Angels on our shoulders

Some call the Tarot The Devil’s Picture book, but what about the Tarot’s Angels? Depending on the imagery of the deck, we might see the angel of Judgement. We might see the angel of Temperance. In some decks the Christian figure of The Devil will be represented instead by the wild god, Pan.

Judgement Gilded Tarot

Judgement from The Gilded Tarot, permission of Ciro Marchetti

I do not see my card and rune activities as spiritual in nature or intention. I think that I am communing with an ancient part of myself, and that this part of myself is also communing with the ancientness of the other person, when I am reading for another.

Not spiritual. It’s just about the Mind, Perhaps this is splitting hairs. What does it matter? It is simply a question of language. Well, the thing is, language may attract or repel. I generally prefer to eschew religious or spiritual language, that’s all, but neither would I ever say I was an atheist. I don’t find it helpful or meaningful to take up any fixed positions on the imponderables of life, while meaning, value, usefulness, and beauty is wherever and however you find it.

But to do a reading, I must prepare  myself to read, to put myself into that place where I even dare to read for a complete stranger.

Daring is needed.

I could be asked about anything at all. I do mean anything. I am often asked about relationships, of course, romantic relationships, family relationships, work relationships. I am asked a lot of ‘if’ and ‘when’ questions. When will I move job? When will I move house? Who will I meet and when and will it work out? I’m also asked a lot of business questions, by business owners, and the stakes have often been very high indeed.

Sometimes I am asked truly oracular questions. Once I was asked ‘where is my brother? How is he?’ And was then told the brother had died, and that he killed himself, but,  where was he, and how was he? And the Tarot offered me such an story to share in answer to this question, it was fit to make anybody’s hair stand on end, but in such a  way, that if the Tarot is the  Devil’s picture book, then he’s a whole lot kinder than we give him credit for, and he’s overdue a reassessment.

I described where he was now, a small boy again, lost in that moment, happily splashing in a puddle. The Tarot told me he didn’t remember his death or what drove him to it, not a thing, but it looked to me as if he was coming back again very soon and might even land again close by. Then I received a message the following week, very happy and excited, a bit tearful, to the effect that the client’s sister had just found out she was expecting a baby, and maybe…what if….

What if indeed. Maybe this was a reincarnation. Maybe it was something else I picked up along the way while investigating the stated question. It was and is, beyond me to issue any definitive proposition as to which, but it wasn’t me. Not the everyday me. It came via The Sun card. Meanings: the sun, birth, childhood, happiness, innocence, animals, healing.

sun card

The Sun card from The Golden Tarot, by Kat Black

I cannot prepare for a reading. I can only prepare to try and respond. I tidy the bathroom, I fill the kettle, I prepare the room, the reading table, and I try to settle my mind, and to get ready to point into whatever wind I’m about to feel on my face, so as not to let in doubt.

Readings work on flow. I need to make myself as inconsequential as possible, and take myself out of the equation, so, spiritually or non- spiritually, I don’t worry which, kicking the whole thing ‘upstairs’, and saying to myself while getting ready,

“Great angels of the elements, please help me to help (person’s name)

Uriel, great angel of the North

Gabriel, great angel of the West

Michael, great angel of the South

Raphael, great angel of the East.

Earth and Water, Fire and Air

Please help me to see what most needs to be seen

Please help me to say what most needs to be said

For the highest good and harming none

Amen”

 

Uriel represents the north and the element of Earth, and Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn

Gabriel represents the west and the element of Water, and Pisces, Cancer and Scorpio

Michael represents the south and the element of Fire, and Aries, Leo and Sagittarius

Raphael represents the east and the element of Air, and Aquarius, Gemini andLibra

The Tarot, whatever else one thinks it is or isn’t, is a cultural, artistic artefact, and so are angels as depicted in art and literature through the ages.

Uriel, ‘Flame of God,’ angel of earth and the north is the colours of red, gold and amber. Uriel, angel of self-trust, and therefore, wisdom of decision-making, “stands at the Gate of Eden (Nature) with a fiery sword” as pitiless as any demon, just as nature is ‘red in tooth and claw,’ and presides over the gates of Tartarus, battling the very baddest of all things bad, though probably some get out again anyway. Ooh-er. He needs to be tough, but Uriel is also the archangel of salvation, and opens the gates of Life to let the dead pass safely out and onward, no waylaying by ‘nasties’, working alongside the archangel Michael on this job. Uriel is also a culture vulture, depicted as the angel of poetry and patron of the arts, often shown carrying a book or a papyrus scroll representing wisdom. His Tarot card is the Ace of Pentacles/Coins/Earth.

‘Pennies from heaven.’

urielThe Ace of Pentacles, The Gilded Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

Uriel, Wikipedia and The Ace of Pentacles from The Gilded Tarot, permission of Ciro Marchetti

Gabriel, ‘Strength of God,’ angel of water and the west is the colours of white and silver, and is one of the two archangels specifically named in the Bible in both the Old and New Testament, the other being Michael. S/he is God’s messenger, often portrayed as female, she may be holding a trumpet and is the patron of communications, helping writers, teachers, journalists and artists to convey their message, to find motivation and confidence, and to market their skills. S/he helps in overcoming fear and procrastination in all difficult communication, and in areas related to children, during conception, pregnancy, childbirth and child rearing.

‘The Chalice.’

Gabriel Hubert_van_Eyck_010.jpgace cups gilded

Gabriel by Van Eyck: The Ace of Cups, The Gilded Tarot, permission of Ciro Marchetti

Michael, ‘Who is like the Lord,’ angel of fire and the south  is all colours of blue.This might seem out of keeping, but his fire is blue lightning, and his angelic legions wore armour of blue lightning, both in fighting fallen angels, and cutting free trapped human souls who hadn’t managed to rise upon death, and were vulnerable to attack, drifting loose in the ether, stuck by their own weight in Purgatory. Michael figured as the greatest and most revered of angels in many scriptures and spiritual traditions. In Muslim lore, he is the angel of nature who provides both food and knowledge to man. Michael is the protector of police officers, patron of police departments and law enforcement agencies around the world.

‘The Divine Spark’

Coventry_Cathedral_-_Epstein's_sculpture_of_St.Michael_and_Lucifer.jpglegacy of divine tarot ace of wands

Wikimedia: Epstein’s Michael and Satan, Coventry Cathedral and The Ace of Wands, Legacy of the Divine Tarot, permission of Ciro Marchetti

 

Raphael, ‘Healing of God,’ archangel of air and of the east is all colours of green. Archangel Raphael is the angel of truth, wholeness, healing, body, mind and spirit. Raphael is the rain-man, responsible for precipitation, medicine, also science, mathematics- and music. Many hospitals are named after Raphael in Latin speaking countries today. Pray for help then watch out for clues, ideas and inspiration. Raphael will not intervene to prevent a timely death,’ his war is against prolonged suffering of pain. Raphael is very curious, fascinated by humanity’s innovations, rather like Odin in Norse lore, and like Odin, likes to mingle with Man, travelling earthbound in disguise. He is reputedly the most approachable of the archangels, and is the angel to apply to for protection during travel.

‘The Sword of Truth’

250px-Saint_Raphaelace swords legacy

Source: Wikimedia Commons: Raphael, and the Ace of Swords, The Legacy of The Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

 

Until next time 🙂

 

The Three of Spades and the Psychic Burp.

There are many weightier matters I find myself investigating with cartomancy; the use of ordinary playing cards for divination, using these instead of, or alongside my tarot cards.

I may find myself investigating business questions, will this merger go ahead, and when? etc etc I could be surveilling what seems likely to happen next vis a vis Brexit etc.

I do look of course. Wouldn’t you? I occasional post readings on public matters, but heck, Life is also made of little things, and who needs pointless hate from total strangers on social meejia in this overheated alt-climate.

I don’t see Yellowstone blowing any time soon, or World War V, and they’re rather weighty matters.

We have recently been on our travels, an undertaking by car and ferry, and for me, by wheelchair, touring in France: The D day beaches, Pornic in Brittany, Rocamadour in Lot in the Dordogne, a night in Nantes and north again for a final night in beautiful Bayeaux before catching the ferry home again next day – a 5 hour crossing to Portsmouth.

Rocamadour is spectacular in the extreme. We stayed in a small hotel, Les Esclargies– at the top of the great cliff above the famous sanctuary with the old main street below it. You can go down in a funicular.

The hotel is in an oak clearing or glade and after a stormy 6 hour drive from Pornic, we arrived after heavy rain to see a red squirrel robbing a hanging bird feeder. We  had a downstairs room with a good sized bathroom and wet room. We stayed a few days and late one afternoon, I sat outside with my cards while inside with the patio door open, Il Matrimonio snoozed.

Simply heavenly.

Les Esclargies, Rocamadour 2017.jpg

I shuffled my playing cards asking, what is Il Matrimonio doing right now?

Why would I bother to ask when I already knew the answer?

That is precisely the reason for doing it. To see if I draw the cards I expect to draw when I already know the answer, and to see if those cards are an accurate or meaningful reflection of those facts already known, harnessing that benefit of hindsight in order to challenge my accuracy rates in randomly drawing a relevant card.

I expected to draw the Four of Spades in its most benign aspects.

4 spades images

Traditional Meanings: Bed, rest, illness, recuperation, the need for caution, the sick bed, hospital room, coffin, a jail cell, rest, confinement, exhaustion, need to take it easy, move at a slower pace, bed-ridden, feeling fenced in, staying at home, an unhealthy situation, feeling trapped, feeling sick and tired.

Gentle snorting noises proceeded to issue from the open door behind me.

But no…I didn’t draw the Four. I drew the Three of Spades.

3 Spades

Traditionally: loss and deception, lies, misunderstanding, confusion, a growing problem, a worsening condition, deterioration, disease, infection, third-party interference, a third wheel, meddling,  a love triangle, what goes on behind the scenes, trials and tribulations, a test, an exam.

I associate it with the Tarot’s Three of Swords; heartache, separation, quarrels, mourning and sometimes literally, cardiac or respiratory symptoms.

3 Swords

Il Matrimonio is somewhat prone to indigestion. I found that if he avoids gluten, he doesn’t seem to get it, but travelling, on holiday, avoiding gluten was not such a practical proposition for him, and besides, the croissants and pastries at breakfast were rather too delish.

Uh oh, I thought, contemplating the Three of Swords, what’s this? I hope everyone’s all right at home, and as for him, I wonder if he’s got a bit of heartburn.

And no sooner had I articulated this thought, there came a burp from inside and Il Matrimonio sat up muttering something about wanting the bicarb.

I think that counts as validation.

So, to add to the vocabulary of the Three of Swords, let us add, indigestion, heartburn, bicarbonate…and burps.

Here’s a kicker though.

Here’s the sting in this tale.

Something strange happened our last night there, a Friday night or Saturday small hours. I had the distinct and quite startling impression that someone pulled twice, quite sharply at my bed covers, trying to drag away the small cushion supporting my knees (pain management of rheumatoid disease)

I mentioned it immediately. We had only just switched the lights out when I felt the first sharp tug, but Il Matrimonio hadn’t noticed anything odd, not the first time nor the second time, but a bad night followed, for the first part of the night. Frightening dreams involving being pushed in a bed, a malevolent coven and the fear of imminent death.

I have had such experiences before, not often, and at the time they have made no sense, – one might as well have put it down to booze or something, although I do not drink or use substances likely to tamper with my view of reality. But days later, and on one occasion, eighteen months later, these dreams or whatever they were revealed themselves to have been a foreshadowing. I once dreamed of an earthquake at the end of my road, I was trying to jump a widening crack in the pavement, and a week later to the day, and after an odd, jittery day,  the real one arrived at one in the morning. An actual earthquake…in Lytham St Anne’s in the small hours, and it made the national papers  

The epicentre was in Market Rasen in Lancashire, and it was teeny, but the experience when it actually happened, was eerie as hell. I don’t want even to imagine the terror of a big one.

I reckon we can sense these things in the same way that birds and animals are known to do…given sufficient absence of distraction.

And the Three of Spades, like the Tarot’s Three of Swords, can mean mourning.

We returned to shortly receive news of a death, a phone call and it was an uncle of Il Matrimonio’s. This was a quiet death in hospital after a short illness and at the age of 82. It happened on the Friday following our last night in Rocamadour and apparently, some tube got pulled out of his uncle’s arm as he lay in his hospital bed, with fatal results although perhaps it would not have made any difference either way.

Poor Il Matrimonio nurses kind memories of his uncle … tears were shed.

Until next time 🙂

Tarot tells of Ghostly Whispers…

It can be confusing for potential customers to know what a psychic reader actually does. Often a caller has not looked at your website, and I may find myself explaining that I do not work as a medium. No, I tell them. I do not ‘get the other side.’ And I don’t. I really don’t, but I have experienced things, some rather odd, that mean I don’t like to send people away entirely empty-handed either if I can refer them or help in some other way.

One night not long ago I was rung by a lady wanting a medium, ideally to come to her house 20 miles from where I live. I  explained that I was not a medium, and she said she needed help desperately, because something was going on in the house, terrifying her, her partner and the children. Someone – a woman- a ghost?-  had spoken to one of the children. Now, at 8 in the evening, they were all huddled in the sitting room, scared even to go to the toilet.

This wouldn’t do. And yes, fear is contagious but pooh-poohing would absolutely not do. I said I’d make enquiries but meantime stated emphatically that there was absolutely no danger. The whispering lady may have been a dream, but whatever it was, she meant no harm. She had said only loving things, hadn’t she, to the child?  For now, I suggested the lady put a comedy film on the telly, switch all the lights on, make a noise and dominate the house. Assert her claim to the space right now, going straight to the kitchen to make hot drinks for everyone.

A few quick cards did include the Death card reversed, indicating there may indeed have been something ghostly either in the house OR in the memory of someone in the family. But what is a ghost anyway? A sentient being, knowing exactly what it is doing, or the manifestation, seemingly external, of a memory with great power and atmosphere attached?

If the children saw that she wasn’t frightened, perhaps they’d take their cue from her, and then maybe the strange manifestations would also calm down. I felt there was stress in the house and one of the children in particular was highly sensitive to atmosphere, but sensed this was some kind of stress related psychic family event rather than a haunted house situation.

Later I called back with the name of a reputable medium able to make house visits.The medium and I have spoken subsequently and I was glad to connect professionally with such a nice,  capable, cheerful sounding sensible person for potential future referral. The medium told me that in her opinion, the house was not of itself haunted, but the lady had worries and had suffered losses I won’t mention here. The whispering ghost was, according to the medium, the children’s grandmother.

However unwelcome this manifestation, her whispered words to the frightened child suggested her care and love live on, at least in the memory of a close by living person not aware of the power of their own mind ….

6-swordsg

 

A Styxian Journey: The Six of swords from The Gilded Tarot by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti

 

On another long ago occasion someone asked me, ‘has my father gone to heaven yet?’

The funeral had been held the previous day. This was a loaded question, even though I hold no religious belief, nor a brief for or against heaven. What does it mean, ‘heaven’? What does ‘yet’ mean? I could just have said yes, and that would have been the easy thing but contrary to what ‘skeptics’ might expect, a sincere reader will not ‘diss’ his or her oracle by making up answers. People do NOT pay just to hear my personal opinions. Access to oracular Tarot is what they have come for and that is what they get.

Tarot drew the Three of Swords and Queen of Swords Reversed. These indicated that her father had been at loggerheads with his wife for a long time, which the client confirmed. Here then, I concluded, I was reading the dead, not as a medium, but through the telepathy of the living person who had known him. That’s what Tarot does, operates via telepathy – in this case, via my telepathy with the living person sitting with me whereby I intuitively accessed her own understanding of the person who had passed on.

The indications to me were that he had been terribly frightened at the imminence of death but the moment, when it came, was so easy, he hadn’t fully cottoned on yet that it had actually happened. He only knew that he felt better but strange and different. I felt quite sure he was still in the ‘valley’, but he wasn’t frightened and he was doing all right. He was getting there, wherever or however it is we go.

She could talk to him, I suggested. He might still be in hearing range. Tell him out loud what had happened and tell him he was fine, and so was everyone else at home. (His wife too. Loggerheads or not, there was still warmth of feeling there.) This idea did not seem to disturb my visitor. She smiled and said she would probably do that; it seemed quite in character for him to take a while to make up his mind to go.

Death is as individual as it is universal. And while the oracular doesn’t fudge the inescapable, that death may be uncomfortable or even painful; an anxious, confusing or downright frightening experience, there is something beyond or afterwards, there is indeed something outside our ken, more easily experienced than described. Humanity has known this from the beginning, and religion does not come into it, though it rose out of it.

We could have stayed immortal, had we been content to continue as primordial soup reproducing ad infinitum by identikit cell division. But we weren’t. We, the current denizens arisen from that protean soup, got bored and  demanded a new deal. The soup began to mutate new programmes and to differentiate and create  amazing and interesting plants and animals, but this demanded unimaginable feats of energy, space and organisation. And this in turn demanded boundaries so that Life came up with the solution of Death, and while Death might seem the ultimate antagonist, anathema to us in our highly realised state of individual awareness, we should at least give it credit for letting us out of the soup, and  after all, that was always the deal.

So thanks, Death. I am grateful to be me today, not heaving in the soupy-gloop, bored right out of my tiny multitudinous nucleii. And I will try and remember that next time I am fed up, or Il Matrimonio annoys me or I don’t feel like cooking the tea. Today it’s casserole – rather primordial in fact, but I predict it won’t have enough time to get bored and mutate.

The lines on these roads are not where we paint them. There is more map than there are roads on the map, and the map itself is subject to parameters not proven.

Until next time 🙂

Below: The Angel of Death, Evelyn de Morgan,

angel of death

Further reading:  The Power of the Pendulum both by  T.C Lethbridge in which he sought to demonstrate by scientifically conducted enquiry that the soul is probably immortal.

power-of-the-pendulum