Reflection On

Reflection On: Northwest Tarot Symposium (NWTS) 2023

My last in-person divination event was the UK Tarot Conference in 2019, with plans to attend The Readers Studio in New York in 2020 before COVID meant it was rightly cancelled.

Post-COVID, the UK has reopened in-person events with both the UK Tarot Conference and TABI Conference reconvening, though with the addition of live streams and recordings for people unable to attend in person.

But the first post-COVID divination event I attended wasn’t in the UK; it was in the USA, thanks to a direct flight from Heathrow to Portland, Oregon.

The North West TAROT SYMPOSIUM is a Tarot, Oracle, and Lenormand Conference held annually in Portland, Oregon. This year, it was held from Friday, 29 September to Sunday, 1 October, 2023.

There were three Keynote Speakers, one Special Speaker and a Featured Artist slot, along with choices between two speakers over three hour-long slots each day.

I’m so glad that recordings are supplied for a limited time. Not only because I can go back to update my notes and check out the slides but also because I can watch the speakers that I missed out on seeing live.

Aside from learning from the presenters, it’s also a chance to hang out with fellow enthusiasts.

It’s terrific seeing people you talk to online in person, either for the first time or to reconnect with those you’ve not seen for a while, but it’s also wonderful to meet new people. And I did that, too.

Being there in person was a powerful thing – and it reflected my reason for going – connection.

And it will surprise no one that I got the 2 of Cups as part of my opening reading.

If you’ve never been to an event like this in person or online, seeing how others approach their practice and how they work with their tools is thought-provoking and potentially life-changing. I highly encourage you to find one that suits your circumstances and attend.

There were 23 presentations. I attended 11 of them in person and made copious notes throughout.

I want to share a few thoughts on each as a reminder for me of my experience and to give you an insight into what it was like.


Tarot, Healing and the In-Between  – Chris-Anne

The first Keynote speaker and creator of the Light Seer’s & Muse Tarots and the Scared Creator’s Oracle set the weekend up perfectly.

Chris-Anne had us focus on the liminal space created when doing a reading and how a subtle shift of intent, along with visual and physical cues, can change our experience and the experience of our clients.

We experimented with sending and receiving energy from our table partner, and I found that I pretty quickly wanted to ground the energy being sent. Not because it was harmful in any way. Instead, it felt that I wanted to be in control of my space.

Tarot by Number: Meaning, Movement, & Magic – Laura Tempest Zakroff

Laura is not only the Featured Artist (she designed the Star card image above) but also a conference speaker.

Laura asked us to connect magic & maths in our reading. She sped through all seventy-eight cards, looking at the equations behind them that we could access to enhance our readings.

It wasn’t just thinking about 3+4 making seven but also how we move from 12 to 17 (e.g. 17 – 12) and what five could mean in terms of our question. For example, if we go from feeling stuck (The Hanged Man) to having hope (The Star), we’re going to need some faith in ourselves and the world around us (The Hierophant).

Lots to think about and play with.

I believe Laura Tempest Zakroff is writing a book on numbers and the Tarot, and I’m excited to see her ideas expanded.

Queering the Tarot for a World Beyond Binaries – Charlie Claire Burgess

Charlie Claire Burgess is the creator of the Fifth Spirit Tarot and the just released Radical Tarot: Queering the Cards, Liberate Your Practice and Create the Future.

They introduced us to several ways of looking at the cards through a queer lens.

For example, take The Emperor. Is there a way of taking the hardness of the card and softening it? Can we expand our ‘domains’ in a way that doesn’t require dominance? How do we gain authority without power?

Another example is not seeing the courts as stepping up levels but instead seeing ‘learning’ as valuable an activity as gaining ‘authority.’

I have a notebook and pen ready to start reading Radical Tarot and explore these ideas further.

Kick Butt Oracle Card Readings – Heather Agosta 

I will readily admit that most of my oracle decks are gathering dust. Heather shared several methods as she advocated adding oracles into our practice.

I want to try using oracle cards to set the intention and create a liminal space for a reading.

I also want to have another try at making my own Oracle cards.

Introduce “Divination Stations” – V. & Kristine Gorman

This was not a presentation but a live experience with stations set up with different forms of divination. The idea was to visit each station with a partner and try out new forms of divination. I divined using stickers, music, fabric and pendulums.

I was so enamoured with the pendulums that I practically ran (well, waiting until I had time) to SoulTopias’ stall to pick up a Pendulum Palooza book (it contains different boards to use) and a crystal pendulum (my thanks to Roger for helping me get the right one)

The readings I got from my partner were highly pertinent, especially as it was also their first experience with the methods.

It was a good reminder that we are the diviners and have multiple tools and gifts to convey messages to us and our querents.


The Emotional Tarot: Listening to your body and all its metaphors – Siddharth Ramakrishnan

This talk picked up the baton from Chris-Anne and ran with it to the lab. Siddharth made this a very interactive presentation.

He explained the science behind our emotions and how our bodies may not be aligned with our brains; our bodies tell our brains one thing, and our brains can tell us another.

We explored our emotional reactions to some cards and how our bodies changed as we experienced them. I need to carry on this on and look at other cards. It was fascinating as it is very much head vs heart territory.

Our reactions are likely to be different to our client’s reactions, but what was fascinating was the experiment I did with my table partner. I experienced how making myself more powerful and dominating changed my partner (not in a good way) – and when I opened myself up they relaxed.

Lovers Spreads: Layers of Meaning – Mary K. Greer

This Special Speaker session was a history lesson and reading exercise wrapped into one. Mary taught us to take a simple 3-card spread (with The Lovers card at the centre) and reevaluate it as she guided us through how the concept of the Lovers card has changed over time.

The nine layers started at the Visconti-Sforza and went through the Marseille, French Occult, and up to the present.

But pausing on how the cards interacted with questions at the different layers was another powerful example of the space we’re creating when we read – how what we bring of readers can completely change the reading – even if the reading is one we’ve just done and are reassessing.

The Heart of the Question: Simple Spread Design & You – T. Susan Chang

Sussie is a consummate professional. There were issues with the live-streaming tech that reduced the time for her talk, but she left me with lots to think about.

Again, the topic of setting up space came up. Before you pull cards, do you have the right question? Play with how you shuffle (Do you cut or wash? Hold your breath? Keep your eyes open or closed? Play hide a card, and seek it?). What about your spread? Are you going to create one for this reading?

I believe the intention was to spend more time designing our own spreads. Susie talked us through spreads she’d created as part of her The Living Tarot course and how they were inspired. She then had us create our own.

I created one based on The Hanged Man. I wanted it to be a three-card spread but could only come up with two positions (1 What’s keeping you suspended? 2 What you need to be released?), but I’ve just thought of another one (3 Where you’ll fall?). That’s one I need to try out.

A Witchy Journey through Tarot History – Rissa Miller 

Rissa reminded us that history is a point of view, and one of her views is that she’s sympathetic to Witches, which isn’t always the case with those writing about history.

She led us through a pre-and post-tarot timeline outlining key concepts and events. She also touched on the future of the cards.

I came away with some new insights and thoughts about the placement of Tarot – for example, were Tarot and other fortune-telling cards chosen as it was cheaper than spiritualists? Rissa seemed to think so.

I must read Working Witches: Fortune Tellers, Clairvoyants, and Astrologers in the Golden Age of Spiritualism by Grace Kredell Sarah from Lawrence College.


BORN THIS WAY: Reclaiming the Power of Symbolism over Fatalism – James Divine

This was the one that I wasn’t sure was for me, but I’m so glad I went. James specialises in Palmistry and talked about how it’s still very traditional – it’s used to expose your problems, but often it doesn’t provide the remedy. James explained this is because Palmistry (and astrology) were combined with Hinduism. It was Hinduism that helped ‘fix’ whatever the problem was.

James also provided a severe reminder when doing any form of reading:

Our clients belive us

James Divine

We were guided through examples of Palmistry and astrology where the ‘fatalism’ was transformed into something more neutral, balanced and something that held space for our client.

James pointed out that it wasn’t just negative cards (or planets or lines) but also positive ones that could be subject to ‘fatalism’.

He then provided three steps for us to use when we slip into fatalism, and I’m going to add them to my toolbox.

Lenonnand’s Hidden Story: The Other 36 Cards – Callie L French 

Callie guided us through looking at the playing card inserts as if there were piquet (the French trick-playing game) and liking them to the four classes of Medieval society:

  • hearts for the clergy;
  • spades for the nobility or the military
  • diamonds for the merchants
  • clubs for the working class

But extending that into seeing the Kings, Queens and Jacks also being part of a hierarchy and who they might represent within their class.

Luckily, she handed out ‘cheat sheets’ so we could all play with this new lens – Callie described it as, ‘the bigger picture is now being your background focus’.

I think it will come in handy when looking at the people cards, but also at the context of the card in regards to the question.

Tarot Saves the Day – Jennifer Steidley

This was so much fun. I honestly hadn’t thought of tarot cards as having superpowers, but now I’m obsessed with the idea.

Jennifer led us through four different methods to identify our card’s superpower, not only did we have to come up with a superpower, but we then had to pull cards to give our superhero origin story and our weakness (I now wonder if I could use the same techniques to create a supervillain?).

After we created our hero, we were told that our table partner’s character was our archnemesis. We had an odd number on our table, so the person in the middle became the archnemesis to me and the person on their left.

The spooky thing about this session was that the two of us heroes pulled the same power and weakness cards, but our different origin cards completely changed not only our powers but our motivations.

It was an excellent session, and all the more impressive as it was a last-minute change to the timetable to cover the slot.

In addition to the pendulum & pendulum board, I did some extra shopping. Jennifer Steidley is the creator of Tarot Disassembled and the Tarot Assembled decks, and I was lucky to get both of them direct from their creator.

Portland local Theresa Pridemore, had a stall in the open-to-the-public Psychic Fair that accompanied the symposium, and I picked up three of her mini decks:

  • The Mojo Deck: Spell-Casting Cards & Oracle
  • Atomic Wisdom Oracle Deck
  • The Sovereign Oracle with the Creative Visions & Spirit Business expansion cards.

Oh, I also won a copy of Finding the Fool by Meg Jones Wall at one of the raffles held over the weekend. Ethony gifted every attendee a copy of The Tarot of Muses as part of her talk – I need to watch the replay of her Tarot and Mediumship presentation as it clashed with another one I attended.

These events often bring themes and threads to the surface without the conscious intentions of the speakers or attendees. They are just like readings in that sense; the liminal holds space for these things to occur.

Thank you to everyone who presented and all those behind the scenes make it look effortless. It was truly exceptional.

I would love to attend NWTS 2024 – hopefully, the Stars will align so I can!

Reflection On

Reflection On: WDA Divination Pride 2023

I am still unpacking the Lenormand event that was the subject of my last post (Reflection On: WDA Lenormand Summit 2023). But I couldn’t miss the WDA’s Charity DivinationPRIDE event this past weekend.

It was packed with 21 online sessions covering a multitude of methods and systems, including:

  • How Actor Warm-ups Can Improve Your Readings
  • La Loteria: A Brief History and Guide for Divination
  • LGBTQ+ In the Cards
  • Master Your Journey with Runes
  • Your Living Sigil
  • Get Comfortable with the Gypsy Card
  • Introduction to the Oracle Belline
  • Reversals: Looking at the Flip Side

The sessions are recorded, and if you pay a little extra, you have lifetime access (as long as FB/Teachable hosts them – some events are stored only on FB in a private group).

I mention they are recorded as I need to either watch a couple I skipped at the time due to the need for food/sleep or rewatch to add to my notes. And it’s good to know that if you join the weekend, you’ll have a chance to catch up and rewatch them if needed.

The event started with Toni Savory using The Siren’s Song: Diving the Depths  (the deck set she co-created with Carrie Paris &  Tina Hardt). It’s a combined Lenormand & Kipper Cards set.

Toni showed us how to create a relationship box spread by combining the Lenormand and Kipper cards. I’m keen to see how mixing the decks will work. I have The Siren’s Song on the way, but you could mix Ciro Marchetti’s Gilded Reverie Lenormand and his Fe De Siècele Kipper as they are the same size and contain a similar art style.

And mixing systems, either mashing them together or knowing more than one, became a tool for growth throughout the weekend.

We had run-throughs of how individuals work with runes, Oracle Belline and Gyspy* Cards. I ordered a copy of the Oracle Belline after María Alviz Hernando‘s session and booked myself onto her WDA’s Master the Oracle Belline with confidence and accuracy. The use of planets in that system fascinates me. She’s also selling her edition of the Oracle Belline (her has the links to MPC and PrinterStudio). I admit I went for the classic Grimaud edition, which was quicker to obtain.

Being seen is a big part of Divination Pride, and Malkiel Dietrich shared how he makes it easy to add LGBTQ+ recognition to several card systems. I’d never thought about sitters with multiple love interests, but he had those covered for each system, with the Gypsy* Cards giving the most options for male partners.

Speaking of covered, Albert R Juarez’s, aka, presentation was called Your Living Sigil, and he provided a tool for personal empowerment.

It was joyous to see another presentation on Lenormand by Anthony Carter; you can find him on TikTok as @carterscartomancy

Tarot didn’t get forgotten with Stella Boheme, Joe Montele, Lisa Papez, Mitchell Osborn, Ben Tomlin and others refreshing the tarot tool kit.

One of the presentations I need to watch is The Art of Divination by Rana George. It was a 2-hour interactive session, but I’m sure it will be as influential on replay.

I have taken so much joy from this weekend; I have more to come as I catch up.

The card I pulled for the weekend was bang on.

My card pull represents my Divination Pride experience

I am grateful to all the speakers for sharing their knowledge, the WDA crew for making it look seamless, and my fellow attendees who made it such a fun experience.

When is the next one???

This year’s event charity was OutRight Action International with speakers donating their fees to them.

Outright International works with partners around the globe to strengthen the capacity of the LGBTIQ movement. We document and amplify human rights violations and advocate for inclusion and equality.

*I am using the title Gypsy cards as their known name; if I could substitute it quickly, I would.

Reflection On

Reflection On: WDA Lenormand Summit 2023

The WDA’s Lenormand Summit 2023 was sold as:

Level – up your Lenormand reads and devote a weekend to celebrating the very best of the system! Each speaker and session is designed to highlight the techniques and reading methods professionals use. Both traditional and modern readers unite to bring you every combination of technique available to you – learn tips and tricks from our international speakers to employ in your divination tool belt and most importantly … discover which reading styles work best for you! The World Divination Association has gathered the very best of the Lenormand community together for one weekend to slash all your Lenormand woes and to celebrate all things Lenormand!

I adore the World Divination Association‘s work and am incredibly grateful for their online summits. They certainly do highlight techniques and reading methods used by professionals, and I did explore more of what reading style best works for me.

I have attended four previously: WDA Lenormand Summit 2020,  WDA Virtual Event 2020, WDA Virtual Event 2021 & WDA Big Bang Conference 2020. 

The Virtual Events 2020/2021 and Big Bang Conference bought together a large cast of speakers sharing their insights into various subjects. The sessions discussed card reading in all its forms. But they also covered Spirituality in Real Terms, Intuition Versus Psychic Ability, Calling in Ancestors to Guide your Year! Quantum Affirmations, and so many other topics. 

The previous Lenormand Summit in 2020 brought together a host of Lenormand experts to share techniques to read the cards. The 2023 gathering was no different. Everyone shared something insightful. 

As part of the opening ceremony, Toni Savory asked us to pull three spreads which set me up to enjoy the weekend.

The questions, my cards and my thoughts on the three spreads are below:

What will I learn? (Lustrous Lenormand)

This is a very postive spread – I will be learning connections that will make me happy. I’m going to see some growth and positive changes. I’m going to talk about tricks and techniques. Those are going to make me happy. And I’m going to access a positivity that will lift my spirits.

And it did – my spirits are lifted and my confidence is built up.

Which male speaker will I enjoy the most? (Maybe Lenormand)

I didn’t have enough knowledge of the speakers to decide at the time, but I described them as:

  • They are to the point
  • They have gifts they’ll hide today
  • They don’t get flustered 
  • They have depths that they draw from

I enjoyed all the speakers, but I think this fits AJ Grugen. 

Which female speaker will I enjoy the most? (Rana George Lenormand)

Again, I didn’t have enough knowledge of the speakers to decide at the time, but I described them as:

  • They are invested in and protective of Lenormand
  • They hide their charming/seductive side
  • They are committed to teaching
  • They have a vast knowledge

I enjoyed all the speakers, but I think this fits Toni Savory best. 

I’m not going to review every speaker’s talk as you really needed to be there to gain the benefit of their wisdom, but I will list some of the takeaways.

Some reminders:

  • My Lenormand is my lenormand. It’s not Rana George’s, Caitlín Matthew’s or Toni Savory’s Lenormand. It’s mine. My cards: my way. 
  • Even if you’re reading for yourself, read out loud, but always look three times first to get your story straight before you speak. 
  • Placement is important. Is the card above, below infront or behind?
  • Cards can breathe. You can pause and move on between cards. You don’t need to merge everything. 
  • The cards that are absent in smaller cards are as important as what’s cards are present
  • Sit with the original instructions and think about what they mean to me as a reader

Techniques to try:

  • I was sold on the cross spread as a complete reading
  • I want to use the Game of Hope Technique and Houses within my GTs.
  • The Master Method is not the same as Houses but seems to work very well. Experimentation is needed.
  • The Houses are part of a House Party, differernt rooms with different vibes – the cards act accordingly.

It looks like a short list, but I gained more than I’ve shared; a lot of the benefits were gained seeing other readers explain their techniques and experiencing how unique they all were. 

Once of the great things about these events is that everyone is so supportive. The speakers get to present from their own space, with volunteers supporting them with any IT issues, and it’s open to anyone to speak. The vibe is postive and relaxed. It’s great to see speakers you wouldn’t normally see share their experience.

And As I’ve mentioned, everyone shared something insightful – I have pages of notes to go back over.

I enjoyed myself so much I’ve signed up for Divination Pride at the end of this month (29+30 July 2023).

I can’t wait.

There is still time for you to get your virtual ticket and join me.  


Reading: Will My Parcel Arrive?

Before I share the reading, a little bit of background.

Yesterday, I was waiting for the post person to deliver a parcel. It was being tracked, so I knew it was out for delivery. My usual delivery time came and went but no parcel.

Then about 30 minutes later, I checked the tracking, which showed it had been delivered.

The photo evidence, however, was unclear. It showed neither the parcel nor a clear view of where it had been delivered.

I looked around and thought it might have been delivered to one of my neighbours, so I wasn’t too worried. But I pulled out my Lenormand deck in case it could give me some insight.

For my first reading, I asked:

Will my parcel get delivered today?

As per my post Experimental: Yes/No Questions Using Lenormand, I pulled two cards:

Lilies + Ring

My first thoughts were satisfaction + commitment, and these are both positive cards. At face value, this seems like a yes. But I wanted to check if my ‘satisfaction’ was going to come from the postal service, as they’d already delivered, or a neighbour, so I asked:

Will it be delivered by the postal service?

And pulled two more cards:

Stars and House from Blue Bird Lenormand
Stars + House

This time I saw connection + home and thought, ‘No, it’s going to be closer to home’, and I’d get the parcel from a local network. This led me to post on my local Facebook group and ask if anyone had my package.

No response. No parcel.

Reflecting on the cards, I considered that Lilies + Ring was positive, but maybe they meant more of a delayed satisfaction, which might explain why I didn’t have my parcel.

I was still hopeful of it’s arrival as both readings had positive cards, but I wasn’t sure if the Yes/No binary was working.

Late last night, wanting a clearer answer, I asked a non-Yes/No question:

What will happen with my parcel?

Flowers (Bouquet) + Child + Trouble

As you can see from the Post-it note, I interpreted this as gift + small + trouble. I was still optimistic that it would arrive after some trouble.

This morning I saw our regular post person, who I thought might have the parcel because Facebook had failed. Still no parcel, but they said they’d look into it.

Three hours later, they were back with my parcel in hand.

It had been delivered to the wrong house, as it had a label saying, ‘wrong address, please try again’.

I didn’t have a chance to ask how they’d recovered it, but it seems my ‘local network (Stars + House)’ was the source of my ‘delayed commitment (Lilies + Ring) and they delivered my ‘gift‘ after both they and the parcel went through a little ‘bit of trouble‘.


Spread: Tom Benjamin’s General Reading Spread (Adapted)

Tom Benjamin’s YouTube Video: An Experimental General Spread

I am a Tom Benjamin stan, and I followed along as he looked for a general spread.

The video above contains his thoughts on how a general spread could work.

In Tom’s experimental method, he explores the four areas of the querent’s life that correspond to the elements and dives in from there.

That felt a bit too much for me, so I’ve devised a simplified method that concentrates on just one row/column combination.

Tom Benjamin’s General Reading Spread (Adapted)

My Method

  1. Lay out 16 cards in rows. Start with FIRE/FIRE and end with Earth/Earth
  2. Find the double element that feels most out of balance
  3. Read that card’s row as the ‘Problem.’
  4. Read that card’s column as the ‘Solution.’

I read it more like a Lenormand box spread, so I read the cards in combination rather than individually.

The card that lands on the double element is the focus or heart of the matter. You may want to discuss the other dual element cards to acknowledge those areas in the querent’s life.

But like everything cartomancy, it’s best to try various methods and see what works for you.

I hope you try it out and see how you find it.


Experimental: Yes/No Questions Using Lenormand

From the onset, I’d like to say that I haven’t found a definitive way of answering Yes/No questions.

But what I have found is a method that is helping me to see the positive/negative direction of a situation by leaving me to decide if the cards I have pulled mean that it’s a yes or no for me.

Before I get to that, lets have a look at Yes/No questions more generally.

I agree totally agree with with Lisa Young-Sutton‘s assessment:

While it’s true that the Petit Lenormand is well-suited to answering yes/no questions, interpreting them isn’t always easy. Because this is a system that excels at description, asking questions that allow you to see a picture form or a story unfold are optimal.


The recommended solution to a Yes/No question is to rephrase is it so the cards can provide you with an outcome, a description, or advice rather than a yes or a no.

The problem is that some inquiries just demand a yes/no answer regardless of the general advice to avoid that sort of question. This is because, as Lisa says, it is hard for the reader to get a black or white answer.

I’m going to looking at Yes/No readings as a self-reading proces, though thinking about it I should try these out on others. But for now, I’ve been trying them on personal questions so that I get a feeling about what does, and doesn’t, feel right for me.

If you want to try a few, here some recommended ideas:

  • Use the cards solely as their Positive, Negative, Neutral, Positive/Neutral, and Negative/Neutral aspects without interpreting the individual cards – if trying this it’s probably best to use a 5-card line.
  • Use the playing cards inserts to and look to blacks and reds or define a suit to be Positive, Negative, Positive/Neutral, and Negative/Neutral. Again, it’s probably best to use a 5-card line.
  • Read the Cards as you would normally and apply that to the question. This is probably best with a 3 or 5 card line.

MY FAVOURITE method is by Camelia Elias and she uses just two cards. All the details are in her YES/NO: LENORMAND 2-CARD post, but in essence you use two cards to get to a yes, no or a maybe. What you do is to combine the ‘primary vibes’ of the two cards to deduce if they the overall feeling is positive or negative or meh. The important bit if when applying what the description of the cards says to the question. The feel of positive or negative can only been fond in the context of the question not just the cards themselves.

Toni from The Card Geek explains the difficulties with Yes/No answer and questions. When it comes to what makes the cards say yes or no you need to compare the answer with the likely hood of the out coming being positive or negative.

For example, the question ‘Will I get post today?’ has a high likelihood of having a positive answer (unless you’re asking on a Sunday). So if you get negative cards it might be that you will still get post but it may not be the post you’ve be waiting for.

Another example of the answer in the context of the question is, ‘Will I will the lottery this week?’ If you get positive cards it might just mean you will only end up winning a small amount as it’s highly improvable statistically that you’ll be one of the big winners.

Please do watch Toni’s YouTube video for more exploration of this topic.

Going back briefly to the pairs of cards, if you think about what they say as a pair as a comment on your question then consider if you see the answer is positive, negative or meh as a reaction to your question.

Further Information:

Lisa of Lisa Loves Lenormand has a whole video on the subject to check out.


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Spreads: The French Cross (Tirage En Croix)

Serge Pirotte demonstrates the French Cross

Watching the recent video (above) on the French Cross, by the excellent cartomancer Serge Pirotte, has rekindled my interest in this type of spread.

In large part, that’s due to the way that Serge has presented his interpretation, especially how he uses the synthesis position.

The French Cross as presented by Serge Pirotte

In the video, Serge describes that synthesis as the ‘state of mind’ of the querent towards the question and the example he uses illustrates that perfectly. It’s also the first card he turns over even though it’s the last card placed. This, for me, adds context and allows for a more nuanced interpretation

I very much appreciated this approach as I don’t usually see spreads where the state of mind of the person getting the reading (self-readings included) is being considered.

Recapping the positions as I’ve recorded them:

  1. Pro – What’s in your favour
  2. Con – What’s working against you
  3. Judge – Advice on how to resolve positions 1 + 2
  4. Result – Answer to the question
  5. Synthesis – the perspective the querent has of the question

As this is already an adaption, I don’t think I will calculate the synthesis card, or use just the majors, but use it in the way Serge has suggested.

As a decision making spread this is one I am certainly to be adding into my active repertoire.

I have looked into the history of the spread a little as I always thought it originated with Oswald Wirth but it seems he got it from Josephin Péladan, though I don’t have the original sources of either to compare.

But in the links below from Tony Louis and Mary Greer’s respective blogs you’ll be able to compare Péladan’s reported crucifixion of Christ model with Wirth’s more legal model of interpretation.

Is this a spread you use? Please let me know in the comments.

Oh, and if anyone has any more sources please drop them in the comments too.

Further Information

Show and Tell

Show and Tell: OceanDry Tarot

Note: I am illustrating this post with a series of Daily Card Spells I’ve done with this absolutely magickal deck.

The OceanDryTarot is now on Sale

I have been fan of The OceanDry Tarot since Colin shared images on his Instagram (@oceandry).

I have been very privileged to own a prototype and I was in awe of the creativity and depth behind the imagery from the beginning when Colin first started sharing images on Instagram.

I am so very pleased say that it’s NOW ON SALE and available to the world via the print on demand service thegamecrafter.

Reasons to get this deck as given by its creator include:

  •  Major Arcana tells a new “Fool’s Journey”
  •  Created using an interlocking system of 10 colors
  •  Free of human figures for abstraction and inclusion

I agree 100% with the above.

Colin has also done an excellent series of YouTube videos exploring this new ‘Fool’s Journey’ that sits behind the numbering of the Majors in the OceanDry.

The journey is a new story based on the Majors.

The story in OceanDry is much different. It begins with the Sun and ends with the Moon. It’s the story of a hero wandering an endless desert only to have their entire reality shattered through knowledge. 

The OceanDry Tarot Guidebook

Colin’s video below tells the story of the hero as he wanders the desert, and if this doesn’t convince you to buy it, I’m not sure what will.

Set aside 30 minutes, give it a listen/watch, and relax as Colin tell you the tale behind the OceanDry.

It’s not just a visually stunning deck. It’s a Tarot whose whole visual design has been fundamentally tied into the meanings of each card. And colour plays just as an important a role as the story.

For example: the entire deck is created from 10 colours:

  • Grey
  • Emerald
  • Lime
  • Cyan
  • Sapphire
  • Purple
  • Pink
  • Red
  • Orange
  • Yellow 

Each suit is created using 5 colours. Each colour symbolizing something specific. The colours can be added together like a maths problem to help inform your reading of the cards. Colin goes into a deeper and expansive explanation in the guidebook for the deck

Each card’s description in the LWB has examples of this “colour maths” and this is the first half of cardspell above.

2 of Disks – change | discretion | alternating Two disks form opposite poles in fields of color. Their positions oscillating back and forth in rapid attempts to interpret the plans of the Ace. Lime expedites and encourages plans to form, while red halts and offers careful consideration. Pink bursts form each disk, showing that each approach is just as valid. The pink disks symbolize the fruitfulness of balanced action. 

Guidebook for the OceanDry Tarot

To find out more about the colour system, watch Colin’s explanation video:

OceanDry’s Colour System Broken Down.

The Majors get a slightly different treatment as get the cards place in the story, a reflection on the image and a ‘divinatory’ meaning.

The OceanDry Tarot Guidebook

11 Judgementvision | revelation | overwhelming

on Story – A fever dream sets in as the poison of the plants courses through your veins. Suddenly you are on the sea. The sun blazing gloriously over the horizon. In the distance, a boat floats on
the water’s surface. The vision is intense and overwhelming. The heat of the sun blasting your face alongside the wind whipping over the surface of the water. The distant boat constantly
draws your attention as you do everything in your power to approach it.

on Image – The sun blazes in the sky, rays of geometry overwhelming the senses and overriding
the night from Hermit. Complex geometry draws the hero towards what will be a boat on the
horizon of the ocean. The symbol of fire encases the geometry symbolizing the fever dream and the intensity of the vision.

on Learning – A breakthrough or flash of genius. Writing a complex formula without knowing how to solve it.

The OceanDry Tarot Guidebook

I can’t recommend this deck highly enough. If you just want a pip-ish deck with amazing art. The OceanDry gives you that. If you want an alternative to the Fool’s Journey. Oh boy, do you get it. Do you want to feel depth and meaning in your readings from the colours and placement of the items in the image? Just lay the cards and be enchanted,

If you answer to any of the above is yes, then why haven’t you ordered a copy of already.

What do you think, is this a deck for you?


Reflection On:Tarot Deck Collecting and Consumerism: My Thoughts

Deck collecting and deck reviews are not part of my “spiritual practice.” They’re my hobbies. The handful of consecrated and well-loved, worn-in workhorse decks I go to when life’s a mess– yes, that’s part of my spiritual practice.

Tarot Deck Collecting and Consumerism: My Thoughts

I’d highly recommend reading Benebell’s post before reading on.

Read it? Good. Let’s get into it.

Maybe Lenormand

Firstly, I have to say that the picture of Bell’s collection gave me tinges of envy. That’s not right. I had tinges of regret.

You see, I have bought a lot of decks over the 25 years that I’ve been into tarot. I have hunted down and obtained almost all of my unicorn decks (the masonic is my deck that’s got away). But then, I’ve had many of them sitting on my shelf collecting dust, unused and unloved.

I have rehomed decks only to obtain them again as the regret of rehoming, and it was missing from my collection became an itch I needed to scratch.

But I think that was more that we (the deck & I) had/have unfinished business.

Some decks that I reacquired and have kept (for now) include:

  • The Wild Unknown Tarot (First and Second editions)
  • Naked Heart Tarot
  • Prisma Vision & Light Visions Tarot
  • Next World Tarot
  • Spacious Tarot
  • Way of the Panda Tarot
  • The Shimmering Veil 2nd Edition (is on its way thanks to Tom Benjamin’s video mentioned in my last post)
The Shimmering Veil

I have reacquired decks only to rehome them again. The Dante Tarot probably wins the award for being reacquired and rehomed. I must have done it five or so times.

I have rehomed different editions of the same deck. I once sold a copy of the first edition of the Alchemical Tarot by Robert Place to fund the 3rd edition.

And mostly, I have no regrets about cards leaving my collection. If a Dante came along again for a bargain on eBay, I might add it back into the collection. But it would go against my ‘why’ of having a ‘collection’ of tarot decks.

Benebell’s ‘why’ is pretty straightforward. I am still wrestling with mine.

A hallmark of a compatible personal workhorse deck is that it’s going to be versatile. A querent can come at you with any sort of question and your personal workhorse deck is at the ready. But again, that’s different from the decks in a deck collection. The personal workhorse deck, at least for me, is now a tool. Not every deck in my collection is a tool.

Tarot Deck Collecting and Consumerism: My Thoughts

I am the opposite, in that every deck needs to have a purpose beyond being a pile of Tarot cards on my shelf.

I used to collect decks for art; Dante is a prime example. I had collected a complete set of Robert Place’s work before realising that the Buddha, Vampire & Angel Tarots would rarely come out of their boxes. I did have a broader range of historical reproductions than I do now.

I have had decks I wanted to study, like the Pythagorean and Babylonian Tarot, but I know that they’d never get the time they needed, and they’ve left the collection with no regrets from me.

Crystal Unicorn Tarot

I will not stop buying decks, as each has the potential to teach me something. That’s why the Way of the Panda is back in my collection and being used. And why the Shimmering Veil is on the way back again? More recent acquisitions have also become firm favourites – Benebell’s Spirit Keeper’s Tarot is one example.

I will also back Kickstarter projects, even if I rehome them at a later date. I want to hear for myself what the cards say.

Since I decided to study tarot seriously in 1996/7, I have always had a range of ‘voices’ to choose from. They included the Universal Waite, Halloween, Medieval Scapini, Sacred Rose, Ancestral Path, and Thoth – all boxsets, and I wanted to read what the creator (or their collaborator’s views on the cards). That’s one thing that hasn’t changed; if there is a book for the deck, I’ll get it.

I have reviewed decks in the distant past, which was fun, and those decks have also found new homes.

But coming back to my ‘why’. For most of my decks, I have to feel that they will be a practical tool. I have a small section of sentimental decks & a sub-collection of historical reproduction, and a few decks that probably need releasing, but I’m not ready.

The minimalist voice in my head says 22 decks total is ‘enough’, but I definitely need some variety, and if I strip out the sentimental and historical decks, I can’t quite reach that number. And that’s OK.

Playing Card Arcana

Jaymi Elford replied to Benebell’s public Facebook post saying she was ‘right-sizing’ her collection. And I agree. That’s what I want mine to be.

I also ‘right-size’ my other cartomancy decks. Over the last few days, I have had a bit of regret around the Whitman’s Old Gypsy Fortune Telling Cards being rehomed. But The Life Line Lenoracle, the Hermes Playing Card Oracle, and the Maybe Lenormand incorporate some of the cards and their concepts. These are ‘enough’ for me to get what I need.

I guess I already have a deck for ‘that’ might be in the back of my head, but it’s not really a strong voice. But it does get me to check my ‘why’.

I will keep adding and subtracting decks to feel I’ve got the ‘right-size’, but I won’t let it balloon. That might change if I have much more space, but as I’ve explained above, I’d rather my decks had a purpose for me above being just ‘decks on the shelf.’

Everyone’s why varies, and not having a why is also totally fine, but I hope I’ve explained mine.

What’s yours???