‘Miaow!’ Said The Tarot.

Tarot says ‘Miaow’ A Tarot reading for a cat??? Oh yes. I kid you not.

ktln at home june 2015 1

A few summers ago we had a broken down old patio replaced. Sam, who did the work for us, asked me to look in my tarot cards….on behalf of his cat, Bilbo.

Sam lived alone with his cat, and there were no problems so far as Sam was aware, but he wondered how his cat was doing.

What might Bilbo want to say to him, given an opportunity?

Mini Reading for Bilbo

(Performed In Absentia)

Card One: The 8 of Swords.  Entrapment, frustration, chagrin, damp. Swords is a suit referring to sharp things and clear things…like windows.

My feeling about this card prompted me to put it to Sam that Bilbo had a difficulty in getting outside whenever he wanted to. Sam confirmed this to be the case. He lived in a downstairs flat. Bilbo usually had to go in and out by means of the sash window. There were no cat flaps, so if Sam was not there, Bilbo’s options were to be inside or outside.

Card Two:  The Page of Coins Reversed. This is a card of Earth, and of small amounts of money, while Pages often refer to pets and also small items and objects.

Bilbo seemed to be saying to me he wanted a pot of earth. This prompted me to ask Sam, what were the toilet arrangements for Bilbo? Sam explained that he kept a litter tray in the flat. What was it lined with? Pellets or what? Shredded newspaper. And just outside the flat window, there was a shrub in a pot, which Bilbo liked to sit in and scratch at.  There was no garden in front of the flat, only an area of hard standing. I therefore suggested Bilbo might like  some  nice deep ‘diggable’ cat litter for his tray, and maybe a ‘play tray’ full of soil outside. Oe more shrubs in pots.

Card Three: The Page of Cups…a card of kindness, and love, and childhood, also love letters or visits.

Bilbo did not think in terms of love, not having the words. Nonetheless, like a baby that cannot yet speak, he loved Sam, and a very little affection in return made him very happy. Just as one would expect, Bilbo lived in the moment. This card also suggested that he was physically in good condition (Cups is a healing suit), and that he was, in general, happy and content.  Cups being the water suit, he probably liked fishy tastes (not all cats do, birding is more natural to cats than fishing.) This was confirmed.

I asked, what about these love letters or visits I was sensing?

What about them? Sam wanted to know. I thereupon drew:-

Card Four: The Queen of Cups Reversed. Indicative of a lady with certain qualities of self-indulgence, or to feelings of unhappiness, a lady who did not reciprocate affection?

The reading was for Bilbo and purely complimentary, done over coffee. Therefore in answer to Sam’s question, I confined myself to asking whether a blonde lady visited his flat sometimes? The answer was yes. I then asked, had he noticed that Bilbo made himself scarce when this lady was in the flat? Yes, he had noticed.  Bilbo, for whatever reason,  did not view this lady with favour. Did this surprise Sam? He thought a moment then said, no.

I heard from him a few weeks later, that Bilbo had a new kind of cat litter now. The lady was unlikely to be around again. What Bilbo had been picking up or reflecting had been Sam’s own feelings about the situation with the lady. This figured, absolutely. It made perfect sense, as pets are sensitive to atmosphere and ‘their’ human’s mood.

Ethically dubious, do you think, reading for the puss cat without his express permission?

Purr-lease.

The Tarot is self regulating. If Bilbo had not wished to be observed or shall we say, eavesdropped on, and the Tarot had therefore not wished to read for him, any feedback obtained would have been nonsensical to Sam.

I’ve learned that the Tarot does not disdain to speak of whatever concerns the person approaching it.  The Tarot’s an oracle of the human heart and warmed by human hands.

The image below is of a watercolour drawing I did many years ago, a portrait commission of a cat called Tuppenny.

Until next time:)

The Death Card: The Angel & The Hamster

Death Card To The Rescue…a true tarot hamster tale.

angel of death 

The Angel of Death, by Evelyn de Morgan.

 

The Death card has in recent years been distanced from death as a physical event by the Tarot profession. The motivation has largely been so as not to frighten or disempower anyone. The Death card has been repackaged with an emphasis upon its power and value as Transition or Transformation.

There is much to be said in favour of this change of emphasis. Life is full of change and flux. Circumstances change, die, evolve. Winter comes. Sometimes a situation is over-ripe for change, and the appearance of the Death card will identify this as a good time to let go and move on, which is helpful to know if decisions are called for. I often draw it in a guise that the querent finds entirely welcome.

But Death is inescapable. It walks amongst us in Life, and is the agent of much of our greatest grief and fear. It is not our enemy, except as the thief of desires unfulfilled. Nature wants Death. It has engineered it for Life In The Grand Scheme.

But it’s the ultimate gateway to the unknown, perhaps to the extinguishing of our uniqueness, our personality? I think our consciousness survives the moment of bodily death at least for a few days. Where it goes afterwards is not for anyone to know for sure.

In my own experience, the Death card is actually not the sole predictor of human physical death in the Tarot. I tend to see instead multiple and repeated combinations including the Fool Reversed, Tower, Judgement dignified or reversed, 4 Swords, 6 Swords, Ace Swords Reversed, Strength, Star Reversed and the Sun reversed.

But I have seen the Death card in readings where the card has done exactly what it says on the tin, detecting a recent death, or presaging one. Tackling or avoiding these discussions when the cards raise them requires careful judgement.  Readers must do no harm, and can get it wrong. Humility is the corollary of respect.

But the Death card can be a friendly angel. One afternoon two summers ago I drew this card, and it appeared to be referring to somebody in a state of childhood (The 6 of Cups)

I immediately got up to go and check on the hamster. I associate the suit of Cups not only with childhood, children, nostagia, happy times, but with animals, who live so pignantly in the moment, asking little.

The  hamster had recently had a fall. She did not fall far, she tumbled down the back of the sofa on to a cushion. Her landing was soft and Il Matrimonio laughed because it looked comical but something about the way she picked herself up worried me.

Bam-Bam the Bold, Beautiful and occasionally Bad (a toe nipper in her youth) had been ill two days after this fall, and we had thought she was on her way out.  Tears in our eyes, hankies at the ready, spritzing the air with Rescue Remedy  we took turns to hold her for more than three hours.

Then ANTICLIMAX. All at once the small personage decided she was better, and scrambled off. She was bright as a button next day, trying to climb the wine rack (that’s my girl) and chomping my Gombrich’s History of Art on the lowest book shelf (in hardback)

We were delighted of course, but puzzled. She was my tenth hamster and I’d never seen such a recovery from prostration. The little things don’t  ‘do’ illness.

So now, drawing the Death card ten days after this event, an awful thought struck me. I headed upstairs as fast as I could go to the Hamster Palace and found her in great distress, stumbling about. She tried to evade my hand and knowing she was sexist, as animals often are, I knew she would prefer my husband’s smell, I mean, scent, and went to fetch his pyjama top to use for getting hold of her.

I held her cuddled upright in this for two hours while she rested, unmoving. Later that evening she was sufficiently recovered to eat a small square of  brown toast with acacia honey (good for rodents with diarrhea) I offered her cooled chamomile tea, which she first refused at first but later took a real shine to. I had read this would calm her and possibly offer pain relief.

Speaking with the vet on the telephone. I wondered if Bam-Bam might have had a hernia of her diaphragm. If she did, then when it popped out that would explain her struggling to breathe. When it popped back into its rightful position,  it would explain why she recovered and why holding her almost vertically against my body produced recovery, gravity doing its work. The vet thought a hernia highly likely after the fall. But he had nothing to offer that would not involve distress for an animal so small.  And at 18 months, she was at a classic age for hamster health problems.

The third attack will be her last, I told my husband. (The 3 of Swords)

She left us two weeks later. The Angel of Death took her away in a kindly fashion with nothing of Swords in the manner of it.  I was deeply grateful to the Tarot for the forewarning that sent me to her when she was in distress. Even animals who are solitary by nature, will learn to look for company and when she went, she was not alone.

Bam-Bam The Bold is buried under the pink rose in the back garden with her predecessor, the curtain climbing, mighty-for-her-size but ever sweet-tempered Coco the Courageous. There are Dog roses. I say, let there be Ham Roses or any kind of animal roses we want. Only animals? Well, so are we. It’s all Life, and what would a heaven be without them, anyway?

I’ll still swat a mosquito though, as soon as look at it, and think komodo dragons are entirely disgusting, from which I deduce I am not ready for Enlightenment.

Until next time 🙂