I Am Not an Expert

It’s one of my theories that when people give you advice, they’ve really just talking to themselves in the past.

Austin Kleon, Steal Like an Artist

It’s worth pointing out in the early life of this blog, that I don’t consider myself an expert in divination or fortune telling. I see myself as a student sharing what I’ve found out about the various systems and cards that I’ve been studying.

I have only just set sail on this voyage

I feel most confident in Tarot, as I’ve been studying it for over twenty years, I also feel quite comfortable with Lenormand with seven years (how has it been 7 years) of use. Kipper is a system that I find fascinating and slightly uncomfortable (it weights towards to the dramatic and negative when I read for myself).

Tarot pulls me in at least three methodological directions ; the Golden Dawn/Occult Tradition (especially the Spirit Keeper’s Tarot, which can still order); Marseille which I find more systematic (see the guidance book to Playing Marseille by Ryan Edwards as an example ); and the modern psychological (The Naked Heart Tarot by Jillian C. Wilde fits this mould)

And then we have newer card systems, oracle cards included, who are unique to their creators. I am getting to know Mildred Payne’s Secret Pocket Oracle and pulling cards from Wild Unknowns Animal Spirit, as well as trying out other oracles.

Playing Cards for me fall between the old and the new depending on what meanings you use or what customised deck you choose to end up reading.

I am currently exploring three variations. All more modern takes: Cartomancy Poker Cards, Open Portals Playing Card and Ana Cortez’s Playing Card Oracles.

In the future, I hope to start studying geomancy, oghams and runes in more depth. They all use casting in some way, and it’s not a technique I use.

Some guides I’ll be using:

  • Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom by Erynn Rowan Laurie
  • Nordic Runes: Understanding, Casting, and Interpreting the Ancient Viking Oracle by Paul Rhys Mountfort
  • The Art of Geomancy Art And Practice Of Geomancy: Divination, Magic, and Earth Wisdom of the Renaissance by John Michael Greer
  • Geomagnetic Visions by James R. Eads [this is a coin set but comes with a guidebook.

The first threes have all been recommended by Kelly from The Truth in Story.

And thanks to The Living Wheel Astrology Cards I’ve finally taken then plunge into taking a serious look at Astrology – having a set of a cards to visualise the sky is breathing life into the chart for me right now.

But my current focus is a personal study of the Spirit Keeper’s Tarot: Revelation but also delving in again to the various correspondences using the Tabula Mundi Tarot and the Fortune Wheel House Podcast (via a systematic re-listen)

This is my aim

And I have only just set sail on this voyage, I am using this tweet by Sam Block to light my way. I am not sure what this blog might bring so this is an magickal mystery adventure.

As I’m on a this journey I hope I can help on your travels. I also hope that you will be able to help me along the the way too.

What are you currently studying?


Showing Up Daily

‘Write a spell in the morning, and it will act as a compass, a shield, and a map for your whole day.

– T. Susan Chang, Fortune Wheel House Podcast

One of the recommendations made to new tarot readers is to pull a card for the day. The idea is to help people to learn the card meanings, and integrate tarot into their daily routine.

And I do think it’s a great way to focus on getting to know the meanings, especially if you’re journaling and checking back later on to see how the card showed in your day.

But as a reader who has a few years under his belt, I do now find the idea of pulling a a single card tiresome. I don’t feel it activates or integrates Tarot into my daily life. It feels very passive and I fail to make it a habit.

Luckily, I discovered the Fortune’s Wheelhouse Podcast and the idea of a ‘tarot spell’ offered by T. Susan Chang.

I’m going to skim over the concept of magic and tarot as your ‘spell’ doesn’t need to be ‘magical’ but it does need to be meaningful to you.

I do think that pulling two cards everyday is a useful way of seeing the cards in different context and combinations and provides insight that you can draw on in future. This is especially true if you track your dailies and see what repeat cards come up.

I don’t go as far as completing a spreadsheet but I do note when I get the same cards turning up.

Things I do & don’t do in my current practice:

  • I do pull two cards
  • I do say something before I draw
  • I do write my ’spell’ on a bit of paper
  • I don’t log them in a spreadsheet
  • I change decks every decan
  • I do photograph my cards
  • I do write down my spells in ink
  • I do focus on guidance/affirmation based wording.

Here are a few samples of my daily draws:

A selection of ‘Card Spells’

Everyone’s practice is different.

T. Susan Chang has talked on her podcast appearances about how she focuses on fulfilling the requirements of the spell . This heads off the energy for the day so it doesn’t manifest randomly.

Personally, I want to see and listen to a message and, perhaps, prepare myself to change my vibe.

Drawing two cards and writing a two line ‘spell’ is how I now place tarot into the heart of my day.

Susie answers the question: Now, how do you go about creating this powerful talisman? in her article on entitled Tarot Spells: Make Magic from Your Card of the Day and provides an example. The also goes into detail in her excellent book Tarot Correspondences.

As I said above, there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way.

How do you make tarot part of your day? Do you have a daily draw routine? Please let me know in the comments.

Further Reading:

Tarot Spells: Make Magic From Your Card of the Day on
A Year of Spells on


In her book, Tarot Correspondences, T. Susan Chang acknowledges Paul Stuart as the person who introduced her to the concept of card spells.


#CartomancyQuotes Caitlín Matthews

Take time to set a question that clearly frames your issue in the most helpful way 
- Caitlín Matthews


“When you come right down to it, reading Tarot cards is really very simple. You decide on your subject and your questions, you shuffle the cards and then you turn them over , usually one card per question, and see what they tell you. The trick, really, lies in the seeing.”

Rachel Pollack, Tarot Wisdom

Fortune Telling (telling a future) VS. Divination (asking for Divine guidance)

This article discusses the potential differences in the terminology and how the use of fortune telling and divination as a style and as a method may affect our approaches to reading.

Ultimately, I think we end up in similar same places but it’s worth exploring, especially as they are seen as different sides of the same coin.

Fortune Telling is a form of divine guidance. Fortune is also known as Fortuna, the goddess of Luck, Chance and Fortune. She is a divine being who has a particular role to play in our lives. 

Wikipedia describes her as: 

…the goddess of fortune and the personification of luck in Roman religion. Fortuna is often depicted with a gubernaculum [a ship’s rudder/steering destinies], a ball [usually standing on it to depict uncertainty] or Rota Fortunae [Wheel of Fortune] and a cornucopia [horn of plenty/ gibing abundance]. She might bring good or bad luck: she could be represented as veiled and blind, as in modern depictions of Lady Justice, and came to represent life’s capriciousness.

Knowing the above does give the ‘fortune’ part of Fortune  Telling a bit more of an edge.  It brings to mind thoughts like, ‘What has fortune got in store for me?’ and begs the question, ‘can I win favour with Fortuna?’ This raises questions about what a prediction actually is and if we have ‘free will’ or not.

I like really like the statement below as it shows that a predictive reading can also be empowering:

‘Fortuna Speaks Negative To Warn. To Be Warned Is A Chance To Prepare. Preparation Is Grace’

– borrowed from a forum post.

  Some people worry that readings take away free will but just as a reading can show us our fate, it can also offer us options about what can do about it. 

I was lucky enough recently to hear Rachel Pollack tell a story about the Jewish tradition of ‘arguing with God,’ if we are able to connect to Fortune and Fate why can’t we argue our case? 

What about Divination? How is that defined? The Wikipedia entry starts off with this:

Divination (from Latin divinare “to foresee, to be inspired by a god”, related to divinus, divine) is the attempt to gain insight into a question or situation by way of an occultic, standardized process or ritual.

Divination, Wikipedia

The phrase that stood out to me is inspired by god. How powerful is that idea? Not to just be connected but be inspired by a god.  

So at this point, the distinction between Fortune Telling and Divination is the difference between being warned or being told vs being inspired. 

Because of the nature of the ‘language’ that comes from the cards, the decks and systems we choose do influence the reading we receive. A Lenormand or playing card reading is likely to be a more a ‘telling’ experience and from an oracle or tarot deck,  we are more likely to get an ‘inspiring’ reading. 

Another factor is the questions we are willing to put to our cards. There appears to be an acceptance to ask a more invasive question in a ‘fortune-telling’ reading than in a ‘divination’ reading.  

And then there is the point where a reading of just the cards ends and where advice from the reader creeps in. 

When I started to learn Tarot it was at a time where there was a push for Tarot to be as seen as professional and for it to move towards a more ’contemporary coaching-style’ rather than the more ‘traditional’ model of telling and prediction.

But since I’ve been learning to read Lenormand and other older cartomancy methods I’ve been forced into thinking differently.  I am challenging myself around about what questions I am willing to ask, the nature of the answers I want the cards to give and how I integrate (if at all) my own views into that process. 

There is also a conscious choice about whom want we want to reach out to in order to receive guidance. That is a very much a personal choice and goes into the realms of belief, which is outside the scope of this article, but I wanted to mention it as another influence. 

Does choosing between fortune telling or divination make a reading unnecessary cold or overly comforting? An argument for a more fortune telling style reading is to keep a distance between the reader and the querent. whereas a divinatory reading can be seen as trying to empower the querent. 

During a fortune telling-based reading you could stop at the telling level of giving information but that’s stopping you from taking it to the guidance level?

And with a more divination-based reading what’s stopping you from taking it back down to practical advice? 

Nothing is stopping you defining your own rules. It’s a good idea to sit down an explore your boundaries and comfort levels, as well as being conscious of what style or styles you offer and how that may affect the service you offer. 

I hope this has given you something to think about. What do you think? Is there a difference between Fortune Telling and Divination?

I am really proud of this post and it’s one I personally refer back to quite a bit.