Tag Archives: fortune telling

Thomson Leng, where have you been all my life?

The question is rhetorical, of course. The Thomson Leng Tarot has been around since 1935. The art is very 1930’s. And while the RWS is theatrical (some of the scenes are actually taking place on a stage), the Thomson Leng is cinematic.The extra card shown above reminds me of those prologues you see in movies from that era. Here’s one from 1938’s The Adventures of Robin Hood (starring Errol Flynn and the marvelous Olivia deHavilland, who recently left us at the age of 104):

The Thomson Leng was originally published in 1935 as a promotional giveaway for a womens’ magazine in the UK. You can see the RWS influence – some things are almost identical – but some cards are quite different and there are other influences at play. Compare the arrangement of the Rods suit symbols to the corresponding cards in the Knapp Hall, published 6 years earlier:

I think using this deck could really open up the Knapp Hall. For all of Manly P. Hall’s wisdom and erudition, he wasn’t helpful in this regard at all:

and so I’ve been falling back on TdM/playing card meanings. It will be good to have a better understanding of the suit symbol configurations.

As it turns out, both the Thomson Leng and the Knapp Hall are influenced by Eudes Picard:


(Photo/scan credit to Philippe at http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?p=4352748 )
(And wouldn’t I love to get my hands on a copy of THAT deck!)

The elements are switched around – Swords are water, Cups are air. Additionally, the Fool is numbered 21. So if you’re heavily invested in doing it differently, this might irk you. But I just view it as vacationing at a place where the rules are a little different. “When in Rome…” 😉

There may be some Vera Sibilla influence, as well. I wish I knew who drew the TL, I think they must have been pretty knowledgeable! This was in the 30’s, long before the internet, which makes it all utterly amazing.

All of this geeking out is fun, but it’s important to remember that this is a reading deck, designed for housewives and single working women, most of whom were surely hoping to become housewives. There’s no nudity other than one exposed boob on the World card, lol. And these women had questions about what will happen and cared not one whit for occult correspondences, the historical sources for the ideas behind the deck, or how/if the Fool should be numbered. They just wanted to tell fortunes, and the Thomson Leng delivers beautifully.

The reproduction includes spreads from the original instructions. Here’s one that Mary Greer blogged that looks fun: it has cards you can’t look at or “all the favorable indications will be reversed!” https://marykgreer.com/2009/07/16/the-eastern-cross-spread-thomson-leng-deck/#more-1755

They’re interesting, as spreads go, but when the rubber hits the road I don’t care much about spreads, and I wish they’d included the meanings, which are available free in PDF form where the deck is being sold. just scroll down: https://www.tarotcollectibles.com/store/p148/Thomson-Leng-Tarot.html

Those are the REAL treasure, purely cartomantic, stripped-down fortunetelling meanings with no filler, self-help pop psychology or new age platitudes. No tough esoteric nuts to crack, either. Here’s an excerpt:

When I was researching the deck online, I saw that someone said these were “wonky meanings”. Has Tarot fallen that far? Are practical meanings concerning things that people actually ask about considered “wonky”? Ghaaa.

That’s one thing I would have done differently, I’d have certainly included those meanings with the deck! The other thing is that this deck would be sumptuous in linen. The original was linen – in 1935! And going by photos I’ve seen, it was that old style cambric/linen finish that actually looked like woven cloth, not the tiny raised squares that pass for linen nowadays. But the stock is still excellent and the cards fan and shuffle beautifully. And they do make the PDF available on the website, so I really can’t complain too much. I hope they take these things into consideration for future editions, though. It would be enough to convince me to buy a second copy!

Here are more images. The Majors:

And a few notable Minors:

I suppose we have time for a quick test drive! Let’s do a fun one: Will Trump go to prison?

I like the Torah that the Great Priestess is holding, it suggests a reckoning. And she’s a card of secrets – what new information will come to light? The 5 of Swords is a card of loss…ours? We’ve collectively lost a lot because of him. But it could also be his loss. He’s done so much damage, virtually nobody wants him to get away unscathed. And the final card – hahaha, I love that the way that bound bundle of yellow wheat looks like his hair, and it’s hemmed in on four sides and guarded by a lion. But I’ll check the LWB since this Tarot is so new to me. “Power and plenty, with a fine chance of health and happiness, will be yours.” It’s obviously a harvest card. We will harvest what we have cultivated, and in his case that’s lies, hate, and greed.

The cards don’t promise prison. But there will be consequences. Seized assets and imposed limitations at the very least.

All in all, I love the deck. The 30’s are my favorite decade and I adore things from that era: movies, Art Deco, fashions…well, everything except the appalling racism, grinding poverty and the rise of fascism in Germany. But (with the exception of racism, we still have a lot of work to do to eradicate that) I think that for the most part, people dealt with those things effectively. Of course history repeats and these things are rearing their ugly heads again, but I like having a historical template of what worked. It’s a very relatable time. And the deck seems relatable, too!

You can purchase the Thomson Leng (and download the LWB) at this link: https://www.tarotcollectibles.com/store/p148/Thomson-Leng-Tarot.html

The Grand Jeu, An Introduction

Don’t look away…
Years ago, when I started blogging here, some of my first posts were on the Grand Jeu. I shared what I knew and tried to figure out the rest. In time I moved on and wrote about other decks, but I’ve continued to use this deck over the years, in spite of the fact that I still have some questions about it that have never been answered to my satisfaction and probably never will be. The deck is accurate – it WORKS, even with the unanswered bits – and it keeps you honest.

I know that when blogging about something, the Standard Operating Procedure is to set yourself up as an expert and pretend to know everything about it. I see a lot of blogs like that, but a quick read-through usually shows that the author knows very little. I’m always happy to find people who know something. A good reader grows, changes, and revises. And I totally get those people who take down their blogs and youtube channels and put them up again in a different form (the ones I admire most do that!) and I would do the same, but I’m lazy and justify that by letting the old stuff stand as a record. It’s here, warts and all.

It’s very difficult to sugarcoat with this one. It’s full of myth: Jason and the Argonauts, Isis and Osiris, the Trojan War…these stories still resonate. People will still read them, watch movies about them. Seriously, virtually any rando you ask has seen bits of THIS:

Myth is full of war, murder, rape, torture, exploitation, and some profoundly dirty dealings. But here we are: people RELATE to that. It still happens, and as much as I’d love to be back in Mayfield with Ward and June telling me about Wally and the Beaver’s latest peccadillos, that world doesn’t exist now – it didn’t even exist then, for a lot of people. A wise lady once said, “Soft dreams are for soft times.” Or, as another wise lady once said:

A lot of card reading advice I see tells people to put a positive spin on the reading to the point of absurdity. And I totally understand not wanting to be the bearer of bad tidings – but our job is to deliver the message the cards give us. Once, when I told a man I was a card reader, he asked, “How can you lie to people like that?” I answered that I don’t lie – I’m paid to tell people what the cards say, and I do that.

We step aside, and we relay the information. That’s basically all that’s required. And even if you feel obligated to “fix” people (and that is not, and should not ever be, the function of a card reader), you owe them your honesty.

The Grand Jeu isn’t ALL carnage. Thee are some very lovely cards in there. But there are also cards that will keep us honest, in no uncertain terms.

“It’s too hard!”

OK. If you say so. Be a Barbie girl in a Barbie world, you do you.
But I just want to mention that a lot of people use the Thoth. Yeah, that’s right: do you think all of them can play around with the paths like this guy? http://www.tarotforum.net/showpost.php?p=4312387&postcount=17 And what of the Hebrew letters and astrological stuff?

I’m not saying that you should be an Angeles Arrien read-off-the-pictures-and-ignore-the-literature type. That woman made some regrettable mistakes. But as long as you understand the large and small illustrations, you can get answers out of this deck. The flowers, playing card insets, constellations, geomantic signs, and letters are different expressions of the same concept – just like the Thoth correspondences are. They are useful and not to be written off as unimportant. But everything in time. 😉 Are you game? Let’s do this!

Next: Part 1, a breakdown of the card images

Where to go?

OK, the picture doesn’t really express exactly what this is about. It’s Robert Johnson at the Crossroads, the place where all that stuff you labored at finally falls into place and you become badass. If you’re not a Lenormand badass by now you won’t be. But there’s a “Where to go?” element to it, too. That fits, so I used the image.

This has been primarily a Petit Lenormand blog. There’s been other stuff, sure, and lots of it, but it’s always come back to Lenormand. And a lot of us want to take a break from writing on that.

I feel that it is now safe to do so, since the 2011-2013 gangbang has come to an end long since and there ARE some of you out there who GET IT. As for the others, let them pound sand. Let them post bad readings on forums, let them sing the praises of the Dreaming Way and Under The Roses. What they do is nothing to do with me, or the Lenormand method, for that matter.

I’ve explained it many times over. I’ve told you to get Andy’s book, or, if that doesn’t do it for you, get Rana’s. I’ve had a Q&A going for years upon years, and it’s still open, but I just want to do something else.

I’m seriously considering going back to the Grand Jeu. It has issues, yes…the racial stuff that one finds in an 1840’s deck is appalling. But it’s complex and violent enough to keep the crowd with the veneer of new age white light away.

I guess that’s what it takes to keep the idiots away: complexity and violence. (A sad commentary, don’t you think?)

Don’t get me wrong, I will always USE Petit Lenormand. It just works too well. If you learn the system, the method, and the card essences, something that’s been explained many times over, nothing beats it.

But I don’t have any more to say about it at the moment.

What do you guys think? Do you want to do this for awhile?

Killing the Glad Girl

There is a scene early in the film Red Dust where Clark Gable goes to toss a drunk worker at his rubber plantation into bed, and discovers that Jean Harlow has taken up residence there. She kicks the drunk to the floor, and the exchange goes like this:

Harlow: You’re not going to leave the corpse here?
Gable: It’s his room. Didn’t you know?
Harlow: Honest I didn’t. I just took the first room the houseboy showed me. Oh, please you guys. This place is full of lizards and cockroaches as it is.
Gable: One more won’t hurt. Come on, lets have it. Who are you? Where’d you come from?
Harlow: Don’t rush me, brother. I’m Pollyanna, the Glad Girl.

She means it sarcastically – she’s a stranded hooker (yet the most ethical and compassionate character in the movie. It’s a great film.) And I was intrigued by what it was referring to – a Depression-era advertising shill? Some cartoon lady who was glad because her floors were shiny, or her dishes were super clean? So I googled.

It turned out that “Pollyanna the Glad Girl” is regular old Pollyanna, the eternal optimist. She’s pathologically optimistic.

From wikipedia:
“The title character is Pollyanna Whittier, an eleven-year-old orphan who goes to live in the fictional town of Beldingsville, Vermont, with her wealthy but stern and cold spinster Aunt Polly, who does not want to take in Pollyanna but feels it is her duty to her late sister. Pollyanna’s philosophy of life centers on what she calls “The Glad Game,” an optimistic and positive attitude she learned from her father. The game consists of finding something to be glad about in every situation, no matter how bleak it may be. It originated in an incident one Christmas when Pollyanna, who was hoping for a doll in the missionary barrel, found only a pair of crutches inside. Making the game up on the spot, Pollyanna’s father taught her to look at the good side of things—in this case, to be glad about the crutches because she did not need to use them.”

It’s all well and good to find some little silver lining in a bad situation. But to paint the whole thing with a broad brush and say it’s a positive – NO. If your partner punched your teeth out, I hope you wouldn’t say that they were a bit crooked or stained anyway, and now you can get some lovely caps. I hope you wouldn’t stay with him and hope to win him over and mend his ways with your “positive attitude”, the way Pollyanna did her creepy old aunt in the book. Would a qualified therapist tell you to do that? No, they’d try to get it into your head that you need to GTFO.

That book is from an era when kids weren’t supposed to feel sad, or angry, or disappointed, they were supposed to SHUT UP. Fred Rogers grew up in that era, and he dedicated his life to countering the idea and telling kids that it’s OK to FEEL things. I highly recommend the documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” You can rent it on amazon prime for a pittance – about $2.99. Here’s Mr. Rogers winning over a hardassed senator who was all set to refuse him funding. I think Senator Pastore was raised with similar rules, and he could relate:

A majority of people here in the US are uninsured, or underinsured, and can’t afford quality, certified counseling or therapy. So people seek out reassurance from readers, aspiring readers, bad readers, all kinds of readers, in card reading communities. Often free, from new readers trying to gain experience, from incompetent readers, from readers following the lead of others. The good, seasoned readers are outnumbered by the bad ones, and people will cherry pick what they want to hear, anyway. And this phony reading is becoming normalized. It’s not difficult to find articles like this one https://www.dailydot.com/irl/tarot-cards-facebook/

Reassurance is not therapy. Therapy is, by all accounts, HARD. People who tell you everything will be OK and you’re doing the right thing (even if you aren’t) are not therapists. We’re venturing into pathological things like co-dependence and denial here.

I’m here to tell you that you’re better off with NO treatment that with BAD treatment.

Card reading – real card reading – is predictive fortunetelling. We don’t pretend to fix people or “make everything all better.” When asked what the cards say, we interpret them – AS IS. Death or the Coffin are endings, not “transformation”.

We’re living in time-space, and that means loss sometimes. Think back to your past. Even if you made it to this point without being truly, horribly abused in any way, you’ve experienced pain. People die, pets die, bad things happen sometimes. That’s just the way life is, it HURTS, and we need to acknowledge that, not stick our heads in the sand and go “LA LA LA LA LA – NOT LISTENING!”

I can’t reassure anybody that everything will be OK without lying. “Everything” is NEVER OK. But this lowlife fortuneteller (with about as much respectability as Harlow’s hooker Vantine in Red Dust), can do everything in her power to Keep It Real. It’s helpful – I rely on reading for myself, and my clients say that they’re helped by readings – but it’s NOT therapy.

The only thing it has in common with actual therapy is that it acknowledges when something is wrong.

If you really feel called to become a counselor, here are the requirements to be licensed in your state. “Owning a Tarot deck and practicing on the internet” is not one of them. https://careersinpsychology.org/how-to-become-a-licensed-counselor/

A 2020 election reading

This is a reading I did on facebook recently, on the fly. I will quote it here as is, neither adding to it nor editing:

“September 16 at 1:42 AM

It’s early yet, but I’ve done early pulls on elections before and they’ve worked. All of my election pulls have been correct except 2016, and the fault in that one was the way I worded the question – Hillary DID win the popular vote, and that’s what the cards reflected.

Even as sick as everybody is of Trump, the GOP is encouraging more Russian interference. And a lot of the Berners are being pissy and threatening to once again sit this one out, or worse yet, vote Trump if Sanders doesn’t get the nomination. So I threw some cards to see what the actual results/aftermath of the next election will be, and ugh, there’s some nasty ones here.

Boundaries of the spread are Tree + Mice, failing health (hmmmm….) and Stork + Birds. Stressful change, but maybe an older couple moves? Let’s look at the inner diamond and see what will happen.

Snake + Anchor + Clouds + Man + Coffin. It’s too early to say who the Snake is. (Warren? I’d be OK with Warren.) Whoever she is, she’s not going away. (Anchor). Trouble (Clouds, and if you use the dark side, it’s definitely facing the Man) for Trump, and there’s the good old Coffin, the end, finis.

So even if they rig this one, we won’t be getting 8 years of this shit. It won’t be a pleasant time (all those nasty cards) but one way or another, he’s out. Maybe he’ll literally croak. You’re all invited for cocktails at my house if that happens.”

What’s interesting is that I got comments from other readers who are getting essentially the same thing – nasty cards around Trump, and a woman who contributes to taking him out. None of us know for sure who she is yet, but she’s apparently very real.

I could parse this further, but I think I’ll just let the reading stand as is and see “which way the cat jumps”.

Until then, I leave you with this song:

“Hey now, hey now
Don’t dream it’s over
Hey now, hey now
When the world comes in
They come, they come
To build a wall between us
We know they won’t win…”

What are you guys getting? Leave me a comment!

I hate oracle decks (but not the Literary Witches)

It was the face on the box that caught my eye as I was browsing. I thought it was Charlotte Brontë. And there were wolves and hands and trailing vines…I had to find out what this was.

As it turns out, it’s not Charlotte. It’s Emily, the Wuthering Heights sister. The book that spawned multiple film adaptations and that Kate Bush song.

Any one of the Brontës would be a clear indication that this deck is not here to lead you down the primrose path with affirmations and assurances that Your Angels Love You and everything will be All Better. It promises to SAY what’s wrong, and if it delivers good news, well, you can bank on it.
The same could be said of Toni Morrison. Or…

Virginia Woolf. Agatha Christie. Sylvia Plath. Emily Dickenson. Sappho. Anaïs Nin. Flannery O’Connor. Mary Shelley. People I’ve read, people I need to read. The collection is by no means complete, but it’s a pretty damn good sampling of female authors.

There is another set of cards in the deck, “The Witches’ Materials” Little everyday things to drive the plot along, so to speak:

It’s a substantial deck with some size and weight, and it’s linen. The box is sturdy. All in all, above average quality.

by Katy Horan and Taisia Kitaiskaia. And there’s a book. You don’t need the book to read the cards, but it looks like a good book.

Le Tarot Astrologique

Imagine, if you will, a deck published by Grimaud sometime between the late 1800’s and 1917 or so, very roughly coinciding with the Belle Époque. Imagine the strange old art, the fantastic vibe.
Now imagine it’s not yet another Tarot, but an astrology deck. Yes, there are “Majors”: the planets, ascendant, nodes (split into ascendant and descendant) and Part of Fortune. The “Minors” are three cards for each sign – one for each decan.

And it’s an easily readable deck. I’m decidedly not an astrologer (and if I were to deep dive into that particular field, I’d do classical, not modern) but it doesn’t matter. I can approach this as a cartomancer with my smattering of astrological knowledge, and get a clear reading out of it.

The LWB is printed on extra cards, and it’s useful (in spite of such curiousities as “Synthetically, here is the meaning…”, lol.)

It’s an easy deck, but it’s so NOT new age, so NOT “What’s your sign, baby?” (EW.) It predates all that. It’s more elephant-at-the-Moulin-Rouge. A Having Fun In Paris kind of deck.

There are several spreads included in the instructions, but you’re really only limited by your imagination here. There cards can supplement any other system, or stand on their own.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to play around with these some more. 😀

Le Tarot Astrologique is available here https://thecartomancer.bigcartel.com/product/le-tarot-astrologique-c-1927-astrology-tarot

“About astrology and palmistry: they are good because they make people vivid and full of possibilities. They are communism at its best. Everybody has a birthday and almost everybody has a palm.”
—Kurt Vonnegut

VAMP: the Theda Bara Tarot from Jook Art

Sample of the Majors and the card backs. The sepia tone on some of the card faces is from a lamp, and is not actually present on the cards themselves.

Haven’t we all been intrigued by Theda Bara since we were kids? I remember the first time I stumbled across a photo from Cleopatra – I think it was in Encyclopedia Britannica – the intense, heavily made-up eyes, the snake bra…this was not the wholesome, cute, boring little thing that we were expected to like and try to emulate, no Gidget or That Girl. THIS Cleopatra made Liz Taylor’s look boring! Theda was a different kind of icon, the likes of which my eight year old self had never encountered before.

In real life, she was different: a hardworking girl who never actually drained a man of his resources and vitality, or lured him to his doom. But she had people believing in the persona:

“…her popularity was unstoppable. In 1915 alone, she starred in eleven pictures. Labeled “Hell’s Handmaiden,” she received two hundred letters a day, including over a thousand marriage proposals. Adoring fans named their babies after her. Her movies ran continuously, sometimes playing six times a day.

“Some fans failed to distinguish Bara from her fictionalized roles. One bitter moviegoer wrote, “It is such women as you who break up happy homes.” Bara replied, “I am working for my living, dear friend, and if I were the kind of woman you seem to think I am, I wouldn’t have to.” Another, a criminal defendant, claimed that he killed his mother-in-law after viewing one of Bara’s films.

Bara defended her role: “The vampire that I play is the vengeance of my sex upon its exploiters. You see, I have the face of a vampire, but the heart of a feministe.” But she also worried about the image she perpetuated: “I try to show the world how attractive sin may be, how very beautiful, so that one must be always on the lookout and know evil even in disguise.” Besides, she added, “Whenever I try to be a nice, good little thing, you all stay away from my pictures.”
– Source: https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/bara-theda

And another article, with some outstanding photos: Cinema’s First Sex Symbol was also America’s First Goth

I have only seen her early film, A Fool There Was, and her comeback attempt, The Unchastened Woman. In the former, she’s predatory, rapacious, and unencumbered by ethics. In the latter, she’s a wronged wife and her vamping is justified. Both films could use some TLC and restoration. Almost nothing survives. I’m not sure that there is anyone left in this world who remembers seeing the others. We have little but her first starring role, tiny fragments of film, and the still photos. We don’t get to see her develop as an actress. We don’t have her Cleopatra. We will never get to see her read the cards in Carmen:

But somehow, she is still having an impact. The Vamp type is alive and well, still luring men to their doom in contemporary media. People still emulate her look, or emulate someone while unaware that the person whose look they copied was emulating Theda.

So when it was announced that there would be an entire Tarot with Theda on every card, I had to check it out. Warily, at first, since so many theme Tarots go horribly wrong.

I need not have worried. This description at the website drew me in – I HAD to have this deck.

“For the major arcana, the text is taken from ‘The Symbolism of the Tarot’ by PD Ouspensky published in 1913. This book consists of pen pictures describing a journey through the 22 cards of the majors.

“For the VAMP majors, snippets of this text can be seen intertwined with the image so that only certain words can be seen, and I have found that depending on the question, different words make themselves apparent to me.

“For the minor arcana, the text is taken from the 15th century tarot poetry of Count Matteo Boiardo. He proposed a 78 card tarot deck with the minors being split into suits based on the Four Passions of Fear, Jealousy, Hope and Love. The VAMP tarot deck uses these minors which are well suited to the themes of Theda’s films dealing with such passions and emotions.

“Boiardo wrote a three-line poem for each card, and these are shown in their entirety on each minor card in the deck.”

– from http://jooktarot.com/theda-bara-tarot

I’m normally not a fan of renamed suits, but these are so flawlessly done. I ABSOLUTELY make an exception for this deck! And the text – these are not bland little affirmations and useless new age promises of getting things just by thinking happy thoughts. This is a roadmap for life. Some examples:

The Four of Fear:
“Fear keeps four horses at the service of a chariot
Under a cane, tied to a yoke
It also keeps many in servitude, whom I do not excuse.”

The Three of Love:
“Love, the end and final goal of your earnings
Is a continuous sighing until you die;
And he who laughs one day, cries thereafter for a year.”

The Four of Jealousy:
“Jealousy, when it comes,
it is better not to think that you can fight it,
Because it wins everyone:
But it is good to be able to tolerate it.”

The Four of Hope:
“Hope, when it comes together with reason
Is the sweetest food for the heart that wears it;
If it comes another way, it brings more suffering.”

A sample of the Minors from each suit.

One would expect a theme deck about an actress to be shallow and kind of dumb. That is emphatically NOT the case here. This deck is deep. There are references to mythology – it would be fascinating to read alongside the Grand Jeu AstroMythological Lenormand (it’s one of those rare decks that could definitely hold its own with that one.) Or just by itself.

The calligraphy and photos are exquisite. You get a unique hand crafted box and accordion-style booklet. The card backs are in the style of the early 20th century Art Deco Egyptian Revival that was so popular in Theda’s time.

I can’t find a single thing to criticize about this deck. I can’t put it away. I may have to get a backup copy.

And I am on tenterhooks waiting for their wet plate collodion process deck! http://jooktarot.com/wet-plate-process

Jook Art is a father – daughter collaboration, Steve and Katherine, and they are superbly good. You can get a copy of the Vamp Tarot here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/694810115/vamp-the-theda-bara-tarot-self-published?ref=shop_home_active_1&crt=1

Box, deck, and extras – all the loot.

You can watch or download A Fool There Was here https://archive.org/details/A_Fool_There_Was

Or just watch right here. 😉

And The Unchastened Woman

Finding a Lost Object with Lenormand

I misplaced a pocket knife the other day.

It’s just a little toothpick-style Buck, it’s inexpensive, and I have others. But it’s the kind of thing I use for a lot of little jobs, and I miss it again and again when I don’t have it.

It had to be in the house somewhere. I searched the room where I last used it (the kitchen, where I’d opened something with it), and the little box in my bedroom where I keep it handy, along with a couple of heavy-use decks and a bit of jewelry. Nothing.

So I pulled the three cards shown above, asking “Where is my Buck toothpick knife?” I didn’t preselect any cards (though I suppose you could do a Lost Man using the Scythe for a pocket knife), I just wanted something small and clear. The key to using the cards to find a location in your house is simplifying everything: keep the spread small and uncomplicated, and remember that the interpretation is often literal, or almost literal. It’s so simple, it can be tricky. I’ve seen that time and time again.

The simplicity of this type of reading is my reason for posting it. People post these lost object readings all the time, but I really wanted to underline how they need to be pared down to a very basic interpretation. It’s not like reading on most other subjects. It’s more like the cards are trying to show you a little snapshot of the location.

My first thought was the kitchen. Clover could be the little african violets on the windowsill, and Bear sometimes relates to food – but it tends to be absorption rather than cooking, and besides, I’d already searched the kitchen. So I turned my full attention to the center card, the Bear.

The only literal bear thing here is a teddy bear that my grandson left. It’s on a high shelf where my dog can’t reach it, awaiting his return. The shelf is in a room I use for storage. I installed a closet pole under it, and I have some dresses hanging there.

Then I remembered: I wore a flannel dress for a short trip to the store the other day. I changed into an older dress when I got home, since I had housework to do. The flannel was still clean – I only had it on for about 30 minutes – so I hung it back up.

The flannel dress was hanging almost directly below the teddy (Bear). It was in between a red dress (Heart) and a green dress (Clover). And the knife was in the pocket.

A flowing narrative about a brief romantic encounter with a burly man (or minor luck for your beloved mother, if you read the Bear as female), or a love of high finance and a little luck playing the market, or whatever, is appropriate in certain contexts. But forget all that when you can’t find something. Sometimes a heart is just red, clover is just green, and a bear is just a bear.

Lenormand Has Served Me Well (& two new decks)

Hello all – I’m here to discuss cartomantic simplicity. It may be seeing a minor renaissance.
Caitlin Matthews has a new book , Untold Tarot: The Lost Art of Reading Ancient Tarots, and Toni Puhle’s review of it really drives the point home.

Some of us are “system readers”, meaning we have meanings for each card and rules for when the cards fall in certain positions. This has always been called “traditional” reading, which has spawned many, many internet fights with people who try to say that tradition is frozen in time and outdated (it isn’t). But in any case, “system reader” is a good descriptor and I give props to Toni for it.

Even the Crowley Thoth can be read in that manner. After all, you have to remember the paths, elemental dignities, etc. (Which I am no wiz at, as my memory appears to be stuffed already. But I can see the beauty and incisiveness of the Thoth – as a system reader.

There is much discussion, nit picking, and hair splitting on internet forums, facebook, etc. over details in the Tarot – is the man walking away on the RWS Six of Cups leaving the past behind? Etc. It all seems irrelevant to me. Waite’s PKT gives a nostalgic interpretation. Crowley (who spilled the s00per seKrit Golden Dawn meanings, lol) simply calls it “Pleasure”. Who actually gives a f*** about that guy walking away?

That brings us to – well, everything else.

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What is happening here? Do we need all manner of esoteric noise?

No. There is a brunette woman (me) who is catching flack from coworkers, but she’s staying on top of it.

Cards are actually very simple. Don’t overthink them. 😉

Petit Oracle des Dames bridge sized edition available here The Cartomancer

Another deck I want to mention is Patrick Valenza’s Oracle of Black Enchantment, the latest installment in the Mildred Payne cycle.

Like all of Valenza’s decks, it reads flawlessly right out of the box – eloquent, is this not?

(Look at that mess. I do need to mind my P’s and Q’s, lol)

The crazy thing is that Valenza has stated that he doesn’t read. But all of his decks have that precision, like they were designed by a constant reader.

The OBE is available here Deviant Moon Inc.

Anyway, my card reading philosophy is rooted in Lenormand and Kipper. (A man is a man, unless context absolutely doesn’t allow. He’s not “qualities you should take on”, or “advice”, he’s a person. Yes, I started with Tarot, but it took Lenormand and Kippers to show me what cartomantic precision actually is! I don’t fault Tarot itself, I fault modern reading styles.) Approach things that way, and the answers are right in front of you. *wink*