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Friday, March 24, 2017

Kind Words from Skylaire Alfvegren

I am very grateful for the following words and testimonial from a wonderful Fortean writer. (Google her!) Her name is Sklylaire Alfvegren. Many years ago, when I first entered the world of the weird, I came across Skylaire's writing. I was so damn impressed by her skill, her insights and her skewed perspectives and humor. And now, years later, I consider her a friend. We both tumble down that rabbit hole, encountering the strange as we fall.

As a native of Los Angeles who began orbiting “new age” and occult circles years before I could legally drink, I have come to know more than my fair share of psychics, mediums, astrologers, oracles and readers of runes, palms, tarot, and pretty much everything but the contents of the kitchen sink. The glut of “sensitives” hawking their “gifts” has kept me on my guard and somewhat skeptical although as the saying goes, “I want to believe.”  
In this age of 99-cent-a-minute happy horoscopes, many settle for the broad, candy floss generalizations. I can’t do that. I prefer the truth, even if it hurts, and it often does. I trust one astrologer - but I often leave somewhat crushed because he tells it like he sees it. I don’t want lip service but I also want to walk away from a reading with at least a shred of hope! 
During a time when I was more lost and confused than usual, I began reaching out to my various circles to find “the” tarot card reader… I wanted to have my cards read by someone truly gifted, someone capable of great depth as well as an elegant turn of phrase. After numerous recommendations, I reached out to Arianna at Orange Orb Tarot. She was kind and imaginative and in the first reading, saw all kinds of things I had no idea were coming. It was only in the following months that what she saw, actually materialized. My second reading was just as prescient. She referenced my past, the present and future possibilities and it really made my head spin! She was detailed and thoughtful and offered just the right-sized spoonful of sugar to accompany the unpleasant stuff. She touched on some of the same themes in both readings - all extremely relevant to me specifically. She is thoughtful, detailed and full of good magic. She gave me the best readings I have ever had, and I would recommend her to anyone seeking an in-depth, personal, expansive and truly helpful tarot card reading. 

Skylaire Alfvegren, Los Angeles

Sunday, August 21, 2016

From Alley Valkyrie: "my polytheism"

Alley Valkyrie is an artist, activist and an excellent writer. She's written a wonderful piece on polytheism. Her perspective reflects my own views on this. Visit her blog The Scallop and the Dusk for more personal and poetic posts. Below is a passage from her article on polytheism:

 I don’t think anyone has the right to gate-keep or dictate what polytheism is. Polytheism is not a new concept. Those who are attempting to control the meaning of ‘polytheism’ seem to have forgotten that this is a concept that goes back thousands of years and spans across cultures all over the world. To define it in a way that excludes more ideas than it embraces is a form of cultural erasure. It is colonialist, and it is abusive. My polytheism begins and ends with “there are many gods and they are real”. [Alley Valkyrie,my polytheism – the scallop and the dusk]

Friday, August 5, 2016

In the Biz, What to do When You Mess Up

Doing readings for clients is simply an amazing thing! I love it. Sometimes it's frustrating for me, the reader. Those of us that do readings professionally sometimes get stuck. It happens. Sometimes the client is the, er, issue. They're a skeptic/debunker and are out to "prove" you're a fraud, they're under the influence, they want to argue, etc.

But sometimes, it's you, the reader, who just, simply, messes up with a client. I am embarrassed and sorry to say this happened to me recently.

I had a returning client who left me a not so hot rating because I had not responded to her request for a reading, nor refunded her money, which she had paid for back in April! I have NO idea what happened, none, but for whatever reason, I had no idea this order was pending.

Naturally I felt awful. And the client --who could blame her for never coming to me again? All I could do was apologize profusely, refund her money, AND, here's the thing, offer her three readings using any decks, any type of reading, for free. That's the least I could do.

It's important to be honest with clients, and do what it takes to make things right. This is not the same as letting clients take advantage, that's a different scene. But in this case, I was dismayed to find I had let things get spacey and took this as a message to stay focused on my goals. Which, by the way, a recent reading I had done for me pointed out! Hmmm…

Tarot readers, psychics, etc. are human, just like everyone else. We make mistakes, goof up, -- we're not pure and magic and above making errors. But if and when we do, it's important to own it and do what we can to make it right.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Animal Spirit Oracle: Susan Boulet

Animal Spirit Oracle, Susan Boulet
A friend of mine did a mini-reading for me using the beautiful Animal Spirit Knowledge Cards Oracle, created by Susan Boulet. (Boulet died in 1997.) I fell in love with the deck and ordered one as soon as I returned home. They arrived the other day, and I've been enjoying exploring this deck.

Crow, Susan Boulet
Some readers feel  that the deck is not used for "divinatory" purposes but  more for personal use. I haven't tried using them in a reading for another, but I will try that just to see. I've had good readings using other animal decks, the Medicine Cards in particular. I'm also curious about using these cards in a multi-deck reading, maybe with the Angel Dreams oracle. (Doreen Virtue.)

The cards are on the smaller side, with full picture on the front, and the meaning on the back. I like the fact that there isn't any text on the front. Just the image, there for you to meditate on without words. The slightly smaller than usual size for tarot or oracle cards doesn't detract from the artwork. There are 48 cards in the deck.

Back: Animal Spirit Knowledge Oracle
Source: Aeclectic Tarot

One slight criticism: I would have liked more diversity in the key words with the descriptions, and some of the images are sideways or "landscape" while the majority are vertical. I found that to be a little distracting.

Reading at Eugene, Oregon Pagan Pride Day

Eugene is having a Pagan Pride Day! I'm honored and excited to know I'll be one of the tarot readers at the fair. If you're in the area, please come! Contact eugenepaganpride.org for info.  Here's their poster:

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Witches: Make Your Beds

WITCH: "Over my last decade of both intentionally and unintentionally studying energy, I’ve realized how the organization of space has a huge effect on a person’s creativity, mood, and ability toaffect reality. This is especially important for those who are sensitive to that which exists beyond the mundane." (Carolyn Elliott, WITCH)

image source: pixabay.com

As someone who is -- I am dejected that I need to acknowledge this -- a slob, this article makes perfect sense to me, and clicks in that place where other similar philosophies have failed.  The stagnation I've felt in my own life, that stuck feeling, has much to do with my external environment. As a witch, (fumbling and learning on my twisty path) this article from WITCH speaks to me. One example: we have what we call the "room of doom." Every now and then I go in there to clean it up. I just can't seem to work in there for more than half an hour. My husband doesn't even try. One time I literally passed out in there, just looking at all the chaos and trying to decide where to start. I've placed black stones, mainly obsidian, in corners of the room and that helped for awhile. Granted, there is a weird energy in there -- we felt it when we moved here. Some energy, some residual spirit, is hanging around keeping the creepy chaos intact. Well, off to practice mindful, intention focused, straightening up.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Six Signs You May be a Disaster Shaman – Fractal Enlightenment

This is beautifully written, and very, very intense. By Gary 'Z' McGee,  author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. Six Signs You May be a Disaster Shaman – Fractal Enlightenment. For those of us who feel as outsiders, who recognize the imbalances, who know that Nature is assaulted moment by moment , who are artists and creators. . .

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Tarot Card Synchronicity

One meditative exercise related to tarot I like to do is to mentally do spreads in my head. I decide what deck I'll use, then visualize two or three cards. I don't stop to think about them or decide before hand; I accept whatever pops into my mind. The other night, I was "using" Patrick Valenza's Deviant Moon deck, and the two cards that immediately came to mind were The Star and Two of Cups.  

The next night, I was practicing with the same deck. The first two cards of the first spread were The Star and Two of Cups. An amazing message of synchronicity! Full disclosure: I did not previously have these two cards in a reading, the deck was shuffled very well before hand. I simply picked up the deck, shuffled, and when I laid out the cards, those were the cards. 

According to my mathematical minded husband, the chances of that happening are about six thousand to one. 

Synchronicity! Deviant Moon Tarot, Patrick Valenza

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

1919 Ouija via Phantoms and Monsters

Lon Strickler at his blog Phantoms and Monsters (his blog has a new look; nice!) has a piece on use of the ouija back in 1919, and one family's experience.

I found the following interesting, concerning reactions by the University of Michigan to using the ouija board:

Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal: At the University of Michigan, Ouija boards were reportedly “replacing Bibles and prayer books,” so that a local nerve specialist was treating female students for “extreme nervousness” brought about by “too close association with the Ouija board and too great belief in its wandering. They had become fascinated by its message and had come to place so much trust in them that they were in a serious condition when they were turned over to him.” Men were also vulnerable, and a member of the staff warned that “[T]he ouija is becoming a serious menace to this country.”

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Twin Peaks Tarot | The Daily Grail

Oh this is good! A tarot deck based on one of my favorite television series, Twin Peaks. The creator, Benjamin Mackey, utilizes the Rider deck as the foundation for his take using characters from Twin Peaks. The Daily Grail (a site you must visit -- every day!) has more.

"The Twin Peaks Tarot | The Daily Grail: I think there are certain characters that David Lynch was purposefully basing off Tarot archetypes. There's one scene where Major Garland Briggs, he's talking about his experiences in the White Lodge, and there's a scene where he's sitting on this stone throne and he's surrounded by this lush greenery, and the pose he's striking is almost exactly the pose that the hierophant strikes. Then there's also a scene with Blackie at One-Eyed Jack's, she's at her table and she's playing the Tarot Cards. And it's a really small thing, you don't see her doing it a lot and they don't make a lot of direct references to it...but something like that, makes me think that maybe David Lynch has more of a conscious connection to the Tarot." (Benjamin Mackey,creator of the Twin Peaks Tarot)