Monthly Archives: June 2016

Tarot Haiku: Four Questions

I’d been communicating a lot via haiku the last few months, so much so that my students avowed I’d begun to think in haiku. They’d point out the tell-tale twitch of my digits as I automatically parsed the syllables of my thoughts. Uncanny five-seven-five sequences would emerge quite spontaneously in a discussion of, say, vectors or parametric equations. It wasn’t quite like living inside a musical, where people arbitrarily break into song  at the odd interval, but still.

Meantime, I’ve been obsessed not just with reading cards, but reading them with grace and verve.  Continue reading


Worrying About the Vandenborre


The Spanish Captain and Bacchus, from the Vandenborre Tarot

The Vandenborre Tarot (sometimes known as the Flemish Tarot) is a Tarot de Marseille variant. It’s quirky, so of course I gravitated to it. What’s craziest about this deck? La Papesse has been replaced by Le’Spagnol Capitano Fracasse (The Spanish Captain) while Le Pape is replaced by Bacchus, astride a wine barrel. There are some other differences in imagery from the more standard TdM decks, but those variations are shared with other decks such as the Vieville.  To me, these two cards really stand out as the unique features of the Vandenborre. Continue reading

The Polish Cartomancer

This post is about a lot of things: my Polish grandfather, myself, and some way-cool cards–the pot at the end of a rainbow while searching for a bit of my heritage.

GT Grandfather june 2016

“Old Gypsy Fortune Cards” aka my Polish cards, c. 1920’s-1940’s; reproduction by L. Forestell

There’s no one to ask about my Polish grandfather. He died when I was 6 months old (so it’s safe to say I am not him, reincarnated). He’s a mystery to me–I don’t even have a name by which to call him. We called my grandmother “Busia,” but I never learned the Polish word for grandfather, since he wasn’t there to be called. I usually think of him as “mom’s father” or “my Polish grandfather.” His name was Jan. Continue reading


Lenormand 3x3 may 2016

Maybe Lenormand by Ryan Edward, US Games Edition

It’s something we all want. Some of us already have it, at least more of the time than not.

“What do I need to give clear, confident card readings?” I inaugurated my long-awaited copy of Ryan Edward’s lovely Maybe Lenormand with this question. Continue reading