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About Fortune Buchholtz

Is That Really Your Name?

Fortune Buchholtz, 2021Yes. Let me tell you a story: hippie parents with a poor taste in classical music. Unfortunate infatuation with Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. It's really that simple.

I myself prefer be-bop & ambient music. But here I am: Fortune, the Empress of the World. Pleased to meet you.

If you enjoy the Carmina Burana, be sure to listen to the other 2 pieces in Orff's tarot-themed Trionfi, the Catulli Carmina & the Trionfo di Afrodite, both influenced by Stravinsky.

Tarot, How & Why

Back to that hippie family. Both my aunt & my mom were involved in tarot, altho' my aunt was much more serious about it. They loved the Beatles & Bob Dylan. My aunt got the first deck: an IJJ Swiss. A short while later she ordered an RWS deck as well.

 My mother was intrigued by the cover of Sgt. Pepper, which led her to order the Book of Thoth from Weiser, since the cards weren't then actually available. But it freaked it her out, so she moved on to the Aquarian tarot before she lost interest.

In the end she gave her tarot materials to my aunt, for whom tarot became a life-long friend. But tarot left our house.

Tarot Returns

In 1985 I had the opportunity to study at Naropa in Boulder, winning the first Ted Berrigan scholarship. There I found an environment mixing Buddhism, tarot & writing, which affected me deeply. The RWS deck was favored there at that time.

By 1996 I was working in NYC's Financial District. Joke gifts & pranks were common among the traders there. As a result, the head trader gave me a Visconti deck because of my name, & probably because it was gold. "Predict the market!" he said, laughing.

I put it in my desk drawer for a bit, musing about how things tend to re-occur in our lives. It's so true, right?

When our office moved to another floor, I found it again. Realizing I actually didn't know anything meaningful about the deck, I went to Amazon, where the first tarot book I found was Dummett's Wicked Pack. I bought it.

And so I became interested in card history & research. I began a small antique card collection. No doubt you've all been there yourselves! But "small" never stays small, does it?

Meeting Norris

At the time I was living in Brooklyn Heights. And there I met Norris Church Mailer, the novelist. It turned out she was interested in tarot for her writing, altho' she was more inclined to the RWS. To my knowledge, she was the first to seriously research Pamela Colman Smith in the Brooklyn historical archives.

As a result Norris knew more factual information about her before 2000 than most people know today. Yet she never used these details in her books. It didn't really fit with her novels' breezy Southern tone.

Norris was very interested in my deck collection & encouraged me to try reading cards. I stepped sideways into the tarot community through her. And soon people began to ask me to read for them, turning pro by popular demand.

Diving in. . .

I left NYC for San Francisco during the financial crisis, quickly connecting with the Bay Area card community. During this time I began to study coaching, and re-oriented myself to include that in my work.

Then I married a European, and soon left the US to live in Europe, freelancingserene budda + cards for a tarot publisher while continuing my card research & study in museums as well as scholarly resources.

When we returned to the US, I read in a charming boutique in Pittsburgh. That was lovely. And then we returned to the EU, where I am today.

Current Practice

My interest focuses on antique tarot & oracle decks, the Tarot de Marseille, Italian decks, and art decks. But I also love Lenormand, Kipper & Petit Etteilla. And let's not forget playing cards, including the Ganjifa & the Hanafuda.

I have clients for all of these. Which ones interest you?

My major tarot influences are Italo Calvino, Tchalai Unger, Bernard Suits, George Kelly, Yoav Ben-Dov, Robert Place, Paul Huson, and historical reading styles. I try to avoid Jung - to paraphrase Unger, it's like mixing chalk & cheese.

Also many of my diverse clientele, esp. my LGBTIAQ2S+ sitters, find Jung painful & alienating. And I hear that. I've moved away from the RWS culture for the same reason.

Media Inquiries

I'm happy to accommodate serious media requests & interviews about my work, writing & card history research.

Social Media & Contact Details

You can find me as @notfortunesfool on my Facebook Page, Instagram & Youtube. My Extremely Irregular Newsletter can be found here. I'll never spam you.

Reserve your own personal reading via email here. I look forward to it!

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Creative Commons License, NC-BY-SA Work by Fortune Buchholtz licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.