A Mabon Tarot Blog Hop Bouquet

Welcome aboard, you’ll have arrived from Chloe for Celtic Lenormand ….The  MasterList … or Louise Underhill’s Priestess Tarot …

I’ll start off by pointing out a couple of things:

  1. I’m more than a bit partial to a random ramble…
  2. It’s my Birthday 😀 so indulge me! I promise I will eventually talk my way full circle… 😉

So…. Divination? I have to confess, that it is one of those words that I try to avoid… In fact there are a quite a few words associated to the tricks of the trade that I like to swerve… for a whole host of reasons… But today, let’s address my aversion to the D word… and that incident in 1991…

But I’ll start in 1988 which is when I had my first deck, The Elemental by Caroline Smith and I kept and still do keep it wrapped in green and black silk… but back then, very few people knew I possessed such a thing… and I did keep it very low key, as back then… I knew no other person who had such a thing…

Though the nature of conversations with friends that wind and weave into the wee hours over glasses of wine, means that at some point or another you let slip your secrets… and I leaked enough to make them curious and ask me to read for them… so I obliged and just made stuff up… and they would ooooh and ahhh!! and I would chortle and think – Oh! you are so easily impressed… Like I don’t know all this stuff about you anyway….

But then, the friends of friends started asking and these were strangers and they would ask – How do you know that? And I would have to shrug… partly because I had no idea…. and partly because, the more interesting question for me was – How come you DON’T know…? Anyway… I ended up wrapping my cards back up in the silk and then encasing them in a carved wooden box just for good measure and walking away for a while…

Then in 1990, I found myself in the company of quite a few who called themselves readers and I kept my mouth shut and I didn’t let on about my little secret, but I kept my ears open and listened… and they talked… they talked a lot… and apparently a REAL reader only entertains one deck… The Thoth!

So… I tracked down, the one place in town that sold it and in I went and it was a bit like buying porn (or so I Imagine :D) as it was kept high up on a shelf behind the counter and you had to ask for it… I plucked up courage and purchased and took it away… in a brown paper bag! and I got home and slid it out and ran my hands over it…. and put it back in the box… and so that was repeated on many occasions over the following months and into the next year, by which time, I’d moved into a rather nice attic flat, that was the first place that I had solely lived in that was entirely my own space. I was blissfully happy in that flat and particularly happy to find that I had access to a fire escape and could come and go, without using the main front entrance that all the other tenants had to use. I was incredibly grateful for this, as it spared my blushes of having to pass on the stairs, the girl in the flat underneath me, who I couldn’t look in the eye… because… she made weird sex noises! Like a pig with its head stuck in a bucket! Every Wednesday night… 11.45pm kick off… game over usually by 12.05… And it was not so much her habits that bothered me… but mine that I had developed… because she was so predictable… I found that I started to count her in… with a 1 and 2 and a 3 and a 4…. then wave my arms and conduct her crescendo… So I was worried that she had heard me and whichever friends I’d had round, cheering her in on the home run…

But… I digress…

OK… Back to Thoth..

So… after getting in from a night shift, I couldn’t sleep and I found the Thoth winking at me to come and play…

and it’s around 4.30am and all is deadly silent and I pick up the LWB … I turn to page 38 and I start to read…

The traditional technical method of divination by the Thoth here follows…

And I followed what it said and I sat with baited breath, with my cards in my left hand as instructed and in my right hand… well… in those days, I didn’t possess such thing as a wand, but I’ve always been pretty resourceful, so I improvised one out of what I seem to recall as… a sandalwood joss stick…

So… I waved my most magickal of wands over my deck and I said out loud…

I invoke the I A O, that thou wilt sent H R U, the great Angel that is OOOOOOOH!!!!!!! HOLY SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!


I dropped my consecrated cards of art and my heart was in my mouth… and I’m shaking and more than a little bit trembly and thinking oh! oh! Oh!! OHHHH!!! What have I just summoned???

Then I take a deep breath and think KAREN!!!! GET A GRIP!!! The electricity meter has run out!! Feed it some coins 😀

So I push pentacles into slot and hey! Big white magic! Let there be light! 😀

I gathered up my flung cards and as I nudged them back into pile… I thought… Actually… you know what? I don’t much care for sitting down to chat with the likes of Mr Crowley… I’ve seen that recipe for Cakes of Light... and as for his taste in drinks… his bouquet is not to my liking… So… again, I put cards back under wraps and that deck stayed swathed until fairly recently when My Thoth Lit Up…

But that D word is getting harder and harder to ignore these days, as the more I read, the more I get asked how I do it… and I have given a whole range of answers from very many angles… depending on the mood I’m in… None of which satisfy me, having come from a background that has a heavy dose of Science tossed into the mix… Though on one day, through sheer frustration at being asked for about the what seemed like 100th time that week… I just said LOOK!!! I don’t know!! OK?? You asking me that is like me asking you how do you breathe… and I thought to myself…. Oooooh …. bit rude! and I was pleasantly surprised when she piped back with oh! cool… you just do it naturally…  So… I’ve been using that of late… ‘I read like you breathe’ and it doesn’t get challenged! No counter argument… no demands to extend my logic… Just oh! COOL 🙂

However… I still have that Science gene spliced within… so I have to go away and examine in my own time… and my conclusion… well I’m back to that old question of How can you NOT do this?? It’s there all around, everywhere…. art, music, science, patterns, rhythms, cycles, numbers, letters… round and around… waiting to be read… waiting to be observed… and then all becomes as predictable as Miss Piggy on date night…

So… I know when I started reading cards… but when did I start to divine? Well… now I look more closely at it… I can’t remember a time when I didn’t divine… I was a curious child trying to make sense of a puzzle filled world and I’ve always had some sort of running commentary going through my head… Where other kids had imaginary friends… I had an invisible brother… Now there is a clear distinction there… Imaginary friends don’t exist… Invisible brother very much so exists… but you can’t see him… I can’t see him… Oh! but I could hear him…

I did have a tendency to turn feral very quickly as a kid and would shoot off as far as my feet would carry me, to entertain myself on great adventures and I would also drag my little sister along… and no matter how many times I got us both a beating… all I had to say to her was… Hey! I’ve got a good idea… and she would blithely skip in my wake… And she thought I was the bee’s knees… especially when we got stuck in a field with a bull… She was terrified… I was probably more so than her, but never let on… I had a word with my brother and he lead us safely out… And even better… he didn’t steal my glory 😀 So… I guess that was a bit of divine guidance…?

And when not getting into scrapes, I had my nose firmly planted into Alice in Wonderland… Her life was exactly like mine! Just I could see her brother… a big old White Rabbit… and we got up to all the same kinds of stuff… falling down holes and talking to plants and animals…

And still animals and plants talk to me… I listen… I listen lots… though I don’t talk back… I’m not freakin’ crazy! 😀

But my garden is where I do my best divining… and it occurs to me that flowers are always in the act of divination… they are rooted with their faces turned to the sun and they just do what they do… They feel their connection to the Divine and they bloom and blossom and open and spill joy with nary a care…

They make no apology for being beautiful, they don’t strive to make comparisons or fill themselves with angst or question whether they are good enough or is this the right time?

They are present and vibrantly alive…

I remember that Alice (which if my memory serves me well… I think means Seeker of truth…) talking to flowers and also to that big old Caterpillar…

O R U….

H R U ??

Hey! Did you just invoke I A O to send the great Angel?

Mmmm…. I think that sneaky Lewis Carrol may well have been a tarot reader…. I think he may have corrupted my young innocent mind…

Oh well… I leave you with a bouquet from my garden…

Hey… I just heard those flowers talk…

Put your crown on!

It makes the cosmos smile!


You may escape…

here… Chloe for Celtic Lenormand

here… The Master List

here… Louise Underhill’s Priestess Tarot

39 thoughts on “A Mabon Tarot Blog Hop Bouquet

  1. Oh brilliant Karen!! Feed the meter some pentacles and counting her downstairs in…. Hillarious and just what I needed today of all days! The Thoth isn’t that scary, though I’ve not spent any time learning it. Too in love with The Wildwood now 🙂


  2. Thanks Louise and glad to give you some comic relief! No… the Thoth is not scary… I’m warming to it very nicely and don’t bother to learn it, it’ll come find you and start talking when the time is right… I do love the Wildwood but I’ve not used it to read for others as there is so much going on in the pictures…. and I have a tendency to stray… I love reading your posts 🙂


  3. lol…I love the way you ended with “you may escape…” (you have a great quirky sense of humor!) and am fascinated by your experience with the Thoth, which I have never tried working with…


    1. LOL… you can interpret escape as you please 🙂 I think Thoth works best, when it decides to come work with you… I’d committed it to a dusty grave on my shelf… then it came a knock knock knocking… via a friend who absoloutely loves it…


  4. Haha, awesome visual of you freaking when the lights magically extinguish!!! I haven’t ventured into the Thoth… it’s on my wish list but the art doesn’t do much for me, and yet it’s a classic, soooo…. we shall see! I love your ending about the divinity in your garden flowers 🙂


    1. 😀 yeah… the Thoth left me cold for a long time… Then it suddenly filled with colour. I think the art becomes more interesting when you start thinking of linking the cards together and the shapes that flow from one card to another… I’m pleased you loved my flowers 😀 I so spend hours with them… 😉


      1. that’s true, sometimes cards don’t seem to mesh until you start reading with them… I had that experience with the Gilded Tarot, in fact. The artwork wasn’t so much my “thing” but when I read with them I felt the movement and color really went deep…and I loved it!


      2. lol… now see… I’ve never really bonded with my Gilded Tarot… but that is more of a case that I don’t like how they shuffle, as the card is so flimsy on the deck I have. If I want to get a good feel for a deck and see what it does, I tend to take it out and throw it in at the deep end when I do events with back to back speed reads and you have to think fast…


      3. Gahhh it’s true. I just purchased the Llewellyn Tarot and I love the imagery and stories behind them but they are just so flimsy I feel I’ll never be able to work heavily with them. I wish publishers would take this more into account when putting decks out there.


      4. Yes… Publishers should most definitely take that into account. I bought my deck blind from Amazon and I’ve not bought a deck by them since as I was so 😦 with the flimsiness. I don’t care how amazing the art work is, if the card quality is too poor to work with… then my deck just became a chocolate teapot… Though I may be more grouchy than some on the subject, as I spent years in casinos and you never mark cards… Old habits and all that LOL 😉


  5. Happy happy! Joy joy! (my traditional b’day greetings)

    Your post just made me SCREAM with laughter. You have a great gift for comedic writing. 😀 And I heard the same about the Thoth and “real” readers. 🙂 I’m still not a real reader. 😉


    1. Happy happy! Joy Joy! is one of my favourite phrases! 😀 I’m glad to have made you scream with laughter after torturing you with maths last time… Thank you for noting my gift… my invisible brother also spotted that and told me to stop emailing him and to start blogging 😀 Great to hear that you are not a real reader… not real readers are the cat’s whiskers!


    1. I love you too! One of the joys of blogging is that you get to meet such neat people from all over the globe… I’m very happy to have made your acquaintance! I love your sunny vibe 🙂


    1. Thank you Christiana 🙂 it was such a great subject to riff with… It was a very interesting process to land that writing and not the way I’m used to working where I just flit from card to card catching thoughts like butterflies… Here, I had my last line arrive first… And then I had to sift the memory to see how I arrived there… I went back to 1971 for it all to string together and that little story didn’t make the edit… I finished it and thought mmmm…. I’ve not used a single tarot card… I wonder if I kept on theme… Then I thought… Mmmm… I’m sure I read – have fun and make it your own… If I’m challenged on topic, I’ll pull the B’day card! And say hey! I’m Queen for the day! Let me play! 😀 Really loved writing it!


  6. Hello fellow Virgo! My birthday is the same day as yours! Happy Birthday! I’m following the Tarot Blog Hop and I loved your post. Not only do we share the same birthday, but I suspect the same sense of humor & reading style as well. I haven’t warmed to the Thoth yet, but your post has reassured me that I’m not the only one. Thanks & I look forward to your next post.


    1. Thank you! And B’day greetings to you too, fellow Virgo… I wouldn’t give up on your Thoth just yet… it may well warm to you 😀 There are squillions of decks to chose from… though if you do share my sense of humour and reading style as you suspect… then I’ll give you a wee nudge to check out my usual weapon of choice… Tarot in the Land of Mystereum… It’s fast and funny and likes to chat! I’m looking forward to my next post also… I have no idea what it is yet! 😀 Thanks for dropping by 😉


  7. Fantastic, Karen – thanks so much for this. Parts of it made me laugh out loud… and as someone else who still has the science gene spliced within, I too come back to the same question – how can you NOT do this? Clearly I’m in good company!…thanks too for sharing your flowers.


    1. Thanks Alison! Good company indeed 😀 That Science gene can prove bothersome sometimes, as you want to be able to explain in ways that stand up to lab tests… yet you have experiences that you just can’t quantify by means known to date… I’m pleased to hear that you also come back to the same question 😀 It’s a pleasure to share my flowers with you. They are beautiful and I challenge anyone to scientifically prove otherwise 😉 lol


  8. Hilarious and apt D-word story! Counting her in… LOL You sister has great taste, ’cause your witty irreverence that’s all You is right on the… Pentacles into the meter. Electric! Cheers!


  9. ROFL! Loved that bit when the lights went out – that must have been really freakily frightening! As an ‘Alice’ I was told that it meant ‘of noble stock’, but I never bothered researching it – I’d rather be a ‘seeker of truth’!


    1. LOL…. yeah… I did scare the living beJeezus! out of myself 😀 I like both versions of Alice… and I’m sure as Queen of the Courts,you can lay claim to both… And Off with your head! to anyone who dares to disagree 😀


  10. Well-timed, that invocation! Good thing you had some down-to-earth pentacles to right the situation. Outstanding storytelling (Carroll would be proud).
    I feel your ambivalence on the Thoth and raise you mine, which was dispelled by a lovely study of the deck using Alison Cross as our mentor in an FB group. I still have my criticism’s of Crowley’s approach, but more and more I appreciate Lady Frieda’s symbolism.

    And I so identify with your Science issue. I have my own theory, a blend of cosmology and quantum mechanics, to explain the D thing. More here if you’re inclined (no sell-sell or anything, just my blog post!): http://cosmicwhisperstarot.com/2013/09/12/30-day-tarot-challenge-q-19/

    I shall sign up to read more of yours for sure.


    1. Thanks Joanne 🙂 I’m warming much more to Thoth…especially since I’ve met someone who uses it so well… Now I’m longer in the tooth, I do find Crowley most amusing… especially since I stumbled across copies of the Letters between him and Frieda. I wasted a whole day reading them a couple of years back and they are wonderful… Basically him – saying give me more money and her saying Mr Crowley… I’ve already given you plenty of money! 😀
      Thanks for directing me to your blogpost… I’ve had a quick scan and I will be visiting again when I can lose myself for a couple of hours or so… I’m very much liking the look of what I see there… 😉


  11. Ah yes, what did our parents do to us, all unknowing, feeding us Alice on car journeys and in cinemas? Now that’s another deck I can’t wait for, the Baba version… Hopefully not Thoth-scary, but trippy in a cuter way 😉


    1. Indeed Chloe 😀 and now I knowingly feed my kids on cartoons… Anything in life that has not been referenced or parodied by The Simpsons…. well, just not worth knowing lol. I’ve been keeping an eye on that Baba version, for what seems like an eternity… It is looking to be a droolilcious deck… and as for scary versus trippy… I’m thinking that is less to do with the deck and more to do with the user… 😉


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