By Jonathan Oldenbuck (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Witchery: When Life Settles Down, the Time is Right. A Psychomanteum, at Last!

For close onto three decades, ever since reading a book back in the mid-eighties about the works of John Dee, I have wanted to have a dedicated psychomanteum in my home. While I was a single woman and living on my own in apartments, it was not feasible to set aside an entire room dedicated to the purpose of connecting with spirits. When Azrael and I first married we discussed it often, but with the arrival of our first son, barely four months into the marriage, we had more important things to concern ourselves with at the time.

A few months passed and with running the little occult store, coping with Azrael’s work-related injury, the shocking need for our beloved first son’s open Az and his favorite menheart surgery at four and a half months of age, a working psychomanteum completely lost its importance in our minds. Roo’s surgery went amazingly well, thanks to the superlative efforts of one Dr. Lawrence Fox, pediatric cardiologist. A week of recovery in hospital to return home, then we continued on with our lives. The addition to our family of several beloved and “adopted” kids from the shop dropping by daily or nightly, the resultant religious study classes, coven circles, handfastings, pagan celebrations, and more, then the surprise expectation of our beloved twins, life moved even faster. Add in their birth, Az’s return to better health, his new job after teaching himself computers and networking, my teaching myself web design in my spare time while taking care of the (now, three) toddlers and homeschooling them. All thoughts of building a psychomanteum flew out the window, no room, no time, and no energy left for such a pursuit.

Two years and a few months beyond the day when our beloved twins, Coo and Doo, were added to our beloved Roo, we got into our first actual house; only two bedrooms, but half the garage was built into a mostly hidden room, so we finally we had a dedicated magick room. We used it for many spells and much research for two months and nine days before I suddenly lost all focus when we lost our beloved Azrael. Couldn’t stay there, in the place where he had so briefly lived, so I moved house again.

This time I got a mortgage on a tiny two story; with three small bedrooms up, one large dining/living room and a tiny kitchen down. No room for magick but an enormous backyard for four of those huge climbing toys, backyarda 20′ circular trampoline, a large, but shallow, above ground pool, dog run for our Irish and a one and a half story shed to store bins of toys and such in; perfect for three little boys who needed lots of distractions and room to run after losing their best friend/favorite playmate and also having to start attending Kindercare while mommy went off to work and left them all day long for the first time in their little lives. Since I started with a web design company three weeks to the day after Az passed, there was no time to think about magick, much less a psychomanteum.

As time passed, I changed jobs two years in and when to work with Az’s old company. I got to meet so many people he loved, told stories about and who loved tee2him, too, from the stories they told me of him. Six years in and that house was paid off eight and a half years after losing him and working myself literally sick and into the hospital several times over the last year and a half there. Boys were teen and preteens by now, so time to make a change, again.

Suddenly, laid off work at the same time I found out my dad had terminal cancer; I spent the next two years getting my medical transcription license, running dad around to doctors, nursing homes, boys to school in another city, then dad to hospice, fixing up and selling the tiny house for a great profit while house shopping, finding this amazing place, paying cash, and finally moving dad into this new large 17834_1264032635291_6259814_nhouse with us and setting him up into the master suite until we lost him seven months later. Moved in a very false friend, several family members and an acquaintance, over the next few years after losing dad; if someone needed help, we helped. That is just how it was. Now, it is just the boys and I, things have settled, we have declared no more giving a room to anyone and everyone in need after the last few experiences we have had with family members and the kid from the boys’ school who was allegedly kicked out of his parent’s home. We found the truth about his situation and the causes for his troubles, including the unmentioned arrests, unfortunately, after the fact. So, no more charity in the Clan household, we are “done”.

In being “done”, we have started reassessing the layout of the current house. Things are moving around, being organized, items stored in the attic, and finally, I will have both of the enormous walk-in closets in my room, for my own use. Anyone who knows me, personally, knows I have enough clothes to maybe half fill a normal sized closet, at the very most. I am the opposite of a clothes horse, and do not like to shop at all, never have… unless we are talking books and occult items… then I plead the 5th amendment, immediately! Why else pick a house with not only the boys’ big stone game room, and lots of storage space, but my front library, as well.

So, in the next few days of cleaning and reorganizing, I am hoping to begin the cleaning and construction phase for the long awaited psychomanteum. living roomI am brimming with ideas and almost vibrating with excitement! I expect to have it done before Yule, and will (with any luck) be able to have it in use in time to speak with Azrael on the 17th anniversary of his leaving. The set up of the room will not take long, but I already know and am prepared for it to take a while to acclimate to the use of the room. I have all, or almost all, that I need to build out the room for the intended use, there is plenty of room for the chair, table, mirror, and necessary accoutrement to achieve the purpose, the only hold back at this point is time. With holidays approaching, time could be an issue, but I am hoping to report, very soon, that the psychomanteum is up and running.

psychics, tarot deck, tarot cards, scrying, divination, witchcraft

All Psychics are Fake. Seriously?

As a witch with a talent of my own, (though it is certainly not tarot reading) I can understand that people who do not believe in psychics have a right to their opinions. When a person calls a psychic hotline, or visits a psychic online and gets a badly explained reading or trips over a person who has no legitimate talent, they have a right to be angry and dissatisfied. However, for some people to say that “no one” has the ability or the power to read a person based on a special skill is ridiculous. Sorry. I have to call bullshit on that one! That is like saying no one can do advanced science because you cannot understand it. It is akin to stating that because you do not “believe in” string theory that it does not exist and the people who work in the field are “making it up” as they go along. It is preposterous.

I have met only a handful of people, who have a great deal of talent in my lifetime. The first was when I was in my early twenties; she provided some excellent advice that served me well concerning my immediate question. Having been someone who investigates things thoroughly beforehand, I made it a point to give her my first birth name (which I have never actually used in my life) and a single word as the question only. I refused to banter with her, giving the “Interesting!” or “Oh, that is so me!” type of leading comments that can lead to a clue for fakes. I did not nod along with the good info or purse my lips at the bad. I did not look her in the eyes, kept my mouth shut and my eyes strictly on the cards she used. After it was all said and done, the answer to my question was absolutely not what I wanted to hear, but it was the answer she gave. I accepted it as such and walked away with the information I sought, leaving her without any feedback on her reading. I assumed that if she wanted feedback she would have asked for it.

The one person who shocked me the most, though, was my own beloved husband. When we first married, my late beloved told me he had “played around” with a Rider Waite tarot deck as a teen, but never really got into it. He had tried it because he found a card from that deck on the ground once and carried it with him for years, but really had no interest in tarot, otherwise. That all changed when we started studying the occult in depth.

My late husband was scary, very scary indeed, when it came to reading the tarot for people. Once he got “into” studying the tarot, he found himself drawn to several different decks. As such, he became a collector of decks, and on meeting someone new, he would engage them in discussions about the weather, or something going on in the world. He purposefully avoided personal information. It was a point of pride with him that the first reading, knock their socks off.

Therefore, Az looked the person over, felt the energy coming off them, then; he would reach for a specific deck. It was amusing to watch, as sometimes people would point to a different deck and ask for the reading from it because it was a cooler looking tarot deck, prettier tarot deck, spooky looking tarot deck, more well known tarot deck, and he would say, “No. This is your deck.” He shuffled the deck and handed it to the person to cut; he repeated this action three different times. He always reminded them to think the question while they touched and cut the deck, but not speak it aloud. He did not want to know. He would choose a layout based on what he wanted not what was ornate or popular, then, it was reading time.

He specifically admonished people not to give any sort of feedback during the first reading, but hold it until after he was finished. He would ask them to just listen, absorb what he had to say and hold any questions until he was through, as well. Sometimes people would blurt something out after he made a comment and it would piss him off and he would show it. As a 6’ 5” tall and very broad shouldered and masculine man, he had a great scowl that could turn off chatter as quickly as a faucet being turned, so there was usually only one “slip up” during a reading.

When I say scary, I mean that his feedback, after the fact, in the entire time he gave readings was never rated as less accurate than an eight or nine in relativity to the question. He got a few that low, however, most often people said he was dead on target for the question and rated him a 10. It was hilarious to watch his first time readings. Seeing people go pale when he would give them specific information. Watching their eyes widen with surprise, their mouth drop open in absolute shock at times was funny because Az rarely looked up from the cards during a reading and that only when he was searching for a specific word. Even then, he kept his eyes closed. You could practically see his mind spinning; hear the wheels turning as he sought the best possible way of explaining what he was getting from the cards. I had to cover my mouth to keep from laughing sometimes as people would gape at him openly, yet there he was… staring down at the cards, or facing the heavens, frowning with his eyes closed searching for what he needed to express, just so.

Invariably, the person would walk away one day and return another, often with a friend in tow. When you have the talent, you know and it shows to others around you. If not, then that, too, is obvious to those who are paying attention.

Bear in mind, I have met some extremely good fakes over the years. Fakes with crystal balls, fakes with tarot cards, fake palmists, all of whom are good at reading body language, asking the right questions and feeding you information which seems right at the time, but when you look back on it, the information is so generic it could apply to anyone you know.

The true readers have been rare in the almost 30 years I have been visiting and testing them, but they certainly do exist. Some talents, exploited by those people who want to make a quick buck, get a bad reputation as a result, but bad reputations or not, carefully seeking one with true talent can pay off in the end, when you get the assistance you need.