Isn’t it funny how our tastes can change over time? We start our card reading explorations drawn to certain types of decks. We may start with a Waite-Smith tarot, and find comfort in decks following that same pattern, or which are also illustrated such as the Robin Wood or Hanson-Roberts. After some time we may wake up and decide we prefer more realistic artwork. 


Waite-Smith 8 of Pentacles

 Or we find the Marseilles pattern to be “dullsville,” and some years later enjoy sinking our teeth into this classic pip pattern and it’s suddenly “coolsville.” Our interest in occult tarot decks like the Golden Dawn and Thoth may wax; our interest in making associations to kabbalah, astrology or i-ching may wane.


Thoth Tarot

The tarot audience was psychologically focused in the mainstream for some years, I think, coming out of the classic books in the 1970s. Now tastes have changed and predictive models and styles of reading cards are becoming acceptable again.

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I got the Celtic Lenormand oracle deck today. I had been on the fence about this one for a while, while seeing it in-progress at the creator’s blog. I’m not a big fan of the myriad of themed and art-heavy Lenormand decks; but I’m not immune to any new deck that I find attractive, readable and resonant with my personal interests or taste. The Celtic Lenormand does target that area for me, with its Celtic theme and art by Will Worthington (whose illustrations of the Wildwood Tarot read particularly well for me).


Ring – Clouds – Book – Dog – Snake

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It’s a snow-filled Valentine’s Day, so it’s time for a relationship reading. A deck relationship, that is! My other half is at work for the afternoon, so I spent some time getting to know my recently purchased The Faeries’ Oracle. The artist is Brian Froud, and the excellent companion book is authored by Jessica MacBeth. (Coincidentally, last night we watched The Dark Crystalan 80’s movie whose look was conceptualized by Brian Froud.)

I asked: “How can I best work with this oracle?”


The Master Maker — Honesty — Death
(click for larger image)

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Today was my first reading to test drive my new Card Deck of the Sidhe. As I am not familiar with these oracle cards, I decided a two-card reading would be appropriate. Besides sharing this short reading, I will talk about my initial impressions of this oracle deck meant to connect with the “people of peace.”

I wanted to know: What would the outcome be for me, if I had a particular discussion at work today?

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Does anyone besides me have decks that arrive — or become — curved? Where the whole deck is concave or convex, taking on a warped appearance to some degree?

This is a problem I usually see with decks that are older or I’ve owned for a while. However, it sometimes happens with a new deck, and that drives me crazy. This post was prompted by my new Froud Faeries’ Oracle.

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I haven’t had good luck with some recent mail deliveries of orders from Even with Amazon Prime, which guarantees (free) two-day delivery, I’ve had trouble getting my items on time. I won’t bore you with the details. So while expecting a delivery today, I consulted the Lenormand: Will my package arrive today?

jan26-package-arrive-todayMice – Letter – Stork

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Time to continue the gridding of a card. In my previous post, I started exploring this technique for reading a single card using an imaginary grid to provide a timeline. I used the Gods and Titans Oracle cards, and drew the card depicting Helios in answer to my question: Show me what I need to focus on at work this upcoming week.


I read a basic overview of the situation based on where the main figure of Helios fell within the grid. Please go back to Part 1 if you missed it. Otherwise let’s continue.

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Grid — or even gird — your loins, fellow card readers! Here’s a technique for wringing information out of a single card. It’s based on an imaginary grid overlaying a single card, and reading parts of the card in the context of that grid. This isn’t new, but I don’t think it’s commonly explored; and it’s not something I’ve tried before.

I used the Gods and Titans Oracle cards. The author and primary force in creating was Stacey Demarco. However, I must give props to Jimmy Manton’s artwork. (The more recent Isis Oracle that he illustrated has truly drool-worthy art, although it didn’t work for me as a reading deck.)

My question: Show me what I need to focus on at work this upcoming week. I decided in advance that I would draw the tenth card, as if I were looking at the final outcome in a tree of life spread. Even if one doesn’t wish to use that spread, I like the extra factor of randomization that I feel is added by not just taking the top card. Question and method established, I shuffled the cards with focus and intent — those favorite keywords of mine! —and dealt the 10th card, Helios, titan of the sun. (Click image for a larger view.)


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Hi all! I want to post about another update for this blog.

frenchcartomancy_10_scytheAs I mentioned before, I’m working on gradually improving the organization, mainly with respect to tags and categories. These offer easier ways to browse my blog for areas of interest. However, my use of these has grown organically over time, and I feel it’s time for some reorganization and culling.

I thought reading versus readings tags were probably confusing, so that was my first adjustment. The posts formerly using reading are now tagged reading process, and are things that touch on the process readings and exploring card reading techniques.

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I got an unexpected gift in the mail when my pre-ordered copy of Holistic Tarot by Benebell Wen arrived today. I was expecting a typically sized tarot book. Imagine my surprise when I pulled it out of the shipping box!


Seriously, it was so thick I had trouble grabbing it out of the box. Which isn’t a complaint. This book isn’t typical in size, and doesn’t look to be typical in content — in a good way.

Finding New Books

It’s been a while since I bought a newly published cartomancy book. I think the last such book I bought new was Rana George’s Lenormand book. (I’ve looked at some “indie” books available on Kindle via, which tend to run smaller or be focused on topics like business aspects.) There hasn’t been much new to catch my eye. The last time I bought a tarot book targeting an advanced audience, I found it disappointing since I was familiar with the techniques and approaches it described, having built my tarot style around them.

Last month, thanks to Josephine McCarthy, I discovered the blog of Benebell Wen. I had not seen the lovely Ms. Wen’s blog before, but looking through it I enjoyed the content enough to add to my blogroll. I saw she was a soon-to-be-published author. After reading the blog archives and looking up Holistic Tarot on, it promised to be different enough that I pre-ordered it, which is a rarity.

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