Other Updates

Hedgewitch: How I Describe My Magical Craft

I mentioned in a previous post that I tend to refer to my magical practice as hedgewitchery, and myself as a hedgewitch, but I thought it would be useful to go into that in more depth in this new blog post.

So, what do I mean when I call myself a hedgewitch? What is it I do ?

This: I practice folk magic to balm and bane, I divine for omens, I truck with spirits, I cross the hedge to walk the worlds, and I dabble in herbs.

FOLK MAGIC

A lot of my magical practice draws on folklore and folk magic traditions, and incorporates the materials I have around me in a way that some might call traditional witchcraft. I use pieces I’ve learned from family and friends, or invented myself, with what bits and bobs I had on hand or could easily acquire: paper or yarn, candle or salt, herb or stone. I read about other witches’ practices, I talk to my peers, and we inspire each other to use materials or magical technologies in ways that solve the problems in front of us. Most of it is highly personal and highly intuitive, often with guidance from spirits. I have a couple of pretty tools (a brass bell, a copper mug, a pillar of quartz, an engraved wooden spoon) but most everything also has a very practical purpose. I love the look of a fancy wand as much as the next magpie, but I’ve never really used ceremonial tools with any regularity, and I rarely do magic in a manner that requires an altar set just-so. In fact, many of my most “complicated” workings are done almost entirely in trance.

BALM AND BANE

Healing and hexing are two sides of the same coin, in my view. I can heal with darkness, I can curse with light, and in fact I have an upcoming workshop for the NoVA Pagan Moot on exactly that. I am trained in several modalities of energetic or spiritual healing, and I combine them intuitively for those who seek my services. But just as poison in the right dosage can be medicine, a medicine in the wrong dosage is often a poison. Non-consensual or inexpertly targeted healing can cause harm, and sometimes a binding or a banishing can twist someone’s fate so that they’re heading in a more positive direction. Magic is complicated, consent matters, and every effective spell has consequences, intended or not. I try to do more good than harm, but if I’m between a rock and a hard place I will use every tool in my arsenal. I see a lot of people who have a very all-or-nothing mindset around banework, and I don’t think that’s nearly as helpful as having actual discussions about ethics and harm reduction, and us each figuring out our own personal boundaries.

DIVINATION

I am an eternal student of divination: I keep learning new forms, and I keep going deeper with the forms I am already proficient with. I practice several types of cartomancy, I read ogham staves and rune stones, I take omens taken in the wild from the flight of birds, and I sometimes even turn to modern technological omens like shufflemancy and the rolling of d20s. Not everything works well for me: I’ve never quite gotten the hang of pendulums or spirit boards, for instance. But I am proficient enough in many forms that I have enough confidence in my skill to offer these services for money, and the reviews I get back are extremely positive. I use my tools to divine the future, the past, the present—to illuminate anything that is shrouded, to look around corners, to answer what-ifs as best I can, knowing as I do that things are always in flux. I use these tools to speak with and to get messages from spirits of many kinds, both for myself, and on the behalf of others.

SPIRITWORK

I have deep relationships with two pantheons of Deities: the Tuatha Dé and the Vanir. I am also deeply entwined with the Álfar and with the Daoine Uaisle, through the Fairy Queen I serve. I maintain relationships with my local Good Neighbors, Nature Spirits, and Land Wights where I live, where I visit and practice, and where I travel. I honor my Beloved Dead, and those Ancestors (of blood or of path) who appear to guide and to help me. There are spirits in my household; they are my allies and my companions, my guides and my guardians. I also maintain cordial relationships and open lines of communication with many of the Deities and other tutelary spirits of my human-incarnate friends and associates. Most of my magical work involves these many types of spirits; I do workings with them, for them, because of them, on their behalf, or at their request.

HEDGECROSSING

Hedge-crossing, hedge-riding, journeying, pathworking, world-walking: whatever you may call it, I use these to refer to the act of travelling in spirit to the Otherworlds. This is a type of trancework, and the one I use most often. I slip between this world and an Other to see spirits more clearly, to converse with them, or to take a look at the landscape and flows of energy. I travel to visit spirits I know; I travel to seek those I have not yet encountered. I go seeking answers for myself and for others, and I bring answers back in words or images, scents or feelings. Sometimes I wander the worlds for the sheer joy of it, the ecstasy of spirit-flight. From time to time I go walking in my dreams, but most of my wanderings are waking visions.

HERBALISM

This is the one area that I most wish to have additional education in. I am familiar with some herbal remedies for common things like colds, scrapes, and bruises; I know remedies for menstrual cramps. I have deeper education in a couple of chronic conditions I am personally dealing with, including migraines, but I would like to take an actual certification programme at some point. For magical uses, I work with herbs and resins a bit more intuitively, mixing flavors and intentions into food, blending oils for scent and resonance. I speak with the plants themselves, and learn what they would teach me. When I need to ground deeply and my usual way is not enough, I go walk the land or else I spend time in my own garden. The cycles of plant growth, of harvest, of weather, of the moon, bring me back into the present, back into balance with the cycles of my own life.

Deck Review, Reviews

Oracle Deck Review: Wild Wisdom of the Faery

Deck: Wild Wisdom of the Faery Oracle
Publisher: Blue Angel
Writer: Lucy Cavendish
Artist: Selina Fenech
Overall Rating: 5/10

image (c) Blue Angel. Cards shown are: Lift the Darkness, Acorn’s Invitation, Star Dust, and Into the Woods

Cardstock: They’re pretty flexible and smooth, but the cards are nearly too large for me to shuffle. They measure about 5.5″ tall and 3.75″ wide (or 14cm x 9.5 cm). Still, I manage to get them mixed up well with a combination of shuffling methods. The deck box is a two part hard case, which so far is holding up well.

Artwork: The artwork appears to be mostly traditional media, but the artist’s website says that she often begins with watercolor or acrylic, and then adds a little more in digital form afterwards. If you haven’t noticed yet, I’m generally a sucker for watercolors. A lot of the art is pretty “twee”, almost all the fairies have wings, and while there’s a range of sizes (from tiny to human-sized), there’s not much by way of diversity of body shape or skin tone (mostly femme, white, thin, and wearing filmy clothing). The cards also have the name and keywords written over the image, despite the rather large border, and the contrast isn’t great on a few of them.

Book: The booklet pretty large, about 170 pages, though the beginning is a bunch of New Age Fairy Nonsense that sees Them as mainly benevolent (if tricksy) nature angels, and says that all the stories of bad luck and negative encounters are a product of Church propaganda. For example, they define the Unseelie Court by saying: “not so fond of humans, as they feel we have been very harmful. Most of the Unseelie’s [sic] have ‘given up’ on us. ‘Tis up to us to prove them wrong.” Yeah okay, I guess maybe kelpies eat people because they… littered? Sure, okay, let’s just ignore several centuries of living belief and practice. [/sarcasm]
The booklet does include a few interesting spreads, though I still can’t advise invoking the Fair Folk or asking them for divinatory advice on your life situations, the way it recommends.
The descriptions of the cards themselves have a few paragraphs of description and then a few paragraphs each of divinatory meanings and reversed meanings, which is always helpful. The cards all have their number on the top border, so you can flip through the book to find them, but they aren’t in alphabetical order.

Likes: I like the general art style, though I wish it depicted a more diverse cast. I also do actually really like the amount of information the booklet gives for each card, because as I’m learning a new deck I really like to figure out what the writer and artist were both thinking, so I can better understand their symbolism, and build that into my intuitive readings. I do also like it when there are a couple of keywords on the card when it’s an oracle deck, because with those there’s no set of meanings like there is with tarot, lenormand, or runes.

Dislikes: Basically the entire introductory section in the the book. And the lack of diversity. And the borders, and how the keywords aren’t well contrasted. The size of the cards.

Overall Recommendation

TL;DR: if this one goes missing or gets water damaged, I probably won’t buy a new one. A lot of my clients seem to like the artwork, but I never use this one for my own personal readings unless I can’t use something better. I bought it a while back because it was pretty, but this one really is a bit too twee for my tastes. The Faery Forest Oracle by Lucy Cavendish again, but with artwork by Maxine Gadd, is a bit less twee, and I find that they work okay together, for better rounded answers. The Wild Wisdom of the Faery Oracle sugarcoats like a candy store, so if you’re looking for a very gentle deck with a sunny disposition and cute artwork, it’ll probably serve you well, but I think a fair few of my readers will be put off by the twee.

Divination

The Importance of Consent in Divination and Oracular Work

Since this came up recently elsewhere, I thought I’d share with y’all my basic guide to etiquette in divination and oracular work! It can be tough to figure out boundaries when you find divination and godphoning come easily to you, and you feel called to the role of a messenger or oracle. But as with most things, the first thing to keep in mind is consent.

So: before you do divination for someone else, make sure you have clear consent to do so. Make sure you’re on the same page as far as who (ex. Bast) or what (ex. their wyrd, The Universe) is being queried, and how the question, if any, is phrased. If you’re using a form of divination that has meanings associated with a symbol set, it’s also a good idea to make sure that you’re on the same page about whether you’re just pulling runes/cards/what-have-you and conveying those, or if you’re also going to interpret them. Also, if you usually charge money or take tips for readings, that should be clear upfront.

If you’re feeling like you ought to do divination on someone else’s behalf in order to offer them advice, that all still applies: don’t ask any spirits what advice to give someone unless:

  • 1) the person actually wants advice (as opposed to space holding or comforting),
  • 2) they consented for you to query these specific spirits,
  • 3) with these specific questions.

Asking your Deities, your Guides, and your Ancestors what your friend should do to fix their life isn’t usually very helpful, because they don’t have solid relationships to draw on, and you’ll need a lot of discernment skill to make sure they aren’t just telling you to tell your friend the advice you want to give. Asking their Deities, their Guides, and their Ancestors, with their permission, is more likely to get you helpful and nuanced answers, because those spirits are more aware of and engaged in your friend’s life.

However, quite a few people who feel called to this path have had an experience where, for whatever reason, a Deity or other spirit asks us to pass on a message, often in a too-real dream, during a journey meditation, or in a ritual. At that point, it’s best to tell the spirit that you will try, if the intended recipient is willing to hear it.

I don’t recommend promising you definitely will deliver the message, because there are times that the recipient is not going to be able to hear it from you, for a variety of reasons. First, we come back to that concept of consent: the best way to start this conversation with the intended recipient is just to tell them you’ve received some insight that is a message for them from a spirit (or name/ describe the spirit), and ask them if they wish to hear it.

Then, if they say yes, do your best to deliver the message as accurately as possible, and gently suggest they verify it again with another source if it’s something potentially life-altering (like changing jobs, or moving out of state, or getting divorced). Even if you practice divination, too, they should ask a different diviner. If they say no, they don’t want to hear it, just move on. You promised to try and you tried and that’s the end of it. If the message was truly important, the spirit will try again in a different way.

That might sound like unusual advice, but I believe we really do have agency in our relationships with Deities and other spirits, and I think one of the most important ways to use our agency is to make sure our actions are in line with our own ethical codes. Deities certainly have ethical codes as well, but they have a different perspective, and it’s important to remember that even if you’re given a divine message, you still have to be responsible for your own actions. Our personal relationships should be maintained with good boundaries and mutual respect, allowing us all to exercise our own agency. (Excepting in extreme circumstances, of course – sometimes agency is restricted for good reason, as when the individual presents a clear danger to themselves or others.)

Mostly what I have discussed above is about specific messages for specific individuals, but I also want to briefly touch on the type of oracular work my blog followers have probably seen before: monthly messages from certain Deities. With those kind of open community-wide messages, the consent exists in whether or not the person reading it wishes to consider themselves part of my community.

I’m usually pretty upfront about these messages probably being more relevant to people who have similar practices and beliefs to my own, and to people who are located in the same geographic and political region as me. People who aren’t nearby sometimes tell me that something resonated strongly with them, and I occasionally get similar comments from people who have very different practices and beliefs. And that’s okay, too! People can read it and take from it whatever they want.

Or – and this is really key – they can read one and decide it really doesn’t resonate or apply to them at all, and they can avoid my writing in the future! That’s perfectly fine with me. I’m not trying to convert anyone to my way of thinking; I’m just sharing a message I was given, and hoping it might be helpful for a couple of others who find themselves in similar situations.

As with the individual oracular messages above, if the message seems to be suggesting some sort of change, it’s a good idea for other practitioners to verify community oracular messages that seem to resonate with them. They could do their own journeywork, or turn to divination. If the message is verified, that will also give them a bit more nuance about how it applies to their specific situation!

Hopefully this was a helpful (or at least an interesting) little excursion into how to apply consensual boundaries to divination and oracular work. If you’d like to discuss more, or to ask a question, please feel free to leave a comment below, or to send an email.

Deck Review, Reviews

Tarot Deck Review: The Everyday Tarot

Deck: The Everyday Tarot
Publisher: Running Press
Writer: Brigit Esselmont of Biddy Tarot
Artist: Eleanor Grosch
Overall Rating: 7/10

image (c) Running Press. Cards shown are: Five of Swords, Death, and King of Wands

Cardstock: The cards are smaller than normal tarot cards, closer to poker card sized, and it can be a little awkward to shuffle all 78 of them. The cardstock is of good quality, though, not too slick and not too rough, and the printing is very vibrant. I find the borders not too distracting, and the gilded edges are a nice touch.

Artwork: The artwork is tricolor (white, gold, and purple) and combines flat white, luminous gold, and a watercolor textured purple. The images are done mainly with the human figures in silhouette, and a sort of minimalistic theme overall, but they’re recognizable to those familiar with the Rider-Waite-Smith system, and have enough intricacies to be beautiful, rather than boring.

Book: The booklet is about the same size as the cards and 87 pages long. It has a short paragraph for each upright and reversed meaning for each card, which is a pretty good amount of information, but does not contain a list of keywords. Somewhat unusually, there isn’t any more information on the majors than there is on the pips.

Likes: It’s pretty straightforward, like a minimalist version of the RWS, and therefore an easy deck to read for anyone used to that system. I really do like the artwork, though I wasn’t sure about it at first. It grew on me.

Dislikes: I was somewhat surprised that the deck didn’t contain the two lists of keywords that are listed on the Biddy Tarot website! And the cards are somewhat awkward to shuffle, as I mentioned above. I also don’t really like the box. It’s a magnetic clasp wrap like the cover of a book, with no top or bottom, but there’s a clear plastic case for the cards that’s rather flimsy, and to get the booklet to stay in, it has to be inserted in a slot in the cover. I’ll be moving this one to a knit bag, probably.

Overall Recommendation

I think in a different carrying case this would make a very good travel deck. I think it would make a good first deck for new readers, if combined with the resources on the Biddy Tarot website. It occupies a niche in my collection somewhere around “neutral-pretty”, and may make a good in-person reading deck, though because of the pandemic I really haven’t been doing that lately. I’m glad I own it, but this is not one of the ones I’d buy again immediately if I misplaced it.

Deck Review, Reviews

Oracle Deck Review: The Vintage Wisdom Oracle

Deck: The Vintage Wisdom Oracle
Publisher: US Games Systems, Inc
Writer & Artist: Victoria Mosely
Overall Rating: 8/10

image (c) US Games Systems. Cards shown are Release and Ancestors

Cardstock: They’re maybe a little thicker than I would like, considering the size of the cards. They measure 5.5″ tall and 3.75″ wide (or 14cm x 9.5 cm). My hands can’t riffle shuffle them very easily, but I manage with a combination of shuffling methods. The deck box is a two part hard case, which holds up well.

Artwork: The artwork is mixed media, using old photographs and paintings as the base, onto which the artist has added embellishments, both physical and digital. I really enjoy the dreamlike quality of it, and some of the base images are recognizable to me. (At least one of the cards is a Waterhouse painting.) If the art doesn’t speak to you, though, that would probably knock a whole point off my review.

Book: The booklet pretty large, 75+ pages, with 5-8 paragraphs describing each card and its meaning. The cards are all in alphabetical order which is a really nice feature, and makes it easier to look up a card. It also includes five example spreads at the end, and instructions for laying the cards.

Likes: I really like the artwork. It matches the card titles pretty well, and also most of card titles are pretty straightforward: Abundance, Adventure, Ancestors, Awakening, etc. This deck lends itself well to intuitive reading.

Dislikes: I would have liked the cards a touch smaller for easier shuffling. Also, some of the cards have more Christian symbolism than I prefer, despite the deck in general being very new age neutral.

Overall Recommendation

This is my go-to deck for messages from Ancestors, partly because it’s so easy to read intuitively. But as with some of the others I’ve reviewed, one’s enjoyment of the art will make or break this deck. If you don’t like the art style, if it doesn’t speak to you, it will lose most of its magic.

Deck Review, Reviews

Tarot Deck Review: The Mini Tarot of Pagan Cats

Deck: The Mini Tarot of Pagan Cats
Publisher: Lo Scarabeo
Writer: Magdelina Messina
Artist: Lola Airaghi
Overall Rating: 8/10

image (c) Lo Scarabeo

Cardstock: It appears to be Lo Scarabeo’s regular cardstock, so these are pretty sturdy despite being only 3 inches tall. They’re semi glossy and not too hard to riffle shuffle once you get used to the small size. The box is a little beat up, however, because this is the deck I usually take with in my purse.

Artwork: The artwork is pretty Rider-Waite-Smith inspired, except with cats. The art style is pretty realistic, and reminds me of some children’s books, with pretty detailed foregrounds and backgrounds that are either more sketched or just a solid color on a lot of the cards. Most of the cats are realistically proportioned and in natural poses, even when they’re depicted engaging in more human or fantastical activities.

Book: The booklet is in English, Italian, Spanish, and German, so each card has barely more than a phrase or a few keywords. I definitely would not recommend anyone using it as a main interpretation aid, unless they’ve already studied the tarot in depth and are using it as more of mnemonic aid. The booklet also contains one suggested 5-card spread.

Likes: I like the artwork; I think it’s cute. There are certainly a lot of pagans who like cats, and it’s somewhat easier not to project unconscious biases of race or gender accidentally when intuitive reading, because there aren’t human figures (although some of the titles are still gendered: The Empress, The King of Pentacles, etc). The small size is a plus, since I can carry it around with me, though Lo Scarabeo has quite a few decks in their catalog that are this mini size.

Dislikes: I think the booklet is basically useless, and could have been written much better than it was, even including the space constraints, but that’s really my only dislike.

Overall Recommendation

Obviously you’re not going to love this deck if you don’t like cats, but otherwise I think it’s a pretty good travel deck for anyone who’s a seasoned reader and familiar with the RWS system. The artwork lends itself well to intuitive interpretation, but has recognizable RWS imagery. There’s also a regular size edition of this deck, though I haven’t looked at that one in person, which may work better for those who want cards in the standard size, instead of the mini ones, which measure 3 inches x 1.75 inches.

Deck Review, Reviews

Tarot Deck Review: The Numinous Tarot

Deck: The Numinous Tarot
Publisher: self-published, Numinous Spirit Press
Writer & Artist: Cedar McCloud
Overall Rating: 10/10

image (c) Numinous Spirit Press

Cardstock: It’s pretty thick without being too stiff, and has lovely gilded edges. So far it’s holding up very well to moderate usage for the past year or so. It feels pretty good to riffle shuffle, and the cards don’t stick much but they are pretty glossy.

Artwork: I don’t think I’ve ever seen a deck with artwork this representative. Age, race, ability, gender, size – the artwork is truly diverse. Some of the cards don’t have people on them at all, and those are all gorgeous as well. The attention to detail here, and the patterns on everything from the floors to the clothing, are very impressive. It’s a riot of color!

Book: This deck comes with a full paperback guidebook, not a LWB, with each card in black and white. The Major Arcana have about two pages each, and the Minors just one, but there’s a lot of material here, from descriptions of the scene itself, to keywords and thought-prompting discussions of both upright and reversed meanings. The language is pretty gender-neutral throughout, and the meanings are immersed in themes of social justice and healthy boundaries. The writing style is very accessible.

Likes: I love the diversity of the artwork and how queer it is, from depictions of gender-non-conforming folks, to the subversion of traditionally gendered tarot cards. Instead of Page, Knight, Queen, King, we have Dreamers, Explorers, Creators, and Mystics. The High Priestess becomes The Diviner, The Empress is The Nurturer, The Emperor is The Founder, The Hierophant is The Visionary. They are all still numbered for easy recall. Also, The Devil has been aptly renamed The Shadow, Judgement is now The Awakening, and McCloud added a 23rd Major, called The Numinous (whence the deck title). Suits have been renamed as well, but follow the traditional elements: Candles for Fire, Bells for Air, Vials for Water, and Tomes for Earth. The deck is at once tarot radically reimagined, and also familiar to students of the Rider-Waite-Smith system.

Dislikes: I think my only complaint is that some of the artwork is a little inconsistent, with some cards feeling more polished and some more sketchy, but there might be an intentional pattern to that seeming inconsistency.

Overall Recommendation

If you want a radically accepting queer-friendly deck that has truly diverse representation, you need this deck. I’ve been bringing it to pagan events just to show people! And for an indie deck, it’s really not very expensive. The artwork is very evocative, and is perfect for either a collector or an intuitive reader. It may take a little longer for students of the RWS system to get used to than the sort of decks that simply copying RWS imagery with cats or the like, but it isn’t an entirely new system and I found the transition fairly easy.

This is also my deck of the month for my Patreon for June, in honor of Pride Month!

Deck Review, Reviews

Tarot Deck Review: Tarot of the Hidden Realm

Deck: Tarot of the Hidden Realm
Publisher: Llewellyn Books
Writer: Barbara Moore
Artist: Julia Jeffries
Overall Rating: 10/10

image (c) Llewellyn Books

Cardstock: It’s supple and very shuffly, but doesn’t feel like I could tear it quite as easily as some of the other decks I’ve reviewed.

Artwork: I LOVE the artwork! The facial expressions are clear and the backgrounds are detailed. There’s plenty of symbolism for intuitive reading. I also really like that these are borderless!

Book: This deck comes with a full paperback guidebook, not a LWB. I like the book – there’s plenty of detail in it to jive off of without it feeling heavy handed. The writer describes the activities of the people in the art, too, to clarify some of the artwork and symbolism. There’s a whole chapter in the front if you’re new to divination, and a chapter in the back with a few spreads.

Likes: Um, Everything? I especially like that this deck is Fairy Themed without being really twee. (Spoilers: most Fae aren’t twee.) I also like some of the renamed Major Arcana (like Life Renewed, depicted above, to replace the very Christian “Judgement”). By far my favorite part is really just the amazing artwork, though!

Dislikes: Ummmmmmm a couple of the cards have artwork reminds me of a celebrity who may have been used as a reference and it’s a tiny bit distracting? That’s a bit of a reach, though. Otherwise… There’s no tuck box, just a large box that fits the book, so I had to find a bag for the cards to keep them in, because the original cardboard bit wasn’t going to keep the cards undamaged, long-term. I really can’t think of anything major.

Overall Recommendation

Now that I own this deck I am astonished that I let it linger on a wishlist for so long! This is quickly becoming one of my favorite decks, and probably my new go-to when dealing with any random personal spiritual nonsense in my life. If you like the artwork you might need this.

Deck Review, Reviews

Tarot Deck Review: Radiant Rider-Waite-Smith

Deck: Radiant Rider-Waite
Publisher: Currently published by US Games Systems, Inc; original deck was published by William Rider & Son in London in 1909
Writer: originally the companion books, The Key to the Tarot, and the revised The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, were written by A.E. Waite.
Artist: original artwork was by Pamela “Pixie” Colman Smith; has been digitized and saturated for this deck.
Overall Rating: 6/10

Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot, published by US Games Systems Inc

Cardstock: A little thin, maybe, but pretty standard for US Games. Nothing to write home about. Nice and wiffly but I would bet they’d show wear if I used them more often. Especially those stark white borders!

Artwork: The symbolism is super heavy – everything from the color of the robes to how many stars is pretty much on purpose. So if that’s your thing, more power to you. Besides the Pictorial Key there are dozens of other books about RWS symbolism. I’m really not super fond of Smith’s human figures, though. They all seem a little doll-like to me, but that seems to be her style so it’s more a matter of my personal dislike than her lack of talent.

LWB: It has decent descriptions of the majors but only a few keywords for upright and reversed for other cards, and those seem a little sparse or overly simplistic. I haven’t read the Pictorial Key so I’m not sure how well it compares, but I did buy one of the aforementioned several other books, so I use that instead. (Because, no, I do not have all the zodiac stuff memorized and some of the color symbolism is different from my own understandings.)

Likes: If you want to read tarot books, it helps to have this deck because a lot of them are about this one in particular. Also, a lot of other decks use this same imagery, turned into dragons or elves or cats or whatever. It’s useful if you want to understand the history of tarot divination, too.

Dislikes: I really dislike the Kabbalistic symbolism because I have Feelings about goyim using it. But I think if you’re unfamiliar with that it is easy enough to just ignore and gloss over. I also don’t like how the human figures’ faces have very little expression – I have a few other decks with very expressive artwork and that vibes a lot better with my intuitive reading style.

Overall Recommendation

I really got this deck so that I could start to go “deeper” into the tarot and then I found out that the zodiac stuff and the alchemical symbolism just really don’t jive as well with my reading style. I’m an intuitive reader, not an intellectual reader, and that’s too much conscious analysis. So this is sort of a fall-back deck, more of a collector’s piece than something I use often. Some of my clients like it, though, because it’s recognizable. Ultimately, it doesn’t jive well with me but I would recommend it to newbies or anyone who likes the depth of symbolism.

Divination, Tarot Spread

9 Card Relationship Spread

Here’s the next installment of my tarot spreads: Relationship 9-card Spread.

relationship 9 top

  1. You and your feelings about the relationship
  2. Your partner and their feelings about the relationship
  3. The thing that draws you both together
  4. Your relationship weaknesses
  5. Your relationship strengths
  6. Influences of the past on your relationship
  7. Negative external influences
  8. Positive external influences
  9. Advice for committing to a future together

This one is also pretty straightforward, but it goes a little deeper than the 5-card spread.  And again, though I do mainly get requests for this spread to take a look at romantic relationships, it’s also pretty applicable to any other relationship between two people.  And if someone buys the listing for this spread on Etsy but wants me to look at a relationship between three people, I have an alternate spread I use, but it’s closer to the depth of the 5 card spread because of the additional person.  To do this level of depth for three people I’d need at least 12 cards!