Tarot Tips with Lorel Clayton #RomanticFantasy #Mystery #Paranormal #Steampunk

Sacred Circle Tarot Tips - by Author Lorel Clayton

I’m a student of many religions and spiritual paths, but I’ve been a practicing witch since I was 12 and attended my first coven meeting when I was 9. Most of my deities are Greek and Egyptian, but one is Celtic, and I’ve always been drawn to Celtic magic. 

My favorite Tarot deck is The Sacred Circle because it is rich in symbolism and has a great accompanying guide to divinatory meanings. You can also take the Journey of the Fool through the Major Arcana which helps with self-reflection and spiritual growth.

My favorite spread is the Celtic Cross, and this has helped me understand my current situation and the eventual outcome many times. I used to cast it every full moon, but I feel much more centered since reaching middle-age, and I find I only need to draw a single card or two to answer my unspoken question or give me clarity when I feel a bit lost. That’s my usual method now. However, if you are just starting out with Tarot or using this deck for the first time, I suggest you study all the cards (do the Journey of the Fool) then try the various spreads. There are other useful ones, and I’ve tried them all. 

This deck has allowed me to do readings for friends as well—not something I do often—but it is scarily accurate. It predicted a friend’s wedding to a foreigner, a visiting friend of the family, whom she distrusted as she thought he was just looking for citizenship. Note that the card ‘bondage’ was interpreted by her as prison (she suspected he might be a criminal) but the actual interpretation in the deck includes ‘marriage’. She learned she was totally wrong about him, and they’ve now been married more than 25 years and have two teenage children! 

I was born with a caul (a bit of placenta over my face) that is seen as a sign of spiritual sensitivity, and an ability to the see the future. I’ve got plenty of tales to tell to make you believe it’s true—from seeing ghosts, guiding souls, and even sensing my own potential death, which I avoided at great cost, because it required me to completely change my life and take a new path when that old path was closed to me (because I was supposed to be dead). Even my brother dreamed about that one—he said it was so real with him speaking at my funeral—and I sensed the moment it was supposed to happen, only I had stayed safely home and avoided driving the road I had originally planned to drive that day.

What this means is that my method for doing Tarot may not work for you, but if you are practiced at meditation or slipping into that quiet place between breaths, that eternal, open moment when you are attuned with your true self, your soul, then you can follow my approach. Here it is:

1. Nighttime is easier than day, but either time can work. I always do it at the full moon, but a few days before or after is also good. You can do it anytime, but maybe take a bath or meditate to get into the right mindset.

2. Make the room dark as possible, with just candlelight, and invoke your deities if you are a witch or pagan, according to your usual customs.

3. Then hold the deck for a moment. Shuffle it while thinking about your question. If you don’t have a question and seek general guidance, just feel your desire for clarity and understanding. 

4. When it feels right, either pull out the single card you intend to read or start laying out your spread. The place you start from fixes the outcome, so your work is mostly done at that point. Do, however, make a note about how each card you lay down in the spread makes you feel. This can guide you to choose the correct divinatory interpretation. 

5. Most things have multiple meanings, but you will sense which meaning is right for you at this time. I go through my spread, reading the guide and feeling the correct interpretation for each card, expressing gratitude for the wisdom gifted to me. 

6. You can write this down to review later or journal about what you learned and how you will use it to guide your next steps.

I hope this helps!

Nest of Thornes
Eva Thorne 
Book 5
Lorel Clayton

Genre: Romantic Fantasy/Mystery/Paranormal/Steampunk
Publisher: LC Books
Date of Publication: 15 June 2024
ISBN: 9780648676072
Number of pages: 351
Word Count: 73,249
Cover Artist: Clayton Colgin

Tagline: Coming home again can be a killer. 

Book Description: 

Eva Thorne saved the world but hopes no one remembers when she returns to Highcrowne six years later to start a new life. Low key this time. Right.

All she ever wanted was some independence, including the freedom to knock bad guys in the head when needed, but the private investigator gig never worked out for her. She has no choice but to try, yet again, when the Elf Queen commands her to track down the political rival plotting her assassination—there’s no proof but the queen knows someone wants her dead.

As if that wasn’t already the antithesis of a low-key case, the first egg produced by their near-extinct Avian rulers in centuries is stolen. Only the famed Eva Thorne can solve the case. No one understands that she’s not the same person she used to be. She’s been learning necromancy, not detective work, and they won’t think so highly of her when they realize she tried to bring back the God of Death, who they all fought so hard to defeat in the first place.


A flash of lightning sent shadows looming, blocky figures in dark raincoats, as they hefted my steamer trunk from the hold and onto the deck of the airship. Rain pummelled them, driven sideways by the wind. Crew scrambled to tie ropes after several corroded brass moorings tore free of the old dock. The deck swayed beneath me, so I widened my stance. I shifted into a fighting pose and pulled the serrated sword from its bone sheath. My Ashur was the weapon of choice for Solhan ladies, but I was no lady.

“Where do you think you’re taking that?” I asked, my ominous tone punctuated with thunder.

The thugs in raincoats froze, surprised to see me. Someone had drugged my meal and barred my cabin door from the outside. Fortunately, I had invisible Bogle companions following me everywhere, always the first to eat my meals, not because they were official food testers but because they were eternally hungry. They also removed the metal bar from the outside, so I escaped without needing to cut through the cabin wall, which I would have done. I would do anything to protect that trunk.

“No pithy comeback or plausible excuse?” I said, disappointed. “You two really are thick. Who do you work for?”

The deckhands saw my drawn blade and froze too. This old dock was not Highcrowne, likely a pirate mooring off the usual air routes. Either they were trying to find refuge in the storm, or they were in on it too. I didn’t think they were pirates, else they would all be armed and coming at me with swords, but something was off about them. That’s what I got for eschewing the premier airship liners with their security protection, courtesy of Rose Industries. I’d been trying to lay low, but it looked like I would need to be laying low a few bad guys instead.

“We don’t want any trouble,” one of the crew said, raising his hands.

“Untie us and get us back underway and there won’t be any,” I said. I didn’t know how to fly this thing, and so I couldn’t kill them, as tempting as it was. The two holding my trunk, however…. “I told you both to set that down. Gently.”

They obeyed. Never trust anyone who complies so quickly. Not in this line of work. I ignored the crew, their hands full of ropes, their bedraggled clothing too threadbare to hide any weapons, and I went for the raincoats.

One whipped out a flintlock pistol. Fool. It was too wet to fire. The other was slightly smarter, revealing a bullwhip. He was fast too. He struck, wrapping it around the tip of my sword before I got to him.

The one weakness of a serrated blade was how easily it could be caught, but that usually worked both ways. It was fantastic for disarming an opponent, and if it was sharp enough—as mine was—it sliced right through anything, including leather. His whip lost a third of its length, and a heartbeat later I had the tip of my sword pointed at his eye. The one with the useless pistol donned brass knuckles and came for me, but I wasn’t only a good swordswoman, I was a necromancer. Big mistake.

About the Author:

Lorel and Clayton were teen sweethearts, brought together by a fierce love of books (and hormones). Despite being married for almost 35 years, they are still madly in love and still writing. As writing partners, they meld logic, creativity, and genres. Fantasy, science-fiction, mystery, horror, steampunk, thriller, romance, classics … they read them all, and if they can mix them they will!

Still reading? Want to know more?

Lorel has a PhD in molecular biology and Once Upon a Time did cancer research before turning to the dark side (aka marketing), but she uses her powers for good, helping raise funds for charity. She loves books, movies and animals, and would gladly spend all day with a cat on her lap and the wind in her hair (Conan reference there), while tapping out a story on her keyboard. Or maybe a movie script. With coffee of course. And lots of chocolate!

Clayton is a classically trained painter turned digital artist who now glares at the AI generated images currently obliterating the slim chance artists once had of earning a living. Clayton is severely dyslexic but loves books and storytelling. He adds vast imagination and a discerning ear for effective prose to their creative collaboration, not to mention the book cover art.

Born and raised in the western United States, they traveled to Sydney, Australia in 1997 and never left, finding the sunshine and beaches of “Oz” too irresistible.

Look them up if ever you’re Down Under.

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