The Four of Wands and the Tarot’s talking literally (again)

The literalism involved in Tarot card interpretation can be quite something. I recently drew the Four of Wands, using The Legacy of the Divine Tarot, by Ciro Marchetti.

 

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Traditional meanings of this card: completion, good news, a celebration, a professional success, project completion, a new qualification obtained, property improvements, property move or sale, a party, a wedding.

And this made sense to the client at a professional level. But – and I have never felt prompted to ask this before using this same deck, reading this card in this way, I asked, does your property have an underground stream running beneath it?

Yes!  The client, mightily impressed at my lucky guess, had apparently called in a professional dowser in recent months,  suspecting this was the case, and had a very clear idea of how deep underground the water was, and of the path of its course beneath the property. The dowser in question does a lot of work for local farmers, the client told me, not walking out with rods, but getting darn accurate results with a pendulum suspended over the relevant map.

 

assorted pundulums

OK 🙂  Now, this connection is so easy to see, looking at that image from the Divine Legacy Tarot. So obvious if you just forget the card’s official book meanings for a minute, and concentrate purely on the image instead of viewing it symbolically or metaphorically.
The card could also be seen as a reference to dowsing, by the same token, and also as a representation of a cave or a magma chamber, I suppose, and instability or subsidence. (Yikes.) But, had I been using one of my other decks, would I have picked up on this information?

Perhaps not. Compare the card above with the Four of Wands from other fully illustrated decks.
golden tarot four of wandsRW 4 of wandsThoth 4 wands
Left to right: the Four of Wands from:
The Golden Tarot, by Kat Black
The Rider-Waite
The Thoth Tarot, Aleister Crowley and Lady Frieda Harris
Does one see that same aspect of feature? Is there underground water jumping out at you? Nah.
So there is the Tarot, and the reader’s familiarity with the traditional meanings of the cards. Then there is the deck that you are working with, with its variations, limitations and sometimes, as here, additional clues.
What is the reader to do, so as not to become limited by the iconography of any one deck?
You build associations by working with a variety of decks. The only thing that matters here is that your chosen decks resonate with you artistically (and therefore instinctively, and therefore emotionally, and therefore intellectually)
Much as I admire the artwork of many of its cards, though not this one especially, the Four of Wands, I cannot bring myself to work with the Thoth Deck. Can’t be doing with Crowley. Cannot.
But that’s all right. It, like Crowley, has a passionately devoted following and does not exactly need me either.
Until next time 🙂

Tarot tells of Ghostly Whispers…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6-swordsg

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time 🙂

Below: The Angel of Death, Evelyn de Morgan,

angel of death

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

power-of-the-pendulum

 

Tarot Guesses The Birthday Pressie

katie ellen feb 2016

Or tries to and almost does, but not quite.

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.

three-pentacles gilded6-swordsg

 

‘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.

🙂

DSC02525

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.

Until next time 🙂

 

Touchstone Tarot: Death and The Duckling

ktln at home june 2015 1

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.

This is a true outing for Tarot’s Death card, as drawn from my beautiful new deck,  Kat Black’s Touchstone Tarot.

View-Buy here

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.

Dee Dee eating

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.

Devil card touchstone tarot

The Four of Coins represents holding on, a holding action, a brooding of money or other material possessions or objects.

four of coins touchstone tarot

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.

Death card touchstone tarot

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.

Duckling

She was too dead tired.

Read here for Mallard Duckling Rescue information.

Until next time.

Pendulum Divination, Time Guesstimation.

????????????????????????

Il Matrimonio had answered the phone to lovely Jane from the community physiotherapy team, coming to rehabilitate little old moi because I surely need it, pesky auto-immune joint pain sh*te. Jane had called to arrange a visit for today, Thursday, during the afternoon. This morning, I asked Il Matrimonio what time she was coming. He didn’t know. Some time during the afternoon.

‘You mean you didn’t agree any kind of time slot?’ said I.

Hiss-grunt (he was busy on his keyboard) ‘No.’

If it had mattered, I’d have made a call to clarify. As it was, this was an opportunity to test my pendulum with a little game. A clockwise swing indicates a yes answer to a question, and an anti-clockwise swing indicates no. The more vigorous the swing, the more emphatic the answer.

So I asked, would Jane arrive 12-1?   Negative

1-2 ?   Negative

2-3  ? Negative

3-4  ? Affirmative

Jane called at 3.29 to say she be with us in the next few minutes  and arrived at 3.34, escorted in by a beaming Il Matrimonio, charm personified (He was born under the Chinese sign of The Snake and one can tell, and I was born under the sign of The Rabbit and maybe one can tell, by the rabbiting.)

Find your Chinese sign and element  here:

http://fengshui.about.com/od/fengshuigoodluckcures/a/Your-Chinese-Zodiac-Sign-Feng-Shui-Element.htm

What would have been even better would be to have got it down to a 5 minute block, but my pendulum suggested she  would arrive at 3.20 making me 15 minutes out.

Practise makes perfect? I am far from expert at this. Pendulum divination (and you can use a ring on a string, no need to go and buy a pendulum though they are nice, sometimes very beautiful objects)  is at once very simple and treacherous.

assorted pundulums

An accurate result depends on the person doing the divination maintaining a calm, disinterested attitude of curiosity, without wishful thinking or anxiety attached.  You can sway the swing, very easily. Test it for yourself by asking a question while thinking how much you want the answer to be yes or no. You will almost certainly, unless you turn yourself to stone or steel,  see the swing you want to see. Or perhaps it’s more like turning yourself into a sponge; the oracular mind is a sensate but neutral and completely uninvolved sponge. If you care about the matter in hand, it is not easy.

Until next time 🙂

 

Quora Question: Should Psychics Be Licenced?

‘Psychics should be licenced,’ Katie-Ellen’s response.

Me sunshine black jumper shrunk

The Question: We require hairdressers to be licensed, why not psychics? They should have to demonstrate actual psychic powers, by some process such as JREF (James Randi Educational Foundation) could design.

A Reader’s Response:

I follow the questioner’s reasoning. As it stands it is ‘caveat emptor.’  How best to protect consumers of such services? The solution proposed however would be neither meaningful nor workable. It demonstrates a lack of understanding.

Whatever process designed by a party that has already mad up its mind as to the outcomes, as is the case with the James Randi Educational Foundation, will be designed to affirm its own position.

The best, and in fact, only true judge of value in a psychic reading is the client. Readings generally, though not necessarily, takes place in private and in confidence, which the client is free to break, of course.

Stage psychics are up there to stand or fall for everyone to see; brave souls, whatever your view of them.

They are unusual and genuinely gifted communicators for the most part, I would say.

BUT whether a medium is communicating with the minds of the dead, OR is telepathically communicating with the living minds of those who knew the deceased, I would not presume to pronounce.

Either way, it is a wonder what can emerge. I am myself, not a medium, but clients have sometimes told me I’ve said something a dead loved one used to say, using exactly their turn of phrase, when there has been no spirit in the room that I have been aware of. I have tended to think, myself, that this happened out of my intense connection in that moment, with the living person sitting right there with me. It is telepathy, and even cats and dogs demonstrate degree of telepathy all the time, as do people, there is nothing really for anyone to get too excited about.

moon card

The Moon Card from the Universal Waite

To perform at his or her best, the psychic needs to relax on the one hand, and concentrate on the other. The ‘best’, most startlingly accurate insights arise from reading in this state. I once read for two volunteers off the street, reading for them individually in the presence of a journalist. It was for a feature in a magazine.  The volunteers were pleased with their readings, but the presence of the journalist was off-putting.

I said less than I would otherwise have done, because it wouldn’t have been right for these people to have had their privacy breached in such a fashion in a national circulation magazine.

In this work, the quality of the reading you get will reflect the reader’s own personal and professional capabilities and background, while no resting on laurels is possible and reputation is everything.  The client can judge at once, the accuracy, relevance and meaningfulness of what the psychic is saying to them, about them, and their present situation. In respect of forecasts, only time will tell as to accuracy. Confidence in forecasts is based on  what is said about the clients present circumstances, and past events.

Often the client provides feedback. Sometimes they don’t, or might do so a long time afterwards. Many today leave feedback on-line, as well as by word of mouth. Free advertising is invaluable to the psychic, while negative feedback can offer a clear warning to potential clients. Do some research before booking a reading and trust yourself in choosing a reader you feel you could relate to, offering a clearly stated service that matches what you are looking for.

A visit to a licensed premises such as a cinema to see a film licensed for release is no guarantee of satisfaction or entertainment. Visiting a trained and qualified counsellor is not any guarantee either, of any meaningful result, and may not be cheap. (I have myself, received  training and certification in counselling, to know the difference between a reading and a counselling session.)

One lady I read for, told me she had attending counselling once a week for six years, and said she felt she had got more help from a reading than from the counselling. The counsellor was qualified and suitably professionally endorsed and indemnified, no doubt. What nail did that counsellor not hit on the head? The reading might not have helped either, but you see the point. Horses for courses. This was a young lady, struggling with very severe psoriasis and associated depression for many years. I was a patient in the same hospital myself at the time, and did not offer her a reading, nor did I charge anything for the two hours spent, though I was by this point working professionally .

A problem here is that James Randi is not an impartial, disinterested party. His interest is in prosecuting an agenda. This is not compatible with advancing understanding, nor with promoting excellence of customer service. Who would be qualified to do the licencing? The Office of Fair Trading?

I am inclined to scepticism, myself. I think of it as common sense.

The self-avowed ‘committed skeptic’ is not, I think, a true sceptic.

They have already taken up a stance, and this is not compatible with genuine inquiry. They are more a new, secular kind of Missionary.

Jehovah's Goat

If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of psychics, more uncomfortable than interested, well, it is not everyone’s cup of tea.

It is not like going to the bank manager or the doctor or the dentist or the solicitor.

Use your judgement. Stay away. Do not risk your valuable time and money.

Until next time 🙂

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