‘The hunger for meaning and purpose is nothing less than the human homing instinct — the Fourth Instinct — at work. But in the tangled maze of history, we have been sidetracked; in the long journey home, we forgot our destination. Indeed, we were told that it does not exist.’ Arianna Huffington.
But where is ‘home’, beyond it being the people in your life?
‘There’s that feeling I get, when I look to the west’.’ Led Zeppelin.
‘My sun shall rise in the East, then shall my soul be at peace, ‘ Vangelis.
‘From all points of the compass flock’d birds of all feather.’ Source: Gutenberg. Org
From the beginning, we have been a migratory animal, in some parts of the world, more than others. Several cards in Tarot talk of home, rightly so, as it is a key ingredient of human experience, and a ruling perception. The Ace of Pentacles, Ten of Pentacles, Four of Wands, and Six of Cups all tell stories of a person’s home in a reading.
The Tarot’s Ace of Pentacles, which sometimes talks about food, money, or books, or bricks and mortar says, Earth itself is the nest, the Soul of Man is in the roots of the species. Below is The Ace of Pentacles from The Gilded Tarot, publisher Llewellyn, by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti.
A friend mentioned hair loss. It had begun, he said, the day after he had undergone a surgical procedure involving a general anaesthetic. He wondered if there might be a connection, and wanted me to ask the Tarot. Instead, I reached for my new oracle deck based on the Periodic Table. Yes. Mendeleev‘s Periodic Table as remembered from chemistry lessons and beyond. See his portrait, above.
The friend has a background as a research chemist, and in view of the question, being an issue of biology or bio-chemistry, I thought he might be interested in seeing what I would get from this deck.
I shuffled the cards blind, just as I do with my Tarot cards.
What was causing S- ‘s hair to fall out? What was most relevant for him to know?
I drew just one card. It said Potassium = Soundness.
My friend expressed doubt. He was not aware of any particular connection between body levels of Potassium and hair health. Nor was I. I knew it only as a key metabolizer, a crucial part of the body pump that works in tandem with sodium, and that bananas are reputedly a good source.
When I obtain a result psychically that I do not understand in real, physical terms, I use the psychic clue to drive new research. So I searched online, cross referencing ‘potassium‘ with ‘hair loss.’
And found….plenty to suggest that there is a well-known, if not conclusively researched correlation between potassium deficiency ( hypokalemia) and hair loss.
Use of certain medications, including corticosteroids, can create a state of lowered potassium with associated hair fall.
Potassium is a mineral that helps nerves and muscles function properly and is mainly obtained
from foods. The kidneys help remove excess potassium to maintain proper balance
of the mineral in the body. Having a very low potassium level can be
life-threatening. Lower-than-normal levels of potassium in the blood may be
caused by use of medications such as diuretics, laxatives, certain antibiotics
and insulin, according to PubMedHealth.
Citrus juices, tomatoes, bananas, canteloupes, lima beans, chicken, salmon, nuts and seeds are good dietary sources of potassium. The RDI of potassium is about 4,700 a day of which a banana represents only 450 mg. Care must be used with supplements. Excess potassium is as potentially harmful as low potassium.
There are of course, other possible causes of hair loss. Iron, zinc and copper deficiencies, for instance, may also result in male or female hair loss.
But in a psychic reading, my focus is on the person asking the question. I am looking for what is particular to them. This is why, unlike some readers, I don’t make generic predictions along the lines of daily columns such as ‘Today’s Tarot Card.’
Whose card would it be? What would be its meaning?
A meaningful reading needs a context.
This one card reading from the Elemental Hexagon Deck is giving me much food for thought.
It is the reader’s mind doing the work in a psychic reading, not the tools, be they cards, rune, dice, pendulums. These tools are translation devices, whose task is to pick up signals being beamed out from the readers unconscious or sub conscious, and to amplify them, so that the reader can consciously articulate them.
I know far less about chemistry than does my friend, but the cards enabled me to ‘point into the wind’, and we both discovered something new…hopefully, the information may even help him.
Here was an instance of using tarot card counting to arrive at a qualified forecast.
My daughter, 16 at the time, was learning piano. She went for lessons once a week and practiced – ahem, sometimes– on a small, reconditioned 1930s piano in the dining room. We had been hearing a lot of renditions of ‘Oliver!’ – Fagin’s song about reviewing the situation, ‘I think I’d better think it out again!’
At Christmas I got a phone call the piano teacher, to say my daughter would soon be due to put in for entry for her Grade 2 exam, but she wasn’t going to be ready as she wasn’t putting in the necessary work. Well, I asked my daughter, did she want to go for it or not? It was her decision, but if she decided to go for it, I expected her to show that she meant business.
She opted to go for it, upped the practise sessions, and had the exam 29 March, held at school during the school day. She came dragging home with a long face. ‘I made loads of mistakes,’ she said, ‘in both pieces.’
What did the Tarot think, she wanted to know. Had she passed? She couldn’t see how, she was sure she had made ‘loads of mistakes’.
‘And what did you do? I asked.
‘I kept going,’ she said.
Slips might not have mattered as much as she feared if the examiner had detected an overall fluency, I told her. The examiner would expect slips due to nerves and overall ‘flow’ would have been the indicator of underlying technical competence.
I drew 8 cards and turned them over. Six were upright, which to me signified a yes answer from tarot. Two were reversed, upside down, indicating a no answer. Therefore the Tarot thought it highly probable, a 75% probability that she had in fact passed, despite her feelings about it.
Two cards in particular were encouraging. The Page of Swordsmade an appearance and was upright. This was a lucky sign because my daughter is herself a Page of Swords, born under Aquarius. Facially, the card resembles her too, and the hair is not dissimilar, nor the build.
The Queen of Swords was another of the cards drawn in its upright or positive aspect. Was the examiner an older lady, elegant and well-spoken? I asked her. Yes, she said, sort of old-fashioned, serious, but very nice.
‘She liked you,’ I said, I sensed that this Queen had recognised in her a young ‘page of music’.
Because the suit of Swords has strong correlations with Science – Physics in particular- and Medicine, Mathematics and Music.
These two court cards appearing amongst the six upright cards reinforced my confidence on her behalf and anyway, the thing was done, and I told her not to worry. And she did pass.
Not a cheerful tarot tale today, but terrible and sad. Such is life sometimes. But maybe also indicative of something so very much more than that.
On March 2nd, I had the cards out to get a sense of the following day. My husband, Il Matrimonio had flown to the States, and my 16 year old daughter had required a little support in previous days to deal with a nasty little outbreak of attempted bullying. A venomous sneak weasel boy, though this is unfair on weasels which are such attractive animals in many ways.
Looking out in respect of both situations I drew cards which made me feel like I had been hit in the stomach.
Justice Reversed with the Knight of Swords Reversed is a seriously unpleasant combo. It brings with it such ideas as a judgement against someone, injustice (but for whom?) attack, violence, anger, ruthlessness, cruelty, murder, sudden violent fatality.
The Knight of Swords Reversed is, I personally feel, the card most to be dreaded of the cards of the Minor Arcana. Upright, it has certain stern but powerful virtues, speed, decisive action, incisive thinking, swift invocation of force, attack, resolute defence, a knight rides out for you full pelt, or you yourself, are that knight.
From The Gilded Tarot: Ciro Marchetti: Llewellyn.
In other words, drawn right way up, the card promises everything you’d howl for if you needed the cavalry. Drawing it reversed I knew a pang of dread.
The three of Wands was the reason I did not think this was not about my daughter. It’s a card of overseas, so now my thoughts switched to Il Matrimonio, and since Swords correlates to the element of air, I thought, what about his flight? Was he having trouble at Immigration? Just then, he rang. No, he was fine, he had landed, very excited at collecting his hire car, (the big baby!)
So what was it? Suddenly the thought came into my mind ‘death sentence.’ Where had that come from? What string had the Tarot plucked to send me such a dire vibration? I went to the computer and, on another impulse Googled ‘death sentence.’
And my eye went straight to a link. I opened it and read a piece that had just been posted, 6 minutes previously, which would have been almost simultaneous upon my drawing of the cards. The item was copyright, but it was in that days news in the States, in particular Alabama.
In short, tragedy. In short, murder. in 2008 a young man, an ex-soldier who had served in Iraq called Courtney Lockhart abducted and killed an 18 year old student called Lauren Burk, shooting her in the back as she tried to escape.
Wednesday 2 Match 2011, and Courtney Lockhart, a man with a daughter of his own, had his earlier sentence reviewed, of prison without parole, and in the presence of Lauren’s grieving family, and in his mother’s presence received a death sentence from the judge who had decided to overrule the jury.
Had this double death-knell then been felt so acutely and at the same time so deeply it’s vibration had crossed the Atlantic to reach an utter and previously completely unaware stranger?
Well, actually, is that so hard to imagine?
If it is possible to read tarot for people at a distance, which it certainly is, why should this not have travelled through the ether to an intuitive who was extra-receptive and ‘facing the right way’ because she was tuning in on her own daughter’s security and was also in a psychic sense ‘facing west’ with a husband flying state-side?
Did this vibration originate with the sentenced man and his family, or the victim’s family? Did it emanate from one of these individuals, or all of them rolled up together in a snowball of agony, a Munchian scream in the ether? Or from the residual energy, the ghost if you like, of the poor little girl herself?
It makes me think yet again that the world, and we, are so very much more than matter which is really energy slowed down. Life isn’t discrete, isn’t so lumpen. It’s more like a vast invisible web, dew drops where the sun catches it, beautiful and ugly. Bluebottles trapped, struggle darkly iridescent.
You don’t have to be ‘psychic‘ in order to learn tarot, which is a skill of divination, in which one attempts to uncover hidden or semi-hidden information or understanding. You do have to be interested in symbols and associative thinking, you do have to be receptive, but to be ‘psychic’ helps sometimes, to make the symbolic more precise, and to talk in every day, concrete terms, about specifics.
Am I ‘psychic’? Yes, to an extent, and so probably, are you, but what does it mean?
The word ‘psychic’ may comes from the Greek, ‘psyche’, meaning soul and derived from the word ‘psychikos’ meaning, mental, of the mind. ‘Psychic’ implies soulic knowledge, the soul entering and leaving the body on the breath. The word intuition also refers to an inner knowing, that which is our inner tutor, and which we all possess as an inseparable element of normal human instinct.
So what is the difference between being intuitive and psychic? It’s subtle. Perhaps it’s most simply defined as a matter of precision or degree.
The intuition provides us with impressions, feelings, and reactions. Time being of the essence where safety is an issue, intuitions arrive instantly, in advance of any hard evidence to explain them. Intuition is a courier of super-fast intelligence, bypassing conscious processes. Everyone is intuitive. It is a function of competent, normal intelligence, but not everybody, maybe for cultural or ‘intellectual’ reasons, feels comfortable about acknowledging it.
Some ‘diss it’ by saying they will deal only with ‘proven facts’ or evidence or reason.
Yawn. Well, let them, if they want to limit themselves unnecessarily. But this, it could be argued, is actually anti-intellectual. The mind is a whole, not a pie servable in slices.
Psychic insights come when they come, are instantaneous and specific. Something may be ‘seen’ or ‘heard’ or ‘smelled’ or dreamed of, but it will be particular, unlike the formless but none the less powerful, and even life- saving promptings of the intuition.
The High Priestess, pictured above, represents both the Intuition, and the Psyche and psychic promptings, or refers to a person who may be female or male, who works or serves as an advisor, or seer.
Reading for a client one evening, I sensed she was holding something back, and to encourage her, asked her directly about a ‘rude man’ I kept sensing, a bully with a loud voice, fair or ginger, a salesman of some kind? The card triggering this was the King of Wands Reversed.
My client said she knew who this was; a man who had a market stall near hers, but she insisted that she’d come only for advice regarding retirement. Courtesy demanded I take her at her word, and we carried on, but I remained uneasy that she hadn’t shared the real worry, and so I hadn’t had a chance to try and help. Such was my feeling.
After she had gone, I was lying in front of the television with a cup of tea, when I suddenly ‘saw’ her in my mind’s eye. She was holding a big round pot in both hands, and she was mending it, with great care and attention.
Oh! I thought. Well, I had mentioned to her that I could see her taking up pottery (prompted by the appearance of the Page of Coins) But I was struck, the mental picture was so vivid.
Next day she called, but I had someone with me and couldn’t call back straight away. When I returned the call, the phone rang for a long time before I rang off. She called again and at last we spoke. The lady now wanted to tell me what was bugging her about the rude man. He was an unwanted admirer. He’d told her that he’d been to me for a reading, that I had performed psychometry on his wrist watch (psychometry is a psychic reading performed using as a focus an object connected to the person being read through a history of physical contact or at least, proximity) I had predicted, so this man said, that he and this lady were going to marry.
So her real reason for coming to see me had been to check this out. Would I say anything that would correspond with this man’s account?
The gentleman was a fibster. What a lot of porky pies and utter ……
I did not know him, I had not read for him, nor do I offer psychometry readings. Nor would I ever have said such a thing. I do not offer predictions, but forecasts, offering a sense of the odds on a question, but nothing prescriptive, for whom am I to disregard the possibilities of free will or the wild card?
I told her this, we chatted awhile, and as a light hearted way of signing off the call, I mentioned my vision of the night before.
‘ That’s why I couldn’t pick up the phone when you rang!’ she said. ‘That’s why I
had to call you back. I had glue all over my hands, trying to fix a pot I broke yesterday!’
The vision had therefore been an instance of psychic, as opposed to intuitive ‘knowing’.
It’s a matter of record now, I’m as sane as the next person, or at least as sane as any one of us could prove ourselves to be, but I am a ‘potty’ psychic.
I was in good odour with a regular client. In June 2010, a reading indicated that her husband had reason to be hopeful of early retirement with a viable retirement package. He had been wanting to go for some time, but hadn’t found an early way out that he would find acceptable financially.
The cards assessed the chances of an opportunity materialising before the end of 2010 as 6 out of 8, odds I translated as meaning it was highly likely, though not inevitable.
Nothing is inevitable but Death…and taxes, so the saying goes. The future consists of so many complex variables, I find it more meaningful to attach a weighting to ‘predictions’, or forecasts, as I prefer to think of them.
What’s the difference? Well, a prediction is a statement about the future presented as a virtual fact, a done deal. A forecast is an indication of the likelihood that something will happen, leaving space for the workings of undetected random chance and free will. Society uses all manner of forecasting…from the weather to the Stock Exchange. tarot readers just offer another, personalised form, intuitively collected using tarot symbols as tools of assessment and translation, as our equivalent of the gathering and statistical analysis of hard data.
The chief cards I drew indicative of a viable ending coming into view over time’s horizon were The Emperor Reversed, Justice and Judgment.
The Emperor often indicates a man of mature years, or an organisation, generally a large one. His employer was a global defence company. Justice = Law, contract. Judgement = as in Judgement Day, in a benign way, a time of reckoning, the right time for completing or ending something.
I heard today he was invited to go in December, as part of a larger redundancy programme and – which will not necessarily the case for all such invitees – he is delighted.
There are many depictions of animals and birds in the Tarot. They form a great part of the human landscape physically, intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, and symbolically. If there’s a heaven, what would it be without them? I wouldn’t mind, personally if mosquitoes, maggots, deadly snakes and komodo dragons didn’t make it. Spiders would be all right as long as they were non-venomous and less than two inches in diameter. However, it’s not me in charge.
The songbird traditionally most associated with Christmas, or to give the winter festival its older name, Yuletide – is the robin redbreast. The cheeky, dumpy little European robin, Erithacus rubecula is a member of the flycatcher family.
Its preferred habitats are woodlands, hedgerows, parks and garden. Its staple diet is worms, seeds, fruits and insects. It will fight over sunflower seeds and it adores mealworms. You can buy these in dried form in lots of outlets including many supermarkets. They look revolting though people used to baiting fish hooks won’t mind them. Robins have been to take mealworms by hand, so irresistibly delicious are they to robin-kind.
Male and female European robins are identical to look at, adults of both sexes having the red breast, while young robins have no red breast, and are a speckled golden brown colour. The lack of red breast in the young defends them from territorial attack by adults. The robin lives a little over one year on average. If it lives beyond 1.1 years it may achieve twelve years and has been known to reach the age of twenty, but long life is rare.
The robin’s endearing appearance belies its feistiness. It’ll fight to the death for its territory, and one in ten die in combat. They have been seen to chase off pigeons much bigger than they are. The one in my garden right now however, is rather timid and will scurry into the rosemary when a pigeon appears. Well, I suppose they are individuals just as we are.
Robin redbreast builds a cup-shaped nest in a hole or hidden in ground cover, and will sing all year round. Click here to hear its song and for other general information from the RSPB:-
The robin received the human pet name of ‘Robin’ in the fifteenth century. It has a special place in the library of legends embedded in the Tarot, and a robin may be observed in some decks, including the King of Pentacles card in the Sacred Circle Tarot Deck.
It belongs there by virtue of the symbolism and superstitions attached to it.
Some older people consider the robin a bird of ill omen, a harbinger of death. It is considered unlucky for a robin to fly into a house as Death is expected to follow. For this reason, a Christmas card with a picture of a robin on it is not always welcome with people aware of this tradition. But compassion and care for the dead is also attributed to the robin. One legend says that it tried to help Christ by pulling off a thorn from the crown Jesus had been made to wear, injuring itself in the process – hence its red breast. Another old tale says that it was a robin who found the bodies of the lost ‘Babes in the Wood‘, and who buried them with a golden coverlet of fallen leaves.
If your robin seems shy, it may be a visitor from Europe. British robins haunt gardens more than their European relatives, are more used to human contact and are bold in comparison with European winter visitors which tend to favour woodlands in their native lands.
All right, you robin.
I’m on my way out with sugared bread (for energy it’s better to give them cake or sugared bread than plain bread) Here are some more of those revolting mealworms, and let’s hang up another half coconut of fat and nuts. But note this, my fine robin friend; this is not just for you, but is for sharing with the blue-tits and coal-tits, the blackbirds, sparrows and the finches.
The North Wind Doth blow
And we shall have snow
And what will the robin do then, poor thing?
He’ll hide in a barn
To keep himself warm
And hide his head under his wing, poor thing.
Let’s see what the robin currently peering out from the safety of the big rosemary bush, will communicate via the Tarot.
Are you a cock or hen robin?
Answer card: The High Priestess. Just to make sure, I pull another card and get the Moon Reversed. Meanings: I am a hen bird. I am solitary right now, I want no mate. This is not the time.
What are you thinking right now?
Answer card: The Empress. Meaning? What have we here? Food! I have discovered a new harvest! Being provided for, I must eat my fill while I can.
I pull another card, just as the robin flies off again…and, strangely enough, the card is The Chariot.The robin has flitted just a short distance to sit on top of the seed feeder hung in the bare branches of the laburnum tree.
Why have you gone to sit there?
Answer card: The Seven of Wands Reversed. Meaning: I am new to this garden and I must be careful. This is a good vantage point from which to spy out enemies and not be taken unawares.
What’s your favourite time of year?
Answer card: The Empress Reversed. Meaning: A time when there are plenty of fruits and seeds, but there are still sheltering leaves on the trees. A time when there are still long hours of light to feed by, and sometimes there’s still warmth…the night is not so bitter, the air does not bite so hard. My legs creak like sticks at first light when I must move for food or die. How I wish it could always be the time of the Empress.
OK, verification may not be an option as with readings done for domestic species. Still, I have done animal readings before, and know intuitive communication can work inter-species. Maybe it would not work with all species, but the tarot affords a means of extending perception beyond the boundaries of self, and living things share common drives and goals. Sentient and sensate beings, whether bare or feathered, scaled or furry, are inextricably subject to vagaries of environment, the common denominator in shared consciousness.
During the severe winter of 1962/63, the UK robin population was worse than decimated, reduced to an estimated 50-60 breeding pairs. Spare a little if you can, for your fellow creatures outside this winter.
Updated: A light hearted look at an ‘Option selecting’ reading, and at deploying the tarot as an alternative tool for animal communication. All, hopefully, will become clear…
Our cat Willow was thirteen at the time of this reading. A small black and white moggie, she’s an introverted, timid and fussy cat. When she’s hungry she trots into the kitchen and meows. Obtaining service, she’ll jump up to sit by the window, a model of composure, looking studiously in another direction, affecting not to notice while you open her food and put it on a saucer.
The food served, Willow’s dignity demands she must not notice it immediately. The trouble is, she often loses interest altogether, jumps down again and stalks off, leaving it to congeal malodorously, so she refuses it later.
She came in meowing and my daughter said. ‘If I feed her, she’ll only turn her nose up, whatever I serve up.’
I knew from previous readings for cats, and other species that the Tarot will sometimes assist, verifiably so, with animal communication. ‘Let’s see if the Tarot knows what she wants,’ I said and drew a card for each of the available options on the menu.
While shuffling I asked the Tarot (ie the portion of the mind that is ‘Tarot’) to ensure the cat’s preference would appear right way up (Dignified) and any she wouldn’t eat would appear upside down (reversed, Ill-Dignified)
I laid out the cards, a row of four and Willow’s selection as translated by the Tarot leapt straight at me, by means of the only upright card amongst the four which was the Queen of Pentacles. The Queen represented the Duck (with courgette) option. Oddly, the colour scheme of the duck pouch matched the green of this Queen’s dress. The Tarot couldn’t quite manage to rustle up a duck, but it did well to produce a peacock.
I almost feel I should apologise to this eminently dignified Earth Queen. It hardly seems to do her justice, to summon he rin this fashion, and yet..if this was too menial a question to put to the Tarot, it begs the question, how low should the bar be set, out of respect for the dignity of the Oracle the Tarot represents? Tarot will talk about the highest things we reach for, also the simplest things. The greatest loves are bound up in simple things, and who is to say what is worthy of another’s attention? Who is to say, what’s simple, just because it appears simple?
The thirteenth century visionary Julian of Norwich said, ‘God does not disdain to serve the body.’ Divinity is in anything, even I suppose in sh… ahem. Pentacles represents all things physical, including crops and animal husbandry and cat food therefore resides absolutely under the jurisdiction of this suit. The Queen of the suit is a Demeter and derives her own happiness in taking care of living things. As a Taurus woman, well over 40, I am represented archetypically in the Tarot as a Queen of Pentacles. Willow is a queen cat and a Virgo subject, so she too, is a Queen of Pentacles in her own right.
No sooner was the duck on the saucer than she gingerly sniffed it, and dived in, leaving two tiny crumbs and not a lick of gravy.
There are implications beyond this, for the using of the Tarot as a sensing device for animal communication, or for people, in sensing whatever might be meant by ‘right choices’. I use this approach quite often in business readings, in order to help identify a target or best strategy.
Dozy old cat. Companion animals roaming our homes. They help us stay close to our roots. We need their lessons and reminders. The Tarot promotes our innate telepathy.
This King has sterling qualities when functioning at his best. He is a hard worker, often good with money, conscientious, a good provider. He’s practical and capable. He has warmth – likely to be kind to women, children and small furry animals. He may well be green fingered.
He eats up his food, and often appreciates small and simple things…and this is a high quality and not to be despised in this world. He is careful, honest and faithful. He is sturdily masculine.
When ill-disposed however, and appearing as a subject of complaint, it is often because he’s habit ridden, perhaps miserly, a grumpy git, liable to be slovenly or dowdy and to have whiffy feet.
He’s being a refusenik; rigid, narrow, stubborn, petty, dull, gluttonous, lazy or alternatively, he’s a workaholic, knowing the price of value of nothing, obessed by minutiae, failing to see all manner of wood for the trees.
Well, let’s try respect, charity and compassion first…maybe the poor tatty bear is over-worked, stressed, depressed, run down and tired. Failing that, maybe he needs to pull his interpersonal socks up.
If you have one like this, do acknowledge and praise whatever is his useful contribution, do allow him to shine, feed him greens, buy him a new shirt or lovely aftershave, do try and tempt him into the fresh air, but be prepared to go out without him if he refuses to stir, and don’t buy him slippers.
Above all not tartan ones. It’ll encourage him in all the wrong habits.
Jung coined a phrase to describe how he thought tarot worked: ‘synchronicity.’ Something in the reader connects with something in the cards. The cards are shuffled blind and drawn at random. However, synchronicity proposes that actually the selection isn’t random;
”[In synchronistic experiences] the perception of wholeness derives not from our ego, our conscious sense of self, but instead from the way in which the meaning unites all of who we are, parts of experience we were unaware of, potentials we have that have lain dormant or underdeveloped, elements of our personality that we didn’t know existed”
One evening a client left after an intense reading, and that day I had been very, very tired. I went upstairs with a cup of tea to lounge with a book. My teenage daughter came in asking me to take a look in the cards for her.
I said, ‘not right now, sweetie, I’m too tired. Give me half an hour’.
She persisted, and as I knew the question, and knew it wasn’t serious, and could wait I became annoyed.
‘If you keep on asking when I’ve said I’m too tired,’ I said. ‘I’ll show you the Devil card! Now then.’
She asked again. Oh, dear.
‘Right!’ I said and whipped the cards out from their cloth and shuffled them furiously.
‘Now see THIS!’ I hissed, pulled a card and brandished it at her, and knock me down with a very small chick feather, it was, it really was THE DEVIL CARD. Look atta ugly mug.
Ooh-er. A Devilish Tarot Tantrum to match my own.
She was I might say, suitably impressed. In fact she ran from the room howling for her dad, who was watching the footie and wasn’t remotely interested in this psychodrama, while I sniggered, feeling better now, peacefully drinking my tea.
Hey, you old Devil… you said it for me, heh heh! Now go away again, thank you.
Idly playing with my cards at the dining table, I asked Il Matrimonio what he was doing with the fish tanks. He kept two tanks of tropical fish at that time, guppies in one, neon tetras in the tank in the dining room.
Male guppies are colourful, every individual’s unique. The females are drab coloured. They produce live babies, but the adults tend to cannibalise the newborns if they don’t make for the weeds as soon as they emerge, and hide there until they’re too big to be eaten. Awww. So sweeeet.
Neon tetras are small and slim, blue, red and white, with a zingy neon strip along their sides, as the name suggests.
The hubby explained that he was introducing a young male guppy into the tetra tank for his own safety. Whereupon, using my old Universal Waite deck that day, I drew The High Priestess. (US Games)
However, I work with reversed cards, and I drew her reversed. A reversed card is not necessarily negative in connotation. It may simply flag up an area requiring special care. But I felt this was a warning, to be read in a literal sense.
‘I don’t think you should do that,’ I said. ‘I’m seeing danger here from a lady who is blue, white and red. I think the tetras will have him if you put him in there, and I think he won’t last two weeks.’
(Tarot can work like this with timing. The High Priestess is Major Trump 2.)
Il Matrimonio was having none of it. The tetras were no risk to the guppy, they were too small, completely harmless. What did I know about tropical fish, etc etc?
Eff all, it is true. Please, any proper a-fish-ionad-os reading this, do not troll me on this score. But the reader does not have to factually know. That is the point and indeed the potential usefulness of oracular divination.
‘Ok,’ I said, ‘in which case it is a warning against the tetra tank. I wouldn’t put him in there.’
‘Well, he won’t last if I leave him where he is.’
A few days later, poor guppy was gone. RIP. Not so much as a fin left.
Not saying the tetras did it any harm. It might have been something about the tank, and maybe guppy was toast whatever Il Matrimonio did, but they certainly cleaned him away.
All we had left were the tetras, swimming innocently about, the piscine little High Priests/esses in their grotto.
During a reading for a lady who worked as a hypnotherapist, the Tarot suddenly seemed to suggest it was time to put her cigarette out. This was the feeling I got, drawing The Ace of Wands Reversed, although it may mean many other things
The client confirmed that she did smoke. She had taken it up again recently, not feeling settled in her job, which was a new job.
Looking at the cards laid out before me. My eye was drawn to one in particular; the Page of Cups.
The Universal-Waite Page of Cups: U.S. Games Systems.
This card symbolises offers and gifts. It may be an invitation, a proposal, a new friendship, or a birth. It may be announcing an engagement or wedding ring, or recovery from illness, or a new creative or spiritual project. I have also come to associate it rather less romantically, with fish oil supplementation, for reasons you’ll guess at, studying the image.
Something about the pink of his sleeves arrested my attention, and before I knew I was going to say it I asked. ‘Do you eat a lot of those pink and white marshmallows you get in bags?’
‘God,’ she said, ‘I absolutely love them. I’ve usually got some in my handbag. How on earth did you know that?’
It was the Page of Cups who ‘told’ me, triggered by colour association. The thought popped into my head, so I said it.
This is not unusual in a reading. One can study card meanings and they will take you a long, long way in reading for someone, but associative thinking triggers individual insights no book can teach you. The trick is to learn to trust the first thought that comes into your hed. This means risking being wrong, but if you’re not ready to take that risk, you won’t be able to validate the accuracy of such insights, which is to advance in skill.
This stern king represents the concept of the expert, the authority figure.
He has strong associations with the Law, Science and Maths, Music, and Medicine, especially Surgery.
Thus a King of Swords can represent a doctor or dentist, the Queen of Swords if the doctor or dentist is female.
It was a good card to draw, in the circumstances. This dentist was going to be on good form. I felt reassured.
And how did it go on that occasion? Well, the dentist really was a
King of Swords
He even looked like one, except that he had a beard and smiled a lot. The extraction went smoothly.
What would I have done had I drawn ‘bad’ cards: For example; in this contect, these might have included:
King of Swords Reversed, Page of Swords Reversed, Ace of Swords Reversed, Temperance Reversed, The Moon, Tower etc?
Well, would have looked at it again, to clear the decks of my emotional projection that might be clouding the hard information I was trying to reach. Had I drawn a strong negative response three times in a row, I would have considered changing the appointment day, and hopefully, avert trouble and improve the outcome.
Does this mean I can always avoid a bad experience? Of course not.
On another occasion, I decided not to look in the Tarot. A wisdom tooth had to come out. That was that. I decided not to risk frightening myself. I would just experience it in the normal way and it was a ghastly experience. A nerve was damaged, leaving me with local parasthesia for 18 months. Had I ‘looked’ beforehand, I could have declined the appointment and re-tested with the cards against a new appointment.
But, prescience is not omniscience, Divination is of itself not magic, or magick, and Life is not all roses.
This is the risk of consulting with oracles. You might hear something you don’t like, and wish you had just found out at the time, without the forewarning, and then you wouldn’t have had the worry as well.
‘Sufficient to the day is the evil thereof.’ 🙂
But sh*t happens. And you might equally say, ‘forewarned is forearmed.’
In view of the fact that today is ‘Father’s Day‘, as if for a father, every day is not, I thought I’d talk about the ultimate Tarot card of Masculinity with a capital M, The Emperor.
In general, ‘The Emperor’ appearing in a Tarot reading signifies the current extra significance of an important man in your life, at an individual level. He’s a father, husband, employer, friend or advisor.
At a conceptual level, The Emperor stands for government, law and order, other big, hierarchical organisdations. He is the Armed Forces. He is the principle of protection and of the guardian at work in society and in the home.
See those ram’s heads on the arms of his throne? The Emperor is associated with the sign of Aries, the fiery ram. It may indicate a future event occurring at that time of year.
Image below is The Emperor from The Gilded Tarot, by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti
Not surprisingly I’ve drawn this card when doing readings for police officers, both male and female. Women too can embody The Emperor’s qualities.
But once – and I won’t handle any more requests for lawsuit predictions; I drew the Emperor card, and it was talking about a real live judge. This judge was in the US. We won’t say where. My client was very anxious on her son’s behalf. He had been accused of sexual assault.
The details of the charge sounded so minor as to be almost laughable, but even so, and whatever the truth, the man faced serious consequences. He was a teacher and had been suspended from his employment as it involved work with minors, although the woman making the accusation was not a minor. He faced the possibility of being debarred from his home , denied unsupervised access to his children. He was, at the time of the reading, due to appear in court four days later.
A Tarot reading is not a substitute for suitable, professional legal, medical or financial advice. Forecasting is offered in good faith but is by law to be treated as being for interest’s sake. In consulting ANY oracle, you need always to be prepared for the possibility you really might not like the answer.
My client, his mother, wanted to be prepared for the worst, ready to support her son.
Based on this, I didn’t KNOW because a reader cannot KNOW for certain, ever. But I felt as certain as I could be, she was going to like this judge. I felt that the man was not guilty and that the judge would decide so.
Three weeks and several new grey hairs later, I learned the The Judge had thrown the case out. He had also offered this personal opinion:- verbatim (pardon me)
‘What a crock of sh*t.’
The Emperor at his very best represents order, structure, logic, sense and reason.
He is a chevalier, a sheltering tree, nests held safely in his branches. He is rule with mercy, compassion for the weak. He upholds fair play raising his shield so not everyone sheltering behind it gets splattered with rubbish and, er…manure.
He has another side to him of course: war, dictatorship, tyranny, petty officialdom, overbearing bureaucracy. The card may alternatively signify absence of structure and leadership. As a person, it may be pinpointing weakness or conversely, a bully boy. The Emperor Reversed is no joke, no doubt about it.
Historically, Emperors have often been catastrophic for the peace and happiness of their fellow humans, and Alexander the Great is no hero of mine; I’d rather nominate Dr John Snow or Charles Darwin, not only for their achievements, but for their humanity; as tender as tough.
Card 2 WATER / West stands the Suit of Cups: I look here for insights into matters of the heart, what’s going on in their personal relationships. How’s their mood? I look out here also for issues to do with health, healing and recovery, and for creative and spiritual preoccupations or questions.
Card 3 FIRE/ South stands for the Suit of Wands: here I’m asking myself via the Tarot, what’s driving them? What’s the dream right now? Travel and relocation plans may also show up here, and social aspects, and levels of inspiration and energy.
Card 4 AIR/ East stands for the Suit of Swords: here I’m looking for a sense of, what’s going on in their head right now? (apart from the reading, obviously) I look here for their plans, pending decisions, exercising choice and power, and any legal, medical or intellectual matters.
A fifth card is drawn for the centre of the cross, and here I am explicitly asking, what is the priority to be addressed in this reading session? What is THE Question?
Card 1 (N) Coins Four of Wands Reversed (dissatisfaction at work and at home. A home feeling incomplete
Card 2 Cups The Emperor Reversed (Bureaucracy, overbearing or absent male figure)
Card 3 (S) Wands The Three of Cups (Friendships, celebrations)
Card 4 (E) Swords The Wheel of Fortune (Thinking of making major changes, this being indicated as a good idea)
Question Card: Judgement
The Four of Wands Reversed
Client Response: This Card correctly indicated dissatisfaction connected to a home/property and/or a professional matter. The client had a flat on the market, no offers as yet, and had just bought a new house, but didn’t feel settled and was feeling anxious that she had made a false step. She liked her work but had been unsettled there recently, having difficulty with a new manager’s communication style. She was thinking of retirement (and this card when reversed means a LACK or ENDING or a NON-STARTING of a professional activity or satisfaction.)
The Emperor Reversed
Client Response: This card rang true. She confirmed both as concerns that were preoccupying her at this time.
The 3 of Cups
Client response. She wanted, not a husband necessarily, but a proper companion. The man in her life would not entertain the thought of marriage, nor would he court her, nor even come to visit her in her new home. She was beginning to feel, not only sad but angry about this (the growing anger shown again to me later by the 5 of Swords) Her new house did not feel like home…she felt she hadn’t had a ‘house warming’…
The Wheel of Fortune
Client Response: She was ready for change, beginning to think very hard about what she wanted and needed after retirement. She felt she wanted life to continue opening up…she didn’t want it to narrow, she dreaded the idea of a dead-end.
The Question Card Judgement: Retirement was approaching, the end of a major life chapter. A kind of Judgement Day. Her essential question was, What would her life be like after it?
There were strong signs of happiness in retirement, indicated as being about eighteen months down the line. The relationship problem wasn’t going to be an obstacle to this. If the man chose not to opt in more actively, I sensed she was going on to sail on regardless, and if he didn’t respond, he was likely to be left behind.