Timing comes up a lot in Tarot readings. ‘When?’ asked a recent client, asking about the prospects of a trip…but this was not just a holiday trip being envisioned, but an activity-focused trip with a purpose. The client was also wondering about the possibilities of encountering a significant other on such a trip.
I drew the Six Wands…
Image Legacy of the Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti
‘I’m sensing late next July,’ I said, ‘maybe August. No surprises there then. Summer holidays. Bit of a no-brainer isn’t it?’
Why did I say these dates? The Six of Wands connects to the zodiac sign of Leo.
‘Well, yes, but I’m a teacher,’ the client said, ‘you’ve picked that up correctly…that I can only go away during school holidays. I went to Italy last year and I’ve been thinking about whether to go again back to the same place next year, same time.’
‘Would this to Siena by any chance?’ I said.
‘Wow,’ said the client, ‘not exactly, but it’s a little place not far off. Sort of in the middle of nowhere. But that’s amazing. How do you know?’
‘I don’t know,’ I said, ‘I only feel it. Look at the card. It just made me think of Siena. That rider here in the amphitheatre? It made me think of the square where they hold the Palio. But it never made me think of that before.’
The traditional keywords associated with the Six of Wands: A Yes answer, Success, Victory, Achievement, Awards, Supporters, Fans, Crowd, Rally, Goodwill, Compliments, Cheers, Applause, Sharing Success, Fairness, Self-Confidence, Self-Esteem, Pride, Good News, Politician, PR, Campaigns, Sales
I’ve drawn this card many times before of course. Sometimes it’s been talking about a car. Sometimes it has told me about a motorbike. Once it flagged up a sports trip coming up for a disabled athlete selected to go to with his team to the Para- Olympics. The Six of Wands has more than once before helped me decide which team I think will win a football match though I tend not to ‘go there’ much in public. I do now and then, but who needs trolls – or people ringing me up for betting tips?
Besides which, prescience is not remotely the same thing as omniscience.
But it has never said ‘Siena’ or ‘Palio’ before. The picture on the card was therefore functioning as a psychic trigger.
And first I had to draw that card. I had to shuffle and draw it blindly and at random in answer to the stated question. That card and no other.
77 other cards had to stay in the pack.
And it is that peculiar, acute and totally unconscious synchronicity that is so typical of Tarot.
Would I have picked up on this in the same way via, say, an email reading? There’s no knowing, but quite possibly not. This was a nuance plucked organically from the ether, the invisible electric space between me and the client.
Once upon a time I would probably not have even said it, judging it too silly, not wishing to risk it. Now I am older, less interested in what anyone else makes of it. Caveat emptor. The client doesn’t need to tell the reader much, only ask questions, but they need to be straight with the reader, play fair, no funny business trying to misdirect the reader, wasting time and energy.
It is as it is. For me now, to just do this reading thing is all. Sometimes it comes easy, other times less so.
UPDATE: 3 weeks after this reading I received a message from the client, generously wishing me to see an email just received from a contact in Italy, inviting the client to travel out to Siena for an olive harvesting event….and with a group visit to see….the Palio!
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 advertise as such, and who specialise in taking a counselling approach, often based on formal, academic Jungian training. These readers may decline to handle any forecasting. Other readers, working with a more psychic style of approach, may offer valuable, sensible advice, but without a basis in formal counselling training, and the source of their insights is another conversation. Is it empathy, intuition, hard boiled shrewdness, life experience, or something else?
In preparing for a reading, Tarot, runes, cards etc; the reader can only prepare to respond. The person will wish for verifiable feedback early on in the process, 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.
Mantras or spiritual platitudes simply will not cut it.
The reader must be ready to deal in specifics. 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; eg, 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?
Only 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 also high personal and emotional stakes.
There are also those other 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 an example from a social media forum, all readings free of charge.
The questioner’s identity disguised.
Questioner. ‘Help me please? Is there a spirit of a unborn child surrounding me? Here are the cards I drew but I’m not sure what they mean.’
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: (KT) I don’t think so but I do see mourning (The 9 Swords) and The Fool card represents the newborn or the unborn while The Tower can suggest a sudden, shocking event. Is this why you are asking? Are you grieving a pregnancy – a lost baby?
Questioner: Yes, and my other children seem highly attracted to my tummy all of a sudden and clingy. Its weird.
KT: I am so sorry. 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, to 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, and the aftermath of a shock-wave. You do not want to think of the baby stuck and trapped at your side, a soul too small to know why. You can make a shrine inside yourself, in your mind, in your heart, with a candle to light the way back to life one day for that little soul, and in that way, you can be the baby’s own guardian angel for all time.
Questioner: I love that idea! But why do my children keep wanting to touch my tummy?
KT: I think your children are sensing and responding to your grief, and they understand the source of it, whether instinctively or because you have told them. They’re wanting to ‘rub it better.’, wishing to comfort you, and also they are anxious, and want reassurance from you that everything’s all right.
Questioner: So not a ghost then?
KT I’d say no, there is no conscious entity here, the baby is gone to source again safe and sound. The ‘ghost’ now is the memory, the grief and the physical 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 mind and body are one, this is a fact of biology, and the body is still adjusting after the loss of the baby.
It’s not for me or anyone to pronounce of course, there are always the great unknowns, but I see no ghost here in the supernatural sense of the word .
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, every card contains a message and sometimes in a reading, a card is 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 divination as such apart from the fact that I picked up on the reason behind the initial question.
But was it counselling? I’ve done some of that work and training in previous jobs. Maybe not quite that either. The methodology would possibly not be accepted as counselling in the formal sense of the word.
Looking again at the first two replies, I was struck that their replies reflected a personal position or philosophy, but did not engage with the cards presented by the questioner, and in doing so, bypassed her story here, because the cards clearly raise a story that begs a question – what was the reason for this lady’s question?
My response, whether ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ – meaningless terms here – were prompted by the questioner’s own cards- I was acting simply as an external translator.
I felt her question very deeply, for my own reasons, but the reader must be so careful not to let THEIR stuff get in the way of seeing someone else’s stuff.
What connects everyone in the real WEB is that there are facts, there are truths and there are poetic truths.
There are many weightier matters I find myself investigating with cartomancy; the use of ordinary playing cards for divination, using these instead of, or alongside my tarot cards.
I may find myself investigating business questions. Will this merger go ahead, and when? etc etc
I could be surveilling what seems likely to happen next vis-= a- vis Brexit etc.
I do look of course. Wouldn’t you? I occasional post readings on public matters, but heck, Life is also made of little things, and who needs pointless hate from total strangers on social meejia in this overheated alt-climate.
I don’t see Yellowstone blowing any time soon, or World War 3, and they’re rather weighty matters. Earth will endure it’s natural span, I feel it will be longer than currently predicted, you know, give or take a few hundred million years, but we will be long gone from here and so will everything else by then.
We have recently been on our travels, an undertaking by car and ferry, and for me, by wheelchair, touring in France: The D-day beaches, Pornic in Brittany, Rocamadour in Lot in the Dordogne, a night in Nantes, and north again to Bayeaux before catching the ferry home again next day – a 5 hour crossing to Portsmouth.
Rocamadour is spectacular in the extreme. We stayed in a small hotel, Les Esclargies– at the top of the great cliff above the famous sanctuary with the old main street below it. You can go down in a funicular.
The hotel is in an oak clearing or glade and after a stormy 6 hour drive from Pornic, we arrived after heavy rain to see a red squirrel robbing a hanging bird feeder. We had a downstairs room with a good sized bathroom and wet room. We stayed a few days and late one afternoon, I sat outside with my cards while inside with the patio door open, Il Matrimonio snoozed.
I shuffled my playing cards asking, what is Il Matrimonio doing right now?
Why would I bother to ask when I already knew the answer?
That is precisely the reason for doing it. To see if I draw the cards I expect to draw when I already know the answer, and to see if those cards are an accurate or meaningful reflection of those facts already known, harnessing that benefit of hindsight in order to challenge my accuracy rates in randomly drawing a relevant card.
I expected to draw the Four of Spades in its most benign aspects.
Traditional Meanings: Bed, rest, illness, recuperation, the need for caution, the sick bed, hospital room, coffin, a jail cell, rest, confinement, exhaustion, need to take it easy, move at a slower pace, bed-ridden, feeling fenced in, staying at home, an unhealthy situation, feeling trapped, feeling sick and tired.
Gentle snorting noises proceeded to issue from the open door behind me.
But no…I didn’t draw the Four. I drew the Three of Spades.
Traditionally: loss and deception, lies, misunderstanding, confusion, a growing problem, a worsening condition, deterioration, disease, infection, third-party interference, a third wheel, meddling, a love triangle, what goes on behind the scenes, trials and tribulations, a test, an exam.
I associate it with the Tarot’s Three of Swords; heartache, separation, quarrels, mourning and sometimes literally, cardiac or respiratory symptoms.
Il Matrimonio is somewhat prone to indigestion. I found that if he avoids gluten, he doesn’t seem to get it, but travelling, on holiday, avoiding gluten was not such a practical proposition for him, and besides, the croissants and pastries at breakfast were rather too delish.
Uh oh, I thought, contemplating the Three of Swords, what’s this? I hope everyone’s all right at home, and as for him, I wonder if he’s got a bit of heartburn.
And no sooner had I articulated this thought, there came a burp from inside and Il Matrimonio sat up muttering something about wanting the bicarb.
I think that counts as validation.
So, to add to the vocabulary of the Three of Swords, let us add, indigestion, heartburn, bicarbonate…and burps.
Here’s a kicker though.
Here’s the sting in this tale.
Something strange happened our last night there, a Friday night or Saturday small hours. I had the distinct and quite startling impression that someone pulled twice, quite sharply at my bed covers, trying to drag away the small cushion supporting my knees (pain management of rheumatoid disease)
I mentioned it immediately. We had only just switched the lights out when I felt the first sharp tug, but Il Matrimonio hadn’t noticed anything odd, not the first time nor the second time, but a bad night followed, for the first part of the night. Frightening dreams involving being pushed in a bed, a malevolent coven and the fear of imminent death.
I have had such experiences before, not often, and at the time they have made no sense, – one might as well have put it down to booze or something, although I do not drink or use substances likely to tamper with my view of reality. But days later, and on one occasion, eighteen months later, these dreams or whatever they were revealed themselves to have been a foreshadowing. I once dreamed of an earthquake at the end of my road, I was trying to jump a widening crack in the pavement, and a week later to the day, and after an odd, jittery day, the real one arrived at one in the morning. An actual earthquake…in Lytham St Anne’s in the small hours, and it made the national papers
The epicentre was in Market Rasen in Lancashire, and it was teeny, but the experience when it actually happened, was eerie as hell. I don’t want even to imagine the terror of a big one.
I reckon we can sense these things in the same way that birds and animals are known to do…given sufficient absence of distraction.
And the Three of Spades, like the Tarot’s Three of Swords, can mean mourning.
We returned to shortly receive news of a death, a phone call and it was an uncle of Il Matrimonio’s. This was a quiet death in hospital after a short illness and at the age of 82. It happened on the Friday following our last night in Rocamadour and apparently, some tube got pulled out of his uncle’s arm as he lay in his hospital bed, with fatal results although perhaps it would not have made any difference either way.
Poor Il Matrimonio nurses kind memories of his uncle … tears were shed.
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?
It’s been a while since I last blogged here at True Tarot Tales. Sombre times one way and another, don’t we all feel it, and my older daughter has been unwell. There has been a lot of card reading going on meantime, but I haven’t got round to gluing my behind to the blogging seat * Slaps own wrist*
Daughter is well on the mend now, though not yet back to work. Micro-angiopathic Haemolytic Anaemia, a viral trigger is suspected but has not been identified. She needed a series of plasma infusions and also haemodialysis.
The illness came on suddenly and I had been puzzled, a little uneasy at the repeated appearance of the 9 Spades in the days before Il Matrimoniowent away to Colditz
They let him out again, drat it, and he didn’t even need the famous glider glued with porridge in making his daring escape to Leipzig in search of a schnitzel.
The forthcoming trip was flagged up in my playing cards by the 10 of Clubs but the 9 of Spades kept popping up too, next in the sequence. This is generally regarded as a dire card, signifying illness and worry, and I decided the trip would go fine, the cards were not showing me an illness for Il Matrimonio, but I didn’t know why it was popping up, or for whom, and could almost certainly not have done anything about it anyway.
This is part and parcel of divination of course, and that potential for possibly totally unwarranted stress is just something to be handled. Three times now, I have drawn the Devil card and noted the fact of its ugly-mug appearance hours or days before a major terrorist attack, and this is of no use to me or to anyone, but still, it is rather odd. I drew the Devil and The Chariot four hours ahead of the attack in Nice, and fretted about a car journey we were due to do next day, being unable to identify the context in real terms.
Returning to the 9 of Spades and my daughter’s sudden illness, a 999 jobbie, we all had a bit of a fright but, that first emergency over, the Knight of Cups indicated she would would be all right, and might go home within the next twelve days of admission, (the Knight suggested twelve)
And she did improve well within that time frame but she was in hospital longer, so my cards were slightly over optimistic on that score, or else I started counting forward from the wrong day, and should have read it as 12 days from the day of reading. In any case I’d have been closer to the mark had I drawn the King of Cups, equating to a stay of 14 days.
We have the pip cards, and these are self-explanatory, Ones/Aces through to Tens. Then we have:
Pages= 11 (these might be hours, days, weeks, months, years etc depending on the suit)
Queens = 13
Kings = 14
During a recent Tarot reading for a young client, I opened the reading with my usual opening spread; a five card cross which I think of as my tin-opener.
There was some distress surrounding The Sun and 3 of Swords, a breakup. This was quickly apparent and confirmed by the client who was clearly looking for a handle as to what had gone ‘wrong,’ which the Tarot was able to present to him as a story. This story made sense, so he said, in accordance with his own understanding of events, and certainly, there was no blame attached; my young client had done nothing ‘wrong’ whatsoever.
But he had been deeply upset, spinning his wheels, not having any story to tell himself, that seemed sufficiently clear to him. The reading changed nothing, simply offered him a handle, without which our minds may keep grinding on, and he had been experiencing headaches in the aftermath of those recent events – unusually for him he said.
The central card of this cross, denoting the heart of the current situation, was The Eight of Coins.
‘This card seems to be talking about your next step,’ I said, ‘this is a card of apprenticeships in general, and also, as you can see for yourself here, look, it’s also a money suit card. He looks like he is looking at a bill, doesn’t he? ‘
The client smiled and said he was starting an apprenticeship in Accountancy in September.
Tarot said, ‘good move, young sir. It will suit you down to the ground as your next best step. Please don’t let anything derail you.
If you want a reader’s best answer, don’t think to test them by misdirecting them. Nothing useful will be learned that way. If you mistrust them, or this kind of stuff in general, just leave it be. Don’t go there. Don’t play games with your chosen reader. It is a waste of their time and energy, and your time and money, and you might well ask, why would anyone do that, but occasionally they do.
You don’t say to a doctor, you tell me what’s the matter with me but don’t ask me any questions because if you need my help in reaching a diagnosis, you , sir or madam, are nothing but a quack.
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.
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.
Tarot interpretation works on real life synchronicity, but what is synchronicity?
Definition as supplied by Merriem-Webster: the coincidental occurrence of events and especially psychic events (as similar thoughts in widely separated persons or a mental image of an unexpected event before it happens) that seem related but are not explained by conventional mechanisms of causality —used especially in the psychology of C. G. Jung
Classically this card refers to reaping a reward for hard work or patience and suggests that there will be a good return on a long term investment, but no quick returns. If it comes out reversed I’d be sensing a future poor performance or loss on your current or proposed investment. If you were a buyer, I might be sensing not to buy in this or that product range as not representing a good acquisition. It may either not sell well, or take forever to shift.
The client was asking about the shifting of retail stock, but while money was the presenting issue, and as often happens, a card detail suddenly leaped out at me.
‘Do you have sheep living behind your house?’ I asked.
‘Yes’, he said, ‘a field at the back.’
And this is typical of what Jung meant by synchronicity. Does it mean I enquire about sheep every time this card appears in a reading?
No. It absolutely doesn’t. It just so happened that on this occasion, it did.
Would it appear in a reading done for a sheep farmer?
It ought to.
If I was thinking of buying stocks or shares and this came up, would I go for it? Probably, depending on the surrounding cards.
Tarot loves to start off a reading, playing parrot.
Just as Art imitates or rather, conjures Life, that’s how Tarot works. As within, so without. The first thing I aim to do in a reading, is ask the cards to help me identify my client’s most pressing concern or question. The Tarot tells me by ensuring I draw the card that most accurately mirrors that unspoken concern or question, as closely as can be managed from among the 78 cards in a Tarot deck.
This ‘mirror-card’ tells me and my client that we are on the same wavelength, which provides a reliable baseline for the rest of the reading.
My Tarot did it again today, and deserves one of those little nectar pots adored by larikeets and parrots alike.
I was about to self- inject for the first time, trying out a new med for quite a severe severe rheumatoid-type illness (I have tried MANY approaches in 20 odd years, with too much ground covered to mention, while exercising great care in agreeing which pharma meds to try )
The med is called Orencia or Abatacept. It is a new class of meds known as biologics. Orencia works to inhibit the production of T cells, T1 and T1. These are normal proteins, and are essential for your normal immune response, but if that goes wrong for any reason, they can go into overproduction, causing an inflammatory cytokine cascade resulting in acute pain and long term damage.
These biologics, while for some they offer a last chance of respite, can be dangerous, so I thought I’d pull myself a few cards before injecting.
The first card out was The Tower.
Just look at that pic. How well did the Tarot do, with a deck of 78 cards to work with, shuffled and drawn blind and at random…in guiding me to draw this card, signifying the issue in question.
Look at the card again. Look at the injector pen.
Squawk! Pretty Polly!
This is how readers know their question has been heard and logged by their unconscious mind. The first card out of the deck will mirror the stated question, or even the unstated question.
Next I drew
4 Swords, (illness)
Ace Swords ( a sword, or in this case…spring loaded needle)
and 7 Pentacles. (tend to the crop, patience is required.)
This last card was also a suitable reflection as this med is is a weekly injection.
I therefore concluded, that while I could not expect a miracle, or even a significant observable response, there would be no significant negative response; a finding which I am so far in a position to validate.
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.’
I was cackling peaceably into my cauldron as you do, ie; cooking lunch when Il Matrimonio meandered in, nonchalantly asking; what did it mean if you had lost something, and asked the Tarot where it was, and you drew the Page of Wands?
I paused in my stirring, and asked why. Il Matrimonio does not in general, derive interest from anything Tarot-related, unless he wishes to consult about financial matters, and, might I add, despite this not as yet – touch wood – coming back to bite him. He was not an accountant but would have made an excellently sound one.
His friend Ms X had lost her diary, she had just told him via ‘social meeja’. She is learning Tarot. She had looked in her deck of Tarot cards, asking where the diary was, and had drawn the Page of Wands but wasn’t sure what it might mean.
In general terms it means summer, a young person born under one of the Fire signs. It means a trip or a social gathering, or sudden good news, or a sale, or a bright idea for a new business or creative project. It might literally mean a candle, a torch or a cigarette.
But what did it mean in this particular situation? How could it help to find the missing diary in real, practical, where- the- eff- is- it, terms?
Using Tarot to locate lost objects can be quite a challenge. I once helped a client find a missing diamond ring, and she found it straight after she left me and went hom, after it had been missing for nearly three years.
I swear to God I acquired new grey hairs doing that reading. Not least at how the Tarot told me where it was. The lost ring was in the keeping of the dead, it said. The lady, a widow, swore blind the ring had rolled off her finger and under the bed as she was leaving for the airport, and she had left confidently expecting to retrieve it upon her return home, but it was never to be found again. Except that it was. She went home and found the ring on top of a furniture unit in the sitting room. Right next to her husband’s ashes. She needed a stepladder to climb up and see it prompted by that remark from the Tarot, that it was in the keeping of the dead. It was her wedding ring.
The Tarot’s imagery can prompt ideas or prompt the memory by visual cues and lateral association. Tarot reading very largely works on associative thinking although Logic has its part to play. Readers build their own relationships with the cards, over time and through practice. They embed their own memories and add their own meanings to the cards, so that one reader can never say another reader is wrong, saying that a card means this or that in real terms. Traditional meanings matter. They provide the overarching theme or thesis, but the specifics of interpretation arises from the reader’s own heart and soul.
Back to this missing diary. My response was to say, adding a glug of olive oil to the pan was that the card suggested she took it out with her and left it some local haunt. Why? Because:
Page = small. Wands = travel.
Additionally…or instead; I suggested, it was somewhere warm or loud, such as a radiator next to a TV, or in the kitchen near the oven. Wands is the suit of the south, of warmth and anywhere or anything noisy and quick.
He came back saying, Ms X had been adamant she never took the diary out with her, and I remarked that, well, it was between her and her own Tarot, but that card strongly suggested she would find it, and probably quickly.
Ms X shortly later remembered that she had been to the hairdressers earlier that same day. She returned and found the diary was on the arm of a sofa there, next to the stereo.
Let’s add ‘stereo’ and ‘hairdressers’, then, to the list of associations for the lively Page of Wands.
That’s how we do it. That’s how it’s done, and why Tarot divination is an on-going study, however long you’ve been doing it.
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.’
I recommend inquirers to visit my website before booking. This is for their benefit, to make sure I’m the right kind of reader for them. Not every reader offers the same kind of service, and I would far rather lose a booking than disappoint a client’s expectation.
I once took an enquiry over the telephone from an unusually cagey enquirer. He had heard a colleague talking about a recent reading with me, and he wanted a reading, too. I later realized, putting two and two together, this new enquirer had been a police officer. I recommended that he also check out my website, and he did not book at that point, but called again some weeks later, and was startled that I remembered him, greeting him by the first name he had given (which was not, I sensed, his real name)
The client arrived and was polite but continued cagey to the point where it threatened to become counter-productive. I drew The Emperor card confirming what I had already suspected, and asked if he worked for the Government, was he is the civil service, Armed Forces or Police? He replied with some reluctance that he was in the Police, while a further card, the Seven of Swords, elicited that he worked in Fraud investigating.
I’ve read for a few police officers (purely off-duty) and had no problems. This was like pulling teeth, except I’ve never pulled a tooth. It was like pulling up a dandelion, or getting Il Matrimonio to tidy his clothes away.
The Emperor from The Gilded Tarot, by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti
I asked if he had visited the website, as I had suggested, to know how I conducted readings. He had not had time, he said, and I reminded him of what I had said on the phone, that I start readings cold, and expect to deliver ‘psychic’ insights but thereafter, a reading works as a dialogue, and this is how I am able to deliver a useful reading, drilling down on precise particulars.
‘You’re doing OK. Carry on,’ he said smiling, then stonewalled me, leaning back on his chair with his arms folded, letting me know he was alert to my ‘techniques.’
Please do not do this to your reader. Of course any reader with half a brain will tap into social cues when doing readings. Why ever is this considered the sign of a charlatan? A reader with poor observation skills is a social munchkin and unlikely to deliver a meaningful psychic reading either.
I sensed he was hoping for a bit of help, but would not value whatever was not delivered cold. I had already sensed disquiet attached to his marital situation, and said so, but he had so far declined to verify this.
Now I drew the Page of Swords Reversed and said, ‘I sense a legal issue. An unwelcome communication. A letter, an email. Have you received it or are you sending it?
He smiled. ‘Suppose you tell me?’
There was a pause while I drew more cards. I was not at ease. Stonewalling is socially hostile and I needed to make sure my own discomfort did not skew my impressions about the card.
The Page of Swords Reversed may indicate a minor stress as well as a legal document, potentially. (It can also mean a minor surgical procedure, a minor injury with acute pain, a spy or a young person born under an Air sign: Aquarius Gemini or Libra)
From the Universal Waite, by kind permission of US Games
I pulled The Hierophant reversed (marriage problem) and the Seven of Swords Reversed (a card of plain speaking or alternatively; surveillance and covert research)
I had a ‘ping’ moment, took a deep breath and said, ‘Yes or No? Have you, or have you not, recently visited a solicitor with a view to asking about a divorce, but without telling your wife?’
‘Yes,’ he said, and the Tarot proceeded to share its insights surrounding this event and its ramifications past, present and possible future.
That might seem a reasonably specific psychic hit for someone who does not advertise as a clairvoyant (though I am sometimes, and sometimes clairaudient) but he remained unresponsive, politely thanking me for my time when we finished.
It is your time and money, and the reader’s time and energy. Research their service.
My brother and his wife were selling their house. The Moon card reflected, amongst other more specific things, their uncertainty about when it might sell and where they would go next.
It had been on the market the previous year and they had pulled it due to lack of buyer interest. It had gone back on the market in late May, and now it was mid June.
I whirled my cards about blind and drew the Three of Wands. Since Wands cards deal with travel, property, sales and movement in general, the immediate appearance of this commercial card was encouraging for better luck this time around.
‘There’ll be viewers soon,’ I said. ‘The future is not set in concrete but chances are good, you’ll have a suitable offer on it within three viewings, or within three weeks, three months max.’
‘We’ve had three viewings already, sis, he said.
‘Oh, OK,’ I said, ‘Well, I’ll be picking that up, I expect, but the cards often say several things at once. It’s still looking likely there’ll be developments sooner rather than later.’
Big deal, one might say. How very oracular and vague.
Well, er, quite. Oracles are not always easy to decipher, even for the oracular practitioner.
I now drew the Ace of Pentacles. This is the Tarot’s ultimate house, job and money card.
My brother and his wife have moved to a country lane near Stroud. This card proved a quite literal foreshadowing of their new home.
Illustrations from The Gilded Tarot, by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti. Buy on Amazon and other places or visit his website: http://www.ciromarchetti.com/
‘Positive developments round about the middle of July,’ I said, ‘It’s looking like the sale of house, or it’s job-related or both.’
Then I drew the King of Swords and the Queen of Pentacles. ‘I’m seeing your buyers here, I think. They’re a couple, just as you’d expect. She’s probably got dark hair and maybe eyes; very house proud, and he…well, he might be a legal advisor, or policeman; or it’s possible, a military man.’
The following week they had an offer on the house which they neither accepted nor declined, as it was well below the asking price and early days, the prospective buyer wanted to push for a very early completion. Then they received another offer a few days after that from another prospective buyer, a few days later. It was closer to the asking price, and less urgent for completion and they accepted.
Sales can fall through of course, and they had quite a rocky time of it but the sale went through and what made me smile was this news of the buyer: a family man, married with three children, and whether currently serving or not, my brother doesn’t know, but the buyer was not only a soldier but a Gurkha.
Revisiting an old blog. Similar issues afoot again.
Sprog Senior was unsettled by rumours at work. She works as a vet nurse and the vet owner was thinking of selling. Was she already facing redundancy, having been there only a very few months? She asked her boss directly, who answered that his plans were not finalised, and he would be letting everyone know in the next week or so.
Very unsettling. On Sunday Sprog Senior asked , when did the Tarot see her knowing for sure, and would it be welcome news for her, or unwelcome?
I asked ‘will it be Monday?’ and drew The Ace of Cups reversed.
‘It probably won’t be tomorrow. You look as if you are in for one of those harmless, slightly dull days where nothing particular happens.’
I asked, will it be Tuesday, and drew the Death card , signifying endings in general, as well as, um, the literal ending of death itself.
‘Now, this could be news of a business winding down, or a termination of employment. But the Death card’s right way up; it isn’t feeling like bad news. I’d be expecting something else if it’s bad news. The Tower, maybe, or the Five of Pentacles or the Five of Swords.’
The Five of Pentacles is the ultimate card of unemployment. The Tower would mean a shock.
The Five of Swords is defeat, often with an added sense of humiliation. If someone is wondering whether to ‘go there’ in some kind of fight, this card warns against it. It will be ugly, you will probably lose, and worse than that, it will achieve nothing of worthwhile value.
As it turned out, the Death card proved correct, but not in respect of my older daughter’s question. Someone did leave a job on Tuesday but it was my younger daughter, still a student at the time, leaving a summer job. Hotel housekeeping, and she was not sorry to go. Someone pooped on the sheets and expected her to clear it up, but they rolled it up in a sheet, and she didn’t discover the poo inside until…well, never mind. (Why did they not tidy up as best they could after themselves and at least flush it down the loo?)
Let’s just say, my younger daughter was not devastated to be sacked for her failure to find an adult lady’s poo rolled up in a sheet and left for her to deal with. They didn’t pay enough.
Back to my older daughter’s question. Would she find out about her job on Wednesday?
I drew The Magician card, equating to Odin and Woden. Wednesday.
‘Aha! I think you can expect news on Wednesday, and I think it’s good news.’
The Magician is about mastery and control, so it described the owner but it was at the same time a good omen for her continued employment.
This image seemed particularly suitable as the organisation in question was a veterinary practice.
Message Received Tuesday at 18.15 ‘Staff meeting tomorrow with N’ (the boss)
Message Received Wednesday 17.29 Full merge with Y to commence in 2 weeks….jobs are safe (at least for a few months while they see how things pan out)
In summary: they would want to keep her on, and the next question was, would she want to stay?
If you have a Tarot deck why not give it a go yourself:-
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.
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)
I had a wisdom tooth removed on Monday. I had been putting it off for a long time, five years in fact, on the principle of letting sleeping teeth lie, and following a r-a-t-h-e-r lengthy, nasty and in fact cack-handed previous extraction that left with me with mild parasthesia lasting a year and a half, haunted by a mental picture of a fractured jaw and maybe total and permanent facial paralysis next time.
Anyway, the tooth began to show signs of giving trouble in March and I decided next time I saw my lovely dentist, Catriona, in April, I would instruct her to just go for it and do the deed. She’d been a bit anxious about the tooth for some time, tactfully tending it at check-ups while awaiting my ‘green for go’.
We’d agreed we wouldn’t agree when to do it. We wouldn’t pencil the extraction in ahead of time. Some time when I came in, I’d just tell her to take it out right now and we’d go for it, thus sparing me a wait with the appointment looming like some little Sword of Damocles. She is what I call a properly skilled and emotionally intelligent medical professional.
But *gulp* how would it go this time? The day before my appointment, marked in as a check-up only, I pulled a single Tarot card and drew The Queen of Swords from my Universal Waite deck. Here she is, by kind permission of U.S Games Systems.
Here are the book meanings for this card: The Widow, or necromancer. This card symbolises independence, at its best. Power, intelligence, tactical thinking. The ability to streamline a problem, and find the solution without fuss. At worst, The Queen of Swords can represent isolation, depression and cruelty.
I looked at her and thought, hello there, Catriona. So many times in the past, when this card has shown up in readings for others, it has represented, literally, a woman doctor, dentist, surgeon or lawyer.
Here she was, and on fighting form. Here I was too, another Queen of Swords in the sense that I had made my mind up and Swords is the suit of decision-making.
I put the card back into the deck, shuffled and pulled another card.
And I drew The Queen of Swords again. The card had come up dignified (right way up) and not ill-dignified. I therefore decided it would be fine this time, as done by Catriona.
I took homeopathic arnica 6 beforehand, and afterwards to reduce swelling. It works.
And, a little esoteric detail for those interested in these sorts of associations, the moon was a waning gibbous moon (click the link to view) So much the better for an extraction, some would say, who study these things.
One smooth, though startlingly forceful tug, numbed to the gills, just one, and it was farewell to the devilish dentition, and with no nasty aftermath, either.
Il Matrimonio said how lucky I was, lamenting only that my mouth couldn’t stay numb for three months and not three hours, thus earning himself a swipe to the head, and I think that he too, was lucky.