Astrology, Divination, and Pattern Recognition

astrology A little while back I got a reading done by my friend Erik Roth. He does shamanic astrology, and I highly recommend his services. I've gotten my astrological reading done in the past, and each time what has struck me about the readings has been the accuracy of the description of patterns in my life. It's not so much that the person has read my future but rather has shown me some existing patterns as well as other ones to be aware of. I've found the same to be true with Tarot readings and other forms of divination. What is being read are patterns of information and behavior and from that a person can get a good idea of what s/he needs to anticipate in the future.

Pattern recognition is the recognition of certain patterns of influence in your life. Those patterns of influence originate from both within you and the environment around you. One of the reasons I'm willing to consider the validity of Astrology is that I do think we are effected by the cycles of the planets around Earth. If nothing else there is a gravitational effect of some type and who is to say that doesn't have some influence on us? Even if that isn't the case, being able to look at your life in relationship to specific patterns can be enlightening in terms of what it helps you work on. For example, I've just entered into a cycle with Pluto, which astrologically speaking is the dark night of the soul for me. The recognition of this pattern allows me to prepare for it. The Pluto cycle is about breaking things down, but this doesn't have to be a negative experience. Instead it can be a positive experience, where I plan for and use the cycle of Plutonian energy to my benefit.

The same applies to a Tarot reading. Someone does a reading for you and what it supplies you is an awareness of patterns of information. The cards don't reveal the future but they show you what to look out for. Of course the only problem with this approach is that when you are looking at specific patterns you may not be aware of others. Pattern recognition helps you to be aware patterns, but it also acts as a filter so that you may only see those patterns. This is why although getting a divinatory reading can be helpful, sometimes it can be just as helpful to leave yourself open to experience to see what happens.

I think that what I found most helpful about the astrological reading is that it gave me a general sense of what to be aware of and provided some focus on key areas of my life that may need some work. All of it was accurate and how I knew that was because even without the reading I was already working on the issues and patterns the reading described. In that sense it affirmed my current work and showed I am on the right path. Never hurts to get some confirmation...though as always keep yourself open to whatever comes your way. The obvious perspective can box you in and cause you to miss out on other opportunities.

Tarot Readings and spontaneous spreads


I was doing dual deck tarot readings at the local yule fair last week and what stood out to me was how people would create their own spreads, which didn't necessarily look like anything I'd create, but nonetheless made perfect sense for those people. What I liked about that realization is that it proves that fixed spreads are not a necessary part of Tarot reading. In fact, I'd argue that the spontaneous creation of new spreads made the reading more effective because the layout of the cards demonstrated the mental "space" of the person, and how the different cards were situated in that space.

Space, mental and physical, is part of how a person defines his/her identity. The manipulation of space via placement of objects is part of that identification process and it can tell a lot about what obstacles a person is encountered. A spread that is chaotic with elements all over the place still has an order to it, even if its an order that only the person who created the spread understands. A reading I recently did initially looked very chaotic. It took asking some questions to really get to the central issue, but once those questions were asked the spread made complete sense and fit the issue rather well.

What makes this approach dynamic however is that if you use a tarot reading as an act of enchantment, you can make the person's ability to change the spread, to reorganize it an essential part of the reading. In other words, the person changes the spatial identity s/he inhabits by changing how the cards are spatially organized, as well as how s/he understands the underlying message of the card. The result is a different reading, one that plots how the person will make changes to the existing pattern in order to resolve whatever issues are represented.

Here's a podcast episode where I talk about some of my initial experiments with Tarot.

Radio interview with Jaymi Elford

I just finished interviewing Jaymi Elford about her Tarot Business. We had a couple callers cal in at the last minute and I apologize to them, but if they wish to contact her with questions, please visit her website. Jaymi offers Tarot Readings, Tarot Classes, and Tarot pouches which can hold your tarot cards. She's also writing a book on cutting edge Tarot techniques. To learn more about her, please visit her website.

You can listen to the radio show interview below. Next week's topic will be Magical Groups and will air on Friday June 10th at 2:30pm.

Listen to internet radio with Experimental Magic on Blog Talk Radio

Using the dual Deck system for enchantments

While I find using Tarot for divination useful, I typically use it for enchantment purposes. My latest experiment with the dual deck system involved doing an enchantment for a specific situation. If you go to the Facebook page for magical experiments, you can see a picture of the latest dual deck working, which is the enchantment I did. Here's a link to a close up of the photo as well. The core issue of the reading is at the bottom of the picture. There are two arms to the reading as well. The left hand arm represents the enchantment to control and mitigate negative influences that would effect the enchantment adversely. The right arm represents the desired outcome as well as specific node points and influence factors that will be drawn on in order to make the desired result manifest into reality. The three nodal points that spread out from the right arm, are the specific spheres of influence to be drawn on, with the connectors representing the best possible avenues to manifest those influences into the actual desired result.

Not all enchantments would need to be conducted this way, but for this instance it has been useful to approach it with an eye toward mitigating undesired influences. The dual deck system is useful because it provides visual symbols that can be manipulated physically, which the person can use to also manipulate possibilities in imaginary time. The cards provide an interface for the possibilities to manifest from, while making sense to the person doing the action, because the conceptualization of the possibilities is mediated through the cards and the maneuvering of them into specific spaces.

Intuition is also a useful component for this process, as a way of accessing imaginary time. Intuition is used in the placement of each nodal point as well as in the placement of the best connector for each nodal point. On the imaginary time level, intuition is used to match the possibilities to the nodal points and connectors, and help the person establish a meaningful connection between the reading and the events the person is influencing via the enchantment of the reading.

It's useful, with enchantment, to recognize that what is being worked with is the placement of a specific possibility into an existing system, in order to turn that possibility into reality and make it an inherent part of the system. Each nodal point represents a specific conceptual space within the system. The connectors (in this case) represent emotional states of being that are key influences for realizing the impact of the conceptual spaces on the desired result. Since we want the positive conceptual spaces to have maximum impact, in order to ensure that the desired result becomes reality, we need to use connectors that will embody the path of least resistance and maximum empowerment of the desired result.

Further experimentation to come...as a note this is a system partially derived from Calyxa Omphalos's work with dual deck tarot readings, and partially derived from ongoing work with using Tarot for enchantment purposes.



I was looking at one of my experimental journals, a written journal I keep, and saw it in a reading I did a year or more ago about a possible move to the East versus staying in Portland. I won't say much about the East coast reading beyond noting that what the reading showed me certainly would've come true, which was apparent when the reading was done, but in hindsight is even more apparent now. But looking at the reading for staying in PDX. The Death card was first...Transformation, recycling, going thorugh a cycle...yes that's exactly what I'm experiencing in my life, followed by creativity, action, compassion, and breakthrough...All of which are elements in my life right now, both in the emptiness working and in my business pursuits. And why really mention it? Because it fascinates me to see how much my life has changed as a result of my choice, in what I would think of as really positive changes overall. I took the harder path, in some ways, a path where some alchemical rotting needed to occur in order to bring about inner alchemical changes...and is still occurring...hard when you face your demons in all their glory, but so rewardinging for the changes that can occur. One reading came true...the other could've too...but in hindsight, having experienced some of the journey for this reading I found...I'm where I need to be, to progress on my spiritual path. And looking at the reading over a year later, I am struck by how it spoke so well to not just the present then, but also the present manifesting now. It's amazing what you can see and find in the patterns of yesterday which speaks to the weave of today.

podcast interviews on Tarot connection

Interivew with Lupa on Totem cards Interview with me on experiments with tarot and magic

 You know in listening to this episdoe, I'm struck again by how much the ritual I did in it, already has changed my life. Leisa, the host, mentioned that each time a person listened to it, the invocation would occur again...and so there's some space/time magic for you...but also that show and in fact that day made me recognize some realities that were important to me.

The transmutation continues...

Transformation and re-dedication

A week and a half ago I got interviewed by Leisa Refalo for tarot connections. She and I happen to live in the same city, so she was game for doing the interview in person. Because the majority of my work with Tarot is practical magic oriented as opposed to divination, she was curious as to how I could demonstrate some of my work. I won't ruin it for my readers, because we discuss what I did in the interview she and I had. However what really interested me was that before we did the interview, she gave Lupa and I a white candle with the Strength card displayed, saying she had a feeling we needed it. The Strength card is also the Lust card, depending on the deck and portrays Babalon riding the Sacred Beast. I found this relevent because I'm working with Babalon for the course of a year in my elemental balancing work and because I had also dedicated myself to her.

In the course of the interview I did my magical working with the cards and the final card I picked as an outcome for the working I was doing was the Transmutation card, or transformation. This card was important because it signaled a transformation of my relationship with certain aspects of my life. I'm not going to go into detail about those transformations, as they are of a highly personal nature.

Tonight when I go home, I will be buying several bottles of red wine. One will be for a friend, but one will be for the lady in red. I will light the flame of the blessed candle. I will take my blade, with the hilt of the beast and pass it above the flame, as I call her. I will paint a picture and use the smoke of the candle to purify and bless the picture. I will take the bottle of red wine and pour some into a cup, with a bit of blood and cum to go in as well to flavor it with my essence. I will commune and re-dedicate myself to her.

Her hand is on my shoulder. We will keep walking and talking with each other, just as we had before, but in a different vein. There's so much she can teach me and she is still my guide for this year's elemental love working, but also for beyond. We are transformed, now we continue the journey of refinement.