Deviant Divination, Part 1

So, you’re a witch–or at least Pagan–and every Tom, Dick, and Harry–and their sister Susie and her fuck buddy Darrell, expect you to be able to tell fortunes.  If you are or were formally trained, most likely you were expected to learn some form of divination and to learn the rudiments of the Tarot so that the above crowd was correct to expect you to be able to see into their futures.  Unlike some religions of the world, most Pagan religions are open to divination and in fact often encourage it.

While there are a plethora of divinatory systems out there, many people eventually settle on the Tarot–which is actually one of the harder systems of fortune telling.  Not only does each card have multiple meanings depending on how they’re facing or what cards are around them, but each deck (and here again plethora is the key word) can have variant meanings as well.  Then, just when you think you have everything down pat after having read numerous books, some smart ass crone tells you to fuck the book meanings and go with your gut–once again putting you at square one in the confidence department.

Tarot decks are tricky.  Some decks seem to have a mind of their own.  If you’re trying to read with a deck that doesn’t “speak to you”, chances are you will either give incorrect or oddball readings.  For many people in the CollarMe and Fetlife crowds, finding just the right deck to suit their interest in both BDSM and Tarot has been difficult.  Niki, who is both a practicing Pagan and kinkster, is doing something about the problem.  She is working with a small team on creating a BDSM Tarot deck that should be ready sometime next year.

“I had this idea several years ago as I was starting to get into the lifestyle. I had already been a Pagan for years, and I’m a so-so tarot reader, but at the time I thought of it I didn’t know the tarot well enough to conceptualize what was needed for an entire deck. And I certainly am no artist in the visual sense. Now I have a best friend who is a professional tarot reader and teacher and a…something…I hesitate to use the term boyfriend, and he’s still kind of vanilla….so something…anyway, he’s a professional artist, primarily in the comic book industry. So it occurred to me recently that hey, now I have the team to pull this off.”

I found out about Niki’s project on Fetlife, where she was soliciting suggestions on different BDSM fetishes, tableaus, and ideals that should be connected with traditional Tarot cards and Arcanas.  She has since received more than enough suggestions and is working on synthesizing them with her and her team’s ideas.  While Niki doesn’t have a publisher yet for her deck, she does have some leads.  If you are a publisher and are interested in Niki’s project, please email me at, and I’ll forward your email to Niki.

How can you help Niki out?  Look for future updates on her project here and on Fetlife, send energy to her project from your own home or at the Barbed Pentacle Shrine, and make sure to buy a deck when the project is completed.

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And One to GROW On!

It’s just not a birthday celebration if at least one person doesn’t impersonate Marilyn singing “Happy Birthday.”

“One to grow on, one to live on, one to eat on, one to be happy on, and one to get married on!”

It’s also not a birthday if at least one person doesn’t try to swat your ass.  Ever wonder where that tradition came from?  No, it wasn’t just some sick fucker trying to ruin a little kid’s day nor was it some kinky person trying to please their partner.  It actually started with the nameless ancients, who believed that evil spirits surrounded people at all times, especially on their birthdays.  These evil spirits were devious enough to want to make a birthday a death day.  In order to get rid of the evil spirits, the birthday person was spanked to drive away the evil.  With each swat, a prayer or blessing was said for the coming year, hence, “One to grow on.”  This belief was wide spread enough that many cultures, not just European/North American, have traditions of folks being somewhat brutalized on their birthdays.  As time went on and Christianity took hold, it was said that if a person wasn’t spanked at least once a year, that the soul was being softened up for Hell and that the body was being softened up for the grave.

There’s many ways that this quaint tradition that many of us remember from childhood can be given a magical hit.  The easiest method is to make sure that as you deliver the swats, whether light and playful or hard enough to be remembered for a few days, that you say those blessings for the coming year.  It’s like cakes and ale: “May you never hunger” and “may you never thirst.”  With out those blessings, you’re just eating and drinking in circle.  With out these blessings, you’re just smacking some ass.  You could use the traditional blessings stated above, or you could be thoughtful and write blessings specific to the birthday person’s situation.

You can also, as your hand connects with the other person, send nice energy to them, to sustain them for the coming year.  This energy would ideally back up your blessings for an extra magical boost.  If you’re not familiar with sending energy, just imagine that as your hand connects, nice warm light is transferred from your body to the other person.  Or, you could go one step further and not only say the blessing and transfer energy, but imagine what that blessing is actually saying.  For example, you would say “One to grow on”, send that nice energy into the person, and imagine the person growing physically, spiritually, and mentally.  Because of the possible complexities of this magical working, don’t feel like you have to rush the birthday spanking.  Just let it be nice and leisurely (and it’s their birthday, after all, so it SHOULD be fun!).

Number magic is another natural choice for a magical birthday spanking.  Since birthday spankings traditionally consist of the number of swats plus a few extras, numerology, tarot card numbering, Kabbalah numbering, and the I Ching can all be used in the magical working.  There are lots of different ways these various divinatory systems can be employed.  The simplest is to look up what the number of the person’s age represents.  Then, if it is an auspicious meaning, that meaning can become part of your intent with the spell as you deliver the blows–literally beating it into the recipient.  If the meaning is inauspicious, then your intent would be to beat into them things that would counter act the meaning.  You may even want to beat out a protective astral shield for them, in much the same way a black smith would have hammered out a metal shield, except you would be working with skin.

Another way to integrate number magic and divination into the spanking is to pay attention to the recipient’s reactions to your licks and divine their future for the year from that.  For example, if the recipient is fairly quiet up until lick number 7, when he/she whimpers or cries out or laughs, then the meaning behind that number (from whatever system you are using) would indicate their fortune for the year.

Birthday spankings are traditionally done with a bare hand, but that doesn’t mean that implements can’t be used, or my favorite–a hand gloved in leather.  If you’re interested in magic dealing with switches, check out the “Cut Me A Switch, Bitch” section in BDSM rituals.

Have fun as you administer your birthday spankings and receive them.  Remember, birthday spankings should be a safe, sane, and consensual adult event.  Don’t do anything stupid that will land you in jail or bring bad karma.
So, in closing:  Happy Birthday Booker T. Washington!  May we all be able to cast down our buckets where we are and be content with what we draw up!
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