The Asian American Tarot & Read The Cartomancer

Are you subscribed to The Cartomancer? If you’re a tarot or oracle card reader, then you’ve got to check out this independent magazine. The quality of the print copy is just luxurious–definite collectible items.

Volume 3, Issue 3 is now out. You can order just the single copy or get a subscription for the year. Support your fellow tarot community, independent artists, deck creators (lots of stunning deck art in these pages), and further your own tarot education with The Cartomancer.

In the latest issue posted above, I wrote a deck review for The Asian American Tarot. You may be surprised and amused by my opinion. In a moment of irony, I can’t predict whether you’ll have expected as much from my review of the deck or whether it’ll be unexpected.

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Wizard’s Pets Tarot: Tarot [Not Just] for Tots

This gift-giving season, get the Wizard’s Pets Tarot to teach a tot tarot or heck, gift it to a grown-up tarot reader. The deck came about when Pamela Steels’ granddaughter asked her to create a tarot deck for her. The Wizard’s Pets Tarot became just that deck, a Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck that’s bite-sized for smaller hands, bright and colorful to captivate attention, and all around an incredible teaching tool.

In fact, forget the kids. I’m keeping this deck for myself. It handles beautifully, shuffles beautifully, and I’ll talk about how much I appreciate the cardstock later. The vibrancy of the deck’s color palette lends well to keeping me awake and focused. There’s a lot of energy in this deck, much of it characterized as youthful, yet there’s something here for the grown-up tarot reader, too. If you’re currently working with your inner child or trying to tap in to that inner child, the Wizard’s Pets Tarot would be perfect for that.

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Your Empowerment Word

Some of us like to divine or in some divinatory way generate a word to motivate us, keep us focused, and get us through the times to come. This can become your word of the year, or if you’re kind of the non-committal type, then your word of the month, or word of the day, whatever works for you.

Below is a list of 88 words I’ve generated for your divinatory fun. You can use a site like random.org and in the top right corner, input 1 for Min. and 88 for Max. Then click “Generate” and see what number you get. Cross-reference that number with the below listing and find the word corresponding with that number.

If you want to get mystical and fancy, before you hit “Generate,” whisper a petition, prayer, invocation, evocation, call upon your spirit guides, do what you got to do to feel like the moment is special, and then get your random number.

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The Kokeshi Tarot and Reading Square Tarot Cards

Kokeshi dolls are wood-crafted Japanese dolls that look not unlike the High Priestess kokeshi featured above on the box cover of the Kokeshi Tarot by Arlain. The Kokeshi Tarot stylizes traditional Rider-Waite-Smith tarot iconography into kokeshi dolls and the results are too cute to handle.

We’ve got reversible, symmetrical card backs, which are going to be relevant when we consider reversals and even–gasp!–reading with sideways cards. More on that later. Let’s talk about the Kokeshi Tarot.

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Talismanic Charm Bracelet for Protection

The charm bracelet itself began as an amulet or talisman used to ward off evil and harm. Charm bracelet talismans made from shells were documented in Africa 75,000 years ago and were also used in ancient Egypt. Medieval knights wore charms for protection. Then it was in the early 20th century that the charm bracelet came back as a fashion accessory.

This post is a DIY how-to for crafting your own talismanic charm bracelet and some commentary on the different purposes such a talisman can offer.

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Failing to Predict Disaster

My mother possesses an eerily keen sense for what’s to come and can feel future events in her bones. But I remember this one personal tragedy that had blindsided her. None of the talismans, trinkets, doodads, protection circles, shielding, prognosticating, or spirit guides prepared her for what happened. It shook her to her core and she had no choice but to acquire wisdom the hard way. Knowledge is one thing. Wisdom is another. If you accept that there is a greater Divinity, then sometimes our knowledge is blocked so that we can have clearer access to wisdom.

I recall once hearing an interview of a well-known celebrity psychic medium who attained fame and fortune for that ability to see what is to come, and yet when that medium’s own mother came down suddenly with a terminal illness and then passed on, that medium did not see it coming, at all. In the interview, that medium talked about the wisdom gained from that hard check to the ego.

Why is there such irony in this world? Those who seem to have the Sight cannot see coming the worst of all calamities. They’ve built a paradigm around the ability to forecast, so that we can plan ahead and prepare, and yet that one thing that needs the most planning and preparation they could not predict.

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Selling Fu Talismans

In this episode, I answer a question that was presented to me: Can a non-Asian craft and sell Fu talismans to the public?

I recorded the video rather on the fly on the same day the question was presented to me, and didn’t fuss over my face before recording, so now in retrospect when I see the video, I cringe. Ugh. This is what happens when you don’t check your hair or makeup (the eyeliner was already smudging after a long working day) before you hit “record.”

The Fu talisman is a form of Chinese sigil magic that dates back to 400 BC and was later integrated into Taoist mystery traditions around 100 AD. If you’re not familiar with what a Fu talisman is, check out the below links:

The book description for The Tao of Craft (linked here) offers some insights into what a Fu talisman is. On the page of Fu talisman instructables (linked here), you’ll also find images and examples what some Fu talismans look like.

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Art Oracles by Katya Tylevich and Mikkel Sommer Christensen

The Art Oracles: Creative and Life Inspiration features 50 artists with corresponding oracular messages inspired by each artist’s point of view. The deck was created by Katya Tylevich and Mikkel Sommer Christensen and published by Laurence King Publishing. This is easily one of my favorite oracle decks and one I am always recommending to friends who aren’t that into tarot or the metaphysical but still one to give cartomancy a whirl. The Art Oracles is a user-friendly deck that anyone, no matter what proficiency level with card reading, can work with.

Totally random– Vincent Van Gogh was my stalker card. Different shuffling methods, toying around the with the deck, whether intending to do a oracle reading or arbitrarily pulling a card to look at it, this card kept coming up for me.

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Mid-Fall BlogHop: Birth, Death, Rebirth

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Tarot deck pictured: The Golden Universal by Lo Scarabeo (with my handwritten astrological notations)

Congratulations. You’ve found yourself in the middle of a Mid-Fall BlogHop. The Tarot BlogHop is a great way to get acquainted with a dozen or so tarot blogs and to immerse yourself in the online tarot community. By the way, if you’re a tarot blogger, please join our next round! Become a member of the TarotBlogHop Facebook group.

Jay, the noble wrangler for this Bloghop has asked us to think about the cycle of death, birth, and rebirth. This is about ruminating on where we are at the end of this Year of Saturn, and Year of the Yin Fire Rooster. We’ll be using the tarot to express those ruminations.

So, okay. I think for this exercise, we were supposed to do, like, actual tarot readings and then talk about our tarot readings. I’ve decided to do something not that. Instead, I’m going to select a card, so I’m intentionally choosing these cards. It’s not a tarot reading. And instead, you start off by interpreting the card I’ve chosen to see if you can anticipate why I chose that card. Then, well, if you want, read on to see my answer. =)

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