Clowns are scary. I am not. So get in touch, yo. - Fabeku Fatunmise

Silly is something you get to be until you have to be serious again  - Mike Myers

Silly is something you get to be until you have to be serious again  - Mike Myers

I've only recently discovered podcasts, and have been listening to the Hermit's Lamp podcast like it's my job. Each guest has been engaging for different reasons. Their history with tarot, their personal experiences as a professional reader or author, and some really cool theories about divination, spirituality and the world and whatnot.

NOW - there was this one fella - I'd recently heard about him from Briana Saussy and Theresa Reed. How nice he was and funny, etc. Then I listened to his podcast. This was the first time I'd heard a disclaimer before the show -there was going to be swearing. My kind of conversation.

I loved the podcast, and commenced to stalking him on facebook. He's got the kind of antagonistic protagonist energy that catches me every time. His name? Fabeku Fatunmise. What does he do? From his site, "I work with creative supernovas – artists, writers, coaches, consultants, yogis, doctors, research scientists and web wizards.  People who want to shift their inner terrain + capture the pure essence of their purpose + rev up to full-throttle momentum + awesomize their entrepreneurial enterprises."

From what I can gather, he's a Spiritual Gunslinger. He's smart as hell and you gotta get to know him better. 

LFT Questionnaire

 1.     What you appreciate the most in your friends.

Loyalty. Love. Respect. Trust + trustworthiness. Good hearts. Fiery spirits. The fact they’re kind humans who also take no shit. Their capacity to accept who I am. The manymany times they’ve had my back. The way they get my dark humor. The older I get, the more mission critical these relationships become to me.

2.     Your idea of happiness.

Practically: my cat + Big Sur + amazing food + my cabal of dear wizard friends + that thing she does when she smiles and drops her head at the same time.

Existentially: when I’ve managed to transcend my own bullshit + love more, even - especially - when that feels hard or scary or counterintuitive (which, to be clear, remains an ongoing practice).

3.     Your idea of misery.

Practically: heat + humidity. Or IKEA. (Sorry, IKEA. But not really.)

Existentially: feeling lonely while surrounded by a sea of people.

4.     Your favorite colors and flowers.

My favorite color is black. I essentially wear all black, all the time (with my shoes being the notable exception).

Flowers. Hmmm.

There’s a type of Calla lily that’s near black called the black star lily, which I love as much for the color as for the Saint Bowie reference.

I’m also oddly fascinated by the butterfly pea flower.

5.     Your favorite poets.

Neruda. Bukowski. Burroughs. e.e. cummings. Neruda. Baudelaire. Rimbaud. Anna Akhmatova. Chelsea Wolfe. Robert Desnos. Morrissey. Neruda. Apollinaire. Joey Ramone. Virginia Woolf. Wilde. Bowie. Oh, and Neruda.

6.     Your heroes/heroines in fiction.

Batman (by which I mean Mr. Adam West, the one true Batman). Wonder Woman. Gandalf. Yoda. Optimus Prime. Boba Fett. Clem Snide. Sydney Bristow. Darth Vader. Boy George (who I’m convinced is a fictional character).

7.     What role does divination play in your life?

It’s huge. I don’t make every little decision based on divination. Not hardly. But I divine in some way everysingleday. Whether it’s getting perspective on something or mapping a strategy or checking for blind spots or having a late night conversation with a deck, asking the Big Existential Questions™ over a glass of Mourvèdre, divining is an everyday thing for me. And I never leave the house without a deck or some oracular something-or-another on hand.

8.     Your heroes/heroines in real life.

Joey Ramone. Morrissey. Dalí. Poly Styrene. My first love. Patti Smith. Everyone who gets their heart shattered + loves again anyway. The artists + poets + musicians + magicians of the world.

9.     What is your present state of mind?

Slightly over-caffeinated. A little melancholy. Happy about the work I’m doing. Amused by my internet famous cat trying to meowscream his way through a relationship issue with his plastic dinosaur BFF.

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

I work mostly with Tarot + some divination systems from a specific ATR + playing cards + a dice oracle I created back in the mid-90s.

On the Tarot front, I’m a collector. So I have an obscene heap of decks. But, when it comes to divination, there are only a handful I regularly work with. Though I started with the Thoth deck, I’m a Tarot de Marseille guy at this point.

The Dodal (as done by Flornoy) is my favorite TdM deck when I read for other people. It’s simple + clear without unnecessary noise. But, for reading myself, the Viéville is actually one of two favorites. The Viéville deck is like that weird über eccentric uncle who creates taxidermy mashups + studies obscure occult texts + is probably drunk at least half the time, but always gives you the weirdest-but-wisest-and-absolute-best answers. My other favorite for reading for myself is the Soprafino deck by Il Meneghello, which, to me, is simply one of the most exquisite decks ever produced (and a polar opposite to the Viéville).

11.  Your favorite songs?

Jesus, take the wheel.

“And he started talking about songs + just never stopped…”

I can’t do favorites. So, here’s a peek at what’s currently in heavy rotation.

“Color Of Blood” - Chelsea Wolfe
“Harper Lewis” - Russian Circles
“Bird Set Free” - Sia
“Ring Of Fire” - Johnny Cash
“Didn't It Rain” - Sister Rosetta Tharpe
“La Vie en Rose” - Édith Piaf
“There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” - The Smiths
“The Ship Song” - Nick Cave
“House Of Metal” - Chelsea Wolfe
“Don’t Drag Me Down” - Social Distortion
“Nessun Dorma” sung by Pavarotti specifically
Anything-and-everything by The Ramones, alwaysandforevertheend
 

12.  What is your favorite word?

Wow. There are so many. Too many maybe. I’ve been in bed with a million words over the years. But one I’ve had a particularly torrid love affair with is denouement. Terence McKenna introduced us. I instantly felt my face flush + it immediately got hot in the room. It’s elegant in a way that makes me swoon.

13.  What is your least favorite word?

O*****l. Satan’s cereal. The abomination in a bowl. That sloppy wet chunky gruel. I can’t even write the actual word out. It should always be redacted. Horrible fucking stuff. I also can’t be in the room when someone’s eating it. I’ll literally - I mean the real kind of literally - throw up. I’m fun at breakfast.

14.  What sound or noise do you love?

That half-sigh/half-“hmmm” sound a creature you’re romantically connected to makes right after you kiss them.

15.  What sound or noise do you hate?

Metallic buzzing grating sounds (unless they’re in an Einstürzende Neubauten song).

16.  What turns you on?

Eyes full of fire. Iconoclasts. A clear sense of style (no matter what that style is). Tattoos. Mutuality. Emotional maturity. Unapologetic affection. Coherent transgression. Tenderness. A smile I can feel in my bones. Kindness. Post-metal. Loving more. Abandoned buildings. Creative rebels + ontological outlaws. St-Germain liqueur. Non-metaphorical magic. A sense of awe. People who’ve unfucked themselves from their history (or are willing to die trying). Elie Saab’s couture. McQueen’s couture. Couture in general. Hair-pulled-up-wearing-jeans-and-a-t-shirt-eating-Indian-takeaway-on-the-couch. Vetiver. Tonka bean. Panna cotta. Maria Callas on a rainy evening.

17.  What turns you off?

Beige. Entitlement. People who play games. Superficiality. Liver. Cruelty. Caged creatures. Fake friends. Fake lovers. Fake anything. Unsolicited “psychic” feedback. Giant crowds. Emotional unavailability. People who only talk about themselves. Three of Swords. Judging people based on appearances. Most tapioca pudding.

18.  What is your favorite curse word?

Fuck. FUCK. f-u-c-k. FuckfuckfuckfuckFUCK.

(Was this a trick question? There aren’t other curse words, right?) (Totally a trick question. Gotcha.)

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

“You were always enough.”              

Posted on May 22, 2017 and filed under Interview, Questionnaire, Tarot.

I set the intention for you and for me that we will receive healing, guidance, confirmation, grounding, centering, balance, peace, harmony, abundance... - Mitchell Osborn

I've met him in person. He's even BETTER looking than this, which is ridiculous....

I've met him in person. He's even BETTER looking than this, which is ridiculous....

I got to meet my darling Mitchell Osborn at Reader's Studio this year. He taught one of the Master Classes, and his presentation had quite an impact on me. I stopped meditating with him about halfway through and started furiously writing about my next book. It was like a dam had burst, and I walked out of there was a clear ending to the book (that i'd been blocked about!) and a clear path of how to get there. So the book will be dedicated to Mitchell. :D

Along with being a hell of a guy just in general, Mitchell is (from his bio) a medium, a tarot and Lenormand reader, an Intuitive Soul Coach, Animal Communicator, Dream Interpreter, Hypnotherapist & Spiritual Teacher. He connects to Spirit to help in identifying soul-level solutions for wellness, enlightenment and growth. He uses a humorous, direct and compassionate approach in his sessions and wants his clients and students to recognize the world of energy around them and be able to make their own confident empowered decisions from an intuitively informed centered and balanced place. 

NOW - I am a fairly skeptical person by nature, but this man is what he says he is. He has the most natural and effortless connection to Spirit that I've ever encountered, and getting a reading from him is truly a treat. 

You can find Mitchell at http://www.intuitivemitchell.com/, and in my heart. <3 (BFF's 4eva)

LFT Questionnaire 

1.  What you appreciate the most in your friends. Honesty, understanding and quality time. 

2.  Your idea of happiness. Peace in all situations. 

3.  Your idea of misery. Continually running after something I THINK i want but know it’s just not ‘in the cards for me’. 

4.  Where would you like to live? Some place peaceful and energetically balanced. 

5.  Your favorite colors and flowers. GREEN!!!! GREEN!!!! Gardenia cause they smell SO AMAZING. 

6.  Your favorite poets. Not a big fan of poetry. Maybe e e cummings

7.  Your heroes/heroines in fiction.  Wonder Woman!!!!!! HELLO!!!!  (omg me, too!!! -LFT)

8.  What role does divination play in your life? Brought me purpose and strength. 

Ridiculously adorable. The dogs are cute, too.

Ridiculously adorable. The dogs are cute, too.

9.  Your heroes/heroines in real life. Fabian, my husband. 

10.  What is your present state of mind? inquizitive 

11.  What is your favorite tarot deck or divination tool? Legacy of the Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti!!! basically ALL I use. 

12.  Your favorite songs? Freedom from George Michael

13.  What is your favorite word? Joy

14.  What is your least favorite word? C*NT

15.  What sound or noise do you love? a thumping beat of house music.

16.  What sound or noise do you hate? crying child/baby

17.  What turns you on? questions 

18.  What turns you off? fetishes or dirty talk… i am SO vanilla

19.  What is your favorite curse word? Bitch

20.  If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? You got more right than most did!!!!!! LMAO!!!! (YES.. i want God(less) to use the acronym LMAO) 

Posted on May 21, 2017 and filed under Interview, Questionnaire.

This is the place to begin. - Liz Worth

Magical creature.

Magical creature.

Liz sent me a copy of her book "Going Beyond the Little White Book" a few months ago. I promptly lost it, because that's how I do. When I ran into her at Reader's Studio in New York this month, it took me a second to put the face with the name with the book that I lost. Then I got another copy! Yay! I didn't think I'd be able to read it this month, because it's been kind of hectic. Yeah, turns out I don't need sleep after all. I stayed up WAY to late (on a school night) powering through this fantastic book. 

My favorite part was how she broke each card down by how you might see it in a reading. In a career-related reading, in a relationship reading, other possibilities. Ten there are questions to consider when the card appears in a reading. This is fucking brilliant. I remember being nearly in tears when reading about the Hierophant and wondering what in the HELL that old fart had to do with my friend's boyfriend. I would have KILLED for this book when I was 14. And even though I've been reading since before LIz was born, I learned a few new twists on my trusty cards. 

Buy this book. Trust me. It's rad.

xo Lis

 

LFT Questionnaire

1.  What you appreciate the most in your friends.

Their openness, humour, and ability to accept.

2.  Your idea of happiness.

I find I’m happiest when I have freedom to choose how I want to spend my time. Anything can happen from there.

3.  Your idea of misery.

Being told what to do, how to be, what to wear, what to say and what not to say. Feeling controlled or being pressured to bow to someone else’s expectations or ideals is really a no-go for me.

4.  Where would you like to live?

If I could live anywhere and money and other practicalities were not part of the equation, I would move to New York City or London, England in a heartbeat.  

I’ve always been drawn to California for some reason, even though I’ve never been there.

Another alternative – and this is only a dream now – would be to live in my family’s old home, which was sold a while back.

5.  Your favorite colors and flowers.

Most of my clothes are black, so I guess that says something about my favorite colors.

I don’t know much about flowers. When I’ve been lucky enough to receive them, I’ve usually been given roses, so those tend to bring up good memories. I dry them and hang them up at home.

6.  Your favorite poets.

Where to start? My mainstays are Lynn Crosbie, Daniel Jones, Anne Michaels, Lydia Lunch, Exene Cervenka, Chandra Mayor, Jim Carroll, and Patti Smith. I have revisited their work many, many times over the years.

7.  Your heroes/heroines in fiction.

Ponyboy Curtis from the Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, Nothing from Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite, and Andrea Marr from Girl by Blake Nelson.

8.  What role does divination play in your life?

First, it is a big part of my spiritual path. I feel it helps me to stay connected to my higher aspects and energies that I can’t necessarily access through everyday dialogue. It’s a bridge between the tangible realm that we move through and the spiritual realm that moves along side of us.

9.  Your heroes/heroines in real life.

I wouldn’t say I have specific heroes because this list is always shifting and growing. Usually, the people who inspire me the most are the ones who are living their lives on their terms. I admire people who are open about their sexuality, who question societal constructs, and who aren’t afraid to question and confront the status quo.

There continues to be so much repression and so much pressure to conform in this world. It’s not always easy to speak up because we can feel like we have a lot to lose. Every time I see someone taking that risk I am reminded that it’s important to use our voices.

10.  What is your present state of mind?

Busy and inspired – though that’s my usual mode of operation. I’m usually creating something, or working on ideas for my next phase of plans.

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

My favorite is the Sharman-Caselli tarot deck. It was the deck I learned on and it’s the deck I still use as my main go-to for client readings. It stays quite true to the RWS but it has so many clean, detailed images that seem to reveal so much. 

I do work with other decks, but that’s the one that seems to resonate with the most people, most often.

12.  Your favorite songs?

Oh wow…okay, this is a tough one to narrow down. Here’s a condensed list: 

“Head Over Heels” – Tears for Fears
“Such a Shame” – Talk Talk
“I Don’t Believe In You” – Talk Talk
“Life’s What You Make It” – Talk Talk
“Eyes of a Stranger” – Payolas
“Holding Back the Years” – Simply Red
“New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)” – Simple Minds
“Burn” – The Cure
“Killing Moon” – Echo & the Bunnymen

13.  What is your favorite word?

Oracular.  
14.  What is your least favorite word?

I hold a lot of trauma from a past life as an office worker, so anything jargon-y sucks for me. Like “synergy.”
15.  What sound or noise do you love?

Birds early in the morning. My cat purring. 
16.  What sound or noise do you hate?

Random banging or hammering. Anything jarring that becomes a distraction. 
17.  What turns you on?

Ideas and possibilities.
18.  What turns you off?

Knee-jerk reactions, over-inflated egos, and clichés.
19.  What is your favorite curse word?

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

“You did a good job.”

 

Posted on May 10, 2017 and filed under Interview, Questionnaire.

I want to give back. - J. Ryan Kent

I got a reading from this fella from Twitter named J. Ryan Kent. We swapped readings, and I think he read for me first.  Here was my response:

Shut up, Jake.

Shut up, Jake.

Now, I have gotten tarot readings for a long, long time, and I tell you - the best ones are the ones that just piss you off. Challenge the norm, call you out on your bullshit and tell you to get over yourself. His reading for me did all of that. I managed to give him a very professional reading afterwards, which only goes to show that I am not a vindictive person. 

Jake also gives back to the queer community that he serves, which is wonderful. From Queer Street Tarot: 

From March until September 5-10% of every reading will go to a foundation to better support the LGBTQIA+ community. Emma Norton Residence, PFUND, and the Black Liberation Project will be receiving a donation from every reading you book with me. After September I will pick three new organizations for future donations. 

Ack! So cute.

Ack! So cute.

SO - read the questionnaire below to see just how awesome Jake really is. Get a reading from him and help support some great causes all at once.

xo Lis

LFT Questionnaire

1.       What you appreciate the most in your friends.

My friends are like family, they encourage my passions and engage in them from time to time. We create a web of passionate souls. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that I can bring up some of the dorkiest shit and they’ll respond.

2.       Your idea of happiness.

Hmm…my idea of happiness is really simple. A place to call my own, a hot shower on a cold morning and a good book or movie to curl up with on my introvert days. On the more extroverted days, having people over to cook, hang out, laugh with.

3.       Your idea of misery.

Heavy crowds, coordinating large groups of people who don’t coordinate well, rushing at the last minute.

4.       Your favorite colors and flowers.

I love cool colors. Blues, purples. I love snapdragon and roses.

5.       Your favorite poets.

My partner is a slam poet so I feel like I’m biased there. There are a lot of really great poets here in the Twin Cities.

6.       Your heroes/heroines in fiction.

I am an addict for the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton. Also anything by Holly Black or Neil Gaiman.

7.       What role does divination play in your life?

It plays a bigger role in my life the older I get. I use the tarot and divination not just for fortune telling but as a way of coaching and breaking free of cycles in order to make visible, immediate change in my life.

8.       Your heroes/heroines in real life.

Hands down, my grandmother and my mother. They raised me to be nice but take no shit, and they are responsible for my love of food.               

9.       What is your present state of mind?

I’m balancing a lot and I’m wondering how the Temperance card does it all without a drink.

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

Right now I am using the RWS deck and the Wild Unknown. They’re both just such instant classics. 

11.   Your favorite songs?

Anything by Fleetwood Mac. I sing Rhiannon in the car every morning. Tusk is brilliant, too.

12.   What is your favorite word?

I learned a while ago that a young swan is called a cygnet and I just love that sound. It’s such an odd word. There are so many good words.

13.   What is your least favorite word?

Experience. I had to write it every day, many times, when I worked as a receptionist in High School.

Professional smarty pants.

Professional smarty pants.

14.   What sound or noise do you love?

Water fountains, violins, languages.

15.   What sound or noise do you hate?

Chewing, gulping, whispering.

16.   What turns you on?

Someone taking an interest in the stuff I enjoy, someone that can remind me of the positivity in life, when I’m with someone and forget the time.

17.   What turns you off?

Mansplainers, people who dispute social issues, and people who can’t differentiate between to, too, there, their, they’re, a lot, allot, alot (not a word). Also, people who abuse ellipses (…) because I learned they were used to expressed hesitation. When I see those used I always think the person doesn’t want to talk to me and I have gone so far as to stop responding only to find that the person was very surprised by it and was very interested in the conversation.

18.   What is your favorite curse word?

Fuck. It’s the best punctuation mark and functions in all parts of a sentence.

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

“You did everything you set out to do. Good for you.”

Posted on April 3, 2017 and filed under Interview, Questionnaire, Tarot.

“When the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.” - JM Barrie

I received an invitation to review the Hezicos Tarot by its creator, Mary Griffin. It's really delightful. I love the little sprites and dragons and playful energy of the cards. I've been reading with it for about a week, and my only criticism is that the court cards are portrait/heads instead of full body pictures. I don't know why this bothers me, I think because I like the full scene drawings so much, that the head-only pics (although beautiful and informative) are incongruous. It might also be difficult for new readers to read right out of the box. You need to get to know them first. That said, this deck reads well for me. The card stock is good and the artwork has lots of little things hidden inside that lend themselves to the card interpretation. This would be a great deck for kids or for people who like a little bit of whimsy in their readings. Two thumbs up. : )

One of the things I liked the most about this deck was the clear evidence that Mary knows tarot. These cards are not 'guesses' or 'close' to the meaning of the cards. They ARE correct. The interpretations are creative interpretations of what can't change in tarot. I love that. 

Mary was nice enough to do the LFT Questionnaire for us! You can find her deck and artwork here. She's quite a prolific artist! You can find more of her work here, and examples in the gallery below. Thanks so much, Mary!

xo Lis

LFT Questionnaire

1.       What you appreciate the most in your friends.          

Laughing and being there when you need advice or give advice and a hug.
    
2.      Your idea of happiness.            

Playing on the beach with my grandchildren, children and our dogs then off to have a hot chocolate in the beach café.

3.     Your idea of misery.          

Seeing and reading on the news all the children and animals neglected and badly treated in the world.
   
4. Your favorite colors and flowers.      

Favourite colour is purple. Favourite flower Fox Glove.
       
5.       Your favorite poets.    

Don’t have any particular one.
 
 6.   Your heroes/heroines in fiction.      

Same as above.
   
7.   What role does divination play in your life?      

I have been a tarot reader for over twenty years and always grateful that I have been shown so many amazing things and met some incredible people. It took me over two years to create and illustrate my tarot deck The Hezicos Tarot and I would not have been able to do this without my tarot background, which I never take for granted.

8. Your heroes/heroines in real life.            

Too many to list.
   
9. What is your present state of mind?      

Great, very happy and grateful for everything I have.

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

That is rather difficult to answer as I have many decks and have no real preference for one in particular, am very connected to my Hezicos deck. I like using the pendulum as well.

11.  Your favorite songs?                  

No particular favourite, love most music especially dance and trance.
 
12. What is your favorite word?                  

Mountain.
 
 13. What is your least favorite word?      

 Don’t have one.

14. What sound or noise do you love?      

Birds singing, my one year old grandson laughing and rain.
   
15. What sound or noise do you hate?      

Loud radios playing on the beach!!!!!

 16. What turns you on?                                

New paintbrushes, pencils and paints, chocolate                                                                            cake.
 
   17.What turns you off?                                

The offal know as tripe, revolting.

18. What is your favorite curse word?            

Don’t have one.
   
19.  If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?  

“Hi Mary….the coffee is brewing and the seven dogs and nine cats you rescued all those years ago are waiting for you”

 

Posted on March 22, 2017 and filed under Questionnaire, Interview, Reviews.

I feel 100% myself… and that authenticity translates into sessions with my clients.- Dee Fells

I started following Dee Fells on Twitter because her handle is Tarot & Snark, which are two of my favorite things in the whole universe. Since finding her, I've also found that she has a great relationship with the cards, is always striving to learn more, is political (like me) and is funny as hell. Clearly, we're destined to be friends. She has also tried to put me in right relations with Babybel cheese, but failed. Bless. I remain obsessed.

Anyway, check out my tarot sis and give her a call for a reading. She has this amazing thing. I'll let her describe it:

This year, I've launched a coaching and tarot service to change folks' relationships with goal achievement and the ever-so-icky New Years resolution. It's called For Goal Diggers only and is available for purchase by the quarter or for the year. The program boasts extensive access to me in the form of tarot readings for each quarter, a coach call or email at the end of each quarter, workbooks for self discovery, pace setting, and accountability, as well as guided meditations and affirmations. It's a lot of coaching with a ton of value and starts at $89. I'm also having a January sale of 17% off all services and readings, this one included.

Thanks, D. xo!

Lis

Ack! She's so pretty! 

Ack! She's so pretty! 

LFT Questionnaire

1. What you appreciate the most in your friends.

Their ability to understand that my absence is only indicative of my need to recharge. That I love them no less & that they allow me to be... me. 

2. Your idea of happiness.

Is more metaphorical, I think? Happiness to me feels like warm sunshine peeking through my blinds as I lay in bed on a quiet Sunday morning. That peace and fulfillment is everything. It also feels like bottomless mimosas. 

3. Your idea of misery.

I've lived it— it's a life and existence without love... of and from others... of and for self. 

4. Your favorite colors and flowers.

Purple. Olive green. Turquoise. Black... gotta have black. Lol. My favorite flowers are peonies, orchids, & sunflowers— in that order. 

5. Your favorite poets.

Nikki Giovanni & Pablo Neruda. 

Myself. 

6. Your heroes/heroines in fiction.

Beatrix Kiddo. Maria from Maria Full of Grace. Maggie from Conversations with the Fat Girl. Albus Dumbledore. 

7. What role does divination play in your life?

A huge role. I've been divining since before I realized my ability... aka since childhood. It's like breathing to me... more natural than many could likely ever fathom. Divination helps me make sense of my world and the people within. It calls for me to ignore ego and listen to where and how I'm called.

8. You're heroes/heroines in real life.

My late grandmothers. Though only present with me in spirit now, they're absolutely my heroines. 

9. What is your present state of mind?

One of peace and happiness. Determination. It's crazy because 2016 took me to crazy lows. Yet, here I am... happier than ever. More at peace than ever. Hopeful. Optimistic. 

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

My favorite deck at present is the Linestrider Tarot. We are literally joined at the hip most times. 

11. Your favorite songs?

Stevie Wonder-As

Maroon 5 - Secret

Bilal - When Will U Call

Mariah Carey - Babydoll, and

Three 6 Mafia - Pussy Got you Hooked. Seriously. 

12. What is your favorite word?

Manifest. It's not only my favorite, but one of the most important to me. 

13. What is your least favorite word?

No. I'm learning to forge a better relationship with it. 

14. What sound or noise do you love?

My dad's singing. Nothing in the world like it.

15. What sound or noise do you hate?

Excessively loud eaters. It makes my fuckin blood boil. 

16. What turns you on?

An appreciation and acceptance of diversified cultures. A nicely dressed man. Acceptance of my... not so "common" lifestyle. Great taste in music and wine and food and a really good set of hands to massage me with.

17. What turns you off?

Ignorance without the desire to understand or learn.

18. What is your favorite curse word?

Such a huge toss between bitch & fuck. Man. I can't choose.  {might I suggest fuck,bitch? -LFT}

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

"You've made me proud."

Make Very Beautiful Things - Michelle Embree

It's my friend! 

It's my friend! 

I found and subsequently stalked Michelle Embree on Facebook. She wrote the most interesting thoughts about tarot cards and the world, and then I found out she was in St. Louis! Well, sometimes. I finally reached out and asked if we could hang out, and she was in Kentucky. Or New Orleans. Or someplace else. She's got a wandering soul and a poet's heart. I am always listening for new voices in tarot. This woman approaches the cards with such a unique perspective, I learn something new every time she writes. She also has a storytelling show called "Make Beautiful Things: A Ritual in Fairytale" that is told in much the same way that our beloved Pamela Colman Smith told stories. Enchanting.

I'm happy to report that my stalking has paid off, and we are now friends! And I get to color with her and talk cards and hang out. Even my asshole dogs like her. Check out her LFT Questionnaire and get in touch for a reading. 

xo Lis

LFT Questionnaire

1. What you appreciate the most in your friends.

Integrity.

2. Your idea of happiness.

Coffee time and conversation. Comfortable temperatures and good news.

3. Your idea of misery.

Anticipation of danger or strife approaching. Extra misery points if also out of coffee.

4. Your favorite colors and flowers.

I like all the colors. I really do. I wear mostly black, though. And I like red gadgets.

But when it comes to flowers I like White Roses.

5. Your favorite poets.

Claudia Rankine. Anne Sexton. Nikki Giovanni. Dorothy Allison. William Blake. Rainer Maria Rilke. Tupac Shakur. KRS. Big Boi. Courtney Love. Daphne Gottlieb. Hip Hop and Punk. The rock ballads. The folk songs.  

O, swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon...

O, swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon...

I could go on and on, of course. I like poetry very much. I hear/see it in everything, so I really could just list names forever. Some you would know, some you would not, some would just be people I have met. Like a man, a homeless man getting day drunk behind a house I lived in Baltimore telling me about the KGB during his time in the Vietnam War, as it is called. You wouldn’t know him nor should you, but he was my favorite poet that day.

T.S. Eliot. W. H. Auden. Patti Smith. Shel Silverstein. Dr. Suess. A. A. Milne. On and on. I like the sweet poets and the clever ones. I like the formal and informal poem, the new and the old. I like the deep poets and the dark ones too, I like the eloquent same as the angry.

6. Your heroes/heroines in fiction.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer

7. What role does divination play in your life?

I’m with my cards all the time. It is how I find the questions I need to ask. And asking the right questions is how we decide our best next moves. Asking the right questions helps us open our perspective and gain insight into our own problems. Asking the right questions is how we operate both deductive and inductive reasoning. There is no such thing as an answer more important than the question that discovered it.

I work with clients every week, too. I use cards and questions to get a picture/sense of the narrative the querent is living and I can usually ‘see’ options and obstacles from a different perspective or with differently weighted values and I share what I see to spark more conversation. These conversations physically shift energy and create release. It is literally the meaning of the word conversation; a process of conversion. We shift and make change to live the experience of thriving. That’s the goal in the larger picture. Divination as a process of understanding the self and the power held within the self is what I am dedicated to as a ‘spiritualist’ and an artist.

8. Your heroes/heroines in real life.

If you had to capture her personality in a picture...

If you had to capture her personality in a picture...

Artists. Creators in active creation. Regular people making expressions of who they are and keeping records of what they witness. Regular, flawed people making an effort every day. People in pain who keep giving. Regular people are my heroes. Life is so ridiculously hard. If you are a regular person and you  try and try and keep trying and put the best you have into what is within you and around you-- if you do that-- YOU are my hero. Everyday. Whether I know you or not.

9. What is your present state of mind?

Focused.

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

My favored deck is the Thoth deck drawn by Frieda Harris in conversation with Aleister Crowley. I understand this deck with the most fluid ease. There is an element to this deck that tells me to never trust it more than I trust myself to interpret it. There is a trickster at play in the cards and I get the most sense of that spirit within tarot from the Thoth deck. My relationship with that deck is cool headed and that serves me well as a reader.

11. Your favorite songs?

‘I against I’ from Bad Brains, the whole album.

12. What is your favorite word?

Cacophony.

13. What is your least favorite word?

Sliders (omg. gag. ugh. I almost lose my appetite every time I see it on a menu. blech.)

14. What sound or noise do you love?

Trains.

15. What sound or noise do you hate?

Yelling.

16. What turns you on?

Curiosity; inclusion

17. What turns you off?

Lack of empathy; failure of imagination

18. What is your favorite curse word?

Muggle Humping Stump Jumper

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

That’ll do, kid.

 

Tarot can help dress your spirit for the weather of your personal journey but unlike the nightly weather forecast, you can change your destiny. Tarot can show you how. - Courtney Weber

I got a copy of Tarot for One from Weiser publishing, and weirdly, had just found Courtney Weber on Twitter. It took me a while (some psychic) to put the two together, and then I did the, OH **YOU'RE** Courtney Weber! Ok! I have your book!" thing.  Good grief, but my mind is going.

Courtney!

Courtney!

Anyway, I got to know Courtney a bit online and then got to know her book. This is well written, interesting and seriously smacks the hell out of that stupid "Don't read tarot for yourself" bullshit that we all heard while we were coming up. It's right up there with "Don't charge for readings" and "Don't buy your first deck - it has to be a gift" (no it doesn't, that's stupid).

I like Courtney's book and I like the approach she's got with the cards. She talks about the symbolism inherent in the cards, the history a bit, and about making the cards the tools that they need to be for you. Very refreshing.

Courtney was nice enough to fill out the LFT Questionnaire for us, and her book was just released last month, I believe. Do check it out if you're looking for some great spreads, and an interesting take on the cards.

xo! Lis

LFT Questionnaire

What you appreciate the most in your friends.

Perspective, grounding. Also, shared history and inside jokes. Particularly stupid ones. Those make me unreasonably happy. 

Your idea of happiness.

Making magical moments for my little niece and nephew. Since Thanksgiving, I’ve been working with my sister to have them find sleighbells that Santa left for them ala The Polar Express. Their excitement and delight is just the greatest thing ever.  
Also, melted brie cheese with caramelized walnuts. That makes me happy, too. 

Your idea of misery.

I struggle with depression, so when the negative thoughts start getting too loud, I can make myself quite miserable without there being any concrete reason for it. 

Where would you like to live?

In a house with a yard with a firepit. I’ve lived in NYC for thirteen years, so while that seems very simple to some, it’s outrageous luxury for the city. 

Your favorite colors and flowers.

It used to be purple, but it’s moved to burnt orange. However, now that my little niece’s favorite color is purple, mine is becoming purple again, too.

I like wild and strange flowers. Snapdragons, day-lilies, and orange roses. I don’t like flowers to look too manicured. They’re the best when they’re a little crazy. 

Your favorite poets.

Yeats and Poe and Shel Silverstein. 

Your heroes/heroines in fiction.

Geez….this could take a while. As sick as it sounds, I admire the ruthless qualities of Cersei Lannister. She’s perfect archetypical villain, but when looking at what made her that way (losing her mother at a very young age and a berating, overtly controlling father, and being used as a pawn by everyone around her until she was old enough to use them back). No, I do not admire her romantic choices, but her complete resolute resolve in her choices and belief in herself when those above her underestimate her is worthy of admiration. I also admired The Bride in Kill Bill. Maybe I admire ruthless, murderous blondes? I’m not blonde, I’ve never been in even so much as a fistfight, and I’m only ruthless when it comes to my own work, so maybe there’s a bit of me that wants to channel all of that ruthlessness even further into what I do. My biggest enemy is myself—and I know that. I feel like I want to channel those characters to fight me when I’m in my own way. 

What role does divination play in your life?

Quite a bit! I use the Tarot to help me navigate my choices so as to make the best decisions possible. I don’t use it for myself to foretell a future outcome as much as I use it to look at the pros and cons of situations. 

Your heroes/heroines in real life.

This changes regularly. Currently, my living heroines are Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton (oh, look! Another ruthless blonde…). For those longer living, Amelia Earhart, particularly as there’s now a very widely accepted theory that she lived as a castaway on an island with no fresh water source for maybe even months after her plane went down. I’ve been obsessed with learning about how she might have lived. I read interviews with archaeologists who believe she turned her make-up compact into a hunting weapon and somehow made campfires on the beach. I can’t get it out of my mind. The strength and determination of that woman…yeah. The bar is set pretty high. ☺ 

What is your present state of mind?

Hungry! And thankful. I’m staying with a friend while I’m on a teaching tour. I’m grateful for her hospitality, although I’m a little homesick—missing my husband. I’m also excited for teaching a new group of people tonight. 

What is your favorite tarot deck or divination tool?

The first complete deck I ever received was from an ex-boyfriend who was trying desperately to win me back. He didn’t, but I did keep the deck. It’s the Art Nouveau by Matt Meyers and it’s no longer in print. I just love the colors. I rarely bring her out anymore except for myself or for very special folkx. ☺ 

Your favorite songs?

That changes, too. Right now, it’s Good King Wenceslas. We’re already deep into the holiday season and I’ve been listening to it a lot. It has the spirit of the holidays at this time of year, helping others in need. It’s neither secular nor religious, and Magickal without being too metaphysical.

What is your favorite word?

Bedtime

What is your least favorite word?

Woo-woo

What sound or noise do you love?

Bacon frying, kitties purring, my niece’s laugh, my nephew trying to play his little guitar or kazoo, my husband’s voice, the clink of the radiators when it’s cold, and the mourning doves near my grandmother’s house.

What sound or noise do you hate?

The sound of waiters’ crumb scrapers against tablecloths, or anyone running their nails on cloth or carpet. I’d rather listen to nails on a chalkboard.

What turns you on?

Head rubs.

What turns you off?

Condescending and patronizing. 

What is your favorite curse word?

The Irish say “feck,” and it’s better than all of the other curse words out there. 

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

“We didn’t think you’d make it!”

Posted on December 13, 2016 and filed under Interview, Questionnaire, Reviews, Tarot.

Seek joy, y'all - Arwen Lynch Poe

Picture it. 2016 Northwest Tarot Symposium. I'm sitting at a table with some other tarot nerds and make an off-color joke (how unlike me) HAAA!, I hear! So loud and clear it was like a bell ringing. I laughed to hear such a laugh! It was Arwen. She's my people, now.

Arwen gives readings with joy and light and love and sass and those EYEBROWS. But always the joy is there. She's a delight, and I'm delighted that she filled out my little questionnaire. Find Arwen here and here (for Tarotscopes!)

I am thankful for my friend. xo

I am thankful for my friend. xo

LFT Questionnaire

1.  What you appreciate the most in your friends.

First and foremost, I appreciate kindness. Humor rocks too. I want people who would be all decked out for the most fabulous party but would never complain if we stopped to pick up an animal who needed help. 

2.  Your idea of happiness.

A world where we can all be our best selves. You know, the Higher Self who reminds us to be kind, be compassionate, be soft with others. The Better Self who is gentle with our fragile, flawed selves. A world where we just love one another more and more each day. 

3.  Your idea of misery.

Misery, that all-encompassing sorrow, comes when I’ve done something hurtful to someone else. When I can’t apologize. When I can’t make things right. I work very very very hard to stay respectful even in arguments. I know I can’t be all things to all people but I want to at least offer my compassion to others. And knowing I had hurt someone to the point of no return? That is my misery. I don’t forgive myself easily for that sort of thing.

4.  Where would you like to live?

LOL Sooooo many places! In a hut by myself on a mountain. In a cottage by a lake with my friends. In an RV traveling the US and Mexico and Canada with my husband. I’ve got a motto from Ashleigh Brilliant. Bloom Where You Are Planted. I have lived all over so it helps me remember that each place I land has some value. I just have to find it. I’m more of a small town girl than a large city—unless that city is like Austin where you have pockets of small community. Oh, rambling me, Austin was probably my favorite place to live with Lansing, MI being a close second. Give me a good community and the place doesn’t matter.

5.  Your favorite colors and flowers.

Aubergine for the color and gladiola for the flowers. :D

6.  Your favorite poets.

Sarah Teasdale, Maya Angelou, Pat Parker, John O’Donohue

7.  Your heroes/heroines in fiction.

Wonder Woman. :D She kicks ass, baby! I also love Frodo and Sam for their friendship. 

8.  What role does divination play in your life?

It’s an everyday event for me. I pull a card each morning to answer the question “What wisdom should I carry with me into my day.” That question comes from retreats with Joanna Colbert who learned it from retreat leaders from her own work. I am not so much about “what will the next six months bring” but I do readings on shorter periods. I use all sorts of divination from Lenormand to Oracles, Astrology and of course Tarot. It’s also my livelihood so there’s that.

9.  Your heroes/heroines in real life.

My mother is still my hero even though she’s passed on. She was a powerful Scorpio who loved hard. She defended her children fiercely. President Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama, inspire me on a daily basis. I don’t see that inspiration slacking even after they exit the White House. Their love for one another is palpable. The people fighting for #lovetrumpshate, #nodapl, and all the other pushbacks against the insidious bigotry in our world are my heroes. Anyone who has ever stood up for themselves and others…heroes.

10.  What is your present state of mind?

Calm overall. I forgot to do this so I’m a bit embarrassed but I’ll live. I have a sense of wholeness that hasn’t been present for me since 11/8/16. That night fractured me on many levels. Stole a lot of my sense of peace and safety even though I’m extremely privileged. I am two steps down for a heterosexual white male in our society. One step down if someone is just seeing me as a white woman married to a white man. I self-identify as a queer femme (and my husband is totally okay with that.) I welcome this sense of wholeness. It’s coming from seeing all the outrage and “hell no’s” on my timelines. I see that I am not alone in my fear and anger and repulsion. And that helps.

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

Gaian Tarot is my fave deck. I’ve been reading with it as my go-to professional deck since it came out as a limited edition. I have a lot of decks but this one is my heart deck.

12.  Your favorite songs?

I’m not much of a music listener so these will be old. “Wildfire” is one. “Magic Man” is another. I love singers like Lisa Thiel and Enya. My friends joke that I’m a wallpaper music fan. So David Glass, N. Carlos Nakai, Whale sounds, waterfall music… :D 

13.  What is your favorite word?

JOY

14.  What is your least favorite word?

Trump

15.  What sound or noise do you love?

Silence. I don’t like ambient noise at all. I suppose the sound of water is my favorite.

16.  What sound or noise do you hate?

Arguing, loud voices

17.  What turns you on?

Brainy people

18.  What turns you off?

Willful ignorance.

19.  What is your favorite curse word?

DIRTBALL!

20.  If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
He’d look at me and say, “Your motto ‘Seek joy, y’all’ rocks my heavenly robes.”
Posted on November 24, 2016 and filed under Questionnaire, Interview.

Look for the answer inside your question - Kristen - Over the Moon Oracles

This card has been messing with my head for weeks. Nice one, Kristen!

This card has been messing with my head for weeks. Nice one, Kristen!

I followed otmoraclecards on Instagram because I was looking for new teachers. Not that there's anything wrong with my old teachers, but I felt like knocking the dust off. I was so pleased to have found Kristen at Over the Moon Oracle cards. Historically, I'm not a fan of oracle decks, but her are just beautiful and they drew me in. She also makes her own decks, which I love. My friend, Beth Maiden, featured Kristen over at her blog, here, too. 

I think the thing that caught my eye about Kristen's work is that it's ever-changing. There are decks with pictures, with words, with faces, with skulls. her process is fascinating:

(1) Vision - I first get a vision in my head of the deck. Many times I get the idea or vision years before the actual deck comes along. 

(2) Inspiration - this is the reason why I make the deck. The inspiration for all of my decks is personal use, meaning I just make decks I like and want to use. Often it's because I need a specific deck to answer certain questions or to use for an online class. 

(3) Artwork - I find artwork online through public domain stock photo sites, vintage photo collections, or old book illustrations. Or I make my own artwork using iPhone apps.

(4) Apps - I use iPhone apps to create all of my decks, editing the artwork and image for printing. 

(5) Prototype - I send off for a prototype deck.

(6) Review - I review the deck and do lots of readings with it to make sure it reflects my vision. I might make changes to the artwork or design at this stage. I typically have at least 6 decks in review stage at any given time. 

(7) Share - If others express an interest in the deck, I share it (publish it) through Printerstudio

All of these lovely tarot and oracle decks are creations of Kristen at Over the Moon

Kristen was sweet enough to fill out the LFT Questionnaire for us so we could get to know her better. Enjoy!

xo Lis

LFT Questionnaire

1. What you appreciate the most in your friends.

That they appreciate my weirdness.

2. Your idea of happiness.

Any combination of eating and watching usually does it for me.

3. Your idea of misery.

Being idle.

4. Where would you like to live?

I’m drawn to New Orleans, Sedona, and Hawaii.

5. Your favorite colors and flowers.

Color - red. Flower - Black-eyed Susan.

6. Your favorite poets.

Shel Silverstein and Paul Laurence Dunbar

7. Your heroes/heroines in fiction.

Milo from the book, The Phantom Tollbooth and Samuel J. Jackson in anything

8. What role does divination play in your life?

I’ve been doing divination for over 25 years so it plays a huge role in my life. I go into withdrawal if I can’t do a reading for myself at least a couple of times a week. I’ve read professionally and I love doing predictive readings but I tend to use divination tools mostly for self-discovery and personal insights.

9. Your heroes/heroines in real life.

Anyone who is struggling to thrive in this world, trying to make their dreams come true while staying true to themselves. That’s a monumental task.

10. What is your present state of mind?

I’m in a creative ebb right now which means I’m not actively creating a deck or much of anything else. At least not this week.

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

Cards. Pretty much any type of cards. I love tarot, playing cards, and oracle cards. I’m also getting more into Sibilla, Kipper, and Lenormand. 

12. Your favorite songs?

Anything by Etta James or Run DMC. I also enjoy the toning by Tom Kenyon on the Songs of Magdalen CD.

13. What is your favorite word?

Delicious. It sounds like it means.

14. What is your least favorite word?

I don’t have one. All words are powerful and beautiful.

15. What sound or noise do you love?

The sound of quiet in the morning when no one’s awake.

16. What sound or noise do you hate?

Loud, disruptive sounds shift my focus and energy quickly.

17. What turns you on?

Books. My iPad.

18. What turns you off?

Know it alls.

19. What is your favorite curse word?
Damn, as in “Read the damn cards.”

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

“Welcome back. You can rest now.”

Posted on November 23, 2016 and filed under Questionnaire, Interview, Inspiration.

Here’s to the magic of choosing your future. - Theresa Reed

Face of a Tarot Empire. Photo by Danielle Cohen http://www.danielle-cohen.com

Face of a Tarot Empire. Photo by Danielle Cohen http://www.danielle-cohen.com

I got to know Theresa Reed years ago through Twitter, and have been lucky enough to hang out with her in her hometown for her Soulful Proprietor retreat. She's the one who reads for *me*. She's a wonderful reader, teacher and now, author. Combining two of my favorite things - coloring and tarot - her first book is coming soon.

Theresa Reed (aka “The Tarot Lady”) has been a full-time Tarot card reader for close to 30 years. She is the author of The Tarot Coloring Book (release date: Nov 1, 2016), an illustrated tour through the world of Tarot with coloring sheets for every card in the deck. 
In addition to doing private Tarot readings, teaching Tarot classes, and speaking at Tarot conferences, Theresa also runs a popular website—TheTarotLady.com—where she dishes out advice, inspiration and tips for Tarot lovers of all experience levels. 
Follow Theresa on Twitter and Instagram for her daily “Six Second Tarot Reading”—plus photos of her extremely handsome cats, TaoZen and Monkey.

Theresa answered our questions for us and once again, made me laugh and find more reasons to adore her. I hope you enjoy reading this questionnaire as much as I did.

Thank, Lady! 

xo LFT

LFT Questionnaire


1. What you appreciate the most in your friends.

Honesty, wit, and loyalty. Those are the three things that I appreciate and value the most. If someone gives me that, I am a friend for life. I’m lucky that I have a small group of really close friends who I can count on to tell the truth, make me laugh, and watch my back. It’s rare and so wonderful!

2. Your idea of happiness.

My idea of happiness is a big glass of wine, a decadent meal, my husband and children with me, and a big, fat cat nearby bossing us all around. Most days, I have that.

3. Your idea of misery.

Being in a roomful of liars with the temp turned up to 95º and baloney sandwiches for dinner. Seriously...I would go postal!

4. Where would you like to live?

I love where I live right now - in the mighty fine city of Milwaukee. But if I wasn’t here, I would live in San Francisco because I love the weather. Give me that cool, gray stuff please!

5. Your favorite colors and flowers.

I love black, purple, silver, gray, turquoise, and green. Fave flowers would probably be roses, lilacs and lily of the valleys.

6. Your favorite poets.

Does a rapper count? (YES! - LFT)  Because I adore Kendrick Lamar. That man spits gold.

7. Your heroes/heroines in fiction.

Oh we have to go Game of Thrones here! Ha ha! I love Jaime Lannister, Tyrion Lannister, and Jon Snow, of course, for heroes. For she-ros, there is one that stands head and shoulders above ‘em all: Brienne of Tarth. I wish she’d take an oath to protect me!

8. What role does divination play in your life?

Divination helps me to see what may be around the corner so I know whether to go forth - or seek a detour. I don’t like surprises. 

"Oh, look.  'All I do is win, win, win....'... totally saw that coming". Photo by Danielle Cohen

"Oh, look.  'All I do is win, win, win....'... totally saw that coming". Photo by Danielle Cohen

9. Your heroes/heroines in real life.

I have quite a few: Damien Echols and his wife, Lorri Davis. These two have been through so much yet remain so good and decent. JayZ. He’s started from nothing and has built an empire! Oprah Winfrey, Patti Smith, BKS Iyengar - again, all people who have had to overcome tremendous odds to get where they are today.

My tarot heroes are Mary Greer, Rachel Pollack, Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone. These four
have been such role models - and so good to me. And lastly, my husband. He’s the most
honest man on the planet. I have learned so much about truth from him!

10. What is your present state of mind?

Zen. Getting ready to teach yoga. I teach yoga on the side and it always puts me in a good mindset. Everyone should do it! 

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

The Baroque Bohemian Cats’ Tarot is my favorite. But I also love the Rider Waite Smith and The Fountain Tarot!

12. Your favorite songs?

Have you got all day? I have too many to just pick one. A few favorites: The Killing Moon by Echo and the Bunnymen; The Man Who Sold The World by David Bowie; the entire To Pimp A Butterfly album by Kendrick Lamar; The Clampdown by The Clash; Hey World by Michael Franti; Cuts You Up by Peter Murphy; Like a Boss by Slim Thug; almost anything by Lana Del Rey; God’s Whisper by Raury....and so, so much more. Geez...that’s a hard one!

13. What is your favorite word?

I am fond of muzzle.

14. What is your least favorite word?

Moist. Ewwww....

15. What sound or noise do you love?

Cats purring.

Badass? *nods*  Badass. Photo by Danielle Cohen

Badass?

*nods* 

Badass.

Photo by Danielle Cohen

16. What sound or noise do you hate?

Loud eating. When someone smacks their lips, I lose my appetite.

17. What turns you on?

Honesty.

18. What turns you off?

Dishonesty. Cruelty in any form. Loud eating. Bad breath.

19. What is your favorite curse word?

Fuck!

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

“Did you bring your cards? David Bowie wanted to know.”
Posted on September 26, 2016 and filed under Questionnaire, Interview, Tarot.

I heal myself so I can heal others - Keva Bartnick

Every year since the early 2000's, I do readings at the St. Louis Pagan Picnic. If you're a new reader, this is one of the best ways to learn your craft. I would throw cards from sunup until I was sleepy, and I started seeing regulars come by year after year. 

My favorites were this group of five to ten smartassed, brilliant, uncompromising women - it always varied - who would all get readings, hang out in my tent, bring me presents and catch me up on their last year. We became a weird little family who hung out once a year. It's been almost 20 years and we're still a weird little family. 

One of these ladies is Keva Bartnick. She reached out to me a few years ago for tarot lessons, and took to the cards like they were made just for her. Maybe they were? Keva, in addition to raising three of my favorite little people in the world, has also become a certified Usui Reiki practitioner. She uses her gifts of Mediumship, Clairaudience, Clairsentience, Clairvoyance, and Claircognizance to assist in healing others. 

 She has an intense interest in Spirituality as it co-mingles with the Sciences, as well as, investigating many energy healing modalities, integrating them all into her own practices. She has worked with people all over the United States, Canada and Australia.

Her formal background is in Metalsmithing and Sculpture which she studied at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Other areas of her study include Past Life Regression, Soul Retrieval, Akashic Records, Ancient Egypt, Buddhism, meditation techniques, and Physical Science along with Gemology. Her current research centers around the expanding potential of the healing of our minds and bodies through Shamanism. Her vision is one of helping heal all beings, grounded in practical application of spiritual principles, and living fully in the moment.

Keva filled out the LFT Questionnaire for us, and is also going to begin working at Karmik Korner in St. Louis. On a personal note, I want to extend my condolences to the staff and family at Karmik Korner for the loss of Carrie LIn. She was a force, and I'm honored to have met her.

Keva will be providing Reiki, chakra alignment, balancing and cleansing, and will be reading the Akashic Records. She is kind, this woman. She is knowledgeable and understanding and loving. She has helped me. She can help you, too.

Her hours for October are Friday's 4-7 and Saturday's 11-2

Hi, punkin!

Hi, punkin!

LFT Questionnaire

1.  What you appreciate the most in your friends.

Honesty first, Loyalty second, and Humor third.

2.  Your idea of happiness.

Rainy days curled up on the couch in my jammies with a nice hot cup of coffee watching movies or reading, or reading while listening to movies. Either that or staying at a cabin in the woods where the snow is so deep you can snowshoe through the woods for hours and not come across another soul. Ya know, Introverting.

3.  Your idea of misery.

Being locked in a room with an angry hungover badger, or worse yet, being locked in a room with someone who hates you for the lies they tell themselves in their own minds, where even if you tell them the truth they still wouldn’t believe you. Those people... or Bigots, Racists, and hateful people, all tied for third place.

4.  Where would you like to live?

Everywhere! But if everywhere isn’t an option I’ll take here and the U.P. of MI, eh?

5.  Your favorite colors and flowers.

Black, because it’s freakin' slimming, doesn’t show kid stains, and makes me feel like the girl version of Johnny Cash. Turquoise because it’s a HAPPY color, and Coral...same reason.

Flowers? Lillies, Magnolias, and whatever flowers my husband gets me that have no smell...I can’t do smelly flowers.

6.  Your favorite poets.

Longfellow & Dr. Suess

7.  Your heroes/heroines in fiction.

Mr. Darcy, Catherine Earnshaw, Elinor Dashwood, and King Leonidas (Gates of Fire)

8.  What role does divination play in your life?

Every morning I wake up and do the divination things, every night before sleep I do the divination things, so at least I can say that I started the morning off on the right foot, and I choose to end the day on the right foot no matter what the middle looks like.

9.  Your heroes/heroines in real life.

Nikola Tesla, Leonardo Da Vinci, Mother Theresa

10.  What is your present state of mind?

Ready to embark on another great adventure into the story which is my life.

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

Oracle cards hands down! I also have this great Native American Animal Medicine Deck that is OUTSTANDING, and my favorite is my Native American Wheel Deck

12.  Your favorite songs?

Rock the Casbah by the Clash and anything at all by Sting!

Sunday Morning by M5

Almost anything by Maroon 5 because Adam sings straight into my soul - Albums: V and Hands All Over BOOM! *Mic Drop* “That dude can write a song,” just doesn’t even come close to summing it up for me.

Also NIN is good, AC/DC, and Metallica...Blake Shelton, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Conway Twitty.

13.  What is your favorite word?

Kindness, because it takes just a second to be kind, and that second could change someone's day.

14.  What is your least favorite word?

Bullying, because I’ve seen what it can do to people… because hurt people, hurt people. :*(

15.  What sound or noise do you love?

The sound of rain...ahhhhhhhhhhhh it’s so peaceful.

16.  What sound or noise do you hate?

Nails on a chalkboard, grinding of gears, or a truly hurt persons screams.

17.  What turns you on?

Intelligence and intelligent conversation, reading of books, knowing of things.

18.  What turns you off?

Ignorance, bullying, hatred of people.

19.  What is your favorite curse word?

FUCK! It’s the best word ever...It’s an adjective, it’s a noun, it’s a verb. It’s the best sentence enhancer I know, and I use it often.

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

“Well, well, well…..Look what the cat drug in. You look like hell, that’s good; you used up everything I gave to you and turned it into something good! Ya did good kid. Now come on, let’s go get a drink, and you can tell me ALL about it.”

Posted on September 21, 2016 and filed under Interview, Questionnaire.

asali: honey. swahili, from the arabic عَسَل ‎(ʿasal)

Twitter has introduced me to so many wonderful people over the years. Theresa Reed, Beth Maiden, and Starcana to name a few. I feel like it's a vibrant vehicle for our tarot community and it just keeps giving. 

Lovely Asali!

Lovely Asali!

I was talking with folks about the need for more decks with queer people and people of color (or hey- queer people of color) and am planning to make a list of them on my blog for people who are feeling the same way. I get that traditional decks can be read for everyone. I mean, I often identify as the King of Swords in tarot and I am not a white dude. HOWEVER, as time goes on, we as a community KNOW better, and so we DO better. We all know that representation matters. It matters to readers and clients alike. When I give a reading to my clients, I want them to see themselves in my deck. That's so much easier when you have options other than straight white folks. Let's all of us do better, yeah?

After I posted a shout out for diverse decks on Facebook, I wandered over to Twitter and saw that Asali from Asali Earthworks is looking for a deck featuring QTPOC (their abbreviation, not mine) (but I'm totally using it in the future) in fairy tales! I recommended Kris Waldherr's Goddess Tarot, and said I was making a list. Asali already HAS a list. it's here, and it's great. So in the interest of having many ways to find these decks, I'm going to be posting all the decks I find and the ones that Asali found (with credit, of course) and promoting the hell out of this lady. :) 

Asali also has an etsy shop where you can purchase her teas, readings and a lovely little talisman. 

 

 

She also filled out the LFT Questionnaire for us so we can get to know her better.

Thanks, Asali! I'm looking forward to working more with you.

xo! Lis

 

LFT Questionnaire 

 

1.  What you appreciate the most in your friends.
Femmes are my favorite people in the world because of how they love. They've been the most consistent people in my life-checking up, being vulnerable with me, sending me things, sharing their day and the most random facts. They're my healers.

2.  Your idea of happiness.
Being able to live sustainable as a healer.

3.  Your idea of misery.
Living up to other people's expectations.

4.  Where would you like to live?
Some place outside a  city but not too far away. A small house with a garden of herbs that I haven't mangled with my black thumb (the irony of an herbalist with a black thumb is never lost on me).

5.  Your favorite colors and flowers.
Sunflowers, they are my reminder to smile. I dare anyone to look right at a sunflower in bloom and not smile even a little. Go ahead, try it sometime. 
My favorite color is purple but yellow is what I turn to when I feel brightest- all credit to Oshun.

6.  Your favorite poets.
I'm always sinking into Warsan Shire,  as we share diasporic connections. Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha has reminded me so much of the broad love of my femme magic. More recently, I've fallen for Lettie Laughter who weaves spells out of poems about femme grief, trauma, love, and pleasure. It's also no accident that two of them are card slingers and if I find out that Warsan Shire reads tarot I'll melt out of sheer joy!

7.  Your heroes/heroines in fiction.
Hermione Granger, is that even a surprise?

8.  What role does divination play in your life?
It isn't understatement when I say divination saved my life. Part of the insidiousness of being mentally ill is that you lose trust in yourself, in your intuition, in the little voice that keeps you breathing through the worst of it. Divination is affirmation from the universe that I am true and what I'm seeing and feeling and needing is true. That divination often comes with guidance is a wonderful bonus.

9.  Your heroes/heroines in real life.
My mother. No one else comes close. We will always have a tenuous complicated relationship and half the time we hardly understand each other but no one else has modeled strength and love for me like she has.

10.  What is your present state of mind?
In lieu of an endless essay I'll submit The Hermit+The Moon as pretty accurate visual of my current state of mind.

11.  What is your favorite tarot deck or divination tool?
My Daughters of the Moon Tarot ties with The Wooden Tarot for deck favorites.

12.  Your favorite songs?
I'm actually horrible about picking favorite songs, books, etc so I'll go with what is currently on repeat.
Phenomenal Woman by Laura Mvula. Many Moons by Janelle Monae. Ima Read by Zebra Katz & Njena Reddd Foxxx. Oshun Chant by Women of the Calabash. Riverside by Agnes Obel.
Oh, and anything by Beyonce. I'm shameless about my position in the Beyhive.  

13.  What is your favorite word?
Femme.

14.  What is your least favorite word?
Excelsis. For some reason as a child, this word challenged my tongue to the point of nearly choking once. I hated even reading it in passing because I would always mouth along and there I was wildly trying to unstick my tongue from whatever contortion it attempted in order to pronounce this damn word. 

15.  What sound or noise do you love?
Thunder. I love the way the sound of thunder shakes me down to my bones and vibrates in my gut. 

16.  What sound or noise do you hate?
At this very moment, the sound of my cats' claws scratching the paint off my bedroom door.

17.  What turns you on?
Neon purple lipstick on a black femme.

18.  What turns you off?
Willful ignorance.

19.  What is your favorite curse word?
Fuck. 

20.  If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
“Well would you look at that, you made it!”

Posted on August 6, 2016 and filed under Questionnaire, Interview, Tarot.

It has been an amazing adventure. That's for sure. - Connie Kick

I met Connie Kick at Theresa Reed's Soulful Proprietor workshop. It was love at first sight. She is brash and loud and sweet and funny and we IMMEDIATELY started giving each other shit. Like you do. Connie gave me a great reading and then started with the negative self-talk and doubt and I believe I told her to stop acting like an asshole and own her gifts.  or something like that. I forgot. I'm a delicate flower and don't often speak in such ways.

Anyway, in the two years since this retreat, it's been wonderful to see Connie's tarot business and confidence grow. I'm so glad that I get to know her, and I hope you check her out. This lady knows her business, and doesn't mess around. 

Also, it's her BIRTHDAY!  Happy birthday, jerk-face! You're my favorite.

xoxoxoxo LIS

There's my girl. :D Likely stalking Billy Idol in this pic.

There's my girl. :D Likely stalking Billy Idol in this pic.

LFT Questionnaire


1.         What do you appreciate the most in your friends?  

Them knowing all the good, bad and ugly truths and still loving me no matter what.

2.        Your idea of happiness?  

Hanging out with the ones I love and laughing at stupid shit until it hurts.

3.        Your idea of misery?

Being alone

4.        Where would you like to live?  

Kauai, HI

5.        Your favorite colors and flowers?  

Royal Purple and anything NEON. (I was a teen in the 80’s).  My favorite flower has always been the daisy.

6.        Your favorite Poets?

Jim Morrison and Maya Angelou

7.        Your heroes/heroines in fiction?  

Jon Snow, Atticus Finch and stanley yelnats

8.        What role does divination play in your life?    

Tarot has always intrigued me and during the darkest hours of my life I had an internal Tarot Revolution which helped me find my fun-loving self again.  I truly believe Tarot saved my life. As a result, I became very passionate in sharing it’s magic. While I do read for clients, I’ve discovered my real passion for teaching the magic.  I host a monthly class in Kenosha WI (aka as Kenowhere, as the city is smack dab in the middle of Chicago and Milwaukee). The best part of this experience is seeing transformations occur in my students— knowing that the Magician's magic works!

9.        Your heroes/heroines in real life?  

My Oma and Opa Leopold, My Oma and Opa Kalitowitsch, and Theresa Reed.

10.        What is your present state of mind?  

It’s Friday Bitches!

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

The deck that saved my life.  The Gaian Tarot by Joanna Powell Colbert.  This is How the Magician killed my Suicide - During the darkest time of my life, on the dark edges of suicide, the face of The Magician card from Joanna Powell Colbert's Gaian Tarot called to me from the shelf of a Barnes and Noble book store and saved me from my own twisted demise.  Because of that magical moment, I now know how to laugh and smile again. I will explain how out of all the resources available during that desperate time (counseling, meds, crystals, etc.) a simple deck of tarot cards that cost less than one co-pay at the counselor's office is the one tool that really worked to pull me out of the darkness.  

12.        Your Favorite songs?  

This Place – The Slender Men (my Son’s band’s original), Rat Race – Billy Idol,   Maybe – Janis Joplin, Sweet Child in Time - Deep Purple

13.        What is your favorite word?  

Giggle

14.        What is your least favorite word?  

Ain’t

15.        What sound or noise do you love?  

My Son and Daughter’s key opening the front door.

16.        What sound or noise do you hate?

My Parrot calling me a “Rag” over and over and over

17.        What turns you on?  

Billy Fucking Idol

18.        What turns you off?  

Liars!

19.        What is your favorite curse word?

FUCK!

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

“Holy shit, you made it?!”

She can see into your future. And probably kick your ass, too. xo

She can see into your future. And probably kick your ass, too. xo

Your actions are your own, and the future’s mutable anyhow. Own it. - K. Potter

I joined tumblr last year, I think, and immediately realized that I was 41 years old. I took my tumblr down, and then put it back up. I didn't like the format, didn't understand how to interact with people, really, and it just pissed me off in general. Just as I was wondering what the hell I was doing there, I put out a shout out for local (St. Louis!) readers and I found K. Potter. We had a little meetup thing with my current crew and Potter and a few other folks and Potter was the last man standing. They were funny and engaged and smart and totally into the cards - just like me. 

This is Potter all fancied up for readings at the Beggar's Carnivale. Daaaaaamn.

This is Potter all fancied up for readings at the Beggar's Carnivale. Daaaaaamn.

I think I joined tumblr to find Potter, and then I left. (thanks, Tumblr!) (See, I capitalized it. I am aged.) They were the fifth addition to our little tarot crew (St. Louis Cardslingers *finger guns*) and then everything felt like it was in place. Potter has turned their entire tarot experience into an amazing tumblr/blog. Writing about spreads and decks and politics and the queer experience and life in general and tying everything together with some truly gorgeous handmade tarot bags/pouches. 

Potter Bag

Potter Bag

Except for the crafty part, Potter reminds me of me, like 20 years ago. They are fascinated by the tarot, and because of this, every blog post or observation is touched with this excitement about learning more and expanding their knowledge and it's fuckin contagious, y'all. I was about ready to give up tarot two years ago, and having Theresa Reed and my local tarot crew has completely turned my enthusiasm back up.

OH AND ALSO - speaking of crafty - you know the thing kids these days are doing? This deck modification stuff? The cutting off of edges of cards and dying of same edges? Ok, the first time I saw this I was mortified. That's a DECK OF CARDS! Oh the humanity! But then I saw what Potter did to it. She gave Sarah Kate's Dreaming Way tarot a haircut, and then dyed the edges three colors that matched the deck art and also there was glitter involved. Whaaaat. It's beautiful. Potter will modify your decks for you in exchange for American dollars. 

SO, Potter filled out ye olde questionnaire for us, and I've included pictures of their HANDMADE tarot bags. I have a Wonder Woman one for my Heart and Stars tarot and a red and black flannel one for my Supernatural deck. Because Potter spoils me. 

Go to Potter's blog. Check out their bags. Get a reading from them. Because Potter is really, really good at this.

xo LFT

LFT Questionnaire!

1.  What you appreciate the most in your friends.
The opportunities to connect with them.

2.  Your idea of happiness.
Spending time with someone I care about and having great conversations/activities. 

3.  Your idea of misery.
Being hot, sweaty, and no end in sight.

4.  Where would you like to live?
In the mountains with access to a beach or river.

5.  Your favorite colors and flowers.
Silver. Bright colors. Black. Lilacs & daisies.

6.  Your favorite poets.
Theodore Roethke nearly top of the list, just behind Andrea Gibson.

7.  Your heroes/heroines in fiction.
Finn & Rey, Captain America, Hawkeye (“aw, coffee, no”

8.  What role does divination play in your life?
It’s a way I connect with people, even if it’s just for 20 minutes.

9.  Your heroes/heroines in real life.
My day job supervisor is pretty kickass, and I hope to follow in her shoes.

10.  What is your present state of mind?
In need of a serious caffeine jolt! It’s a pretty consistent need.

11.  What is your favorite tarot deck or divination tool?
At the moment, Thea’s Tarot. It really depends on the moment and the vibe, since each deck has something unique about it. 

12.  Your favorite songs?
Ok, so I was going to say some variation of Bon Jovi (because I love Bon Jovi), but I think I gotta say Hozier’s Work Song. 

13.  What is your favorite word?
Because [noun].

14.  What is your least favorite word?
Bobolink. 

15.  What sound or noise do you love?
Rain.

16.  What sound or noise do you hate?
Sudden loud things that make me jump.

17.  What turns you on?
Joy & passion & confidence.

18.  What turns you off?
Paternalism & condensation. 

19.  What is your favorite curse word?
Fuuuuuuuuck.

20.  If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
“Everyone has a different way of getting here, so welcome!”

...healing the earth, healing ourselves... - Joanna Powell Colbert

I got the first edition Gaian tarot in the lovely gift bag we received at Theresa Reed's "Soulful Proprietor" workshop. I'd like to say that I formed a long and loving relationship with it, but the truth is, my Girl Child stole it the second I got home and claimed it as her own. I did do a few readings from it, and it really read like a dream. 

I love the diversity in the cards - people of color and curvy women, older folks and toddlers. I love the expressions on their faces and the little flowers and elements peeking out of each card that I can draw on during readings.

Sometimes, I do this thing where I forget I'm a witch. I know it sounds weird, but I forget to touch base with the earth and all that I have to learn from it. I can't do that when I use these cards. I feel like the symbols in the cards are pointing me toward their twins in my own world and that I just need to pay attention.

The second edition is out now (and there's a delay in shipping - it's crazy popular, you guys!) and I'll be reviewing that when I receive it, but for now, here is the creator of this lovely, earth-centered deck - Joanna Powell Colbert. 

Little Fox Questionnaire

1.  What do you appreciate the most in your friends?
Their depth. Their willingness to face the hard stuff and come out the other side. Their commitment to doing their own sacred work.  
 
2.  Your idea of happiness.
Hanging out on the beach with people I love, watching / drumming / singing the sun down and the moon up.  
 
3.  Your idea of misery.
Personally: too much time in large groups of people with not enough time to be alone and recharge.  
On a larger scale: seeing people (especially on social media) throw hateful, vicious words at each other, making assumptions about the Not-Me that are most likely not true.  

4.  Where would you like to live?
Right here, where I live now, on this little island in the Salish Sea. I left it for six years and felt like I was in exile the entire time. Never leaving again.  
 
5.  Your favorite colors and flowers.
Blues and greens. Lilacs. Lavender. Wild roses. 

6.  Your favorite poets.
Mary Oliver, David Whyte, Patricia Monaghan, Gary Snyder.  
 
7.  Your heroes/heroines in fiction.
Inspector Gamache from Louise Penny’s novels. Mary Russell in Laurie R. King’s novels. Maisie Dobbs from Jacqueline Winspear’s novels.  
 
8.  What role does divination play in your life?
I use divination tools for spiritual guidance, to help sort out options around decisions I need to make, to spark new ideas, for comfort and solace. Among other things! 

9.  Your heroes/heroines in real life.
Terry Tempest Williams. Angeles Arrien. Christina Baldwin and Ann Linnea. 

10.  What is your present state of mind?
Creatively charged. 
 
11.  What is your favorite tarot deck or divination tool?
Besides my own deck?   The Dark Goddess Tarot by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince. Charms. And reading omens and signs directly from the natural world.  
 
12.  Your favorite songs?
"The Eye" by Brandi Carlile. “Gloria" by Michael Franti. “Medicine" by Rising Appalachia. “Glorious" by MaMuse. “Guadalupe" by Gretchen Peters. "She Carries Me" by Jennifer Berezan. “Holy Mother” by Luciano Pavarotti & Eric Clapton. 
 
13.  What is your favorite word?
Numinous.  
 
14.  What is your least favorite word?
Putrid.  
 
15.  What sound or noise do you love?
Ocean waves. The dawn chorus. My guy, playing guitar.  
 
16.  What sound or noise do you hate?
Chainsaws. Dentist drills. Gunshots. 
 
17.  What turns you on?
An open heart. The ocean. Roots / Americana music. A well-turned phrase. 
  
18.  What turns you off?
Shallow people. Hateful people. Plastic bottles.  
 
19.  What is your favorite curse word?
I don’t think I have one. 
  
20.  If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
If heaven exists and I arrive at the Pearly Gates to discover that God is showing up in a male form, I’ll be pretty pissed. But if heaven exists, and my boat makes a landing on the Western Isles and I see the Goddess waiting on the shore, I’d like to hear her say, “You did good, kid." 

Ursula Vernon - Award winning author, illustrator & creator of oddities.

Skunk Rock.  (wooooooooo!)

Skunk Rock.  (wooooooooo!)

Usually, I interview people with some sort of relationship to divination, and Ursula Vernon has like a pinky toe connecting her to that Universe. She has been one of my favorite artists for at least a decade and It's enough for me. It's good to be the owner of the blog. Ursula has released a few tarot images, but most of her work is non-tarot related. Well, kind of. I think that you have to be a little...different...to read cards. Different life, different perspective, different ways of knowing. 

Ursula Vernon's art lives in a place that's a little different. I see her gift the same way I see the novels of Charles deLint and Stephen King. She's a world creator. In her world, Wombats populate the tarot, turnips lurk around dark corners, and  turtles named Balthazar are ever suspicious of sketchy lemons. (for good reason). She has children's books - published under Ursula Vernon - and adult books published under the pseudonym T. Kingfisher. She has a wonderful crew of curvy women, anthropomorphic heroes and my favorite, Lurking Sock Puppet.

Even though Ursula doesn't plan to finish the Wombat Tarot in its current incarnation (she has grown! Her art has grown!) she does plan to do a tarot deck in the future, which I will be waiting for with baited breath.

This makes me laugh EVERY time I see it. And I have the print in my office, so it makes me laugh A LOT.

Ursula filled out the LFT Questionnaire and was so patient with my fangirling. Thanks for your patience, dear. :)

xo LFT

LFT Questionnaire

Wombat seeker


1.  What you appreciate the most in your friends.

I have ridiculously talented and absurdly kind friends. I am always astonished that that they let me hang out with them. And they let me go on about random horrible nature facts at the drop of a hat, which you
learn to appreciate.

2.  Your idea of happiness.

I'd like to have plenty of projects to work on, but not crushing deadlines, and enough money that I didn't have to worry about money.  Unfortunately it seems like you can have one or the other, but not both!
Still, I'm generally pretty happy, even though I'd like to spend more time at home than I'm able to right now.

Even though it's not a deck this is one of my favorite versions of the Page of Swords in existence. 

Even though it's not a deck this is one of my favorite versions of the Page of Swords in existence. 

3.  Your idea of misery.

Boredom and poverty. I've been there. I'd rather not go back.

4.  Where would you like to live?

You know, I'm never really sure! I've moved so often in my life that I've pretty much adapted to wherever I am. I'm happy here in rural North Carolina at the moment, though I wouldn't mind living in the Sonoran
desert, or down by Tucson. But the water situation is pretty dire out there, so I'm not making plans to move any time soon.

5.  Your favorite colors and flowers.

Color: Purple. I'm a fan of purple. Green's also got a lot to recommend it.

Flower: Oh dear, there's so many, and I love them all in different seasons! I grow a great many types of sage, and the desert sages have small, brilliant flowers. But I think my favorite is actually squash blossoms. They're these big orange and yellow trumpets and they're
gigantic and if you're lucky, they grow into squash, too!

6.  Your favorite poets.

I like Rumi and Basho. "O snail, climb Mt. Fuji, but slowly, slowly!"

7/8.  Your favorite heroes/heroines in fiction.

I am a sucker for Number Ten Ox in Hughart's Bridge of Birds, because I love a polite hero. For heroines...oh, Aerin from McKinley's The Hero and the Crown was always my inspiration.

The flowers get me every time. Lovely.

The flowers get me every time. Lovely.

9/10.  Your heroes/heroines in real life.

Dear me...Heroines first: Sarah Stein, who wrote "Noah's Garden" was a great advocate for plants when it wasn't yet popular. Jane Goodall. My grandmother, who was less of a heroine and more like the avatar of a
particularly charismatic goddess. For heroes...Sir David Attenborough, the garden writer Henry Mitchell, and I am a real sucker for Patrick Stewart.

11.  What is your present state of mind?

OH GOD I HAVE TWO WEEKS UNTIL THE NEXT CON I DON'T HAVE ENOUGH ART AND ALSO I SHOULD FINISH THIS BOOK WHY IS THIS BOOK NOT FINISHED...ahem.

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

Honestly, counting crows. One for sorrow, two for joy...if I see one, I look around for a second, just in case. Seeing two gives me a little bit of a lift that things are gonna be all right.

For tarot decks, I always thought the Alice in Wonderland deck with the suits of peppermills and flamingoes was awesome.

13.  Your favorite songs?

Oh lord! Well, there's a bunch of them..."Rattling Bones" by Crooked Still. "Rain Dogs" by Tom Waits. "Dark Days Indeed" by Firewater. I like a kind of weird dark Americana, not really country but kind of it's goth cousin.

14.  What is your favorite word?

Stone.

SAME. SAME. SAME. Thank GOD for Mercedes Lackey.

SAME. SAME. SAME. Thank GOD for Mercedes Lackey.

15.  What is your least favorite word?

Tummy. Hate it. Cringe when I hear it.

16.  What sound or noise do you love?

Whippoorwills in the woods at night.

17.  What sound or noise do you hate?

The music of Rush. (omg same - LFT)

18.  What turns you on?

I hope we mean in an abstract intellectual sense! Native plants, ecology, interesting bugs.

19.  What turns you off?

Being proud of ignorance.

20.  What is your favorite curse word?

I say "crudmonkies" a lot, when not using something much stronger.

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

"Good job."

Such hope and love lives here. 

Such hope and love lives here. 

Posted on July 8, 2016 and filed under Inspiration, Interview, Questionnaire, Tarot.

There are no quick solutions for an artist to truly convey their message - Matt Hughes

So, like I said a few weeks ago, I get sent books and decks and Kickstarters all the time, and it's made me run into an ethical issue. I don't like reviewing something I haven't touched. It's weird and feels fake. Like, I have a book at home that I need to review, and I'm not writing a single word about until I'm finished with it. 

The problem this raises with Kickstarters is that the deck doesn't exist yet. How can I review something that isn't here yet? I've started relying on the imagery. The Pagan Otherworlds Tarot is So fricking beautiful, and I backed it after just looking at one picture from it. The Little Monsters deck, too.  This next deck is the same. I think that instead of a "review", I'll just consider these posts a way to share cool decks that are coming around. I haven't read with them, obviously, but there is something there, for sure.

The Ethereal Visions deck is not my type of deck - at first glance. It's got gold foil on each card, which would have set off my 'flashy' radar generally. It's also very character heavy, which isn't always my favorite. BUT (and this is a big but), it's just completely beautiful. Each picture is in the style of Art Nouveau and they're small works of art. I would read with this deck because I feel it would be a pleasure to hold them in my hands. Also, the expressions on the character's faces tell story after story. This is not a poorly thought out, pretty deck. This is going to be a wonderful tool. Matt Hughes has built something beautiful here, and he's also filled out the LFT Questionnaire for us (see below the magnificent art)

So - I'm gonna back the kickstarter - and you can, too. It launches in 2 days or so. 

xo LFT

 

LFT Questionnaire

with Matt Hughes - creator of the Ethereal Visions Tarot

1.  What you appreciate the most in your friends.

Their honesty and support

2.  Your idea of happiness.

Producing art full time while enjoying our home in the mountains.

3.  Your idea of misery.

Not being able to produce art

4.  Where would you like to live?

In nature – preferably in the mountains

5.  Your favorite colors and flowers.

Lavender and I love all flowers

6.  Your favorite poets.

Edgar Allen Poe

7.  Your heroes/heroines in fiction.

Captain America and Doctor Who

8.  What role does divination play in your life?

I’m just now becoming familiar through the development of this tarot card deck

9.  Your heroes/heroines in real life.

Alphonse Mucha and John Singer Sargent

10.  What is your present state of mind?

Stressed and excited

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

The one I am working on

12.  Your favorite songs?

I am I by Queensryche

13.  What is your favorite word?

Sphincter

14.  What is your least favorite word?

Overdue

15.  What sound or noise do you love?

Cello

16.  What sound or noise do you hate?

Crying baby

17.  What turns you on?

A challenge

18.  What turns you off?

Arrogance

19.  What is your favorite curse word?

fuck

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

Back again, huh?

Don't gain the world and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver or gold... - Bob Marley

At last year's Northwest Tarot Symposium, I got to meet a new reader with literally the best smile I've ever seen - Ashley Oppon. THEN she told me the name of her business- Dreadlock Tarot. Perfect. It's just got a ring to it.  Ashley's personality is just as beautiful as her smile - super optimistic and engaging, I liked her right away. And having just gotten a reading from her, I'll tell you that this woman knows her business. I listened to her reading (which was cool - I've never recorded mine - something to think about) and then I listened to it again. And then again. It was very nuanced and detailed and most importantly - it made me THINK. The readings that stick with you for a while? Those are the ones that you know are resonating and changing parts of your life. I was super impressed. 

So, Ashley - being super cool and nice - filled out the LFT Questionnaire for me. Thank you for the reading, DLT! Folks in the tarot community need to keep an eye out for you, for sure.

xo LFT

See? Best smile ever.

See? Best smile ever.

LFT Questionnaire


1.  What do you appreciate the most in your friends?

That they know how crazy and weird I can be and still tolerate me.

2.  Your idea of happiness.

Being able to live my life the way I truly desire and knowing that all my friends and family are safe and happy, and pursuing their dreams.

3.  Your idea of misery.

Being locked into a situation and not being able to change my circumstances.

4.  Where would you like to live?

Here in New Jersey, where I live now. It’s a weird answer, but I kind of love my state.

5.  Your favorite colors and flowers.

Purple, Blue and Green, in that order. Lilies and roses.

6.  Your favorite poets.

Rumi.

7.  Your heroes/heroines in fiction.

I don’t read a lot of fiction, but I remember one of my favorite characters was Candide.

8.  What role does divination play in your life?

It is my constant reminder that there is a force, there is more than me in this world. It is a trusty advisor when I cannot see the light for myself.

9.  Your heroes/heroines in real life.

My mom, my grandmother, Yaa Asantewaa, Nelson Mandela, pretty much anyone who is strong and fierce enough to stand up for what they believe in.

10.  What is your present state of mind?

Excitement. There are so many different things that are happening now in my life and it’s just really exciting.

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

I don’t think I even have favorite deck. The ones I have been using the most lately are The Golden Tarot by Kat Black and the Lumina Tarot.

12.  Your favorite songs?

I’m a super music love so these are just a few of my favorite songs: Every song that Bob Marley has written, The Cave by Mumford and Sons, Drive by Incubus, She’s So High by Tal Bachman, Savior by Rise Against, Doin’ Time by Sublime

13.  What is your favorite word?

As varied as the tarot itself. This wackadoo knows her stuff...

As varied as the tarot itself. This wackadoo knows her stuff...

Awesome

14.  What is your least favorite word?

Epitasis.

15.  What sound or noise do you love?

Crashing waves.

16.  What sound or noise do you hate?

Someone grinding their teeth.

17.  What turns you on?

Men in three piece suits. Good God I love a man in a three piece suit and a tie.

18.  What turns you off?

Dirty fingernails.

19.  What is your favorite curse word?

Shit. It’s just rude enough to express your feelings of disapproval, but if you say it around a kid by accident you don’t feel bad.

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

Yo, what’s good?

and everyone loves Ashley...

and everyone loves Ashley...



 

Capture the magic of the moment - Gillian Avart

I got an ARC copy of Create Tarot Naturally by Gillian Avart, and I have to say, this book is really fantastic. Gillian created her own tarot deck by taking photographs of things in her world that suited the cards. Her pictures range from a Carousel for the 8 of Wands to a Shredder for the 10 of Swords. Some are very poignant - a boarded up house for the 5 of Disks, for example. It's a very personal project, and the best part of the book is that she teaches you how to make your own, as well. I love her interpretations of each card - they really resonate with the original meanings, but if I made my own deck (when I have time? It's happening) it would be vastly different from hers.

The book gives us a walk through Gillian's own deck, and then turns into a how-to DIY your deck. My favorite part, though, is her 'Learn from my mistakes' chapter. Super helpful and considerate.  There is even a quiz in the back of the book to help new readers become accustomed to the tarot. (I took the quiz and totally passed.  Thank gods.)

There are a LOT of tarot books out there (said the lady coming out with a tarot book in January), but this one is great for a tarot novice and for nerds like me who get grabbed with the idea of building my very own deck and are looking for a way to make it so. Thanks for sharing your work with us, Gillian!

xo LFT

 LFT Questionnaire

1.  What you appreciate the most in your friends.

The freedom to be “me” and they, “them”.  (literally one of the best answers I've seen)

2.  Your idea of happiness.

The deepest love and cuddles imaginable. It makes the world go round.

3.  Your idea of misery.

Being let down.

4.  Where would you like to live?

Exactly where I am now. This is my spiritual home. I magically found it about 2 years ago. It’s perfect.

5.  Your favorite colors and flowers.

Sky blue and rosewood pink. Any flowers which are wonderfully fragrant and pretty like jasmine.

6.  Your favorite poets.

Edward Lear and Ogden Nash. Both looked at the funny side of life.

7.  Your heroes/heroines in fiction.

I don’t read much fiction. Whilst I was teaching I buried myself in technical books on anatomy, physiology and various therapies. But actually, some of that turns out to be “fiction”. I have read Lord of the Rings - Gandalf full of mysteries is my favorite here. In films, show me a do gooder action hero like Arnold Schwarzenegger and I’m hooked! 

8.  What role does divination play in your life?

I think I can “read” almost anything. My background in complementary therapy EG Aromatherapy, Reflexology and Reiki covered body language, the conditions of skin, hands and feet, auras etc all of which can contribute to an idea of the person’s past present and likely future. 

I am the one who used my son’s leg muscles to assess the health of our dog. This used kinesiology techniques and worked! I also “crystal healed” a dining room some years ago.
I thoroughly believe that these weirdo things work but I’m a pragmatist and I need to try them out myself. I have an idea of why, but in order to find out how, I would actually like to talk with quantum physicists. I am sure their ideas are just as weird as mine and maybe we would come up with something new.

So now I have left the rat race for the human race, I have more time to practice and investigate divination of any kind and developing them to make them available to anyone. 
On a personal basis, I use my Tarot Naturally cards daily. That helps me understand their depth and breadth of meaning and their cheeky funny side. My friends and family often ask for a reading either with cards, astrology or both. They have faith in me! I am retired but do readings as a volunteer for the Tendring Time bank. 

9.  Your heroes/heroines in real life.

There are so many to choose from but perhaps the top two are:
Darwin – he was very brave when he upset the establishment of the time.
Mother Teresa – gave her life to giving love and education to those who needed it most.

10.  What is your present state of mind?

Good, happy, pleasantly excited.

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

I was using the Gilded tarot a lovely colourful deck and the most clear for me to see until my sight worsened. Now it has to be the cards I have made – Tarot Naturally. I also like to keep abreast of what the planets are up to but my failing eyesight makes me cautious about using astrology publicly.  My third eye and instinct is taking more and more of a leading role. I know I don’t really need my cards but my cards seem to need me. I feel as if I am their Mum! (You are! -lft)

12.  Your favorite songs?

All my friends would instantly say “Barry White”. I like anything you can dance to with full range of sound. That is from Glen Millar to the soul and disco of the 70s. Even some modern pop too! Perhaps my favorite song is “The Shadow of Your Smile” from the Sandpiper. Beautiful on piano – if only I could play it properly!

13.  What is your favorite word?

Unity, a word I would like to use much more.

14.  What is your least favorite word?

Phthalates – who on Earth thought of that one? 

15.  What sound or noise do you love?

Waves lapping at the seashore.

16.  What sound or noise do you hate?

Alarm bells.

17.  What turns you on?

Creative thinking and scientific breakthroughs that benefit everyone.

18.  What turns you off?

People who want something for nothing.

19.  What is your favorite curse word?

Oh shit – I can’t think of any as I never use them, do you?

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

Welcome, step inside. Your purpose has been fulfilled, there’s no need to go back. You are loved and can love in everlasting spirit.