What Excites Us!

Episode 22 : Using Oracles to Inspire Play & Venus in Gemini with Linda River Valente

Linda River Valente joins me again to discuss using Tarot and Oracle Cards to guide sexual play with yourself and others. We begin by talking about how the planet Venus in Gemini affects us and inspired this topic because it is happening now, June 22 - July 17. Linda is an astrologer, tarot visionary, witch, holistic sexuality educator, burlesque performer, and producer who lives in Vermont with her husband, son, and their handsome and beloved ginger tomcat. 

You can learn more about LRV at https://www.lindarivervalente.net/ 
Or on facebook at https://bit.ly/3nfFtbK
Join her patreon at https://www.patreon.com/LindaRiverValente
Send her an email at charmed.flow@gmail.com

She used the Linestrider Tarot Deck https://siolothompson.com/linestrider-tarot

And the Wild Unknown Archetypes Deck https://www.thewildunknown.com/


Coming SoonLinda River Valente  0:00  
It's like that Gemini placement is like the original secret handshake. None of the Scorpio secret handshake where we're like, look into my eyes in the Gemini secret handshake, which is just a whole different thing. So the witticism that what is clever what is chatty.

Gwyn Isaacs  0:24
Hi, everyone, and welcome to What Excites Us! the show that talks about sex and sexuality throughout time and place, including the here and now. My name is Gwyn Isaacs, I am a sex coach and educator. And this episode I am chatting with my friend Linda River Valente about Venus in Gemini and how it can be used to inspire extra fun play time, and how to use tarot and oracle cards to further explore that playful side. Linda is an astrologer, a holistic sexuality educator, a burlesque dancer, and producer, and an all around great person. You can learn more about her on her website, Lindarivervalente.net, or on Facebook, Linda River Valente. And this week, we have a special bonus just for Patreon members. So if you'd like to learn more about that, please go to Whatexcitesus.com and find out how you can join us and become part of the conversation yourself.

Gwyn  1:42
Linda, thank you so much for coming on for this amazing topic that you've suggested. And I'm super excited. Should we just jump right in? Let's just

Linda River Valente  1:51  
So the first place I want to frame up for friends is when in astrology when we talk about a planet being in a sign, it gives that planet and the thing that that planet is in charge of, it gives it a certain flavor, it gives it a certain energy. So if we say Venus, who is love and friendship and relationship, and beauty and aesthetics, if we say Venus is in a sign, then we're getting a sneak peek at what those themes in life will look like for that stretch of time. So when we say Venus is going into Gemini, as she is doing for June the 22nd through July the 17th then we can kind of frame up that time and have the beat on what the energetics will be like. We can choose to collaborate with that, to make the most of it to do things that are in alignment with that energy, to not push the river if perchance we want to take a whole different tack. We take a minute and think about it and say is this the moment, right? So it's especially exciting to think about Venus in what she's up to with in a sort of a podcast or a salon style dialogue like this because we're talking love and sex. So we want a little update on what is the available landscape or vibe for love and sex and relationship when she's here. So this what we're going to do and after talking about Venus and in Gemini as we are going to exemplify one of her core values, which is play and mischief. So for friends who are marking this in and trying to say okay, what so what is this vibe feel like? When Venus is in Gemini it is about curiosity, communication. Gemini is an Air sign. So this is about the intellect. This is that cerebral mischief. It's a mutable energy, which means eh some days like this, some days like that. Gemini sensibility is fluid. It's literally mercurial right, because mercury is the ruling planet. So Gemini is that versatile novel, changeable, change them up. I'm going to try on the different hats. I'm going to try on the different personas or voices or ways of being. Gemini is when we think about it's kind of sacred orientation. It is the time of dawn in the morning. It's the season of spring, it's the direction of East there are all these kinds of ways that we get to frame up what Gemini feels like.

When I as an astrologer when I think about medical astrology and astro herbology, that's a kind of another cool jump off point for love, sex, relationships, as it relates to Venus in Gemini because Gemini is in rulership of the hands, the fingers, the wrists. Gemini is in rulership of the lungs, all of our capacity for breath, right? The nervous system and the neurological systems. So Gemini is, if we were to stretch that Venus in Gemini, we would think the word inspiration is to take a breath, right? And the idea of inspiration of craving, freshness, fresh air, inspiration, in our relationships in our exchanges, that's big. And there's this sense of youthful, mischievous, embracing the childlike, right? Venus in Gemini is an incredibly social energy, and incredibly cross pollinating energy. It's time to learn, it's time to grow, it's time to be curious and explore. So this bracket of time really highlights that in US and in relationships. So when you start to hear that, frame up that language that can you start to bring to mind what that might look like, or what some of those themes could be from your perspective?

Gwyn  6:41  
Well, that's an actual question you want me to think? Um, expansion is sort of the word that comes to my mind bringing forward and, and bringing forward not in a way that I that I'm fully aware of yet, but sort of pulling like a crystal ball, for lack of better words, or mirror ball is actually what's coming to mind. And seeing how things look and the different perspectives. 

Linda River Valente  7:12 
That's a great ya

Gwyn  7:13
of that. And wanting to shine that in my garden.

Linda River Valente  7:19  
Oh, yeah. Yep, that's a great one 'cause it's like Venus in Gemini is like, Let's fuck around. Let's expand. Let's let's take the mirrorball and bling this around and see if we can get these multi facets to really show up in our language and our lenses and our perspective, in our identity, in our desire, in the way that we approach maybe a relationship script. So yeah, expansion is it's a right on thing. 

Gwyn  7:53
It just it feels um a little obtuse, you know, like, like expansion, but not clarity with that.

Linda River Valente  8:00  
Yes, exactly. Because Gemini largely has not much interest in needing to nail the exact right answer. When we think about Mercury, and they, Mercury, they are the ruler of Gemini, the planetary ruler, they are fluent and fluid, and they are all about Crossroads magic. So there's a very, there's a wilder intelligence at play here, a more playful player who's in the in the frame right now. And it's that sense of really being unafraid to lean into novelty and know that it like does not blow up. Well, it blows up the world in the best way, right? But it doesn't blow it all up for us to play around and let ourselves consider to pull something into the imaginal. What might it be like? So when we're talking to our partner, or partners, or when we're working with ourselves through these relational pieces, it's like, can we make a little play pact for this time that Venus is in Gemini for these weeks? Could we say that we're interested in learning, we're interested in learning alongside each other? We're interested in the way that by incorporating more changeability, more mutability, as we call it in astrology, but more flexibility, right? That will be the plain old way to say it. How can that energetic come in and really breathe new life into things? Because I think a lot about this when, you know when I'm working with clients, and we're doing sort of like erotic liberation stuff, whenever we're working within a monogamous structure, there are 1,000,000,000,001 ways to create this play and this novelty that we so need. And it struck me like, oh, this could be such a great way to, to teach this play modality for Venus in Gemini as a way to say, however fixed you may feel, however, solid and enduring and smooth the container of the moment is, there is ever room on the inside of that for more learning. So that's kind of where it's the frame of where it's coming from.

Gwyn  10:45  
As you're describing this, I'm envisioning folks pulling out those long term random fantasies that they haven't thought about in a long time, or the really silly things, like let's get the, the chocolate sauce out, you know, the stuff that you only see in the movies, but every now and then you want to try. Like, let's, let's lay out the sheet on the bed and, and just, like be really silly, and have some fun with it. And not be so serious about it, because it sex never looks like porn, you know? So when we try to get it to look like porn, then we end up getting really frustrated. But if you can approach it with that same sort of playful mentality. And so then, you know, when you queef or fart or whatever, like you just giggle about it.

Linda River Valente  11:36
Part of like, you're right. So right on in the aspect of humor, when we think about Gemini, they have the wicked inside jokes. I mean, their wit and witticisms. The word witchery, the ways they are turned on the dirty talk that how to do the dirty talk to how to do the dirty talk inside out like, that is another really great place when it comes to the the idea of play in communication. And that the humor that is in that not taking things so very seriously. That's the order of the day with Venus in Gemini now can it go um oh sideways in a profound way? You bet. I mean, there could be no shortage of misunderstandings or moments that people are in relationship within the next three or four weeks. And they are bewildered because they don't maybe don't know what their desire is.  Or their desires are mutable, they are changing. And there is a space, maybe to have honest dialogue. You don't have to want to leave an arrangement or, or be without your partner or be with a partner you don't want to be with like, it's like it doesn't have to be as dire as that it can even be the small things.
Where you're realizing that communication is like coming into keen focus. So if Gemini is such a wizard, such a magician, with words and communication, how can we... I don't know maybe to like do you remember, do you not remember, remember Mad Libs? Like hammy is like, if you are an 80s child, you're like don't pretend you don't know Mad Libs, right? So you play now lives and you have to do where you like fill in and noun, fill in an adjective. And it gets hammier and like way more crass and everything happens. And then you read the story back and it's like, you're totally losing it about how funny it is. Because you've just kind of thrown your hands up and been willing to speak in a way that maybe you don't always speak? There's something about being willing to lean into that in a safe way during Venus in Gemini that has some polish to it has some fun to it. There's a lot if you were if you were to approach this Venus in Gemini with a magical lens, a sexual and magical lens, you'd be really creating spells you'd be creating en chant ments you know saw songs, poetry, ways that your words are speaking things into reality. And if you were to merge that say, with the energy of orgasm, or the orgasmic energy of play, right, so not about hitting the fucking bell at the top of the thing every time right? That's being in the flow that's going to that raising up that energy where it's just as well as the I just whacked the bell at the top right. So some of that intentionality. Are there songs,are there spells, are there enchantments that you wanna put some play behind? That's a great idea too.

Gwyn  15:04
Yeah, well, I definitely got some ideas. I just got back down to Brooklyn being away for a little more than a week. And, you know, life is crazy. But I'm like, Oh, my toy bag is here. I'm gonna, I'm gonna bust out, you know, I hardly ever bust out the toy bag when I'm on my own. Because, you know, you get stuck in a rut per se, but in a groove. Yeah. Right. Like, I definitely have a self play groove. Yeah. And yeah, just as you were talking, I was like, Oh, I'm gonna take this toy out. And I'm gonna maybe do some writing with this thing. And yes, you know, really? Yeah, raise the energy.

Linda River Valente  15:55 
Yes. And the whole idea of the whole idea of toys and games, it's kind of on. When I started thinking about this, it was for myself, Oh, maybe eight or so years ago that I started merging, tarot, and oracle work and other divination work with the idea of the erotic. And so what that looked like, for me, just myself at the beginning was, I had a devotional orgasm practice, where I had a very specific Oracle, much loved Oracle deck, which I still have. I would draw a card at the beginning of my time, my solo time, right. And my energy and my orgasm would be directed toward that symbol, or that deity or that energy or so what I started to do over time, the more I've worked with people and clients in this capacity, we started to fold in tarot and oracle cards and other types of divination, too, as well into the sense of play, because we don't think about systems of divination, like tarot, there is no fucking doubt that they are sacred, sacred business. They are spiritual technology. They are also a kind of a game, the kind of game that the universe wants to play. The kind of wild, where it's not just human players, but it's the more than human world, the non human players, the spirit, other entities, other energies, right. So even if you are not partnered, and you are in a solo sexuality practice, and you are surrendered to being your own lover in a really deep way, you still get to fucking play a game as much as you want, which uses these tools and toys to get you thinking imaginably. It's almost like you're inviting other players in the non human players. And that's part of what feels also so fun Venus Gemini ish here. Is because of the way that you can employ not just your tarot and your oracle, but like, you, if you have a toy bag or a toy box, you could do something like divination by closing your eyes and putting your hand inside and taking out the thing. You know, and saying, will you kind of like, set us up for a little card play, but you could trade out, you could use your toys in that way. You could, you could use your closet in that way, you could use your kitchen cupboards in that way, right? These are all ways of seeing signs and symbols and saying, whoo, this makes my poetic mind. This makes my imaginal mind, this makes my wild mind want to play like this. And so tarot and oracle happen to be great ones for us, right? Because so many folks do already have relationships with cards, feel pretty free and easy about picking cards and being playful with them. And it's such a deep individual, individual inquiry, but it feels safe. Like I can play with these people. I know them they're my deck, you know?

Gwyn  19:40  
Yeah, as adults, we don't play enough.

Linda River Valente  19:43
We don't we do not play enough. And and when we remind ourselves how much we need to play, it is very easy to then continue to hold that Saturnian sensibility that says, Well, this is the kind of play and this is the most enriching and what about this and It becomes like a fucking personal improvement project. Instead of the really like, I have 20 minutes, and I'm going where I'm going like, it's completely different.

Gwyn  20:13  
Yeah. Yeah, it's really hard not to fall into that trap, oh, I have downtime, I should do something productive or what have you. And actually play is super productive releases us in ways that we can't access otherwise.

Linda River Valente  20:2
Exactly. And that's the kind of like, the wild more than human and yet deeply human kind of magic that really gets unlocked by playing by games. I mean, there's something that happens, like, unless you have a lot of stress and strain around games in play, which we want to fully respect, fully respect, and yet also invite you, right? You're a big person, your business is your business. You don't play with rude friends, you know, you're, you're in the safe zone. So this kind of sensibility, no sooner do you take out a game, or take out a toy, something happens in our systems. It's a cue word, a prompt that says, I'm actually going to enter a different type of time. This is a time out of time, and with the erotic and time out of time is such a powerful way to experience the erotic anyway.

Gwyn Isaacs  21:40  
This episode of what excites us is brought to you by me, I'm Gwyn Isaacs. And besides being your podcast host, I'm a certified sex coach and educator. And right now I have some openings for text based clients. I love coaching over email and text. It allows you to be open and vulnerable in ways that may feel too difficult in person, which lets us tackle the concerns you have at your own pace. Very few of us were taught how to have sex, most of us are feeling our way through the dark, hoping we get it right, I can help you build skills in the bedroom and navigate your intimate relationships, I have two ways you can sign up to start texting with me right away. When you go to earthly desire.com/coaching, you will find a weekly subscription for daily correspondence. And a way to schedule a live one hour text chat, visit earthly desire.com to start on your path of more pleasure today, you deserve it!

Linda River Valente  22:45
So here are just a few ways that we can start to think about tarot, or oracle cards and kink. So remember, if you are a friend who has read tarot for ages, they're your friends, you know them, well, you've traveled you've traveled, give yourself extra permission, extra permission, to play a little looser this time. And it'll make sense as we go through. If you were using oracle cards, wonderful, because these oracle cards are oftentimes so stripped down just to symbology or archetype or that there's a lot of room for stretch. There's a lot of room for play. Tonight, we're going to use a deck that is just seems to be ideally designed for this, which we'll talk about. But so you choose and you say, Great, I'll take I'll pick a deck. I've got the deck right here in front of me now how pray tell, is this going to have anything to do with kink? Especially if I haven't never done stuff like that? I don't I don't know. I'm curious or I'm interested. Or maybe I even had a really fallacious experience, or oh, well, I do it all the time anyway, right. So how can you tell this this connect to kink? Think of it in this way we can experience the erotic on this beautiful spectrum. In one station of that spectrum, is what we would think of as sensual pleasure. And maybe when we stretch to the other end of the spectrum, we would experience something as specifically sexual pleasure. Now we love when that shit happens all at the same time. We love like all the buttons are pushed here, the sensuous and the sexual but also we can play in those spaces separately, and very happily and experience unique types of pleasure there.

When I start this exercise with people I say you decide at all times what patch of the spectrum you feel like playing in. There is no one to impress. You are not the cool kid, if you push yourself into a place where you're genuinely uncomfortable, and feel kind of lost and then start to feel kind of spun out about it. This is not an exercise to be like the infinite nth degree kinkiness. That said, if you are inclined to, in a very Gemini playful way, to maybe stretch some of the imagery, or some of the thoughts around sensation, or some of the vignettes that you'll bring to mind, if you feel like stretching those out and kind of playing around great, this is just all within your imaginal realm, that you get to decide if someone is lucky enough to play with you. But this is just these readings, this is for you. So you start yourself out holding your deck in that way. And you would say to yourself, Do I understand do I get this idea of the difference between the sensual and the explicitly sexual? Alright, well, let's try let's try this right now. You and I, to help people understand well, what how would that difference come alive and play? Let's first read for the sensuous for the sensual. I have a deck in my hands that I'm going to draw from and I'll show you the card that that I pick. This deck is what a friend. This is such a clever one. This is the Wild Unknown Archetypes Oracle Deck. It is by Kim Krans. It is a beautiful, snazzy round deck with beautiful images. Because it is archetype you get to play, you get a wide range for play, right. So let's see what you and I can do to create sensual play in an imaginal vignette, brainstorm. Whoo. With this card ready? This card is called the judge.

Gwyn  27:04 
Oh my goodness.

Linda River Valente  27:05  
And the judge is broken into four sharp quarters in stark black and white. Someone's hands are like Please judge no, on the other hand is like this is what you're gonna get. And then it's just that there's a lines there. That looks like the planet Pluto, actually, we just like, stop you. I'm judging you. Then there's what is this? A cat eye I think, right? So the judge now? Wow, probably, it could get really fun and wild on the other chunk of the spectrum easily. But this is our challenge. The judge, how could the judge come into sensuous erotic play? In my kind of vault of imagery, I think of a judge sitting in that position of height, like great height, and looking down on things in that way of discernment. And that that people would look up to the judge to receive the verdict right or to hear the proclamation. So that sets up a visual for me of there is sensous  play. I am the All Knowing all wise one who knows what feels good in my body and on my body and you the hoi polloi beneath you right? penitent coming to hear or receive information, here is me in my sensuous power, and maybe you can't put your hands on me at all. And I am here to tell you to make a proclamation to show you where to use my words to give you this catalogue or these images to fill you with sensation. And to fill me with sweetness and pleasure. But there's actually there's great power in holding on to your own pleasure there. Not too power powerplay, kinkish, but more on the real, the genuine soft, smooth side of it. That's what I just thought of.

Gwyn Isaacs  29:18  
I came to sort of, it's still in the realm of kink, but not so much in the realm of hurtie. But almost like aftercare where one person is, you know, needing to be held and comforted, you know, head on lap and rubbed and judged and loved. 

Linda River Valente  29:40  
That's a great one. Yeah, that even though transgressions may have happened, there is still the love involved in the caring and then those sensuous things about aftercare that are what that friend needs. So it's more pillows, it's snacks. It's now I need your hands on me more, you know, like, so the the sensuous nature of that. Yeah. And how that could work.

Gwyn  30:12  
The integration of acceptance.

Linda River Valente  30:15
Yup, that's a great one for a judge because it's like discernment and integration are so much part of that character or that role. Yeah. Okay, now we're gonna go to the other side, same deck. These are great, great friends. [laughs] I almost can't even do this one! Well whatever, drew it. what are ya gonna say. This card is 

Gwyn  30:39  

Linda River Valente  30:39  
The mother, the way this card looks. This is an absolutely gorgeous black and white, very detailed line drawing that creates the image of a nest. And inside this nest is a lovely photo collage of stones, making a further nest with a hand, see the hand up there? Serenity, peace, comfort and up Pearl right in the center. So the mother, what could we have as imaginal? playful? Whether whether it stays in our own frame or out? What would we say for play for that card?

Gwyn  31:26  
Well, the obvious would be mommy play. 

Linda River Valente  31:29  

Gwyn  31:29 
I mean, that's, that's, that's pretty clear. I just want to real quick note how fascinating that the cards are really working? Like, you know, like, it would have been a lot easier.

Linda River Valente  31:40  

Gwyn  31:41
Had these other two of these cards been reversed. 

Linda River Valente  31:45  

Gwyn  31:46
But But that sort of speaks to the whole timing, doesn't it of the, of the expanding of the of the work of the mind a little bit into the playful realities? 

Linda River Valente  31:56  

Gwyn  31:57
It's not always easy.

Linda River Valente  31:59  
That is a that is such I mean, these are, these are really great examples of like, probably change the like, well, of course, we can change them at any time, because we are playing and that is our choice. And what does it do when you're trying to stretch it? So yeah, absolutely. That kind of like, all kinds of stuff for me, I would think of stretching to the other side around like milk, a lot of milk play going on, and it wouldn't be a nine iron. And yeah, that would be pretty genius. I think that's how you could hit that side of it.

Gwyn  32:36  
Yeah. Or goddess worship? 

Linda River Valente  32:38  
Yes, definitely. So squirting, that in you know, is certain focused in certain shots and right. Now, what if I chose a card from here, and we did not specify if we were playing within sensuous or the stretched out sexual? Oh, my God, you're gonna love this one. So, so we get to decide, we get to decide. And here's the card. It's called the comic. 

Gwyn  33:09  
Oh my gosh

Linda River Valente  33:10
and but there's a cat on this comic card, wearing a birthday hat with rainbow things coming out of it. Just nutty. And the cat's eyes are a sort of like a little anime ish. So the comic, how could we put that into this level of imaginal and play? What might you say?

Gwyn  33:30  
My first thought was to make it a whole game where you write down actions and stick them in a hat and have to pick and then just do the thing?

Linda River Valente  33:41  
Yes, yep. That's a great one. Anything that has that emphasis on, especially because this little cat just looks so ridiculous in this hat? And it certainly does. It's a very party game, like really handy party game ish thing. So it would be like, what are all those conventional children's party games that we can stretch out? Not as predictably, but in just a like a raucous kind of way? Yes, yes. Yes. So that's one way that we can start with a one card draw by determining where in the spectrum do I want to play? Or, yeah, I got this, I got the hang of this spectrum. I'm feeling I'm feeling pretty solid, on everything. I'll just pull a card and interpret as I like, right. The next thing that I do is a three card panel. And I really love using this with folks or with partners or more than partners. Because what happens is all of these ingredients that we turn over are part of the scene or the vignette, or the play script or the experience. And it is up to the player to decide which card is emphasized. Which card is perhaps made central, how to certain kinds of balance, is one just a smaller element of another? There's there's a lot of room once you get three cards in to really play around. So for this one, I'm going to use the Tarot Major Arcana. I think it'd be fun to stretch out and try and do this. Right? So I am choosing three cards from the majors that are going to be part of this vision that we're going to create together. Wow. Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh, what?! This is. This is wild. Okay. High Priestess.

Gwyn  35:45 
What a beautiful deck. What deck are we using?

Linda River Valente  35:47  
Oh I know. This is the Linestrider, really gorgeous. The Hanged Man. 

Gwyn  35:53  

Linda River Valente  35:54  

Gwyn  35:55  
Which is a tiger, yeah

Linda River Valente  35:58  
And Judgment, which is a masked angel or a winged person. And so here's another thing, right? When you play with your decks, you choose the deck that you choose for a very good reason. So you really make a production of going into those visuals and those symbols. This is not an exercise solely in "well, the High Priestess means this and so she has to do that." And so whatever. I have this beautiful High Priestess card in front of me, in which she has antlers, she's wearing antlers. She has this gorgeous chain of flowers around her neck. She is soft, she is wearing an ankh around her neck, she is holding a crescent moon. Just inside that we can start really piling on the the images, right? So it's important the deck that you choose out of that picture. Don't do it by the book. This is all for you. The Hanged Man, right we we know things about the hanged men, we would read that message maybe? Yes, but then the card that you and I are looking at is this beautiful blue tiger, bound with this hot pink ribbon up at the paw. And when this tiger is bound, and he is the Hanged Man, he is inverted. So remember that in that in the tarot The Hanged Man has you upside down has you in surrender, right? That's important to look at your card. The judgment card here also, so interesting. So, if you and I were starting to create story here, what are some things for you that you just look at the pictures and you know the characters and think, oh, this could be kind of delicious?

Gwyn  37:56  
Oh, well, I mean, it's as if you drew them for me, Linda

Linda River Valente  38:03  
whatever, it's my job, it's what I do. It really is. So you give me your you give me your play.

Gwyn  38:10  
Yeah, reverence to the High Priestess. I feel like I want to imbibe that personally, which is unusual for me, which then speaks to the The Hanged Man because I'm usually on the bottom side of things. And the judgment actually, even though it's this masked Angel, perhaps holy thing. Yeah. I don't want to say person but person like it actually makes me feel more playful, which is unusual. That spread makes me think of all the things that we've been talking about this entire conversation. 

Linda River Valente  38:48  
It really does. It's like an amazing culmination. Especially because this particular judgment card, this character has their mask, just barely be lifted from their face, there is their mouth. And there's in the position of their hands. It's like they're holding something they are not yet removing their mask, but their mask is coming off.

Gwyn  39:12  
Two thoughts about that. One is the theater masks was one of the things that it made me think of, and then also in this is extremely geeky. I'm a huge Whovian so it's like don't blink don't even blink.

Linda River Valente  39:28  
Do not blink that one do not blink people. If you've watched even a one episode this is fucking terrifying. But also there's some serious magic and mischief going onin the card. And I love especially with this particular with the Linestrider deck. It's pen and ink with watercolor embellishment. Watercolor embellishment. So it's like whoa, even just in the scene where the vibe that is being created by the visual. Wow, what would it feel like if you drew your perfect scene in watercolor or in pen and ink and gave it in watercolor embellishment, like you could even kind of mind warp yourself into the art in that way and what? Where would the paint be on your body? What? What are the lines of your body like? Is there fabric around? What's the color saturation? Like, you'd start to feel yourself as Canvas too. 

Gwyn  40:30  
So really, really dive into that sensuous nature of the of the cards that you're looking at whatever cards that you are looking at.

Linda River Valente  40:40  
Yes it so matters. you know, we ideally we choose decks that we feel moved by? And that says something along about about all of that. Oh, wow. Okay, I just pulled three from the Archetype Oracle deck. And we have, and remember these, when we pull three, no pressure to order them sequentially, no pressure to throw everybody in equally, right? Maybe something is just maybe there's a nod to something, right. So I've got The Siren, which is a pretty gorgeous mermaid with a ruby egg by the tail. The Healer, which is a three headed snake, and an eye and a teardrop really lovely. And then this is called Gnosis. And it's a beautiful geometric shape at the center, that is evoking Gnosis or in other words, knowing. And so if I were to play around with this one, certainly, I would probably interpret Siren musically. I would try and pull in a piece of music for play, that felt deeply hypnotic, that had some kind of almost like hypnagogic trancey, like Dead Can Dance, I would pull that in as the musical component. See, this Gnosis card is cool, right? Because this lovely geometric shape is at the center, almost superimposed on what looks like it could be a full moon. You could almost create an altar, you're creating an altar, an altar space, where there is a certain type of knowing that is going to happen as a result of the play that you begin with. So you have the music flooding in, you have created this beautiful catch space for the knowing. And then we have our three headed serpent, which is there's almost an unlimited range of ways that we could interpret this, but I would think about three long silk cords of different hues, different colors, maybe jewel tones. And that nice slippy cord that it's like, looks like it actually belongs on swanky curtains. It's that like it's the braided slippy one that's beautiful and rich. And I would maybe sit in this space of knowing. With the music flooding in get into trippy place. And then maybe have my invite my partner to take those three serpents and wind warm around my body somewhere that I could become sensitized to the knowing in my body. Right? All right, that's my three cards, right? 

Gwyn  43:46  
That's beautiful. 

Linda River Valente  43:47  
That's what I would do with those. From there. You play the way you want to play, somebody might completely emphasize this Gnosis card, and they might want to have a type of play that was deeply about meditation. Maybe it is a silent, meditative play, right? Like you get to decide where you want to dunk in and what you want to do with the cards. So that's the three card play panel or play spread. Even just from that, if you are, if you are wanting to have solo play, where you really have full rein over things and you get to stretch your sensibility in new ways, the three card panels were a lot a lot of fun. 

Gwyn  44:37 
I really liked the way you pulled in the different senses. Music and the sensation of touch with the very specific what the chords would feel like. I'm just going to speak for myself. I forget to think about all of the different senses that are involved and I'm sure I'm not the only one who gets very very centered on touch. 

Linda River Valente  45:01

Gwyn  45:02
And sensuality is really being aware of senses of all the of the way that things smell or sound, or taste.

Linda River Valente  45:13  
With this type of exercise. It's really cool because you get to also learn stuff about your natural appetite, the way that it happens to be and what the strengths and the comforts are, and the places that maybe feel like music. Oh, I dunno really don't like listening to music at that time. You know, it's like, Oh, totally, then don't feel that in, in a partner or in a group way. Let yourself sit and have communion with music, no pressure, no expectation. Maybe you learn a little bit more about why music impacts you the way it does or doesn't. Maybe there's a neurodiversity aspect that you need to honor here, and you need to understand the strategy or the principality of music. Yeah, this is a way to be like, Okay, what are the senses that I sort of always will lean into? And maybe what are the what are the stretch outs?

Gwyn  46:08  
Yeah, and then using the cards as inspiration to help fuel that is what a brilliant and fun thing to do. 

Linda River Valente  46:17  
Because it's just, it's, they are all sitting right there waiting for you to turn them over your attention. So they are they are ready. They are ready players!

Gwyn  46:32 
So if someone doesn't yet have a deck, and they're taking this podcast as permission to go and get one to be playful with it, what advice would you give them?

Linda River Valente  46:45  
Yeah, well, if you're someone who has been wanting to read tarot and who has been just meaning to get a deck and just hasn't gotten one yet, go go for it. And you're choosing decks that are really aesthetically resonant to you, you have to love the deck in your fucking hand. Because you're going to start to build a real relationship. So you need to have you need to be able to really, no holds no bumps, no glitches, to be able to really sit and stare at each other. And to do so happily. So if you were choosing a tarot deck, that would be so important. If you were choosing a tarot deck, and you were kind of just at the beginning of getting to know that incredible system that over the decades becomes richer, right? What I would recommend is, let yourself learn look at the cards without concern, at first without concern about what it is supposed to mean. And then if that feels a little bit too, like Yeah, but there's 78 cards and I don't know I'm trying to be laid back about it. But I don't know how much am I getting? Like are the how many cups are in this card? I'm trying to count the cups. I don't understand that I would say okay, then for you tarot purposes, take out what are called the Major Arcana cards, the numbered cards from zero to 22. These are archetypal, these are symbology you're going to be able to peek at that card and you're gonna get some play warming up quickly, right? For someone who says, I don't know about a tarot deck. Well, or someone who says, I have 'em all and I need a break right? Oracle decks for the pure clean symbology the way that they work, again, I cannot recommend enough this Wild Unknown Archetype Oracle deck, round deck. I just I do have to say this and this is a little bit trash. We can't I can't believe I'm actually going to say this. But the book is somewhat of a crock of shit. If you have been a witch for 30 years, pointing at me. You do, there are cringeable moments in the guide book deck. Now this artist is a spectacular human. Their life story is incredible. The body of their artwork, incredible. For me, I have a hard time with the book because I just I'm thinking past it, if you can use it as a jumping off point. Fantastic, right? That's all that we can hope is that we can each provide each other a stepping stone of some resonance that brings us somewhere to the next thing. So, but just know that even if you didn't crack the book, with that deck, the images are so rich, you'll be able to get in and play around. So you've got options there.

Gwyn  49:54  
I would also say that if you're in a place and you want to buy a deck and something is calling to you buy it

Linda River Valente  50:00  
Oh yeah, definitely.

Gwyn  50:02  
If you feel like, I'm not really sure, maybe and I just want to scroll Amazon for a little while. That's okay, too if something jumps out at you get it? Yeah. And if not, that's okay.

Linda River Valente  50:14  
Yep. And you could also if, if you are saying to yourself, oh my gosh, all this idea about play. I'm really this is speaking to me. I'm really liking this. I don't have any expectation that I'm going to buy this deck and be channeling whomever you know, like that all the ancestors are talking to me at the same time, although don't sell yourself short, because they probably will start. But you know, if that's not the main mission, and it's play, allow yourself to say, well, this is in the sex toy kit, this deck this goes on the sex toy kit then fine. And and play with it as you choose.

Gwyn  50:54  
Absolutely, because I think people get really hung up on rules. And that is the exact opposite of what we're talking about. 

Linda River Valente  51:01  

Gwyn  51:02  
And so just a friendly reminder that it's okay to just relax. 

Linda River Valente  51:06  
Yeah, ya, yes! And especially between June 22. And July 17. From the perspective of Venus in Gemini mental mischief, we'll call it that. It's that's the that's the type of play that extra boost.

Gwyn  51:25  
This has been great. Thank you

Linda River Valente  51:28  
Thanks for playing!

Gwyn  51:30 
Oh, my pleasure! So Linda river Valenti. Are you still taking clients? Are you ever

Linda River Valente  51:37  
Astrology, tarot, holistic sexuality, also burlesque performer and producer. I love helping people determine their burlesque persona based on their chart. It's really fun. So should you want to play in that way? That's something too!

Gwyn  51:54  
Great! well, I'll be sure to put all your info in the show notes.

Linda River Valente  51:57  
Thank you.

Gwyn  51:58  
This has been so delightful. Thank you so much.

Linda River Valente  52:01  
Thank you so much. Happy Solstice,

Gwyn  52:03 
Happy Solstice!

Gwyn Isaacs  52:09
Okay, folks, what did you think? Are you gonna bust out your cards? Or are you gonna go get some to play around with this, it is so fun. Trust me, it is a really good time, even if it's just you!

Gwyn Isaacs  52:23  
I'd like to remind you now that if you enjoyed the show, to please subscribe. And if you're on Spotify, or Apple podcasts, you can also rate and on Apple, you can review it and I would really appreciate that it helps get the word out and helps more people learn that they're okay, just as they are. Even if they think their sexual things are a little bit odd. I can assure you, they're probably not.

Gwyn Isaacs  52:55  
What excites us is produced, edited and hosted by me. Gwyn Isaacs, all music is used under the Creative Commons Attribution license. That includes Stephen Kartenberg, PolyPlus, and this is the Victor Herbert Orchestra. The show is hosted at tickle dot life, where they host lots of other great podcasts and content for your enjoyment. Thanks for listening!