Last year I was excited to review Skye Alexander’s latest work The Modern Witchcraft Book of Tarot to see what mysteries it might hold. Skye Alexander has written a comprehensive and informative text to help you perform better readings with tarot cards. It is an honor to be able to interview her here as part of our Divination Space Station series, asking the important questions, and getting valuable answers. The bold faced questions are mine, the responses come directly from Skye Alexander herself.
When did you start divining?
I started studying astrology in the mid-1970s. Many people think of astrology only as a way to understand personality, but it’s also an extremely valuable tool for looking ahead to see what the future holds. Astrologers consider the movements of the heavenly bodies in relationship to a birthchart to determine what energies will influence a person at any given time and how those energies will likely play out. (You can also do this for a business, country, etc.) I find astrology to be the most accurate method of divination for timing events.
Around the same time, I also began working with the I Ching. This, in my opinion, is a wonderful tool for understanding our relationships to others. It’s also helpful for answering questions and providing guidance regarding problems or issues in everyday life. I always consult the I Ching when I need to make a decision, as well as for general insight.
Much later, in the mid-1990s, I took up the study of tarot. I love the beautiful imagery and how it speaks to the subconscious in such a rich language. I use the tarot to do readings, and draw a card every morning to guide me through the day. However, I don’t find the tarot to be as accurate as astrology for timing events, and I wouldn’t choose it if I wanted to know about something far off in the future. In addition, I use the tarot in spellworking. In my book The Modern Witchcraft Book of Tarot I discuss the individual meanings of the cards, how to do spreads, and offer ways to incorporate cards into spells.
Over the years I’ve worked with runes (both Norse and Ogham), the pendulum, numerology, and other systems for divination. All have value. All provide insight, guidance, and answers to questions both mundane and spiritual. All help us see inside ourselves and gain access to higher planes of knowledge.
Which method do you use most often now?
I still use all these systems, although I tend to use runes in spellcasting more than for divination.
How important is the choice/phrasing of the question?
In my experience, tarot cards and the I Ching will answer your real concern, regardless of what question you ask. For example, if you ask “How can I earn more money?” when your primary concern is wondering if you should leave your husband because you’re afraid you may not be able to support yourself, the cards will probably provide advice about your marriage.
When doing horary astrology, I think it’s important to carefully phrase the question in order to get an accurate answer. This is especially true when you want to know about something other people are also wondering about––you probably won’t get a good answer if thousands of people have already asked the same question. In this case, I recommend asking a question that has personal significance for you––the more immediate and important it is to you, the clearer the answer.
If I’m looking at planetary transits to a person’s birthchart, I don’t really need the person to tell me what s/he wants to know about––it will be evident in the chart.
Do you have a yes/no method of divining you recommend?
The pendulum is an easy tool to use if you want a yes or no response, and it doesn’t take much practice to use. For me, if the pendulum swings side to side, the answer is no. If it swings back and forth, the answer is yes. If it moves in a circle, the situation is undecided or unclear at this time.
Here’s a quick and easy tarot method: Shuffle the cards, then lay out three side by side. If two are upright, the answer is yes, although there may still be room for development or the situation may still be in flux and could change. If all three are upright, the answer is a strong yes. If two cards are reversed the answer is no, although there may still be room for development or the situation may still be in flux and could change. If all three are reversed, the answer is a strong no. However, I’ve found that by changing your attitude or behavior, or taking certain actions, you may be able to change a predicted outcome.
Is there any advice you have for newcomers when using divination?
Practice, practice, practice. Read everything you can, from a variety of authors to get different points of view. It may be helpful to take a few classes in the beginning, but many people, including me, are self-taught. When I started learning the tarot, I drew one card each morning and contemplated it, read about it, and noticed how its symbolism and general meaning related to my experiences that day. I also recommend keeping a journal so you can track your personal growth and see how accurate your divination is.
Trust your intuition as well as your intellect. I also suggest beginners start paying attention to so-called “coincidences” and synchronicities. I often find coins when I’m about to receive money. Animal sightings can provide information and guidance too. If you see an animal you might not ordinarily see, read about spirit animals and their meanings (my book The Secret Power of Spirit Animals covers this). Anything can be an oracle: flowers, shells, stones, words, music. How often have you heard a song that spoke to something you were just thinking about? Here’s a cool example. A woman I know took a wrong exit off the highway and got lost. Just as she was about to panic, she saw a truck with “Safeway” on it and realized she should follow it to find the safe way back to the highway.
Are there any new projects you are developing?
Find Your Goddess, my new book of goddess mythology, is due out in January. It includes myths and history about fifty goddesses from a variety of cultures (including Lilith), their attributes, and how to draw upon the wisdom of particular goddesses for assistance. I’ve just finished writing a mystery novel set in 1925 that features a tarot reader, an astrologer, and a number of other metaphysicians, titled What the Walls Know, and a memoir about the afterlife and my experiences communicating with my life partner who passed four years ago, titled Death Is a Revolving Door. Hope my agent can find a good publisher for both these new books!
If you would like to know more about Skye Alexander please see her website skyealexander.com And as always if you have enjoyed what you read here please do us a favor and share !