These decks allow us to confront what we know with what we think we know. - J. Ryan Kent

Jake has a kickstarter for this wonderful decks - The Queer Community Tarot Deck.  We spoke with Jake earlier about his Queer Street Tarot business, and I'm happy to have another questionnaire about his new decks. These decks are focused on all aspects of the queer community, and are dedicated to making sure that people see themselves in their cards. 

You can visit the Kickstarter at the link above, and find out more about the deck below. 

xo! Lis

Earth - tell me how this deck makes you feel at home

These decks combine all that I’ve learned about myself, about others, and about community. Queer culture doesn’t usually come with a ready made home for everyone, more often than not it is a shake and bake hodgepodge of people coming together to live their lives. These decks embrace that idea at their core.

Air - how does it challenge you mentally?

Within each of these decks, the queer meaning is in there, among everything else, and the esoteric aspects of human sexuality make these enriching decks that allows people to explore concepts and ideas they may not have stared at too long in public. These decks allow us to confront what we know with what we think we know.

Fire - what is the connection to Self?

I feel that these decks will share something special with people. Especially those directly associated with the deck, i.e. the queer community. It can be easy to find tarot decks but one that speaks to you as a being, rather than just a few cards thrown in here or there is harder. With these three decks, it will be easier for more people to find themselves in some form within the cards.

Water - How will it connect to people emotionally?

Working from my previous answer, this deck is about fulfillment, about exploration, and about growing an understanding of community around you outside of media, the many voices that can sometimes feel monotonous when it comes to social justice work. There should be space for everyone at the table and that is what this set of decks aims to create.

Spirit - What is this deck's connection to Spirit?

Human beings have always been had a complex relationship with sexuality just as they have had with spirituality and religion. While these decks don’t have a set of religious beliefs tied to them, I am hoping that people have their own experiences with them. These decks are an evolution in the way we think of tarot, in the way we interact with decks, and the way in which we study them—I feel. I want to blur the lines between traditional meanings and other disciplines. Jung did it with psychology, I want there to be one deck that really focuses on human sexuality to give voice to a non-heterosexual perspective.

Posted on July 18, 2017 and filed under Inspiration, Interview, Tarot.

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. - Oscar Wilde

Frank and those CARDS. Wow. (Image from http://www.interviewmagazine.com/culture/frank-andrews/

Frank and those CARDS. Wow. (Image from http://www.interviewmagazine.com/culture/frank-andrews/

I met Frank Andrews by way of his sister, Terry Iacuzzo. I interviewed Terry a few years ago, and was lucky enough to become friends with her. During a trip to New York this spring, Frank allowed us to walk through his home. I felt as if I were in a museum. From furniture of the 1820's Europe, original artworks from Andy Warhol and Yoko Ono. An exorcism kit from Asia. It was true sensory overload, in the best way. As the stairs went up further and further, the amazement of seeing an actual Warhol got shoved aside by the original program of Alice in Wonderland, (1888 to 1889) in which one of his teachers performed.

The man himself was neatly dressed, gracious and was very welcoming to myself and my friends as we gawped at his home. We were even able to look at his original deck which was so faded you could barely make out the images. (I picked the Sun card!)

I’ve interviewed his sister Terry, and a few weeks ago, I got to interview their sister, Rosemary. All three siblings work or have worked as professional psychics in the past, and was lucky enough to talk with all of them. Frank is still reading in New York City, in that amazing house, in one of the most wonderful cities in the world.

As I’ve said before, tarot readers are tarot scholars - like it or not. You can learn so much from those who started reading before you. Frank has some books underway and we’ll be also able to see his story on screen. In the meantime, he was nice enough to fill out the questionnaire for us.

 

LFT Questionnaire

 

  1. What you appreciate the most in your friends.
    What I appreciate the most is their understanding of me, and not putting pressure on me. And I don’t put pressure on them. If we cancel plans, no big deal.
  2. Your idea of happiness.
    The absence of sorrow. We have to get rid of the tears, the sorrow, first. A millionaire might need another million dollars, a priest might want to save a soul, but if the sorrow is still there, they’ll never be happy. 
  3. Your idea of misery.
    When people are stuck, like the Hanged Man, and they come to me looking for a way out but there is no exit. There is a play of that name, “No Exit” by Sartre. Three people in a room, no door, no window. They’re in hell. One of them looks up and says, “Hell is other people.”
  4. Your favorite colors and flowers.
    My favorite colors are blue - like  in the portrait that Andy Warhol did of me. He asked what my favorite color was. I also love green because it’s healing. My favorite flower is a daffodil.
  5. Your favorite poets.
    If you said favorite writer, that would be easier. Oscar Wilde and William Shakespeare.  My favorite line that Oscar Wilde said was “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
  6. Your heroes/heroines in fiction.
    I would think that Robin Hood and the Wizard of Oz are my favorite fictional heroes.
  7. What role does divination play in your life?
    Well, it is my life. I sit at my reading table nearly every day, and have done so for almost 55 years. It’s looking into other people’s lives rather than my own. Once I was asked by an Australian magazine what were the ten worst things about my life. The first worst thing is when I read for people and they don’t have a happy ending. When they are sick and there is no hope.
  8. Your heroes/heroines in real life.
    Jiddu Krishnamurti was number one.  He was an amazing speaker. Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and Alfred Adler all had wonderful ideas about the mind. 
  9. What is your present state of mind?
    (Raucous laughter) Do I really have to answer that?
    Actually, right now, I’m at the happiest point I’ve been in a long time. Some wonderful things are going on. A TV Producer wants to make a tv series on my life - if it happens, great. If not, it’s ok. I’m happy to be in a win-win situation. I’m also working on a memoir. 
  10. What is your favorite tarot deck or divination tool?
    Tarot is my favorite tool - and it is a deck that is no longer in production. The Swiss 1 JJ deck is my favorite deck. It’s very esoteric. It’s not the traditional pictures that we know. You have to pick the deck that talks to you and that works for you. You train your inner eye and the pictures that you see opens the door.
  11. Your favorite songs?
    If I had to pick a modern singer I certainly love Adele. My favorite kind of music is opera or classical. I listen to Beethoven before bed.
  12. What is your favorite word?
    Samadhi. It’s a Sanskrit word that means intense, effortless concentration. When one is doing a reading it becomes very intense but it must be effortless or else the reader takes on the problem in him or herself. If I were to answer the phone during a section and return and say where was I? All is lost. Reading is using a different part of the brain and it's all about letting go. It could sound like I'm just talking but it's a lot more than that.
  13. What is your least favorite word?
    I don’t know if I have one, to be honest. It’s the right/left. The Up/down. The Sun/Moon. Even if it’s ‘bad’, that’s how you get to the ‘good’ 
  14. What sound or noise do you love?
    In nature, I love running water. Of musical instruments, I would pick the cello.
  15. What sound or noise do you hate?
    I wouldn’t use the word hate, but I don’t like fire engine sounds. It makes me flash on tragedy.
  16. What turns you on?
    (Again with the giggles) Wonderful! It was BEAUTY that killed the beast, my dear, and you can quote me on that one.
  17. What turns you off?
    Well, I was in a supermarket and this mother was yelling at her daughter, and the screaming that she did was awful. The poor girl was just shuddering. When someone yells at a child, they don’t get that it’s just a child.
  18. What is your favorite curse word?
    Sonofabitch. Auntie Mame used to say that the world is a banquet but most sonofabitches are starving. The real Mame was named Marian Tanner, her nephew wrote the book about her. She lived at 72 Bank Street, quite a character. She’s the one who told me I was a psychic.
  19. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?  
    I believe we die and come back . Some of us never get it right so we do it over and over an old soul to me means you have been around a long time. We are born smart but learn to be stupid. So, when i get to heaven, if  I do,  I’ll probably be lonely. All my friends are somewhere else. I'm sure somebody is going to say "What took you so long? 


 

Thank you, Frank, for your time!

xo Lis

 

Posted on July 13, 2017 and filed under Interview, Tarot.

Watch for me by moonlight - Alfred Noyes

Lovely Rosemary

Lovely Rosemary

Rosemary Wise is one of three outstanding siblings. Her brother, Frank Andrews, has been reading tarot professionally in New York City for over 50 years. Her sister, Terry Iacuzzo, also in the City, has been reading tarot for nearly 40 years. Rosemary has been reading in her quiet corner of upstate New York quietly for almost as long.

Rosemary has a skill called psychometry. This is the ability to pick up psychic impressions from touching or seeing an object. Show Rosemary the pictures and she’ll tell you who the people are. Hand her your your watch and she’ll tell you its story – and yours. Once, a crime occurred in her neighborhood. The detectives were sent to her house by neighbors because of her gift. She started getting names from the photos, and the detectives thought that she knew the crooks and was involved. She didn’t want to work with them again because they became suspicious of her.

She never really been a professional reader– just really liked doing it. She found clients through word of mouth and worked as a volunteer at an art gallery doing fundraising. She never really had a dedicated job as a reader, but it was always a huge part of her life. She craved beauty around her. No darkness.

She would pick up psychometric readings of the artists while walking through a gallery.  She said that she’s tried to have a balanced life but the divination is always there. She sees the different layers all the time. She gets pulled into other people’s stories.  We both have experienced that oftentimes, what we tell our clients happens to us, too. Not every reading, but enough to be noteworthy.  It’s almost like a parallel life.

We also both find that we’re pulled toward people with gifts like ours. Rosemary called them Moon and Stars people.

Rosemary is currently going through treatment for cancer. She’s gone through brain hemorrhage, and an earlier bout of stage 4 cancer. She’s tenacious and optimistic and hopes to be doing readings again when she completes this round of treatment. She imagines the medicine as golden light pouring into her and uses meditation to assist her healing.

Part of why I’m a forever tarot student is because of people like Rosemary. These folks who share our paths with us. Rosemary grew up weird and quiet (and liked being called a witch!) Just like me. She found a friend in her gift and in her runes, and instead of running from her magic, she embraced it. We have always existed. We have always been here, and we will always be.

LFT Questionnaire

1.       What you appreciate the most in your friends.

Honesty.

2.       Your idea of happiness.

Being able to travel and having interesting weather. A lot of times when I do travel, there is often a big storm, an earthquake or a blackout.

3.       Your idea of misery.

Illness. Rosemary is going through cancer treatment currently.

4.       Your favorite colors and flowers.

Purple, all shades of blue. Peonies, roses and lilies. Star gazers

5.       Your favorite poets.

Christina Rosetti and  Alfred Noyes “The Highwayman”. Edgar Allen Poe – Annabel Lee

6.       Your heroes/heroines in fiction.

La Femme Nikita – there’s something about her. I wish I could be like that.

7.       What role does divination play in your life?

It guides me. It always has. It’s always been consistent in my life and I always receive good, sound advice through intuition. I realize that everything I look at, I see or hear a message. Everything changes what it is. I see faces and patterns. Everything becomes something else. It wasn’t overwhelming, really. The imaginary life was more interesting. I see faces in the trees, ancient gods.

One time I came upon a ring of blue butterflies – blue morphos – and they’re usually found in South America. I’m always looking for things like that. My husband was with me, so he saw it, too. I’m glad I wasn’t alone. I pay attention to the un-seeable. It’s always around us. If you know what to look for you can see.

8.       Your heroes/heroines in real life.

Joan of Arc – we went to France not too long ago. We were in her village and the chateau where she first told the king she could win the war. Abraham Lincoln – very wise.  Ben Franklin.  My husband, brother, sister and daughter, Diana.

9.       What is your present state of mind?

Cloudy

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

I use the runes and do psychometry. I receive information when I hold objects. I also like the Visconti tarot deck. It’s golden and sparkly – just beautiful. I only do tarot for myself. I read for other people with psychometry, runes and palmistry.

11.   Your favorite songs?

I love Paris – Ella Fitzgerald

Autumn Leaves. The shadow of your smile.  Bruno Mars and Pharrell

12.   What is your favorite word?

Telemetry – receiving information from a distance. Received the word in a dream.

13.   What is your least favorite word?

Dead. I believe that everything goes into the spirit world so dead feels wrong

14.   What sound or noise do you love?

Sound of birds chirping. You don’t hear birds in the winter in Buffalo because of the cold

15.   What sound or noise do you hate?

Construction tools. High pitched whining

16.   What turns you on?

A good tv series. Just finished Dexter. Loved Breaking Bad. House of Cards

17.   What turns you off?

People who are too political and go overboard. Some folks seem like they’re going to have a stroke about it and it’s not worth it.

18.   What is your favorite curse word?

Crap

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

Hello and welcome. Your friends are here.

             **You can find out more about Rosemary in the book Small Mediums at Large by her sis, Terry.

Posted on July 1, 2017 and filed under Interview, Inspiration.

AFFIRMATIONS: you are valued. you are never alone. you are deserving. you are a bulletproof pegasus who drinks acid rain. you are enough - Maggie Stiefvater

She is a very teeny bucket of sass.

She is a very teeny bucket of sass.

I found the the series "The Raven Cycle" by ruthlessly judging a book by its cover. I got the audiobooks from my library, and listened to them like it was my job. Only once before have I read a book that portrayed tarot readers as something other than stereotypes. (The Grift by Debra Ginsburg) There is a house full of tarot readers and psychics, a young, awkward but brilliantly smart and funny protagonist, four earnest young men, and a story that weaves in and out of socioeconomic issues and magic. It's urban fantasy at it's best.

Here are some questions that I had for Maggie about her books and the cards:

If you get this from the library, save yourself some heartache and get the rest of them lined up, so you don't have to wait. Trust.

If you get this from the library, save yourself some heartache and get the rest of them lined up, so you don't have to wait. Trust.

1.     How long have you been reading the cards?

My origin story is a fairly common one: a friend gave me a deck over a decade ago with the vaguely threatening warning “cards only work if they’ve been given to you instead of purchased,” and then I found that they didn’t work for me anyway. I tried to memorize the meanings and smack some sense into them, but they remained a pile of cards. I didn’t touch them for years after that until I got a very, very intuitive read from a friend probably five or six years ago. It was the sort of read where she would say “this card in this position means you’re an asshole, this card says this is what to do with that information.” I didn’t realize the cards could be like that — just raw, honest weather reports instead of nebulous, prognosticating wisdom. I could get behind a ritual that told me whether or not I needed an umbrella in the upcoming week instead of waggling its eyebrows and saying I might be traveling over water sometime in the future. I like wise mirrors, and that’s what this kind of read seemed to promise.
 
2.     Would you consider yourself an intuitive reader, or pragmatic, or a bit of both?

 Intuitive. I don’t expect that’ll ever change. It’s how I run my life for the most part, anyway, why should the reading be any different?
 
2. One of the characters in the Raven books says that the tarot readings will be accurate but not specific (except for Blue), and that it's easier that way. Do you find this to be true in your own readings?
 
Most of the answers my reads provide solve for the underlying problem that is at fault, instead of the specific issue the querent has in mind, always and ever more interested in solving the person instead of the world. So they do generally seem accurate but not specific. On some rare occasions, though, particularly if I’m reading for couples, they can be wildly specific. I find those reads harder, though, especially if I’m reading for someone I have just met. You have to go out on a limb and really go for the specific message the cards seem to contain, knowing that you might be totally off-base.
 
3.     Adam's relationship with the cards was so personal, and quick. I had this exact reaction to the cards - I knew they were Mine, but had no idea what they were. Was this your experience with meeting the cards, as well?

 The first deck I clicked with was the Wild Unknown. They reward the intuitive reader, I think, and they felt primal in a way that felt appropriate to telling someone how to change their life. Is it terrible to say that I never really loved a deck until my own, though? I’m working on drawing another deck now and I’m not sure I’ll ever work with one I didn’t create myself again. It says things in a language I know.
 
4.     Adam uses the cards to connect to the magic and the ley lines - in this way, he's the Magician and the deck is one of his tools. Blue is/was the Page of Cups.  Do you have a card in your head for each of the characters? 

No — that’s the sort of thing that wouldn’t really appear unless I needed in “on screen,” so to speak. I do know my favorite card, though — the Moon. I love the uncertainty and possibility contained in it.
 
5.     One of the things I loved the most about these books was the accurate portrayal of the tarot readers. They are all unique, they all use the cards differently, each deck is personal to them, and they can be complete assholes while doing readings. The scenes in the house were literally like any night in my kitchen with my friends.  How many readers do you know, woman?

Many, many, many, and like you said, in real life, people use tarot for different reasons and in different ways. Wise mirrors, after all. One of the more unusual uses I’ve seen for them is a friend who uses the cards for intuitive plot spreads — teasing out what you mean to be writing about.
 
6.  Is there any chance of a backstory book with Persephone or Maura? I know that's an obnoxious question to ask an author, but I just can't help it.
 
Ha! I love both of them, but I don’t care for prequels — it’s not as fun for me if I know absolutely every way it turns out. But I’m sure tarot will appear again in future books. 


You need this deck.

You need this deck.

And if THAT weren't enough, she made a damned tarot deck, too! The Raven's Prophecy tarot is GORGEOUS. It reads like a mother and is so completely clever. You guys - the Magician has all of his 'tools' carved into his hand. Brilliant. She also has a new book coming out in October. I was lucky enough to get an advanced reader copy at the ALA Conference in Chicago.  It's wonderful, and I'm nearly finished with it.  I also got to say hi to Maggie, who was just lovely. She filled out the questionnaire for us and I hope you enjoy it.

xo Lis

LFT Questionnaire

1.  What you appreciate the most in your friends.
Curiosity, integrity, and self-awareness. My schedule means that I swing from acres of time to none of it, so all of my friends are the sort who don’t mind that they might go from having a lot of me to suddenly having none of me. They’re an odd sort that mostly all get along with each other even if I’m not there, and I’m fairly certain because folks who are interested at poking at the more enigmatic parts of life and personality are generally interested in other folks who are also interested in poking at the enigmatic parts of life and personality.  

2.  Your idea of happiness.
I think I’m a generally happy person. I’m happy when I’m purposeful, I’m unhappy when — wait, I see this is the next question.

3.  Your idea of misery.
Misery for me is being powerless, without a plan. Once I have a plan, I’m good, even if the situation is still just as crappy.

4.  Where would you like to live?
I live in the middle of nowhere in the Shenandoah Valley, which is my favorite place to live. I reckon I’d also live in the middle of nowhere, Yorkshire. I prefer it when the world feels empty.

New book will be released in October!

New book will be released in October!

5.  Your favorite colors and flowers.
I like yellow roses and yellow cars, but I don’t know if I’d call them my favorites — I’m just always pleased to see them. I know that I like roses because they are fussy and don’t always love you back, and I know I like yellow in general because it is aggressively cheerful. I reckon if you look at the art I’ve created over the last decade, a very clear palette comes into sight: inky blacks and browns, burnt oranges, turquoise. I like things that look like they’ve been around awhile.

6.  Your favorite poets.
I am not good at poetry, but W. B. Yeats (“that is no country for old men”) and Rilke (“I want to be with those who know secret things or else alone”). 

7.  Your heroes/heroines in fiction.
I like the badly behaved experts, generally speaking. Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle is a perfect example of the type — bratty, vain, accomplished, secretly noble. 

8.  What role does divination play in your life?
I use the cards more for others than for myself — it’s a great ice-breaker for people you don’t know, and it’s a great way to start a hard conversation with people you do. When my friends and I get together in groups, we’ll often spend one of the nights just reading each other’s cards, talking out plans, thinking about the future and how we connect or don’t. There’s something satisfying about the ritual of it, the making an evening meaningful. In my own life, my connection with the spiritual and the future tends to be gut feelings and dreams, instinct and insight. I’m not very structured.

9.  Your heroes/heroines in real life.
I try not to build folks up or put them down. It’s true that some of us are doing better jobs at being heroic than others, but I feel like I get along better if I just try to regard everyone as human.

10.  What is your present state of mind?
Snot. I’m distractingly ill at the moment. But beyond that, I feel both excited and unsettled. I’ve long had a sort of nagging suspicion that this year was going to change everything for me personally, and now I find myself looking at a lot of moving pieces that I don’t have control over. Ordinarily I’m good at shifting my future using my own plans and skills, but 2017 is full of things that I have to wait on instead. It’s exciting because I love chaos and change, but it’s unsettling, because I am normally the one driving the boat. 

11.  What is your favorite tarot deck or divination tool?
I read with my own a lot (is that allowed? Can I say that?) (Yes. It's awesome and I read with it a lot, too) Often when I go places and people ask me to read, they have me do it with a copy of my deck that they’ve bought), but I also like the Wild Unknown and the Golden Tarot. I’m always looking for the perfect deck which exists in my head — something subtle and archaic — but I haven’t found it yet. I’ve started drawing a new one. Maybe that’s the one I actually want.

12.  Your favorite songs?
Impossible. I listen to music nearly every minute of every day, in a wild range of genres. But it’s easy enough to say that I prefer stuff in a minor key and stuff with interesting harmonies. I listen for timbre more than melody.

13.  What is your favorite word?
Piscatorial. Of or relating to fish or fishermen.

I am spoilt. Thanks, Maggie.

I am spoilt. Thanks, Maggie.

14.  What is your least favorite word?
Chuckle.

15.  What sound or noise do you love?
Mourning doves in the evening.

16.  What sound or noise do you hate?
The sound of a television turned on but with the sound turned off.

17.  What turns you on?
Enthusiasm.

18.  What turns you off?
Small-mindedness.

19.  What is your favorite curse word?
Shit.

20.  If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
“That was touch and go, wasn’t it?”

There was magic at work when this community got together and created something extraordinary - Shelley Carter

Elora, Ontario, Canada  ...wow.

Elora, Ontario, Canada  ...wow.

I met so many amazing people at my first Readers Studio in New York. One of those was Shelley Carter,  Shelley is an artist and a tarot reader who lives in probably the most beautiful place I've ever seen - Elora, Ontario, Canada. 

Shelley and 65 of her fellow artists created a tarot deck comprised of 78 works of art. I've owned a couple of decks with contributions from various artists - the Amanda Palmer tarot, for example. One of the drawbacks to a multi-artist deck is that the different artistic styles can seem disjointed. I'm happy to say this is not the case in the Elora Tarot. All of the cards go together - even though they're full of wildly different styles. I wish I could have been there for the gallery showing of all of the works! You can see pictures below.

Shelley let me have a copy of this beauty for review, and it did not disappoint. She also answered the questionnaire so we could get to know her better! 

The Review!

Artwork - This deck is ridiculously beautiful. Each card is unique in both the style and interpretation of tarot meanings. And the Devil Card holds a secret.

The Suits - This isn't a standard tarot deck, so there isn't a standard across the suits. You can tell what each card represents (and there are titles just in case). 

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

Cardstock - Larger cards with pretty sturdy cardstock. 

The Book! - The card descriptors come from the artists themselves, which is fantastic. You also get to learn a little about each artist. The descriptions are succinct and helpful. 

Shufflability - They're big, but manageable.  

Should you buy this deck? Yes. Not only are they lovely, but you'll be supporting a community of artists. Can't get much better than that. 

LFT Questionnaire

  1. What you appreciate the most in your friends. A sense of humour, creativity and intelligence

  2. Your idea of happiness. Discovering a new destination with my family

  3. Your idea of misery. Being in a cramped space with no escape for an extended period

  4. Your favorite colors and flowers. Periwinkle blue, and purple … irises and peonies

  5. Your favorite poets. No one specific, but I enjoy a good haiku

  6. Your heroes/heroines in fiction. Morgaine in The Mists of Avalon

  7. What role does divination play in your life? More than a hobby, less than a career, it’s a persona

  8. Your heroes/heroines in real life. Stephen Lewis, Canadian politician, brilliant speaker, former UN Special Envoy for HIV in Africa

  9. What is your present state of mind? Grateful, engaged

  10. What is your favorite tarot deck or divination tool? The Elora Tarot, of course! I know the back stories and read with them in mind

  11. Your favorite songs? Anything I can dance to!

  12. What is your favorite word? Diaphanous … so onomatopoeic!

  13. What is your least favorite word? Must … I instantly want to rebel!

  14. What sound or noise do you love? My family laughing together

  15. What sound or noise do you hate? Taunting

  16. What turns you on? Cleverness, a brilliant use of language

  17. What turns you off? Dogma

  18. What is your favorite curse word? Horseshit … bullshit doesn’t quite cut it

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

Gratitude in all things, no picking and choosing and Let Love Radiate. - Jill Campana

Bucket o'sass and magic right here.

Bucket o'sass and magic right here.

One of the things I've enjoyed the most about having the book published is that people let me know what they think of it. I've gotten the nicest emails and facebook messages from folks, and it's been really wonderful.

One of those connections was with Jill Campana, a fellow Missouri girl (who lives in Wisconsin) who was also carried away by the cards. She wrote me a lovely email and told me about her amazing and fascinating life. She's owns a company with her husband, and is a Black Belt Nia Practitioner, Awakening the Tarot Facilitator, Reiki Master Teacher, Meditation Facilitator, Chakradance Workshop Facilitator, and she calls herself a "newbie" tarot reader. I love it when people underestimate themselves. Taking tarot into dance is something that has always inspired me. My friend, Jennifer Lucero-Earle introduced me to the idea of Nia Dance and Embodied Tarot. Right after meeting Jennifer, I heard from Jill. I love it when the Universe is subtle.  You can find Jill at the following links, and learn more about her below.

http://www.myjoyfuldance.com
http://nutman.com/corporate/
https://www.facebook.com/JillCampana

Jill - thanks for reaching out and making me part of your Tribe!

xoxo Lis

LFT Questionnaire

What I appreciate the most in my friends: That they chose me as their friend; loyalty; creativity; acceptance My idea of happiness: It’s fleeting if I look for it or expect it.

For me happiness is part of the journey, not a destination to reach. It’s also a state of mind. My idea of misery: it loves company, much like negativity — start the ball rolling and those who aren’t anchored in knowing who they are will attach themselves for lack of anything better to do. I don’t know that I can remember the last time I was aware or knew misery — other than having the flu and “feeling miserable” physically. And like happiness, is a state of mind.

My favorite colors and flowers: purple and teal are my favorite colors, although I mostly wear black or shades of gray. Up until 3 years ago (and for 30 years) I colored my hair shades of red, but wouldn’t ever wear any red since it seemed to clash IMHO. Now my hair is shades of silver and gray so I’m beginning to appreciate wearing the color red. I’m not sure I have a favorite flower…I love them all — if I were to have to pick one, I’d say iris, but I love basket flowers, sunflowers, snapdragons, tulips, roses…

My favorite poets: Emerson and Ogden Nash My heroes/heroines in fiction: Sansa in Game of Thrones; Bobby Axelrod in Billions; Wolverine from X-Men; Katnis from Hunger Games. (I’m laughing as I type these names…there’s a pattern of “revenge” in these characters that I love). And then there’s Harry Potter, and Aragorn and Legolas from the Ring Trilogy.

What roles does divination play in my life: My life IS divine, so there is no “role”. It is part of who I am. I’ve learned and am continuing to learn though how to utilize my intuition, which I consider to be my divine inner voice.

Enchanted is a word I use often to describe my life.

My heroes/heroines in real life: Martin Exeter (deceased); my husband, Frank; Theresa Reed (my tarot mentor); Julie Lange; Ann Bell; Donna Tanner Blodgett.

What is my present state of mind: curious, expanding

My favorite tarot deck/divination tool: I’ve used several over the past couple of years but I now fully embrace Barbara Moore’s Gilded tarot. I started out with this one and put it down to try the Illuminati tarot deck, the Mystical Cats, Gaian, Cosmic and Chrysalis. I didn’t connect with the others like I connected with the Gilded tarot, so I’ve stuck with it. I carry one with me at all times and I have one at home. My other divination tools are Reiki, journaling and Chakradance.

My favorite songs: HA! My husband and I were just talking about this yesterday as we were driving back from Missouri. I have many, but here are some of my favorites: Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd; Hotel California by The Eagles; American Girl by Tom Petty; Torch by Bob Holroyd; Heartbreaker by Crazy P; Awakening by Vargo; Can’t Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake; Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars (I have lots more but that will do for now).

What is my favorite word: I have 3: Please, Gratitude, Forgiveness

What is my least favorite word: Can’t What sound or noise do I love: a cat’s purr

What sound or noise do I hate: snoring or anything loud and piercing

What turns me on: sunrises, sunsets, full moons, a sky full of stars, music that makes me want to move my body, a good glass of cabernet

What turns me off: BIGTIME turn offs: abuse of any kind but particularly child or animal abuse; hypocrites. SMALL TIME turn offs: snoring, chewing with one’s mouth full, buttinskies, know-it-alls

What is my favorite curse word: Fuck or Shit — I say both of them a lot, except around my husband who says neither and doesn’t appreciate that level of cursing.

If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates: I don’t think that kind of story-book Heaven exists. Heaven, in my world, is here and now. I’m either creating Heaven or creating Hell. Both are conditions that are created in the present moment, not at some later date. However, if I believed in going to heaven when I die, I would like to hear God say, “Hot damn girlfriend, you represented me well, you did your job and did it well, thank you.”

Posted on June 7, 2017 and filed under Interview, Questionnaire, Tarot.

Please don't f*ck with my shit. - Blue Q

Fancy bags for fancy cards.  (Gaian Tarot by JPC)

Fancy bags for fancy cards.  (Gaian Tarot by JPC)

One of the things that goes along with being a professional tarot reader is the propensity for deck hoarding. Most tarot decks are delivered in either a cardboard flip box, or an elaborate cigar box style thinger. The flip boxes are flimsy and fall apart pretty quickly, and the cigar boxes are gigantic and hard to carry around.

So, what do you do? You find tarot bags. I have some that were made by friends, a really terrible one that I made myself, and a few really expensive ones that I got when I was younger. What I've learned over the years, though, is that ZIPPER POUCHES are our salvation, brothers and sisters. And they're fucking $6.99.

They're the perfect size, they are sturdy and secure, and if you're lucky, you can find some really cute ones. This is where Blue Q comes in. Along with making really fantastic accidental-tarot bags, they make socks and boxes and totes and bathroom stuff and random other things. 

I emailed them to see if I could interview them for the site and they said yes! And they sent me some swag, which is greatly appreciated (although my husband made me share)  Below, you'll find the interview with amazing Blue Q Rep who wishes to remain anonymous, but I totally know who it is because psychic, duh.

LFT Questionnaire

  1. What you appreciate the most in your friends. Self-awareness

  2. Your idea of happiness. A dirty martini

  3. Your idea of misery. Confrontation

  4. Your favorite colors and flowers. Color: a smokey blue / Flower: Hellebores

  5. Your favorite poets. Jack Gilbert

  6. Your heroes/heroines in fiction. Pippi Longstocking

  7. What role does divination play in your life? Not much

  8. Your heroes/heroines in real life. David Byrne

  9. What is your present state of mind? A little fuzzy

  10. What is your favorite tarot deck or divination tool? I have no idea!

  11. Your favorite songs? Obvious Child, Paul Simon

  12. What is your favorite word? Actually

  13. What is your least favorite word?  Probably

  14. What sound or noise do you love? Peepers in the spring

  15. What sound or noise do you hate? The buzz of a mosquito

  16. What turns you on? Humor

  17. What turns you off? Arrogance

  18. What is your favorite curse word? Fuck

  19. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? “Turn around, I’m sending you back in.”

Blue Q's tag line is "Proud designers and manufacturers of life-improving, joy-bringing, products since 1988." Right up my alley. I hope you like them, too.

xo Lis

Posted on May 29, 2017 and filed under Inspiration, Tarot.

My shop is my temple. And it runs on love & devotion. - Aidan Wachter

Almost a year in and I haven't even dented mine!

Almost a year in and I haven't even dented mine!

My Joe and I got married last year. He got me a beautiful engagement ring, which I promptly slammed in a door. Stone fell out. Second ring? Stone fell out. Third ring? Stone fell out. Fourth ring? Smashed against the wall, stone fell out. I was then grounded from engagement rings. We were looking at rings that represented who we were individually and as a couple. We'd both gotten necklaces from Aidan (pentacle and crossroads sigil, respectively) and asked if he'd design our wedding bands for us. NO STONES. 

The result is pictured above- a Fox paw nestled safely in a Bear paw. Me and Him. The scrollwork that was added on the side coincidentally matches a tattoo on my arm perfectly. Magical.

Magical creation is what Aidan does. He's a talismanic jeweler and works in what our friend Bri Saussy calls "The Sacred Arts". I see his work as holding space to create magical and holy artifacts for his clients. I know that my pentacle necklace called to me. That my ring keeps me grounded. This is more than just beauty living in these pieces.

He is also a really, really nice guy with a great sense of humor and some epic musical tastes. 

LFT Questionnaire

 1.     What you appreciate the most in your friends.

Their continued love & support through the years. I don’t have a lot of close friends, so the ones I do have mean the world to me. That they put up with me is highly appreciated!
 
2.     Your idea of happiness.

Good weather, my wife, and all of the critters on our land. Making dreams in metal. Making music. I love the simplicity of our life & my work.
 
3.     Your idea of misery.

The inability to communicate when I really, really want to! 
 
4.     Your favorite colors and flowers.

I love silver! I love it best a bit abused & tarnished & all satin-matted out and distressed. It’s pretty when it’s all shiny like a mirror, but it shows it’s true self in a well worn state! As for flowers, I’m a datura freak, and not picky about variety. The smell, the flowers, the spiky seed pods, all of it. I had a datura hell week when I was 15, and after it decided not to kill me, we have been good friends. 
 
5.     Your favorite poets

Patti Smith, Jim Carroll, and Chris Whitley. All are musician-poets, which are the kind that suit me best. I prefer my poetry with guitars attached!
 
6.     Your heroes/heroines in fiction.

Jilly Coppercorn from Charles DeLint’s books. (me, too!! -LFT) Gulliver Foyle from Albert Bester’s The Stars My Destination. Burke from Andrew Vachss’ works. Random from the Amber books. I like my heroes a bit roughed up but willing to go for it, whatever their personal ‘it’ is! 
 
7.     What role does divination play in your life?

A lot, but not so much in a mechanical sense. In other words, my work (both magical and in metal and the two combined) requires that I read signs and trust my intuition to a huge degree. I’m often asked to find a magical/visual ‘answer’ to what is often an un-framed question. That process is very much one of pure divination. And frequently I don’t actually understand the answer, I just know when I have found it!
 
8.     Your heroes/heroines in real life.

Today I will pick Damien Echols & Lana Wachowski. And a few of my friends who I will be kind to and leave unnamed!
 
9.     What is your present state of mind?

It’s good at the moment! A touch of jeweler’s stress, as I am working though a difficult procedural problem, but other than that, things are good in there! 
.
10.  What is your favorite tarot deck or divination tool?

Can't decide who is cuter.

Can't decide who is cuter.

My favorite deck is the Noblet Marseille as re-built by Jean-Claude Flornoy. It’s really the only one I’ve ever been to consistently read with (using my interpretation of what I have learned from Camelia Elias approach). My favorite tool, however, is my hand turned brass plumb bob from Richard Kell in England. I have been a pendulum guy for 30 years, and this has been my tool for nearly all of it. It’s fantastic, and lights up for me now with a perfectly beautiful halo when I use it.
 
11.  Your favorite songs?

This one stumped me, so I am using the Fabeku method! These are the songs that have stayed in heavy rotation for a good long while:
 
Hotel Vast Horizon by Chris Whitley
Theurgist by True Widow
Lucretia My Reflection by The Sisters of Mercy
Stay Clean by Motorhead
Johnny the Fox meets Jimmy the Weed by Thin Lizzy
Holy Mountain by Sleep
Red Temple Prayer (Two Headed Dog) by Roky Erickson
Marked for Death by Emma Ruth Rundle
Father Lucifer by Tori Amos
No Bells on Sunday by The Mark Lanegan Band
Crowned by These Immortal Souls
 
12.  What is your favorite word?

Ectoplasmic. I have always loved Rowland S. Howard, but never as much as when he actually used ectoplasmic in a song. Sigh.
 
13.  What is your least favorite word?

Meh.
 
14.  What sound or noise do you love?

Thunder! Massive, house shaking, booming echoing thunder! My animals do not agree with me on this, not at all.
 
15.  What sound or noise do you hate?

I do not like the vacuum cleaner. On this me & the animals agree. It is the sound of a bad, demonic force.
 
16.  What turns you on?

People on (metaphorical!) fire. People making beauty. Raging guitars. Rock and roll.
 
17.  What turns you off?

People fucking over other people/things.
 
18.  What is your favorite curse word?

Motherfucker! As in ‘Don’t say motherfucker, motherfucker!’ (which is also a fine song!).
 
 19.  If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

“You were mostly not an ass”.  :) Seriously, I can’t begin to grok the concept of this, so I have nothing serious to say. 

You can find Aidan here:             

FB: https://www.facebook.com/tveirhrafnar/
Site: http://www.aidanwachter.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/silfrsmith
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aidan.wachter/
 

xoxoxoxo LIS

Posted on May 28, 2017 and filed under Interview, Questionnaire, Reviews.

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.