Author Archives: Stella aka "fennario"

Getting To Know The Belline

The photo above is the Oracle Belline, laid out in a spread recommended by Andy Boroveshengra: “Draw one card for yourself, or the client. Then draw two for their personal life (relationships, home life, friendships), two for their projects (work, hobbies, et cetera) and two for their health. Silvestre includes this draw in her book (Le Grand Livre des Jeux de Cartes et de Tarots) but replaces health with finances.”

The following is an experimental reading – I’m not a Belline adept at this point in time, obviously. I haven’t attempted reflection, etc. in this spread as I’m keeping things very simple for now. But it might be fun to come back to this later and see how the interpretations compare to how things played out.

The first thing I noticed is that there are two Saturn cards – ack!

For myself, I got 52, Cloister. Spot on, I haven’t been in the mood to seek out company, preferring to putter around the house. I get enough – too much, really – of people at my job. Give me a closed door, my dog, an internet connection, and an air conditioner, and it’s All Good.

For Personal Life, I got 45, The Seer’s Star/Happiness, and 51, The Wheel in the Rut. Things are jammed, but not necessarily in a bad way. My Taurean self is quite contented with that. I’m in a comfortable rut. Things do change, though, so when the inevitable eventually comes to pass, I need to prepare myself to roll with the punches.

For Projects, I got 5, Success, and 18, Change. My first thought was that success was “changing”, i.e., things will get worse. Both cards, however, are considered positive. There may be a new opportunity around the corner. Or not. I’m noting it here and will wait and see how it plays out.

For Health, I got 30, the Amphora/Table, and 34, Despotism/The Bound One. 34 is about invitations – it looks like a simple warning not to overindulge in food and drink if I do happen to go out. There may also be a caution against overwork here, especially with two Saturn cards showing up. My job is very Saturnine. So: moderation, etc.

Another interpretation is that I might feel like I have to go someplace I don’t want to be. So, again, waiting to see how it all plays out.

That crazy Mitelli!

Lately I’ve been getting into decks that don’t have massive crowds of people swarming all over them. The Belline (though it’s quite popular in France), Sibilla decks (though I fear they may be the Next Big Thing), a return visit to the Grand Jeu, and the 1690 Gioco del Passo Tempo (Game of the Passage of Time) by G.M. Mitelli, published my Il Meneghello.

Like so many great reading decks (Tarot, Lenormand, playing cards….), it started as a gaming deck. There are forty cards, with various vices and virtues. Some of the cards are similar to Italian Sibilla: Superbia is accompanied by a peacock, there’s a Gelosia card, Fedelta (with a dog, of course), Allegrezza, Fortuna, Falsita, and Malinconia. So this thing is very likely to be historically significant.

Here is a list of the cards, with rough translations:

1 Turco – Turk, Ottoman
2 Mangia Bene – Eat Well
3 Superbia – Pride
4 Danno – Damage, Harm, Loss
5 Furore – Rage
6 Malinconia – Melancholy
7 Ignoranza – Ignorance
8 Curiosita – Curiousity
9 Arpia – Harpy
10 Falsita D’Amore – False Love
11 Invidia – Envy
12 Inganno – Deceit, Hoax
13 Interesse – Interest, concern
14 Fortuna – Fortuna
15 Allegrezza – Joyfulness
16 Gelosia – Jealousy
17 Bugia – Lie
18 Adulazione – Flattery
19 Incostanza – Inconstancy, Fickleness
10 GAME INSTRUCTIONS
21 Silenzio – Hush, Keep Quiet
22 Industria – Industry, Trade
23 Contento – Contentment
24 Vigilanza – Vigilance, Supervision, Surveillance, Lookout
25 Valore – Value, Gallantry, Merit
26 Scoltura – Sculpture
27 Ingegno – Ingenuity, Brain
28 Ragione – Reason, Motive
29 Astrologia – Astrology
30 Prontiza – Readiness, Quickness
31 Concordia – Accord, Agreement
32 Realta -Reality, Fact
33 Pittura – Picture, Depiction
34 Fedelta – Fidelity, Loyalty
35 Musica – Music
36 Sollecitudine – Solicitude, Concern, Kindness
37 Cortesia – Courtesy
38 Afabilita – Affability, Kindness
39 Virtu – Virtue
40 Il Tempo Passa – Time Passes

You may have noticed that No. 20 is “game instructions” – and that is correct. If you purchase this deck, don’t assume that card 20 is missing – it’s not. It just goes in the middle of the deck for some reason as yet unknown to me.

The cards are uncoated, with a textured, linen-type finish. Not something that will stand up to heavy use and constant riffling, but they do feel wonderful. The images are somewhat like those in emblem books.

All in all, it won’t totally replace your heavy-use decks, but it’s a wonderful thing to keep on your reading table.

The hand that feeds

I haven’t seen Andy’s blog in awhile, he’s marked it private. Now it has come to my attention that Matt Sybil has taken his Mirror of Cartomancy blog down. I wonder if he did that because he’s going to publish, or if he was just being plagiarized and got fed up? (ETA: Plot twist alert! Read the comments!)

This blog had all the meanings of the Italian Sibilla cards on it, in detail, and with reversed meanings, too. There was enough there to save you the price of the big Venturi book. There was also information on wall cards and other reading techniques. It was all there.

I hope he did this because he is going to publish a book, but I suspect otherwise. (ETA: Oh, IRONY!) I don’t know for a fact yet, but I very strongly suspect he got ripped off. People steal this stuff like there’s no tomorrow. It’s why I don’t put things like information on card meanings on my blog anymore either. I have a little older informational stuff like that, that I left up. It gets the most hits, but I’ve had to send out many, many DMCA notices. I’ve found it on other peoples’ blogs as well as copied into documents and uploaded to facebook groups, and always without credit. This is why I only blog things like deck reviews and rants now. Adding more would just mean more work, in perpetuity.

These people never cease to amaze me, pretending they know how to read cards. What do they do when somebody actually believes that and starts asking them questions? All they’re doing is ruining things for everybody else. I put the information out there free, to be shared, but the idea is to link to my blog, not copy it without attribution and claim it as your own, or repost it claiming you “don’t remember where it came from.”

ATTN: Plagiarizers: Attribution, please, or you may find a DMCA notice posted publicly in your blog comments or on your facebook group for all to see. I will kick you for this. And you will lick my boot, because that’s the kind of spineless thing you are.

Eric Hoffer was damn smart and interesting, and still very relevant BTW. More here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Hoffer

Information on how to send a DMCA here Attn: Bloggers

Pure Context Practice: The Cinderella Deck

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This is The Cinderella Deck from Kristen at Over the Moon Oracle Cards. The images are from The Wonderful Story of Cinderella: Rhymed and Retold, published in 1921. It consists of 29 cards printed on sturdy stock, and it’s exactly what it looks like: it follows Cinderella from her spot in the ashes by the fireside to her wedding to the Prince. I’ll let Kristen tell you a little more about it:

Now, the thing is, everybody knows the story of Cinderella well enough to use this deck. Between all the children’s books, movies, and cartoons, you probably had it down pat when you were four or so, at least the popular version that this deck follows. (The original Grimm’s version, Aschenputtel, gets quite a bit stranger – Cinderella does necromancy at her mom’s grave, and the stepsisters get their eyes pecked out. Gotta love the Grimm brothers.)

The beauty of this is that it is ONLY the Cinderella story on cards that you can randomize, it’s not force-fitted to Tarot, Lenormand, or anything else. But I think it would be very beneficial to anyone who is trying to learn ANY system and having trouble putting things in context, the people who say things like “I asked about money and all I got was love cards”, “Sometimes I ask the cards about one thing and they start talking about something totally different”, etc. With the Cinderella deck, the Prince is ANY goal, be it a man, a job, a new pair of shoes, or losing 20 pounds before summer. Since you know the story already, there are really no meanings to learn, (although you can download the LWB from Kristen’s Freebies folder), it just forces you to flex your context muscles. If you are new to reading cards, I’d suggest getting this deck along with whichever deck you intend to learn. If you teach card reading, the Cinderella Deck would make a great course module or presentation. And if you don’t need any of that, it’s still irresistible – who doesn’t love 20’s art?

And yes – it reads true and clearly.

The Cinderella Deck is available here. You can even order a matching pouch.

A Little Bit About Me

I was adopted at 3 days old by Jews. My adoptive dad was in the 3rd Infantry, slogging around France and Italy killing nazis. He had a box of armbands.
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And I grew up with never again, never again, never again. My maternal grandmother came over in 1918 from Austria to work as a seamstress. She was the only one they could send. The others ended up in a “ditch”, a mass grave.
I’m an old broad. I had a good life. Let’s rock.
It’s beautiful when ANYBODY kills nazis. It’s even BETTER when Jews, or Natives, or Gay people, or Muslims, OR ANYONE THE NAZIS ARE TRYING TO MARGINALIZE, kill nazis.
FUCK NAZIS.
BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.

On Our Now-Nazi Country, and Where We Go From Here

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My facebook friend Joshua Ellis posted this in the wee hours.
Having a game plan is a tiny ray of hope.
Maybe we’ve got this. It’s on you, and it’s on me.
Are you in?

People started hitting me up last night long before the concession. Messages came through all night while I slept and this morning.

One friend suggested that perhaps I was culpable in some small way for this – me and people like me – for not just getting onboard the Clinton train unreservedly and unambiguously and putting my reservations and ambiguity aside until after the election. And today I am haunted by the idea that he might be right, that I could have done more.

But as I told him: “Have I ever given you the impression, in all the years you’ve known me, that this would be the way I’d handle that?”

Perhaps I could have done more, but I’m not sure I could have done any different. The only way I really matter in the world is that I tell the truth as I understand it. I might be wrong, my conclusions may be erroneous, but I never lie about them. That’s all I have.

And let’s face it, would anybody have really believed me if I’d done an about face after the primary and told you I had no doubts about Hillary Clinton? You would have known I was full of shit.

But that’s not what people were mostly asking me about in those messages. They were asking me variations on the same question: what do we do now?

I was not in any way exaggerating the consequences I believe this election will have on America. I think that unless something completely unforeseeable happens, this country is going to fall, or begin to fall, under this president. The only way I see around that is if Donald Trump completely reverses every position he claimed to hold during the election.

The fact that this is not entirely out of the realm of possibility is almost as unnerving as the likelihood that he won’t.

I think that the political reality is that progressives and liberals are going to be in a body cast for the next two years at least and probably the next four. With a majority Congress and a President and at least one Supreme Court nominee, the Republicans are ascendant. This election was a revolution, it turns out – just not the one that people like me were hoping for.

I’m gonna be really blunt here: I’m writing most of you political folks off now. Political activism only works if you can effect change, and the government is going to ignore you entirely now, because they know they can.

The dominant American voter base today are triumphant regressives who hate you. They do. They hate you. They did not elect Trump because they love you and simply think your ideas were well-intentioned but misguided. They want to punish you. They could not have made that any clearer. Do you really think they’re going to call their leaders to intervene at Standing Rock? Or be outraged when the next black boy ends up on the street face down? They are indifferent to the Natives and they hate and fear the black boys, and they will not stand in the way when these people are shoved face down into the mud. They might even get a boot on your back.

(The Libertarians probably won’t, but they won’t lend a hand, either. The Libertarians are pointless selfish shitheads whose only value to society is dealing weed and making DC Comics rich off licensed Guy Fawkes mask sales. You a Libertarian? Yeah, I’m looking right at you when I speak. Your candidate was a fucking carnival geek and so were you for voting for him. Go build a floating pirate island somewhere out of remaindered paperback copies of The Wealth Of Nations, and don’t forget to go fuck yourself as you climb aboard the SS Galtcock. Wankers.)

Ahem. Where was I?

So where does that leave us? Armed insurrection? Sheeeeeeeeeit. Most of you people throw a temper tantrum if the olive in your bacon martini isn’t free trade. Six hours in the mud in a secret camp out in the woods and you’d give the revolution’s position away by calling an Uber to roll bounce the fuck out. You’d go full Weathermen and let Tyler the unemployed MFA grad student try to wire up the bombs because his mixtape was lit af. (Spoiler alert: explosion and splattering noises.) You could use the Black Bloc as your footsoldiers, but that would only net you a decisive victory against Starbucks picture windows and anybody who happened to be downwind of them.

(Public service announcement, Black Bloc: it’s hard to effectively smash the state when the state knows you’re coming from a mile away by the reek of dirt weed and stank ass coming off your Crass hoodie. You know what Bakunin liked as much as collective choice? Bathing.)

But that’s a good thing, because violence begets violence, and hipster jihad would end very badly not just for Them but for Us. Robespierre’s severed head could have told you that with its last breath as it lay in the guillotine basket.

Where does this leave us then, if we’re politically neutered and we’re leaving those Blue Dawn fantasies abandoned at the Crazytown bus station?

Money.

It turns out that there’s a lot you can do to sabotage people by moving money around… or not moving it. It also turns out that most of the people who voted for Trump live in economically precarious places whose lifeline relies upon consumption of their goods by people in urban areas. Very few of them make anything anymore. They grow food and they sell each other Arby’s sandwiches. They’re angry because they feel like we’ve ignored them for a long time.

I think it would be deeply funny if we devoted our strict attention to them for a while.

Imagine what would happen if you stopped buying produce from grocery stores and only bought it from farmer’s markets in your own city, from local producers. Even better: grow your own food. It’s not that hard to automate that process and you can do it anywhere, even in the desert. Can’t do it in your own backyard? There are community gardens everywhere. Let’s turn the cities into places not only of consumption but production. Let’s grow our own food on a massive scale. Let’s cripple the farmers who voted for Trump, and then batter the Republicans for trying to sneak white-people welfare through under the guise of “farm subsidies”.

What else? Well, a lot of people are looking at ways to do basic universal income, and some of them are looking at decentralized, non-state-based ways of doing that. Some of them are more realistic than others, but let’s put some effort into solving that problem. Let’s get it working over the next four years.

And then let’s cut them off. Because if it’s not government run it doesn’t have to be for everybody, any more than Mormons have to share their food stocks with hungry non-Mormons if they don’t want to. (And to be fair, they often do.) So let’s give money to people of color and homeless people and people we like, and let the rest of the country slowly realize that the vast majority of that welfare they despise so much, that Daddy Trump is going to get rid of, actually goes into their own communities, not to black welfare queens.

Let’s double down on automating jobs while we’re at it. Let’s spend our savings on solar panels for our houses rather than bling and artisanal food, so we can finally kill the Appalachian coal economy for good. Instead of getting rid of our cars completely, which is unfeasible, let’s downsize to scooters and motorcycles and create cheap ridesharing systems so that when we need to go to IKEA or Costco, we just rent a truck for fifty bucks once a month to do it, which is still cheaper. Let’s cripple the oil companies.

Let’s make a deliberate decision to support people who by choice or by necessity leave the wage economy and try to make a living creatively. Consider them beta testers for the new economy that’s coming. Stop telling them they’re unrealistic. Thinking that the traditional model of employment is going to endure is the actual unrealistic thing.

Most of all, let’s turn our back on the bullshit American Dream that we’re all going to live lives of luxury and prosperity any day now. Stop investing in corporations and start investing in people. Don’t buy real estate as an investment, because protecting that investment often leads you to unintentionally inflict a lot of horror on other people. Buy a house to live in it until you die. Invest in fixing it up not to flip it, but so that your children have a beautiful place to grow up in and live in and pass down to their children.

Stop buying new cars – you don’t need one and the five year warranty ends up costing you more in interest and full coverage insurance alone than if you bought a used car and paid a mechanic to get it into perfect condition. Hell, spend your weekends learning to fix your own car with a Chilton’s manual and YouTube sitting next to you.

Learn to build your own furniture. It’s cheaper and fun. Be okay with having cinderblock bookshelves and pine tables. Build makerspaces to share resources and knowledge. Cook your own food. Fix things that break instead of replacing them.

Stop giving a shit about looking prosperous. Stop acting like a temporarily embarrassed millionaire. It’s scary, but you’ll dig it after a while.

And let’s protect each other. If Trump outlaws abortions, let’s figure out ways to get women to safe places elsewhere they can have it done. Let’s start sending people across the border to buy medicine cheap for their friends and families. Let’s start building underground railroads to help queer kids get out of their hateful small towns and into places where they will be not only accepted but celebrated. Let’s volunteer to protect our Muslim friends and our black friends and our trans friends and their places of worship and community. Let’s abhor the fact that we might need to watch out for a lot of our lady friends and keep them safe from being grabbed by the pussies, but let’s do it anyway.

To paraphrase Batman: We’re not going to kill the people who last night chose the path our country is on now, but we don’t have to save them, either. We can save the people who need and deserve saving, though, now more than ever, and by doing so, we can save ourselves. Because they are us.

The time for dank memes and shitposting is done. The time for hearts and minds is done. We’ve lost those. The time for hitting the bricks and getting our hands dirty and organizing ourselves not to protest or petition but to just get shit done is at hand.

Start today. I am. Channel your fear into decision: I’m not going to wait until tomorrow to jump in the game anymore. It’s my turn to play.

You will ward the darkness off with your light. You will earn your place in history. You will be heroes, forever and ever.

Right now, it’s time to kick out the jams, motherfuckers.

Are you in?

On #NoDAPL and Paying Attention: They Sicced Dogs On My People Today

ETA: We have answers! Is it an alleged puppy mill operated by a white supremacist? Does that red and black Ford truck belong to a pedo? Find out here! https://www.facebook.com/diana.heideman/media_set?set=a.10209045072737163.1073741844.1028144629&type=3&pnref=story

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“This is how Fascism and even Feudalism start. Rich lords with private armies ruling over us however they see fit.”
– Joe Cosby

What is the name of this (so far anonymous) “private security company”? Security personnel aren’t sanctioned to use attack dogs – or anything potentially deadly – on citizens. These are Pinkerton style goons.

Worth a read –

Corporate henchmen with dogs and pepper spray attacked peaceful Water Protecters today.

Source: On #NoDAPL and Paying Attention: They Sicced Dogs On My People Today