Tarot

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” ― Marcus Tullius Cicero

Book review time!  I've finished Book the Second, and have had time to catch up on my reading. Here are some short reviews of the lovelies I've just finished: The first and third books were sent to me by Red Wheel/Weiser, and the 2nd one was from my friend, Leeza. 

Tarot: Plain & Simple - Leanna Greenaway

It is what it says it is. Very simple. It's got card meanings, reversals, key points about each card and exercises for you to do. This is a beginner book. It also says it's the only tarot book you'll ever need, and I'm not sure about that bit. For a beginner, to learn the cards though? Solid.

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Tarot Reversals - Leeza Robertson

I love this book and really wish I'd had it when I was learning. This isn't just "what is it when your card is upside down". It's never ever that black and white, which is why reversals are tricky to learn. Leeza has these five different ways to interpret the cards. 

Blocked, Protection, Mirror, Shadow, Retrograde

One of the only books I've seen that has such depth in looking at reversals. Gotta pick this one up.

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Crystal Gridwork - Kiera Fogg

This book is just lovely. I found out about crystal grids because my son started making them under his bed without knowing what they were. He just said that putting the rocks there made him feel better and sleep well. That's pretty much the job of a crystal grid. It's placing your intentions into the crystals to be a battery/power grid for you. 

There is an explanation of how to use the grids, and a ton of samples of Love, Romance, Protection, Motherhood - so many different ways to use this lovely tool. 

“Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.” ― Paulo Coelho

Ethony's Money Magic Manifestation Cards ended up on my altar

Ethony's Money Magic Manifestation Cards ended up on my altar

It's review time! I got quite a haul at Reader's Studio this year, and am also in the cool position to receive decks from publishers to review. I'm not mad about it. I haven't had a lot o time lately (what with finishing my next book and all), but I wanted to knock these out and tell you what I think of them. 

I think I should also share that if I get a deck from a publisher that I don't like, I won't review it. I think that's fair considering they send them for free. So if I get a deck that I think is just a complete trash can, you won't ever see it on my page, and i won't talk about it. 

What I WILL talk about is the fact that I reviewed a BUNCH of decks yesterday, and not one single one of them had people of color in them. What the everloving fuck. These are not old decks, and they're not "classic" decks. I've stopped being surprised at this and now I'm just mad. Can we do better, deck artists? Can we try harder, publishers? Thank ya.

Ethony's Money Magic Manifestation Cards

I got these from Ethony at Reader's Studio, after opining to Ethony, "Girl, I seriously need to get that deck.'  Thanks, boo. These are brightly colored decks that have all sorts of lovely intention setting statements on them about money and security. Having just gotten into right relations with money myself, I love the idea of reinforcing my new positive relationship with this force that's a huge part of my life. I asked Joe to pick one, and it's on our altar right now. Lovely.

  • Artwork - simple and cheerful
  • Cardstock - Amazing
  • Diversity - N/A
  • Packaging - sturdy 

Small Spells Tarot Cards - Rachel Howe

I am not generally a fan of quirky art decks. I'm used to my RWS, thankyouverymuch. HOWEVER, I follow Rachel Howe on Instagram, and I really, really like her art. I love the simplicity of the designs and the colors that she chooses. They just work, and by 'work' I mean that the small spells that she created align with what the card is. They're fun and silly and accurate. I actually got these for my husband in an Aries birthday box from House of Intuition. If he read tarot (so I bought myself a deck?) this would be his fiery Aries deck. (but I guess I have to keep them now. So sad.)

  • Artwork - Eye-catching and colorful
  • Cardstock - It's okay. I would say middle of the road. 
  • Diversity - N/A
  • Packaging - The tuck box tore while I was opening it. you're going to need a makeup bag for this one.
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White Witch Tarot

This is a GORGEOUS majors only deck that I got because Andrew won it in the raffle at Reader's Studio and I whined that I wanted it. See? Being a brat pays off on occasion. I'm starting to like majors only decks because the readings seem more intense and focused. The artwork is just beautiful and I found myself just staring at the cards, pulling details out of them and letting my mind wander. This isn't for quick readings, but for meditations. 

  • Artwork - Gorgeous and ethereal and accurate
  • Cardstock - A+
  • Diversity - N/A
  • Packaging - Perfect. 
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The Land of the Sacred Self Oracle 

Andrew McGregor created this odd, lovely deck and luckily, has a 12 week (free) course that helps you learn to navigate it. I like it, but I don't know why. i'm not sure how to use it (so I'm taking the course) and I keep wanting to figure it out, but it's strange and there's a narwhal for some reason. I'm not mad about the narwhal, but I feel like I'm circling this deck before we become friends. *edit - I like things that make me curious. This is a lovely, curious deck.

  • Artwork - I don't understand it (yet) but I like it.
  • Cardstock - the cards are big and the edges are rough, so it kind of hurt my hands a bit. 
  • Diversity - N/A
  • Packaging - Simple
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Eight Coins Tattoo Tarot - Lana Zellner

I wasn't surprised to find that Zellner was an architect - the lines of this deck are fantastic and the artwork pulls you toward it. Sneaky architect geometry. I have an appreciation for tattoos, so I was going to get this deck ANYWAY. Then I saw how pretty it is. Sold. This is another one of those quirky decks that doesn't seem like it would read well at first, but then it does and we're all happy about it. There are 82 decks, a spread sheet, and a BOOK. This book, you guys. I love her perspective on the cards, and I LOVE that the book is indexed. I can't believe that every tarot book doesn't do this. Especially mine. Too late to recall it? Damnit. I know that i'm going to be using this deck all the time.

  • Artwork - BEAUTIFUL
  • Cardstock - good. it's a little hard at first (snicker) 
  • Diversity - None. boo.
  • Packaging - Good.
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The Witchlings Deck and Book

I love Paulina Cassidy's work, and this one is just adorable. It's kind of like an oracle deck with a bonus magical spell at the end. This is going to come in handy during those times that I forget that I actually have agency over my own life, and can do more than pull a card for insight. I can pull a card and then DO SOMETHING. In a really cute way. 

  • Artwork - Quirky and sweet
  • Cardstock - Good and flexible
  • Diversity - None. Boo.
  • Packaging - Good.

“Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.” ― Robert A. Heinlein

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I like to noodle around Instagram to find new tarot decks. I like decks with diversity, creative interpretations of the cards, and a sense of whimsy. I found the Hip Chick Tarot, by Maria Strom, checks all of those categories. 

The suits are renamed, here, with Majors, Create (Wands), Feel (Cups), Think (Swords), and Earth (Pentacles). I just love this - they're intuitively connected with the suits so I won't have to have a sticky note to remind me that Swords/Think. 

The artwork reminds me of the 70's - kind of an Electric Company vibe. I have no idea why, but I just love it. I haven't yet gotten a copy of this deck, so I don't know about the cardstock yet, but I love the artwork SO much, it won't be a deal breaker for me.

You can learn more about Maria below, and find her on Instagram and Youtube.

xo!

Lis

Questionnaire

About me:

I’m an artist, card reader and cat lady. I have three cats: Pumpkin, Peanut and Rue. I was born in Portland, Oregon and now I live in Athens, Georgia. I grow tomatoes every summer.

I love that she's wearing a hoodie

I love that she's wearing a hoodie

Hip Chick Tarot came about because most of the people I read cards for are women. Often, in my Tarot practice, I’d find myself translating traditional male images and their meanings into ones that fit the psyche and experience of my female clientele, so I decided to create a feminist deck.

What do you appreciate most in your friendships?

People who “get me” and who are comfortable with themselves, so I can be comfortable around them. Those folks are priceless.

What’s your idea of happiness?

For me, happiness is the lack of self-preoccupation. It’s just being here without being all wrapped up in me.

What’s your idea of misery?

Being caught up in my head with miserable thoughts circulating.

Where would you like to live?

I love where I live now. I moved to Athens, Georgia from San Francisco a couple years ago. The big city was fun, but I love having a backyard and three cats. Out of all the places I’ve visited, I love Rome the most. If I lived there, I’d just walk around and soak up the art and history.

Your favorite colors and flowers?

Orange, olive green and aqua blue. I like the simplicity of daisies and the symbolism of bleeding hearts.

Your favorite poets?

Honestly, poetry isn’t my thing. I prefer prose.

Your favorite heroes/heroines in fiction?

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Ester Greenwood in The Bell Jar comes to mind; I love her courage and honesty.

What is your present state of mind?

I feel calm with a little anticipation of excitement.

What is your favorite deck or divination tool?

I’d have to say Hip Chick Tarot. Lol

Your favorite song?

What a Wonderful World by Louie Armstrong.

What is your favorite word?

I have so many. But I really love the way “quagmire” sounds.

Your least favorite word?

Can’t really think of one.

What is your favorite curse word?

f*ck

What sound or noise do you love?

The sound of a cat lapping water and rain on the roof.

What sound or noise do you hate?

The little beeps and buzzes of electronics can be annoying, sometimes.

What turns you on?

People who are secure enough to be open and okay with themselves. People who don’t need to impress.

What turns you off?

Gossip, self-preoccupation.

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

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Hey, welcome.

The Crow's Journey - IndieGoGo

I AM SUSCEPTIBLE TO ADVERTISING.

I AM SUSCEPTIBLE TO ADVERTISING.

So, I'm followed by crows, foxes and ducks (don't ask) in my life. I'm ok with it, and leave them gifts and thank you's. I've never been cyber stalked by them, though. 

The Crow Tarot has shown up on every social media site that I go to. I don't know how they knew about my proclivity for crows, (of course I did, Hi, FBI) but I finally checked it out. I'm so glad I did. These cards are beautiful and I can't wait to get the deck in my hands. You can find the Indiegogo, and more about the creator, Marguerite Jones below.

xo! Lis

LFT Questionnaire

1.       What you appreciate the most in your friends.

 Kindness, being supportive, and that they allow me to be my goofy self!

2.       Your idea of happiness.

A day at the beach, in the sun with my daughter

3.       Your idea of misery.

Working in a cubicle 8 hours for next to nothing under fluorescent lights

4.       Where would you like to live?

         Anywhere that combines little shops, restaurants and nature all within steps of each other

5.       Your favorite colors and flowers.

Greens – all shades and lilies

6.       Your favorite poets.

Do songwriters count? Aurora and Morrissey

7.       Your heroes/heroines in fiction.

Hermoine Granger , Scout (To Kill a Mockingbird)

8.       What role does divination play in your life?

It helps me course correct as well as helps me connect with my inner-self. I am not looking to see my future – I am looking to make sure my present is where I am supposed to be.

9.       Your heroes/heroines in real life.

Oprah, My mom friends who make sure my daughter is supported

10.   What is your present state of mind?

Complete and total contentment with where I am.

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

Crow Tarot of course! But also The Wild Unknown

12.   Your favorite songs?

Lucky by Aurora and 3rd Planet by Modest Mouse

13.   What is your favorite word?

Yes – or brilliant

14.  What is your least favorite word?

Moist – I cringe even when used in describing brownies

15.  What sound or noise do you love?

Thunder and a heavy rain

16.  What sound or noise do you hate?

The sound of my upstairs neighbor jumping up and down on the floor – it rattles my brain

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17.  What turns you on?

An Irish accent :D

18.  What turns you off?

Arrogance

19.  What is your favorite curse word?

Fuck – or for fucksake

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

You finally made it!

 

Cancer with Leo Rising - Liz Abbott

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Have you ever seen someone's profile on Instagram and couldn't stop looking at it, and then the next thing you know it's 3 in the morning and you're down a serious rabbit hole and start navigating their feed like a fucking ninja to avoid liking a post from 2016 and kind of feel like you know the person but there's no way you could but you still kinda want to hang out and send them an interview request even though you legit only know them from stalking? 

Just me?

So, Liz Abbott is the High Desert Witch who runs High Desert Witchcrafts.  Not a fan of boxes, but 'if pressed she would describe herself as a Jungian Bodhisattva Satanist Witch".  Right up my alley. (Weirdly the tenets of Unitarian Universalists are similar to those of Satanism)

Her photographs show a joyful, real, beautiful life that is far removed from mine in some aspects, but right at home in others. She offers readings at her blog, and can be found on Instagram, and on, presumably, the high desert. 

(And also below in the questionnaire)

(Which - total warning here - you're going to have a crush on her when you finish reading it. Don't say I didn't give you a head's up)

xo Lis

LFT Questionnaire

1.  What you appreciate the most in your friends.

Compassion, growth, perspective, laughter, empathy.

2.  Your idea of happiness.

Hiking on a warm day with my family. Forgetting a new season of Black Mirror (or something) was dropping and noticing on a rainy day with time to binge watch in bed with my husband. Working in my garden while listening to an audiobook.

3.  Your idea of misery.

The thought of life if I were to somehow lose my husband and son. George R Martin dying before the completion of Winds of Winter. Coachella (ha! but im totally not a crowd person).

4.  Where would you like to live?

On the Gulf side of Costa Rica in an Earthship.

5.  Your favorite colors and flowers.

Black and Purple are my favorite colors. Datura, Cosmos, Sunflowers, Lavender, Foxglove, and various varieties of flowering Tobacco.

6.  Your favorite poets.

-Sandra Cisneros

-Clementine von Radics

-I'd also love to quote one of my all-time favorite passages, from a Robert Penn Warren poem.

"All items listed above belong in the world

In which all things are continuous,

And are parts of the original dream which

I am now trying to discover the logic of. This

Is the process whereby pain of the past in its pastness

May be converted into the future tense

Of joy."

7.  Your heroes/heroines in fiction.

-Julia from The Magician's Trilogy (book NOT the show).

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-Scully

-Deanna Troi

-Starbuck

-The Ka-tet of 19

-Arya Stark

-Bellis Coldwine

-Linda Belcher

8.  What role does divination play in your life?

Years ago, when I was flailing through life, as you do in your early 20's, my sister forwarded me an email she had received from an ethnobotanist. It was a response to her asking some questions about, perhaps, entering that field of study. It was long and beautiful and poetic, and the last few sentences were something along the lines of; You just have to remember that you remember. The lives you've already lived, the ones you will live, in dimensions you can't fathom, where you've progressed through a variety of lessons, where you know nothing, are in you, somewhere. Your answers and guidance are there if you can find a way to remember. Remember that you remember.

Something about that resonated with me (perhaps because I'd gone through a bit of a Daoist phase in high school coupled with my mother believing me to be an Indigo Child) and I have always carried it in my heart. I use divination tools daily (mostly tarot cards, occasionally diving pendulums) to have a conversation of sorts with myself, who I have been, who I will be.

I use the same tools with my clients as I find it the best way to access what they're "remembering self" is trying to communicate

9.  Your heroes/heroines in real life.

Zsuzsanna Budapest

Jex Blackmore

Teal Swan

Janelle Monae

Roxanne Gay

Rupaul (One of my all-time favorite live-my-life-by-quotes is from Ru. "I try to always come from a place of love, but sometimes you have to break it down for a mother fucker." 

10.  What is your present state of mind?

Heavy. Everything feels very heavy right now. Not in a good or bad sense, but just heavy.

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

I use either The Night Sun or Deviant Moons decks in almost all my readings. 

12.  Your favorite songs?

Currently: 

-Asido- Purity Ring

-Silence - Marshmello

-Acid Tounge- Jenny Lewis

-SZA- The whole Ctrl album (she is a GODDESS)

13.  What is your favorite word?

Vellichor - which is a made-up word from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows (http://www.dictionaryofobscuresorrows.com) that is meant to describe the strange feeling of wistfulness you get in a used bookstore.

14.  What is your least favorite word?

I love words, but if I had to pick one, I would say "literally."

15.  What sound or noise do you love?

When I can hear my husband and our two-year-old laughing together from another room is by far my favorite sound. They have the best laughs. 

16.  What sound or noise do you hate?

I have an intense aversion to the sound of wool-socked feet creating friction on a carpet.

17.  What turns you on?

Confidence mixed with vulnerability. People that feel sexy in their skin. People that are empowered by their sexual selves.

18.  What turns you off?

Frat bros and MAGA hats.

19.  What is your favorite curse word?

Growing up in Maine, the rural slang for "Jesus Christ" was "Cheese and Rice," I think that's pretty great. Also, fuck.

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

"Yikes, how'd you get up here? Petey, Paul, a little help over here guys.... guys!?!"

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It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength. -- Maya Angelou

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So, I've spent this month - Black History Month - posting pictures of Black men and women that I've found in my tarot decks. It's important to me to be an ally without sliding into appropriation-land, and I thought this was a good way to show some decks that have diversity.

I have a lot of decks, you guys. Over 120 decks, actually. I would say that about half are from my collection that started about 30 years ago, and the other half were sent to me for review by various publishing companies and artists over the years. My friend, Ellie, my husband and I spent a few hours going through every deck that I have and setting aside those with black folks, and those without. 

Who is surprised that there were only 12 decks out of 120 with black faces in them? I will acknowledge that being inclusive is a new trend in tarot decks. Some of my decks are pretty old, and remind me of walking through an entire art museum without seeing a face that looked different than mine. It didn't occur to me how weird it was until I really thought about it. That was just the way it was, and now that we know better, we do better. Right?

We all know that there were black and brown faces along those white ones historically, they just weren't included in the art and stories and tarot decks. Right?

Right?

The disappointing thing that I found was that some of the decks with NO diversity at all were released in the last few years. Seriously, guys? Even in the Crystal Unicorn tarot - that has goddamned unicorns in it, and TWO people - one of those two people has some melanin going on.

And so, I close out this post hopeful that publishers and artists will truly do better, now that we know better. (Just as I hope that folks stop producing pictures of White Surfer Jesus, because the gig is up there, guys, and we all know what's going on. Stop that.)

I review decks all the time, guys, and as always, I will include a section on Diversity in them. I'm hoping by doing that, folks will become drawn to those decks that have a more realistic view of the world we live in. Maybe we can talk with our wallets, here.

The decks that I used that are inclusive and don't portray African Americans as fetishes or stereotypes are these:

  • Girls Drawing Girls
  • The Gaian Tarot
  • The Justice League Tarot
  • The Sun and Moon Tarot
  • The Bonefire Tarot
  • The Bad Bitches Tarot
  • The Slow Holler tarot
  • Dust II Onyx
  • The Modern Spellcasters Tarot
  • The Mary El Tarot

For more information about decks with people of color, queer folks, or queer people of color, check out this blog by the amazing Asali.  That has a large listing of decks with diversity.

xo Lis

"And from now on, I don't care if my tea leaves spell die, Ron, die — I'm just chucking them in the bin where they belong.” ― J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter Edition

Harry Potter Edition

I worked in a bookstore when the Harry Potter books came out, and fell in love immediately. I re-read them every July, read the first five aloud to my kids (who said they could finish by themselves, sniffle) and am fairly versed in the Potter-verse. For the next installment of Pop Goes the Tarot - Harry Potter. OH - and because I couldn't stop, I went ahead and picked characters for the Minor Arcana, too. 

xo Lis

All images copyright of Warner Bros Studios and found on the internets.

Harry Potter - The Fool.  Whether he wanted the role or not, the Boy Who Lived fulfilled his role as the Hero. He followed the Fool's Journey until its end.

Harry Potter - The Fool. Whether he wanted the role or not, the Boy Who Lived fulfilled his role as the Hero. He followed the Fool's Journey until its end.

The Magician - Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore . One of the smartest and most capable wizards in history, who always had something up his sleeves. (sometimes a lemon drop, sometimes Machiavellian tendencies)

The Magician - Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore. One of the smartest and most capable wizards in history, who always had something up his sleeves. (sometimes a lemon drop, sometimes Machiavellian tendencies)

The High Priestess - Sybill Trelawney . She foresaw the coming of the chosen one who would overthrow the Dark Lord. Unfortunately, she was only correct in her Divination three times, but they were great times. Particularly when she said that Umbridge was in grave danger. *snicker*

The High Priestess - Sybill Trelawney. She foresaw the coming of the chosen one who would overthrow the Dark Lord. Unfortunately, she was only correct in her Divination three times, but they were great times. Particularly when she said that Umbridge was in grave danger. *snicker*

The Empress - Molly Weasley  - The Empress is a woman who is comfortable with herself, who makes others comfortable around her. She has seven children, several bonus children, and has managed to hold on to her smile throughout hardship. She makes do, and makes things work. 

The Empress - Molly Weasley - The Empress is a woman who is comfortable with herself, who makes others comfortable around her. She has seven children, several bonus children, and has managed to hold on to her smile throughout hardship. She makes do, and makes things work. 

The Emperor - Rufus Scrimgeour.  He has removed all emotion and has settled into a serious job. The Minister of Magic is a serious man, and understands that feelings can be distractions. He focuses on what he can control.

The Emperor - Rufus Scrimgeour. He has removed all emotion and has settled into a serious job. The Minister of Magic is a serious man, and understands that feelings can be distractions. He focuses on what he can control.

The Hierophant - Xenophilius Lovegood   Life was easier for Luna and her father when everyone thought they were crazy. Xenophilius spent years of his life researching and studying the arcane knowledge that was pushed aside, and when our trio need an answer, he's the one they go to. 

The Hierophant - Xenophilius Lovegood Life was easier for Luna and her father when everyone thought they were crazy. Xenophilius spent years of his life researching and studying the arcane knowledge that was pushed aside, and when our trio need an answer, he's the one they go to. 

The Lovers - Nymphadora Tonks and Remus Lupin.  They crash into each other so hard, it makes ripples in the world and changes it forever. 

The Lovers - Nymphadora Tonks and Remus Lupin. They crash into each other so hard, it makes ripples in the world and changes it forever. 

The Chariot - Madam Rolanda Hooc h - The referee for the Quidditch matches and the flying instructor for the students. " Well, what are you waiting for?

The Chariot - Madam Rolanda Hooch - The referee for the Quidditch matches and the flying instructor for the students. "Well, what are you waiting for?

Strength - Ginny Weasley.  The only girl among six brothers, there is nothing soft about Ginny Weasley. She is tough, she is a feminist, and she lends her strength to her friends. She's a lot like her mother.

Strength - Ginny Weasley. The only girl among six brothers, there is nothing soft about Ginny Weasley. She is tough, she is a feminist, and she lends her strength to her friends. She's a lot like her mother.

Hermit - Severus Snape  - Whether he's a sinner or a saint, or just a broken hearted fool who believed in the wrong people, there isn't a lonelier character than Severus. He keeps his head down and does what he needs to do.  Alone.

Hermit - Severus Snape - Whether he's a sinner or a saint, or just a broken hearted fool who believed in the wrong people, there isn't a lonelier character than Severus. He keeps his head down and does what he needs to do.  Alone.

The Wheel of Fortune - Potions Class  - Are you going to blow yourself up (Seamus) or create liquid luck? Hard to say, but it's a fair bet that Seamus is always going to blow himself up.

The Wheel of Fortune - Potions Class - Are you going to blow yourself up (Seamus) or create liquid luck? Hard to say, but it's a fair bet that Seamus is always going to blow himself up.

Justice - Hermione Granger  - from making the boys finish their own homework, to becoming an activist for House Elf Rights, Hermione has a bead on what is fair, and what is not, and makes Justice her life's work at the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, where she continued looking out for the little guy.

Justice - Hermione Granger - from making the boys finish their own homework, to becoming an activist for House Elf Rights, Hermione has a bead on what is fair, and what is not, and makes Justice her life's work at the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, where she continued looking out for the little guy.

The Hanged Man - Cedric Diggory  - The golden boy was sacrificed so that no one could ignore the return of the Dark Lord. He became a martry and a rallying point for Dumbledore's Army.

The Hanged Man - Cedric Diggory - The golden boy was sacrificed so that no one could ignore the return of the Dark Lord. He became a martry and a rallying point for Dumbledore's Army.

Death - Sirius Black  - For most of his life, Sirius was an agent for change. His friendships changed his life, his alliances changed history, and his release from prison shifted everything once again. His death changed Harry back to who he was before - alone and without a real family.

Death - Sirius Black - For most of his life, Sirius was an agent for change. His friendships changed his life, his alliances changed history, and his release from prison shifted everything once again. His death changed Harry back to who he was before - alone and without a real family.

Temperance - Minerva McGonagall  - She is unerringly fair, strict and rule abiding. Except when it's time to break the rules. If you're going to have someone on your side, make it McGonagall.

Temperance - Minerva McGonagall - She is unerringly fair, strict and rule abiding. Except when it's time to break the rules. If you're going to have someone on your side, make it McGonagall.

The Devil - Dolores Jane Umbridge  - She is the Devil because she has no outside forces influencing her to be cruel. She is cruel because she is. She is so convinced of her right-ness that she will torment and torture others to get them on her side. She is the Devil in a pink, fluffy cardigan.

The Devil - Dolores Jane Umbridge - She is the Devil because she has no outside forces influencing her to be cruel. She is cruel because she is. She is so convinced of her right-ness that she will torment and torture others to get them on her side. She is the Devil in a pink, fluffy cardigan.

The Tower - Cornelius Fudge -  You can only hold your hands against the Tower and deny that it's falling for so long. You will walk away with bloodied hands caused by ignorance. 

The Tower - Cornelius Fudge - You can only hold your hands against the Tower and deny that it's falling for so long. You will walk away with bloodied hands caused by ignorance. 

The Star - Rubeus Hagrid  - He is a true friend, and a soft place to land. He is loyal and kind and gentle, and he shines brightly for his tribe.

The Star - Rubeus Hagrid - He is a true friend, and a soft place to land. He is loyal and kind and gentle, and he shines brightly for his tribe.

The Moon - Tom Riddle  - Raised in fear, he grows his power in fear, and then rules by fear.  And its fear that takes him at the end.

The Moon - Tom Riddle - Raised in fear, he grows his power in fear, and then rules by fear.  And its fear that takes him at the end.

The Sun - Ron Weasley -  Even when his faith is shaken, it's the love of his friends that brings him back to them. He always has Harry's back (even when they're not speaking) and he always sees the silver lining. (Unless there are spiders)

The Sun - Ron Weasley - Even when his faith is shaken, it's the love of his friends that brings him back to them. He always has Harry's back (even when they're not speaking) and he always sees the silver lining. (Unless there are spiders)

Judgement - Arthur Weasley . He manages to raise a family, keep his head down and become accomplished at work, fight in the Order of the Phoenix, look after Harry like a father, and still maintain joy. His unerring view of the people around him - their strengths, their weaknesses - makes him clear headed and reliable.

Judgement - Arthur Weasley. He manages to raise a family, keep his head down and become accomplished at work, fight in the Order of the Phoenix, look after Harry like a father, and still maintain joy. His unerring view of the people around him - their strengths, their weaknesses - makes him clear headed and reliable.

The World - Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry  - One of the quietest characters in the series (except when her soldiers fight for her) Hogwarts becomes a stronghold for all things good. It's the place that children become adults, and wizards choose their alliances. For some, it's the first home they've ever known. Still waiting for my letter, Ms. Rowling.

The World - Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry - One of the quietest characters in the series (except when her soldiers fight for her) Hogwarts becomes a stronghold for all things good. It's the place that children become adults, and wizards choose their alliances. For some, it's the first home they've ever known. Still waiting for my letter, Ms. Rowling.

I chose a character for each of the Minor Arcana as well. I do have a reason for each of these, and will go back to add them as time allows.

Ace of Swords    Rowena Ravenclaw
Two of Swords    Luna Lovegood
Three of Swords    Cho Chang
Four of Swords    Poppy Pomfrey
Five of Swords    Lucius Malfoy
Six of Swords    Aberforth Dumbledore
Seven of Swords    Draco Malfoy
Eight of Swords    Narcissa Malfoy
Nine of Swords    Frank and Alice Longbottom
Ten of Swords    Moaning Myrtle
Page of Swords    Neville Longbottom
Knight of Swords    Bellatrix Lestrange
Queen of Swords    Augusta Longbottom
King of Swords    Alastor (Mad Eye) Moody


Ace of Pentacles    Godric Gryffindor
Two of Pentacles    Helena Ravenclaw
Three of Pentacles    Dobby the House Elf
Four of Pentacles    Griphook
Five of Pentacles    Peter Pettigrew
Six of Pentacles    Horace Slughorn
Seven of Pentacles    Fred and George Weasley
Eight of Pentacles    Percy Weasley
Nine of Pentacles    Olympe Maxime
Ten of Pentacles    Pomona Sprout
Page of Pentacles    Hedwig
Knight of Pentacles    Lee Jordan
Queen of Pentacles    Arabella Figg
King of Pentacles    Dean Thomas


Ace of Wands    Salazar Slytherin
Two of Wands    Amelia Bones
Three of Wands    The Three Broomsticks pub
Four of Wands    The Great Hall
Five of Wands    Peeves
Six of Wands    Angelina Johnson
Seven of Wands    Firenze
Eight of Wands    Argus Filch
Nine of Wands    Colin Creevey
Ten of Wands    Kreacher the House Elf
Page of Wands    Gellert Grindlewald
Knight of Wands    Dudley Dursley
Queen of Wands    Fawkes
King of Wands    Garrick Ollivander



Ace of Cups    Helga Hufflepuff
Two of Cups    James and Lily Potter
Three of Cups    Antioch, Cadmus and Ignotus Peverell
Four of Cups    Petunia Dursley
Five of Cups    Helena Ravenclaw
Six of Cups    Ariana Dumbledore
Seven of Cups    Gilderoy Lockhart
Eight of Cups    The Pensieve
Nine of Cups    Fleur Delacour
Ten of Cups    The Sorting Hat
Page of Cups    Seamus Finnigan
Knight of Cups    Nearly Headless Nick
Queen of Cups    Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank
King of Cups    Filius Flitwick

"And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.” - Kurt Vonnegut

The 9 of Cups from the deck-in-progress by the amazing Cate Anevski!

The 9 of Cups from the deck-in-progress by the amazing Cate Anevski!

I was talking to my amazing friend, Kristen, last week. It was her birthday. (Happy birthday!) We started talking about what you do when your dreams and wishes come come true. 

We all know what it's like before that moment. I'll use my first book as an example. I've wanted to be an author since I was 6 years old. I was discouraged because it wasn't a secure and steady job, so I didn't pursue it in earnest until I was 40.

I know what disappointment in regard to dreams is like - it got turned down twice before it was accepted (and I rewrote half of it)

I know what it is to have that moment when the wish comes true. Barbara Moore called me as I was driving home from work and I started crying and had to pull over. I then called my husband and cried all over him. Then we got sushi to celebrate.

After that, though? What is it to have a dream come true? 

When the book happened, I didn't expect the time that it would take. The manuscript was accepted, it sat quiet for a few months, it got a release date, then I got a huge batch of edits and a definite release date. So it went from start, to pause, to fast forward, to stop. It was bananas. Then the book came out, and I'd lived in each stage of its creation for so long, that every stage felt like the New Normal. I was stressed over my book. I was working on my book. My book vanished. My book reappeared. I worried about my book, then it was complete. 

SO - I got my wish. I'm an author. What has changed in my life? 

  1.  I find I am marginally famous. I joke that I'm on the sidewalk of famous street. This doesn't mean that I'm rolling in money and got to quit my day job. I wrote a successful book in a niche market for a niche group. That's not retirement fodder. What it means is that I walked into a tarot conference and heard someone say "Omg that's Little Fox" in the same way that I'd reacted when I saw Rachel Pollack and Mary Greer. OMG! That was weird, flattering, unsettling and had me wishing that I had checked my teeth for food. It means that I get lovely emails thanking me for the book, and emails from dudes who try to mansplain tarot readings to me. I had one creepy stalker fellow who said he knew my exact address. I have had new opportunities, more confidence and certainty that I can keep doing this. I can write. That's the biggest thing. 
  2. I am so grateful. I mean, I am SO grateful. I found out that Kitchen Table Tarot had gone into a fourth printing and immediately lit a candle in my altar and said a prayer of gratitude. I am so grateful that I got to do the thing. That my thoughts didn't remain a blog. That my husband took care of our house so I could write. That my friend, Sarah Kate, let me use her house as a writer's retreat and made me food. That I had the privilege and opportunity to write. I am so grateful. Thank you. More please.
  3. I am so confident. I touched on this in #1, but it's probably the biggest shift since this dream came true. I stood at the Llewellyn booth at the American Library Association conference, and signed books. The line wrapped around the corner and we ran out of books and had to hand out signed bookmarks. That's not nothin'. I was on the same floor as Maggie Stiefvater (who is one of my heroes) and I felt like I belonged there. That was amazing. And I'm learning to OWN my confidence. Women in this country are so beaten down in regards to self-confidence. Don't be loud, don't be proud, be nice, use your manners, don't boast. Honestly? Fuck that. I worked really hard for my dream. I worked 40 hours a week and did readings on evenings and weekends, and when I wasn't doing that or raising my kids, I was writing. I wrote until 3am. Some nights I wrote all night. I learned how to promote myself on social media - still learning - but I'm making things happen with my dream. I'm active. I'm not sitting on it. I've already finished my second book and am working on two tarot decks and another book. The dream come true isn't finished yet.
  4. The Fraud Police - these guys live in my head, and come out every time I start getting any amount of confidence in myself and my skills. They say things like, "It was a fluke", "They're just being nice", "Your book sucks", "I can't believe you think you'll do another reading".  They used to come out EVERY time I did a reading and said that I was going to fail, and my client would jump up and point at me, "J'ACCUSE!". It was always in french. Now? They're still around. I just ignore them. It's honestly that easy. It might take me a day or so to ignore them - those voices use my voice, you know - but I ignore them. The Fraud police are manifestations of every single time I've been underestimated in my life. They're every time I've heard no, or been shot down. They show up, I ignore them, and they get weaker over time.

We all know what it is to have 'a dream deferred'. We all have lost a thing, but what is it to accomplish, to own, to enjoy?

The four steps as I see them are these.

  1. Realign your perspective. Each new thing that we add to us shifts our viewpoint on everything - everything. I constantly ask my friends if this book is turning me into an asshole, and they said they'll let me know. I have a very clear idea of what this writing thing means for my family and for me, and that's because I have figured out who I am NOW.
  2. Gratitude - throw that stuff around like confetti. I answer every email and letter that I get. Every one that isn't bananas, that is. (safety first) I make space for people to ask questions and stay available to people who have found the book. I say thank you every day. The three steps of gratitude according to Limitless Megan? Thank you. I am grateful. More please. :)
  3. Own your success.  Own it. Wear it. Swim around in it til your fingers get all pruney. Don't let anyone - ANYONE - dim this for you. You need to shine. You also REALLY need at least three people that you trust to tell you when you're being an asshole. It's important.
  4. Tell the Fraud Police to suck it and do your work anyway. 

So, what happens when dreams come true? Magic. 

And the Nine of Cups.

xo Lis

 

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

Wherein Melissa matches Firefly characters with the Major Arcana.

Wherein Melissa matches Firefly characters with the Major Arcana.

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

The Fool - Jayne Cobb

The Fool - Jayne Cobb

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

The Magician - Malcolm Reynolds

The Magician - Malcolm Reynolds

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

The High Priestess - River Tam

The High Priestess - River Tam

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

The Empress - Inara Serra

The Empress - Inara Serra

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

The Emperor - Sheriff Bourne

The Emperor - Sheriff Bourne

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

The Hierophant - Dr. Caron

The Hierophant - Dr. Caron

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

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

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

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

The Chariot - Hoban Washburne

The Chariot - Hoban Washburne

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

Strength - Zoe Washburne

Strength - Zoe Washburne

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

The Hermit - Shepherd Derrial Book

The Hermit - Shepherd Derrial Book

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

The Wheel of Fortune - Simon Tam

The Wheel of Fortune - Simon Tam

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

Justice - Patience

Justice - Patience

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

Mal: Why not?

Zoë: She shot you.

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

The Hanged Man - Gabriel and Regan Tam

The Hanged Man - Gabriel and Regan Tam

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

Death - Dr. Mathias

Death - Dr. Mathias

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

Temperance - Serenity

Temperance - Serenity

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

The Devil - Dr. Niska

The Devil - Dr. Niska

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

The Tower - Atherton Wing

The Tower - Atherton Wing

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

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

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

The Star -Fess Higgins

The Star -Fess Higgins

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

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

The Moon - Badger

The Moon - Badger

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

The Sun - Kaylee Frye

The Sun - Kaylee Frye

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

Judgment - The Operative

Judgment - The Operative

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

The World - Mr. Universe

The World - Mr. Universe

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

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

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

All photos copyright of Fox (Not me fox, the media company fox)

I hope this deck finds you well ❤ - Taylor Haigh

Well, hello, lovely.

Well, hello, lovely.

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

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

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

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

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

xo Lis

LFT Questionnaire

IMG_7139.jpg

What you appreciate the most in your friends.

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

Your idea of happiness.

Freedom to do the things I want to do.

Your idea of misery.

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

Your favorite colors and flowers.

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

Your favorite poets.

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

Your heroes/heroines in fiction.

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

What role does divination play in your life?

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

Your heroes/heroines in real life.

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

What is your present state of mind?

Positivity.

What is your favorite tarot deck or divination tool?

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

Your favorite songs?

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

What is your favorite word?

I don’t think I could pick just one!

What is your least favorite word?

Moist.

What sound or noise do you love?

Forest ambiance.

What sound or noise do you hate?

The sound of crowded public space.

IMG_6105.jpg

What turns you on?

Intelligence.

What turns you off?

People who are judgemental.

What is your favorite curse word?

Smeghead.

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

Right this way to the VIP section.x

IG: @THEFOXTAROT + @FOXONANISLAND

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