Invoking the Goddess: Oracle and Action by Lisa de St. Croix

Goddess oracle decks have been enjoying a resurgence in popularity as of late, coinciding with what feels like a global, collective acknowledgement of the divine feminine. Some of them have missed the mark, with cries from the community about cultural appropriation [also watch here and another here] but Invoking the Goddess is one done right, and as powerful as it is beautiful, a model to be followed.

Lisa de St. Croix, metaphysical artist and creator of the Tarot de St. Croix, which I’ve reviewed before here, has given us the Invoking the Goddess: Oracle and Action, which she self-published this year and are now available for purchase here on the shop page of her website. 

Invoking the Goddess is a circle oracle deck consisting of 33 cards. The watercolor paintings were done by Lisa through a special layered wash technique, which is what gives these works of art their vibrancy. You can check out the original 8″ x 8″ watercolor paintings here on her website. 

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Tarot Elements: Five Readings to Reset Your Life by Melissa Cynova

Melissa Cynova, author of Kitchen Table Tarot, which I’ve reviewed before on this blog, has now released an intermediate sequel: Tarot Elements: Five Readings to Reset Your Life. She updates the esoteric tarot tradition of expressing facets of the human condition through the four elements and adds a fifth, Spirit.

The text is written in a casual conversational style, and reads like a letter written to you from an old friend. The five elemental readings are configured to a trinity of questions:

  1. What can you hold on to?
  2. What can pull you forward?
  3. What gets in your way?

Through a well-curated process of divinatory tarot reading, journaling, and craft activity, these three questions are read through the framework of each of the five elements. The early chapters offer tips on working with elemental dignities in these readings, plus a step-by-step discussion of how to read the cards.

“You bought this book because you want a change in your life.”

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Work Productivity and the Great Work

Online communities have these fun little unintentional trends, like for a while, you just had this concentrated uptick of people posting about shadow work, and then it was the depth year, and although this post is coming at the tail end, the concept of work productivity and personal validation through productivity has been a recurring topic of discussion.

If you’re not subscribed to Thorn Mooney on YouTube, then check out this video she posted on Productivity, Work, and Divine Will. Headology and the Witch also posted on the subject, Funks, Reward & The Cult of Productivity. And then not too long ago, I posted a walk-through of a weekday in my life, which was also an implied commentary on productivity.

A remark I receive on repeat– and this has been recurring throughout my life, since my adolescent years among high school peers– is how productive I appear to be. What’s my secret? Do I have more hours in the day than everybody else? Should I be patenting a business method for my secret sauce to productivity? No, really, what is it that keeps my engines going?

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Tarot of Magical Correspondences: A Review

In Tarot of Magical Correspondences, Eugene Vinitski has designed a magician’s deck, and it’s spectacular. After Kabbalistic Tarot, which I’ve reviewed before here, Vinitski had acquired so much research and knowledge that hadn’t been incorporated into that deck, and so Tarot of Magical Correspondences was born, built upon the works of Eliphas Levi, Aleister Crowley, Manly P. Hall, Paul FOster Case, and Gareth Knight, among others.

The cardstock is thick, glossy, high quality, and the edges are gilded. You also get a guidebook packed with an impressive amount of information and substantive content, given its size. Each deck will also come with a Certificate of Authenticity numbered and signed by the deck creator. This is a limited edition deck, with only 700 copies available, so get yours over on Etsy while supplies last.

Vinitski notes that Tarot of Magical Correspondences is based largely on the works of Aleister Crowley, and the Kabbalistic references throughout are based on Golden Dawn attributions. Vinitski worked mainly off of Liber 777 by Crowley.

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Court de Gébelin’s Tarot Reading Method (1781)

Skill Level: Intermediate & Up

This video and supplemental written post comes after “Tarot and Geopolitical Divination (Antoine Court de Gébelin, 1781).”

Tucked into one of Court de Gébelin’s essays on the tarot is this gem of a tarot reading method he instructs. I read the essay in French and in several English translations, hoping to confirm that I understood his instructions correctly, but there were still a few points here and there open to interpretation, so bear with me.

Court de Gébelin describes a fortune-telling method for either tarot or ordinary playing cards where you shuffle the deck, cut, and then proceed to draw the cards, one by one, as you call out a number (or card title) for each draw.

When the number (or card title) you called out matches the card, set that card aside. You’ll be reading all such cards in a free-form narrative string.

Cycle through the deck three times to cast three free-form narrative strings.

Here, I’d also like to note that I didn’t find any explicit direction from Court de Gébelin about reading with reversals (if there was, then my apologies; I missed it), so for kicks, if you’re following the video’s guided reading, then position all the cards in your deck upright and proceed without reversals.

Compare Court de Gébelin’s approach to the earlier historic episodes on MacGregor Mathers (1888) or Papus (1889) where reading with reversals was explicitly instructed.

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Tarot and Geopolitical Divination (Antoine Court de Gébelin, 1781)

Skill Level: General (All)

This video is closed captioned with American English subtitles.

If you’re interested in the geographic and regional correspondences for the cards that I cover in the video, then you may want to turn on the closed captioning so you can read the country/region names while I say them.

Around 1781, a French pastor, historian, scholar, and Freemason, Antoine Court de Gébelin published an essay on the Tarot and what he believed to be ancient esoteric knowledge encoded into the cards, namely, the magical traditions of the Egyptian high priests and high priestesses.

The essay was part of a documentary compendium he worked on between 1773 and 1784, Le Monde primitif, analysé et comparé avec le monde moderne (The Primeval World, Analyzed and Compared to the Modern World).

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Avoiding the Thoth Tarot Because Crowley

A recurring sentiment you’ll hear, even among tarot readers, is that Crowley’s Thoth deck should be avoided, because Crowley. After e-mailing me paragraphs of rehashed Internet research on the salacious nuggets of the man’s biography to lay the foundation of their point, the inevitable question will come: “Should I avoid working with the Thoth because it’s got bad juju?”

I’m always amused when this question is presented for me to answer, as if I have any reasonable idea whether you in particular should work with or avoid working with the Thoth. It’s a matter of personal preference, and so it’s a question I can’t answer without knowing you through and through.

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Changing a Negative Reading: Create a Tarot Mandala

Skill Level: Intermediate & Up

When the future outcome as prognosticated by your tarot reading is negative, is there anything you can do to change it? One powerful, effective, and yet very easy to implement technique is taught by Rachel Pollack: create a tarot mandala.

This technique comes from Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom, first published in 1980. A new and updated edition of this tarot classic was released earlier this year, in March, 2019.

Although working with a tarot mandala is by no means limited to changing the outcome of a negative tarot reading, I framed the title of the episode in that way since it’s one of the frequently asked questions I get: Is there anything you can do to change the negative forecast of a tarot reading? Yes, there’s plenty you can do! And casting a tarot mandala is one such method!

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Tarot Business Spotlight: The Five-Minute Party Reading

Skill Level: Advanced

Today’s installment of Sightsee the Tarot will walk you through the choreography of a five-minute party reading and some incredible tips on choreographing party readings, straight from one of the most renowned tarot professionals in the country, Jenna Matlin. But even if you’re not interested in being a pro reader, mastering the five-minute party reading is a great skill to have.

Since footage for this video was filmed after 10 pm, I didn’t have any human bodies to be my extras. =) Hence, our little stuffed friend Q-Ball is the stand-in.

I wrote up a quick book review of Have Tarot, Will Party here if you want to learn more about the book.

Post-edit, I realized I didn’t cover everything I wanted to cover (and certainly nowhere close to covering all the juicy bits in Matlin’s book!), so this companion blog post is my personal add-on to the video.

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Tarot Party Readings: Get Jenna Matlin’s Have Tarot Will Party

Have Tarot Will Party by Jenna Matlin is an easy-to-read, accessible orientation to the business of tarot reading. Reading this book is like having your own personal tarot business mentor, giving you solid guidance every step of your way.

Matlin shares how she got started as a professional tarot reader, working festivals, doing the brick and mortar, and her incredible journey all the way to the top of the field.

Today, most tarot businesses have gone online (and stay online), and even most tarot business coaching programs focus on e-commerce. There’s an entire segment of business and professional opportunities open to you in your locale, which you might be ignoring! Jenna Matlin teaches you how to tap in to those local markets, and how to truly make a name for yourself in your region.

If you’ve been meaning to add party readings to your professional work as a reader, but aren’t sure how to get started on that, then Have Tarot, Will Party is the book for you. How do you keep from making rookie mistakes? Matlin gives you all the insider tips and industry secrets that no one else will. How do you get booked for readings? How do you develop your local or regional platform so that you get booked consistently for party readings?

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