Your Reader is Not Your Enemy: Tips for Having a Decent Divination

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12am and Lightnin’ Hopkins is strumming on the radio, his slow and steady style helping me to focus as I go over the cases in front of me. 6 readings from $5 to $20 and all over the world are in the inbox and I need to get them done before sunrise. I stretch out my hand past the beer can and onto my shelve-o’-tricks, reaching for my homemade “Cowl Eye Oil.” Designed to open the eyes of the Spirit and increase psychic effectiveness I rub it on my temples and pray that the 52 spirits held in my fingers reveal the truth of the matters at hand.

I begin to shuffle, muttering each case’s question. Things go as normal, save for one reading. Told to by me by the client as a simple “does she love me” and “how does she feel about me” for a lesbian relationship the cards are coming up wild. Diamonds, the suit of sex and gossip are dancing everywhere while at the same time hints of a family keep popping up.

There is a whole aspect of the story I’m not understanding here.

“The 9 of hearts is normally a happy card, but considering the ones that came before it, it has a new meaning. The deep desire hidden here is for a happy pairing, a happy home life among two lovers, even marriage. The fact that this is here says to me it’s a secret wish and not shared between you two.”

Everything keeps showing that the relationship is doomed, yet paradoxically it dies not in heart ache but a rampaging thirst for sex.

The shoe drops and suddenly the bigger picture is revealed.

The client is a woman in a long-term relationship with a man and only recently has been exploring her thirst for new things with a very good female friend. There is no “relationship” per se as much as heavy flirting and the fiery burning of the loins. Suddenly everything snaps into focus: the girlfriend worries about breaking up the family, is unsure about leading he away from her family. The cards make it clear the client is not going to be stopped but that her would-be GF is not going to go through with it. Far from coming back home the cards reveal she’s better off looking elsewhere(4 of Diamonds) for a new young plaything(Jack of Diamonds.) In the end she’ll find the mistress(Queen of Diamonds) she’s looking for and it won’t be the one she’s pining after.

The difference between a seasoned reader and a beginning reader is the old-timer has been at it long enough to know that the cards are always right and the client can be very wrong. I’ve been told it was impossible for people to get pregnant, only to receive a message 6 months later that indeed it was so. I’ve been told I was wrong, that I was making things up, or (in one of my all time favorite moments) told someone was stealing the client’s man only to have the cards reveal it was actually HER that was the other woman.

We live in an age where hucksters exist on almost every street corner and sadly the Occult world is filled with fakes. To be fair it’s impossible for a client just starting out to know what kind of deal they’re getting. I understand the suspicion. But you’re only making my job harder and your experience more labored by locking everything up like a bank vault.

Don’t get me wrong, I can hang with the best of them. My first gigs were one sentence questions with almost no details. “What does XXX think of me?” For $5 I can do that all day. But if you want really in-depth details, really want a command of the situation, don’t be afraid to work with your reader.

So here’s a tip to make your experience easier and also protect you from the bullshitters:

When getting a reading or divination done be honest about the situation but let the cards reveal the details.

It’s one thing to ask why has so-and-so been distant. It’s another to say he’s gotten a new job and you want to know if anything is going on with his secretary and learn that while he’s flirting nothing has happened yet. It’s one thing to ask if you will be rich, it’s another thing to ask if you should buy that rollerrink across the street and find out someone was murdered there.

Imagine for a moment a deck of cards is a pack of wild and unruly spirits capable of pushing back the veil of probability. You ask them “will I find a job soon?” They peer out across the universe and see that you will indeed be offered a job at Burger King four months down the line because you’ve secretly been blacklisted everywhere else. Broke, you take whatever job you can get. The cards come back and with an excited grin and shout the good news: “Yes, you will!”

What a difference it would have made if you asked if that banking position you just applied for would pan out, or how your job search over the next four months would go, or even if you should continue applying at banks and money lenders because it doesn’t seem to be working out.

We want to help you out. Readers honestly enjoy having the details they had no way of knowing come up, as did in one exchange:

“Do you have siblings?”
“A sister?”
“Blonde hair?”
“And you have a really bad relationship with her? Like you guys don’t talk anymore at all?”

Details I couldn’t have known but results that were perfect because the client asked why he hadn’t been successful in his recent relationships. The cards revealed that lingering issues with his sister, something I had no way of knowing, were impacting his experiences with women. Would such a fantastic result have been possible with a simple “will I be in a relationship soon?” Possible, but do you want to waste the time?

And for the love of all that is holy, please don’t try to bullshit me. That quite literally makes no sense at all: if you think I’m fake, why bother? If you think I’m real, don’t you think I’ll find out?

Another pet peeve: don’t ask any question you don’t want the answer to. Boy howdy, was it fun when I revealed to a co-worker that no, her marriage would not get any better and in fact it would end in a bitter divorce. How about the time I revealed to a young poet that instead of being the apple of his crush’s eye he was viewed at best as really creepy and at worst a potential rapist.

I am here to make things clear, not to make you happy. Do not ask me to “ask again” or “if I’m sure.” Your child is very sick and all that’s coming up is spades? Time to either call a priest or the Make a Wish foundation not for a reshuffle or the same god damn question worded differently.

Some workers are real, some are fake. If you have your doubts get something small to test the waters but don’t intentionally mislead them. You wouldn’t lie to your doctor to “test” if he would REALLY find out your liver is failing or lie to a plumber to see if he REALLY would notice you’ve been flushing used spunk socks down the toilet for eight years.

Questions for divination should be like statements of intent: clear enough to get results but open enough for the magical filter of probability to determine the best results. Be guarded, yet open, and don’t assume that just because the cards don’t say what you thought they would that they’re wrong.

Somewhere out there is a woman nursing a small child conceived in an affair, in and out of a divorce court, and still grappling with the fact my cards proved 18+ years of doctors wrong.

Don’t be like her and take my advice: your reader is not the enemy.

Like my writing? Want to help keep me from starving to death or buy me a beer? Make a donation of any size and I’ll promise not to haunt you when I die.

About Dr. Bones

Dr. Bones is a conjurer, card-reader and egoist-communist who believes “true individuality can only flourish when the means of existence are shared by all.” A Florida native and Hoodoo practitioner, he summons pure vitriol, straight narrative, and sorcerous wisdom into a potent blend of poltergasmic politics and gonzo journalism. He lives with his loving wife, a herd of cats, and a house full of spirits. He can be reached at and
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