NEW: 30 minute reading slots available

Due to popular demand I'm now also offering 30 minute consultations ($70). A 30 min rootwork consult includes a full reading and is ideal for focussing on a single issue, allowing us to cut to the chase and find rootwork solutions pronto!

A full hour consult ($120), on the other hand, is great for looking at multiple topics of your choice or for magical coaching - letting us dive deep into whatever is on your mind no matter how complex!



In Memory of Dr E

The online hoodoo community is reeling after the devastating news that Dr E has passed so unexpectedly. Eddy was a colleague and a friend - my heart goes out to his family and partner at this, the saddest of times. I'll always remember Eddy for his tirelessness work in AIRR and in the extended spiritual community; his fearless integrity and his sense of humour.

Eternal Light and Progress to you, dear friend.


Amsterdam Tarot Show

Past, present, future ALL REVEALED later today at the Amsterdam Tarot Show. I will be doing readings!! So come and see what promises to be an incredible art exhibition, and also get some cards flipped! Cafe de Cantine (Rietlandpark 373, 1019 EM Amsterdam)


Pendulum says "NO!"

I didn't always used to be a crappy dowser.

When I decided to take my vocation as reader seriously and found myself a mentor, I soon became seduced by the promising swing of the pendulum. Shirley, the septuagenerian card reader who had adopted me as her student, was a fierce dowser. She also was an annoying dowser. Aside from the excellent use she put the tool to in readings to refine time frames and other handy specifics - that bloody pendulum would get whipped out for everything; to choose new decks of cards; buy books; and even make dinner decisions. If there was any doubt about what should happen next, out the amethyst bauble would come from the mysterious depths of her handbag. Any protestations as to the pendulum's choice of, say, location for our sunday walk on the beach would produce a sharp look from Shirley.

"But Noordhoek beach is so lovely and quiet this time of day, Shirlz" I'd say.
"The pendulum says no" Shirley would state as a matter-of-fact.

I would restrain the urge to grab the amethyst dangling in front of my face and fling it out the car window. The pendulum had the final word, and that was that. Perhaps that's why Shirley's pendulum was so accurate in readings. For Shirley that pendulum was more than a crystal dangling from a chain. It was a natural law. Resultantly, I got my own pendulum and started practicing based on my mentor's instruction. The results were lackluster at best. I couldn't trust the damn thing. You see, in order to get accurate dowsing responses you need to trust. And, perversely, in order to trust you need accurate answers. A veritable divinatory chicken and egg scenario for a doubting Thomas such as I.

After a few weeks of frustration I had an idea. I asked Shirley to ritually bestow upon me the ability to dowse. With a raised eyebrow, my cranky mentor agreed. We created a small ceremony and I went upon one knee as a knight might before his queen. Shirley took her pendulum in hand, as did I. She then lay the other hand on my shoulder and as we swung our pendulums together in unison she declared that from this day forth I would be a dowser.

To our surprise it actually worked. I started getting accurate, consistent dowsing responses. I wasn't prospecting for minerals yet, mind you, but I was well on my way to a good solid level of dowsing proficiency. Thrilled to have another arrow in my quiver I enthusiastically set about working with the pendulum in a variety of settings. Time moved on and I eventually moved to Europe. Intercontinental phone-calls are expensive, Shirley was clueless with the internet and eventually Shirley and I lost touch. I suspect that her kids moved her to a different retirement home. The pendulum took a back seat to my study of geomancy for a while and when I decided to take it up again two years later the ability was gone. It was as if losing touch with Shirley had broken the spell and whatever she had bestowed on me that day had slipped away. I was a crappy, doubting dowser again.

In fact, I was worse than crappy. In one test, I performed far better with random guesses than with dowsing! Deeply discouraged I packed up my pendulum with the grim acceptance that the pendulum would never work for me again.

Imagine my surprise when a few weeks ago I receive a particularly vivid dream in which I am taken to some kind of secret lodge where I am introduced to a smartly dressed gentleman with a continental accent who describes himself as a "master diviner" and proceeds to show me a variety strange dowsing implements. Most of these devices I have never seen before. I woke from that dream with the knowledge that a new guide had been incorporated into my cuadro. Not an uncommon event for a spiritist medium - but a dowsing guide? For the worlds worst dowser?

I let the dream marinate for a couple of days before digging out the troubling cherrywood pendulum.

I asked my principle guide to 'bring in' the new guide as I fired up my pendulum. What followed could only be described as the worst dowsing test the world has ever seen. Every single dowsing response wrong. Dead wrong. Wrong, wrong, WRONG! Unimpressed by my new guide's influence I stuffed the pendulum back in its pouch, swearing under my breath. The situation had created an intense cognitive dissonance. On the one hand I was certain that this guide's arrival was important, on the other, the sheer earth-shaterring badness of my dowsing was undeniable.

I do not like being bad at anything.

As is the way of spiritual guides I started getting whispers in my ear along with this nagging urge to take up the pendulum and swing it. Flashes of it would come accompanied by a satisfied joyful feeling at the prospect of its wooden contours in my hand. What was the point, I'd ask myself? More whispers. No, I don't want to. Go on. But why? In my minds eye flashed the my most recent disaster of a dowsing test. Why was he showing me that? Again the session flashed before my eyes. Listen, I say to the new guide. I don't know what you are playing at but I got almost every single answer in that test WRONG. I would have been better off had I chosen the OPPOSITE of what the pendulum had indicated!

And then it dawned on me. The pendulum would have been correct if I had chosen the opposite answers. Could it be that my dowsing responses had in fact reversed direction as I crossed the equator into the northern hemisphere? At this thought I received what could only be described as a telepathic 'duh' from the new guide.

I gingerly took out the cherrywood pendulum and set up a new test attempting to locate a randomly concealed card amongst several stacks of cards, reversing the answers to my dowsing response: this time anti-clockwise = yes and clockwise = no.

Would you like to guess what happened next? The majority of tests were a success. And by a far greater margin than I have ever scored before, even at my best. More than enough to ensure me that I am back in the dowsing saddle again. What's most interesting is that results in frivolous tests - even for master dowsers - can be notoriously variable. Thats because the very nature of a test implies doubt; the outcome is unimportant; and there usually is some skepticism involved. Nonetheless, one needs to do some legitimate 'frivolous' testing in order to know you are getting a solid amount of valid dowsing responses. This then establishes confidence which in turn allows you to apply the skill to more serious pursuits.

A few quick pendulum dowsing tips:

  1. Attempt to contact a spiritual guide that can assist, if you are thick skulled like me.
  2. One of the beautiful things about dowsing is that it provides direct answers to questions through the ideomotor effect in arm and hand of the dowser. When the dowsing response is correctly calibrated your body is bypassing your conscious mind and receiving information from the unconscious mind which in turn is receiving information from the superconscious mind (if you choose to use that model). I personally choose to believe that tiny fairies are twerking in the tendons of my arm. Whatever you believe, when the dowsing response is well calibrated you will notice answers that surprise you in their spontaneity. Which means you should cultivate an expectant attitude of not knowing the answer. Preconceptions will pollute the response, just as they do with clairvoyance and card reading.
  3. Focus on the question as you ask it. Don't just say it. Feel it. The dowsing response is a yay or a nay based on that felt question. When I get an incorrect answer now it's usually because I spaced out when posing the question.
  4. Enjoy the motion of the swinging pendulum. Sounds odd, but first play with it - when your "yes" response brings pleasure and your "no" response brings coolness or indifference then the wires are connecting.
  5. Don't give up. It isn't as easy as it is made out to be. Getting a response is one thing, getting and accurate response to a real query is another. 
  6. Devise tests. Find lost objects etc. Part of being a good reader is providing proof - not just to yourself but to others. It's all good and well to check if your chakras are open or if you are standing over a lay-line but these kinds of things can't be corroborated. 
  7. Don't be too hard on yourself with tests. You should aim for a result beyond the probability of random guessing, but 100% accuracy rare even for master dowsers. As I said, tests are diagnostic - and by their nature discourage accuracy.  

(This post is dedicated to my friend and mentor Shirley Addlington - wherever she may be in this world or the next)


The Geomantic Tarot Layout

Here is a dynamic layout system for the tarot that combines geomancy and tarot into a single form. I got the idea after I noticed a layout online that resembled a geomantic figure. It didn't take long for me to connect the dots, so to speak, and come up with this.

The method is elegant in its simplicity and has a very satisfying amount of depth and detail. It works well in both a 'hard' predicative and more open-ended spiritual guidance readings. It does require some knowledge of geomancy and its figures (although you don't need to be capable of reading a full geomantic chart). Working with the method has helped me grasp the elemental structure of geomantic figures in a much more intimate way, so it may be of interest to hardcore geomancers for that reason. Similarly, it is useful in combination with a full geomantic chart - allowing one to zoom in on any figure in the chart (usually the querent or the quesited) - using the tarot as a kind of divinatory microscope!

The Method

The method makes fluid use of all the traditional geomantic figures to form and interpret a tarot spread by dynamically generating a new spread for each question. Start by framing your question. This could be an open ended question or a yes/no question as is traditional in geomancy. Next, generate a geomantic figure using your preferred method*. I like using my geomantic dice. If you don't know what a geomantic figure is or how to generate one you might want to read up on it here.

Example question: Will John get the promotion at work?

The figure generated is amissio. This gives us a basic answer but more importantly it gives the  context for our reading below and the card layout itself. Anyone that reads cards seriously knows that it's context that allows us to tease out accurate meanings from the hundreds if not thousands of potential meanings latent in any one card. Usually, tarotists do this through the use of positional meanings - here we rely on the figure and its elemental lines instead.

Using only the major arcana (you can use the entire pack, theoretically, but I'd advise you try it my way first) shuffle and lay out cards in the shape of the figure cast. Now we can interpret the cards using the inner structure of the geomantic figure. This is where it gets very interesting.

Assuming that you have familiarity with the structure of a geomantic figure you will know that each of the four lines is ruled by an element; fire in the first; air in the second; water in the third and earth in the fourth position (from top to bottom). This allows us to interpret the cards in these positions in relation to these elements and their associated areas of influence in the querent's life also taking into account the question and the figure.

Here is my preferred elemental scheme:

Fire: Energy, effort, motivation, the spiritual
Air: Intellect, thoughts, logic, communications
Water: Emotions, intuition, relationships
Earth: Body, money, time, the physical environment

At first glance it looks like an ordinary elemental spread but there is FAR more to it when you take into account that in any geomantic figure a single dot indicates an active element and a double dot a passive, or latent, element. In fact, it's the particular way in which these active elements combine in each figure that produces its unique energy. In practical terms this means that you start by interpreting the single cards in the spread as the active forces in the situation. Start by taking note which elements are active and what that means in relationship to your question. The active cards are the dynamic forces in the situation interacting to produce an outcome. Naturally this suggests that you should read the active cards together from top to bottom, as a tarot sentence. This means you will have 1 to 4 cards giving you the active 'sentence', depending on the figure generated. Once you have interpreted the active cards you can then begin combining the latent pairs to see what the passive influences are that are contributing to the outcome. These can give valuable insights about latent influences in a scenario. Often enough, because they are passive, the querent will be unaware of these factors.


Example question: Will John get the promotion at work?

First we examine the active (single dot) elements in the layout: fire and water. Naturally, fire and water have an antagonistic interaction and this is noted and applied to our card interpretation. In our example John has The Chariot VII  reversed in the fire line of the spread and The Hermit VIIII reversed in the water line. From this we can already note that energy/exertion and emotions/relationships are the primary forces in the outcome of this question - and, most importantly, that they are at odds...

Making sure to rely on the figure to give us further  context for interpreting the 'active' cards we can begin our interpretation of John's question. Amissio is traditionally associated with loss. Similarly, the Chariot VII reversed traditionally is associated with defeat and loss. Further, taking its position in the fire line into account we could interpret this as an overly aggressive impulse - perhaps John has been pushing too hard to get this promotion. The Hermit VIIII reversed in the water line (which rules emotions and relationships) isn't a particularly good card in the context of teamwork and suggests someone who is a lone wolf. Perhaps John has alienated himself from his colleagues as a result of his blindly ambitious drive (Chariot + Hermit). There is no I in team, after all. These two active cards suggest someone who is forging ahead on their own at the expense of their colleagues.

We can now uncover more salient information in the latent element pairs. In the air line we find VIII Justice + XX Judgement reversed: whomever is adjudicating these applications has decided against John based on very fairly balanced criteria or data. Since these cards are in the air line (which rules rational thinking), John may find that there was some kind of standard performance audit used to make this decision by top management.

Finally, we find XVI  The Tower + XII The Hanged Man in the earth line. This could indicate financial upheaval that results in things coming to a temporary standstill. From this we might interpret that John's company, like so many businesses in this recession, has suffered some serious financial setbacks, leading to delays and a halt on spending. The financial atmosphere is tense, to say the least. They won't be taking any risks.

We can inform John that it's unlikely he will be promoted at this time and that it may want to change his style to a more team-oriented approach in future if he hopes to move up in the organization. We can offer him some comfort by letting him know that the decision was made fairly but that recent financial setbacks in his company compounded with circumstances causing a much more conservative promotion policy to be implemented. It's just not the right corporate climate for a maverick such as John.

Tips for deepening interpretation

One of the pleasing things about this method, is, that each geomantic figure has a ton of traditional correspondences which can be used to confirm and tease out deeper card interpretations. Pay particular attention to any semiotic 'rhyming' between the figure and the cards. Ammisio, for instance, is traditionally imagined has a purse that is being emptied out. In the example reading we can find this concept 'rhyming' with the hanged man who like ammissio's purse is turned upside down. In many early decks the Hanged Man is depicted with coins falling from his pocket! This teases out a specific meaning from that card: one that emphasizes halt caused by financial loss. Amissio's inner element is fire, but is ruled outwardly by earth. The core reason for John not getting the job is his maverick streak (Chariot reversed in the inner element's line) while the circumstantial contributing factor is the bad economy (Tower + Hanged Man in the outer element's line). Similarly, salient astrological symbolism from the cards and figure can be used to tease out more info since all the cards have accrued astrological and alchemical associations. Finally, we can resort to the mobility of the figure to see if a situation is stable or volatile, and the attending associations of mobility.

I hope you enjoyed this idea and find it useful. And please remember to credit me if you use it or refer to it elsewhere. I love sharing my work but I also love getting credit.

Stay tuned for the advanced geomantic relationship spread!

*You could of course opt to use the tarot itself to provide a geomantic figure. The Golden Dawn assigned a geomantic figure to each of the sixteen court cards. The symmetry of this arrangement is very pleasing until you take a closer look at their assignments and realize that they have assigned the distinctly male-gendered Puer to a female court card! The GD geomantic correspondences are not to my taste at all. I've opted to correspond them by matching the court's common meanings to each figure (rather than trying to shoe horn based on the GD's convoluted elemental associations for each court). Then you just separate out the courts from the pack and draw a card when you frame you question, instead.