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.
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.
For twelve years now, I have been reading on an occasional basis for a local business owner; an independent fashion retailer. She has been running her business in Lytham town centre for more than thirty years, and uses my Tarot as an occasional sounding board and second opinion. It can be lonely being the boss of a small staff; a great weight of responsibility, getting enough sales for her own needs and their secured salary needs. The business is very high-end and relies on a loyal customer base. It had a few narrow squeaks for a while a few years back, but I saw and said it would survive the worst of the recession OK and was delighted that it did; this lady is a deserving gem.
The card above is from The Gilded Tarot, by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti, The Queen of Pentacles refers here to a woman with a head for business, and a strong practical and aesthetic sense.
This particular Queen has run a rich and varied assortment of questions by my Tarot over the years to do with premises, improvements, and sub-letting areas of premises, stock-buying and recruiting, as well as a few family matters.
Recently she asked if it looked like a good idea, would it work out well, would the lady sell well for her if she employed a lady called, let’s say, Lynne.
I reported back with the findings. Lynne looked like a good bet. A few days later I was amused to get a message saying, sorry, she had forgotten to mention, there were two candidates for the position, both called Lynne. Which one had I actually meant in delivering the Tarot’s findings?
I did the reading again to tease the two candidates apart. Both looked suitable, but one had the Queen of Pentacles drawn against her name, Lynne B. This gave her a slight edge as the more promising saleswoman.
Did my client choose Lynne B? I don’t know yet. My clients are independent minded people and that’s how I like it. Experience tells me I will hear in due course.
Yesterday someone asked did I believe in reincarnation?
The Yew: symbol of resurrection. Its branches grow down into the ground to form new stems, which then rise up around the old central growth as separate but linked trunks. After a time, they cannot be distinguished from the original tree.
The rune EIWAZ represents the yew, and its numinous capacity for regeneration. It is the one living thing on Earth that could, at least in theory, live indefinitely.
I could not say yes or no, only that my perception is that it is possible for it to be true.
Some years ago, standing cooking, I experienced a strange sensation. For just a split second, I seemed to be standing in an entirely different kitchen, sparse, dark, above a courtyard. There was sunlight coming in at the open door from which I knew there was a flight of steep, narrow steps leading down to the courtyard, and I was wondering where Pietro had got to.
NB The name of the present Il Matrimonio is not Pietro. It is sometimes Mr Hissy (the man is a Libra subject but he is practically a Scorpio, and don’t I know it, but today he’s being good – just slithered in with a cup of tea.)
I have to say, I’m not keen on the idea of reincarnation. Of course we are all recycled material. Life on Earth is 4.5 billion years old, and we are just the current manifestations of it. In that sense, it would be unscientific NOT to believe in reincarnation.
I don’t hugely welcome the idea of repeating the human experience, doing everything again, exactly. And this is not meant as a complaint. I live with pain, and have done for many years now, but in many other respects I’ve done anything but draw the short straw.
I am pretty sure of this though. Whatever happens, it won’t be my choice. Life works in mysterious ways. I strongly sense, based on some rather strange experiences, that our consciousness is not extinguished at the time of bodily death, and that our departure is a process that can take days or longer. The tradition of the Wake was a wise one. We’d do well to bring it back.
There are other ways in which we live on, such as ‘returning’ in a descendent who looks like us, or who shares certain very particular qualities. Perhaps, therefore, reincarnation is race memory at work; the ultimate expression of ancestry.
Do we come back as our evolving selves as the Buddhists think? I’m not someone who’s going to rule it out. There have been too many extremely strange, compelling and quite convincing stories. READ HERE
Could it be that some people return quicker than others depending on their need?
Let’s talk about a very sad reading I once did for a young lady who told me her brother had recently died. This was a reading done by email. I had never met the lady.
I asked how he had died and she replied that he had in fact killed himself.
Her questions were:
Where was he now?
How was he, now?
I needed time to think about this one, as you can well imagine, and when I sat down to it, I drew the Sun card from The Gilded Tarot by Ciro Marchetti.
I find it a very useful deck. However, this card below, drawn from the Waite tradition, better illustrates and exemplifies what arose from that reading..
This is a card of life itself, and joy and of childhood. And of innocence and animals. Things in their natural state. You can see this for yourself, looking at this card. In other decks, those meanings are not necessarily so clear.
The appearance of this card suggested to me that wherever he was, whatever he was, he was like a child again, that he didn’t remember his death, not at all, or the darkness that drove him to it. Because this is a card of births…I felt he may even return again. Very soon in fact.
Bless his soul. He was a child again. I seemed to see him kicking about in a puddle. Sometimes he was too deeply asleep, and knew nothing, remembered nothing as one might generally, and naturally expect from the dead. But at other times, while facing away from this Earth, shown behind him, he was this child, kicking at a puddle, quietly engrossed and at ease with himself. But soon he would join the queue to return. And this is at present, a queue under pressure. For the two going out of human existence every second of today, four are coming in. The unborn are banging on the gates of the docks. What’s the limit of on the shipping lanes..
Why would he come back so soon, assuming if was ‘him’? unfinished business? Another chance? A wound to be healed?
I do not know. How could I? But I sensed news of a coming birth. This news looked or should I say, felt, as if it was coming soon. Bizarre as it might have seemed, I go with the flow in readings, and I wondered if it might even be him, coming back for a fresh go.
About three weeks after this I heard back from the lady, an email, rather excited, saying she had just learned her sister was expecting a baby. She might, she joked, be her own brother’s auntie this time around.
I could only hope it offered some kind of comfort, however peculiar, for a truly terrible grief. Because not all griefs are equal, some are worse than others.
These are mysteries beyond me. All I can say is, I wonder.
A sample reading demonstrating these cards in action.
Anonymous Question on Quora: Can Anyone Help, Please?
The person’s question was ‘Is My Boyfriend a sociopath?’ I drew The Ace of Pentacles.
Their Second question was “Will I ever get pregnant?” I drew Ace of Pentacles again.
Their Third question was “Is my bf being truthful to me?” I drew The Hermit.
Images from The Gilded Tarot by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti
Goodness. These are loaded questions with much anxiety attached. And no- one likes to bear discouraging news but these questions reflect discouragement, to say the least. Hearing what you don’t want to hear is the risk you run in consulting with oracles, while sometimes, in reading for ourselves we might be too close to the question, and struggle to see the wood for the trees.
Based solely on these cards, no further cards drawn; I sense this man is not a sociopath. Very far from it. He seems a quiet person. Perhaps cool, withdrawn and ungenerous in communications. How kind or loving a person he is, or how good under pressure I can’t assess based on these cards alone. He’s probably OK with animals, at least. They don’t demand conversation.
Whether he is generally truthful, a card from the suit of Pentacles is not generally indicative of deceit. It may still denote a charmless misery guts or control freakery; someone who may be aloof, mean, miserly, grumpy, greedy or selfish at times, but it is not associated with deceit or active, purposeful malice or cruelty. And sociopath is a strong word indicative of cruelty, whether verbal or going beyond that.
This person, based on these cards, tell the odd lie to safeguard what he feels is his necessary space. He may fib if if he feels pushed.
The question you have not asked, but which is an elephant in the room would seem to be; do you want to keep him, and and if you do, why?
The Hermit clearly suggests it may be wise to take time out, let go, go silent, quietly release him to go his own way. No need for a scene, no need to spell it out. Just see if it does a natural death once you step right back.
That way you will get to see what he then does or does not do to retrieve the situation. And then you can decide how to respond.
At the very least, have a change of scene, go somewhere quiet, a walk in the park. There seems to be a substantial money issue between you; whether this is out in the open or not, with one or the other of you possibly not grasping a basic nettle; a financial nettle. Do you both work?
The Ace of Pentacles suggest there will very likely be a child for you at some future time while The Hermit warns you against pregnancy at this time, and certainly in these circumstances.
You are being warned here, and very clearly, not to set or fall into a trap, forcing any issue between you. If he isn’t forthcoming, won’t meet you half way, it may be that he doesn’t want the same things you want, at least, not at this time. If he says that he doesn’t, believe him. If he is withdrawn, there is some problem.
Your questions do not bode well for your confident future together. What is coming across is your doubt and mistrust. He may be a sociopath, he may be a liar, you suggest. These are angry questions. Why do you want him? The Ace of Pentacles suggests not only a money issue but perhaps an age or maturity issue, especially in conjunction with the Hermit. Is he quite a bit older than you?
The Ace often signifies a new job, sometimes a new home. I sense you will have the home you wish for one day, but you may need to walk alone awhile between now and that time, and if so, it will be all to the good, even if it does not feel that way right now.
I hope there is something here that you can use for the best.
The cover image for this post is the Three of Cups from the Gilded Tarot by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti. It signifies rejoicing, parties, friendships and news of weddings and births.
Il Matrimonio had answered the phone to lovely Jane from the community physiotherapy team, coming to rehabilitate little old moi because I surely need it, pesky auto-immune joint pain sh*te. Jane had called to arrange a visit for today, Thursday, during the afternoon. This morning, I asked Il Matrimonio what time she was coming. He didn’t know. Some time during the afternoon.
‘You mean you didn’t agree any kind of time slot?’ said I.
Hiss-grunt (he was busy on his keyboard) ‘No.’
If it had mattered, I’d have made a call to clarify. As it was, this was an opportunity to test my pendulum with a little game. A clockwise swing indicates a yes answer to a question, and an anti-clockwise swing indicates no. The more vigorous the swing, the more emphatic the answer.
So I asked, would Jane arrive 12-1? Negative
1-2 ? Negative
2-3 ? Negative
3-4 ? Affirmative
Jane called at 3.29 to say she be with us in the next few minutes and arrived at 3.34, escorted in by a beaming Il Matrimonio, charm personified (He was born under the Chinese sign of The Snake and one can tell, and I was born under the sign of The Rabbit and maybe one can tell, by the rabbiting.)
What would have been even better would be to have got it down to a 5 minute block, but my pendulum suggested she would arrive at 3.20 making me 15 minutes out.
Practise makes perfect? I am far from expert at this. Pendulum divination (and you can use a ring on a string, no need to go and buy a pendulum though they are nice, sometimes very beautiful objects) is at once very simple and treacherous.
An accurate result depends on the person doing the divination maintaining a calm, disinterested attitude of curiosity, without wishful thinking or anxiety attached. You can sway the swing, very easily. Test it for yourself by asking a question while thinking how much you want the answer to be yes or no. You will almost certainly, unless you turn yourself to stone or steel, see the swing you want to see. Or perhaps it’s more like turning yourself into a sponge; the oracular mind is a sensate but neutral and completely uninvolved sponge. If you care about the matter in hand, it is not easy.
Buongiorno is an Italian global telecom company, offering a range of Tarot and other ‘fortune-telling’ apps. And as a general observation in response to an earlier comment, that only uneducated Italians go to fortune-tellers; it is not only the uneducated or less educated of any country or nation who use such services.
I am not a fortune-teller, I work more as a psychic advisor, but all sorts of people have come for readings.
These have included university lecturers and school teachers as well as people working in professional and highly skilled jobs, dentists, vets, writers, accountants, hoteliers, artists, management consultants. Customers of this kind of service are as diverse in educational range as readers.
This was written many months ago, amid much public speculation in the psychic community that the flight had been hijacked. My cards could not agree about that. See this sad UPDATE
Theories abound. This is just my take. I looked at this tragedy at the time, as did many practitioners of divination. It is only human nature that out of concern, ‘psychic’ specialists will look at such events through the lens of their particular skill.
The Tarot cards I drew included The Tower (catastrophe, a fall, a collapse), Page of Wands Reversed (spark/fire?) and The King of Cups Reversed (king subject to water/pilot submerged) and Judgement (all in heaven now). The absence of Emperor (government/anti-Government)and Devil (Rage, Evil, ) cards suggested there was no terrorism involved. The Judgement card is also of validation of an idea or a judgement, and may serve to indicate that the reader has interpreted the surrounding cards correctly.
Judgement, from The Gilded Tarot, by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti
Whether a ‘psychic’ has been employed officially on this investigation, it is not going to be publicised if that has been the case, and probably, it has not. This would require official sanction with access to the considerable resources required to follow up on findings, which may or may not prove correct. This would pose considerable PR difficulties. Other comments made on Quora in reply to this question, hostile to the very notion of ‘psychics’, make that abundantly clear.
These people may not be aware of the well established use of map dowsers in various fields, locating potential new sources of water, oil and gas for big organisations and sometimes local authorities. Dowsing, sometimes called ‘water-witching’ is an esoteric, or ‘psychic skill’ which could be described as remote viewing. It probably works on electro-magnetic vibrations sensed by the dowser and it has been used in archaeological exploration with clearly evidenced and documented results.
If all the available technology has failed, anyone able to locate the missing aircraft precisely enough to make a mark on a map, could be one of these people. It would still be a gargantuan task, given the enormous area to be covered. I once helped someone find a diamond ring, missing two years. It was not easy. The only way a reader of cards might tackle a location question on this scale would be to meditate on a given range of locations or options, selecting the most and least likely. Again, this would require active collaboration between government and aviation authorities and the ‘psychic.’
At the time, other readers suggested the aircraft came to land, or was force landed by terrorists etc. They suggested locations. There was and is very little question in my mind, that no-one individual or individuals is to blame for the fate of this aircraft. Accidents do happen. Tragedies do happen. Let Fate take the blame for this one.
It’s a ‘how long is a piece of string’ question. I read for people who’ve been using my service on an intermittent basis since I started in 2002. Hopefully, no-one will feel a need to access psychic readings on a regular basis, nor do ethical readers encourage dependency, as an unhealthy situation, not in the best interests of customer or reader.
Some people can become ‘addicted’ to getting readings. That’s not good news, and it’s liable to add to any confusion, especially if readings or readers appear to contradict each other. It’s a potential headache for the reader, a reading can be a potent experience and though it’s rare, it can happen that a customer threatens to become a stalker.
Many readers discourage this behaviour by setting terms on frequency of access. Most readers will operate a personal policy in respect of frequency of readings for the same person. They might well state, also, that they will only read once on a given question or issue. They won’t keep reading on the same issue just because the customer didn’t like the answers first time round.
This could happen. It is a risk you run in requesting a reading. The reader must say what they see, and say what they do not see, if that is the question, sharing their findings with care, never to frighten the customer, but respecting the oracle nonetheless.
Some readers will discourage returns within 6 weeks, others within six months.
There may be exceptions. It might be someone has hit a very bad patch, and is finding readings useful, or is finding comfort and support in readings, intensively perhaps, but only for a short time, where other approaches have not met the need, or are not wanted. Bereavement is one such possible situation. Anyone could hit a patch like this, and not find what they are looking for through doctors or counsellors, or else not wish to use those services. They may not wish to discuss things with family or friends, and might choose a psychic reading as a coping resource.
The High Priestess: a psychic reader, and representative of one’s own intuition; Image from The Golden Tarot by Kat Black, by kind permission of U.S Games Systems.
Another exception I can think of based on my reading experience is when someone is using a particular psychic’s skills for professional or business purposes. I say, particular psychic. It’s such a broad collective term, ‘psychic’, as to be practically meaningless, and not helpful on its own. Potential customers are advised to do some research. Look up the psychic’s website, go by word of mouth. What kinds of question does a particular psychic handle, do they specialise? How do they set out their stall? What is their background?
Business motivated users of psychic services are often operating in a degree of isolation, and perhaps, are bearing heavy responsibilities. It is not that they are emotionally dependent, or likely to become so, however often they use the service, and they will stop using it the minute they don’t see the return on investment they are looking for. They are interested in accessing psychic insights as part of their working arsenal, for strategic and planning purposes.
In Tarot, the absence of a clear positive tends to mean a negative answer.
Image from The Gilded Tarot, by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti
This card does exactly what it says on the tin. It correlates to the month of Leo and this can be the answer to a question, ‘when?’
It is good news coming up in answer to any health question. More subtlely, it is good news on other fronts.
The younger daughter passed her driving theory test yesterday. I was optimistic that she would, because I had asked about the outcome and drawn just one card: The Strength card.
It was her third attempt at £31 a pop. Still, I didn’t have to pass this test when I passed my driving test. All I had had to do was answer 3 or 4 theory questions at the end of the practical.
On the two previous occasions I had asked about the likely outcome and drawn multiple mixed cards.
Mixed cards amount to a weak or confused signal or a negative answer. In Tarot, I have found that the absence of a clear positive tends to mean a negative answer. And sometimes less is more, and it’s better to pull just one card, because your feelings can confuse the picture. The more cards, the more opportunity for confusion.
Were these previous negative forecasts a reason for her not to make those previous attempts at her driving theory test? Of course not. And I didn’t tell her what the cards said, or failed to say. They failed to show me The Magician, or Chariot card, or Judgement or The Sun or The World. Any of these would have been good auguries for a pass.
I didn’t tell her I’d got ‘bad’ cards. I might have put her off her stroke and brought about a self- fulfilling prophecy.
Beyond this, Life demands we have a go and take risks and sometimes challenge the odds, taking the jumps and the falls.
Prediction senses the odds, and much of the time the odds ought to be challenged. It is just there are times when the stakes are high, it might be useful to get a sense of the odds.
She wanted me do a sample theort driving test online with her test last night. Thank goodness I passed it or I’d never have heard the end of it.
Il Matrimonio, her dad, has so far declined to do the test, saying she’s a cocky little git and she’d better pass her practical first time.
I didn’t pass mine, it took me two goes, and he was the same, but he thinks to trump us all with the card of having been an army helicopter pilot.
And so he does, but is this moving the goal posts?
Recently, there was a sudden death in the extended family circle. Not close to me, personally, but untimely and deeply sad, and I’d been seeing the Tower card for early June, ever since the end of April and had been holding myself slightly in readiness for unwelcome news. The Tower delivered more bad stuff after this sad event, and it’s still on-going, very sadly but it also did another job, to do with timing.
I asked the Tarot, what day of the week will V’s funeral be held?
I drew The Tower card and said to Il Matrimonio who’d asked. ‘I think it will be on a Tuesday.’
The Tower card corresponds to Mars, god of war, who is Tyr or Tew in Norse mythology, and Tyr gives his name to Tuesday. This ultimate warrior lost his hand in binding the great wolf Fenris, who threatened to eat the world.
Four days later we learned the funeral will be held on Tuesday 1 July.
Tarot and timing is notoriously tricky amongst readers, but there are a number of ways of having a stab at predicting when a thing might happen using the cards.
A dominance of Swords and Wands cards indicate now, soon or quickly. A dominance of Pentacles and Cups cards indicates later, gradually, delays.
Days of the Week correlations:
Monday The Moon card Tuesday, The Tower (Tyr’s/Tew’s day) Wednesday, The Magician (Odin’s/Woden’s day) Thursday, The Wheel of Fortune Friday, The Empress, Friday (Freya’s day) Saturday, (Saturn’s Day) The World card Sunday, the Sun card.
‘Psychics should be licenced,’ Katie-Ellen’s response.
The Question: We require hairdressers to be licensed, why not psychics? They should have to demonstrate actual psychic powers, by some process such as JREF (James Randi Educational Foundation) could design.
A Reader’s Response:
I follow the questioner’s reasoning. As it stands it is ‘caveat emptor.’ How best to protect consumers of such services? The solution proposed however would be neither meaningful nor workable. It demonstrates a lack of understanding.
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 unusually 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.
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 for me. I said less than I would otherwise have done, because it wouldn’t have been right for these volunteers to have seen their privacy breached 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 had been paying for counselling 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.
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?
The self-avowed ‘committed skeptic’ is not, I think, a true sceptic. They have taken up a stance, and this is not compatible with genuine inquiry. They are more a new, secular kind of Missionary; these come in many guises, including the rational and secular.
If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of psychics, more uncomfortable than you are interested, well, it is not everyone’s cup of tea and it’s fair enough. Do not risk your valuable time and money.
Il Matrimonio dreaded the schlepp from Lytham to Dover one Wednesday afternoon. He particularly dreaded the return journey on Thursday evening much as he loves and worships his car. I call her Black Betty. Skip if you don’t like this rock classic.
The journey down proved tedious in the extreme, starting with delays at Luton, which persisted one way and another the whole of the rest of the way down.
He rang on Thursday morning to ask me to look in the cards for clues as to the optimal time to set off on his return journey. This was shaping up ominously. An accident at the Dartford Tunnel had been backing up the roads all the way back to Sevenoaks.
He thought he might wait until 9.00PM before setting off, what did the Tarot suggest?
Tarot felt he should set off earlier. ! had my cards beside the phone, loose in a heap and all facing down. I swirled them about with my free hand and pulled out four cards.
Card 1 represented outcome of Departure at 6.00 PM
Card 2 represented outcome of Departure at 7.00 PM
Card 3 represented outcome of Departure at 8.00 PM
Card 4 represented outcome of Departure at 9.00 PM
Against 7.00 PM I drew the Two of Swords. A lady sits, blindfolded, holding two crossed swords. If you leave at 7.00 I told him, you’ll have a largely clear run, but there will be one slower patch, maybe roadworks.
If you leave at 8.00, I said, looking at the Ace of Swords, you should have a straight clear run, or at least, the best you’ll get.
That was because this card represents a) a good decision and b) represents a sword that cuts a Gordion Knot, or to put it less politely, cuts through the crap.
Il Matrimonio by no means acts on all such suggestions coz we all have free will, innit?
On this occasion, he had a nap, set off at 7.40 PM and arrived home at 00.20 (Two of Swords)
Although as he had set out, Tarot’s rival, the great god, Tom-Tom, had predicted an arrival time of 00.45.
There were no jams or problems whatsoever during the 330 mile drive home. Tarot beat Tom-Tom. Yay.
No, it doesn’t, really. The oracle of Tarot would never be so uncouth as to bellow like that, sniff. But I bet you know what’s coming, you bunch of psychics, you.
Yes, I’m talking about last night’s footie: England v Poland and I was in mighty good odour for saying to Il Matrimonio twenty minutes BEFORE kick-off that I thought England would win, though it didn’t look as if they’d have an easy time of it against our Polish friends.
As you may already know, England won 2-0; goals scored by Wayne Rooney in the first half ,and captain Stephen Gerrard in the final moments.
England going one up didn’t stop Il Matrimonio screaming at one point that the goal-mouth was too narrow, in his terror that Poland would manage to equalize.
Poland’s goal-mouth was too narrow, was what he meant. England’s goal-mouth was far too wide, of course.
How did I arrive at this opinion?
I used a 3 card counting spread, giving them a 75% chance of a win. I actually drew the same odds for Poland which made it tricky, but the last card drawn for England was a positive one, and the last card for Poland was drawn upside down.
Poland had a really good supporting crowd, as foreseen by the Six of Pentacles (a strong, supporting community)
So, England has qualified to play in The World Cup in Brazil starting in Sao Paolo, June 2014.
Whether I get this right or wrong, is it SAFE to say what I glimpse? : )
If I do, it’s not to try and poop anyone’s party. It’s by testing themselves continually, even if they frighten themselves in the process, that a reader hones their craft, and if you don’t like the answer, just decide it’s wrong, and maybe it will be. What does your instinct tell YOU?
It’s no better than possible they will reach the quarter finals, despite some inspired moments and sterling teamwork. Alas, I see no World card, and in this instance, the card would do what it says on the tin.
I’d better go and hide, before Il Matrimonio sees this…
Mind you, he had decided where he wanted to open an easy access savings account, in which to deposit the proceeds of a recent house sale. He wouldn’t say which of three accounts he had in mind, but asked me to select the best choice for us, using Tarot, to see whether we were in accord. I chose Potential Account A, and put it to him that this was the Option he’d already selected, himself. He confirmed that this was the case. How did I know?
Well,because I drew the supremely numerate King of Swords when looking at Potential Account A, and this, for me, is the card which represents Il Matrimonio, who is a Libra ‘king’, only 3 days shy of Scorpio. The image below is from The Gilded Tarot, by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti.
Not only did my Tarot’s findings accord with his inner accountant, but we were on the same page about the best place to put the money, therefore, no need for shouting or plate throwing, and, it is he, I assure you, who would be the one to throw plates. I only throw fruit bowls.
I recently returned from an overseas family vacation driving in Europe, marginally more relaxing than crossing the Alps with Hannibal. OK, it was intense, but let’s keep a sense of proportion. It was nothing like marching with Hannibal. I had scrambled eggs for breakfast every day, once with chopped chives. The sun shone all week. It was instructive, it made a change, and my husband, Il Matrimonio, was in seventh heaven; king of the road in his lovely new black shiny car that he, ahem, loves.
Below we have the The Chariot card from The Gilded Tarot, representing progress, teamwork, ambition, and literally, a vehicle. Image by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti.
Yes, it was Chariot time. What else could one do, but belt up, pray not to need the loo in a hurry; no joke if you’re having to use a wheelchair for any reason, and look and learn?
There was plenty to see; Reims Cathedral, the snowy summit of the Eiger, the battlefields of Ypres. No goats in Switzerland. Perhaps because it was still hot, they were still up on the high pastures. No ghosts in Ypres, or in Polygon Wood, where Kiwis, Aussies and Brits lie, all brothers together, though I wouldn’t have been surprised to have seen one, standing waist high in the tall green fields.
No risk of mal- de- mer, we had gone through the Channel Tunnel. Quick and easy, no fuss, sitting, working up our best French, and in some cases, spoof French, to be spat out 25 minutes in La Belle France.
On the return trip, however, there occurred a minor delay. We had made the crossing. The train had slowed right down. We’d had the announcements thanking us for travelling Euro-Tunnel, and were doing up our seat-belts ready to stop and drive off, when abruptly the train stopped, the lights went out and we were trapped in the dark in the belly of this vast tin-can underwater snake.
We heard announcements and apologies to the effect that power had been lost, preventing us from reaching the platform at Ashford, but hopefully it wouldn’t be long before power was restored.
How long would it be, I wondered? My tarot cards were in my suitcase, but I had my pendulum in my handbag. I held the pendulum, suspending it over my lap and asked, ‘how long till we move? Will it be 5 minutes?’
The pendulum dithered, then began to move in a circle, anti-clockwise. For me, that always means ‘no.’
It wasn’t the answer I was hoping for. So what. That’s the risk in consulting oracles.
‘How long till we move?’ I asked again. ‘Will it be 10 minutes?’ The pendulum hesitated, then began to swing clockwise. For me, that always means yes.
‘Only ten more minutes, with any luck,’ I said to Il Matrimonio, as he sat, tapping his fingers on the steering wheel, in-between kissing it, or wishing he could.
‘Are we there, yet?’ the teen piped up, stirring it from the back of the car.
Il Matrimonio glanced at his watch, to monitor the prediction, and this is why I am able to tell you, the lights came back on, the power was back, and the train began to move, 9 minutes and 50 seconds later.
Anyone can learn to dowse. It’s not magic. OK, it is. It’s everyday human magic. You won’t always get it right. I don’t, but it’s one of those things you get better at with practice.
There are lots of books on the subject, and plenty of how-to articles on-line. No need to spend money to mobilize this magic. You don’t even need to buy a pendulum. You can use a ring on a string, or even a threaded needle, stuck into a cork. You need a cord or string for there to be that crucial swing, when gravity gets hold of the body twitch, when it comes, that’s the answer needing translation, the non-verbal reply coming from your central nervous system.
What you need to do is decide in advance what movement shall mean ‘yes’, what movement shall mean ‘no’, and what shall represent ‘don’t know’, or ‘ask again later.’
Then ask your question, relax, and trust yourself. Learning to trust yourself, that’s the hardest thing you have to teach yourself, if it doesn’t come naturally. It is the challenge in learning Tarot, it is the challenge in using the insights provided by dreams. It is the challenge in learning to believe yourself, and not beat yourself up when you take an instant ‘unfair’ like or dislike to someone or something. Have you ever felt like that and reasoned yourself out of it, only to come full circle?
Your first feeling is the one to trust. It can save much time, energy, heartache, or even money.
You know more than you know you know. Why don’t they teach this in school?
The use of divinatory tools is largely a means of silencing the counter-arguments of the know-it-all front brain. The conscious attention goes to the tool, creating a tiny oasis of stillness in which to more easily connect with the silent voice of the body’s primary intelligence; instinct.
It trumps tunnel vision, any time. Unless, perhaps, it’s a vision in a tunnel.
Has anyone ever foreseen a lottery win with the Tarot? Yes, you will find a link at the bottom of this post, but I haven’t, at least, not yet, for myself or anyone else.
Someone, a friend of a friend whom I don’t know, personally, messaged me via the friend to ask – light-heartedly, this was not a consultation- could I see him winning the Euro Millions Lottery? A big win? Because if I couldn’t, he had apparently said, perhaps he wouldn’t bother to continue buying tickets.
Now, I might not have bothered, but this is a question I have often been asked about. Amongst some readers there is the superstition that this question should not be asked. I can see no ethical or karmic reason why not, so long as you don’t shoot the messenger when you don’t like the answer. Tarot reading is divination, not magic, though Tarot is sometimes used as a magical tool for trying to bring something about.
I understood the man’s question to refer to a BIG win, and I drew three cards,
This was a counting spread where I counted to assess the probability of a yes answer. In the spread I used each flanking card represents 25% and the centre card represents 50%.
The odds were therefore 50: 50 ie the odds you would expect, BUT reading the card literally, and since the King of Pentacles suggests a money king, and he had come out upside-down, as seen below in this image from I think, the Radiant Tarot, a Rider-Waite based deck, the odds reduced.
The final card is like turning over the last page in a storybook to get the ending.
I say what I see, no dissing the oracle, and my reply was therefore no, I did not see any significant lottery win, but I saw other good stuff. The Devil Reversed and The Lovers.
I sensed he had a passion about to be fulfilled, maybe to do with music or entertainments, then I learned he was a musician and amateur DJ.
The friend joked that now I was out of favour, telling him this bad news, (sigh, well this goes with the territory)
He asked, could a prediction not be overturned?
Another possible response might have been to say, oh bah. Well, that chimes with my gut, and that’s a few quid saved on buying tickets. But the risk in asking oracles anything, is that you might not like the answer, so the bargain is, not to shoot the messenger should you not win the Tarot Lottery of hearing what you long to hear.
The Emperor Tiberius used to ‘shoot’ his messengers. He had his soothsayers hurled off the cliff tops on Capri, if he did not like their sooth-ing, except for one called Thrasyllus who made him laugh by sooth-ing that he could feel his life was in danger at that very moment. And indeed it was, but Tiberius was so tickled he decided to let him off. I can’t help feeling, that their terror in reading for Tiberius is not likely to have increased their accuracy.
But, in answer to his question, yes, it might be that a prediction can be overturned. The future is subject to change, apart from the certainty of physical death, and readers can misconstrue the cards. I offer forecasts, not predictions.
What’s the difference? A forecast is a sniffing of the air, sensing prevailing and coming weather, an intuiting of trends, and a qualified reckoning of odds, unlike predictions which make flat statements about the future as if it is a done deal.
Therefore, to the friend asking whether my forecast that he will not win the Euro Millions Lottery can be overturned, I’d only say, I see it’s a ‘no’ by all means, chance your arm if you feel you can afford to. You can’t win if you don’t buy tickets (remembering that the original question was, did I see a big win, because if I didn’t, he might not bother to buy tickets.)
What were the chances of him overturning my forecast?
I drew positive cards, but no actual money card. This did not imply future poverty to come, but was a symbolic with-holding of that particular jackpot. The question as stated is the context to stick with.
Hope as they say, springs eternal, and I for one, am not knocking it. There is ALWAYS the chance of the wild card. And that card is the Wheel of Fortune, as illustrated in this newspaper story.
I told him he had good news coming. Not a Lottery win but a lucky break.
His good news was not long in coming. The tarot had given a 50:50 answer for its own good reasons, not just to do with the laws of chance, because in a sense he DID woin the lottery.
A few weeks after this he was made DJ of his very own radio programme.
How about that for a jackpot. AND he had earned it.
Il Matrimonio had gone out, Dad’s taxi service, collecting Brat No 2 from the pictures. Or maybe it was the pub, because 35 minutes later, it had taken a r-ather long time for this errand. What was occurring? I pulled a card from my Gilded Tarot deck and drew The Ace of Pentacles/Coins/Disks.
OK, They were just arriving home, then. And so they were, I heard the front door open at that very moment. We had also, the previous day, returned home from a long trip. You look in the Tarot to find out what you don’t know, but often what you see is what you do know.
The message here is I suppose two- fold. To obtain an accurate reflection of what you already know is to have a benchmark for the accuracy of forecasts. And, you might think you don’t know something, when actually, you do. The answer is just lodged too deep for you to recognize it, and Tarot digs to fetch it out into the light.
The Ace of the Earth suit, signifying or forecasting home, a new home or house, often with a green garden, a new contract or job or other new source of income, is considered a most fortunate card unless it’s drawn reversed. The best things of earthly life. It may also refer specifically to a physical object, I’ve known it flag up a lost ring and a lost briefcase, and in both cases, the items were recovered as foreseen.
There are the book meanings for tarot cards, then there are the meanings you add through working with them, but last night, the Ace was just doing what it says on the tin.
Shame there was no wild stoat, or ferret, ahhhh. A ferret went to sleep on my arm once, tail hanging down, and it snored nearly as loud as does Il Matrimonio. It was funny when the ferret did it, such is the unfairness of life.
The Tarot is a cosmic ferret. Great fun to send it down rabbit holes, and hold it when it snores, but it needs handling with care. The teeth are sharp and…. my God it can stink.
Inheritance is a meeting point of past, present and future, taking many forms, physical and immaterial. Goods, prospects, genes, ideas. How different in character will the legacy you leave differ or depart from the legacies you have inherited?
The Tarot’s card of Inheritance, both material and immaterial: money, property, ancestry, genes, culture, is The Ten of Pentacles/Coins/Disks.
See the harvest mouse, custodian of the family riches. These riches are about far more than money.Appearing in a reading right way up, I am being shown that the person feels well-supported by family. They have the security of a sense of belonging. Reversed, the picture is of someone struggling about this, labouring under a sense of alienation, or injustice over wills and other inheritance issues. Or they may be feeling that their family background has been a burden rather than a resource.
The Tarot’s comment to people coming to discuss the disinheriting of challenging children has so far been Justice above all. Equal shares between children, no matter what the relationship, no matter what the history. That one does not get on with a child is sad. It is a misfortune in life, and one may not like one’s child, just as a child may not like its parent. One might even love someone, without liking them. It happens.
But it could be argued that retribution through the power of inheritance is a betrayal of the principle of inheritance, that an unjust will is toxic and divides families for many years to come, perhaps for ever.
Where is our ‘true’ well-spring? Without knowing our family history, we’ll probably never know, and no-one can know all of it, but a lot can be guessed because it’s lodged in you somewhere still. You might be the spitting image of a great-great-grandparent. You might be wearing their face reborn, cast to reflect your own spirit. You might have their skills and talents, their voice and intonation, even their mannerisms, when all your life you had thought you were the ‘odd one out’.
“You and I can turn and look at the silent river and wait. We know the current is there, hidden; and there are comings and goings from miles away that hold the stillness exactly before us. What the river says, that is what I say.”
I have had the cards out on a few football questions recently, out of interest. Not my interest, particularly, but Il Matrimonio’s.
This is such a poisoned chalice. When I get stuff like this right, he’s intrigued and chuffed, but he’s likely to turn round next day and say it was a good guess, or deny I’d told him what I’d told him, the treasonous reptile. If I get it wrong, he’ll jeer, whereupon I beat him back into his vivarium, and would throw a cockroach after him, if I could find one.
I’ll have a go at these questions anyway. I’m not charging for this work, it forms no part of my professional service, not directly. It’s to benefit my own study. How else does may one study the workings of intuition except to test it on those questions where one has no emotional stake?
I looked and said I thought it was Wigan Athletic to win this match. I assessed their chances as 75% likely to win (but I did not see them winning their next match, I tweeted to this effect, and sadly, they didn’t)
He said this was impossible, that none of the pundits agreed. Why not, I asked? Because, he said, Man City were second in the Premier League, Wigan Athletic were in the bottom three, and Wigan hadn’t scored against Man City since 2007.
His objections to the forecast were based on trend, but a pattern may break at any time. Right or wrong, that was what I saw. The odds were in Wigan’s favour plus, I’d got The Magician as the outcome card, and The Magician is Mastery of Skill.
By means of a counting spread, and by using reversals (allowing upside down cards) as a way of qualifying the odds numerically.
I shuffled (which I do abominably) asking, ‘Wigan Athletic to win?’ Then I drew three cards and laid them out in a row. How many upright (‘dignified’) cards did I have? Two out of three. the middle card counted for 50%, the flanking cards for 25% each. The middle and final cards were upright, and the final card was The Magician. This was a wonderful card in the circumstances. It is the ultimate card of Skill and Mastery.
This forecasting method has proven highly reliable. Not infallible, I ‘m no such thing and would never claim to be, but I’d expect to get it right 90% + of the time and am perplexed till I understand why I miss the mark when it happens.
Today, however, I was asked another football question, and arrived at a response very differently.
This time I did not reach for my cards. I was preparing lunch, I just said ‘wait,’ and paused, knife suspended fatefully over an imperilled avocado.
‘Crystal Palace?’ I said aloud to myself, and upon saying this felt a mild but distinct spasm on the left side of my neck which ran down my left arm into my fingers. It was mildly unpleasant, like the crawls you might get, pedalling your feet in bed at night when you’re low on magnesium or other salts.
Noting this reaction I said, ‘Crystal Palace to win’.
‘They’ve just scored,’ he said. ‘Fifteen minutes to go, let’s see if Watford pull it back,’ and off he wended, sidewinding his way back to the television.
Result: Crystal Palace 1: Watford 0.
For many it will only be stating the obvious to say that the physical and the psychic are one and the same. The very subtlety and sophistication of the Tarot’s vast reference library may be a weakness as well as a strength; a temptation to intellectualizing, which is NOT what is wanted, in trying to obtain a true result on Divination.
There is Tarot you learn by book study. Then there is the Tarot you develop through experience, in which you discover or allocate new meanings for the cards via association and your own intuition. An example from my own experience is in readings featuring the Eight of Swords.
Standard Keywords: Frustration, feeling trapped or stuck, being unable to see a way ahead, chagrin, mortification, sometimes melodrama. A drama queen. One may be making a mountain out of a molehill. Passivity, the person is awaiting rescue when she only has to step forward with care and negotiate past the fence of swords, but she lacks focus, or else the nerve to try.
This is what you will read in any Tarot study guide. But sometimes, you look at a card and think, no, that’s not it. Why not? Perhaps it makes no sense in the context of the discussion. What else is the Tarot trying…
The Chariot Card from the Gilded Tarot, by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti.
I was playing with the cards, no particular question, just a few things on my mind. I pulled The Chariot card, but it was upside-down, Reversed.
I drew it with the Strength card and this was also Reversed but I wasn’t sure of the message. The function of questions in tarot reading is to provide a framework for interpretation. Sometimes though, the challenge is what question to frame, and then, the trick is to just start pulling cards, refine with further questions, or wait for an insight.
The car was behaving itself, so it wasn’t a vehicle malfunction message, which it certainly can be, drawing The Chariot Reversed. I asked my eighteen year old daughter how she was getting on with her driving lessons. She’d only had five lessons, and was loving it, or so I thought, but she replied that she wasn’t enjoying them any more.
I asked why not. She’d had a scare last time, she said, turning left. She’d struggled to steer, the wheel locked, and another driver got impatient. More than that. Furious.
‘Steer!’ the instructor shouted.
‘It won’t turn any further!’
She felt shaky afterwards. Other drivers were so aggressive, she said. Tail-gating, gesticulating, sticking their fingers up as they overtake. They could see this was a learner, learning with Mr Pass, in his mini with its big sign on top, and they were learners once.
So, her nerves had been a little rattled. Maternal counselling followed, a small bracer. Keep your mind on what you’re doing, stick your fingers right back up at them. Testosterone twats. They were learners once. We imagined a few scenarios, she began to laugh and concoct in he rimagination enjoyable ways of deliberately causing annoyance, pressing the buttons of the petrol stress-heads. Laughing draws many a sting.
So, what had the Tarot done, here? Nothing unduly dramatic, it had merely waved a flag, causing me to pay attention to something that had been passing under the radar. For her first three lessons she had been eager to go out, and she’d come in whoop-whooping, and now, waiting, she was saying, ‘I’m not in the mood.’
The shine had come off the learning. Now that the Tarot had drawn it to my attention, I could offer perspective and encouragement, the polite word for a gentle kick up the rear.
The Chariot Reversed stood for Driving, negatively aspected. Strength Rev represented the experience of intimidation. She’ ll have to turn Strength right way up, and not let into her emotional space any unmannerly Mr Toad stress-merchant who wants to go at 50mph in a 30 mph zone, and thinks they are an expert and infallible, forgetting respect.
If you’re Mr/Ms Toad. Take it easy. Poop-poop! Remember what happened to Mr Toad. Remember the hare and the tortoise.
The Six of Cups from The Gilded Tarot, Ciro Marchetti, and from The Legacy of the Divine Tarot, also Ciro Marchetti
The Tarot’s Six of Cups is about childhood, children, old friends, memories, nostalgia, old familiar places, people and pets at play. It may be forecasting a return to an old haunt, or the re-appearance of an old friend. Drawn reversed, upside down, it might be saying don’t go back. There is no nourishment there for you at this time.
The Six of Cups is family holidays, the happy kind, that can feel so long ago.
As LP Hartley said in the opening of his novel, ‘The Go-Between‘…’the past is a foreign country. They do things differently there.’
The dramatic limestone headland of the Great Orme separates the largely Edwardian seaside town of Llandudno from the drama of the Conwy Estuary just round the corner, with its stupendous castle and walled town.
The technology pedigree of this area is quite something, from the ancient copper mining, to the Iron Age forts, to Edward I‘s castle, to the building and embarkation of The Mulberry Harbour used in D-Day, and in recent times, the conversion of a railway tunnel at Caernafon that become a road tunnel.
The headland of The Orme is a Viking name meaning Serpent- is like a children’s fantasy wonderland on a sunny day.
It’s all going on! To appreciate the Serpent, drive the 4 kilometres around the base…to Deganwy and Conwy beyond.
But if you peel off left you’ll go up a steep hill, zig-zagging past St Tudno’s chapel on the way up to the summit where cable cars glide overhead, people sit smiling, chugging along on what is surely the shortest train journey ever, from the station the few hundred yards to the stop at the cable car cafe.
There’s a neolithic copper mine in a hollow on the summit. Walk or drive down into it, walk about on wooden bridges, look down into the ancient industrial excavations, put out of business in the Iron Age.
Coming back down from the summit to rejoin the marine drive, the chapel’s churchyard tilts so steeply, you feel the dead might tumble into the sea.
Asian families were out on picnics during one of our visits, celebrating Eid. A small girl dressed in pink and coral, shyly smiling, put her hands in prayer position, and bowed a holiday greeting as we passed.
Those kashmir goats…where would we spot them this time? Driving out again next day at sunset, we had a goat lottery…no prizes, just a guessing game. How many goats would we spot on the marine drive? My husband said 4 goats, Il Matrimonio said 7, and I guessed 11 plus but rounding the very last bend, we still hadn’t potted a single goat and we had never yet seen them at this point on the route, so far round. Not a goat in sight. Oh hang on. Yes! There they were, resting or grazing in the apricot light as they faced the setting sun over Anglesey. 13 goats. Only two pictured here (and not my pic) but what a pair of characters.
“Most of us don’t need a psychiatric therapist as much as a friend to be silly with.”- Robert Brault. And I haven’t told you about the toboggan rides yet. There goes my daughter, just arriving at the bottom, and the view out over the bay at Llandudno.
It’s all going on. But there’s a magic. Many echoes. Some are sunny, some are darker. In stormy weather, the light is strange, the echoes speak, and some may be your own.