I've been doing a little cleaning out of my closets in my townhouse this past week and getting rid of a lot of stuff. I had loads of supplies left over from my photography business that I no longer wanted. Lots of fine art prints of the area here - all matted and in sleeves. Took some over to the museum and they said they didn't have much room for my large prints but would take some of my smaller ones. So now I still have many prints and supplies in the closet that I will keep... I don't know why.

In my efforts to get rid of stuff I am making a dent but some stuff I just can't let go. I found a small chest that contains all of my old "Fortune Telling" cards, crystals, etc. that I used to have a lot of fun with my friends. I didn't tell fortunes but I did read cards purely for entertainment and amusement.

Way back in my twenties, when my friends and I would go to the French Quarter in New Orleans and have our cards read, I enjoyed the experience. Eventually I tried my hand at it and was surprised at how easy it was to interpret the cards. The deck of 52 cards have a set meaning and can be interpreted by anyone with some practice. Here in the bayous of south Louisiana it’s an acceptable form of entertainment to most. However, some keep their visits to the card reader a secret as to avoid any ridicule from those who don’t approve.

I have no special talents or skills in divination. I am not psychic, clairvoyant, or a medium. I merely enjoy the interaction between me and the person inquiring as I lay out my cards. The cards do the work. I merely read what they have to say. It doesn't come from any supernatural power and I can not see into the future or the past. The cards have a story to tell on each layout. I merely relay that story to the person inquiring.

My Magical Chest contains the Tarot cards, regular playing cards, Gypsy cards, Chinese cards, Native American cards, a pendulum, a crystal wand, and gem stones. Also in the chest is a pouch of silver dimes. It is tradition for the quirant to pay for a reading in silver. So I asked that they pick a dime out of the bag and put in next to me on the table.

When reading the cards, I asked the guirant to express how they were feeling about everything I was telling them. This expression of feelings always led to a great therapeutic session. I wanted my clients to participate in the reading and not just be an observer.

In addition to sharing and explaining their cards, I also acted as a counselor to my clients by discussing and offering - what "I" would do - type of advice about their problems. I wanted my clients to exercise their own willpower, never telling them what to do but what I would do and encouraging them to work out their problems by listening to their own inner voice. When asked for advice I told them, "Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't."

When I read cards back in the 1990s, I acted more like a counselor than a card reader. Having had many years of coursework in Psychology and over 25 years of experience in counseling, I utilized my skills in these areas while reading the cards. In a sense, I provided a free counseling session that would have cost them over $100 in the real world but was free with me.

I had so much fun with these items years ago and the interaction it provided for me and my friends. When I started my Tutoring business in my home in 2003, I remember putting it all away and thinking that I should throw them out. It's funny how we change our thinking due to "what people might say." Today, I don't give a damn about what people think of me and my hobbies.

So... I'm keeping the Magic Chest - and I may even be persuaded to give a reading again. Yes... Momi YaYa is alive and well.

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