Questionnaire

The Marshmallow Marseille - A review

 I absolutely spent a really long time playing with the reflections on this deck. Not sorry

I absolutely spent a really long time playing with the reflections on this deck. Not sorry

I got a copy of the Marshmallow Marseille by Jorge Cuaik. Now - to be completely honest, I don't like Marseille decks. Mostly because I learned with the RWS deck, and also because it looks like a bunch of sticks for me. HOWEVER, my friend Ryan Edward is changing my mind with his beautiful work, and then I get this shiny gorgeous thing in the mail.

I like small decks (and I cannot lie) because I have wee Polish hands and it's easier for me to shuffle. The cardstock is fantastic and the box is sturdy. The artwork is pretty and I like the color palette a lot. I only see white/traditional faces here.

Jorge answered our questionnaire below, and you can find the Marshmallow Marseille here. 

xo Melissa

Questionnaire 

Tell us about yourself!

I'm a Mexican filmmaker, costume designer, screenwriter, sometimes singer, full-time sorcerer, astrologer in training and broomstick-traveler. I left Mexico City at sixteen to study high school in a picturesque boarding school in middle-of-nowhere Scotland. There I met the devil at the crossroads and decided crossroads were totally my thing so I haven't stopped wandering since. After more than ten years of country hopping I now live in the small magical town of San Miguel de Allende in Mexico which has a pink church as its centerpiece and a giant building shaped like a duck. I continue to travel whenever I can.

Three years ago I set out to put all the pieces of my scattered life together and created the Wandering Oracle website, at first a small blog, later a divination shop, it will reopen soon in an updated format. Just last year I teamed up with my brother to create our first original Tarot deck and like cotton candy in a French carnival stall the Marshmallow Marseille, puffed up into existence. A new and sweeter than ever edition is available now.

What's your idea of happiness?

A room full of books, a tea making station and a reading marathon. Also, road trips.

What's your idea of misery?

Defending of any sort of singular 'reality'.

What do you appreciate most in your friends?

My friends are a true collection. I like it when we share sidekick roles in each other's stories the most and I appreciate every killer Karaoke duet.

Where would you like to live?

Japan Japan Japan, there's my haiku spell. I like to move so another fantasy of mine is owning small nest-like spaces in many places around the world and being able to jump between them. Shame about the property market but hey, Airbnb

Your favorite colors and flowers?

Green and Jasmine. I only like living, potted flowers and plants. I dislike the smell of flower vase water because it reminds me of graveyards. Nothing against graveyards but I have a very sensitive sense of smell.

Your favorite poets or authors?

Angela Carter and Charles Dickens. Ursula K LeGuin is also a favorite. Living authors, my favorite is David Mitchell. Of the classic poets, I'm team Shelley.

Your heroes/heroines in fiction?

Buffy and Angel forever. I also adore Miles from the Vorkosigan book series by Lois McMaster Bujold.

Your heroes/heroines in real life?

Anyone who actively practices empathy and real kindness. Historical hero Tousant L'Ouverture. Previously mentioned favorite authors. All the great witches, Giordano Bruno, L. Frank Baum, Jack Parsons, Robert Anton Wilson, David Lynch, Hayao Miyazaki, Kate Bush, Selena.

What is your present state of mind?

Trying to avoid an online shopping spree. Want to read Vettius Valens Anthology (astrology classic) all night.

What role does divination play in your life?

Divination is like my pocket-sized, always ready synchronicity device and also my favorite travel companion.

What is your favorite divination tool?

My favorite Tarot is the Lasenikuv (sometimes called Lasenic) a Czech Wirth-like deck that has the coolest court cards ever. Divination tool, I like playing cards the most, because they're everywhere, and are easy to travel with. I own an antique Bulgarian set which I used to sell on my website as the Drak Cartomacy deck and it's like a small treasure to me.

Your favorite songs?

Tenderness by General Public, Golden Calf by Prefab Sprout, Belle of St. Mark by Sheila E, anything by Kate Bush I'm an 80's new wave cult member. Favorite Spice Girls song? Now that's a tough one, I'd go for Say You'll Be There.

Your favorite word?

I do love the word Fortune.

Your least favorite word?

Organic. Although I like that it comes from organs, like organized. Actually most food marketing words are terrible.

What about your favorite curse word?

All the ones used by Little Pete in The Adventures of Pete and Pete e.g. Blowhole!

What sound or noise do you love?

Crickets. Mandolins. My friend plays the Saw and it's incredibly moving. Any great middle-eight from a pop song.

What sound or noise do you hate?

Chewing. Fridge goats. Honking. Leafblowers.

What turns you on?

Cleanliness.

What turns you off?

When people say 'excuse me' because they want you to move.

If heaven exists, what would you like to hear god say when you arrive?

Nothing at all, I'd just want a hug.

THE ONLY TAROT PODCAST WHERE TWO NON-MYSTICAL, DILETTANTE HOSTS USE THE MYSTICAL ART OF TAROT READING TO GIVE REAL ADVICE.

 You can catch the Amateur Tarot podcast LIVE - Thursday, July 12 at 8 PM - 9:30 PM The Monocle * 4510 Manchester Ave, St. Louis 63110

You can catch the Amateur Tarot podcast LIVE - Thursday, July 12 at 8 PM - 9:30 PM
The Monocle * 4510 Manchester Ave, St. Louis 63110

I met Brian at one of our tarot meetups. And again at another. And then another. I am terrible with names (and also faces).  Brian is a really cool guy who has turned his tarot path into a goodhearted and funny adventure for us to follow. 

I'm excited just by the excitement that Brian and Ben bring to tarot. It's fun to listen to folks discover something that I've known for so long - I ALWAYS learn something new. You can find the podcast here. 

Brian and his co-host Ben are taking the podcast on the road. If you're in St. Louis, you should check it out here. 

QUESTIONNAIRE

Tell us about yourself!
Amateur Tarot Pod is a comedy podcast wherein two decidedly non-mystical non-trained skeptics use the power of the tarot to answer listeners' life questions, from universal truths all the way down to office etiquette.

The show is me, Brian Dooley, and my co-host Ben Noble. We're both creative-types in our professional lives, and we're both improvisers.

We've been doing the podcast since October of 2016, and when we started, neither one of us had any skill besides an easy banter between us. When we began, we would check every card against the LWB, write down all the answers, and then record the show. Over the course of almost two years, we've become passing acquainted with most of the cards, and we no longer require the books (for our advice readings).

What’s your idea of happiness?

It's difficult to think of happiness in terms of something sustainable, and I prefer to look at is as peak emotional notes in a longer composition. Snuggling with someone I care about, petting cats and dogs, eating a food that I love, ordering new tarot decks, and recording our show are a very short list of things that play those notes for me.

What’s your idea of misery?

Oh boy... At the risk of turning this into a political forum, I would say that there is misery inherent in the lives of people who work to stifle the lives and well-being of other people...and they create misery in the lives of those that are stifled. My heart aches for people who are less fortunate than I have been, and my blood boils at the small-minded bigots and cowards who strive to keep those people down. Misery is also often something that comes from within ourselves, due to faulty wiring or bad chemistry or something like that. That kind of insidious misery can strike anyone. Am I answering this question correctly?  *YES*

What do you appreciate most in your friends?

I need my friends to be kind and funny. Everything else is just window dressing.

Where would you like to live?

Besides the weather most of the time, I love living here in St. Louis. There are times when I think I'd rather live in a bigger city nearer to an ocean, but my city has everything I want, and I've grown to love it quite a bit.

Your favorite colors and flowers?

Blue is my favorite color, in all of its many iterations. Typically I have a new favorite shade of blue every time I get my hair colored and my stylist creates something new. One of my best friends' favorite flowers is the hyacinth, and I think that's just about one of the best words in existence...but my favorite plant is called a Lamb's Ear, and it's soft and furry and I can't help but touch it every time I see it in someone's front yard.

Your favorite poets or authors?

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. has held the highest spot in my pantheon for a long time. I also fell in love with beat poetry when I was in college, so Kerouac and Ginsberg and the rest of those boho hobos are in there. The best series of books I've ever read is the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. Argh! It's difficult to narrow down once I get started, so I'll just stop there.
Honorable Mention to J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter Series), Jomny Sun (everyones an aliebn when you're an aliebn too), and Bryan K. Vaughan (Saga)

Your heroes/heroines in fiction?

Number one would have to be Chewbacca. He's a loyal friend with an intense amount of love and humor. I named my cats Han and Lando so that I could be the Chewie of our group.
Your heroes/heroines in real life?
I admire people who speak truth to power. Anyone who organizes and participates in protests against injustice and inhumanity. Voters. Comedians and other artists who use their platform to create change. These folx do the day-to-day work that will help create a world worth living in.

What is your present state of mind?

I'm coming off of a lengthy depressive downswing and starting to enjoy my day-to-day life more and more. I just read Tarot at Tower Grove Pride Festival this past weekend, and as a byproduct I got to spend a lot of time with a lot of my best friends, so that was really nice. I'm still kind of riding that high.

What role does divination play in your life?

I love reading the cards. It's one of my favorite things to be doing. But I don't read them for myself, and I don't believe in mystical woo woo things. It could be argued that I'm 100% more mystical and woo woo than I was before we started this podcast, and I wouldn't push back too hard. I've seen quite a few coincidences in the cards that have chipped away at my cold Scully to find the Mulder underneath.

As far as the podcast goes, Tarot is a huge part of my life. I'm always recording, editing, planning, scheduling, writing, or purchasing something Amateur Tarot Pod related. And out of the two of us, I'm definitely the one who has been shifted the furthest from our skeptical bedrock.

Selfishly, as a socially anxious person, the cards are a great way for me to connect with other humans in social situations. :) What is your favorite deck or divination tool?
The Numinous Tarot is by far my favorite deck. Over the past few years, I've built up a small collection of 100+ decks, and we use two different decks for each episode, so I'm forever getting new decks. But from the first moment I started flipping through the Numinous deck, it was Love. I've been using no other decks for the past month or so (but recording starts up again soon, so I'll have to go back to my old deck-slut ways).

Your favorite songs?

Oh boy, this is as hard as that author question...
Anything by Cake or Ben Folds is going to get my attention. I listen to a lot of 90's pop rock (reliving my youth, I suppose). I love Pink Floyd. Billy Joel has been my favorite musical artist for the past 30 years.

Your favorite word?

"Autumnal" is a nice word. It feels so pliant and willowy.

Your least favorite word?

"Clot" is a nasty word. There are many political names that I would place here as well.

What about your favorite curse word?

"Fuck" is likely my favorite.

What sound or noise do you love?

I love when a piano is being played so hard that it sounds like it might break.

What sound or noise do you hate?

Young children crying and/or screaming.

What turns you on?

Kindness, humor, talent. In that order.

What turns you off?

Lack of empathy. Cruelty.

If heaven exists, what would you like to hear god say when you arrive?

"You were right. Kindness is all that counts."
 

where there is a woman, there is magic. - Ntosake Shange

27265173_10213364998832965_1481467737_o.jpg

I first met Heatherleigh Navarro at one of my first tarot conferences - I believe it was NWTS. I'd heard of her, of course, from mutual friends and friends who had been to her shop, The Boston Tea Room in Ferndale, MI. What I didn't hear about was her Presence. Good god, this woman has gravitas. Sparkly eyes, quick wit and a great smile. The NEXT time I met her, I asked if she could give me some business advice, and boy, did she. I felt like it was the conversational equivalent of being smacked in the back of the head - in a good way.

I'm lucky enough to call Heatherleigh a friend now (this job has perks, guys) and you can learn more about this amazing woman below. 

xo! Lis

LFT Questionnaire 

What you appreciate the most in your friends.

Their patience with me and their love for me in spite of my many faults, and my often terrible friendship skills. 

Your idea of happiness.

International travel.

Your idea of misery.

Not having a passport.

Your favorite colors and flowers.

Black, Turquoise, Blue-lavender, pale pink. Daisies, peonies, star-gazer lilies.

Your favorite poets.

Alice Walker, Ntozake Shange

Your heroes/heroines in fiction.

Lizzie Bennet from Pride and Prejudice

What role does divination play in your life?

It is my livelihood, my life-blood, my constant companion, and has been ingrained in my way of being since childhood. 

Your heroes/heroines in real life.

Wangari Matthai, Gloria Steinem, Margaret Meade (so much Margaret Meade!!!), Rachel Carson, Maxine Waters, Malala Yousef, Georgia O'Keefe, Judy Chicago, Eleanor Roosevelt, Elizabeth Taylor, omg, soooooooo many women!

What is your present state of mind?

Pretty good, thanks for asking! :)  (Of  course, I adore you- Lis.)

What is your favorite tarot deck or divination tool?

The contents of my kitchen junk drawer, Marseille Tarot

Your favorite songs?

I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl, by Nina Simone, Different Drum, by Linda Ronstadt and the Stone Ponies

What is your favorite word?

Freedom

What is your least favorite word?

Rape

What sound or noise do you love?

The riffling of a deck being shuffled. Chopin on the piano.

What sound or noise do you hate?

Clanging metal

What turns you on?

Intelligence combined with humility

What turns you off?

the patriarchy

What is your favorite curse word?

ohferrchrissakes

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

She doesn't need to say a thing, just greet me with an embrace.


info@bostontearoom.com

www.bostontearoom.com

http://facebook.com/bostontearoom

 

 

Unicorn + Psychic = Unicorn Psychic? -Pamela Chen

image5.JPG

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

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

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

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

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

 I have strong feelings about this. 

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

xo! Lis

image1.JPG

LFT Questionnaire

What you appreciate the most in your friends. 

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

Your idea of happiness. 

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

Your idea of misery.

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

Where would you like to live?

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

Your favorite colors and flowers.

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

Your favorite poets.

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

Your heroes/heroines in fiction.

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

What role does divination play in your life?

image4.JPG

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

Your heroes/heroines in real life.

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

What is your present state of mind?

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

What is your favorite tarot deck or divination tool?

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

Your favorite songs?

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

What is your favorite word?

Unicorn.

What is your least favorite word?

When people say REALLY? Haha Im like yes really. 

image1.JPG

What sound or noise do you love?

I love the sound of rain. 

What sound or noise do you hate?

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

What turns you on?

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

What turns you off?

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

What is your favorite curse word?

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

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

Welcome to paradise! 

Instagram.com/pamelamermaid 

Instagram.com/lunaprosperity

Facebook.com/psychicdoll 

Tarot: Support for empowered living - Siobhan

siobhan.jpg

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

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

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

LFT Questionnaire


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

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


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


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


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


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

siobhan 2.jpg


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

siobhan 3.jpg


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


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

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

 

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

psychic-sarah-tarot-reader.jpg

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

LFT Questionnaire

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

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

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

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

  5. Your favorite poets. Hafiz.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  17. What turns you off? Unasked for advice.

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

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

              You can find Sarah here:

sarahthepsychic.com

Instagram: @sarahthepsychic

https://www.facebook.com/sarahthepsychic

 

I love doing spells - it's like spiritual crafting - Michelle Tea

 Gorgeous photo lifted from Michelle's website. Photographer - Gretchen Sayers

Gorgeous photo lifted from Michelle's website. Photographer - Gretchen Sayers

Michelle Tea's Modern Tarot is the first of her many books that I've read, but definitely won't be the last. Tea's take on tarot (I fucking love being alliterative) is just what it says it is - a modern take on the tarot. She and I had similar introductions to the cards - at age 14, one of our guy friends gave us a deck - and off we went. Each card description ends with a spell to help you touch the card. Be the Emperor. Be the Queen of Cups. James Wanless uses a similar technique to learn the cards, but Tea's twist on the exercise gives specific, magical little spells that help you own the card.

The deck used in this book - by artist Amanda Verwey, has gorgeous queer folks owning the cards with their own personalities. Is this a real deck? I can't find it, but I also don't want to cut up my book to make it so. It's just amazing.

If you're learning tarot or are a card slinging pro, you'll enjoy this book as much as I did. It's not only about the cards, but how to use them to figure out who you are. Using the tarot as a self-discovery tool brings a whole new dimension to this stack of 78 pieces of art. 

xo Lis

LFT Questionnaire

1.     What you appreciate the most in your friends.

A shared perspective on life. A shared reality.

2.     Your idea of happiness.

Sitting on a canal in Venice eating a gelato in the sun.

3.     Your idea of misery.

Feeling trapped.

4.     Your favorite colors and flowers.

Color: Grey. Flower: Lilacs

5.     Your favorite poets.

Eileen Myles, Ali Liebegott, Morgan Parker, CA Conrad, Sylvia Plath, Matthew Zapruder, Christopher Soto, Lenelle Moise

6.     Your heroes/heroines in fiction.

Roberta Robertson of Cruddy by Lynda Barry.

7.     What role does divination play in your life?

I use it constantly as a way of grounding myself and gaining clarity on my daily life, as well as helping out in decision making.

8.     Your heroes/heroines in real life.

My sister, Kathleen, the most capable person I know. Yoko Ono, for her spiritual guidance and inspiration. 

9.     What is your present state of mind? 

Impatient.

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

Thoth deck, The Secret Dakini Oracle, Daughters of the Moon, Spirit Speak, Tarot of the Cat People, Mythic Tarot

11.  Your favorite songs?

Revelations/Yoko Ono + Cat Power; Horses + Gloria/Patti Smith, Like Cockatoos/The Cure, Life on Mars?/David Bowie

12.  What is your favorite word?

Yes

13.  What is your least favorite word?

Knuckles

14.  What sound or noise do you love?

My three year old son pretending to eat something inedible

15.  What sound or noise do you hate?

Pouring water

16.  What turns you on?

Darkness

17.  What turns you off?

Withholding

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?

Well done, sister.

The World is Calling Us to Get Real. - Nancy Antenucci

 #lifegoals

#lifegoals

I've never met Nancy Antenucci, or as I like to call her in my head, "The Nucc". We haven't met in life, but online, I feel like we've been best friends for about 30 years. I was tickled to get an inscribed copy of her book, Psychic Tarot, with the note "To a special kindred that I haven't met but I sure as shit know."  Yeah. We're bffs.

Like all of my good friends, the first thing Nancy does with her book is call me on my nonsense. I have never liked being called a psychic, because it feels like a taunt. I've been made fun of for doing readings for as long as I've done readings. "Hey, psychic, what am I thinking?" (that you're an asshole? I don't know, you tell me) If a word gets thrown at you often enough, it becomes weaponized. I started calling myself a Reader mostly out of self-defense. Nancy starts her book with the word psychic, the meaning (that I just KNOW stuff) and sweeps the shame off of it. In reading the book, she makes you confront language and stigma and yourself. Honestly, it annoyed the hell out of me, but it really changed my mind.  

Psychic Tarot takes you through what a reading is, what being psychic is, the tarot deck (really great chapters about the arcanas, the court cards and the Fool's Journey), how to trust yourself, and this fantastic set of principles that tell you HOW to read. I'm so pissed that I didn't have this when I started reading. Each step of the reading is described - what it feels like, what to do. Nancy and her co-author, Melanie Howard really bring you through the entire experience of what it is to do a reading. There are also a  bunch of spreads and exercises to get you in touch with the cards. 

Nancy has created something that will take the fear out of being called a psychic. That's pretty big magic. I asked her to fill out the LFT Questionnaire, and she rewrote the questions and created her own. This made my ENTIRE day.  I present to you, the Nucc' Questionnaire.

The Nucc' Questionnaire

1) If all books were to disappear, which book would you commit to memorization to tell any that would want to hear?

Alice in Wonderland or Siddhartha

2) What is your idea/s of Happiness?

An unscheduled day

Playing pool and a great juke box

Cigs

Moving, moving, moving

Walking my dog in sobriety (I am sober..not my dog)

Laying on couch getting a foot rub from my husband

3) What is your idea/s of misery?

Having to listen to 50’s music or a Christian radio channel

One religion

Cigs

Being late

Waiting to hear of a cancer diagnosis for myself or another

Being with folks that see and think is strong gender paradigms for more than 3 hours

#95.jpg

4) What would be the movie that best describes your generation?

It hasn’t been made. The 60’s folks got “Big Chill”, the X generation got “Breakfast Club”. We didn’t get one although I sometimes fantasize of what the setting would be. The best one so far imagined is being stuck at an airport.

5) Thoughts about the Apocalypse?

Apocalypse literally means “uncover or reveal”. We are in the beginning stages of that (although my dad believes it started with the Beatles). All of our systems are being uncovered. The veils are parting. We have often heard of the 4 riders of the Apocalypse but nothing exists in a vacuum. I often wonder who their counterparts are…Compassion, Balance, Prosperity, Light? If we are indeed going into the 6th Extinction, we need to do what john Michael Greer has heavily suggested – Live with Less and Throw Good Parties.

6) Have you changed your mind about any of your teachings from your 2011 “Psychic Tarot – Using Your Natural Abilities to Read the Cards” book?

I would highly recommend that people use the book any damn way they want to rather than specify that they use no other books or definitions for a year and a day. I would also include the power of being connected to your beloved ancestors.

7) Are you considering another book?

Most definitely. I would like to focus on creating a strong creative spirituality for all. I may mention Tarot here and there but it won’t be a tarot focused text. (now that I actually proclaim that….I will probably end up writing another divination book)

8) Do you have a mission?

I am an Aries. We breathe mission. I got my mission the day that the 2001 Commission report gave their finding that the attack happened because of “Lack of Imagination”. All the patterns were right there but no one was really looking outside the box to put it together. Logic only gets you so far. My mission became crystal clear that day when I realized that I can help empower others creativity.

9) Where would you like to live?

I want to grow old in a non-metro area so I can see stars. I love green and hills. Pennsylvania is my home but she is far too conservative for me to thrive in. Ideally, I would spend time in Inverness once a year.

10) What sound/noises do you love?

Trains

The sound when you quit Skype

The dialing of a rotary phone

Screen doors

My son’s voice and music

The methodical beat of the incense burner that the priests wave over the crowd during the Stations of the Cross

11) What sound/noises do you hate?

Any sound of or coming from violence/pain

Sirens

Babies crying in an adjacent apartment

Trump

12) Who would you have as dinner guests for one night?

I work with this list constantly….just in case.

Bowie

Peter Gabriel

George Verdak

Ruth St Dennis

Marie Montesorri

13) What are some lesser known facts about you?

I was kicked off the cheerleader squad in 7th grade for a bad attitude

I love catsup on cottage cheese

I won the talent portion of Junior Miss but probably blew the bigger title when I advocated that as a government, we have three leaders who were trained from birth to travel, know languages and live in several kinds of lifestyles

14) What was the most influential tarot reading you ever received from another?

Ferol Humphrey and I stayed up most of the night years ago at BATS tarot conference to look at how the world may change. It gave me the image of us coming to a Y in the road. None of us will be able to stay in the middle but will need to choose our reality. It is a master’s duty though to lob a stone at any master making the other turn as a last ditch effort to wake them up.

15) What is your concept of Hell?

Our current system of democracy.

Dentistry from any era.

Chronic Pain and Anxiety

16) What would you change in your life if you could magically?

All levels of shame would be removed

I would wake up to a huge savings account and a paid mortgage.

17) What irritates you about the current state of tarot readers?

The differences between the pre and post internet readers through training, community building and the misunderstandings of each other.

The extremists of intuitive versus traditional book reading styles.

The idea that Lenormand is far better than Tarot in terms of prediction.

Fixing.

18) what would be your worst job if you ceased to be a diviner and creative advocate?

An ambulance driver.

19) What happens at the end of the world?

About.JPG

At the same time, every human on this planet shout “IT’S A GAME”. We then become big giants laughing with each other and talk about the duration of this round.

20) Who do you serve?

The Creative Unknown and facing my death without regrets.

***

Nancy Antenucci  of Between The Worlds LLC (www.betweenworlds.us)  is a seasoned tarot reader as well as a creative advocate for creative thinking. Her book “Psychic Tarot – Using Your Natural Abilities to Read the Cards” is a compilation of 25 years of her work. Her usage of imagery and gesture has created an innovative style as a coach and teacher with deep results.  She founded Twin Cities Tarot Collective which produces a the North Star Tarot conference, an innovative monthly Meetup and training for readers. She is currently branching into creative strategizing for start ups and mid sized businesses as well as creating multi-media videos bringing the divine into the everyday.

For me divination is a direct method of connecting to a place where everything is knowable.  -Andrew McGregor

13307342_10154091627871421_8259889014768183013_n.jpg

Andrew is the owner of the Hermit's Lamp in Toronto, and is a reader, an author and deck creator. He also has only podcast that I've ever binged. The Hermit's Lamp podcast features a huge variety of folks from the magical, spiritual and divinatory worlds, and I've learned something new from every guest on the show. If you are looking to build your online community, or just to have your mind blown open, you should absolutely check it out.

xo Lis

LFT Questionnaire

1. What you appreciate the most in your friends.

I appreciate kindness, passion and creativity in my friends. I need to be with people who are inspired by being alive. There is so much wonder here but pettiness and the details of life can hid it if we let it happen. Being around folks who are passionate prevents that from happening. 

I also need authenticity in my friends. I crave deep connection with people and need to know they can reciprocate. Without that trust I’m not interested. If they aren’t who they say they are then it will probably not develop very far. 

2. Your idea of happiness.

Living in the ever present now and sharing from that place with the world. 

3. Your idea of misery.

Small talk for the rest of my days…

4. Your favorite colors and flowers.

I’m pretty fond of the pink in the lotus that is part of my koi tattoo. 

I tend to find the beauty in all things and people so I don’t have strong preferences. 

5. Your favorite poets.

Walt Whitman, Robert W. Service, Lao Tzu, Enrique Enriques 

I am a big fan of those people who can use their words to trigger an experience of the sublime. Where we both lose and find ourselves in relationship to the whole of creation. Often for me this comes through the idea the wildness of the world and life. 

6. Your heroes/heroines in fiction.

Doctor Who

7. What role does divination play in your life?

Divination has helped me see who I am, avoid tragedy, survive tragedy, find love and keep it, build success in the world, mend my body and heart, and work tremendous magick. 

For me divination is a direct method of connecting to a place where everything is knowable. 

I spend time most days using tarot to reorient my mind and heart to the tasks at hand. Working with it to shift states to what is needed in order to be present with my kids, or write this article, or work some magick, or whatever needs doing. 

8. Your heroes/heroines in real life.

Jack Layton, Terry Fox, my Madrina Jackye Anderson, 

9. What is your present state of mind?

I am harried by the pace of things right now. there is a lot of wonderful things going on but it is taxing my capacity. So I am enjoying a mix of overwhelm and delight – often at the same time. Slowing things down a bit is a project that will probably take months to get to. Or perhaps I’ll just acclimatize to the way things are right now. 

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

The photo reproduction of the Jean Noblet Tarot de Marseille done by Joseph Peterson. 

11. Your favorite songs?

Blinded by the Light by Bruce Springsteen, Jackie Wilson said by Van Morrison, Everything by the Subhumans, 

12. What is your favorite word?

Monkey

13. What is your least favorite word?

Bored

14. What sound or noise do you love?

Happiness

15. What sound or noise do you hate?

My kids fighting

16. What turns you on?

Openness and bravery

17. What turns you off?

Disengagement

18. What is your favorite curse word?

All of them. 

When I was a teen I worked in a factory with some of the most foul mouthed people ever. I learned to appreciate the ability to start cursing until you felt done versus just popping off a word or two. 

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

I’ve already been, and heard it said, but it is too sacred to share. 

It takes a lot of courage and confidence to shoot past through the BS and aim towards something higher. - Diana Chin

22375284_1519341374813616_206009572_o.jpg

I think I found Diana Chin on Twitter. She's funny, tuned in and smart. I love her perspective on the cards and her general badass witchiness. After a brief retreat from tarot, she's back and badder than ever. Diana is just sensational, and I hope you dig her as much as I do.  

Diana is a professional tarot reader, web developer/designer and writer. She co-founded Red Lotus Designz with her husband Ron in an effort to help spiritual bloggers, indie artists, writers and small businesses create simple but effective websites & logos. Diana also provides no-nonsense tarot readings with the intention in helping others bring back their sense of confidence and empower others to make better decisions when it comes to tackling difficult life changes.

xo Lis

LFT QUESTIONNAIRE

What you appreciate the most in your friends.

I’ve been fortunate to have met so many wonderful friends (whether online or offline) who care about their work and mission. What I appreciate the most in my friends are their sense of honesty, humor and the ability to strive in making the world a better place.

Your idea of happiness.

A good cup of coffee/tea, watching my son grow up and falling in love with my husband every day as he goes off to work.

Your idea of misery.

Lack of growth and inability to express your passion.

Your favorite colors and flowers.

Purple, Black and Red. I love moonflowers, sweet peas, chrysanthemum and lotuses.

Your favorite poets.

E. Ortiz (author of Chicken Wings For The Soul), Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes.

Your heroes/heroines in fiction.

Wonder Woman and Madame Xanadu.

What role does divination play in your life?

Tarot has helped me cope through many life changes over the past couple of years (parenthood, changing careers, etc.).  It also serves as a good form of meditation when I’m not sure on how to proceed tricky situations.

Your heroes/heroines in real life.

My husband. We’ve been through the good, bad and the ugly during our transitional periods of our lives. As sappy as it sounds, he’s my soulmate. I’ve seen him go through hell and back without losing his integrity. And I’ve learned a lot based on his experiences. He’s definitely my Dark Knight.

What is your present state of mind?

A lot of self care and rest! After 3 years of being a customer support specialist at a subsidiary company of Warner Bros., I took the leap by quitting my job. Lately, my heart has been in going back to web development, tarot and writing.  It was scary at first. But with the help of my husband and a great support system, I was able to make that transition without looking back. I also started my paranormal fiction series called The Bruja From Customer Support (http://csbruja.com), which is loosely based on my experiences as a customer support representative but with a twist.

What is your favorite tarot deck or divination tool?

The Sacred India Tarot by Rohit Arya. It’s a beautiful deck filled with vibrant images of the Hindu gods and goddesses, which is something that I’ve been looking for to help me reflect on my South Asian roots (my mother’s family is located in Guyana with ancestors from India).

Your favorite songs?

I love all music, no matter the genre. Here’s my top five songs that I have on repeat: Leave Out All The Rest by Linkin Park, Hotel California by The Eagles, Blood by In This Moment, Tu Tu Hai Wohi (The Unwind Mix) by Jonita Gandhi and Danza Kuduro by Don Omar.

What is your favorite word?

I would have to go with “awesome”. I feel that I’ve been saying this word too many times as of late.

What is your least favorite word?

The word “impossible”. Because I’m a firm believer that we can make things possible, even if it takes years.

What sound or noise do you love?

The sound of rain, thunder and wind.

What sound or noise do you hate?

Awkward silence gaps in a conversation.

What turns you on?

The season of autumn. There’s something magickal when you see the leaves change colour, the air becomes crisp and the atmosphere seems a lot more witchier than usual.

What turns you off?

Passive aggressive, egotistical and narcissist folks.

What is your favorite curse word?

Fuck! Because the word makes me feel good and makes more of an emphasis in my conversations.

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

“Stop swearing so much, you’re making Lucifer blush.”

Ongoing Promotions:

For the month of October, I’m offering two special general readings - Diwali Tarot & Oracle Reading and Samhain/Halloween Tarot & Oracle Reading. You can check out for more information by clicking here:  http://redlotusdesignz.com/tarot-spiritual-shop

Links:

Website - http://redlotusdesignz.com

Twitter (business): http://twitter.com/redlotusdesignz

Instagram (business): http://instagram.com/redlotusdesignz

Twitter (personal): http://twitter.com/dianarchin

Instagram (personal): http://instagram.com/dianarchin