When to Cleanse Divination Tools

This is a prompt from one of the Discord servers that I’m a member of.
Do you cleanse your divination tools or anything else that you may use? If so, how often? If not, why is that?

So, I know that the question is about divination tools, but I thought I would add a bit extra to the response as divination tools are not the only tools that get cleansed in my practice.

Ritual tools get cleansed and consecrated before each ritual (as opposed to spellwork tools, which might or might not get cleansed beforehand). This is because rituals are for sacred appreciation and connection with divinity. Spellwork is more about goals and intention.

Divination tools get cleansed when it feels like they need it. For me, this boils down to clairsentience and psychometry. My hands are very sensitive to energy so I can feel when energy I don’t want in the deck is there, and will cleanse it to resolve the issue.

This “unclean” feeling usually feels like a creeping cloying prickle/tingle feeling on the inside of the skin/beneath the skin starting in the palms and spreading through inside of forearms to outside of biceps. It can often create an urge to want to wash my hands. For cleansing during these instances, I use smoke cleansing, and go through the deck one card at a time, passing each card through the smoke while pushing my own energy through the card to “crowd out” and cleanse away the unpleasant energies I want to get rid of.

That said? I do minor cleansing of my decks when I use them just due to the fact that 1) I naturally push my energy through the deck during the shuffling process and 2) after having recently worn the finish off my wooden reading surface, I’ve shifted to using a selenite plate for shuffling and “knocking” of the deck during the shuffling process. I also have one in quartz, but I prefer the selenite one better.

Other divination tools are similarly done. If they feel “off” energetically, I’ll cleanse them with either selenite, smoke cleansing, or both while pushing my own energy through them.

#NoDisclaimersTarot Non-VR to Katey Flowers

So recently (as in sometime in the past few months?) Katey Flowers on YouTube did a hashtag challenge and I really enjoyed it. I haven’t done one of these “non-VRs” in a while and I thought this would be a fun one to jump in on.

What trends/tropes in tarot annoy you the most?

Modern Witch Tarot

Lack of diversity while being marketed as diverse. (Hello, Modern Witch Tarot which was initially marketed as “diverse” and yet is women only; and the Lady Tarot Cards which says they are “for LGBT women and nonbinary people” and “absolutely trans inclusive”, and yet again, only depicts women. Keep in mind here, I’m not against all-women decks. What I’m against is the false advertising/marketing bullshit of saying something that they aren’t in order to drive up the hype.

Labeling decks “tarot” when they are not a tarot deck. I wrote an entire post about this.

BIG f’ing deck boxes. W.T.F. They’re inconvenient, unwieldy, and take up WAY too much space. I don’t understand why, instead of making the box fit the book, they can’t make the book fit the box by making it smaller in surface area and thicker.

Which deck do you feel is overrated?

Wild Unknown Tarot

The Wild Unknown. It’s not so much that the artwork isn’t great and the deck isn’t amazing. The artwork is great and the deck is amazing, and for its time when it came out? It was groundbreaking. The thing is? It’s constantly mentioned as a “beginner deck” which it absolutely is not.

Can you learn with it? Yes. But there’s a vast array of truly beginner tarot decks out there that will make that learning process far smoother, quicker, and easier.

What are your least favourite decks you’ve seen since joining TarotTube?

Mystic Mondays Tarot

I don’t broadcast on YouTube, but I have been watching it for a few years. So least favorite?

Hmmm, Mystic Mondays Tarot. I hate to say it, but the creator pretty much turned me off to this deck. It came out first through Kickstarter and there was a whole kerfuffle about it ending up releasing mass market prior to people getting their KS copies. The creator did not handle the kerfuffle well and was extremely rude (bordering on abusive) in her responses. It just completely turned me off a deck I wasn’t really all that interested in in the first place.

Tabula Mundi. This might be because I struggle with the artwork in the original Thoth deck? The Tabula Mundi feels like very similar artwork/energy… just modern and edgier.

The last isn’t really a specific deck, but a style. That gold on black design that’s become really popular the last few years.

The Marigold Tarot was somewhere at the beginning and is absolutely beautiful, but there’s so many of them out there now, and honestly? They all look the same to me because it’s just gold on black over and over again. I own a few, but I find that I rarely reach for them because it just feels so very over-done now.

What is one card that has ruined a deck for you?

Light Seer's Tarot

The afterbirth/urination card (Magician / Sorceress) in the Tarot Restless. (ew!)

The dog shit card (Five of Pentacles) in the Mystic Garbage Tarot. (again… ew!)

The revised Ten of Swords in the Light Seers Tarot. The original artwork is something I connected to very deeply, and the new version that Chris Anne replaced it with when people went into an uproar just doesn’t… connect the same for me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a beautiful and expressive deck, but the deck just doesn’t connect the same for me personally with the replacement card.

Which out of print deck do you wish was still in print?

Slow Holler Tarot

The Slow Holler tarot. So beautiful. So brilliant. I feel it should be more circulated than it is, and needs a lot more love instead of “holy too-expesive-to-buy-now reverence”.

It should be loved for its theme, it’s artwork, and what lies behind its creation… not just known notoriously as the deck out of everyone’s reach because getting one’s hands on a copy is so expensive.

What are some of your tarot and TarotTube pet peeves?

I think my biggest is the same as Katy Flowers’ in this case. It’s the “should” and “have to” that run the course of actually being exclusionary to people that say… read with reversals or don’t. Do mediumship, or don’t. Do predictive readings, or don’t. Tarot practice is not a cookie cutter practice so it bothers me when I see people looking down on others for this or that as if it’s “distasteful” or wrong, when instead it’s just simply another way of doing things.

At the same time? Tarot is a system. It has a specific structure. It bugs the hell out of me when people just make up their own meanings for the cards that have absolutely nothing to do with the tarot meanings at all. Why not go with oracle or image-only cards if you’re going to do this? Why instead corrupt an established system?

What are some decks that you feel should have more recognition?

Ink Witch Tarot

The Stolen Child Tarot – The artwork in this deck is absolutely breathtaking and it’s a take on the cards that I have not seen done before… and is done well.

The Ink Witch Tarot – Absolutely brilliant modern representations in the tarot in an art style that is both beautiful and soothing to the senses.

Journey of the Bearded Tarot – I love the illustrations in this deck, and I can’t believe I’d never heard of this deck before when I stumbled across it on Etsy.

Wonderland Tarot in a Tin

Wonderland Tarot in a Tin – This deck is has the sharpest tone when it answers questions out of any deck I have ever used. It isn’t mean, but it is bare-bones honestly blunt and sharp, and takes no prisoners.

Thera-Pets Emotional Support Animal Cards – If you suffer from depression? You may benefit from this deck. I know that I certainly have. Whenever an MDE comes on, I pull out this deck to help in the journey through the depression and subsequent climb back out of the pit.

What are your thoughts on negative reviews (on decks)?

I think that addressing both the negative and positive qualities of a deck are both important. People read/watch reviews in order to know if the deck is something they’ll want to purchase, and as such it’s important to cover both the good and bad elements of a deck when doing a review. I don’t particularly like reviews that are only good or only bad as they just seem biased and that I’m missing the full picture. I want to hear both.

Personal Divination Practices

Recently, one of the Discord servers that I’m a member of posted this question… “What is divination to you? What does it feel like when you do it?”

Casting Lots Divination

Divination is a great many things to me as it’s been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, my mother started both my twin and myself out with Lenormand cards as bedtime story prompts when we were children. The three of us would take turns pulling a card, and using it to add to the story.

So, for me, divination is bedtime stories with my mother and twin sister when she and I were little.

It’s campfire stories in creaky lawn chairs around a fire with playing cards for prompts.

It’s lazy weekends in the woods communing with the trees, and communication with deity during devotionals and ritual.

It’s seeking answers, reassurances, and sometimes? A little bit of forewarning of what’s to come.

It’s speaking to my subconscious and letting it have a louder voice when it tries to whisper back, connecting to ancestors and guides allowing for easier communication, and a way of coaxing out my wounded inner self to have a heart to heart.

It’s a way for me to help myself, and help others as well.

Sometimes? It’s just something to pass the time or sate my curiosity.

Tarot Decks

All of these feel different on a physical, emotional, intuitive, and psychological level. That is because they are all very different, and yet they are also all the same in some ways. The resounding way in which they all feel the same, though, is in that they all feel… right. A puzzle piece that slips into place and fits just right. That’s how it feels.

I think there are certain types of divination that fit better with different forms of inquiry. And, that not all kinds are suited to all people. I personally haven’t really been able to connect with things like automatic writing, mirror scrying, or flame reading, for example. Whereas cards, and especially cards with rich imagery on them, are very easy for me to use.

Throughout the past 20+ years, I’ve used a variety of different divination techniques from multiple different types of card decks (tarot, lenormand, playing cards, oracles, game cards, etc) to pendulums, casting lots (runes, charms, oghams, dice, etc), coin spinning, stick and stone casting, tasseomancy, reading dust motes, stichomancy, smoke reading, and many more (I like to explore and experiment).

Divination Coins

I’m sure that I’ll be exploring more in the future, as well. Some will come easy and become a part of my practice in some way, while others won’t be suited to me and I’ll pass on them and move on to something else.

Divination – How Does It Work?

This is a perspectives prompt that was offered up recently by one of the Discord servers that I’m a member of. Question: “How do you think divination works? To give some context to the question – there are various models I know of. For instance, some say that your tarot deck connections to The Universe. What do you think?

I get this question often with long-term clients, and the thing is? That “where does the message come from?” question is actually pretty common when you read for others. The thing is, the answer is different for everyone depending on their beliefs, their skillset, and their sensitivities. Some options are…

1) The Universe – This includes but is not limited to God, other deity, divinity of all forms, and other “universal” energies or personalities. The way that I see divinity is that it is essentially the energies of creation, evolution, and balance in all things. People interpret these energies differently depending on their belief system and to parse out what “parts and pieces” of these energies they specifically want to deal with.

2) The Dead (whether it is the individual or their residual energy) – Mediumship is a thing. There are those that receive messages from the dead as their main source of divination. There are others that the dead surely influence their readings without them even realizing.

3) Guiding Spirits – This could include the dead and ancestors, but also includes the Fae, angels, demons, and other entities that are there in the background to help guide and protect you.

4) Other Entities – Sometimes mischief makers can influence a reading. These aren’t guiding spirits so much as entities out for their own agendas. Most people who encounter this issue, in my experience, find that they were divining just fine and then suddenly find that their deck/pendulum/etc is “acting up”. They cleanse the deck and in the process end up repelling the entity regardless of the fact that the entity is probably not residing in the tool being used.

5) The Subconscious – Our brains are busy working things out all the time in the background, and we don’t even realize it. Sometimes the messages we receive from divination come straight out of that dark inner working of gears, no external influences involved. This also includes communicating with your inner child and other parts of your past and present self.

6) Our Intuition – That mysterious “inner knowing” we all have. Some tap into it more easily than others, and some use divination to translate what their intuition has to say.

7) Clair-senses and Other Abilities – Much like with one’s intuition, sometimes these “other” abilities can be hard to understand and interpret without a little help. Divination can often provide that intermediary / translator needed in these situations.

I see divination as a bridge between languages. The languages of the above sources… and your conscious mind and understanding. Whether it’s pendulums, tarot cards, scrying, automatic writing, etc… the divination method is meant to help you better understand what needs to be seen, heard, or understood. It’s there to help you communicate with yourself and these other entities, elements, and energies.

Your Path… In Fiction

So, my Friday paganism posts have sort of become a rare once in a while thing.  Which, is fine. But, I really enjoyed a question posted last night on one of the Discord servers I am a member of. I thought I’d share my response to it here.

Question for September 10th: How would you describe your practice if it belonged to the main character of a story?

RainforestPath

The man knows so much of the natural world and was friends with the forest and the things hidden there in the shadows between the trees and the dark hollows of nurse logs.

He is bonded to the world through earth and soil, crystals and sand, leaves and bark and clinging moss. Their energy is his energy, and his is theirs in turn, and with every day that passed his roots entangled more and more with those of the trees and green things within the damp forest soil.

Through this connection, the world speaks to him and he takes that knowledge and carries it forward, offering it to others that might seek to listen and learn. Using it to benefit those that reside in his heart, protect those that he holds near and dear, and to encourage those around him to do better… and be better.

Elemental Influences

Prompt: “What elemental system do you ascribe to? What are the correspondences of the elements in the system you use? What is associated with the elements? What are some other systems you know? Do you ascribe to more than one system, and if so where do you use/incorporate which?

My faith is a four elemental system.

Earth is plants, soil, growing things, material things, the physical world, manifestation of items to the physical plane by creativity or spellwork. It includes our earthly pleasures like food and wealth. Its direction is to the North. The energy is solid and calm. The element of Earth is dark and still, nurturing and heavy. Grounding lives here among the tree roots. This element is the one that is most within our control and is filled with foundational strength.

Air is air and ether, wind and turbulence, strategy and thought. Communication and ambitions live here until you act upon them (then, once action is applied, they move to Fire). It’s direction is to the East where ideas rise from the depths of our mind like the sun rises over the horizon. The energy is ever moving and never still, restless. Although we can control our thoughts to a point, there is an element of lack of control here that is not present in the previous element.

Water is for wet, and is refreshing and welcoming. Comforting and soothing. Its direction is to the West. Emotions and the flow of creativity reside here, as well as intuition and the subconscious. Spirits of those that have passed often linger here in this energy. As emotions are far less easily controlled than thought, so Water becomes the third element as we get further from the earthly plane and closer to divinity. Centering oneself lives here in the depths of still waters and quiet calm among pondweed and cattails.

Fire is for flames, heat, and enthusiasm. It’s direction is to the South. It is what lights us up from within and pushes us to act. Too much fire will burn your life to the ground, too little leaves your life empty and listless. It’s energy dances and sparks, for it is through action that this element is most commonly expressed. It is the fervor of our lives, and is where our ethics and principles stand tall. Pride also lives here. Within this element, we have the least control, for it is where our soul sings out to speak of what is right for us… and what isn’t.

You will note that although the four elements above climb a ladder from what is most in our control to what is least in our control, there is no element here for divinity. Each of these elements holds their own spirituality within them. Divinity, for me, resides beyond and “above” these elements and is best defined as the energies of creation, evolution, and balance. I do not feel that it is an element, so much as the beginning and end of all things… and all that lies between those two points as well.

Having been raised Wiccan, I am of course very familiar with Wicca’s five-element system (earth, air, fire, water, spirit) of that faith. I am also familiar, through my father and research, with the Japanese Gogyo system of five elements (fire, water, wood, metal, earth). Although the Wiccan system is similar to what I use now, I don’t use either of these systems in my practice at this time.