Tag Archives: decks

Tea & Cards With Mildred Payne

I’m still getting used to this deck, but so far it’s living up to its promise. Having Mildred around is like having your own private intelligence agency. If you didn’t see something coming, it’s because you didn’t ask her. This is a little draw I did last week.

Let me explain my situation a bit first: I have a regular job because it’s a dependable way to keep the bills paid. I do readings as well. A reader’s income fluctuates wildly – sometimes I make more than enough, other times there are dry spells. You never know if the month is going to bring imported cheeses or ramen. The landlord and the utility company like to get paid every month and are capable of making life quite hellish if I don’t comply in a reasonable amount of time. So I do both. You need more than one stream of income these days anyway.

There is a guy at my job – in my area, no less – who does not bathe. He stinks. I mean STENCH, since he hasn’t bathed or showered since last summer. Every shift is 12 hours of pure revulsion.

He is also lazy, has a rotten personality, and he’s a pathological liar. He sat there and kept eating when a lady nearby him was choking in the cafeteria. He’s dumb as rocks. He likes Trump. In other words, somebody I don’t want anywhere around me. I’ve complained about him all the way up the chain of command. Others have complained. I wrote an email to HR.

The draw was asking if he would be out of my work area that week.

The Key hints that he’ll be gone, but the other cards hint that it won’t be in that time period, and that’s exactly how it happened. Foot in this deck is about “footing” – stability and balance – not movement (that would be Boot – people are generally shod if they actually go anywhere.) Here, I think it’s literal, as well as his footing there being threatened. It’s tormented by the Devil and his Pitchfork. Factory could be the actual job. It also hints at “more and more” foot pain. He says he has plantar fasciitis. Maybe he does. Maybe that’s a lie, too – he’s morbidly, MORBIDLY obese, and that will do a number on a person’s feet, but I don’t feel sorry for him on that account. He eats three lunches at once and drinks three sodas with them. All he would have to do is cut out the sodas and he’d probably drop 100 pounds without doing anything else. There are other people working there who are almost as big. I’m sure their feet hurt, but they don’t use it as an excuse to remove their shoes and socks in the cafeteria, pick their feet, and then make a grab for other peoples’ chips, nor are their hands filthy. (He knows better than to try that with me. I make no secret of my loathing. I’d stick his hand with a fork if he did that. But he does it to others. People are keeping their chips in their laps now.)

But anyway, he’s there for that week, but the situation is extremely unstable and he won’t last much longer.

A lot of changes happen when we’re away for the holidays. So it might be as soon as January.

There is also the fact that I took time off between our days off, there’s a block of almost three weeks when everything will be up to him. He will have to do the scrap reports, clean, do the paperwork, keep up the board with the hourly numbers, etc. And he won’t.

Oh, and my email to HR. And complaints from a lot of other people.

And as clear and simple as these cards are, they’re also multifaceted. I posted this spread on facebook when I did it, and my good friend (and top tier reader!) Madame Nadia remarked that it looked like Hotfoot work. But I’m not saying I did that. If I had, I wouldn’t say too much about it.

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Mildred Payne’s Secret Pocket Oracle

Gather round, people. I want to tell you about a deck that has already earned a place of honor on my kitchen table (along with the Ensslin and the Wirths. (The Thoth, Kippers, and Sibilla have their own special box on my nightstand.) But this thing – THIS THING! lives in my always-on-the-table Moscow Mule mug. It’s the deck I consult when I wake up and have coffee. No mean feat to earn that spot!

It’s not just a deck I like, it’s important. Why? Well, I can imagine Mr. Valenza being nagged to make a Lenormand, but he didn’t. He came up with something original. And he called it an oracle deck (I will be cackling maniacally posting Mildred Payne spreads at those oracle groups where everybody is into Doreen Virtue and the like! I should sign up for a few when I finish this. Bwaaa hahaha.)

It reads well. It doesn’t have a set tradition, everybody is using their own methods, but it seems to be readable right out of the box for most. I read it from a background of Lenormand, Kippers, Sibilla, etc. I watched some youtube videos and others are reading it differently. But everybody can use it.

It comes with suggested meanings, not so lengthy and detailed as to be impossible to remember, but varied enough to work. Read them, take what you need, and go from there. 😉

The main deck and the expansion pack come with a backstory, and lots of bells and whistles:

The story goes like this:
“Young Mildred is thought to have created her childlike yet fascinating oracle circa 1928 while a patient at Fenwood Asylum.
*(Her father committed her into the facility, believing her to be insane for talking with imaginary friends.)
While at Fenwood, Mildred never stopped contacting her “friends” with her handmade oracle.
*(Fellow inmates called her “Millie the Red Witch”)
Mildred kept her tiny deck hidden from authorities in a secret pocket.
*(Although her fate is unknown to this day, some think Mildred perished in the Great Asylum Fire of 1933. Others are convinced she started the blaze!)”

Source: Deviant Moon

We have photos, we have information. There may be a Mildred tulpa out there by now. Maybe she’ll come visit you.

Or me. Mildred loves me. I am not sure how I should feel about this. 😆

The backs are a puzzle that tells you a little more about Dear Mildred. The main deck does this. You have to include the title card and the Mildred photo card for it to work.
They’re not lined up perfectly, so parts may look a little off, but the positions are correct. (My coffee table is not perfectly flat, it’s “rustic”. I wanted hardwood, not veneer, and rustic was affordable.)
Some of the little captions are “The girls wanted to be like Mother”, “I died”, “Her nipples had eyes”, and “A body behind the shed”.
*throws final shovel of dirt on the grave of those Doreen type decks and walks away whistling* 😀

And here is the puzzle from the expansion pack, if you’d like to communicate with Mildred. I’d advise you to be nice to her. I’m told she likes to burn things. 😆

I can’t say enough about this deck. If you liked the Deviant Moon and/or the Trionfi Della Luna, you’ll love this. If you didn’t get on with those, you’ll still love this. And there’s the puzzle of Mildred and her haunted doll Claire (is the grave under the noose hers? Claire’s? Or a red herring?), and deciphering all that magical script.

It’s FUN. But it works – Mildred can hone in on secrets like nobody’s business.

The stock is sturdy, and though it’s not linen, it’s slippy. Jumpers are not uncommon (Mildred? Is that you?) A bit tough to riffle (it may soften up in time) but perfect for an overhand shuffle.

I like this thing so much, here’s a free line of five for all you guys (so somewhat over-generalized, but WTH) for the coming week:

Moving away from the lunacy of the last full moon, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and all the general crazy, and looking forward to a peaceful holiday season. But wait – it’s threatened by the axe. Whether the axe hanging over your head is a retail job or toxic family members, hold on to the candle, be that little flame all by itself. If you can avoid retail hell and dinner with Grandpa Pennywise and Great Aunt Annie Wilkes (“Now we must rinse”), do it. To hell with ’em, let ’em get offended. If not, keep your head down and get through it (but don’t take any shit off of anybody!)

Dove reflects Moon and Candle, so if you’re “into stuff”, shake up your Peace Water and get your mojo on. Boot reflects Axe, so any upcoming problems will be the kind you walk into yourself. Watch your step.

Alternately, Boot + Axe could throw a monkey wrench in your travel plans. Just something to watch out for.

This deck will spawn many, many copycat decks with numbered single images, backstories, and puzzle backs, but there can only be one Mildred. Don’t be fooled by poor imitations, go here: Deviant Moon

Unboxing video from Kelly:

Expansion Pack:

A Night Off With Mr. Ensslin and Mr. Wirth

…and Mr. Vodka and Mr. Tequila. So I will loosen up and talk about a sector of my life I don’t talk about much.

What is a Tarot but Majors and Minors? And what are Minors, but Pips? The Lenormand, arguably, is a reduced Pip deck.

The Majors speak in great depth, they resonate with Kabbalah/Qabalah, elemental dignities, Hebrew letters, gematria…but the Minors tell us about the world here below, what generally concerns us. “Will he ask me out?” “Is my job secure?” “Will my parcel arrive?”

But the most incisive, to-the-point Pip deck I have encountered is Lenormand.

I know that noobs want to shuffle everything together and read them in “intuitive” combinations. I am not suggesting that anyone do that. Oh HELL no.

But from what I understand, Continental readers lay the Majors and Minors out separately. The Majors for the deep, causative stuff, and the Minors for how it’s all effecting us here on the “meat wheel” (thank you, Mr. Kerouac*. You were a goddamn wino, but I love you for this. And On The Road. You crazy genius motherfucker. RIP.)

So, what better layout than a good old Majors-only Wirth, and a few Lenormand cards?

I asked about my (non-reading, it takes several streams of income to pay the bills these days, sadly. Oh, how I wish I was June Cleaver!) job. I can see things going wacky there. We make computer automotive parts (like those things that beep when you back up and there’s something you’re going to hit.) My line puts shock absorber pads on the metal shields that hold the little circuit boards.

It’s all crazy now because we have seven lines that build these units, but our line that supplies them is being cut down to nothing. Machines we use are being shipped out. And they give us the shittiest people – currently we have a morbidly obese mofo there who only bathes when we make a complaint. He’s lazy AF and he’s got the personality of a moat – you know the moat was where the castle sewerage went. Before him, there was a psychotic lady. I had to put in a “hostile work environment” complaint to get her the f*** away from me. And that’s the easy part, I’ll get him out, too. But there will be another after him, and another…AAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH.

We already lost a contract with Ford. I think we will lose another.

Everything is in flux there, in a really stupid kind of way. So I asked – in general – how it will come out. (I know everything up to this has been bitch-gripe-grumble-fuck. But the background is relevant to the cards.)

Again – Birds – Cat – Mice _ Fish – Ship

The Ensslin is not a regular Lenormand> When I first got it, I was inclined to substitute Cross meanings for Cat, but Jon St, Germain tells me that he uses it for nosiness and interference, and that works for me. (LOL, CATS.)

Stress and hecticness and gossip combined with nosiness leads to financial loss. A lot of talking and movement, but the shipment (or two, or more) is not made. Decision makers are dropping the ball in a big way. A lot of intrigue and talking and yammering, but no substance. Playing at work. Birds reflecting Ship, stress over a shipment (that should just HAPPEN, in a sane world. What is so hard about building shit, packing it, and shipping it out? I mean, if you have the machines to do that. Which we did – BEFORE THEY GOT RID OF THEM.), Cat + Ship, they have their nose in it (the shipment) but it’s all wrong. Mice take Cat (“SHUT UP”) but they shit on Fish (money).

WHY?

Magician – Moon – Fool

Magician is a trickster. Sleight of hand, con games. The people at the top are losing for a reason – tax writeoff? IDK, but it’s intentional. The Moon, things are lit dimly, people get away with things in the shadows. (Goddamn weasels.) The Fool is an utter ass who thinks he knows it all – watch out for that croc, dude.

Synthesis: The ass is leading the head, like some kind of backwards snake. Failure in 3…2…

Mr. Dreidel says “do nothing”. So I will shut up and keep plugging.

*211th Chorus

The wheel of the quivering meat
conception
Turns in the void expelling human beings,
Pigs, turtles, frogs, insects, nits,
Mice, lice, lizards, rats, roan
Racinghorses, poxy bucolic pigtics,
Horrible unnameable lice of vultures,
Murderous attacking dog-armies
Of Africa, Rhinos roaming in the
jungle,
Vast boars and huge gigantic bull
Elephants, rams, eagles, condors,
Pones and Porcupines and Pills-
All the endless conception of living
beings
Gnashing everywhere in Consciousness
Throughout the ten directions of space
Occupying all the quarters in & out,
From supermicroscopic no-bug
To huge Galaxy Lightyear Bowell
Illuminating the sky of one Mind-

Poor!
I wish I was free
of that slaving meat wheel
and safe in heaven dead.
Jack Kerouac

GOBSMACKED! The Ensslin, Schaiblin/Reutlingen Lenormand

The deck is a little wonky, but profoundly stunning. It’s easily one of the most aesthetically pleasing Lenormands I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen scads!) Is it one of those pretty but unreadable things? Not at all. Let me explain:

The numbering is not standard. That’s not an issue for most of us.

There is no Cross card, but there is a Cat card. Since Cat meanings in cartomancy are identical to Fox meanings, having a Cat in the deck is like having two Fox cards. So, for myself, I use Cross meanings. Why? It balances the deck, and “full stop, burdens, suffering, illness” fits the ferals we see every day.
(YES, my town needs TNR.) That’s my take. Do as you see fit.

Perfectly round insets, crazy sigils, lovely linework and tints. Feast your eyes a bit.

The Esslin is available HERE

And while we’re on the subject, Lauren is talking about doing a Wirth. A good, working, no glitter one! Put me down for several copies – imagine a side of these Wirth majors with your Lenormand! ❤

The Rana George Lenormand

This one arrived on the morning of July 3rd, after being on preorder for some time. It is, as expected, wonderful. It is well thought-out. Callie French’s art is beautifully done. The cards have shiny gold detailing and a subtle shimmer all over – not glittery or glitzy, just the barest whisper of sparkle. The stock is sturdy. The booklet is substantial, and the box is one of those nice magnetic closure ones. No surprises here.

What surprised me is how affecting the whole thing is. You don’t get the full impact in photos or videos. This thing shimmers, it pulls you in, everything else kind of drops off and there’s just the cards, and this incredible lush world that doesn’t exist the same way anymore. (Check out the photo essay at Beautiful Beirut before Bombed-Out Buildings were part of the Scenery) Yet even knowing what happened, the deck manages not to be depressing. “La Dolce Vita in the Middle East” is too vibrant for that.

There are six extra cards included, total. There are extra Man and Woman cards, both in the old style and a more contemporary look. There are also the four shown at the bottom of this photo, Spirit, Incense, Bed, and Market:

Those four are cards that Rana – a top tier, seasoned reader – had actually been wishing were in a Lenormand deck for some time, they’re not innovation for innovation’s sake. And they work – having a Spirit card, for example, is much easier than having to pick that kind of information out of combos. And the Bed card! As Madame Nadia said earlier today, “The “Bed” is everything. It’s such a classic cartomantic move.” I agree. It can work like Kurze Krankheit in Kippers, but it’s MUCH more inviting! 😀 The 8×5 is going to be A Thing. Watch. 😉

I wish I had the writing chops to express how superb this deck really is, but I don’t. Just experience it for yourself. You can order the Rana George Lenormand HERE.

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.

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.