Unlike the fancy tarot, the swamp voodoo divination deck gets the job done…

I was taught to read the cards by my voodoo mentor Earl Marlowe, featured in my cult bestseller Doktor Snake’s Voodoo Spellbook. He didn’t use conventional cards (or very rarely). He used swamp voodoo cards derived from the old time conjure tradition, which Earl initiated me into.

The symbolism of the swamp voodoo deck is derived from “unknown tongues,” a type of spirit trance used in our conjure tradition. Because of this every pack is different. You’ll never find one the same. There’s only one constant with the swamp voodoo cards: A pack must only consist of 23 cards.

Earl favored the swamp voodoo deck over the “fancy tarot,” as he put it, because they provide sharp, incisive answers to issues that most concern you – “they get the job done,” he used to say.

Before settling in England, Earl lived for some years in the American South – giving his voodoo readings from the old shack he lived in. People came from miles around to seek his counsel (and his hoodoo medicines).

I met Earl in the early 1980s and became his voodoo apprentice. Part of that involved becoming adept at swamp voodoo card readings.

The key advice I got from Earl was that swamp voodoo card readings should be about diagnosing spiritual conditions and helping you make good decisions in life. “They shouldn’t be about trying to intuit someone’s past,” he said. “They already know about that!”

Earl believed readings should solely focus on helping people solve their immediate issues and problems – so they can improve their lives. That’s my position too.

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