Zero Intolerance: Don’t Fool With The Fool

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Katie-Ellen, resident at True Tarot Tales

When I draw The Fool card in a reading, the Major Arcana card numbered Zero, or in some decks numbered 22, it may classically signify good news; a birth, a welcome opportunity, a fresh start of any significant kind. I drew it this very day, for a client who is not just moving house, but changing a way of life, and it is absolutely the right way to go. It suggests taking a chance, a leap of faith. Reversed, it cautions against hastiness. You need time. You need more information. You need to think, properly think, or you will do summat truly daft.

But the Fool has other, darker associations, as fools and jesters and solitary wanderers always have, in western culture. There are good reasons people are afraid of clowns, the jokers in the pack. The Tarot’s Fool is the Joker in a pack of ordinary playing cards, and means the same things, if you are using playing cards to read with.

The Fool represents that which haunts all margins and borders.  The  ‘outwalker;’ that being. force or agency, which observes and may, given opportunity and sufficient reason, may find its way in to where you do not want it.

There is another Tarot card, more often cited in association with Odin, or Odin-esque associations. This is The Hanged Man, Major Arcana number 12. Odin hung upside down on the world tree, Yggdrasil, for 9 days for knowledge, and for a world view gained through a changed perspective.

But The Fool card, Trump 0 of the Major Arcana, contains something as frightening as it is innocent, not only birth and opportunity but something not quantifiable, as real as it is unreal, a ‘thusness’ or haacceity more implacable than Death.

Google Definition:

haecceity
hɛkˈsiːɪti,hiːk-/

noun

PHILOSOPHY
  1. that property or quality of a thing by virtue of which it is unique or describable as ‘this (one)’
    • the property of being a unique and individual thing.
      “he has a paramount concern with haecceity, the thisness of things”

Zero is a something as well as a nothing. Even leaving the philosophical questions aside, and they are bogglers, without 0, as without 1, there is no binary, and no digital age.

The Fool

Zero draws the Number of the Fool
But only fools will fail to fear
The oddly smiling one who walks alone
Magician, outland, dawn and dusk
Fleeting, glimpsed by tree and mere
Where ripples lap without a breeze
Or single casting of a stone
Zero, Odin’s one remaining eye
His other traded for all kenning
Out-with the knowing of the Norns
Nine days he hung considering
On Yggdrasil, the great ash tree
But Life is flux, and, unfulfilled
Does Odin walk abroad with Men
Entranced, he follows their technology
Their blindly restless struggles to get free
Refusing that their final liberty
Is in their choice of sacrifice
Their ultimate expression
In their direst of necessity
Insatiably, dispassionate, he watches, waits
And sometimes smiles, but has no tears
For what might dim or blind his sight
Of conjurings and reckonings with Fate
The new born come, and dead depart
His scouts of Thought and Memory
Twin ravens, Hugin, Munin, fly
Through Odin’s questing, flaming Eye
The singing echo-chamber of The Gate.

Katie-Ellen Hazeldine's photo.

The King Of Swords Had A Kukri

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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.

The Ace of Pentacles, The Gilded Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

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.’

King of Swords, Gilded Tarot

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 King of Swords had a kukri!

More soon 🙂

kukri

 

 

 

 

 

Touchstone Tarot: Death and The Duckling

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Oh no! Oh, yes, I’m afraid. I wish it wasn’t so, but I undertake to demonstrate divination at work in the real world. Sometimes it’s fun, at least for me and I hope it is for you but sometimes it just can’t be. The title gives fair warning. Pass by if you can’t bear it, but if you’re learning Tarot, try to stay with it and not flinch. You may one day find yourself faced with someone in deep distress, hoping to find not solutions or advice, but some kind of sustenance, or at least meaning in their situation. The Tarot will rise to these occasions, if you will. because the Tarot is you, yourself, your deepest, archaic and arcane self.

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

View-Buy here

Her Golden Tarot is another favourite, but one likes to ring the changes now and then.

It’s duckling time again out on the pond, and Nature is wreaking carnage, red in beak and claw. The most relentless predators by day are the sea-gulls. There are two duck mothers this season; one with an excellent track record of rearing and one with a dismal record. The successful mother has for the past 3 years, the neighbours downstairs tell us, reared at least 6 ducklings to independence from a brood of 12-15. The less successful mother loses them all and cries loudly. Anyone who says animals don’t feel what we do doesn’t watch closely enough. If they forget more quickly than we do, if they do, and I have my doubts, well, they need to, and it’s a blessed mercy.

It was cold, and the dismal duck was down to the last of her twelve ducklings on Monday night when Il Matrimonio went over to the pond to feed them, watching as the last duckling ran calling after its mother and she ignored it, eating and then wandering off. Maybe she had given up, and decided it was just no use, and all was lost.

A gull alighted, lingering near the duckling as it crouched shivering, calling for its mother. Seeing this Il Matrimonio could bear it no more, and it was not a ‘good’ thing to do; he knew that; we’ve watched enough David Attenborough, but there it is. The HUMAN animal, male as well as female, is hot-wired to respond to the cry of an infant in distress, and to the immediate, the personal and the particular.

Therefore, enter Il Matrimonio with one shivering duckling. By bedtime it had eaten enthusiastically (not bread; proprietary duck food) It had drunk lots, splashed about in a shallow dish and done much sitting in cupped hands, clearly regarding these as a warm place and acceptable brooding alternative.

Dee Dee eating

It slept on a towel in the bath, curled into the lap of a large teddy bear. Next day it ran around, ate, drank, paddled, pecked my bare feet, calling for its mother, and was incessantly demanding of Il Matrimonio’s cupped hands for brooding.

‘What’s the plan?’ I fretted, ‘it’s been warmed and fed; it needs other ducks; it needs its mother, to go back  as soon as possible and take its chances along with the other ducklings. Maybe the other duck will take it.’

Ducks can count, of course. There was no question of her being fooled by the appearance of an extra duckling.

‘It would be murder,’ said Il Matrimonio. The other duck was unlikely to accept it.

The one hope, and it was a long shot, was to get little D big enough to be safe from gulls, then return it in clement weather, and let it take its chances then. And indeed, it seemed to grow bigger even overnight.

But after Il Matrimonio brought D in on Monday night, I had drawn The Devil card, The Four of Coins and Death.

The Devil shows Pan/Nature in violent aspect. This is the truth, that Nature is full of violence. One creature or many creatures must die for another to live.

Devil card touchstone tarot

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

four of coins touchstone tarot

Death speaks for itself. Many Tarot readers today won’t have it that the Death card may actually represent Death. Too unpalatable. Sorry to disagree. Call me old-fashioned, but the oracular mind is not susceptible to convenient reinvention.

The Death card does not always mean physical death, it is true. It may mean an ending in any other sense, or a transforming situation such as the ending of a job, or other situation,  but to say it never does is to create the most enormous elephant in the room. Sometimes it has meant exactly what it says. Death as represented by this card is usually natural, often timely, rarely cruel or violent. There are worse cards the Tarot could use if it needed to communicate a sensing to do with such a terrible picture as that.

Death card touchstone tarot

Last night at bedtime, little D looked so tired, head drooping as she sat in Il Matrimonio’s hands I felt a misgiving. I said, ‘she looks like she’s dying.’

‘Just a very tired little thing,’ he said, ‘aren’t you? Bed time! Yes!’

Little D passed away very early in the morning, found lying with her eyes shut, still warm, head snugged into the lap of the teddy bear.

Tears in  my cup of tea.

Sick? I asked the Tarot? Had she got too cold? Stressed?

‘Strength Reversed’, replied the Tarot.

Little D had no strength left. It had all been just all too much.

Duckling

She was too dead tired.

Read here for Mallard Duckling Rescue information.

Until next time.

Tarot Says Apples For Teachers

Apples For Teachers…It Wouldn’t Be Allowed Today: True Tarot on Teachers

English: An original card from the tarot deck ...
Le Pape or Hierophant from the tarot deck of Jean Dodal of Lyon, a classic “Marseilles” deck. The deck dates from 1701-1715. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Soon the children will be going back to school.

The Hierophant, the Tarot’s Fifth Major Arcana card, represents the concept of The Teacher but this is the teacher operating within the Establishment

 

What makes a teacher be a GREAT teacher?

Curiosity about Life, respect and generosity. Life invites ongoing learning. Progress demands it.

‘Schools out for EVER. School’s out COMPLETELY’…though it never is, or shouldn’t be for anyone with a curiosity greater than an amoeba’s.

Teachers: great ones, good and bad ones, the malevolent or indifferent. The ones I remember with affection, I remember for a variety of reasons.

Gentle bachelor Mr F always wore a salmon pink jumper and taught history. I was in his good books for ever, after asking a guest historian, a Professor David Hampson, what was later termed in my report, as ‘a very perceptive question’…an over-egging of my achievement my family found hilarious.

.
Mr F died of cancer quite young, and was remembered by later pupils as prone to violence. But it was the affliction of the tumour in his brain, creating cruel change. He threw blackboard dusters at people.A most gentle person.

It wouldn’t be allowed today.

Big, loud, red-faced Mr W, was Head of Hawk House, of which I was an incumbent and he taught me Maths. You’d hear the roaring from his office after assembly as he dealt with one bully or another.
‘Ohhh,’ he’d roar.’So you think it’s clever to get a little first year lad by his ear, do you? Tell me, how do YOU like it when I do THIS?’

‘Aayaa, ayaa! No sir!’

‘Or this?’

‘Ayaa, ayaa! no sir!’

‘Well, don’t you do it then, or you’ll be back in here for some more.’

It wouldn’t be allowed today.

Meeting me in the corridor at break times he’d press me to the wall with his enormous belly, and, stinking of cigarette smoke, he would bellow good naturedly from his great height.  ‘Hello! SILLY WOMAN! How are you diddling?’
I knew, as did my sisters at the same school and as young people immediately do know; he was OK, not even remotely creepy, so we only laughed about it, while avoiding it if we could. I only smile at the memory but…

It wouldn’t be allowed today.

 

apple for teacher

One of my ‘life lessons’ came from an elderly and very gentle science teacher. Mr Vest (yes, really) gently admonished me one day for my untidily presented homework. Embarrassed, I explained that my pen was leaky.

He said, ‘Now Katie, I know you like sayings. What’s the saying for this situation?’

I couldn’t guess which one he might mean.

‘A bad workman blames his tools’ …

An apple for teacher. But our memories are the apples they have given us, crisp and sharp, rosy and polished, maggoty and rotten.

Until next time 🙂

When The High Priestess (Reversed) was a fishy affair….

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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)

the-high-priestess-classic.jpg

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.

Till next time 🙂

 

Tarot Service Homepages

http://www.kttarot.co.uk

http://www.tacticaltarot.com

 

In Praise of all the best about Fathers, Tarot says All Hail To ‘The Emperor’ ….

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Katie-Ellen Hazeldine:  www.kttarot.co.uk

Today let’s talk about the ultimate Tarot card of Masculinity with a capital M,  The Emperor.

‘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.

The Emperor stands for government, law and order, other big, hierarchical organisations. He is the Armed Forces, the Police, the Civil Service.

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

GildedEmperor

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. A client’s son was facing a court appearance charged with sexual assault. There was no assertion of coercion whatsoever. In fact, the details of the charge sounded so minor as to be ridiculous, but whatever the rights and wrongs and the facts of the case; the man had already incurred serious consequences. He was a teacher and though the accuser was not a minor, a family friend in her late twenties, he had  been suspended from his employment as it involved work with minors, and had been temporarily debarred from his own 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 of course a substitute for suitable, professional legal, medical or financial advice. The client had employed such; but wanted to be prepared for the worst, ready to support his/her son.

In the Outcome position I drew:

THE EMPEROR+JUSTICE+JUDGMENT.

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  of anything much more than imprudence 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 defender, 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 a very serious matter.

The Creation of Adam: detail from Michaelangelo’s Fresco in the Sistine Chapel.

But greetings are due to The Emperor at the top of his game –  best friend to womankind; those men that we love, and what we love best in men, sons of the red earth.

Let your Emperor wear his crown and ermine every now and then.

You may be an Empress, and wish to wear yours.

Greetings to the Tarot’s beloved Emperor.