I've been reading professionally and non, off and on, for over 35 years, and in that time, I've learned a lot of things I'd like to share with you all. The first of those is what I consider the single most important rule of all when it comes to reading.
If you have learned to read the Lenormand Fox as intelligence and wisdom and cunning, read it that way consistently. It doesn't mean deceit, and it doesn't mean escape (unless it's escape by being intelligent), and it doesn't mean a cheater or disloyalty or anything else. It means intelligence for you, and you should be consistent in reading it that way.
Except! Sometimes, the symbolic can be superseded by the literal. Sometimes, that Fox card means a literal fox, or red hair, or running quickly, or being chased. Even in these cases, your interpretation will be consistent, because those tie directly to the card itself. You're not going to suddenly say "Green!" or "Mongoose!" because the symbol on the card has nothing to do with those.
Your intuition, the question, the context, and many other potential factors will influence which meaning of the Fox you use, but those meanings are all consistent with the symbol on the card. If you remain consistent, then you will quickly build a strong language to communicate with, and your readings will become more accurate.
But Sometimes, I Have an Insight
There is no doubt that some people have insights and intuitions when reading, and a lot of books (and readers and wenbsites and videos and... ) mention the fact. A lot of people feel you should always trust those intuitions over what the cards (or runes or bones or...) are showing you, and go on to give very good reasons why you should do that. I have a thought about that.
So, it's not that you shouldn't trust your insights, visions, and what have you. You absolutely should. But that doesn't mean you should trust them unconditionally. It's really easy to get stuck in your head, in your own interpretation or daydream that has no relationship to reality, or generally just get it all wrong. The cards are tools that keep you grounded in the World so that you don't get lost in a rabbit hole following some interpretation that's way off track.
A decent reader is one who can mediate between the practical and the ethereal, and who can ground their visions in reality and explore all the possibilities of the cards. What that means, in terms of consistency, is that you should take that insight and determine how it is represented in or impacts the situations laid out in the cards in front of you.
Suppose you're reading some Tarot cards for a friend who wants to know about her relationship. You draw the Devil and the 3 of Swords - which are traditionally NOT a good sign for a relationship. But you have a really good feeling nonetheless, your intuition says that good things are happening, so you ignore the cards, and just go with the intuition.
And then later learn that she dumped the controlling bastard and was having heart-broken second thoughts about taking him back. For months, she second guessed her own worth, struggled with depression, and generally had a hell of a time. What gives? Where's that happy intuition you had? Why were you so wrong?
Consistency - Keep to the meanings of the cards, and don't ignore what they say. Figure out how your intuition fits in with what's before you.
Eventually, you might learn that after all those months of agony, your friend emerged from the other side much stronger, confident, and happy. She'd been through the wringer and was forced to find her own self-appreciation. You were right, but by ignoring the cards in favor of your intuition, your description of events left out some significant details, and left your friend without preparation or understanding of what was coming down the line.
What's So Great About Consistency?
The thing here is that your system is a language that describes the world. More specifically, it's a language of just so many words that has to describe the ENTIRE UNIVERSE and everything in it. 78 cards to describe space shuttles and microbes and polyamorous body modifcation experts. Just 24 runes to describe carburetors and acrylic paint and PCOS. And so on - each system has a limited set of "words" unique to itself that have to be enough, somehow, to communicate about everything that can possibly happen.
Now, imagine that same list of words, but feel free to ignore the meanings whenever you want. If you're communicating with someone (The Universe? Spirits? Ancestors? Who knows?), won't it be ridiculously more difficult if you don't use those words consistently?
You're talking to someone about their friend in a relationship, and they use the word that means "tied up". If you just decide on a whim, or because a thought popped into your head, or because you don't like difficult situations, or a little birdy told you it actually means "Happy Times!" - you're not communicating.
Consistency means those words will have the same meanings - or cloud of meanings - every time you use them. Even if you're not communicating with someone else, and it's just you and yourself, you should still be clear and consistent. You can't describe a light switch if you can't even use the words consistently - no one, including your own self, can trust that those words mean what they originally thought.
So what do you do?
Take those insights and visions and gut feelings, and figure out where they fit among the cards or runes or stars before you. Maybe they describe the particular face of a card or combination - your intuition that the job will work out is reflected in the Mice, who will eat away the problems slowly over time, a different picture than the usual understanding of the Mice in Lenormand, but it is still very appropriate - consistent, even - to the vision you had.
It's important to recognize too that sometimes, those visions might not be for the person you're reading for, or apply to an entirely different situation, or are details about a more important question that hasn't been asked. Be honest with your client and yourself, as you may be able to sort out what other information is coming through, and do it without setting aside the reading in the cards.
Sometimes the intuition you have will fall in between the cards. You've pulled your past, present, and future cards from this oracle deck, and you're ready to start explaining why things are going south with your aunt. You have a sudden vision of whispers and gossips, but the cards only show change, isolation, and joy at the end.
It seems likely that the change has been caused by those gossips, don't you think? That whispering campaign resulted in the isolation and the issues you've been having, but clearly, you'll get past it and back to the joyful relationship you used to have. Here, you had more insight into the start of things, which wasn't in the cards, but doesn't ignore or contradict them.
Suppose you've decided you want to create your own divination system. There are plenty of websites that talk about it, but they're generally in very haphazard terms: just collect some symbols, and voila!
If it wasn't obvious, I'm not a big fan of that methodology, because it leads to the kinds of oracles out there that can't actually address most of the issues people have questions about. It's all well and good to consult the Angel deck for angel-related issues, but when you need to know if you should accept job offer A or job offer B, the vague responses those decks tend; whether you will read every question or not is a different issue, and the deck should be able to answer health/death/legal questions even if you don't read them.
There are two main approaches to a system, which I call Word and Story:
In the Word approach, the system uses precise components which are combined to create more details. These systems tend to be very practically oriented with down to earth and concrete descriptions. Examples would be the Lenormand or Numerology.
In the Story approach, you see each token having a complex array of meanings. How each story connects to the others is where the interpretation is made. They tend towards very psychological interpretations, and tend to go into the motivations of the people in a situation. The classic example is the Tarot, modern Astrology, and most of the modern oracles.
Both approaches have their pros and cons, but I find that people tend to lean one way or the other. Myself, I tend more towards the Word approach, but it's a spectrum and there are moments where the Story method is really helpful.
Part 1: Meanings
With either of those approaches, and with the idea that a system should be able to answer any question, I find that working through lists of meanings is a really good way to make sure you have accounted for everything (within reason).
How do you do that? Go to your favorite websites, books, blogs, podcasts, etc. and just start writing down all the meanings you can find. I made a list and add to it occasionally - it now has over 12,000 meanings. That's more than I need, but handy to have nonetheless.
You're looking for a list that has meanings from across all possibilities. Positive and negative and neutral, all the possible relationships and work situations and health and so on. You want a list that will help you spot gaps in your list of tokens. I've done you a favor, and there's a text file below, with over 11000 random meanings for you to play with. I am pretty obsessive and stubborn, but even I gave up after approximately 2000 meanings sorted into tokens.
If you'd like to build your own though, I recommend looking for meaning lists from Tarot and Lenormand websites, especially for sites that list meanings for combinations. I've added plenty of my own, just be describing the situations and people in movies and TV shows I was watching as well, just sort of absent-mindedly, casually adding as I feel inspired.
Part 2: The List
Next up, start breaking those meanings down into tokens, and start grouping them. What that means is that you take a meaning from your list, and then decide how it would be represented in your system. For example, if the meaning is "a cheating lover", then you might want a token for deceit and one for a lover or relationship.
These tokens will be the start of your system, corresponding to the components you work with. We start with the Word approach because it's easier to sort, and can then add or expand into a Story approach if needed. As an example, in Astrology, those deceit and relationship tokens might be Neptune and Venus, with other keywords in there as well, of course.
Don't worry at this point about grouping them all together. Just create as many tokens as you need to build up every meaning. I ultimately ended up with about 200 that did the job for everything I came across. After I hadn't added a new token in a long time, I figured I was basically done. For me, that was about 2000 meanings, but I bet most people aren't as stubborn as I am.
One thing to be conscious of throughout this process is that some meanings won't easily fit into a meaning-focused token. I call these literals, where you need the meaning to be literally and not symbolically present. Colors, specific places in the world, and so on - these are all candidates for literals. A good example would be "French cuisine" - you might have a token for food, resources, survival, health, or the like, but you probably shouldn't have a token for "French".
Instead, that would be a good candidate for a literal, some characteristic of the card or bone or whatever that implies French. An example might be my Oracula card meaning order and civilization - the image is the long carefully tended rows of lavender on a French farm. It represents order, but literally, it can mean the lavender plant, purple, or France. The card for Spirits is a photo of incense from an Asian temple - you can imagine the literals there. In the Lenormand, an example is using the Snake for wires and pipes.
What I do is make notes for those meanings that need to be literals. It's also useful to think of them as correspondences to include in the details of the token. At any rate, as you explore and elaborate and learn about the tokens, you may change your mind about whether they're truly literals or not. They may need to be actual meanings for the token. At the end, you will be able to look at them and figure out categories to make sure to include and assign - you've got a list of 6 colors you need to include somewhere, so it's a good bet that colors in general should be associated with every token.
Part 3: Testing
Lastly, test the bejeebus out of that list of tokens! Figure out which tokens would explain each stage of the plot in your favorite novel / TV show. Which tokens describe the characters? How about describing your car and its history? Today's headlines? Your friends' relationships?
You may find other tokens are needed. Or that some of the tokens you've already listed are confusing, and should be merged, or differentiated differently. The more testing you do, the more finely tuned your list of tokens will be.
What tokens did you come up with? Where there any that you needed that you are surprised by? How about once that confuse you or seem off a little?
This is the Oracula Deck - one version of it anyway. It's the system I created to go with my book on creating your own divination system. I've actually been using it for quite a while, and which symbols are used for which token* have changed several times. I'm working on something more appropriately royalty free (this deck samples and modifies photos from all over the interwebz), which will eventually be available for sale. I thought I'd share a photo though, just to inspire. More inspiriing me to keep on it, but if you enjoy too, great!
This is a Table - all the cards in a spread for reading multiple questions or complex situations in one go. It's essentially a snapshot of someone's life, and Lenormand readers will know it as a Grand Tableau.
* The Symbol is the image, the Token is the meaning and/or the physical manifestation. So the token is a card and also "Work" and associated meanings, and the symbol is the Bee.
I know, few (VERY few) and far between. I started a subreddit, though, and that's managed to get me writing again, so expect at least a weekly post. I've got a good 5 months of content at least, if I only post weekly. I might even manage to finish my Spirit Communication course!
Cartomancy is card reading, whether those cards are Tarot cards, playing cards, Lenormand, Kipper, oracle, or something else entirely. Techniques abound - Tarot has its plethora of spreads together with storytelling techniques to link cards together. Lenormand and other traditional / folk systems have combinations, mirroring, knighting, and the like. These folk systems also use something called a tableau.
A tableau is essentially laying out all the cards in the deck in particular patterns, and reading it as a capture of a moment in a life. You can use a tableau to read anything, including multiple questions in a row without a need for additional spread or cards to be laid out. It can really useful in a face-to-face reading, as you can look and address questions as they come up. It's also great for remote readings, because you don't have to keep shuffling.
Of course, the tableau does come with a few downside. For one, it take a lot of time and space to lay down the whole deck, though I feel the time saved in multiple shuffles counters that a bit. It definitely needs to be indoors (or you need to have lots of rocks on hand) because it's one thing to chase down the Clover when the wind catches it, and another entirely to chase down the whole deck. By far and away though, the most difficult part of the tableau is how daunting it is. So many points of meaning are exposed, it's hard to know where to start reading.
Another post will address the basics of a tableau reading (and a few tweaks) but for now, I want to introduce you to a technique that may make that daunting tableau a bit easier to approach, and give you some skills that will make the process easier. Specifically, I want to introduce you to framing.
When you look at a tableau, it's essentially a big rectangle or regularly placed cards. Pick any two cards, and they define the two opposite corners of a square within that rectangle, as you can see from the rectangle in the table below, defined by the Crossroads and the Mountain. That square is the Frame. When you use a 3x3 or 9-card spread in Lenormand, that's a Frame too. The difference is in a tablau, you can look at LOTS of different frames, depending on what you're investigating. The frame is given to you in that 9-card layout, and if you have another question, you'll have to shuffle and lay out 9 new cards.
Hopefully, that gives you some ideas about how to read a Frame, if you've used that 9-card layout before. They're not TOO different. Still, you can get many more details from the tableau frame, so let's discuss!
The Other Corners
Your frame is defined by two cards. Generally, those cards are two cards that, when combined, describe the kind of information you're looking for. For the Crossroads / Mountain frame above, we might be looking for information about why all the client's choices seem blocked. If they're looking for information about whether their spouse is cheating, you can look to the frame defined by the Heart (or Rings or the Gentleman or...) and the Snake (or the Fox or... there are lots of traditions about which cards mean what in the Lenormand). Want to know if the contract will be in your favor? Frame with the Ring and Bouquet, maybe.
So you have the frame. What next? Well, start by looking at the other corners. In the 9-card layout, the diagonal corners are often considered the context of the situation, and that's the same here; the other corners provide a basic answer. In the context of X and Y, you are dealing with context A & B.
If you look at the 6x6 tableau above, you can see that if you look at the Crossroad / Mountain frame (the Green box), the other corners are the House and the Whip. There are many ways to read that, of course, but I might say that it's a standard, repeated event (Whip) at home.
The Frame Sides
If you're looking at the cheating spouse, look at the Snake / Heart frame (the red box). It's other corners are the Bouquet and the Anchor. It looks to me like yes,there's cheating, and its been going on for a long time - the Whip is often means sex, and it's between the Heart and the Anchor, the Lillies have been used for sex too, and they're between the Bouquet and the Snake. Actually, this is part of the technique - the cards between the corners define how the factors in the corners relate. Depending on context, the cards between the Heart and the Bouquet could be read a lot of ways, to describe how the relationship relates to the pleasure side of things. The Clouds, Stars, and Moon are all celestial events, so that says to me that it's been on the spouse's mind for a long time (Cloud), a lot of fantasies (Stars + Moon) have developed. You can look at the other parts of the framne from there.
The cards in the middle of the frame, if there are any, explain more details about what's going on within the situation, especially the ones that are being missed, as they're in the part where traditionally, you'd have glass to look through. There aren't always cards here (green box doesn't have any), but when there are, you can approach them as another spread and read for more details. In the context of our cheating spouse, we're looking at the Sun, the Birds, and the Mountain. Something's been blocked (the Mountain, of course), and that's what started the venture (Sun) out into cheating (Sun and Birds as chatting people up successfully)).
All Together Now
So let's look into whether that contract will be beneficial to our "querent". This is the blue box, framed by the Ring and the Bouquet. The other corners are the Clouds and the Garden - something is unclear about the social consequences of the contract. In the frames, we see a lot. There's a lot of deceit (Snake + Fox) by an older person, the contract's sitting in a box (Letter + Coffin). Stars and the moon indicate that hope is clouding clear vision of the benefits (Stars as hope and clear vision, Moon as fantasies about what's actually happening). The Rider between the House and the Mountain says there's not a lot of motion going to happen - Rider cant get past the mountain, so he's just sitting at home. All of that together says to me that it's a scam playing on your hopes.
In the middle, the pane of the frame, we have Sun - Gentleman - Tree and Birds - Book - Ship, To me, I'm seeing that this is definitely an international scam that's being communicated to lots of people (i.e. same contract is promised to lots of folks). It seems like it's about an inheritance especially since Tree is next to the Coffin.
The end result is that nothing will ever come of it, and the querent will just be string along by the sercretive gentleman at the center.
I've found it incredibly useful in so many readings, streamlining my ability to answer questions. With the careful application of the Frame technqiue, I've been able to handle the most difficult questions with ease, just by breaking it down into multiple frames for different aspects.
Let me know in the comments if this helped you, or if you have any questions.
A student asked me for some kind of daily, positive personal practices, personal on up. There are so many things you could say, so many things one should / could do - just look at all the approaches humanity has taken over the millennia! There are the obvious ones, like offerings and sacrifices, incense, prayer, hymns, festivals, and so on and so on. There are a few culture-specific ones, like pulling thorn-studded strings through your tongue in Mesoamerica (a kind of sacrifice), or some of the more ascetic practices in India (like holding one arm up for your whole life). Lots to consider.
That's too much though. It's hard to practice them all when you're starting out, overwhelming even. The books say do this and that, the other blogs enthuse about the 67 rituals they did just last week, you feel obligated to do all the things every day, and it's making you broke and stressed and not so interested in any kind of daily practice. It's enough to give you a complex.
So I'm going to suggest just a few small things that are easy to inject into our busy lives to make all that spiritual work WAY less daunting. As you become closer to your spirits, you'll figure out what else you need to do. If not, They'll make it abundantly clear what they expect!
Morning and evening prayers take many forms, and have a rich history in every religion. Catholic monks and their Hours, Muslim prayers towards Mecca, and even the Greeks singing hymns to the Olympians. Doing something grand and eloquent is awesome, of course, but you know what's more important? Actually doing it. And all that takes is a simple heart felt "Thank you" to... whomever... as you swing your feet out of bed and onto the ground.
And while you're at it, let those feet touching ground be a moment to center and ground. Just breathe deep, remember your Self and your own power, and prepare for the day. If you say "Thank you" as above, follow it up with some statement of identity to being yourself fully into connection with who you are. Something simple, like "I am whole", is more than enough.
This is tongue in cheek, of course, because I assume you're a generally clean and hygenic person like everyone else. The idea here is to high-jack that time and make a point of cleansing. It doesn't need to be complicated. get your lavender-scented shampoo and literally wash away whatever is hanging around and shouldn't. Or use the sandalwood soap you like. Scent is powerful, so pick one that says "clean" to you, and recognize the power it has. I'm partial to Irish Spring myself.
4) That Mouth
The rest are mostly obvious, I think, because they're recommended by every tradition I can think of, in one way or another. This one is a bit different and less common. So, when yuo go to brush your teeth, use that as a moment to focus on what you need for the day. I usually think "may I speak truth" when brushing my teeth. Starting with what you say is important, because words are magic (there's a reason it called enchanting). This might also be a good time to address those other senses (or in the shower): wash your hands ("may I act with truth"), and your eyes ("may I see truth"), and so on.
5) Make Breakfast
Not just your own, of course, but for the Spirits (non-bodied) and People (that have bodes) and Ancestors (that once had bodies) around you. A lot of people freak out about this stuff, and agonize over just the right drink, or that dish specifically. That works for bigger observances, but as a daily offering, it doesn't need to be so big. And it's better if you do it daily, in a way I cannot emphasize enough. All you need to do - set out a glass of fresh water. Do that, daily. Just that - super simple. Maybe say another "thank you" or "for you" or whatever speaks to you aesthetically. Don't skip it.
There you go. 5 things you're already doing, turned into spiritual practices that will improve your spirit relationships, your magic, and even your own self, simply and without a lot of hand waving and chantiong and magicking. Now, if you have the time and inclination, any of these can be made more complex, with candles and oils and sprays and poetry and so on. And that's nice - but don't forget the simple power of a word like "Thanks" or taking a moment to just breathe deep.
There's not really a good reason to go into all the things that everyone, their dog, every one of their cousins, and multiple governmental agencies are telling you to do right now for safety, health, and so on. There is, however, a dearth of people giving suggestions from a spiritual or magical point of view about what to do with all this time many people have come up against. Plenty of jokes about switching from day pajamas to night pajamas, not so much on how to best utilize the time you (may) have available to you. There are obvious things to do (exercise, work from home, cleaning, games with the family, etc.), but here are some suggestions from the spiritual / magical direction. Figure out what works for you, and make a little progress if you can.
First off, I know that I've been absolutely lax in updating posts. I hope to do better in the future, but... we'll see how well I do. That said... on to the post...
There's a common understanding in the metaphysical and spiritual communities that we are all, ultimately, One, and that we are not separate from one another. All of this distinction is an illusion. I don't buy it.
Mystical experiences aside for now, this simply does not match up with what we see in reality. Look at anything and what you see is not a single Oneness. My spleen is not the same as my heart, but they are both part of my body, and anything affecting the heart will affect my spleen, and vice versa. Everything is connected, and part of a greater whole, but that doesn't mean they are one or the same thing.
The same applies in nature. The wolf and the deer are not the same, they are distinct entities, but they are connected in multiple ways, and both part of a greater whole (the forest ecosystem, among other possibilities). The slug and the tomato, the water and the wind, the chair and the desk - all of these are distinct, but part of a greater whole in multiple ways (the garden, the sea, the office).
If we look at these examples as signs of how reality works, then there is no sense is which we are all One. We are all parts of a Whole, but we are not One, in any way. I am not You, and that's a good thing. The diversity of Nature is vitally important to ongoing success. All the various parts in your body, doing different things for different reasons, all at the same time - this is how we are healthy and living. Even similar or identical kinds of entities are not the same - THIS white blood cell is hunting down pathogenic bacteria in the big toe, and THAT white blood cell is currently digesting a different pathogen somewhere in lymph nodes in the neck. They are different and separate, and that's vitally important to the success of the Whole.
Separate does not mean disconnected though. Nor does it mean not important. We are not a Unity, but we are a Wholity, with all our parts having important roles to play in the overall success of "Me" or "You". And as individuals, you and I are also parts of another greater whole, which the same kinds of connections and impacts. Every action I take will influence all of the other parts of my whole in some way, positive or negative. If I go out and do "good", this will affect the way that Men / Humans / <insert your own favorite group/whole here> will be perceived. And the "bad" acts will do exactly the same in the opposite direction. The consequences of my acts affect everyone.
These consequences ripple through the whole not because we are the same, but because we are not the same. The Whole is not a diamond, but a complex mixture more like jello, allowing movement and transformation all throughout. The movement and ripples will affect each of us differently, because we are distinct and our connections are varied.
Next time someone tells you we're all One, go look out the window, and see for yourself if that really holds up.
(ORE-thow-SKEE-sis), the state of establishing or maintaining a healthy relationship. From Gk. ορθός orthos correct, right + σχέση skhesis relationship, association, contact.
(ORE-thow-SKEE-zick) Of or pertaining to the establishing or maintaining a healthy form of relationship.
Orthodox and Orthoprax
It's well understood that many religions have orthodox forms; Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Baha'i are all religions where orthodoxy can be distinctive. Orthodoxy, from the Greek for "right belief", demands adherence to certain articles of faith as a necessary part of how the individual participates in the religion. If one does not accept and believe that Jesus is the literal Son of God, for example, one cannot participate in some forms of Christianity, and may be excommunicated. It's more important that action - that belief is more significant in terms of the ultimate goals of the faith than being a good person. A good atheist will go to hell, they say, while a bad believer will still go to heaven.
Other faiths take a more orthoprax approach, very common in modern paganism, folk religion, and other religious traditions derived from ancient faiths. Contrary to the focus on belief, orthopraxy focuses on the correct action. Usually, this is specifically correct performance of various rituals, but it can apply to a focus on correct action, as seen in some forms of Buddhism and Taoism.
Generally, every faith can be described in terms of one of these categories, depending on where the focus of the faith lies. Those that place emphasis on belief, ideology, and faith are orthodox, in a general sense, and those that focus on behaviors, practice, and ritual are orthoprax.
The Way of Spirits, however, is neither. Both ideology and practice take a back seat to the relationship, which means that it cannot be orthodox or orthoprax. Certainly there are important understandings of the world and practices to follow, but the relationship with the People is always the priority.
Since orthodoxy and othopraxy don't define the Way, another term had to be created: orthoskhesis. Orthoskesis is the idea that the most significant feature of a religious path is establishing and maintaining healthy relationships. There are certain forms of Christianity can be considered orthoskhesic, what with their focus on establishing a relationship with Jesus and/or God. The same applies to some forms of paganism, where the focus is not on observance of rituals, but on how one relates to the Gods.
Arguably the largest confusion about orthoskhesis concerns the nature of who defines what counts as "correct" when it comes to describing the relationship. Orthodoxy and orthopraxy both generally appeal to an outside source of some kind - orthodoxy often defers to some sacred text, such as the Bible, while orthopraxy frequently follows the guidance of "tradition" or historic precedent. Reconstructionist Paganism, for example, is highly (and contentiously) orthoprax.
Orthoskhesis generally does not appeal to an outside source of any kind - the definition of a healthy relationship depends on the People involved, not on the judgements of anyone outside the relationship. To some people, gay relationships are inherently unhealthy, for example, but to the individuals actually involved, this is far from true. What individuals outside the relationship define as a correct relationship is not relevant to the focus of the spirituality.
It is certainly possible for the People involved to be be misguided, codependent, or otherwise unhealthy and not recognize it, and it is important to listen to and consider carefully others' concerns about a relationship (particularly in abusive and codependent varieties). Some relationships can seem extremely unhealthy from the outside, but still be healthy and correct for those involved. Dominant/submissive relationships, for example, can be extremely healthy, particularly because these relationships often come with intense self-reflection and communication. Ultimately, the important distinction is not on whether the relationship is healthy or not, and what that is, but that a healthy relationship is the goal.
When talking about orthodoxy, there is no goal of belief - one either does or does not believe. In orthopraxy, there is a bit more leeway, but there is still a benchmark for what qualifies as right behavior, even if that benchmark may be somewhat vague (the Wu Wei of Taoism, for example, is not entirely explicit, and cannot be). But there is no definition of what qualifies as a correct relationship with a non-physical entity, and even if there were, it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to know if the relationship met those requirements.
In the end, no one can say but those in the relationship, and that's that.