Mildred Speaks on The Purge

The Asylum Layout

Being in extreme chill mode this Sunday, I decided to speak to Mildred Payne. I asked her to design a layout which she did and to address some issues for my audience here on the blog in terms of the current Saturn retrograde. FYI : the Saturn Retrograde 2018 started on April 17 at 9° Capricorn and ends on September 6 at 2° Capricorn.

The 13 card Asylum Layout

The bottom layer of  six cards in this layout represents the “underground”. It is the inner earth,  where activity  hidden from the rational mind  triggers a response on the subconscious level of both  groups and individuals.

The level with four cards represents the space-time of our physical plane and what is happening around us which we can see if we pay attention but often may  not be aware of or misinterpret.

The 2 card level is that of the “double,” the energy twin each living being has and the shadow form it uses to interact with  the physical realm. The double after the death of an individual can be captured and placed in other vehicles. Mildred says “dolls” are often used for this but other objects can be vessels as well.

The card on top – the roof of the asylum is a spiritual seed . It is the hint of an incoming energy  which is  preparing to descend, i.e.  entering  into the process of manifestation.


The commentary which follows below uses the original 52 card Secret Pocket Oracle . My method of working the layout is from the bottom to the top. The rows are read from right to the left.


Controls are needed. Emotions are being worked up into a froth to rally negative forces. Spirits are using wild impulses and distraction as a ladder to climb out of the pit and spread  insanity like an infection.


One needs to have  firm boundaries and protections in place during a “purge cycle” which is what a Saturn Retrograde actually is!  Give honor to  Grandmother Earth so She may hold you inside Her web until the wanton destructive energy released during the Saturn retrograde passes.


BEWARE OF BACKSTABBERS!  Motives previously hidden  come to light. This is true for those around you, who act as projections of the shadow realm in your life and for your own bubbling internal cauldron of revenge.


What is being formed on the higher energy levels during this time of Saturn Retrograde is the seed of what is sure to come to pass. DO NOT PLANT DEAD SEEDS.  Fight to maintain your equilibrium and alignment now so the energy after the retrograde event passes will flow  positive, joyful and abundantly.

Thanks Mildred!!!

P.S.  Blog readers please bear with my poor eyesight. I looked this post over many times and did not realize the layout as given by Mildred had 6 cards on the bottom level and hence 13 cards total.


The Eldritch


Ptah of Memphis

“The symbols which live in your internal reality do not stand for external things, they are your internal manifestations of those outer things” ~  Robert  Svoboda

The comment above is the subject of this post which is  generic in that it  can be applied to any deck’s  symbology or coding. First off the quote says  “equates to” or the concept of being ” the same as ” cannot be used in terms of symbols.

Symbols point to something but they are not the something which they  point to!  This has been said in many ways over human history  such as  “The map is not the territory.” Written words and images are 2 dimensional. A picture of a tree is obviously not the same as a living tree, neither is a film image or even a 3D projection of a holograph.

Human awareness  goes to and fro  between the outer realm of external forms and their inner psycho-mental  ideation  by way of symbols. Man as a sentient being  can straddle the gap between the two  worlds.

However, between symbolic representation and the thing itself; the  two distinct ways of human knowing there is a gap. One can think of it as a window dividing  inner from outer.  Under this window is a  deep  trench or ditch which is the gateway to another dimension- the home of the Other. 

The Other swims in a sea of free energies and does not  interact or communicate with human beings by the use of symbols.  The Other  is aware of humanity and illustrates and orchestrates Its interest by use of a completely different method.

The sentient dweller below the threshold of human awareness has the ability to shape formless energies into sets of circumstances and hurl them into Existence like so many thunderbolts. Its messages are anomalous events, synchronicities and serialized phenomena which mankind calls  The Uncanny. To be caught up in such an odd energy loop creates a fear response which is visceral. It can and does drive men mad.

The vignettes on  the faces of fortune telling cards which depict scenes are regarded by some readers as  mnemonic devices,  reminders of events which were  cast into Existence by The Other in the very distant past.

See the non-fiction writings of:

Paul Kammerer – The Law of Series

Charles Hoy Fort-The Book of the Damned; New Lands; Lo; and Wild Talents.

and the Opera Omnia of  fiction writers H.P. Lovecraft and Clive Barker.




“At 6’s and 7’s”

Jodorowsky- Camoin TdM

And so we begin this post on decisions and directions with the Chariot. Take a look at this book. The Charioteer or central figure of the trump wears a crown and overhead is a canopy of stars. He also wears armor. The Charioteer’s  feet are in his Chariot, only the wheels of the Chariot touch the ground.  All of these symbols speak of the driver being protected (armor) and prepared (stars as right timing). The scepter in his right hand speaks of his control or his will. In some TdM decks the Charioteer holds a sword in his left hand. The esoteric lore of the seventh Trump card identifies the Charioteer with Hermes and the Chariot itself as the Hermetic tradition.

The trump says  GO STRAIGHT, do not deviate as the horses – our natural impulses would.  The driver is there IN THE CENTER to maintain control and keep the Chariot on course and moving in a forward motion. The Chariot is both like and unlike the card which precedes it, The Lovers.  The Chariot is the solution to the scenario  depicted on the Lovers card.

In Tarot,  The Lovers trump shows a situation of selection. It is where the Querent is at – if the card is in a flagged position in a spread or in the center in a line of cards.  The Lovers is graphically the same as the Chariot with some differences. In the Lover’s card shown just below from the Grimaud  TdM, the central figure is barefoot. His legs are  without hose under his doublet.  His outfit is  worse than that of the Fool!   His empty hands are held close to his body and limited in motion by the proximity of two women. In trump six the  women take on the role of the chariot  horses by coding the different “turnoffs” or directions i.e. right or left which the central character, the Querent is being pulled in.  There is an older Latin name for the sixth trump which is Bifurcatio, a fork in the road or a divide.

Grimaud style TdM

If the central figure corresponds to the Chariot  in the Lovers card then who is the Charioteer? It is the cherub above who plays that role in the Lovers card. It is Cupid’s Arrow or the attractive force which will prompt the selection and the direction taken by the central figure.  While in The Chariot trump the  scepter is held by the Driver, in the Lovers the arrow is not in the central character’s hands but is aimed at him from above! This means  the decision is literally “out of his hands”.  What the central figure is calling decision or choice is actually a selection  based on  factors  which he or she does not control coming down from a higher source.  The term higher source  can refer to  the celestial hierarchies or star laws which operate literally over the heads of mankind compelling them in their season to act, as does every species of flora and fauna on the planet.

There is an additional implied third direction at the Lover’s fork in the road. It is the backward  direction, the psychological equivalent of backsliding on  regrets and doubts which first show up as being hesitant to select.  While the time of making a “selection” appears to be in the present moment, prolonging the  decision places a client in limbo. Limbo  being the recurring or replaying of the present moment in linear time, the eternal return as a feedback loop in the mind which traps the client.   As selection is somewhat pre-conditioned in the Lovers by so many factors NOT IN THE CLIENT’S HANDS, it often  manifests as being  different  in external appearance  but of the exact same essence or energy configuration!

In seeing a group of cards when a Querent is asking about an impending important decision The  Lovers card alone offers no solution. Look to see if the Chariot is included in the grouping for it will indicate  the Querent who is willing and ready to make a choice which  puts them on the straight road out of Dodge or Oz.

Remember, pip cards hold the energies of the first ten Major Arcana and their suits indicate the four different stages of the invisible abstract descending into visible manifestation. Wands represent the energetic state; Swords – thoughts, a  mental frequency rate; Cups the psycho-emotional “feelings” of attraction and repulsion and finally Disks which are symbolic of energy vortices* in the subtle bodies of mankind and  the planet.

The presence of any grouping of 3 or more 6’s or 7’s in a reading  foreshadows an approach of either a  Lovers – Chariot  situation for a Querent.

Note: *Vortex-1650s, “whirlpool, eddying mass,” from Latin vortex, variant of vertex “an eddy of water, wind, or flame; whirlpool; whirlwind,” from stem of vertere “to turn” (see versus). Plural form is vortices.

36: The Decans

The use of 36 cards in the small Lenormand,  Kipperkarten and  the Zigeuner Wahrsagekarten aka The Gypsy Fortune-Telling Cards alerted me to look into the occult meaning of the number 36 early on in my study of the German school of Cartomancy.

The number 36 can be traced back to the astronomical pictograms of  old cultures. In Astrology each of the twelve 30 degree signs of the Zodiac is divided into 3 sections. Each section of 10 degrees is a decan. 3 times 12 gives us 36 decans.

In the West the information on the Decans is approached mainly through the Egyptians but was most likely shared by all  Old World cultures of star gazers who built high platforms in stone.

To some the Decans were seen as messengers of the Gods to others the Decans were the fingers of the Gods themselves. From this may come the Biblical and proverbial saying ” the handwriting is on the wall”.  In our case as card readers the writing once on the wall of  heavens and representative   of “one’s natal Fate,” is now found on Earth in 36 images laid out on a table!

Of course on the magical side 36 is the number of Spirits or Djinn  spoken of in the Picatrix, an Arabian grimoire eagerly grasped by early European magicians. The  same methods used in the division of  the 360 degree ecliptic by  Astrologers  were used by Adepts who personified  the Decans as intelligent entities who could be held  and questioned within the confines of the Magic Circle.

Is there a connection between the circles of Star groups,  the hierarchy of Djinn and the 36 cards  which make up the most “talkative” oracles of Cartomancy?   I find this topic quite interesting. If you would like to investigate further check out the resources below.


A website intro to decans:

36 Faces, Austin Coppock. Three Hands Press. 2014

The Picatrix, translation by Warner and Greer, Adocentyn Press, 2011.





Kipperkarten Codes: The Core

The use of the Kipper core is the start of working with Kipperkarten. It forms the reading in most layouts but not all. It shows the reader the Mc1 or MC2, i.e.  the Querent. Since in this system the MC2 female faces right and MC 1  faces left; their cores cannot be exactly the same. Hence one places the core cards in a different way when beginning a read.


Unter der Person = Under

Hinter der Person =Behind

Über der Person = Above

Vor der Person= Before

The MC 1 and MC 2 both share the same vertical positions of 1 and 3. The Horizontal positions of 2 and 4 are reversed. See the diagram below.

The Kipper Core


Following the Numbers

What is under the MC labelled here as point 1 is their support or foundation; what they are standing on in the vertical present.  It is what they have a handle on or an innate understanding of as they are so to speak “in” the moment.

Moving from position 1 to 2 shows us where the MC “just came” from i.e. the immediate past. Some readers use what is behind the back as indicating an inauspicious relationship. Though this method may work well with Das Grosse Blatt when using the core I have found it serves me best to see the card behind the MC:  as the place, condition, or state the MC was in prior to the reading.  It is the door the Querent has just exited from.  This frees the card behind their back to show itself as being positive, negative or neutral .

Moving from position 2 to 3 shows us what is on the MC’s mind- their thought process at the present moment. I often see this space like a text balloon in a graphic novel.

Moving from 3 to 4 shows us phenomena  soon to be encountered by the MC on their “timeline” or horizon.

The clockwise and counterclockwise movement or flow when placing the cards around the MC1 and MC2  is the result of my own experiences with the universal sun symbol which has four distinct stages as well.

Mexican Sun Symbol

When I began Kipperkarten it was to look for smaller non-linear layouts.  I was to find many alternatives in this system to Das Grosse Blatt or the full 36 card spread. The Stop Card Method has become a favorite  of mine. To begin requires placement of the Kipper core. At first it was a struggle to get the rules of the supposedly older Stop Card Method stated clearly;  but  actual practice combined with patience eventually led to  an understanding which overcame my spotty  introduction. Kipperkarten does not require one be a “psychic” to get good results, only that its nomenclature and rules are known and applied – just as in Life!


Kipper-Karten Band II, Legetechniken, Hildegard Leiding-Heinz, Heppenheim, 1995

Note: Leiding- Heinz gives information on all 36 cards using the core setting in German but only from the perspective of the MC1. 



The Celestial Cluster

Stars, Sun and Moon, Lilies

The celestial markers in the lenormand deck are basically three: 31 The Sun, 32 The Moon and 16 The Stars.  In the Blue Owl-my master deck, card 30 the Lilies is clearly shown surrounded by nine golden stars and so for me becomes part of the celestial cluster or grouping.

In the German approach to lenormand the Sun is the Big Luck  or  Major Fortune card. The Stars card 16 is seen as bestowing boons as well.  Often it is commonly called a wish card not in the sense of making a wish but as bestowing one upon the card near it. The Stars actually represents precision and exactness, the clockwork of the cosmos.

Often people view the lenormand  Moon as they do in Tarot.  This is a misdirection as card 32 or the  Moon does not function and cannot be applied in the same way as Tarot in this system. The Moon does not pertain to emotions unless paired with or falling  near card 24, The Heart.  The Heart is the emotional card in lenormand method. In lenormand the Moon represents appreciation, honors, respect, reputation. It is the result of the Big Luck card or the Sun’s light of success being reflected in the affairs of the Querent.

Of course the Sun, Moon and Stars are timing cards. The Sun is noon, the Moon early evening and the Stars the middle of the night.

The Lilies are the only card in the Blue Owl “celestial cluster” which has a Court Card insert- The King of Spades. (Remember in lenormand the Spades suit is not  the most negative as that honor belongs to Clubs.) It is either an archetype or a  “persona” highlighted here. In my work with the cards the Lilies represents  ELDERS and ANCESTORS. Card 30 touches upon or opens one to the afterlife and the invisible energetic fields of the spiritual dimensions.

The King of Spades can at base level be a male relation or father figure to the female Querent card 29, as the Ace of Spades is the card associated with her.  Using the visual prompts of the circle of stars around the Lilies as a halo or an aura  which highlights the main theme of Elders or Ancestors,  the circle can indicate a revered living  older person who is  helpful or supportive or an Ancestor who is  well remembered such as a grandfather as well as a lineage head or an elevated heroic influence. One may think of the images of saints who had an aureola or nimbus shown  around their heads in their icons.

If one were to make a comparison, the King of Spades insert in the Lilies would function much like card 5, the Good Gentleman card of Kipperkarten offering support and advice, i.e. good news in an auspicious placement- but  if not well placed  being a serious warning of danger .

In the mystic folklore associated with  the lenormand cards, The Lilies is  said to represent the Spirit Guardian of the deck itself who’s voice  is decidedly a male one. In terms of a planetary vibration, The King of Spades is of a Saturnian nature. Saturn is a governing force. In the language of myth, Saturn is the Old Sun who ruled during the Golden Age.  The ring of golden stars around the Lilies can be seen as the sphere of influence or energetic enclosure lenormand readers connect to when using the deck as an oracular system.




It is no longer a question of imitation, nor duplication, nor even parody. It is a question of substituting the signs of the real for the real.” – Jean Baudrillard

“Is it live or is it Memorex…?” Things have changed a great deal since the advertising slogan for the recording tape company Memorex was created. We live in a digital, MP3, Bluetooth kinda world.  Reality is no longer what it “used” to be.

How do these changes affect a Cartomancer who uses cards much like their cartographer kindred  design maps?  What happens when as the French philosopher Baudrillard suggested ” maps replace  territories?”

Of course, most fortune tellers being linear readers perhaps prefer straight-forward highway markers as directions to a destination. It is not the job of a fortune teller to help a client “juggle” decisions, that responsibility falls on the  shoulders of the diviner. However,  what do left or right; up or down; even diagonal  movements across any chessboard mean when the entire territory it occupies is itself  unreal- a picture of a picture, a copy of a copy?

             Neo touching the mirror. Matrix I

No matter!  The mind  in this era of hyperreality is light years  beyond the border towns of analogy. If the eye can see the sign,  cognition gives temporal life to even the weakest apparition or signal and we proceed, coasting on fumes – taking  signs for substance, maps for territory and illusion for reality in the dystopian half-light of the Marketplace-  which being the only light available appears to some as bright as the Sun.


Simulacra – (singular) from the Latin means a likeness, or representation.  Simulacrum (plural) are copies of things which no longer have an original (or never had one to begin with).

“The Precession of Simulacra” .

Vertical Codes in Lenormand Layouts

The 3 x 3 layout introduces the budding reader to the vertical aspect of the cards which is continued in the Grand Tableau. These traditional layouts  allow the reader using the lenormand deck to use directions other than the forward and backward of pairing and simple linear layouts.

Originally, it is said the  GT was read by sighting  proximity, i.e. whether the cards were near or far from the Querent’s card or other “big” cards such as the Clouds, Tree, Sun.  There are more codes to read the GT as a picture;  such as the placement of cards above or below one another in the “frame.”

In the 36 card deck there are several cards which code vertically.  The nine cards shown above and listed below require one look at the cards above and below them in the GT to get more information.

05  Tree– card above Tree shows the visible state of the Q’s health; the card below- one’s deep roots or family health history

06  Clouds– above – a trouble yet to arrive ; below- a current trouble

10 Scythe – above -the axe about to fall; below-  just rewards*

19  Tower– above -expertise or ability; below – methodology

21  Mountain – card above -what was overcome by one’s effort; card below -an  issue about to blow up!

22  Road – above -a journey yet to take; below -a journey completed

31  Sun– card above -outward success;  below- inner happiness

33  Key – above solutions- below “hunches”

36 Cross – above- heavy burdens; below unshakable faith

The modern reading of Houses in the Grand Tableau  uses pairing where the house is the dominate “card-theme” and the card sitting in it the modifier; an approach  which adds more details to the Querent’s storyline or The Big Picture.  Today the GT  retains the  traditional 8 x 4+4 form but the 9 x 4 is becoming the more popular form perhaps due to symmetry and the use of techniques which turn the  GT into a chessboard.

Remember this list refers to the cards above and below the vertical coded cards in boldface above when they occur. The best way to understand is to arrange some cards in a vertical line using the 3 x3 or the GT to see how they “sign”. Text is a poor substitute and can be confusing , even to the one writing as it is a secondary report. Use and trust your own eyes in these matters.

*Again these codes depend on the images shown on the cards in one’s hands. The Scythe’s blade can be at ground level or upright depending upon the deck one is using.



Opening and Closing: The Key

First let’s look at two double cards. The combo 33-08 is in the Blue Owl code the open casket.  Yes, the Coffin can be considered as a double card. It has a head and foot or is shown with a draped side. In Blue Owl imagery, however we see an above ground tomb with an eternal flame.   Close examination will reveal  a knob like protrusion on the top of the left side of the locked coffin. In the old days coffins had keys and were locked after they were occupied. Today, the practice continues with the outer vault which may protect a coffin placed in the earth from decomposition.

In lenormand the 33-08 combo can indicate something is indeed over but the finality of the ending leads to a complete metamorphosis. This is an esoteric combination for it indicates that one has overcome certain restrictions by moving beyond them. It is the card of one who explores dark places others try to avoid.  It is also the code for Necromancy, i.e. the original Dark Art.

The lower combination 08-33 is the closed coffin . It is the card of seals- a   symbol of initiation into a closed order, vows of silence, unbroken oaths, of secrets taken to one’s grave.

Now mixing up a few  combinations with the Key we see:

33-19 – opening the Tower. In the middle ages the Tower was the jail. The bit of the key facing the tower functions as the cell being opened. One comes out of their ivory tower of isolation.

33-26- The mysteries of the unknown are shown by  the Book, a double card which bears a lock on the cover in the Blue Owl deck. Having the bit side of the key facing the page side of the Book  shows the locks on the “grimoire” have been sprung.  A great mystery is solved.

33-04- The key with the House shows at one’s residence doors are unlocked. This may show an “open door” policy hence one’s residence is not secure. Take it as a warning for your property and safety.  It can  be a referent to one’s “openness” as the House as home represents the vibration of the person/people who live there.

19-33- the door to the cell is slammed close. One is in isolation. Locked into a situation or a mindset.

26-33- the spine of the Book card shows partial knowledge. It is where the title of a book is shown and its author. The shaft of the key next to the spine shows that one’s information is limited to the obvious. One is not privy to the deeper levels of some subject.

04-33- the shaft of the key touching the house shows it is secure- protected from intrusion. It is the feeling of being “snug as a bug …” and of private family matters.

The Key: Facility With Function

Dondorf key
Blue Owl key

In learning  the lenormand system how one begins affects the entire journey. Lenormand  is a system where regular usage leads to different levels of interpretation.  One of these levels is that of function. Card 33, The Key represents in my experience facility with function.

At fully engaged levels of lenormand  the 36 cards function as “deck specific” notations, which is why as a teacher of beginning lenormand method, I recommend  a single traditional deck when learning the system.  One’s first deck has to be examined very closely.  The Dondorf user will have a different set of codes than the reader of the Blue Owl as the visual prompts on the double cards vary with each deck.

Double cards? Yes. As a newbie I thought cards 11, 22 and 33 were the doubles of the deck. However, in lenormand method a double is not numeric rank but a card which has two sides to it – each casting distinctly different  interpretations on flanking cards.  Again lenormand code is deck specific,  but in general as an example one can think of the Scythe’s handle and blade or the Clouds light and dark sides as examples of double cards.  At the intermediate level double cards are often referred to as “directional cards”.

As shown  in the Dondorf and the Blue Owl decks images above, the Key’s bit and shaft are situated in the same way, but this is not so  in the Piatnik version shown below. Please refer to a previous post on this blog, where the anatomy of the Key card was discussed, if the terms bit and shaft are unfamiliar.

Piatnik Key

The difference between the Piatnik imagery and that of the Dondorf and Blue Owl shows why image details are of primary importance!  The subconscious (Freudian term) or unconscious (Jungian term) works with pictures, not words. Thus the true language of lenormand has nothing to do with grammar or the  structure of verbal communication but has more in common with notation systems such as is found in Japanese Kanji or in the hieroglyphs of ancient Egypt where each image carries and triggers by a visual gate concepts which open to deeper archetypal rivers of meaning.

In lenormand notation images are non- transferable from deck to deck. Each lenormand deck being a distinct map of an internal terrain with its own “key”or legend.  The symbology  works only for the deck one is viewing.  Any list of pairs must be deck specific and should be self-generated.

A reader can work with more than one deck  but they will have only one  “master deck”.  For the dedicated lenormand reader,  their master deck  is simply the one they have mastered.  For a casual reader or dabbler,  the makings of their master deck is found in their first exposure to the cards which leaves an indelible imprint. Choose wisely.  It takes hard work with one traditional deck exclusively over an extended period of time to offset or override an artistic interpretation or untutored rendition of a trendy lenormand.

The Dondorf deck was my first deck but it is not my master deck. Thankfully it was a traditional lenormand and is graphically close to the  standard Blue Owl  which became my  master deck during the practicum. i.e. the first three years or 36 months of study in the lenormand system- one card each month.

The next post will examine the Key card in  a few patterns.