After my recent relocation to Providence, RI, I had to take some time to get the new digs set up to my satisfaction…
And I’m happy to report that I now have a space that feels very conducive to the excellent administration of healing Reiki energy! I’m therefore pleased to once again officially offer Reiki sessions aimed at enhanced well-being. I also offer attunements, so if you’re interested in becoming a Reiki practitioner yourself, I can help you along that pathway.
If you’d like to book a session or set up an attunement, then please take a look at my updated REIKI page!
Ever since I first discovered the joys of Tarot, I’ve experienced phases during which the urge to buy new decks has spiked through the roof for me. On the one hand, I do read and teach professionally at this point, so decks are legitimate tools of the trade…but on the other hand, I do need to be on guard against the impulse to buy and collect and amass just for the sake of the momentary gratification of obtaining something new.
Over the last year or two, I’ve really been good about largely squelching that mad, rampant urge to buy new decks. My basic needs and even most of my basic wants are covered. For the most part, buying decks now feels mostly like I’m just scratching that fleeting itch of “Buy New Stuff!” – it doesn’t feel so much like I’m acquiring necessary implements for my actual work.
But then in the last two months or so, I’ve suddenly still managed to plunk down cash for no less than three new decks.
The first of these was the Epic Tarot. It’s a very recent release, and the detailed and surreal fantasy artwork knocked me out. I was also very impressed with a couple of the innovations specific to this deck: two of the Suits have been renamed in ways that feel smart and interesting for once, and the Court Cards have been reworked in very thought-provoking fashion.
On the heels of that purchase, I relocated to Providence, Rhode Island, former home of H. P. Lovecraft, the celebrated writer of horror-fiction. I wanted to get one of the decks out there that was based on Lovecraft’s work, and I settled on the Dark Grimoire Tarot, which is another rather deep and stimulating deck.
And finally, there’s the deck that arrived here yesterday: the Tabula Mundi Colores Arcus. For a couple of years now, I’ve been pulling a card every morning from a phone app I have that features the Rosetta Tarot, by artist and creator M. M. Meleen. The Tabula Mundi is her second deck. I’ve been drooling over this one for many months now, ever since MMM first posted pictures of some of the Major Arcana cards she’d started developing. The artwork in the deck is phenomenal: it’s detailed, vividly colored, very otherworldly, intensely innovative, bursting with imagination and energy, and highly evocative of the Thoth deck on which it’s based, without ever feeling derivative or overly reliant on it. Ms. Meleen is a passionate student of the occult, and this shows through in each and every card.
I’ll be working heavily with all three of the aforementioned decks as I move forward from here, but I feel like the Tabula Mundi will hold a very special place in my world. I’ve had it for less than 24 hours, but I already can’t recommend it enough!
If you’d like to learn more about this astonishing new deck, CLICK HERE. If you want to go straight to placing your order for your copy now, CLICK HERE.
Slowly but surely, I shall march onward through all 78 cards, posting entries in my TAROT CARD MEANINGS section for each and every one of them until we’ve covered the entire Tarot deck! It’s still early days for this project, but we’ll get there… Today’s offering focuses on one of my own personal favorite cards, the glorious High Priestess.
Pick up some metaphysical factoids about this celestial font of wisdom, plus a few tidbits on how to interpret her presence when she shows up in a reading – it’s all captured here: THE HIGH PRIESTESS!
And don’t stop there – learn Tarot with me, through PRIVATE LESSONS or via the TAROT TOOLKIT ONLINE COURSE, a 10-session program taught in a virtual classroom by way of 10 separate MP4 video recordings and a 120-page Workbook!
Last month, I relocated to Providence, RI. I’m really enjoying my first taste of living in New England as an adult. I was born in Connecticut, which qualifies, but we moved away when I was two years old, and I’ve never lived in NE again…until now.
I’ve heard multiple times that the entire state of Rhode Island is haunted, and also that the house I moved into is similarly known to the spirits of the deceased. I can’t say that I’ve witnessed any of this first-hand, but I’m always open to possibilities.
Also, this possibly haunted house lies across just one thin street from a sprawling cemetery. And then adjoining that cemetery, on the far side of it from my new home, is…another cemetery. Rhode Island seems to have maybe more than its fair share of cemeteries, actually.
And on a vaguely related note, as I keep mentioning, Providence was also the home of H. P. Lovecraft, a very acclaimed writer of horror-fiction.
So all of this scary graveyard/dead/Cthulhu stuff gave me the sudden idea a few days ago to offer Tarot readings performed right in that neighboring cemetery! But then I thought that not only could I pull cards while standing in the boneyard, but I could also mix in a bit of Divination patterned after what people call Bibliomancy. This is the divinatory practice of taking a book – often the Bible, although many people use other books instead – asking a question, and then opening the book at random and fixing on a word, phrase, or passage that will then be taken as answer to the question, much like a Tarot card randomly drawn would be used in a straight-up Tarot card reading.
Instead of using a book, though, I thought it would be really interesting to use the many tombstones scattered about the cemetery. There are hundreds, if not several thousand of them, all standing, leaning, yawing, pitching, and silently moaning out the names and lifespans and last words of those interred below them. They speak…so why not listen, and gather up messages…?
But if you know anything about Divination, then you know that each form of it, no matter how specific and downright weird, tends to have some fancy name, usually ending in the suffix, “-mancy.”
Phyllomancy involves Divination performed using leaves. Capnomancy happens when a diviner makes use of smoke in order to answer questions. Nephomancy is Divination with clouds. If there’s a thing out there in the world, someone is using it to coax forth answers from the Great Beyond – divinatory practices exist that focus on eggs (Oomancy), lightning (Electromancy), molten metal (Molybdomancy), old shoes (Scarpomancy), excrement (Scatomancy), wheel ruts (Trochomancy), shells (Conchomancy), and people’s navels (Omphalomancy), among many, many others.
So Divination using tombstones is hardly that outlandishly far out there compared to some of the divinatory practices that people get up to. But what to call it??
Obviously “(something)-mancy.” Sure. But what?
There is a form of Divination that involves communicating in some fashion with the dead: it’s called Necromancy.
And there’s another one that makes use of stones: this one is Lithomancy.
I thought briefly about maybe combining them into one concept: Necrolithomancy.
But it didn’t feel quite right. For one thing, what I was envisioning would be aimed at pulling info from the tombstones themselves, and not so much from the dead souls whose passings the tombstones are commemorating. Also, on the Lithomancy prong, that practice tends more toward people using much smaller, hand-held stones, and casting them onto a flat surface, or at least drawing some members of a set of stones from out of a bag or some such. Those stones usually don’t have writing on them, or birth/death data. What I had in mind was probably more about the writing and informational aspects of the tombstones than just the fact that they fall under the heading of “stuff made of rock.”
Bibliomancy was out because tombstones aren’t books. There’s a related form called Logomancy, which involves divining messages via words…but that didn’t quite capture the fact that these would be words involved with summing up the former lives of the now dead.
I started looking into words that had nothing to do with Divination, per se, but which do a great job indicating any of the major concepts I was interested in conveying: death, cemeteries, tombstones, last words. Here were the best and most applicable candidates that presented themselves, and which I tried to then modify into “-mancy” kinds of words:
Mausoleum –> Mausoleomancy. I decided this was long and ungainly, and called to mind Leo DiCaprio due to the middle syllables.
Necropolis –> Necropolomancy. “Necropolis” means “City of the Dead,” which I love, but this is quite a mouthful. Also, it seems to apply more to an entire graveyard than to individual tombstones – I needed something that would speak not of the forest, but of the individual trees, if you see what I’m saying here.
Cenotaph –> Cenotaphomancy. Another clunky word. Plus, while a cenotaph is a very on-point word that refers to a tombstone, it seems that it almost always speaks of the kind of stone that’s erected at some place distant and distinct from where the remains of the invoked person are actually buried. That’s not what I would be getting into – presumably all of the bodies mentioned by the tombstones in this cemetery here are lying only about six feet away (in the “straight down” direction).
Epitaph –> Epitaphomancy. I actually like this one a lot…but an epitaph is the inscription on a tombstone, and I wanted to be open to any and all information I might pull from looking at these somber markers. Said info might include plant life growing on them, birds or other animals landing on them, trash left behind by sloppy mourners, the disrepair of the tombstones, you name it. Anything could be part of the message, so limiting the name of the practice to the contents of the epitaphs felt too restrictive and misleading.
And so we come to the winner: Sepulchromancy, drawn from the word sepulchre, which means a tomb of some sort. This word is also not the absolutely 100% perfect fit I’d been hoping for, but it sounds cool to me (that’s important!), and it also seems to be graveyard-specific enough without being so restrictive that it omits too much of what the practice is about. If I could only find a word that’s like cenotaph in specifically indicating tombstones, but which doesn’t include the part about the bodies being elsewhere, then I’d be set. Until such time as a word like that presents itself to me, though, I give you and the world…Sepulchromancy!
Not a hoax! Not a misleading scam! Not a bait-and-switch headline!
I will literally walk into a big local graveyard and do a reading for you while there that combines Tarot cards and Divination-via-tombstone!
To celebrate both Halloween and my recent move to spooky Providence, RI – former home of horror-fiction writer extraordinaire, H. P. Lovecraft – I’m offering a scary new kind of reading. It involves me not only venturing into a local cemetery with my Tarot cards on your behalf in my quest to provide the finest in divinatory guidance, but I’ll also be weaving in data collected via a practice I’m now calling “sepulchromancy.”
There’s this practice that’s common among Tarot readers involving the use of what’s called a “Significator card.” The idea is that a person can be consistently represented within a reading or in a meditation by a given card. These Significator cards are often chosen from the subset of the Court Cards, and people will regularly zoom in on a Significator based on the age and gender of the querent (so someone with mature, Yang energy might best be represented by the King of Wands or the King of Swords, since Kings are mature and Yang, and the Suits of Wands and Swords are also considered to be Yang in nature). Other Tarot people don’t feel bound to choose Significators from only the Court Cards – much of this is down to personal preference.
Here’s a question, though: can a deck itself have a Significator card selected from within the ranks of its own 78 component members? Can a single card consistently represent a given deck? And can different decks have different Significators than the cards that serve as Significators for other decks?
That is, it would be one thing to say that, for instance, The High Priestess represents all decks, and any deck’s own High Priestess card could serve as that deck’s Significator. That would be one possibly valid approach here. It would be another thing, though, to hold that for Deck A, the Significator card that would always represent it would be, for example, the Emperor card, while Deck B’s Significator might instead be its own Ace of Wands card. That approach might also work, depending on your own responses to all of this…
But regardless of whether you want to use cards as official “Significators” for decks, it’s tough to argue that we don’t end up forming very strong associations linking a couple of specific cards with the deck from which they’re drawn. Like, if I had to use a single card to capture the famed Rider-Waite-Smith deck for myself or somebody else, I’d probably settle first on The Magician. To me, that’s the first card image that leaps to mind when I think of the RWS deck – that card means that deck in my mind, and that deck also means that card. Other high-ranking possibilities for me would include The High Priestess, The Hermit (being on a Led Zeppelin album cover surely helps…), the Death card, and maybe a couple of the Court Cards and Aces.
Over in Thoth-Land, even before I became a full-time Tarot zealot myself, I understood that some early glimpse of the Adjustment card was very formative for me, and I imprinted on that image hard as a signifier of the Thoth deck. I don’t even know that I fully grasped what the image was depicting at first, but I knew that it was unique to the Thoth deck, and that seeing the Adjustment card called the Thoth deck to mind for me, and that stumbling across any reference to the Thoth deck would likewise bring a mental picture of the Adjustment card swimming up to plant itself on my mental front-burner. Runners-up for Thoth Significators for me are the Universe and the Lust cards: these also feel very extremely and uniquely evocative of this deck.
So how about you? Do you feel that individual decks have their own Significator cards that can be produced from within the bodies of themselves…?
Hey: learn Tarot with me! You can browse my now-underway free section on TAROT CARD MEANINGS, you can sign on with me to receive PRIVATE LESSONS in Tarot, or you can purchase the TAROT TOOLKIT ONLINE COURSE that I co-taught earlier this year, which features 10 recorded webinar-style class sessions in MP4 format and a 120-page PDF Workbook, plus a few freebie files that introduce the basics of some related metaphysical disciplines, such as Astrology and Qabalah. Questions? Drop me a line via my CONTACT page!
We’re starting off Monday with some Magic here, as this morning sees the next in our series of page entries that capture basic Tarot card meanings:meet The Magician!
Please continue to feel invited to send in any comments, suggestions, and requests you may have with respect to this growing library of Tarot Card Meanings pages. Your input is important, and will always be considered here! You can reach me via the info found in my Contact page…