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.
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.
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.
My brother and his wife were selling their house. The Moon card reflected, amongst other more specific things, their uncertainty about when it might sell and where they would go next.
It had been on the market the previous year and they had pulled it due to lack of buyer interest. It had gone back on the market in late May, and now it was mid June.
I whirled my cards about blind and drew the Three of Wands. Since Wands cards deal with travel, property, sales and movement in general, the immediate appearance of this commercial card was encouraging for better luck this time around.
‘There’ll be viewers soon,’ I said. ‘The future is not set in concrete but chances are good, you’ll have a suitable offer on it within three viewings, or within three weeks, three months max.’
‘We’ve had three viewings already, sis, he said.
‘Oh, OK,’ I said, ‘Well, I’ll be picking that up, I expect, but the cards often say several things at once. It’s still looking likely there’ll be developments sooner rather than later.’
Big deal, one might say. How very oracular and vague.
Well, er, quite. Oracles are not always easy to decipher, even for the oracular practitioner.
I now drew the Ace of Pentacles. This is the Tarot’s ultimate house, job and money card.
My brother and his wife have moved to a country lane near Stroud. This card proved a quite literal foreshadowing of their new home.
Illustrations from The Gilded Tarot, by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti. Buy on Amazon and other places or visit his website: http://www.ciromarchetti.com/
‘Positive developments round about the middle of July,’ I said, ‘It’s looking like the sale of house, or it’s job-related or both.’
Then I drew the King of Swords and the Queen of Pentacles. ‘I’m seeing your buyers here, I think. They’re a couple, just as you’d expect. She’s probably got dark hair and maybe eyes; very house proud, and he…well, he might be a legal advisor, or policeman; or it’s possible, a military man.’
The following week they had an offer on the house which they neither accepted nor declined, as it was well below the asking price and early days, the prospective buyer wanted to push for a very early completion. Then they received another offer a few days after that from another prospective buyer, a few days later. It was closer to the asking price, and less urgent for completion and they accepted.
Sales can fall through of course, and they had quite a rocky time of it but the sale went through and what made me smile was this news of the buyer: a family man, married with three children, and whether currently serving or not, my brother doesn’t know, but the buyer was not only a soldier but a Gurkha.
My brother and his wife are selling their house. They put it on the market at the end of May. Lots of things are up in the air for them both; whether to look to buy again or rent for a while pending possible career moves for them both in the not too distant future. He and I were chatting on the phone a couple of weeks ago, about all this, and I drew blind cards, shuffling them about with my free hand while we were chatting.
‘Hey, Boofs,’ I said (nickname for a younger brother who used to be in his own toddler words, a ‘bad boofs’) ‘has there been any illegal hunting going on near you that you’re aware of: badger-baiting, for instance?’
‘Not that I’ve heard of, particularly,’ he said, ‘but I’ve had a few suspicions lately. I’ve seen a few dead badgers on the road and thought, they’ve not died there. They’ve been put there afterwards.’
That’s probably what I’m picking up, then,’ I said. ‘Or why else am I pulling this card and thinking; hunter, hunting…a hunter’s moon?’
I had pulled out at The Moon Card from Kat Black’s Golden Tarot, pictured by kind permission of US Games, available to buy on Amazon and other places.
Traditional Associations for this card: Psychism, Artistic Vision, Dreams, Delusion, Lies, Error, Infidelity, Danger, Travel, Infection, Fertility, Pregnancy.
‘F*** me!’ he said, ‘We’ve been thinking about maybe going to stay at the Hunter’s Inn, next week, in Exmoor…’
In fact, they did not go and stay there. They went on a day-trip down to the Dorset coast instead, and had a nice day out though my brother got lost, according to my lovely sister-in law, something he indignantly denied.
And so, the Moon card was not predicting, not forecasting, it was just facilitating enhanced telepathic communication, making literal use of the card’s imagery. Tarot will often work this way, and this is often how the most ‘far out’ or psychic insights are triggered.
Establishing the difference is what can make Divination so tricky, you just have to go with your gut, and there is no card trickier than the Moon card.
Constant in inconstancy, fidelity in fickleness…
Part Two coming up tomorrow, that’s Sunday, or else Moon-day *cough* 🙂
Revisiting an old blog. Similar issues afoot again.
Sprog Senior was unsettled by rumours at work. She works as a vet nurse and the vet owner was thinking of selling. Was she already facing redundancy, having been there only a very few months? She asked her boss directly, who answered that his plans were not finalised, and he would be letting everyone know in the next week or so.
Very unsettling. On Sunday Sprog Senior asked , when did the Tarot see her knowing for sure, and would it be welcome news for her, or unwelcome?
I asked ‘will it be Monday?’ and drew The Ace of Cups reversed.
‘It probably won’t be tomorrow. You look as if you are in for one of those harmless, slightly dull days where nothing particular happens.’
I asked, will it be Tuesday, and drew the Death card , signifying endings in general, as well as, um, the literal ending of death itself.
‘Now, this could be news of a business winding down, or a termination of employment. But the Death card’s right way up; it isn’t feeling like bad news. I’d be expecting something else if it’s bad news. The Tower, maybe, or the Five of Pentacles or the Five of Swords.’
The Five of Pentacles is the ultimate card of unemployment. The Tower would mean a shock.
The Five of Swords is defeat, often with an added sense of humiliation. If someone is wondering whether to ‘go there’ in some kind of fight, this card warns against it. It will be ugly, you will probably lose, and worse than that, it will achieve nothing of worthwhile value.
As it turned out, the Death card proved correct, but not in respect of my older daughter’s question. Someone did leave a job on Tuesday but it was my younger daughter, still a student at the time, leaving a summer job. Hotel housekeeping, and she was not sorry to go. Someone pooped on the sheets and expected her to clear it up, but they rolled it up in a sheet, and she didn’t discover the poo inside until…well, never mind. (Why did they not tidy up as best they could after themselves and at least flush it down the loo?)
Let’s just say, my younger daughter was not devastated to be sacked for her failure to find an adult lady’s poo rolled up in a sheet and left for her to deal with. They didn’t pay enough.
Back to my older daughter’s question. Would she find out about her job on Wednesday?
I drew The Magician card, equating to Odin and Woden. Wednesday.
‘Aha! I think you can expect news on Wednesday, and I think it’s good news.’
The Magician is about mastery and control, so it described the owner but it was at the same time a good omen for her continued employment.
This image seemed particularly suitable as the organisation in question was a veterinary practice.
Message Received Tuesday at 18.15 ‘Staff meeting tomorrow with N’ (the boss)
Message Received Wednesday 17.29 Full merge with Y to commence in 2 weeks….jobs are safe (at least for a few months while they see how things pan out)
In summary: they would want to keep her on, and the next question was, would she want to stay?
If you have a Tarot deck why not give it a go yourself:-
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.
The rain beat down on the garage roof, washing August away, just as it had washed July away and most of June before that. The British Isles, like most of northern Europe, was losing its summer. It was coming soon, Joe thought, and fear gripped his belly.
He held Suzette, stroking her to calm himself while he considered the situation. Deciding when to put to sea was tricky. Too late would be…too late, but if he embarked too soon, he’d be eating into provisions unnecessarily. Noah had provisioned for a voyage lasting ten months, but then, he’d had the benefit of inside information.
‘We’ll be all right, Suzy, hinny,’ he told his pet, ‘I’ll make sure of that. But what am I going to do about the wife?’
Suzette cocked her head as if considering, her beady gaze held his, unblinking. Joe had tried to explain to Linda about the bird’s intelligence, but Linda detested Suzette, and said pigeons were thick, and they were vermin, and good for nothing but a pie. Joe knew better, and that that was just Linda’s jealousy talking. Suzette’s plumage was the colour of heather on the moors, or the hills at twilight, and with the little bird’s plump warmth in his hand, he always felt better, somehow.
He tidied away and she followed, pecking at wood shavings, picking them up and dropping them again until he was done and scooped her up, dropping a kiss on the top of the small head, hard as a nut, placing her in the cage he had built for her.
‘Sweet dreams, little hen. See you in the morning.’ The cage had everything he could think of; a nest box, a perch, toys, even a mirror. She had everything but the company of her own kind and the open sky, but Joe didn’t think she minded. He had reared her from a chick, hatching the egg in his beanie; she had never known anything else.
It was after five. Time to get the tea on before Linda came home from work. Joe went through into the house, there was a connecting door – straight into the hallway and no need to get wet.
Joe was an unemployed shipwright, nearly twenty years at Swan Hunter until the day came when they all got the chop and he had come home, stumbling with shock, his leaving cards in his hands, and walked in to find Linda, his wife, on the sofa on top of one of his friends. He’d never forget the look on her face as she ground her hips, looking down avid at the man on the sofa. Then she turned and saw him, and the look changed. Joe’s love for his wife died on the spot, snuffed out by the shock, though later when he calmed down, he understood why she’d done it.
They were childless. Joe was sad about it, but for Linda it was a sporadic madness, a devouring need she could not leave alone. I want more tests, she’d said. I want IVF. But Joe wouldn’t agree, and it wasn’t the money, though they had little enough of that to spare. No, it wasn’t that. But forcing gates just broke things in his experience, starting with the gate itself and now, he decided that Linda’s betrayal was not only a desperate attempt at a solution, but revenge.
Resisting his first terrible, desperate desire to punch her into the middle of next week – though he caught his friend later in an alley and gave him a kicking that left the other man retching on hands and knees, Joe mulled it over and decided he’d accept whatever blameless little cuckoo came as a result of this betrayal. He was even, secretly and not without a sense of shame, a little excited at the prospect and caught himself waiting, counting, watching for signs. But Linda’s plan, if that’s what it had been, came to nothing. Joe realised with the dullness of grief, there was not going to be any nestling. Not even a cuckoo. They talked about divorce but neither made the first move, and so they carried on, together but apart.
It was one night soon after this, that Joe had had The Dream. Had not God told Noah, hadn’t He solemnly promised, he would never do it again? But look what He was up to now! Flooding was never out of the news, rescue boats plying high streets the length and breadth of Britain and the price of everything going up. Lying as if paralysed in his solitary bed, staring sightless at the wall, Joe saw a land drowned by rain and river, sea and sky, and a wave that came as if from nowhere, the water cycle violently seeking new stasis as the ice caps melted.
He watched helpless, as a torrent came down the Tyne, bent bridges like hair grips and shoved them out to sea. People were swept away or crushed as they ran with their screeching children for the high places, and were overtaken. The Angel of the North looked on as buildings, bridges, roads were pulled apart like Lego, chewed and spat out. Afterwards came a hush, and the smell of rot, and the thriving of flies as the terrible silence and the empty days stretched on.
Everyone had nightmares and usually it was little more than a case of cheese at bedtime, Joe understood that perfectly well. But he also knew it could be something altogether different, something so much more. He’d foreseen his mother’s death in a dream and ignored it…it was only a dream, wasn’t it, and then, three days later they’d found her, dead on her bed, arm outstretched for the pills she’d been trying to reach, just as he’d seen in his dream.
There was indigestion, and there was prophecy, it wasn’t easy deciding which was which. Joe hadn’t forgiven himself for not going to his mother, he could not, and now, waking with a headache and needing to be sick, he decided this time, he would not turn away, to betray his vision. He would trust himself and carry out his own shipbuilding project. He did not tell anyone. Who would have believed him, and there was no-one he cared to confide in. But if a shipwright wasn’t up to the challenge, who was?
His decision made, Joe now had a plan, and was in oddly high spirits, negotiating the purchase of a little boat and two dinghies, spending every penny of his redundancy money. Linda spat fury. She even threw things, but Joe did not explain, didn’t make any attempt at trying to enlighten her, just stayed out of her way in the garage, customizing the boat, a seventeen-foot Arran, adding an outboard motor, a petrol tank and an automatic pump. He extended the tiny day cabin, and carpentered drop-down stabilizers, enabling the boat to function as a trimaran.
He applied himself, learning to use a compass and maps, he followed the shipping news. He took to hanging around the trawlers at Tynemouth until a skipper agreed to take him out as an unpaid pair of hands and he threw up all the way out and back again. Meteorology classes came next, and geography field trips with the Workers Education Institute.
Joe became a man of singular education, and though he had few certificates to show for it, he knew he was going to be put to the ultimate test, and he didn’t know when, but it would be soon. Meanwhile, he stopped seeing the few friends he’d kept in touch with after the thing with Linda, and kept his own counsel – the thing was too big, anyway, he wouldn’t have known how to set about telling people. He avoided Linda and he made the evening meal without fail every evening, his tribute for the uneasy peace between them, and was mixing a vinaigrette for a salad when the slam of the front door said Linda was home, and not in a good humour.
Linda Steel had one of those upside-down mouths that said she rarely smiled, and she was almost entirely sure she hated her husband with a passion. She would look at his lean, rangy body, and then his soft eyes, his soft mouth, almost flower-like in its softness, and think how deceptive were appearances. Joe was hard and cold, merciless and unyielding. He’d never touched her since that day. He barely ever even looked at her, never mind talked to her but he’d driven her to it, not listening to her about the baby. They ate in silence, rain oozing down the window panes, thick as dog slobber.
‘You do know it’s the Great Flood again, Linda?’ Joe said suddenly, over a forkful of tomato. She goggled at him, ‘You what?’
‘The Great Flood,’ he said, and took another mouthful. He had debated whether to say anything and had decided not to, but it seemed something within him had a different idea, some vestige of a love long dead, or just pity, ‘coming soon to a town near you. Want to ride it out with me, come with me on the boat? I’ll be taking it down to Tynemouth day after tomorrow.’
Linda spluttered and began to choke. Joe watched impassively. Her eyes were like gooseberries and he didn’t like gooseberries. Why did he used to think she was so pretty? It wasn’t until Linda’s face began to go purple that he scraped back his chair and slapped her back for her. Slap, slap, SLAP.
‘Water,’ she croaked, flapping her hand. He fetched it and sat down again. ‘You know,’ he went on as if nothing had happened, ‘we’ll need to be well out to sea when that wave comes in, not to get caught between it and the river. Then if we make it, if we can get clear, we’ll sail up to Hexham. Or mebbes the Cheviots. Whatever – Noah used the dove, Suzette’ll help us find the best place.’
‘I’d laugh,’ she said, still wheezing, ‘Except I’m not sure you’re joking? What have you been up to, Joe? Been at the wacky baccy, have we, out there in the garage? This isn’t Bangladesh or Japan. We don’t get tsunamis here.’
She drained the tumbler of water. ‘Aye, well,’ he said, clearing the plates. ‘We do actually. Ever heard of the Bristol tsunami, 1607? Ever heard there was a time once, you could walk from here to Denmark, till a tsunami drowned the land bridge? But never mind. Cassandra couldn’t tell them either.”
‘The wooden horse,’ Joe explained. ’She knew it was bad news, but you can’t tell people, can you? But I had to try. You’re still my wife, for what it’s worth.’
‘Oh, I see,’ she said, not seeing at all. ‘Well, thank you, kind sir, you bloody loony. I’m very grateful, I’m sure.’’
The Dream came to Joe again that night. Linda heard his whimpers through the wall, and thought, serves him right, turning over and pulling the duvet past her ears. Many a night she had cried herself to sleep.
Next day the boat was ready. One of the dinghies held provisions, while the other was for Linda, kitted with a week’s iron rations. Suzette perched on the rim preening, while Joe checked the inventories. Next evening he led Linda into the garage for instructions. She listened, arms folded, tapping her foot. ‘And how long may we expect this little jaunt to last?’ she said bitingly, ‘may one venture to ask when your lordship will be coming home?’
He sighed. ‘You don’t get it, do you, Linda?’
It was sausages and mash for tea, and Linda found sausages a lot easier to swallow than Joe’s prophecy, but watching the evening news, she was bound to agree things were getting alarming. ‘But it was as bad as this, almost, last year,’ she fretted, sitting alone with her coffee. ‘Nothing but rain and everyone ranting and raving about global warming. But August wasn’t too bad, and September, well, it was pretty good.’
Next morning they exchanged the barest of farewells. Linda spent the day at work dodging dripping ceilings and strategically positioned buckets, and came home to find he’d gone, the crackpot, just as he’d said, and so had the boat and that bloody useless bird. The silence boomed as she peeled off her sopping tights, and looked in the fridge. She couldn’t be bothered to cook. She made a cup of tea and cheese sandwiches instead, eating on the prowl, uneasy and unexpectedly lonely without her old enemy in range.
‘Well, pardon me for pointing this out’, she said to the empty room and the invisible Joe. ‘I’d hate to contradict you, Joe, but the world still appears to be here.’
But then in the small hours, something woke her. Strange noises in the street. She dashed to the window and looked out but the street was dark, the street lights were all out. A power cut again! She flung up the window and shrieked. Her car – everybody’s car – was heading down the street, borne on a rising tide. Other heads came poking out of windows, voices ascended, shrill with alarm. The street was a river. The river was growing. The rain was stabbing the earth to death.
Linda flew down the stairs and was met by water. She dragged the garage door open; a cold rill flowed round her thighs. Wading to the dinghy, her effort was impeded by the dark, and the ballooning of her pyjama bottoms. Linda sobbed, teeth chattering, as she flopped in bottom first, and fumbled to untie the mooring rope. Thank God she’d left the outer garage doors open as per Joe’s instructions. You’ll be trapped like a rat otherwise, he had warned her, and despite herself, despite everything, she had listened. Thank God.
‘Oh, Joe,’ she whimpered, and remembered all the ways she’d ever loved him, and he had loved her. And Joe had wanted her to make it, he had, sincerely, but she did not, all the same.
His vision was both correct and not. It was a point of technicality. Not the dam. The monstrous wave that came racing across the North Sea from Norway, the fatal collapse of a fjord wall, would have scuppered Linda’s frail chances for sure, but Joe’s pet had already secured the ultimate negative outcome. Rubber might not be tasty, but shredding it was a small amusement for a little bird in a moment of boredom, and now the idle activity of Suzette’s tiny beak slowly but surely laid waste Joe’s careful planning for his wife’s separate survival. Linda’s dead body went spinning down Church Street to St Peters, where her ankle got hooked in railings, and she was trapped there, a dancer graceful in eternal pilgrimage.
Joe came sailing in over her head some days later, coming in from the sea, following Suzette as they headed west under clear and sunny skies. The sea was blue again after the months of grey, and sparkling in the sun, but there were things in the water that did not bear looking at and Joe was careful not to look. What good would it do? The past was dead and gone. His new life started now.
First Published in ‘More Tonto Short Stories,’ by Tonto Press, 2007 . Performed at The Durham Book Fair, 2008 and & later, revised and published on-line with ‘Litro’ Magazine, 2014
Oh no! Oh, yes, I’m afraid. I wish it wasn’t so, but I undertake to demonstrate divination at work in the real world. Sometimes it’s fun, at least for me and I hope it is for you but sometimes it just can’t be. The title gives fair warning. Pass by if you can’t bear it, but if you’re learning Tarot, try to stay with it and not flinch. You may one day find yourself faced with someone in deep distress, hoping to find not solutions or advice, but some kind of sustenance, or at least meaning in their situation. The Tarot will rise to these occasions, if you will. because the Tarot is you, yourself, your deepest, archaic and arcane self.
Her Golden Tarot is another favourite, but one likes to ring the changes now and then.
It’s duckling time again out on the pond, and Nature is wreaking carnage, red in beak and claw. The most relentless predators by day are the sea-gulls. There are two duck mothers this season; one with an excellent track record of rearing and one with a dismal record. The successful mother has for the past 3 years, the neighbours downstairs tell us, reared at least 6 ducklings to independence from a brood of 12-15. The less successful mother loses them all and cries loudly. Anyone who says animals don’t feel what we do doesn’t watch closely enough. If they forget more quickly than we do, if they do, and I have my doubts, well, they need to, and it’s a blessed mercy.
It was cold, and the dismal duck was down to the last of her twelve ducklings on Monday night when Il Matrimonio went over to the pond to feed them, watching as the last duckling ran calling after its mother and she ignored it, eating and then wandering off. Maybe she had given up, and decided it was just no use, and all was lost.
A gull alighted, lingering near the duckling as it crouched shivering, calling for its mother. Seeing this Il Matrimonio could bear it no more, and it was not a ‘good’ thing to do; he knew that; we’ve watched enough David Attenborough, but there it is. The HUMAN animal, male as well as female, is hot-wired to respond to the cry of an infant in distress, and to the immediate, the personal and the particular.
Therefore, enter Il Matrimonio with one shivering duckling. By bedtime it had eaten enthusiastically (not bread; proprietary duck food) It had drunk lots, splashed about in a shallow dish and done much sitting in cupped hands, clearly regarding these as a warm place and acceptable brooding alternative.
It slept on a towel in the bath, curled into the lap of a large teddy bear. Next day it ran around, ate, drank, paddled, pecked my bare feet, calling for its mother, and was incessantly demanding of Il Matrimonio’s cupped hands for brooding.
‘What’s the plan?’ I fretted, ‘it’s been warmed and fed; it needs other ducks; it needs its mother, to go back as soon as possible and take its chances along with the other ducklings. Maybe the other duck will take it.’
Ducks can count, of course. There was no question of her being fooled by the appearance of an extra duckling.
‘It would be murder,’ said Il Matrimonio. The other duck was unlikely to accept it.
The one hope, and it was a long shot, was to get little D big enough to be safe from gulls, then return it in clement weather, and let it take its chances then. And indeed, it seemed to grow bigger even overnight.
But after Il Matrimonio brought D in on Monday night, I had drawn The Devil card, The Four of Coins and Death.
The Devil shows Pan/Nature in violent aspect. This is the truth, that Nature is full of violence. One creature or many creatures must die for another to live.
The Four of Coins represents holding on, a holding action, a brooding of money or other material possessions or objects.
Death speaks for itself. Many Tarot readers today won’t have it that the Death card may actually represent Death. Too unpalatable. Sorry to disagree. Call me old-fashioned, but the oracular mind is not susceptible to convenient reinvention.
The Death card does not always mean physical death, it is true. It may mean an ending in any other sense, or a transforming situation such as the ending of a job, or other situation, but to say it never does is to create the most enormous elephant in the room. Sometimes it has meant exactly what it says. Death as represented by this card is usually natural, often timely, rarely cruel or violent. There are worse cards the Tarot could use if it needed to communicate a sensing to do with such a terrible picture as that.
Last night at bedtime, little D looked so tired, head drooping as she sat in Il Matrimonio’s hands I felt a misgiving. I said, ‘she looks like she’s dying.’
‘Just a very tired little thing,’ he said, ‘aren’t you? Bed time! Yes!’
Little D passed away very early in the morning, found lying with her eyes shut, still warm, head snugged into the lap of the teddy bear.
Tears in my cup of tea.
Sick? I asked the Tarot? Had she got too cold? Stressed?
‘Strength Reversed’, replied the Tarot.
Little D had no strength left. It had all been just all too much.
She was too dead tired.
Read here for Mallard Duckling Rescue information.
A tale of two cats ( and there’s another Miaow Tarot Tale or two in the archives.) Daughter Numera Una, an Animal Care Assistant, and a brill one; rang one evening, ‘we have lost Elsa- cat. Will you look in your cards about it? We’ve been searching and calling for the last three hours.’
She had recently moved address and had two cats, both girls, Elsa and Salem. Elsa was very gentle, borderline dozy, Salem’s practically a genius. Here they are. Elsa top, Salem below with RT. You might be forgiven for wondering which one is the thickie and vice- versa. All I can say is, Salem was being seriously disrespected, being made to wear that pink combo which was actually Elsa’s.
Where might Elsa be? Let me say loud and clear I had no idea, how would I?
I drew the Moon card first, look at the picture, and put it to my daughter, that Elsa-cat might have been frightened from returning by a barking dog living only a door or two away.
She confirmed there was a barking dog Elsa didn’t like.
Other meanings for this card: lies, hunting, danger, tricky travel, infection, fertility, psychic dreams,paranoia. But this immediate pictorial association was most I felt was most relevant to Elsa’s absence. Often this is how a Tarot reader works, look-and-speak-and-sod-the-book-meanings.
Next, I drew The Four of Swords; a knight entombed. This card signifies isolation, sickness, hospital visits, chapels and tombs and raised the obvious question, had she got stuck or trapped? I thought of wheelie bins and asked was a collection due next morning? Artemis was horrified, thinking of a notorious incident in the media where a woman had maliciously swiped a kitty into a wheelie bin but the refuse collectors had already been that morning, and I decided Elsa was not trapped inside a wheelie bin, but might well be hiding behind one.
I drew the Five of Wands and asked RT had she been to Number Five to ask if Elsa had been seen there? Yes she had, and the woman had kindly checked her out-houses.
She asked, was Elsa coming home that night?
I drew three more cards, all upside down and said no, I didn’t see that, but I tended to think it would be all right. Elsa was not dead. She was not hurt. She was disorientated by the move, and hiding, no more than three properties away.
Animals may be the primary department of St Francis, but that former librarian, St Anthony, patron saint of lost things, has kindly helped us with lost beasts before, and I suggested she ask him for help in bringing Elsa home.
Next morning I received this message.
Elsa-Smellsa just found 🙂 Could hear plaintive meowing when we called from the back garden coming from property to our rear so walked round and found her cowering down a little ginnel! She was very hungry but none the worse for wear. Salem was behaving very strangely this morning. I think St Antony acted through her somehow…It was her lead I followed when listening out for the meows!
What did I tell you? That Salem cat’s a genius. Yes, and of course, thank you too. Thank you very much, St Antony.
(You don’t have to be Catholic to ask him; we’re not, but sainthood is a state of grace and they won’t hold it against you)
I had a wisdom tooth removed on Monday. I had been putting it off for a long time, five years in fact, on the principle of letting sleeping teeth lie, and following a r-a-t-h-e-r lengthy, nasty and in fact cack-handed previous extraction that left with me with mild parasthesia lasting a year and a half, haunted by a mental picture of a fractured jaw and maybe total and permanent facial paralysis next time.
Anyway, the tooth began to show signs of giving trouble in March and I decided next time I saw my lovely dentist, Catriona, in April, I would instruct her to just go for it and do the deed. She’d been a bit anxious about the tooth for some time, tactfully tending it at check-ups while awaiting my ‘green for go’.
We’d agreed we wouldn’t agree when to do it. We wouldn’t pencil the extraction in ahead of time. Some time when I came in, I’d just tell her to take it out right now and we’d go for it, thus sparing me a wait with the appointment looming like some little Sword of Damocles. She is what I call a properly skilled and emotionally intelligent medical professional.
But *gulp* how would it go this time? The day before my appointment, marked in as a check-up only, I pulled a single Tarot card and drew The Queen of Swords from my Universal Waite deck. Here she is, by kind permission of U.S Games Systems.
Here are the book meanings for this card: The Widow, or necromancer. This card symbolises independence, at its best. Power, intelligence, tactical thinking. The ability to streamline a problem, and find the solution without fuss. At worst, The Queen of Swords can represent isolation, depression and cruelty.
I looked at her and thought, hello there, Catriona. So many times in the past, when this card has shown up in readings for others, it has represented, literally, a woman doctor, dentist, surgeon or lawyer.
Here she was, and on fighting form. Here I was too, another Queen of Swords in the sense that I had made my mind up and Swords is the suit of decision-making.
I put the card back into the deck, shuffled and pulled another card.
And I drew The Queen of Swords again. The card had come up dignified (right way up) and not ill-dignified. I therefore decided it would be fine this time, as done by Catriona.
I took homeopathic arnica 6 beforehand, and afterwards to reduce swelling. It works.
And, a little esoteric detail for those interested in these sorts of associations, the moon was a waning gibbous moon (click the link to view) So much the better for an extraction, some would say, who study these things.
One smooth, though startlingly forceful tug, numbed to the gills, just one, and it was farewell to the devilish dentition, and with no nasty aftermath, either.
Il Matrimonio said how lucky I was, lamenting only that my mouth couldn’t stay numb for three months and not three hours, thus earning himself a swipe to the head, and I think that he too, was lucky.
I am currently re-reading the lively and highly accessible ‘The Daughter Of Time,’ by Josephine Tey It’s a novel; a fictional but fact based whodunnit, still recommended reading for history students. It’s pro-Ricardian, offering a probably Not-Guilty of infanticide verdict.
Some are asking, are they burying the right man? Genetics expresses the odds as 6.7 million to one it’s him but the paternal line is unproven. Also: analysis of various genetic markers offered tantalizing clues to Richard III’s appearance — suggesting that he was not the dark-haired, steely-eyed monarch portrayed in well-known historical images. “There are genes that we know are involved in coding for hair and eye color … The genetic evidence shows he had a 96% probability of having blue eyes, and a 77% probability of having blond hair, though this can darken with age.”
Read and hear more about the genetic discoveries Here
The reconstructed head has the same twist to the mouth and jaw of the portraits but they’ve still got to leap gaps using artistic license and his portrait eyebrows ain’t bushy. Look at this pair of unbrushed caterpillars they’ve adorned him with.
I drew a card asking have they got the right body? I treat an upright card as a probable yes, an upside down card as a probable no. Look atta card drawn, co-incidentally enough, how’s that image for synchronicity? The next card I drew seemed to support this. It was The World card; representing the world at large, as in, a return to the world, also signifying the end of a cycle or story.
Did Richard have his nephews murdered, yes or no?
I sense a 25% likelihood.
If they died on his watch, or if one of them did, let’s say, Edward, it might not necessarily have been murder, or not double murder. Maybe one or the other died, and it made for an extremely awkward situation but it was not murder.
The two bodies discovered in the Tower in the reign of Charles 11 might settle it, one might think. But, no. The remains are apparently ‘beyond reach’ of testing. Besides it seems DNA testing of these would still not necessarily settle the question definitively according to this article from The Guardian. The difference between Richard being the murderer and Henry, could have been a time difference of a mere three months or so, dating from the last known sighting of the Princes until the death of Richard on the battlefield at Bosworth.
Meanwhile there remains the question of Perkin Warbeck.
Whatever happened seems to have been a cause of great, one might say, additional grief to Richard. Six of Cups (children) The Devil (evil fortune, a trap, powerlessness) and the Five of Cups (grief about children, grief for a wife and for what might have been.) He had much to grieve for, even without such a burden of either responsibility, or the awareness of injustice. Monstrous times, monstrous events. We’re lucky, those of us who’ll never have to wrangle problems on the the scale this man did; the word here is tragic. I feel the remains belong in York Minster, and they say he spent some happy times in Middleham.
If Leicester has him, maybe it needs him more.
Truth, wrote Sir Francis Bacon, is the Daughter of Time not Authority. Maybe read ‘The Daughter Of Time’, see what you think.
For twelve years now, I have been reading on an occasional basis for a local business owner; an independent fashion retailer. She has been running her business in Lytham town centre for more than thirty years, and uses my Tarot as an occasional sounding board and second opinion. It can be lonely being the boss of a small staff; a great weight of responsibility, getting enough sales for her own needs and their secured salary needs. The business is very high-end and relies on a loyal customer base. It had a few narrow squeaks for a while a few years back, but I saw and said it would survive the worst of the recession OK and was delighted that it did; this lady is a deserving gem.
The card above is from The Gilded Tarot, by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti, The Queen of Pentacles refers here to a woman with a head for business, and a strong practical and aesthetic sense.
This particular Queen has run a rich and varied assortment of questions by my Tarot over the years to do with premises, improvements, and sub-letting areas of premises, stock-buying and recruiting, as well as a few family matters.
Recently she asked if it looked like a good idea, would it work out well, would the lady sell well for her if she employed a lady called, let’s say, Lynne.
I reported back with the findings. Lynne looked like a good bet. A few days later I was amused to get a message saying, sorry, she had forgotten to mention, there were two candidates for the position, both called Lynne. Which one had I actually meant in delivering the Tarot’s findings?
I did the reading again to tease the two candidates apart. Both looked suitable, but one had the Queen of Pentacles drawn against her name, Lynne B. This gave her a slight edge as the more promising saleswoman.
Did my client choose Lynne B? I don’t know yet. My clients are independent minded people and that’s how I like it. Experience tells me I will hear in due course.
Yesterday someone asked did I believe in reincarnation?
The Yew: symbol of resurrection. Its branches grow down into the ground to form new stems, which then rise up around the old central growth as separate but linked trunks. After a time, they cannot be distinguished from the original tree.
The rune EIWAZ represents the yew, and its numinous capacity for regeneration. It is the one living thing on Earth that could, at least in theory, live indefinitely.
I could not say yes or no, only that my perception is that it is possible for it to be true.
Some years ago, standing cooking, I experienced a strange sensation. For just a split second, I seemed to be standing in an entirely different kitchen, sparse, dark, above a courtyard. There was sunlight coming in at the open door from which I knew there was a flight of steep, narrow steps leading down to the courtyard, and I was wondering where Pietro had got to.
NB The name of the present Il Matrimonio is not Pietro. It is sometimes Mr Hissy (the man is a Libra subject but he is practically a Scorpio, and don’t I know it, but today he’s being good – just slithered in with a cup of tea.)
I have to say, I’m not keen on the idea of reincarnation. Of course we are all recycled material. Life on Earth is 4.5 billion years old, and we are just the current manifestations of it. In that sense, it would be unscientific NOT to believe in reincarnation.
I don’t hugely welcome the idea of repeating the human experience, doing everything again, exactly. And this is not meant as a complaint. I live with pain, and have done for many years now, but in many other respects I’ve done anything but draw the short straw.
I am pretty sure of this though. Whatever happens, it won’t be my choice. Life works in mysterious ways. I strongly sense, based on some rather strange experiences, that our consciousness is not extinguished at the time of bodily death, and that our departure is a process that can take days or longer. The tradition of the Wake was a wise one. We’d do well to bring it back.
There are other ways in which we live on, such as ‘returning’ in a descendent who looks like us, or who shares certain very particular qualities. Perhaps, therefore, reincarnation is race memory at work; the ultimate expression of ancestry.
Do we come back as our evolving selves as the Buddhists think? I’m not someone who’s going to rule it out. There have been too many extremely strange, compelling and quite convincing stories. READ HERE
Could it be that some people return quicker than others depending on their need?
Let’s talk about a very sad reading I once did for a young lady who told me her brother had recently died. This was a reading done by email. I had never met the lady.
I asked how he had died and she replied that he had in fact killed himself.
Her questions were:
Where was he now?
How was he, now?
I needed time to think about this one, as you can well imagine, and when I sat down to it, I drew the Sun card from The Gilded Tarot by Ciro Marchetti.
I find it a very useful deck. However, this card below, drawn from the Waite tradition, better illustrates and exemplifies what arose from that reading..
This is a card of life itself, and joy and of childhood. And of innocence and animals. Things in their natural state. You can see this for yourself, looking at this card. In other decks, those meanings are not necessarily so clear.
The appearance of this card suggested to me that wherever he was, whatever he was, he was like a child again, that he didn’t remember his death, not at all, or the darkness that drove him to it. Because this is a card of births…I felt he may even return again. Very soon in fact.
Bless his soul. He was a child again. I seemed to see him kicking about in a puddle. Sometimes he was too deeply asleep, and knew nothing, remembered nothing as one might generally, and naturally expect from the dead. But at other times, while facing away from this Earth, shown behind him, he was this child, kicking at a puddle, quietly engrossed and at ease with himself. But soon he would join the queue to return. And this is at present, a queue under pressure. For the two going out of human existence every second of today, four are coming in. The unborn are banging on the gates of the docks. What’s the limit of on the shipping lanes..
Why would he come back so soon, assuming if was ‘him’? unfinished business? Another chance? A wound to be healed?
I do not know. How could I? But I sensed news of a coming birth. This news looked or should I say, felt, as if it was coming soon. Bizarre as it might have seemed, I go with the flow in readings, and I wondered if it might even be him, coming back for a fresh go.
About three weeks after this I heard back from the lady, an email, rather excited, saying she had just learned her sister was expecting a baby. She might, she joked, be her own brother’s auntie this time around.
I could only hope it offered some kind of comfort, however peculiar, for a truly terrible grief. Because not all griefs are equal, some are worse than others.
These are mysteries beyond me. All I can say is, I wonder.
A sample reading demonstrating these cards in action.
Anonymous Question on Quora: Can Anyone Help, Please?
The person’s question was ‘Is My Boyfriend a sociopath?’ I drew The Ace of Pentacles.
Their Second question was “Will I ever get pregnant?” I drew Ace of Pentacles again.
Their Third question was “Is my bf being truthful to me?” I drew The Hermit.
Images from The Gilded Tarot by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti
Goodness. These are loaded questions with much anxiety attached. And no- one likes to bear discouraging news but these questions reflect discouragement, to say the least. Hearing what you don’t want to hear is the risk you run in consulting with oracles, while sometimes, in reading for ourselves we might be too close to the question, and struggle to see the wood for the trees.
Based solely on these cards, no further cards drawn; I sense this man is not a sociopath. Very far from it. He seems a quiet person. Perhaps cool, withdrawn and ungenerous in communications. How kind or loving a person he is, or how good under pressure I can’t assess based on these cards alone. He’s probably OK with animals, at least. They don’t demand conversation.
Whether he is generally truthful, a card from the suit of Pentacles is not generally indicative of deceit. It may still denote a charmless misery guts or control freakery; someone who may be aloof, mean, miserly, grumpy, greedy or selfish at times, but it is not associated with deceit or active, purposeful malice or cruelty. And sociopath is a strong word indicative of cruelty, whether verbal or going beyond that.
This person, based on these cards, tell the odd lie to safeguard what he feels is his necessary space. He may fib if if he feels pushed.
The question you have not asked, but which is an elephant in the room would seem to be; do you want to keep him, and and if you do, why?
The Hermit clearly suggests it may be wise to take time out, let go, go silent, quietly release him to go his own way. No need for a scene, no need to spell it out. Just see if it does a natural death once you step right back.
That way you will get to see what he then does or does not do to retrieve the situation. And then you can decide how to respond.
At the very least, have a change of scene, go somewhere quiet, a walk in the park. There seems to be a substantial money issue between you; whether this is out in the open or not, with one or the other of you possibly not grasping a basic nettle; a financial nettle. Do you both work?
The Ace of Pentacles suggest there will very likely be a child for you at some future time while The Hermit warns you against pregnancy at this time, and certainly in these circumstances.
You are being warned here, and very clearly, not to set or fall into a trap, forcing any issue between you. If he isn’t forthcoming, won’t meet you half way, it may be that he doesn’t want the same things you want, at least, not at this time. If he says that he doesn’t, believe him. If he is withdrawn, there is some problem.
Your questions do not bode well for your confident future together. What is coming across is your doubt and mistrust. He may be a sociopath, he may be a liar, you suggest. These are angry questions. Why do you want him? The Ace of Pentacles suggests not only a money issue but perhaps an age or maturity issue, especially in conjunction with the Hermit. Is he quite a bit older than you?
The Ace often signifies a new job, sometimes a new home. I sense you will have the home you wish for one day, but you may need to walk alone awhile between now and that time, and if so, it will be all to the good, even if it does not feel that way right now.
I hope there is something here that you can use for the best.
The cover image for this post is the Three of Cups from the Gilded Tarot by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti. It signifies rejoicing, parties, friendships and news of weddings and births.
Il Matrimonio had answered the phone to lovely Jane from the community physiotherapy team, coming to rehabilitate little old moi because I surely need it, pesky auto-immune joint pain sh*te. Jane had called to arrange a visit for today, Thursday, during the afternoon. This morning, I asked Il Matrimonio what time she was coming. He didn’t know. Some time during the afternoon.
‘You mean you didn’t agree any kind of time slot?’ said I.
Hiss-grunt (he was busy on his keyboard) ‘No.’
If it had mattered, I’d have made a call to clarify. As it was, this was an opportunity to test my pendulum with a little game. A clockwise swing indicates a yes answer to a question, and an anti-clockwise swing indicates no. The more vigorous the swing, the more emphatic the answer.
So I asked, would Jane arrive 12-1? Negative
1-2 ? Negative
2-3 ? Negative
3-4 ? Affirmative
Jane called at 3.29 to say she be with us in the next few minutes and arrived at 3.34, escorted in by a beaming Il Matrimonio, charm personified (He was born under the Chinese sign of The Snake and one can tell, and I was born under the sign of The Rabbit and maybe one can tell, by the rabbiting.)
What would have been even better would be to have got it down to a 5 minute block, but my pendulum suggested she would arrive at 3.20 making me 15 minutes out.
Practise makes perfect? I am far from expert at this. Pendulum divination (and you can use a ring on a string, no need to go and buy a pendulum though they are nice, sometimes very beautiful objects) is at once very simple and treacherous.
An accurate result depends on the person doing the divination maintaining a calm, disinterested attitude of curiosity, without wishful thinking or anxiety attached. You can sway the swing, very easily. Test it for yourself by asking a question while thinking how much you want the answer to be yes or no. You will almost certainly, unless you turn yourself to stone or steel, see the swing you want to see. Or perhaps it’s more like turning yourself into a sponge; the oracular mind is a sensate but neutral and completely uninvolved sponge. If you care about the matter in hand, it is not easy.
Buongiorno is an Italian global telecom company, offering a range of Tarot and other ‘fortune-telling’ apps. And as a general observation in response to an earlier comment, that only uneducated Italians go to fortune-tellers; it is not only the uneducated or less educated of any country or nation who use such services.
I am not a fortune-teller, I work more as a psychic advisor, but all sorts of people have come for readings.
These have included university lecturers and school teachers as well as people working in professional and highly skilled jobs, dentists, vets, writers, accountants, hoteliers, artists, management consultants. Customers of this kind of service are as diverse in educational range as readers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
This was written many months ago, amid much public speculation in the psychic community that the flight had been hijacked. My cards could not agree about that. See this sad UPDATE
Theories abound. This is just my take. I looked at this tragedy at the time, as did many practitioners of divination. It is only human nature that out of concern, ‘psychic’ specialists will look at such events through the lens of their particular skill.
The Tarot cards I drew included The Tower (catastrophe, a fall, a collapse), Page of Wands Reversed (spark/fire?) and The King of Cups Reversed (king subject to water/pilot submerged) and Judgement (all in heaven now). The absence of Emperor (government/anti-Government)and Devil (Rage, Evil, ) cards suggested there was no terrorism involved. The Judgement card is also of validation of an idea or a judgement, and may serve to indicate that the reader has interpreted the surrounding cards correctly.
Judgement, from The Gilded Tarot, by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti
Whether a ‘psychic’ has been employed officially on this investigation, it is not going to be publicised if that has been the case, and probably, it has not. This would require official sanction with access to the considerable resources required to follow up on findings, which may or may not prove correct. This would pose considerable PR difficulties. Other comments made on Quora in reply to this question, hostile to the very notion of ‘psychics’, make that abundantly clear.
These people may not be aware of the well established use of map dowsers in various fields, locating potential new sources of water, oil and gas for big organisations and sometimes local authorities. Dowsing, sometimes called ‘water-witching’ is an esoteric, or ‘psychic skill’ which could be described as remote viewing. It probably works on electro-magnetic vibrations sensed by the dowser and it has been used in archaeological exploration with clearly evidenced and documented results.
If all the available technology has failed, anyone able to locate the missing aircraft precisely enough to make a mark on a map, could be one of these people. It would still be a gargantuan task, given the enormous area to be covered. I once helped someone find a diamond ring, missing two years. It was not easy. The only way a reader of cards might tackle a location question on this scale would be to meditate on a given range of locations or options, selecting the most and least likely. Again, this would require active collaboration between government and aviation authorities and the ‘psychic.’
At the time, other readers suggested the aircraft came to land, or was force landed by terrorists etc. They suggested locations. There was and is very little question in my mind, that no-one individual or individuals is to blame for the fate of this aircraft. Accidents do happen. Tragedies do happen. Let Fate take the blame for this one.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Cards are an adjunct not a substitute for judgement, the point of them is their potential…
It’s a ‘how long is a piece of string’ question. I read for people who’ve been using my service on an intermittent basis since I started in 2002. Hopefully, no-one will feel a need to access psychic readings on a regular basis, nor do ethical readers encourage dependency, as an unhealthy situation, not in the best interests of customer or reader.
Some people can become ‘addicted’ to getting readings. That’s not good news, and it’s liable to add to any confusion, especially if readings or readers appear to contradict each other. It’s a potential headache for the reader, a reading can be a potent experience and though it’s rare, it can happen that a customer threatens to become a stalker.
Many readers discourage this behaviour by setting terms on frequency of access. Most readers will operate a personal policy in respect of frequency of readings for the same person. They might well state, also, that they will only read once on a given question or issue. They won’t keep reading on the same issue just because the customer didn’t like the answers first time round.
This could happen. It is a risk you run in requesting a reading. The reader must say what they see, and say what they do not see, if that is the question, sharing their findings with care, never to frighten the customer, but respecting the oracle nonetheless.
Some readers will discourage returns within 6 weeks, others within six months.
There may be exceptions. It might be someone has hit a very bad patch, and is finding readings useful, or is finding comfort and support in readings, intensively perhaps, but only for a short time, where other approaches have not met the need, or are not wanted. Bereavement is one such possible situation. Anyone could hit a patch like this, and not find what they are looking for through doctors or counsellors, or else not wish to use those services. They may not wish to discuss things with family or friends, and might choose a psychic reading as a coping resource.
The High Priestess: a psychic reader, and representative of one’s own intuition; Image from The Golden Tarot by Kat Black, by kind permission of U.S Games Systems.
Another exception I can think of based on my reading experience is when someone is using a particular psychic’s skills for professional or business purposes. I say, particular psychic. It’s such a broad collective term, ‘psychic’, as to be practically meaningless, and not helpful on its own. Potential customers are advised to do some research. Look up the psychic’s website, go by word of mouth. What kinds of question does a particular psychic handle, do they specialise? How do they set out their stall? What is their background?
Business motivated users of psychic services are often operating in a degree of isolation, and perhaps, are bearing heavy responsibilities. It is not that they are emotionally dependent, or likely to become so, however often they use the service, and they will stop using it the minute they don’t see the return on investment they are looking for. They are interested in accessing psychic insights as part of their working arsenal, for strategic and planning purposes.
In Tarot, the absence of a clear positive tends to mean a negative answer.
There are times when all one can ask for is strength. Please give me strength.
And very often the Strength card in the Tarot does just what it says on the tin. Talks about strength; physical, mental, emotional, moral, strategic, economic, and military. Strength of spirit. The courage to initiate, the fortitude to withstand.
Brave as a lion, strong as an elephant.
It’s generally good news, the best kind of reassurance we could hope for if you or a loved one is not well, and this card comes up on the future timeline. The reader is detecting recovery.
Image from The Gilded Tarot, by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti
But this card also correlates to the month of Leo, and this can be the answer to a question, ‘when?’
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 exam.
On the two previous occasions I had asked about the likely outcome, and drawn multiple mixed cards. And she had not passed. 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. Or it wants me to ask a different question, and it’s going to hold back for now, and tell me later.
Sometimes less is more, and it’s better to pull just one card, or two, 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.
I didn’t tell her what the cards said, or failed to say. That they had 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 be ready to 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 only, there are times when the stakes are high, it might be useful to get a sense of the odds.
My daughter asked me do an online sample theory driving test with her last night. To keep her company.
Oh lawd help me now, I thought. And thank goodness I passed it or I’d never have heard the end of it.
Il Matrimonio, her dad, meanwhile, refused to do the test, saying she was a cocky little git, he wasn’t not the one doing his driving test, and she’d better pass the practical exam first time.
I didn’t pass mine first time, way back before I met Il Matrimonio. It took me two goes, and I didn’t have the money for a long while in-between.
And he was the same. He passed on his second attempt, but he thinks to beat us all with the trump card of his having been an army helicopter pilot once upon a time. He flew helicopters for two years in the Army.
And that is indeed quite the trump card. I wouldn’t even want to get in one of those things.
Kudos to him, but still, he chickened out of this one.
Recently, there was a sudden death in the extended family circle. Not close to me, personally, but untimely and deeply sad, and I’d been seeing the Tower card for early June, ever since the end of April and had been holding myself slightly in readiness for unwelcome news. The Tower delivered more bad stuff after this sad event, and it’s still on-going, very sadly but it also did another job, to do with timing.
I asked the Tarot, what day of the week will V’s funeral be held?
I drew The Tower card and said to Il Matrimonio who’d asked. ‘I think it will be on a Tuesday.’
The Tower card corresponds to Mars, god of war, who is Tyr or Tew in Norse mythology, and Tyr gives his name to Tuesday. This ultimate warrior lost his hand in binding the great wolf Fenris, who threatened to eat the world.
Four days later we learned the funeral will be held on Tuesday 1 July.
Tarot and timing is notoriously tricky amongst readers, but there are a number of ways of having a stab at predicting when a thing might happen using the cards.
A dominance of Swords and Wands cards indicate now, soon or quickly. A dominance of Pentacles and Cups cards indicates later, gradually, delays.
Days of the Week correlations:
Monday The Moon card Tuesday, The Tower (Tyr’s/Tew’s day) Wednesday, The Magician (Odin’s/Woden’s day) Thursday, The Wheel of Fortune Friday, The Empress, Friday (Freya’s day) Saturday, (Saturn’s Day) The World card Sunday, the Sun card.
‘Psychics should be licenced,’ Katie-Ellen’s response.
The Question: We require hairdressers to be licensed, why not psychics? They should have to demonstrate actual psychic powers, by some process such as JREF (James Randi Educational Foundation) could design.
A Reader’s Response:
I follow the questioner’s reasoning. As it stands it is ‘caveat emptor.’ How best to protect consumers of such services? The solution proposed however would be neither meaningful nor workable. It demonstrates a lack of understanding.
Whatever process designed by a party that has already mad up its mind as to the outcomes, as is the case with the James Randi Educational Foundation, will be designed to affirm its own position.
The best, and in fact, only true judge of value in a psychic reading is the client. Readings generally, though not necessarily, takes place in private and in confidence, which the client is free to break, of course.
Stage psychics are up there to stand or fall for everyone to see; brave souls, whatever your view of them.
They are unusual and genuinely gifted communicators for the most part, I would say.
BUT whether a medium is communicating with the minds of the dead, OR is telepathically communicating with the living minds of those who knew the deceased, I would not presume to pronounce.
Either way, it is a wonder what can emerge. I am myself, not a medium, but clients have sometimes told me I’ve said something a dead loved one used to say, using exactly their turn of phrase, when there has been no spirit in the room that I have been aware of. I have tended to think, myself, that this happened out of my intense connection in that moment, with the living person sitting right there with me. It is telepathy, and even cats and dogs demonstrate degree of telepathy all the time, as do people, there is nothing really for anyone to get too excited about.
The Moon Card from the Universal Waite
To perform at his or her best, the psychic needs to relax on the one hand, and concentrate on the other. The ‘best’, most startlingly accurate insights arise from reading in this state. I once read for two volunteers off the street, reading for them individually in the presence of a journalist. It was for a feature in a magazine. The volunteers were pleased with their readings, but the presence of the journalist was off-putting.
I said less than I would otherwise have done, because it wouldn’t have been right for these people to have had their privacy breached in such a fashion in a national circulation magazine.
In this work, the quality of the reading you get will reflect the reader’s own personal and professional capabilities and background, while no resting on laurels is possible and reputation is everything. The client can judge at once, the accuracy, relevance and meaningfulness of what the psychic is saying to them, about them, and their present situation. In respect of forecasts, only time will tell as to accuracy. Confidence in forecasts is based on what is said about the clients present circumstances, and past events.
Often the client provides feedback. Sometimes they don’t, or might do so a long time afterwards. Many today leave feedback on-line, as well as by word of mouth. Free advertising is invaluable to the psychic, while negative feedback can offer a clear warning to potential clients. Do some research before booking a reading and trust yourself in choosing a reader you feel you could relate to, offering a clearly stated service that matches what you are looking for.
A visit to a licensed premises such as a cinema to see a film licensed for release is no guarantee of satisfaction or entertainment. Visiting a trained and qualified counsellor is not any guarantee either, of any meaningful result, and may not be cheap. (I have myself, received training and certification in counselling, to know the difference between a reading and a counselling session.)
One lady I read for, told me she had attending counselling once a week for six years, and said she felt she had got more help from a reading than from the counselling. The counsellor was qualified and suitably professionally endorsed and indemnified, no doubt. What nail did that counsellor not hit on the head? The reading might not have helped either, but you see the point. Horses for courses. This was a young lady, struggling with very severe psoriasis and associated depression for many years. I was a patient in the same hospital myself at the time, and did not offer her a reading, nor did I charge anything for the two hours spent, though I was by this point working professionally .
A problem here is that James Randi is not an impartial, disinterested party. His interest is in prosecuting an agenda. This is not compatible with advancing understanding, nor with promoting excellence of customer service. Who would be qualified to do the licencing? The Office of Fair Trading?
I am inclined to scepticism, myself. I think of it as common sense.
The self-avowed ‘committed skeptic’ is not, I think, a true sceptic.
They have already taken up a stance, and this is not compatible with genuine inquiry. They are more a new, secular kind of Missionary.
If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of psychics, more uncomfortable than interested, well, it is not everyone’s cup of tea.
It is not like going to the bank manager or the doctor or the dentist or the solicitor.
Use your judgement. Stay away. Do not risk your valuable time and money.
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.’
Il Matrimonio dreaded the schlepp from Lytham to Dover one Wednesday afternoon. He particularly dreaded the return journey on Thursday evening much as he loves and worships his car. I call her Black Betty. Skip if you don’t like this rock classic.
The journey down proved tedious in the extreme, starting with delays at Luton, which persisted one way and another the whole of the rest of the way down.
He rang on Thursday morning to ask me to look in the cards for clues as to the optimal time to set off on his return journey. This was shaping up ominously. An accident at the Dartford Tunnel had been backing up the roads all the way back to Sevenoaks.
He thought he might wait until 9.00PM before setting off, what did the Tarot suggest?
Tarot felt he should set off earlier. ! had my cards beside the phone, loose in a heap and all facing down. I swirled them about with my free hand and pulled out four cards.
Card 1 represented outcome of Departure at 6.00 PM
Card 2 represented outcome of Departure at 7.00 PM
Card 3 represented outcome of Departure at 8.00 PM
Card 4 represented outcome of Departure at 9.00 PM
Against 7.00 PM I drew the Two of Swords. A lady sits, blindfolded, holding two crossed swords. If you leave at 7.00 I told him, you’ll have a largely clear run, but there will be one slower patch, maybe roadworks.
If you leave at 8.00, I said, looking at the Ace of Swords, you should have a straight clear run, or at least, the best you’ll get.
That was because this card represents a) a good decision and b) represents a sword that cuts a Gordion Knot, or to put it less politely, cuts through the crap.
Il Matrimonio by no means acts on all such suggestions coz we all have free will, innit?
On this occasion, he had a nap, set off at 7.40 PM and arrived home at 00.20 (Two of Swords)
Although as he had set out, Tarot’s rival, the great god, Tom-Tom, had predicted an arrival time of 00.45.
There were no jams or problems whatsoever during the 330 mile drive home. Tarot beat Tom-Tom. Yay.
An Exploration of the Shadow Side of Lost Dudeists Everywhere: Astrology, Tarot, Metaphysics, Tinfoil Hat Conspiracy Stuff, Other Weird Stuff, and sometimes Fertility Goddess Icons (Scantily Dressed Pinup Girls)