Sometimes I run into a situation with a client where the answer simply isn't making itself known. When that happens, I turn to the clarification card technique.
This isn't something I developed. I learned it a long time ago from a beautiful witch in Toledo. Lady Lhianna taught me that sometimes
Sometimes I run into a situation with a client where the answer simply isn't making itself known. When that happens, I turn to the clarification card technique.
This post was previously published as part of the 2014 Ostara Tarot Blog Hop.
Our topic this time is creativity and what springs forth. Well, that’s my loose interpretation of our Blog Wrangler’s theme. Joanne Sprott charged all of the Tarot Blog hoppers to discuss creativity.
Some months ago I decided to set aside years to skepticism and conscious non-attunement in the interest of developing my divination skills. As I mentioned to one of the other bloggers on this site, part of that practice is by using the Lymerian oracle daily, to get a sense of how an established system works, particularly one that was used by my Hellenic ancestors. However, I'm a money guy, so I've also been trying out coin divination, with interesting results.
That journey began with the purchase of a copy of Raymond Buckland's Coin Divination. It's available for as little as one cent on Amazon, and my initial impression was one of being had, since there's only about six pages of original information in the book, and even that was pulled from previously-published works by the author. Nevertheless, the few pages which aren't a rehash of the I Ching or an awkward attempt to use coins as if they were a tarot deck have some intriguing possibilities, so I have been exploring them. It's been a very slow process of discovering a system for myself, and it's long from over, but it is has had unexpected benefits.
Beginning in early November, and concluding today, I have flipped a single coin from a set I put together and asked one question: "Will I have more cash in hand at the end of today?" I use a total of seven coins (one was added later in the process, after the picture was taken) in rotation, and I have recorded the results of the coin flip and the answer to the question for each day....
I feel a certain obligation to post weekly about the Pagan savings challenge, if only to remind readers that I am still plugging along, and to cheer on my fellow savers. This week I did not have a topic at the ready, so when in doubt, do some divination!
Using the Greek alphabet oracle, I drew tau, the parting from the companions now around you. I drew this tile separate from my daily divination, and despite carefully shaking the jar of letters, I got the same one both times. Given the growing stream of money that is being diverted from my wallet to my savings, I believe the companions I am parting from are all named George Washington.
However, I am cheered that this parting is not forever, and that my army of Georges will return to me in less than eleven months, ready to do my bidding. What orders are you readying for your army?...
There has been some excellent online dialog recently around the question, "Should I charge for Pagan spiritual services?" Most of the posts I've seen have been in support of money changing hands, but the comments usually show strong feelings on both sides. Answering her question of, "Money is Bad, Right?" Shauna Aura Knight posited that the reason for this division is that, "Pagans (and people, for that matter) have a really unhealthy relationship with money."
As tantalizing that quote is to me, I have to lay it down for now. Observant readers will already be wondering who the woman in the picture is, because it is clearly not Ms. Knight.
In fact, I'm not even going to jump into the debate about whether or not oracles, priests, shamans, spellworkers, dowsers, and whoever else I missed should be charging money or not. It's already going on, so I'd rather focus on how to apply business practices to these esoteric services. The opinion I have formed is that a lot of Pagan businesses (as opposed to businesses owned by Pagans) could benefit from better marketing....
I watch the news with my mother sometimes. For the record, probably not something I would recommend, especially when I have more leftist leanings and she is surprisingly conservative for how open-minded she is on certain topics. I digress. No matter how different our perspectives are, we usually end up saying the same thing after a particularly heart-wrenching news story about yet another murder or tragedy: “What is this world coming to?”
I was raised Episcopal, so I would assume that the whole idea of “God must have needed that person in Heaven, so He took he/she away from us here for a good purpose” filtered into me, by osmosis since I don’t remember anyone ever saying that to me directly. Since I never had to deal with personal tragedy, there was no reason for me to ever hear this statement, so I didn’t really think of it much until lately. Yet I keep saying that good ole phrase in the back of my head: “There must be a reason for this.” What if there isn’t?
Tornadoes touching down, destroying schools and children dying. Children gunned down within a school, someplace they felt safe (I can’t wrap my head around it, because I certainly never had those thoughts when I was in elementary school... I never even entertained the concept of “safety” when I was that age, so it makes me sad that kids now are aware of this!). Proudly gay, bisexual, or transgendered folks having to hide who they are in one of the known havens of NYC for queer pride because they are fearful of being attacked and killed simply for being who they are....
Divination is a gift from the Gods, a way to contact the Gods directly through oracles and seers. It was something heavily relied upon in ancient Hellas, and in its mythology: many war, quests, and epics started with a visit to Delphi. Especially in Hómēros, divination by way of birds features heavily, and it has had my interest for a long while. Almost a year ago, I wrote about oiônoskopos for the Pagan Blog Project, in a post about oracles, seers and divination, and from that point on, I've been teaching the art to myself. Today, I would like to share what I have discovered.
Oiônoskopos, like many of the divinatory practices, was considered a 'technical' or 'learned' art, opposed by 'natural' or 'unlearned' types of divination. Typically, natural divination was understood to include dreams and the reading of utterances of others or yourself, and to be the older and more reliable form of divination as these types were communicated more directly by the Gods. Aristotle and the Peripatetic philosophers found value only in natural divination. Technical means of divination was everything else; anything that depended on acquired human skills, such as the reading of entrails, the behavior of birds, or birthmarks. Most form of divination, called 'mantikē', playwright Aeschylus states in 'Prometheus Bound', were taught to us by Prometheus himself:
"And I marked out many ways by which they might read the future, and among dreams I first discerned which are destined to come true; and voices baffling interpretation I explained to them, and signs from chance meetings. The flight of crook-taloned birds I distinguished clearly—which by nature are auspicious, which sinister—their various modes of life, their mutual feuds and loves, and their consorting's; and the smoothness of their entrails, and what color the gall must have to please the gods, also the speckled symmetry of the liver-lobe; and the thigh-bones, wrapped in fat, and the long chine I burned and initiated mankind into an occult art. Also I cleared their vision to discern signs from flames, which were obscure before this." 
This article originally appeared at www.tarotbyhilary.com.
I firmly believe that there is a tarot deck out there for everyone. I realized this as I was looking down at my Joie de Vivre deck and wondering, “What kind of person would choose this deck?” Someone that is fun-loving and appreciative of the whimsy in life.
I’ve said before that when choosing a tarot deck for yourself, you must choose something that you really like the art on, otherwise you won’t build a strong connection with your deck. No strong connection, and you won’t have the mind-blowing experience of a truly accurate and catered tarot reading. I would liken it to the selection process of a wand in the Harry Potter universe… sometimes it truly is the deck that picks the wizard, and not the other way around!...
Speech is one of the oldest forms of magic. I’m not just talking about the fact that it’s long been used in incantation or divination (runes being one example); it’s much more fundamental than that. Words are vessels designed to contain thoughts and transfer them across time and space from one mind to another. If that’s not magical, I don’t know what is.
On its surface, the process appears simple. We insert a thought into our chosen vessel and send it on its way. We trust that it will arrive at its destination, dutifully delivering its precious contents to our intended recipient(s).
What actually happens, however, is far from simple. The vessel we’ve chosen may not be the one best suited for the journey. Even if it is, it still may run aground on the rocks of differing perceptions or bias. We may think our words mean something altogether foreign to our hearer’s (or reader’s) understanding. No matter how careful we are, the transfer will never be seamless. We will always be, to some extent, speaking different languages because we come to the conversation from different backgrounds, with different agendas and with different vocabularies....
While debate rages on in other corners of the web about what kinds of Gods we do or don’t believe in, I have been thinking about the way that we worship whatever/whomever we hold dear, sacred, and holy. I decided a series of posts that tackle this question from a deeply personal point of view would be useful to me, and perhaps to a few readers as well. I have also been thinking about shadows, storytelling, and ceremonies-so it seemed natural that I would start there.
I recently did a reading for a repeat client. "I looked up the cards after I left here the last time I visited you," she said, " and the meanings that you told me were not the meanings I found when I looked up the cards online."
One of the reasons that people go to a reader -- and often pay good money to do so -- is because of the reader's experience. Anyone can get a deck of cards and do the readings themselves from the little white book that comes with the deck. How accurate is that going to be, though? Is the novice experienced enough to be able to intuit what the cards are saying? Is a beginner going to examine all aspects of the messages from the cards, or will they jump to the nearest conclusion and run with it?
When professional reader is doing a psychic reading for a client, that reader is not just repeating parrot fashion what a good author has written about the subject. A good reader will tap into his or her own intuition, and reach out into the cosmos to see how the images on the card apply to the particular situation of the client. There is both skill and experience involved. I know that I for one would rather place my trust in professionals in their field, who had years of experience and a good reputation, rather than a newbie who was still honing their abilities, and I feel this applies to psychic readers, too....
Do you listen to weather forecasts? Do you use that information to make choices about how you will do things? I certainly do, and it is much the way that I view astrological forecasts. For example, let's say that tomorrow you have a very important job interview and it is going to take place in a nearby city. The weather forecast calls for snow, winds, and icy roads. You could call and try to reschedule the interview. You could see if a friend with four-wheel-drive could drive you there. You could stay in bed and pull the covers over your head. There are wide array of possibilities of what you can do in response to awakening the next day and finding that the roads are covered in ice. The sacred science of Astrology can give us predictions about the parameters of the environment and the times that we will be moving through. What it cannot predict is which options or which choices we will make in response to the circumstances that manifest before us.
Here's a way to see how and where your life is going and then rearrange it to your specifications!
When you think about it, that is divination at its best. Divination shows us our possibilities and our options. When we seek information from the Universe we get a sense of our tools, skills and abilities, as well as the energies around us. With that, we can direct our energies toward our most possible positive outcome.
Here's what you need to do. You can do this in sacred space, while journaling, or even as an exercise with your tarot friends....
One of the most frustrating things that a professional reader can encounter is a client who expects them to do something that the reader does not know how to do. Just like any other trade, different readers work in different ways. Dr Phil and Dr Oz are both reputable doctors, but I wouldn't recommend going to Dr. Phil for open heart surgery!
It's very much the same with readers, too. I do not specialize in finding lost objects, and it is very frustrating when I get a client who wants to know where she put her engagement ring. This creates friction and tension, where, with a bit of forethought, it need not have happened.
Genuine professional readers -- and there are some who are not genuine nor, in my opinion, professional! -- want to help. Yes, they need to earn a living, but they genuinely want to assist you with your current problems. Remote viewers are awesome for helping you find lost things, but they may not have a thorough knowledge of the Tarot. Tarot readers might be able to read the cards with diamond clarity, but if this does not make them good remote viewers....
For those celebrating Christmas as either a sacred or secular holiday, merry merry! And the party goes on: the Twelve Days of Christmas begin today—on Christmas Day—and extend for twelve days, through Jan. 5. [Note: Some traditions begin the count on Christmas night and end the Twelve Days on Jan. 6.] Also known as “Christmastide” or “Twelvetide,” the modern traditions are Christian in nature but spring from a number of Pagan and magickal folkways.
One of these is the Welsh custom of the Omen Days, of which I was reminded by author Caitlin Matthews on Facebook this morning. The Omen Days spring from Welsh/Scot traditions, which are near and dear to my heart as I’m a member of Family Huntly and Clan Gordon (Bydand!). At one point, the Omen Days were considered so important they affected the way business and legal issues were conducted. For example, during the Twelve Days, courts were said to lack their usual power and cases often sat untried or were released for lack of decision. Work was often reduced or suspended during the Omen Days, and it was a time for ritual and feasting. If one died during the Twelvetide, some believed it to be a dangerous omen for the departed one’s families, while others felt it to be exceptionally lucky, believing the newly dead would go straight to Heaven....
The four tarot Aces are potent magickal tools. In some tarot decks, their images are similar to the traditional altar tools used in many Pagan traditions. This is no accident. The four Aces are the Four Tools of Magick, and you can use them as such.
In divination, each tarot Ace can represent a new beginning. The Ace is the essence of its element as well as the beginning of a journey inspired by its element.
Here are three exciting ways to use the Aces to in your magickal life....
I talk about Delphi a lot; the place speaks to my imagination and every time I pull out my Tarot cards for a session, or ask Apollo to grand me a divinatory dream, my mind flashes back to it. I have written about how a session with the Pythia would go. I have also talked a lot about the Delphic Maxims, and some about the site of Delphi. What I haven't talked about a lot is its history...and its future. This is what I will do today.
As legend goes, a shepherd herded his flock up the side of Mount Parnassus. The sheep came upon a chasm and seemed to lose their minds. They started jumping around, and darting about. When the shepherd went to inspect the chasm, he fell under the influence of gasses that welled up from it. He lost all his worries and cared not about the time. He simply wished to remain there and gleam the knowledge he felt at the edges of his mind.
When he did not return, his family went to look for him. They took him home and put him to bed. Everyone was worried by his strange behavior, but he seemed to be calmer when the morning came. Yet, the shepherd's behavior had not returned to normal. He was able to foretell the future. Soon, word of the shepherd's ability, and the chasm, spread. People came from far away to either talk to the man or go to the source. Yet, those who visited the chasm lost their minds as well, and sometimes even jumped in the chasm.
I went out this evening to have a quick drink with a friend, in honor of Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night. She's waiting on her visa so that she can join her English husband in the UK. We talked about kids and adult children and college loans and the Rollright Stones....