Come in, be welcome, have a seat. I understand you have some questions?
Oh, I’ve been doing readings since I got my first Tarot deck in high school. I’ve done them at Pagan festivals and conventions, for friends and for strangers. I’ve also done readings in character during role playing games and used cards for inspiration when writing fiction. Actually, that worked out really well. But I guess it makes sense that my cards, like my friends, would enjoy stories enough to play along.
I'm not surprised you want to hear about the Torn World divination disks. Those were inspired in part by Live Journal—the readings that I found the most insight in were by artists designing their own decks. But I wasn’t interested in making just another Tarot deck. Then, for one of the Torn World contests, I came up with a character who does divination, and that started me wondering about what kind of imagery and structure the people of Torn World would create for such things. There’s more about the Torn World language on the website, as well as a complete list of the divination disks.
My favorite decks—I like a lot of different decks. My first criteria is artwork—I look for great artwork. I can only hang so much art on my walls; tarot and oracle decks let me have art that I love in a format that I can use and share with people.
I am lucky enough to have a copy of the Fantasy Showcase Tarot collected by Bruce Pelz, which has some awesome artwork in it. I didn’t expect to use it for readings, really, but when I tried—how can you resist trying out a deck? I can’t.—when I tried, it worked really well, and the cards whose art I didn’t like insisted on showing up in readings giving really clear messages, as if to say, “See? I’m a perfectly good card! You should appreciate me!”
I also love the art of Susan Seddon Boulet. She never designed a deck, but I have two sets of art cards, each of which has one of her paintings on one side and the title and some additional information on the back. These cards speak to me, and I always believed they would speak to other people too. So I shuffled the Goddesses and the Animal Spirits together, and offer to draw a guide for people who want one.
I think the last deck I’ll talk about right now is Brian Froud’s Faeries’ Oracle, which is another deck with stunning art. I feel like I’m still getting acquainted with many of these faeries, but they’re friendly and willing to communicate, at least, when they sneak out of the woods to join me for readings.
What's with this disclaimer thing? Federal law, as I understand it, defines Tarot readings as "for entertainment only". But there's also a matter of practicality. How a person looks at a problem or an issue is very important—if I didn't believe that I wouldn't write poetry or stories, much less do readings. But thoughts are powerful because they shape your actions, not because they replace them. You have to write your words, get paint onto canvass, pay your bills, or in whatever other way that's needed, act
. If you need a doctor or other professional, a card reading won't replace that any more than a card reading can get you a new job if you don't send out your resume.
How much does this cost? The effort is crowdfunded—I offer the service to people who need inspiration or entertainment, and I gratefully accept tips. I have a friend who does readings who says, "Readings are worth what they pay for them". I wouldn’t go so far as that—the times people can pay often don’t correspond with the times they need inspiration. So I offer in the hopes that it will improve people’s lives at least a little bit, and I have faith that people will show their appreciation of what I do when they can. In the long run, of course, if I'm not getting enough money out of this to pay for my time, I may need to put my time and energy into other projects. But I'm glad I am able to do this now.
How can you find out more? Well, you can use the tag at the bottom of this post to find the card draws I’ve done. I talk more about the decks I use in those posts, as well as giving people a (non-canon) glimpse of one corner of Torn World in the readings themselves. If you’re curious about Torn World, it’s at www.tornworld.net. And, of course, you can ask questions below.
You’re welcome to stop by the next time I do a reading! I’ll be looking for you.