The Genius of Kim Krans

Lost in the Wild (Unknown)

It isn’t often that I get obsessed with artists, writers, and poets. But it happens, and when it does I simply can’t get enough of them. As a result, I will read/listen to/watch as many of their creations as I can get my hands on. Some of my previous obsessions include (in chronological order): Stephen King, Radiohead, Quentin Tarantino, Cormac McCarthy, Arcade Fire, Sylvia Plath, and The National.

My latest obsession is with artist/writer Kim Krans, the creator of the Wild Unknown.

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Photo credit: Portland Apothecary
To begin with, she is beautiful, creative, and intelligent. But my admiration goes far beyond that.  I sincerely admire her creative drive. She has passion and an amazing work ethic that has led her to create music, calendars, a tarot deck, an oracle deck, a children’s book, jewelry, clothing, and more. Her creative vision is unstoppable, and her art will live on forever. As an aspiring writer and artist she is the quintessential role model.

Not that it came easy. Kim worked hard to hone her craft. This is how she answered Portland Apothecary when asked what she turns to for inspiration in her work.

“Aritsts memoirs, biographies, and interviews. Its easy to look at others and think wow, they have it all, their life is perfect, their success came easy, etc. This leads us to feeling disconnected and bummed out. But when you read the actual stories of people’s lives, you hear all that they have gone through to get where they are, all the resistance that could’ve stopped them at any point. Its very uplifting to read stories like this, to know the truth of an artist’s life instead of a projection.”

Girl crush.

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Photo Credit: Live the Moment
It wasn’t long ago that I purchased the Wild Unknown Tarot deck, and I was instantly smitten. It is incredible. So when I learned there was an accompanying oracle deck called the Animal Spirit deck, well, I couldn’t exactly wait until Christmas to get it. I encouraged my husband to buy a new video game and I placed my order ($56 with shipping) guilt-free. He gets his, I get mine.

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The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Guidebook, $50
The Animal Spirit oracle is the perfect accompaniment to the Wild Unknown tarot. While the Wild Unknown Tarot provides a clear glimpse of all elements of day-to-day life, the Wild Spirit oracle provides a big picture view of our personal development. As you all know, the person we are today is not the person we were last year. We are constantly growing and evolving, changing and morphing. Using this deck in tandem with the tarot deck provides a deeper glimpse at ourselves and our current place in life, as well as where we are going.

Kim fashioned this oracle deck and the animals therein around the five elements – earth, fire, water, air, and spirit. This further enhances the connection of this deck with the world at large.

I decided to use this deck to enhance a reading with the Wild Unknown. The example is below. In recent months I have felt a strong desire to write my own story with tarot and/or continue to education on a completely new path, so I decided to probe that issue.

Question: What do I need to know about my calling to work professionally and/or write about tarot?

 

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Past-Present-Future
Past 

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WU Tarot – Son of Swords (Forceful, Determined)
I jumped into reading professionally and developing a website and blog with a lot of unbridled energy. My efforts were bold, and I certainly didn’t ask for or consider the input of others in moving forward. My efforts were exhaustive and I didn’t take it slow. Within the course of a few days I had a blog and a website completely operational.

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WU Animal Spirit – Cosmic Egg (Completion, Harmony, The Infinite within the Finite)
This is the final card of the Animal Spirit deck, and it represents cosmic completion and the seventh chakra. The decision to move forward with reading professionally and writing about tarot was based on the long journey I took in exploring it. It was only after a long period of dedicated study and practice that it was set into motion. Only when I felt I was fully developed in this area did I proceed.

Present

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WU Tarot – The Lovers (Union, Desire, Joy)
At this point I am reading professionally but certainly not enough to justify leaving my career in education. I have choices to make about where I go from here. I need to decide what my next steps are. I have been feeling torn about where I should focus my attention.  Should I return to school for another advanced degree to further my career in education or psychology, or should I honor my creativity and spirituality and pursue learning that supports my spiritual desires? Or, should I continue my day job and dedicate myself to a daily writing practice? Whatever I choose, I must honor and nourish my relationship with the tarot. It is my passion.

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WU Animal Spirit – Turtle (Ancient Soul, Trusting, At Home in the Self)
The turtle is grounded and connected to life. It collects life experiences and preserves these ideas under its shell for the future. The turtle energy is the energy of writers and storytellers. My current experiences are teaching me where to go from here.

Future

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WU Tarot – 10 of Pentacles (Fulfillment, Abundance)
A welcome sign – there is fulfillment and abundance in the future! The groundwork I lay now will result in success and achievement in the material plane. Whatever I choose to pursue will ensure a firm financial footing for myself and for my family.

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WU Animal Spirit – Frog (Clearing, Cleansing, Healing)
It is imperative that I remember to take care of myself even as abundance abounds on the material plane. There is a tendency in the frog to become overworked and undernourished. Connecting to the source is paramount. Though frogs spend much time on land, water is critical to them! Water is rejuvenating to frogs, so when I feel bogged down I should seek renewal in lakes, rivers, or the ocean. This is an easy task as I live in Florida and am surrounded by all of the above!

I hope you have enjoyed this peek at the Animal Spirit deck. If you enjoy the Wild Unknown I would suggest adding this to your collection when feasible. As the Wild Unknown is the deck I purchased exclusively for my own readings, I simply couldn’t resist and I find it compliments my readings with the deck nicely.

 

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Is there any truth to Astrology?

Astrology: Fact or Fantasy?

My interest in the occult borders on fanaticism. I love to read about and explore a variety of esoteric topics like spiritualism, tarot, astrology, Kabbalah, mediumship, and life after death. I suppose this has something to do with my endless search for the meaning of life and my obsession with death and the afterlife. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the physical world and I have an astute respect for science. However, I also have a burning desire to “peek behind the veil” and see a glimpse of something, anything, that will prove to me without a doubt that there is life beyond this world.

Until this point in my life, I have only dipped my toe in the ocean of knowledge that comprises the field of astrology. I have a pretty firm understanding of the 12 zodiacal signs and their characteristics. When someone gives me their birthday I can name their corresponding astrological sign about 90% of the time. This is all about to change. I’m about to dive right into that ocean.

Recently I purchased a book from Books-a-Million entitled The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need. The book was $19.99 and I couldn’t resist buying it, especially because it claimed to have a direct link to a website where you could get your free custom astrological birth chart. Had I bought it on Amazon, I may have discovered before tonight that this book was published a long time ago, and the link to the website has long since expired. There would be no easy birth chart with the corresponding pages highlighted for me. However, I felt better when I realized that you can easily get a free astrological birth chart from a variety of astrology websites.

Tonight I sought out my birth chart and immediately began interpreting it. The first thing I noticed was that on my chart the Sun was in the 8th house – the house of death, regeneration, and legacies. I became alarmed when it suggested that people who have the Sun in their 8th house can suffer from the early loss of their father or husband. Terrified, I dug a little deeper, and was deeply relieved upon reading that the loss of a father doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical death, but rather can refer to the loss of relationship due to a lack of emotional support (this describes my relationship with my father perfectly). Over the course of an hour I read interpretations from many different astrology websites and was stunned at how clearly the descriptions fit me.

The Sun in the 8th House (taken from www.Freespiritmind.com):

Natives who have their natal Sun placed in the 8th house are illuminating the obscure meanings of death, sex and the occult. No matter which their Sun sign is, they become quite Scorpionic in their character, have deep desires and a very strong will. For them, power is very important while sex is a mystical experience of death and rebirth.

This Sun placement creates an urge to go deep into the mysteries of life and death. Such individuals are very interested in discovering the meanings of life, constantly seeking for answers on whether death is the final destination or we continue towards somewhere else. These interests make them attracted to the occult, and they can reach tremendous knowledge about such kind of issues. Observing the big picture of how life functions makes them difficult to be satisfied by common experience and everyday reality. Nevertheless, this placement attracts a lot of supernatural experiences, and many of them are permanently transforming them. Everything that is unexplored or taboo for the masses, fascinates them and attracts them. This is also a reason for the masses to slightly fear them, or consider them morbid and dark.

For those of you who know me, you may find this description of the Sun in the 8th house very interesting and frighteningly accurate. As I mentioned before, I am very interested in the occult and I have a borderline unhealthy obsession with death. I even have the words, “The trouble is you think have time” tattooed on my ribs as a constant reminder of death and an encouragement to live every day to the fullest. Most recently I had my grandmother’s names (both of my grandmothers were named Betty) tattooed on my wrist as a way to honor their influence in my life (my last grandmother passed away on May 13th of this year).

I have only begun my journey into a fuller understanding of astrology, but I am so excited on this new venture. For me, this quick exploration into my birth chart affirms that astrology is definitely more fact than fantasy.

Please comment below if you would like me to draft an interpretation of your birth chart. I’ll be doing two free birth chart interpretations and will choose two people below. To do so, I’ll need the following information:

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Time of Birth (as close as possible)
  • City, State, and Country of Birth

 

Candle Magic 

Modern Candle Magic

People have used candles to strengthen the power of prayer for hundreds of years. Candles are especially common in Catholic churches, where the devout light a candle as they pray to extend their prayer and honor the one for whom the prayer is meant. Vigil candles have been a part of Christian worship since the time of the martyrs.

There is something deeply spiritual about the act of lighting a candle. As the small flame fills the surrounding space with light and warmth, it gives us a sense of peace and connectedness with our world. With the conveniences of modern life, we lost our reverence for the element of fire. For thousands of years our ancestors built entire communities around fire. Fire was life. It offered warmth, protection from animals, and entertainment. It was around a fire that they ate and drank, slept, and told stories into the night. Focusing our attention on a flame connects us with those who came before us, and some say the light of a candle even attracts their spirits.

Candles have a sacred place in every spiritual practice. Those who are learning to meditate may find that it settles their mind to light a candle as they begin. The same is true for tarot readers who seek to enter a relaxed state of mind before beginning their ritual of preparing and reading the cards.

Harnessing Intention with Candle Magic

Everyone wants things in life, but not everyone will receive them. This is because desire alone is not enough to attract the things we want into our life. We must will these things into existence. Our intention is a powerful force in this world. When we set our intention and align our will accordingly, we begin to a manifest the changes in our life that we desire. It is our will that commands our focus, holds our attention, and shapes our actions in the world.

Our will is carried out by our conscience mind. This is why controlling our thoughts is paramount to our success in life. The law of attraction states that “like attracts like,” so if we spend our time focusing on negative things, we will attract more negative things. If we want positive things in our life, we must keep our thoughts positive.

Candles can be used to strengthen our intentions and, with a little planning and forethought, they help the universe bend to our will. When you reach a point in your life when you are truly open to magical thinking and the power of intention (also known as the law of attraction, or the Secret), you are ready to embrace the use of simple spells using candles.

Here are a few simple steps to developing the perfect candle spell.

Step 1) Set your intention. Be very clear about what it is you want. Do you wish to get rid of something, or do you wish to bring something to yourself?
Step 2) Determine the color and size of your candle. The candle must be allowed to burn out completely. For most rituals I use a spell or chime candle that burns out in about 1 -2 hours. When I have a very important matter at hand, I’ll use a vigil candle that burns for about 5 – 9 days. If you must put the candle out, snuff the flame. Do not blow it out. However, my preference is to let it burn (safely) until it goes out.

 Color Guide

White (in addition to these listed uses, white can be used as a substitute for any color as it is the combination of all colors) = Purification, protection, repelling negativity, peace, healing, truth, cleansing, spirituality, clarity, wholeness, and joy.

Black = Banishes negativity. Protection, banishing, inner strength, repelling black magic or harm being directed at you, healing grief and loss, and ending bad habits.

Yellow = Confidence, charm, persuasion, wisdom, mental strength, personal power, self-esteem, cheerfulness, concentration, communication, memory, logic and learning.

Orange = Good fortune, prosperity, luck in legal matters, achieving goals, cleansing negative attitudes, happiness, enthusiasm, power, action, increased libido, energy, and courage.

Pink = Love (friendly, romantic, spiritual, and universal), compassion, forgiveness, joy, harmony, sensitivity, emotional and spiritual healing, and self-love.

Red = Action, passion, love, sex, fertility, potency, energy, health, power, vitality, and courage.

Purple = Psychic abilities, spiritual awakening, inviting visions, intuition, spiritual protection, healing, respect, wisdom, purification, sensitivity, spiritual growth, and dissociating from the ego.

Blue = Spirituality, inner peace, domestic harmony, weight loss, insomnia, wisdom, truth, healing, serenity, patience, kindness, prophetic dreams, improving memory, and storing knowledge.

Brown = Promotes concentration, intuition, locating lost items, healing and protecting animals, stability, clear thinking, telepathic abilities, and decision-making.

Green = Growth, money, prosperity, good luck, abundance, generosity, physical and emotional healing, rejuvenation, renewal, and financial success.

Silver or Gray = Deflect negative influences, protection against otherworldly entities, stabilizes energies, promotes inner peace.

Gold = Attracting the gods, encourages success, wealth, communication, persuasion, victory, masculine energy, and confidence.

Step 3) Determine when to conduct your candle spell based on the phases of the moon (I keep an app on my phone for this purpose).

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Source: http://cdn.farmersalmanac.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/moon-phases2-573×400.jpg

New Moon = Powerful time to get rid of something that plagues you, like addiction, disease, or a very negative influence in your life.

Waxing Crescent = Self-improvement, increasing creativity, or inviting an energy into your life.

First Quarter Moon = Attract/bring something to you, like money, a new job, a lover, or the perfect house.

Waxing Gibbous = Giving yourself a boost/kick in the pants to finish something you already started.

Full Moon = Very powerful… It’s important to use to this for something that really matters.

Waning Gibbous = Endings/finding closure (ending relationships or partnerships that are no longer serving you).

Last Quarter = Assisting with transitions and overcoming temptations.

Waning Crescent = Get rid of something that plagues or annoys you (but save serious problems for the New Moon).

Step 4) Choose the appropriate anointing oil. Before a candle is lit, it must be dressed with oil. This infuses the candle with your intention. The right oil depends on your purpose. I use my intuition to choose the right oil. I look for something sweet for attraction, and something earthy/strong to repel.

Here are a few examples:

Cinnamon Oil = Prosperity, finances, and lust/love.

Eucalyptus Oil: Purifying and healing.

Frankincense Oil: Spirituality, psychic abilities, luck, protection, and purification.

Jasmine Oil: Love and money spells, increasing dreams.

Lavender Oil:  Cleansing, healing, and love.

Lemongrass Oil: Mental clarity, breaking habits.

Lime Oil: Energy, fidelity and loyalty.

Orange Oil: Attracting lovers, peace, personal power, and luck.

Patchouli Oil: Mastering skills, growth, love, and physical attraction.

Peppermint Oil: Energy, mental stimulant, enhances vitality.

Vanilla Oil: Lust, mental powers, sexual prowess, personal power rituals.

Ylang-Ylang Oil: Peace, love, and sex.

Once all of these steps have been taken, and the magical night is upon you, conduct your ritual. Begin by gathering your materials, and include a small knife or toothpick for engraving something on the candle. I also write my intention on a small slip of paper. In most cases, I’ll burn the slip of paper completely after I light the candle, but in a very important matter with a large vigil candle I’ll put it underneath the candle as it burns.

Go to a quiet spot. Hold your candle and you think intently on what it is you desire. It is at this moment that your will becomes permanently fixed upon your goal. Visualize yourself in a life where the change you seek has taken place. Take as much time as you need to fully commit to your intention and push as much energy as you can into the candle. Engrave on the candle any words or symbols that relate to your intention. For money, I may engrave a dollar sign. Sometimes I will research a rune that aligns to my wishes and engrave that on the candle. Engrave whatever you wish, or skip this step – it’s up to you.

Anoint (cover) the candle with oil. If you are repelling something, start at the center and work the oil towards the ends. If you are attracting something, start the oil and the ends and work it toward the middle. Focus on your intention very strongly while you anoint the candle.

When you are ready, light the candle. Slide your note into the flame and let it catch fire, then burn it completely.

Remember to ensure your candle burns out completely, and safely. Be sure that no well-meaning family members blow out your candle, as this is said to extinguish your wish.

As the moon goes through a full cycle, hold your intention in your mind and visualize yourself having met your goal regularly. Try your best to master your thoughts and keep them fixated on your intention.

Wait and watch for the universe to respond.

Note: Using a ritual like the one described above, I have successfully quit a 15 year smoking addiction, eliminated an unhealthy fixation on a past event, and got a sizable raise at work. This really works. I must encourage you only to use this ritual for positive purposes. Many in the magical world believe that if you send out negativity or evil into the world that you will receive it back three-fold. I would prefer not to test that theory.

Please feel free to share your thoughts or your own personal practice with candle magic below!

Interviewing your Deck

Bonding with a New Deck

I view my decks as some might view their boyfriends/girlfriends in a polyamorous relationship. One won’t do, but I want a few select lovers. I think if you have too many, you can’t give them all the love and attention they require, nor can they give you what you require. I know collectors and tarot enthusiasts who have hundreds of decks, but this will never be me. I want less than 5 – 10 close friends on my shelf.

Still, it is so exciting to receive a new deck. Whenever you get a new tarot deck, you should immediately get to know it and attempt to bond with it. A tarot deck is a close friend! This probably seems crazy to people who aren’t into tarot, but decks are a sacred thing that you need to bond with and nurture in order to have a good relationship.

Here are some of the usual (wacky) things I do to bond with a new deck:
  • Hold it as much as possible.
  • Shuffle it in my free time.
  • Sleep with it under my pillow.
  • Talk to it.
  • Breathe on it.
  • Take it with me everywhere I go.
  • Burn sage and let the smoke cleanse it.
  • Thank it for what it will teach me.
  • Ask it questions and learn about it.

Yesterday I received the new Wild Unknown tarot deck (which you can read about here), and after a thorough shuffle and thanks I conducted what is called a “deck interview.”

I asked the deck the following questions…

What kind of tarot deck are you? What card sums up your personality?
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I am a deck of new beginnings that are prosperous and fruitful. I enjoy helping people succeed with their finances and material security.
What issues/areas of life do you specialize in?
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I help you see things clearly and see the facts. I am very knowledgeable but I can be blunt. When your emotions muddle your thoughts I will help you cut through the nonsense and see what is really going on.
How can you best help me?
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I can help you when you are sad and feeling heartbroken. I will lift you out of your gloom.
What quality is most important in a tarot reader?
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A tarot reader needs to be strong and determined to see what is being revealed. Working with the tarot can be challenging and a tarot reader must have a strong will to become a master.
How do you see our relationship?

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Ouch! You see our relationship as a burden? I promise to go easy on you and to take your advice the first time you give it so you won’t feel so overwhelmed at the thought of working with me.
I look forward to a long, prosperous relationship with the Wild Unknown. I hope you find the perfect deck (or decks) to bond with on your tarot journey!

The Wild Unknown 

Diving into the Wild Unknown

(This post contains expletives)

Here in the United States, yesterday was Election Day, but I will more fondly remember yesterday at the day MY MOTHERFUCKING WILD UNKNOWN tarot deck finally arrived!

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I was so excited to finally have this deck in my possession, having ordered it on September 25th and being forced to wait what felt like forever. Once I took it out of the Amazon packaging I promptly poured myself a big glass of wine and filmed my first unboxing video, which I immediately deleted because it was so terrible. I’m not made for film, folks.

The deck and guidebook did not disappoint. I am honestly so impressed with every aspect of this deck. Kim Krans created a beautiful work of art when she designed these tarot cards and the packaging for them is just as exquisite. The kit contains a gorgeous, sturdy guidebook that is really well done. I find the card meanings align very closely to a traditional Rider Waite deck, though the art is certainly different. The card stock is pretty good, maybe a little thin, but far better than some other decks (Thoth and the Gilded Tarot, for example).

The biggest distinction with this deck is that is features only animals, no people. For some that may be a turnoff, but it wasn’t a problem for me.

The court cards feature owls (swords), snakes (wands), swans (cups),  and deer (pentacles). Here are the “Fathers” of the court, aka the Kings.

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Now, I present to you some of my favorite cards from this truly rewarding deck.
The Majors:
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The Devil (this reminds me of Black Philip in The Witch): Addiction and Negativity
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The Chariot: Strong Will and Triumph
The Minors:

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Nine of Swords: I know the worms aren’t visually appealing, but there is nothing appealing about the Nine of Swords. Dark visions and Anguish

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Ten of Wands: Burdens, Blockage, Difficulty
 

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Ten of Cups: Radiating Energy

I am enthralled by the artwork on this deck and highly recommend it to anyone who may be considering adding this to their collection. I am looking forward to using this for my daily readings.

 

Prep Work 

Preparing for a Tarot Reading

I am an intuitive reader who prides herself on honest and open readings, and I consider it an honor and privilege to connect with spirit and help people. I am committed to an ethical spiritual practice and ensuring that my clients are satisfied with their readings.

Tarot readings are a tool for providing you with divine guidance in life. I take my responsibility as a tarot reader very seriously. If I cannot establish a connection with you and spirit, I will end the reading and refund your money. Most of the time, however, spirit shows up and information will begin to flow.

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My office, encapsulated by the Florida sun.
A reading can greatly benefit people who are open and empowered to take control of their lives. I believe the future is predictable, but not predetermined. We have the power to change the future and that power lies in our day-to-day actions. In a tarot reading, we will analyze where you are. We can then look at your future and give you an idea of what you can expect if you stay on your current path. If you do not like what the cards predict, we can discuss strategies to change your outcome.

It’s easy to get a reading from me – even if you are across an ocean. Spirit doesn’t require that we be in the same place at the same time. I am able to connect energetically with only your name, though I find a photo and birthday to be very helpful in establishing a connection.

If you are on the fence, please check out testimonials from my clients on my Facebook or Etsy page. If you have questions you can always contact me here (it may take up to 24 hours for me to respond).

Visit my Book a Reading page and locate the kind of reading you want. Payment will be sent through PayPal. I will contact you within 24-48 hours to confirm that I have received your payment and verify the details of the reading you wish to receive.

Once you have ordered a reading please send me your name and date of birth. I also need you to send me your question and the method through which you wish to receive your reading. You may send any additional information or other necessary details about your situation if you wish. I find a photo can be helpful in connecting with a long-distance client, and the birthday allows me to delve more fully into astrology which complements the tarot.

Here are tips to prepare for a phone, Skype, or Facebook Messenger reading:

  • I will call/contact you at our scheduled time. If you do not answer or respond, your payment will be forteited.
  • Make sure you are in a quiet space and will not be interrupted.
  • Prepare your questions in advance.
  • Refrain from asking the same question again and again – this will never produce a good reading.
  • The future is not predetermined! If you do not like something that comes up in a reading, know that you always have free will and can alter your life any way that you wish.
  • Timing is the hardest thing to predict. A tarot reading can only give a general outlook on timing.

 Here are tips for an email reading:

  • Make your question as specific as possible.
  • If you have requested a general reading, you may respond with three follow up questions. Once completed, your reading is done. If you want to continue to go deep on a question, it may be best for you to seek a phone reading instead.
  • You may ask between 1 – 3 follow up questions within several days of the reading and I will gladly respond.
  • Do not try to wrap more than one question into one. It may confuse the energy of the reading.  One thing at a time is always best and leads to a more focused answer.
  • Timing is the hardest thing to predict. A tarot reading can only give a general outlook on timing.

Final Notes:

  • Please refer to my ethics and business policies here. I will not perform readings on medical, health, pregnancy, or any other issues for which I am not qualified.
  • I do not “tarot stalk,” meaning I will not read to pry into someone else’s life except for how it may intersect with your own.
  • Once I receive payment and your information, all readings are usually completed within 24-48 hours. If you book a reading over the weekend or during holidays it may take longer but I will be in communication immediately as to timeline.
  • I reserve the right to refuse to read for any client and will refund any money paid.
  • I will not read for anyone under 18.

 

 

 

A Peek into the Psychic Capital of the World

The Importance of Ethics in the Psychic Realm: A Story from Cassadaga

Earlier this year I visited the mecca of the psychic world: Cassadaga, Florida. This quaint, sleepy town is the hub of the modern spiritualist movement. It has been termed, “the psychic capital of the world,” with more psychics and mediums per capita than anywhere else across the globe.

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A myriad of psychics located directly across the street from the Cassadaga Hotel.
How did this come to be? Were individuals with psychic abilities drawn to this region of Florida like a moth to a flame? I’m afraid it isn’t that interesting, but still notable.

In the early 20th century a group of people within the budding spiritualist movement left their home in upstate New York following their leader, George Colby. As a young man, Colby was told during a séance that he would someday be instrumental in founding a spiritualist community in the south. In 1875, that prophecy was fulfilled when he was led through the wilderness of Florida to an area surrounded with hills by a spirit guide named “Seneca.” There he established the Cassadaga Spiritualist camp, fondly named after the city of Cassadaga, New York, that he and the others had left behind.

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A photo beside Spirit Pond (which is said to have cured Colby of tuberculosis)
The first night there my husband and I enjoyed dinner at the historic (and haunted) Cassadaga Hotel, which hosts séances twice a month with one of their seasoned mediums. We did not attend the séance, though I did have a session with esteemed medium Rev. Judy Cooper while I was visiting. One night, 15-minute tarot “mini-readings” were being offered during dinner, and I encouraged my husband to get one.

It was disappointing to say the least. The reader was insistent that my husband, if not currently in the medical field, would work in the medical field soon. When he explained that he actually manages a very successful pest control office, she was insistent that he would go back to school and become a doctor.

Now I don’t claim to know the future, but this really missed the mark for us. The odds that my husband will quit his job, go to college for the next 8 years, and become a doctor are about as likely as winning the lottery. Nonetheless, he shelled out $20 for the reading and returned to dinner with me disappointed with the experience.

Later that night during our coming and going from the restaurant, we overheard the conversation of several readers in the lobby, one of which was my husband’s. They were discussing business as readers and we distinctly heard his reader say, “You have to fake it before you make it, right?!

When it comes to psychics and mediums, there are quite a few phonies out there who spoil it for the rest of us. These individuals bring shame upon us lightworkers who honor spirit and only operate from the highest good.

I have spent most of my life as a public servant and a teacher, and I am committed to working with the tarot with only the highest ethical standards. I will tell you what I see in the cards, honestly and clearly. If we do not connect during a reading and I cannot be certain of the message, I will not take your money.

Please take a moment to review my ethical principles and business policies that govern my work at Namaste Tarot Readings and let me your thoughts below.

Read here: http://www.namastetarotreadings.com/ethics-and-business-policies.html

Card #13

Make Friends with Death

 

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How many times has a tarot card reader had to explain the Death card to a frightened querent?

Don’t worry! The Death card doesn’t mean death – it means change and transformation.” No doubt more than one of us has received a skeptical look as we try to assuage the fears of our client upon seeing this ominous card.

This is a much easier explanation if your deck featured a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis on the Death card, as I imagine some deck out there does (surely there is a butterfly-themed tarot deck out there). But in most decks, a skeletal being almost always represents Death. Also present is a sickle, reminiscent of the grim reaper. Traditional Rider Waite decks often portray this figure on horseback with dead and dying people left in its wake.

The Thoth deck is wrought with imagery and symbolism. In Crowley’s Death card, he portrays the figure busy at work with the sickle, slashing it back and forth, creating bubbles in its wake. A variety of figures in various stages of life are shown in the watery images. It also features a snake, a symbol of resurrection and reincarnation, and a scorpion that reminds us that this card is associated with the astrological sign Scorpio.

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The Death card is the sign that the butterfly needs to emerge from its chrysalis, and that it’s time for the snake to shed its skin. Like these creatures, we humans also metaphorically need to shed from time to time. On our path we must grow and change into the people we are meant to be.

We are fluid beings and every experience leaves us changed. And yet we all know of someone, perhaps ourselves even, who sometimes allows themselves to get stuck for too long. While some of us love change, others detest it.

I love change, and I applaud the Death card (hence the title). Recently the Death card worked its way through my life as I found the strength to work my way out of my own comfortable chrysalis. I spent much time hiding in the “broom closet” as most of my family members are devout Jehovah’s Witnesses. I was raised to believe that anything to do with the occult or spiritualism was simply communication with the Devil. I was terrified of what my family would think of me when they found out that not only was I not a practicing Jehovah’s Witness, but I was a practicing tarot reader and part-time Pagan!

Sadly, my last living grandmother passed away very suddenly this May. I never wanted to disappoint her, because she was so loving, gentle, and innocent. She was deeply afraid of the occult and I didn’t want to break her heart with my fascination with the topic. With her passing, I found the courage to be more transparent about who I am as a person. A new time had begun in my life and it, ironically, started with death.

The coming out was just the first part of my transformation, as this year has given me several personal challenges that are causing me to reconsider who I am as a person and how I want to live my life. At 36, I’m beginning to realize the importance of living for ourselves, and not to simply conform to what society expects of us.

Thank you, Death, for helping me to grow and change into the person I was born to become. I look forward to the next visit, dear friend.

Crashing and Burning 

Control is an Illusion: An Experience with the Tower

While you make decisions that help shape your life, you are not in control. Did you understand me clearly? You are NOT in control.

For some of us this can be hard to accept. And for some, it is just a fact of life. It really is a matter of our life experiences.

Childhood and Control

How we understand our power over the circumstances in our life stems from our childhood. Some people are raised in very unstable families where things are always changing. Perhaps they moved frequently, experienced the divorce of their parents, or they were abused. These individuals grow up in environments that remind them daily that they do not have control of their lives. Now, many people who grow up this way end up just fine. Others develop very controlling behaviors in their own lives to compensate for the lack of control they felt growing up. Others never gain control of their lives and move into adulthood with a sense of victimhood and powerlessness that never leaves them. It’s luck of the draw.

On the other end of the spectrum, some people grow up feeling very empowered and in control. These people have a solid family, make good grades, get the right degree, and land the right job. Perhaps they meet their soul mate and settle down, begin their family… They take all the right actions and believe that they are soundly in control of their life.

There enters the Tower.

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Sometimes, life has other plans for us. It comes in many forms, all equally terrible and upsetting, such as a cancer diagnosis, the loss of a job, a car accident, a school shooting, etc. You can never be prepared for the twists, turns, and tragedies of life that come up seemingly out of the blue. They will undoubtedly leave us in tears, shaken, frightened, and completely uneasy about life.

These events remind us that we are never 100% in control of our lives. There is always the element of fate and the wisps of karma intertwining their way through our daily lives. We must be prepared for them when they strike. This may mean putting aside money, drafting a will, being insured, and never leaving your loved one with a harsh word. You never know when it will be the last time you speak to someone.

The Tower reminds us to love harder, speak kindly, treasure the present, and be grateful for what we have. We need to thank the universe daily for what we have and the people we treasure because everything is fleeting.

And while the shock of the Tower leaves us shaken, we look forward to the next card in the major arcana, the Star, which promises us a new beginning and a renewed hope about life. We can always look forward to that moment when the world will seem hopeful again. And it will.

Blessed Samhain.

Answering Yes/No Questions 

Yes/No Questions: Hard to Avoid!

Any tarot reader will tell you that despite your best efforts to use tarot for guidance and to encourage only open-ended questions from your clients, people inevitably want to ask yes/no questions.

And who can blame them, really?

The truth is that we all want to know what’s going to happen. Despite our best efforts to live in the present and not to worry about the future, WE DO. I bet even Eckert Tolle (author of The Power of Now, who I adore) will occasionally lie awake some nights wondering how his next book will be received or how his next overseas tour will go.

If tarot readers are being honest, even they have probably used the cards to attempt to answer a yes/no question from time to time. I know I have. In fact, learning how to answer yes/no questions was one of the first things I attempted to learn when I began to learn tarot. I wanted to know the future, damn it!

In my studies I researched a ton of different ways you can answer a yes/no question, but one in particular really resonated with me. This method was developed by Susyn Blair-Hunt and is featured in Barbara Moore’s book entitled Tarot Spreads: Layouts & Techniques to Empower your Readings.

In this method, you will use the following guidelines in deciphering the cards:

  • Major arcana and even-numbered minor arcana indicate YES
  • Court cards and odd-numbered minor arcana indicate NO

To perform this spread, you will shuffle the deck while considering the question at hand. You lay the deck down, then you cut it twice to the right so that you have three piles. You then leave the three piles on the table.

Starting with the pile on the left, lay down one card face-up. Then lay down a card from the middle pile, and then finally a card from the pile on the right.

Lay down another card from the pile on the left and the center pile. You should have a total of five cards.

At this point you will consider how many cards indicate “Yes” or “No.”

5/5 indicate “Yes” – An enthusiastic YES!

4/5 indicate “Yes” – Very probable YES.

3/5 indicate “Yes” – Probable, but not certain.

2/5 indicate “Yes” – Not likely, but possible.

1/5 indicate “Yes” – Very unlikely.

0/5 indicate “Yes” – An enthusiastic NO.

One of the best things about this spread is that the cards will provide additional information on the question, and will help you determine why something may or may not occur.

An example would be helpful, so I’m going to address a question about some land that my husband and I are trying to sell. I decided to do a quick spread on the question, ”Will my husband and I sell our land soon (in the next three months)?”

I decided to use one of my favorite decks, Thoth. Before you get hung up on my caption, please know that in the Thoth deck the Knights are actually Kings in the traditional sense of the tarot.

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In order from left to right: Two of Disks (YES), The Fool (YES), The Lovers (YES), King of Cups (NO), 4 of Wands (YES)

Thank you, cards! Managing this land has been a juggling act, as it required that we jump through a ton of hoops to get it listed. There was also the expense of having it surveyed and paying to have it advertised. To be honest we could have handled the process in a much more expedient manner, but we were distracted by other more fun things and didn’t get the land listed for six months. We were also a bit foolish in our initial asking price and had great faith that it would just sell, and it didn’t. We recently made the decision to lower the price despite my husband’s initial feelings that it wasn’t enough, but with the 4 of Wands I’m certain we will have cause to celebrate soon. We just lowered the price this week. (If the cards are right, it should sell by the end of January).

I hope that you will find this method helpful in your own readings when you have a yes/no question or if a friend or client persists in asking them. However, I encourage everyone not to put too much stock in yes/no readings. The tarot is not intended for this purpose and to reduce it only to these kinds of questions is to miss out on the wealth of hidden knowledge that it contains.