Rune Equations by Simon H. Lilly (Deck + Book)

Rune Equations by Simon H. Lilly, an artist and writer from Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales, is a 34-card deck where rune divination has been converted into cartomancy. It’s a black and white deck at standard tarot dimensions (70 mm x 120 mm) that comes with a 170-page book. The book, Rune Equations, is an invaluable reference manual on rune divination and very much worth acquiring for your personal occult library.

There are three main rune systems that we know of:

  1. the Elder Futhark or Germanic runes, which consists of 24 letters arranged in three groups of eight, or aetts (above photo, left page, top);
  2. the Younger Futhark from the Viking Era, which consists of 16 letters and is the system associated with the Norwegian and Icelandic pagans (above photo, left page, bottom); and
  3. the Northumbrian Futhorc, a 32-letter system best known as the English runes (above photo, right side).

This deck allows you to work with either the 32 Northumbrian runes or the 24 Elder Futhark runes.

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Halloween Mood Decks

Does any tarot reader not end up having to sling a ton of cards around Halloween season? =)

Halloween seems to be that time of the year when everyone wants a tarot reading. Pro readers are getting booked for spooky parties and local festivities. When the mood is light and celebratory and the veil is thinning, here are some of my favorite decks to tinker with in late October. Even when the crowd you’re reading for are teenagers, I think these decks are age-appropriate and sure to enthrall.

Each of the hyperlinked headings with the deck name will take you to my review of that deck.

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Tarot Fortune-Telling, Divination, and Life Coaching (Part II)

This is a continuation from Part I.

So what do we mean when we make the distinctions between tarot as fortune-telling, or as divination, or psychology-based tarot, or even the popular notion now– tarot as a form of life coaching?

I have a free 30-minute audio presentation plus 12-page handout, “A Comparative Analysis of Fortune-Telling and Divination,” which you can check out here. The 12-page pdf handout includes a compilation of quotes from various renowned Western occultists and cartomancers on the issue of fortune-telling and divination, some who don’t seem to make a distinction between the two and others who make a very clear distinction.

In other words, I don’t think we can say in any absolute terms what constitutes fortune-telling and divination, and whether there should be any distinction made between the two.

It boils down to a matter of subjective opinion and perspective. Maybe your perspective is that the two are totally different, and maybe your perspective is that fortune-telling and divination are one and the same, with no distinction of note. Either way, it’s just a personal opinion.

We each have to discern for ourselves what the implications of fortune-telling and divination are for us, and with all the chatter about psychology-based approaches to the cards and life coaching, we need to figure out what those terms mean as applied to the tarot.

Whether you bask proudly in the appellation of “fortune-teller” or you shirk from it and go out of your way to disown that label says more about you than it does anything about the tarot, and that’s okay.

Here are my own approaches to these terms and the distinctions I make for myself. What are yours?

Fortune-Telling

“I will tell you something you don’t know.”

Or as it’s more often phrased, from the querent’s point of view: Tell me something I don’t know. If you’re a fortune-teller, I would say you must be prepared to take up that challenge.

Fortune-telling is premised on the notion that some among us possess an ability for precognition and therefore can see beyond our ordinary constraints of space-time. Psychic ability and the four clairs– clairvoyance, claircognizance, clairaudience, and clairsentience– will be presumed. There is the potential for omniscience, but more realistically, the accuracy and the scope of information that can be provided is based entirely on the skill of the fortune-teller.

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Golden Venetian Lenormand

The Golden Venetian Lenormand is a sister deck to Eugene Vinitski’s Venetian Tarot, which I’ve reviewed before here. Vinitski has teamed up with author, philologist, and art historian Elsa Khapatnukovski to produce a masterpiece of a Grand Jeu Lenormand, which consists of 54 cards (rather than the popularized Petit Lenormand or Petit Jeu Lenormand, which consists of only 36).

However, you can also select out the 35 Petit Lenormand cards and work with this deck as a Petit Lenormand. So in essence, you’re getting two decks in one. You’ll definitely want to purchase your copy of the Golden Venetian Lenormand via Vinitski’s Etsy shop here.

Like Vinitski’s Venetian Tarot, the Golden Venetian Lenormand is crafted in a High Renaissance style with a design focus on classical humanism.

The Lenormand oracle is a predictive fortune-telling system from the late 18th century based on the Game of Hope by Johann Kasper Hechtel, an illustrated edifying card game steeped in Christian allegories. In the 19th century, 16 more cards were taken from other well-known European cartomancy systems of the time and the 36-card Petit Lenormand was expanded into a 52-card fortune-telling deck, plus the additional 2 jokers.

By the way I love the little details of insight from Khapatnukovski. For example, the Fox card, No. 14, Khapatnukovski acknowledges that you’re not likely to come by a fox in Venice, but because it’s common symbolism in the Lenormand system, here it is. This particular fox is running over a canal holding a seagull in its mouth. The seagull, symbolic of freedom and a desire to dream, locked in the jaws of a fox, show the anguish of mind of a trapped individual.

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Tarot Fortune-Telling, Divination, and Life Coaching (Part I)

Whether fortune-telling with the tarot is okay or not okay is this weird hill that people are hell-bent on dying on. At the end of the day, whether a tarot reading is fortune-telling, divination, psychology-based, or some form of life coaching is just a difference in style, I think. We’re all doing the same thing. We just prefer different terminology because we’re trying to craft a particular image of ourselves.

Recently in online tarot social media, the topic of fortune-telling and whether this is something we want to encourage or discourage came up in discussion. It reminded me of a recent personal event.

Back in July I was visiting my parents in upstate New York. Mom, Dad, me, and the Hubby walked into a Chinese restaurant where my parents are friends with the owner. The owner came over to chat and asked us how we’ve been, and in particular, what I’ve been up to. They’re all speaking Mandarin Chinese.

Mom said to the owner, “My daughter is a fortune-teller.” (For those who speak Mandarin, she said, Ta hui bang ni suan ming. And yeah, I get it, my pin yin is probably all wrong there.)

I’m sure my face scrunched up into a grimace. “Ma, no, that is not what I do,” I replied in English.

“All right. Fine. Then you tell Auntie what it is that you do,” said Mom.

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SKT Tarot Readings Diary (Free Download)

This is the tarot readings diary keyed specifically to the Spirit Keeper’s Tarot deck that I promised back when I shared the downloads for the tarot journal collab with Scarlet, linked here.

SKT Tarot Readings Diary

This is a Tarot Readings Diary keyed specifically to the SKT. That means the “Classes & Workshops Log of Notes” is a note-taking section for all video courses outlined in the Free Esoteric Tarot Online Course for the Spirit Keeper’s Tarot, linked here.

The short form card meanings compiled from both the First Edition LWB and the Vitruvian Edition LWB are provided in the back of the Tarot Readings Diary for your convenience of reference.

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Seven Philosophical Readings with the Tarot

#7philosophicalreadings

I hope you’ll try this out, join in, and share your own posting or video response to these philosophical readings with the tarot. Or if you prefer, use your favorite oracle deck.

Here’s the premise. You’re going to be using the cards to answer seven classic philosophical questions.

Before you start, you’ll set the intention that the cards will know how you’d respond to the questions deep down, on some soul level. So every card reading will reflect what you really think, how you really feel about the answer to the given inquiry.

I’ll be using my Spirit Keeper’s Tarot Vitruvian. For each question I will only be doing a single card draw, but please don’t limit yourself to that. If you’d rather do a three-card reading for each question or design a simple spread for each, go for it!

For those familiar with how I’ve designed the SKT, I’ll be using The Seeker version of Key 0 for my significator, Spirit in Search of Science. Then I’ll shuffle, meditate on the question at hand, and then turn over the cards looking for The Seeker. The card behind The Seeker will be my answer to the question.

Let’s begin with the classic trolley dilemma, shall we?

Question #1

A runaway trolley is racing down the tracks toward five people who won’t be able to move out of the way in time. There’s a side track with one single person. You can pull a lever to divert the train onto the side track, preventing the death of five, though it will kill the one.

Do you pull the lever to divert the trolley from killing five, but then it would kill one, or do you take no action, leave the trolley on its natural course, and kill five? Ask the cards what you would do.

The point of this exercise is to not answer with your conscious mind, but to make room for a more subconscious and truthful response to reveal itself through the cards.

Key 8: The Force (The Tamed Lion). This is the Strength card from the Major Arcana.

Here we see the symbol of the north lunar node and the awakened kundalini first pictured on Key 1: The Magus. (This link here takes you to a gallery of all SKT cards to check out The Magus if you’re curious.) The astrological correspondence here is Leo, featuring strong energies of one who seeks to be a hero.

And if I had to choose between whether I interpret the visuals in this card as “taking action” or “taking no action,” I would say the maiden in white is taking action, gently and with great compassion, albeit most certainly doing something.

Even the key phrase, “The Tamed Lion,” suggests action– taming the circumstances, interfering with the course of feral nature.

So I think I have to interpret this card draw as indicating that I would take the action of pulling the lever to kill one but save five, and live with the consequences of having killed that one.

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Tarot Card Meanings with Benebell: Video Series

This will be a long-term project. As of this posting, I don’t have any estimate for how long it will take me to complete or even what the pathway of this project will look like.

Learn the Tarot Card by Card Tarot Card Meanings with Benebell is going to be an educational video series covering the 78 keys or cards of the tarot, showcasing the distinct attributions for four different deck systems: the TdM, the RWS, the Thoth, and my own deck, the SKT.

July 26, 2019 Note. Initially this course series was going to be titled “Learn the Tarot Card by Card,” but within the hour of posting the first video on the Aces, a tarot colleague expressed her displeasure with the name being too similar to her own tarot card meanings project called “Tarot Card by Card.” Although there is no rational or legal reason I would need to change the name of my series, out of amity and respect, I’ve taken the initiative to make the change. 

COURSE OBJECTIVES

Here are my objectives for the course:

(1) Facilitate familiarity of the TdM, RWS, Thoth, and SKT so you become proficient at reading any and all of the four systems,

(2) Offer a card by card primer designed to help memory retention of the key meanings in a more visually engaging way than studying them out of a book, and

(3) To further deepen your understanding of my deck, the Spirit Keeper’s Tarot (SKT).

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How to Self-Publish Your Tarot or Oracle Deck

$40

For what is a rough average cost of buying a tarot or oracle deck, you will get a comprehensive course pack, including a 245-page handbook and a fully customizable deck creator’s journal that will help you every step of the way through designing, printing, marketing, and selling your own tarot or oracle deck. You’ll be getting industry trade secrets that I haven’t seen shared anywhere else.

The objective of this course is not to tell you what to do. The objective is to first ask, what do you want to do and what is your plan? Okay, now that we’ve established that, let me share with you my insights on how you can make sure you achieve what you want to do, you can sell that idea and people will want to buy it, and how to fine-tune that plan of yours so you ensure your success.

Is there a formula for success? Yes, yes there is.

And step by step, variable by variable, I will take you through that formula. Run your own fact pattern into that formula and you will produce the best possible outcome for yourself. I’m going to share with you how you can maximize the marketability of your creative project.

No matter what your deck project is, we’ll nudge it farther along to bring you more marketing power, more sales, more visibility, and to make your project the best version it can possibly be.

The digital course files you’ll get, Part I

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Chinese Oracle Bone Divination Cards 2.0

Four years ago I released for free digital download the first version of the Chinese Oracle Bone divination cards. Since then there have been 18,769 unique downloads, many have written in telling me the deck is eerily, spookily accurate, so I’m making the inference that there’s a use for this deck and it’s worth my while to edit them and offer an improved version 2.0. I’ve also revised and formatted the companion guidebook for paperback printing.

TL;DR

Here’s a checklist of all the free digital downloads in this post:

With the above, you’ll be able to craft and produce your own 33-card deck, any way you like. Customize to your heart’s delight, until it’s exactly what suits you.

But…

I’ve also prepared direct-click purchase options on third party external websites for those with no intentions of customizing and redesigning their own deck:

Design Option #1: Taoist Seal
$16.17 for the deck
$4.88 for the guidebook

Design Option #2: Three-Tailed Fox Spirit
$16.17 for the deck
$4.88 for the guidebook
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