lenormand

Learning Lenormand

July, 2019

Dreaming Lenormand

I remember when I started learning reading Tarot cards over thirty years ago. I had a deck of Rider-Waite cards and I would lay out one of several spreads on a daily basis – usually a Celtic Cross – but sometimes a Horoscope Spread or a Tree of Life Spread or some other spread I had just read about in a book I had just gotten out from the library. My diary is filled with these readings – some are ridiculously lame – since I obviously had no idea what the cards truly “meant” and I was simply quoting what the “little book” said, trying to fit the “meaning” of the card into the position it landed in the spread and what I wanted to know. This often required some agile mental gymnastics on my part and often, when I am reading these works of psychological analysis today, I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry! But even though I was more confused than not, some of the readings are quite astute. Right from the beginning, I can see that I had a knack for reading the cards. I gave the cards nicknames and saw personalities in the cards – a lover of mine was the King of Cups and my best girlfriend was the Queen of Wands, for instance – the cards became profoundly close to my life quite quickly.

I started dreaming “in terms of the tarot” after I had been reading the Tarot for about six months or so. It’s hard to say how I knew I was dreaming about the tarot but I always knew that I was dreaming about this card or that – my diary is filled with descriptions of these dreams. Many of these dreams became poems. I can confidently say that this is where my current Tarot poetry project was generated. Anyone who follows my silverapplequeen or no commas blogs on WordPress knows these poems.

I got my first Lenormand deck around a year ago and now own four Lenormand decks. Although the language of the Lenormand doesn’t come as easily to me as the language of the Tarot, I am beginning to speak it with more fluency. I’ll be honest – I don’t practice with the cards as often as I should – certainly not as often as I did when I first started learning the Tarot. There are reasons for this – my life isn’t as dramatic as it was thirty years ago – I am not trying to figure out the motives and movements of husbands and lovers – I am not constantly changing jobs or homes or trying to become pregnant. I am now retired and my son is a grown man. I don’t have any lovers anymore nor do I desire any. Life is boring! And I like it that way!

But I love the cards and I love collecting them. Lenormand, Tarot, playing cards – I am a card person. I love the feel of them in my hands. I have certain sets I actively look for. I think the Chelsea Lenormand is beautiful and if I ever see it, I am jumping on it like a duck on a June bug. I would also love to own the Blue Bird Lenormand. Right now, I am working with the Fairy Tale Lenormand and the Gaelic Lenormand. I also like the Lenormand Fortune Telling Cards, with the little verse instead of the playing card insert. But I love all of them. My main question with the Lenormand is this: why is there no cat? There’s a dog and a fox – that’s two canines. But no feline energy. That’s a big omission IMHO.

I had my first Lenormand dream a few weeks ago. I didn’t know it was a Lenormand dream until I was awake and thinking about the dream. I was dreaming that I was in a giant mansion by the sea – if you have ever seen the HBO drama “Boardwalk Empire”, it was just like the Commodore’s mansion – only darker and more gothic. There was a coffin in the entrance – a green coffin – I remember the color vividly. I walked around the coffin and then out to the beach. There was a maple tree on the beach.

When I woke up, I thought I had just been dreaming about “Boardwalk Empire” – my son and I had been watching it for several days – I had even been dressed in 1920’s formal wear in the dream. But after thinking about the dream more closely, I realized that it was a Lenormand dream. There were definite Lenormand images in the dream – the coffin, the house, the tree, and the woman. Although it can be argued that I didn’t see the house – I was inside the house – it was still present in the dream.

At the time I had this dream, I was suffering from a terrible eye infection. I looked like a deformed monster. I was in horrible pain and I was horrendously depressed.

(The Fairy Tale Lenormand)

The images of the dream – read in Lenormand cards – Lady, House, Coffin – say no more than “The Lady of the house is ill” – which made me laugh. No shit, sherlock! The tree told me that healing would be coming – after all, in the dream, I am walking to the tree – three weeks after this dream, my eye is healing, although very slowly.

(The Gaelic Lenormand)

A few nights ago, I had a very restless night with dreams that were unclear but very emotional. I know I dreamed of a man I loved passionately but who is now dead and gone. I also dreamed of a close friend who betrayed me. Maybe they were the same person. It was the night of the last full moon but it was a stormy night and with the cloud cover, the moon was hidden. Even so, her power was felt.

I woke up and thought about the dreams I had that night – even though I could barely see them – I could feel them. The Gaelic Lenormand seemed to be the best deck for the dreams I had that night. I used a “Line of Five” spread with the 29 Woman card to signify myself in the middle. The 10 Scythe card paired with the 28 Man card was the lover who was dead and gone. The 18 Dog card paired with the 6 Clouds card was the faithless friend.

(Lenormand Fortune Telling Cards)

Last night, I went to bed thinking about my novel. I have not written a word on this novel in two years but in the last few weeks, I have been thinking about starting work on it again. I woke up this morning knowing that I had been dreaming about writing the novel – that I had found the perfect form for the story – that I was writing easily and happily – that I had found the key. I woke up thinking those words exactly – the key. But I also felt really happy.

So writing is 26 Book and finding the key is 33 Key and feeling happy is 24 The Heart and I’m not even sure why I picked out 4 House except that to me – writing a book means a certain amount of success and that means obtaining the home of my dreams. It all ties together – with me, 29 Woman, in the middle of it all.

Anyway – these dreams have pushed my Lenormand practice into another level – which is really a good thing, because I needed something – my own life was too boring! Now, every morning, I wake up and think – where was I last night? Where did my dreams take me? What did I do in them? Who did I meet? And how does that correspond to the Lenormand? Then I get the cards out and try to make a story out of the dream using the cards. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. But it’s sure fun trying!

Until next month, Brightest Blessings!

Decks Featured

Fairy Tale Lenormand on Amazon by Lisa Hunt. US Games Systems, Inc. 2016.

The Gaelic Lenormand on Amazon by Diana Clark. http://amzn.to/212x2ij

The Lenormand Fortune-telling Cards on Amazon Sterling Ethos. 2006.

All photographs by Polly MacDavid.

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About the Author:

Polly MacDavid lives in Buffalo, New York at the moment but that could easily change, since she is a gypsy at heart. Like a gypsy, she is attracted to the divinatory arts, as well as camp fires and dancing barefoot. She has three cats who all help her with her magic.

Her philosophy about religion and magic is that it must be thoroughly based in science and logic. She is Dianic Wiccan and she is solitary.

She blogs at silverapplequeen.wordpress.com. She writes about general life, politics and poetry. She is writing a novel about sex, drugs and recovery.

Learning Lenormand Reviews – The Fairy Tale Lenormand Deck

June, 2019

The Fairy Tale Lenormand

This is one of the most adorable deck of cards I have ever seen in any form – be it Lenormand, Tarot, Oracle, or just a deck of playing cards!

Published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. (www.usgamesinc.com), with artwork by the very talented Lisa Hunt and with a booklet written by Arwen Lynch, this set of Lenormand cards is sure to delight any level of practitioner. As someone who is still at a beginner’s level (I admit it), I think it would be great for someone who is learning the basics of Lenormand or who is just beyond the basics.

And I love the little tin. I love little boxes of all kinds and I collect them.

Winner of the 2016 Tarosophists Award for Best Lenormand Deck, the cards measure no more than 2 ¼ inches by 3 ½ inches (5.5 mm x 8.5 mm) and they are made out of standard card stock with a glossy finish on them which makes them easy to shuffle and handle. They are just a tad smaller than a standard poker deck. I can well imagine elves and fairies sitting around a toadstool table dealing out the cards to see what their fortune will be today!

I grew up loving Fairy Tales. My beloved grandmother MacDavid, “Gramma Mac” was a skilled storyteller and she lived not very far from the home in which I lived with my parents and my brothers and sisters. I – along with my brothers and sisters, and my cousins, who lived next door to my grandmother – spent many happy days at her home, which was where she grew up as well. A day was not complete without at least one storytelling session and usually there was more than one. I personally loved Fairy Tales but she would also tell stories about our family history and about the neighborhood. She also brought the Fairy Tales into our real life. For instance, there was an old shack across the creek – my father, who had been an Eagle Scout, said it was where the Boy Scouts met back in the 1940’s – but Gramma Mac said it was where the Wicked Witch of the West lived! At least in the warm months. In the winter, she lived in the cellar! What my grandmother called “the dungeon”! – the drained cistern that was beneath the house and was attached to the herb cellar. When she went down into the cellar in the winter – to get a jar of pickles or some other canned item – she would knock on the walls to “let the witch know she was coming”. In the spring, when the snows melted and the creek overflowed its banks, the cellar would flood and, remembering how Dorothy melted the Wicked Witch with a pail of water, we would ask about the witch. “Oh, she’s alright,” my grandmother told us. “She’s already gone back to the shack in the woods. It’s spring.”

The Creek

Sometime in the early 1970’s, the shack burned to the ground – some teenagers torched it – I remember being there before it burned and seeing evidence of partying. I was only twelve but I didn’t think the witch drank Genny Cream Ale and smoked Pall Malls (but honestly, what did I know?). Of course, by then I was getting a bit old for believing in the Wicked Witch of the West. At least – in a literal sense. In a few years, I would be discovering the Goddess and a whole new way of looking at witches and fairies.

When I first opened up this pack of cards and looked at the images, all the lessons I learned from hearing fairy tales from my grandmother and reading them on my own came back to me. Using fairy tales as a metaphor for the concepts within the Lenormand (or the Tarot) is nothing short of brilliant. In my humble opinion, anyway!

Lisa Hunt is the artist who created the Fairy Tale Tarot and five other divination decks. Her website is here: Lisa Hunt Gallery. There’s a lot to see, so plan to spend some time here! She’s a fabulous artist. I personally would love to get the Fairy Tale Tarot someday – I have always loved it. Not to mention that using Tarot cards and Lenormand cards in the same reading is quite the rage nowadays (see: https://www.cafelenormand.com/combine-tarot-lenormand/ and http://learnlenormand.com/combining-lenormand-with-tarot/) so having the Fairy Tale Tarot along with the Fairy Tale Lenormand would be a great way to access this trend! But right now, let’s just focus on the Fairy Tale Lenormand.

The little booklet – and it is small! – was written by Arwen Lynch. Her website is here: Tarot by Arwen. The Forward in the book is written by Donnaleigh de LaRose and I highly recommend that you read it carefully. I know that lots of you skip over forwards and introductions but don’t do it this time. There’s a ton of important information in these eleven pages. I have to admit that I didn’t know who Donnaleigh de LaRose was before I read this introduction but I checked out her webpage and I hope you all do, too. There’s a wealth of knowledge here.

This booklet differs from other Lenormand booklets in that while it gives the meanings of the cards, using the Fairy Tale story of the image to fully illustrate the concept, there are no double meanings. Usually Lenormand booklets will give you basic examples, such as Clover + Letter or Dog + Man. However, this booklet is so tiny that those kinds of examples might have been edited out for the sake of space, which is understandable. And honestly – I can attest this for myself – you don’t get that kind of linguistic understanding of the cards by reading it in a book. The only way you get it is by using the cards every single day. Practice makes perfect – I must have heard that a hundred times as a kid – but ya know what? It’s true. And if it doesn’t make you perfect – at least it makes you competent.

At the end of the book, there are several spreads, all based on the Fan Spread. I used that spread for several days – with several different questions. Here are the results.

First question: Will I hear from C. soon? This was the other day, although I am once again waiting to hear from C. Here are the cards I pulled:

From this, I saw that C was still at work (36, Cross, burdens) but he would soon be texting me (27, Letter) with good news (9, Bouquet). Which is exactly what happened. I hope it happens again!

Yesterday, I went out to lunch with my cousin Rose. Rose was one of the cousins who lived next door to my Gramma Mac; she called my Gramma “Auntie”. Rose was born two months before I was – I have no memory of life without Rose – she is my oldest and dearest friend. We went to the Saigon Café and had lunch and caught up. Before I met with her, I asked the cards (rather rhetorically, I admit), “What will we talk about?” Here is the answer:

Both Rose and I have dealt with a lot of death in our families these past few years – in the last ten years, she has lost both her parents, her older brother (whom I adored) and her husband. In the past year, I have lost my father, my beloved aunt, my yellow lab, and a troublesome but loved uncle. We talked about how these deaths affected us and our loyalty to our dead loved ones but also the brightness of the future, as we explore new relationships and new experiences. It was such a wonderful lunch!

This morning, I got a call from an ex-boyfriend. He’s off work today and do I want to hang out with him today? Do some fishing?

Of course, my first thought is NO. But I go to the cards, right? And this is what I pull:

Okay, setting aside that the cards are practically in order – believe me, I shuffled! And it’s not like they were in order to begin with! – I am first struck at how the Lady and the Gentleman are facing away from each other! Doesn’t that say it all! But there’s the 30 Lilies card and there’s a definite sexual attraction between the two of them – or is there? Is the Lady looking somewhere else? And where is the Gentleman looking? The focus is the 31 Sun card so maybe they get it together – as an old Crone, I’d say that’s a very big maybe.

But hell! I haven’t been fishing in a very long time! And it’s a beautiful sunny day! Perfect fishing weather!

I have to say that I absolutely love this deck of cards. It’s my new favorite divinatory method – I’ve been using it every day. I might actually learn the Lenormand with this fabulous deck! I can’t recommend it enough! If you purchase it or get it as a present, I hope you love it as much as I do!

Until next time, Brightest Blessings!

References:

Lynch, Arwen & Lisa Hunt. Fairy Tale Lenormand. Stamford, CT: US Games, Inc., 2016.

Lisa Hunt Gallery

Tarot by Arwen

Donna Leigh

Cafe Lenomand: Combine Tarot – Lenormand

Learn Lenormand: Combinging Lenormand with Tarot

Photograph of “the creek” from my own personal collection.

The Fairy Tale Lenormand on Amazon

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About the Author:

Polly MacDavid lives in Buffalo, New York at the moment but that could easily change, since she is a gypsy at heart. Like a gypsy, she is attracted to the divinatory arts, as well as camp fires and dancing barefoot. She has three cats who all help her with her magic.

Her philosophy about religion and magic is that it must be thoroughly based in science and logic. She is Dianic Wiccan and she is solitary.

She blogs at silverapplequeen.wordpress.com. She writes about general life, politics and poetry. She is writing a novel about sex, drugs and recovery.

Learning Lenormand

November, 2018

A Portrait of the Morning

My sun is in Taurus and I most definitely a creature of habit. My morning routine is a good example of this. I generally wake around 4 a.m. I stay in bed for a half-hour or so, cuddling with a kitty – usually Radar, who sleeps with his head on my pillow – and praying. Then I get up, put on my flannels and go into the kitchen, where I start the coffee. I feed the cats. I have my oatmeal and coffee while reading and replying to emails and then it’s in the shower. I’m in and out of the shower by 6 a.m., generally. After I’m all clean and dressed, I make my bed and straighten up my room. While I do this, I listen to classical music on the radio. I like peace and quiet in the mornings.

This is when I meditate. My son James is still sleeping and the cats are fed and back to sleep so it’s a nice serene environment.

I used to do Tarot readings after meditation. When I got my Lenormand cards, I started doing both – but with James living here, I usually don’t have time to sit and read cards for over an hour anymore. Honestly, I barely have enough time to do anything I want to do anymore but that’s a whole ’nother issue!

I don’t have to read the Tarot everyday to learn it – my life is immersed in the Tarot whether I am reading the cards or not. My poetry and my artwork are both mostly about the Tarot and uses Tarot themes. I am not so arrogant to suggest that I don’t need to learn anymore about the Tarot – there’s always more to learn! I’m just saying that my Tarot journal is now essentially a Lenormand journal.

I decided to stop doing daily readings of any cards except the Lenormand because – like learning a new language – I just wasn’t getting it. That’s the honest truth. If you are only using the cards once in a while – or if you are only using them after you have already done a reading with your favorite Tarot deck – how are you supposed to actually learn anything? I had to get in a schedule where I was sitting and only using the Lenormand. I also had to use the same format everyday – like I had with the Tarot thirty years ago, when I was using the Celtic Cross predominantly. So – after working with several different Lenormand spreads I found in Caitlín Matthew’s The Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook: Reading the Language and Symbols of the Cards – I decided upon Spread 6 “The Portrait”, which you can find on page 132, if you own this fundamental book – and I highly recommend the purchasing of this text! – I cannot stress that enough!

The Portrait Spread is a 9-card spread that is the basis for many of the spreads that follow in subsequent chapters. Therefore, it’s perfect for a daily spread – it’s a quick and easy look on what is going on in your life. Nine is such a great number on so many levels – as the saying goes, “Three times three, so mote it be”. Matthew writes that, “Nine is a powerful number in that it replicates itself in all its multiples.” (Matthews, 131). There’s ten cards in a Celtic Cross but when you consider that the first two cards are “crossed” over the same position, it can be argued that there are actually only nine positions in the spread, which gives it a different dynamic.

The Portrait Spread is laid out with three cards along the top, three in the middle, and three along the bottom.

(Matthews, 132)

Card 5 – the middle card – is the focus of the reading. I can’t tell you how many times that card is absolutely dead on. Sometimes I can’t get heads or tails out of the cards around it – especially when I try to blend meanings of cards – but usually that one card tells me everything I need to know.

Cards 1+4+7 = the past.

Cards 2+5+8 = the present.

Cards 3+6+9 = the future.

Card 1 tells me what “provoked or instigated the issue” (Matthews, 133). On a daily basis, there might not be an ongoing “issue” but then again, there might be stuff going on that you are not yet aware! The corners 1+9+3+7 shows what that basic issue is. The diamond cards of 2+4+6+8 (who do we appreciate, sorry couldn’t help it) show the inner aspects of the issue.

After this, read the rows 1+2+3, 4+5+6, 7+8+9 as well as 1+8+3 and 7+2+9 to get all the aspects of the portrait. If this seems like a lot – well, it is! But like learning any new language, doing your daily homework is the key and that’s the only way to learn. And I’ll be honest with you – quite often, I lay out the cards and start writing my analysis in my journal and have to stop because life intrudes. So now I have started setting aside time after lunch to finish up any unfinished Lenormand “homework”. Since it is my habit to take a nap after lunch, it’s nice to drift off to sleep with Lenormand images and concepts floating through my head.

Here’s today’s portrait:

I usually shuffle the cards as part of my morning meditation. I don’t focus on a question or anything at all. I just let the cards slide through my fingers and back through between my hands as I drift through consciousness. I’ve found that I get better readings when I don’t have a specific question then when I try to get the cards to “tell me something” – I just let them talk to me.

32 Moon 8 Hearts is Card 5 – the middle card – the focus of the reading. After months of being artistically blocked, I am once again working at my poetry and my artwork and other writing projects – I am getting up before dawn to work. I am also baking bread and thinking of other creative things to cook. My life seems to be bursting with creativity and I am working harder than ever. And I am loving my work!

30 Lily + 11 Whip + 28 Man is my past – I always read this as resent past, within the last twenty-four to forty-eight hours. At first glance, I really can’t make any sense of these cards together but I will take a guess – I’m always guessing! – and say that these three cards refer to the maturing man in the house – my son, James – and how he is increasingly in charge of things.

20 Garden + 32 Moon + 23 Mice is my future – I read this as “what’s happening today” – and this tell me that having to go out into the world (running errands) will cut into my ability to work today, since getting around Buffalo on public transportation takes up so much time.

16 Stars + 5 Tree + 4 House is my future – which I take to mean as the near future, tomorrow or the next day – I will be focusing on my health and well-being and doing things at home.

That seems really straight-forward and to the point, doesn’t it? When I first started reading Lenormand cards, I was obsessed with getting the perfect reading, the correct reading of the cards and the most precise reading but now I realize that I could read these cards today and get a certain reading and then read these same cards tomorrow and see something different. There is no true correct reading. There’s only the reading that resonates for you.

After I read all aspects of the Portrait Spread and make notations in my Lenormand Journal, I put the cards and the journal away for the day. Later in the evening, I get the journal out and see how closely the cards predicted the day and remind myself of tomorrow’s prediction.

When you have been doing a spread like this for say – two or three weeks – a month, tops – look through your readings and see what cards have been showing up most often. This past month, I have been seeing 32 Moon 8 Hearts, 26 Book 10 Diamonds, 5 Tree 7 Hearts, 6 Clouds King Clubs, and 33 Key 8 Diamonds more than any of the other cards. Given that my focus has been on creativity and writing and just how to get going on my novel again, I think these cards really show my struggles with those issues.

I really like this spread. It takes a bit of time to do but the more I do it, the easier it gets to read the cards. For me, I think the trick is to read the cards quickly
“First thought, best thought,” as Allen Ginsburg famously said – put the concepts together into a coherent thought and go with that. The more I ponder the “meaning” of the cards, the less meaning they actually have. I get lost in layers of implication and nuance and end up confused and frustrated. So I have found that the first thought that pops into my head when I am looking at a group of cards is generally the one that I should listen to.

And like I said before, there is no true correct reading. I haven’t been keeping a Lenormand journal long enough to see this in action, but I can tell you that when I look through Tarot journals from ten, twenty, thirty years ago, I can see where I made rookie mistakes but also where I was spot on – even as a beginner! Your journals are a great learning resource, even years after the reading. And it’s fun to relive whatever drama was going on at the time! And be grateful for the happy serenity I enjoy right now.

Until next month, Brightest Blessings!

References

Matthews, Caitlín. The Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook: Reading the Language and Symbols of the Cards. Rochester, VT: Destiny , 2014.

The Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook: Reading the Language and Symbols of the Cards on Amazon

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About the Author:

Polly MacDavid lives in Buffalo, New York at the moment but that could easily change, since she is a gypsy at heart. Like a gypsy, she is attracted to the divinatory arts, as well as camp fires and dancing barefoot. She has three cats who all help her with her magic.

Her philosophy about religion and magic is that it must be thoroughly based in science and logic. She is Dianic Wiccan and she is solitary.

She blogs at silverapplequeen.wordpress.com. She writes about general life, politics and poetry. She is writing a novel about sex, drugs and recovery.

Seeing the Signs

July, 2018

The Appearance of the Jack of Clubs

I have been living in this current apartment for over a year now. I am a neat freak – not because I really want to be – but I have three cats and I am allergic to their fur so I am always dusting and sweeping up so that I am not sneezing all the time. And cleaning the house is a way to get up and moving when I am writing – I don’t want to sit all day – so doing a few chores around the house takes care of that. Plus, I just like to have a neat and tidy home.

My son just moved back in with me so I had to move a bunch of things around and of course that meant another bout of cleaning. Not that I mind – a lot of stuff went out to the curb just in time for the “big” garbage pick-up that the City of Buffalo has twice a year. I had to make room for my son’s furniture and housewares that he had collected in the two years that he had lived on his own. So I spent at least two weeks rearranging and cleaning my entire apartment. I even put up new curtains and repotted and hung more plants in the windows.

My point is that given all these facts, I am thoroughly acquainted with every inch of my home.

So I was really surprised to see this sticking out of the molding the other day:

(I added the red arrow so you would see it easily)

I was like – where did that come from? And – how long had it been there? And – what made it move so that it stuck out – just enough – to get my attention? The recent movement of boxes and furniture in and out of the apartment? Or something more esoteric and spiritual? And then I wondered – was it a note? A love letter, perhaps? Or a poem someone stuck into the wall? Or maybe it was something more mundane, like a list of items for the grocery store. I decided to pull it out of the crevice between the moldings and see what it was.

I almost pushed it back into the space between the molding and the door trying to get it out but I did get it. It was a playing card! I set it on my desk and looked at it. It was the Jack of Clubs. A rather ordinary Jack of Clubs. The kind you’d see at any poker table. Its backing said “Stardust”.

I have to say that this has never happened to me before. I have moved as many times as the years of my life and I have found all kinds of things in the places I have lived – strange and mundane both – but never has a playing card appeared from the cracks in the wall. I have to say that I was glad that I was sober when I noticed it!

Even though I am not a gambler, I recognized the Stardust name on the back of the card immediately. The Stardust was a legendary casino in Las Vegas – it opened in 1958 and was renovated in 1964, 1977 and 1991 before being closed in 2006. It was imploded in 2007. But during the 1960’s and 1970’s, it rocked. It was a favorite hangout of the Rat Pack. Siegfried and Roy got their start there. The casino and the events that happened there were the subject of the movie “Casino” starring Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone. Although I never gamble and my shadow never darkens the door of any casino, I am fascinated by the history of this now-defunct party palace.

I have never – and I mean never – wanted to go to Las Vegas but in the past few years I have acquired a few very good friends that now live in the Sin City and I think I am going to have to take a visit to that sparkling town. I am told that there are many things to do and to see that have nothing to do with gambling or seeing shows and I could have the time of my life without ever setting foot in a casino. So maybe this card – with the name of a casino that was blown up eleven years ago – is telling me to take a trip. Maybe not today – but soon.

Now – the Jack of Clubs. I have always like the suit of Clubs. I don’t know why. When I was a little girl, it was my “favorite” suit – in that irrational way that children have of picking favorites. I think I thought a particular Queen of Clubs of a particular deck was especially pretty – or her dress was pleasing in some way – I remember that my grandfather had a deck of cards which depicted the court cards of the Clubs in glowing green costumes – the Spades were dressed in blue and the Hearts were dressed in red – I do not remember the color of the Diamond court card’s costumes. Perhaps orange or maybe white? I really can’t remember.

Even when playing any silly card game as kid – Rummy or Go Fish – I thought of the Court Cards as people and they often had conversations in my hand. The numbered cards had personalities too but not as vivid as the Court Cards with their pictured faces. But still – a 3 of Hearts had a different voice than a 7 of Spades, for instance. I always thought that all cards should have pictures on them. I was really happy when I discovered the Tarot and all the pictured cards.

The Fortune Teller’s Workbook: A Practical Introduction to the World of divination by Sasha Fenton has a wonderful chapter on playing cards. It is my go-to reference – the first place I look – when I am using playing cards, at least. Her definitions of the cards are short and to the point. I almost always find them applicable to my uses. Although she links the suits of the cards to the suits of the Tarot and to their corresponding elements, the definitions of the cards read more like definitions of Lenormand cards. With that in mind, I have started using the various reading techniques that I have been learning in Caitlín Matthew’s The Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook: Reading the Language and Symbols of the Cards – “The Line of Five” spread most often but also “The Ladder Layout”. Learning how to read the Lenormand Oracle has enriched all my divinatory skills.

For the Jack of Clubs, Fenton writes, “Traditionally, a dark-haired young man. A reliable friend who will help the Questioner.” (Fenton, page 182).

This could be my son who just moved in. He is – as the saying goes – tall, dark and handsome. He is also young – only twenty-five – but of course he thinks he’s all grown up. He’s a Jack – not a King.

Clubs correspond to Wands and Jacks are equivalent to Knights. If I found the Knight of Wands floating free in my house, I would immediately think that I was going to move soon – or that someone was going to move in or out of my house. Of course – my son recently moved back into the house – so that covers that. But – this is just temporary. He has a plan. He wants to go to Colorado when he finishes college. There’s more movement here – this is a busy Jack.

The Stardust was out west and that’s where this Jack wants to go. Not to some stupid casino – but to a place where there’s a million stars in a desert sky. Somewhere far away from this rust-belt city.

Meanwhile, we’re staying here for a while. I put the card on my wall by my desk to remind me that things are going to change. That change has already come, honestly. The appearance of the card says that.

Until next month, Brightest Blessings.

References

Fenton, Sasha. The Fortune Teller’s Workbook: A Practical Introduction to the World of divination. Wellingborough: The Aquarian Press, 1988.

Matthews, Caitlín. The Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook: Reading the Language and Symbols of the Cards. Rochester, VT: Destiny , 2014.

Wikipedia. “Stardust Resort and Casino”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stardust_Resort_and_Casino.

***

About the Author:

Polly MacDavid lives in Buffalo, New York at the moment but that could easily change, since she is a gypsy at heart. Like a gypsy, she is attracted to the divinatory arts, as well as camp fires and dancing barefoot. She has three cats who all help her with her magic.

Her philosophy about religion and magic is that it must be thoroughly based in science and logic. She is Dianic Wiccan and she is solitary.

She blogs at silverapplequeen.wordpress.com. She writes about general life, politics and poetry. She is writing a novel about sex, drugs and recovery.

Seeing the Signs

June, 2018

Depression and divination

(Photo by Velizar Ivanov on Unsplash)

Depression is a disease that affects millions of people, regardless of religion, ethnic background, genetic make-up or economic outlook. Many of us take antidepressants, trying to feel better and suffer dubious side-effects from these medications. Some of us become addicted to these meds. Others of us self-medicate with drugs and alcohol and may end up with addictions to these substances. Some of us console ourselves with “comfort” foods, while others of us lose our appetites altogether and even when we are ravenously hungry, we can not eat. Some of us relieve our psychic pain by cutting ourselves. We lose pleasure in many of our favorite activities. Our days are long and boring. Depression robs us of all that once made us happy.

I personally suffer from bipolar mood disorder, which means along with depression, I also have episodes of mania. I am actually what’s called a “rapid cycler” – I can cycle in and out of manic and depressed moods within a single day. I can be depressed and manic at the very same time. But like a day is contained within a week and a week is contained within a month, my days of rapid cycling are contained within seasons of either manic moods or depressed moods. Generally, I am more manic in the early winter and later spring and depressed in the early spring and most of the summer.

Since being formally diagnosed in 1993, I have been on dozens of medications, most of which have been totally useless. I fully believe that most of the medications caused more problems than they solved and most of the problems that I had in the 1990’s and early 2000’s were a direct result of taking psych meds. I was out of my mind most of the time. I have been fairly stable since I reached my Crone years but I still have my moods.

This recent depression was triggered way back in 2016 when our current president was elected and I think many of us went into a deep slump at that time. Certain health issues of mine came to fore, as well as housing problems, and I had to move from New England – which I love – back to Buffalo – which I do love, but Buffalo is like loving an abusive man with addiction issues who’s never going to change. I know that many cities are just like Buffalo but I don’t have the emotional attachment to those other cities. And things really are worse here than they were in 2016 – for poor people, that is. There’s lots of shiny new buildings and expensive restaurants and microbreweries selling drinks that will give me a migraine after the first sip, they’re so damn hoppy. But that’s another subject.

At this point, I have been depressed for well over a year – with seasonal episodes of mania, like the one I’m in now – and it is affecting every facet of my life. If being depressed is defined as “losing interest in things that used to interest you”, then I have got the sickness pretty bad. I love to cook and eat but I have lost interest in food altogether – I go for days, eating nothing other than Cheerios, fried eggs and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I simply do not care. I stopped writing my novel over a year ago – I even took the blog off WordPress – I keep saying that I’m going to restart it – and honestly, I miss my characters – they were like friends of mine! But I don’t write – I barely keep my diary.

One of the things that depression has stolen from me is my desire to use my Tarot cards or throw the I-Ching or study the Lenormand or pull a few Runes or anything. Like my attitude toward food, I simply do not care. It’s like – so what? One day is just another day. And with the madman in the White House, we may not have a tomorrow anyway. So what difference does anything make?

I was cleaning the other day – this is where being manic always works out – and I found my divination journal. The paucity of entries are pathetic. The last time I had done a reading was in February! And honestly, I didn’t remember it.

I did a Tarot reading that day – a Celtic Cross – with my Rider-Waite cards – partly because I felt guilty that I hadn’t done any readings in such a long time and partly because I thought that maybe I would see something new. Maybe it was my depression – but it just seemed to me that the cards were telling me that I was depressed – which I already knew! But maybe it’s just I’m too depressed to be reading my own cards. I don’t know – which brings me back to the whole point of this essay – depressing and divination. What is a practitioner to do?

I have to step out of myself to answer this question – as if I were being asked the question by another person. I would answer, go back to the basics. Pick one card a day and meditate on that card. Read all of your spiritual books and remind yourself of your path and why you are on this path. Go to the park and walk where it is green and quiet. Listen to the birds chirping.

I was told that there is no cure for bipolar disease and I do not think there is a cure for depression – there is only managing the symptoms. But I am going to do what I *told* myself to do – pick a card a day and meditate on that card. Read all of my spiritual books and remind myself of my path and why I am on this path. Go to one of the many parks in Buffalo – even if it means getting on the bus – and walk around the greenery that I have right here. Everything will change. The wheel will turn.

***

About the Author:

Polly MacDavid lives in Buffalo, New York at the moment but that could easily change, since she is a gypsy at heart. Like a gypsy, she is attracted to the divinatory arts, as well as camp fires and dancing barefoot. She has three cats who all help her with her magic.

Her philosophy about religion and magic is that it must be thoroughly based in science and logic. She is Dianic Wiccan and she is solitary.

She blogs at silverapplequeen.wordpress.com. She writes about general life, politics and poetry. She is writing a novel about sex, drugs and recovery.

Learning Lenormand

June, 2018

The Line of Five

Anyone who knows me or follows me on any of my WordPress blogs or Facebook or Twitter knows that I have been fighting a major depression – one of the worst depressions in over ten years. It’s affected every aspect of my life – eating, sleeping, my ability to write – and it has affected my desire to use my divination skills. For years, I longed for a deck of Lenormand cards and now I have a beautiful set of oracle cards – actually two historic decks – and probably the best learning manual on the market, The Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook: Reading the Language and Symbols of the Cards by Caitlín Matthews – but for weeks, the cards have sat on the shelf and the book barely cracked.

Yes, as depressed as I am, I feel guilty about this. I know that this guilt is a residue from my Catholic childhood but it’s there. I know that I *should* be practicing with these new cards – and the Playing Card Oracle deck I just got – like I should have been practicing the piano all those long years ago when I was ten, eleven, twelve years old. But like the preteen Polly of the early 1970’s, I sit and dream of other times. Of California and golden, wind-swept hills. Of Johnny Lancer. Of wild horses that couldn’t drag me away.

My son has been very worried about me. His lease is up at the end of July and he decided that for his last year of college, he is going to move back in with me – it makes economic sense – for him, anyway. But he wants to watch over his Mama – make sure that she doesn’t do herself any harm. Which is sweet – unnecessary but sweet. I don’t mind him moving in. Like everything, there are pros and cons either way.

I got out the Lenormand deck and shuffled it. I wasn’t even sure what I was doing but I thought – just lay out five cards – do a line of five. As explained in The Lenormand Oracle Handbook: “This is a small, useful spread in which the most important card is the middle one, the main focus. It is the basis for any line of cards, whether it be 5,7,9,or 11 cards: the center card becomes the hinge or focus and the two sides are the wings.” (Caitlín, 113).

I shuffled my cards and laid them out accordingly. I focused on the question – I’m not sure if question is the correct term – but the issue – of whether or not it was a good idea for James to move back in with me. Although I am lonely, I do cherish and protect my solitude. And James can be stiflingly over-protective, like most men. Plus, he tends to treat me like I’m much older than I am – like I am as old as my own mother. Which is annoying, to say the least. I mean – I’m only fifty-eight years old – and in quite good health! I just get depressed now and again!

This is what I got:

The middle card (card #3) is the main issue. 25 The Ring is about commitment. Think weddings and marriage but any kind of strong bond. If there is one thing about James and me, it’s that there has always been a strong bond between us. He’s my only child – the only one I was ever able to have – and I almost lost him early in pregnancy. James has a close relationship with his father but he lives in Florida and only visits a few times a year. James has been with me most of his life.

I know that when I got pregnant with James, I felt the he was the one. I had been pregnant numerous times before James – I was thirty-two when I became pregnant with James and my first pregnancy was at age seventeen – and I had suffered so many miscarriages that even my OB/GYN suggested that I have an abortion. But I just knew – this was the one. And without Planned Parenthood in the early months of that pregnancy, I might have lost James, too. I have nothing but great things to say about that organization.

Cards #1 and #2 tell what has led to or influenced this situation. #14 Fox and #30 Lily suggest that there is some kind of trickery going on (the fox) which could affect family welfare (the lily), which is why James is so concerned about me – I am not going into personal family affairs here, but suffice it to say that James is not happy with the ways things have been going with the family politics and he wants to be my defender! Which is seen with the King of Spades on the #30 Lily Card – holding his sword against the fox.

Cards #4 and #5 are the likely outcome. #15 Bear and #6 Clouds is a confused mother – me. #6 Clouds has another King – the King of Clubs – two black Kings means success in court but I am not sure if that applies here! But I might need all the help I can get!

Like many Tarot readings, I do not see a true outcome here. The #6 Clouds card muddled up the whole thing. And yet – perhaps this is telling the whole story. I am not sure if it is a good idea for James to move back in – and yet, I can hardly wait for him to be here. I guarantee you, he feels exactly the same way. What virile young man wants to live with his witchy old mother? But – you can’t argue with economics. If he is to graduate, he needs to live in a place he can afford. I do understand that. At his age, I couldn’t afford to go to college at all – I was working three jobs.

I am sorry that I missed you all last month. I will fight this depression harder and be here with another Lenormand lesson next month. Until then, Brightest Blessings to all of you.

References

Matthews, Caitlín. The Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook: Reading the Language and Symbols of the Cards. Rochester, VT: Destiny : 2014.

***

About the Author:

Polly MacDavid lives in Buffalo, New York at the moment but that could easily change, since she is a gypsy at heart. Like a gypsy, she is attracted to the divinatory arts, as well as camp fires and dancing barefoot. She has three cats who all help her with her magic.

Her philosophy about religion and magic is that it must be thoroughly based in science and logic. She is Dianic Wiccan and she is solitary.

She blogs at silverapplequeen.wordpress.com. She writes about general life, politics and poetry. She is writing a novel about sex, drugs and recovery.

Interview with Shaheen Miro & Review of his Lunar Nomad Oracle Deck

June, 2018

The Lunar Nomad Oracle: 43 Cards to Unlock Your Creativity and Awaken Your Intuition”

 


by Shaheen Miro

Published by Weiser

Published: 2018

Pages: 146-page Guidebook + Deck of 43 Cards

 

In his first deck, Shaheen Miro presents a set of 43 keys that tap into your lunar self and unlock the unfolding mysteries of life. Based on the symbols in the Lenormand deck, he has added more cards as well as more layers of meaning to all the cards. While still serving to understand the mundane circumstances of our daily lives, these cards delve deeper into the creative and intuitive self – the lunar self.

The solar self is logical, analytical, realistic and reasonable. Adult. Safe. It often overpowers the fluid, mystical, passionate, wondrous lunar self that longs to fall in love with the world. This deck got me in touch with, as Miro prefers, “the path of the self-expressive, soul-seeker, the mystical traveler who treats the world like a great canvas of adventure, expressing and exploring. Cultivating vibrance and buoyancy.” The liberation he speaks of comes from bringing the lunar self forward and letting it speak.

And speak it does.

I had never used a Lenormand deck before, so this set of symbols was new to me. I found them powerful. From the first time I used them, they drew information out of me I didn’t know was there. If these cards are meant for you, I trust they will awaken your intuition and tap into your inner wisdom, freeing you to become a nomad on a lunar path. Approaching them with a sense of wonder, the symbols trigger universal, general and personal interpretation, allowing you to tell a story.

My journey with the Lunar Nomad Oracle began when I was gifted a deck of “gypsy” fortune telling cards,” said Miro, an intuitive reader, energy worker and artist. “It was an old deck of 36 cards, each with its own symbol and illustration. There was no name or association to Lenormand on the deck, just these simple cards with a profound and uncanny wisdom about them. They reminded me of old dream symbols or tea leaf reading emblems; tea leaf reading is one of my favorite forms of divination.”

It was the perfect framework upon which intuition could unfold.

Something in me felt prompted to explore these symbols through my own psychic lens. I wanted to see how the energy of the symbols moved me to create. I felt like I channeled the deck into creation. I would allow the energy of a symbol to enter my awareness,” he said.

I would contemplate a symbol, letting it fully wash over and saturate my awareness. Then the energy of that symbol would begin moving me, almost like I was translating the energetic signature into something visual. I am a mixed-media artist, so I work in layers, combing illustrations, textures, colors and washes together. With the Lunar Nomad Oracle these resulted in these fascinating illustrations… each one seems like a little dream being cracked open and spilled out for us to wander through.”

The cards are rich with imagery and symbols that provide clues and prompts to the intuitive self. There are no suits and no linear structure, leaving the reader great freedom to add personal interpretations and insights. Each card is a word that, together with other words, forms a sentence. The more cards and the deeper you go, the more sentences become paragraphs that become stories.

It was affirming to find the way I have come to read cards is how he explains it to his readers – that it’s not about memorizing meanings, it’s about looking at the cards and making up a story. There is no right or wrong interpretation. Next, you’d review the keywords for each card, adding to the story those that resonate, thus allowing you add more to your story.

Although Miro offers a simple three-card layout of obstacle/focus/outcome, he also states these oracle cards do not need a spread with assigned meanings. Nine cards (typically three rows of three) make for a detailed story.

The oracle can be used to diagnose a situation, to look into the unknown; to explain or deconstruct an experience or memory; or to help create something. Cards are drawn differently depending on the intention.

Of all my decks, about 75% are tarot and 25% oracle. I find myself using tarot cards 95% of the time, and the ones I turn to most have a strong feminine energy (two are round, one is dreamy). This is the first oracle deck I have used day after day for most of the month rather than just pulling one out for a reading here and there. Working with three a day, the more familiar I became with the cards, the more I was hooked.

The artwork has somewhat of a Victorian, steampunk look to it. Some of the cards look dark – not in a sinister way, but more like how things look after the sun has set and the colors are swallowed by the night. The cards also have multiple layers. Mountain (pictured above), for instance, is more than a high green hill that presents an obstacle as well as a peak presenting another perspective. Lunar Nomad’s mountain card has geometric drawings superimposed on it, assuring me there are solutions to the seemingly insurmountable situation. For the key card (pictured above), an open hand holds a translucent key. Other than being offered the key to open all doors, the fact it does not appear as a three-dimensional solid key reminds me that my mind forms my reality. For you it might have a different message.

No matter what you see in the cards, or what story you weave, as Miro states, “Remember, the magic is in you, not the cards; they are only keys to unlocking your inner wisdom and magic.”

The Lunar Nomad Oracle is all my own,” Miro said. I created the card artwork and wrote the guidebook. This is my invitation for people to open the door to a new life where magic is real. The guidebook is my personal take on what the images convey to me, and how the process unfolded in my life. But there is nothing set in stone; I encourage people to use this oracle and the information in the guidebook as a platform to discover their own inner wisdom it’s right there under the surface just waiting to be found.

Working with oracles, and the Lunar Nomad Oracle specifically, has become a way of life for me. I do not see divination as predicting the future, to me it is a deep and sacred communion with our own inner magic and the limitless possibilities in the Universe. Everything is made of energy, we all tell an energetic story that is generated from our thoughts, feelings, ideas and beliefs and that energetic story becomes the narrative of our lives. If you make conscious your personal energetic story you have access to all the possibilities around you. You can shift the energy, change the narrative and create a whole new future. That’s the magic I share with my clients, and anyone who joins me on the Lunar side.”

He has a new book coming out next year.

For information and articles on magical living, intuition and self-empowerment, visit Shaheen Miro’s website and his Instagram where he encourages people to join him to learn about the oracle and other mystical work as well as to share your own readings with the cards by tagging him.

The Lunar Nomad Oracle: 43 Cards to Unlock Your Creativity and Awaken Your Intuition

***

About the Author:

Lynn Woike was 50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before she consciously began practicing as a self taught solitary witch. She draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae, Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can follow her boards on Pinterest, and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.

Learning Lenormand

April, 2018

Lenormand and the “Monday’s Child” Rhyme

I am going to talk about something a little different today. I was checking out some of the websites that Caitlín Matthews lists in the “Resources” section of her fabulous The Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook: Reading the Language and Symbols of the Cards, and several of the ones I was most curious about were no longer active sites. Of course, given the transitory nature of the internet, this was not surprising at all. Websites come and websites go – which is why I like books. It’s also why – when I find something that I really like on a website – I print it out. Because I don’t know that it’s going to be there the next time I go to look for it. With the uncertainty surrounding Net Neutrality, this is more important today than ever.

However, I decided to look around on my own and see what I could find. And I did find something really interesting! We all know that rhyme:

Monday’s child is fair of face,

Tuesday’s child is full of grace,

Wednesday child is full of woe,

Thursday child has far to go.

Friday’s child is loving and giving,

Saturday’s child works hard for a living.

And the child that is born on the Sabbath day

Is bonnie and blithe and good and gay.

(Even as a child, I argued that not all religions had their “Sabbath” on Sundays but I was always an argumentative sort).

There is a long history to this rhyme but I’m not writing about the rhyme per se. The story of the rhyme is fascinating in itself but like the story of the Lenormand and the Tarot and most divinatory systems, it is shrouded in mystery and myth. But most oral traditions are. It is natural to want absolute knowledge – in our twentieth-first century pursuit of truth while mucking around in so much fake news and alternative facts – but some things can’t be verified beyond a shadow of a doubt. Which is ok. The thing is – don’t make up your facts! Accept that you don’t know everything and go from there. There’s a lot to be said for not knowing.

Anyway – after looking through the websites on the “Resources Page” were still active, I decided to look for other Lenormand websites. Like many of us, I am tired of using Google – it just takes me to places I have already been – so I have been using www.duckduckgo.com in hopes that I get different results. I found a website – http://lenormanddictionary.blogspot.co.uk – which occupied me for hours. Its main site is called “Helen’s Lenormand Dictionary”, which had a discussion about the history of Lenormand – linking it to a late eighteenth-century Southern German “race” game called “The Game of Hope”, in which the cards are all laid out in a “Grand Tableau” – what is now used for divination – and the players worked their way around the tableau. I am not sure how this game worked and Helen does not say how – did they use dice? or some other method? – but whoever reached the Anchor card – the Hope card – was the winner. Hence, the name of the game.

The website itself has interpretations for the cards and they are quite informative. If you don’t have your own Lenormand text book, this page would be worth printing out and keeping for your own notes. I have several decent Lenormand books – including the Matthews text, which as far as I’m concerned is the only one anyone needs – and lots of notes in my Tarot/Lenormand notebook but I am going to print this page out and put it in my Tarot-Lenormand notebook. You can’t have too many notes. Even if they contradict each other! Sometimes within those contradictions, there are powerful insights.

But what really grabbed me was the connection to the Birth Rhyme. I love connections! Go to the bottom of the page and there it is.

“Monday’s child is fair of face (Bouquet, Moon),
Tuesday’s child is full of grace
(Rider, Whip),
Wednesday’s child is full of woe
(Coffin, Cross),
Thursday’s child has far to go
(Ship, Storks),
Friday’s child is loving and giving
(Dog, Heart),
Saturday’s child works hard for a living
(Scythe, Fox),
And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good, and gay
(Clover, Sun).” (Riding, 1)

I was born on a Thursday, so I got out the Ship and Stork cards and looked at them.

What do these cards have to do with my life overall? Certainly I have moved a lot – some fifty-four times in fifty-seven years. And I love to travel. Any kind of road trip! The stork also has the Queen of Hearts, which also fits into my personality – warm, inviting, nurturing – I may be on the move, but I can make a home out of any hovel.

What is interesting – to me personally – is that my son was also born on a Thursday. And his father – also born on a Thursday! Of course, when you are dealing with only seven options, the odds of three of us having the same day of the week for our birth is pretty good – to say the least – but still – I found that to be wicked cool! Ya know? We have all moved numerous times and traveled extensively. I was attracted to my son’s father because of his worldliness and all the stories he had. I wanted that life! Boy, did I ever get it!

So – whether you actually have a set of Lenormand cards or you are simply interested in the history of divination, check out Lenormand Dictionary Blogspot. There’s a LOT here. Much more than what I’ve reported on in this little essay!

Until next month – Brightest Blessings!

References

Matthew, Caitlín. The Complete Lenormand Handbook: Reading the Language and Symbols of the Cards. Rochester, VT: Destiny , 2014.

Riding, Helen. Lenormand Dictionary: A personal study of Lenormand cartomancy and its origins http://lenormanddictionary.blogspot.co.uk

Click Image for Amazon Information

 

***

About the Author:

Polly MacDavid lives in Buffalo, New York at the moment but that could easily change, since she is a gypsy at heart. Like a gypsy, she is attracted to the divinatory arts, as well as camp fires and dancing barefoot. She has three cats who all help her with her magic.

Her philosophy about religion and magic is that it must be thoroughly based in science and logic. She is Dianic Wiccan and she is solitary.

She blogs at silverapplequeen.wordpress.com. She writes about general life, politics and poetry. She is writing a novel about sex, drugs and recovery.