A to Z Blogger Challenge

A to Z Challenge: Write Every Day and Hello, It's Me

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It’s official - April’s come to an end, and so has the A to Z challenge. If you’ve been meaning to catch up, here’s the last handful of blog posts I wrote as part of this challenge.

U is for Unfazed
V is for Vocal
W is for Witch
X is for quiXotic
Y is for Youths
Z is for Zapped

Weirdly, I’ve done dozens of interviews of other people but have never taken this questionnaire myself. Weird! I’m generally not a fan of talking about myself, so you can find podcasts of me doing that here, here, and here.

I’m a reader, a writer, a mom, a partner and a nerd. I’m a happy person and feel like gratitude makes everything better. It’s like cheese in that way.

Speaking of cheese, here’s my LFT Questionnaire.

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1.  What you appreciate the most in your friends?

They are joyfully silly with me, and in a breath will tell me that I’m being an idiot, and then will be silly with me again. You can’t fake that kind of honesty.

2.  Your idea of happiness?

I’m honestly in it. I love my family, my work, my pets, my life. I’m in it.

3.  Your idea of misery?

Hey, let’s sit for an hour in traffic each way to a job where they treat you like shit and make you wear uncomfortable shoes, high five.

4.  Where would you like to live?

I love my house, but I would like to live near the ocean someday

5.  Your favorite colors and flowers?

Blue and orange, and tulips, ranunculus...anything that is all BLAM right in your face beautiful

6.  Your favorite poets?

E.E. Cummings, Buddy Wakefield, Lawrence Ferlinghetti

7.  Your heroes/heroines in fiction?

Jilly Coppercorn, Kvothe, Harry Dresden, Jo March, Meg Murray

8.  What role does divination play in your life?

It’s my favorite thing in the world to do. I breathe it in every day. It’s my thing. You know how everyone has a thing that brings them to life? This is my thing.

9.  Your heroes/heroines in real life?

My family, my friends. People who resist.

10.  What is your present state of mind?

At peace

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

The Shadowscapes tarot

12.  Your favorite songs?

Bring it On Home to Me - Sam Cooke
Anything by Brandi Carlile or the Avett Brothers

13.  What is your favorite word?

Murmuration and susurration

14.  What is your least favorite word?

Immolate

15.  What sound or noise do you love?

I love hearing my kid’s voices.

16.  What sound or noise do you hate?

Animals or people in pain and metal on metal

17.  What turns you on?

Words

18.  What turns you off?

Bad smells, mean people

19.  What is your favorite curse word?

Fuck. Fuck, fuckity fuck fuck fuck.

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

Good job, sweetheart. Come and give me a hug.

 

Z is for Zapped #atozchallenge

I feel like every year, I write about how to take care of yourself so you can do better readings. I do think it's important, though, so I'm going to make a little list for you.

  1. Readings can be exhausting if you don't take care of yourself. Check your energy before and after your readings and make adjustments if necessary.
  2. Use crystals, rocks, incense, candles, reiki, etc. - whatever tools will help you - to protect yourself and your energy.
  3. Be sure to put your cards back in order or charge the under the sun or the moon when they start feeling janky.
  4. Don't read cards when you don't feel like it. Just put them down.

Remember that you can't save the world by yourself and that if you're fried, your readings will show it.

Take good care. Thanks for reading along this month!  

xo!

Lis

Y is for Youths #atozchallenge

I did a podcast with my friends, Andrew and Rose, in which we talked about pop culture and tarot and spirituality and Big Trouble in Little China. 

One of the things that I said was that I hope that in 40 years, everything I write about tarot becomes irrelevant. I really do. I don't mean this in a self-deprecating way, but in that the core of tarot is rock solid, but that the means of interpretation of the tarot is ever-changing, and that's exactly what I love about it.

My son is 12, and his idea of the Hierophant is so wildly different than mine at 14. It's exciting and fresh and I can't wait to see what it turns into. 

Go forward, Youths, and reinvent the interpretations of tarot so it keeps living, wouldja? Knock the dust off of it.

xo Lis

X is for QuiXotic #atozchallenge

It is ok to pull a card for your day and count on the good things to come.

It is ok to read your horoscope and let it lift or prepare you for the month.

It is ok to put crystals down in ways that make you feel happy.

It is ok to believe in magic.

It is ok to decide that things will or will not work for you.

it is ok to use your intent to launch your life into another direction.

It is ok to assign personalities to your tarot decks.

And it's ok to not do any of this. Or to do some of it.

As long as you aren't hurting anyone, including yourself.

And it's absolutely ok to be an optimist. To believe in yourself. To look for sunshine.

It's ok to be silly when things are dark outside.

One could almost say it's necessary. 

xo Lis

W is for Witch #atozchallenge

You don't have to be witchy to read tarot cards. And you don't have to read tarot cards just because you're witchy. The two things often crisscross, but I know readers who are Muslim, Christian and Jewish. I know witches who think that tarot cards are creepy. 

I think it's important to let young readers know (YOUTHS!) that you don't have to do anything you're not comfortable with. Last year, nearly every new agey post was pastel colored with crystals. Like 10 years ago, everything was maroon with dark eyeliner. Next year, who knows. Tarot is probably due for an emo stage again. 

The point is that trends in tarot will change (and so will you) and it's ok if you pick them up and put them back down again. It's ok if you integrate your cards into your religion - and it's absolutely ok if you don't. Your relationship with tarot is your own and you alone can define it.

xo Lis

V is for Vocal #atozchallenge

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There is a very interesting debate raging at the moment about the nature of sin, for example,” said Oats. “And what do they think? Against it, are they?” said Granny Weatherwax. 
“It’s not as simple as that. It’s not a black and white issue. There are so many shades of gray.” 
“Nope.” 
“Pardon?” 
“There’s no grays, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is. 
“It’s a lot more complicated than that . . .” 
“No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.” 
“Oh, I’m sure there are worse crimes . . .” 
“But they starts with thinking about people as things . . . ”  - Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum

We have had a lot of examples of treating people like things in our country lately, and it breaks my heart. What I can't do is ignore it. What I'm terrible at is being quiet when I'm upset, and so I am very vocal when it come to my politics. You can't read my blog or go to my social media without knowing exactly where my politics lie.

This has cost me business, and has caused some unrest in my life.

I can't go backwards, though, because it feels disingenuous. What I do in my tarot readings is help people see themselves clearly. How can I help folks do that when I'm blurring the lines around who I am? 

So, when I am vocal about Trans rights or Black Lives Matter or any of the other things that mean so much to me, it's not because I want to garner controversy or because I want people to agree with me. It's because you should know who you're getting in a reader, and if politics in readings doesn't matter to you, it doesn't matter to me, either. 

So, if you don't want a tarot reader who is loudly everything that seems to piss off older white men, I can happily refer you on. 

xo!

Lis

U is for Unfazed #atozchallenge

When you get a reading, you are best served by being empathetic, not sympathetic. Brene Brown has a whole amazing thing about this here. Basically, you want to say, "i'm sorry that this happened" to your client without feeling their pain or being in crisis with them. 

It's the whole thing about putting your oxygen mask on before your kids. You can't take care of people when you're flailing and you can't do good readings when they sink you along with the client. You have to practice this detached method of reading because generally, tarot readers are sympathetic folks. We're good at listening and relating and leaning in. It takes a while to learn your balance here, but the payoff is amazing.

Your clients will get a consistent reading from you. You won't walk away from the reading emotionally wounded. You won't cross any ethical lines or lean in so far that you obscure your purpose. Your job is to hand the person a reading. Their job is to receive it. Your job is then to walk away and let them deal with the reading. 

One of the the things that helps me keep this boundary is actually visualizing it. When i read, i see my energy coming towards that of the client. Mine orange, theirs yellow, and the glowing gold we make together. When the reading is over, I take my orange and they take their yellow, and we walk away again.

Practice.

T is for Tinker #atozchallenge

After working so hard to learn all 78 card meanings (and reversals, if you're down with that) and what they mean in each position AND in relation to other cards, it's really easy to get into a rut with your readings. 

After you're comfortable, I encourage you to completely make up spreads, do readings with on card or thirty, and shuffle mid-reading just to see what happens.

I used the Celtic Cross spread for at least 15 years rigidly. Then I started reading it sideways. I don't know why - it just made more sense that way. Then I turned it into an upside-down pyramid with little pyramid spinning away from it. I have no idea what my readings will look like in the another 1 5 years, but I hope it's entirely different. 

First you learn how to read the cards, then you learn how to play with them

xo 

Lis

S is for Schmooze #atozchallenge

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Hello, MELISSA CYNOVA, 

I greatly admire your website LITTLE FRX TRROT and go to it often. You have a good site. 

LISTEN I have a new deck/book/website coming out soon and I would love for you to promote it on your blog. I KNOW - you have no idea who I am, and when you check with your tarot buddies, you'll find that I've sent this same email to twenty of them with the name changed. that's how disingenuous I am. I do realize that if I took the time to build honest relationships in this business, I'd get further in life, but I'm lazy and honestly I'm just hoping that one of you guys bites.

Thanks so much for agreeing to let me exploit our non existent relationship! I promise, you'll never hear from me again.

Unless I want something else.

Love, 

Total Fucking Stranger

R is for Repeating #atozchallenge

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Me: Shuffles cards. Shuffles cards. Lays them out..

Cards:  Three Swords, Death, Tower.

Me:  Eehhhhhhh......I wasn't concentrating. *shuffle shuffle shuffle*

Cards: 7 Swords, 3 Swords, Tower

Me  eeehhhhhhhhhhh, I don't think I phrased it well in my mind's eye or whatever.

Cards:  Bitch? I said what I said. TOWER. tower. tower.

Me:  "Hey, Ryan, can you give me a reading?"

END SCENE

Has this happened to you? If you or a loved one gets caught in the cycle of non-productive readings, know that there are people out there who can help you. Just put down the cards, call a friend, and realize that asking your cards the same question over and over and over is a waste of time. 

If you don't have a friend available, you can call me, Melissa Cynova, Tarot Reader. With my 30 years of experience, I can help you break that cycle of self-defeating shenanigans and tell you that you're grounded from readings for three months. 

Call me, won't you?  :D

xo Lis