A Twist of the Tarot (or How my new Tarot Deck led me to a new Scrying Tool. Really?)

I first discovered that I might have some intuitive skills about 32 years ago (yes, I was VERY young). And the tool that I used which created the best results was a scrying mirror. (Scrying, for anyone who doesn’t know, is the art of gazing into a reflective surface to see images, like a crystal ball.) I made this mirror myself with instructions from some obscure occult book I picked up at a garage sale. The scrying mirror, in fact, worked so well, that I abandoned it and put away the idea of divining for quite a few years. It frightened me. As I said, I was young.

Fast forward a bit and the system of Tarot found me. The archetypal imagery and its usefulness for self examination fascinated me and I was determined to learn as much as possible about this wonderful tool. I studied and used Tarot for years, just for myself. It helped me learn so much about my own psyche, impulses and motivations. Years of Tarot is better than years of therapy!

Fast forward a few more years and I’m reading cards at the New York Renaissance Faire. When you read “professionally” (which I define simply as getting paid to do readings), and when you read frequently, a couple of things happen. As with anything else, you improve your skills with practice. And you also expand your abilities as an intuitive. Rarely have I met a “reader” who sticks to one form of divination. You find others, many, even infinite ways to divine information. The tools don’t matter – they are just that, tools. They give the reader a focus point. So when I read, I also scry. I’ve also added an element of psychometry to my readings. I’ll have the client hold a crystal of their choosing during the card portion of the reading. At the end, I take it back and hold it and either gaze into it or close my eyes to see if there’s an image. This method has produced some very helpful and surprisingly accurate results. I once saw an exact image a gentleman had been dreaming about repeatedly and was able to point him in the direction of its meaning. That was very gratifying. So, one of the things I find so cool about doing any form of divination is that it will lead you off in unexpected directions. For example; as a “scryer” I thought I should have a crystal ball. I bought a beautiful, gigantic one and have been absolutely enamored with it. I did my usual ritual attunement and gazed and gazed… and saw … nothing but the warped images of the objects on the other side of the crystal. But I still treated it like a trusted friend, because these things take time. I waited and continued to see nothing. Then one day, from across the room, it spoke to me. Yes, this divination tool, designed specifically for visual transmission of information, SPOKE to me. It speaks to me a lot. So, it is what it is. I use it how it wants to be used. I keep it on my table while I read cards or stones and it will say what it wants, when it wants. There have been times that I have stopped, mid sentence with a client and looked at the Crystal Ball, Azriel, and said – out loud – “I’ve heard you and I will convey the message, but will you please let me finish my thought?” I know it makes me seem crazy, but what else can I do? She demands attention!

So, I collect different tools for divination. I try them all. I also have about thirty Tarot decks. There are so many beautiful Tarot decks to be found with amazing artwork and powerful imagery, it’s impossible to own just one, for me anyway. So one day, I found myself with a brand new Tarot deck. It is called The Circle of Life Tarot. Here’s a link to where you can buy it if you like it.


circle of life cards
These cards fascinated and baffled me. The watercolor artwork and the fact that the cards were circular (no reversals!) called to something deep inside me. I was absolutely transfixed by the beauty and mystery of the images… and I had absolutely no idea how to read them. Once again I performed by usual consecration and attunement rituals. I handled each card, taking in all of its subtleties and nuances. I pulled cards for daily divinations for myself for weeks and even though it is a traditional Tarot deck (78 cards, 22 Major Arcana, 56 Minor Arcana) I simply could not read them. The artist’s interpretation of the Tarot archetypes seemed such a departure from the “universal” Ridger/Waite type cards. This was frustrating. How could I feel such a strong connection and then receive nothing when trying to use them? I sort of gave up on them.

Around the same time, and seemingly in an unrelated realm of thought (hahaha) I developed a new class for my Metaphysical Meet Up group. It was the Journey of the Fool meditation series. This workshop is designed to attune you to a specific Tarot deck, using the time honored concept of the Journey of the Fool. The idea is to visualize yourself as the Fool in your own deck, complete with imagining yourself in the world of the deck. You are to place yourself inside the imagery and atmosphere of your chosen cards. Then, in each meditation in the series, you, as the Fool, have an encounter with each of the characters and events of the Major Arcana in order.
I decided that, as I was teaching the class, I would put myself through the process with my Circle of Life cards. And I had an extraordinary experience in my very first meditation in the realm of the Circle of Life Tarot, so I knew that this would be an eventful journey. Here I am, the Circle of Life Fool:




But that is a story for another day. This is the story about my meeting with the High Priestess. Here She is:


c of l hps

Awesome, right? My vision was very realistic and very detailed. I could feel the path beneath my feet, the moisture in the air, the weight of that ridiculous hat. I could hear discordant chimes and drum beats. I could smell The Lady’s incense, spicy and unidentifiable. The cat (as opposed to the traditional dog) wound around my ankles as I walked.  I approached her gingerly, as I found her to be somewhat intimidating. What kind of heart lay under those beads? Also, her eyes were closed as though she might be in a trance of her own. But I had no doubt she was aware of my presence. I waited before her, silently and gawked at those pillars, supporting enormous horns, her adornments, her posture. I was mesmerized. When she opened her eyes suddenly, I nearly tripped over the cat, I was so startled. She looked at me with eyes at once sparkling and bright and revealing exceedingly dark depths. I was, quite honestly, terrified. Then her eyes softened just a bit. She motioned me forward. In a deep, strong voice she said “Have you something to ask of me?”

My heart stopped. What does one ask of the High Priestess? I poured over other, more traditional, High Priestess images in my mind. Mysteries, Secrets – That, to me, was what she embodied – the scrolled paper she grasps, the dark and light pillars, the curtain behind her. And although this Lady sat in the open, no throne, no curtain behind which to hide the inner knowledge, it seemed to me that this High Priestess held more mystery than any I had encountered before. I took a deep breath and said, “I wish to know your secrets.”

She laughed. It was a hard sound and my heart sank a little. I would be deemed unworthy. But then she smiled at me and it was warmer and she said, “As we all wish to know Yours, my child. Sit with me.” She motioned to the ground before her. So I sat down, imitating her lotus position and faced her.  She seemed larger than life a moment before but as I settled down, we were eye to eye, equal. Then suddenly appeared, at the point between us where our third eyes would meet, a geometric shape. Dodecahedron was the word which popped into my head.


But this seemed to have more than just 12 sides or facets. It was a crystal. It appeared to be dark, in color, but very reflective. It was spinning, each facet in turn flashing its bright beam at my eyes. I watched it, transfixed. It wasn’t spinning on an axis, but randomly tipping up, then down, but all the while spinning at a speed which was difficult to comprehend. Each shiny plane had its turn in the sweet spot of disco ball refraction. She said to me, “Now make it stop.” It felt like a test, like a test I was about to fail. The velocity of its spinning would have injured my hand, had I reached out to touch it. But I knew that wasn’t what she meant. I was to stop it with my mind. I said, “I can’t.” She gave an exasperated sigh and the crystal stilled. The surface facing me revealed an image (a bear). I had just enough time to register that awareness when the crystal was set spinning again. “Now, you”, she said with widened eyes that said “Don’t you dare tell me you can’t!”
So I made it stop, and start and stop and start, again and again. Each time the crystal came to rest, it showed me another image, until I understood that this crystal (wherever it might exist in the real world out there) was to be a scrying tool for me. The crystal in the vision vanished. The Priestess smiled and said, “Now go find your secrets.” I thanked her and bid her farewell.

And so began my quest to find this particular piece of earth, which was waiting for me somewhere. MY scrying tool, better than a crystal ball, better than a homemade mirror, the one the High Priestess residing inside of me chose for me.
It took nearly three years. But here she is.

Cordelia dollar                                                          cordelia2

In my searching I had discovered that garnet forms naturally in a dodecahedral habit. This stone is deep, dark red. It is the color of blood and passion and manifestation. Garnet is known to be grounding and protective. It is also known to help manifest in reality, those ideas and passions of our dreams, solidifying spirit into matter. To me, this crystal is like a heart. Indeed, I wore it at my heart constantly during my attunement ritual with it. Its name is derived from the word pomegranate, a fruit with significance to the High Priestess card. I found this gem in a shop on Sunday, April 13. The full “blood” moon (due to a total lunar eclipse) occurred at just after midnight on April 15th. There could have been no better time (all things in alignment) to consecrate this heart-stone. Are all of these things coincidence? Of course not.
She will replace all the other crystals (except Azriel, of course) that I keep on my table during readings. She is the stone to be held by my clients, perfect fistful that she is. They will hold her and then place her on the table to spin. And I will look for an image in the facet that faces me when she stops. I’ll keep you posted on how the divining goes. I think I’ll name her Cordelia.



One thought on “A Twist of the Tarot (or How my new Tarot Deck led me to a new Scrying Tool. Really?)

  1. Relate strongly to your entire Tarot experience. Love your garnet. She’s quite fiesty & fiery.

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