I’ll always remember the very first time I head about the Anonymous. I was walking with my friend in college back in 2009, and she asked me if I was an Anon. I knew what Anon is short for, but I had no idea what she was talking about. She was discrete, but she did tell me that she participated in it. It got me started with curiosity, and I spent that night looking up information on the organization.
That night my head was spinning with what I had just unearthed. It was very inspiring to see, but at the same time the message was very aggressive. It is, after all, written to gear our gears running. It is meant to make you angry, or to make you feel anything at all. I smile to myself smugly when I think about someone in America, 250 lbs overweight and taking a bite out of a drumstick from a KFC bucket, chewing away as they watch television. A message like this comes up on a broadcast in, let’s say, Louiseana, and suddenly the room this person is in starts to feel smaller.
They’ve just been delivered a powerful message they might not comprehend, but then there it is. It’ll make them feel something and it’ll make them want to act on their impulse, even if it means binge eating the whole KFC bucket. I’d have done the same thing if an interrupted broadcast threatened my blissful peace.
I decided to talk about it because I’ve never addressed any global scale issues. I’ve always kept to myself and my life, but I endorse their message and I think what they’re doing is brave. It’s really just a blog entry for me to give an opinion on something that I understand to be much bigger than myself… because it is, and it has a huge impact on the lives of hundreds if not thousands of people. People I may have met throughout my life.
THEY LIVE / OBEY:
When I think about movies that are out there and try to send a similar message as the Anonymous, all I can think of are pretty old. They Live is a prime example of a great movie with an unsettling message that is so powerful that it shakes you: You’re a slave to money, coaxed to consume on things you don’t need for ‘them’ to have control over your life. Well, in the end it’s your fault if you relinquish it, and that’s something that I got from a video I found on one of their Youtube accounts.
I’ve wondered how many news I’ve come across and disregarded that have been part of their efforts.
They believe in what they do and they work with passion. That’s good enough for me, I respect activists that are trying so adamantly to change the world. Good for them! It is not, however, how I see myself changing the world. I want to work with people to find their center and to find how to empower themselves so that they can live a happy life. I’m a spiritual worker, and my work is in helping people grow to love themselves. That’s a venture in itself, and I love it dearly. We all work in fields that align with our sense of purpose, and this is mine.
I do feel that what they’re talking about is important to talk about. It makes me very upset when I walk by a table of girls and I hear them talking about their hair or how miserable they are because a guy is ignoring them. Or when I walk past someone talking about going to the new designer super mall that just opened up a few blocks away. Why don't people talk about things that matter? I'm tired of listening to people talk about small issues and problems blown up to be the bane of their existence. People talking about first world problems need a wake-up call and a reality check. There are things out there that are bigger than our personal lives and will influence us directly. These are all subjects that spin in different directions and go off on tangents, but they're things I wish people didn't waste their time on. If we put down our cell phones and picked up a book or had an actual conversation, we would be engaging our minds. That's more attractive to me than a super mall, just sayin'.
Anyhow, I want to interview my tarot cards about the Anonymous. Today I am going to share the results of that interview with you. I hope you enjoy it!
How did the Anonymous get started?
Seven of Wands. So many problems and nobody standing up for what is right. No one stands for the people, but through a series of protests and opposition, people who are angry get to have their voices heard. People matter individually, but in large groups they are impossible to ignore.
What do they really want?
The Sun. Success at a global scale. Power. Happiness. Vanity.
What is their chance of success?
The Lovers. Uniting people is the purpose, success is extra. But success comes from unified people. There is an intuitive feeling that this is what is right, and a vulnerability in joining with others in such a personal way. It brings people together.
Will their message cause an outbreak of some kind?
Five of Pentacles. Perhaps a collapse in the economy. Perhaps rallying others to walk away from injustices. If you don't ask for help, how will it be given? Sometimes we forget that as people, we have rights and we have the ability to change what we don't like. The poverty depicted in this card comes from those who refuse to ask for help when they need it.
Will their legacy be a positive one for us all?
Two of Swords. Depends on which perspective you look at it from. I feel ambivalence, or balance in the middle and not the extremes. Neither good nor bad, just something that is.
What will the world be like once their legacy is finished?
Two of Coins. A collaboration. Will get other things in motion, or start something new. Trying to break out of a cycle in the form of establishing a new one. If something doesn't work, replacements will be recommended or weaved in somehow.
Am I doing anything to support their cause?
Six of Wands. Yes. Encouraging others to follow their dreams and pursue their happiness. Empowering people is good help, because those who feel good about themselves tend to live healthier lives and are more likely to stand up for what they believe it.
I am personally someone who uses their voice to help others, even though I am not an activist. So this card seemed like being a leader in your own field.
Any messages that we should keep in mind from Anonymous?
Knight of Wands. They are reminding people to be passionate, to be charismatic and to open up to the world. They're trying to inspire others to make their presence be felt; whether it is a loud presence or a quiet one is optional. There is a lot of power in being able to inspire others to take action, and sometimes when we are in the midst of things, we don't realize it. It is a passionate drive that spreads.
Any messages from my tarot cards to the Anonymous?
Ten of Wands. Don’t burn out. If you don't source energy and motivation, it fizzles out after a few attempts. It takes a lot to keep it going when a lot is being invested as well. You can't forget about nurturing yourselves and your minds.
Well, all right then. That was an interesting exercise. Photos are compliments of Google, and belong to their respective artists.
My friend Tina Constantine aka Lady Nocturne is a Graphic Designer living in Puerto Rico. On her spare time she dreamed up a Zodiac editorial series which I want to share with you. I love how sexy some of these can be while still being classy. Great work! I have some amazingly talented friends!
Aries ★ Taurus ★ Gemini ★ Cancer ★ Leo ★ Virgo ★ Libra ★ Scorpio ★ Sagittarius ★
Capricorn ★ Aquarius
I have decided to complete one year of horoscopes devoted to each zodiac sign. There will be an Annual Review reading offered, which is one year projections in a month by month format. It is a very popular reading on this blog and in my work life, and now I am offering all 12 signs of the zodiac their own loose horoscope calendar to refer to.
ARIES TAROT HOROSCOPE FOR 2015:
♡ March. Ace of Swords.
This is the time to speak up! Speak loud and proud. A new beginning in seeking clarity and presenting yourself with strength. Your words have presence; stand up for yourself. Strive to represent your thoughts to the best of your ability in your communications as well as your actions.
Do no harm, but take no bullshit.
♡ April. Six of Cups.
This might be a month in which you find yourself missing someone truly, or otherwise overcome by nostalgia. Reach out and don’t be afraid to tell somebody that you miss them. Often time in these sentimental situations, you will find that you were missed as well.
♡ May. Knight of Cups.
All too dreamy, you may have lost sight of where the sky and the ground are. You might have your head in the clouds with fantasies, so come back down to Earth and get yourself grounded. There is only so much you can run off dreams for before you end up having an accident. It’s not so bad to wear your heart on your sleeve, but at least remember to protect yourself!
♡ June. Ten of Swords.
Ouch! You need to pause for a while and gather your thoughts. You may have worn yourself out from your romantic or otherwise emotional ventures. This feels like total complete mental exhaustion. Try instead to figure things out for yourself; be patient. Sometimes you need to ride things through to the end before you can begin to see a new dawn. A new dawn is symbolic for new beginnings and opportunities. Release whatever does not serve you from the past, because you’re about to move forward to new beginnings.
♡ July. Two of Swords.
It seems you’re not ready for new beginnings yet. Pause for a second and gather your thoughts; you might need to hold off until this time of limbo is over. Remember everything is cyclical; as it begins, so this temporary truce will end.
♡ August. Four of Cups.
Pause to think. How far have you come? What’s next in your plan? What are you going to begin working on once you can set your plans in motion once more?
Taking some time off for yourself is important. Take a few days off to ponder and to visualize where you want to see yourself going in the next few days, weeks or months. Take a break! You deserve it.
♡ September. Strength.
This is perhaps your most influential month, given that there is a Major Arcana card here. In Strength we find that you may finally muster the motivation to move forward. Adversely, you may just be winding down and chilling out.
As the name states, a card of inner strength and much control over oneself.
♡ October. Five of Coins.
Not a good time to take financial risks or ventures. Instead, seek to coast. Ask for help if you require it; don’t be too proud and keep it all bottled up inside.
♡ November. Four of Coins.
Take the precautions to improve your craft, but don’t hang onto it in a manner that you won’t let it grow on your own. There is only so much control you can have over a situation before you need to let it go, and be what it needs to be. Don’t be greedy. You won’t always have total control, but then that’s life. Count your blessings and be thankful for what you have. It is more than others have.
♡ December. The Moon.
Shine your beauty on others, and let them try to figure they mystery out on their own. Nothing is as it seems sometimes, and if you can own it, you can pull off some great surprises. Follow your intuition even as it leads you through unexpected ventures into the subconscious, into the unknown. Trust the journey will teach you what you need to learn, even if you don’t remember what got you started in the first place. Retain a strong sense of purpose.
♡ January. The Star.
You’ve found a new source of inspiration, and this means you can tap into it at any time. Even when you’re on your own, remain conscious of your surroundings. People will likely admire you for being so immersed in your plans, and some might even find it inspiring. By focusing on you, you may inspire others to focus on themselves as well. Be a role model and you will see how others will want to start following in your steps.
♡ February. Four of Swords.
Take a break and rest; these past two months have been pretty intense. Seek some time by yourself if you need to, only long enough to rest. Once you are replenished, get back out there and show the world all of the amazing things that you can do!
♡ Clarifier. Queen of Swords.
This next year, exercise strength and clarity in your communication. Leave nothing up to vague interpretation or chance. Express yourself; say what you need to. You have all the right in the world to speak your mind to facilitate how others will understand you to be. Stand your ground and be intimidated by none.
House of Zodiac photos compliment of Tina. You can find her on Deviantart and Tumblr. Please don't use her photos without her permission.
SIMILARITIES & DIFFERENCES:
While some of the concepts have changed, many of the underlying messages remain the same. They have just been expressed in a new way. I have already reviewed the Playing Card Oracles Vintage and Alchemy editions, and now all that is left to review is to compare them and draw some conclusions.
♡ The Aces: True to their spirit, when both decks are placed in order and divided by suit, you will be pleasantly surprised to find that they are permutations of the same concept. While one sports the jewel colors and the beauty of oil paints, the other brings those concepts to life in what seems to be pen and ink sketches.
Quite fascinating really!
♡ Twos: Two of Clubs for The Friends and Moon Fire seems different. If we were to apply the meaning based off number and suit, I’d attribute Moon Fire to long distance contact or thinking about someone from far away when I see this illustration. It really isn’t that different in its concept; here we have a woman looking out to a land beyond the sea, and in the other someone looking over their land from the comfort of their palace.
Two of Hearts has been replaced by what the study group deemed to be a marriage goblet with both male and female attributes of things coming together.
Two of Spades has just one entity in the Alchemy Edition: Medusa. The Vintage Edition has The Rivals. One of the entities went away, and now the conflict is much more personal because it is directed at us. Watch out!
♡ Threes: Three of Clubs now has The Wand, but used to be The Wish. I see an aspect of magic and wishful thinking in both of them. A wand requires a thought and an intention to spring things into action. The crystal ball alludes to the power of envisioning thoughts to manifest them into reality. I love that both of them have to do with magic.
Three of Hearts takes on a more controversial look. We have a “Fortress of Desire”, which can allude to the body. Three holes with what looks like a snake half inside the first one. Don’t get greedy now! Having three to choose from means having abundance of love, but perhaps it is best to focus on one partner rather than three.
The same concept is more or less presented in the Vintage Edition Three of Hearts, but not as explicit.
♡ Fives: Five of Clubs. Perhaps one of my favorite changes, the Impotent King was discussed as what lies under the branches of the trees the Circle of Crows is happening at. It forms a bigger picture and allows two views of the same feeling of being trapped and preyed on. Magic!
♡ Eights: The Guardian vs The House of Good Fortune. I feel like The Guardian could be guarding the treasures outside of the House of Good Fortune. He is determined not to let anybody steal or harm on his watch! No sir.
The Faun and The Garden: The Faun is more playful and more mischievous. I feel that The Garden is the place where he likes to play the most because it camouflages him. At the same time, he can find tempting delights that are readily offered to him.
Eight of Spades. The Curse vs Field of Stone. It took me a while to notice The Curse, but when I finally saw it, it struck like lightning. The message is inescapable: You’ll go through the worst of times to find liberation. Fire is an element that transforms, and here we have a life being taken. It is extremely controversial, and very powerful. The Field of Stone is a much more tame way to tell you that you will be facing bad luck.
♡ Dracula: From Throne of Spiders to Vlad the Impaler. Well, no longer exactly the same, but here we have predatory influences that drain energy sources and otherwise deplete us. The message is still more or less the same.
♡ Court: Court cards have sprung to life and cannot simply be ignored. Some of the characters have changed identity, but still stand for their archetypes. Some of the characters we have grown to love reappear i full color for us to continue our relationship with.
I did note while going through the decks that some of the characters in the Playing Card Oracles Vintage Edition make cameos in the new Alchemy Edition, just under a different name. Knowledge of what they previously stood for may add another layer of interpretation for those who own both decks.
Speaking of owning both decks, I must have gone through one of those phases in which you throw all common sense out the window and dive into an experiment. I joined both packs together because for this exercise they will not be used as a calendar. The result is a gargantuan hybrid oracle. I mixed them together for as long as it felt right to, and finally drew some cards to conduct a new interview spread that was dreamed up for this review. Just to see how the cards ‘feel’ about one another. Here is the result.
INTERVIEW WITH BOTH PLAYING CARD ORACLES:
☆ Which deck do you think is the best representation of C.J. Freeman and Ana Cortez’s work and legacy to the world of playing card divination?
10♣ Lady Fortuna. Alchemy Edition.
A versatile character that will adapt to the situation it is in. Need a serious reading? Okay. A joyful time to celebrate? Pop the champagne. A powerful, visceral way to shake up your month? On it. This card is that of a dreamer and shapeshifter, one who will take on the roles that pertain to the tasks at hand. An enigma, a source of powerful inspiration and advice.
The Alchemy Edition PDF booklet describes Fortuna as “A woman of many personalities, but identifying with none. Ability to slip in and out of different realities. Adept at dreaming.” Yes!
☆ Which card best describes Playing Card Oracles Vintage Edition’s legacy?
10♥ Allegra. Vintage Edition.
A daring venture of the heart that resulted in vulnerability and opening up of the heart. It was a big risk to take in terms of it being a very emotional journey that was being shared. She carries a blindfold, a bow and a where she carries her bounty. It reminds me of something I often tell my clients: The heart is the compass of fate. We won’t always know if our ventures will end up taking us to the right places, but the journey in itself will serve as an experience, and however far we go from there is based off our own efforts. That speaks for itself.
☆ Which card best describes Playing Card Oracles Alchemy Edition?
8 ♠ The Curse. Alchemy Edition.
It’s casting fires in the community and getting people talking about it because of how controversial it is. It inspires an extreme reaction that can’t be ignored.
It also burns away all the old to start something new from its ashes. It took time to get to this point, but now it’s time to break down the comfort zone and bring out the serious changes. There will be no shelter, just open space to face the real facts.
☆ Which card best describes C.J. Freeman?
3♣ The Wish. Vintage Edition.
C.J. Freeman was a visionary, and his work is an act of manifesting dreams into reality we can now interact with. The medium through which the spirit world and all that is magic came through was the mind, and he was an open channel. He decoded something mystical through his spiritual ventures, and it all started in his mind. He drew meaningful connections.
☆ Which card best describes Ana Cortez?
9 ♥ Bluebeard. Alchemy Edition 4 ♥ West Wind. Alchemy Edition.
Two came out at the same time! So we have a challenge. Bluebeard stands for extreme passion and the kind that burns. Here we have real heartfelt love for the secrets encased in the Playing Card Oracles.
In West Wind, we have a caring influence. Bringing things into harmony, or otherwise a foundation of love.
Given that they are both hearts, we have someone sharing her passions with anyone who will listen and giving it as the greatest gift: Love.
☆ What have we still to learn from the Playing Card Oracles in general?
Q ♦ Livia. Vintage Edition.
Owning your craft of perception and sharing the wealth of it with the rest of the world. It is an honest method to work with and one that you can rely on when you need some form of comforting support. It also needs support in order to continue thriving.
☆ Should we include the Jokers in our Playing Card Oracle readings, as long as not during the calendar spread?
K ♦ Leo. Alchemy Edition.
The Jokers are the deck’s best kept secret. They are meant to keep private, for your enjoyment. Their meanings have yet to come manifest even though they are a flashy new addition. They can tip the system with their humor and are therefore best kept on the side. I felt a lot of pride from this draw in specific.
☆ Which card best symbolizes me?
8 ♥ The Faun. Alchemy Edition.
Fun-loving, mischievous and not afraid of adventure. Aligned with and freely following intuition through whatever journey I go. Tuned into the cycles of life, not caring, dancing to my own rhythm. This made me laugh, because I am often self-conscious of being the oddball “Fortune Teller” wherever I go. Sometimes you just need to own up to your weirdness with pride.
The booklet PDF reads, “Unrest or upheaval with previously set ways. Aligned with natural energies. Fantasy. Exploration of previously unexplored aspects of oneself."
Now I’ve got to go through and separate them, but the exercise was a delight! I hope you enjoy!
I’ve never felt anything like this before when I hold cards.
What is true is that they are POWERFUL, oracular and evocative illustrations. I would love to have you guys in person to talk to and study with, because you GET IT. Not many people have been drawn to this system because it is not tarot or lenormand, but it doesn't need to be. It is a robust oracle that stands on its own. It is a calendar and it makes me aware of why I felt playing cards were talking to me when I was a little girl. Even though I could not understand what they were saying, I still felt there was something more there.
I keep a journal while I work with Playing Card Oracles, but I'm not comfortable enough with card meanings to memorize that as well as geomancy. One day at a time!
When I first received this deck, I wasn’t ready for the reaction it caused in me. It felt like love at first sight; an electric feeling came over me and I knew then that I couldn’t live without having this deck accessible to me anymore. I felt a rush of adrenaline as I thumbed through the cards for the very first time. It felt like getting reacquainted with old friends, looking into photographs of memories I had long forgotten. Instant love!
I have both the large and pocket versions, plus backups. The large version is nice because you can see and interact with the beautiful artwork. I love looking over all of the little details, they mean something. It makes it very easy to project into and meditate on; you can have conversations with your favorite cards! Take for example Séraphine on the 10♦, she is holding a wand with the Egyptian jackal on it. A treasure! It makes me feel she is a lady that has experienced the world and all of its wonders first hand. Either that, or she had the fortune of gaining large sums of wealth at an early age that made her mature a little too quickly. She stands for the connection between the spirit world an ours because she is a seer, and the staff she holds makes me feel she has a connection to the great beyond.
This quick example resulted in an exercise of my intuition, and now I have a new meaning to add to my Playing Card Oracles diary!
My favorites are Impotent King, Dracula, Bluebeard, The Faun, Wicca, Mardoc, and the ravenous Bethany. Honestly, I love them all; even the ones that fill you with shock. Having these characters come alive in full color is really great! Even though I have gotten used to the red, white and black combination already, there is something extra special about playing cards with jewel colors.
The card stock shuffles very well, and the backs are full bleed purple, black and white. The back design is gorgeous, and I would love to read the story behind it someday. The design of it helped me fall in love with the Playing Card Oracles when I first saw it. The pocket version is truly very handy; I’ve got one to keep with me in my purse on the go. It is also very easy to shuffle. However, at my work station I prefer to use the standard version. It really brings the artwork to life, and given the scale the deck was originally painted in, I believe it was meant to be admired at a standard scale. It goes without saying my preferred version is the standard. I want to have meaningful meditations conversing with these amazing characters!
What has really surprised me is the reaction that people have to this deck. I was showing it to some of my clients, who looked at it and told me it was creepy and felt dark and medieval to them. I looked through the illustrations and was surprised because they’re not at all creepy to me. To me, they’re just powerful. It makes me wonder if that’s what people are afraid of. Power? Are the images really dark? Well, perhaps in a spread full of ♠s, THEN things could get very dark. But as with everything, there is a harmonious balance here of good and evil, balanced by a color binary of black and red.
From what I have come to understand, this second edition is actually the first edition that C.J. Freeman envisioned. He painted large portraits of which there are 52 total, with one of the queens having been revised into a new one. Some of the paintings are no longer in the possession of the Cortez family, which makes the publishing of this edition somewhat of a miracle. Ana Cortez, C.J. Freeman’s daughter and the author of the Playing Card Oracles book photoshopped pictures back to life along with her son. Magic! Very much worth the monumental efforts, though. This deck sings, and I’m really looking forward to getting better acquainted with it.
INTERVIEW WITH THE PLAYING CARD ORACLES:
♡ What is your most important characteristic?
3♦ Severed Head. The need to succeed, even if it means destroying what you love the most. I see the card as ultimate desire, and that which really burns. It’s pretty terrifying to see the lengths love can reach. Diamonds are the suit of fire, so this card is definitely highly charged with passion.
I looked at the PDF and smiled at the first line: “A woman who went to every length to achieve her desire,” which definitely fits the story of how the deck came to being. What was destroyed along the way may not apply to those of us who do not know the whole story, but I intuit it has something to do with the paintings that somebody else gave away and were not recovered.
♡ What are your strengths as a tarot deck?
Joker. Yes, this deck is beautiful, but it can also pack humor for those that are willing to tune into it. You need to understand what you’re interacting with in order to better understand how to work with it, otherwise you will sit there with the facts blowing raspberries in your face.
Given that there are no meanings attributed to the Jokers, I’m just going to let the card tell me what it needs to communicate. It reminded me that even the most serious tools can develop humor of their own.
♡ What are your limits?
K♥ Nichomiah. Overindulgence of good things could become toxic. Remember that if you ask for something, you will get it without restraints or holding back. Being concerned with the present to the point of losing perspective of the past and the future won’t service you, but sometimes you won’t be able to help it if you are emotionally compromised by something and in search of answers.
♡ What are you here to teach me?
K♦ Leo. I am here to teach you to own your craft, while still keeping a private space for your life. You can go all out with the bells and whistles if you like, but have a personal space to go to at the end of the day. Not everything needs to be shared. Some things you will have to bear with quiet pride.
♡ How can I best learn to collaborate with you?
5♦ Peddler’s Ace. I will teach you to resist your impulses. Buckle down and read what is in front of you, take it in and let your intuition speak. Slow down! Take your time. You’re in no rush to get the hang of it, and remember that playing cards are a whole other game from the way you approach the tarot.
♡ What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
6♥ The Castle. A steady foundation can provide strength for the future, or can just as easily be the place you come back to when you need to find solace.
Building a foundation of love, the fortress of the heart. You are building a place of healing, where you come to for rejuvenation or recuperation. This is the place our souls come to in dreaming or after death. [Taken from the accompanying PDF booklet written by Ana Cortez.]
♡ Which card do you want to show off?
6♦ The Tower. This can be a landing place for entities and energy that comes from beyond any world we can fathom. If you are open, you could be heavily in tune with the spirit world and with a network of information that is readily available to you once you know how to tune into it. Can be a source of knowledge much in the same way the Akashic records are.
A fortress or vault, according to the PDF booklet.
♡ How do you see me?
A♦ Ignita. A passionate and driven person that will take the knowledge given and thrive on it.
♡ How do you see yourself?
2♦ The Rivals. Engaged in a mutual partnership of give and take, which establishes a balance. The coming together of two very different energy sources to establish a powerful bond that comes from hard work and dedication.
I’m really stunned with the result from the interview. This is the deck I have been using to work with the Playing Card Oracles, and much to my surprise I got many duplicates. Two 6s, two Kings. I got all red cards save for the Joker. Amazing!
It's love... I have reviewed the first published edition just last week. Read my entry here. Soon I will be publishing a comparison between the 1st and 2nd edition. Stay tuned!
Follow Ana Cortez through her Instagram, Facebook and blog. She regales the Internet with her personal experiences in the enchanted world of her father's visions. Thank you for letting me be a part of it. I looooove my decks!
I wish it were easier to tell you what it is I see in goth glubs. The general consensus back home is that we're weird, or that we spook people out because we're looking for attention. That's not true at all! Being a part of this subculture has been such a relief, in getting away from an island that would never ever let me be myself. I can't stand it when I go out and I get stared at. Ever since moving to Los Angeles, I've found how inviting people are. I've very rarely gotten rude stares or negative comments about the way I choose to present myself or live my life. Its been such a relief!
On February 28th, my friends and I went to the Belasco Theater for a new event called Subterranean in the basement lounge. It was a beautiful venue with a pretty good sound system. There were some technical difficulties throughout the night that were out of the hands of the people spinning. They all did their best to give us some fierce music to strut our stuff to.
The whole point of outings like this is to dance to the music that you listen to at home or while you work. You don't usually hear it anywhere else, and events like these are the only chance you'll get to dance to them. It's therapy to get lost in music while looking your very best. Total freedom of expression.
The party was very wild. For all else, please view the photos compliments of Jason Sandbeck and Tim Rich. Thank you to all those of you who made it possible.
I love you, California. So, so much.
MY STORY WITH THE PLAYING CARDS:
My journey with the playing cards began at the age of five. My Dad owned casino dice and kept a set in his room. I would play with it for hours by myself. Whenever I could, I would mix the dice and contemplate my throws. I knew that they were telling me something, but I could not comprehend what it could be. I did not yet understand the language, even though my intuition was telling me there was more to it than the eye could see. I know that it was meant for something. Years later, my parents would gift me playing cards and I would sit shuffling them and laying them out for hours, blissfully unaware that the layouts I was using may have very well meant something.
Fast forward a few years, I stumbled upon the lost journals of Prince Le Normand, a wonderful source which is now offline, but used to be located at Blogspot. I knew there was something special about the deck he was using because the illustrations were evocative. I couldn't read them intuitively because I was not at all familiar with the system, being a user of the tarot, but I knew the playing cards were once more trying to tell me something. There is something of value there... so I continued to read, absorbed in this brilliant system. He later shared photos of cards his father drafted calligraphy on, and it was quite a beauty! It inspired me to go out and make my own deck of playing cards with personalized drawings and typography.
I looked for the Playing Card Oracles deck he was using, but it was out of print and almost impossible to find. Some years later, I now own a PDF I purchased of the book, and also multiple copies of the 1st Vintage, 2nd Usgames, and 3rd Alchemy Edition of the Playing Card Oracles by Ana Cortez and C.J. Freeman.
The source book written by Ana Cortez turns anybody who commits to it into a skilled cartomancer with experience in geomancy. It is thorough in detail and offers an abundance of wealth. It will change your life. (It changed mine.)
She reveals the secrets and stories behind the suits; we are introduced to the courts by name and personal attributes. Research will delight you with discoveries of secrets that have long been hiding in plain sight. With complete meanings and spreads, it all comes together quite nicely. Once you are ready for something more advanced, you will learn the relevance of geomancy when reading with playing cards. You will learn about geomantic figures and casting charts based off the figures you generate. The cherry on top is a selection of essays written by C.J. Freeman to educate you in the history of playing cards, and some very enlightening discoveries he has made that he graciously shares with the world.
C.J. Freeman is her father, and the visionary that brought his dreams into reality. He illustrated the Alchemy Edition in larger than life oil paintings, and it was ironically painted before this edition was. From what she has told us, he just put the brush to the canvas, and was even surprised by the images that sprung into being. It seems like the second edition was painted first in order to make way for the second edition. Every week, Ana publishes some of the back stories behind his illustrations. I've got my fingers crossed for her to list the stories behind the cards I resonate the most with. It would make a great series for her to publish, telling us the story of how all 52 cards came to be!
This method of divination takes commitment and study at first, but has proven to be quite rewarding for me, once I "got it." If you listen to your intuiton, you will no doubt find it easy to assimilate. If you want to learn, set aside your experiences with tarot and lenormand, because it is an entirely unique system that holds off on its own. I find it refreshing after 13 years of tarot experience, flanked by a natural understanding of the lenormand. Quite frankly, I needed a change.
The system is finally starting to flow for me and I am now weaving it into my professional practice. It won't be long now before I seriously tackle geomantic figures and their interpretations. For learning, I got a mass market produced deck and I wrote the meanings on the cards. A cheat sheet of sorts, but it has really helped me get to know each card on a personal level and it means I don't need to pull up my PDF every five minutes. If you enjoy using the Playing Card Oracles, please get in touch... let's be friends! I want to be a part of this community, and will try by best to give this method of cartomancy exposure. It is a treasure that the cartomantic community must unearth!
I used this deck as I crafted entries for a contest I participated in for the Alice Tarot, and won! We had to get creative and post a photo of how we were getting acquainted with the tarot deck. You can view all of the entries here. For your convenience, I will post the entry here. I credited Ana Cortez and the Playing Card Oracles in the contest, and found that it spread curiosity in people who admired it.
Cards. Wonderful archetypes of life. We have in them a binary of red and black over white. Red for passion and love, black for repentance and fermentation. White for transcendence and pardon.
52 cards for 52 weeks in a lunar calendar year. 4 suits for 4 seasons in a year. 13 cards per suit, as 13 weeks in each season, and 13 lunar cycles in a year.
If we follow the lunar calendar, it is a perfect match.
Each card has an archetype it upholds, or as some would come to think, lives by. It gives them personality and purpose. All cards interact with one another, news travels fast. Lastly but most importantly, all cards bow down to their Queen.
Here we have three very naughty cards that have been caught red handed by the Queen, painting the roses red. She had specified that she wanted them to be red to begin with, and this turned out to be a very costly error. They tried to cover up their mistakes, but by then it was too late… they had already been spotted!
They can feel her sternly steely eyes as they burn holes into their backs. She is angry, and one of them will pay… if not all. But what are we to fear most? Her sharp eyes or her sharp tongue?
Word travels fast. She is quick to condemn, and at times not because of merit, but because she can. Her presence makes everybody quake.
Verdict? “Off with their heads!!!"
(Playing card calendar attributes credited to Ana Cortez, author of the Playing Card Oracles book!)
Follow Ana Cortez through her Instagram, Facebook and blog. She regales the Internet with her personal experiences in the enchanted world of her father's visions. Thank you for letting me be a part of it.