Odin isn’t Santa Claus

Odin certainly is associated with the old celebrations of “jul” in Old Norse culture, however, no evidence points to him being the precursor to Santa Claus. Dr. Jackson Crawford explains these misconceptions well in the video below:

Never too early to start busting these kinds of myths in my opinion. For anyone interesting in authentic nordic Paganism, I endorse all the material produced by Dr. Crawford. The most historically accurate information readily available that I know of.

Enochian Vision Magick

A Practical Guide to the Magick of Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelley by Lon Milo DuQuette.

Enochian on heavens door.

This was a surprisingly quick read for such a complex subject. As someone who’s quite familiar with DuQuette’s other writings, this perhaps shouldn’t have come as such a big surprise, since he’s very likely simultaneously both the clearest and most entertaining author of occult books… EVER!

However, at first glance, this book, with all its tables and diagrams and a page count of 304 pages, seems way longer and dryer than it actually is, which we will get into below.

Fear Enochian

Very content.

Before you get into the meat of the book you are treated with not just one, but two forewords, a preface and both a prologue to the prologue as well as a prologue! This all means that there is already a lot of material to go through ahead of its main content. Nonetheless I urge you not to skip any of it, as there’s plenty of gems in there and a considerable amount of good advice to be gleaned along the way. Hidden away inside here you’ll also find one very amusing alternative take on the purpose of Dee’s manuscripts, but I leave that little nugget for you to discover on your own.

After reading all the introductory texts, you really shouldn’t be too spooked by all their warnings, because from now on uncle Baba Lon will safely guide you through this system, putting all your concerns at rest.

Transmission Magick

Dr. John Dee – The First Enoch-a-naut.

John Dee was of course the original 007, a well known fact you likely posses already, as it’s almost certainly amongst the first things people will tell you about him. Followed closely by how he was an advisor to Queen Elizabeth I, which included duties as a spy as well as being a royal court astrologer (he choose her coronation date for instance). Oh, and we’re not going to go into the infamous wife-swapping incident instigated by the angels themselves, except to mention that all the involving parties had to sign a nondisclosure agreement.

Side note: When will someone dramatize these events and make it into TV series? It’s ripe with juicy details and hilarious happenings. This is an untapped gold mine!

I think it’s agreed upon that Dr. John Dee was conceivably one of the most, if not THE most learned man of his time, at a time where it might still be possible to know everything there was to know. He was the proud owner of the largest library in England, and undoubtedly was the perfect candidate to be the recipient of a multiplex magical system downloaded directly from an angelic source. A case definitely can made of him possible being the only person capable of making any sense what was picked up on and communicated to him by angelic entities via his scryer Edward Kelley (a dubious and unstable yet immensely psychically gifted individual).

Inside this paperback tome you get related all the important and significant circumstances of how those operations took place, with the added benefit of being presented with the actual information of which they got their hands on. All done in a remarkably understandable and entertaining manner.

Don’t Try to duplicate the Magick Dee and Kelley Did to Receive the System— Just Use the System They Received!

Lon Milo DuQuette

Although the above quoted maxim is a sound recommendation, the author does intentionally contradict himself, suggesting that, in a way, you should imitate at least some of the original circumstances and procedures used by Dr. Dee and Kelley. So to a certain extent, it can be said that this manual acts as a provisional self initiation into all things Enochiana.

The angelic alphabet.

Which brings us to a highly important point, which is that not all of Dee’s manuscripts have survived after his death, making it evident that we sadly don’t have access to the complete system. Still, that’s not to say that this release in and of itself isn’t complete, because it is, and you basically get all you need to start practicing, and more. It’s just necessary, in my humble opinion, to know that some of the data given here is reconstructed and of newer developments. Mostly based off of teachings from The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and Aleister Crowley, amongst others.

Furthermore, we can’t even know for sure that what’s in the available manuscripts even was the final version of Enochian! Especially considering that Dee’s diaries has ample evidence showing us that the angels relatively frequently updated and revised their previously delivered information and material. Sometimes even years later, with the last documented transmission entry leaving an extremely essential piece of the puzzle. I postulate that there’s a high probability of further experimentation and research done on later dates (presumably with other scryers) yielded profound revelations that unfortunately have been all but lost. Unless they mysteriously manifests one day. Stranger things have happened. Especially where Enochian magick is concerned… I’m just saying…

I also believe that it’s crucial to note that the dear doctor did indeed promise the angels “never to disclose these Mysteries”! We actually don’t even know where Dee’s final resting place is…

Enochiana Jones

Wicked Angels & Strange Angles.

This is magick for the Dungeons & Dragons geeks that love long exhausting lists, diagrams and tables chock full of rules. Enochian is a gloriously elegant and remarkably coherent system of vision magick. If you take pleasure in such beauty, then this surely is the book for you. And trust me, it’s way simpler than it looks on the surface.

All that being said, beware, several schools of thought exists, and there’s a ridiculous amount of disagreement on what is proper and not proper forms of conduct. There really is no consensus in this field. Be that as it may, you can do much worse than to start here, as as far as I’m concerned, this is possibly the best guidebook available for those that want to embark upon their own Enochian adventures. That is, if you are willing to put in the hours of preparation and assembly required to become a bonafide Enoch-a-naut. Which is no small feat mind you, but armed with the knowledge contained inside this book, you’ll be more than ready, and you’ll have all the instructions you need readily available at your fingertips.

Of particular use is the incredibly generous amount of appendices, the handy bibliography and thorough index (yay, index!).

End of Program

Go back to the future by reprogramming yourself utilizing this magical manual.

In closing I’d like to take a brief moment to discuss the changes made between the 2019 and 2008 editions of this title.

This book was first published in 2008, under the same name, but with one additional word in the subtitle (highlighted below in italics); a word which I’m curious as to why they decided to drop… It was as follows:

An Introduction and Practical Guide to the Magick of Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelley.

In my opinion, retaining the introduction part would make much more sense, as that is what the majority of the book actually is (the practical parts, albeit great, are not really given to us until almost the end).

Aside from that, the main difference between the two editions is the cover (the new one is so much cooler and tasteful), and that the 2019 release has a brand new foreword by Jason Louv, a new preface by the author himself and it includes a revised bibliography.

To be completely fair though, the only revision of the bibliography that I can spot is the addition of three books. I mean, that’s not a huge number of new content, and layout-wise, there’s room for at least one other book listed in said bibliography. So let me, completely free of charge, seize the opportunity to mention a couple of books worth investigating (that is not mentioned in the bibliography) if you are more interested in just doing the Magick, rather than understand all its history and theory:

Success Magick by Damon Brand and Liber Chornozom by A.D. Mercer.

Both of which I plan to review sometime further down the line.

Stay tuned.

Special Edition Saturn Cloth and Chapbook

such saturnfaction

Written by Meredith Graves with illustrations by Coleman Stevenson.

I had not planned on posting two reviews in a row, however I decided to strike while the iron (pun intended – see below) was hot and share my thoughts on these things.

“Saturn’s pretty cool, and that was one of the first ones that we discovered, that humans discovered, so there’s, like, a lot of cool ancient myths about it and stuff. “

Mandy (2018

Yeah, Saturn’s pretty cool, and so is this set; ie. both pretty and cool. I absolutely love the clean and minimalist design of the 16 page chapbook, titled An Abbreviated Discussion of Some Possibilities Towards A Theory of Saturn Symbolism and Its Practical Application. If you ask me, this is worth it just for that amazing title alone!  The whole presentation sort of reminds me of those old occult pamphlets that used to be popular in the early 1900s. Why aren’t these things back in style yet? Is it because blog posts like these, and the ease of posting stuff on social media or other creator curated platforms like Patreon for instance?

Anyway, I’m digressing, and stalling by writing filler sentences and paragraphs like this because I don’t want to spoil the content of the leaflet. It’s a quick read, but offers a lot of food (plants) for thought as well as some practical instructions of how to make sigils using Saturn’s planetary square.

all black everything

The cloth itself is made out of a very nice quality material, and my edition is the one printed using a special lead ink which shows up as a dark charcoal grey. Personally I think it lends an even more mystical quality to the already enigmatic Saturn. However, some might prefer the version printed in white for ease of readability. Depending on how you acquire it, due do packaging, some ironing is probably required.

The product listing mentions a number of uses for the cloth, like the fact that it can plainly/fashionably be worn (very useful at this time of writing), used as an altar cloth, a deck wrap, saturnine meditations or to simply use the square to draw your sigils. I’m sure you can come up with a whole host of other interesting uses, but I will leave you with this idea:

Make your own Saturn themed spread! Assign meaning to each of the nine images and use them as card positions.

  1. Symbol of Saturn
  2. Air
  3. Earth
  4. Number square
  5. Datura
  6. Foxglove
  7. Horsetail
  8. Rosemary
  9. Hellbore

I only have one question: Where or when can we get the unabbreviated version of the text? 

If your question is where to purchase this, then the answer is here:

https://www.etsy.com/no-en/listing/852268624/special-edition-saturn-cloth-and

The Enochian Magick of Dr. John Dee – A Review

The Enochian Magick of Dr. John Dee, with the gloriously pompous subtitle; The Most Powerful System of Magick in Its Original Unexpurgated Form. Edited and translated by Geoffrey James.

This is an oldie, but a goldie, as they say… or at least that’s what I say…

First released in 1984, then again as an updated version in 1994 by Llewelyn. It came to light at a time when there wasn’t that many books on this subject, at least not as far as I am aware (Fun fact: I was born the same year the introduction was written), and so in many ways it was then perhaps ahead of its time. If that’s the case, then supposedly it might have been a substantial influence on other authors books that came out in its wake. Now, I think it’s safe to say that a lot has happen throughout the years this niche field since its publication, yet I dare to say that this is still a rather interesting book, that also looks surprisingly well design-wise for its age and format (paperback – second printing 1998), with its pretty presentation being of particular note. I personally bought my copy right around the year 2000, and it’s held up quite nicely, and although it has gotten slightly yellowed pages over time, that just kind of adds to the charm and makes the experience so much richer and more immersive.

The yellow pages?

Here Dee’s Enochian magick is gathered together and put forth as a neat little grimoire, pulled from the good doctor’s own manuscripts. Complete with a sort of “pseudo history” to comply with the standard practice of ye olde arte of the grimoire tradition. All this makes for a very curious and compelling paperback artefact. It certainly has its unique glamour, and I’ve seen it described as the Key of Solomon of Enochian.

I think just the preface itself is worth reading for it’s sober take on wether or not this system was a complete fabrication of Edward Kelley. Then in closing we are also kindly blessed with a great set of appendices, which serves as the icing on this tasty delicious angelic cake of a book.

Grim dark grimoire noir.

However, it’s not without its flaws.

It’s been criticized for not being written by a practitioner, but that shouldn’t be such a big deal, since it’s merely mostly a presentation of the original source material. Although, I’m not even sure if it’s valid criticism, since the author doesn’t say he’s NOT practising this form of magick in the preface. Furthermore, some of the Latin translations are said to be less than favorable, but does anyone even know of any good translations of Dee’s Latin passages in his diaries? If so, please let me know.

Rereleased as The Enochian Evocations of Dr. John Dee. Out of print it in physical formats, but still obtainable digitally if you are so inclined.

THE CHURCH of TAROT

A cruciform spread in six cards.

Spreads shaped like various forms of crosses is a fairly common occurrence in cartomancy. The Celtic Cross presumably being the most well known, to the point of almost being the archetypical de facto spread. However, other variants exists, like my personal favourite The French Cross. Like many things, the origins of this particular idea came about whilst trying to develop a similar concept utilising a cruciform as its basis for layout. Such is the fractal nature of creativity that once you open the gates it’s an infinite rabbit hole of discoveries, and literally as I type this yet another conception of a seed for a spread occurred. It’s also something that’s useful to keep in mind as each card unfolds, leading you your thoughts in new directions. This is just an attempt at exploring the possibilities of using a traditional structure in an unconventional manner. Please think of it as a first draft, or a rough sketch, rather than something fully developed and set in stone.

For deeper immersion, face east, with the top card pointing towards the respective direction. Deal cards face down in order as shown in the illustration. Imagine it all as a top view of a church. Turn over one card at a time.

1. NARTHEX

Feet.

Open the doors. This is the threshold. A transition from the outside world in to a spiritual place. Often representing death. What is not allowed inside? What you must leave behind before you enter? 

2. NAVE

Torso/upper body.

Nave derives from the Latin word navis which means “ship”. Symbolically connected to such things as Noah’s ark for instance or your life’s journey. This is the current path you are on. Where are you headed?

3. THE CROSSING

Heart.

Yeah another transitional space. It’s literally the middle of the cross, a holy crossroads, connecting back to the past, leading towards the future and/or possible detours to the left and to the right. The heart of the matter. The core issue.

4. Left SEMITRANSEPT

Left arm.

Negative (outside) Influences. Might be relating to something or someone haunting you from the past. Liminality. Darkness.

5. Right SEMITRANSEPT

Right arm.

Positive (outside) influences. Light.

6. THE ALTAR

Head.

The most sacred part of the whole church. What do you need to sacrifice in order to become reborn? The word altar comes from the Latin words altārium and adolere, meaning “high” and “to ritually burn or sacrifice” respectfully. The latter meaning alluding to what was its original purpose. What do you need to place high upon the altar? Which bridges do you need to burn? What no longer serves its purpose? How do you clear your head? Symbolic of rebirth…

Variants:

Not too keen on the Christian connection? Want a more satanic approach? Try reversing the order, inverting the cross, reading card 6 as number 1 etc.

For a religiously neutral spread, just remove the transepts (wings) altogether, leaving you with four cards instead of six, and just call it The Temple of Tarot (I might expand on this idea later), and perhaps change the names of the various rooms if you are so inclined.

And lastly, if you’re feeling even more adventurous, try adding further locations, like left and right aisles, a sanctuary sanctum, bell tower, crypt, or a pulpit etc.

Angels & Archangels Review

Angels & Archangels

A Magician’s Guide

by Damien Echols

  • Hardback
  • 288 pages
  • Published by Sounds True

Firstly, I personally do recommend that you read Echols’ previous book High Magick before this, unless you already are experienced and/or familiar with western forms of ceremonial magical praxis, the likes of Golden Dawn or Thelema for instance. Nevertheless, I predict that High Magick very likely might become THE modern classic “go to” beginners introduction to magick, quite possibly destined to replace Donald Michael Kraig’s venerable Modern Magick. Time will tell. Now onward to the actual review Angels & Archangels.

POP MAGICK

I think it’s safe to say that this is somewhat of an anomaly, at least as far as occult publishing is concerned, as you could consider this to be quite a popular release by a very high profile author. My point being that this has both the momentum and exposure to be getting A LOT of public attention and opinions from people all around the online sphere, which should provide you with plenty of opportunity to get nuanced reviews, preview and overviews. So after you search YouTube for some excellent interviews where mr. Echols’s talks about his book himself, you can just pop over to Amazon or audible if you feel you need to further explore wether this is for you or not (spoiler alert: I think it is even if you don’t ;))

MAKING ANGELS COOL AGAIN

To be a mass marketed and mass produced book, it’s actually surprisingly well made. I’d say it even feels like a step up from the production of the aforementioned High Magick. It’s to be commended that they’ve managed to keep the book a hardcover while still keeping the cost down. Maybe it won’t last as long as the expensive hand bound talismanic releases of other occult publishers you may have in your private library, but for this price you can buy two copies… I also think it’s a fair chance that this will remain in print for years, so you don’t have to worry about missing out of a copy. It should also be said that this book is very tastefully designed and laid out, which isn’t uncommon for the more niche titles by the more specialist publishers alluded to, but for such a high profile release, it’s not a given. Also, everyone knows how easy it is for angel aesthetics to fall into the tasteless, tacky new age awfulness. Not the case here, thank God.

What I deeply appreciate about Damien Echols as an author and teacher is that he’s not a gatekeeper or an elitist, at all. His humble approach comes across in all his writing. Perhaps this is partly due to his poor upbringing or the fact that he initially learned his craft alone (he was as you probably know, on death row, spending several years in solitary confident) in prison, where his resources were limited, and he also was far removed from the occult and magick community. This is the real deal. Not the spooky, dark, mostly for pretend armchair snobbery you’ll often see these days and which frankly is getting a little old (although, if you know me, you know I very much enjoy that esoteric literature as well). Echols’s genuine excitement and enthusiasm leaps up at you from the page and is quite contagious and inspiring.

TWO PARTS MAGICIAN’S GUIDE

Part one acts like a reference of various categorizations of angels and archangels and their respective correspondences to such things as the elements, the Kabbalistic tree of life, the zodiac and the tarot. This is an extensive list serving concise information over a generous amount of pages. Of particular note is the attention given to the Tarot, with one page dedicated to each of the Major arcana cards and two cards a page of the Minor arcana. Now, we only get the name of the card, the associated angel and a short sentence or two of what it applies to, but with the Rider Waite Smith deck now being in public domain, it’s reprinted in full, albeit in black and white. Very handy.

Part two contains the practices and rituals. Again, here you might possibly benefit slightly from either having read High Magick beforehand or having previous magical training. However, this really is no prerequisite, and you’ll get everything you need here, from basic meditation and mindfulness to the essential rituals like The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (LBRP) and ending with more advanced stuff like The Rose Cross and the infamous Shem Operation (AKA the ivocation of Seventy-Two Angels of the Shem Ha Mephorash).

ONE PART OF THE GREAT WORK

All in all this results in a very thorough source book as well as a practical work book, well deserving a place on anyone’s bookshelf. Informative without being dull and everything is eloquently explained making it extremely easy to follow. This truly is magick for all!

Although we do get a good list of book recommendations for further study and exploration, and a handful of sources mentioned in the NOTES section, we should have been given more clues as to where all this information came from. I know it’s not always possible trace down or even pinpoint where all your transmission came from, but certainly a guidebook like this could benefit a lot from being well documented. But at least we get an index!

Now I can’t wait until Damien’s next book is released, which I think I heard somewhere might be ritual compilation written as a collaboration with his wife, Lorri Davis. We’ll see. All I know is that he’s on top of his game, and seeing where he’ll go next will be interesting.

You can buy the book from the publisher or on amazon or probably just about any bookstore. It’s also available in kindle format and as an audio book read by the author himself.

The Xenomorph Lifecycle Tarot Transformation Spread

Happy Alien Day 2020!

In honor of this most holy day, and as a tribute to Saint Giger, I present to you this little idea. Please bear in mind that this is just a thought experiment. Ironically it’s not fully developed, but I wanted to post it none the less, as an exercise in creativity. Which might be what this spread is best suited (pun intended) for. Feeling blocked? Maybe consulting The Alien will help you unlock something. Or perhaps you are feeling stuck in some aspects of your life… the maybe, just maybe, some lateral thinking will change up the cycle.

LifeCycle_V5

Pose your question. Shuffle. Cut the deck. Deal four cards, pulled in sequence, representing the following stages:

Stage I: Ovomorph. The egg. Can remain in stasis for years until nearby movement is detected. Once a potential host approaches it opens up, unfolding, and a parasitic facehugger springs out, attaching itself to the newfound target. An egg has obvious symbolism, representing your hope, new potential etc.

Stage II: The Facehugger/Host-body. Eight fingers to hold you… hold on tightly. Hold on to that hope… those dreams…. don’t let go. Implant. Let the embryo grow. Once it’s secure, you can let go, and detach. Don’t lust for result. Let it die. You will soon be reborn.

Stage III: The Chestburster. This is the key. The (biomechanical) weapon. This is what will help you break out and break free. It will cut a path. Old habits will die, and you will discard what no longer serves a purpose. Be carful though, at this stage you are still vulnerable… so find safe space to hide so you can molt into adulthood.

Stage IV: Xenomorph*. The Alien. Your final form. Larger, faster, stronger, tougher than before. Your full potential. Enter the dragon. The Star Beast 666. 

* Stalker, Scout or Drone, according to some sources, but for the sake of convenience we are just going to treat it as one general form of xenomorph. One size, fits all.

For Further Research and Development

Depending on the lore**, there are stages beyond this which might be worth exploring, however, now we’re getting dangerously deep into deep, dark, geek territory. In any case, I’ll include them below for the sake of completeness, for those (including future me) that want to explore matters further: 

Stage V: Soldier, Worker, Sentry.

Stage VI: Praetorian, Crusher, Queen. 

Stage VII: Beyond the Queen… Queen Empress and Queen Mother. It has been suggested that the Queen will continue to grow as the hive grows, reaching proportions as big as a T-Rex! There’s even reports of Praetorians melting into something called Palatines, and then theres even whispered rumours about an Alien King…

**Source Alien the RPG

art credit: http://www.wallacebridgesjr.com/project/alien-covenant

Ten Practical Tips for Maintaining Your Tarot Practice

Stuck at home, in quarantine, self imposed or otherwise, for your own safety and other peoples safety? Here’s ten practical things you could do to sharpen your skills and up your tarot game:

IMG_3368

I. WASH YOUR HANDS

No, really, not only is it a powerful symbolic gesture, but it’s also a nice habit to have especially these days, but also for when you handle your decks. To make sure you have “clean” energy and clean cards that will last a lifetime.

Another method which you could use to get into the mood and mindset of a read is to rub some Florida Water on your hands before you start your read or even touch your cards. Just the smell alone is enough to shift my focus and to STAY in focus. after having made this part of my routine. By the way, you can also get Florida Water soap.

So, not of the traditional kind? Well, hand sanitizers are all the rage these days! And they works just as well, and might arguably be better in many ways, and will certainly help you get into the spirit of things. Let’s make our new traditions!

II. COUNT YOUR CARDS

Every now and then you should make sure that they’re all there. Trust me. I just recently found out that one of my most used decks had been missing The Chariot card for something like half a year!

This also goes for those that are splitting their decks, using only the Major Arcana. Especially check this before you are do read for a client. You’d be surprised how often a card is either missing or misplaced, and you don’t want to look like a fool do you?

This is even more important if you are using multiple decks, as it’s all too easy forget in what state left them in last time they got used. Case in point: I was doing a spread where the actual number of of cards needed to be exact, and I had to redo the read from start when I realized that I had added the four aces to it for some reason last time it was in service. What the hell? I don’t even recall for what reason.

III. WHAT’S IN THE BOX?

Shake your box! If you you keep your decks in their boxes that is. I estimate that about two thirds of mine are in their original box, and after use and when it’s time to put it back into its box, a lot of the time I’ll notice that one card was left behind. Make it a part of your practice. It’s kind of sort of like checking the barrel of a gun for obstructions before you fire.

Or just do the opposite, and never ever look in the box until after you’re done reading. Maybe not playing with a full deck is your jam!

IV. THINK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX

Literally. Change the container of the cards. Wether it is a box or a drawstring bag or whatever. Put them in another box or make your own pouch.

Don’t know how to sew and you kind of like to keep ’em in their box you say? Why not decorate it with stickers? Pimp it out! Add some unique mojo to it.

Or take it even one step further and go no box at all! Naked tarot! The ultimate punk witch move is to just use whatever random rubber band you find laying around. Even a hair tie will do in a pinch.

Although, all that being said, I very much like to treat my decks as samurai swords, only pulling them out of their sheath (box or pouch) when absolutely necessary and then put them straight back in again as soon as they’ve seen action.

V. RECHARGE & REENERGIZSE

I confess, I’m not always too fussed about the so called “cleansing” of my decks, or even charging them. That’s of course not to say that I don’t do it from time to time, because I do, and if you don’t already, so should you! Here’s my simple methods:

Sing, hum or talk to your decks. You do it for plants, don’t you? Same thing. Can’t carry a tune? Whistle, use a singing bowl or play your favourite song for the cards. Don’t forget to breathe some life into your cards. Blow the dust off, like you would on an old book. Knock three times on the stack. Run it through some incense. Or just let your cat rub up against them for some special cat magic blessing. Works like a charm.

VI. RESET & RESTART

Are the cards behaving suspiciously, or does something feel off? Has the deck suddenly “stopped working” properly? Perhaps it’s time for a good old fashioned restart. How do you reset a deck you say? Well, that’s super simple. Just put the cards back in their “original” order. Major Arcana from 0-22 (although you could put The Fool at the end) and the suits traditionally (or qabalistically) are ordered Wands (fire), Swords (air), Cups (water) and Pentacles (earth). Easy peasy.

Although this varies a lot from deck to deck, so consult the guidebook or just use your intuition (or the internet). Oh, and are you just using digital deck, like an app on your phone? Delete it and download it again and reinstall it. Browser based tarot? Just reload/refresh the page.   

VII. GROUND YOUR DECK

Aren’t any of the above tips doing the trick? Try grounding it. And by grounding I don’t mean send it to its room, although that’s not such a bad idea, but most decks I know doesn’t have their own rooms… I mean quite literally put it into the ground. Dig a hole in the dirt and bury your cards. Leave them there for three days, or however long you want.

VIII. TRANSMOGRIFY 

Give a little used deck a new life by modifying it. By either edging or trimming. Edging being the easier option, and it just means colouring the edges with for instance a permanent marker of some kind. Lots of videos on YouTube for guides on this if you need inspiration.

Trimming is a little more tricky, and it doesn’t really suit every deck, but as long as you have a nice pair of sharp scissors, it’s not as hard as you’d think. You might want to get one of those “round corner cutter things” (technical term) though.

IX. DECKSPERIMENTATION 

Experiment with your decks. Deconstruct and remix. Try using multiple decks at the same time! Break the rules. Bend the cards. Cut them in half. Has anyone done a cut-up deck, or exquisite corpse, yet by doing this and randomly reattaching the pieces?

Use the Major Arcana from one pack of cards and the Minor Arcana from another. You could do an improvised spread where you pull a card from the Major Arcana which relates to the “major issue” and then pull a card from the Minor Arcana stack to focus on the “minor issue” at hand.

Do you own 78 decks or more? Why not make a funky Frankenstein super group tarot by combining all your favourite cards from each deck into one whacky one? Probably works better with just the Major Arcana, as you just need 22.

X. MAKE YOUR OWN PERSONAL TAROT

This doesn’t even have to be a physical one, and could just be a theoretical thought experiment. Map out all the Major Arcana to fit the story and/or characters of a movie, book, video game or TV series you love.

Or why not make a Tarot playlist with each song representing a card? That would be a nice way to practice some modern shufflemancy for you cyberpunk witches. Collect pictures online, print them out and clue them on cardboard to make a scratch-built deck.

Why not see if you can put together a whole deck in just one day, only using the material you have in your house or apartment? The notebook blue bic pen doodle tarot deck just screams to come alive!

Go do!

Stay cool and stay safe. And consider supporting your fellow cardslingers and/or tarot makers by paying them to do a read for you or buying their wares.

Take care ❤

A Small Update

This is just a small update to say that one of my original spreads, The Slot Machine Spread, is featured in the book:

A SMALL COLLECTION of SPECIALIZED SPREADS

by A Group of Fine Card Readers From Around The World

Volume One

Edited by Coleman Stevenson 

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Which not only was a huge surprise, but a huge honor as well! This truly does live up to its title, and it’s humbling to be amongst such a fine group of cartomancers.

And as my only involvement with this book was limited to just providing the above mentioned spread of mine, I feel like I can say that this an inspiring book. And that I recommend it to all my fellow card readers, new and old. There’s something here for everyone. And I will also add that I feel like there’s an extra benefit of getting something well thought out and put together like this, as opposed to just grabbing whatever you can find online for instance. In this particular case, you have the curation of a seasoned tarot creator and reader as Coleman is, so you know this is quality content, hand picked, from a practical, and user-friendly, standpoint.

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Speaking of small books, I have an announcement to make: I’ve been working on a short Sigil Magick handbook, which I hope will become available sometime later this year. Most likely in digital format, but I’m looking into print on demand options as well. More information to come. A lot depends on the interest, which is why I’m casually mentioning it here.

Back on topic, if you want to buy A Small Collection of Specialized Spreads, you can get it from the Dark Exact Etsy store.

The Smart Limitation Tarot Pt.2

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As an experiment and a preparation for a future tarot project I have (to be announced), I decided to further modify this deck. Over the years I have had many ideas for various decks, and I’ve made a heap of notes, many sketches, and even a handful of prototype cards, however, In a weird way, this is sort of “my” first completed tarot. Not one I ever expected to make, but it’s strangely fulfilling nonetheless.

In part one of this tarot adventure I mentioned that this deck had taken on a life on its own, and that really is the only way to describe this transformation. It has come to life in a real Frankenstein way, and I definitely feel like a mad scientist experimenting with forbidden technology, combining things that maybe should not be mixed together…  creating a monster!

Get Colour

I’ve been taking Gordon White’s Tarot course, which I highly recommend by the way, so this experimental phase is very coloured by what I’ve been learning there. Below is some work in progress photos of the pip cards

The four suits colours are easy enough, and has the traditional associations, with Swords/Air/Yellow and Wands/Fire/Red swapped to Swords/Fire/Red and Wands/Air/Yellow respectively, because that’s how I roll these days.

It gets a little more complicated with further colour combinations, but it does follow its own internal logic, which I very much like. This is based on some historical context, but it’s mostly speculative, and experimental (and that’s the spirit of this deck).

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Here the Major Arcana has been given colours according to their association with the cardinal virtues (Justice, Fortitude, Temperance and Prudence) and their correspondence to Swords, Wands, Cups and Coins. It’s worth noting that in this case The World is linked to Prudence, which seemed to make a whole lot more sense to me, than The Hermit that is perhaps more common.

I won’t go into much detail on how and why the colours are what they are, as that’s probably a topic for another post but a quick rundown is like this:

  • Coins: Prudence (The World). The Moon, The Sun, Judgment and Princesses.
  • Swords: Justice. The Hanged One, Death, The Devil, The Tower and Princes.
  • Cups: Temperance. Lovers, The Chariot, The Hermit, The Wheel and Queens.
  • Wands: Fortitude (Strength). The High Priestess, The Empress, The Emperor, The Hierophant and Kings.

It’s also worth noting that I put The Hierophant in the Wands/Fortitude category, because all the other ones had five Trumps in them, and sequentially and symbolically it seemed to fit there. And lastly The Fool gets no colour or cardinal virtue association, while The Magician is also standalone but with all 4 suit colours.

The full deck in all its glory:

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I’m really pleased with the whimsical nature of this deck. It has its own unique look, and it has inspired me to explore the hyper-dimensional world of the Tarot on a deeper more intuitive level.

Next I’ll get a completely blank deck and see if I can take this experiment even further.

PS The basis of this deck is the out of print first edition of The Minimalist Tarot, however you can get the second edition here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/616021759/minimalist-tarot-deck-2019-edition (and from what I can tell it looks like it has addressed and improved upon some of the issues I had with the first edition).