Author Archive | Melissa Cynova

Patience and shuffle the cards – Miguel de Cervantes

I have a tarot client who lays her hand on the deck (usually after I’ve been fiddling with it), takes a deep breath and says, “Ok. Go ahead.” She’s done this for a decade worth of readings, and I swear, it still makes me twitchy.

No shuffling? No cutting? You’re just gonna let me *gulp* READ for you?

Of course, because she’s the Zen master of all things, the readings are always accurate. The cards are always where they should be.

I have another client who smooshes my cards around on the table in one huge pile. She pushes and pulls them, stacks them into an untidy pile and says, while idly making all of the face up cards go face down again, “Go for it, honey.” She says this with a giant grin on her face because she knows it drives me bonkers.

Of course, because she is the Captain of Chaos, the readings are always accurate. The cards are always where they should be.

I think that shuffling (or not) of the cards lends a certain amount of ritual to the reading.

It gives the client time to breathe. To touch the cards and do something with their hands. I ask my clients to “Shuffle til you feel like you’re finished”. During this time, I play with my stones or close my eyes and breathe in and out and try to disappear from the table. When they’re finished, they’re noticeably calmer than they were when they first sat down for this reading.

People generally get readings when they’re anxious or nervous or wondering, and the anticipation can ramp that up. The simple process of shuffling a deck of cards can lend them calm and a seemingly mindless task to distract them from their worries.

This simple act is more than just rearranging of the cards, or putting their energy into them. It’s a meditation and a ritual that allows them to be wholly present for their tarot reading. That’s what ritual really is, after all. It’s a tool or an exercise that makes us be mindful of what we’re doing.

When the bell rings in a Christian church, it’s time to pay attention to the altar because magic is happening there. When Muslims are called to Salat five times a day, they literally walk away from the mundane, face the direction of their holy land, and place their physical, mental and spiritual selves in the hands of their god.

The act of lighting a candle for a Pagan. The act of touching the beads in a mala. Even mundane tasks have rituals that bring a touch of the sacred to them. Every night, I tuck my kids into bed. Every night, I tell them I love them so much, and to have good dreams and tell me about them in the morning. I kiss their foreheads three times. Every night. This ritual has become sacred in our house, because it is ours. It’s an active and physical show of love and trust.

Whether you are spiritual or not. Whether you sling cards or not. Whatever your day looks like, I encourage you to notice those places where ritual has entered. What drives it? Why do your rituals continue? What is it, precisely, that your attention should be focused on?

Noticing your rituals will help you turn your head toward those things that require your full attention, and will help you pull a little bit of the sacred into your day to day.

About the Author: Melissa Cynova

Melissa CynovaMelissaC_Bio is owner of Little Fox Tarot, and has been reading tarot cards and teaching classes since 1989. She can be found in the St. Louis area, and is available for personal readings, parties and beginner and advanced tarot classes. You can Look for her first book, Kitchen Table Tarot, is available for pre-order and will be out April 8th.

Melissa lives in St. Louis with her kiddos, her husband, Joe, and two cats, two dogs and her tortoise, Phil.

She is on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Go ahead and schedule a reading – she already knows you want one.

Note: Image is from the Little Monsters Tarot Deck

It Works Because You Think It Will By Melissa Cynova

I started asking my cards to behave differently a few years ago. I always rigidly stuck to the Celtic Cross spread. That was how I learned and that’s where my confidence lived. It’s kind of time consuming, though, and a bit inflexible. I remember sitting with my cards and Deciding that three cards was plenty. This one meant past, that one was the present, and this one was the future. And then I did the reading and it worked!

I got a little bolder and started doing six card spreads, ten cards, even one with thirty cards.

Each time I tried something new, I would hold my cards in my hand and Decide what the reading would be and how the cards would work.

And it always worked.

I write Decide with a capital “D” because there has to be some deliberate thought involved.

I see prayer in much the same way. If I light a candle with a petition underneath it, I have to Decide that it means something. One of my friends is looking for a new job, so I asked her if I could help. She said ok (permission is also important).

I wrote her full name three times across and three times up and down. I did this three times – because I Decided that three was an important number for me. I wrote the logo of the company she’d applied at in the middle. I wrote spiraling words around all of this. “Love, respect, peace of mind, security, love, respect, peace of mind, security” over and over and over. I thought about how much I liked her and how much I wanted her to be happy and to find joy every day. I folded the paper in three parts and then again three times. I drew a wealth rune on it, put it under the candle and lit the candle, sending my petition to the Universe and whatever gods were listening.

The candle burned all night.

Now. Will it work? I don’t know. I made this ritual up by stealing some of Briana Saussy’s witcheries, mixing them with my love of candles and writing, and threw in a healthy handful of Faith.

I Decided that this would work, and therefore made it magical.

There are, of course, more complex and in depth magical practices, but I believe they’re all based on this. If you believe a thing will work, it will work for you. You have to Decide. You have to have Faith.

In believing, you will push your petition forward and upward and the Universe will be ready to receive it.

xo Lis

About the Author: Melissa Cynova

Melissa CynovaMelissaC_Bio is owner of Little Fox Tarot, and has been reading tarot cards and teaching classes since 1989. She can be found in the St. Louis area, and is available for personal readings, parties and beginner and advanced tarot classes. You can Look for her first book, Kitchen Table Tarot, from Llewellyn Publishing in January 2017.

Melissa lives in St. Louis with her kiddos, her partner, Joe, and two cats, two dogs and her tortoise, Phil.

She is on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Go ahead and schedule a reading – she already knows you want one.

You Can’t Fix People You Didn’t Break by Melissa Cynova

Photo by Crossroad Images

One of the things that I often hear in my readings is heartache over the behavior of our loved ones. Our partner is cheating or emotionally absent. Our friends are neglecting us. Someone is being too smothery or won’t stop using drugs, or won’t pick up the phone or won’t love us back.

Someone is hurting us.

The first instinct in these situations is to try to fix it. We blame ourselves for our loved one’s indiscretions or their lack of attention. Clearly, we’re not doing enough to earn their love. We tell ourselves, in the words of Ani DiFranco, “Maybe if HE loved me, then I’d love me, too.” and we reach and pull and contort ourselves to feel worthy and ready to receive that love.

And what then? When we don’t get it? What if we lost weight or grew our hair out or stopped swearing all the goddamned time? What happens then? We expect/want/need the person to drop all of the previous broken behavior and come to us whole. After all, we’ve done so much to make them happy.

Why won’t they be happy?

Mostly? Because we can’t fix them and we can’t make anyone love us back. Unless our behavior has caused whatever the disconnect is – we can’t fix it.

If your partner is leaving the relationship, unless you have caused the absence, you can’t make them stay. You probably don’t want to, since that breeds resentment. If your partner has intimacy issues, unless you caused them, you can’t fix that.

Counseling can, but unless they want to go to counseling, you can’t fix that, either.

So what do we do? That’s the hard part. We have a hard conversation, and then we make a hard decision. If your partner is hurting you – in whatever way – it clearly can’t continue. So you have the very hard conversation that says, “This is unacceptable. I need you to stop.” If they don’t, or won’t get help to try to stop, you decide.

You choose living with them and this flaw, or living without them.

If you decide to stick it out in the same conditions, you’ve made a very clear choice to be ok with what’s going on. I know that some circumstances are appalling, but there is always hope. I had a client recently move herself and her children in with a cousin  – leaving everything – while her husband was arrested for domestic violence. She made a choice and got out when it was safe and she was able. There are always exceptions.

If you decide to go, then go. Flopping back and forth isn’t going to help in the long run, and it’s just exhausting. The wisdom here is realizing that the only thing you can control is your own behavior, and the only person you can change is yourself.

What if they change, though? In the future? What if they stop doing this thing that you’ve asked and asked them to? Well, let’s worry about that tomorrow.

After they’ve fixed themselves.

Photo by Crossroad Images

About the Author: Melissa Cynova

Melissa CynovaMelissaC_Bio is owner of Little Fox Tarot, and has been reading tarot cards and teaching classes since 1989. She can be found in the St. Louis area, and is available for personal readings, parties and beginner and advanced tarot classes. You can Look for her first book, Kitchen Table Tarot, from Llewellyn Publishing in January 2017.

Melissa lives in St. Louis with her kiddos, her partner, Joe, and two cats, two dogs and her tortoise, Phil.

She is on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Go ahead and schedule a reading – she already knows you want one.

Typical Tuesday with Little Fox Tarot

TypicalTuesday_RoutinesandRituals

At around 5am, my Joe kisses me on the head on his way to work. His love is real, as I’m certain I’m snoring when he does this. Generally, I wake up at 6:04am. I’ve got an alarm set with the wake up song “Get By” by Talib Kweli. If you haven’t heard this song – it starts with a sample of Nina Simone from “Sinnerman”. Soon the hook starts,

“This morning, I woke up
Feeling brand new, I jumped up
Feeling my highs and my lows
In my soul and my goals
Just to stop smoking and stop drinking
I’ve been thinking, I’ve got my reasons
Just to get by, just to get by, just to get by, just to get by….”

You can’t listen to this song and not want to do something big.

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I shift into care mode. I take the dogs (Libby and Lucy) outside, and sit with them for a few minutes, just breathing in and out. I quit smoking a year ago, and this is an important part of my Not Smoking. I just breathe. I feed the cats (Daisy, Daisy Adair and Minerva Jane McGonagall Cynova). I hand feed our tortoise, Phil – that’s my meditation time. We’ve spoiled this tortoise to the point that he won’t eat his whole breakfast unless he’s hand fed. If it’s a Kid day (shared custody), I wake up my sweethearts and get them started on their day. If it’s not a Kid Day, I take a shower and putter around for a bit.

img_3111I choose my card of the day.

I’ve been reading tarot cards since 1989, and this is the first year I’ve ever done readings for myself – ever. Weird, yes. But there it is. I got this great journal from Darla Antoine – The Divina Dream Journal for Magical Babes. Its intent is to help you remember your dream, but it also has a section for Daily Divination. I started pulling a card every morning and writing about it.

It’s amazing how calming it is to take ten minutes to figure out what the day could look like. I’ve found that usually I get an important head’s up about how the day is going to unfold. I got the Three of Swords, which is about heartbreak and pain, but wrote that it didn’t feel like I was the target.  A few hours later, my son called to tell me he hurt his ankle and could I please come home? I pulled the Lovers card, and the day turned into a spontaneous, hours long date with my sweetheart.

There is a great deal of validation in seeing even the smallest predictions come true. It adds an element of control to what might otherwise feel like a completely random day.

I drop the kids off at school or head to work. I have a forty minute commute, so I listen to audio books and enjoy my alone time. I usually knock out two or three books a month and it helps me avoid the stabby-inducing road rage.  I get to work around 8am and head home at 5, listening to my book the whole way. I like my job. It’s challenging and interesting and I like my team, so it’s really a blessing to get all three things in one place.

It’s a difficult thing to balance writing and reading cards and working a full-time muggle job.

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I wrote most of my first book last year during lunch breaks and when I had insomnia late at night. I’m editing it now, and I have to schedule time to make writing happen.

I get home from work to find that my partner Joe has picked up the kids from school, cooked dinner, and has taken care of the animals. He’s usually got laundry going, too. I hang out with my family until 8:30 when the kids go to sleep, and then I start doing readings or writing.

kitchen-table-tarot-coverI remind myself that writing is a privilege, not a right, and that for me? I can’t not write. I can’t not read tarot cards.

I’ve wanted to be an author since I was six years old. I told my best friend 20 years ago that my dream in life was to have a book in the Library of Congress.

In April 2017, Kitchen Table Tarot will be published and that bucket list item is checked! It took me four years to complete this book, and the only reason it’s finished is because I decided I wouldn’t push off my dream anymore.

I read or write until 10:30 or so, and then I go to sleep, and am up the next day. I’m tired a lot, and I don’t have as much time to write or work with my cards as I’d like, but I’m still getting things done.

I have a number in my head of how many years it will take me to become a full time author and tarot reader. It’s very clear, and I know that the more I work now, the more likely that goal will become a reality.

About the Author: Melissa Cynova

Melissa CynovaMelissaC_Bio is owner of Little Fox Tarot, and has been reading tarot cards and teaching classes since 1989. She can be found in the St. Louis area, and is available for personal readings, parties and beginner and advanced tarot classes. You can Look for her first book, Kitchen Table Tarot, from Llewellyn Publishing in January 2017.

Melissa lives in St. Louis with her kiddos, her partner, Joe, and two cats, two dogs and her tortoise, Phil.

She is on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Go ahead and schedule a reading – she already knows you want one.

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