Z is for Zero #atozchallenge

Fly, fumble or fall  -at least you're moving.

Fly, fumble or fall  -at least you're moving.

The Fool, number Zero in the tarot, is my favorite card, and the Shadowscapes deck is one of my all time favorite decks. I have this print next to my bathroom mirror and I see it every morning. It reminds me to move forward even when I'm afraid. That the only thing holding me back, really, is me.

From Kitchen Table Tarot (by me!):

"Historically, the Fool is the only person the king will listen to. The jester is a beloved character. Notice I didn’t call him a clown. That’s important because clowns have nothing of substance to say, and they’re creepy and vapid to boot (in this author’s opinion). The Fool, on the other hand, has no agenda, no hidden plans or shenanigans up his sleeve. He is guileless. He is honest. He is genuinely happy. Even his dog is happy. He’s the one who told the emperor that he was naked. He is going to move forward, to say what’s on his mind. He’s going to be honest and forthright regardless of the circumstance. In every deck, the Fool is in a precarious position. Think of all of the idioms we have for taking chances: going out on a limb, break a leg, going for broke. These all sound really painful, but what they’re about is deciding that being still is not for you. When you see this in a reading, you’ll know it’s time to jump."

 

Posted on May 7, 2017 and filed under A to Z Blogger Challenge.

Y is for EthonY #atozchallenge

My gateway oracle card

My gateway oracle card

I don't like oracle decks. I've tried reading with them before and they just come across as NOT tarot decks. Kind of floaty and ethereal and meh. 

I kept seeing this deck, though. Jeezy creezy, this fuckin' deck. I saw the picture above and got the Gimme's really really badly. I looked it up, and it was from the Awakened Soul Oracle. Goddamnit. 

I met Ethony at the Northwest Tarot Symposium this year, and she was just brilliant. Funny and engaging, with a great grasp of the cards. All cards. She was nice enough to send me a copy of the Awakened Soul to review, AND she filled out the LFT Questionnaire for us. Enjoy!

Deck review!!!  The Awakened Soul Oracle (ugh i love it) Deck

Artwork - This is a gorgeous, thoughtful deck. The characters are lovely and the colors are bright and engaging. I love the bumblebees on the backs of the cards, too.

Representation - Queer folks AND people of color! Wahoo! Also, the Boy Shaman (age 11) said, "Mom, there are a lot of ladies in this deck, which is great because most tarot decks have mostly dudes."  Well spoken, Boy Shaman!

Cardstock - Very good! God, it's great. And the Boy Shaman said, "OH look at how shiny the edges are! That's a good sign!" I don't expect any stupid foxing from these cards. And the box is also sturdy. Love it.  

The Book! - The book is great. It's got cleaning and charging instructions, how to work with the oracle deck, spreads, and descriptors of the cards. It's also got the Awakened meaning, Shadow meaning, an Affirmation and a Personal Reflection for each card. This helped me navigate the deck a little better, because I'm not comfortable outside of my Arcanas.  The book helped me to stop looking at a card, thinking, "What even does this even mean?", and giving the deck away. 

Shufflability - Kind of stiff at first - hard to shuffle. I imagine after they're broken in it will be fine. They'll bigger, too, so not good for hobbit hands to shuffle off of the table.

Should you buy this deck? Yes. Even though it's not a tarot deck. It's nice, and compliments the tarot beautifully.

LFT Questionnaire!

1.  What you appreciate the most in your friends.

Loyalty and unconditional love. I have a wonderfully diverse group of friends with different religions, background, ages and experiences. It may sound cheesy as, but we still love each other. Having people who are really there for you is priceless.

2.  Your idea of happiness.

As a mum, listening to my son laugh and be happy. Watching him explore and discover the world.  For myself, a hot cup of tea, a tarot deck and book and spending time in nature.

3.  Your idea of misery.

Loneliness.

4.  Your favorite colors and flowers.

Purple is my favorite color and have been for as long as I can remember. All shades of it really. Flowers, anything wild and blooming, I would rather flowers be in the ground than in a vase. I do love Tulips though.

5. Your favorite poets.

Don’t really have any. I love to read, poetry is just not really something I got into. I would rather listen to song lyrics and they can be poetry.

6. Your heroes/heroines in fiction.

Wonder Woman, Hermione, Princess Leia, She-Ra these are all warrior types with wisdom that take no shit.

7.  What role does divination play in your life?

It plays a huge role in my life. I work as a professional Tarot reader, I teach Tarot and I am constantly learning to listen to my own intuition every day.

8.  Your heroes/heroines in real life.

My Dad

9.  What is your present state of mind?

Contemplative

10.  What is your favorite tarot deck or divination tool?

I have so many favorites, typical Gemini! I love the Aura-Soma tarot, the Morgan Greer Tarot and Druidcraft Tarot. But the favorites list would be about 50 long.

11.  Your favorite songs?

Everything I do I do it for you - Bryan Adams

Video - India.Arie

13.  What is your favorite word?

Love

14. What is your least favorite word?

Should

15. What sound or noise do you love?

The ocean, the forest, rain

16. What sound or noise do you hate?

Crying babies, oh man, I can’t handle it. I am always looking around when there is a baby crying. I just want to hold them.

17.  What turns you on?

Intelligence and a good sense of humour

18.  What turns you off?

Ignorance and arrogance

19.  What is your favorite curse word?

C*unt

20.  If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

You will see everyone you love again

Thanks, sweets. It's been lovely. :)

xo - Lis

Posted on May 7, 2017 .

X is for Ex #atozchallenge

ohsnap

ohsnap

First of all, I totally failed the A to Z challenge, because it's May, but I'm no quitter, so you get three more posts to finish this off. :) 

One of the questions I receive most often from clients is, "Will he/she/they come back?"

This is kind of a gallows-humor joke among readers, because it happens SO OFTEN, and most of the time, the answer is no. It's a question that people will go from reader to reader to ask. I've had someone sit in front of me and tell me that I'm the tenth reader they've been to and all they want to know is WHEN will he come back? He left a decade ago, but the pain is so bright and vivid that it feels like yesterday.

I think I've figured this out, guys, and I'd love to hear what you think. I don't think that my clients really expect (or want) their ex back. I think that they want the person they were when they met their ex to come back. They were idealistic, happy and focused. They had a new relationship in front of them that felt like The Right Thing. They were in love and engaged. Then, things went weird, in whatever fashion. 

After the breakup, not only do they have to carry around the heartache of a broken relationship, but they've spent the last weeks, months, or years invested in a person and a relationship that's just gone. All of that time. All of that energy poured into a Maybe Life that just didn't work out. This is the Five of Cups, you guys. This is grief.

It's not just the grief of the lost partner, however shiny they might have been. This is grief about the shininess that lived in them when they first found their someone. It's hard to get back to yourself when you pull away from a partner. Separating from your Person can sometimes take bits of skin with it. 

My advice to my clients, is to be sad for a while. To lay on the couch and watch Girls and eat a lot of BabyBel cheese (that's what I do). And then when they're ready to get up, they start dating themselves. They pour that energy and love into doing what they want to do. Into taking good care of themselves. When I talk with them a while later, I find that they're the ones who came back - better than ever.

xo LIS

 

 

Posted on May 2, 2017 .

W is for wallet #atozchallenge

...yet.

...yet.

As I sit amongst the vendor tables at Reader's Studio 2017, I remind myself that I DON'T NEED another tarot deck. I really don't.

I got to hang out with Terry Iacuzzo last night, who I'm delighted to say has become a friend. She introduced her to her brother, Frank Andrews, who read for John and Yoko and has been reading for 50 years. He still uses his first deck. It's held together by cellophane tape and prayer, but he has one deck and he still reads on occasion.  I think that Terry has two decks.

I have like 75. That's bananas. I use maybe 20 of them regularly. Now, one could argue that decks are the only thing I collect, and that they're tools for my job. One could also argue that I'm a magpie and just want to die surrounded by tarot decks. Both are valid.

The point is that you don't NEED a piled of decks. It's not a competition. (IF it were, Mary K. Mothafuckin Greer wins. Trust me) Find a few decks that you trust and don't worry about spending money unnecessarily.

xoxo Lis

Posted on April 29, 2017 and filed under A to Z Blogger Challenge, Tarot.

V is for Vivid Journey Tarot #atozchallenge

Pretty!

Pretty!

I got a copy of the Vivid Journey deck from Llewellyn for review and I busted it out to play with immediately. It's a pretty good deck! Here is the review:

Artwork - The artwork is just beautiful. It's reminiscent of children's books, and it felt very comforting. I liked the bright colors and smiling faces. Nicely done.  

The Suits - This is a gentle deck - I think it would be great for parties! The Devil card is handsome. The Chariot rider has a chin dimple. It's charming. 

Representation - There are queer folks, but like one person of color, and that person was light beige. I think more attention could have been paid to representation. That was a bit disappointing.

Cardstock - Surprisingly good! I"m getting used to crappy cardstock, but this is good. It is thin, but sturdy and I don't think it will fox on the edges. It feels good. Mid to large size.  

The Book! - I haven't had time yet to read the book, but it's bigger than an LWB. 

Shufflability - Perfect. 

Should you buy this deck? Yes. It's nice, sturdy and would be a great party deck. 

xo! Lis

Posted on April 28, 2017 and filed under A to Z Blogger Challenge, Review, Tarot.

U is for Unpleasant #atozchallenge

Sometimes, life sticks Cheerios to your face and you just need to deal with it and move on

Sometimes, life sticks Cheerios to your face and you just need to deal with it and move on

I was going to write about Uusi, the company that makes the Pagan Otherworlds Tarot. This is an amazing deck and you should get it and also get all of the other stuff they make.

I decided to write about Unpleasant things because of facebook. And I'm a bit cranky this morning, so here we go, kids.

There is a thing on Facebook right now - you list 9 bands you've seen and one you haven't and your friends have to guess which is the band you haven't seen. I love bands and music. I love my friends. Facebook is meant to be a fun way to interact with your friends. 

AND YET. I keep seeing people being UNPLEASANT about this. Why? What is the point of sneering at other people's fun. Don't like it? Don't engage. Don't play. Shut up and sit over there and be a cranky pants on your own time. It's not fuckin mandatory.

I could add something here about tarot readers, but I think this applies to everyone. I'mma tell you what I tell the kids.  And btw - my kids are 11 and 13 and don't whine half as much as some grown-ass people I know. I'm just sayin. You ready?

Stop talking about shit that you don't like. It's easy, nihilistic and boring. 

Talk about shit that you DO like. That stuff is magical and will light up a room.

Now, go play with your friends and stop whining so goddamned much. Aunt Lis is has had it with your ridiculous negativity. Lighten the fuck up.

xo Lis

Posted on April 27, 2017 and filed under A to Z Blogger Challenge.

T is for The Bonefire Tarot

Lookin' right in your soul. No bigs.

Lookin' right in your soul. No bigs.

So, I have discovered that I have a superpower. This has been a long time in the making. I’ve gotten tarot books and decks for review before, and I even write reviews for muggle books in my spare time. I have developed relationships with a few publishers, and am very careful to be respectful of those relationships. 

Then I saw this deck – the Bonefire Tarot – and I swear to all the gods my brain was taken up by the GimmeGimmeGimme’s! Gimme that deck! I took a deep breath, and respectfully reached out to Schiffer Publishing and asked if I could have a copy for review. THEY SAID YES.

NOW, I promise not to abuse this super power. I will faithfully review every deck that comes my way. That said, this one is pretty great.

Here is the review, broken down on attributes based on my kid's suggestion. She's a pretty smart kid.

Artwork - My daughter, Monkey (13) said that it looked like a weird version of Lisa Frank. Her Auntie brought it on home by saying, "You mean it's like Lisa Frank on acid - but you don't have that frame of reference". So, yes. Lisa Frank on acid.  

That said, these are lush, beautiful cards. They're made for the weirdos (you know who you are) and they reach in and make you wake up a bit. The iconography within the cards, and the cool as hell tattoos are fantastic.

The Suits - The Wands are represented by pinecones, and they're lovely, but I first thought that they were Flaming Pineapples, so there we are. I love the Flaming Pineapples suit. I love the layers of meaning in even the Minor cards. Generally, Minors are basic and all of the intrigue is handled in Majors. Coins, Cups and Swords join the Flaming Pineapples in the Minors.

The Majors are intense. Some of the cards made me uncomfortable, which was great. I love decks that make you squirm. 

Representation - There are both queer folks and people of color! Hot damn.

Cardstock - Garbage. I mean, standard mass-produced tarot card stock. Regrettably, a lot of decks (like 90% of them) have this thinner cardstock that ensures that I'll have to replace my deck in five years. It especially sucks for black decks, becauses the foxing makes the edges look like crap. Honestly, my only disappointment with this deck. 

If you are not a professional reader, this won't be a big deal. I use my decks EVERY DAY, and I let other folks shuffle my cards, so you know. It might just be me.

The Book! - There is a book and it's not just the standard Little White Book. It's detailed and the artist explains some of her choices, which adds depth to the readings. There is even a glossary, which is excellent. Thumbs up for the book!

Shufflability (fuck off, it's a word)- These are big cards. My poor friend with her tiny, stubby, Irish fingers (we call her Knuckles). She and the kid had shuffle them on the table. They're wide. Now, I don't have a problem with it, because I don't have tiny hands, and I find that larger cards make the shuffling more deliberate. 

Should you buy this deck? Yes. And get another one for later. 

xo! Lis

Posted on April 25, 2017 and filed under A to Z Blogger Challenge, Tarot, Review.

S is for Shuffling #atozchallenge

Chunk is my spirit guide today.

Chunk is my spirit guide today.

When I do a reading for clients, I ask them to shuffle until they feel finished. This lasts anywhere for a few seconds to 10 full minutes. The client meditated over the cards for a long, long, time and used her pendulum to choose which stack to read from. It was...thorough.  Other folks just rest their hands on the decks and tell me to go.

Anyway, the reason I ask my clients to shuffle the cards is because it's rhythmic and relaxing. A lot of folks are nervous before readings so it gives them something to do. After the first spread, I shuffle the cards myself. They usually play with the rocks that I bring (also for calming) while I finish the reading. 

S is also for sick, which I am. B is for Bronchitis. S is for Short post today. 

xo Lis

Posted on April 20, 2017 and filed under A to Z Blogger Challenge, Tarot.

R is for Relax #atozchallenge

This is for Ellie. xo

This is for Ellie. xo

My amazing friend, Byrne, sent me a note on Facebook this week after reading my book. (Did you guys know I wrote a book? I did. You can find it here. And here. And here.)

She said that she read that book and I aligned the Swords with Air and the Wands with Fire and SHE thought that Swords went with Fire and Wands went with Air and what the hell?

My answer is - you do you. Seriously. If that's how tarot cards make sense to you - do that thing. I think that the 9 of Pentacles is smug. Yeah, I said it! Smug! Most people see her as satisfied and earning a break. I think she's a jerk. It's honestly ok to disagree with me. I'm fine. 

I have made up spreads on the spot, and they work because I believe in them. I've decided I can use my Heart of Stars tarot without the Devil card, because Carrie Fisher signed it and I can't use it anymore, but I love the deck. So I decided I could use it anyway. And you know what? It works.

So relax, please. Realize that you're the engine behind the cards. They're just pretty pieces of paper without you. Remember who is in charge of the reading, take a deep breath, and do your thing.

xo Lis

Posted on April 19, 2017 and filed under A to Z Blogger Challenge, Tarot.

Q is for Queer #atozchallenge

Super Gay.

Super Gay.

When I first started doing readings professionally in the early 90's, I still had to do the Pronoun Game with some of my clients. "So this person that you love, they have feelings for you but they aren't able to....."  A few times, I would just stop in the middle of the reading and say, "Ok, can we just talk about this?" I was always very cautious, though, because coming out is personal, and some folks have been afraid for their lives for their ENTIRE lives, and you just don't out someone (even to themselves). You just don't.

As the decades have gone by, it's been more and more important to me to be a strong advocate for the queer community. I've done a lot of readings for folks who are transitioning, and who are struggling with family issues because of their sexuality, gender identity or gender expression. Tarot readers are able to see people - really see people. We can be a safe place for folks to explore feelings and experiences that are difficult to navigate alone. 

I think that we have a responsibility to our community to welcome those on the margins. Tarot readers are weirdos, after all, but we are weirdos with power. I encourage my fellow readers to use their power for good and to be a strong voice, advocate and ally to the Queer community. 

Here are a few ways we can do just that:

1. Use deck with queer imagery.

Asali has this great list of decks with Queer characters, as well as People of Color. 

2.  Have numbers for crisis hotlines at hand when you do readings:

  • http://www.thetrevorproject.org/  866-488-7386
  • https://www.translifeline.org/  US: (877) 565-8860 Canada: (877) 330-6366
  • http://www.glbthotline.org/talkline.html 1-800-246-7743
  • http://www.glbthotline.org/national-hotline.html  1-888-843-4564

3. Educate yourself.

If you are not comfortable with or familiar with the language associated with LGBTQ folks, do some research.  http://www.hrc.org/resources/glossary-of-terms

4. Study the cards through a new perspective.

Beth Maiden and crew from Little Red Tarot have a great series called Queering the Tarot. This series by Cassandra Snow looks at each card through a queer lens. 

5. Remember, your job is to LISTEN and give your clients a safe space to express themselves.

Just listen. Just be there. That means the world.

xo! 
Lis

Posted on April 18, 2017 and filed under A to Z Blogger Challenge, Queer.