In our latest installment in our series of interviews where we give everyone a chance to get to know our readers better Salem Dragon goes over his methods.
You have been doing readings at the shop for a few months now, when people come in to see you. What kind of readings do you offer?
Here at the shop I mainly do Tarot, Oracle, Bones and a personalized method using skeleton keys.
When you are doing Tarot and Oracle readings do you have specific decks that you like to use?
I rotate which decks I use, but the decks I use regularly are the Dragon Tarot, Vampire Tarot, and the Santa Muerte Tarot. The Oracle decks I use are the Dragon Wisdom Deck and the Dark Mirror Deck.
Do you generally give people an option of which one to use or is it more that you feel which one is right for specific people?
On occasion people do ask but for the most part it depends on the situation. My Dragon Tarot is good for readings about relationships, work, or more basic everyday questions. The Vampire Tarot can be used the same way but it tends to go on the darker side. Sante Muerte I will use if there is a lost relative or someone close that has passed on. I use that one more for speaking with spirits. Dark Mirror and Dragon Wisdom I use hand in hand for shadow work. In a more traditional reading Dark Mirror will basically lay out a problem you are having and then Dragon Wisdom will show how to fix it or at least what can be done to help. It's the dark and light aspects that I use together.
Kind of like you use one to ask a question and the other to answer it?
In a sense.
Can you talk a little bit about the key system you have developed?
If you've ever gotten a bone reading it's a similar principle. You pick them up, you drop them, you throw them however you see fit and you read them as they lie. Each key, or set of keys has its own meaning. I have two keys that look similar, they are actually basically the same key with some differences, that is my lovers’ set. I've also got a set of three keys that at first look, seem the same but have pretty distinct differences. I use this set to mark similarities. I have a round one that I use as my world key, another to represent work. I have one that isn't a real skeleton key but looks like it is so I interpret that as a trickster. One looks like a skull so that is my death key. The rest symbolize different lengths of time periods.
As you are describing what they are visually, I can see how you can glean the meanings off of that, that's very cool. How long have you been working on this system?
Not that long, strangely enough with me things just pop up sporadically then I just sit there and play with it. How long have I been playing with this method? A few weeks maybe.
So its still very new for you?
It's still very new, but it has turned out to be very accurate.
How did you get into being interested in divination?
That is an overly long story, but I guess where I started going into, not even necessarily divination, but the spiritual side of things would have been sometime in my junior year of high school. Then my senior year I actually ran a Magic Club, Now, I'm talking card tricks and stuff like that.
Yes performative, so I was running that kind of club and as i was looking at different things tarot kept coming up. I thought it would be interesting to add to the repertoire so I started doing some minor research and had ordered my first deck. Strangely enough, my first deck is probably the third one I was able to read comfortably. Then I think it took me about a year or so to start fully getting into divination.
So that kind of lead in from sleight of hand magic into divination, then into your own personal spiritual practice is an interesting line to go. A lot of times you see people going from a performative magic then very strongly into skepticism, the idea that I get how these tricks work so none of it must be real . I find it interesting that you walked the other way around it. Is that something you still keep up with?
It is something I eventually want to get back into, its just a mater of putting time into developing those skills. Some things like the card tricks have fallen away from me but the card mechanics skills are still going strong.
You also mentioned that you read bones and that you have a unique set of bones that you use.
Yes it is pretty unique, my bones are not actually bones, they are the exoskeleton from the first lobster I ever humanely killed while in culinary school.
So they are from a classroom setting originally and you kept the remaining shell?
Most of it
That adds an incredibly personal dynamic that you have with them.
Can you talk a bit about the process of how you use the bones?
That can be a bit harder to explain, it’s a bit more intuitive about how they land and how you read from that. When the bones fall l look at how each of the pieces relate to each other. The relationships between each of the segments is something I have been working with for a long time so I rely a lot on my own intuition and experience. if I have any secondary questions or maybe i need to clarify with a more specific yes or no question as it relates what i am skiing the bones I will also you my sky stones, which are an old Celtic divination tool.
Do you often mix different tools and supplement one style of divination with another during a reading.
A lot of times yes, since they all serve different purposes I like to use the different tools as they are needed.