Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

Leeza sent me this book because she's my friend and I would still give it 5 stars if she weren't.

Leeza sent me this book because she's my friend and I would still give it 5 stars if she weren't.

Tarot Court Cards For Beginners taught this reader some new tricks. I learned tarot mostly by intuition and inferring knowledge from the cards. So, I never really took time to look up the history of the cards. I LOVED this book and learned so much about those damned court cards.

When I first learned, i was convinced that the card I chose had to align with a person. Just like the books said - there was a dark haired man in the future. Even if there really wasn't. I had to give myself permission to stray away from these absolutes and it took forever. 

My favorite part of this book (besides the conversational tone that Leeza writes with) is the breakdown of the different ways you can apply the cards. "As a person", "As an archetypal influence", "As a spiritual influence", and "As a messenger". For someone just starting out, knowing HOW to use the cards in different types of readings is priceless. I love this book, and I wish I'd had it 29 years ago.

I received this book from Weiser Books. Thanks, guys!

I received this book from Weiser Books. Thanks, guys!

I've been interested in learning about Santa Muerte for a long time. I've always been fascinated with different aspects of the goddess and with Mary. Also, my husband is Mexican, and I love learning about his heritage.  Also, it's cool.

This is a well written, easy to follow book that delves into the history of Santa Muerte, different communities perspectives of her, and how to honor her. I loved folk magic and the intertwining of religion and spirit that happens sometimes. Usually when white people shove their religions on indigenous folks, but that's none of my business. (sips tea)

Rollin teaches about each aspect of Santa Muerte, what their favorite offerings are, and rituals and prayers specific to each. 

Although I don't pray to Santa Muerte, I appreciate the beauty and badassery of this lady, and so enjoyed getting to know her better. 

xo Lis

Shiny! Let's be bad guys - Pop Goes the Tarot - Firefly Edition

Wherein Melissa matches Firefly characters with the Major Arcana.

Wherein Melissa matches Firefly characters with the Major Arcana.

My web and graphics designer, Jake, LOVES Firefly, and I love Firefly AND Jake, so this is for both of us. (but mostly Jake)

The Fool - Jayne Cobb

The Fool - Jayne Cobb

"Time for some thrilling heroics" Our Jane is as likely to jump to the aid of his Serenity crew, as he is to jump to the other team. He *seems* to have good intent....most of the time.

The Magician - Malcolm Reynolds

The Magician - Malcolm Reynolds

"Fully loaded, safety off. This here is a recipe for unpleasantness, does she understand that?" The Magician lives his life fully loaded, safety off. He has studied and practiced and been through it so that he can walk with confidence. And swagger. And a pretty floral bonnet.

The High Priestess - River Tam

The High Priestess - River Tam

"Two by two, hands of blue…" Like River, the High Priestess carries within her the gift and curse of Seeing. It can be a terrible burden, and it can save the world. 

The Empress - Inara Serra

The Empress - Inara Serra

"I wanted to see the Universe." The Empress is wholly present in the skin she's in. She's composed in difficult circumstances, and can help you forget your troubles for a while.

The Emperor - Sheriff Bourne

The Emperor - Sheriff Bourne

"You were truthful back in town. These are tough times. A man can get a job. He might not look too close at what that job is. But a man learns all the details of a situation like ours... well... then he has a choice."

The Hierophant - Dr. Caron

The Hierophant - Dr. Caron

"These are just a few of the images we've recorded." The Hierophant holds the key to the Truth. It is a heavy responsiblity to carry Truth around with you.

The Lovers - Saffron/Yolanda/Bridget/Mrs. Malcolm

The Lovers - Saffron/Yolanda/Bridget/Mrs. Malcolm

"Everybody plays each other. That's all anybody ever does. We play parts." The white hot intensity of the Lovers cards has to have a back up plan or it goes up in flames. Saffron is intense, all right. 

The Chariot - Hoban Washburne

The Chariot - Hoban Washburne

“I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar.” Sorry *sniff* it's still too hard to talk about. 

Strength - Zoe Washburne

Strength - Zoe Washburne

"What does that make us?" "Big damn heroes, sir." Zoe is Malcolm's right hand. She supports him, protects him, and slaps him in the back of the head when he's being an idiot.  

The Hermit - Shepherd Derrial Book

The Hermit - Shepherd Derrial Book

"I am a shepherd". But what does a shepherd do when he walks away from his flock? He dives deep within and rediscovers himself. And usually finds himself surrounded by a whole new flock when he lifts his head and looks around.

The Wheel of Fortune - Simon Tam

The Wheel of Fortune - Simon Tam

"This is my sister." Simon covers the whole of the Wheel of Fortune in a matter of days. Doctor and bon vivant to fugitive. Enemy of the state to beloved brother. 

Justice - Patience

Justice - Patience

Zoë: Sir, we don't wanna deal with Patience again.

Mal: Why not?

Zoë: She shot you.

Mal: Well, yeah. She did a bit. Still...

The Hanged Man - Gabriel and Regan Tam

The Hanged Man - Gabriel and Regan Tam

What if you just did nothing? Sometimes good, sometimes bad.

Death - Dr. Mathias

Death - Dr. Mathias

"I wonder if..." Death doesn't consider situations and people when it sweeps by you. It has its own agenda and doesn't care how you feel about it.

Temperance - Serenity

Temperance - Serenity

"You can learn all the math in the 'Verse, but you take a boat in the air that you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds."  A place to find your balance.

The Devil - Dr. Niska

The Devil - Dr. Niska

"You know what is reputation? Is people talking, is gossip. I also have reputation; not so pleasant, I think you know." You know the Devil when you see him.

The Tower - Atherton Wing

The Tower - Atherton Wing

Atherton Wing : Well, get ready to starve. I'll see to it you never work again.

Inara : Actually, that's not how it works. You see, you've earned yourself a black mark in the client registry. No companion is going to contract with you ever again.

You know that thing when you think you're in control and then the world crumbles under your feet? And you get stabbed a few times?

The Star -Fess Higgins

The Star -Fess Higgins

Gentle Fess got where he needed to be without becoming his father.

"You wanted to make a man out of me, Dad. I guess it worked."

The Moon - Badger

The Moon - Badger

"You're talkin' loud enough for the both of us, though, ain't ya? I've met a dozen like you. Skipped off-home early. Minor graft jobs here and there. Spent some time in the lockdown, but less than you claim. And you're, what, a petty thief with delusions standing? Sad little king of a sad little hill." Badger is ruled by fear.

The Sun - Kaylee Frye

The Sun - Kaylee Frye

"Everything's shiny, Cap'n. Not to fret.

Judgment - The Operative

Judgment - The Operative

"I don’t think of myself as a lion. You might as well though. I have a mighty roar."

The World - Mr. Universe

The World - Mr. Universe

"Can't stop the signal, Mal. Everything goes somewhere, and I go everywhere."

I hope you enjoyed this. Let me know which fandom I should tackle next!

Also, all pictures were shamelessly lifted from the internet. I don't hold the copywrite for any of them. 

“When I seek another word for ‘music’, I never find any other word than ‘Venice’.” Friedrich Nietzsche

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I received the Venetian Tarot from Eugene Vinitski, the artist behind this beautiful deck. It isn't often that I'm surprised by tarot. I've seen hundreds of decks, and it's been a while since i've been completely delighted by every facet of a new deck. 

The cardstock is an absolute dream. Its gold embossed on the sides and the paper FEELS good in your hands. It's thicker, so it makes shuffling more deliberate, which I like.

The artwork is astoundingly beautiful. It's based on 16th-18th century Venetian dress and the characters are wearing Carnival masks. Based on the RWS deck, the deck aligns well with the meanings of the traditional tarot, with the detailing of the dress and position of the characters echoing the base meaning of the cards. It has an extra layer - almost like stage craft - presentation of the characters we know and love. The symbols of the suits are at the bottom of the card, tucked under a curtain. 

I've found that this aspect forces you to look at the entirety of the card - not just seeing it and recognizing, "Oh, that's the Five of Cups". You look at the details and pull them into your ready.

In looking through the deck, I see only white faces beneath those masks. Considering the period they're taken from, this is not a surprise, but I am always hopeful.

This deck is truly a work of art, and it's a pleasure to read with. I'm going to stop talking about it and share as many pictures as I dare. I hope you love it as much as I.

Thanks, Eugene, for my new favorite deck.

xo Lis

Book Reviews! Arwen and Rumi!

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Arwen Lynch is an author, the editor of the Cartomancer, and an amazing tarot reader. She's also my buddy, which makes me just light up. Arwen wrote a book called Mapping the Hero's Journey with Tarot: 33 Days to finish your book. It's a wonderful resource based on the Hero's Journey as laid out by big daddy Joseph Campbell. With this book, Arwen teaches us how to use tarot cards to develop characters, plot points and storylines. I used it while writing my new book, and it's such a lovely new way to use my cards! 

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Rumi's Little Book of Love and Laughter is full of Rumi's short stories and fables. I love little collections like this to use as a reference when I need a pick me up, or to do a little bibliomancy. You grab a book, ask what you need to hear, and flip to a random page. Here is the wisdom I found today, 

Awe is the salve that will heal our eyes.

Beautiful.

I hope you take time to pick up these lovely books. Thanks to Red Wheel/Weiser and Arwen for the new friends.

xoxo! 

Lis

Unicorn + Psychic = Unicorn Psychic? -Pamela Chen

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My friend, Leeza asked me to check out a deck from HER friend, Pamela Chen. She said it was called the "Crystal Unicorn Tarot", and I believe my answer was something like "Oh, holy shit yes!"

I'm always cautious, however, that cute decks are insubstantial when it comes to reading. I mean, they look pretty, but they don't really resonate with the tarot meanings, and they turn out to be just cute pieces of art.

Luckily, the Crystal Unicorn tarot is both an adorable deck (the Ace of Cups is held up by a Unicorn Hoof, for Christ's sake), AND it reads like a dream. I did a reading for myself and one for a client, and they were both accurate and meaningful, while being just cute as a button. 

Card Stock - Awesome! Thick but not utterly inflexible. Really great to shuffle.

Representation - There are only two human faces in it, and one of them is a person of color.  NOW, IF THERE IS EQUAL REPRESENTATION IN A GODDAMNED UNICORN TAROT, I DON'T WANT TO HEAR IT ABOUT ANY OTHER DECK THAT CAN'T BE BOTHERED.

 I have strong feelings about this. 

The creator of this little punkin of a deck is Ms. Pamela Chen, who can be found at the links at the bottom of the LFT Questionnaire. 

xo! Lis

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LFT Questionnaire

What you appreciate the most in your friends. 

I appreciate that they understand my uniqueness and do not judge me. I can walk around in a Unicorn onsie and they would still hang out with me, even join me!

Your idea of happiness. 

My idea of happiness is being free to pursue my passions. Able to do whatever I truly desire.

Your idea of misery.

Being controlled and stuck, unable to move forward in life. Also being sick and hurting.

Where would you like to live?

Mmmm, I live in Vegas and I actually love it here and I love my house. I don’t know where else I would move to at this moment!

Your favorite colors and flowers.

My favorite color is pink and really anything pastel. I don’t really have a favorite flower, but I love lavender (does that count)?

Your favorite poets.

Poets huh? I guess Shakespeare? I love theater and really enjoyed Tempest and Midsummer Nights Dream.

Your heroes/heroines in fiction.

Mostly read paranormal romance, I love a strong heroine that has magical powers! 

What role does divination play in your life?

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So important to me. I have all sorts of divining tools like tarot and crystals for one and it’s totally a part of my business.

Your heroes/heroines in real life.

I dont think I have a hero/heroine in my real life, there are definitely people I really look up to like my coaches and mentors though. 

What is your present state of mind?

Right now I am really focused on my own health and achieving all my business goals for 2018. 

What is your favorite tarot deck or divination tool?

My favorite tarot deck is of course my Crystal Unicorn Tarot, but before that I loved using the Gummi Bear Tarot. 

Your favorite songs?

Im not really a song person haha, but every time I go crystal shopping with my biz partner she always has a new playlist and I always love one of her songs on the list. I can’t tell you the songs name or singer because it’s all not main stream!

What is your favorite word?

Unicorn.

What is your least favorite word?

When people say REALLY? Haha Im like yes really. 

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What sound or noise do you love?

I love the sound of rain. 

What sound or noise do you hate?

I dont like loud base, especially in a car, it hurts my ears!

What turns you on?

Anything sparkly and glittery, I can stare at it for dayyyyys.

What turns you off?

Stinky stuff. I have a sensitive nose so when something or someone stinks I can totally smell it!

What is your favorite curse word?

I probably use Shit the most haha. Like oh shit! 

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

Welcome to paradise! 

Instagram.com/pamelamermaid 

Instagram.com/lunaprosperity

Facebook.com/psychicdoll 

I hope this deck finds you well ❤ - Taylor Haigh

Well, hello, lovely.

Well, hello, lovely.

I got the Fox Tarot as a gift from my love, Jaymi Elford. I seem to draw Foxen things to myself (I'm not mad about it) and this is the first Fox themed deck that I've found. It's just lovely. It's astrology based, which is not my jam, but you can read the deck without the astrology aspect coming into play AND if you are an astrology nerd, you are all set. 

Card Stock - It's thick! It's stiff and doesn't shuffle easily at first. The thing I like about this is that it's not going to tear and get all fucked up on the edges like thinner cardstock decks. The thing that bothers me is that it hurts a bit when I first had the deck. the more I use it, though, the better it feels.

Representation - not really an issue as the artwork is line drawings of animals and astrological symbols.

Artwork - This is one of the few black and white decks that I really dig. I think that the artwork lends itself to black, gray and white, and this one cat who shoots lasers out of its eyes and also there is a frog. 

The creator of the Fox Tarot is Taylor Haigh. You can find more about Taylor, her artwork and life with critters on an island in Canada in the links below, and in the Questionnaire. 

xo Lis

LFT Questionnaire

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What you appreciate the most in your friends.

Understanding. That they accept me at face value and are there to support me when I need it, and vice versa.

Your idea of happiness.

Freedom to do the things I want to do.

Your idea of misery.

Feeling trapped. Being unhappy about your circumstances but having no power to change them is pretty brutal.

Your favorite colors and flowers.

I’m really into lavender and dark turquoise right now. I’ve also always loved olive green. I have so many favourite flowers; dahlias are beautiful, and blue corn flowers are pretty neat as well.

Your favorite poets.

Sylvia Plath, Dorothy parker, Rupi Kaur, Adrienne Rich, Anne Sexton, Warsan Shire, Liz Howard.

Your heroes/heroines in fiction.

My favourite fictional heroines will always be Hermione Granger, Dana Scully, Buffy Summers, Elaine Benes, Lisa Simpson and Tina Belcher.

What role does divination play in your life?

I like to use divination (mostly tarot) to ask myself questions about what is going on with me at any given time. I feel the keywords associated with the cards I draw can shed new light on scenarios in my life and bring up thoughts and ideas that I otherwise may not have had.

Your heroes/heroines in real life.

Octavia E. Butler, Rose McGowan, Amy Goodman, Alice Sheldon/James Tiptree Jr

What is your present state of mind?

Positivity.

What is your favorite tarot deck or divination tool?

I have become really attached to my own deck actually haha. I also love the Starchild Tarot, Pagan Otherworlds, Holly Simple’s work and the traditional Rider-Waite-Smith

Your favorite songs?

Too many. The Day I Tried to Live by Soundgarden, Ghost by Banks, Sisters by A Tribe Called Red

What is your favorite word?

I don’t think I could pick just one!

What is your least favorite word?

Moist.

What sound or noise do you love?

Forest ambiance.

What sound or noise do you hate?

The sound of crowded public space.

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What turns you on?

Intelligence.

What turns you off?

People who are judgemental.

What is your favorite curse word?

Smeghead.

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

Right this way to the VIP section.x

IG: @THEFOXTAROT + @FOXONANISLAND

BLOG: FOXONANISLAND.COM

THEFOXTAROT.TUMBLR.COM

FACEBOOK.COM/THEFOXTAROT

FOXONANISLAND.ETSY.COM

Blessed are the Spirit Walkers - Jonathan Emmett

I met Jonathan Emmett online through my buddy Ryan. He's a local (to me) guy, living in Southern Missouri, with a penchant for Buzz Lightyear curtains and Minions. If you are like me and enjoy a lot of silly in your shamans, you'll like Jonathan just as much as I do.

Do you know the thing when you scroll past something, your brain turns into exclamation points and you scroll past? This happened with one of Jonathan's pieces of jewelry. There I was, minding my own business, and i had to redirect all of my attention to this piece of jewelry.

There is jewelry, and then there is spirit led jewelry. I have a few pieces (my wedding ring, and pentacle necklace) from another artist, Aidan Wachter. His pieces are made deliberately, with ceremony, and it doesn't go away. Jonathan is an artist like that. It's not just a pretty pendant. It's something sacred that you carry with you.  The magic stays. Jonathan talks about this metal and stone as if they are his friends - and they probably are. He has, from my observation, some deep rooted magic and he leaves a bit in each piece he crafts.

 

LFT Questionnaire

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What you appreciate the most in your friends.

Gosh, my friends have some of the best attributes, but probably the kindness.  Always willing to help one another.  I think it’s important to give when you can in anyway you can.  Giving is not always about money, the gift of time is far more valuable. 

Your idea of happiness.
Yikes so many possible answers here.  Recently I have been missing family time, ya know when you get a pizza, rent some movies, and crash for the evening.  That’s good stuff. I don't get to crash much anymore. 

Your idea of misery.
A life without love.. that would be miserable. 

Your favorite colors and flowers.
Probably earth tones, mostly.  I wear gray a lot, I mean a lot.  Blues, greens, reds, whatever..   As far as flowers, shit I don’t know there are so many of those as well. ha ha Uh, if I had to pick probably Coneflowers. 

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Your favorite poets.   
I’m not really into poetry.. that shit makes me wanna throw things. 

Your heroes/heroines in fiction.

Wolverine and Storm. lol

What role does divination play in your life?
    
Well it used to play a larger role than it does now because I made money doing it, but I got burned out.  I have considered going back into it, but probably won’t.  However, from a personal perspective I pay attention to signs every day.  I read my cards from time to time, but I have found that Spirit will let you know what you need to know when you need to know it, without the cards. 

Your heroes/heroines in real life.
My mom, the herb Granni, she is an amazing person.  Always willing to help people.  Plus she makes a mean pumpkin pie. 

What is your present state of mind?
Currently I’m tired.. lol but it’s 7am.  Stressed probably at the state of things in this world. 

What is your favorite tarot deck or divination tool?

Deck is playing cards, simple and effective without all the fluff.  Favorite tool is me.. I learned doing paranormal work that the very best tool a person can use is their body.. 

Your favorite songs?

Southern Cross by Crosby Stills Nash.

What is your favorite word?
    
Probably shit, damn or fuck.. depends on the situation. 

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What is your least favorite word?

The “N” word is probably my least favorite word ever. 

What sound or noise do you love?

The sound of nature.. yeah I know not a particular sound, but a song in itself. 

What sound or noise do you hate?

The voices of some people. lol

What turns you on? 

True intellect, not just book smarts, but someone that can talk about life from a deeper perspective.  Someone that takes care of themselves, not only physically, but spiritually. That look.. I don't even know how to put that in words.. 

What turns you off?
Refer to 16, the opposite of that. 

What is your favorite curse word?
Refer to 12, I covered them there. 

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

Turn around mother fucker you are in the wrong spot. lol
 

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You can find Jonathan's gorgeous work here:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/emmettsilverworks

 

It is my hope that this deck will cause a literal butterfly effect - one that will resonate positivity, love, and hope to women everywhere. - Eva DuPlan

Well, these are just flippin' adorable.

Well, these are just flippin' adorable.

I get a number of emails from folks asking me to look at their decks or books or Kickstarters for these. I always check them out, and if they speak to me, I like to support the kickstarter, or review the deck or book, or jump up and down and post about it on my blog. 
 

With this deck, by Eva DuPlan, made me want to do all three. There was jumping. There is going to be supporting, and here's the post.

I love this playful, gorgeous deck SO much. I love the representation, I love the cool interpretations of the cards, and I love the art. The kickstarter begins on December 1st - and you can find it here.  Keep reading to find out more about Eva, and to see more cards from the upcoming Butterfly Effect tarot.

LFT Questionnaire

What you appreciate the most in your friends.
I appreciate kindness... openness... and love. Having friends who can be there whenever you need them, to be your rock and your shoulder to cry on, to be the source of inspiration... those are the best friends you could ever need. As an introvert, I appreciate the friends I can be with for hours on end and never feel drained. 

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Your idea of happiness.
Happiness is a warm blanket on a cold afternoon - a cup of your favorite tea and laughing at silly videos with the people you love most. It's sitting around a campfire with the most amazing people and laughing and crying at stories. It's listening to beautiful music or silly music you just want to dance and sing your heart out to. It's a thunderstorm at night, the low rumbles vibrating in your heart and soul.

Your idea of misery.
When you're in so much pain that you can't even get out of bed... misery is when everything feels like it's crumbling around you. The feelings of failure over every little thing you've done. The little things that worm into your brain that tell you 'you can't do it' over and over and over again. Feeling stuck with no way to get out. 

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Your favorite colors and flowers.
My favorite colors are green and purple - specifically a seafoamy teal green and a calming shade of lavender. My favorite flowers are lavender, roses, and jasmine. 

Your favorite poets.
Christina Rossetti, Alfred Noyes, Lord Byron, Lord Alfred Tennyson

Your heroes/heroines in fiction.
Harry from The Blue Sword, Aerin from The Hero and the Crown, Black Canary, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers version), Jane Eyre, Elizabeth Bennett

What role does divination play in your life?
I use it as a tool to guide me through life - it helps me find an answer to difficult choices or questions. Divination, especially Tarot, helps me to find peace among chaos - a third party to draw advice from.

Your heroes/heroines in real life.
My mother, my father, and my husband

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What is your present state of mind?
Somewhat calm, somewhat anxious, as per usual for me.

What is your favorite tarot deck or divination tool?
My favorite deck so far is The Golden Tarot of the Tsar. 

Your favorite songs?
Blood, Sweat, and Tears by BTS, God Went North by Nothing More, Losing It by Rush, Fireflies by Owl City, Du Lugst by Oomph

What is your favorite word?
Butterfly 

What is your least favorite word?
Actually 

What sound or noise do you love?
Thunder

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What sound or noise do you hate?
High pitched sounds

What turns you on?
Genuine, whole-hearted Laughter

What turns you off?
Uppityness and know-it-all attitudes

If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
You were an amazing artist who changed the world

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www.evaduplanart.com - portfolio

bit.ly/butterflytarot - the kickstarter 

www.instagram.com/evaduplanart -  instagram

www.facebook.com/evaduplanart -  facebook

Tarot: Support for empowered living - Siobhan

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I think I first found Siobhan on the ever-giving wondrous blog of Beth Maiden at littleredtarot.com. I am always ready to learn, and Siobhan's writing about tarot, life, and one of my favorite articles about how to be an earnest ally.

If you haven't yet, go to her website and just start reading. She's insightful, funny and I have a gigantic crush on her. That's probably not relevant, but here we are. :)

Siobhan filled out the questionnaire for us. I hope you take the time to get to know her and her wonderful work. 

LFT Questionnaire


What you appreciate the most in your friends.
I love how friends can show you when you’re full of it. We go through life believing all kinds of nonsense and if it weren't for trustworthy bystanders willing to call us out on it, where would we be? It’s especially interesting to hear old friends from years ago mirror back who you were, oh say, a decade or two ago. This can be real eye-opening. They often see qualities that you can't. And they sometimes see qualities that are no longer there, showing you how far you've come. There are few better reminders of the roles we play in life and how impermanent those roles really are. When these friends are maintain similar interests over they years and grow with you, you’re kinda set. 

Your idea of happiness.
Happiness is the soft explosion in the mouth when I bite into The Delicious Thing, and I lose myself in all its parts. It’s the pleasant smell wafting up. It’s the party on my tongue. And it’s also the slight swelling in my throat and face when The Delicious Thing trips the alarm in the body that says don’teatthatdonteatthat. The subsequent discomfort. It’s the year I spend remembering The Delicious Thing, but not eating it. It’s the memory of having eaten it. It’s other things too of course, but the pattern often repeats of consumption, alarm, memory, abstinence. It’s kind of a trap. I’ll be damned if it isn’t entertaining though. 


Your idea of misery.
Misery is believing that I am the voice in my head. Making that voice my world and my god. Living closest always to thoughts. Misery is believing my “self.” Misery is forgetting that happiness, and everything else in reality, ends. It’s trusting the fearful stories I tell in my head about what it means that everything ends.


Your favorite colors and flowers.
I’m partial to the teal of rainbow obsidian. I’m partial to the purple in amethyst after you rinse it in cold water, the same purple you find in sunsets in Texas in August alongside outrageous corals. I like the corals too. I don’t know how to feel about flowers. I think I like the ones that smell like a whisper instead of a shout. Does that count?


Your favorite poets.
Oh man. Some of my favorite poets are random people I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing live. A guy named Zev. Another named Matt. Someone who went by Mira from Cali. Intikana. Sierra. You probably mean poets everybody might know. Right. A different kind of timeless. Langston. Angelou. Dickinson. William Carlos Williams. Saul  the-other-Williams. The truth is, I haven’t read enough poems to answer this question. I’ve forgotten the names of more poets I loved than I remember. It would take a lifetime of study to answer in earnest and now and then I wonder if that’s what I ought to be doing with myself even right now…


Your heroes/heroines in fiction.
Aeon Flux is my hero. She’s an animated character created by Peter Chung from a show that used to come on late at night in the 90s on MTV. She’s queer, intense, kinky and generally sexually expressed, and utterly liberated. What does she even stand for? Chaos? We never find out. Does she even know? She’s as complex as reality. She’s impermanent. (Except she keeps coming back!) She’s like the Tao incarnate (if it was a fetish). 

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What role does divination play in your life?
Divination sets people at ease with how much of them I’m seeing. I have one of the oddest tarot origin stories. I started off using tarot to turn off unwanted information I seemed to be picking up about people. About every five years or so, the story of my tarot practice changes. The one constant is the first thing I mentioned and lately it, it meaning my tarot practice, sets people at ease. Full stop. It does the same for me. Especially when I’m crazy stressed and need some perspective.


Your heroes/heroines in real life.
This changes periodically but right now Shonda Rhimes is my patron heroine. I read her book, “The Year of Yes” having seen none of her shows and having no idea who she was or why she mattered. It’s a book about a writer with anxiety. THAT’S ME. Well, I mean mostly. The idea that she could move through that much fear and create things that inspire (and represent) sooooo many people is astounding. Once I read her story I felt I could no longer act like I had a reason not to create. 


What is your present state of mind?
Recognition. I sometimes go through this awkward experience where I stop believing a whole bunch of stuff at once and don’t quite know what I’m left with. It’s confusing as all get out and comes with a whole host of thoughts and emotions rushing in to tell me What I’m Left With. I’m in the state where I’m recognizing my separation from the rushing thoughts etc. While here, I know the longer I hold them off and keep the confused empty and frankly uncomfortable space vacant, the closer I get to reality without my bullshit. *wonders if that’s even going to make sense…* To be clear, this recognition state is For The Best.


What is your favorite tarot deck or divination tool?
I’m partial to the Thoth deck. Because it’s most literal. It’s like my Aspy deck. But then there’s CBD Marseille which I think is really elegant and also the St. Croix, which always feels familiar somehow. It’s one of those, maybe. Do people really just have one favorite??


Your favorite songs?
I’m a sucker for movie soundtracks. My first blog ever was actually about how the Sneaker Pimps’ first album used classic James Bond samples and paid homage to the cult classic, “The Wicker Man.”  (It was as geeky as it sounds…)


What is your favorite word?
Impossible. But in Spanish. It sounds like a lewd taunt doesn’t it? I hear it and want to know where it’s going, like a stranger ordering a drink at a bar and that I’ve never heard anyone else order, and it happens to be my favorite drink (you know, back when I still drank).


What is your least favorite word?
My least favorite words lately are the reactive ones. The angry little poems I sometimes write to make a case for my right-ness. They’re beautiful and all. But lately I’m wondering what would happen if I made my words a holy ground where nothing was destroyed, and everything was created instead.


What sound or noise do you love?
I prefer pentatonic scales. If we have to talk heptatonic, I prefer the minor chords. So I like trip hop and blues and angsty music that isn’t particularly good but I need it in my life BECAUSE IT HAS THOSE SOUNDS IN IT. 


What sound or noise do you hate?
I don't prefer music engineered based on statistical trends; especially when it plays on the radio for the second time in ten minutes in an attempt to cull me into some kind of biochemically manipulated submission. Rather than elevate the musical elements that it includes, it sounds almost like it mocks them. I’m probably missing all kinds of good music avoiding the radio. (I may never know.) Is this me dating myself? I remember when the grown-ups said things like this about my music… I also don’t prefer the sound of a crying chihuahua. It’s cross between a dolphin and a velociraptor and it is truly terrifying.


What turns you on?
You mean like sexy-time? Is this a sexy-time question?!  I’m half wavering between asexuality and wanton perversion. I’d be lying if I left out the reaction I have to particularity complex and subtle psychologically dark power dynamics in anime I enjoy. ::guiltface:: If I say more I’ll probably freak one some of you out…


What turns you off?
I think it’s gross when folks want to engage intimately without consciousness. A person who engages another while outside of their own body is like nails on a chalkboard. *shivers

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What is your favorite curse word?
Bullshit is my favorite right now. It’s the only word I struggled to put down when I was still working with kids. My lips would purse together to prep for the “b” sound, and I’d just say “hmmmmmm” really awkwardly. Luckily, I don’t think they ever caught on. Except when I played the card game of the same name with them at the end of the year… (They already knew the word and we didn’t say the whole thing!! Don’t judge me!!) It’s been potent to call bullshit on myself lately. And before that, it felt powerful to call it on everybody else. I’m your typical Queen of Swords, fantasizing that I get to lord over the truth. Hah!


If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Nothing. I’d take a knowing glance. People say enough as it is without bringing All-That-Is into it. I am SUCH an introvert.
 

You can find Siobhan at radicaltarot.com,  tarot@siobhansmirror.com and  siobhansmirror.com

 

With my willingness to connect with you on a heart-to-heart level, my readings are healing and authentic. - Sarah Barry

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During a massive binge of The Hermit's Lamp podcast, I heard the delightful story of how Sarah Barry started reading professionally. She just did it. Such enormous bravery - she's seriously one of my heroes. And look at her frickin bike!  Anyway, she's now been reading for years and has such an enthusiasm for tarot - it's engaging. She's got a blog that dates back to 2010, and I've learned so much from her. Sarah is on Instagram and Facebook, and you should also sign up for her newsletter. I love that the internet brings me closer to kickass Australian tarot readers. Learn more about Sarah below!

LFT Questionnaire

  1. What you appreciate the most in your friends. Honesty, authenticity, and being real.

  2. Your idea of happiness. Bushwalking in the Blue Mountains while wearing a tutu (optional), surrounded by thousands of trees and waterfalls, with my beloved and a thermos of chai and quality dark chocolate in my backpack. Friends welcome too. So is lying around in a cushion/blanket/duvet pile with chai, comix and my beloved. Friends welcome too. And basking in the metta (loving kindness) vibe at the end of a 10-Day (or longer) Vipassana meditation course.

  3. Your idea of misery. Totalitarianism. Also: not being able to make a cup of tea.

  4. Your favorite colors and flowers. I am rendered too giddy by all the colours and all the flowers to pick a few. Wild and freaky is best on all accounts. Luckily the Australian bush offers this aplenty. To narrow it down somewhat, I would say two of my favourite flowers are the waratah & the grevillea. This can change with the seasons though. And if I am to add in a favourite tree, one of the most aesthetically, texturally and tactilely pleasing trees I have met is the Paperbark Tree. They make me happy.

  5. Your favorite poets. Hafiz.

  6. Your heroes/heroines in fiction. I guess I have been affected by various characters throughout my life, but there was a book called Back Home by Michelle Magorian that I used to read a lot when I was in my early-mid teens. The main character Rusty was a 12 year old girl who was strong, defiant, self-assured, creative and fun. She affected me in a good way I reckon.

  7. What role does divination play in your life? Well it’s my full-time work, so it is there at least four days a week when I am with my clients in a practical, connecting way. I usually have a deck with me when I go out on my days off (though often I don’t use it, I just pull it out if it feels right), and I usually have a tarot deck next to my bed, but not every night. When I am sitting a meditation course it’s not in my life at all - I am just there to meditate. So it is a regular and exciting part of my life, but not an addiction, and something that I use to gain understanding for myself and for others.

  8. Your heroes/heroines in real life. Ursula Le Guin. Kiran Bedi. So many members of the Sydney Queer community who consistently bring their love, political intelligence, skill-sharing, creativity, generosity and defiance of out-dated ideologies.

  9. What is your present state of mind? Calm.

  10. What is your favorite tarot deck or divination tool? How to choose amongst my sacred babies? I like several for various reasons. For a while now, the Dark Goddess Tarot and Tarot of the Crone by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince have been right up there for sheer depth, power and illumination. They are the only two at the moment that I will allow to sit beside my bed as I sleep.

  11. Your favorite songs? Seriously, this favourite thing - how does anyone do it?? For now I’ll just go with Dressed for Space by Trust (also Bulbform by same artist), and Free Tibet by Hilight Tribe (Vini Vici mix). You need good speakers to listen to these ones. Such complex sounds that deserve to be heard!

  12. What is your favorite word? Gesticulate comes to mind at time of writing. It would be another word on another day though. Metamorphosis and mesmerising sound nice too.

  13. What is your least favorite word? Foible. Again, I’m not hard and fast about this. I am making these decisions on a sound-only basis by the way.

  14. What sound or noise do you love? The sound of rain outside when I’m tucked in bed, or just when we’ve had a really long dry spell.

  15. What sound or noise do you hate? Scratchy violin playing by amateurs.

  16. What turns you on? Experiential wisdom integrated and shared with clarity and integrity.

  17. What turns you off? Unasked for advice.

  18. What is your favorite curse word? Fuck-that-shit. That one’s often a real winner if I happen to say it during a reading. One client once gave me the feedback that I am the most eloquent swearer she’s ever heard! It’s all about the delivery really.

  19. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Heaven, God and the Pearly Gates requires way too much of a stretch of my imagination to even contemplate this. I wish more people would contemplate why, of all the invisible beings that require a belief system to sustain them, like the Christian God, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy - why do people who believe in God not believe in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy? Why are kids who believe in Santa Claus seen as being childish once they get to a certain age, but a belief in God is seen as plausible? It makes no sense to me.

              You can find Sarah here:

sarahthepsychic.com

Instagram: @sarahthepsychic

https://www.facebook.com/sarahthepsychic