Les Cross. As well as explaining about geomancy, his intuitive system for reading with geomes, and offering some very handy cards for the purpose, Les suggested a really interesting way of using a tarot reading itself to also create a geome reading.
In each 'position' you draw four cards, one for each level of the geome. For instance, you can draw four cards for now and four for where things
are headed. Then, if the card number is odd, it counts as one tap (constriction), and
even is two taps (expansion). Courts are treated as being numbered eleven through
fourteen, so Pages and Queens are one tap, and Knights and Kings are two
Here is a reading I did using this system, with two geomes for now and where things are headed. So we see that currently, others are being offered their due for their ideas and suggestions (6 of
Pents, two taps in the external mental zone), but there's a need to narrow your focus: to use the ideas from others that you already have to hand (Magician, one tap). Time to stop researching and put that knowledge into practice.
internal mental level, there's a feeling that all these ideas belong to others, not to you (7
of Swords, one tap). Now, putting those ideas into practice with the Magician means you'll have to wait and see how things go (3 of Wands) before planning your next step.
In terms of internal physical resources, these are
currently being studied (Page of Pents, one tap). However, this is an
area where action needs to be taken, to get things moving and actively
progressing (8 of Wands, two taps).
Finally, it seems there's nothing currently being done to reach out to others physically, due to painful experiences
from doing so (3 of Swords). While reaching out may not be on the cards for a
while, that pain can be healed through Faith (the Hierophant) that others will help when
needed. This might be fostered by finding some institution that is
willing to help, even if they are not yet called for.
It's true I've been doing some research over the past week or two, so I guess this reading tells me to stop listening to others and get down to some of the work this research has been for. As for my physical and material resources, now I should make use of them for more than just studying. It's time to use some software I've had for a while to move things forward. As for the last part, I have a few ideas about people/firms to reach out to who have the material resources to move this project forward as and when it's ready to go...
P.S. Friday's post will go live a bit later than usual, 4pm to be precise. It's part of the Samhain Tarot Blog Hop :)
Monday, 27 October 2014
Friday, 24 October 2014
|Four Levels model for Astrogem Geomancy|
He explained that this is based on a 3000 year old practice of divining from natural elements. A bit like the I-Ching, you create a shape through four yes/no or odd/even throws. So, it's possible to create geomes (the equivalent to the I-Ching hexagram) using anything that has two sides or ends: a business card, a coin, a smooth stone, a twig, whatever!
Les Cross has also developed his own system, which associates gems and astrological notions to each geome. And he has published some lovely cards which can be used for this system, with images on one side and explanations on the other. Being a sucker for cards, I got a set :)
|The geomes, courtesy of Astrogem Geomancy|
In terms of the four different levels of the geome, his intuitive method equates the top two with mental/spiritual elements and the bottom two with physical/material elements. The outer levels are associated to the external, while the middle two are internal. So, the second level from the top is about internal mental aspects: our own thoughts and beliefs.
As for how to read with this system, the basic idea is to see the flow that is currently taking place. A base reading would draw two geomes to see where you are and where you are headed.
cards, and got Via and Laetitia. Currently, then, this project is full of potential, but with nothing actually happening (a fairly accurate description). Moving it forward, I need to activate my own thought processes, planning and strategy (level two), to bring to bear my own resources at a material level (level three), and to also expand my outreach to others at a practical level (fourth layer). What I don't need is to be worrying about what others think of this project (top level), I just need to trust and get on with it. Makes sense to me!
And no, I didn't forget the giveaway. The Numerology Cards will wing their way across to:
Congratulations, and I'll contact you for your address :)
Monday, 20 October 2014
From this, Richard derived a spread with positions/associations which are somewhat different to the way I generally approach the elements. He also had the interesting idea to use only the cards of the associated suit in drawing a card for each element's position in the spread.
For Spirit, the question is 'What is the lesson here?', and a card is drawn from amongst the Majors. Fire is seen as hot, burning, forging, expanding, so the question is 'What is growing?' and is answered by a card from the Wands suit. Air is invisible, colourless (though represented by a blue circle!), and odourless, so Richard's question is 'What is hanging in the air?' Water is wet, cleansing, purging, and as something being washed away the question is 'What is receding?' And Earth is solid, fixed, heavy, dense, and his question is 'What is fixed/stable?'
Finally, Richard suggested that we draw another Spirit card to answer 'And if I learn this lesson, what next?' He also said we could draw another for if we don't learn the lesson. However, my belief, which he also expressed, is that we will keep being presented with opportunities to learn a given lesson until we do get it, so I decided to skip that card.
As you can see, the questions end up being quite different from those we might expect with more Western, tarot-based associations. For example, following those ideas the question for Water might be 'What emotions are being felt?' and for Earth might be 'What is involved at a practical level?' It's also interesting to only answer each element's question with a card from that element, rather than from the full deck. While the latter approach can be insightful in noting whether or not a card from the associated suit falls in 'its place', Richard's idea brings a different set of possibilities to the table.
To explore this, I asked the cards about the lesson offered to me by the Conference itself. Here is my answer, from the Mosaic Dream Tarot (Bridgett Trejo, 2014):
1) Spirit - The Tower
My lesson was to cope with having my fixed ideas challenged and shattered. Mary Greer did some challenging, with her recommendation to seek cognitive dissonance - to try to challenge our own assumptions. And she helped this along by showing how much we jump to conclusions, and by getting us to look at tough ethical questions like "Is it acceptable to tell a querent what they SHOULD or SHOULDN'T do?" Richard's workshop challenged my normal elemental associations and preference for pulling from a full deck, but the results were really interesting. Les Cross' talk challenged my assertion that I don't want to learn any more systems of divination. Yep, plenty of shake-ups :)
2) Fire - Nine of Wands
What is growing is my ability to push on in the face of these kind of challenges, to not let them put me off. As one book title famously put it, to Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway!
3) Air - Five of Swords
What is hanging in the air, there but not spoken, is the question of whether I will let these challenges leave me feeling defeated. Whether I will take them as destroying my understanding of things, or pick up and dust myself off, richer for the changes.
4) Water - Seven of Cups
What is receding is my sense that I have to choose one thing or another, to make a firm choice. As Mary had us say in one exercise: "Yes, and... Yes, and..."
5) Earth - Ace of Pentacles
What is fixed is the potential that is there, the seed that is always available to be planted and to grow in the rich soil left after the Tower has been razed.
6) Spirit - Justice
What next? Well, I hope I can be fairer, jump to less rushed judgements, and give credit where it's due.
Friday, 17 October 2014
|Box, deck and booklet|
Lo Scarabeo are really breaking the mould this year. Once again, this is a borderless deck, with no international titles. And the box, too, is a nice, solid contraption with a lift-off lid and a ribbon to help get the cards and booklet out.
As for the booklet, it is most definitely not a LWB. Rather, it is nice, has greyscale images to show spread layouts, as well as some decorative images. There is a page devoted to each card, with keywords and an explanation of the Pagan Lenormand image, as well as the Lenormand interpretation.
|Gypsy Heart Spread|
|Multi-cultural People Cards|
Another aspect I like about the deck is the people cards. As has become frequent practice, there are two man and two woman cards, facing in different directions. These allow same sex readings if desired, but also have two other uses. Firstly, they offer a good cultural balance, with a Native American, an African American, a Caucasian and an Asian figure. Secondly, each wears different colour robes and holds a different object (smudging sage, an incense burner etc), so together they represent the four quarters of a sacred circle, and could be used as such on an altar.
|House, Dog, Garden, Mountain|
|Pagan Lenormand (large) and French Cartomancy|
|Pagan Lenormand (centre) and Silver Witchcraft Tarot|
Wednesday, 15 October 2014
|Mary K. Greer|
Things kicked off with a talk from Mary K. Greer, the keynote speaker, on Intuition and Neuroscience. Mary drew on lots of scientific resources, as well as personal experiences, and brought in plenty of interactive elements, too, to make this a fascinating presentation. She had us all fill out a form at the start to say how experienced a tarot reader we felt we were, what our "accuracy" was, and how we believed that we read. She then did some exercises to show just how much we are influenced by what is happening around us, and what we see and hear, in how we respond to questions. We also did a larger group exercise to look at how we are influenced by initial knowledge and how we deal with tricky ethical questions (a querent asking about abortion).
I liked that Mary did still leave a space open for "mystery". She said that in her experience there are a very few people (even from the pre-selected tarot community), who do better than the average 50-50 in their predictions. While I don't count myself among them, I hope I do bring "educated intuition", that balance of experience and openness to the various messages from the cards and the querent, to provide helpful readings.
|Krysten and I, so glad we got some time together!|
Next thing up was Kim Arnold, the Conference organiser, leading us through some fun tarot activities. She took these from The Tarot Activity Book by Andy Matzner, and it was a great way to break the ice and get into a more playful mindset.
Finally, Geraldine Beskin of The Atlantis Bookshop gave a talk on Lady Frieda Harris, who painted the Thoth Tarot. This was a talk I was very much looking forward to, but unfortunately didn't get to attend, as the baby was thoroughly bored of sitting in the Conference by that point, as well as tired and teething. So, an early night for me instead of drinks and nibbles with my co-attendees - the trials of motherhood...
|Mary K. Greer|
After a short break, which I once again spent breast-feeding rather than socialising, Richard Abbot was up with a talk about Tarot and the Tattvas. Basically, this is the sanskrit take on the elements - earth, air, fire, water and spirit. Despite disagreeing with Richard's comment that most people these days pooh-pooh elemental understandings (personally, I use them either implicitly or explicitly in all my readings), I loved this workshop.
|Dr. Maria Antoniou|
|Dr. Les Cross|
The reading circle run by Mary Greer after this was a fascinating experience. Everyone got to have some mini-readings, and we also experimented as readers with ideas like just describing cards literally, describing the "feeling/ambience" of the card, creating a fairy tale from it, and relating all of these back to the querent and their cards.
To close, Kim led another beautiful meditation (though I had to skip out on that as Baby was no longer feeling patient). Altogether, it was another amazing Conference, full of deep learnings, humour, history, insight and a lot of experimentation.
As I mentioned, the goodie bag we received was once again very generously endowed. So, I'd like to share a little of the Tarot Conference love by giving away the Numerology Guidance Cards (Hay House, 2013) from my bag. To enter, just comment on this post, and I'll annouce the winner next Friday, 24th October, in the post on Astrogem Geomancy.