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New Year's Card Draw

I've decided to throw this open a little early. I plan to leave it open until sometime on January 1; if it's not the 2nd and I don't have a "closed" sign at the top of this post, you're welcome to request a card (or three, in the case of Torn World readings).

Of course, the usual disclaimers apply -- a card reading can't substitute for professional advice. If you need a doctor or lawyer or financial planner, etc., that's not me. If I can provide some entertainment, or help you get in touch with your own higher power(s) or inner muse(s), on the other hand, I'm glad to be of service.

Decks:

I'm going to offer three-card Torn World readings again.  You can have a reading from the Kuleilyi Divination Disks, much as Bai-Kunabei might give if you were to get a reading from her.

If you would like a Guide, I have the combined combined deck I made out of Susan Seddon Boulet's Goddesses and Animal Spirits.

To bring meaning out of chaos, the Fantasy Showcase Tarot featuring art collected by Bruce Pelz, where each card is by a different artist (or, in one case, two artists).

For inspiration, guides, whimsy, and sheer beauty, Brian Froud's Fairies' Oracle.  (Though some of the advice provided by this deck last time was quite practical.)

And finally, because five is a magical number, the Shapeshifter Tarot.

Rules:  Do I need rules?  Ask what you want to ask, the way you want to ask (within the limits of polite behavior, anyway).  Let me know which deck you'd like me to  use.  My cards have always been respectful of the creative life; feel free to ask about creative projects if you wish.

Payment:  No payment is necessary, but this does take time and energy.  Any tips will be gratefully appreciated and applied to the "Get a Laptop that doesn't crash when it overheats" fund, which still has a long way to go.  And if things get busy, I'll do readings for people who tip first.


I hope you all have a wonderful new year!

Comments

( 47 comments — Leave a comment )
ideealisme
Dec. 31st, 2010 01:58 am (UTC)
Thank you for this
Hello, could I have the Torn World three carder again please, same as last time? That reading turned out to be very good for me, I am deep into the work now. I will recommend you on my journal.
wyld_dandelyon
Dec. 31st, 2010 02:54 am (UTC)
Re: Thank you for this
The shaman smiles up at you. "It is good to see you again. Be welcome, have a seat." She waits while you settle on the blanket, and offers you a bowl. It is filled with bits of paper, each one twisted around something small. Curious, you take one and stare at it. It's heavier than you thought it would be.

"It's a midwinter blessing. They're all different, go ahead and open yours."

You open it, and find a small bit of metal, one link from a chain of some sort.

She smiles. "Ah--you got a bit of metal. Good. Good. Metal is always fortuitous. But you came here for a reading. Let's see..." She reaches into her bag and draws out a gold disk with a stylized woman depicted on it. "Your work--it's a part of you, of your thought and being, growing as naturally as a tree out of the ground. To make it the best it can be," she reaches in again, and pulls out an iron disk. "The door. This is the sheltering aspect of borders. You decide which parts of your consciousness to share, and when and how. When and how you reveal things--and what you keep hidden as well--the door is the tool you need to hand right now." She looks at you curiously, "Does that make sense to you?" She reaches out to touch the link of chain that you still hold in your hand. "Doors can be left wide open or chained shut, or anything in between."

She reaches into the bag again and pulls out a copper disk. "And the abstract--the ideas that shape this--" she turns it over to reveal an image of a blacksmith. "The Artist. Yes--you make these decisions, these choices with the mind and heart of an artist. Keep that in mind."
oh my god - ideealisme - Dec. 31st, 2010 03:14 am (UTC) - Expand
ellenmillion
Dec. 31st, 2010 02:44 am (UTC)
I would very much like a TW reading, please, as an overview of where I should be spending my energies this coming year.
wyld_dandelyon
Dec. 31st, 2010 08:05 am (UTC)
Tiny Tree
"I should have known you'd show up again." The shaman smiles up at you and offers you a bowl filled with twists of paper. Have a blessing."

You pick one at random, and then hold the paper up to your eyes, looking at the color and texture, comparing it to the paper you're used to.

She laughs. "You artists are all alike! The paper is just a wrapper, just something to temporarily obscure what's inside, but there you go, staring at it as if it's the interesting part. Open it, why don't you?"

You laugh back at her, and slowly untwist the paper, paying attention to how it feels and sounds, so you can describe it properly later. Lying nestled in the paper is a tiny twisty tree, carved out of wood. She looks at it, and asks, "So, is this a bit of a tree, or a whole tree?"

"Yes!"

You turn, and see a little girl, reaching for the bowl.

"Now, now, Kati, you must let people answer the questions I give them on their own."

"I want another blessing!"

Kunabei laughs. "You already had one!"

A blushing young woman picks up the girl, and bows her apology to Kunabei and to you.

"So, will you read for me?"

"Of course. I read for all who ask."

You settle down on the blanket in front of her, tucking the paper carefully away, and roll the carved tree in your fingers.

She reaches into the bag and pulls out two brass disks. "First, the natural basis, the world as it is." She points to a disk with colored lines in different lengths, looking much like a pile of toothpicks. "Random. The embodiment of natural movement. Some things just happen. When seeds fall, some grow, some rot, and some are eaten. And all of those things can be good, though they are not always convenient for us humans."

She points to the next disk. "Your tools in this situation--oh, this is interesting. This is the mime, the embodiment of abstract sound. The mime never actually speaks, yet with every movement, he communicates clearly."

"Finally the abstract aspects that relate to your question." She pulls out another disk, this one iron, and covered in trees. "Forest, the contradictory aspect of land, the natural urge to bridge the distance between earth and sky. You are always reaching for the stars, yet you must remember to remain rooted, lest you fall down. If you let go of the land, you lose the sky. But, of course, if you focus too much on the land you lose the sky just as inevitably." She nods at the tree in your hands. "It is a good blessing for your new year, that little tree."

Re: Tiny Tree - ellenmillion - Jan. 2nd, 2011 09:21 am (UTC) - Expand
siege
Dec. 31st, 2010 02:56 am (UTC)
I'm feeling a need for guidance, or a pertinent observation, or something. Some suggestion of what I should do, or what path to take, or what I should look for.

May blessings rest with you and yours this holiday.
wyld_dandelyon
Dec. 31st, 2010 08:52 am (UTC)
Ffaff the Ffooterr
Oh, look, here is a tiny, skinny faerie with huge, bare feet. He's flying after you, taking one of your feet into his long-fingered hands, and then another, and another, pulling them toward the Earth.

When you resist, he flits in front of your face and points downward. There you see The Laume resting in a garden of flowers, talking to Geeeeooo the Slooow. Geeeooo waves at you, and the Laume lifts a glass, offering it to you. In the meantime, Ffaff pulls at your feet, then darts down to dance upon the ground. The Laume offers him a bit of chocolate, and then lifts the plate toward you.

Are you perhaps burning your candle at too many ends?
Re: Ffaff the Ffooterr - siege - Dec. 31st, 2010 05:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Ffaff the Ffooterr - wyld_dandelyon - Dec. 31st, 2010 06:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
miintikwa
Dec. 31st, 2010 03:05 am (UTC)
May I have a three card reading, please? Focus on creative projects and finishing them. :)
wyld_dandelyon
Dec. 31st, 2010 07:50 pm (UTC)
Earthquake, World's Edge, and Phoenix
The shaman offers you her bowl, and you take a slip of paper, opening it to find a tiny brass goblet. "Ah, it's a heady process, creating things, though this cup is just symbolic. You need a larger one to get drunk. But a metal blessing is always a good omen. Perhaps this one symbolizes the fountain of your creativity. Here," She reaches for a soft leather cord and ties it securely around the tiny stem of the goblet, and then ties the cord into a circle, placing it over your head. "Don't lose that. You need to respect the font of your creativity. But now, as to finishing things..."

She pulls out three iron disks, laying them out in a row. The first shows a huge crack in the earth, and things falling all around it. The second shows a strange mist, with dead plants and animals at its edge. And finally, a bird rising from the ashes of a fire.

"Oh, my--I can see where you're stuck, when you get stuck. It's the part of the story where everything goes wrong! Look, here's the Earthquake and the End of the World--you know about the Ends of the World, right? Most of them are gone now, but there was a time when you couldn't walk to Affabreidalam, the world ended in between, or at least, your world and your life ended if you tried to walk into the mist. These Ends, they kept each little bit of the empire isolated for centuries. But I doubt you want a history lesson right now."

She tapped the image. "I'm not a storyteller, but I enjoy listening to them. In every story, or at least the most exciting ones, the characters face disaster after disaster, and come to ta point where it seems there is no way they will ever triumph, until the storyteller reveals how they face all their problems and, like the phoenix, rise from the ashes transformed."

She shakes her head. "If you were asking about a physical voyage, I'd say don't go. But here--the end of the world is your tool, see? Don't be afraid to use it. Don't be afraid to use any of these things in your work."
Re: Earthquake, World's Edge, and Phoenix - miintikwa - Jan. 3rd, 2011 07:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
red_trillium
Dec. 31st, 2010 08:13 am (UTC)
I'd like to ask for a reading please. For a "question" I am torn between wanting to ask for general guidance/thoughts for 2011 and wanting to ask for a Guide for 2011. And I'm not sure about decks, either Brian Froud's Fairies' Oracle or Shapeshifter Tarot for general guidance/thoughts for 2011 or your combined Susan Seddon Boulet's Goddesses and Animal Spirits deck for a Guide for 2011.

So either one please? Whatever deck you feel drawn to and whichever you feel drawn to do.

Thank you!
wyld_dandelyon
Dec. 31st, 2010 06:52 pm (UTC)
Lion
I reached for the Shapeshifter deck, and as I was shuffling, out fell the 7 of Wands, titled Valor in this deck, and the Goddess of Fire (corresponding to the Queen of Swords). In each, we see the figure of a blonde woman who is winged and part lion, though the Goddess has a female lion-self, while Valor has a male lion-self. In 2011, you will need the power that comes from both sides of your nature, even if those things seem contradictory. You will need your intellect and your passion equally. Spend time in your garden, and in other natural settings, it will help to keep you balanced. Valor also depicts a dog, who is unfazed by the wild winged lion-figure above him. His presence assures that you have loyal friends, who will stand by you as you learn to use your wings, even if you roar a little.

I had thought to draw you a guide separately, in thanks for your donation, but these cards seem clear to me--your guide for the year is the lion, in all of his/her aspects, as ruler of the Sun and of courage, of the comfort and power and beauty of fire, and of all the things that cats in general bring to your life.
Re: Lion - red_trillium - Jan. 1st, 2011 04:45 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Lion - wyld_dandelyon - Jan. 2nd, 2011 01:14 am (UTC) - Expand
lazy_hoor
Dec. 31st, 2010 11:05 am (UTC)
Could I have the Torn World three carder please? I don't have a specific question but my main concerns are my studies and my mental health. I'm here thanks to the lovely idealisme.
wyld_dandelyon
Dec. 31st, 2010 08:23 pm (UTC)
The Dagger of Discernment
Welcome.

It's a tiny village, high in the mountains. Each house is topped with a metal pole at each end, and bells hanging between. Many of the bells have bits of wood or thin metal sheets dangling below the clapper, so the wind catches them, and there is always the sound of bells in the air.

The people, likewise, carry prayer staffs, with bells tied to the top, that they shake in blessing, or to emphasize their words, or just because. If you ask why, they will tell you of the deadly invisible wraiths who inhabit the sky, but who are frightened of the sound of bells. "Our priestess encountered one--killed it!" They say it with pride, and lead you to a central area where a young woman sits on a blanket, her prayer staff set into a hole carved in the stone fence behind her. The people point out a round, fist-sized metal object hanging from her staff. It is scorched and iridescent, obviously damaged. "See?" they say, "She killed it with one of her ball-whistles!"

The shaman looks up at you, and lifts a wooden bowl, which is filled with bits of paper. "Would you like a midwinter blessing?"

Politely, you take one, and then ask for a reading. She nods. "Would you like to sit?"

You take a seat on the blanket, and she reaches in for the first disk, bringing out an iron disk covered in images of trees. "The forest, the contradictory aspect of land. Each tree constantly reaches downward, into the ground, and upward into the sky at the same time. If they have enough of both, they are healthy and strong."

She reaches into the bag again, and pulls out a copper disk. On it is a scene much like the one in front of you, stylized lines depicting a village, but in front, and rendered much more completely, people. "The tool you need to have, or to build, is a community--people who support and help each other, offering what they are strong in, and accepting help for the things that they personally find difficult. What do you have to offer that will make you stronger? There are people who need those things, who can offer what you need in return."

She reaches one more time into her bag, while you reach out to touch the crowded images on the disks. They are smooth and cool, pleasant to touch. Finally, she pulls out a brass disk. "The mental aspects of this matter," she turns it over, to show splatters of color surrounding an ear. "Noise." She sets it next to the others, three rounds of busy, bright color. "Noise is the natural embodiment of sound, it's not inherently a bad thing. But sometimes there's too much of it, and it's distracting." She tilts her head, considering, then looks directly at you. "So, what is your blessing?"

You untwist the paper, finding inside a tiny--and sharp--iron dagger. You look at it next to the tiny drop of blood it drew from your finger.

"Ah, the dagger!" She is smiling, as if this is the answer to the challenges posed in the reading. "Be careful," she winks at you, "it's quite sharp. This is the tool you use to separate the fat from the meat, the worm from the apple, in short, the excess or unwanted things in your life from the things that will nurture and support you. Knives have many uses, and most of them are good and necessary. However, all sharp things can be misused and cause pain. Use yours wisely."
kissmeforlonger
Dec. 31st, 2010 11:18 am (UTC)
Sent here by ideallisme. Could I have a 3-card reading please? Happy to tip or return the favour, whichever suits.
wyld_dandelyon
Dec. 31st, 2010 07:26 pm (UTC)
The shaman smiles at you and offers a bowl full of twisted bits of paper. "It's midwinter, please take a blessing."

You reach in and pull one out, and untwist it to reveal a red hard candy, brushed with sugar. One of the children playing nearby whispers, none too quietly, to a friend, "I thought only children got candy!"

But Bai Kunabei is already reaching into her bag, pulling out a palm-sized disk of iron, with bright enameling showing an older person, of indeterminate gender, with children on his or her lap. "Ah, the nature of your problem--or at least, your situation. This is the Grandparent, the sheltering aspect of people. It represents your family, or perhaps a mentor or sponsor. If you don't have such a person aiding you in your endeavor, you should ask, because there are people willing to back you. And the skills you need for this project?" She reaches into the bag, and draws out a copper disk, the bright enamels depicting a metalsmith hard at work. "The artist. The skills of your hands and mind, the appreciation of beauty and utility. Useful things need not be ugly, of course, though not everyone appreciates that. But for this endeavor, I venture to say they must not be ugly, that leaving them unpolished will mean they don't suit their purpose."

A ball-like object sails toward the bowl of papers, and Kunabei's hand moves suddenly to catch it. A skinny girl runs up, apologizing. "You must be more careful, Vlaritaa. If you throw away your ball whistle in the mountains, you could be left unprotected when a wraith shows up." The girl looks at the burnt metal ball hanging from the shaman's prayer staff, and blushes. "Yes, Bai."

The shaman turns back to you. "And finally, the abstract aspects, the perspective of your thoughts that will aid you in this endeavor."

She pulls out a bronze disk, on which is a bright mandala of images: A flower, in the center, with tiny animals, seeds, trees, and, around the edge, stylized people in a chain, something like paper dolls. "Life. Interesting. Your abstract disk is one of the natural concepts. Remember that everything is interrelated, taking out even one bit leaves a hole."

She lets the three metal disks sit there for a moment, so you can look at them. "And don't forget your blessing. That scamp there will try to talk you into giving it to him; it's your blessing, you can do what you will with it, but I advise you to not simply give it away. Trade it, if you so choose, for something you need, or something you will treasure."
____________________________________

Welcome, and thank-you to your friend for sending you here. As to your other query, today, I would prefer a tip, but perhaps next time we can trade readings. I am eager to have a more reliable laptop.
(no subject) - kissmeforlonger - Jan. 2nd, 2011 06:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
Thank You! - wyld_dandelyon - Jan. 2nd, 2011 06:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Thank You! - kissmeforlonger - Jan. 15th, 2011 11:38 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Thank You! - wyld_dandelyon - Jan. 15th, 2011 05:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
xjenavivex
Dec. 31st, 2010 05:18 pm (UTC)
I want something but don't know which to ask for. Could you choose for me?
wyld_dandelyon
Dec. 31st, 2010 10:22 pm (UTC)
The Friends
For you come Faery Nuff and his friends, Laochan, Taitin, and The Rarr.

Faery Nuff says he will tell you who he is himself, if you listen, just like any other friend you might want to have. Learning about people second hand is never the same as letting them know you care enough to find out who they are by paying attention to them, yourself. And his friends bring energy, enthusiasm, intellect, and sheer, unadulterated wildness. And look at them smiling. They reach out their hands and wings and shiny things (faeries always have shiny things), offering companionship. Oh, and they say, "Won't you share your own shiny things with us too?"
Re: The Friends - xjenavivex - Jan. 2nd, 2011 03:51 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: The Friends - wyld_dandelyon - Jan. 2nd, 2011 04:41 am (UTC) - Expand
kelkyag
Dec. 31st, 2010 05:49 pm (UTC)
May I have a torn world disk reading? Input on shiny new distractions would be lovely.
wyld_dandelyon
Dec. 31st, 2010 11:12 pm (UTC)
You sit down on the blanket and take one of the twists of paper, opening it to find bone, carved into three moon images, one large and two tiny. In the carving, the moons are touching, although they never touch in the sky.

The shaman smiles her welcome. "To balance the new, you get old things, as old as the world itself." She nods in satisfaction, as if it makes sense, but she does not explain. "Let's get on with your reading, shall we?"

She pulls out three disks, as if there's reason to hurry, or at least to be thrifty with the amount of time spent. They are all iron, and she lays them in front of you on the blanket, where they shine in the sun.

"First, the forest. Plants that reach for the heights and depths, and in the process, create a whole world for people and critters to live in. Trees are stationary and slow, stretching into the past and the future alike, but they make so many things possible. Next," she points to an image of a kitchen fireplace, a bright fire leaping on the stones. "The hearth, whch represents the tools you can use. Home and fire, blended into the heart of life itself. And the abstract--the harp, the challenging aspect of sound. It's thinking about it that's the hard part, finding the perspective that will let you use your toys, new and old, harmoniously."

She smiles at you. "Go on now, you have things to do. It was good of you to stop by. The harmony you guard here is appreciated."
dreamwriteremmy
Dec. 31st, 2010 06:26 pm (UTC)
here from xjenavivex
I'd like to ask for a guide for 2011 from your combined deck please? Thank you in advance.
wyld_dandelyon
Dec. 31st, 2010 11:31 pm (UTC)
Playing with the North Wind
Welcome!

For you, I draw the Polar Bear, wearing a garment made of stars. This is a painting Ms. Boulet finished shortly before her death. The powerful and wise bear takes up the spiritual energy of the north wind, listening to the peace of wild empty spaces, and dances.

He holds out his hand, to invite you to the dance.
magenta_girl
Dec. 31st, 2010 06:32 pm (UTC)
I'd like a three card reading, please, but don't have a deck preference. Right now I'm about 6 weeks pregnant and I'm looking towards focusing my energies in the next year on crafts and writing, so whatever deck would best provide insight based on this. :)
wyld_dandelyon
Jan. 1st, 2011 11:54 pm (UTC)
The shaman pulls out three iron disks, and sets them in a row. "You are setting yourself a challenge, you know."

You look at the disks. The first is a Griffin, half bird, half cat. In the second, a male figure swings a small child up into the air. the final image has a simple pool of color, deep black; the enamel lacks so much as a bubble.

"See? The griffin, here, she is the contradictory aspect of myths. Contradictions are the substance of your plans. And yet--" she points to the final disk, "The abstract aspect is the void. On the one hand, the void is the blank page, which you can fill with literally anything. But it could also represent your mental state. Many women find all their creativity becomes involved in creating a child, leaving little or nothing left for other pursuits. I can't predict whether that might happen to you, but if it does, remember it's temporary."

Then she touches the center disk. "And the tools you will need--this is the challenging aspect of people, represented by the Father. Like the last disk, it could represent your work or your life, or some of both. To accomplish what you hope, you may need to take into account all the ways that people are challenging and contradictory. Or, perhaps, the meaning here is as simple as saying that you will need to rely on the father to do things you normally could, so you will have some time and energy left over to do the things you plan.

She reaches for the bowl of twisted paper and offers it to you, and you take one as you'd seen the people before you do.

"Take another one," she urges.

You look up in surprise.

"For your baby, whether to keep the blessing safe for the little one, until they need it, or to use now, to help it into life safely."

You take another, and untwist the two together. Inside are a twig and a tiny, soft grey down feather.

"Oh, so many possibilities, so much potential. Those are both excellent blessings for a pregnant woman and a writer-and-artist." She sets the bowl down, and reaches for your hand. "And you both have my blessings, of course. While you are in the lands of the Kuleilyi, if you need anything, you must send for me."

"Oh, that's not necessary," you protest.

She waves that aside. "It is one of my duties as priestess. Like the wraiths, the unborn are unseen but both real and important. And all of the people here are my responsibility, to some extent. The fact that you traveled far to get here is of no significance. If you need help you must ask for it."

The people around are all nodding, so you say only, "Thank you."
fatfred
Dec. 31st, 2010 08:06 pm (UTC)

I could use some Practical advice for the next year, so something general from the Froud deck?

Here via Ellenmillion.
wyld_dandelyon
Jan. 2nd, 2011 12:18 am (UTC)
Myk the Mykomancer
Myk is a wizened fellow, who delights in the study of mice and other tiny things. He notes that most important things never make the news, and never even make a big splash in the world. Details are important, the small things will reveal what you need to know in the new year.

When you come across him, he is hunched over, studying something tiny. He looks up and smiles, and says, "Look! Isn't this fascinating? Do you know what it means?"

If you look at him blankly, he laughs. "It's also important to know what the questions are, if you want to know what the answers mean."

(I don't think it's a coincidence that his card bears the number 42.)
Re: Myk the Mykomancer - fatfred - Jan. 2nd, 2011 01:09 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Myk the Mykomancer - wyld_dandelyon - Jan. 2nd, 2011 01:10 am (UTC) - Expand
ariestess
Jan. 1st, 2011 08:50 am (UTC)
I would love to see what kind of Guide I get for 2011 from the combined Goddess& Animal Spirits.

Thank you!
wyld_dandelyon
Jan. 2nd, 2011 12:52 am (UTC)
Arianrhod
For you I again draw a goddess associated with water, at least in this painting.

The moon shines serenely down upon a blue and green landscape of water. There are at least seven figures floating here, from an old woman to an unborn soul, in amongst the lilypads and stars. This is the image Ms. Boulet painted for the Welsh triple moon goddess, Arianrhod, who is both virgin and mother. She has a special love for all the growing things of life, and watches over souls as they pass between death and rebirth, as well as beings (plant and animal) who are traveling between birth and death. She embodies the cyclicity of life, and one derivation of her name is Silver Wheel.

The other derivation of her name is "High Fruitful Mother who Turns the Wheel of the Heavens".

She greets you with a live water lily cradled gently in her hand, smiling, and saying, "Come on in. The water is fine."
Re: Arianrhod - ariestess - Jan. 8th, 2011 06:45 am (UTC) - Expand
hakeber
Jan. 2nd, 2011 02:06 am (UTC)
Guide from the Susan Seddon Boulet's Goddesses and Animal Spirits deck.
wyld_dandelyon
Jan. 2nd, 2011 02:50 am (UTC)
Eagle
For you, I drew the Eagle, here drawn as a montage of images, a strong woman's face and eagles looking forward, down, and out into the distance, and eyes tucked into the eagles' feathers. Eagle is a powerful guide, seeing far in this world and, in some traditions, into the next as well.

May you fly far and see farther in the new year.
rose_lemberg
Jan. 2nd, 2011 02:29 am (UTC)
Thank you very much for offering these readings. They are very helpful.

In the last ten days I've been swept in an immense tide of creative inspiration. I began and completed two epic pieces (a poetry cycle and a novelette). I cannot help but think this is significant, and would appreciate a Torn World reading about my creative process in 2011. Thank you very much!
wyld_dandelyon
Jan. 2nd, 2011 03:44 am (UTC)
You're welcome! And wow!
________________________

As the afternoon shadows grow longer, snow starts to fall. Bai Kunabei lifts her heavy bag of disks, holding it closed, and walks toward the schoolhouse. One of the villagers picks up the bowl of midwinter blessings and follows; another lifts the blanket, shaking the dust and twigs out of it.

She sees you standing there, and waves you to follow her. "The midwinter sun is pleasant, but it is not needed for my work. And it will be more comfortable inside."

Once inside, the desks are pushed to the sides of the room, some piled on top of each other, and the blanket is spread again. She sits down nimbly, and offers you the bowl of paper-wrapped blessings.

You reach your fingers into the bowl, touching, reaching, finally pulling one from the bottom of the bowl. It feels round and heavy. Opening it, you find a tiny metal disk, a bright enameled flower on one side. "A divination disk, albeit a symbolic one only. Perhaps you are a shaman too?"

When you don't answer immediately, she folds your hand around the disk, then reaches into her bag. The image is a person, holding a poetry scroll and flowers in his hands.

"First, The Suitor, the distant aspect of people. This is the natural aspect of your question. You are a writer in your world, if I understand your question properly. You will always be the suitor, always reaching out to distant people, your words your offering."

She reaches in to the bag again, "And the technological, representing the skills that you need--" she pulls out a disk with a knife depicted on it. "Yes--the embodiment of human will and choice. You are at a point where you can make choices that will affect your writing career for a very long time. And the abstract--" she pulls out another disk. "The scream, intensity, good or bad. Pain, fear, love, orgasm--that intensity is what will draw people to your work. Embrace it, in all of it's various aspects.
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