I received the Animalis Os Fortuna deck last year as part of a kickstarter reward during a period when I had more money than sense. My original plan was to give away the deck (and its companion oracle deck) to a friend whose personal theme was animal decks, but each time I went to package up the still sealed decks, something always got in the way.
After the move, I resigned myself to having this deck in my personal possession for much longer than I thought, and finally broke the seal so I could look through the cards and see just how much trouble I’ve gotten myself into.
My thumbnail punctured the seal and I watched the box
take a breath expand as if inhaling for the first time since birth printing.
“You broke it, you own it.”
I’ve poked at it several times since. Read through the guidebook (tiny white print on semi-gloss black pages don’t do old eyes any good). Examined the cards. Put it away.
It may be in my possession, but it isn’t my deck. I was already off-put by the wiccanish oracle deck and it was hard to separate the two decks in my mind. There was nothing particularly damning about the AOF. It just wasn’t sitting well.
Last week, my dash kept throwing up posts that circled a central theme: When using divination tools, which spirit is speaking? The spirit of the tool or the spirit using the tool? The answer is both.
Earlier this week, I was able to observe an online conversation that asked about keeping and using divination tools that the diviner has difficulty with, not because of technique or skill, but because the “voice” of those tools are uncomfortable to hear.
Last night, I dreamt I was sitting on a large gray boulder. I had a deck of tarot cards with me and I was idly laying them down to pass the time. A large hag with an animal skull for a head came and sat down next to me on the boulder. Her black robe fit loosely around her and constantly moved as if her body was constantly shifting under it. The hood barely remained on her bare bone skull. Each time I looked at her head, she had a different animal skull to look back at me with.
“Why won’t you sit with me?” Her tone broke my heart, to be honest. Her feelings were obviously very hurt.
“I’m not sure I should, to be honest. Your sister is wiccan, and I am not. That’s a line I do not have the right to cross.” I kinda knew who I was talking to, and I kinda didn’t know who I was talking to. But I was not afraid.
“I’m not wiccan.”
I looked at her. The horns on her bovine skull poked the hood up at the corners. “Not formally.” I looked back at my cards.
She nodded and the hood fell over her racoon skull almost covering her face. “It’s the pentacles, isn’t it.”
I laughed. “It’s always the pentacles. I wish the informal standard was disks or coins. But no, that’s not it.” No matter how many cards I was laying down, I still had a full deck of tarot cards in my hand. “You’re different. Very different. Not just in imagery but atmosphere. In my mind’s eye, you belong to a cohort of readers that [I have not gotten along with because of my differences]. We don’t quite… fit.”
Her horse skull bobbed as she nodded again. “But I’m not [one of those readers].”
I stopped laying cards. “No. You’re not.”
“And I’m not sitting with them. I mean… they have their own decks, and I’m sure they have some of the decks that you have, but your decks aren’t their decks, and their decks aren’t your decks, and those decks in your hands speak to you in your way and wow these are a lot of words for what I’m trying to say.”
I laughed and looked at the crow skull with mirth. “I still got what you were saying.”
She reached out and laid a skeletal dog’s paw on my arm. “Then will you sit with me? The me that is sitting with you?” Her rat skull was supernaturally large to fit as a human skull would under the hood. She reminded me of a friend and her pet rats, and how comfortable it was to hold them.
“Yes. I’ll sit with you, the you that is sitting with me, the you that is sitting in my tarot drawer. It will take me time to learn how to hear you past my biases. And I don’t think I’ll ever be able to sit with your sister. Her cards represent inner court things to me, things I don’t have the initiation to bear.”
Her cat skull showed no expression. The way she softly headbutted my shoulder spoke all that needed to be said. I reached up to pat her (because it’s rude not to return a cat’s affection) and my hand closed on a deck of cards as the hag’s form disappeared.
I sat alone on the large gray boulder. I thumbed through the deck of cards in my hand, and one by one, laid down cards from the Animalis Os Fortuna deck in silence.
Addendum: After this morning’s Noxporium reading, I went to put the cards away. You’ll never guess what was the card facing me before I closed the box. The Ace of Pentacles. (It’s always the pentacles.) Damn deck has a sense of humor. 😄 I think we’ll get along just fine.