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World Tarot Day!

This is your open one-card draw thread! I will be reading off the Fenestra Tarot. If you'd like a reading, please comment below. I can respond in comments or via private email -- if you'd prefer a private reading, just leave me your email. You can ask a specific question, or simply ask for an overview.

As always, the tip jar is out. Donate if you feel so moved. If you're not able to, or you feel funny about it, I just ask that you pay it forward in some way.







Interesting Article from The Wild Hunt

...about a reader who got fired when religiously-motivated complaints were made.


Open Thread

Following up on my angsty thread, I'm putting up an open one-card draw thread with the Medicine Cards. These cards help you connect with the animal energies around you and the lessons they have for you.

As always, the tip jar is out. Donate, if you feel so moved. If you can't, or you feel funny about it, simply pay it forward.

Leave a comment for a reading. If you have a specific question, feel free to ask. And if you'd like your reading over private email, just let me know!






Medicine Cards and Reflections

I've mentioned here before that I use several other oracles besides Tarot -- sometimes as an adjunct to Tarot, and sometimes as tools in their own right. My personal favorites have been The Goddess Inspiration Oracle and The Goddess Oracle (by Amy Sophia Marashinsky and Hrana Janto, my copy sadly lost in a move). I like using these -- they speak in my symbolic language and give me good insight.

I've also had a deck of Jamie Sam's and David Carson's Medicine Cards for many years, and while I use them, I've always had a difficult relationship with them. I want to like them, I want to like using them. When I have used them in the past, they have given me good insight. But I get stuck on the way in which they appropriate and misuse Native symbols, and this has been a source of existential angst for me nearly every time I've used them.

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Full Moon Inspiration!

I'm doing something a little different this Full Moon Week! This week, I'll be doing draws off the Goddess Inspiration Oracle deck by Kris Waldherr. This deck isn't Tarot. Rather, it is a deck of different Goddess from around the world. Each card gives you a phrase or affirmation upon which to focus or meditated.

For this Full Moon, I'll pull your Goddess card and, in addition to giving you the phrase or affirmation, give you my impressions. You can ask a specific question, or just use the reading as a focus for the next lunar cycle.

As always, the tip jar is out. Donate if you can. If you can't, or you feel funny about it, simply pay it forward.

Comment below for your reading. If you'd like it over private email, leave me an email address.






Open Thread

This is your open one-card draw thread! I will be reading off the Goddess Tarot by Kris Waldherr. If you'd like a reading, please comment below. I can respond in comments or via private email -- if you'd prefer a private reading, just leave me your email. You can ask a specific question, or simply ask for an overview.

As always, the tip jar is out. Donate if you feel so moved. If you're not able to, or you feel funny about it, I just ask that you pay it forward in some way.







Virtual Readings

I sometimes use the Tarot reading app over at Facebook and post the results to my news feed. A friend of mine commented the other day asking me what I thought of virtual Tarot readings, and that got me to thinking. I've tried many of the Tarot sites out there, with mixed reaction and mixed results. But what do I think about "virtual" readings? As someone who essentially does virtual readings through the open threads on this community, how do I feel about the accuracy of reading in cyberspace versus reading in person? What about over the phone?

Put simply, I think virtual readings can be accurate, or they can be crap. Much of that has to do with the reader -- a competent and skilled reader will be able to produce a good reading no matter what the environment. Do I sometimes have better success reading for someone in person, where I can feel their energy or read their body language? Sure. But I know that I have gotten some very accurate readings via LJ, email, and IM  -- from readers who know me personally, and from readers who don't know me from the Woman in the Moon. I also know (based on feedback) that I've given some very accurate and helpful readings via email, IM, and the open threads in this community. I've also gotten some readings that were stinkers, but they are few and far between. I've never read for anyone over the phone or had a reading done over the phone, but I understand from friends of mine who've done phone readings that they can also be very accurate and helpful. (I am curious if anyone's got experience with readings via sites like Liveperson)

What these types of virtual readings have in common, though, is that there is an actual person pulling the cards and typing up (or relaying in another format) the interpretations. Ideally, the querent can give feedback or ask questions, and there's a dialogue. But even if there isn't any communication beyond the initial card pulls and interpretation, there are still (at least) two actual human beings engaging in the reading.

The sites that generate a virtual reading for you don't have this human touch. That is not to say that they can't be valuable and helpful. I consult the Tarot app on Facebook with regularity. I also pull a Goddess Inspiration card from Kris Waldherr's site nearly every day, and have also gotten Goddess Tarot readings there. Astrocenter delivers my Daily Tarot (complete with their completely overwritten interpretations) every morning. I think that these can be very useful tools. They're a great way to sort of focus your mind for the day or give you something to think about. I've often used them for simple yes/no questions when I don't feel objective enough to read for myself. (And that's a whole other entry for another day.) I like pulling the Goddess Inspiration cards online because it's a great way to set intention for the day. (I work with the physical deck in ritual and meditation as well.)

But I wouldn't trust a virtual reading of this type for anything really important. In those cases, I might get a reading online or over the phone from either a reader I trust or someone recommended by someone I trust, because I want that sense that a human is listening to my question and really hearing me. Even the sites that allow you to type in question are essentially limited to what binary can cough up. And while I've had some startlingly accurate card pulls from virtual decks, there's still something about knowing a real person is there, handling their cards and thinking about the person who will read his or her interpretations, that gives me more confidence.

What do you think? Do you use virtual oracles? Why or why not? Which ones do you think are best? Which ones suck?

Open Thread

This is your open one-card draw thread! I will be reading off the Goddess Tarot by Kris Waldherr. If you'd like a reading, please comment below. I can respond in comments or via private email -- if you'd prefer a private reading, just leave me your email. You can ask a specific question, or simply ask for an overview.

As always, the tip jar is out. Donate if you feel so moved. If you're not able to, or you feel funny about it, I just ask that you pay it forward in some way.





Ruminations on Reading in Public

Last fall and winter saw me doing public readings in a number of settings -- a Haunted Halloween party at the Sammons Arts Center here in Dallas, several rituals and circles hosted by friends where we traded readings, here at dw_divines . Over the nearly 20 years I've been reading Tarot, I've read in settings ranging from private homes to dorm parties, ritual circles to psychic fairs. One thing that never ceases to amaze me is, no matter what the setting or how different the venues are, there are some basic "types" that end up at my table. Some of them are amusing, some are irritating, and some are challenging. I've always been curious to know if other readers encounter the same personalities.

There's the Skeptic, who's there because he or she (and in my experience, more often she) is with friends who encourage him/her to get a reading. The Skeptic thinks that all this Tarot business is a bunch of bullshit, and really wants to trip you up or have you prove him/her right. You know you have a Skeptic when the person sits at your table and tells you "I don't believe in this stuff." The Skeptic will also tell you throughout the reading that what you are saying makes no sense or doesn't apply to them. They will not answer any questions you pose or will give you vague answers. (Me: "Hmmm...are you a Taurus?" Skeptic: "Maybe...." Me: "Did you recently change jobs?" Skeptic: "I don't know, you tell me.") The Skeptic will continue this even when his or her body language tells you that you're onto something. My favorite moment with the Skeptic is when you hit something right on and he or she can't hide it.

And then there's the twin to the Skeptic, the True Believer. The True Believer is not merely someone who believes in the power or usefulness of Tarot. No, the True Believer believes in the inherent truth of anything a person holding any New Age or Pagan tool tells them. My personal feeling is that True Believers are looking for meaning, and so they grasp on to whatever they can find. These are the people who get fleeced by Miss Cleo and spend $150 for a magic healing rock from Peru (that's actually gravel from your driveway). An ethical reader poses no danger to the True Believer, but the unethical see them as goldmines. You know you have a True Believer from the look of wonder that comes over their face. They may also tell you what all the other psychics they've seen recently have told them. The True Believer will nod in agreement no matter what you say. (Me: "So, who's the Leo in your life?" True Believer: "Leo...that's August, right? Well, my boyfriend was born in September, so that's almost the same...OMG, you are so right on.")

Beware the Expert. This is my least favorite type of client, because I don't get to actually do much reading! The Expert is someone who reads Tarot themselves (though not always well) and, rather than wanting to hear what you have to say, wants to show how much more they know about Tarot than you do. Please note, not all people who read Tarot are Experts in this way -- I've read for any number of other readers who were respectful, thoughtful, and wanted to hear my take on a situation. The Expert will interrupt you to tell you "Well, I interpret that card that way." The Expert will exclaim the meaning of a card as soon as you turn it over: "Oh! That means that I'm going to [insert their desired outcome here]!" The Expert will talk over the top of you, and will also refuse to answer any questions you might have or to clarify any information. Much like the Skeptic, the Expert is wanting to trip you, the reader, up. But for the Expert, this is not born of the desire to disprove Tarot -- it is simply the desire to disprove you. I have yet to come up with a good strategy for dealing with an Expert. I'll usually deflect by saying, "Well, the way I interpret that card in this deck is..." However, I have had a couple encounters with Experts where I bluntly asked them if they would prefer to do the reading themselves. I love reading for other readers in general, so it's always disappointing to encounter an Expert. I take every encounter with an Expert as a reminder to be open and listen when it's my turn to get my cards read.

No public reading event would be complete without a visit to my table from the Scaredy Cat. The Scaredy Cat is terrified of Tarot. He or she might be afraid of going to Hell for consulting a psychic. He or she might be afraid that you're going to raise demons or call Satan by reading the cards. But the fear isn't enough to keep the Scaredy Cat away from your table, oh no. You'll know you have a Scaredy Cat because he or she will sit down with wide eyes and clutch the edge of your table with white knuckles. He or she may tell you they are scared or frightened to have a reading. Sometimes the Scaredy Cat is terrified of what the cards may reveal -- in this case, there are shades of True Believer mixed in. Woe to the reader who pulls the Death, Devil, or 10 of Swords card for a Scaredy Cat. It helps to have your "the Death card usually signifies change, not physical death" spiel ready. Scaredy Cats who come from a fundamentalist Christian background will nearly crawl under your table or flee in terror if you pull the Devil. (I once pulled all three, plus the Tower, for a Scaredy Cat. It was not pretty.)

In addition, there's the Seeker, who will probably ask you for your card and if you offer lessons in Tarot; the Mystic, who (like the True Believer) believes in the infallibility of the cards (and the pendulum, and the runes, and the scrying mirror...) but who also wants to impress you with how spiritual he or she is and responds to everything you say with a "mysterious" "Iiiiiinteresting......"; the Giggler, who (as the name suggest) giggles uncontrollably throughout the entire reading, no matter what you pull; the Good Sport, who's only getting his or her cards read because everyone else in the group is, or because someone (usually a girlfriend/boyfriend) has goaded them into it; and the Withholder, who offers you nothing in response -- no body language cues, no verbal feedback, no answers to questions -- and who appears torn between a desire to know what you have to say and a desire to flee. (Many Witholders are also Skeptics, Mystics, or Experts.)

What types have you encountered? What types have you been???

Open Thread

This is your open one-card draw thread! I will be reading off the Goddess Tarot by Kris Waldherr. If you'd like a reading, please comment below. I can respond in comments or via private email -- if you'd prefer a private reading, just leave me your email. You can ask a specific question, or simply ask for an overview.

As always, the tip jar is out. Donate if you feel so moved. If you're not able to, or you feel funny about it, I just ask that you pay it forward in some way.