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The Moth and Candle Studio

The Moth & Candle studio is a magical boutique in the heart of the Midwest.

3130 Bell Street, Kansas City, MO

  • Tarot Consultations – The Moth & Candle studio is a warm and welcoming environment for private consultations. Contact Laura to book your in-person reading.
  • Cartomancy Instruction – Interested in learning more about Tarot and other forms of cartomancy? Laura offers one-on-one personal instruction in the art of cartomancy. Whether you’re just curious about working with cards for personal development and enjoyment or whether you’re a professional looking to expand your cartomancy repertoire, you will be off and shuffling in no time with personalized coaching. Contact Laura to book your coaching session.
  • Classes, Workshops, and Events – The Moth & Candle studio hosts many events and workshops which are open to the public. Check the Calendar for upcoming events.
  • Tarot Supplies – Moth & Candle stocks a small inventory of Tarot decks and supplies. Not in Kansas City? Our online shop will be coming soon!
  • The Deck Orphanage – “Take a deck, leave a deck.” Adopt a deck from The Moth & Candle Deck Orphanage by exchanging it for a deck of yours or leaving a $5 donation. All decks in “good and complete” condition are welcome: Tarot, oracle, playing cards, Lenormand, etc.
  • The Tarot Petting Zoo – The Moth & Candle studio is home to a small library of Tarot and oracle decks available to be studied. Anytime during open shop hours you may “check out” a deck from the library to study at our game table for free.
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The Hand You’re Dealt (Palmistry & Cartomancy Workshop)

What can we learn about ourselves in a simple round of cards? Our hands and our cards hold keys to helping us better understand the game of life.

Instructors: Laura Pensar (cartomancy) & Madison Joy (palmistry)

Laura of Moth & Candle and Madison of Truth Amplified have teamed up for a fun evening of divination and game playing! Madison will tell us some of the characteristics of palmistry so you can get an idea of your fellow players and who is likely to bluff big and who might just fold! Then Laura will teach us how to play a simple, quick-paced, and fun card game. Laura and Madison will walk you through interpreting your cards after we play. Class includes a deck of cards and sharpie to make your own study deck, score card and cartomancy guide sheet, and a palmistry pamphlet.

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Second Sight Second Saturdays

The Moth & Candle Studio is happy to host Second Sight Second Saturdays… drop-in for a quick taste of some soothsaying traditions.

Been curious to try out various forms of divination? Always wondered what tea reading would be like? Or what a palmist would say about that little swirl on your left hand? We’re assembling some of KC’s finest readers and offering “sample-sized” versions of our regular services!

      • Second Saturdays, 10 am – 2 pm
      • Moth & Candle studio, 3130 Bell Street, KCMO
      • Open to the public. All services $15 each, first-come first-served.
  • Upcoming Dates
    • April 13th: 
      • Tarot/Cartomancy – Laura Pensar
      • Palmistry & Handwriting Analysis – Sandy Jorgensen
      • Bibliomancy* – Kaite Stover
        • Bibliomancy is the art of divination using the written word to seek guidance, unearth truths, or glean wisdom. Using several classic works of literature, explore the power of books to provide a new way to view a question or issue. Let William Shakespeare, Lewis Carrol’s Alice, or Winnie-the-Pooh guide and inspire you to approach challenges with magical words and mystic phrases.
    • June 8th: 
      • TBA
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Intro to Cartomancy Class

Laura’s introductory class on the art of reading playing cards. In this class we cover the historical origins of playing cards, their use in divination, and tips for learning cartomancy at home! Class includes a copy of The Suicide King’s Quick Guide to Cartomancy and a sharpie and pack of cards to make your own study deck.


Upcoming Classes –

Thursday, December 13th, 6:30-8:30pm

at Oracle, 130 W 18th Street, KCMO

Back by popular demand… Laura’s introductory class on the art of reading cards will be back at Oracle this December. Reading cards is a great way to bring a sense of playfulness to your practice! Class size is limited to 9, email Oracle to reserve a spot.

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And your little book too…!

I don’t know the history of the LWB (little white book) but I really want to.

LWB’s are the small booklets that come inside the box with the cards of most Tarot and Oracle decks. LWB’s range from a single sheet of paper folded pamphlet-style to complete mini-books with forwards, essays, and an appendix!

The size of the card deck and the packaging costs are probably the biggest factors in determining how much information can be included. The insert that fits with a large Tarot deck can naturally have more written information than one that fits with a poker-sized deck. How thick the booklet is determines how deep the box for the deck will be. Seemingly small changes in size can lead to large changes in price! If the difference between a 20-page booklet and a 30-page booklet adds a $1.00 increase in cost to each deck… that’s a significant loss in potential revenue for those 10 extra pages. (Bear this in mind as you pull out a microscope to read your LWB.)

LWB’s can feel a lot like the cryptic instruction manuals that come with electronics and appliances. For decks which have been published in multiple countries the same information will be printed again in one or more languages. And because they are trying to communicate the most information possible in as few words as possible… you get the difference between:

Branch: a limb, to split


Branch: (noun) a part of a tree that grows out from the trunk or from a bough / (verb) of a road or path, divide into one or more subdivisions

See how just a few words can make a huge difference? If you weren’t familiar with the word “branch,” its use as both a verb and a noun would seem disconnected and confusing. But in the second fuller definition the extra explanation about the limb being part of a tree growing out from the main trunk gives “branch” (the verb) a context. You have a fuller understanding of “branch” from the second example and could more easily interpret the appearance of “branch” in your reading.

LWB’s are a bridge. Do not expect too much of your LWB, but don’t take it for granted either. Think of it a lot like a pocket foreign-language dictionary or Google Translate: very handy in a pinch, can really help out in certain situations, gives you quick reminders etc; but sitting down with it to do serious work or have a complex and natural conversation…? It’s frustrating, incomplete, and clunky. They cannot be complete. And technically no book ever could be.

LWB’s are a fascinating insight into the decks they accompany in many ways. Who wrote the book? Is it by the artist themselves? A historian? A cartomancer? Are the deck designer and illustrator one person or separate? What year was the book published? What did they include? Is there information  about the artist/designer? Is there information about the history of Tarot? Is it actually historically accurate? What keywords do they associate with each card and how universally accepted are those interpretations? Are they leaving out major keywords commonly included in other books? If so, why? There really is a lot to investigate with the LWB.

I’m going to start digging and see what I can find on the origins of the LWB. What was the first deck that was actually marketed as a divinatory tool to people who didn’t already know how to use it that way? And why? I’ll also be revisiting and reviewing the LWB’s in my own deck collection. Understanding how the LWB’s attempt to distill the vast language of Tarot down to a few simple words can help you better read and interpret the cards.

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Where Past And Future Meet

PresentMomentWebSafeMy go-to spread is all about the present. No surprise, given that I believe wholeheartedly that the present is “where it’s at.” You can’t look at a map and get to where you’re going if you don’t know where you are. Your present is where your past and your future meet in one fantastic spark of a moment. Your present is where the magic happens.

This past weekend I read cards for patrons of the Kansas City Renaissance Festival. Reading at these types of events is always an interesting mix: the querants range from Tarot regulars and enthusiasts to absolute skeptics and people just looking for something fun to do at the festival.

Given the broad range of querants, the opening exchange is really crucial. I need to know what it is they’re expecting, if anything, and their overall comfort level with the process. Inevitably there were many who, when asked, “Is there anything in particular you’d like to focus on today?” answered, “No, just the future. What’s going to happen this year?” These were also the ones who would not divulge any information about themselves, waiting to be convinced of the validity of a Tarot reading. So, I would proceed with the reading, and about halfway to two-thirds of the way through they would be hooked. Sometimes they’d actually say as much, other times it was a subtle uncomfortable shift of weight until the end when they’d shake their heads in disbelief and shake my hand, and a couple times jaws were dropped. Synchronicity can really knock you off balance if you’re not used to it.

There is something far more powerful and awe-inspiring about gaining clarity over your present circumstances than about generalities of a vague and hazy future. In my view, predictions not anchored heavily to an examination of the present are useless. Just as your route on that map depends upon where you are starting, the future depends largely on what is happening now. The past is fixed, the future is just an idea, the present is workable.