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… and a Partridge in a Pear Tree!

Despite a couple of missteps — one vanished post and two that were accidentally published early — we’ve made it to the final post for this 12 Days of Christmas 2014 series. Should we celebrate?

Today I’d like to share a couple of fun facts about my blog.

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2-turtledovesTwo Turtledoves: Two birds, two ways to read a card. Which is better, up or down?

Today’s topic is reversals. There has been a lot written about reversals over the years. It’s a topic in every tarot book that I can think of, and there is at least one book dedicated to reversals.

Should you use reversals?

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Three French Hens: Better than a gaggle of geese! Three hens are a productive trio.

It is time to talk about a favorite topic for many people: the spread. Cards and spreads are like peanut butter and jelly. Sometimes they are great together. Sometimes they are innovative, like that Smuckers product that contains peanut butter and jelly in one jar. Sometimes they just don’t work, like pairing peanut butter with orange jelly (marmalade).

Card spreads are a popular topic. I suppose this is in part because they make life seem easier for authors and learners. Like card meanings, they are easy to write about, which is good if you need to author a book. Learners like them for the same reason kids (of all ages!) like Pokémon games, where the goal is to obtain as many critters as possible: Gotta catch them all! I think it’s a parallel to the deck-buying syndrome. Learn the perfect spread and become the perfect reader.

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Four calling birds: Four elements. It’s elementary, my dear Watson!

How could I not do at least one post talking about the elements? They are so integral to the way I read tarot, and the Playing Card Oracles, that it’s hard for me to not consider elements. The way elements are present or missing, and the way they interact with each other in readings, can enhance the picture of what is happening in the situation being explored.

That interaction is sometimes called elemental dignities. That’s a highfalutin’ term and a lot of people find the idea off-putting, but really, it’s just the way card “energies” as depicted by elements influence and affect each other.

And some good news: if you’ve always felt intimidated by elemental dignities (EDs), but you’ve learned Lenormand card reading, then you most likely have the skills necessary to learn EDs!

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Five Gold Rings: A triumphant gathering of precious metals.

There were a couple of things I had kicking around for this post. A continuation from the numerology post, where I left out a couple of things. Some talk of the i-ching that I omitted from my post about variety, or the related topic of Chinese five-element theory.

Instead, I’m going to go with my original impulse, which was inspired by thinking about how five gold rings reminded me of the Olypmics rings, which are a symbol of unity — or at least the gathering of people that the Olympics brings about.

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As you have surmised by now, I’m working my way through a series of posts inspired by the Christmas carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas.


Each post bears the tag 12 Days of Christmas 2014, and this can be clicked here or in any post to see the whole series.

The twelve days of Christmas refers to the twelve days after Christmas, so I am still on target to finish the series by then.

Also, I hope you all have enjoyed my holiday banner. I especially liked decorating that Lenormand Tree for the holiday. 😀 Season’s greetings, friends!


Six Geese a-Laying: Making something new and precious as they bring life to this world.

Long before Rhonda Byrne popularized the so-called law of attraction with The Secret, there have been self-help authors and teachers writing about ways to bring new things into your life. Some of these are down-to-earth and some have more mystical approaches. There is Napoleon Hill’s classic Think and Grow Rich. Joseph Murphy explored the subconscious mind in As a Man Thinketh. NLP co-founder Richard Bandler  started a modern way of improving your life. Two of his students, Tony Robbins and Paul McKenna, became well-known motivational speakers. Sandra Anne Taylor (my sort-of neighbor) has her quantum success model.

The list goes on. Creative Visualization, whether you prefer the book by Shakti Gawain, Ophiel or Denning & Phillips. The Silva Mind Control method. (Richard Bach used this to write Jonathan Livingston Seagull.) Modern productivity guru Peter Allen invented a popular system and book called Getting Things Done, or GTD to its aficionados. (I felt it was overly complicated myself.) There is The Kybalion, and anything from William Walker Atkinson, or indeed much of the New Thought movement. Christian Science. Joseph J. Weed’s AMORC teachings.

I could probably come up with more, and that’s off the top of my head. Whether these teachers and authors have a magical or mystical approach, they all have approaches to achieving one’s goals in life, and sometimes those goals are materially focused. In short, what is popularly called “manifestation.” But what does manifestation have to do with tarot and oracle cards?

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7_swansSeven Swans a-Swimming: White swans, black swans, baby swans, trumpeter swans… such variety brings elegance to the lake where they all glide along the water.

There is the saying that variety is the spice of life, which I could support with a bunch of similar platitudes, but I’m going to get right to the point. Yes, really! A little variety in your divination practices can inspire you, renew waning interests and enhance your facility with divination in general.

Older Cartomancy Systems

My main system has always been tarot. Yet there was a period of time where I experienced burnout. I was tired of online “big-mouths” who seemed to drain the soul and joy out of my experience with their veiled negative attitudes. Perhaps I had personal tarot fatigue and they were just the outward trigger. In any case, I was moved to work more with playing cards, which led me to study old cartomancy techniques and the 32-card piquet deck, and even a 36-card variant. It also led me to the Lenormand cards (back in 2008), which further inspired me to start this blog.

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8_maids8 Maids a-Milking: Cow-nting (counting) those cows!

Pardon me for appearing to slack off on this series. A rare headache on Friday turned into a head cold by Saturday, which is where I am today. Thinking has been a challenge, let alone writing. I’ve been trying to prepare for Christmas, and this cold cancelled some anniversary celebration plans. Still, one must soldier on! As I noted last year, the Twelve Days of Christmas actually refer to the twelve days after Christmas, so it’s okay if I continue this series into early January. Phew!

Today’s topic is going to be a quick and dirty look at numbers in terms of reading cards. [After writing this, it’s not as “quick” as I’d expected, but I enjoyed writing it and hope you enjoy reading it.]

It all starts with the meaning of numbers, which makes some people think of numerology, a stand-alone divination tool that works by calculating numerical data to learn about people through the meaning of their numbers. I’m not too keen on numerology, because the generation of numbers seems fairly arbitrary with too much variance for my taste.

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Nine Ladies Dancing: Move your body to a new state of being.

Most people who read tarot and other cards do so to help a person improve her life. Usually this comes down to counseling, in the sense of providing advice and guidance based on interpreting the cards.

This counseling tends to be through dialog and triggering thoughts in the mind of the person who receives a reading. More adventurous readers might recommend that their clients have meditation homework (I’ve done this), incorporate crystals or utilize modalities like aromatherapy.

For the adventurous reader looking to expand his arsenal, there is an interesting technique called “dancing the tarot,” originally described by Denning and Phillips and later adapted by Don Kraig.

MagickOfTarotDandP TarotAndMagicKraig

The Magick Of The Tarot (Denning and Phillips),
Tarot & Magic (Donald Michael Kraig)

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