Video of Marcus Katz Conversing with The Burning Serpent Oracle

Here is a video that Marcus Katz, of the Tarosophy Tarot Association, made when he first opened his copy of The Burning Serpent Oracle.  He is demonstrating how to allow a new deck to introduce itself.

Rachel writes:

I like readings that have ongoing conversations with the deck.  I do something with Tarot I call “roll your own” readings, where you begin with one question, and then let the particular card that comes up suggest the next question, and keep doing this until you come to a good resting place with the issue.  Here, because the individual cards go back into the deck, you can see a theme develop when cards come up more than once.

This is not a traditional Lenormand approach, of course, but because each cut involves two cards, it allows for that sense that two is the most basic unit.  This is something I’ve begun to bring into tarot, in what I call “reading Tarot Lenormand-style.”  While there are many people in both traditions who have no interest in mingling the two, I suspect that such influences will become more common as people get beyond the first–and very necessary–stage of keeping them very distinct from each other.

It’s fascinating that when he asks the first question, something like “What is the alchemy of the deck?” (sorry if I’ve gotten it a bit wrong) he gets the Key, which might be said to be the most occult card in the deck.  But what does the Key unlock?  The Man, which is to say, Marcus himself, since for a male querent, the Man is the significator.  But Marcus is not really asking this just for himself, he wants to know the deck’s intentions in the world.  Thus the subject card can stand for “everyman,” and the deck can be saying, the primary thing we unlock is ourselves.

To learn more about Tarosophy go to

To order The Burning Serpent Oracle go to the order page.

All Preorders are Mailed

As of today, July 19, 2014, Rachel and I have mailed out all of the preorders of the Burning Serpent Oracle. If you have not yet received your deck and book, it is on its way.



If you would like to order the deck and book, go to the Order Page.

I will be able to mail all orders out as they come in.

On Their Way

As of today, July 16, 2014, Rachel and I have mailed all of the perks that people ordered during the Burning Serpent Oracle Campaign.  There are still preorders and orders that came in after the campaign to be mailed but all of the ones from the campaign have arrived or are on their way by priority US mail.




A few days ago, in a post titled Hermes Retrograde, I described some of the incredibly frustrating delays, mishaps, and outright blocks Robert and I had been having getting the Burning Serpent Oracle cards out of customs and warehousing in the New York/New Jersey shipyards. It felt like Hermes (a personal deity/friend to both of us) was trying to get to us, but was blocked at every turn.

Hermes the Messenger from the Burning Serpent Oracle, Robert M Place

Before the holiday weekend we thought we had it all solved.  We’d gotten the proper papers from Europe, expressed them to the shipping people, and now they would be on the way to us.  So–yesterday Robert called them (yet again, again) to confirm they would be arriving this week.  We had a workshop scheduled for Saturday, so they had to be there.

Oh no, the agent said.  Now he can release them to the trucking company, and they’ll schedule it at some point and let us know.

That was it.  We each got on the phone with rental places, and Robert found a U-Haul company that could let us have a 14 foot truck for this morning.  I drove over to Robert’s house (luckily we live only about 30 minutes from each other, on opposite sides of the Hudson), he showed up with the truck and we headed down to New Jersey.

The trip was about three hours each way (through NJ/NY traffic), and we were both secretly worried we’d get there and they would say “Oh no, these are the wrong papers,” or “Oh, were you supposed to pick that up?  We sent it off to the trucking company.”  But no, after some tense examination of our documents the dispatcher sent us over to a gate (we looked like the Little Engine That Could alongside those fleets of 18-wheelers), and we gained possession of the decks.

Of course, I had to open it immediately. And they look wonderful.  Intense, luminous, powerful and subtle at the same time.  Now they are safely Anchored in our separate houses.


The Anchor for the Burning Serpent Oracle, Robert M Place

Now begins the process of mailing them out to people.  The shipping labels are addressed, we have the boxes.  [Special note to those who pre-ordered and are coming to this coming Saturday workshop (July 12)--rather than trust the Post Office to get them to you by Friday, we will have them at the door when you arrive.]


Because you have not yet received your copy of the Burning Serpent Oracle please read this note from Rachel




As we come to the end of a very fraught process of getting the Burning Serpent Oracle actually in hand to send to people, we wanted to offer an apology and explanation to all of you who have been waiting so patiently for it to arrive.


Someone pointed out to me that we’ve been passing through a Mercury retrograde period, during which communications often get confused or blocked. The Greek name for Mercury, of course, is Hermes, and as most of you know, the first card in the deck is Hermes The Messenger (Hermes is also the name of Robert’s publishing company). In the picture he comes riding on a winged horse from left to right, as if entering the physical world of the cards from the spiritual world that is the home of all divination.


In traditional Lenormand decks card 1 is The Rider, and means messages, things brought, possibly from far away. This indeed is what Hermes The Messenger means, and the card came up, along with the Voyage, in a reading several weeks ago to indicate that the decks were on the way.


But then Mercury/Hermes turned retrograde…


Here is what happened. The books arrived several weeks ago, and all we needed were the cards to be able to send out all the pre-orders. But the cards took longer, and were more complicated, so we had to wait.


They were printed in Europe, and the German publisher Urania bought a number of copies to sell on their own website, while our copies were put on the boat to be sent here. As a result, a number of people bought copies from the German site, getting them before we did. However—these did not include the book, since Urania is only selling the deck.


Meanwhile, the decks finally arrived in New York harbor. And then Hermes Retrograde truly worked its maddening, negative magic. The packing had the wrong papers. They were almost the right papers, but not quite. Days of tense conversation ensued, between us, the New York Customs office, and the European printers. Meanwhile, the decks were sitting in storage in New Jersey, close but locked away.


Finally, we all worked out what needed to be done. The printers expressed the correct papers overnight from Europe, Robert signed them and express mailed them (with 15 minutes to spare at the post office) to the customs officials—and then it was July 4th weekend! The good news is that we know they received them, and we are hopeful the decks will finally get on a truck Monday, July 7.


To speed things along as best we could Robert and I have addressed the mailing labels for the Priority Mail boxes, so that as soon as we have the decks in hand we can combine them with the books and send them right out.


We apologize for all these terrible delays, and wish to express our great gratitude for everyone’s patience. If any of you have felt frustrated that the Burning Serpent has not arrived, believe me, it’s nothing like what we’ve been feeling! Pretty soon now, we will have them in hand, and send them out as quickly as possible. Thank you.

Thank You

Our Indiegogo Campaign to fund the printing of The Burning Serpent Oracle has now ended and it was a huge success.

Thank You to everyone who supported us.

Although we were expecting the books and decks in May, we received the books in June but the decks are still held up in customs at the dock in New York. However the deck without the book is on sale in Germany and here is our first review:

We are now accepting preorders through this website.  To order go to the How to Order page.