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Oracle KC’s Raffle for Ukraine

Oracle Natural Science is currently hosting a fundraiser for Ukraine. Ukraine is in desperate need of aid – including medical supplies, food and water, funds for repairing infrastructure and supporting the frontlines. Nine artists have gathered to participate in this grand giveaway; which means nine winners!

For this fundraiser I made a special boxed-set of 6 hand-dipped candles. The Prayer for Ukraine candles are 100% organic beeswax, each adorned with:

  • Aquamarine crystals associated with clear communication – releasing old patterns – soothing grief.
  • Marigold petals associated with inner strength – power – protection – remembrance.
  • Salvia petals associated with healing – long life – safe – secure.

Tickets are $5, and there is no limit on individual ticket purchases.

Check out all of the beautiful possible prizes. Get more info about the organization Oracle will be donating the funds to: Razom for Ukraine. And purchase as many tickets as you can/like by this Friday, May 13th!

The more tickets you purchase the better your chances of winning!

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Emerging from the Depths

I have a confession to make. I’ve been working as a full-time Tarot reader/teacher since 2017. (Working with and reading playing cards since 1986 – I was 9. Tarot since 1990 – I was 12 or 13. Reading for strangers in exchange for payment since 2013.)

I have always struggled against a lot of the ideologies that get shelved next to Tarot and cartomancy. For decades I had a hard time really putting a name to it. I knew much of what I encountered in the shops that carry Tarot decks felt off… there was a lot of misogyny dressed up as traditional divine-archetype role-playing, there was rampant cultural appropriation claiming to be honoring and somehow “returning to” a “natural state” while conspicuously excluding people from the cultures being referenced, there was a confusing assemblage/collage approach to esoteric beliefs and rituals that worked to amplify a sense of awe while also disengaging with touchstones of reality. The line between free-spirited open-minded spiritualist and untethered appropriative callous individualist was sometimes difficult to discern.

As with any spiritual practice where people tend to come with their most vulnerable selves into a realm which is, by definition, not concrete… there is fertile breeding ground for manipulators, abusers, and just plain scam artists. The questioning-nature of spiritual practices, especially for those who are seeking alternatives to the dominant culture’s codified religions, can lead one fairly easily down a slippery slope of reality denial and falling into the wide open jaws of a cult.

Pre-2020 I had already noticed a trend towards some alarming thought-processes in people I was encountering and of course the uptick in conspiracy theories and outright cult recruitment over the past two years has been incredibly steep. Quite frankly, I became overwhelmed and scared. I was being approached by people with all manner of pain and confusion who were also starting to form concrete allegiances to some deeply troubling beliefs with damaging implications for the overall wellbeing of society as a whole. Knowing that Tarot had already historically been used in problematic ways and that there is no shortage of material out there which can easily be used to support this dangerous reality-slippage, I found myself stumbling over how to approach Tarot with the public. Reading for myself I’d get lost in considering how to address the symbolism I found in the cards, whether it be a historical deck or a contemporary artist’s version.

This past week I received The Tarot of the Drowning World by Kahn-Selesnick. It is a photographic art Marseilles-style deck. Each card is a carefully composed vignette half-submerged in a dark pool of water. The images simultaneously appear to be sinking into and emerging out of the water. There are human figures in the Major Arcana but they are handled in such a way that they read less as human individuals and more as true archetypes. The Minor suits have no humans, the court cards are created from assemblages of objects that vaguely nod to a figurative silhouette.

Each card is a rich and beautifully composed work of art. For the first time in many years I felt the sense of wonder I had as a child pouring over the art in my first Tarot deck. Here I held in my hand imagery that was beautiful while also hinting at and allowing for darker, messier truths. Art that left room to explore the depths of human experience within a beautiful container.

Normally I do a quick “what type of deck are you” reading when I receive a new deck. But for The Tarot of the Drowning World, I dove right in and asked, “What role does Tarot play in my life now?” A simple 3-card draw. 7 of Cups, an appropriate nod to the foundational sense of overwhelm from which my question had sprung. 6 of Swords, indicating my current work to reconcile my relationship with my practice with that of the perceived use of Tarot in current popular culture. King of Cups, a gentle nudge to find my center and be confident within my contemplative work. As a final clarifier, “What should I do?” The Knight of Pentacles replied, “Do the work.”

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Learn Lenormand Class for OracleKC

Oracle KC is bringing back my Learn Lenormand card reading class! This time online! Lenormand is a card-reading style from the Victorian era. These 36-card decks are a great way to begin or bolster an existing card-reading practice. Lenormand is simple and direct; ideal for exploring issues dealing with timing and considering practical solutions. For this class you will receive a copy of Little Lulu’s Lucky Lenormand deck, booklet, and the Lenormand lesson workbook! AND… you will be doing simple readings for yourself by the end of class! No experience necessary.

Class: Sunday, May 24th 1:00pm Central (Class will be held through Zoom, class materials will be shipped to you.) Class registration through Oracle KC: Learn Lenormand Class

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Tarot Study Hall Online

I’m bringing my Tarot Study Hall open-format class online while we all shelter-in-place! And it’s pay-what-you-can. (Because, believe me, I understand.)

I’ll be hosting Tarot Study Hall through Zoom every Saturday. Join in anytime between 12:30-2:30pm Central US time. (NOTE: We will be skipping 5/23 and resume again on 5/30!)

If you’ve never been to one of my Tarot Study Halls before, it’s an open-format class for all experience levels, ages, and now… any location (technology is kinda amazing, to be honest). During Tarot Study Hall I offer my favorite Tarot study tips and give personalized instruction based on participants’ needs and interests. Bring any questions you’ve got and we’ll cover what we can! You are welcome to stay for the whole two hours or to drop in and out at your convenience.

This is a pay-what-you-can workshop. Each week that you would like to join in, send me the fee you are comfortable with prior to 11:30am that Saturday through my Venmo @LauraPensar or PayPal.me/LauraPensar and I will send the Zoom meeting link and password to your email. (So make sure you include the email address you want this information to go to! The Zoom invitation emails will come from laurapensar@gmail.com )

*Please note that I will not be giving readings during class. I will help you read your own cards but I will not be interpreting a full spread for anyone. If you are interested in booking a reading with me you can schedule it through this link: Book a reading.

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Free Tarot Workshop Series at Kansas City Public Library

The Kansas City Public Library asked me to teach a Tarot workshop series at their Central branch. This four-part series is/was free and open to the public. The first three workshops were a complete success: Intro to Tarot, Tarot Spreads, and The Fool’s Journey. The fourth one, Make Your Own Tarot Journal, has been postponed due to the pandemic… and as it was the one workshop in the series that was craft-oriented (we will be making and taking home our own Tarot journals) this one will have to wait until we can gather in-person once more.

I love teaching introductory cartomancy classes and helping people read cards for themselves for the first time! It’s an honor to share this art form that I love so much with others. (Thank you for these photos Kaite Mediatore Stover!)

Being able to draw arrows on a transparency while teaching is really fun. We had everyone from a complete beginner who’d never held a deck before to those who work with cards with their clients! Thank you  Kansas City Public Library – Central and Llewellyn Worldwide! I look forward to our final workshop in the series… hopefully someday soon.

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Little Lulu’s Lucky Lenormand

Pre-Sales on Indiegogo: February 19th – March 20th

Little Lulu is an updated Lenormand deck that reflects the needs of contemporary readers and seekers. Sweet as pie and honest as a mirror!

A straightforward no-nonsense deck for practical advice you can put to work right away! Lenormand is a 200 year-old card divination system similar to Tarot. A card reading is like having a personal conversation with the deck: Little Lulu is sassy but caring. Little Lulu has your back.

Help fund the printing of the first edition of Little Lulu’s Lucky Lenormand by pre-ordering your deck through the Indiegogo campaign or just follow along and cheer Little Lulu on!

Thanks! – LP