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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I Dream of Gypsy Witch

I recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of the dream that set me on the path to becoming a card reader. On July 7, 1998, I had a dream in which I was reading and studying playing cards; I was doing my own reading and taking notes throughout the process.

Because of this milestone, I made the personal intention to work more with playing cards personally this year.

And, as a result of that intention, I found myself working with the Gypsy Witch Fortune Telling Playing Cards more and more.

So, it intrigued me, when, as the anniversary date neared, I had a dream in which a person came to me, asking me to do a reading, specifically with the Gypsy Witch cards.

That was all I could recall upon waking—just that the request was made.

At first, I considered the dream to be telling me to use the Gypsy Witch cards for my “Oracle Outlook” weekly video reading for my YouTube channel, which I did.

After the video was posted, though, I began wondering if the dream was something more than that, so I turned to the Gypsy Witch deck itself to shed some light on the situation.

I sat down with the deck and asked, “What do I need to know about the dream as it relates to my use/work with the Gypsy Witch cards?”

The cards I drew, in response, were Flames on the Hearth (7 of Diamonds), Dog (4 of Diamonds), and Key (4 of Clubs).

The first thing I noticed were that two of the three cards were from the suit of Diamonds, which can point to material resources (the deck is a tool, which is a resource), and energy (the energy being put into using and working with that resource).

I then noticed that the number 4 repeats two times; 4 represents a foundation being laid, as well as structure, framework, groundwork, and discipline. My take on this was that I was forming a foundation with the cards that would include my own type of structure, as well as becoming more disciplined in using and working with it.

Going with that idea of coming up with my own structure, when I read with the Gypsy Witch, I work with both the playing card and the symbol on the card.

Turning to the first card, the 7 of Diamonds talks about investing time and energy (resources) into using and working with the deck, and that there would be a return on that investment. The 7 is a number of improvement, so a message here is that energy is being put into improving my ability to read with the deck.

Flames on the Hearth symbolizes passion, and being “on fire” for something, so I read this as the type of energy I’d be bringing to the experience.

The middle card, 4 of Diamonds, I read as talking about a firm/solid foundation being formed, and that I would see the value in both having a structure for the deck, as well as a discipline for how I use and work with it.

I also got the message that “discipline is its own reward.”

The symbol Dog speaks of a friend, partner, and companion, and I took that to mean the deck wants to be all those things to me. The deck wants to be regarded as a guide (think guide dog) who offers help, support, and assistance.

Dog can also mean trust, so the deck wants to be considered trustworthy.

The final card, 4 of Clubs, can represent a room (think 4 walls), and I took this to mean making room (and space) to work (Clubs is the suit of work) with the deck more in the future (last card in the line can represent the future).

The 4 of Clubs could also suggest forming a foundation to build on in the future.

Key, the symbol on the card, can mean discovery, revelation, an answer or solution, as well as something being important, vital, and certain.

Pairing Dog and Key, the combination offers these possibilities:

  • An important friend/partner/companion/guide
  • Help/assistance in discovering/revealing answers and solutions

So, based on the reading, it looks like there was more to that dream request.

And I took that request to heart (along with the insights from the reading), and I’ve been working with the deck regularly ever since…




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“Deception” and the Ace of Spades

“Deception,” one of the new midseason shows this TV season, just aired its season finale (and series finale, as it was also cancelled).

Promotional photo for “Deception,” a crime drama centering on a magician working alongside the FBI.

The premise of the show I found interesting from the start: A magician, Cameron Black (played by Jack Cutmore-Scott), is hired by the FBI as a consultant to help one of its units solve cases that seem somewhat “impossible.”

As a kid I was always intrigued by magicians and illusionists, always wondering how they pulled off their tricks and feats. These days, though, it’s been my activity reading playing cards that made the show appeal to me.

Magician Cameron Black (Jack Cutmore-Scott) playing with the Ace of Spades.

And the opening credits didn’t disappoint: Cameron is seen holding the Ace of Spades in his hand.

And while I was excited by this image, little did I know how the Ace of Spades would play a hand in making a connection with the show at a later point in time.

On May 13, 2018, I pulled the following cards for my daily draw, using the Hidden Leaves Playing Cards by Mahdi (Gilbert) the Magician: 7 of Diamonds, 10 of Diamonds, and Ace of Spades.

Cards from the Hidden Leaves Playing Card by Mahdi Gilbert (aka Mahdi the Magician).

Currently, in my study of playing cards, I’m trying to expand my meanings, and, on this particular day, I was researching the Ace of Spades. I discovered from Robert Lee Camp, in his book “Cards of Your Destiny,” that the Ace of Spades can mean a secret, and this meaning is attributed to the secret societies of old.

And because of this, the Ace of Spades can represent the study and pursuit of esoteric knowledge and wisdom.

It’s also known as the “Magi Card,” which is the plural form of Magus—a magician, sorcerer, or wise man.

I discovered (again through Robert Lee Camp) that there was an Order of the Magi, a brotherhood of astrologers, mystics, and priests of the temples of Egypt, instructed to keep secret the ancient knowledge of the playing cards (known as “the little book”) until the time when humanity would be of the consciousness to understand this occult system of knowledge and the true magic of life.

So I now had all these new associations to consider when the Ace of Spades would turn up in a draw, like it did that day.

While I thought this was all very cool, I also thought about the likelihood of coming into contact with a secret society of any kind (and not the ones that people speculate about on the internet, like the Illuminati, etc.).

Well, it just so happened I didn’t have to wait too long…

Later that night, “Deception” presented an episode entitled “The Unseen Hand.” The plot centered on an internet conspiracy theorist reporter who discovered a secret society, and just before he could reveal it online, he was murdered. The FBI and Cameron were on the case.

As I’m watching the plot unfold, I remember that I drew the Ace of Spades in the morning, and the research I had done. Here was the “secret society” meaning of the card playing out right before my eyes.

And it got better.

The team solves the case; it turns out a rogue member of the society took out the reporter and was apprehended.

As the episode came to a close, the head of the society (played by Mario Van Peebles) paid a visit to Cameron, revealing to him that his great-grandfather had been a member of the society, which meant Cameron was a legacy member of the society.

Bruce Conners (Mario Van Peebles) giving Cameron (Jack Cutmore-Scott) a mysterious gift in “The Unseen Hand” episode of “Deception.”

So, now there’s the Magi aspect of the Ace of Spades coming into play, as Cameron is a magician.

I’ve been reading cards for almost 20 years, and moments like this still leave me awestruck. These days I say, “You can’t make this stuff up.”

It’s the “magic” I find in playing with the cards.




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The Petit Etteilla Talks Blue-Green Algae

Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot of talk coming into my sphere about decalcifying one’s pineal gland. In metaphysical circles, the pineal gland is associated with the brow or ajna (sixth) chakra, also known as the third eye. The third eye is said to reveal insights of the future.

Since I work with my intuition often with my clients, as both a card reader and life coach, I started looking more deeply into decalcifying my own pineal gland.

In doing research, I found some things to try (and some things I was already doing, which was nice to know), and decided to pick one new thing to bring into the mix.

That one thing? A blue-green algae supplement.

On the day the supplement arrived, I was meditating, and felt a prompt to ask the cards about the process when I came out.

I reached for the Petit Etteilla, because I hadn’t turned to it for awhile (having been binging on playing card decks), and I was interested in seeing how it would answer such a question.

So, with deck in hand, I asked, “Will the blue-green algae supplement be helpful in decalcifying my pineal gland?”

The cards I pulled are, from right-to-left, 9 of Diamonds, King of Hearts, Ace of Diamonds (reversed), 10 of Hearts (reversed), and 10 of Clubs (reversed).

Cards are from the Petit Etteilla by B. P. Grimaud.

What first got my attention were the two 10 cards reversed, which can mean “waiting,” and I took this to mean waiting to see the results of taking the blue-green algae supplement.

For the 9 of Diamonds, I chose the word “poverty,” implying lack. Taking the blue-green algae, with the intention of decalcifying my pineal gland, implies that it’s not functioning/working the way it’s “supposed” to (lack).

The word that best fit the question with the King of Hearts is “characteristic.” Pairing the 9 of Diamonds with this, the Petit Etteilla talks of poverty with a characteristic, again suggesting that the blue-green algae is being taken due to a lack of functioning.

The word I chose from the Ace of Diamonds reversed is “note,” and I took this to mean to note (notice) what happens while taking the blue-green algae, to notice its effects.

For the 10 of Hearts reversed, I took the word “inheritance” to suggest something of value being received at a later point in time, remembering the pair of tens reversed said waiting would be involved.

And for the final card, 10 of Clubs reversed, I went with “the past.” This seemed to suggest to me, that in the end (last card in the line), I would return to a former state (the past), implying my pineal gland would become decalcified.

I’ve been taking the blue-green algae for almost a couple weeks now, and the one thing I’ve noticed so far is that I’m actually recalling more dream activity than I have for some time.

And, if I’ve learned anything about myself over the years, it’s that, for me, most things start with my dreams…

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A Time to (Re-) Assess

It’s been a few weeks since my last post.

Over the Easter holiday, I experienced the flu, which came on after having a head cold during my birthday earlier in March.

As a result, the energy just wasn’t there for a lot of my routine things, like writing up the weekly Oracle Outlook posts. One of the things I had prided myself on—being consistent—was now gone. One week turned to two, then to three. I had fallen off the wagon.

And I was finding it difficult to get back on.

What made the situation even more interesting was that I was still filming the video presentations of the readings for my YouTube channel (which was very challenging one week because of the amount of energy it took being health-challenged), but the very thought of writing (transcribing) the reading for the blog made me feel tired.

So I wondered if it was time to assess—or re-assess—the Oracle Outlook in this space. To help me with this process, I decided I’d do an Answer Spread asking what I might need to know about the situation.

Pulling cards from my beloved Uusi Classic Playing Cards, I drew Ace of Hearts, Ace of Diamonds, 6 of Diamonds, 4 of Spades, Ace of Spades, and 8 of Clubs.

The Ace of Hearts and 4 of Spades represent aspects of the situation. I had to laugh when I saw these cards because they were so spot on!

The Ace of Hearts is a card of the home, but also the beginning of an emotional experience; I tend to read the Ace of Hearts as beginning to feel a new way about a situation.

The 4 of Spades is a card of illness (it’s known as “the sick bed” card), which is a clear reference to having had the flu; given the context, the pair literally reads being home (Ace of Hearts) in bed sick (4 of Spades).

The 4 of Spades can also indicate a period of exhaustion, or a need to slow down the pace. Considering this aspect of the card, my thought went to the possibility of burn-out, something I experienced when I was out in the working world before becoming self-employed.

The Ace of Diamonds and the Ace of Spades answer the question.

The Ace of Diamonds is a card of news and messages; it’s a card known as “the letter,” suggesting written correspondence. I feel this card is representing the blog itself, or an actual post, again sticking to the context of the situation.

The Ace of Diamonds can also indicate engagement, and this could be referring to my level of engagement when it comes to writing up the Oracle Outlook.

The Ace of Spades is a card of the mind, again highlighting that the situation is on my mind.

Also, Spades can point to blocks, problems, and difficulties, so here the cards are pointing to a potential (Ace) problem or difficulty.

With the Ace of Spades being the mind, it can also suggest the need to make a decision. Coming after the Ace of Diamonds, it can mean that a decision has yet to be made.

At this point, it strikes me that three out of the four cards are Aces. Aces represent a beginning, something new, or the potential for the future.

The 6 of Diamonds and 8 of Clubs provide additional information to be considered.

The 6 of Diamonds is a card that’s associated with astrology, so I’ve personally widened that interpretation, taking into account all of the metaphysical sciences, one being divination, like cartomancy (card reading). Again, this would keep with the context.

Another meaning that would fit the context would be a lack of communication, which would be the lack of posts over the past few weeks.

And third, the 6 of Diamonds can represent computers, and the blog posts are written on my laptop, as well as uploaded and published online (again through my laptop), and read on computer (and smartphone) screens.

The 8 of Clubs is a card of work and business, and can indicate the work one does (in my particular case, my work as a cartomancer). The 8 of Clubs is also a card of conversations; putting both aspects together, we have “conversations about the work one does,” which is, in part, what this very blog is about.

The 8 is a number of balance, and with that, the 8 of Clubs can mean effort (work) being put in to achieve balance (8) in both work and social activities (Clubs).

And it was that last interpretation that got me thinking that perhaps it might be good for me to share more about how I work with the cards in my daily life, and not just from a strictly professional standpoint, like the Oracle Outlook.

So that’s where I’ve decided to leave things for the time being. I’ll be posting about decks that come my way (I just got a deck in the mail today), and how I’m working with them at the moment.

I’ll be keeping an open mind (Ace of Spades), though, and if I discover that there’s still interest in the Oracle Outlook postings, I’m always free to change my mind and decide (Ace of Spades) to pick it back up.

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Oracle Outlook: Playing Card Reading for March 26-April 1, 2018

If you checked out my previous post, then this week’s deck selection will be no surprise to you. If you didn’t check out the post, then I have some explaining to do.

I wanted to work with a playing card deck this week, specifically the Cartomancer Poker Deck by Alain Benoit. I backed the deck on Kickstarter and it arrived in the mail last week.

And after doing my initial “breaking in the deck” reading, and a few daily draws, I thought I’d give it a turn in this space (the truth is, I was very eager to work with it).

So, I’m taking the deck in hand, shuffling the cards, and asking the general question, “What do we need to know about the possibilities for the week ahead?”

This week’s video reveals the cards for our reading:

If you prefer to read the post, here it is:

The cards for the week are: Black Joker, 5 of Spades, Ace of Spades, 6 of Hearts, and 5 of Diamonds.

Focus of the Reading

The focus card this week, which is in the middle of the line, is the Ace of Spades.

In this deck, the theme of the suit of Spades is Thinking (which is also the keyword on this card); this makes sense with regard to the meaning I have for the Ace of Spades: the mind.

With that, Alain has defined the Ace of Spades to mean using thought or rational judgment. This is important to consider, given that, for me, the Ace of Spades can turn up to say that a decision needs to be made.

So, having the Ace of Spades turn up in the middle of the line can suggests a potential problem or difficulty arising that will be on our minds because it requires a decision to be made.

Looking at the image on the card, the young figure holds a watch on a chain. This could suggest a possible timeframe with regard to the decision. With the watch being small, it could suggest there’s “little” time for the decision to be made—or that it’s simply a “matter of time.”

If we consider the figure on the card to be an angel (note the wings on his sides), then this idea of time might be more of a matter of “Divine Timing,” which operates differently than man’s ideas about time.

The angel can also suggest opening one’s mind to things spiritual, and this would coincide with the Ace of Spades meaning a rebirth, which could suggest a spiritual awakening, a process where one’s mind is open to new ideas, in the form of insights and epiphanies.

Basically, the Ace of Spades can turn up to represent a shift in consciousness, where one is becoming more awake and aware.

The surrounding cards will tell us more about the central issue or focus, so let’s start looking at the remaining cards in the line.

Looking at the Line

Starting off the line, we have the Black Joker, one of two Joker cards in the deck (the other being the Red Joker).

The first thing I notice with this card is its keyword, Consciousness, which was something just mentioned with the Ace of Spades (you can’t make this stuff up). So the thoughts about a shift in consciousness are reinforced with this keyword.

This shift could be quite radical, as the Black Joker can represent some type of shake-up—and the releasing of old ideas.

The Joker is the “wild card” in the deck, which I always read as the element of surprise being thrown into the situation. So this could suggest the problem or difficulty associated with the Ace of Spades comes as a surprise.

Looking at the image on the card, it looks as if two darts have landed in the Joker’s back, bringing to mind the expression “being stabbed in the back,” which implies some form of betrayal.

Given the order of the cards at this point, having the Ace of Spades follow the Black Joker could be read to say that the decision needing to be made might be about some “betrayal” that comes as quite the surprise.

Or could it be that one has a shift in consciousness about a “betrayal,” coming to a different understanding about the experience?

Moving to the card between the Black Joker and the Ace of Spades, we have the 5 of Spades, another card from the suit of Spades.

If we consider the Ace of Spades to represent the mind, the 5 of Spades can suggest a change of mind—specifically a change in one’s thinking.

Looking at the image, what immediately stands out for me are the butterfly wings on the card (noting that wings also seem to be a repeating visual, symbolic message). For me, a butterfly symbolizes transformation, and it’s said that when one transforms the mind, his or her world (the number 5 represents the physical/material) is also transformed.

In the more mundane sense, the 5 of Spades can turn up to mean the activity (5) taken up to handle (5) a problem or difficulty (Spades). Keeping with the order of the cards, thought is being given as to how to best handle a problem (5 of Spades), and then a decision is made to put a possible plan into motion (Ace of Spades).

Looking at the image again, we have a couple; in some cases, the 5 of Spades can turn up to suggest problems or difficulties in a relationship—possibly leading to some type of separation.

The 5 of Spades can also turn up to suggest that the problem or difficulty is forcing someone to stand on his or her own two feet—to become independent.

I mention these aspects of the 5 of Spades because they fit with the Black Joker offering the possibility of a “betrayal.” In that regard, the 5 of Spades points to the potential “fallout” of such an experience.

Moving to the other side of the Ace of Spades, we have the 6 of Hearts.

Having a Hearts card follow a Spades card can be read as an emotional difficulty or loss (just by reading the suit emblems), which would fit with what was mentioned about the relationship aspect of the 5 of Spades.

Going further, the 6 of Hearts can suggest male energy, and can represent a male friend or relative; this would suggest a man is involved in the situation.

I tend to read the 6 of Hearts as a need to talk (6 being a number associated with communication) about one’s feelings and emotions (Hearts) in the context of a relationship (Hearts); so the decision suggested by the Ace of Spades might be to have a discussion about a relationship with a male friend or relative.

The 6 is also a number associated with responsibility, so it might be helpful in the conversation to take responsibility (ownership) for one’s feelings rather than issuing blame. In the video of the reading, I call this using “I” statements rather than “you” statements.

One of the meanings Alain has given to the 6 of Hearts is understanding, and that segues nicely to the final card in the line, the 5 of Diamonds, which is named Nature. I take these to mean understanding your own nature.

The first thing to note is the appearance of a second 5, again suggesting activity toward change; the 5 of Diamonds can point to physical/material changes—remember what was said about a transformed world earlier with the 5 of Spades (transformative thinking)?

And that fits nicely with the image on the card, that of a man harvesting a field—in the form of a woman’s hair; it reminds me of the Black Joker (mirroring the 5 of Diamonds) when it talks about the releasing of old ideas.

The 5 of Diamonds is a card of gambling, and I read this to possibly suggest that the conversation implied by the 6 of Hearts (the previous card) might be a “gamble” (taking one’s chances); the tool that the man holds makes me think of Scythe in Lenormand, which can imply risk.

Scythe can also indicate a need to be quick; pertaining to the possibility of a conversation, it might be best to either get to the point quickly, or to stay on point, meaning not to bring up things not central to the issue at hand.

Sometimes, though, we have to be willing to take a risk if we want a situation to change. And in the case of the imagery of the 5 of Diamonds—sometimes the risk pays off and was worth the gamble (the harvest implies abundance and wealth, which can also mean reward and a payoff).

And with that, I’ll bring this week’s reading to a close.


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Me & the Cartomancer Poker Deck: A Marriage Spread

Earlier this week, I received a copy of the Cartomancer Poker Deck in the mail. The deck is the creation of Alain Benoit, and was a Kickstarter project I backed in the fall (autumn) of last year.

The Cartomancer Poker Deck by Alain Benoit.

I was fascinated with the project for a couple of reasons in particular: The first was that the deck is a fully-illustrated deck of playing cards; the second is that it’s based on archetypal psychology, and Alain gives credit to Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung as a source of inspiration for the deck. Having a background in psychology myself, this aspect intrigued me.

Typically, when I get my hands on a new deck of cards, the first spread I do with it is the “New Deck Interview Spread,” a layout I found on the (now-defunct) Aeclectic Tarot site many years ago. With that layout, I learn about the deck, what it’s here to teach me, how it specifically wants to be used, and what my relationship with it would possibly be like.

But because I’m enamored with playing cards these days, I opted instead to break the deck in with the Marriage Spread, a layout I discovered in the Card Reader’s Handbook by Regina Russell.

If you’ve checked out my posts where I work with the Answer Spread (also by Russell), the layout is exactly the same, consisting of six cards, laid out in two rows of three cards each, one above the other.

Unlike the Answer Spread, in which the cards are read in pairs vertically, the Marriage Spread has you reading them in order, from left-to-right. Card 1 opens the reading up about the marriage (or relationship), and each subsequent card builds on the story, arriving at Card 6, which wraps up the story.

Asking the cards, “What do I need to know about my relationship with the Cartomancer Poker Deck?” I pulled the following: Black Joker, 6 of Spades, 7 of Diamonds, Queen of Clubs, Man, and Jack of Diamonds.

Reading the Marriage Spread

As the card opening the reading up, Black Joker, being a “wild card,” carries with it the element of surprise.

I tend to read this particular Joker (there’s another Joker in the deck, that one being red) as shaking things up; with that in mind, the Cartomancer Poker Deck wants to assist in releasing old ideas, which makes sense, given the keyword, Consciousness, on the card, which implies awareness.

Next up is 6 of Spades. I read the suit of Spades as problems and difficulties, and this one in particular to sometimes mean a problem or difficulty with communication.

I took this to mean that I might not understand what the deck has to say at the start of our relationship. But that would pass, as the 6 of Spades can also suggest progress being made.

Taking a look at the image on the card, it reminded me of The Hanged Man of Tarot, because the man’s face has been turned upside down. One of the meanings of The Hanged Man is a change in outlook or perspective, so I applied that to this version of the 6 of Spades.

In essence, the 6 of Spades says that the Cartomancer Poker Deck wants to turn things on its head.

Following the 6 of Spades is the 7 of Diamonds, a card I read as getting a return on the time and energy invested into a situation; my first thought is that investing in a relationship with the Cartomancer Poker Deck will be well worth the effort, and very rewarding.

The card has an interesting image, which says to me that the deck could somehow “get under my skin,” that it has a deeper layer of meaning, if one is willing to go beyond the surface (making me think of the expression “skin deep”).

Moving to the bottom row, first up is the Queen of Clubs. Typically, “face” cards can represent people, but given that I’m asking about my relationship to the deck, I opted for the more symbolic aspect of the Queen, which is receptivity.

Clubs is the suit of work, but in the more metaphorical sense, I read work as meaning effort. Clubs is also the suit of progress. Putting all of that together, the Queen of Clubs is suggesting that I would be receptive to the progress being made in the relationship, which is the result of the effort I put into it.

Alain has named the Queen of Clubs “Mother of Time,” and I take this to mean that the progress will be made over time.

Looking at the image, the Star of David at the bottom of the card stands out. It symbolizes the union (marriage) of the spiritual (the triangle that points up) and the material (the triangle that points down), and I think that speaks to the spiritual and transpersonal aspects of Jung’s work, which served as inspiration for the deck.

The Star of David also symbolizes the combining and integration of the elements (fire, water, earth, and air), and the deck suits also correspond to each of the elements. This bit tells me that the deck brings together various “elements” into a cohesive whole.

Things get real interesting with the next card in the reading: the Man card. The Man card is an extra card, and is comparable to the Gentleman card in Lenormand, in that it refers to a male seeker or querent.

In this case, the Man represents me. And the beautiful thing about his turning up is that the card was “randomly” pulled from the deck, meaning I didn’t pre-select it before the reading.

And the image has the Man holding the Cartomancer Poker Deck is his hand. I look at this as the Man being a cartomancer himself; he’s a “fan” of the cards (holding the cards in a fan in his hand).

Alain encourages directional cues with the cards, and the first of those comes into play with the 6 of Spades above the Man card. If you notice, the face on the 6 of Spades appears to be looking at the Man.

When I read Lenormand, a card directly above a significator can suggest what’s on the person’s mind. Going with that here, this would suggest that what will be on my mind is how the Cartomancer Poker Deck gets me to see things in a different way (perspective).

Also, a card to the right of a significator—especially when the significator is facing it—can indicate the future. And that brings me to the final card in the reading, which the Man card is facing: the Jack of Diamonds.

I read the Jacks in playing card cartomancy as news and messages; the Jack of Diamonds could be read as news and messages that have “value,” given that the suit of Diamonds can represent money.

With the Man facing the Jack of Diamonds, the pair could be read to say that I (Man) will be looking forward to receiving valuable messages (Jack of Diamonds) in the future.

And then I noticed that the final cards in each row was from the suit of Diamonds; with the Jack of Diamonds below the 7 of Diamonds, I saw the potential for those messages being received in the future to increase in value as well (moving from a 7 to the Jack, which is “valued” at 11).

And that’s how I concluded my Marriage Spread with the Cartomancer Poker Deck.

It looks like it will be an interesting “marriage” indeed.




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Oracle Outlook: Tarot Reading for March 19-25, 2018

This week, I’m honoring a request from a reader of the blog.

Tobi, who shares a mutual love and admiration for Tarot and Lenormand (and pens a wonderful blog, House of Montclairs, sharing her experiences reading cards), noticed that I have a copy of The Housewives Tarot (which sits on one of the ladder shelves in the room I film the video presentation of the weekly readings).

The Housewives Tarot is by Paul Kepple & Jude Buffum, and is published by Quirk Books.

After spying the deck, she asked me if I’d be willing to work with the deck in a future reading.

I thought to myself, “Why wait? Why not use it this coming week?”

And here we are.

As I do every week for these general readings, I’m taking the deck in hand, shuffling the cards, and asking this question: “What do we need to know about the possibilities for the week ahead?”

This week’s video reveals the cards for our reading:

If you prefer to read the post, here it is:

After shuffling the deck, I pulled the card from the bottom of the pile, to represent the focus or intention for the week. Then, I fanned out the remaining cards, pulling three for this reading.

Intention for the Week

The card I pulled from the bottom of the deck is the King of Pentacles, and, as the intention for the week, he’s asking us to consider the value we place on things. Pentacles is the suit which pertains to the value system of money, but also to our inner value system.

We place a certain value on all the things in our lives–whether it be people, things, or events and circumstances. This King, for me, is assigned the astrological sign of Taurus, which is the sign of ownership and possessions. Everything we possess has a value and worth to us, or else we would not have them in our lives. If it was something we purchased, we agreed on the value (cost) of the item when we bought it. If it was something given to us, it holds a sentimental worth and value.

In some cases, the things we hold on to appreciate in value; in other cases, they depreciate.

In this time of the energies of the new moon, we are being encouraged to look at what we have in our lives (from a place of being abundant, with the King of Pentacles) and consider—or re-consider—its value. Does it enrich us—or does it rob from us, which no longer serves and supports us?

The King of Pentacles also encourages us to consider our personal sense of value and worth this week. Are we getting our sense of worth and value externally (based on the people and things we have in our lives), or are we bringing out the richness within ourselves to everything we come in contact with (The King of Pentacles is known as having the “Midas Touch”)?

Looking at the Line

Opening the line up this week, we have Death, one of the most misunderstood cards in the deck.

Many naturally assume, due to its name, that it means someone will die. The Death card doesn’t mean physical death; rather, it suggests you may find yourself going through a major process of change this week.

This is the card of endings, completions, transitions, and transformations. As things progress to their natural conclusions, this card can also signal a new chapter beginning. Death is a “rites of passage” card, as there can be no beginning without an ending.

You’re being encouraged to examine how well you embrace change in your life this week–because there’s one only constant in life, and that’s change.

Death wants you to know that not all change has to be met with fear, although it’s understandable when you consider there’s the unknown element or factor that accompanies all forms of change. I see this as meaning it’s not about the change process itself, but what lies on the other side of that process–for we don’t know.

Consider the changes and transitions you’ve experienced in your past. How have those outer experiences opened the door to your inner transformation? What changes will you make for yourself and your life as a result of that transformation?

Moving on the next card, we have the Ace of Wands.

When the Ace of Wands turns up, it suggests a new cycle, phase, or situation is beginning. Aces suggest the promise and potential for the future, so consider this the starting point for new thought-seeds to be planted now that will develop and manifest at a later time. This is a time of power!

This week, look for anything that comes your way as a source of inspiration, motivation, passion, and sparks your interest.

This source could be the thing that gets you started on a new business or creative endeavor, as the Ace of Wands helps to reveal the creative path or the career path you are on. You may be considering a new job or up for a promotion on your existing job.

The Ace of Wands can also suggest a spark or passion is being re-ignited, so some of us might find ourselves returning to a former project we started that we may have sidelined and allowed to collect dust. Time to blow the dust off!

When the Ace of Wands appears, look at it as a power boost of supercharged energy. As with all the Aces, it’s a gift to do with as you like. If you accept it, be clear of your intent, as the suit of Wands can represent our intentions and the actions that result from those intentions.

Coming to the card at the end of the line this week, we have 3 of Pentacles, and its message is to put your focus and dedication into mastering your craft.

This is one of the “work” cards from the suit of Pentacles, and it’s a notice that success can be attained through focus and hard work.

It’s a positive card that says progress will be gradual—and it urges you to put your creative talents (the number 3 is the number of creativity and self-expression) to good use. The housewife on the card is using her talents wisely and creatively, and is gaining a quiet and solid satisfaction from her work as she advances in her craft.

Being a work card, the 3 of Pentacles can suggest self-employment or work that builds into a long-term career (this is a good card that can indicate promotions and moving up the ladder).

Whatever the profession, the 3 of Pentacles is a solid indication that you have a reputation for the skill, talents, and abilities you possess (this is a card of having your work noticed by others).

It may be time to get into a formalized study program, as the 3 of Pentacles can indicate getting the education and training needed and obtaining a certificate or diploma.

Whatever the plan (this card is about implementing plans), now is the time to perfect your craft.

The 3 of Pentacles can sometimes suggest working on repairing some damage that’s been created in a relationship. In that context, the advice being offered is to come up with a plan to rebuild the relationship; the 3 of Pentacles, in that regard, can suggest that the work could produce results—but gradually.

Signing Off

With that, I’ll bring this week’s reading to a close and sign off. Thanks so much for joining me in this space and I look forward to seeing you here again real soon.

Hope you have a Tarot-tastic week!




These weekly readings are general in nature. If you’re interested in having your own personalized Tarot reading, please visit my Tarot Consultations page for all the details.

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Oracle Outlook: Lenormand Reading for March 12-18, 2018

Before getting into this week’s reading, I want to first thank those of you who wished me a happy birthday last week.

I had mentioned being particularly excited seeing what might be in the cards for me last week because of my birthday, so I thought I’d update you on what happened.

One of the things I mentioned was self-care (The Empress). Well, as it would turn out, I had to put self-care into practice because I’d gotten a cold early in the week and was actually sick on my birthday. Despite the cold, it was still a good day.

But, because of the cold, I had to put things on hold (The High Priestess was about “waiting and seeing”) until I felt better.

And that brings us to this moment, taking a look at what’s in the cards for this week.

I’m going to work with a deck I believe I’ve only used once or twice before in this space, and that’s the Maybe Lenormand by Ryan Edward (and published by U. S. Games Systems, Inc.).

The deck is interesting because it consists of 52 cards (a standard deck of playing cards); 36 of the cards make up the standard Lenormand deck, and the remaining 16 cards come from a couple of cartomancy systems: The Gypsy Witch Cards and the Whitman Fortune Telling Cards.

But for the purposes of this week’s reading, I’m sticking with the traditional 36 cards of the Lenormand.

Now that I’ve shared the deck I’m working with, I’m taking it in hand and shuffling the cards, asking what we might expect for the week ahead.

The video below reveals the cards in the reading:

If you prefer to read the post, here it is:

The cards for the week are: Ring, Garden, Mountain, Bouquet, and Rider.

Looking at the Line

Ring opens the line up this week, suggesting a commitment or engagement as the possible subject matter in the upcoming days ahead. I always offer the advice that Ring is asking us to be mindful of the promises we make to and to do our level best to honor the commitments we make to others.

And it’s funny I should mention others, given that Garden is the next card in the line—which can mean other people. Ring + Garden could be read as “a promise or commitment to other people.”

Garden is also a card that can also mean something social or public, and with that, Ring + Garden could be read as a public or social engagement.

Moving on to Mountain, as the center card this week, we have a possible challenge, as Mountain can indicate a block or obstacle.

If the previous cards talk about a social engagement, then Mountain can present some challenge with the event. Some possibilities could be a setback or delay with the event, or even a postponement.

Then we have Bouquet, which next to Mountain, could describe the nature of the challenge being presented.

One possibility offered by Mountain + Bouquet is that the setback or delay (Mountain) will come as a surprise (Bouquet).

Another possibility is that there may be a setback or delay (Mountain) regarding an invitation (Bouquet), which may affect people attending the event.

And yet another possibility is with the Queen of Spades being the playing card insert on Bouquet, which suggests a woman may be directly involved.

And that brings us to the final card in the line, Rider. Rider is a card of mail, and if Mountain + Bouquet talks about a delay with an invitation, then Rider, at the end of the line, suggests that the invite does indeed arrive (Rider is also a card of arrivals).

Rider is also a card of news and messages, suggesting that the surprising setback, delay, or postponement (also a possibility with Mountain + Bouquet) becomes “news.”

Summing Up

I think the cards wanted to take it easy on me because the line was pretty straightforward and to the point this week: A social engagement will experience some type of setback, delay, or even postponement.

One possible setback might be with an invitation, which does arrive in the mail after some delay.

Whatever the challenge, though, it most likely will come as a surprise, and if the event is rather public, the setback will be sure to make “news,” possibly centering on a woman in particular.

I personally have some social commitments this week, so I’ll be looking to see how this information might apply to me. But I’ll also be keeping an eye on the news reports this week, because the event in question might be on a bigger scale publicly as well.

Take care,




For personalized readings, visit my Lenormand Readings page over at jameshimm.com to get all the details.

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Oracle Outlook: Tarot Playing Card Reading for March 5-11, 2018

I’m especially excited to see what’s in the cards this week. Why? Because my birthday is March 7th, and I’ve been reading cards long enough to know this: While the messages are intended for the readers and the viewers, there are always messages pertinent to me as the reader.

And I’m sure this week will be no exception.

With that in mind, I’m being self-indulgent with this week’s deck selection (well maybe a bit more self-indulgent than usual), going with one of my personal favorite decks to read with: The Arcana Tarot Playing Cards by Chris Ovdiyenko (and published by Dead on Paper).

So I’m taking the deck in hand, shuffling the cards, and asking the general question, “What do we need to know about the possibilities for the week ahead?”

This week’s video reveals the cards for our reading:

If you prefer to read the post, here it is:

The cards for the week are: The Empress, 8 of Hearts, The High Priestess, King of Clubs, and 9 of Spades.

Focus of the Reading

The focus card this week, which is in the middle of the line, is The High Priestess.

The High Priestess asks you to trust your intuition. This is a week to listen to the still, small voice that speaks from within. This is a week of inner guidance and wisdom.

If decisions need to be made this week, The High Priestess is a card that suggests waiting (she adopts a “wait and see” approach) for further information. You don’t have all that you need to make a well-informed decision.

And speaking of information, The High Priestess is a card of news and messages. This can be news or information of a “sensitive” nature, information that’s on a “need to know” basis, or that requires some level of confidentiality.

All of that could suggest information coming to you. On the other hand, The High Priestess can suggest that you have information that maybe you should be holding on to, and be selective as to who you share it with. It’s kind of like not giving out unsolicited advice—let people come and actually ask for the information or knowledge you possess, which is a clearer signal to share what you know. In this vein, just because you know something doesn’t mean everyone you know needs to know it.

Not all information is for public consumption.

Also, The High Priestess can represent the deeper study of metaphysics and esoterica. So if you’re a student of the intuitive arts (astrology, numerology, palmistry, dreams, Tarot), how might you be able to deepen your studies this week?

Taking another page from her book, The High Priestess can indicate a state of independence. She is typically stationed between two poles, which can suggest polar opposites. So, if you’re a bit too dependent on others, consider how you might practice being a bit more independent this week. If you find yourself being fiercely independent, how might you allow others to assist and support you a bit more this week?

The High Priestess is a card about finding the balance between two extremes.

Looking at the Line

Starting off the line, we have the The Empress.

The Empress is the archetype of the Mother, the caretaker and the nurturer. The Empress can indicate a time of incubation—the growth and development required before the moment of manifestation.

What are you creatively working on to manifest in your world? The Empress says it’s important to be patient, but continue to nurture your creative side and still do what you can (this is a card of productivity) while things are still in stages of development.

And here’s another aspect of The Empress for you to consider: If you play the role of caretaker in your life, The Empress urges you to make sure you’re also creating the time to take care of yourself. If you find you’ve put yourself last on your list of things to be taken care of, see if you can make yourself more of a priority.

When you care for yourself, it enables you to better take care of those who need you. And sometimes, the best self-care is to allow others to take care of themselves, especially if they’re in a position to do so.

Moving to the next card, we have the 8 of Hearts.

The 8 of Hearts can suggest going on a spiritual quest, a search for meaning in one’s life. This can mean literal travel, but most often, spiritual quests are taken by going within. Either way, this means that you’ll be “going it alone,” that it’s a trek for you and you alone. You may be moving into unfamiliar territory, into spaces and places you have never gone before.

This journey will require you to leave the past behind–and with that, some people, places, circumstances, and conditions that no longer serve and support you–in fact, those very things may now be draining you (the 8 of Hearts warns of “toxic” people, environments, and circumstances that may be having an effect on your spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical well-being).

The 8 of Hearts is known as an emotional choice card, sometimes called “a change of heart” card. We sometimes have to get to a point where we think, feel, and say that we’ve had enough and that it’s time to move on—even if we don’t know where we’re going or what lies ahead, because what’s familiar is no longer working for us.

When we can do this for ourselves, we’re taking the steps to reclaim our personal power (the number 8 is a number of power). When we stand in the power of who we are, we’re standing in, what spiritual teacher Gary Zukav calls, our “authentic power.”

In some circles, this card is also known as “the Amethyst Rose.” When the 8 of Hearts crosses your path in this regard, you’re going through a time of “spiritual purification.” To aid in this process, you’re encouraged to either wear or carry on your person a piece of amethyst. Doing this will cleanse your energy, and allow a spiritual awakening or enhancement to possibly occur.

This is a time of release that will help to improve your overall well-being.

Moving over to the cards on the other side of the 7 of Hearts, we first have the King of Clubs.

This is the card of the spiritual leader, the business leader, the politician, and the entrepreneur. No matter the position or title, the King of Clubs brings passion and devotion to his (or her) work.

This card asks us to consider the idea that we are powerful, creative, spiritual beings. As spiritual beings having a human experience, this card urges us to take what we have learned from life (the King is about maturity) and use that as fuel (passion) for our creative self-expression (the suit of Clubs being about our public and private image and identity).

The King of Clubs is a reminder that we’re not “becoming someone.” Rather, we’re allowing the masterpiece that’s within each of us to be revealed–when we choose to get out of our own way.

The suit of Clubs is about intention and action. So, this week, I invite you to consider how you might step more fully into your own power–and take the step.

At the end of the line, we have the 9 of Spades, suggesting that thoughts of worry, stress, and anxiety may be disturbing you, and may be causing restlessness.

This can suggest a pattern of thought (a “mental pattern,” if you will), or thoughts that comes to mind again and again.

I have found, that, for me, worry can be such a waste of time. It doesn’t change the situation, and all I’m doing is giving it more power by focusing my attention on the problem, rather than looking for a solution.

Also, worry is rooted in fear, so a couple of questions to consider, when we find ourselves worried are, “What am I afraid of? What do I fear will happen?”

The 9 of Spades can be about what we fear will happen. As a psychologist, I see this card representing those of us who have a tendency to imagine the worst possible case scenario, to jump to the worst possible conclusion, and to fear and dread the future. More often than not, when we imagine the worst possible thing that could happen, it doesn’t happen at all. Why do we put ourselves through that mental agony?

As a person who works with the Law of Attraction (which we all do, whether we believe in it or not), something to consider: If we’re always thinking the worst and putting feeling with it (in this case, worry), we have a greater chance of creating that experience.

In Christian scripture, Job has been quoted to have said, “My worst fear has come upon me.” In this case, the 9 of Spades becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Lastly, the 9 of Spades can be a message to analyze your dreams, especially if you’ve had any disturbing ones. In my work as a dream analyst, I believe the disturbing ones are grabbing your attention because of the message they have for you–and don’t want you forgetting them.

So, for this week, consider the things that worry you and frighten you–and then ask yourself why that might be. And then see what you might be able to do proactively to alleviate those worries and those fears.

Hope you have a Tarot-tastic week,




This reading is general in nature. If you’re interested in having your own personalized Tarot reading, please visit my Tarot Consultations page for all the details.

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