Joe’s Ark

Lancashire Writer & Tarot Practitioner, Katie-Ellen Hazeldine
Lancashire Writer, Business Intuitive & Tarot Practitioner, Katie-Ellen Hazeldine

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.

A full frontal view of the Angel of the North,...
Image via Wikipedia

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.”

‘Eh?’

‘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.

great flood

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

Touchstone Tarot: Death and The Duckling

ktln at home june 2015 1

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

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

View-Buy here

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

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

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

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

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

Dee Dee eating

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Devil card touchstone tarot

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

four of coins touchstone tarot

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

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

Death card touchstone tarot

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

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

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

Tears in  my cup of tea.

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

‘Strength Reversed’, replied the Tarot.

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

Duckling

She was too dead tired.

Read here for Mallard Duckling Rescue information.

Until next time.

Tarot Says Miaow: A Tale of Two Kitties

It’s a tale of two cats ( and there’s another Miaow Tarot Tale  or two in the archives.)  Daughter Numera Una, Artemis, aka RT who’s 29 and a vet nurse, and a brill one; rang one evening two weeks ago, ‘Mutti, we seem to have lost an Elsa cat. Will you look in your cards about it? We’ve been searching and calling for the last three hours.’

Artemis has recently moved address and has two cats, both girls, Elsa and Salem. Elsa is a teensy bit (…let’s whisper this…) thick. Salem’s practically a goddamn 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 is being seriously disrespected in being made to wear that pink combo which is actually Elsa’s.

Elsa CatArti and Salem

Where might Elsa be? Let me say loud and clear I had no idea but I drew the Moon card first and put it to Artemis that she might have been frightened from returning by a barking dog living a door or two away.

She confirmed there was a barking dog Elsa didn’t like.

Gilded Moon
Image from The Gilded Tarot by courtesy of Ciro Marchetti.

There are other meanings for this card: lies, hunting, danger, tricky travel, infection, fertility, drama, psychic dreams, 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 fairly 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 in fact, the bin men had already been that morning, and I decided Elsa was not trapped in 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 being a dumb-ski, not used yet to her new abode, she was disorientated and probably 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 once 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 for help; we’re a bunch of heathens)

 

Salem

Until next time 🙂

Tooth(less) Tarot

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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.

Queen Swords Universal Waite

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.

All hail to the Queen of Swords.

 

Until next time 🙂

 

 

 

 

The Queen of Coins: Tarot For A Shop’s Queen.

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.

Until next time 🙂

She loves him, she loves him not. The Hermit & The Ace of Pentacles

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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.

 

The Ace of Pentacles, The Gilded Tarot, Ciro MarchettiHermit Gilded

Images from The Gilded Tarot  by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti

My Response

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.

 

Until next time 🙂

Pendulum Divination, Time Guesstimation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

1-2 ?   Negative

2-3  ? Negative

3-4  ? Affirmative

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

Find your Chinese sign and element  here:

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

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

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

assorted pundulums

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

Until next time 🙂

 

Response to Question on Quora: Do many Italians use fortune tellers?

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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.

Do many Italians use fortune tellers?

How Does Tarot Reading Work?

ktln new pic by j2    It works by what Jung called synchronicity (see @Tarot Card Philosophy – HowStuffWorks.) The reader uses the imagery and numbers with all their associated symbolism to help them articulate their intuitive impressions more precisely.

Tarot is an old western esoteric artifact, but is only one of many available systems of divination.

The 78 cards offer a symbolic language. The reader ‘uploads’ a ‘programme’ by learning the meanings and associations of the cards. In a reading, the reader draws cards blindly and at random, and uses the imagery on the cards as a prompt, to share what they feel about a given person, situation or question. The thing that is most amazing, even uncanny, is the absolute relevance of cards drawn at random and blindly (being upside down when they are drawn). This is where the apparent miracle of synchronicity occurs.

mawheel wheel of fortune

The Wheel of Fortune; Public Domain

How does the reader choose cards supposedly at random, which so appropriately identify the enquirer’s situation or question? It can be darn spooky.

The answer is, the reader doesn’t know exactly. They simply trust, or learn to trust the unconscious process. What they have done is trained/strengthened a natural faculty by uploading a kind of programme or whether Tarot, or Astrology or Runes. There are many such ‘programmes’.

Sometimes the card does not actually contain literal relevant imagery. How could a deck of 78 cards contain all the possible images in the world? The cards deal with this by using archetypes, eg The Chariot = effort, progress, ambition, team work, or literally, a vehicle. Any vehicle or a driving job, or test.

1jjChariot-761232

From the IJJ Swiss Tarot, by Stuart Kaplan.

Each card has a number of possible meanings attached, and this starts with book knowledge but the reader must still make a leap of intuition in deciding which meaning applies.  Such a leap in the dark may result in a ‘psychic’ insight, where all existing book meanings for the card is bypassed and a unique meaning arrived at.

During one reading I drew the Page of Cups from the Universal Waite. The card generally signifies happy new developments, sometimes a welcome gift or a message. On this occasion, I looked at it and without thinking, asked the lady, did she ate a lot of those pink and white marshmallows? She was astonished and so was I, and we laughed when she opened her hand bag and there was a packet of those same marshmallows inside it.

It was the pink and white of the picture that leapt to my attention and prompted my question; the rest went into the background. How, exactly that happened, I  do not know. I was almost but not equally astonished as my visitor and by now, take it for granted that a conference with the Tarot can result in these experiences.

 

page of cupsmarshmallow

From The Universal Waite

Tarot accesses a natural talent of the most normal, ancient human mind. We all possess it. A ‘psychic’ reader is simply someone who noticed it,  been interested and through study self training and often many years of practice, gone on to exercise and develop this natural ability, rather like a muscle of the mind.

Until next time 🙂

Nil Desperandum…it’s only (?) Footie again

Tarot and footie….

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14 January: Wednesday evening at about 7.30, Il Matrimonio slithered into the study with a cup of tea for me. Most kind, but also, this was a warning to me that footie kicked off at 7.55 and he was to be considered unavailable until half time.

‘It’s Ipswich and Southampton,’ he hissed, biting into an apple himself, Eve had no chance. ‘Ipswich will get it.’

‘Do you think so?’ I said, reaching for my cards.

‘Well, I hope so, they’re doing well.’

I shuflled and drew a card asking, how will Ipswich do tonight against Southampton? I drew……oh no. The Star card but reversed, upside down. Image from The Gilded Tarot by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti.

 

The Star

 

The beautiful Star is Tarot’s card of hope and recovery, so I had to say I was sorry, but I thought Ipswich wouldn’t win this time. He glided from the room evincing a mild but measured displeasure, ‘we’ll ssseeeee.’

The score Southampton 1 Ipswich 0

I see Man City betting news people  are following me on Twitter. Dare I look in my cards to see how Man City get on against Arsenal this Sunday? It might be more than my life is worth if I get it wrong. It might be more than my life is worth if I get it right.

Until next time 🙂

Have psychics Been Used to Locate Missing Malaysian Aircraft MH-370?

ktln new pic by j

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 Gilded Tarot

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.

Peace to them all and those who mourn them.

Until next time.

 

Tarot & The Indy Ref.

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Now the first dust has settled, I look back at my Tarot’s sensings. Tarot Readers were in much discussion online about this great event as you can imagine, solitary birds huddling together sharing their findings; I received a couple of messages from fellow readers beforehand asking what I felt about it, two telling me they judged it a ‘yes,’ two other judging it a ‘no,’ like me.

Reading for a mass event is like trying to read the hive-mind, which is not at all the same proposition as reading for an individual. What I try and do, while shuffling my cards is to imagine myself further on in time, hearing what the result was. Later I may have a go at the next General Election the same way.

16 June 2014 I tweeted that the signs via the Tarot were consistently a ‘no’ vote for Scottish Independence.

You can find me on twitter here: https://twitter.com/TacticalTarot

The morning of the polls, before the polls opened I looked again to see if anything had changed, and shared on Facebook via the thread of respected fellow tarot reader Richard Abbott that in favour of a ‘yes’ vote I had drawn:

The Tower
Death

In favour of a ‘no’ vote I had drawn

Ace of Wands Reversed (upsdie down)
The Four of Cups
The Wheel of Fortune Reversed.

Richard messaged to ask for my further interpretation.

To get at the odds I use card counting.

I drew two cards for ‘Yes’ and three for ‘No’. Therefore it read as 2:3 and I read this as a NO.

In the ‘Yes’ lobby, The Tower and Death were powerful cards; very powerful indeed.  Both cards of the Major Arcana and The Tower card indicates a shock, a crash, the fall of a tower of babel, and this was an emotionally violent campaign, while Death signifies an ending as in the end of the Union

In the ‘No’ lobby’ The Ace of Wands Reversed signifies a departure not made, a flame that fails to ignite. The Four of Cups signifies dissatisfaction, it’s nickname is ‘bored boy’ – but there is not either the means or will, or both, to start again from scratch. The Wheel of Fortune card emerging upside down suggests that the people of Scotland sensed the timing was not, is not favourable, and for reasons beyond individual control but also national control. It represents an anticipated  downward turn in fortunes should an action be taken.

From this I sensed that the vote would be no, but that those who wished to vote ‘No’ had better not rely on other ‘No’ voters to carry the day.

Medievel Image of The Wheel of Fortune
Medievel Image of The Wheel of Fortune

They had better actually go to the polls and vote; they were the majority, but this was a vigorous and determined minority and I tweeted that same morning to that effect.

I feel, having no particular vested interest in the outcome, though dear family in Scotland, the people of Scotland made the right choice for Scotland at this time. Had the ‘No’ campaign not become anxious, had the turn out been poor…it might just have gone differently. The story is over for now, but probably not for good.

Until next time 🙂

Question on Quora: What Is It Like to Use A Psychic On A Regular Basis?

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Response

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.

 

higpriestess

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.

Until next time 🙂

 

 

The Strength Card

In Tarot, the absence of a clear positive tends to mean a negative answer.

gilded strength

 

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?

 

Until next time 🙂

Towering Tuesday

 

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.

Tyr fighting fenris

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.

Until next time 🙂

Quora Question: Should Psychics Be Licenced?

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

Me sunshine black jumper shrunk 

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

A Reader’s Response:

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

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.

moon card

The Moon Card from the Universal Waite

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

Jehovah's Goat

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.

Until next time 🙂

Divinity In A Dish? The Tarot Feeds the Cat.

True Tarot Tales

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…

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Tarot Travel Timing

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.

Two of Swords from the Rider-Waite Tarot deck
Two of Swords from the Rider-Waite Tarot deck (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

From The Gilded Tarot, by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti.
From The Gilded Tarot, by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti.

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.

Till next time 🙂

The Ace of Stoats, Or Maybe Ferrets

ktln new pic by j2

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.

The Ace of Pentacles, The Gilded Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

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.

English: Ferret Português: Furão
English: Ferret Português: Furão (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Image reproduced by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti. For more about this deck here’s a review from Goodreads:- http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/98903.Gilded_Tarot

Until next time 🙂

Inheritance

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.

ten pentacles

From The Gilded Tarot: By Kind Permission of Ciro Marchetti.

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.”

William Stafford (1914-1993)

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 🙂

Thinking On Joy

The Tarot’s Ace of Cups: And a Joyful Piggery.

My Own Watercolour Design

My youngest child is 17 today. An Aquarian of the eccentric variety, she was also born under the sign of The Pig in Chinese astrology.

Peacable, fun loving, prone to indulgence of themselves….and others. Today brings the memory of joy at her safe arrival.

‘My Cup Runneth Over’…the Tarot’s card of earthly felicity is The Ace of Cups.

Which Way Home?

‘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.

The Tarot‘s Cards correlating to the Four Major Points Of The Compass are:

Ace of Pentacles = North

Ace of Cups =West

Ace of Wands =South

Ace of Swords= East

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 ‘Potty’ Psychic

medieval pic larger

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.

Early Tarot Images of La Papesse, or High Priestess.

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

Psychic Chasms
Psychic Chasms (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Till next time 🙂

A Robin’s Tarot Tale

A real reading done for a robin, befitting the season.

 

 
Image: Public Domain

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.

English: Robin Redbreast
English: Robin Redbreast (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Until next time 🙂