Foxy: "Tarot reading is like weather forecasting"
This witch is using the Internet to awaken your powers and tell you what’s coming your way.
Photos by PEDRO MATOS
Foxy prefers the term “witch” to “magician”. The latter option carries with it a certain association with illusion that does not fit his line of work. “People ask, ‘are you a magician?’ and I’m like, ‘yeah, but not the way you think’. They have an idea that comes from portrayals of magic in pop culture: the magic wand, shooting fire balls, turning invisible. Unless there’s something very biologically strange about my body I will not be able to turn invisible or do any of that”.
In the last five years, shows like American Horror Story or magazines like Sabat have showed how much we, as a society, are again enchanted by the idea of the witch, something that in 2018 is not as gender related as it used to be. Nor does it come with a pointy hat and a broom.
“I’m basically wearing silver, and a hat, and I’ve got white hair, so you shouldn’t miss me”, says one of the cute voicemails he leaves me while I’m on my way to meet Foxy for the first time. Whilst he waits – yes, I was late – he sat by the Thames “happily watching people bobble around”, as he tells me in a text.
Another cliché that he naturally defeats is that preconceived image of the witch as being scary and evil. His soothing voice tells me not to worry about being late and kept sounding reassuring and humorous until the end of our afternoon. “People are made of the same stuff as nature so you need to learn to be receptive to your own species. Otherwise, how the hell are you going to be able to deal with demons and spirits? Which, by the way, completely exist”. Wink.
His spiritual journey took him from Buddhism and Kabbalah, to Cosmic Ordering and Chaos Magic and who’s knows what will come next. However, when we finally sit down, he’ll say that words like witchcraft and magic are something he only became comfortable with recently. “I’ve been doing it all my life, but in the last four, five years perhaps, I’ve learned the terminology, the vocabulary, the history and the context and realised that I’m not alone, that I have a lot more control over my life than I previously thought, and that, if I do, surely does everyone else”. His next move is sharing what he has learned with others.
Empowerment, freedom and self-knowledge are key-words in Sentient Sanctuary, his brand-new-hot-out-of-the-oven website. There you can book a tarot reading with Foxy and very soon you’ll be able to download masterclasses on subjects like incense making and sigil (magic). “We are feeling more and more isolated from nature and from our spirituality”, he says when asked about the timing of this project. “The universe has a funny sense of humour because this technology that is connecting us in a very transient and shallow way is the answer to what we are missing”. He wants to use it to teach people how to have more control over their lives. That doesn’t mean knowing what will happen to them, but, for instance, can be telling them what’s coming their way so that they are prepared. “I always explain to people – whether they want to hear it or not – that tarot reading is not fortune telling. You look at the energies that are developing and then you make an educated guess on the person, on the cards – which are so multi-layered, so multi-faceted – that somewhere along the line, a sensitive enough person will be able to translate their meaning”.
Today, he is laying out some cards for me so that I can understand how it works. A tarot card reading can take from 40 minutes to an hour and can be done anywhere – that, to my surprise, includes a computer screen. Foxy asks me if there’s a specific question I’d like to ask or a topic I’d like to go into – and even though my heart is thinking about something, the word that comes out is ‘no’.
“In tarot reading, I can’t meet people with an agenda. I’m a blank slate until I meet someone and then they make the impression on me. I like to be the receptacle for that. That’s part of magic as well, that you need to allow the person to be as they are and just be receptive”, says Foxy. On top of a velvety cloth – used more for protection of the beautiful cards than for mystical reasons - he spreads the tarot cards that he shuffled just minutes ago and asks me to pick one. Trying to rationalise, I’m thinking about which will be the “right” one realising how silly that idea is. I touch a card. It’s the Three of Cups. I smile as I think that reflects what I wanted to ask Foxy to begin with. And, as more cards follow, I see my little issue unravel with its own characters and feelings. Coincidence? Foxy doesn’t believe in them.
The Three of Cups
This card can represent community - the network of support created when we interact with others.
Magic is a powerful word: it has almost 4 million posts on Instagram. Witch has five million posts and has built its own community in the online platform #witchesofinstagram. And even though most of these posts are photos of crystals and pentagrams, they show the widespread appeal of ancient mysticism amplified through the web. “While that’s great, for me there’s always a marked difference between empowerment and spiritual sense and witchcraft and magic”, says Foxy, generally seeing a certain feminist appropriation as a step in the right direction.
“In the first bit of the Noughties certain battles were won and then, all the sudden, social media comes along, connects us all intrinsically in real time and we realise that we still have so much further to go. We are feeling a little bit more disenfranchised because we’re being connected to people, but not just people we want to hear from. We’re being connected to the racists, the misogynists, the homophobes, the white supremacists and realising ‘Shit! They’re all still there!’. Foxy is using technology to amplify his own voice and share with others some of the teachings he has to offer. The first of which is that they are not alone. The second being that they are stronger than they think.