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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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A few weeks ago, I did a reading about a playing card deck I own, to ask how it would work for me in reading. The deck is the Kosen yaoi poker deck, meaning it has sexy, manga-styled men for the court cards. The pips are in an art deco style. I’ve not used it for anything, and since I’ve been exploring the Playing Card Oracles lately, I wanted to see how that system would apply to a poker deck without the PCO illustrations.

This deck has two Jokers. I wasn’t sure how to treat them, so I thought I’d apply them to make a “changing” card that has both a positive and a negative aspect. Loosely akin to the changing hexagram lines one might get in an i-ching reading.

PCO reading - how will yaoi deck work

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Can the cards pinpoint someone’s sexual orientation? For a decent reader, I expect they can. It’s arguably not so different than reading to determine the sex of an unborn baby. Of course, looking at it another way, it’s not so different than reading about anything else: have a question that matters, focus properly, set the correct intention along with a precisely worded question and apply carefully honed reading techniques. (Don’t forget to bring intuition along for the ride!)


Back in 2008 when I first discovered the Lenormand, I learned of such techniques which seemed more cut and dried than other cards. I was fascinated by the possibility that cards could be used this way. It promised to be a supplemental “gaydar”(1), and as a gay man I was intrigued that it was possible at all. But it’s not something I practiced, as it wasn’t something I needed in daily life.

This week I was curious about a man named Michael(2). Here is an opportunity to experiment with this reading technique! Since I’ve been enjoying my Playing Card Oracles recently, I opted to use them. However, I chose a spread I’ve been using a lot with the tarot.

I phrased my precise question: Is Michael gay? I further set an intention that the deck would show me by using masculine or feminine cards to show where Michael is coming from — that is, a masculine card would show heterosexual male interests, whereas a feminine card would show the opposite. This isn’t about behaviors, just sexual interests.

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I did a Playing Card Oracle (PCO) reading over the weekend for a woman I will call Deanna. Deanna is most anxious to be in a romantic relationship, and wanted to know when she would find a boyfriend. As I was just getting a feel for the PCO cards and system, I thought I would put them to the test and try out the Cat Spread. This spread incorporates timing, and it can show events for the next year — 52 weeks, since each playing card corresponds to one week.

Question: When will Deanna find a new romantic partner?

reading_PCO_Deanna8 of Spades (Stone Field), 2 of Clubs (Friendship),
King of Spades (Mardoc), 9 of Hearts (Gilles de Rais)

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We’re still big fans of the now-syndicated sitcom Golden Girls in this house. The woes and antics of Dorothy, Blanche, Rose and Sophia continue to feel relevant, and never fail to raise our spirits along with a good laugh.

The Golden Girls

The Playing Card Oracles

I’ve been dabbling with the Playing Card Oracles (PCO) again, a system authored by Ana Cortez that works best with her deck, illustrated by Ana’s father, C.J. Freeman. I’ve come to the system periodically over the years. I always find it’s too different from other methods I’ve used — whether for playing cards or tarot — yet every time I get a little more from it.

The PCO can be used with geomancy which is built into the core layout.

I have long enjoyed geomancy, and although I haven’t blogged about it often, I’ve always found geomancy to be very enjoyable and accurate. It adds a nice layer to interpreting using the PCO.

The Reading

So having picked up PCO in the last week, just for fun I did a practice reading about Blanche Devereaux. Blanche is the shallow yet good-hearted southern belle with a never-ending stream of sexual escapades and stories thereof.

“The woman has slut embroidered on her underwear!” — Sophia Petrillo

My PCO question: What will Blanche’s next date be like?

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