Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Trash to Treasure

I’ve been playing around creating my own version of a “Junk Oracle” lately. I’ve been posting about it on social media, so I’m afraid some people think that I created the idea. I did not. It was shown to me at Readers Studio 2011 and I was tickled with the idea.

Actually, “tickled” is probably just the right word, like that invisible fiber that is on your eyelash. You think you’ve taken care of it and it’s back. So of course, I pay attention to that stuff. The junk oracle idea had to cycle through my subconscious long enough to come back up to the surface.

Yup, I wanted one. I had the basic idea in mind. There isn’t any specific number or type of item that can comprise your own junk oracle. It’s just yours. And, since charity begins at home, I thought no better place to start collecting little items for my junk oracle than my own cubby holes of Lost Things. The backs of dresser drawers and little boxes with tiny items, the detritus of a lifetime, were my first sources. Since Mom had an antique shop for many years, lots of little things got sorted away in pin boxes and in sewing kits in among the thimbles and spools. The tiniest ivory dominoes, three or four of them, and an interesting bead, a paper clip, a broken piece of jewelry, these were the starter pack.

It’s honestly better if the little things in your own junk oracle are meaningful to you, meaningful, not precious. After all, if you lose some little thing of great value, you’ll be kicking yourself around the block. If you lose that charm from a broken bracelet you found in the street, it’s not so bad. The important thing is to get enough of a variety of tiny things in enough shapes and symbols to become meaningful to you.

I remembered Miss Day from Orlando and her cobwebbed apartments sprinkled with dust in the afternoon sun. Nearly every surface was encrusted with Cracker Jack toys applied with mastic of some kind, a mosaic of childhood. I could go to Miss Day’s and tell stories for hours from the Cracker Jack toys covering furniture, lamps, vases, consoles, literally everything. Miss Day was the sort of person who invited one to tea in a magical world on a cul-de-sac of time.

Cracker Jack toys, I thought. A few eBay auctions later and I had a wonderful junk oracle, full of plastic charms and pewter game pieces meant to go round and round after real estate. I went to a delicious bead shop in Benicia, Benicia Bead, and began targeting gaps in my collection. If there were no rules, how could there be gaps? I knew them when I saw them.

I sifted through them, dismissing those made of paper (too fragile) or dollhouse items (too big).

“Choking hazards,” one of my Facebook friends suggested. Yes, that was it exactly. I was looking for choking hazards. It was something of a mission of goodness to get them out of the way of choking children and into the hands of the Junk-o-Mancer.

This past weekend was full of fun. I went to a friend’s birthday party and read both Tarot and Lenormand cards for them and even got a chance to try out Tierney Sadler’s The Deck of 1000 Spreads. It was a long evening and I was still tired the next morning. My junk oracle called to me.

OK, not literally called to me; please, plastic toys don’t talk. Much. But I decided to give them a whirl and posted that since I was unexpectedly staying home that day, I would offer junk oracle readings to people who signed up under that thread on FB. What a huge response! Everyone wanted one.

“How do you do it?” they asked. “What book do you use to figure out the meanings?”

I don’t, is the easy answer. I’m using my understanding of symbols, literature, astrology, Tarot, Lenormand, pop culture, movies, songs and whatever else is rummaging around in my own head, going with sayings and phrases that come together in the combination of the individual pieces. I read them like a sentence or two.

I decided that, like Lenormand, this was going to make sense only in the context of a specific question. So, questions like, “What’s in store for me next?” were disqualified. For each question, I sprinkled 5 individual pieces in a line and read them as the answer. I took photos and uploaded them and posted to my Facebook change.

Well, there’s where I went wrong, you see. I was a posting machine. Three pictures, three readings, three pictures, three readings I posted in a regular pattern. Apparently, it was such a regular pattern that Facebook temporarily blocked my account with the sincere warning of concern that I might have a computer virus. I waited three hours or so until unlocked my account, then did the balance of the readings a different way so as not to upset the algorithm. So far so good.

I thought I would post a little reading here today as an example so you can see what I mean. I followed my own rules and asked a specific question: What’s the best way to deal with a co-worker’s latest crazy passive-aggressive move that hampers progress for everyone on three, no, four teams?

Junk Oracle: Ring, Paperclip, Crazy Bug in a Nutshell, Pig, Bicycle, Watch, Turtle. Usually I go with 5 pieces but this seemed to make sense. So, here’s my reading: Yes, my co-worker is as crazy as a bedbug (bug) being stuck (paperclip) in their own circle of bad behavior (ring). While they are acting like a piggy (pig), move on (bicycle) because this will all be resolved in time (watch). Slow and steady wins the race (turtle) and it’s good to insulate yourself from insanity; pull in, disengage and wait it out.

There! In with the good air, out with the bad air, and I’m better now, at least until the next day’s work.

You can make your own Junk Oracle, too! Just remember that if they are really choking hazards, keep these treasures out of the little ones’ reach.

Best wishes!


  1. I love love love this idea! Thanks for sharing it, Marcia!

  2. I think it's delightful & innovative..
    Just goes to show that Spirit will deliver the message to the seeker in whatever form is available. It may not have been your idea but you've done a wonderful job with it...Perhaps there is a junk oracle deck in your future???