Category Archives: Sibilla cards

Bujo Lenormand

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Long before I started to amass various decks of cards, I amassed 1) big plans and 2) blank notebooks. The idea was to fill up 2) in order to execute 1).  The reality is that innumerable black journals have continued to appear and disappear throughout my home according to their own mysterious laws. Some are pretty much filled, others pristine or with just one tantalizing entry from a rapidly receding year. And yes, I’ve done a bunch of things over the years, but not necessarily according to “plan.” Continue reading

Oh look! A chicken! (maybe an egg)

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Medieval chickens and eggs (source unknown)

I’ve been experimenting with the common practice of pulling three cards each morning to say, What will the day be like? I’ve found I assess the day’s spread with an inner criterion I’ll call resonance. When the cards resonate, they articulate the prevailing mood quite exactly.  Not that I knew what the prevailing mood was, beforehand. Up till that moment it was just a swirl of nebulous, disorganized bits of thought and feeling, cloud cover and barometric pressure. Continue reading

A Sibilla Madrigal

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Sibille del Originale 1890, Il Meneghello

I’ve been writing lately about a cartomantic deck I like a lot, the Italian Sibilla. Meanwhile, this month of April is National Poetry Month. So I had the bright idea of combining two loves, by sculpting a Sibilla reading into a poetic form. Continue reading

Eeyore and Tigger Read the Cards: The Statistics of Optimism

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Every Day Oracle (La Vera Sibilla): Malinconia and L’allegria (Lo Scarabeo); with A. A. Milne’s Eeyore and Tigger (E. H. Shepard, illustrator)

Have you ever caught yourself subconsciously picking which of your friends to confide in? When you’re bursting with exuberant feelings about that hot new date, you’re not rushing to Facetime your good buddy Eeyore. And when you have vague unsettling suspicions about how your boss is treating you, trying to get Tigger to stop bouncing and listen is a fruitless task.*

But there are times you want neither Eeyore nor Tigger’s one-dimensional world view. Because…tell me the truth! Is the world basically a happy place or a difficult one? Is the cup really more than half-full, or less than half-empty? Continue reading

The Daily Round

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La Vera Sibilla (Every Day Oracle), Lo Scarabeo

How to describe the Italian Sibilla cards?

It’s like going to your great-aunt’s house when you’re quite small, where the smells are old and the furniture ponderous. All is dusty and dim but for the brilliant light streaming in the kitchen window, spilling onto vivid purple African violets and red geraniums. Silence hangs heavy as brocade drapes, yet sometimes you think you hear laughter from another room. Your great-aunt is kindly, offering tidbits of unaccustomed food and conversation. She’s ancient, but sometimes unexpectedly, for an instant, her lissome, younger self bubbles forth. Continue reading

Between Jost Amman and Me

Jost Amman cards

I’ve been practicing my cartomancy skills by reading images–as opposed to symbolic interpretations, or thoughts about what an “eight” REALLY MEANS (yes, I do think in capital letters). My teacher in this endeavor is the inimitable Camelia Read-the-Damn-Cards Elias–check her out here. Not only does this approach make card reading much simpler and more fun, but there is an obvious transference to the rest of my life. As in, what if I noticed my daily in-front-of-me experience, instead of the swirling clouds of thoughts about it all? Maybe if I saw things for what they are my whole life would be simpler. 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.

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“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