On Christmas day I was prompted to say something about the role of intuition in cartomancy.

I think intuition plays a major role in any divination session, but it has to be part of the variables on the table in play. These variables are simply the question, its context, and cultural predicament. People come to the cards for a reason, and often from a very specific situation that informs their seeking. These variables are not up for negotiation, nor are they up to ‘what I feel about it’ the intuitive way.

I like to think of intuition in terms of how a particular method, when applied according to individual interpretative skills, becomes a choreographic moment that brings together in a dance the querent’s question, her cultural background, her basic curiosity and desire to learn, and the reader’s competence in seeing and decoding visual language. The reader can follow very strict rules of logic and a method anchored in precision and common sense – I know I aim for that – but in this dance with a question coming from another – other rules can also apply. We can syndicate, syncopate, synchronize, and synthesize what we see in such a way that by the time we’re done we’re ready to publish a long poem, written in that oracular voice that baffles and leaves the ‘uninitiated’ stare.

I’ve asked the cards about it. What is intuition?


The Pope, The Charioteer, Judgment

Intuition is the Pope’s declaration, the winner’s proclamation, and the Angel’s annunciation.

You can listen to it, go with it, and get it from beyond.

When the Angel blows his trumpet, you want to rise up and dance. You may be unsure of the steps, but you can follow the score. I bet the Angel follows a method, a set notation for his blasting. But the way you end up dancing to this music is entirely up to you.

Enjoy your jigs, and your midwinter celebrations, and if you want to pay attention even more intently to what you make out of the signs that present themselves to you, you may want to read my latest post on Patheos, 12 Days of Omens.

Happy New Year to All.


Thank you to Jonathan E. Emmett in my Cards and Magic Class, for prompting this post.


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