Monday, 6 October 2014

Burning Serpent Oracle Reading

This week, I'll be drawing from and reviewing the Burning Serpent Oracle by Rachel Pollack and Robert M. Place (self-published, 2014).  The deck is subtitled 'A Lenormand for the soul' and that's an accurate description.  It can be used as a straight-up Lenormand, which is how I will read it today.  However, it offers more, which I'll discuss in Friday's review.

Lillies, Heart, Tower
At a basic level, I read this as saying emotional harmony comes through learning.  Of course, other interpretations are possible, such as a caring elder in a position of authority, or finding peace through emotional isolation, but that's what comes up for me this week.  Today, rather than giving multiple possible interpretations, I thought I'd show a way of expanding this interpretation, adding in Houses. 

Traditionally, of course, Houses are read when you throw a GT.  However, more recently they have also been applied to shorter readings.  The first way this was done was simply to read the position number as the card number, as in the GT.  So, a three card line like this would be interpreted as being the Houses of the Rider, Clover, and Ship.  Which might fit a daily draw quite well - the House of News or Information, Something Short-lived or Good Luck, and Travel or Commerce or Life's Journey.

Another technique which I rather like is to take the position number and add it to the number of the card that falls on it.  Here, for instance, the Lily (30) is in position 1.  Adding the two numbers gives 31 - the Sun.  So, the Lily is in the House of the Sun.  Similarly, Heart (24) in position 2 gives us House 26 - the Book.  And Tower (19) in position 3 is House 22 - Paths.

Bringing this together, we get: esoteric understandings of emotions bring a sense of joy and harmony through choosing learning.

For myself, this points me straight to the end of the week, when I'll be attending the UK Tarot Conference.  The esoteric learning is clear, and there are always meditations involved, and reading is, in itself, so often about emotion.  So, I hope for a sense of harmony and joy through focusing on esoteric understandings of emotion, which I will do by choosing this learning environment.  I like the added layer that the Houses bring, signalling that there is joy in peace, an esoteric aspect to the emotions concerned, and that learning is a choice.  I take this as advice, too, to focus on finding a sense of joyful peace in the hubub of the conference.  Also, if I have to choose (which I might, given I'll have a baby in tow), to pick the subjects that seem more emotionally focused, or which I am more passionate about :)


  1. I adore Robert Place's artwork. Always have. And I looked at this deck recently in Watkins. I didn't get it simply because I didn't think I'd use it so much at the moment. But is lovely and fresh. One day ..

    Like the extra spread/house sharings. Thanks!

    I hope you enjoy the UK Conference. I bet that will be a lot of fun. I'd love to go to something like that one day :)

    1. I like this deck a lot, though I'm not a huge fan of Robert Place's artwork - I find it too two-dimensional. Still, I think it works quite well for the simplicity of Lenormand, and Rachel's book is excellent!
      Really looking forward to the Conference, though I'm not sure I'll get to sit through any of the presentations uninterrupted - don't want to interfere with other people's enjoyment due to a screaming baby. Ah well... :)
      You should definitely come to one sometime - it's also a good networking opportunity ;)

    2. There is a cleaness to his art I like. I did look at the Sevenfold Mystery recently but it looked as though it wouldn't read so easily out of the box so I left it.

      In terms of the conference, maybe next time ;) I'd really like to do that so maybe I will squirrel some pennies away for next year.

  2. I love this way of using houses in a small reading; I've been playing around with it for myself. The cards seems to fit rather well to this conference.
    I envy you. I wish I could attend such an event too

    1. Glad you've been trying this method, Ellen. I'm enjoying it a lot :)
      Maybe one year you both can come, and we can all meet. How wonderful would that be!!

    2. Yes, it would be wonderful!

      It would be great to meet up one day, Chloe - to chat about tarot and tarot projects and card teaching etc. I used to meet up with quite a few forum people in Kensington in the past .. and Shaheen Miro in recent years. Even though I feel well-connected to those in our blogging circles, it is a real buzz to meet in person and chat about cards and stuff.