In the previous blog, I used cartomancy divination to look at the question of whether the UK would leave the Customs Union in 2020, and the overall reply was yes, using my playing cards, based on this spread shown below. The yes arises from the appearance of the Ace of Spades in the central column, which contains the final answer of the reading.
BUT talk about hot potato. What will it look like in practice? Let us look at it through the lens of the Tarot today.
Which of these options look more likely?
streamlined customs arrangement – which involves minimal customs checks and the use of new technology to enable as frictionless trade as possible. This option would allow the movement of goods between the UK and the EU to be monitored and recorded, with traders paying duties on a monthly or quarterly basis, rather than paying duties on every shipment or service traded. This is the option currently favoured by ‘Brexiteers’.
A customs partnership with the EU – which involves the UK acting as a tax collector for the EU whenever goods enter the UK. If the goods are bound for the UK, and if the UK tariff is lower than the EU tariff, traders could claim any difference. This was the option reportedly favoured by Mrs May, although it remains unclear whether she still supports it following the Cabinet meeting this week. See Here For Source
Today I have used my Tarot cards. The deck is the Divine Legacy Tarot deck used here for educational purposes by kind permission of the artist, Ciro Marchetti.
Cards for Option 1
streamlined customs arrangement – which involves minimal customs checks and the use of new technology to enable as friction-less trade as possible. This option would allow the movement of goods between the UK and the EU to be monitored and recorded, with traders paying duties on a monthly or quarterly basis, rather than paying duties on every shipment or service traded.
The card top left, drawn upside down, is the 3 of Coins, suggesting that a streamlined customs arrangement will be harder to implement to start with. This is a money card of craftsmanship and attention to detail, but blocked or delayed, and technology is not of itself the panacea.
The burden and onus on smaller businesses and sole traders, like the craftsman shown in the card, will be especially troublesome to start with, but thereafter, in the longer term, 4-9 years, The Hermit (Major Arcana 9, meaning maturity and independence, going it alone) the Four of Wands (one’s house is in order) and Strength (Major Arcana 8, meaning Courage, health and Power) as the destination card, suggests this option is front- end problematic but becomes a position of increasing Strength over the following 4-9 years.
Cards for Option 2
A customs partnership with the EU – which involves the UK acting as a tax collector for the EU whenever goods enter the UK. If the goods are bound for the UK, and if the UK tariff is lower than the EU tariff, traders could claim any difference. This was the option reportedly favoured by Mrs May,
Let’s look at the cards again without having to scroll up:
The first card out is Justice, due process and a need for fair play. We hit the ground running with an idea that is better received by the other side of the table, and with existing infrastructure and legal harmonisation. We wish to play fair, if we are played fair with. Justice is the cards of Libra, the Law and harmony. Key dates September 23-October 23.
This appears to trump the starting position for Option 1 hands down, and there is strong support for it.
The Queen of Cups here represents a key female figure, probably Theresa May herself, although she was represented in the previous playing card reading as a Queen of Diamonds (money queen, fast thinking and this equates more readily with the Tarot’s suit of Coins or Pentacles.) However, we are all multifaceted and this is a card of pouring oil on troubled waters. This is a card of a leader wishing to harmonize differences but is this actually possible if she is not met half way? The Queen of Cups is a peacemaker, and here, looking as she seems to be, out towards us, but also towards Justice, she has an eye here is the pictorial suggestion, to the House of Lords.
The Knight of Coins is a card of slow, steady growth and is by no means therefore a negative card in terms of what it seems to suggest about the financial well-being of the UK going this route.
The destination/outcome card for a mooted Customs Partnership is The 9 of Wands Reversed.
The upright 9 is a card of courage and determination, same as the Strength card but there is a blinkered rigidity, a narrowness about it, inferior to the expansiveness of the Strength card.
One may read this as the resistance of a hard Brexit lobby, but there seems no avoiding the conclusion that if the UK chooses a Customs Partnership based on the model under discussion, there will still need to be – this will be crucial to the national interest – the will, the power and the remit to do a lot of saying no.
Traditional Meanings of the 9 of Wands Reversed:
Rut, Off- Loading/Taking on More, Delegation, Taking Matters in Hand, Overhauling, Radical Change, Learning To Say No, Compromising, Weeding, Cutting Out The Dead Wood, Dumping, Reflecting, Learning/Not Learning from Mistakes, Giving Up on a Dream or Ambition, Letting Go, Giving Up/Holding On, Delays, Set Backs, No Reward after Immense Effort, Insurmountable Problems, Being Saddled, Taken Advantage Of, Resigned To Your Fate, ‘Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing’, Clearing Out.
The destination cards represent the likely future of the situation, or the advice upon which future developments will hinge, and The Strength card of option 1 trumps the 10 of Wands Reversed of option 2.
Option 2 may seem the easier route but in time it would become increasingly onerous.
But there may be yet another approach, or a twist on one of these options, that is not yet on the table.
What is not shown here either way in direct connection with the outcome either way? War, civil war or bankruptcy.
Summary. Option 1 – a streamlined customs agreement- drew as its outcome the Strength card- a card of physical and moral courage. Leo hunts because it must, but only to feed itself and support the pride, not with malice to waste, despoil or deny another.
Merriam- Webster: Divination: the art or practice that seeks to foresee or foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge usually by the interpretation of omens or by the aid of supernatural powers. 2 : unusual insight : intuitive perception.
Counselling: the provision of professional assistance and guidance in resolving personal or psychological problems. “bereavement counselling”
Depending on the reader, it may be either or both. There are Tarot Counsellors who specialise in taking a counselling approach, often based on Jungian training. These readers may not handle the psychic challenges of divination and forecasting. Other readers, working the psychic approach, may offer valuable, sensible advice but without a basis in formal counselling.
In preparing for a reading, Tarot, runes, cards etc; the agile reader can only prepare to respond. The person will wish for verifiable feedback, or how else can they see if you know your stuff? They will want feedback, advice, prediction, hard, workable information, or they may be fragile or tired, looking for a bit of hope and cheer. But it has to be credible, to them, in the form that it takes, and spouting la- la is cheating and it ain’t going to cut it, nor does it deserve to.
You must take your cue from the cards or runes or whatever is your oracle of work. That’s what you learned it for and what you have presented at the point of sale or service. It isn’t about you.
Questions will often be presented as entirely hard boiled, to do with money or business outcomes. The client may want a yes or no answer; is this merger going ahead, will I win or lose this court case, if I spent 50 K on building this extension to my premises will I get that money back when I want to sell?
Time will tell whether you get it right, and you better had, far more often than you get it wrong, or you won’t be doing this work for long. But nothing is ever entirely factual and hard boiled. Wherever time, thought, worry, hope and effort is invested, there are high emotional stakes.
There are also those questions where the only validation possible is in the heart and mind of the other person and whether or not your answer finds resonance within them.
Here’s a recent (disguised) example from a social media forum, readings free of charge.
Questioner. ‘Help me please? Is there a spirit of a unborn child surrounding me? Here are the cards I drew.’
Responder 1: A better question would be asking such spirits who they are to get your answer.
Responder 2 : Ask them who they are!! I have 4 guides and they always come in 2’s. Never by themselves.
Responder 3: Katie-Ellen: I don’t think so, not in a literal sense, but I see mourning. The Fool card represents the unborn. Is this why you are asking? Are you grieving a lost baby?
Questioner: Yes, and my other children seem highly attracted to my tummy all of a sudden and clingy. Its weird.
Katie-Ellen: I am so sorry. It is a grief like nothing else. I know this from personal experience. But in answer to your question, no, I think based on your cards here, there is no ghost. The Fool card especially, says the little one’s returned to source, held safely again in the palm of the Universe, or God, whatever you like to call it. The Tower and the 9 Swords, I see as reflections of you, your own shock and sorrow. You would not want baby stuck and trapped at your side, being a soul too small to know why. You can make a shrine inside yourself, in your heart, with a candle there to light the way back to life one day for that little soul, and in that way, you can be the baby’s very own guardian angel for all time.
Questioner: I love that idea! But why do my children keep wanting to touch my tummy?
Katie-Ellen I think that perhaps your children are responding to your grief and they feel the source of it. They’re wishing to comfort you and also they want to be reassured themselves that everything’s all right.
Questioner: So not a ghost then?
Katie-Ellen: I’d say the baby is gone to source again safe and sound, and the ghost now is the memory and the aftermath of loss. Your body may feel like a haunted place for the time being, not because the spirit of the baby is there but because mind and body are one. But it’s not for me or anyone to say for sure. The one card in the Tarot most suggestive of a ghost…as in an active, ongoing haunting is The Moon card. It’s absent here and a card is sometimes actually most conspicuous by its absence.
Questioner: That’s such a weight off my mind, I can’t begin to tell you.
This was not about divination as such. It was non- factual and non-verifiable. But was it counselling? I’ve done some of that work and training in previous jobs. Maybe I do use it unconsciously sometimes.
Look at the replies from those first two respondents, those replies reflected a philosophy, and in doing so, bypassed the story actually cards altogether, and did not seem to raise the question in their minds – what was the reason for this lady’s question?
My response, whether ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ – meaningless terms here – were prompted by the cards themselves, cards not drawn by me. These were the questioner’s own cards- so that I acted simply as an outside translator.
There are facts, there are truths and there are poetic truths.
Last week Il Matrimonio asked me to look in my playing cards re the Arsenal v Chelsea Cup Final. See my previous post for the story on that.
So later of course, he was curious to know what the cards might say about the European Champions League on Saturday 3 June, Real Madrid v Juventus.
He left it rather late to ask me; The box was blaring, the the Black Eyed Peas performing in the opening ceremony.
Top row = Real Madrid
Bottom row = Juventus
Real Madrid: The overall tone of the top row was positive, kicking off with an astute ‘money’ Ace, the Ace of Diamonds; the speediest, fieriest card in the deck , a happy crowd of supporters (6 Hearts) 4 red suit cards, and a solid young man in the centre facing futurity… a volatile game (5 Diamonds) and a happy ever after card, the Two of Cups. Excitement, talent, good news.
Juventus: the 8 of Clubs showed much to admire: a hard working performance with great early promise of a wish fulfilled (9 Hearts is the ‘wishes come true’ card) The Queen of Diamonds, while female, nonetheless represents a speedy striker, but unluckily for Juventus, he is looking back, not forwards to the outcome, and then we have the infamous Ace of Spades. ‘End game’. Some issue there…a foul? An injury? and the outcome card the 6 Clubs. Not in itself a bad card; actually quite a positive one; problem resolution, favourable publicity…had I not drawn the Ace Spades, I’d have struggled to reach a decision.
I shouted to Il Matrimonio that it looked to me like Real Madrid for the winners, and he said they had won the European Champions League eleventy million times, or words to that effect, but he thought it would be Juventus this time, based on their recent form.
Score Real Madrid 4, Juventus 1.
The first goal was scored by Ronaldo, 20 minutes in (harking back to that speedy money card, the Ace Diamonds.) He got straight ‘on the money.’
Sourced online, this funny pic from The Sun.
Well, I think it’s funny, anyway.
Juventus scored their goal only seven minutes afterwards: Croatian forward Mario Mandzukic, sorry Mario, I don’t know why you showed up as the Queen of Diamonds, but never mind, I am sure this achievement made a fond lady very proud.
‘One of the finest goals seen in a Champions League final,’ The Independent.
But what was that Ace of Spades about for Juventus? Would there be there a ‘black mark’ awarded against Juventus, or might there be an injury or, God Forbid, something far worse?
A reader doesn’t know anything. Not as such. They must wait and see like everyone else. They are functioning rather, as a kind of radar.
‘Juve finished with 10 men after Juan Cuadrado was sent off in the 84th for a second yellow card after pushing Sergio Ramos.’ – The Independent.
I just this minute looked it up. Il Matrimonio lost interest the minute the match was over, but the reader has to do these forensics.
And it struck me that the Ace of Spades was also foreshadowing the attack that took place in London’s Borough Market less than an hour after the match ended.
By the pricking of my thumbs
Something wicked this way comes.
One card will often convey more than one message. Sometimes it is like peeling an onion. And this is how you learn the cards. Shuffle blind, draw and proceed to speak of what you do not know, because you CAN’T ‘know’, right?
How can you know if you cannot account for how you know?
How do migrating birds navigate in fog? How did the elephants know that a tsunami was coming and flee uphill in panic before the people knew? We don’t know the limits of the workings of our five senses to declare with any finality how knowledge is arrived at, or to pronounce there is no sixth sense, when that may actually be an fifth sense operating on a more acute physical basis than we understand, but that produces the all too common phenomenon of ‘the lucky guess.’
Afterwards, you, the reader, need to dissect where you went right and where you went wrong or you missed a clue, adding those findings to your lexicon for a given card and its most specific real life applications.
Cards for the forthcoming General Election:
PLEASE NOTE: these cards were drawn Thursday afternoon 1 June 2017
Question: Who will be PM after 8 June?
Top Row TM
Bottom Row JC
Both rows start by reflecting the tragedy of the recent terrible crimes of Manchester and before that Westminster Bridge. These cards, the Nine and Ten of Spades, reflect significant personal distress as well as stress attached to both TM and JC. And to my dismay I saw the Ace of Spades again, sitting in futurity…not far off.
TM is the shrewd but fiery Queen of Diamonds. Not typical of TM! Usually she appears in my cards as the cool and quiet Queen of Spades or Hearts. She is looking back at the King of Hearts, her gaze resting upon her opponent, JC, but also symbolizing her regard I think, for a supportive male figure, a quiet figure, very likely her husband and/or a trusted political adviser.
What did the next card denote, the Ace Spades? It seemed to be pointing at some near future development, possibly sudden and strongly negative. I thought it may refer to future fall-out in consequence of the televised debate (I found the whole thing nigh on unwatchable, myself) TM was censured for not being there, JC praised for being there (although, since he apparently changed his mind very late in the day, could the absence of TM have been a factor in that decision?)
Horrifically, these cards being drawn with less than 48 hours to go, I now think the Ace of Spades was not talking about that at all, but was foreshadowing the murders in the Borough Market. on Saturday night
There are no words adequate to convey the sorrow, pity, fury and detestation. And disgust.
The Six Hearts, well, I don’t know, but TM has said she must not lose six seats or she loses the majority. Had I drawn the Six Spades, I would take it as a strong possibility that the Cons will lose those seats lost, but the Six Hearts looks (literally) like six ‘bums on seats.’
Does it look like the landslide victory projected at the outset of the election campaign? Mehhhhh.
I don’t know what’s going to happen any better than you do, but for a landslide victory, not saying it couldn’t happen but I’d expect a higher value card or any ace, so long as it is not Spades. The Ace of Spades incidentally, has a fearsome reputation but is not necessarily malign, at least, not in theory. It may denote a clean sweep, a judgement, necessary upheaval as the prelude to a fresh start. It can denote a great victory, but
a) it was not sitting in the final outcome position
b) there is a malign something in the air and has been in my own experience, since late last summer at least. There is always trouble afoot somewhere in the world of course, but there is just this…something; despite the fact I actually feel optimistic about many things, including the future success of the UK over the next nine or ten years.
Turning the focus to JC now, and that Ten of Spades, he looks deeply upset not only by recent events, but a very recent rift in his inner circle? (2 Spades) Could it be something connected with the initials DA? (Did I say that? No. I didn’t say anything.) The central card, the Three of Diamonds is the only red suit card in JC’s row, compared with three red suit cards in the TM row, but this one red suit card is the hinge card, some crucial factor:
The Three of Diamonds: a payment, usually small; a small sum of money, financial growth, partial success, scattered energy and focus, on again off again, perseverance is needed for success.
This is the challenge for JC as presented here, but should these same qualities be demonstrated in the Conservative party they might, by the same token, represent an opportunity for Labour, and this card is followed by two positive cards. The Six of Clubs denotes movement, progress, renewed energy and ideas, and then, in the outcome for JC, we have the Jack of Clubs.
Should Labour be defeated on June 8, which is still presented here as being more likely than not, and if you lay cards, what does it look like to you from where you are sitting? Labour look rather as if they will be down but not out for the count. The Jack of Clubs is a vocal, vigorous card and suggests the emergence of young voters and in the near future of the party, new blood.
Ultimately here, the Queen of Diamonds denotes a responder or pragmatist, and she is sitting in the middle of her own card ‘heap’ and the King of Hearts denotes a visionary or idealist, and why ain’t he sitting in the middle of his own row, on his own card ‘heap.’
People don’t fit into nutshells, and nor does the electorate, cartomancy deals in symbolic representation. Could it be some future coalition?
Queen of Diamonds Intelligent, imaginative, energetic, professional woman who is cultured and financially secure. She might be a business woman, media professional, a bank manager, or a government official (!)
King of Hearts Family man, protective and paternal. Good-natured, affectionate and generous. An adviser, counsellor, artist, teacher, priest or mentor. Male loved one or member of the family. Introspective, contained, systematic, an artistic and/or romantic sensibility.
As I mentioned earlier, I drew these cards last Thursday and have been tempted to draw them again and do this reading starting fresh. But whether I get it right or wrong, I have to learned to stick to the findings of my first draw. Anything else is to confuse the picture. Once more unto the breach, my friends, let it fall as it may and let us all hope, for the best and highest interests of the general national well-being.
Seeing the answer as a 4/10 but that’s not the strongest answer I might have expected, no one might imagine, given the expectations at the outset of the General Election campaign. There’s a surge of emotion afoot, it’s very strong, it may be affecting the reading, and that would be entirely natural, but we have all seen this last year and been reminded…there are always those who simply keep their counsel and it’s between them and the ballot box… the quiet ones who save their breath to cool their porridge.
Meanings: Mature person, benevolent, an advisor, mentor, king of ceremonies, financial success, abundance.
The equivalent card in the Tarot deck is, appropriately enough as his team has won the FA Cup Final, the King of Cups.
So we’d just had a bite of lunch yesterday, a bit of psychic salad with spooky peppered mackerel, andIl Matrimonio said as he is prone to do from time to time, ‘I bet you don’t know who is playing in the final today?’
I said, ‘what final?’
He said, ‘you’re joking.’
‘Well, is it the FA cup final? Maybe there’s a European Cup Final for all I know.’
‘That’s next week,’ he scoffed, and you gather, I don’t follow footie too closely though I have the odd moment. Besides which, maybe I had other things on my mind.
‘So, who’s playing?’ said Il Sarky Bastardo.
‘Hallelujah. Who are they playing?’
‘Man United? No. Spurs?’
‘No, but it is a London Final. It’s Arsenal. So, what do you think? Will Arsene Wenger be resigning?’
‘Who’s the Chelsea manager these days?’
‘Antonio Conte. He’s fun. Lively, runs up and down.’
‘Give me a few minutes,’ I said and went into the study to sit with my deck of £0.99 playing cards. The Tarot is my oldest friend, my right hand man in divination, but lately I have exploring cartomancy, reading with ordinary playing cards. and practice makes – not perfect. There is no such thing, least of all in divination whether that means Tarot, Runes, Pendulums, whatever…
Ultimately, there is only doing. You can read up, you can swot all you like, and you better had, and I do. There is a lot to study, but theory is merely your start point and should never be the ending point. You only develop skill by doing, and that’s how you also advance the theory. Lots and lots of doing, falling on your face if that’s what it takes, and you certainly will, because you are human and the oracle too, is human, and its wisdom is the wisdom of ancestral understanding while its frailties are yours alone, the reader’s.
So this is what came up.
Will Arsene Wenger be resigning after today’s match?
Answer: the Four of Diamonds.
The Four of Diamonds denotes patience. The stability of the four did not suggest change, while Diamonds is the suit of business. It is literally, a foursquare card. The answer could have been read as a yes, therefore, according to this traditional colour system of interpretation but based on the individual card meaning, I did not see any change in Arsene Wenger’s role, or at least, no change for the ‘worse.’ Not if he doesn’t want to.
I put the card back into the deck, shuffled blind and for the sake of an even handed comparison, asked the same question about Antonio Conte. Would he be resigning?
Il Matrimonio yelled, ‘no way! Stupid question!’ and I told him to shut up. I know diddly squat about any of it, which is kind of part of the interest in doing the reading, and how I work is how I work and requires a certain logic.
So I asked and bless my soul, I pulled out the same card: the Four of Diamonds. So perhaps then, I deduced, the cards were educating me that neither would be resigning, both were staying in post, and additionally, I could in future take the Four of Diamonds to translate as ‘a football manager.’
‘I don’t think Arsene will be resigning,’ I said to Il Matrimonio.
But who was going to win?
(A question of less moment than the forthcoming General Election, and I think the polls are probably on track THIS time.)
These were the cards.
The Top row represented Arsenal
The Bottom Row represented Chelsea
The bottom 2 cards were just additional comment cards.
The central and final cards contain the answer in a 5 card line spread. The other cards provide the premise of the question, and additional comments.
The first card, top left, made me smile. Two of Clubs, eh? Well, yes, this is a question of two clubs, right enough. Next to it, the Nine of Hearts is generally viewed as a highly auspicious card; wishes granted. The central card, the heart or linchpin of the answer, is the Nine of Clubs and is nicknamed by Romany tradition, ‘The Achiever,’ which speaks for itself. The 3 of Spades is a dreadful card. Sorrow. This card was surely reflecting the current mood of the nation; our grief as well as rage and frustration in the aftermath of the terrible crime and ensuing tragedy in Manchester.
The last card represents Arsene Wenger himself; a quiet man, looking back over the match, seeming pleased but in a rather quiet way.
Arsenal in summary: There were 3 black suit cards and 2 red suit cards which on the face of it didn’t look too optimistic. But the Club cards were both positive in translation and the terrible card, the 3 of Spades…rightfully belonged here somewhere in the story, with a minute’s silence was observed at the beginning of the game.
Arsenal could certainly win, but I couldn’t decide without also looking at Chelsea.
Chelsea’s cards on the bottom row were all black suit cards. First we had The Joker which could mean absolutely anything. It is a destiny card. A wild card.
On this occasion, I asked Il Matrimonio, was there a Chelsea player who was a bit of a maverick? A dark young man? (I was looking here at the Jack of Spades next door to the Joker) He looked as if he might prove significant to Chelsea’s chances. This might be in a good way or not.
That was probably Diego Costa, Il Matrimonio said.
The central card, a key card, was the Five of Clubs, nicknamed The Renovator, it can be a sporty card, but often indicates that some change is overdue. Perhaps to the line up or the formation? The Ace of Clubs seemed auspicious, I felt it might well represent a goal, but the final, outcome card, the eight of Spades, nicknamed The Workaholic, somehow suggested that Chelsea would get into gear too little, too late, and would end working harder than when they had started.
The two comment cards, drawn with no question in mind, just as an add on were both eights: the eight of Diamonds and the Eight of Hearts. Did Il Matrimonio know which player/s would be wearing a Number 8 shirt? Was it one of the strikers?
He was by now glued to the box and shouted through, ‘I hear your question.’
The match hadn’t started yet, but he was absorbed in the buildup, lots of yelling and excited voices, the testosterone was rising, and he was there, becoming part of it and didn’t want disturbing.
‘It looks like Arsenal to win,’ I said.
The player in a Number 8 shirt turned out to be Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey (above) who scored the second goal for Arsenal after Alexis Sanchez scored the first goal, uphold after some controversy as to whether it was allowable after the ball had appeared to touch his arm.
Diego Costa (the Joker?) scored the Chelsea goal.
And he is a dark young man but perhaps the ‘dark young man’ detected by the Page of Spades was not only him, but I had also sensed another player, who was also a ‘dark young man,’ Victor Moseswho was, I found out later, sent off for ‘diving’. This Page is sharp, quick, clever, but sometimes controversy can attach to him (and in other readings, it might of course be a her)
Il Matrimonio said afterwards that my forecast had been out of step with most of the commentators and pundits, except for Ian Wright.
Ian Wright has warned Chelsea that Arsenal are beginning to find some form – just in time for the FA Cup final. (The Sport Review.com)
I’m going to keep on getting to know these nifty little cards. They are not nearly as visually interesting as my beloved Tarot decks, and some might say, who cares, if they do the job? And fair enough, though what price on beauty – wherever it is found?
Actor sprog went to meet with a casting agency yesterday. Sprog has an agent already, and likes that agent very much but 12 months on, there has been nothing as yet; not one send-out, zip, de nada. and just not much sign of activity in general. She had decided to look about for somewhere perhaps more pro-active, had made enquiries and been invited to drop in at another agency, take along her acting CV and meet the creative director (male).
How would it go?
I drew the Ace Clubs, Jack of Spades, 2 Diamonds, Jack of Hearts and the Queen of Clubs. and read it left to right as a story board
Card 1 The basic issue or premise: Ace Clubs denotes a new work, new job, also, a cave or leaving a cave in the quest for new knowledge. It’s a fiery card, well suited to the entertainments industry. Think of a spark, or a ‘bat out of hell.’
Card 2 Jack of Spades, this is whom we are talking about; the sprog, and in Tarot the equivalent card would be the Page of Swords. The archetype is a good fit, and she is an air sign subject; Aquarius, which corresponds with the suits of Swords in Tarot, Spades in playing card reading, or as it is more formally termed; cartomancy.
Card 3 Hinge card: 2 Diamonds; well, this is promising firstly but not exclusively because it is a red and not a black card, sitting centrally, but the card itself denotes agreements, investments, suggesting she may receive an offer of representation with this new agency.
Card 4 Jack of Hearts. So what comes next? This card also signified the sprog, I felt; a sharp but comical, quirkily humorous creature in possession of – no use pretending otherwise, a somewhat mythical but edgy beauty, and this card also suggested some ease of rapport between her and the figure in the outcome position.
Card 5 Queen of Clubs, the outcome card.
Why not a king card, I wondered, based on the preceding communications?
Sprog arrived 15 minutes early to be bang on time, shutters were rolled up at 3 o clock prompt and she was received, not by the creative director who was away on holiday, she was told, but by a fellow director, a lady.
So that then, was why I had drawn the Queen of Clubs.
This card denotes an outward going woman; honest and extremely confident in dealings. No one tells her what to do, and this living embodiment of the queen said she could make no promises, offered the sprog a few pointers, tips and some constructive criticism, and concluded with an offer of representation.
The sprog liked this clubs queen very much but also has other enquiries outstanding, and I have no wish to interfere, prophecy can be vexatious and meddlesome whether it is eventually proved correct or not, so we will see.
3 black cards, 2 red, and a majority of black cards can be taken simply as a no answer, where a majority of red is taken as a yes, and the colour method is often accurate, but it just goes to show, in divination it’s a mistake to rely heavily on short cuts.
My readings include forecasts not predictions. What’s the difference? Mainly presentation. Otherwise, very little. Forecasts are associated with technically based weather and economic predicting, nowadays largely based upon the interpretation of masses of computerised data, plus educated guesswork. A prediction is based on knowledge, experience, intuition or guesswork, and may be made in any context but is generally understood as being presented as almost a done deal, whereas a forecast deals in estimations of probabilities. I deal in probabilities.
Polls and other forecasts not infrequently get it wrong of course, as do fortune-tellers, no doubt.
When I talk to you about your present and past, as sensed and expressed through my Tarot or playing cards, you are in a position to evaluate what I am saying, and to validate it. When I address your question to do with likely future developments, no validation is possible; only time will tell; the future both exists and does not exist. You will die and so will I, the only things in life that are certain, so the saying goes, are death and taxes, and the taxes were only included as a joke.
But in-between, there are things within your direct personal control and things that are not, and a prediction may interfere, distract, block or stymie you, and become a self-fulfilling prophecy, while a forecast allows for the possibility of alternative outcomes depending on whether you do this next, or that next. This job or that job? This house or that house? This person or that person?
This freedom of choice may also be an illusion of course, just as ‘true’ objectivity is an impossibility, because we are always likely to do, and default to what is in our nature to do, regardless of advice, even when that advice is directly solicited. It is a wise and also essentially confident person who can, without instantly dismissing it, no knee-jerks, coolly pay out enough rope to listen to advice that is contrary to what they want or expect, or that challenges their own preferred version of events and vision of themselves and their past choices.
“Whatisbredinthebonewill not comeoutoftheflesh”, firstrecordedinEngland(inLatin) circa1290,widespreadinvarious versionssincethe15thcent.
The version I am used to says that what is bred in the bone will come out in the flesh…meaning, it will unavoidably manifest itself.
Norse mythology took a subtle view on prediction and the nature of destiny. Their Norns were not as absolutist as the Fates of Ancient Greece.
‘Wyrd’ is the Old English variant of the Norse word, ‘Urd’, referring to the destiny of each living thing, cast for them at birth by the three Norns. The Saxon variant is ‘wurd.’ The Well represents the Norse concept of the past – what we might now term birth memory, ancestral memory or the collective unconscious. The Norse view of destiny was that yes, it is written, but unlike the Fates of ancient Greek mythology, the destinies carved by the Norns can be overwritten…though does this pre-suppose that the hero on his or her life quest is aware of the existence and nature of that destiny and decides to challenge it?
The Well of Wyrd
She scrys alone; she is casting stones,
Disposing glyphs on graven runes,
No even numbers speak the Norns,
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.
Circe by Waterhouse: Public Domain
“The Well of Urd corresponds to the past tense. It is the reservoir of completed or ongoing actions that nourish the tree and influence its growth. Yggdrasil, in turn, corresponds to the present tense, that which is being actualised here and now.
What of intention and necessity, then? This is the water that permeates the image, flowing up from the well into the tree, dripping from the leaves of the tree as dew, and returning to the well, where it then seeps back up into the tree.
Here, time is cyclical rather than linear. The present returns to the past, where it retroactively changes the past. The new past, in turn, is reabsorbed into a new present, whose originality is an outgrowth of the give-and-take between the waters of the well and the the waters of the tree.” Source and Further Reading:
One can see the flexibility of the Norns arising in the sphere of genetics.
It is not clear why blue eyes spread among ancient Europeans. One theory is that the gene could have helped to prevent eye disorders due to low light levels found in European winters, or that the trait spread because it was deemed sexually attractive.
A client wanted the Tarot’s particular handle on a relationship breakdown which now threatened to become permanent. He thought he knew where he had gone wrong, but was he reading this right, and what were the prospects for mending the situation? Asking for a Tarot’s eye view of the problem the crux of the story read like this:
King Swords RX – this man has made a negatively perceived decision.
Seven of Pentacles – this woman wants a home, is ready to cultivate an orchard.
Nine of Pentacles Rx – this woman is a highly practical thinker, is queen of her own turf, and gives orders at work rather than takes them, but after more than three years together, not living together and without marriage or babies, she needs to see progress.
Both cards reflecting these very natural motives are earth suit cards; work, money, bricks and mortar, foundations, security, comfort, what and whom pays the piper.
Images by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti and are from The Gilded Tarot
The lady, in her early thirties, asked him to move into her home, which she owns, but this would mean a short distance relocation for the man who declined/deferred/ citing work and family concerns. There were other issues, too, based round mutual trust, but Tarot presented this word ‘home’ as the deal-breaker
Further cards: Page Cups, Ace Wands.
The lady has a job she likes and is good at, in hotel management, but the birth card, the page of cups, talks about the biological clock, asking, when is a good time to start a family? No such thing perhaps as a convenient time, but for the woman in particular there may be a fear of leaving it too late. After so much time together, this lady seemed to feel it was time to put up or shut up. He declined the invitation (challenge) to move things onward and upward so she had withdrawn, although with expressions of regret.
The Seven of Pentacles says she is reluctant to start all over again, however, so perhaps, and unless she meets someone extremely suitable for her in the near future, this card of harvesting a slow fruit may, just may, turn things in his favour if he wants to recover the situation and is willing and able to, but the Ace Wands – think, movement, relocation, speed, fire, (also conception) suggests he needs to take decisive action, and soon, to make that happen. To win the fair lady for keeps, he needs to ‘man up’, and fast.
However, people tend to do whatever comes most naturally; advice will often fall on fallow ground and this is why my Tarot does not offer advice, except in the form of answering the clients clearly stated question.
My client saw this as his predicament, and so it was, but he had unwittingly also created one for the lady, not seeing that her needs had changed while his had not. Many women seem to find themselves in just this same sort of predicament these days. That’s a whole other can of worms, but some choose the bird and afterwards they build a nest together. Some women nowadays build the nest themselves, then choose the bird to come and join them there or else they tire of waiting and looking and proceed to fill the nest, a queen alone.
Recently I added to my reading mix, a deck of ordinary playing cards. These have been in use for cartomancy; divination and fortune telling, for at least 400 years longer than the Tarot, and neither one of them began as fortune telling tools. They were both invented for gaming purposes. In the case of playing cards, it’s thought they first came to Europe from the Middle East, arriving there in turn from the Far East.
Fully illustrated Tarot cards contain pictorial ingredients offering unlimited possibilities of translation via associative thinking, but playing cards, while less interesting pictorially, and somewhat prosaic, will do the job.
I thought I’d try them out in a recent face to face reading for a new client, reserving them for getting at a few yes or no answers if required.
Asking for the Tarot’s insight into my client’s recent significant past I drew The Fool and The Ace of Pentacles from The Gilded Tarot, images by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti.
The Fool is about opportunity, enthusiasm, a gamble, a birth. The Ace of Pentacles suggests a windfall, a new job or business, a new home, a garden or a new, precious object.
These following The Emperor prompted me to ask the client, had there been a recent major change or opportunity to do with a new job or new kind of work, and also maybe a new home?
And was it possible this new home might be in the countryside or else have a big garden or some land?
He said he had bought a house with land, and was planning to build on that land, and he wanted to know, what were the prospects for successful completion?
Yee-haa! Time to put my ordinary playing cards to the test and I drew these.
My first observation was that I had drawn two red cards and one black. Learning to do psychic readings is all about self-programming, and like learning anything, involves rote and repetition. I’ve decided a red card mean yes, whether it’s a diamond or a heart, and a black card means no, whether it’s a spade or a club card. And then I go for best of three, and the numbers might swing my thinking.
You could decide that a black card means yes, if you wanted, and a red card means no, and it might work splendidly reliably if you are consistent, though it might prove counter-intuitive as the most challenging cards in a playing deck – most, not all, are contained within the suits of spades and clubs.
Once decided on your own system, you need to stick to it. There’s no right or wrong with these things. There’s what works subject to proof. This is where there can arise a problem with going to classes ‘to be taught’ how to read. You are your own best teacher. Learning to ‘see’ in this way is solitary. Even lonely. It is not gregarious at source. Study adds skill and there is a vast library here to study, but in the end, while rendered articulate by skill, the oracular spirit, to be true to itself, remains a cat who walks alone.
The short answer to the client’s question therefore was yes, but I was struck by the appearance of two diamonds cards, equating to the Tarot’s suit of Pentacles; the suit of earth.
I was additionally struck by the fact that the middle card was twice the number value of the first card. a 4 and an 8. It made me think of foundations, and plumb-lines; four walls, and then four walls, doubled.
It didn’t seem random, it felt as if it might be significant and I said to the client, ‘are there going to be TWO buildings, by any chance? And one is twice the size of the other? But this black card, the 3 of Clubs, suggests there’s a bit of stress already?’
Notice, I was asking him. That’s because I did not know if this was correct. I only knew that’s what I was being shown, and wanted to check.
‘There ARE going to be two buildings’ he said, nodding surprised, ‘log cabins and one is going to be exactly twice the size of the other one. And yes, it’s fair to say there’s a fair bit of stress…’
And so the discussion moved forward.
Well done, my little £1.99 fortune-telling friends. Although I don’t tell fortunes, you’ve clearly got my number, and I think you and I need to get better acquainted.
I’m a contributing member to a few online Tarot chat and study groups. One study group member still new to Tarot shared her card asking, ‘what is this card saying about person X? What is he like?’
The card was the Six of Wands and her deck was a Rider Waite.
The Six of Wands bespeaks effort, progress and hard-earned victories. Wands is a suit of summer time, of warmth, speed and generally volatile energy and for obvious pictorial reasons, suggests archetypal masculine qualities which are of course demonstrated by both male or female.
So I said that I thought person X was a young man of high energy, not really available to anyone at this point, driven, competitive, a team worker – and was he sporty?
As a newcomer to Tarot you will not necessarily find this word used in association with this card in any of your books, though it’s an obvious possibility at least, based on figurative interpretation.
in 2011 I drew the Six of Wands for a young man, asked him about an upcoming trip that was sports related and was told he was going to the States for training and had been selected for the UK wheelchair rugby team in the 2012 Paralympics.
This young lady now replied, ‘Funny 🙂 he is a professional soccer player!’
Now, this highlights a difference between clairvoyant reading and Tarot Divination. Had I been clairvoyant on this occasion I might have picked up on the football, specifically.
As it was, Tarot plus a sneaking hunch simply landed me in the appropriate ball park.
Typical Tarot! Still, it was on the ball and it didn’t miss the net.
Last Thursday, July the 14th, I was unsettled at what I saw in my cards. My question to the Tarot was, what kind of day could I expect the following day to be? We were away from home, with a drive next day to see family en-route home again.
Out came The Chariot, drawn reversed, and out also came The Devil.(Universal Rider Waite)
This was a combination that spelled bad news for a partnership, a venture, a vehicle, or a journey. Fear, anger or violence might be attached. I shuffled and drew again. Out they came again, The Chariot Reversed, The Devil, and The Wheel of Fortune Reversed.
Nasty. I felt a lurch in my tummy. I could see it was bad but what did it mean? Not being an all-seeing psychic with remote viewing (it has happened, but rarely. Such acutely specific psychic skills as that are extremely rare if not non-existent) I did what most of us would do, and thought first in terms of the immediate situation.
‘You need to take it extra easy on the road tomorrow’, I said to Il Matrimonio. ‘Maybe inspect the car before we leave the hotel. There’s something here I’m not liking to do with wheels and the parking is tight. I’m seeing tyres.’
The Devil card at at its worst extreme can mean murder. I did NOT think of that, but I was uneasy, deciding we may additionally hear bad news next day concerning family health, and we did hear news that concerned us, about the health of a friend.
Next morning, Friday the 15th…and The Devil is the Tarot’s fifteenth card, we woke to the appalling news from Nice.
The cards had been drawn about an hour ahead of the actual events. This, then, had not been an instance of prediction…but a vague, ominous though with hindsight, apposite foreshadowing. Tyres. Rage. Terror.
Sleep easy, les pauvres.
Vive la France.
How could the Tarot be used to avert disasters? Certainly, a reading may help an individual to avoid trouble if they heed a warning. I have certainly known this happen just as I have known a warning gone unheeded, and the consequences. On a public scale, it would need the right person to ask a reader a closed question such as, what is the risk of.(event X)….happening here (location Y)…at such and such a time/day (Y) And that person would need permission and resources to act on the feedback. Not gonna happen, is it?
Another instance of the Devil card featured in the news in May of this year, when a client told the Tarot reader he had killed someone after she drew the card in front of him. She rang the Police on 999 and was advised to call the non-emergency number which she did, going outside to make the call with the client sitting there. The Police arrived 52 minutes later, and in due course it was discovered that the money had told the tarot reader no more than the simple truth, in response to her drawing the Devil card, the Death card and The Emperor Reversed.
A man lay dead in a pool of blood.
Asking my brother, who is a police officer, what he made of this story, he was horrified that it had not been treated as an emergency. The tarot reader should have been assessed as being at immediate risk, herself, as a witness to a man who might have changed his mind at any time, about allowing himself to be arrested.
Usually, thankfully, The Devil does not operate at this horrific level, though the card is rarely, if ever good news in a reading with me unless it comes out drawn reversed. It may mean compulsive drinking, or drug use. Or it may just mean a temper tantrum. Who threw their rattle out of the pram, then?
There is a school of thought that presents the Devil instead as Pan, god of wild things, and some decks portray this alternative interpretation, but for that sense of things, I rely on The Hermit or The Ace of Pentacles.
Changing subject, but not entirely, recent diabolical viewing on the box or DVD has been…next to nil because I stop watching. Occasionally I will shout ‘shaddap!’ or worse if it’s just too inanely squawky but a repeat of ‘Coast’ will always soothe the feathers flat again. It never seems to get old.
‘The Secrets In Their Eyes,’ based on the novel of the same name by Eduardo Sacheri, is a story with the Devil at its heart, but also The Star, The Lovers, Judgement and Justice. It is a story of murder, enduring love, and the search for justice in the face of a corrupted legal system. Above all it’s an epic love story, set in Argentina during the last years of the Junta.
I saw the film first and read the book afterwards. There are a few plot differences but the crux, tone and feel of the story remain true.
It is a story of two heroes, the law man, called Chapparo in the book but Esposito in the movie. He’s a diffident character, not ‘heroic’ in the blockbuster sense, but such is his quality and his charm…you’re rooting for him to get the girl…. and then there is the enduring passion for a murdered wife of the bereaved husband, Morales, who is determined to apply justice when the Law does not, being corrupt and held on a Junta choke- chain.
The grieving husband’s idea of justice is not what you might suppose, and it costs him every chance of a new start, especially in the novel. Faced outright with the wordly power of the Devil he decides that for him, there is only one love, and there is nothing more to live for now but justice. A sad book, a sad film, but The Devil gets a comeuppance, quietly, secretly, at a great cost to the bereaved husband, as the mills turn slow but certain.
A friend came to stay recently and brought a present for my birthday. We thought it might be fun for me to try and guess what was inside the packaging using my pendulum and cards. It was roughly cylindrical, not too heavy, rolled in bubble wrap and brown paper.
I held my pendulum over it.
‘Are the contents of this package edible?’ The pendulum span anticlockwise. No.(sob)
‘Are the contents of this package paper?’ No. ‘Ceramic?’ No.’ Wood?’ Yes.
I drew the Three of Pentacles, a card signifying progress in business and pride in one’s work, and from The Gilded Tarot by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti.
‘Is it a craft item? I asked my friend.
‘Yes.’ she said, smiling from ear to ear, as ducks suddenly quacked outside on the pond and Il Matrimonio ran to the balcony to see there if there was a fox. There sometimes is. Then I drew the Six of Swords, a card of personal progress, solemn journeys and quests for learning.
Was it something to do with a river or riverbank, I wondered. Was it a little wooden boat? Or a frog? I like frogs.
‘No’. My friend said, smiling, ‘But you are warm. Now open it!
And inside it was – this! A wooden Indian Runner Duck. What a little character.
Well, I never. No wonder she’d been laughing to herself every time we’d fed the ducks, knowing what she had in store to give me.
Now, that is what I call a friend. And psychically, here was that darn Jungian synchronicity thing at work again.
Good try, Tarot my friend. Not a bull’s eye this time, but a respectable attempt, and this often is how Tarot works in a reading, too, regardless of the classical card meanings, sparking ideas directly off the imagery.
This is how, while Tarot presents a great academic study, anyone can read it, who likes to use associative thinking.
Carl Jung speculated that the Tarot works according to the principle of ‘synchronicity’- that psychic insights are triggered by apparently random and yet meaningful co-incidence, which he thought might be explained by Quantum Mechanics.
This Tarot king represents a man who is patient, kind, industrious. He is the salt of the earth. I said to the client that I thought he was a manager, and the work was practical in nature but also involved communication. It demanded precision or the ‘thing’ wouldn’t work but I didn’t ‘see’ as yet see what his job might actually be.
‘I might get at it though,’ I said, ‘now that my computer is talking directly to your computer.’
What I meant by that was, I felt we were on the same wavelength.
‘But that IS my job! I work for the government. That’s what I do…I make computers talk to other computers.’
Last time here on True Tarot Tales, the Moon card caused me to enquire about whether there had been a recent instance close by, of an upset tummy, possibly food poisoning, and it turned out, just as the Moon card classically depicts two dogs barking at the moon, two of the client’s dogs had been unwell after retrieving a ball from a dirty ditch.
Infection and disease may be flagged up by an appearance by the Moon card.
And so can flooding. I first saw this manifesting in my own cards during a Skype reading of 2010 for a client whose father lives in Pakistan, and her father had had to move house after flooding.
November 13, reading for someone in respect of a property in Hawick and the prospects for sale, I felt it might sell in August/September 2016, but, having drawn the Moon card, I asked the client, was there a river close to the property, and if there was, did it flood? Because I sensed flooding as a barrier to sale.
I was told the property is a top floor apartment, and is close to The Teviot but it had not flooded during the time the client had lived there (not many years) Nor had the client been aware or deterred by the proximity of the river when buying.
But, and very unfortunately for all affected, and by no means for the first time in its history Hawick flooded badly in early December.
I still sense my client may move home in 2016, I draw the Six of Swords which indicates progress and very often a domestic relocation, and certainly within the next two years, but the pathway may be more complex than anticipated when the property went on the market, and may, suggests the strategic Seven of Swords, involve the unwanted complication of a letting arrangement.
And, let us hope this is unduly doomful, no reader is infallible; I see signs we may well not be done with this Moon business yet. I draw the Moon card again, when asking about UK weather into February. Greater accuracy would demand a regional or even more break down, but there seems to be more ‘warm air’ coming where we don’t want it; the King of Wands Reversed.
A skeptical friend, who lives in Cumbria joked recently, that of all the religions he doesn’t believe in, the one he could perhaps go for is the Norse gods, and he may perhaps, even ask Freyr for help. Maybe it’s not such a crazy idea, and this morning, there is snow lying here on the Lancashire coast. But whatever you do, ask politely.
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
Can Tarot cards help with forecasting weather, accurately? The short answer is, experience tells me yes, but, and it’s a big but, the question needs a clearly defined context. As in, for example, what kind of weather can be expected at X location at X time? If I drive from A to B on this date at this sort of time, what kind of weather experience can I expect?
The Tower Card detects coming severe weather. Storms. It featured in this way in quite dramatic fashion in a previous True Tarot Tale, when it saw a storm coming, and we only had a tornado down our street the very next morning at about eight- o- clock. That’s right. A tornado in Lytham St Annes in Lancashire, UK.
You can read that story on an earlier blog post HERE
The Tower card, from the Gilded Tarot by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti.
Other associations: disaster, accident, argument, bankruptcy, shock.
Weather Associations- If learning Tarot, practise drawing a card for the day ahead, where you are:
From the North: Knight of Pentacles (grey, cool,cold, rain and snow)
From the South: Knight of Wands (sunny, heat wave, tropical storm)
From the West: Knight of Cups (sunny, mild, wet, windy)
From the East: Knight of Swords (fresh, cool, ice, hailstorms, biting winds, brrr)
Today, just for a change, the story really is a story, prompted by activities on a writer’s forum called Litopia. Do, please feel welcome to come and join there.
Flash Fiction: Boreas the Blustery
Boreas was bored. The North Wind was fed up of the North. Grizzling and moaning, he stamped about, bending trees, rolling rivers like mattresses and forcing polar bears to roll down snowy slopes, so he could laugh at the way their paws scrabbled as they rolled over and over.
‘Where’s some fun!’ he howled. ‘F*ck off , Captain Bird’s Eye, I want a bit of Southern Comfort!!!’ He ripped off some roofs in Carlisle, straining to go south, but the jet-stream was busy in the higher latitudes, and wouldn’t open the gates.
In the Gulf of Florida, Nota, the South Wind got, er, wind of this, and said to El Nino, ‘ I could fancy a ‘lil trip North to see this Boreas. I hear he’s quite the man.’
‘I can help you there, I think’, said El Nino, ‘I’m heading that way, myself.’
He steered Nota north, skimming seas into mountains and making dolphins sea- sick, isobars winding ever tighter until Boreas saw her, crossing the Atlantic towards him, driving the waves before her. And then they collided, and circled tighter and tighter, high and low . Wires and cables snapped and hummed, and dustbins flew like dust, and wild things cowered in their dens.
‘You couldn’t come to me! screamed Nota, lashing her hair, ‘so, Boreas, I have come to you!’
Shrimp and rice and coconut!
Fish and chips and doughnuts!
The way he loved her was frightening.
Lightening, thunder, until they span asunder
With no air left for more
They parted peaceful on the shore.
‘Great place you’ve got here’, said Nota, sinking weary to the sea. ‘Love it. Really love it. Let’s do this again sometime.’
Boreas puffed out his chest, and gently stroked a trembling tree top, ‘any time, my lovely. Your place or mine. Any time.’
The rain beat down on the garage roof, washing August away, just as it had washed July away and most of June before that. The British Isles, like most of northern Europe, was losing its summer. It was coming soon, Joe thought, and fear gripped his belly.
He held Suzette, stroking her to calm himself while he considered the situation. Deciding when to put to sea was tricky. Too late would be…too late, but if he embarked too soon, he’d be eating into provisions unnecessarily. Noah had provisioned for a voyage lasting ten months, but then, he’d had the benefit of inside information.
‘We’ll be all right, Suzy, hinny,’ he told his pet, ‘I’ll make sure of that. But what am I going to do about the wife?’
Suzette cocked her head as if considering, her beady gaze held his, unblinking. Joe had tried to explain to Linda about the bird’s intelligence, but Linda detested Suzette, and said pigeons were thick, and they were vermin, and good for nothing but a pie. Joe knew better, and that that was just Linda’s jealousy talking. Suzette’s plumage was the colour of heather on the moors, or the hills at twilight, and with the little bird’s plump warmth in his hand, he always felt better, somehow.
He tidied away and she followed, pecking at wood shavings, picking them up and dropping them again until he was done and scooped her up, dropping a kiss on the top of the small head, hard as a nut, placing her in the cage he had built for her.
‘Sweet dreams, little hen. See you in the morning.’ The cage had everything he could think of; a nest box, a perch, toys, even a mirror. She had everything but the company of her own kind and the open sky, but Joe didn’t think she minded. He had reared her from a chick, hatching the egg in his beanie; she had never known anything else.
It was after five. Time to get the tea on before Linda came home from work. Joe went through into the house, there was a connecting door – straight into the hallway and no need to get wet.
Joe was an unemployed shipwright, nearly twenty years at Swan Hunter until the day came when they all got the chop and he had come home, stumbling with shock, his leaving cards in his hands, and walked in to find Linda, his wife, on the sofa on top of one of his friends. He’d never forget the look on her face as she ground her hips, looking down avid at the man on the sofa. Then she turned and saw him, and the look changed. Joe’s love for his wife died on the spot, snuffed out by the shock, though later when he calmed down, he understood why she’d done it.
They were childless. Joe was sad about it, but for Linda it was a sporadic madness, a devouring need she could not leave alone. I want more tests, she’d said. I want IVF. But Joe wouldn’t agree, and it wasn’t the money, though they had little enough of that to spare. No, it wasn’t that. But forcing gates just broke things in his experience, starting with the gate itself and now, he decided that Linda’s betrayal was not only a desperate attempt at a solution, but revenge.
Resisting his first terrible, desperate desire to punch her into the middle of next week – though he caught his friend later in an alley and gave him a kicking that left the other man retching on hands and knees, Joe mulled it over and decided he’d accept whatever blameless little cuckoo came as a result of this betrayal. He was even, secretly and not without a sense of shame, a little excited at the prospect and caught himself waiting, counting, watching for signs. But Linda’s plan, if that’s what it had been, came to nothing. Joe realised with the dullness of grief, there was not going to be any nestling. Not even a cuckoo. They talked about divorce but neither made the first move, and so they carried on, together but apart.
It was one night soon after this, that Joe had had The Dream. Had not God told Noah, hadn’t He solemnly promised, he would never do it again? But look what He was up to now! Flooding was never out of the news, rescue boats plying high streets the length and breadth of Britain and the price of everything going up. Lying as if paralysed in his solitary bed, staring sightless at the wall, Joe saw a land drowned by rain and river, sea and sky, and a wave that came as if from nowhere, the water cycle violently seeking new stasis as the ice caps melted.
He watched helpless, as a torrent came down the Tyne, bent bridges like hair grips and shoved them out to sea. People were swept away or crushed as they ran with their screeching children for the high places, and were overtaken. The Angel of the North looked on as buildings, bridges, roads were pulled apart like Lego, chewed and spat out. Afterwards came a hush, and the smell of rot, and the thriving of flies as the terrible silence and the empty days stretched on.
Everyone had nightmares and usually it was little more than a case of cheese at bedtime, Joe understood that perfectly well. But he also knew it could be something altogether different, something so much more. He’d foreseen his mother’s death in a dream and ignored it…it was only a dream, wasn’t it, and then, three days later they’d found her, dead on her bed, arm outstretched for the pills she’d been trying to reach, just as he’d seen in his dream.
There was indigestion, and there was prophecy, it wasn’t easy deciding which was which. Joe hadn’t forgiven himself for not going to his mother, he could not, and now, waking with a headache and needing to be sick, he decided this time, he would not turn away, to betray his vision. He would trust himself and carry out his own shipbuilding project. He did not tell anyone. Who would have believed him, and there was no-one he cared to confide in. But if a shipwright wasn’t up to the challenge, who was?
His decision made, Joe now had a plan, and was in oddly high spirits, negotiating the purchase of a little boat and two dinghies, spending every penny of his redundancy money. Linda spat fury. She even threw things, but Joe did not explain, didn’t make any attempt at trying to enlighten her, just stayed out of her way in the garage, customizing the boat, a seventeen-foot Arran, adding an outboard motor, a petrol tank and an automatic pump. He extended the tiny day cabin, and carpentered drop-down stabilizers, enabling the boat to function as a trimaran.
He applied himself, learning to use a compass and maps, he followed the shipping news. He took to hanging around the trawlers at Tynemouth until a skipper agreed to take him out as an unpaid pair of hands and he threw up all the way out and back again. Meteorology classes came next, and geography field trips with the Workers Education Institute.
Joe became a man of singular education, and though he had few certificates to show for it, he knew he was going to be put to the ultimate test, and he didn’t know when, but it would be soon. Meanwhile, he stopped seeing the few friends he’d kept in touch with after the thing with Linda, and kept his own counsel – the thing was too big, anyway, he wouldn’t have known how to set about telling people. He avoided Linda and he made the evening meal without fail every evening, his tribute for the uneasy peace between them, and was mixing a vinaigrette for a salad when the slam of the front door said Linda was home, and not in a good humour.
Linda Steel had one of those upside-down mouths that said she rarely smiled, and she was almost entirely sure she hated her husband with a passion. She would look at his lean, rangy body, and then his soft eyes, his soft mouth, almost flower-like in its softness, and think how deceptive were appearances. Joe was hard and cold, merciless and unyielding. He’d never touched her since that day. He barely ever even looked at her, never mind talked to her but he’d driven her to it, not listening to her about the baby. They ate in silence, rain oozing down the window panes, thick as dog slobber.
‘You do know it’s the Great Flood again, Linda?’ Joe said suddenly, over a forkful of tomato. She goggled at him, ‘You what?’
‘The Great Flood,’ he said, and took another mouthful. He had debated whether to say anything and had decided not to, but it seemed something within him had a different idea, some vestige of a love long dead, or just pity, ‘coming soon to a town near you. Want to ride it out with me, come with me on the boat? I’ll be taking it down to Tynemouth day after tomorrow.’
Linda spluttered and began to choke. Joe watched impassively. Her eyes were like gooseberries and he didn’t like gooseberries. Why did he used to think she was so pretty? It wasn’t until Linda’s face began to go purple that he scraped back his chair and slapped her back for her. Slap, slap, SLAP.
‘Water,’ she croaked, flapping her hand. He fetched it and sat down again. ‘You know,’ he went on as if nothing had happened, ‘we’ll need to be well out to sea when that wave comes in, not to get caught between it and the river. Then if we make it, if we can get clear, we’ll sail up to Hexham. Or mebbes the Cheviots. Whatever – Noah used the dove, Suzette’ll help us find the best place.’
‘I’d laugh,’ she said, still wheezing, ‘Except I’m not sure you’re joking? What have you been up to, Joe? Been at the wacky baccy, have we, out there in the garage? This isn’t Bangladesh or Japan. We don’t get tsunamis here.’
She drained the tumbler of water. ‘Aye, well,’ he said, clearing the plates. ‘We do actually. Ever heard of the Bristol tsunami, 1607? Ever heard there was a time once, you could walk from here to Denmark, till a tsunami drowned the land bridge? But never mind. Cassandra couldn’t tell them either.”
‘The wooden horse,’ Joe explained. ’She knew it was bad news, but you can’t tell people, can you? But I had to try. You’re still my wife, for what it’s worth.’
‘Oh, I see,’ she said, not seeing at all. ‘Well, thank you, kind sir, you bloody loony. I’m very grateful, I’m sure.’’
The Dream came to Joe again that night. Linda heard his whimpers through the wall, and thought, serves him right, turning over and pulling the duvet past her ears. Many a night she had cried herself to sleep.
Next day the boat was ready. One of the dinghies held provisions, while the other was for Linda, kitted with a week’s iron rations. Suzette perched on the rim preening, while Joe checked the inventories. Next evening he led Linda into the garage for instructions. She listened, arms folded, tapping her foot. ‘And how long may we expect this little jaunt to last?’ she said bitingly, ‘may one venture to ask when your lordship will be coming home?’
He sighed. ‘You don’t get it, do you, Linda?’
It was sausages and mash for tea, and Linda found sausages a lot easier to swallow than Joe’s prophecy, but watching the evening news, she was bound to agree things were getting alarming. ‘But it was as bad as this, almost, last year,’ she fretted, sitting alone with her coffee. ‘Nothing but rain and everyone ranting and raving about global warming. But August wasn’t too bad, and September, well, it was pretty good.’
Next morning they exchanged the barest of farewells. Linda spent the day at work dodging dripping ceilings and strategically positioned buckets, and came home to find he’d gone, the crackpot, just as he’d said, and so had the boat and that bloody useless bird. The silence boomed as she peeled off her sopping tights, and looked in the fridge. She couldn’t be bothered to cook. She made a cup of tea and cheese sandwiches instead, eating on the prowl, uneasy and unexpectedly lonely without her old enemy in range.
‘Well, pardon me for pointing this out’, she said to the empty room and the invisible Joe. ‘I’d hate to contradict you, Joe, but the world still appears to be here.’
But then in the small hours, something woke her. Strange noises in the street. She dashed to the window and looked out but the street was dark, the street lights were all out. A power cut again! She flung up the window and shrieked. Her car – everybody’s car – was heading down the street, borne on a rising tide. Other heads came poking out of windows, voices ascended, shrill with alarm. The street was a river. The river was growing. The rain was stabbing the earth to death.
Linda flew down the stairs and was met by water. She dragged the garage door open; a cold rill flowed round her thighs. Wading to the dinghy, her effort was impeded by the dark, and the ballooning of her pyjama bottoms. Linda sobbed, teeth chattering, as she flopped in bottom first, and fumbled to untie the mooring rope. Thank God she’d left the outer garage doors open as per Joe’s instructions. You’ll be trapped like a rat otherwise, he had warned her, and despite herself, despite everything, she had listened. Thank God.
‘Oh, Joe,’ she whimpered, and remembered all the ways she’d ever loved him, and he had loved her. And Joe had wanted her to make it, he had, sincerely, but she did not, all the same.
His vision was both correct and not. It was a point of technicality. Not the dam. The monstrous wave that came racing across the North Sea from Norway, the fatal collapse of a fjord wall, would have scuppered Linda’s frail chances for sure, but Joe’s pet had already secured the ultimate negative outcome. Rubber might not be tasty, but shredding it was a small amusement for a little bird in a moment of boredom, and now the idle activity of Suzette’s tiny beak slowly but surely laid waste Joe’s careful planning for his wife’s separate survival. Linda’s dead body went spinning down Church Street to St Peters, where her ankle got hooked in railings, and she was trapped there, a dancer graceful in eternal pilgrimage.
Joe came sailing in over her head some days later, coming in from the sea, following Suzette as they headed west under clear and sunny skies. The sea was blue again after the months of grey, and sparkling in the sun, but there were things in the water that did not bear looking at and Joe was careful not to look. What good would it do? The past was dead and gone. His new life started now.
First Published in ‘More Tonto Short Stories,’ by Tonto Press, 2007 . Performed at The Durham Book Fair, 2008 and & later, revised and published on-line with ‘Litro’ Magazine, 2014
Oh no! Oh, yes, I’m afraid. I wish it wasn’t so, but I undertake to demonstrate divination at work in the real world. Sometimes it’s fun, at least for me and I hope it is for you but sometimes it just can’t be. The title gives fair warning. Pass by if you can’t bear it, but if you’re learning Tarot, try to stay with it and not flinch. You may one day find yourself faced with someone in deep distress, hoping to find not solutions or advice, but some kind of sustenance, or at least meaning in their situation. The Tarot will rise to these occasions, if you will. because the Tarot is you, yourself, your deepest, archaic and arcane self.
Her Golden Tarot is another favourite, but one likes to ring the changes now and then.
It’s duckling time again out on the pond, and Nature is wreaking carnage, red in beak and claw. The most relentless predators by day are the sea-gulls. There are two duck mothers this season; one with an excellent track record of rearing and one with a dismal record. The successful mother has for the past 3 years, the neighbours downstairs tell us, reared at least 6 ducklings to independence from a brood of 12-15. The less successful mother loses them all and cries loudly. Anyone who says animals don’t feel what we do doesn’t watch closely enough. If they forget more quickly than we do, if they do, and I have my doubts, well, they need to, and it’s a blessed mercy.
It was cold, and the dismal duck was down to the last of her twelve ducklings on Monday night when Il Matrimonio went over to the pond to feed them, watching as the last duckling ran calling after its mother and she ignored it, eating and then wandering off. Maybe she had given up, and decided it was just no use, and all was lost.
A gull alighted, lingering near the duckling as it crouched shivering, calling for its mother. Seeing this Il Matrimonio could bear it no more, and it was not a ‘good’ thing to do; he knew that; we’ve watched enough David Attenborough, but there it is. The HUMAN animal, male as well as female, is hot-wired to respond to the cry of an infant in distress, and to the immediate, the personal and the particular.
Therefore, enter Il Matrimonio with one shivering duckling. By bedtime it had eaten enthusiastically (not bread; proprietary duck food) It had drunk lots, splashed about in a shallow dish and done much sitting in cupped hands, clearly regarding these as a warm place and acceptable brooding alternative.
It slept on a towel in the bath, curled into the lap of a large teddy bear. Next day it ran around, ate, drank, paddled, pecked my bare feet, calling for its mother, and was incessantly demanding of Il Matrimonio’s cupped hands for brooding.
‘What’s the plan?’ I fretted, ‘it’s been warmed and fed; it needs other ducks; it needs its mother, to go back as soon as possible and take its chances along with the other ducklings. Maybe the other duck will take it.’
Ducks can count, of course. There was no question of her being fooled by the appearance of an extra duckling.
‘It would be murder,’ said Il Matrimonio. The other duck was unlikely to accept it.
The one hope, and it was a long shot, was to get little D big enough to be safe from gulls, then return it in clement weather, and let it take its chances then. And indeed, it seemed to grow bigger even overnight.
But after Il Matrimonio brought D in on Monday night, I had drawn The Devil card, The Four of Coins and Death.
The Devil shows Pan/Nature in violent aspect. This is the truth, that Nature is full of violence. One creature or many creatures must die for another to live.
The Four of Coins represents holding on, a holding action, a brooding of money or other material possessions or objects.
Death speaks for itself. Many Tarot readers today won’t have it that the Death card may actually represent Death. Too unpalatable. Sorry to disagree. Call me old-fashioned, but the oracular mind is not susceptible to convenient reinvention.
The Death card does not always mean physical death, it is true. It may mean an ending in any other sense, or a transforming situation such as the ending of a job, or other situation, but to say it never does is to create the most enormous elephant in the room. Sometimes it has meant exactly what it says. Death as represented by this card is usually natural, often timely, rarely cruel or violent. There are worse cards the Tarot could use if it needed to communicate a sensing to do with such a terrible picture as that.
Last night at bedtime, little D looked so tired, head drooping as she sat in Il Matrimonio’s hands I felt a misgiving. I said, ‘she looks like she’s dying.’
‘Just a very tired little thing,’ he said, ‘aren’t you? Bed time! Yes!’
Little D passed away very early in the morning, found lying with her eyes shut, still warm, head snugged into the lap of the teddy bear.
Tears in my cup of tea.
Sick? I asked the Tarot? Had she got too cold? Stressed?
‘Strength Reversed’, replied the Tarot.
Little D had no strength left. It had all been just all too much.
She was too dead tired.
Read here for Mallard Duckling Rescue information.
A tale of two cats ( and there’s another Miaow Tarot Tale or two in the archives.) Daughter Numera Una, an Animal Care Assistant, and a brill one; rang one evening, ‘we have lost Elsa- cat. Will you look in your cards about it? We’ve been searching and calling for the last three hours.’
She had recently moved address and had two cats, both girls, Elsa and Salem. Elsa was very gentle, borderline dozy, Salem’s practically a genius. Here they are. Elsa top, Salem below with RT. You might be forgiven for wondering which one is the thickie and vice- versa. All I can say is, Salem was being seriously disrespected, being made to wear that pink combo which was actually Elsa’s.
Where might Elsa be? Let me say loud and clear I had no idea, how would I?
I drew the Moon card first, look at the picture, and put it to my daughter, that Elsa-cat might have been frightened from returning by a barking dog living only a door or two away.
She confirmed there was a barking dog Elsa didn’t like.
Other meanings for this card: lies, hunting, danger, tricky travel, infection, fertility, psychic dreams,paranoia. But this immediate pictorial association was most I felt was most relevant to Elsa’s absence. Often this is how a Tarot reader works, look-and-speak-and-sod-the-book-meanings.
Next, I drew The Four of Swords; a knight entombed. This card signifies isolation, sickness, hospital visits, chapels and tombs and raised the obvious question, had she got stuck or trapped? I thought of wheelie bins and asked was a collection due next morning? Artemis was horrified, thinking of a notorious incident in the media where a woman had maliciously swiped a kitty into a wheelie bin but the refuse collectors had already been that morning, and I decided Elsa was not trapped inside a wheelie bin, but might well be hiding behind one.
I drew the Five of Wands and asked RT had she been to Number Five to ask if Elsa had been seen there? Yes she had, and the woman had kindly checked her out-houses.
She asked, was Elsa coming home that night?
I drew three more cards, all upside down and said no, I didn’t see that, but I tended to think it would be all right. Elsa was not dead. She was not hurt. She was disorientated by the move, and hiding, no more than three properties away.
Animals may be the primary department of St Francis, but that former librarian, St Anthony, patron saint of lost things, has kindly helped us with lost beasts before, and I suggested she ask him for help in bringing Elsa home.
Next morning I received this message.
Elsa-Smellsa just found 🙂 Could hear plaintive meowing when we called from the back garden coming from property to our rear so walked round and found her cowering down a little ginnel! She was very hungry but none the worse for wear. Salem was behaving very strangely this morning. I think St Antony acted through her somehow…It was her lead I followed when listening out for the meows!
What did I tell you? That Salem cat’s a genius. Yes, and of course, thank you too. Thank you very much, St Antony.
(You don’t have to be Catholic to ask him; we’re not, but sainthood is a state of grace and they won’t hold it against you)
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.
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.
Now the first dust has settled, I look back at my Tarot’s sensings. Tarot Readers were in much discussion online about this great event as you can imagine, solitary birds huddling together sharing their findings; I received a couple of messages from fellow readers beforehand asking what I felt about it, two telling me they judged it a ‘yes,’ two other judging it a ‘no,’ like me.
Reading for a mass event is like trying to read the hive-mind, which is not at all the same proposition as reading for an individual. What I try and do, while shuffling my cards is to imagine myself further on in time, hearing what the result was. Later I may have a go at the next General Election the same way.
16 June 2014 I tweeted that the signs via the Tarot were consistently a ‘no’ vote for Scottish Independence.
The morning of the polls, before the polls opened I looked again to see if anything had changed, and shared on Facebook via the thread of respected fellow tarot reader Richard Abbott that in favour of a ‘yes’ vote I had drawn:
The Tower Death
In favour of a ‘no’ vote I had drawn
Ace of Wands Reversed (upsdie down) The Four of Cups The Wheel of Fortune Reversed.
Richard messaged to ask for my further interpretation.
To get at the odds I use card counting.
I drew two cards for ‘Yes’ and three for ‘No’. Therefore it read as 2:3 and I read this as a NO.
In the ‘Yes’ lobby, The Tower and Death were powerful cards; very powerful indeed. Both cards of the Major Arcana and The Tower card indicates a shock, a crash, the fall of a tower of babel, and this was an emotionally violent campaign, while Death signifies an ending as in the end of the Union
In the ‘No’ lobby’ The Ace of Wands Reversed signifies a departure not made, a flame that fails to ignite. The Four of Cups signifies dissatisfaction, it’s nickname is ‘bored boy’ – but there is not either the means or will, or both, to start again from scratch. The Wheel of Fortune card emerging upside down suggests that the people of Scotland sensed the timing was not, is not favourable, and for reasons beyond individual control but also national control. It represents an anticipated downward turn in fortunes should an action be taken.
From this I sensed that the vote would be no, but that those who wished to vote ‘No’ had better not rely on other ‘No’ voters to carry the day.
They had better actually go to the polls and vote; they were the majority, but this was a vigorous and determined minority and I tweeted that same morning to that effect.
I feel, having no particular vested interest in the outcome, though dear family in Scotland, the people of Scotland made the right choice for Scotland at this time. Had the ‘No’ campaign not become anxious, had the turn out been poor…it might just have gone differently. The story is over for now, but probably not for good.
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.
Recently, there was a sudden death in the extended family circle. Not close to me, personally, but untimely and deeply sad, and I’d been seeing the Tower card for early June, ever since the end of April and had been holding myself slightly in readiness for unwelcome news. The Tower delivered more bad stuff after this sad event, and it’s still on-going, very sadly but it also did another job, to do with timing.
I asked the Tarot, what day of the week will V’s funeral be held?
I drew The Tower card and said to Il Matrimonio who’d asked. ‘I think it will be on a Tuesday.’
The Tower card corresponds to Mars, god of war, who is Tyr or Tew in Norse mythology, and Tyr gives his name to Tuesday. This ultimate warrior lost his hand in binding the great wolf Fenris, who threatened to eat the world.
Four days later we learned the funeral will be held on Tuesday 1 July.
Tarot and timing is notoriously tricky amongst readers, but there are a number of ways of having a stab at predicting when a thing might happen using the cards.
A dominance of Swords and Wands cards indicate now, soon or quickly. A dominance of Pentacles and Cups cards indicates later, gradually, delays.
Days of the Week correlations:
Monday The Moon card Tuesday, The Tower (Tyr’s/Tew’s day) Wednesday, The Magician (Odin’s/Woden’s day) Thursday, The Wheel of Fortune Friday, The Empress, Friday (Freya’s day) Saturday, (Saturn’s Day) The World card Sunday, the Sun card.
Updated: A light hearted look at an ‘Option selecting’ reading, and at deploying the tarot as an alternative tool for animal communication. All, hopefully, will become clear…
Our cat Willow was thirteen at the time of this reading. A small black and white moggie, she’s an introverted, timid and fussy cat. When she’s hungry she trots into the kitchen and meows. Obtaining service, she’ll jump up to sit by the window, a model of composure, looking studiously in another direction, affecting not to notice while you open her food and put it on a saucer.
The food served, Willow’s dignity demands she must not notice it immediately. The trouble is, she often loses interest altogether, jumps down again and stalks off, leaving it to congeal malodorously, so she refuses it later.
She came in meowing and my daughter said. ‘If I feed her, she’ll only turn her nose up, whatever I serve up.’