Neophyte Wants More Presence

As I said goodbye to 2020 and welcomed in 2021, one of the things I reflected on is my study, work, and practice with the cards (and I mean as a whole, all the various decks I use and the systems I utilize), which was impacted when I returned to the working world last year.

As a coping mechanism to deal with all that was happening throughout 2020, I began creating personal oracle card decks (which I shared in my previous post). The last of those creations, Neophyte, sparked so much interest from people that I set up an online shop with Make Playing Cards (the printer I worked with) to sell the deck.

With that, one of my intentions for 2021 is to do more with Neophyte, to really develop it as a viable divination system I could regularly turn to – especially since I put in the time, energy, and resources to conceive and create it.

As a reader, when I contemplate working more with a system, I turn to it to offer possible insight, guidance, and advice. So, I thought I would do that with Neophyte, asking it to shed some light on this intention of mine.

With deck in hand, I asked, “What do I need to know about working (more) with my Neophyte deck in 2021?”

I drew five cards, in a line, to answer this question: Intimacy, States of Consciousness, Gifted, Man, and Shadow Self.

Opening the line up is Intimacy, in the Origin position. This position talks about the question posed – why it’s being asked. Intimacy suggests that an intimate bond or connection with the deck hasn’t been formed, and that’s behind the intention to work more with the deck this year.

States of Consciousness fell into the position of My Expectations. Here, the card suggests getting the deck “on the map” (the map of the United States of America on the back of the man) and using it as a tool for direction and guidance (map) are my expectations going forward.

Gifted turned up as Hidden Influences (third position), and I found this to be quite telling. Gifted suggested that the deck would like to have more “presence” (pun on “present,” another word for gift) at this “present” time.

Gifted, being a card of gifts, talents, and abilities, also suggests that forming a more intimate bond and connection with the deck (Intimacy) would allow my innate intuitive abilities to further develop (open up, as one would open a gift or present).

With that, Gifted suggests allowing Neophyte to “surprise” me.

In the position of Guidance, the Man card turned up. Man is a personal significator, much like Gentleman in Lenormand and Main Male in Kipper (my nod to both those systems), so this represents me specifically. With that, I took the guidance offered to mean I have a definite role or part in the process. It served to validate my intention.

The appearance of Man also turned the row of cards into a line of sight reading, as Man was now facing Gifted, States of Consciousness, and Intimacy. Man facing Gifted validated what that card presented; with Intimacy now at the end of this line of sight, the message was that a more intimate bond and connection would most likely be formed.

The Man card has an eagle on it; as a symbol, it represents being able to see the past, present, and the future. As a directional cue, it points to Shadow Self, the card behind the back of Man – the past, when read as a line of sight. Going further, Gifted would be the present (the pun for the present moment), and Intimacy would be the future (end of the line).  

Reading Shadow Self as the past (line of sight approach), it talks about being able to put former limitations and restrictions behind me.

Reading it as the Outcome (the actual positional meaning in this particular layout), Shadow Self says that Neophyte will have more of a role and/or part (the mask, which can symbolize actors, who play roles and parts) throughout 2021 – that it’s role and/or part may become more revealed.  

At this point, I wanted more clarity around both Man and Shadow Self, so I decided to draw a card for each. But before I could do that, a card fell out from the deck: Neophyte.

I found it quite interesting that the namesake card of the deck was now in front of me. The chief meaning of this card is an initiation process – the deck was clearly giving me the go-ahead, with its namesake card (its representative, if you will) taking this leap to get my attention.  

Still continuing with the clarifying cards, I first drew Crossing the Threshold for Man. Crossing the Threshold is a card of transition and seeing the light (awareness and enlightenment). The image also conveys wading into the waters – going forward and going deeper (remember Man was in the position of Guidance, so that last bit is also guidance).  

Clarifying Shadow Self, I drew Beacon. Beacon is a card of navigation and a “guiding light,” symbolized by the lighthouse.

In another light, the symbol also indicates an intuitive ability, and to use this ability to help others find their way in life (also referenced by the city in the background of the card).

Clarifying Shadow Self, the cards were saying that this is the “role” (mask) Neophyte has the potential to play – I just have to give it time to “perform.”

And with that, I closed the reading. So, based on that reading, you can expect to see more of my Neophyte deck in this space. I’m excitedly looking forward to seeing what it will have to say.

To learn more about Neophyte (Dream Oracle Cards), you can visit my site here.

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A Season of Oracle Card Deck Creation

In my previous post, I shared with you the making of my first card deck, the Oracle of Himm.

Little did I know then that there would be more decks to come – and within a short period of time between each of them.

Three months later – to the day – I was inspired to create my second deck.

I had a phone conversation with a prospective new coaching client (which was significant, in and of itself, as the coaching side of my business was in decline, due in part to the collective COVID-19 experience).

It wasn’t that anything especially profound was said in the conversation that led to the inspiration; it was more of a matter of the idea to take elements of life coaching and put them into a deck.

And that was the day my Intuitive Coaching Oracle was borne.

Just as with Oracle of Himm, there was a social movement within the collective taking place as the backdrop. For Oracle of Himm, it was COVID-19, as it began making its presence known in the United States (and bringing with it “social distancing”) ; for the Intuitive Coaching Oracle, it was the Black Lives Matter movement, sparked by the death of George Floyd.

Because of that backdrop, I wanted the Intuitive Coaching Oracle (ICO) to be as diverse as I could make it – while being true to my personal experiences with people of different ethnicities and cultures.

In that deck, there are a number of men and women cards (my nod to systems like Lenormand, Kipper, and Zigeuner Wahrsagekarten), as well as family cards, relationship cards, and marriage cards, all featuring people of different races and cultures. There’s even cards for trans(gendered) and non-binary (gender fluid) people.

And because of the diverse representation, the deck has a total of 116 (!) cards. I have to say, I’m especially pleased with how ICO turned out.

I made a video walkthrough of the deck for my YouTube channel (just as I’d done for Oracle of Himm), and, at the time, I thought ICO would be a deck I would offer to the public at some point in the future.

The Universe must’ve heard me, and thought, “Not so fast…,” because shortly thereafter, I was inspired to create my third deck.

One day, I was sitting with Oracle of Himm, and drew the Archangel Uriel card. Looking at the image of a lamp/lantern, I said, “That would make a great Hermit (Tarot) card.” And right then, the Tarot of Himm was conceived.

The Tarot of Himm is a personal deck, as the Minors are a deck of playing cards. I made it that way to pay homage to the (sleep) dream that put me on the path of becoming a cartomancer (which I shared here – and its follow-up here).

Keeping with the theme of the (now) Hermit card, I deliberately searched for imagery that didn’t have people in them – the very opposite of what I was going for with ICO. I succeeded for the most part, with the exception of Hanged One – that one had to have a person in it, I felt.

And, just as with the previous decks, I thought I was done. But time would prove there was another deck within me.

My fourth deck was inspired by the upcoming release of Kyle Gray’s latest deck, the Angel Guide Oracle (it is now out in the world), which I had pre-ordered. As Kyle teased out cards from the deck, I thought to myself, “If I were to create an angel oracle deck, what would mine look like?”

One could argue that Oracle of Himm is an angel deck (and I’ve said that myself), as it has some of the Archangels represented in it. But it also has other metaphysical and esoteric topics mentioned aside from the Archangels.

When I pondered this question, it was with the idea of guardian angels in mind, as they are the angels who are divinely assigned to each of us – and I personally wanted to create something that would aid me in bonding with mine more.

And that’s how my Everyday Angel Oracle came into being. The images consist of angel statues, because I love looking at them so much. And it was a nice way to carryover elements of Oracle of Himm, as there were cards in that deck where I used angel statues to represent the angels that “visited” me years ago (the Anaiel and Cassiel cards, as well as the Existential Angst card).

With Everyday Angel Oracle, I noticed a style emerging within my process: the images were “framed” in a black paisley border, and some were more of a “landscape” variety, as I didn’t want to lose a lot of the image to fit the cards (and I didn’t want to have to turn the cards on their sides to do so, either). With that in mind, Everyday Angel Oracle was the first oracle card-sized deck I made  

I so loved how this deck turned out, that it led me to re-do Oracle of Himm, changing its size from Tarot card to oracle card-size. In the first edition, I “stretched” some of the images to fit the size of the card; making the card size larger allowed me to feature those images in correct proportion.

And just as I did with Everyday Angel Oracle, some of the cards are “framed” with a similar border, giving these two decks some cohesion; I liken Oracle of Himm to a Majors-only Tarot deck, and Everyday Angel Oracle are its Minors.

It was at this point that I really thought I was done, that there wasn’t another deck in me. After all, I just created three decks back to back.

But, no…

Shortly thereafter, I had a (sleep) dream. In the dream, I’m holding a deck of cards in my left hand. No bag or box; I literally have the cards in hand. It’s daytime, and I step out into the street, walking through traffic – not at a crosswalk, but walking around cars as they move along the street.

Then the scene changes: I’m now with a man and he’s telling me that he wants to create a deck of cards for people new to card reading.

And then I could feel myself starting to wake up.

As I wake up, I “see” a word in my mind: Neophyte. As I wake up fully, I realize there’s another deck to create – and that’s its name.

Since the inspiration came from Dreamtime, I wanted the images to have a surreal, dream-like quality to them. It was a lot of fun scouring Pixabay (the source I go to for images) for just the right and perfect imagery. Most often, I would see an image, and the name of the card immediately came to mind.

I kept with the design elements I had with Everyday Angel Oracle, and framed the images within a border of silver sparkles. And I also kept with the “landscape” format for some, as I didn’t want to cut off certain parts of the image.

And an interesting thing happened: As I began showing the cards on social media, there was a great deal of interest in them – more with this deck than when I shared images from the previous decks.

And that interest led to making the decision to share Neophyte with the public.

As I write this, the deck is now in production and my initial copy is being sent to me. I’ll be taking a look at it to see if there are any changes I need to make, as well as actually using the deck to conduct readings. I’ll also be writing both a short and an expanded version of a guidebook that will be offered in e-book formats, as well as exploring how I want to distribute the deck.

And so that’s what I did with my summer – my season of oracle card deck creation. It will be interesting to see what the fall brings…

 

 

 

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The Making of My Own Deck: The Oracle of Himm

Always a question: When I was going to make my own deck of cards has been asked throughout my card reading career.

I’ve been asked numerous times throughout my 21 years reading cards if and when I was making a deck of my own.

My answers to those inquiries have changed and evolved over the years: First, it was that I wasn’t inspired to make a deck; then, it was that I didn’t have a concept/theme for a deck; and finally, that making my own deck would take a very long time.

That last reason/answer has been the one I’ve decided to hold on for the longest time now.

Well, all that changed recently.

This particular day (March 11, 2020) started like every other. I posted my “Daily Divination” card of the day across social media, and went about my business.

When I checked on Instagram some time later, there was a comment that caught my eye: “When are you making your Oracle cards ??? @jameshimm

Sitting with the question for a moment, I replied, “I’ve considered making my own deck on and off over the years, but I haven’t had a specific theme to give a deck some cohesion. Seeing your comment may lead to an inspired idea… I appreciate that you think I should make a deck of my own!”

And I left it at that.

And then something happened, which had never happened before. Ideas suddenly started coming to me. Quickly grabbing a legal pad and pen, I began writing down ideas, concepts, and experiences that have shaped my personal and spiritual journey: Angels. Reiki. Spiritual tools. New age and metaphysical concepts.

By the time I was finished, I had listed 47 topics that could be translated into cards. And, at that moment, my personal deck – The Oracle of Himm – was borne.

I was excited – very excited. I hadn’t been this excited about something in my life like this for quite some time. I wanted to quickly get to work on the deck in some way to keep the momentum.

That night, I started sketching some drawings of Archangels Metatron and Sandalphon, who feature prominently throughout the deck.

Metatron is an archangel I have a personal affinity for, as I believe he “opened me up” during an Akashic Records class, and has been an active presence in my journey of the metaphysical ever since. I even had a dream in which Metatron and I were talking (although I had no recollection of the conversation when I woke up – just a knowing that we were together).

Recently, Metatron “shared” with me that Sandalphon – his twin – has also been working with me, and I was being encouraged to “tune in” to his frequency more.

Back to the sketching part of this story… So, as I was sketching, I had a thought – the thought – that making a deck in this way was going to take a long time. And I could start to feel the inspiration and momentum starting to slip away.

And then – my Inner Coach stepped in. My Inner Coach said, “Are you going to run this story again?

My Inner Coach continued, “If the idea of doing the artwork for the cards seems daunting, what would you be willing to do in its place?”

Immediately, I said to myself (and my Inner Coach), “I could find photos that fit the concept of each card.”

And having my Inner Coach step in kept this deck alive. I immediately went to various stock image resources online (Pixabay, Pexels, Unsplash, and Shutterstock) and began the hunt for images that spoke to me.

Within a five-day period, I had all the imagery for the deck. It was then a matter of customizing the photos (cropping, resizing, and filtering mostly) to make them work in the ways I was envisioning.

Cards from The Oracle of Himm: Archangel Jeremiel, Clairvoyance, and Anaiel.

I then went to Make Playing Cards, a website that prints decks on-demand, and uploaded the images and then found a font to apply to the cards. I then ordered a test copy of the deck to see how it would look in my hands and see if any of the cards would need to be tweaked. That test copy is scheduled to arrive at the end of the month. I can’t wait!

I want to spend dedicated time with the deck, because now I have to see how it will read – how it will speak to me. I’m also hoping I’ll be inspired to create spreads and layouts specific to the deck.

In the meantime, ideas and thoughts are coming to me about the meanings of the cards, as well as card combinations and interactions, directional cues (from my experience with Lenormand and Kipper cards), and other angelic associations not obvious to certain cards. All these ideas are being documented in what will likely become a companion book to the deck.

Dolphin, the first card from The Oracle of Himm I shared on social media.

I’ve been sharing some of the images on social media, and I had this insight come to mind: The deck is very personal, as it reflects aspects of my spiritual journey – and because of this, I’m feeling a lot of vulnerability that isn’t present when I’m reading/working with a deck I’ve purchased. The Oracle of Himm feels like an autobiography or spiritual memoir – only in the form of cards, rather than in the pages of a book.

And while I consider this a personal deck, people have already been expressing interest in it: One person immediately suggested crowdfunding; another offered to invest in the printing/production of a large run; someone suggested trainings offering others how to read with the deck; and then some even said they’d like to have their own copies!

I don’t know if any of that is “in the cards” for the future of The Oracle of Himm just yet – right now, I’m enjoying the present moment of its creation to think that far ahead.

 

 

 

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A Sign to Return to the Angel Prayers Oracle

A few years ago, I had a dream that I was conducting a reading using angel oracle cards (which I shared in this space here).

If you’re no stranger to the blog, you’ll know that most – if not all – of the card systems I work with first presented themselves in a dream.

And that time was no different.

The dream led to more dreams – over the course of a month – in which I was conducting angel oracle card readings for other people – a sure sign for me that I was on the right track with this new pursuit.

That led to my acquiring a number of angel-themed decks (of course).

And then, about a year and a half later, other systems of cartomancy came on the scene, taking over and occupying the space that the angel cards once filled.

At the top of this year (2020), I found myself becoming inspired to pick up the angel cards again, just for myself. I started by pulling a single card at the start of the day, and then branched out into small three-card readings.

The angels didn’t wait long to send me what I considered a clear sign about reading their cards.

Toward the end of January, I visited a friend, Jinaki, who also facilitates a mediumship development circle, which I’m a part of. We get together a few days before our monthly meeting to talk about what she’d like to do.

Sitting down in her dining room, she pointed to a side table in the space, saying that she had something she thought I might be interested in.

I turned to where she was pointing, and saw a copy of Angel Prayers Oracle Cards (by Kyle Gray & Jason Mccreadie, and published by Hay House). She told me another mutual acquaintance gifted her the deck, but she hadn’t opened it or used it yet.

I turned back, telling her, “I already have the deck.”

It was at that moment I realized this was a sign from the angels. While I have the deck, it wasn’t one of the decks I was using when I resumed working with angel cards.

I felt the angels were telling me – through my friend wanting to gift me her copy – to work with this deck specifically.

When I returned home, I got out my copy of the deck, wanting to ask the angels about the experience at my friend’s house. Shuffling the cards, I asked, “Angels, was the experience at Jinaki’s house a “sign” to work with this deck (Angel Prayers Oracle) more?”  

I drew three cards: Shine Your Light (Archangel Uriel), The Inner Voice, and Signs from Heaven.

When I read a line of three angel cards, the first represents the Origin – basically the reason for the question being asked.

Here, Shine Your Light is about illumination, and that I asked the question because I was still “in the dark” to some degree about the experience being a potential sign.

The image is a depiction of Archangel Uriel, and I see the archangel cards in the deck (16 of the entire 44) as I would the Major Arcana in Tarot – that they carry additional weight in a reading when they turn up.

Archangel Uriel’s name translates to “Light of God,” suggesting his presence was “shining a light” on the matter, helping me to see this experience clearly (the sun radiating around his head) – in its “proper light.”

The second card in the reading represents Guidance – this would be instruction from the angels; something to consider (knowledge) or something to do (inspired action).

The Inner Voice is a card of intuition and receptivity. I took this card to say to that the angels wanted me to “listen” to the message they sent me, through that bit of divine orchestration.

In terms of working with the deck more, The Inner Voice suggested that the deck would have more to “say” – I just had to be willing to “tune in.”

The third card is the Best Probable Outcome, and is connected to card one (Origin).

Signs from Heaven couldn’t be more obvious, could it? The angels were saying that, in the end (card positioned at the end of the line), the experience at Jinaki’s house was indeed a sign to work with the Angel Prayers Oracle more.

Looking at the image, I felt the angels were telling me to “rest” in that assurance – and I could now put that issue to “rest,” to “bed.”

And that is how the angels signaled a return to the Angels Prayers Oracle. It will be interesting to see – and hear – the messages that come through the cards going forward.

 

 

 

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Sibilla Makes Her Point in Spades

It’s Winter Solstice in my neck of the woods, and the day brought to mind a reading I did a few months back with Sibilla.

For those eagle-eyed readers keeping track, I’d been sharing some readings I did with Sibilla over the summer, which was an actual request made by a few of you.

One of the more popular posts of the bunch was the one in which I asked Sibilla about jury duty.

And then I went quiet with posting about Sibilla—did I “ghost” the system?

Not at all.

What actually happened is that Sibilla pushed the “pause” button.

Let me explain.

I had made the commitment to work with Sibilla throughout the month of August (2019). When the month came to a close, I decided I would ask Sibilla about continuing with her beyond August.

Sibilla Says…

On September 3rd (2019), with cards in hand, I asked Sibilla, “What do I need to know about continuing to work with you?”

These were the cards she presented to me, in a Line of 5: Soldier, Death, Sick Person, Widower, and Sorrow.

I looked at the line and immediately saw that every card was from the suit of Spades. Every. Single. Card.

I sat back. I paused. The suit of Spades is the suit of hardship in Sibilla, and here I was looking at an entire row of them.

It would have been very easy to pick the cards up and deal a new line. But that would have robbed me of what this line had to say, the point it wanted to make. It was getting my attention, in pure, over-the-top, dramatic Sibilla style.

And here’s a point I want to make for those who might read my exploits because they read their own cards, and it would be this: Know your system.

The ones I consult (Tarot, Lenormand, Kipper, Sibilla, Gypsy Witch, Gypsy cards, and traditional playing cards) all have challenging cards built into them, with the intention to reflect all aspects of life experience.

And they will turn up at some point in your reading practice.

So know (or remember) that going in, and consider how you’ll deal with them when they show their faces.

If you’re the faint-of-heart type, and think you’ll get into a panic at an appearance of a negative card—never mind a line of them—you might want to opt for a system that speaks more softly, more gently (like oracle cards or angel cards).

But I digress.

Let’s get back to this line, and my sharing how I worked through it.

The focus card is Sick Person, which for me can suggest a rest period, a time out, a break, a time to recover.

In my mind, I saw those scenes in shows and movies where one romantic partner tells the other, “I think we need a break.”

I then looked at the figure on Sick Person, noticing the person facing left—toward Death.

Death talks about endings and completions, which was appropriate: I was at the end of my working with Sibilla for the month of August.

Death was marking the end of a cycle.

Death + Sick Person was saying, “The end of a cycle that leads to a time out, break, or rest period.”

Widower mirrors Death, and, at this point, I was becoming rather impressed with how Sibilla was playing this analogy out. Widower talks about a period of grieving and mourning, of going on alone after a transition (Death).

And then I realized one of Widower’s other meanings (for me): It can represent an older man, and therefore also maturity.

Here, Death + Widower was Sibilla’s way of telling me that I’d become a bit more experienced (mature) by the end of my month with her.

If I had just picked up the cards upon my initial reaction, I would have missed that particular slant on the pair.

Soldier opens the line up, and the obvious message here was that of an “uphill battle” with Sibilla, that I had to discipline myself to work with her diligently for the entire month.

Sibilla acknowledged that I “soldiered on” until the end of the month (Soldier moving toward Death).

And just as I noted the obvious with Soldier, I did the same with Sorrow.

The obvious message is in the visual of the card: Receiving shocking, surprising, or upsetting news.

And here Sibilla was telling me that she wanted “a break”—how else would I react if not with shock or surprise?

And then she surprised me (Sorrow) with this tidbit: She pointed out that the suit of Spades is associated with the season of winter, which got me thinking about the possibility of picking things back up with her during that time.

And here we are now: Winter Solstice, the first day of the season.

Wait… There’s More!

And it gets better… Sibilla was showing me a scenario that would play into our “break” that I can see now, with hindsight being 20/20.

For the past couple weeks, I’ve been very sick (Sick Person) and it’s been a slow recovery process.

It’s been an “uphill battle” getting to the end of this period (Soldier – Death), as I’m “fighting” (Soldier) some lingering effects (match stick on Death) of being sick (Sick Person).

I had to isolate myself, more than usual (Widower), as I spent a lot of time in bed (Sick Person).

I had to cancel things (Death = termination), and send my regrets (Sorrow) because it couldn’t be helped. That included calling out from work, as well as putting readings for clients on hold simply because I didn’t have the energy.

The duration of this experience really surprised me (Sorrow), as I’m not normally this sick for this long.

If I had picked up these cards initially, I wouldn’t be able to see Sibilla’s predictive quality three months later.

You might be wondering why I’m sharing this with you. Besides the story itself (and the point I wanted to make about challenging cards showing up in your reads—and that it even happens to me), why else…?

Because someone recently asked me about my work with Sibilla.

Could that be a sign that the “thaw” has begun?

 

 

 

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The Dream Directive: Tarot de Marseille or Rider Waite Smith?

Over the past few months, I’ve been posting about my experiences with Tarot de Marseille, which I started studying and reading at the end of last year. As a result, readers of the blog have asked me to continue sharing those experiences.

If you’re no stranger to the blog, you’ll also know that I sometimes share (sleep) dreams I have related to my journey as a cartomancer. This post will be among them.

I’m sharing this particular dream (which I had the morning of 9/3/19), because a reference was made to the Tarot de Marseille in it:

I’m talking to a man; we’re discussing Tarot. He says to me, “When it comes to Tarot, you need to choose either Marseille or Rider Waite Smith.”

I ponder that for a moment. Then I reply, “I think you should have a working knowledge and understanding of both. What could then happen is that one may have more of an appeal or attraction than the other.”

As you could imagine, the dream intrigued me. Was I thinking or feeling, on an unconscious level, a need to choose one system over the other? Was I leaning more toward one?

The Rider Waite Smith has been such a huge part of my life and work as a Tarot student and practitioner. It’s the system I use in my readings with clients.

And, the Marseille has been the system I’ve been using regularly for my personal readings since picking it up. I’ve set a conscious intention to work and read with it differently than I do with RWS, which allows both to have their own unique and distinct experience.

As I often do in these cases, I decided to turn to the cards for additional insights into the directive being made in the dream, about the “choice” between Marseille and RWS.

With journal open and pen in hand, I decided to pull three Major Arcana cards from each system, with this question in mind: “Which is the better option for me at the moment: Marseille or RWS?”

Representing the Marseille option, the three cards I pulled from the Conver Ben-Dov deck were Judgement, House of God, and Empress.

For Judgement, I wrote: Calling to me at the moment; serving a purpose; overcoming “limitations” and “restrictions” (coffins = boxes).

And then I realized Judgement was saying that Tarot de Marseille has been “breathing new life” into my Tarot study and practice.

For House of God, I wrote: Liberation (keeping with people rising from graves on Judgement); revelation, sudden clarity; brainstorming; mind-blowing; earth-shattering; mind-opening.

Where Judgement talked about breathing new life into my study and practice, House of God was suggesting that, to work with TdM, I was liberating myself from the way I read with RWS—a form of “deconstruction,” if you will.

At this point, I noticed that, for me, Judgement and House of God are both “awakening” cards, suggesting a “wake-up call” of sorts. I also noticed that, on each card, the figures below are reacting to something “on high” (the angel on Judgement, and the wind/storm on House of God). It isn’t lost on me that House of God can indicate “acts of God,” suggesting more may be at work than I might think.

For Empress, I wrote: Growth and development; productivity, and being productive in the future (Empress looks to the right).

I noticed the Empress was embracing her shield, as if to protect her from the scene on House of God. With that, this message came: Don’t let the deconstruction process affect your creativity; liberation will lead to productivity.

Representing the RWS option, the three cards I pulled from the Universal Waite were Fool, Emperor, and Moon.

For Fool, I wrote: New phase; beginning/start; was a novice when I picked up RWS; have so much faith/trust in it, I almost don’t have to look at it; being “on the edge.”

For Emperor, I wrote: A level of mastery; discipline; RWS is boss, holds a certain “position,” as I use it in my work with clients; a lot of red and orange in the card—fiery energy, passion.

And then I noticed that the Emperor looks to be giving the Fool the “side eye,” as if to say, “Surely you jest!”

For Moon, I wrote: A reference to the dream, with the Emperor being the man telling me what to do (choose); being led and guided by my intuition; uncertainty in the future.

Then I noticed the Fool looks like he’s walking away from the Emperor—and offering him a white rose as he does so.

And both the Fool and the Moon have elements of the unknown associated with them, possibly reinforcing the future uncertainty hinted by the Moon.

Also of note were the colors of the RWS cards: the “temperature” moves from warm (yellow of the Fool) to hot (red-orange of the Emperor) to cool (blues of the Moon), suggesting a “cooling down/cooling off” period.

Since the Moon mentioned being led and guided by my intuition, I felt led to pull an additional card for each line; one next to Empress, the other next to the Fool.

Asking, “What does Empress face (in the future)?” I drew World.

For this card, I wrote: A whole new world opens up; a new level of awareness; seeing the big picture.

I then noticed that both Judgement and World have angels on them, and, for me, angels are “messengers,” suggesting that TdM will have a lot to say as time goes on.

Asking, “Where is the Fool headed?” I drew the Devil.

For this card, I wrote: Long-term commitment; conditioning, programming; limitation/restriction; carrying a torch; guilty pleasure; “attachment”/connection/bond (chain).

In assessing the cards as a whole, my impression is that the RWS cards pointed out working with that system for a long time, and there’s some “conditioning” with it, as a result. Conversely, the TdM cards noted a rejuvenation or resurgence that system brings to my study and practice, which will continue to grow and develop (perhaps in very surprising ways).

It would seem that the cards are leaning (a pun for House of God) toward TdM at the moment.

And while I may not make an outright choice right now, I will go with what my dream self suggested, that one may have more of an appeal or attraction than the other—but to continue to build a working knowledge of both.

 

 

 

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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 5 am 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, which 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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