oracle with nothing remotely resembling it on the market.

I hope you enjoy my tale of finding the deck online, connecting with Amelie, and eventually asking her a few questions about what made her create such a unique pack of cards.

Happy Friday!

Madame Nadia

PS

I’ll be co-hosting the Lucky Mojo Hoodoo Rootwork Hour this coming Sunday, with ConjureMan Ali and Deacon Millet. I hope you can tune in, or even better — join us in the chat room.

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 😉

Join me for some spooky Halloween conjure on the Lucky Mojo Rootwork Radio show today!

It ain’t no spooky Halloween without some good ol’ conjure! Join me today on the Lucky Mojo Rootwork Radio Hour, during the most amazing and witchy time of the year. In addition to our regular format, of free call-ins for divination and hoodoo advice, we will also discuss working with ancestors and spirit guides.

The show will air on 5 PM CST, and will run through 6:30 PM CST.

I will have some new and wonderful card decks with me — debuting on air The Wild Unknown Tarot, and the precious Madame Duberckowski’s Fortune Telling Cards. In addition, I’ll have my trusty Lenormand, of course, with my beloved The Book Of Knowing playing cards. I promise, all of you cartomancy fiends will have some new decks to think about.

If you are new to the radio show, here is some more information:

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. You will learn a lot just by listening — but if you call in and your call is selected, you will get a free consultation from two of the finest workers in the field, cat yronwode and ConjureMan Ali.

The number to call in for the show is (818) 394-8535.

Hope to see you there!!!!

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