artful surrendering (and happy new year loves)

“Powerful magic has little to do with our calculations. Powerful magic begins with the act of surrendering.”

Camelia Elias (The Oracle Travels Light; Principles of Magic With Cards)


At the end of last year, i did a couple of readings for the year to come. (happy new year, btw. i’m still easing my way in to 2018. how are you doing?)

Both of the readings were prompted by my teacher, who i think i’ve mentioned a million times now, Camelia Elias.

The three-card reading pictured above, is called “The Good, The Bad, and The Mad” (read her post about it, and try it for yourself.)

The first card down is “the good”, the second card is “the bad”, and the third card is “the mad”. The mad card is to be your “savior”. From that, you make a mantra.

When the cards dropped i thought this; in lieu of playing tricks (the magician) – pause, wait (the hanged man). it is from the waiting that inspiration flows (the star).

Not bad. Not wonderful. Writing poetic mantras are not my forte, but i liked the essence of it well enough to write it down and claim it.

(as a side note – one of the words i’ve been tossing around as my ‘word for the year’ – heh not that i ever stick to a ‘word for the year’ – is pause. as in, stop. breathe. quit your damn rushing into action FFS, and just wait. so i liked that the hanged man showed up in the ‘good’ position. it was affirming. also – it pointed to the fact that ‘pausing’ isn’t the goal, but is a useful tool for being more grounded, centered and, you know, able to be that lovely star… naked under the night sky, offering the contents of your vessels to the earth and to the river…. god i love that star card.)

Anyway. Something about my interpretation of this string definitely seemed lacking.

i’ll be honest – i wasn’t happy about the magician showing up in ‘the bad’ position. and, i didn’t like how the mantra i created basically swept this card to the side. because, the card did fall, after all. (and i ❤ magic, obvs.)

Around the same time, at the end of last year, i had the good fortune of spontaneously acquiring this book. And that’s when i read this line (quoted at the top of this post):

“Powerful magic has little to do with our calculations. Powerful magic begins with the act of surrendering.”

Aha! Cue the lightbulb in my head. It’s the calculating, trick-playing aspect of the magician that’s “bad”, not the magic itself. The magic itself is found under the stars while offering ones gifts, from a place of surrender.


It was as if that line was written just for me, just precisely for this moment and this three-card string.*

(you know how sometimes a book comes in to your life, and as you read, it feels like every word was written just for you? like everything you’ve ever done and been and decided upon and cared about and loved, is somehow coming together and being articulated – right there in front of your eyes – in the form of some sharp words in a book that you just randomly happened to get? and you wonder – how is this possible? how is it that this book – published a few years ago – has found me, right at this precise moment, with information and insights that i need to hear right now?! yeah. that’s what’s happening with me and this book.)


The other reading i did was more predictive in nature, and as i said, also prompted by Camelia. It consist of two questions, with one three-card string for each.

“What will rise for me this year?”, and “What will fall for me this year?”*

These are the cards that dropped:

What will rise? more measuring… wrestling with my “animal”… and change. Perhaps i will finally (after so much freaking restraint) allow myself to be thrown onto the wheel, where anything is possible.

i struggled with this line, honestly. The careful woman, now has a beast by the jaws, and then we all become animals, spinning round and round.

Then, as i was reading my new favorite book (<3 ;)), i came upon this line: “The art is in finding the good balance, and in knowing exactly what one is doing while one is inviting raw power to take over.”

Holy shit another line written just for me. (hehe. if you could only see the chills on my arms ;))

the art is in finding the good balance. i like this very much.

So what will fall?

The priestess in the middle appears larger than life and eager to learn. On the one side, she’s looking over two children playing under the sun, and on the other side there’s three people, waiting for some kind of  proclamation or announcement from on high.

Remembering the question – what will fall? Looks like there will be less waiting for messages / looking to others for wisdom and insight.

My synthesis for these two lines, when looked at as a whole: there will be less relying on other people’s guidance, and more surrendering to the primal wisdom that is found in the natural/animal world. (including my own wild self!)

Maybe most of all, this year is about learning to surrender, in a artful and harmonious way.

I’m all for this.

Which brings me to some serious and honest questions:

how do you surrender?

how do you know that you ‘know exactly what you’re doing’?, so that you can surrender in a balanced way?

i welcome your thoughts.


Wishing you a happy, healthy new year!

much love,

*if these readings strike a chord for you, feel free to apply them to your life. even though i did them “for myself”, i share them because they may have universal resonance.

if you haven’t checked out Camelia Elias’ work yet, do it. especially if you like magic, cards, and zen. she is wise and generous, and such a breath of fresh air.

<>The cards in both photos are from the Playing Marseille deck, by Ryan Edward. published by Inset Cards & Curiosities.<>




6 thoughts on “artful surrendering (and happy new year loves)

  1. As usual, Sami, I find your readings very insightful! I most definitely have had the experience of the right book, or right song, or right person show up in my life at just (you guessed it) the right time! How to surrender ? I wish I knew. Seems like I have been pushing for a very long time… love you!

    Liked by 1 person

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