camelia elias, cards and magic, folk magic, cartomancy, magic workshop

We all know it, and if we don’t all know it, we all feel it, and if we don’t all feel it, we all think it, and if we don’t all think it, we all desire it: A strong connection to the unseen, to the ones who came before us.

Some make a living out of talking to the dead. A most fascinating profession. I like to do that too sometimes. Talk to the dead, that is, conjure up some famous person to ask a question. This is an old tradition, and in spite of the incredulous and the ones crossing themselves, even the Bible takes this seriously.

Granted, the practice of necromancy referenced in the Bible was not seen upon with benevolent eyes, but what the heck, when the king has to, then he has to. Reportedly, the witch of Endor did king Saul a favor by raising the soul of the dead prophet, Samuel, in spite of the King’s own decree to send into exile all the wizards in the land. She took a risk there.

Witch of Endor, Nikolay Ge, 1857
Witch of Endor, Nikolay Ge, 1857

But oh, well, authorities never did like the ones who know what will happen next. Least of all when they would have it from the mouth of the dead. For as they say, the dead speak the truth. It didn’t go too well with King Saul. And yet, as all diviners operate with a field of what is plausible and probable, they happen to be a step ahead of everyone else who is in the habit of following cultural rules and precepts, trends and currents, thus getting it wrong all the time. It’s the job of the dominant ideologies to keep us in the dark, fashionable. So here comes the horde of diviners illuminating everything because they know how to stack the odds. They are good at calculating, and we can’t have that.


While looking at one of my dead magicians that I like to consort with, as he stands on my desk all enflamed and darkly handsome, now embodying also the capacity of patron of the collection of cards at Roskilde University – something I decided, since things are moving too slow with cataloguing – I see him coming in and out of his black cape. This is a visual trick that I pull on myself every time I fancy a shift in consciousness. It’s actually pretty easy.

giordano bruno, camelia elias, k. frank jensen, roskilde university
Poster on my door at the office


You can get your dead folks to move – dead folks who are otherwise embodied on your desk by all sorts of inanimate objects, from stones to talismans and other such sacred and not so sacred physical manifestations – if you imagine you watch a 3D animation on youtube – without the glasses. Those who like to watch stereograms on the internet all day long – like myself – will get what I’m saying.

So I squint cross-eyed at Giordano Bruno, and he starts moving. I want to ask him: ‘What do you want?’, but I rephrase. I ask him instead, in a tone that’s languid and full of nostalgia and melancholy: ‘Giordano, my man, what did you want in your life, you, master of making invisible, master of the palace of memory, master of dangerous liaisons, master of creating chains of love, master of erotic magic, master of squinting back at me?’ The master gives me the look and before I pass it on to my cards, the refiner’s fire, I already have an idea. But look at the cards I do, nonetheless. It’s more entertaining that way:

The Star, Judgment, The High Priestess


I stare at the cards and say to him: ‘Master Bruno, is this new? Surely I know all this already. You wanted the stars and to tell everyone about them. But you also wanted to keep silent. You were in love with Sophia, the goddess of wisdom, who constantly contradicted everything in you. Indeed, I know all this already.’

Master Bruno retorts back: ‘If you know all this already, then why do you keep asking?’

Good point the man has. It would require a book to unpack all of the above, and who’s to say, maybe some day Giordano Bruno will give me the look that I can’t refuse, what with his promise to guide me through the most special chambers of my magical brain, and my memory even of the time before all time. Who can refuse that look? I cannot. Meanwhile I pretend that I don’t know anything and master Bruno pretends that he doesn’t know that I pretend.


But the point here for you all is this: You can all call on tutelary spirits. You can all ask them to assist you and protect you. Here are the few steps on how to go about it:

  • Get some dead stuff on your table, aka your altar or the bedroom. Make sure they are all connected in your magical brain to some dead folks you want to get in touch with.
  • Call aloud by their names. Use incense or essential oils. Burn a candle or ten. Make some offerings too. If you know what they liked to eat, or drink give them that.
  • Start squinting at the thing of interest. Squint so hard until you feel that you’re on the verge of fainting. If you do this right, you will be on the verge of fainting, as you go from perception to real sensation.
  • Once the dead thing starts moving, ask it a question. You can use your voice to ask aloud, or in your mind. You will get an answer. I will bet you anything.
  • Get your cards. Now test this answer against the cards. You should be able to get a perfect match between your thought-form and your offering of your fainting body to the gods, and your cards.
  • Smile to yourself on your success and smile to the dead too.

In truth and all usefulness, you can create a consortium of tutelary spirits, which is to say, a consortium of spirits whom you can call upon and trust to give you good advice.

Allow yourself to be surprised. Allow your cards to bring you closer and closer to the target and the scoring point. This is a game, after all. A game of chance and winning even against astronomical odds. Though it helps to still use your common sense and calculate what’s possible and probable in this world where we never quite know what the hell we’re talking about.


camelia elias, cards and magic, folk magic, cartomancy, magic workshop

Some and such techniques of crossing over, or crossing your eyes, and then crossing your tutelary spirit’s palm with the silver of your cards will be explored in my upcoming class on cards and magic due to open for registration towards the end of the year. I’m still brewing the contents for this blast.

Meanwhile, good luck with your invocations, conjurations, and walks with the fascinating folks that came before us.



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Published by Camelia Elias

Read like the Devil | Martial Arts Cartomancy | Zen

7 thoughts on “SPIRIT COURT

  1. Camelia, I enjoyed reading how you use the cards not only to communicate with spirits but also as a double-check on information already received. I have heard of people doing this, but never have I heard HOW it is done. Thank you for sharing this.

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