The Short Version: Lived on peanut butter and Hostess cup cakes until the age of 11. Learned how to conduct a fine seance and scare the pa-jeez-ahs out of the neighborhood kids by the age of 12. Top neighborhood haunted house maker five years in a row (1973-1978). Flies around the globe on a broom in her dreams, working tirelessly for justice and foiling the plans of evil do-ers. Co-created the Playing Card Oracles. Reads cards.
The Slightly Longer Version: I never know how to introduce myself. My most unfavorite question is: “So what do you do for a living?” The universe seems to continually mock my attempts at giving myself any sort of title. My life seems to have been led, more than anything, by a certain series of extraordinary events which have determined the unconventional and defiantly undefinable directions my life has taken.
One thing I can say is I am an adamant rule breaker – and this gives me a sense of inner satisfaction. I believe questioning social norms is one of the best and fastest ways to find out what is really true and what is just something that needs to be challenged. This has been my “modus operandi” from as long as I can remember and is the way I approach the art/science of divination and card reading.
As a rule breaker from the beginning, early on I suspected I would be paving my own way in this world. By college, it was obvious. I was more of a misfit than even my rebel friends who were misfits. College felt like being force fed, and for a rebel soul like myself, this just wasn’t cool. Was I really just supposed to memorize all this stuff without being given the opportunity question or verify anything?
I had had super weird experiences from a young age: out-of-body experiences and encounters difficult to explain, but a particular experience during this time period convinced me to leave school and embark on a personal search I am still on to this day.
What happened is this. Late one night in the dorm room with a friend, while discussing the latest Carlos Castaneda book (what homework?), from out of nowhere a bolt of bright white light suddenly flashed between us. It literally threw the two of us backwards out of our plastic dorm chairs. There was no storm outside. We were not on drugs. To our continuing surprise, neither of us were able to move or speak for several minutes following, and when we finally could move, we were strangely able to anticipate entire sentences before spoken and observe bright auras around objects for the remainder of the night and into the next day.
And so my course was set in motion from early on: Truth seeker. Rule Breaker. Freak for the supernatural.
It totally bugs me when people just swallow stuff whole without putting it through their own rigorous scrutiny. Scrutiny is not being a skeptic. Skeptic means shutting something down before you have tested it. This is just the flip side of believing something before you have tested it. I want truth. I do not want beliefs.
The New Age or Metaphysical community is really prone to this kind of swallowing without chewing, although so is most everyone. We have to wake up and verify. What are we afraid of? The truth of our being is wondrous, miraculous, better than fiction. This I can tell you first hand.
To make a long story maybe medium length, my Dad (C.J. Freeman) was a seeker such as myself: a mystic, a scholar, a magician, AND a Rebel on fire. He began looking at the 52-card deck with a scrutinous curiosity that attracted me like a moth to flame. Through our combined focus, a system of using the cards in a brand new way emerged that was at once vital and relevant. We watched as multiple divinatory sciences converged and meshed beautifully like cogs in a well constructed machine. The 52-card deck was never created for games. It was created as a harmonic and working model of the natural calendar and the cycles of nature – and a demonstration of how our lives are part of these cycles.
I never read anybody else’s book on card reading. I still haven’t, after all these years at the craft. Truth is, I was never much interested in card reading, but in the way that the 52 cards just seem to want to talk. Through the cards themselves, dreams, my Dad’s revelations, combined with parallels we noticed between the 52-card deck and certain esoteric teachings, a unique system of working with the pack unfolded of it’s own. This is what is written of in “The Playing Card Oracles.”
So I hope this encourages your own rule breaker spirit and wets your natural thirst for the memory of who you really are.
Thank you for visiting my site.
-Ana Cortez/ Santa Fe, NM firstname.lastname@example.org
Playing Card Oracles book/ deck reviews
Detailed Review of Book and Deck at Aeclectic Tarot: http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/books/playing-card-oracles/
Ana’s Interview with Zanna Starr of Tarot Notes: Click HERE
Review of Book and Deck at The Tarot Guild: http://www.tarotguild.com/profiles/blogs/playing-card-oracles-by-ana-cortez-and-c-j-freeman?xg_source=activity
“Breaking Paradigms” podcast interview with Ana Cortez: http://bootstrappedradio.net/breakingparadigms/1-ana-cortez/
Ana’s Interview with Shaheen Miro, including discussion of history and methods: ShaheenMiroInsights.com
Review of Book and Deck at World of Playing Cards UK: http://www.wopc.co.uk/usa/oracles.html