An oracle for those who have come to a crossroads.


The Cauldron indicates the importance of combining a variety of techniques or elements to get the best result.  Refuse to choose just a single rigid pathway when a variety of ways are there to be enjoyed and experienced.  You can find your own ways of creating something new.  The cauldron is a deeply transformational tool—things change once they are put under pressure.  Resilience is being cultivated over time and this means that you will be able to withstand any negative pressure much more healthily from the inside out.

The Veil: When Keys Turn in the Locks of Fate

Consulting my oracle deck, The Halloween Oracle, for insight about the cumulative effects of Mercury and Mars Retrograde and the lingering influence of the Super Blood Moon, I drew The Veil.  This is a card about the future, yes, but it is just as much about the future-becoming-present.  That is its true significance.

In the future, anything is possible.  It is when the future becomes manifest in the present that possibility transforms into meaning.  This card emphasizes that transformation.  In other words, look at the things you’ve been anticipating (both positive and negative).  The Veil indicates that they are about to become realities.  So get ready.

Magical people especially have to keep this card in mind because if there are workings and intentions out there, The Veil says they are doing to create effects, for better or worse.  Here, possibility becomes fate.  So mote it be.


Oracle Reading: The Apple

Sometimes, I’m moved to draw a card from my favorite oracle deck, The Halloween Oracle by Stacey Demarco.  The deck has both a witchy and a hoodoo vibe (at least to me) and I think the cards are beautiful—which matters a lot if you want to do a reading.  I always try to keep aesthetics in mind when considering a deck.

Anyway, I asked for today’s oracular guidance and got The Apple, which is all about taking risks.  It’s about evaluating risk vs. reward in one’s life.  Are you not risking enough to get what you want?  Are you putting too much on the line?  We engage in this sort of gambling all the time in our lives because we never have complete knowledge or comprehensive information.  We usually have to do our best and make an educated guess about the outcome of a particular thing.

So I think the questions to ask are:  (1) have you done your homework (your research, your investigation) in the matter?  (2) are you afraid of “taking a bite”—is the potential for loss / failure too great?  (3) are you unnecessarily afraid for some other reason that you need to disregard (i.e. put on your big boy pants and get busy)?  Or (4) are you in a place where it would be good to shake things up (even if it’s scary)?

The best oracle doesn’t answer your questions for you or tell you, “This is how it will be.”  Rather, it helps you see the existing path—with the possible branches, forks, and sidetracks—that begins in your heart and leads outward into the twists and turns of the world.

I hope you got something from this reading.  I really enjoy The Halloween Oracle and recommend it to people who like that vibe.  I should also mention that I do more complex readings right here at Black Snake Conjure, if you’re so inclined.

A Card from the Halloween Oracle Today

I haven’t shared a card from my favorite oracle deck in some time.  This one doesn’t come up very often, but it’s interesting: The Veil.  Like all the cards in this deck, it has multiple layers of meaning.  On the surface, it indicates a time of year when there are “high spirits,” particularly Samhain or Beltaine.  But it can also signify “another world” in the sense of one’s personal, subjective world changing.  This might mean an initiatory shift in perspective or values.  It might also mean a literal change in surroundings—like, “It’s a different world out here in Tasmania.  I never thought I’d own a farm . . . ”  Ultimately, this card suggests the idea that the separations between things, worlds, selves, places, states are but veils through which we can see, if imperfectly.

How to Read Cards Regarding Magical Work

You should always do a reading before engaging in operative magical work.  Always.  Without exception.  Sometimes, you may feel you know what the reading is going to say ahead of time, that the response is going to be positive in terms of your desired results.  And you might be right.  But even if you are, you want to go into the working with as much awareness as possible.  Even the wise, wrote Tolkien, cannot see all ends—something that is definitely true when tinkering with cause and effect.

But how do you ask an oracle such a question and how do you understand the answer?  You could ask a different kind of oracle, but when it comes to cartomancy, the first thing to keep in mind is that not all decks of cards are the same or are made for the same purposes.  So-called “oracle decks,” are typically simpler than tarot, Lenormand, or playing cards and they are organized around a particular theme (like The Goddess Oracle or, my favourite, The Halloween Oracle).  I do not recommend using those as they are typically oriented toward providing initiatory advice that will help the querent live a better life.  That is excellent, but we need something a little more flexible and complex.

Instead, I strongly advise using a classic Rider-Waite version or some of the older European 78-card decks.  Hermetic, Golden Dawn, and most Lo Scarabo decks are also very good, if you can read the imagery correctly.  Also, Crowley’s Thoth deck is excellent for this, but beware that its symbolism and structure require dedicated study since Crowley’s interpretations often vary from the GD text represented in Waite’s books. 

All decks of cards are oracular if we want them to be.  With this in mind, I sometimes like to use a standard 52-card (54 with 2 jokers, which I also use if the deck has them) in a Neoclassical French layout.  But as a general rule and when it comes to tarot, it is wise to avoid non-standard tarot decks when asking about magical work.  You are doing this for a practical reason, not entertainment.  So be conservative and careful in your approach.

You can get fancy with your question, but remember that the more “standardized” and repetitive your syntax is, the more your results will unfold in a reliable comprehensible way.  Therefore, I often use the simple question, “What would be the outcome if I did magic to _________?”  After decades of asking this same question before 99% of the magic I do for myself and others, I feel confident that the answer I get will be specific to that.

So what does a “positive” answer look like?  We know that for the most part it will depend on the subject matter of the question.  The tarot is a complete language of symbols that can respond to anything.  Each answer will be unique, even if there are only 78 cards available.  Still, certain cards are definitely favourable in this.  Here are some general outcomes to keep in mind.

In the Major Arcana (the Fool through the World), the most favourable cards for magical work tend to be The Magician, the Empress, the Emperor, The Chariot, Strength, The Wheel of Fortune, The Sun, The Last Judgment, and The World.

In the Minor Arcana, aces, knights, and kings tend to be the best.  The rest of the cards will depend on the context of the question.

It may seem exhausting to do this for every magical working, but you can really mess your life up doing magic capriciously and blindly.  Think of a powerful magical working like a gun.  You want to see where you’re pointing it and you want to understand as much about how to use it as possible.

Halloween Oracle: “Hearth”

Greetings.  Today, I felt called to draw another card from the Halloween Oracle deck.  It is “Hearth,” which indicates a focus on home, family, and the magic of well-being that those things bring.  If you are lacking in those areas, it may be time to pay a bit more attention to beautifying your life.  If you have a fulfilling home / family, then it may be useful to give thanks for those things and recenter yourself in the security and peace that they provide.

The Skull of Stars

Tonight, I felt called to draw a card from the Halloween Oracle Deck. Sometimes, decks just have something to impart without me asking a question. And I believe this was one of those times.  I drew “Skull of Stars – imagine possibilities.”  
This card talks about needing to dream bigger and consider that limiting beliefs—perhaps unconsciously inherited or acquired at a very early age—have caused one to think rather small.  So, once again, one confronts the question: what do you truly want?