A month ago I wrote here about finalizing three book manuscripts and a deck of cards. Since I like to start projects and finish them on the dot too, I was true to my own word once again.

I just had a book launch party, and shipped today a whole lot of boxes. It was extremely rewarding to see that every signed copy of books and cards I prepared for the event went like a flash.

The launch revolved around the Arcades Tarot that I created last year. The ‘LWB’ that accompanies it is in the form of a collection of haiku poems. I liked the idea of capturing in 17 syllables the essence of 6 Tarot cards literally in the mirror.

Part of the launch was also the ‘red book’ – I called it the Corvette – and the ‘indigo’ book for the serious business of reading the cards with the Marseille deck, all according to what is not the ‘standard’ case.

Divination with cards: A Short History comes in pamphlet form.

What is Not: Marseille Tarot à la Carte comes in thick book form.

Each is an insistence on stripping the Tarot of unnecessary discourse in favor of seeing what there’s to see, when this seeing is not informed by cultural precepts, but rather by direct experience.

My work with the Tarot has always been an insistence on the modality to say, ‘I don’t think so’, in the face of any dictations resting on unjustified symbolic action and interpretation.

In response to this, some often want to ask: What is left when we ‘say’ to the symbol, ‘I don’t think so, you’re only a representation of the thing, not the thing itself, so you might as well bugger off and not contaminate my seeing?’

What I’m interested in is targeted talk that completely bypasses the general fear that if the diviner doesn’t keep talking, she can’t be trusted to ‘know’ things. Wrong.

The diviner knows best when the diviner looks first, and then speaks. Speaking first, delivering a message according to lists of meanings and an endless mapping of correspondences is not the best way of conducting a divination session. At least that’s what I insist on in my teaching.

In my own experience, the value of a divinations session consists in seeing what there is to see while all judgment is suspended.

The first principle that I teach is for the students of cartomancy to know the value of ‘not this,’ and ‘not that’. Not what we think we know.

The Emperor doesn’t ‘mean’ power any more than he ‘means’ a dominant patriarch, or a fool whose pants got holes in them from sitting too long on the throne. An Emperor is an Emperor according to the function that he performs assigned to him culturally. Such assignments of functions are shifting, and only make sense in context.

All my writing hammers on this aspect: Meaning is situational, not fixed and not privileged by special access to lineage, divine psychic revelation, or secret schooling.

I hope you all enjoy these new books. They are the result of hard won understanding based on reflection and deconstruction of the language that we all speak. From What is Not to Arcades Tarot haiku, poems that can be enjoyed on their own, the idea is to keep the eyes on the ball, and to keep going. Reading the damn cards is just that.

If I make sharp cuts in my books, it’s because I’m past the age of negotiating for alternative views. Either what I see that is the case is present, or it isn’t.


P.S. The books are available from all online stores. If ‘Temporarily out of Stock’ or long term delivery with Amazon, Barnes and Noble will have the books with you promptly. The same goes for Book Depository and others.

Stay in the loop for cartomantic courses at Aradia Academy.


Published by Camelia Elias

Read like the Devil | Martial Arts Cartomancy | Zen

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