#TarotTubersAtoZ (non)VR to The Hermit’s Cave

Simon over at The Hermit’s Cave on YouTube did a sort of quiz type video called #TarotTubersAtoZ the other day, and although I don’t make videos, I am a part of that community and so I decided to go ahead and do a response here.


So here we go…

A – Age:  31 for the next few months
B – Book (Favourite): Little Brothers by Rick Hautala
C – Career you wanted to be when you were a kid and what it actually is now: As a kid, I wanted to be a librarian.  Libraries are just… so amazing. I’ve always thought so. As for now… I have an education in horticulture and botany, which I use in three of my part-time jobs (working on a farm, advisor/teaching position in a nursery/greenhouse, and working for a landscaping company in the summer).  I also work part time as an attendant at a gas station, and part time as a nail tech in a Vietnamese salon. Aside from this I also run a home business where I design and sell jewelry, sell my nature photography, and work as a tarot reader for a handful of clients on the side (the last one is done either online or at meeting places when in person… NOT in my home).
D – Dream: Stability and security.  I want to be at a point where those things are no longer in question or at risk.
E – Essential item:  Comfortable shoes.  I hate wearing shoes, so they damn well have to be comfortable.
F – Favorite RWS Deck: Bianco Nero (not a classic RWS, but a clone.)  If we’re talking just the general RWS system, then it’s a tie between the Tarot of the Hidden Realm and the Stolen Child Tarot.
G – Gold or Silver: Silver
H – Height: 5′ 10″
I – Ideal day:  Get up early and go hiking. Take a nap in the woods before coming back. Some dinking around in the garden digging in the dirt and caring for my plants.  Pizza for dinner.  Relax with Gideon.
J – Joke (funniest):  I have NO idea.  I’m not particularly good at jokes.
K – Kid(s):  None. I think they’re wonderful as long as they belong to someone else.
L – Living arrangements: I own my fourth floor condo and live within it with my twin sister, who pays me rent that goes towards the mortgage.
M – Marseille deck (favorite): Le Tarot de Marseille par Pole Ka
N – Nicknames:  Leaf, Twist, Niner
O – Oracle (favorite):  Faerie’s Oracle by Brian Froud
P – Passionate about:  nature, the rain, tarot, photography, creativity, Gideon
Q – Quote (favorite): “Creative activity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.” – Arthur Koestler
R – Relationship status: Gideon is my partner and my Dominant. We are monogamous.
S – Season (favorite):  Autumn.  I love the smells of autumn and the shift to relief from the summer heat.
T – Tarot (first and last) –  My first tarot deck was the Celtic Circle Tarot.  The most recent to enter my collection (as of writing this post, anyway) is the Oriens Tarot, which arrived on Friday.
U – Upset (what upsets you most):  Injustice. Closed-mindedness. Senseless disrespect. Willful stupidity.
V – Vlog (which are you most proud of. And which is your most popular): I don’t have a vlog.  On my blog I am oddly most proud of the kaleidoscope posts that helped us heal from that dark time in our past.  My most popular post is apparently the 75 Questions post that I did last July.
W -Weakness: Self destructive impulses.
X – X Rated (tell us something naughty you’ve done):  *clears his throat* I once stuck my dick into tub of soft serve ice cream on a dare.
Y – Yesteryear (your favorite year so far and why):  I don’t have one.  I have difficulty with my memory due to a head injury when I was younger.  What memories I have are fragmented and I depend on those around me to assist me in keeping them (as well as keeping them in chronological order).  Without having a written record of it, there’s very little I can actually state happened in any specific year.
Z -Zen (what you do to relax and stay calm):  meditate, sleep, play games on my phone, talk to Gideon, lie in the bottom of the tub with the shower running

Ethony’s 10 Questions Every Tarot Reader Should Answer

On Ethony’s website, she has a list of the ten questions every tarot reader should answer.  I don’t think I’ve done this one before, so I thought I’d go ahead and add it into the other tarot quizzes that I’ve done on here.


1. Were you mentored, or were you self-taught?

Both? I’d say it is both.   Lenormand has been a part of my life throughout my entire childhood and upward.  I did not start working with RWS until my early teens, and I have alternated between help from Z and doing my own research in all the years since then.

2. Are you a psychic or a Tarot reader?

Again… Both?  I don’t really consider it being “a psychic”, but I read the tarot intuitively 96% of the time.  BUT, I have a foundation of book learning behind beneath my feet, and I tap into that in my readings, even when reading intuitively, if for no other reason than to compare what I’m getting intuitively from the cards to the traditional meanings.

3. Are your predictions accurate, and is accuracy important to you?

I don’t usually set out to do predictive readings, although it does happen.   I find that accuracy isn’t something I really concern myself with in predictive reading, though.   Reason being is that even just being -aware- of what might transpire can change the future, and thus what -could- happen that’s read in the reading is averted/diverted due to the knowledge gained IN said reading.   It’s a Catch22.  Is it accurate and you changed your future?  Or was it inaccurate all along?   Unable to know one way or another?  I just don’t worry about it and read what I see.

4. Is there anything you can’t predict in a reading?

Can’t?  Lotto numbers.  Also, absolute certain, set in concrete predictions of events or situations that cannot be changed or diverted.  This is not really how things work in my experience.  Yes, sometimes things happen just as predicted. Sometimes you take action to ensure a different outcome.  The future is fluid until the moment it becomes the past.

5. Do you use only Tarot, or are you multi-disciplinary?

Okay…. so lets see if I can manage a complete list.   Lenormand, Oracle, Playing Cards, Tarot, Charm Casting, Pendulum, Stick & Pebble Casting (which includes not just sticks and pebbles, but also items such as tiny acorns and cones, tree nettles, thorns, etc found in nature), Runes… hm, I think that’s it.   I would also like to try orb scrying, but the only sphere so far I’ve found that speaks to me is a bit out of my price range at the moment.

6. Is the message in the cards, or in your head?

In my…. in my…. hm.   The messages  are in my solar plexus and delve inward and upward to emerge in the hollows of my collar bones to travel just beneath the skin up to the spot just behind my earlobes, then forward into my mouth.  My brain finds them there and translates them into something I can understand and communicate.

7. Are you a priest or a fortune-teller?

Neither.   I’m an intuitive that uses the cards to find the inner voice I just can’t hear well enough without them.

8. Are you a fixer or a looker?

Both.   Sometimes I’m just looking.  Sometimes, I’m looking for a reason.  Sometimes?  That reason is because I want to help, heal, or fix in some way.

9. Do you read for free, or for fee?

In the past I have read for money.  It was a good supplement to my income at the time.   Since my change in ability to communicate, I have only read for myself and for free for loved ones.  I am open to the possibility of trying remote readings using writing as a medium to communicate, although I’m not sure how interested people are in something like that considering how many other options for readings are out there.

(Edit: I did some face to face for-hire readings while away on my recent trip, and it wasn’t too bad, although the communication was definitely a hurdle to work with.)

10. Is there anything you won’t predict in a reading?

Death.  Nor do I do mediumship, as it’s just not in my wheelhouse.  I don’t give readings on shit that the querent should be going to a licensed professional for either.


#7philosophicalreadings (non) VR to Benebell Wen

Recently, Benebell Wen did a video on YouTube that involved a challenge of doing 7 card readings for 7 classical philosophical questions.  I really liked this idea, and so I decided to give it a go.   Most of these questions I already have definitive opinions concerning, but the purpose of this exercise is to set the intention that the cards will know how you would respond deep down on a soul deep level, and thus communicate this in the readings.

I decided to do single card pulls for each question, but as you will see, I ended up with a few jumpers along the way.

The Seven Philosophical Questions:

1. The Trolley Dilemma: (I have linked the title to an outline of what this is if you are not familiar.)  Do you divert the course of nature and kill one to save five, or let nature take its course and let the five die.

IMG_9364The bell indicates I would try to warn all of them involved.  Although this is not something I could do verbally, I would definitely give my all to get the warning out there.  In the end, though, a difficult choice would have to be made.

This is where the spikes on the inside of the bell come in.  Either way, one or many will die.  I would choose the one, and my insides would be torn apart by this choice, probably forever after, just as those spikes are sure to scratch and score the inside of the bell.

I am that son-of-a-bitch that would kill five for someone I care about, though.  Just sayin’.

2. What difficult truth(s) about the human condition are you ignoring?

IMG_9365Sometimes I forget just how vulnerable people can feel.  Like so many, I go through life distracted by my own thoughts and issues and forget that others are dragging their own anchors behind them.  Some people’s anchors are heavier than others, but everyone thinks their own anchor is the heaviest.

In other words?  Everyone has burdens, and those burdens are entirely subjective.  That subjectivity makes it difficult to acknowledge other’s burdens, and impossible to see them in the same light as the one carrying them does.

3. What does it mean to live a good life?

IMG_9366Defeating your demons and protecting the security of your home, friends, and family (or your village of towers) from those demons hidden in the dark.

This boils down to valuing your personal “village”, and working on your shadows and demons so that they do not  crawl out of the dark and destroy everything you hold dear.  We all have deep dark shadows where monsters lie in wait, emotional demons and the creeping shadows of our darker selves linger there.

Unchecked and unacknowledged, these dark entities within ourselves surface and wreak havoc.  To protect what you hold dear, it is important to deal with these demons rather than trying to bury them into a hole they will then try to climb back out of again and again.

4. Where does your self-worth come from?

IMG_9367This card came with a twofold answer for me.   From within… and from the earth.  This is very fitting.

a) From within… I have never really been able to explain where my conviction of self comes from.  My father tried throughout my entire childhood to break me down and build me up into something different.  And yet it never worked.  No matter how hard he tried, I knew who I was and what I wanted, I knew what felt right and where my values resided.  From within, while not really speaking of “why”, does speak of where quite eloquently.

b) From the earth… I have always had a very strong reaction to the earth.  An instant communion with soil and sand, with trees and the green.  It is the balm of my soul in the way water is the balm of my emotions.  Being in nature among the trees and the soil, especially here in the rainforests where things are dark and moist and filled with green, has always been extremely restorative to me.  It lifts me up and centers me into myself. My self worth greatly ties into this, as it is a part of how I identify with my inner self (and the world at large, for that matter) on a very base level.

5. What had existed before our universe was created?

IMG_9368Okay, so this one totally made me laugh, and I think that was the entire point.

No, I don’t think that the card is saying that before the universe was created, angels resided on high.  But, I believe that before our universe was created there was still something greater at work.  An energy of creation, evolution, and balance that in the end gave birth to what we have today, much in the same way that melody is created by the creation, evolution, and balance of notes blending on the air.

6. Are you ethically obligated to improve yourself?


OOph… man.  The short answer?  Yes.  Look at those cards tho.  Wow.   They are so self explanatory, at least to me.

What I see here is the unpacking of one’s inner self (as life tends to do whether we want it to or not) develops into the discovery of one’s inner demons, and those demons being set loose out into the world.  And, when they are set loose, the world feels dark, and all those carefully erected pieces of your life that you value so much start to topple.

So yes. We are.  Because without self improvement, you are not just at risk of screwing over your own life, but the lives of everyone and everything around you (alllll those dominoes).

7. What is Divinity?


Divinity is the unlikely vessel that lifts you up and carries you when you are feeling vulnerable and small.  It is the light in the darkness that we must choose to accept or turn away from, and yet even when you turn away from it, it still glows to light the way.  It is the duality of right and wrong, good and bad, man and beast, feminine and masculine, yin and yang… always together, always in motion, always side by side.

Deck Used:  Dixit Expansion Pack #2 Quest


Owls and Hermits and Bears (non)VR to The Hermit’s Cave

Image 9

Becca Tarot Night Owl, Simon at The Hermit’s Cave, and KelllyBear got together during the UK meet-up and did a Q&A.  With permission from Simon, I’ve snagged the questions to use as a quiz I can answer here on my blog.

1. Have you ever considered doing deck mods for hire?
I have, actually. But I feel like there would be a lot of liability involved, and I’m not sure that even with disclaimers there would be a way around that. There’s just to many chances you could ruin something that someone considers precious (or, if an out of print deck, something irreplaceable).

2. What is the moment you remember as “This Tarot thing is for me”?
Tarot specifically, as in the RWS system? That would be once I’d gotten my hands on an actual RWS deck (the 1971 Rider Tarot). I’d flirted with the cards a bit with the Sacred Circle Tarot and hadn’t connected. It was after I got my hands on “the real deal” that things suddenly clicked into place.

3. What got you into tarot?
I was raised around Lenormand, so that part was just a natural progression. For the RWS, though, it was 100% curiosity induced. I’d seen an image of the Hanged Man and it struck my curiosity to find out more.

4. Are you an intuitive reader, or a logical reader?
Both. It depends on the system in some cases. For example, playing cards and Marseilles decks, I read primarily by numerology which is logic, with just a little intuition in the mix. For tarot, oracle, and Lenormand, it’s a balance of both with a heavy leaning toward intuition 98% of the time.

5. What is your spiritual path, if any?
I’ve answered this before, but it’s Buddhist Pagan. Buddhist as an adjective, Pagan as the noun.   I don’t worship or work with deity, for me it’s all about the natural world and energy.

6. What does your tarot practice look like?
To be honest, it’s all over the place. I use tarot (and other card divination) in so many different ways from self care check-ins to divination, conversations with the subconscious, and everything else in between. At the heart of it all, I’m essentially “speaking to myself”, though, in one way or another. The cards are simply a way to pull out what I need. I also do daily draws for mental health.

7. What things do you incorporate into your tarot practice?
Like my practice itself, this is varied. There are times I grab a deck of cards, take a couple of centering breaths, and just throw cards. There are times when things are very involved which includes ritual bathing, incense, candles, crystals, oracles and other cards, drawing, writing poetry, pendulums, journaling, ritual and spellcraft, herbs and plants…. the list is pretty endless. It depends on what I need, what my intentions are, and what feels right in the moment.

8. Before doing a reading for someone, do you prepare? or just give it a go?
I think I covered that in my previous answer. It depends on the situation, the reading’s intentions, how connected I feel to the person’s energy, and whatever feels right at the moment. The only thing I do dependably every time I do a reading, whether that reading is for myself or someone else, is take a moment to ground myself with a couple of deep breaths and an internal check of where I’m at with my energy and emotions.

9. Are your readings just online? Or do you do it in person?
I used to give in person readings, both for free and for hire. That changed after the circumstances that cut off my ability to communicate verbally.

10. Is tarot or oracle an everyday thing? Or just on occasion?
Every day.

11. How do you work with a deck? Do you have a process or rituals beyond just pulling a spread?
When I first receive a new deck, I cleanse it with sage, and then do an interview spread. I do this for every deck when it first enters my home, as it wipes out the energies of whatever travels the cards have gone through prior to getting into my hands. Sometimes, if I’m really enamored with a deck, I may also do a depth study on it, which involves journaling on each card in the deck to go in-depth into my perceptions on the artwork and what my intuition is picking up concerning each card. (I’m about to start a brand new one of these with the Everyday Enchantment Tarot by Poppy Palin.) At the end of this study, I will then often do a variety of different tarot spreads with the deck as a comparison to how the study has assisted me in my understanding of how the deck communicates with my psyche now vs before I did the study.

12. In an average week, how often do you read for yourself?
Well, I do a daily draw, but I don’t consider those really to be readings usually, as that’s not their purpose. Excluding the daily draws…. At least once on Saturday, but usually 2-3 times a week depending on where holidays and the moon cycles line up, or if I need assistance in working through something.

13. How does what you get in a reading influence your behavior?
I often use tarot as a psychological tool, and so it assists me in understanding myself and the world around me in ways I wouldn’t normally reach without their assistance. This creates a deeper understanding of myself, and can help me in staying balanced and receptive to others. That aside? Sometimes predictive shit pops up in a reading, and I always take heed. I may or may not change my plans, but I will definitely be paying attention.

14. What’s the most profound reading, for yourself or another, that’s played out as the cards indicated it?
I go into detail about this topic here in this post. Most recent predictive reading, though, was last Tuesday and the warning about the cops and getting pulled over.  That was one of those daily pulls for positivity that ran away into something predictive.

15. What really interests you when you’re not reading cards and other metaphysical stuff, excluding your day job is there anything else that equally grabs your attention?
Oh geez… excluding my day job(s)?? Ok so… reading, hiking, rainy days (love the rain), human anatomy and physiology, creative writing, alternative medicine, trying out new crafting methods, sooooo many things.

16. What do you do for your day job?
I am a nail tech in a Vietnamese salon, a farm worker, a landscaping laborer, a botany and horticulture advisor for a local nursery, an occasional gas station attendant, nature photographer, and a jewelry designer and entrepreneur.

17. How important are your spiritual practices to your tarot devotion? or do you keep them separate?
They are completely integrated with each other to the point that I can’t even imagine what it would be like to keep them separate (or how that would possibly work).

18. What is your best tips for new readers?
When learning RWS, start with a basic RWS deck or clone thereof. DO NOT start with a pip deck or a deck that has imagery that doesn’t follow the RWS system. Aside from that? No matter what divinatory system you’re learning, don’t overthink it. That is to say, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the system (such as card meanings, etc), you’re studying too hard and need to do more listening to your intuition instead.

19.  Do you treat reading oracle cards the same way? or are they each their own beast?
I treat them the same only in that when I get a strong intuitive hit, no matter what system I’m using, the “logical” definition of the card is tossed out the window in place of whatever my intuition is saying. Otherwise, they are each their own beast.

20. What beliefs do you hold when asked what is it that makes the tarot work?  Psychology, magic, luck, doesn’t work…?
My belief is that the cards are a way to speak with yourself. What you get from them is a reflection of inner knowledge and the subconscious, instinct, intuition, and information provided by latent abilities you possess that are both acknowledged and not acknowledged (ie: psychic abilities, etc). The cards are simply drawing these things out into the open so that they can be seen and/or felt, and thus expressed.

21. How do your reading styles differ from other people you know?
Most of the people I have known who read tarot use a very “book definition” approach to their reading. Although I often will “quote” the definition of a card as a kind of “review” of what it’s supposed to mean, I find that my interpretations come not from “the book” at all usually, but from somewhere in my gut. Some purist believe this is the “wrong” way to read, as sometimes this means my interpretation of the cards has absolutely nothing to do with their “intended meaning” in whatever system I’m using.

22. What purpose does the tarot hold in your life?
Guidance, and assistance with mental health.

23. What would be a reason for refusing to read cards for others or yourself?
If I am not in the right headspace, or my energy or emotions feel disrupted in some way. If the person is under 18 years old. If I feel that the person is in a state where they will not practice good common sense after a reading (ie: don’t ask me to tell you what to do). If it doesn’t feel right (no reason needed beyond that, really).