On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

7 Swans a-Swimming

First off, a belated Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays — take your pick — to everybody out there. I spent a very happy couple of days with my loved ones, and am now trying to unwind a bit. It is cold and rainy outside and we are on the verge of a big snowfall here, according to the weather predictions.

Incidentally, cartomancy author Cicely Kent wrote that she believes the weather always shows up in a reading. I can’t say I’ve ever looked for this or tested it, but it’s an intriguing assertion.

For today’s post, the theme must be around the number seven; and the seven planets naturally came to mind. Actually, the first thing that came to MY mind was the trials of the number seven but I was having trouble turning that into a topic. Then I remembered Ophiel’s Oracle of Fortuna!

The Oracle of Fortuna is a method of divination intended for use with playing cards, that relies on the state of the game (whether won or not) and the seven planets (for categories) to provide meanings to the “spread” that exists at the end of the game. Additionally, the person versed in the system would be able to translate the game into nuances likely to take place as a questioned scenario plays out in real life.

The method uses a 52-card playing deck with extra planetary and elemental cards for the layout in a Klondike solitaire game. (This is the solitaire game that has shipped with Windows PCs forever.) Seven planets mark each of the seven columns; and the elements mark where the suits are built from ace up. I used a stripped-down Thoth mini deck so that I wouldn’t have to create the extra cards, although Ophiel believed that the planetary symbols were an integral part of the game. The symbols do exist on the Thoth cards, even though they are quite small.

Who was Ophiel? He was an occult author whose real name was Edward Peach; he wrote about occult topics in the 60s and 70s. His books are very user-friendly, and a good but overlooked way for the modern reader to ease into some modern occult practices, particularly with his interpretation of Golden Dawn-based practices. His book on astral projection is often recommended by those who have tried it. You can learn more about Ophiel and his writing, including his old correspondence courses, by visiting the Ophiel_Magick Yahoo! group.

The only downside I’ve found to the Oracle of Fortuna is that it takes time to play the solitaire game — which can be helpful for getting into a divinatory state of mind, but I like to just spread the cards and dive into a reading. So after trying it a few times, I set it aside as it didn’t fit my preferred modus operandi.

(I just remembered I have another book that includes some solitaire methods of divination; but I don’t recall the title and the book is packed away. I will post at a later date when I find the book. It’s a thick hardcover cataloging a large range of divination practices; the dust jacket has a green-tinted picture of a crystal ball. It also describes some older methods of reading playing cards. It pops up at the local used bookstore periodically.)

My previous post on the Oracle of Fortuna game can be found here. If you are newer to my blog, definitely take a look, especially if you enjoy solitaire. The book is out of print and overpriced at the typical online source, but you can join the above Yahoo! group if you’d like to find the rules.