On the evening of Saturday, Feb 13 2010, idly playing with my tarot cards, I become unsettled at the picture that emerged.
In an eight card spread I had the Chariot Reversed in the opening position, the Seven of Swords in the problem position, The Moon card in the ‘external influences position’ and the Ace of Coins Reversed in the outcome position.
It suggested a car problem. Losses, a sneak thief or maybe a database problem affecting the car. I knew I didn’t like it. But I was uncertain about the specifics. I puzzled over the ‘thief’ thoughts prompted by The Moon and Seven of Swords in connection with our car. How to respond?
We were away from home that night, and, feeling time was of the essence I asked Il Matrimonio to go straight down and check on the car. He returned saying everything was fine, adding a few rude remarks about mad cows for good measure.
Cassandras need broad shoulders sometimes. It’s perfectly true Tarot readers and their kind need to keep a tight rein on discipline and common sense if they are not to be carried away by the fairies. But Tarot is learned rather than taught, and risk of error and looking like an idiot is what it takes, in a serious attempt to hone skill. There will always be moments of self-doubt, confusion, discomfort, even downright fear at times.
Sometimes it’s with hindsight that we realise the Tarot did in fact know, and did in fact, try to tell us. We just weren’t able to join the dots in time. This is the occasional doom of all ‘sooth-sayers’ and is what I call a Cassandra Moment.
Cassandra was a seer and princess of Troy. She knew that the wooden horse left behind by the Greeks who had supposedly left and gone home after a ten-year siege was dangerous. She said so, but in their joy and relief that at last it was all over, no-one was ready to listen. The Greeks climbed out of the horse in the night, swords in hand, and her gift wasn’t able to save Troy, or herself either.
Anyway, back to the ‘car thief’. I was not satisfied. I was uneasy. But I just had to say, pending the hard evidence…my intuition on to something, and time will soon tell me what this was about. And in fact I found out the very next day, on returning home, when we discovered an unexplained debit on our credit card.
A car rental company in Pisa had on Friday 12 taken a payment of £42.00 for no reason we had been informed of. So the ‘theft’ had already occurred by the time I saw it on Saturday.
If I had seen it on Thursday, could I have stopped it?
Pisa: Author’s own photograph
Well, no. Having drawn the Ace of Coins Reversed (taking a financial loss) and Justice Reversed (injustice, bad contract) I was not hopeful of redress, and it emerged we had been fined for a parking offence committed last August in Pisa. That’s right. Last August! No wonder it hadn’t occurred to me to look in that direction.
The Tarot had warned me actually. The day before our trip I had drawn The Tower card. This is rarely good news. It can be a disaster card. However, I interpreted the cards appearance as a prefiguring of the Tower of Pisa. So you see how Cassandras may self-deceive.
On the way back to our holiday accommodation from Pisa we had a blow out on the autostrada, an unpleasant experience though no-one was hurt. I was able to warn my husband just before it happened and he went into the slow lane, thank goodness. The Tarot had proved itself with almost immediate effect, and this fining business was now the post script.
Merda! We were not knowingly guilty of an offence. We had stopped to ask for directions to the nearest parking, to be beckoned into a parking bay by a smiling uniformed parking attendant. But the police in Pisa had fined the car rental company for unauthorised parking, and the car rental company had recouped the fine on the credit card without notifying us. We were dismayed that they had retained our card details so long and were besides, furious.
I challenged the fine, and was with great politeness referred to some mind-bogglingly complex, time-bandit bureaucratic municipal maze.
Therefore, be very, very careful if visiting Florence Pisa or Rome by car. This is a worryingly common story.
I did say the Justice card was reversed, didn’t I? One must keep one’s sense of humour. I’ll only add, beware smiling car park attendants in the Comune di Pisa. They might turn out to be a little wooden horse, or a little wooden pony. Or an ass.