One day on a rather gloomy Saturday afternoon, late July 2007, my younger daughter Ariane went to a friend’s house for tea. It was the friend’s fourteenth birthday. The little girl, let’s call her Nadia, had, if I remember correctly missed a lot of school in recent months, due to health difficulties.
There were four girls altogether; and Nadia’s mother and father.
Nadia blew out the candles, and her mother was cutting the cake when the lights began to flicker out in the hallway, and the mother said, ‘oh, here we go again. You really need to come and see this, everyone.’
She shepherded them to the foot of the stairs, calling to the father in the sitting room, ‘it’s happening again!’
He grunted some reply over his newspaper but didn’t move to join them. My daughter didn’t hear what he said. There they stood, four girls and the mother as the lights flickered and then my daughter saw a man standing at the top of the stairs.
One minute, there was no-one there. The next, there he was, looking entirely solid and real as real; a young man with brown wavy hair, dressed in jeans and a pale yellow shirt.
They stood looking up. He was looking down as if looking at them, but gave no sign that he saw them, or any indication of being in any way aware of their presence.
Then, just like that, he disappeared as suddenly as he had appeared, and the lights stopped flickering.
Nadia explained, the family had been terrified when it first happened, and had asked the council to re-house them, but now they’d got used to it.
They had no idea who he was (or who he had been) But was he necessarily even dead, or was it some manifestation of astral travel…though transference on the part of the young man who had presumably, once lived in the house.
But because the hosts were so matter of fact about it, my daughter wasn’t frightened, just a little freaked out. Well, you would be, wouldn’t you.
“Alas, poor Yorick. I knew him well…”
“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”- Hamlet
It’s like that old conundrum, does a falling tree make a noise if there is no-one there to hear it? It takes a living person to perceive a dead one, and in this case, if there was a conduit, or a conjuring, the Tarot suggests it was the father who was the psychic ‘enabler’ in this household, though it was completely unconscious on his part. Maybe he had been worried about his daughter’s health.
My reason for wondering was the appearance of the reserved, moody, kindly psychic King of Cups, a man of deep waters, particularly associated with mature males born under Pisces, Cancer and Scorpio.
The young man was shown as The Hanged Man, suggesting all manner of tragic possibilities.
I once did a reading for a young man, and this card appeared with other cards in a troubled picture that prompted me ask if a friend had died recently, and his friend had hanged himself, and he hoped I could tell him.
I couldn’t. Nor would it have been right. He was not a family member. But no-one had realized he was so deeply depressed, and there was a sense of secrets being kept, and a great fear they would be discovered.
The Hanged Man , it is important to note, almost never refers to suicide. But the Tarot can talk in absolutely literal terms, and does what it says on the tin, such that a card means exactly what it says in the picture.
Say I draw the Eight of Swords, for example. Most interpretations will talk about entrapment, helplessness, passivity, and so on. But I have learned through doing readings for other people, that tarot might well be telling me about a problem with someone’s plumbing or drains. Yes, the Tarot talks toilets. Quite right too. It needs to go wherever someone needs it to go. Just as when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go.
As the famous anchoress, and one of the earliest woman authors Julian of Norwich once put it, ‘God does not disdain to serve the body.’
It is thought she kept a cat, shown here in a depiction in a roundel in Norwich cathedral, to hunt rodents, and this too, served the health of the body; hers and the cat’s, assuming the cat had the freedom to roam.
Am I saying the Tarot is God? Of course not. We are discussing the interconnectedness of Everything, though I see no reason why God would be a man in the sky with a big white beard either, and if he is, does He need to go to the toilet?
The Hanged Man is ruled by Neptune – the suit of Cups again. This is a deep, Piscean card. Once upon a time there was a young man who was very worried about his future. He felt somehow shut out from other people (The Five of Pentacles) But he couldn’t seem to make his mind up what to do or where to go next, or to muster the effort required. Maybe he managed it in the end. I feel that he did. But probably not undamaged. Meanwhile, he had left this mark.
Surprisingly, only a small percentage of paranormal sightings are true ghosts. The majority of them are really sightings of what we call “residual energy” — when an emotional event is replayed over and over again, at the same spot, and at the same time.SOURCE link to SummitDaily
Maybe the young man was a complete stranger, or actually an echo of a living psyche, or if we want to go truly spiral, the ghost of the father himself as a very young man.
Welcome to The Twilight zone. Who wants another piece of cake?
What is the valley of death? We know it as a poetic expression from the Bible, but what might it mean in reality? What is the limit of the definition of reality anyway, when it comes to the imponderables. In algebra, we have to rely on symbolic placeholders too, as in X and Y.
Is the valley of death a poetic description of the end of life experience, a final sensory experience, a vision explainable in terms of a firing-off of neurons by the dying brain, or could it be something more?
I do not advertise as a psychic or clairvoyant or a medium, but tarot readers may get listed as such because there is no separate listing for Tarot in the telephone directory.
But why don’t I advertise as such? Well, Tarot card reading for divination, strategy and support is the service I undertake to guarantee to deliver, as my professional promise, and this is the bottom line and this service depends on acquired skill underpinned by knowledge. OK. But am I psychic? Yes. So are you, most likely, but psychic insights and experiences happen when they happen. Like a wind that ‘bloweth as it listeth’ – psychic insights may be confidently expected, but cannot be guaranteed.
Learning how to read cards, or any other system of divination, although card reading can facilitate them however, as the reader goes down a rabbit-hole, descending into a sort of Hades, seeking to find the ‘right’ interpretation of the cards in any given context. A reader can be asked absolutely anything about anything, and can never prepare, but only prepare to respond.
Every reader has their own story to tell, about how and why they started to learn to do readings. It need not start with a history of psychic experiences. Not at all. But often, it does and in a way, it did with me
‘The Mind has many corridors’ wrote Emily Dickinson. The world is older and stranger, not only than we do imagine, but more than we can imagine.
All animals are pattern seekers, pattern makers or pattern breakers, whether in order to hunt or to hide. Man is hardwired for the power of pattern, and communicating pattern, and the meanings of pattern, and of breaks in pattern, is the eternal task of storytelling. Man – meaning all of Mankind- is a storytelling animal.
‘In the beginning was the Word’.
The Day I met a Dead Man
Many years before I ever so much as opened a pack of Tarot cards, to be grabbed by the art and story telling embedded in them, I met a dead man on the street, a stranger, though we didn’t so much meet. It was more of a case of receiving a summons.
Leicester, 1988. I had just had coffee with a friend I’d used to work with at the Costume Museum in Wygston’s House, now a restaurant. My friend had been the curator at that time and way, way back, the eponymous Roger Wygston had been a wealthy wool merchant and several times Mayor of Leicester.
“Roger Wygston was born about 1430. His father, William, made the family fortune from the wool trade in the first half of the 1400s. Roger was elected chamberlain in 1459 and mayor of Leicester in 1465, 1471 and 1487. He was Member of Parliament for Leicester in 1473 and 1488. He died at Whitsun 1507.” More HERE
I worked in a little room upstairs, putting the Museum’s collection records, index card system on to computers for the first time, and helped put together an exhibition telling the story of hosiery and featuring our star exhibit, a Coptic sock from about AD 400. It had a bifurcated foot and horizontal stripes in red, brown and green.
I had coffee and a catch up with my friend, and then we said goodbye. I had a legal appointment at the top end of New Walk at 2.00 PM.
There was a time I walked up and down New Walk almost every day, and I worked a short while in the Museum there too. The portico entrance seen here on the right. This one, Wygston’s House and others were all part of the Leicestershire Museums Service run by the County Council.
I was selling a house among other things, with a lot going on at this time, some of it stressful. Anyone reading this may dismiss the following account on those grounds if they feel so inclined. This would be a perfectly reasonable option, if personally somewhat uncomplimentary in relegating the writer to the role of unreliable narrator, but that would certainly be the easiest, least challenging take on it.
Hardly sooner had I set off walking heading off to this appointment than I began to feel peculiar. Not exactly unwell, but certainly not good. There was a crackling in my ears, white noise like an un-tuned radio. Spots started dancing in front of my eyes, fizzing red and black. My body felt weirdly heavy.
I had never fainted in my life to recognize what that felt like, but, thinking maybe I was about to faint, I decided to keep on walking, thinking it would clear my head. But I was unaccountably scrambled, disorientated.
I could not for the life of me, remember or think where I was supposed to be going. I was on autopilot.
My feet took charge, leading me as it were, one step in front of the other until only a few minutes later, I had crossed a busy street.
I followed a small pedestrianized back street round the curved back wall of what was still called Marks & Spencer then, now M & S and then I came to a standstill.
There was a man lying on his back in the narrow street, sprawled across the pavement. A paramedic was attempting resuscitation, another kneeling by them, a small crowd anxiously watching, an ambulance waiting, .
There he lay, defenseless against exposure; an older man, but not exactly elderly, his trousers unbuttoned and unzipped, showing purple underpants, while the paramedics worked on him. His purchases, a few oranges presumably just bought in the market, had rolled out of his striped canvas shopping bag, and into the gutter.
I kept a distance, standing alone, with a blindingly sudden feeling of certainty, a sensation of astonished comprehension, ‘oh, that’s why I came this way. He fetched me.’
The fog rolled back and now I remembered I was on my way to the New Walk. I was by no means far out of my way, but nor would I have naturally thought to come this way.
I knew it was no good them trying to resuscitate him. I remember thinking, ‘he’s not in there anymore’.
I had the feeling, not only was the man not in his body any more, he was standing close beside me, on my right.
I saw nothing, heard nothing and felt nothing in that moment except a pang on his account, but this, with a dissociated neutrality. I think perhaps I was a little shocked, but I wasn’t frightened, only sad, not so much at the suddenness of the man’s death, but that he was caught so unprepared, and was so very frightened, finding himself unable to get back in his body that he had sent an SOS and pulled me off my own path to bring me, a perfect stranger, to where he lay, so abruptly evicted from his own body in a city centre back street on a sunny day.
Maybe it works something like radio waves, and I happened to be in the right place at the right time, and I was tuned in on the right frequency, like the story of the haunted house in my previous post.
I talked to him, and told him he had done the hard bit, and not to try and get back in, that he’d had a most tremendous shock, but it was OK, it was all right, and there was somewhere else he needed to go now, but it was perfectly all right.
Had I thought of it I might have said a prayer. I’m not religious, but words have power across the boundaries of time and space, and who knows what other boundaries.
I reckon that the old Wakes, company, food, alcohol, song, were a wise tradition rooted in this ancient understanding. That the dead might need a bit of time to process what has happened. That they might need encouragement and reassurance before they set off on their lone but universal odyssey once more to greet the rising sun. Read Here about Wakes.
A friend of my mother’s once told her that she had not been close to her father. But after he died and she went to see the body and say goodbye, she thought his face did not look quite right. She felt he looked frightened. The mouth was twisted. She sang to him ‘The Lord Is My Shepherd’, and she thought he must have heard her, because his mouth relaxed, and all at once his face looked quite different.
Some go swiftly and easily through the Valley. Others, not so.
The archangels Uriel and Michael are psychopomps; escorting the dead as they ascend back up to the heavens via the Gate of the Gods in the constellation of Capricorn.
In Greek and Roman mythology, the god Hermes or Mercury, would escort the souls to the banks of the River Acheron, or The Styx if you prefer, to wait for Charon the Ferryman and the crossing to the Isle of the Dead and the Fields of Asphodel.
Wiki: Psychopomps (from the Greek word ψυχοπομπός, psychopompós, literally meaning the ‘guide of souls’) are creatures, spirits, angels, or deities in many religions whose responsibility is to escort newly deceased souls from Earth to the afterlife. Their role is not to judge the deceased, but simply to guide them.
23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
But I didn’t think of that. I was young, inexperienced in such things, too astonished and unprepared. So that was all I said to him, and then I went on my way and I put it out of my mind for a long time to come.
But I hope that he did hear me, however inadequate the response, if only to know that yes, he might have left his body, but he still existed and he stil lhad agency.
The living were still trying to help him, and though they could neither bring him back nor accompany him on his forward journey, whatever that might be, still, he had sent out a distress signal, and someone had received it and responded.
We send them. We receive them. Messages in bottles, sailing to shores near and far.
The Tarot card that in a reading can suggest a vivid dream, a vision, a psychic or supernatural experience or even a ghost is The Moon card.
Halloween is designated the season of ghosts. Why is that?
Halloween or All Hallows Eve is celebrated 31 October each year, marking the cross- quarter of the year, half-way point between the autumn equinox in the northern hemisphere, 22 September, and the winter solstice, which in 2021 will occur on Tuesday 21 December.
Halloween began as a pre-Christian Iron Age festival 2000 years ago among the various peoples of Britain and Northern Europe popularly known as the Celts.
In parts of Britain and the Republic of Ireland Halloween is still called Samhain (pronounced Sow-an, from Gaelic/Irish) meaning ‘summer’s end.’
This is a critical turning point of the year from the ancient survival point of view of food production, harvesting and storage, as the days grow shorter, the nights longer, vegetation decays, temperatures drop – and possibly more people get sick. We are now in the zodiac sign territory of Scorpio, and the Tarot card correlating with Scorpio is the Death card.
From Halloween in the Anglosphere, to Alfblot in Scandinavia, to The Day of the Dead in Spanish speaking countries, the period 31 October – 3 November is a festival marking the end of the harvest season.
Now we are preparing for the decay of vegetation, the coming darkness, the time of hibernation of many animals, and the hardships of winter. This seems a natural time to be marking the remembrance of the Dead.
Russia does not celebrate Halloween as such. It is not recognized by the Orthodox Church, though it has been gaining popularity among young people since the 1990’s.
In France, again, Halloween is not a traditional festival, though certain elements may be catching on nowadays, cultural imports in the twentieth century. But La Toussaint or All Saints Day, is a widely celebrated national holiday celebrated on the first of November.
This time of year represents a ‘liminal’ space, a threshold – a doorway of some kind, an ‘in-between’ space between outside and inside, one room and another, or between summer and winter, night and dark, and therefore symbolically, between Life and Death.
Being half-awake or half-asleep is an ‘in-between’ state of mind or consciousness, when we are might have a powerful frightening or psychic dream experience or even experience sleep paralysis, traditionally known as a visit from The Night Hag, as portrayed in famous painting, The Nightmare by Henry Fuseli.
This is a not too uncommon experience that can occur when the brain is in-between deep and lighter sleep stages. The person thinks they are awake when they are not. There is a strong sense of threat, a malevolent presence, and they cannot move a muscle to defend themselves. I have experienced it myself, very unpleasant. Read here for the scientific medical explanation.
Any liminal ‘in-between space’ is understood as a sacred or magical space, a gateway through which ghostly or magical (magickal) things may manifest.
A threshold, a doorway is a space to be protected.
Crossroads are in-between spaces, representing a choice of directions or possibilities.
Hekate, goddess of ghosts
There is no presiding god or deity of Halloween in northern Europe.
Hekate comes from further south. She is an ancient goddess of the night, the heavens and the waning Moon. Over many ages she has become inextricably linked with ghosts and witchcraft, and by association, with Halloween. Today
Hekate is viewed as the chief goddess presiding over witchcraft with followers today among neo-Pagans, Wiccans and solitary occult or magickal practitioners (NB magickal, is spelled this way to be distinguished from stage or performance magic of entertainer magicians).
She is a necromancer- one who can speak with the dead. In a sense, we all do that, speaking to our loved ones, held in the memory or visiting in dreams.
Perhaps in our dreams we are the ghosts who haunt our previous homes. When we dream we are back there, for all we know, we might be giving the current residents a fine old fright, glimpsing a sight of our ghostly ‘thought form’ somewhere round the place.
Astral travel. Not all ghosts are necessarily dead.
But Hekate was one of the few personages who could enter and leave the Underworld, the realm of Hades at will. The messenger god Hermes or Mercury was another.
The name Hekate comes from the ancient Greek meaning ‘from afar ‘or the ‘worker from afar.’ This working at a distance is in the very nature of a spell.
Hekate was the daughter of the titan, Perses, and the nymph Asteria, and this gave her powers in heaven, on land and by sea. But her story goes back way before the Greeks, to the Anatolians (Asia Minor) and before that, possibly to the Babylonians and Sumerians who knew her as Innana, Queen of The Heavens, and later as the goddess Ishtar who was associated with love, beauty, sex, war, justice and political power.
Later, these more ancient story traditions became absorbed into Greek Mythology, passing next to the Romans, who spread the mythology as they expanded their Empire.
The Kindness of Hekate
Hecate is a patron goddess of dogs, horses, owls and serpents.
In Greek myth, the tragic queen Hecuba/Hecabe of Troy deliberately jumped overboard a Greek ship and drowned as she was being taken away into slavery after the fall of Troy. Hecuba was broken by grief, distraught at the deaths of her king, Priam, and so many of her 19 children, and at the fall of her city, and the ruin of her people at the hands of the Greeks.
Hekate rescued the tragic drowned soul of Hecuba and transformed her into a dog, comforting her with forgetfulness of her terrible sorrow. This dog is Hecate’s beloved companion and is a friendly familiar spirit, not like the three-headed dog Cerberus (his name means ‘Spot’) who guards the gates of the Underworld.
Sadly, once upon a time, like dogs, sheep and many other animals, dogs were offered in religious ceremonies as sacrificial animals, intended as immortal gifts to Hekate, as in Thrace in 4th century BC.
But Hekate is called upon as a protector of dogs, and likewise she is a protector of the home (as is a good dog) Pillars called Hecataea stood at crossroads and doorways, for good luck, to ask her to keep away any unwanted visitors, including evil spirits.
Hekate became one of several deities worshipped in ancient Athens as a protector of the oikos (household) alongside Zeus, Hestia, goddess of the hearth, the messenger god Hermes, and the sun god, Apollo.
Hekate is regarded as a dark deity on account of her associations with witchcraft, but she stands for both dark and light, death and birth, and as a protector and guardian of mothers, as well as her totem animals.
Magickal Traditions, Symbols and Practice
Her colours are black and red.
Her symbols keys, torches
Her totem animal is the dog, her bird the Barn Owl, Tyto Alba, also known as the screech owl.
The Romans feared the Barn Owl as a bird of ill omen, and European and UK farmers have historically sometimes killed them for this reason, even until quite recently, and despite their usefulness to farmers as rodent hunters.
What might Hekate help with?
-Protection of the household, family, mothers, children and childbirth.
-Assistance with banishing harmful situations
-Help for lost or sick pets and animals, dogs and horses in particular.
Asking help from Hekate
Care and respect is required as with any request.
How do we pronounce her name? There is no wrong way as such. These days, her name is often pronounced Heh-kah-tay or Heh-kah-tee, pronouncing her name with no emphasis on the middle. But to the Ancients she would have been Hecate pronounced Heh-KAH-tay or Heh-KAH-tee with an emphasis on the middle syllable. This honours her oldest origins, so far as we can be sure.
The best time to make a request of Hekate is during the time of the waning crescent Moon or at the New Moon. A free online lunar calendar will easily identify these dates. (Halloween 2021 will be a waning Crescent Moon)
Decorate and dedicate a small corner, perhaps in a window sill facing the Moon when you can see it, decorated with artwork of Hekate, Moon, dogs, owls, keys or other totems.
5/ Gifts and thanks
It is only polite to say thank you when asking for help with something, or to acknowledge receiving help. We could for instance:-
-Burn a candle or a cone of incense (be careful not to leave it unattended)
-Offer a virtual drink; small glass of mead, or a spoonful of honey in water. Hecate likes honey, pomegranates (as did Persephone) lavender, garlic (unlike vampires) breads, sweets and anything shaped like a crescent moon (she would probably enjoy a virtual croissant)
–Make a donation to support rescue dogs, or a local owl rescue centre, and tell her you are doing this in her name.
-Just like with a birthday cake, offer a slice of cake, or a cupcake with a candle. Make your request. Blow out the candle, making a gift of the fire.
I leave it up to you whether you eat the cake in her honour, but why not. It’s the thought that counts, is it not?
A True Ghost story
Do I believe in ghosts? I have met plenty of perfectly sensible people who have told me their stories, and had no reason to doubt their common sense and the validity of their account.
We have the dictionary definition.
“Now chiefly, an apparition of a dead person which is believed to appear or become manifest to the living, typically as a nebulous image and attempting to right a wrong done in life; this sense of the word is recorded from late Middle English.
The word is recorded from Old English (in form gāst) in the sense ‘spirit, soul’, and is of Germanic origin; the gh- spelling occurs first in Caxton, and was probably influenced by Flemish gheest”. – Source
But the question still remains, what do we mean by a ghost? Are they sentient or merely some kind of an echo? Do they know they are there? Do they know we are there?
I recommend further reading into the work of the Cambridge archaeologist and paranormal researcher Tom Lethbridge T.C. Lethbridge
My phone rang one Saturday night, about 8 PM, a lady calling from Preston, about ten miles away from where I live. She had found my number in the psychic pages of the online telephone directory and she wanted a psychic medium.
Note. I do not advertise as a psychic medium but there is no separate listing for Tarot, and they put readers under that same heading.
The lady wanted me to come over to her house. Right away. There was ‘something’ out in the hallway, and it was blocking the stairs. She, her partner and the children were huddled in the sitting room, too terrified to leave the room.
I could not go in person, sadly. Nor do I advertise such a service. There are others who do. I gave her the name and telephone number of a lady who specializes in ‘haunted houses’ and meantime reached for my cards and asked the lady what was the problem? What had happened? What was going on here?
Her youngest child had been upstairs, she told me, when she heard a lady whispering in her ear, and it had really frightened her. The child panicked. Then her siblings panicked. Then the mother panicked, and the partner. It had developed from there. Now there was something outside the sitting room door; a cold spot, a moving shadow.
What had this ghostly lady said to the little girl? The ghostly lady had whispered directly into her ear that her hair was very pretty.
This figured. The cards confirmed a benign presence – or influence. A grandmother? The cards also indicated this lady had been under a lot of strain lately. She confirmed a lot of worries; a prolonged period of acute financial and other worries.
This, I felt, had been the possible, completely unconscious trigger for this startling manifestation. The lady went on to tell me that her mother had died three years earlier, and she was still missing her, quite badly. But the littlest child was too young to remember her grandmother, and how come, if the ghost was her mother, the ghost had not talked to her, but to the child?
Well, whether this had been the grandmother or not, it was because the little girl happened in that moment to be the one tuned in on the ‘right’ wavelength to receive such an incoming message, was my best guess, based on my own experiences.
The little girl had ESP and was very sensitive to atmosphere. This was why she alone had heard it. If there was a ghost, if the grandmother was still around, then she was tuning in to the living, seeking to deliver support or reassurance to the mother, her child, and the little grand-daughter was the most accessible conduit.
First things first, before this lady called the medium – if indeed, she decided to make the call, she needed to restore order in the household right away. She must assert herself and reclaim her territory, ‘psych it out’, and show and tell the children it was safe to go anywhere in the house.
Tell the thing to stop and it will is my experience. I once banished a ghostly cat visitor and am rather sorry I did so. None of which is my way of saying I did not believe what she was telling me. I did, but the living can talk to a ghost or say boo, just as it can say boo to us.
This was not, repeat not, some real life repeat of The Conjuring. No nastiness in the cards.
I suggested she tell the children, it’s gone now, put lights on, open the sitting room door, talk as she went, sing, whistle, make a noise, go down the hallway, put the kettle on, serve up supper for everyone, and talk aloud as she did so. Light and noise will shatter such a spell while fear is contagious.
We can simply do that, ask the thing to stop, asking nicely or firmly or fiercely, depending on the nature of the atmosphere. And it works.
I later heard from the medium. She and her team had gone to the lady’s house next day, taking with them an array of electronic equipment. She told me there was an old lady’s ghost in the house, that it was the grandmother, and that the mother’s state of stress had called the ghost forth. The ghost had simply behaved in character, affectionately, but since the child had been startled, and the mother had reacted with fear, everyone got scared and the thing snowballed and took on an unpleasant aspect. The medium said that now the mother was aware of it, the house should stay quiet now.
Perhaps the dead grandmother was worried about her daughter, and was trying to reach out and offer comfort the only way she could.
No suggestion of criticism attaches to the lady. None whatsoever. Fear was a natural reaction. But if it happened again, now that she had feedback from other sources as to the nature of the occurrence, that whatever it was, it was not malevolent, she could choose a more matter of fact response, whilst not dismissing the child’s experience.
Psychic author Cassandra Eason has written a book with advice for parents with psychic children available from a range of second hand book sellers online.
Since I had not spoken directly with the medium myself before her visit to the house, but had simply provided contact details, I was interested that tarot and a medium had told virtually identical stories.
Twice, in a previous house I was frightened, hearing shuffling footsteps coming towards me in the night, once upstairs, once sleeping downstairs. This was an old man who once lived in the house, I felt, but whatever it was, was not hostile but nor was it particularly nice.
This was not happening in haunting prime time, and that time is three in the morning. This was no later than midnight, before I had properly settled to sleep, within minutes of my switching out the lights.
I had twice seen a smallish dog around the place, running down the stairs. Once it ran into the kitchen while I was cooking. It was only an impression; a smallish to medium sized dog, pricked ears and a short coat, not remotely frightening; and curiously, because I did not mention it at the time, nearly two weeks after this, my younger daughter came running in very excited to tell me she had just seen a dog at the top of the stairs, duly named Spook Dog.
This shuffling of invisible slippers was different. I was not sure I would think this was a very nice person if I had met him in real life. Even if it had once been his house. A budgerigar had also once lived in that house, a man once told me. It was his grandparent’s, and its cage used to hang in what had later become the kitchen diner, but the budgerigar had the good manners never to squawk from beyond the grave.
No. I didn’t like this one bit. I did not want it coming into the room where I was. I spoke aloud and told him or ‘whatever it was,’ that it was not to come in the room where I was, or where any of the family were. On both occasions, the shuffling noises stopped at that point. On the occasion where I was downstairs on a sofa bed, the shuffling paused, and then I heard the feet going up the bottom two stairs, but only two and then they stopped.
The power of the physical, the element of Earth, is the power of the living moment, here and now. We are exalted in the Earth. We take in air. We take up space.
This is ours. Our inheritance at birth. The power of Earth. Our ace card in any otherworldly dealings, the Ace of Pentacles. A nice cup of tea, anyone? How about a biccie?
A spiral shell is a symbol of infinity. But likewise, a matrix of calcium carbonate is an expression and signature of infinity, made concrete in a spiral shell.
Note the Biblical ‘pale horse’ and the white rose. The rose signifies beauty and immortality. What has ever once been, lives somewhere, somehow, forever.
Scorpius from which the zodiac sign gets its name, is a massive, spectacular j- shaped constellation located in the skies over the southern hemisphere near the centre of the Milky Way. In the Northern hemisphere it can be seen in July and August, but is most visible in July at 9.00 PM. In the Southern hemisphere it is visible from March to October, like a faint band in the Milky Way overhead.
Its name, no prizes for guessing, is Latin for scorpion and it is one of the 48 constellations identified by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the second century AD. Like Aries, Taurus and Leo, it is an ancient constellation, meaning it has been recognised as a constellation pre-dating the Greeks.
Scorpius is the southernmost constellation in the zodiac between Libra to the west and Sagittarius to the east. Its claws do double duty and also represent the scales of Libra.
Its unbelievably huge brightest star- our sun is barely more than a dot in comparison- is one of the brightest in the night sky, the ‘heart of the scorpion’, Antares, meaning ‘rival of Ares’ (the Greek name for the Roman god of war, Mars) So-named because it is bright reddish in colour, like Mars, and because Scorpio’s traditional ruling planet is Mars.
Modern astrologers may argue that Scorpio is ruled by Pluto instead (Death, The Transformer) depending on whether the astrologer is working with a traditional or modern interpretation after the discovery of Pluto 1930.
Scorpius contains exo-planets, some extremely old, and others considered potentially habitable. The planet PSR B1620-26 b, nicknamed “Methuselah” is estimated at 12.7 billion years old (The universe is about 13.7 billion years old.) Methuselah has a mass about twice that of Jupiter and it orbits around not one, but two stars.
Cue potential existential angst.
Gliese 667Cc is a “super-Earth” about four times as massive as Earth, part of a three-star system only 22 light-years away from Earth. It’s considered potentially habitable and the same system contains two other potentially habitable planets: Gliese 667Ce and Gliese 667Cf – both about 2.7 times the mass of Earth.
“Habitability” is defined as a rocky world close enough to its parent star for liquid water to exist on the surface. Other factors may rule it out, though, such as the variability of its star or the composition of the planet’s atmosphere.
Mythology and History
Nature, Religion and astrology were intertwined in the ancient world. The ancient world was wiser and knew better than we do in this respect.
The scorpion has been here far longer than we have – hundreds of millions of years, more than 450 million, compared with our six million or so.
Sometime around four thousand years ago the Babylonians looked up, discerned the brightly leaning J- shape in the summer stars and called this constellation MUL.GIR.TAB – the ‘Scorpion’, literally read as ‘the (creature with) a burning sting’.
The movements and relative positions of Scorpius were mapped by Babylonian magicians and astrologers, who left written records of the omens they observed.
“When a halo surrounds the Moon and Scorpio stands in it, it will cause men to marry princesses, (or) lions will die, and the traffic of the land will be hindered.”
A comet appearing in Scorpius was read as a dire warning of a coming plague, but when the Sun rose in Scorpius, alchemists saw their one chance for the transmutation of lead into gold.
Orion and The Scorpion
Orion The Hunter was a friend of Artemis, Greek goddess of the Moon, of the Hunt, and patron of all wild creatures. One day he was overheard boasting to Artemis and her mother Leto, that there was not a single beast he could not, and would not hunt and kill.
Gaia, goddess of the Earth, heard this and did not like it one bit. Artemis was a great hunter herself, but Artemis did not kill for the sake of killing, and offered protection to all creatures. Gaia sent a giant scorpion to deal with Orion. He fought back, and sure enough, he killed the scorpion, but the scorpion also killed Orion.
Zeus, much impressed by the scorpion’s battle spirit, and at Gaia’s request, raised the scorpion to the heavens, and at the request of the heartbroken Artemis; he did the same for Orion.
But see them back to back? Still, they avoid each one another, these ancient deadly foes, one rising as the other sets.
In other cultures this constellation is not seen as a scorpion. In Indonesia it’s the “the brooded swan” or the “the leaning coconut tree.” In Hawaii, it is “The Fishhook” of the demi-god Maui.
In Chinese mythology, the constellation is part of the Azure Dragon a deity of the underworld ( a cthonic deity = subterranean) and in Japan the guardian spirit of the city of Kyoto. presumably for magical protection against earthquakes.
But about the scorpion, there is consensus across hemispheres, not only continents. Thousands of years before the Greeks and Romans established their societies, the Australian Aboriginal peoples also looked up and saw the stars of Scorpius in terms of a cosmic scorpion, as did the Aztecs of Central Mexico.
The Lowland Mayans had scorpion constellations. These may have matched up with THE Scorpion of the zodiac, but there no clear proof. It is thought that the Mayans viewed the celestial scorpion as an eclipse-causing agent.
The arrival of Scorpio’s sign in the northern hemisphere coincides with the advent of mystery, the fast fading autumn light, and the ghosts, myths and superstitions of Halloween, or All Hallows Eve.
Facts about scorpions
As mentioned previously, they are a staggeringly ancient creature. The earliest evidence dates from the Silurian period 450 million years ago, when the first scorpion ancestors left the seas for the land. Fossils from the Carboniferous 300 million years ago indicate little change since then. Early scorpions may have had compound eyes.
They are arachnids: arachnida scorpiones, with a body in two sections, 2 pincers or pedi-palps, 8 legs like a spider, and an exo-skeleton made of chitin. They are more closely related to Harvestmen than spiders.
They dance before mating, a stately promenade. They give birth to live young and carry them on their backs until the babies have their first moult and disperse. The mothers may eat the young if resources are desperately scarce.
They have a long life span compared with other arachnids, 2-3 years in the wild but they have lived up to 25 years in captivity. They can live a year without food and eat insects, spiders, other scorpions and lizards. They also eat small mammals, such as mice.
They glow in the dark except when newly moulted. Scorpion fossils still fluoresce, despite spending hundreds of millions of years embedded in rock.
They are famously venomous. However of the nearly 2,000 known species of scorpions, only 25 have venom powerful enough to be dangerous to an adult human. In the U.S., the Arizona bark scorpion, Centruroides sculpturatus, produces venom strong enough to kill a small child, but anti-venom means deaths are rare.
The Scorpio Personality -planetary aspects
Scorpio is known as The Sorceror, The Detective, The Hypnotist, and The Alchemist
Scorpio is an extreme sign, at the same time fiery hot and icy cold, symbolically reflecting its contradictory planetary rulers. Scorpio is traditionally ruled by the red planet Mars, planet of action, named after the Classical Greco- Roman god of war. But its modern ruler is the icy dwarf planet Pluto, not discovered until 1930 and named after the Greco-Roman god of the underworld.
Pluto, although small, and though its status as a planet is an ongoing debate, is large enough, with a gravitational pull sufficiently powerful to make it spherical, like a planet. And it is symbolically powerful in modern astrology, by virtue of the very fact that it is so far away from the sun. Its orbit takes 248 years, so that its symbolic effects are deep, far reaching and long lasting.
Like the other water signs, Cancer and Pisces, Scorpio is considered clairvoyant, or at least, keenly intuitive. (All signs are of course,potentially psychic in their own way) But Scorpio has far greater intensity. This is water behaving as steam like an underwater volcanic eruption or a bubbling hot spring.
Scorpio rules the eighth sign of the zodiac, to do with Birth, Sex and Death. It is both destruction and regeneration.
No wonder these subjects can be intense, and they are often possessed of great personal charisma. They are watchful but keep their feelings hidden. Born executives, investigators, spies or secret agents, they are shrewd judges of human nature, while less conscientious Scorpio subjects make use of this to their advantage, and drop friends whom they no longer see as useful. But combined with their intense determination, and loyalty-where they decide to accord it, Scorpios can make great leaders, scientists, and devoted doctors. They are quick learners, instinctive, analytical, adaptable, often ‘moulting’ (changing careers) going down new paths.
Scorpio is vengeful…and patient. But they never forget a kindness.
The major arcana card in the Tarot representing Scorpio is the Death card, one of the most famous and most feared cards in the Tarot deck.
The prospect of Death is frightening, hard to comprehend even though we understand it full well. And often desperately upsetting, though we understand full well Death is part of Life. Without Death, there would be no space for new life. We are getting our turn at life right now. Others are waiting their turn. Others before us have had theirs, and who knows, maybe they will get another turn one day.
When we leave, I feel we really do go through ‘the Valley’. Some intermediate state. Some zip through double quick. Others take longer, a few take much much longer. This much has been my observation through work with clients and a small number of unforgettable personal experiences.
What it is like to find ourselves there, in ‘the valley’ to find ourselves evicted and locked out of our earthly home for so long, our abode in the familiar city of our body? It is easy to imagine that some could panic at first. Whether we forget, or dream, or are utterly subsumed again into wherever we came from before, when maybe we were frightened to get born, not knowing what we were coming to this time round.
This card is the annual collective zodiacal reminder that, just as the daylight is dying; so Death comes for everyone alike, old or young, man or woman, the archbishop and the child as shown in the Death card.
There are no guarantees we will make it to the age of ‘three score and ten,’- that any of us will see the age of seventy. Old age is not a right. In the natural world, few animals in the wild live into old age. Life is for living now, says Scorpio, and it is this awareness that gives Scorpio its drive, intensity, its passion, and sometimes its preoccupation with the dark side of life, and with the occult and the mysterious.
The court card of Scorpio is the King of Cups, the man of Scorpio, Cancer and Pisces. In a reading The Queen of Cups may also be used.
Scorpio needs a challenge. They like to unlock puzzles and mysteries and they need to feel that their work is important or meaningful. Hence they will often be found in high pressure situations, handling urgent, even life or death issues; in the emergency services, or in the police, detection, crime & prisons, or working in psychotherapy. They often have a talent for management, including financial management, and research and resource management within the financial sector and power production industries
This is the archetype. But of course there is no such thing in reality as THE Scorpio personality. We are unique individuals. Our zodiac sign (sun sign) is a major keynote, but it is nothing like the full picture in real life – or even in astrology.
If you don’t feel like a ‘typical’ Scorpio, perhaps you are a second or third decan Scorpio, rather than a ‘most typical’ first decan Scorpio.
The Zodiac is the belt of sky we see from earth, tracking the path of the sun across the sky from dawn till dusk and throughout the year. We call this pathway of the sun ‘the ecliptic,’ and the zodiac belt shares this same pathway.
The zodiac belt is 16 degrees deep or across; 8 degrees above the sun’s pathway, the ecliptic, and 8 degrees below.
The Greeks divided this belt into twelve sections, choosing twelve for ease of arithmetic and named them after some of the constellations found along this same pathway. There are more than twelve constellations, both above the ecliptic and below it, but the zodiac signs, as formalised by Eudoxus of Cnidus and Ptolemy of Alexandria get their name from just twelve.
Each zodiac sign represents a 30 degree section of this 360 degree belt. Each sign is then sub-divided into three blocks of ten degrees, about ten days in length.
This gives us the decans, nicknamed ‘the thirty six faces of astrology,’ breaking down each sign into three chapters that shine a little extra light on the story of that sign.
First Decan Scorpio
Birth Dates: 23 -31 October (0-10 degrees)
Planetary rulers: Mars and Pluto
Tarot card: Five of Cups
Card Meanings:Grief, disappointment, recovery from loss. Taking stock,counting our blessings, and what still remains
Here is the most ‘typical’ Scorpio subject. Mars, the ruling planet of Scorpio is doubly powerful in this first decan. This is an active, determined, dominant individual. When the going gets tough, so do they.
Scorpio/Scorpio individuals are incredibly driven, and more prone than other people to extreme behaviours, matched by courage, tenacity, and the willpower to bounce back after a setback, and start again.
Famous first decans
Hillary Clinton, politician, 26 Oct 1947
Dylan Thomas, poet, 27 Oct 1914
Second Decan Scorpio
Dates: 1 -11 November (10-20 degrees)
Planetary rulers: Jupiter and Neptune
Tarot card: Six of Cups
Card Meanings: happy memories, nostalgia, home, childhood, children, childhood, old friends, and old haunts
This Scorpio decan is also intense and driven, but is cooled and moderated by Pisces and its rulers, Neptune and Jupiter. This is a changeable nature, unpredictable or at times explosive, but at other times slow or even sluggish. There is an element of contradiction here.
Jupiter is the planetary symbol of good luck is the ultimate extrovert, and Neptune ‘The Dreamer’ is the ultimate introvert.
This individual’s greatest battles may be with themselves, starting at an early age. The influence of Neptune may be an inspiration, or could become their downfall, should they once start indulging in escapism via drugs, alcohol, gambling or other addictive, risk-taking behaviours.
These people are often interested in esoteric subjects; religion, the mystical, and the occult. They need s stable home, a reliable partner and they need to be careful in their friendships and choice of company. They usually have a natural talent for medicine or the healing arts, and are searching for some sense of a greater purpose.
This decan is as visionary as this card illustration suggests; imaginative, creative and dramatic. Moon and Venus cool and soften the energy of Mars. This is a magnetic personality, a natural artist or performer.
The Decan 3 Scorpio often has a particularly close relationship with his or her mother; generally a healthy thing, so long as it isn’t given more importance than their relationships with their chosen life partner.
This is the Scorpio decan most likely to curate a legacy to loved ones or leave money to favourite causes. Money, privacy, loyalty and property are of supreme importance. A keeper of secrets, they carry mysteries or grudges to their graves.
They are more domestic at heart than other Scorpio natives, but still, very brave and tough in their own way. They may be activists of some kind, and their charm and eloquence can make them very effective when working with a group for a common cause.
Famous Third Decans
Robert Kennedy, 20 Nov 1925
Prince Charles, 14 Nov 1948
Born on the cusp?
First decan Scorpio born on the cusp is a more airy Libran Scorpio with marked Libra qualities. Third decan Scorpio born on the cusp is a less fiery Sagittarian Scorpio with marked Sagittarius qualities.
Fixed water Scorpio, the opposite number of Fixed Earth Taurus is a hidden face of The Bull, just as The Bull is a hidden face of the Scorpion. The Bull from The Sea was sent to Crete by Poseidon. Steamy depths indeed. Only Pisces goes as deep or deeper.
I do not issue predictions of death. Never. Nor will any responsible psychic reader. We might well be wrong, but if we are not, who and what do we serve by sharing such a prediction?
This is not to say I will not discuss death with a client. I have seen it coming, looking in the cards. I have seen it when I did not wish to. I have seen it up to three years ahead of time. Once it was my father.
And I was not looking to see any such thing. But Death is part of Life.
Sometimes people want – need– to talk about it. Maybe they are preparing for a death they know is coming soon, to them or a loved one. Maybe they are dealing with probate. Maybe they want me to look at a dead loved one, act as a conduit using Tarot as a form of medium-ship. I have been asked, for example, if the dead loved one is OK, where are they now, and is there anything they would like to say?
The Tarot can do this, will talk this talk, walk this walk with them, if the reader is up for it. Some are, some are not.
The Death card, associated with autumn and the zodiac sign of Scorpio, is perhaps the most notorious card in the Tarot deck, but will usually not be detecting an actual physical death.
Usually it just means endings in a more everyday sense of the word. It signifies the natural conclusion to a situation, saying that we have come to the end of the road in respect of this or that. A situation has run its natural course. As such, this may actually be a welcome card. Some things, we are ready to see the back of.
Besides which, there are other cards that can also mean an actual, physical death: the Nine and Ten of Swords. The Fool card reversed (Number Zero, we go through the gate) The Sun card reversed (The sun has set, our day is done) may also, although rarely, refer to a literal, physical human death, or even a cremation.
When we are discussing someone who has died, there are no spirits present at the reading, not so far as I understand it. I am coming at that dead person via my sensing of the living person I am sitting with. Still, it has been quite astonishing to me, as well as the other person, what the cards have conveyed about the departed person that have been meaningful to the client, and that I could not possibly know. Turns of phrase, how it was for them, what they were like; those sorts of things.
Such is the Tarot. At its most acute, it is an enabler of downright telepathy. Or maybe something even more; an intimation of what we call the Divine, the Oneness of Everything.
“There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamed of in your philosophy.” – Hamlet- Shakespeare
Yes, there are. There really are. I do not care who does not believe that. One feels it, encounters it directly, perceives it, apprehends it, or one does not.
Like Yoda, with these things there is no ‘try’. There is only do -or no do.
I like to test myself, and sometimes I lay out a spread for the coming day, to see what it ‘looks’ like, and then I look back and take stock that same evening or next day, to see what I can learn with the benefit of hindsight.
I did this two weeks ago, laying out a cross shaped spread of 5 cards like this:
In the position representing The Unexpected, I drew the Death card.
I studied the surrounding cards. These were health related cards, and included the Four of Swords. But the cards did not indicate any family members; an absence of tell-tale court cards or family cards, such as the Two, Six or Ten of Cups.
I said to Il Matrimonio, ‘today or tomorrow, I may hear news of a death, unexpected, but it’s not in our immediate circle, though I don’t think it’s something on the news either.’
People die every minute of course. That is a constant, but the Tarot will show me things that mean something to me personally. The Tarot is dealing at one and the same time with Universality and Particularity. Hacceity, and the unique or special ‘this-ness’ of a thing.
The next day, visiting one of my online places, a health clinic I used to visit, I read the very sad news that a lady I slightly knew, the former manager with whom I had had a few dealings, always very helpful, had died the previous day at 5 PM. after a week in hospital.
She was admitted with Covid. It was the reason for admission and she died of it. Leaving behind an utterly distraught daughter of 18, who had been excited to go off to University this autumn, and is now dealing with the funeral arrangements, and is left all alone in the world, so far as one can tell.
Enough of the conspiracy theories. This lady is not the only one I have personally known of to die before their time of this horrible new virus.
Yes, flu can kill you. This is not flu. It is an epithelial disease, and may attack the cells anywhere in the body, not only the respiratory system. It is now wrecking the health of young people it does not kill. Hopefully not long term, but there are situations for which the ‘normal, healthy immune system’ is not prepared.
As I know to my personal cost. Something like this happened to me some time during my twenties. There was some ‘insult’ to the immune system, never conclusively identified, and it went on to cause me years of severe pain, and put me in a wheelchair from which I may never escape except in Death.
I was perfectly good health up until this mystery viral?Bacterial? event. I had always thought I had a perfectly normal immune system before this happened, in so far as I thought of it at all. I had no reason to imagine otherwise.
Astrologers suggest we will be stuck with this problem of virus management at least until 2023, on a crisis management basis. Best case scenario suggested by the cards is an improved collective footing by March-June 2022, in the UK at any rate.
Death is the darkest angel.
In evolutionary terms, Death was the price of our freedom. We could have stayed immortal, living as clones in the primordial seas, but we chose otherwise. We chose specialization of species. We, then at some further level ‘chose’ specialization of the individual as an unique entity.
We didn’t want to be gloop.
‘We’ did not want to be ‘immortal’ at the price of immortality experienced as identikit clonal single celled soup.
But space on Earth is not infinite. So we ‘chose’ individuality but the price was Death, The Hourglass, and the foreknowledge that our sands are fast running out.
This is it, here and now.
Our moment in the sun.
It is suffering with no hope of reprieve, not Death, that is the enemy. Even though we might be nowhere near ready yet, to welcome our definitive meeting with this mightiest of rescuing angels, swooping by to collect us and carry us home to the Source where we came from, before memory.
Nothing new under the sun? Someone once asked me, did I believe in reincarnation? Well, of course, plenty of people do, around the world. Easter is the great Christian celebration of Resurrection, when Jesus Christ, Yeshua Ben Joseph, was said to have risen from the tomb on the third day following his barbaric crucifixion, signifying the hope of the soul’s eternity for all mankind.
Let’s consider The Yew, Taxus Baccata. The Yew tree is widely viewed as a symbol of resurrection. Why is that? Its branches grow down into the ground to form new stems, which then rise up around the old central growth as separate but linked trunks. After a time, they cannot be distinguished from the original tree.
It is susceptible to death by damage or disease but has been described as the the one living thing on Earth that could, at least in theory, however hypothetically, live indefinitely. It’s thought that there are English yews 4000 years old. Hence its popularity in graveyards, as a symbol of resurrection on Judgement Day.
The old Norse rune Eiwaz represents the yew, and its numinous capacity for regeneration. For this reason, it is considered a good omen for recovery if someone is ill.
The Memory is supple as the Yew, the Mind as mysterious and it can play strange tricks.
Some years ago, stirring a pan, standing by the stove, I had an oddly vivid experience, a flashback, and I was standing in an entirely different kitchen, sparse, white painted, with a high ceiling and a door to my left. There was sunlight coming in at the open door from which I knew there was a flight of steep, narrow steps leading down to a courtyard, and I was wondering where ‘Pietro’ had got to, and why he was not home yet. I knew this unknown faceless personage Pietro was a husband. NB The name of the present Il Matrimonio is not Pietro or remotely Peter-ish.
Could this have been an ancestral memory? I am Anglo-Irish-Scottish. Not Italian. A vivid daydream then. A snapshot. A picture from a book maybe, or a film? Possibly. I had never had this particular vision or experience before, and have not had it again, but I ‘knew’ at the time, that I was in Siena.
I have to say, I don’t welcome the idea of coming back once I am done and out of here. I’m not keen on the idea of reincarnation, except as recycled material. Life on Earth is 4.5 billion years old, and we are just the current manifestations of it. If Earth is a closed system, in the sense that material may enter through the atmosphere but not leave it, then in that sense, it may seem unscientific NOT to believe in reincarnation, if only in the sense of particle recycling.
But what if particles could retain impressions, memories? Like those stories of people who have heart transplants, and later develop new tastes, and behaviours, subsequently discovered to have been part of the donor’s personality? You don’t have to look far to come across such stories and make up your own minds. Urban legends? A degree of skepticism is sensible and healthy, except when it is of the howling variety, and I heartily mistrust pronouncements on what may not be possible.
I don’t personally welcome the idea of repeating the human experience, and this is not meant as a complaint. I am pretty sure of this much though. Whatever happens, it won’t be my choice.
I first began to study the Tarot at least partly as an effort to make sense of some deeply strange experiences, downright freaky, a few of them, after which it seemed more plausible to me that our consciousness is not extinguished at the time of bodily death. Death is a process, not an event. The brain is not the mind. Our departure from our home in the body is a process that can take days. The tradition of the Wake was a wise one.
I know a lady near me who runs a care home, and when a resident dies she opens the windows, not only for obvious practical reasons, to keep the room cool and fresh, but to help the newly departed soul on its way to wherever it wants to go.
Some years ago I received a request for an email reading, a young lady who wanted to know, was her brother OK? I asked what exactly did she want me to investigate that she could not ask him herself, and she said he was dead. He had committed suicide. She did not tell me more, nor did I ask about the circumstances.
Her questions were:
Where was he now?
How was he now?
A lot of my work is directed at immediately practical matters, home, work, business, money, relationships, family. I do not work as a medium, not at all, but I had previously done other readings focused on deceased loved ones, on occasion with some very surprising feedback.
I sat down to think about this and among other cards, was particularly struck by an appearance of the Sun card from The Golden Tarot, Kat Black.
The Sun card is life itself, travel, children, health and happiness, success, moments in the sun.
This is a card of innocence and animals. Things in their natural state. You can see this for yourself, looking at this card from The Golden Tarot and in the Rider-Waite decks. In some other decks, those meanings are not necessarily so clear.
The Sun card is a card of birth.
The appearance of this card in particular suggested to me that wherever he was, whatever he was, he was like a child again, sometimes awake, sometimes asleep. He didn’t remember his death, not at all, or the events that drove him to it.
Bless his soul. He was a little boy again. In my mind’s eye, I saw him kicking about in a puddle, not idly kicking, bored, not fed up, but happily, quietly preoccupied. If he had any memories, if he had a consciousness surviving death, if that could be possible, then this was his afterlife.
News of a birth was coming soon, I told the young lady, based on this Sun card. This was a birth close by, probably within the family, and whether it was a boy or girl, the Tarot was suggesting the possibility, however bizarre, that it was her brother being reborn.
Three weeks later I received an email from this young lady, very happy and excited, to say her sister was expecting a baby. Wouldn’t it be weird, she joked, if she was going to be her brother’s auntie this time around?
I would like to think the Tarot’s vision offered this young lady some kind of comfort, however peculiar, for a truly terrible grief, and hope for her brother’s peace. Because not all griefs are equal. Some deaths, as with untimely or violent deaths by suicide or murder, are harder to bear for those who mourn than others.
Reincarnation? I can see it in the genetic sense of the word. Or perhaps I mean epigenetics, and a kind of acquired cell memory. I went through a brief spell at one time of wanting a cup of hot chocolate at night. Not cocoa made with milk in the pan. This was made with water like making an instant coffee, drunk with two cream crackers and a bit of Lancashire cheese. I mentioned this to my mother and she said that was what her father Alfred, my maternal grandfather, always had for supper.
I never knew my grandfather, he died before I was born, of lung cancer, but we share the same birthday. He was a well-known museum curator, who like so many others, took a lengthy leave of absence to serve in the Navy during the war. I worked a short time in Museums after graduating.
Maybe he wanted to send my mother a message, and that was why I wanted his supper. I joked to her that maybe he wanted to say sorry, as he wasn’t always the nicest father he could have been, but she didn’t think that would have been in character.
But where did that very specific temporary new habit come from, I wonder.
Until next time 🙂
Video presentation is a discussion of children’s experiences suggestive of the possibilities of reincarnation with Dr Jim Tucker at the University of Virginia.
In the language of the Tarot the High Priestess may simply mean ‘a woman’, just as The Magician may simply signify ‘a man’.
The High Priestess corresponds with Monday as a day of the week. The reader may of course also correlate the Moon card with a Monday, but should be aware of The High Priestess connection, not to miss out on a potential clue in a reading.
The Moon card additionally correlates with the zodiac sign of Pisces, and in terms of timing of events may be suggesting dates late February- late March.
The High Priestess may be a scholar, and/or something of a witch. She may be a reader, an artist in any medium, a writer and a teacher. She may be a herbalist or hedge-witch, a midwife or a doctor. She may be in any line of work at all, but whatever she does, yes, she studies – hence the scroll in her hand- yes, she learns from others, but above all she learns from herself, and she is ready to talk in silence, like her masculine counterpart, The Hermit, and to walk and work alone.
She is recognized by HOW she does things, rather than necessarily what she does. She may be single, but even if she is married and a devoted family woman, there is always the sense that she has her own domain, separate, not shutting others off, but hers to rule.
The light is cool, silvery, remote at times though not cold.
You can see in this card various mythological references: the pomegranate of Persephone, as she wanders alone between the World and and the Underworld, and the cow horns of Hathor, goddess of the sky, of beauty, fertility, music and joy.
You see the Owl of Hekate, daughter of Zeus and Asteria, the triple goddess of ghosts. She is identified with the Crone and the waning Moon. She is the keeper of the dead, of boundaries and of the crossroads, purveyor of poison, but kindly to the broken, kindly to Demeter when Persephone was abducted. Hekate herself is no mother, but also took pity on the tragic mother Hecuba, queen of Troy, after Hecuba’s death by suicide,jumping overboard the Greek ship that was taking her into slavery after the fall of Troy and the deaths of so many of her children. Hecuba had suffered more than anyone could bear. Hekate, seeing this, rescued her soul with the gift of forgetting and transformed her into a hound which she keeps safely at her side at all times.
The owl as a totem animal is strongly associated with the intellectual warrior goddess Athena but hers was a Little Owl. Hekate’s totem animal is a Barn Owl, aka screech owl.
This owl is also associated with Welsh mythology, the Mabinogion, and the legend of a magical woman who was turned into an owl; a story which featured in a famous novel by Alan Garner, The Owl Service.
The Owl Service-
“Garner was fascinated by the love triangle of Lleu Llaw Gyffes (the man cursed never to have a wife on this earth), Blodeuwedd (the woman who was magically made out of flowers for him) and Gronw Pebyr (her lover). In the Welsh tale, Blodeuwedd conspires with her lover Gronw to kill her husband Lleu, but Lleu escapes his murder, turns into an eagle and flies away, eventually to be restored to life by the magician Gwydion. Blodeuwedd’s punishment is to be turned into an owl, while Gronw is killed by Lleu with a spear that passes through him and pierces a stone”.
Source: Times Literary Supplement
The High Priestess wears a headdress refers to the sacred Bull cult of Apis, corresponding with the material sign of Taurus, which is also associated with Hathor, the cosmic cow which carried the weight of the whole world.
The element of Earth is no less ‘spiritual’ than Fire, Water or Air.
When The High Priestess is drawn reversed in a reading, a female (though not necessarily female) enquirer may be feeling unhappy and lonely. If it refers to a woman in the enquirer’s close environment, this card may be picking up on a female friend where there has been a distancing or a disagreement, or this other woman is not after all a true friend. Be careful who you trust is the warning of the High Priestess.
Anyone who sees you as a competitor can never become a true and trusted friend. What they want in life, you cannot give to them, even if you wanted to, any more than a cow could simply shed its horns. But whatever they may want for you or from you, is, ultimately, not motivated by goodwill.
The High Priestess is watchful, and under no illusions as to whether someone is friend, foe, neutral or indifferent. But she knows it takes all sorts. She doesn’t take it personally.
In this respect, the shrine or sanctuary of The High Priestess corresponds with an old Norse rune called Perthro or Perdhro, meaning secrets, cup, chalice, sanctuary or paddock.
People meet on the road, or on the bridge, or on the strand between the shore and the sea, but, like The Hermit, the High Priestess accepts solitude as the price of learning, the sanctum she serves….whatever that sanctum may mean in reality; a home, a job, a business or a creative endeavour, or a cause dear to her heart….
People are quick to commiserate with bad news. But the real test, the acid test of a friendship is, when a friend also truly, sincerely rejoices in your good news.
The Watcher by The Well of Wyrd
She works alone with words and stones, Disposing glyphs on graven runes, Wyrd runs water; she must deal, In whisperings and Fates unsealed, Winds of fortune shape and shatter, Time, disposing of all matters, Is Serpentine, the ouroboros, Endless, rolling, still coils sinuous.
An outing for the Tarot’s Moon card, with Katie-Ellen, UK Tarot reader, writer and business consultant.
Happy New Year, and the tummy bug in question was nothing to do with me, I am happy to say, or the seasonal festivities. I was doing a Skype reading, investigating questions to do with ongoing and future creative projects- the client is an artist and sculptor, when I drew the Moon card.
The image below is from The Gilded Tarot, by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti. Also available from Amazon but the publisher Llewellynis getting this shout-out.
Classical meanings for this card are; the Moon itself, Fertility, monthly cycles, tides, floods (alas), conception, confusion, deception, secrets, vivid dreams, visions, leaps of imagination, fantasy, art, animals, hunting, secrets, fraud, theft, surveillance, risk, travel with danger attached, disease.
Reversed/Upside down: the meanings take on a different complexion, and may suggest any of these things- but they are fading away and now belong to the recent past.
The key challenge for a reader is to decide which meanings are relevant, and quickly, not to bore witless and alienate the client. One must say the first thing that comes to mind. I call it ‘gob-shiting’and I really shouldn’t; it’s hardly elegant and perhaps this should be a New Year’s resolution. The thing is, the reader needs to just speak.
I said the first thing that popped into my mind and asked whether a loved one had been ill, just recently, and perhaps they had gone down with a tummy bug? Or, could it even have been a bout of food poisoning, but whatever it was, they seemed to be better now?
I held up the card to the camera. ‘Look at this,’ I said, ‘see the two dogs?’
The client has several dogs, and said, ‘I don’t believe this! Two of my dogs have been ill. We went out a walk and they went into a ditch after a ball and they were quite poorly for a few days afterwards, both of them. A filthy ball in a nasty, dirty ditch. But they are over it now.’
The reader of Tarot or any other divination system must learn not to self- censor. If they do, because their first thought seems just too stupid, they will likely get it wrong, and then want to kick themselves. Learning to trust yourself enough to do that is the hardest thing, or at least, I found it so and I still sometimes have to tell that inner critic, aka saboteur of the oracular mind, to shut up.
People may well say, and many do, sod all the soothsayers. Wits or just good old common sense is what is called for, in working out a response to a problem. This is fair enough and often true…at least, it may be from where they are sitting. Nine times out of 10, in making their own predictions, they may prove quite correct. But what the oracular reader sniffs out, like a wild animal, using whatever oracle as a spade for digging in the primal mind, is what is hidden and could not wisely or even reasonably be expected.
The Tarot is nothing but printed card stock, physically. But the imagery and its many and deep rooted associations facilitate telepathy, triggering both receiver and transmitter. The client is equally active in this process, at a level they are not consciously aware of, any more than the reader is consciously aware of why they said A and not B.
For more information about my readings and how to get a reading, visit my website HERE
I am currently re-reading the lively and highly accessible ‘The Daughter Of Time,’ by Josephine Tey It’s a novel; a fictional but fact based whodunnit, still recommended reading for history students. It’s pro-Ricardian, offering a probably Not-Guilty of infanticide verdict.
Some are asking, are they burying the right man? Genetics expresses the odds as 6.7 million to one it’s him but the paternal line is unproven. Also: analysis of various genetic markers offered tantalizing clues to Richard III’s appearance — suggesting that he was not the dark-haired, steely-eyed monarch portrayed in well-known historical images. “There are genes that we know are involved in coding for hair and eye color … The genetic evidence shows he had a 96% probability of having blue eyes, and a 77% probability of having blond hair, though this can darken with age.”
Read and hear more about the genetic discoveries Here
The reconstructed head has the same twist to the mouth and jaw of the portraits but they’ve still got to leap gaps using artistic license and his portrait eyebrows ain’t bushy. Look at this pair of unbrushed caterpillars they’ve adorned him with.
I drew a card asking have they got the right body? I treat an upright card as a probable yes, an upside down card as a probable no. Look atta card drawn, co-incidentally enough, how’s that image for synchronicity? The next card I drew seemed to support this. It was The World card; representing the world at large, as in, a return to the world, also signifying the end of a cycle or story.
Did Richard have his nephews murdered, yes or no?
I sense a 25% likelihood.
If they died on his watch, or if one of them did, let’s say, Edward, it might not necessarily have been murder, or not double murder. Maybe one or the other died, and it made for an extremely awkward situation but it was not murder.
The two bodies discovered in the Tower in the reign of Charles 11 might settle it, one might think. But, no. The remains are apparently ‘beyond reach’ of testing. Besides it seems DNA testing of these would still not necessarily settle the question definitively according to this article from The Guardian. The difference between Richard being the murderer and Henry, could have been a time difference of a mere three months or so, dating from the last known sighting of the Princes until the death of Richard on the battlefield at Bosworth.
Meanwhile there remains the question of Perkin Warbeck.
Whatever happened seems to have been a cause of great, one might say, additional grief to Richard. Six of Cups (children) The Devil (evil fortune, a trap, powerlessness) and the Five of Cups (grief about children, grief for a wife and for what might have been.) He had much to grieve for, even without such a burden of either responsibility, or the awareness of injustice. Monstrous times, monstrous events. We’re lucky, those of us who’ll never have to wrangle problems on the the scale this man did; the word here is tragic. I feel the remains belong in York Minster, and they say he spent some happy times in Middleham.
If Leicester has him, maybe it needs him more.
Truth, wrote Sir Francis Bacon, is the Daughter of Time not Authority. Maybe read ‘The Daughter Of Time’, see what you think.
Yesterday someone asked did I believe in reincarnation?
The Yew: symbol of resurrection. Its branches grow down into the ground to form new stems, which then rise up around the old central growth as separate but linked trunks. After a time, they cannot be distinguished from the original tree.
The rune EIWAZ represents the yew, and its numinous capacity for regeneration. It is the one living thing on Earth that could, at least in theory, live indefinitely.
I could not say yes or no, only that my perception is that it is possible for it to be true.
Some years ago, standing cooking, I experienced a strange sensation. For just a split second, I seemed to be standing in an entirely different kitchen, sparse, dark, above a courtyard. There was sunlight coming in at the open door from which I knew there was a flight of steep, narrow steps leading down to the courtyard, and I was wondering where Pietro had got to.
NB The name of the present Il Matrimonio is not Pietro. It is sometimes Mr Hissy (the man is a Libra subject but he is practically a Scorpio, and don’t I know it, but today he’s being good – just slithered in with a cup of tea.)
I have to say, I’m not keen on the idea of reincarnation. Of course we are all recycled material. Life on Earth is 4.5 billion years old, and we are just the current manifestations of it. In that sense, it would be unscientific NOT to believe in reincarnation.
I don’t hugely welcome the idea of repeating the human experience, doing everything again, exactly. And this is not meant as a complaint. I live with pain, and have done for many years now, but in many other respects I’ve done anything but draw the short straw.
I am pretty sure of this though. Whatever happens, it won’t be my choice. Life works in mysterious ways. I strongly sense, based on some rather strange experiences, that our consciousness is not extinguished at the time of bodily death, and that our departure is a process that can take days or longer. The tradition of the Wake was a wise one. We’d do well to bring it back.
There are other ways in which we live on, such as ‘returning’ in a descendent who looks like us, or who shares certain very particular qualities. Perhaps, therefore, reincarnation is race memory at work; the ultimate expression of ancestry.
Do we come back as our evolving selves as the Buddhists think? I’m not someone who’s going to rule it out. There have been too many extremely strange, compelling and quite convincing stories. READ HERE
Could it be that some people return quicker than others depending on their need?
Let’s talk about a very sad reading I once did for a young lady who told me her brother had recently died. This was a reading done by email. I had never met the lady.
I asked how he had died and she replied that he had in fact killed himself.
Her questions were:
Where was he now?
How was he, now?
I needed time to think about this one, as you can well imagine, and when I sat down to it, I drew the Sun card from The Gilded Tarot by Ciro Marchetti.
I find it a very useful deck. However, this card below, drawn from the Waite tradition, better illustrates and exemplifies what arose from that reading..
This is a card of life itself, and joy and of childhood. And of innocence and animals. Things in their natural state. You can see this for yourself, looking at this card. In other decks, those meanings are not necessarily so clear.
The appearance of this card suggested to me that wherever he was, whatever he was, he was like a child again, that he didn’t remember his death, not at all, or the darkness that drove him to it. Because this is a card of births…I felt he may even return again. Very soon in fact.
Bless his soul. He was a child again. I seemed to see him kicking about in a puddle. Sometimes he was too deeply asleep, and knew nothing, remembered nothing as one might generally, and naturally expect from the dead. But at other times, while facing away from this Earth, shown behind him, he was this child, kicking at a puddle, quietly engrossed and at ease with himself. But soon he would join the queue to return. And this is at present, a queue under pressure. For the two going out of human existence every second of today, four are coming in. The unborn are banging on the gates of the docks. What’s the limit of on the shipping lanes..
Why would he come back so soon, assuming if was ‘him’? unfinished business? Another chance? A wound to be healed?
I do not know. How could I? But I sensed news of a coming birth. This news looked or should I say, felt, as if it was coming soon. Bizarre as it might have seemed, I go with the flow in readings, and I wondered if it might even be him, coming back for a fresh go.
About three weeks after this I heard back from the lady, an email, rather excited, saying she had just learned her sister was expecting a baby. She might, she joked, be her own brother’s auntie this time around.
I could only hope it offered some kind of comfort, however peculiar, for a truly terrible grief. Because not all griefs are equal, some are worse than others.
These are mysteries beyond me. All I can say is, I wonder.
Il Matrimonio had answered the phone to lovely Jane from the community physiotherapy team, coming to rehabilitate little old moi because I surely need it, pesky auto-immune joint pain sh*te. Jane had called to arrange a visit for today, Thursday, during the afternoon. This morning, I asked Il Matrimonio what time she was coming. He didn’t know. Some time during the afternoon.
‘You mean you didn’t agree any kind of time slot?’ said I.
Hiss-grunt (he was busy on his keyboard) ‘No.’
If it had mattered, I’d have made a call to clarify. As it was, this was an opportunity to test my pendulum with a little game. A clockwise swing indicates a yes answer to a question, and an anti-clockwise swing indicates no. The more vigorous the swing, the more emphatic the answer.
So I asked, would Jane arrive 12-1? Negative
1-2 ? Negative
2-3 ? Negative
3-4 ? Affirmative
Jane called at 3.29 to say she be with us in the next few minutes and arrived at 3.34, escorted in by a beaming Il Matrimonio, charm personified (He was born under the Chinese sign of The Snake and one can tell, and I was born under the sign of The Rabbit and maybe one can tell, by the rabbiting.)
What would have been even better would be to have got it down to a 5 minute block, but my pendulum suggested she would arrive at 3.20 making me 15 minutes out.
Practise makes perfect? I am far from expert at this. Pendulum divination (and you can use a ring on a string, no need to go and buy a pendulum though they are nice, sometimes very beautiful objects) is at once very simple and treacherous.
An accurate result depends on the person doing the divination maintaining a calm, disinterested attitude of curiosity, without wishful thinking or anxiety attached. You can sway the swing, very easily. Test it for yourself by asking a question while thinking how much you want the answer to be yes or no. You will almost certainly, unless you turn yourself to stone or steel, see the swing you want to see. Or perhaps it’s more like turning yourself into a sponge; the oracular mind is a sensate but neutral and completely uninvolved sponge. If you care about the matter in hand, it is not easy.
It works by what Jung called synchronicity (see @Tarot Card Philosophy – HowStuffWorks.) The reader uses the imagery and numbers with all their associated symbolism to help them articulate their intuitive impressions more precisely.
Tarot is an old western esoteric artifact, but is only one of many available systems of divination.
The 78 cards offer a symbolic language. The reader ‘uploads’ a ‘programme’ by learning the meanings and associations of the cards. In a reading, the reader draws cards blindly and at random, and uses the imagery on the cards as a prompt, to share what they feel about a given person, situation or question. The thing that is most amazing, even uncanny, is the absolute relevance of cards drawn at random and blindly (being upside down when they are drawn). This is where the apparent miracle of synchronicity occurs.
The Wheel of Fortune; Public Domain
How does the reader choose cards supposedly at random, which so appropriately identify the enquirer’s situation or question? It can be darn spooky.
The answer is, the reader doesn’t know exactly. They simply trust, or learn to trust the unconscious process. What they have done is trained/strengthened a natural faculty by uploading a kind of programme or whether Tarot, or Astrology or Runes. There are many such ‘programmes’.
Sometimes the card does not actually contain literal relevant imagery. How could a deck of 78 cards contain all the possible images in the world? The cards deal with this by using archetypes, eg The Chariot = effort, progress, ambition, team work, or literally, a vehicle. Any vehicle or a driving job, or test.
Each card has a number of possible meanings attached, and this starts with book knowledge but the reader must still make a leap of intuition in deciding which meaning applies. Such a leap in the dark may result in a ‘psychic’ insight, where all existing book meanings for the card is bypassed and a unique meaning arrived at.
During one reading I drew the Page of Cups from the Universal Waite. The card generally signifies happy new developments, sometimes a welcome gift or a message. On this occasion, I looked at it and without thinking, asked the lady, did she ate a lot of those pink and white marshmallows? She was astonished and so was I, and we laughed when she opened her hand bag and there was a packet of those same marshmallows inside it.
It was the pink and white of the picture that leapt to my attention and prompted my question; the rest went into the background. How, exactly that happened, I do not know. I was almost but not equally astonished as my visitor and by now, take it for granted that a conference with the Tarot can result in these experiences.
Tarot accesses a natural talent of the most normal, ancient human mind. We all possess it. A ‘psychic’ reader is simply someone who noticed it, been interested and through study self training and often many years of practice, gone on to exercise and develop this natural ability, rather like a muscle of the mind.
14 January: Wednesday evening at about 7.30, Il Matrimonio slithered into the study with a cup of tea for me. Most kind, but also, this was a warning to me that footie kicked off at 7.55 and he was to be considered unavailable until half time.
‘It’s Ipswich and Southampton,’ he hissed, biting into an apple himself, Eve had no chance. ‘Ipswich will get it.’
‘Do you think so?’ I said, reaching for my cards.
‘Well, I hope so, they’re doing well.’
I shuflled and drew a card asking, how will Ipswich do tonight against Southampton? I drew……oh no. The Star card but reversed, upside down. Image from The Gilded Tarot by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti.
The beautiful Star is Tarot’s card of hope and recovery, so I had to say I was sorry, but I thought Ipswich wouldn’t win this time. He glided from the room evincing a mild but measured displeasure, ‘we’ll ssseeeee.’
The score Southampton 1 Ipswich 0
I see Man City betting news people are following me on Twitter. Dare I look in my cards to see how Man City get on against Arsenal this Sunday? It might be more than my life is worth if I get it wrong. It might be more than my life is worth if I get it right.
It’s a ‘how long is a piece of string’ question. I read for people who’ve been using my service on an intermittent basis since I started in 2002. Hopefully, no-one will feel a need to access psychic readings on a regular basis, nor do ethical readers encourage dependency, as an unhealthy situation, not in the best interests of customer or reader.
Some people can become ‘addicted’ to getting readings. That’s not good news, and it’s liable to add to any confusion, especially if readings or readers appear to contradict each other. It’s a potential headache for the reader, a reading can be a potent experience and though it’s rare, it can happen that a customer threatens to become a stalker.
Many readers discourage this behaviour by setting terms on frequency of access. Most readers will operate a personal policy in respect of frequency of readings for the same person. They might well state, also, that they will only read once on a given question or issue. They won’t keep reading on the same issue just because the customer didn’t like the answers first time round.
This could happen. It is a risk you run in requesting a reading. The reader must say what they see, and say what they do not see, if that is the question, sharing their findings with care, never to frighten the customer, but respecting the oracle nonetheless.
Some readers will discourage returns within 6 weeks, others within six months.
There may be exceptions. It might be someone has hit a very bad patch, and is finding readings useful, or is finding comfort and support in readings, intensively perhaps, but only for a short time, where other approaches have not met the need, or are not wanted. Bereavement is one such possible situation. Anyone could hit a patch like this, and not find what they are looking for through doctors or counsellors, or else not wish to use those services. They may not wish to discuss things with family or friends, and might choose a psychic reading as a coping resource.
The High Priestess: a psychic reader, and representative of one’s own intuition; Image from The Golden Tarot by Kat Black, by kind permission of U.S Games Systems.
Another exception I can think of based on my reading experience is when someone is using a particular psychic’s skills for professional or business purposes. I say, particular psychic. It’s such a broad collective term, ‘psychic’, as to be practically meaningless, and not helpful on its own. Potential customers are advised to do some research. Look up the psychic’s website, go by word of mouth. What kinds of question does a particular psychic handle, do they specialise? How do they set out their stall? What is their background?
Business motivated users of psychic services are often operating in a degree of isolation, and perhaps, are bearing heavy responsibilities. It is not that they are emotionally dependent, or likely to become so, however often they use the service, and they will stop using it the minute they don’t see the return on investment they are looking for. They are interested in accessing psychic insights as part of their working arsenal, for strategic and planning purposes.
‘Psychics should be licenced,’ Katie-Ellen’s response.
The Question: We require hairdressers to be licensed, why not psychics? They should have to demonstrate actual psychic powers, by some process such as JREF (James Randi Educational Foundation) could design.
A Reader’s Response:
I follow the questioner’s reasoning. As it stands it is ‘caveat emptor.’ How best to protect consumers of such services? The solution proposed however would be neither meaningful nor workable. It demonstrates a lack of understanding.
Whatever process designed by a party that has already mad up its mind as to the outcomes, as is the case with the James Randi Educational Foundation, will be designed to affirm its own position.
The best, and in fact, only true judge of value in a psychic reading is the client. Readings generally, though not necessarily, takes place in private and in confidence, which the client is free to break, of course.
Stage psychics are up there to stand or fall for everyone to see; brave souls, whatever your view of them.
They are unusual and genuinely gifted communicators for the most part, I would say.
BUT whether a medium is communicating with the minds of the dead, OR is telepathically communicating with the living minds of those who knew the deceased, I would not presume to pronounce.
Either way, it is a wonder what can emerge. I am myself, not a medium, but clients have sometimes told me I’ve said something a dead loved one used to say, using exactly their turn of phrase, when there has been no spirit in the room that I have been aware of. I have tended to think, myself, that this happened out of my intense connection in that moment, with the living person sitting right there with me. It is telepathy, and even cats and dogs demonstrate degree of telepathy all the time, as do people, there is nothing really for anyone to get too excited about.
The Moon Card from the Universal Waite
To perform at his or her best, the psychic needs to relax on the one hand, and concentrate on the other. The ‘best’, most startlingly accurate insights arise from reading in this state. I once read for two volunteers off the street, reading for them individually in the presence of a journalist. It was for a feature in a magazine. The volunteers were pleased with their readings, but the presence of the journalist was off-putting.
I said less than I would otherwise have done, because it wouldn’t have been right for these people to have had their privacy breached in such a fashion in a national circulation magazine.
In this work, the quality of the reading you get will reflect the reader’s own personal and professional capabilities and background, while no resting on laurels is possible and reputation is everything. The client can judge at once, the accuracy, relevance and meaningfulness of what the psychic is saying to them, about them, and their present situation. In respect of forecasts, only time will tell as to accuracy. Confidence in forecasts is based on what is said about the clients present circumstances, and past events.
Often the client provides feedback. Sometimes they don’t, or might do so a long time afterwards. Many today leave feedback on-line, as well as by word of mouth. Free advertising is invaluable to the psychic, while negative feedback can offer a clear warning to potential clients. Do some research before booking a reading and trust yourself in choosing a reader you feel you could relate to, offering a clearly stated service that matches what you are looking for.
A visit to a licensed premises such as a cinema to see a film licensed for release is no guarantee of satisfaction or entertainment. Visiting a trained and qualified counsellor is not any guarantee either, of any meaningful result, and may not be cheap. (I have myself, received training and certification in counselling, to know the difference between a reading and a counselling session.)
One lady I read for, told me she had attending counselling once a week for six years, and said she felt she had got more help from a reading than from the counselling. The counsellor was qualified and suitably professionally endorsed and indemnified, no doubt. What nail did that counsellor not hit on the head? The reading might not have helped either, but you see the point. Horses for courses. This was a young lady, struggling with very severe psoriasis and associated depression for many years. I was a patient in the same hospital myself at the time, and did not offer her a reading, nor did I charge anything for the two hours spent, though I was by this point working professionally .
A problem here is that James Randi is not an impartial, disinterested party. His interest is in prosecuting an agenda. This is not compatible with advancing understanding, nor with promoting excellence of customer service. Who would be qualified to do the licencing? The Office of Fair Trading?
I am inclined to scepticism, myself. I think of it as common sense.
The self-avowed ‘committed skeptic’ is not, I think, a true sceptic.
They have already taken up a stance, and this is not compatible with genuine inquiry. They are more a new, secular kind of Missionary.
If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of psychics, more uncomfortable than interested, well, it is not everyone’s cup of tea.
It is not like going to the bank manager or the doctor or the dentist or the solicitor.
Use your judgement. Stay away. Do not risk your valuable time and money.
I recently returned from an overseas family vacation driving in Europe, marginally more relaxing than crossing the Alps with Hannibal. OK, it was intense, but let’s keep a sense of proportion. It was nothing like marching with Hannibal. I had scrambled eggs for breakfast every day, once with chopped chives. The sun shone all week. It was instructive, it made a change, and my husband, Il Matrimonio, was in seventh heaven; king of the road in his lovely new black shiny car that he, ahem, loves.
Below we have the The Chariot card from The Gilded Tarot, representing progress, teamwork, ambition, and literally, a vehicle. Image by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti.
Yes, it was Chariot time. What else could one do, but belt up, pray not to need the loo in a hurry; no joke if you’re having to use a wheelchair for any reason, and look and learn?
There was plenty to see; Reims Cathedral, the snowy summit of the Eiger, the battlefields of Ypres. No goats in Switzerland. Perhaps because it was still hot, they were still up on the high pastures. No ghosts in Ypres, or in Polygon Wood, where Kiwis, Aussies and Brits lie, all brothers together, though I wouldn’t have been surprised to have seen one, standing waist high in the tall green fields.
No risk of mal- de- mer, we had gone through the Channel Tunnel. Quick and easy, no fuss, sitting, working up our best French, and in some cases, spoof French, to be spat out 25 minutes in La Belle France.
On the return trip, however, there occurred a minor delay. We had made the crossing. The train had slowed right down. We’d had the announcements thanking us for travelling Euro-Tunnel, and were doing up our seat-belts ready to stop and drive off, when abruptly the train stopped, the lights went out and we were trapped in the dark in the belly of this vast tin-can underwater snake.
We heard announcements and apologies to the effect that power had been lost, preventing us from reaching the platform at Ashford, but hopefully it wouldn’t be long before power was restored.
How long would it be, I wondered? My tarot cards were in my suitcase, but I had my pendulum in my handbag. I held the pendulum, suspending it over my lap and asked, ‘how long till we move? Will it be 5 minutes?’
The pendulum dithered, then began to move in a circle, anti-clockwise. For me, that always means ‘no.’
It wasn’t the answer I was hoping for. So what. That’s the risk in consulting oracles.
‘How long till we move?’ I asked again. ‘Will it be 10 minutes?’ The pendulum hesitated, then began to swing clockwise. For me, that always means yes.
‘Only ten more minutes, with any luck,’ I said to Il Matrimonio, as he sat, tapping his fingers on the steering wheel, in-between kissing it, or wishing he could.
‘Are we there, yet?’ the teen piped up, stirring it from the back of the car.
Il Matrimonio glanced at his watch, to monitor the prediction, and this is why I am able to tell you, the lights came back on, the power was back, and the train began to move, 9 minutes and 50 seconds later.
Anyone can learn to dowse. It’s not magic. OK, it is. It’s everyday human magic. You won’t always get it right. I don’t, but it’s one of those things you get better at with practice.
There are lots of books on the subject, and plenty of how-to articles on-line. No need to spend money to mobilize this magic. You don’t even need to buy a pendulum. You can use a ring on a string, or even a threaded needle, stuck into a cork. You need a cord or string for there to be that crucial swing, when gravity gets hold of the body twitch, when it comes, that’s the answer needing translation, the non-verbal reply coming from your central nervous system.
What you need to do is decide in advance what movement shall mean ‘yes’, what movement shall mean ‘no’, and what shall represent ‘don’t know’, or ‘ask again later.’
Then ask your question, relax, and trust yourself. Learning to trust yourself, that’s the hardest thing you have to teach yourself, if it doesn’t come naturally. It is the challenge in learning Tarot, it is the challenge in using the insights provided by dreams. It is the challenge in learning to believe yourself, and not beat yourself up when you take an instant ‘unfair’ like or dislike to someone or something. Have you ever felt like that and reasoned yourself out of it, only to come full circle?
Your first feeling is the one to trust. It can save much time, energy, heartache, or even money.
You know more than you know you know. Why don’t they teach this in school?
The use of divinatory tools is largely a means of silencing the counter-arguments of the know-it-all front brain. The conscious attention goes to the tool, creating a tiny oasis of stillness in which to more easily connect with the silent voice of the body’s primary intelligence; instinct.
It trumps tunnel vision, any time. Unless, perhaps, it’s a vision in a tunnel.
I have had the cards out on a few football questions recently, out of interest. Not my interest, particularly, but Il Matrimonio’s.
This is such a poisoned chalice. When I get stuff like this right, he’s intrigued and chuffed, but he’s likely to turn round next day and say it was a good guess, or deny I’d told him what I’d told him, the treasonous reptile. If I get it wrong, he’ll jeer, whereupon I beat him back into his vivarium, and would throw a cockroach after him, if I could find one.
I’ll have a go at these questions anyway. I’m not charging for this work, it forms no part of my professional service, not directly. It’s to benefit my own study. How else does may one study the workings of intuition except to test it on those questions where one has no emotional stake?
I looked and said I thought it was Wigan Athletic to win this match. I assessed their chances as 75% likely to win (but I did not see them winning their next match, I tweeted to this effect, and sadly, they didn’t)
He said this was impossible, that none of the pundits agreed. Why not, I asked? Because, he said, Man City were second in the Premier League, Wigan Athletic were in the bottom three, and Wigan hadn’t scored against Man City since 2007.
His objections to the forecast were based on trend, but a pattern may break at any time. Right or wrong, that was what I saw. The odds were in Wigan’s favour plus, I’d got The Magician as the outcome card, and The Magician is Mastery of Skill.
By means of a counting spread, and by using reversals (allowing upside down cards) as a way of qualifying the odds numerically.
I shuffled (which I do abominably) asking, ‘Wigan Athletic to win?’ Then I drew three cards and laid them out in a row. How many upright (‘dignified’) cards did I have? Two out of three. the middle card counted for 50%, the flanking cards for 25% each. The middle and final cards were upright, and the final card was The Magician. This was a wonderful card in the circumstances. It is the ultimate card of Skill and Mastery.
This forecasting method has proven highly reliable. Not infallible, I ‘m no such thing and would never claim to be, but I’d expect to get it right 90% + of the time and am perplexed till I understand why I miss the mark when it happens.
Today, however, I was asked another football question, and arrived at a response very differently.
This time I did not reach for my cards. I was preparing lunch, I just said ‘wait,’ and paused, knife suspended fatefully over an imperilled avocado.
‘Crystal Palace?’ I said aloud to myself, and upon saying this felt a mild but distinct spasm on the left side of my neck which ran down my left arm into my fingers. It was mildly unpleasant, like the crawls you might get, pedalling your feet in bed at night when you’re low on magnesium or other salts.
Noting this reaction I said, ‘Crystal Palace to win’.
‘They’ve just scored,’ he said. ‘Fifteen minutes to go, let’s see if Watford pull it back,’ and off he wended, sidewinding his way back to the television.
Result: Crystal Palace 1: Watford 0.
For many it will only be stating the obvious to say that the physical and the psychic are one and the same. The very subtlety and sophistication of the Tarot’s vast reference library may be a weakness as well as a strength; a temptation to intellectualizing, which is NOT what is wanted, in trying to obtain a true result on Divination.
In honour of St George’s day, I’ll try the Tarot out as an interviewing tool, as a Translator across Time and Truth. St George’s Day, April 23rd, is also thought to be the anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare.
The Tarot tells no lies, but it stands to reason, factually speaking, there can be no getting at ‘the truth’ of St George. A legend may contain grains of fact, while representing the poetic truth of an amalgam of people or myths. As the poet, Kathleen Raine expressed it, ‘Myth is the Truth of Fact, not Fact the Truth of Myth.’
What some call fantastical, or lies, even damned lies, if they don’t apprehend poetic truth, for others is just taking a possibility for a walk, an interesting exercise with judgement in abeyance. Let’s suspend judgement just for a moment, as we enter the Tarot’s Imaginarium.
That poor dragon. Call the RSPCA. Well, that’s another way of looking at it, by way of a change.
George, if I may, if you can hear me, what can you tell us about yourself? The Six of Swords Rx:
I am the other side of The River. I hear you only faintly, your words are not my language, and yet I understand you. There must be a translator somewhere. I have forgotten many things, but I remember I was a traveller. I made long journeys over the sea as well as by land. When I was small I’d go looking for frogs amongst the bullrushes in the pebbled stream, near where I lived. It was good luck to find a frog.
I didn’t read as well as my father wished, I had some letters, taught me by an old Persian with scarred legs – I didn’t know how he’d got those. He knew about numbers and about the stars. Sometimes he would let me sit by him, and show me maps of the sky.
You’re reputed to have killed a dragon. What can you tell us about that? The Queen of Cups/Ace Pentacles Rx.
There was something once, but I wouldn’t call it a dragon. It was a water-drake, a filthy great eel, attacking fishermen, robbing nets some place I stopped off, they saw I was a military man and they offered coin and a night’s lodgings if I would help them hunt and kill it, and they were in difficulties, so I did.
What about the rescued princess?
Queen of Cups Rx
Princess? I don’t know. There was a woman, still beautiful, not young. Nothing to do with the drake. I was passing through, the problem was mentioned, good coin offered (Ace Coins Rx) I went out at night with the fishermen. One guided the boat, I saw the great eel showing silver at the surface, and threw my lance. We had to withdraw and wait. There was no question of pulling the lance out of this thing, or pulling it from the water still alive. Its mistake was in coming so close to the surface when the moon was so bright. I’d never seen one so huge. They said it had taken a child.
Another thing happened that might have become a story of a dragon. A battle chariot came down on us. A huge thing with its horse team decked out in the semblance of a beast, with a beast’s head carving. I flung a spear, it went through the spokes of one of the wheels. My farthest throw ever, they said. Maybe that’s the root of the story. It was that, or the eel. I kept a pine marten once, for a season, but I don’t imagine that will qualify.
What was your profession?
The King of Swords
(This ties in with known history) Oh, I was ‘miles’, a soldier, I became ‘miles’ after the death of my mother, and I went on to become an officer. A thing to be said for Rome was, it rewarded skill and service, it gave you chances. I wasn’t popular, or perhaps I simply mean, I wasn’t easy and outgoing. I was known for a certain reserve, nothing to do with rank. I was rarely the worse for wear, I laughed at jokes, but I didn’t make many. But the men didn’t give me a hard time either about getting promotion. I tried hard to be fair, always, didn’t put on airs, and few of them could see further or clearer than I could, or better me with a lance. I had a horse, a grey mare called Usa .
(Reading note: I got this name by ‘hearing’ it. Sometimes insights come this way in a real life reading. I had to look it up, and I found that ‘Usa’ is not listed as a Roman or Cappadocian name, but it is a Sanskrit name, meaning ‘Dawn’. My surprise was at finding the name actually existed, I hadn’t come across it before.)
What else, George?
Whatever I said I would do, I did. In my life I had two homes, two peoples, two purses and they were sometimes empty. I was always divided. But it was not in my nature to function divided. I looked at this, or I looked at that, the rest went into the background. I think others besides myself might have paid a heavy price for that. I could not see that at the time. Or if I did, I could not, or would not change it.
Is it accurate to say you were a Christian? The Hierophant Rx
The word echoes. I remember that I found myself out of step, dangerously so.
Why was that?
Perhaps it was just the world I had came into.
What do you remember about leaving Life?
Seven of Wands, Ace of Cups.
There must have been pain and fear but I don’t remember. I can only see blows coming at me to know it was not gentle. Then I was looking down from a height, the peace of knowing I had escaped and was free. Little else.
Did you have children?
The Three of Swords Rx
I feel I was mourned from afar. A son. I last saw him, before embarking overseas again. He had lately been apprenticed. Tooling of leather, I think. He was enjoying the work. Perhaps he continued to become a craftsman or merchant (3 Wands) I hope Life was good for him, I hope he got what he needed and wanted, but what his life path was like afterwards, I can never know.
The Tarot’s Moon card: Things That Go Bump In The Night…
The Tarot card that might be talking about things going bump in the night, and we don’t mean burglars, or …well, you know…is The Moon card: Its meanings: Dreams, Illusions, Shadows, Psychic Perception, Deceit, Danger, Fear of the Unknown, Paranoia.
Things that go bump in the night. If it’s filmable, if it’s reproducable, I don’t think it’s the real/unreal thing.
Why? Because such experiences are perceptions of the Amygdala. The eyes see what the brain sees, projecting, not reflecting. This is the vision of the psychic eye. It does not mean that it is not ‘real’.
Reports of ghosts may be considered suspect for a number of reasons. For one thing, they can be good for business…certain businesses. There was an interesting legal situation in the ’90s when a famously haunted Lancashire property, Chingle Hall, was sold at a value to reflect its haunted status with tourist income potential, which did not, em, materialise as substantially as expected.
This doesn’t mean there aren’t ghosts anywhere, anytime, ye who cry scorn and derision. It’s something so easy to do, just dismiss it, if it hasn’t happened to you. Ghosts are not performing seals, or maybe it requires a certain kind of sensitivity to be open to that perception. Which begs the question, what is a ghost, anyway?
Have I experienced anything of that sort, myself? Yes, I have, on a few occasions. The first occasion was long before I ever thought of learning Tarot, and it was extraordinary although the full strangeness did not hit me right away or even for some years. I was ‘fetched’ to a scene where a man had just died, and it turned out to have been the man himself who had done the fetching. There was the body, round the back of M&S in Leicester, there was the ambulance, and the paramedics, trying to resuscitate him, but he was now too far outside himself, and very shocked at its suddenness, poor man.
These days, there’s a small dog on the staircase just now and then. I’ve seen it running down, fading in and out of view. Nothing unpleasant whatsoever. I’ve seen it in the kitchen and on the landing, and I’ve seen it run under the dining table. It’s the size of a large terrier with pricked ears and a short dark coat. I see the movement and the shape, not the detail.
I imagine it’s some kind of energy residue; a print or a memory of a previous household pet.
Other things over the years have been sadder, stranger, creepier, and I have definitely not wished to encourage them.
I’m not asking if you ‘believe’ in such. If you don’t, you don’t, and many don’t. I get that. But, I have heard a lot of stories, presented quite matter of factly, by people in perfect possession of all their marbles. If you are interested, look up the books of TC Lethbridge, psychic researcher and academic with a scientific background. He said, ‘today’s magic is tomorrow’s science,’ and I think he’s near the mark.
The world is not only stranger than we know. It may be stranger than we CAN know. Why should recognising possibilities and the limits of current understanding be a barrier to enquiry?
Tarot, Runes, our dreams, myths and songs, are some of the many boats available for exploring these deep waters. Some may prefer to stay in harbour, and not explore at all, and that’s fine; they needn’t. But not everyone has the choice, the current pulls them out. I chose Tarot but I didn’t choose the things that went before, I learned they were part of my make-up. For all our intellectual achievements and aspirations, resistant to ‘superstition’ or not ‘we’ remain an instinctive animal. We rely on it for our safety. If someone gives you the creeps, then they give you the creeps, and there’ll be a reason. Police, Emergency Services Personnel, the Military, all need good instincts, or else.
To be psychic is only an extreme form of instinct. This is our nature and our default. Factual truth may also be poetic. Stories come from someone’s experience, and myths and fairy tales from a collective experience. In this sense, however fanciful, even ghost stories contain some essential truth. They do not lie.
I drew The Ace of Pentacles once, and was initially puzzled as to why, Tarot was flagging it up as a problem, but the lady was adamant there were no money or property issues troubling her, as I would have expected with this card, being drawn reversed as it was.
In fact it did represent a property issue. It was just that the lady hadn’t thought of it in those terms. The Ace of Pentacles reversed represented a diamond ring, and the card was drawn reversed because the ring was missing and had been lost now for more than eighteen months. The lady was very sad about it. The ring had been a gift from her husband who had died three years previously; a fact I knew already from previous readings for this delightful lady.
If I had not already known, the appearance of the 9 of Swords (grieving, bereavement, sleepless nights) would have been a clue.
The lady asked my help in finding the missing ring. DISCLAIMER follows: Neither dowsing or remote viewing – the other possibility for finding lost objects psychically – form part of my professional service, which focusses on situational feedback, advice and forecasts.
I reminded her of this, but she asked me to please just have a go anyway. I’d been right about things before, and the loss was preying on her mind. I agreed because I knew her, and knew she would understand it was a long shot. I said I would not charge, as I could not guarantee success. She replied, gracious as always, she wished to pay for my time, regardless.
I began by asking the Tarot whether the lost ring was still in my clients flat.
I did this using a counting spread. This is how it works. Drawing more than 50% of the cards upright is a yes answer in this type of spread, less than 50% is a no. The more upright cards, the stronger the ‘yes’ signal. The more reversed cards, the stronger the ‘no’ .
Getting a 50% answer, which happens a lot, gaaahhh, is the greatest challenge and often, I have learned the hard way, signifies the need to rephrase the question, or ask a different question to obtain the best answer.
Using this counting approach now, the Tarot indicated that yes, the ring was in her flat still. It had not been thrown away by accident as she feared.
The prospect of using the cards for narrowing down the exact location of a ring in a flat I had never visited was a time -consuming prospect however. I decided that instead, I would try dowsing with a pendulum.
I didn’t have my quartz pendulum handy, so I removed my neck chain which had a small pendant. I would use this to request yes, no and maybe answers that would help me edit out all the other impressions that might come to me through the cards.
I would draw single cards for extra information.
I wrote the word ‘Bedroom‘ on paper first because my client was pretty determined that the ring must be in the bedroom. I suspended the chain and locket over the word and it described an anti-clockwise circle which I took for a no answer.
Was the ring in the kitchen? No.
The bathroom? No.
The sitting room? The pendulum described a clockwise circle. Yes.
Dowsing appeared to have selected the sitting room. I drew another card at random and got The Death card. All I could think was that the lost ring was somehow in the keeping of the lady’s deceased husband.
Had her husband been buried or cremated, I asked? Cremated she said. I proceeded to tell her a story from my own life in which I had dowsed a dear one’s ashes, to know where they should be scattered, in accordance with the owners preferences, there having been no instruction in the will. Why did I tell her this? I did not fully understand at the time, but I would later.
Was there a vase in her sitting room with white roses in it? I asked. My reason for asking was that the thought came to me, considering the white rose on Death’s banner you can see on the picture of this Rider-Waite card (U.S Games).
No, she said, there were no white roses. Oh, well, I said, it was just a thought. Not to worry, but perhaps just bear it in mind while you look.
She left with advice to search the sitting room, near objects with a strong physical association with her husband. It really felt to me as if he had it, and was looking after it for her…a crazy notion, on the face of it.
She left at 12.30. At 2.55 she rang to tell me she had found the ring. She had needed a step- ladder to find it (so, if you see the 6 of Wands, which appeared at my first look, bear in mind it might, depending on circumstances, literally be a ladder.)
The diamond ring was on top of a wall unit in the sitting room, right beside the jar in which she kept her husband’s ashes.
‘I feel so silly,’ she said, ‘you asked about white roses, and I told you I hadn’t any when all the time there was a vase of them – silk ones, you know – on the hearth by the wall unit.’
I was delighted as you can imagine. Also a teensy bit freaked and considerable in awe.
How strange the Universe is and its workings. How mysterious the human mind is. She might have put it there herself, done it on automatic pilot and then forgotten. I helped her fetch it out of her memory. If not …the possibilities are strange indeed.
BUT. This is crucial, she was willing to work with me and help me try to help her. We found it together.
Check out dowsing on Google and Dowsing Associations and Societies if you’ve ever wondered if you have hidden water in your back garden, or want to know more about it in general. Use these links:-