According to author Richard Cavendish, the Roman philosopher Cicero considered the virtue of prudence to be comprised of three characteristics: memory, intelligence and foresight. When applied to the art of divination, these qualities refer to 1) fastidious contemplation of the past, 2) avid engagement with the present and 3) canny speculation about the future, all … Continue reading The “Prudence of Prognostication”
Since there is some interest in my view of the Thoth as an alkahest, or "universal solvent" in the world of tarot divination, I thought I would strike while the iron is hot. The best place to chase down this notion is with Frieda Harris's wonderfully evocative Minor Arcana (aka "pip") cards, and one of … Continue reading More Thoth Musings
"Everything is a sign." (Yoav Ben-Dov, The Open Reading) As a life-long student of all things occult (even though I've gained no more than a nodding acquaintance with some of them), I've formed definite opinions about the "inner workings" of divination. In a shamanistic sense, what we're looking for are "signs" that point toward intimations … Continue reading Signs, Signs . . .
One of those curious questions that occasionally pop up on the tarot forums (with what I sense is a faintly scandalized tone), and a real head-scratcher for old-timers at this stuff, is "Do you let other people touch your cards?" The assumption is that a troubled sitter's "negative energy" will bleed all over the cards, … Continue reading An Indelicate Proposal? (The Client and the Cards)
Many tarot enthusiasts shy away from divination of the "fortune-telling" sort and instead use the cards for augmenting their personal sense of mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. Most of the spreads I've seen for this are usually light on detail, typically no more than five cards. Here I'm offering a more complex spread for … Continue reading The “Great Make-over” Personal Tune-up Spread
As many of you know, the 78 cards of the tarot were assigned to the 32 paths on the qabalistic Tree of Life by the esoteric thinkers of the 19th Century, beginning in earnest with Eliphas Levi and culminating with the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and several of its alumni at the end … Continue reading The Pips and the 10 Points of Light
I just came across another opportunity to apply Terry Pratchett's provocative observation: "YOU NEED TO BELIEVE IN THINGS THAT AREN’T TRUE. HOW ELSE CAN THEY BECOME?" I've recently been involved in on-line discussions of polytheism (the belief in multiple gods), primarily among a Wiccan and pagan community for whom such deliberations are routine. We got … Continue reading Pan Is In The House
I guess you could call me an "accidental professional." Will I read for the public, for pay? Sure, if the circumstances are right. Do I obsess about getting paid for my efforts? Not by a long shot. I learned to read the cards - and to cast and interpret horoscopes and geomantic charts - mainly … Continue reading Are We Having Fun Yet?
I sometimes wonder how those of us who practice divination - especially those for whom "faith" is not the normal mode of approach to all things spiritual - reconcile what we believe to be true about our pursuits and what we're able to confirm as truth. The gap (the "disparity" of the title) between what … Continue reading Cheap Shots #29: Faith, Hope and . . . Disparity
While researching books on crystal-ball divination and lining up my finances to buy something worthwhile. I've been spending some time with the scrying section of Israel Regardie's Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic. Although, according to Regardie, the Golden Dawn used Tattwa images and not reflective surfaces for "scrying in the spirit vision," the principle … Continue reading Crystal Gazing 101