Tarot de Marseille Talks Dorian

At the time of my birthday a few months back, I shared that a dream I had encouraged me to work more with Tarot de Marseille (which was validated by the Line of 5 reading I did afterward); since then, I’ve been working with the system on a daily basis.

I’ve been mixing things up, alternating between working solely with the Minors (a practice I got from Sherryl Smith over on her blog Tarot Heritage) and working solely with the Majors (a practice that a lot of TdM readers engage in, but I got from the pages of “The Marseille Tarot Revealed” by the late Dr. Yoav Ben-Dov).

For the month of September (2019), I decided to commit to working with the Majors only, pulling three cards and reading them in a line as my daily draw.

However, on the morning of September 5th, I really felt strongly to work with the Minors instead.

I was awakened in the early morning hours (around 5am or so) by the effects of Dorian, the hurricane that has been moving along the southeast coast the last few days (I live right outside the Charleston, South Carolina area).

Since I was up, I decided to go ahead and pull my cards for the day (before conditions outside got progressively worse). Using the CBD (Conver Ben-Dov) Tarot de Marseille, I drew Ace of Cups, 8 of Swords, and 6 of Swords.

The first thing that got my attention was two of the three cards were from the suit of Swords, which for me can indicate problems and troubles, blocks and obstacles. My thought was that this made sense, given that a major storm was right off the coastline.

My attention then went to the first card, Ace of Cups. One of my meanings for it is home, which made sense, because I was in my home at the moment, and had no intention of leaving it due to the storm.

In looking at the card, I noted that the home was resting on the cup, and the word elevation came to mind. I thought about the possibility of homes and buildings getting flooded because of storm surges caused by Dorian—symbolized by what looks to me like water streaming out from the bottom of the home/building on the cup. The thought came to me about people needing to find ways to keep the water out.

I’m looking at the card again, and I remind myself that the building can also represent a church (another one of my meanings for the card).

And it hits me: Charleston is known as “the Holy City”—and is prone for flooding on days when the forecast calls for several inches of rain, never mind what a hurricane off the coast could bring in.

In the moment, I’m a bit blown away to get this from the card. If I were using any of my Rider-Waite-Smith counterparts, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have gotten that.

I shift my attention to 8 of Swords, and the first thing that comes to me is power outage (8 is a number that represents power, and Swords being problems and troubles). Along with that, I then think power structure and power grid (the formation of the swords on the card).

Just at that moment of writing those words in my journal, the power goes out.

I turned on one of my battery-powered candles to see if I could continue to record the reading in my journal, and I realized 8 of Swords is also a card of analysis for me.

I decided to put the journal aside and leave the cards out.

At that moment, the power comes back on. I decided to continue.

Turning my attention to 6 of Swords, one of my meanings for the card is the end of a matter once and for all. It’s also a card of progress and moving on. All of those I attributed to Dorian. Today was said by the meteorologists to be the only day the people in my area would experience the effects of Dorian, because the system was moving on (slowly, but moving on).

And then I noticed that the numbers on the Swords cards go from 8 to 6—showing a decrease in intensity, perhaps signaling Dorian weakening over time.

And then I was struck by an idea, much in the way I was struck with “the Holy City” of Charleston for Ace of Cups: For me, the suit of Swords is associated with the element air.

I thought about air, when then became atmosphere, which then became weather and then storm (Swords suggests a problem in the air, atmosphere, or weather).

I concluded the reading there. As I closed the journal, putting it away for the time being, I was in awe of what the Tarot de Marseille had to say about the storm—and how the Minors especially wanted to get their point (no pun intended) across.




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A Little More Conversation

In my previous post, I shared that I committed myself to working with Sibilla throughout the month of August. I detailed a reading I did with Sibilla, looking to see what the cards might say about being excused from jury duty.

A few days later (August 11, 2019), I had this dream: I am working with Sibilla, specifically the Conversation card. I’m pairing Conversation with other cards in the deck, seeing what meanings I can make from those combinations.

I woke up from the dream, not able to recall the other cards or meanings I got from the combinations. I could only recall that Sibilla was in the dream, and the Conversation card in particular.

If you’re no stranger to my blog, you’ll know that I dream about cards quite often. At times I’ve been led to a deck or system because it first came to me in a dream; and other times, a system will appear in a dream either because I’m working with it in waking life at the time of the dream, or I’m being encouraged to pick it back up.

That was my initial impression of the Conversation card dream (which I titled “A Little More Conversation” in my dream journal): I had the dream because of my commitment to work with Sibilla for the month.

It’s also been my experience that dreams can have more layers of meaning and interpretation, so I wondered if there was another possibility other than the simple “processing” layer I was giving it.

When this happens, I turn to the system in question for further insight—and this time was no exception. Taking La Vera Sibilla Italiana (also known as the Everyday Oracle) in hand, I asked her, “What does Sibilla want to tell me regarding my dream about the Conversation card?”

What Sibilla Said About the Conversation Dream

Pulling for a Line of 5, I drew Journey, Merchant, Enemy (Female), Great Gentleman, and Sick Person.

I read the middle card as the central issue or focus, and the Female Enemy card turned up here. This card is said to represent a woman, someone not known to the seeker. But since my question didn’t involve anyone other than me, I knew I had to read more into the card.

The mask held by the woman got my attention first; it appears as if she’s revealing herself, removing her mask. Applying that to the context, dreams reveal what’s beneath the surface.

She holds a dagger in the other hand, and the word “pointed” came to mind—followed by to the point, getting to the point, making a point. Sibilla is a tool that “gets to the point.”

An Enemy is someone or something that blocks your progress—and at that moment, I realized that is the Journey card at the beginning of the line—and dreams reveal any subconscious and/or unconscious blocks.

And since I mentioned Journey, let’s go there next… For me, this card talks about a journey, travel, and progress (which I mentioned above); the obvious would be this card is referring to my journey with Sibilla, and perhaps making some sort of progress with it along the way.

Moving on (pun intended) from one end to the other, I then went to Sick Person, the last card in the line. My thought about this card is that the image could represent the act of dreaming, which would be a visual nod to the dream itself.

Sick Person can turn up to suggest a recovery process, and in this case, I’m turning to Sibilla because I couldn’t “recover” any more of the dream (in terms of recall)—and trying to uncover any other messages Sibilla might want to offer.

And then I saw Enemy + Sick Person saying that dreams can reveal “inner saboteurs” (another reference to blocks), but also that the Conversation dream was a “revealing” one.

The Merchant card, standing between Journey and Female Enemy, is the job/work/business card in the deck; with that in mind, it’s a reference to my “work” with Sibilla.

Journey + Merchant = progress being made in my “work” with Sibilla.

The Great Gentleman is a person card in the deck; since I was the only character/person in the dream, I took this card as a significator representing me.

Standing between Female Enemy and Sick Person, I took this to suggest my looking for something “revelatory” (Enemy dropping the mask) regarding the dream (Sick Person).

Combining Merchant + Enemy + Great Gentleman: My work with Sibilla is being revealed to me—I’m being encouraged to look beneath the surface (mask).

Remember what I said about Sibilla being a tool that “gets to the point”? It was that last combination of cards that led to this: Simply put, the dream is suggesting Sibilla has a lot more to say (Conversation) to me; it’s a matter of putting in the “work” to become “great” at picking up on those messages.

And I’ll wrap this post up with what is said about journeys: It isn’t (only) about the destination, but about what happens along the way as well.




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Sibilla Weighs in on Jury Duty

I’ve picked Sibilla back up again, after a long period of casting it aside (which I’ll probably talk more about in a later post), because I felt I wasn’t really “clicking” with it.

I had been asked to pick it back up, in a way, by one of my cartomancy students. She asked if I would consider doing a video series on the cards over on my YouTube channel, much in the way I’ve done with Lenormand and Kipper in the past, and playing cards in the present.

Thinking about the prospect of making videos, I first had the thought that I’m probably not going to be a “traditional” reader of Sibilla, in that I don’t read reversals with the cards (I tried, I just don’t like it)—and that I would get raked over the coals for it by more experienced readers telling me, “That’s not how you read the cards.”

But, before things could even get to that point, if I were going to do a video series, I first needed to up my game—meaning I had to actually work with the cards for an extended period of time.

So, with that in mind, I’ve been working with Sibilla, pulling cards for my daily draws. And sometimes I ask the cards to give me some info on certain events I have coming up.

One such event was being summoned to serve for jury duty in my local municipality on  August 6th.

Typically what happens is that I appear at the courthouse in question, and then not get called to sit in on a case (the one time I actually did, the case was settled before court convened).

So I was telling everyone who would listen that I’d most likely go and be excused.

And then I thought, “Why not ask Sibilla, and see what she has to say about it?”

A couple days before, I picked up my La Vera Sibilla Italiana and asked, “Will I be excused from jury duty?”

How Sibilla Weighed in on the Jury Duty Question

Dealing out a Line of 5, I drew Scholar, Gift of Precious Stones, Happiness of the Heart, Happiness, and Messenger.

The first thing that struck me was having Happiness of the Heart and Happiness next to each other in the line. One depicted a scene of dancing, and the other with a man raising a glass—two forms of celebration.

Right there, Sibilla was telling me I had something to “celebrate,” which said to me that I would be excused.

Then I noticed Gift of Precious Stones, and I thought of receiving a gift—one that would lead to a “celebration” (Happiness of the Heart and Happiness).

Again, it seems Sibilla is telling me I’ll be excused from jury duty.

And then I see Scholar opening the line up, and I see this as referring to me. Scholar’s sitting in a chair, and the question involved whether or not I’d be “sitting” on a jury.

And then there’s Messenger, closing out the line, and what came to me was getting my “walking papers,” that news would come that I would be excused from jury duty—especially with Messenger moving toward the men on the Happiness card, suggesting news that would lead to a celebration. Cheers!

So Sibilla was confirming my thoughts and feelings on the matter: I would be excused from jury duty.

So… What Happened?

Here’s what happened…

I arrived at the courthouse at the appointed day and time ( August 6th at 11 am). All the potential jurors are seated, and a woman runs us through the process. She was great, I must say; she had a very friendly demeanor.

She tells us that there were 42 cases on the docket, and by the time we got there and were seated, there were only 2 remaining that we might get selected for. After checking us in, she said she would go and see what the status was on those cases. She said it was possible she could come back and announce we were all being excused.

She left the courtroom for about 10 minutes. She came back in, threw her arms up, and announced we were all free to go. As we all clapped in happiness (I’m realizing both Happiness of the Heart and Happiness each had a group of people in their images), she took a bow, and said, “Thank you very much.”

And then we were given written documentation stating that we had appeared at the courthouse. I walked out thinking about Messenger, with his paper in hand—and very happy with Sibilla’s accuracy.

Which then gave me another appreciation for Scholar + Messenger: To actually start paying more attention to the messages Sibilla wants to deliver (Scholar has his back to Messenger).




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What Makes for a “Real” Cartomancer?

I’m part of a few cartomancy groups on Facebook, and not long ago, there was an interesting experience that prompted a question I put to the cards.

Here’s what happened:

In one group, a fellow member posted a Lenormand reading he’d done and wanted feedback, in the form of other possible meanings for the cards he’d drawn.

A few of us participated, myself included. I saw a couple of possible interpretations for the line of cards, and shared them.

I left the thread, got offline, and went about my business.

I returned at a later point, and saw there was a reply to my comment. Taking a look, a woman posted: “For a real cartomancer, there is only one possible meaning.”

I found the comment interesting. Not interesting enough to debate it with the woman (I don’t debate card reading with other readers, simply because I don’t need to), but interesting enough to ponder.

And, as I said in the opener, the pondering led me to ask the Lenormand (the source of the situation) the question, “What makes for a ‘real’ cartomancer?”

Using the Liberty Lenormand* to draw a Line of 5, I pulled Woman, Key, Stork, Letter, and Clover.

Reading the Line

I love seeing Stork turn up in the middle of the line, as it says, “A ‘real’ cartomancer focuses (focus card) on change and improvement.”

Seriously, I could’ve stopped right there.

Looking at Woman, opening the line up, I thought this represented the woman who posted the response to my comment. And I read with direction in mind, so it was interesting to see the woman looking as if she’s “exiting” the line, her back to all the other cards.

The next card, Key, brought more to the Woman card. Key is a card of answers and solutions; with the Woman not facing Key, it validates the situation that prompted the reading: a woman didn’t care for my answer to the original post.

The pair could also be read to validate a woman sending her own answer, and that her answer was important enough to prompt the reading I was now doing.

Coming back to the question, Key + Stork can be read to say, “The answer (Key) is to change and improve (Stork).”

Letter is a card of written communication and correspondence, and in one regard, points to the post itself. Key + Letter could be read to say, “The discovery (Key) of a post (Letter),” as well as “an answer in printed form.”

Again, that’s about the situation. How does Letter play into answering (no pun intended with Key in the line) the question on what makes for a “real” cartomancer?

With that in mind, Letter can represent a document—and therefore documentation. Stork + Letter can then be read to say, “Improvement (Stork) through writing and/or documentation (of readings).”

Clover rounds the line out, and I like seeing it there as it talks of opportunity (in the future, being the last card).

In terms of how Clover answers the question, the word that came to mind is spontaneity; so a “real” cartomancer has to be a bit spontaneous when it comes to reading (Clover can represent “a little”), as well as being willing to take the chance on being spontaneous (Clover also being a card of chances).

Also, Letter + Clover can be read to say, “Documentation (Letter) is fortuitous (Clover being a card of fortune).”

So, straight from the Lenormand, these are the traits, characteristics, and qualities that make for a “real” cartomancer:

  • Being open (Key) to the importance (Key) of change and improvement (Stork)
  • Documenting readings (Letter)
  • Taking chances and being spontaneous (Clover)

I don’t know how this would sit with that woman, as it’s more than one possible answer, but it works for me.




P.S. Here’s the follow-up to the story…

Another member came to my defense, responding to the woman (I had decided not to).

Then, the woman started leaving rude comments throughout various threads and posts on the group page, the final one being, “This group is too amateurish,” before departing.

The moderator later informed us all that someone had hacked the woman’s account, and was posting unbeknownst to her.

All the comments were deleted.

*Liberty Lenormand Oracle Cards are by Lynn Boyle. You can learn more about the deck over at her Etsy shop, AquariusWellbeing.

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Dreaming of Tarot de Marseille

I recently celebrated my birthday (March 7th), and the day got off to an interesting start. I woke up at 2 in the morning (2:17 am, to be precise), having recalled a dream that featured Tarot de Marseille.

While dreaming about Tarot has been nothing new for me over the years, the fact that I recalled this particular one at this particular time is worth noting.

Just as I recently celebrated my birthday, I also celebrated my 20th anniversary reading Tarot. I got my very first Tarot deck (Crowley Thoth) in February 1999. So having a Tarot-related dream on the heels of that milestone makes it significant in my eyes.

The ISIS Version of Tarot de Marseille, my first foray into the world of Marseille-style Tarots

Also, I picked up Tarot de Marseille at the end of last year (December 2018), so dreaming about this particular system—as it is still somewhat new to me—is also worth noting.

Here’s the dream, as I recorded it in my journal:



Dream Title: Reading Tarot de Marseille

I’m doing a reading with Tarot de Marseille (TdM). The reading is going into several different directions, with cards in horizontal rows and vertical columns on the table.

I’m talking aloud, either to myself, or to someone “off-camera” (out of view).

I have a lot to say about Page of Coins, which is in my hand.

While I wasn’t able to recall the other cards in the reading, the one standout was Page of Coins, which I found most interesting, as one of my meanings for it is a reader of cards.

After jotting down the dream in my journal in the dark, I found that I couldn’t go back to sleep. After some time, I got up, the dream still on my mind.

I thought I’d ask Tarot de Marseille about the dream; with deck in hand (CBD Tarot by the late Dr. Yoav Ben-Dov), I posed this question to the cards: “What do I need to know about my ‘dream reading’?”

 Laying out five cards in a line, I drew Page of Coins, Knight of Swords, Ace of Coins, Magician, and 7 of Cups.

When I read a line of five cards, I look to the center card first, as it’s the focus of the line, the central issue.

Ace of Coins is a card of news and messages, as it can indicate a letter or some form of written correspondence. So, I took this to mean that the dream was a message that contained something of value (Coins).

Ace of Coins can also suggest a new phase, chapter, or experience (Ace) with a resource (Coins), and Tarot de Marseille is still somewhat new to me.

And Ace of Coins can symbolize a diamond ring, suggesting commitment and engagement. So, Ace of Coins could be saying the message is focusing on the commitment being made with a new resource, one that will be “engaging.”

I then look to the cards immediately flanking the center card to tell me more.

Knight of Swords, to the left of Ace of Coins, said to me “taking action on an idea or information,” keeping with Ace of Coins being news or a message.

And, visually, he’s moving away from Ace of Coins, bringing to mind the expression “taking an idea and running with it.”

Magician, to the right of Ace of Coins, is the only Major (Arcana card) in the line, and his presence bears significance (Majors highlight important issues and events).

Magician is a card that talks about skill with one’s work, as well as work performance.

And he’s looking right at Ace of Coins; the pair suggests working with a new resource—engaging with it.

Also worth noting is that Magician and Ace of Coins are both “1” cards; Magician is one of the Majors that governs the Aces, which adds a special emphasis to Ace of Coins. One is a number that can mean initiation, beginning, start/starting point, origin and originality, and refer to the individual and individuality.

And this brings to mind that I was the only character in the dream (if anyone else was there, that individual was out of view).

The outer cards offer another dynamic and can suggest a possible outcome to the situation brought to the cards.

On the far left is Page of Coins, the only card I was able to recall from the dream—and it was the one in my hand. The fact that this card appears in the line validates the dream; I always say “you just can’t make this kind of stuff up.”

As I said earlier, Page of Coins can mean a card reader. It also can refer to a student (I call it the “student and scholar” card), so it can refer to my being a student of Tarot de Marseille.

Pages can also be messengers, and I refer to this one as being the bearer of valuable information (Coins).

There’s an interesting dynamic to note with Knight of Swords moving from Ace of Coins to Page of Coins; he’s the bridge between the two cards. The impression I get is that the news or message from the new resource (Ace of Coins) moves quickly—racing its way  (Knight of Swords) to the student working with the resource (Page of Coins); this is the dynamic between Tarot de Marseille (Ace of Coins) and myself (Page of Coins).

And the Page is holding a coin (could it be the Ace, delivered by the Knight?), looking at it intently. Also, there’s another coin on the ground, next to his foot—possibly suggesting untapped potential and a value yet to be discovered (more than meets the eye, perhaps?).

On the far right of the line is 7 of Cups. One of the meanings that immediately came to mind for this card is “improving a relationship.” With Ace of Coins + Magician meaning “work with a new resource,” 7 of Cups says that relationship improves as a result.

7 of Cups is also a card that talks about “second chances,” which can imply repetition. Page of Coins + 7 of Cups can be read as “valuable information that’s worth repeating,” that the line of cards is reinforcing the valuable message of the dream, giving that Page of Coins turned up in both.

And 7 of Cups is a card that talks about the development of one’s spiritual side/nature, and dreams are one avenue to that.

I wanted to delve a little more, so I first asked about any underlying influences to the “work” I’m to do with TdM, and placed a card under the table of Magician (table symbolizing work and activity); the card I drew was 9 of Swords.

The 9 is a number of gain/attainment, and Swords is the suit of information/communication, so 9 of Swords can mean “gaining and/or attaining information.”

And it’s interesting to note the tip of the sword piercing its way through, getting to the Magician.

It’s as if the pair is saying, “Gaining and/or attaining information to work with,” like TdM is offering a “tip” to aid in my becoming more skilled with the cards.

I then wanted to place a card before the Page, asking what more could be said about any news/messages connected to this card, and I drew King of Swords.

The Page is now facing a person; King of Swords can represent a single, unmarried man, so he could be a significator for me (given that I’m single and never been married). With that in mind, we now have the Page, the bearer of news, holding up the coin for the King to see.

And I did have the Page of Coins card in my hand in the dream, looking at it.

Symbolically, Kings represent mastery, and King of Swords would then mean mastery of an idea or information. King of Swords + Page of Coins could then be read as, “Learning to master the information given in news and messages.”

And I thought that would be a good stopping point, else the reading go in several different directions, as its dream counterpart.

Overall, I got the impression that both readings—in my dream and in waking life—were in agreement, in stating that Tarot de Marseille could become more prominent in my Tarot study and work going forward.

What a way to start my birthday, wouldn’t you say?




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My Year of Cartomancy Comes Full Circle

The Arcana Tarot Playing Cards, by Chris Ovdiyenko, helped bring my year of cartomancy to a close–in a revealing way.

At the top of last year, I set an intention to honor the dream I had 20 years ago (the anniversary was this past July) that set me on the path to becoming a cartomancer.

If you’re new to the blog, I had a (sleep) dream in which I was doing a card reading for myself, using a deck of playing cards. I had never used a deck of cards that way in waking life prior to the dream, so I knew it was significant.

I looked up playing cards in a dream dictionary and the entry said that playing cards were related to Tarot cards. At the time, I hadn’t seen or heard of Tarot, so I started doing research on the subject, and, in time, purchased my first deck (which was the Crowley Thoth).

But because the dream specifically had playing cards in it, I wanted to go back to my roots, so to speak, in my ongoing personal study and practice of the cards (because Tarot is the main divinatory tool I use in my work with clients).

And to reinforce the intent, The Universe got in on the act by having people, over on YouTube, ask me to share the meanings I use when I read playing cards, much in the way I did with both Lenormand and Kipper previously.

It was a great time with the cards. I got a number of new decks throughout the year, testing them out to see which seemed to be great for readings, and some really surprised me with their spot-on accuracy in my daily draws.

And, as the year moved closer to its end, an interesting thing happened.

A viewer, who had been keeping up with the cartomancy series I mentioned earlier, sent me an e-mail, first saying how much she was enjoying the series, and expressing hope that I would continue (my posting frequency had slowed due to the busy-ness of life).

Then came the question: “Do you read the Tarot de Marseille?”

Cards from the ISIS Tarot de Marseille by Tadahiro Onuma.

She thought, with the way I read playing cards, I would work well with it.

I had considered it a long time ago, and the only deck that appealed to me back then was the ISIS Version Tarot de Marseille by Tadahiro Onuma, a Hermetic philosopher based in Japan. This was in 2010, when that deck was first published.

The question got me thinking about the deck, which I hadn’t given much thought to in the 8 years it’s been available to the public.

What to do…? I decided to take this to the cards, of course. I grabbed my copy of the second edition of Arcana Tarot Playing Cards by Chris Ovdiyenko (produced by Dead on Paper), sitting down to do an Answer Spread with this question in mind: “Is it time for Tarot de Marseille?”

Answering the Tarot de Marseille Question

In response, the cards that turned up were: The Magician, Page of Diamonds, The Sun, 3 of Clubs, Jack of Hearts, and 6 of Clubs.

Representing the situation were The Magician and 3 of Clubs.

The Magician, being a Major Arcana card, starts things off by pointing out the question being posed to the cards is significant, that it speaks to an important event being ushered into my life.

The Magician also is a card that talks about talent, skill, and ability—as well as specializing with a particular “tool of the trade,” and Tarot de Marseille would fit that bill.

Following that up, 3 of Clubs can mean the growth and development of work; this card talks about expansion and broadening one’s horizons.

Both also hint at the possibility of working with Tarot de Marseille in my business with clients, so that was interesting to see.

Answering the question directly were Page of Diamonds and Jack of Hearts.

Page of Diamonds is the card, for me, that can represent the student and the scholar—this alone says that it would be worthwhile (or worth my while; Diamonds) for me to study (learn) Tarot de Marseille.

This Page is one that offers “valuable information” (as Pages are messengers), so the card implies that is what Tarot de Marseille would bring to me.

And the Page is facing The Magician, which only adds to what each card has to say.

Jack of Hearts is a personal card, because I have assigned it my sun sign (Pisces), so, like The Magician, this was significant (a pun on significator) to see.

In addition to that, one of the meanings I have for this card is an interest in—and focus on—divination, again keeping with the context of the question.

Moving to the last column, which reveals contributing factors connected to the situation, there’s The Sun and 6 of Clubs.

What is there to say about The Sun, aside from it being the best card in the deck (in my personal opinion, of course)?

It’s a definite yes—it’s time for Tarot de Marseille. The Sun suggests the experience promises to be both enlightening and illuminating.

And bringing this reading to its close, in the pivot card position (a type of secondary answer, if the cards in the answer column aren’t clear), is the 6 of Clubs.

And the meaning that fits the context here is this: the act of reading (because this card can reference books, but cards are also read).

The Sun + 6 of Clubs could be read to say “Illumination and enlightenment come from the act of reading.”

It’s like The Sun is saying to me, “Could the answer be any clearer?”

Oh—and let’s not leave out the visual cue of Jack of Hearts moving in the direction of 6 of Clubs…

The Outcome

Having my answer, I went ahead and ordered a copy of the ISIS Tarot de Marseille. It arrived a few days before Christmas, and I’ve been enjoying the bonding process, discovering how it “speaks” to me (which is another aspect of 6 of Clubs: communication).

And I became aware, through this experience, that my year of cartomancy came full circle: it brought me back to Tarot in a new way.

It will be interesting to see how this journey with Tarot de Marseille unfolds—especially with this year marking the 20th anniversary when I purchased that first deck of cards and became a reader (which happens next month).




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When the Student Is Ready…

If you’ve been reading my postings for some time, you might recall that I’ve written about my on-again off-again relationship with Kipper. Kipper and I were off-again, as I’ve been spending time with playing cards and Gypsy Witch cards most of this year.

You might have noticed I said “were,” as in past tense—and that’s because something very interesting took place recently that changed our relationship status to on-again.

Cards are from the Fin de Siècle Kipper Deck by Ciro Marchetti, published by U. S. Games Systems, Inc.

It started with a couple of Kipper videos I made for my YouTube channel receiving a number of comments in the span of a week. What made this stand out was that one of the videos was a year old, and the second about 7-8 months old.

That got my attention, given that I hadn’t done anything with Kipper for at least 6 months, if not more.

And following that, I received an e-mail from a young woman, expressing interest in cartomancy coaching (my newest service offering) with me. The interesting thing about her interest is that she wanted to work with Kipper specifically.

You might be asking why this was interesting. It’s because Tarot and Lenormand are the only systems mentioned in the text on the service page.

It was as if the Kipper-geist (the energy I refer to when it comes to Kipper) was saying to me, “James, it’s time to get back into Kipper.”

And with that, I turned to the cards to shed light on the possibility of working with this prospective student. Taking my favorite Kipper deck, the Fin de Siècle (but, in all honesty, I only have two Kipper decks at the moment), in hand, I asked the cards, “What do I need to know about possibly working with this student, reading/studying Kipper?”

The cards I drew, in a Line of 5, were Privileged Lady, High Honor, Occupation, Marriage, and Journey.

Occupation, as the focus card, fits with the context, as it talks about work and work-related issues. So that fits for me, given that cartomancy is my work.

Occupation also talks about hobbies, and this aspect would fit with my prospective student.

Occupation can also indicate hands-on activity and working with one’s hand, which would fit for both of us, and we’d be handling the cards during our future sessions together.

Privileged Lady, opening the line up, represents a woman younger than me (in Kipper, I will always be represented as Main Male), so here we have Kipper referencing the student.

It’s interesting to note Privileged Lady’s direction (Kipper relies heavily on directional cues); she’s walking away from the cards behind her toward an undetermined future (no cards in front of her).

High Honor, the card closest to Privileged Lady, can suggest something she’s struggling with (again, because the card is behind her).

With that in mind, High Honor is a card of advancement and achievement, indicating that the student has been struggling with advancing her ability to read Kipper.

High Honor is also a card of recognition; with that, Privileged Lady + High Honor + Occupation could be read to say, “A young woman recognizes/praises work.”

When the young woman reached out for coaching, she mentioned that she discovered my Kipper videos on YouTube, and, liking what she saw, thought I might be able to work with her.

On the other side of Occupation sits Marriage, a card of a serious, committed relationship, again fitting with the context of the situation.

Occupation + Marriage talks about the relationship being connected (Marriage is a “connector” card) to work and/or a hobby.

For me, the pair could also be read to say, “Work that leads to a partnership,” the implication being that we would work together in the future.

And rounding out the line is Journey, a card of movement; that aspect of the card alone can suggest going forward and working with the young woman, helping her with reading Kipper.

The train in the card’s image serves two functions: First, as a symbol, I read it as a pun for “training,” again, referencing the nature of the work we’d be doing together.

Second, the train leans toward Marriage, suggesting that the journey is connected (remember that Marriage is a “connector” card) with making a commitment.

As a result of the insights gained from the cards in this reading, I reached out again to the young woman, and I’m happy to say that we’re now working together to become better students of Kipper.  





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