Tag Archives: casting oracles

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.

Postcards from the Front

I'm considering a vacation. This looks like a good spot.

I’m considering a vacation. This looks like a good spot.

Greetings from historic Ratchetville, Texas. Sometimes – nay, often – I need to close the doors on our scenic soiled-panty-and-beer-can lined streets and just lose myself online. When I do this, I find some cool stuff. So I’m here to let you know I’m still among the living – time is at a premium, but I’m doing phone readings occasionally, though email is out of the question. And I’m also here today to tell you about something everybody likes: that cool stuff and where to get it.

The Mercury Key

Mercury Key from Professor Ames

Mercury Key, Professor Ames

Firstly, there’s the Mercury Key from Professor Ames. You can read about it here: http://skullboneemporium.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/the-mercury-key/ and if you contact him, you can arrange for him to make one for you. It gets its name from the dimes – old “Mercury” dimes (actually Liberty in a winged hat, which I take to mean “free thought”, but the folk associations of Mercury with these dimes are ubiquitous.) You can read it according to geomancy, or alternately, a simple “strong yes/probable yes/probable no/strong no”. It reminds me a little bit of those Ifa divining chains – it alludes to several traditions, but it’s a new thing, Ames invented it. So it doesn’t come with a reading tradition like Lenormand, you’re free to experiment some. (And props to Ames and everyone who INVENTS an oracle – I’ve said enough here about the difference between that, and those awful Lenormand retreads. Googling images of a man, woman, tree, etc. and giving them a horrible color scheme is NOT “creativity”.) I suppose in a pinch, you could even disregard one of the four dimes and use it for I Ching, though I haven’t done that. You could take the direction the key points into account, in some contexts. And the bonus is that these are all leap year dimes, and therefore super lucky. Four leap year dimes and an old iron key – the Lenormand Key, the Master Key…so many positive associations. Dab it with a little Van Van and keep it draped on a lucky statue or image when you’re not carrying or using it.

From a 1910 theatrical poster advertising an appearance by C. Alexander

From a 1910 theatrical poster advertising an appearance by C. Alexander

Crystal Balls

In the late 90’s, you could google “scrying” and nothing came up. Zero, zip, zilch, nada. As of tonight, I got 1,310,000 results. But Sturgeon’s Revelation (commonly cited as “90% of everything is crap”) definitely applies here.

Let’s look at the word itself – dictionary definitions are generally along the lines of seeing visions in/telling the future with a crystal ball or other reflective surface. But new age marketing has expanded it to include, well – anything you look at that looks like something else to you. Jesus on a tortilla, clouds that look like kitties, that stain on the bathroom wall at work that looks like Ron Jeremy – all “scrying”, according to the “anyone can do this!” folks. Well, maybe anyone CAN do that, but what’s the point?

Consider the old texts on crystal gazing. It’s said that both those and the new age are influenced by the New Thought movement. The difference is that the old texts say something like “Practice self-discipline, be discriminating in what you eat, take plenty of outdoor exercise and cultivate a positive attitude, and you will greatly improve your chances of success.” The new age stuff says “Just see yourself getting what you want, and you will!”

New age rhetoric is a lot like those “Lose weight without diet or exercise!” ads, isn’t it?

The old texts are not without issues, at least one of them would have you carving your table up with Enochian symbols. And there was plagiarism in those days, too. There’s a good bit of conjecture and pseudoscience presented as absolute fact, as well. But for the most part, for the purpose of learning to actually see crystal visions, they’ll give you good, solid, practical advice. There’s a list of them here, compiled by Cat Yronwode, and several of these are in the public domain and can be downloaded at no cost from sites like Project Gutenberg: http://www.yronwode.org/crystal-gazing-bibliography.html

While we’re on the subject, Miss Cat also sells crystal balls on her site. A three-inch clear glass crystal is perfect (it’s large enough not to strain the eyes, without being so big that it’s hard to block the reflections, or too heavy to hold in your hands, and there’s no inclusions to distract you) and you can get one here for $20 (yes, you read that right!) But they have all kinds, all sizes. http://www.luckymojo.com/mojocatdivination.html#scrying And they come with their own little boxes and stands.

My newest crystal resting in its snazzy red box, on top of two C. Alexander booklets.

Not only that, but you get a free membership in the Crystal Silence League for the year http://www.crystalsilenceleague.org/
and a copy “Personal Lessons, Codes, and Instructions for Members of The Crystal Silence League” by C. Alexander. The book is published by Missionary Independent Spiritual Church, and Lucky Mojo distributes it free when you buy any crystal ball of any size from them. It’s not a Lucky Mojo publication. Lucky Mojo acts as a distributor, including the book with sales of crystal balls, and underwrites the cost of the book, as a service to the church.

Best deal ever, isn’t it?



I’ve been considering getting Carrie Paris’s Lenormand Lodestones (actually magnets, not lodestones)- these would be useful as a kind of secret code to put on the refrigerator and other metallic surfaces (ex: “Birds – Woman – Moon: call me this evening”) The possibilities for sneaky hijinx are endless! http://carrieparis.com/shop/lenormand-lodestones/


Karla Souza has a very unique deck called the Esmeralda Lenormand – while I don’t use the chakras and elements, it does have proper hints and memory joggers as to the card meanings down in the bottom corners, so it’s great for beginners. I know Karla, she’s a good reader. At some point, I mean to give this one its own blog post, but in the meantime, you can get it here: http://www.sensoriall.com/#!shop/c1tc8


And of course, Lauren Forestell continues to make quality reproductions, and more great decks are always showing up on her site. Check out the four jokers on the mini Alte Deutsch! And she’s got a Brepols now – it’s like a Carta Mundi, but with restored color, gorgeous backs, better stock and no verses. http://gameofhopelenormand.bigcartel.com/

Two Easy Oracles



Crowstones have been around for about six years. For a long time, I passed on them – I didn’t dislike them, they just weren’t a priority. They seemed simplistic, and I was immersed in the complexity of the Lenormand Grand Tableau, the Grand Jeu Lenormand, and about a half dozen other things. But every now and then I’d come across praise from one respected reader or another. Everyone loves their accuracy, so last summer I took the plunge. Yes – they’re quite accurate, and very easy to use. The biggest difficulty I had was amending the rhyme in my head from “One is for sorrow, two is for mirth…” to “One is a message, two is for mirth…”, etc. Once you’ve got the rhyme, you’re all set.

They’re hand painted on your choice of colored glass (Robyn paints everything, she’s always creating decks and oracles, and a glance at her facebook page shows she’s painted her entire reading tent. So don’t sit still too long around her, she might paint you. 😀 ) I don’t know what the process is, but she’s done something with them so the paint doesn’t chip – I use mine often and they’re still like new. So yes, they’re a “don’t miss” item, very affordable, and as of right now (December, 2013) they’re on sale – so click the “Add to cart” button! http://tarotgoodies.webs.com/apps/webstore/



Jiaobei blocks aren’t well known here, but they seem to be common in Asia. They’re paired wooden blocks in the shape of almost-half moons, commonly used in temples. Their use is a bit ritualized, but that seems to help with the accuracy of these yes/no-type oracles – otherwise, you might as well toss a coin.

Traditionally, they first should be purified by circling the incense burner three times. Kneel while clasping the blocks together in your hands. They then state your name, date of birth, where you live, and your question. After giving all the necessary details, pray for guidance with the jiaobei raised to the forehead, after which the blocks will be dropped on the floor.

The answers are produced by the pattern of the jiaobei’s landing:

If the jiaobei land with one round side up and one flat side up, that represents balance, the Tao – it’s a ‘yes’.

If they both land on the flat sides (rounded sides up), it’s a ‘no’. By falling flat on the floor, it is said that the gods are showing their displeasure or anger with the question posed. It’s not necessarily ‘no’ forever, but you need to wait for some time before posing the question again.

If they both land on the round sides, flat sides up, sometimes it’s referred to as an “angry answer”. It’s said that your question annoys the gods. But if they land like that and they’re rocking (and I’ve never known them not to rock), it’s a “laughing answer” – the rocking motion symbolizes a show of laughter. IOW, the gods are laughing because 1) The question is not clear enough 2) The divine reply is not sincerely sought as the questioner has already decided what to do 3) The questioner knows the time is not ripe for the matter posed and yet still wants to seek divine direction.The question posed is therefore considered irrelevant, or 4) The questioner already knows the answer, is just looking for reassurance, and the consultation isn’t necessary.

(Note: If there is still no clear answer after several attempts of tossing, the divination session should be terminated. For repeat consultation of this same problem, the next divination session should only be held after a lapse of some time.)

Jiaobei can be used alone, or in conjunction with fortune stick oracles like the Kuan Yin. Here is a video of a man showing his daughter how to cast the jiaobei:

If you’re handy with woodworking, jiaobei would be quite simple to make. I’m not, so I got mine here:

Now also available from Feng Shui Bestbuy here http://www.fengshuibestbuy.com/HH8704-deityenquiryindicator.html
and here http://www.fengshuibestbuy.com/HH8703-deityenquiryindicator.html

The Magpie Oracle

Magpie-Oracle-Kits-274x300  Available at http://carrieparis.com/magpie-oracle/

These days have been busy, but I have to stop and tell you guys about this one. It’s the Magpie Oracle, and it’s a Lenormand made entirely of little metal charms, infinitely portable (and it won’t be ruined if a little water gets on it!), so it’s perfect for summer. It comes in the tin pictured at the top of the post, with a Magpie amulet and a little pin, if you want to wear your combos and get your mojo working. 😉 It’s called the Magpie Oracle because Magpies love collecting shiny things, of course. And like all Corvids, they’re intelligent and good at problem-solving, so it all fits. The charms can fall at odd angles and clusters, so you can have fun bringing that to your interpretations, too. Maybe the Dog looks submissive on his back (or just wants a belly scratch) and happy to see you if he’s jumping on you.

You can scatter them on your card spreads and get lots of extra nuance and information. There’s tons of info here, but I’ll make this quick: see how the Letter charm landed almost EXACTLY on the Letter pictured in the card? Recent communication, very important! With Anchor and Fish, having to do with work and finances. I like the Bear there. 🙂 And look at how that hatchet (Scythe) is chopping the Owls up on the Moon card! Later that day I had a call drop. Mice by Clover, it was unlucky and on Moon, too much of that could affect my reputation, so now when the phone rings, I take it outside! I did this one on July 4th and it’s all playing out very quicky, so I got a VERY nuanced reading without throwing a Grand Tableau and waiting months for it all to happen.

Carrie Paris's Magpie Oracle on Lilac & Cherry Twilight Lenormand

Carrie Paris’s Magpie Oracle on Lilac & Cherry Twilight Lenormand

That’s what makes this different. It’s more than a simple novelty, it lets you do things you can’t really do with a deck. For that casting, I laid out the cards, then drew a few charms and (Carefully! Didn’t want them falling in the grass and getting lost) put a few on each card. Indoors and on a surface where they’re less prone to bouncing and sliding, you can just scatter them.

There’s a downloadable casting sheet (free!) at the link as well. It’s an 8×4+4 Grand Tableau template. But the casting sheet possibilities for this are endless, really. You could use an astrological chart. Thinking of travelling but not sure where to go? Cast them on a map. You can design your own casting cloths, if you want. I’ve been playing around with them on Bagua maps like this one. Lenormand Feng Shui! (Magpies connect Heaven and Earth in Feng Shui, by the way. All roads lead to magpies! 😉 )

And I’m looking forward to seeing photos of the fancy casting cloths that I know people will be making. 😀 This one is seriously not to be missed.