I pulled some cards to see how my workday is going to pan out. Today was important due to a meeting that made me quite anxious. So when I pulled 2 “court” cards — Gamhat (the achiever) and Tattaret (the wannabe wife)— alongside a reversed House, it didn’t make any sense. I wanted to know about my job, so what the heck it this family affair showing up in my draw?
A 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.
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 🙂
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!
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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!
I’ll be reading cards, mainly Lenormand, but maybe also the Tarot of Marseille; and offering conjure advice on the show this afternoon.
I think that I’ve never waited for anyone, let alone anything, as long as I waited for the Mary-El tarot. 8 years to be precise. And boy, was it worth it!
I first laid eyes on this wondrous, and then unfinished, pack in 2003, when I stumbled upon it during one of my leisurely strolls along the virtual isles of the Aeclectic Tarot site. It was a usual kind of window-shopping stroll-through — with not much expectation for originality devoid of unicorns and ferries — when I stumbled upon a Marie White’s self-published collection of 26 cards. The images were so stunning it tingled the collector part in me, getting me slightly wet with cartomantic excitement.
After finally getting a grip on myself I fished out a credit card from a paddle of fresh drool on my glass computer desk. I ordered the deck. Proceeding to sit on the edge of my chair for almost a week and a half, I checked the tracking report like a maniac.
I was consumed with papery lust even before caressing the tenderness of these temptresses of mystery in between my fingers. And then I became completely enslaved by their raw and sensual glamour as I rode a colossal spiritual high, shuffling those laminated beauties for the very first time.
The 22 Major Arcana and the 4 hermaphroditic aces proved to be such an esoteric delight that every other collection of divinatory imagery would be compared, in the years to come, with no real success, to the Mary-El tarot. Like a mythological ex, or a virgin line of cocaine, somehow no other pack deemed as satisfying as the thought of 78 completed fetishes I knew a full Mary-El deck would turn to be. So I waited…
Like a true addict, I frequently stocked Marie White’s blog, hoping to learn she has finished painting the rest of the cards. I would visit that sacred Mecca every few days, initially. And then every few weeks. And then every few months. Time passed, life happened, and reality changed becoming more complex and demanding. I graduated college, underwent a spiritual initiation, got divorced and then remarried, and got a coveted gig in TV production — while establishing my own spiritual personality and forging my path.
Marie, on the other hand, birthed another child whose pictures occasionally decorated her website; alongside snapshots of her colorful studio, and a snow-covered, farm-looking back yard.
Once in a while I’d be tempted by a new single apparition, or a couple of freshly painted cards, on Marie’s site. Although silence prevailed in between new uploads, Marie would still post updates of her work sometimes.
But then she went completely incommunicado. And my own well dried up too.
To me, Marie’s site seemed like Sleeping Beauty’s tomb, reflecting in ornate and crystal silence the flames of my own crisis. As I went through personal hell, the Mary-El bunch became frozen in time like a flashback of innocent desire. There might have been new cards joining the ranks of her blog, but I was in no emotional capacity to admire them. I was surviving.
More years have passed. Children grew, hearts broke yet continued pumping life juice. And that life juice, made with hope, verve, and selective memory, had led me to Marie again, this time on Facebook. I was sad to learn she’s been paralleling via a shit storm of her own.
And then a miracle happened: There was a light in the end of Schiffer Books’ tunnel. The full Mary-El tarot deck was heading to the press!
I ordered my cards from Marie’s instead of Amazon because I wanted a signed copy, even though I knew I’ll have to wait longer. What is a week or two of self-inflicted patience, after all those taming years of fortune telling frustration to a triple Gemini like myself?
Let me tell ya: A — fucking — lot!
But I waited nonetheless.
And so, in an early, warm April evening of 2012, I found myself on the front porch of my raised ranch home. There I sat, exercising yogic breathing, while being conscious of the young moon above my head conducting a lively insect orchestra in the grass; and how it jazzed and buzzed with excitement in my own veins to a point I couldn’t bring myself to unwrap the package I knew contained the Hieros Gamos of all tarot decks in my universe. Like a young child with autism, I averted my gaze to not overload myself, while treating Mary-El as if it was a long awaited lover.
I wanted these tight and shiny darlings to feel the intensity of my respect. This deflowering had to be acted out ceremoniously, and undressing was clearly a paramount part of my proof of respect. Pacing myself I gently parted the gates of the packing tape…
In the darkness of that April night, after having my way, stroking over, and over, and over again along those large, magnificently dark, and glossy cards, finally I became somewhat sober enough to observe some detail:
- a black border;
- extra thick card stock;
- a Marseille rather than a Waite pattern;
- and 2 Oroboroses, infinitely coiled and linked like a wave. Their skin tattooed with holy “Yods,” cycling tail in tongue, tongue in tail.
I am ashamed to say that after owning this pack for just a short while, I couldn’t resist my cartomantic fiending feats. So I wrapped the deck in a dusty rose-colored, Indian raw silk scarf, and housed them in a carved wooden box — courtesy of a dead grandmother — to proudly display on my nightstand.
The public show of respect and the hierarchical geographic placement was a cheap attempt redirecting my guilt for cheating on both Mary and El with other decks; Lenormands in particular.
From the corner of my left eye I could often feel the burning gaze of 78 pairs of papery eyes, as I shamelessly shuffled and caressed others right then and there, in the intimacy of my own bed.
Though a dysfunctional threesome, we still kept at it… Until the day my house got burglarized.
Nauseated with the holiday spirit being shoved down my throat in the form of obnoxious drivers, pushy sales clerks, and more-than-usually annoying elevator music, I came home one day — right after Hanukah, and just before Christmas — to find out some human waste cleaned out all of my jewelry, stole my laptop, lifted a brand new computer charger, and — yes — abducted my signed copy of the complete Mary-El tarot, still wrapped in its shroud of Indian silk. Thank Muhammad my self-published deck was left unmolested in the altar room.
I ended up contacting Marie White on Facebook to bitch about it, as I was terribly heartbroken.
But not for long! My darling husband — who knows all about my card-doping needs, and my tight connection with the Mary-El bunch in particular — surprised me by ordering a new signed copy from Marie’s Etsy Shop. He also bought a poster of my favorite card — The glorious World!
I guess something must be effin true if it becomes a cliché, because just like with old boyfriends I mistreated and dumped prematurely, the realization of loosing the Mary-El resonated with: “You never know what you have until you lose it.”
Anyhow, after reuniting with my beloved deck I became determined giving it more sugar consistently. So I got a cool-looking, African, leather carrying case (how could I not get one, I am a card fanatic…), to have on me daily. I carry the pack in my purse, adding a daily tarot draw to my ongoing Lenormand practice.
As I mentioned numerous times before, my daily ritual is to pull cards for hubby and myself on our drive to work. With Mary-El being part of my arsenal, I re-adjusted the way I frame my draws.
Allowing the Lenormand shine in its practicality, I let the tarot perform on a more philosophical level. When drawing a card from the Mary-El deck, I focus on questions such as “What will help / inspire me today?” I follow each daily draw by reading passages from the phenomenal book that came with the cards. I find Marie’s writing poetic. It is refreshing and authentic, without being patronizing or dogmatic.
The black snake of the tongue comes between the two trees, spreading them, moving serpentine between them, circling the trunks and exposing their inner sanctum of blackness. The snake encircles a portion, containing it, making it individual, defining it, limiting it, naming it loving it, eating it, consuming it. Snake and fruit become one.
Lilith and Logos unite. Knowledge of good and evil.
(from The 2 of Swords, p. 78)
I also appreciate this deck being more Marseille-oriented, than Waite-based, as I am trying to add this lens to my fortune telling world-view.
And how can I disregard the fact that it’s pretty much the only deck in my massive collection that doesn’t shy away from parading male genitalia. Just look at the Fool card, captured lke a Dervish, twirling in motion with his glorious penis caught mid in flight. This makes me happy!
Following a tarot draw I then ask the Lenormand: “What should I know about today?” And sometimes I also zone on questions like “What is the single event that will influence my workday the most today?”
Often I find the tarot card offering a strategy dealing with issues and concerns described by the Lenormand. Diligently I record my predictions in a notepad kept in the passenger’s door of the Cooper. This way it is convenient to revisit the reading on the way back from work. By discussing the events of the day, and decoding these in the language of the cards my relationship and understanding of cartomancy expands in a personal and a potent way.
In conclusion, it is fair to say that all three of us — Mary, El, and yours truly — currently enjoy a superbly intimate and quite successful symbiosis. Don’t dismiss shock therapy, dearies — sometimes it’s quite a turn on!
I don’t know how about you, but this Mercury Retrograde has been especially brutal for me. I placed orders online that have disappeared into thin air, booked readings with clients, but a mistyped phone number, and had to redo obnoxiously simple tasks over and over again. My life felt like a broken record, and I couldn’t get a grip or change the tune. Emotionally it didn’t feel like a picnic either!
Finally Mercograde was over, concluding ceremoniously with an electrifying Lunar Eclipse and a Full Moon in Gemini — oh boy! I feel like all the tension buildup of the past three weeks has finally hit the fan. I definitely feel more clarity, but now all this emotional plaque is right in front of my eyes and I know I have to deal with it. Clearly, denial ain’t going to offer its velvety and familiar numbness this time. I really have to deal with some major personal funk.
After speaking with many friends and my regular sitters, I realize that this Mercury Retrograde was hard on many. Relationships in particular were examined under a merciless magnifying glass, while dysfunctionality floated to the surface without reservation.
So today, as I am beginning to feel a bit more sane, I pulled a few cards to get a global advice regarding the proper psycho-spiritual approach to the upheaval that is plaguing our lives following this recent astrological phenomena.
The cards I drew are the Queen of Cups (from Alexander Daniloff’s gorgeous deck), followed by the 2 of Clubs, 5 of Diamonds, and the King of Hearts (made by Alexander Erko’s). For me, the draw mirrored the raw emotional vibration all around that feel as comfortable as exposed nerves during a root canal procedure. But the Queen who had a hard time to keep all her bubbles together recently, and who is usually an expert par excellence in the watery depths of the feelings department, is finally able to integrate all of the emotional memory without drowning herself in it. She can work through it, bringing a much needed healing. In this deck in particular, she actually looks at the reader with a post-meditation gaze. She’s finally ready to act!
The playing cards flanking the Queen prove that the feminine principal doesn’t feel or chooses to be alone anymore (as she felt in the past few weeks). She is ready to connect with a male counterpart — offering him the gift of equal partnership. He accepts his help in dealing with the issues coming up during the past retrograde. Shall we dance?, she asks.
Finally, there is a strong underlying karmic essence to all this emotional scab-picking that needs to happen. And this enigmatic Queen reminds us that there are patches of healthy, smooth skin underneath it all, waiting to be loved as soon as the wounds are properly cleansed and dressed.
The time has come for real healing to start! Please be gentle with yourselves!
This is just a short post to let y’all know that as of last night I am a proud member of Hoodoo Psychics.
This is the first time I am venturing into the psychic hotline world, and I am very excited because Hoodoo Psychics is a true cooperative organization with a solid code of ethics. Currently, all the diviners who read via this site are also members of the Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers. I couldn’t ask for a better company!
So dial 1-888-4-HOODOO ext. 8468 if you would like to book an instant reading with me 🙂
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.
If you want a revolution, you better spend some time planning the event!
This week’s Global Forecast consists of 3 cards from various decks, and a rune. Initially I pulled card number 20 Communication / Negotiation from the King Solomon Oracle Cards deck, followed by the Revolution card from the Dirty Tarot oracle. Tension!
While the King Solomon oracle suggest taking time to plan, think through, deliberate and only then approach the target patiently, Revolution thrusts forward with ideological immediacy. I foresee a dance of anxiety — wanting to produce, change, and evolve, but understanding that time isn’t right. Logic is possible, but not enjoyable. And this week ain’t going to be about joy, or about logic per-se. It’s about personal spiritual space. And indecision. And being OK with it.
The third card I pulled is 7 of Disks from the exquisite Mary-El tarot. Indeed, this card is a blessing. A possibility to achieve something wonderful and tangible. However, along with the inverted Teiwaz rune , the meaning of the first two cards is being reinforced: In order to make magic without, we must descend into the depths of ourselves to dwell in the magic within.
In less poetic and artsy terms, I think fusion is the right approach. If you feel like the tension in the atmosphere is becoming somewhat violent, instead of going from 0 — Bitch in a nanosecond, take a break — you are allowed! Fuse that anger, that irritation. Wrap it around itself, sit with it, attempt a spiritual macrame project. And remember, you are not alone. I think we all will need to fight the heady agitated spaces, allowing some quiet time of indecision.
I remember, as a teenager in a country where English is only a second language, listening to the good ol’ Dire Straits, and pondering the meaning of the title “Brothers” in “Arms,” not knowing that the word arms meant not only an embrace, but also weapons. Thinking about this week’s prediction brings a new light to my concept of “Brothers in Arms” — learning to project an embrace onto personal weapons — layering meanings of two impossibles, forces me to take time negotiating my own truth.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Have wonderful dreams, my cartomancy friends!