Muzoracle: The Tarot of Music

Layout: Prepare to Cast

Preparing to cast: creating space. In terms of the physical space needed to cast the Muzoracle, you’ll need a hard flat surface so the dice don’t roll about after they’re cast (a bed won’t cut it). Depending on how the dice land, a casting can contain up to 12 positions, which requires a bit of width—a 32” wide x 12” deep (80cm x 30cm) rectangle will do easily. (A standard card table is 32”/80cm square.) If you’re casting for yourself, you’ll obviously lay out the positions in front of you; if you’re casting for someone else, keep in mind if they sit across from you, you’ll be looking at their casting upside down. A way around this is to sit alongside them; another option is to use a lazy susan. 

Space-wise, you’ll also need to consider what reference material you’ll be using. If you’re using the Quick Reference, and/or a tablet or laptop or eReader, you’ll need to have space for them. If you play, you'll want to have your instrument handy. (At right, the Casting Room at Philomusica, J S Kingfisher's studio in the Coachella Valley near Palm Springs.)

In addition to preparing an outer space before casting, it’s also important to create an inner one. The more quiet and centered we are, the more clearly our questions and thoughts can arise, and the more present we can be to our casting’s results. There are many different methods for finding a quiet center, of course: following the breath, for example, or sensing the body bit by bit, releasing tension as we go. We need to calm the inner chatter and get into the moment—whatever works is fine. If we’re casting for someone else who is unfamiliar with inner silence, or who is nervous or uncomfortable in some way, we can still find our own center—a calm and attentive approach is infectious, and can set the tone for the casting ahead.

Posing a Question. We needn’t approach the Muzoracle with a literal question, although we certainly can. We can simply have something general in mind about which we’re curious—sometimes our questions sound more like stories. Other times there’s an urge to cast with nothing particular in mind, and we look to the oracle for inspiration. In any case, what we’re aiming for is a willingness to be open, sincere, playful, and creative. 

Mixing the Cards. The deck can be shuffled, as a whole or half at a time; alternatively, the cards can be swirled round and round and in and out of each other, face down. In any case, we need to make sure that the cards can vary their orientation while we’re mixing them, as some cards mean different things depending on which end is up. (Mixing the cards can be part of creating inner quiet, by the way—the process can be very meditative.) After the cards are mixed, a final cut is traditional—make one, if you like.

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