It can be confusing for potential customers to know what a psychic reader actually does. Often a caller has not looked at your website, and I may find myself explaining that I do not work as a medium. No, I tell them. I do not ‘get the other side.’ And I don’t. I really don’t, but I have experienced things, some rather odd, that mean I don’t like to send people away entirely empty-handed either if I can refer them or help in some other way.
One night not long ago I was rung by a lady wanting a medium, ideally to come to her house 20 miles from where I live. I explained that I was not a medium, and she said she needed help desperately, because something was going on in the house, terrifying her, her partner and the children. Someone – a woman- a ghost?- had spoken to one of the children. Now, at 8 in the evening, they were all huddled in the sitting room, scared even to go to the toilet.
This wouldn’t do. And yes, fear is contagious but pooh-poohing would absolutely not do. I said I’d make enquiries but meantime stated emphatically that there was absolutely no danger. The whispering lady may have been a dream, but whatever it was, she meant no harm. She had said only loving things, hadn’t she, to the child? For now, I suggested the lady put a comedy film on the telly, switch all the lights on, make a noise and dominate the house. Assert her claim to the space right now, going straight to the kitchen to make hot drinks for everyone.
A few quick cards did include the Death card reversed, indicating there may indeed have been something ghostly either in the house OR in the memory of someone in the family. But what is a ghost anyway? A sentient being, knowing exactly what it is doing, or the manifestation, seemingly external, of a memory with great power and atmosphere attached?
If the children saw that she wasn’t frightened, perhaps they’d take their cue from her, and then maybe the strange manifestations would also calm down. I felt there was stress in the house and one of the children in particular was highly sensitive to atmosphere, but sensed this was some kind of stress related psychic family event rather than a haunted house situation.
Later I called back with the name of a reputable medium able to make house visits.The medium and I have spoken subsequently and I was glad to connect professionally with such a nice, capable, cheerful sounding sensible person for potential future referral. The medium told me that in her opinion, the house was not of itself haunted, but the lady had worries and had suffered losses I won’t mention here. The whispering ghost was, according to the medium, the children’s grandmother.
However unwelcome this manifestation, her whispered words to the frightened child suggested her care and love live on, at least in the memory of a close by living person not aware of the power of their own mind ….
A Styxian Journey: The Six of swords from The Gilded Tarot by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti
On another long ago occasion someone asked me, ‘has my father gone to heaven yet?’
The funeral had been held the previous day. This was a loaded question, even though I hold no religious belief, nor a brief for or against heaven. What does it mean, ‘heaven’? What does ‘yet’ mean? I could just have said yes, and that would have been the easy thing but contrary to what ‘skeptics’ might expect, a sincere reader will not ‘diss’ his or her oracle by making up answers. People do NOT pay just to hear my personal opinions. Access to oracular Tarot is what they have come for and that is what they get.
Tarot drew the Three of Swords and Queen of Swords Reversed. These indicated that her father had been at loggerheads with his wife for a long time, which the client confirmed. Here then, I concluded, I was reading the dead, not as a medium, but through the telepathy of the living person who had known him. That’s what Tarot does, operates via telepathy – in this case, via my telepathy with the living person sitting with me whereby I intuitively accessed her own understanding of the person who had passed on.
The indications to me were that he had been terribly frightened at the imminence of death but the moment, when it came, was so easy, he hadn’t fully cottoned on yet that it had actually happened. He only knew that he felt better but strange and different. I felt quite sure he was still in the ‘valley’, but he wasn’t frightened and he was doing all right. He was getting there, wherever or however it is we go.
She could talk to him, I suggested. He might still be in hearing range. Tell him out loud what had happened and tell him he was fine, and so was everyone else at home. (His wife too. Loggerheads or not, there was still warmth of feeling there.) This idea did not seem to disturb my visitor. She smiled and said she would probably do that; it seemed quite in character for him to take a while to make up his mind to go.
Death is as individual as it is universal. And while the oracular doesn’t fudge the inescapable, that death may be uncomfortable or even painful; an anxious, confusing or downright frightening experience, there is something beyond or afterwards, there is indeed something outside our ken, more easily experienced than described. Humanity has known this from the beginning, and religion does not come into it, though it rose out of it.
We could have stayed immortal, had we been content to continue as primordial soup reproducing ad infinitum by identikit cell division. But we weren’t. We, the current denizens arisen from that protean soup, got bored and demanded a new deal. The soup began to mutate new programmes and to differentiate and create amazing and interesting plants and animals, but this demanded unimaginable feats of energy, space and organisation. And this in turn demanded boundaries so that Life came up with the solution of Death, and while Death might seem the ultimate antagonist, anathema to us in our highly realised state of individual awareness, we should at least give it credit for letting us out of the soup, and after all, that was always the deal.
So thanks, Death. I am grateful to be me today, not heaving in the soupy-gloop, bored right out of my tiny multitudinous nucleii. And I will try and remember that next time I am fed up, or Il Matrimonio annoys me or I don’t feel like cooking the tea. Today it’s casserole – rather primordial in fact, but I predict it won’t have enough time to get bored and mutate.
The lines on these roads are not where we paint them. There is more map than there are roads on the map, and the map itself is subject to parameters not proven.
Tarot interpretation works on real life synchronicity, but what is synchronicity?
Definition as supplied by Merriem-Webster: the coincidental occurrence of events and especially psychic events (as similar thoughts in widely separated persons or a mental image of an unexpected event before it happens) that seem related but are not explained by conventional mechanisms of causality —used especially in the psychology of C. G. Jung
Classically this card refers to reaping a reward for hard work or patience and suggests that there will be a good return on a long term investment, but no quick returns. If it comes out reversed I’d be sensing a future poor performance or loss on your current or proposed investment. If you were a buyer, I might be sensing not to buy in this or that product range as not representing a good acquisition. It may either not sell well, or take forever to shift.
The client was asking about the shifting of retail stock, but while money was the presenting issue, and as often happens, a card detail suddenly leaped out at me.
‘Do you have sheep living behind your house?’ I asked.
‘Yes’, he said, ‘a field at the back.’
And this is typical of what Jung meant by synchronicity. Does it mean I enquire about sheep every time this card appears in a reading?
No. It absolutely doesn’t. It just so happened that on this occasion, it did.
Would it appear in a reading done for a sheep farmer?
It ought to.
If I was thinking of buying stocks or shares and this came up, would I go for it? Probably, depending on the surrounding cards.
A friend came to stay recently and brought a present for my birthday. We thought it might be fun for me to try and guess what was inside the packaging using my pendulum and cards. It was roughly cylindrical, not too heavy, rolled in bubble wrap and brown paper.
I held my pendulum over it.
‘Are the contents of this package edible?’ The pendulum span anticlockwise. No.(sob)
‘Are the contents of this package paper?’ No. ‘Ceramic?’ No.’ Wood?’ Yes.
I drew the Three of Pentacles, a card signifying progress in business and pride in one’s work, and from The Gilded Tarot by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti.
‘Is it a craft item? I asked my friend.
‘Yes.’ she said, smiling from ear to ear, as ducks suddenly quacked outside on the pond and Il Matrimonio ran to the balcony to see there if there was a fox. There sometimes is. Then I drew the Six of Swords, a card of personal progress, solemn journeys and quests for learning.
Was it something to do with a river or riverbank, I wondered. Was it a little wooden boat? Or a frog? I like frogs.
‘No’. My friend said, smiling, ‘But you are warm. Now open it!
And inside it was – this! A wooden Indian Runner Duck. What a little character.
Well, I never. No wonder she’d been laughing to herself every time we’d fed the ducks, knowing what she had in store to give me.
Now, that is what I call a friend. And psychically, here was that darn Jungian synchronicity thing at work again.
Good try, Tarot my friend. Not a bull’s eye this time, but a respectable attempt, and this often is how Tarot works in a reading, too, regardless of the classical card meanings, sparking ideas directly off the imagery.
This is how, while Tarot presents a great academic study, anyone can read it, who likes to use associative thinking.
Carl Jung speculated that the Tarot works according to the principle of ‘synchronicity’- that psychic insights are triggered by apparently random and yet meaningful co-incidence, which he thought might be explained by Quantum Mechanics.
This Tarot king represents a man who is patient, kind, industrious. He is the salt of the earth. I said to the client that I thought he was a manager, and the work was practical in nature but also involved communication. It demanded precision or the ‘thing’ wouldn’t work but I didn’t ‘see’ as yet see what his job might actually be.
‘I might get at it though,’ I said, ‘now that my computer is talking directly to your computer.’
What I meant by that was, I felt we were on the same wavelength.
‘But that IS my job! I work for the government. That’s what I do…I make computers talk to other computers.’
Last time here on True Tarot Tales, the Moon card caused me to enquire about whether there had been a recent instance close by, of an upset tummy, possibly food poisoning, and it turned out, just as the Moon card classically depicts two dogs barking at the moon, two of the client’s dogs had been unwell after retrieving a ball from a dirty ditch.
Infection and disease may be flagged up by an appearance by the Moon card.
And so can flooding. I first saw this manifesting in my own cards during a Skype reading of 2010 for a client whose father lives in Pakistan, and her father had had to move house after flooding.
November 13, reading for someone in respect of a property in Hawick and the prospects for sale, I felt it might sell in August/September 2016, but, having drawn the Moon card, I asked the client, was there a river close to the property, and if there was, did it flood? Because I sensed flooding as a barrier to sale.
I was told the property is a top floor apartment, and is close to The Teviot but it had not flooded during the time the client had lived there (not many years) Nor had the client been aware or deterred by the proximity of the river when buying.
But, and very unfortunately for all affected, and by no means for the first time in its history Hawick flooded badly in early December.
I still sense my client may move home in 2016, I draw the Six of Swords which indicates progress and very often a domestic relocation, and certainly within the next two years, but the pathway may be more complex than anticipated when the property went on the market, and may, suggests the strategic Seven of Swords, involve the unwanted complication of a letting arrangement.
And, let us hope this is unduly doomful, no reader is infallible; I see signs we may well not be done with this Moon business yet. I draw the Moon card again, when asking about UK weather into February. Greater accuracy would demand a regional or even more break down, but there seems to be more ‘warm air’ coming where we don’t want it; the King of Wands Reversed.
A skeptical friend, who lives in Cumbria joked recently, that of all the religions he doesn’t believe in, the one he could perhaps go for is the Norse gods, and he may perhaps, even ask Freyr for help. Maybe it’s not such a crazy idea, and this morning, there is snow lying here on the Lancashire coast. But whatever you do, ask politely.
A client had parted company from a boyfriend . This was indicated by the appearance of the King of Cups Reversed, and Page of Cups Reversed. The lady said it had happened two years previously, and there had been no particular boyfriends since. Two years was a long time for a lovely lady so young. Why was he still showing up in her cards?
I drew the Ten of Swords. Nasty card! and asked her if she was prone to headaches, neck pain or even migraines, and she said, yes, it was a problem sometimes, usually stress related, but she had started taking a targeted multi supplement, and was hopeful of improvements.
Had someone also let her down quite badly, I asked, because the Ten of Swords can indicate a sense of betrayal, as if, you know, a stinker of a headache isn’t enough to be going on with.
The ‘King of Cups Rev’ had done a bit of a cowardly dirty, but when and how might she meet someone new?
The client was in her early twenties, a young professional, and very pleasant as well as of being of a very pleasant appearance. But the cards were full of resistance. Only the Judgement card indicated she would meet someone worth meeting, within the next 20 months, perhaps sooner or later, but 20 months was a long time, and why was this? A few changes seemed to be in order, as suggested by the row of negative cards that were ‘blocking the way.’
There was a lack or loss of confidence, and a high degree of personal integrity by which, naturally, she measured others, combined with a lack of ‘bounce’ which could become a barrier to approach, or to change and opportunity.
The message I got was, here was an excellent girl, deserving of the best but perhaps she needed to ‘lighten up.’ The men most likely to approach her at present were ones she was not likely to fancy, while the ones she might fancy might steer away of a sensed earnestness. Go lightly. Safety first, but then a bit more easy come, easy go. But it is far easier to see this about someone, than for them to see it, and decide they can do something about it.
Tarot thought it might help, to paint a picture of the previous unworthy swain, such that she could let go with a sense of satisfaction, because the terms of parting had been dictated by him not her, and there was a lingering sense of injustice.
‘Anyway’, I told her, as prompted by appearance of the King of Cups Reversed, ‘you were well shot of him. He was boring!’
She looked startled, then began to smile. ‘Yes,’ she said. ‘He was, a bit!’
I drew The Knight of Pentacles Reversed. The image is from the Gilded Tarot by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti.
Positive associations: steadfast, patient, reliable, salt of the earth, rooted, industrious, green-fingered, constructive in endeavour, stamina.
Negative Associations: conservative, lazy, lethargic, mean, dull, two speeds; go slow and stop, greedy.
Drawn reversed, in its negative aspects, I felt prompted to say, ‘and he had a thing about not eating his greens.’
She laughed outright, ‘Oh, NO! That’s true. He really didn’t like his greens.’
‘He will get fat while he is still young,’ suggested the Tarot, ‘and quite likely, lose his hair very early. Which wouldn’t matter, if it wasn’t for the rest of it, that he’s boring, introverted and selfish in a quiet way, and a bit sneaky and chicken. And is going to get fat. Completely unworthy of you, in fact, but it doesn’t matter. Time is on your side. It’s all learning.’
‘Oh, you’re GOOD!’ she said, smiling from ear to ear.
A Tarot reader aims to serve. What serves is sometimes whatever acts, in however limited a way, to cut a Gordion Knot.
Until next time 🙂 For more information about readings with me, visit my website HERE
I recommend inquirers to visit my website before booking. This is for their benefit, to make sure I’m the right kind of reader for them. Not every reader offers the same kind of service, and I would far rather lose a booking than disappoint a client’s expectation.
I once took an enquiry over the telephone from an unusually cagey enquirer. He had heard a colleague talking about a recent reading with me, and he wanted a reading, too. I later realized, putting two and two together, this new enquirer had been a police officer. I recommended that he also check out my website, and he did not book at that point, but called again some weeks later, and was startled that I remembered him, greeting him by the first name he had given (which was not, I sensed, his real name)
The client arrived and was polite but continued cagey to the point where it threatened to become counter-productive. I drew The Emperor card confirming what I had already suspected, and asked if he worked for the Government, was he is the civil service, Armed Forces or Police? He replied with some reluctance that he was in the Police, while a further card, the Seven of Swords, elicited that he worked in Fraud investigating.
I’ve read for a few police officers (purely off-duty) and had no problems. This was like pulling teeth, except I’ve never pulled a tooth. It was like pulling up a dandelion, or getting Il Matrimonio to tidy his clothes away.
The Emperor from The Gilded Tarot, by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti
I asked if he had visited the website, as I had suggested, to know how I conducted readings. He had not had time, he said, and I reminded him of what I had said on the phone, that I start readings cold, and expect to deliver ‘psychic’ insights but thereafter, a reading works as a dialogue, and this is how I am able to deliver a useful reading, drilling down on precise particulars.
‘You’re doing OK. Carry on,’ he said smiling, then stonewalled me, leaning back on his chair with his arms folded, letting me know he was alert to my ‘techniques.’
Please do not do this to your reader. Of course any reader with half a brain will tap into social cues when doing readings. Why ever is this considered the sign of a charlatan? A reader with poor observation skills is a social munchkin and unlikely to deliver a meaningful psychic reading either.
I sensed he was hoping for a bit of help, but would not value whatever was not delivered cold. I had already sensed disquiet attached to his marital situation, and said so, but he had so far declined to verify this.
Now I drew the Page of Swords Reversed and said, ‘I sense a legal issue. An unwelcome communication. A letter, an email. Have you received it or are you sending it?
He smiled. ‘Suppose you tell me?’
There was a pause while I drew more cards. I was not at ease. Stonewalling is socially hostile and I needed to make sure my own discomfort did not skew my impressions about the card.
The Page of Swords Reversed may indicate a minor stress as well as a legal document, potentially. (It can also mean a minor surgical procedure, a minor injury with acute pain, a spy or a young person born under an Air sign: Aquarius Gemini or Libra)
From the Universal Waite, by kind permission of US Games
I pulled The Hierophant reversed (marriage problem) and the Seven of Swords Reversed (a card of plain speaking or alternatively; surveillance and covert research)
I had a ‘ping’ moment, took a deep breath and said, ‘Yes or No? Have you, or have you not, recently visited a solicitor with a view to asking about a divorce, but without telling your wife?’
‘Yes,’ he said, and the Tarot proceeded to share its insights surrounding this event and its ramifications past, present and possible future.
That might seem a reasonably specific psychic hit for someone who does not advertise as a clairvoyant (though I am sometimes, and sometimes clairaudient) but he remained unresponsive, politely thanking me for my time when we finished.
It is your time and money, and the reader’s time and energy. Research their service.
During a reading the other day, with a delightful client; charming, brave and resourceful, we looked first at a number of questions focussed on her two businesses. Then the conversation moved to children’s activities and prospects, and in respect of her son, 18, I drew the Four of Cups and said, is this how he’s been sometimes, lately? Fed up, irritable and restless, wanting to do something new but not yet able to decide, or make a start?
The card prompting this question was the Four of Cups, a card commonly nicknamed ‘the bored boy,’ and whether you’re a boy or not, it’s an unpleasant state of mind, even while it’s not exactly a problem you can do nothing about.
So, what might be the path ahead for him? I drew The Eight of Pentacles, and as you can see, it shows an apprentice at work, happily engrossed, so much so, he is burning the midnight oil, watched by a mouse who’s probably hoping for a crumb of his supper.
‘I think he will do well in an apprenticeship, head and hand working together in unity, making or crafting something,’ I said.
He was wondering about something like that, the client said, maybe technical drawing.
Yes! Good choice.
‘What about the RAF?’ I said, ‘I feel it might be worth his while to see whether they’re recruiting.’
‘That’s amazing!’ she said. ‘How did you know? He has been talking about a technical apprenticeship in the RAF.’
OK then, his next port of call is sorted, and if he doesn’t end up there exactly, it will be something of that kind.
The 4 of a bored boy becomes the 8 of a busy boy, and to be busy, is very often to be happy.
Is the word or idea of the RAF anywhere written in the cards? No, of course not. This was just another instance of a word springing out, using a card as a diving board. Gob-shiting, I call it. Such are the various ways of reading the Tarot.
A post written in 2015. Still stands. Will always stand.
Someone asked me once, what did the Tarot say about Usain Bolt and what was happening to him and in him when he ran?
And he’s just done it again. Well done, Usain.
I asked to understand where Usain ‘went’ when he ran…apart, obviously, from heading straight for the finishing line. What, apart from talent and training, was the secret of his success? What was happening when he ran?
And I drew The Wheel of Fortune, the tenth card of the Tarot’s Major Arcana, and was surprised.
I would not have been at all surprised had I drawn The Magician, The Chariot, Strength, the Ace or Knight of Wands, or The World.
Why was I surprised?
The Wheel is the gambler’s card, the card of taking risks. So far so good. But it is is all about riding the ups and downs in Life. What rises must inevitably fall later, and vice versa. It is essentially impersonal or supra-personal, denoting things which can’t be controlled, when an athlete is very much about control. Self-control. But actually, the Wheel is a potent if unexpected answer.
Self- control is nothing without the gift of timely, well-aimed self-RELEASE.
So then, Usain runs as The Supra-Personal embodied. He releases himself from himself. That thing he does, signifying a ‘bolt into the blue’ helps him release himself from himself. He parks ‘all that’ somewhere ‘over there.’
It is also a victory gesture, whether he knows runes or not. In enacting his name, the Bolt, he is not only aligning himself with the idea of an arrow, he performing a horizontal version of the rune symbol, ‘Tyr,’ the spear of the Norse god of victory and justice.
Tyr bound the wolf, Fenris, and defeated him and bound him, but lost a hand doing so. The wolf within, is always the wolf to be wrestled first.
Usain makes himself a something and a nothing, which is to say, he runs as a Force of Nature.
It is total immersion, as with any any great artist, a singer, a shaman, or a practitioner of martial arts, with the effort, skill and control of the Magician, lined up in avoidance of hubris, with the total surrender to Chance…or Fortune’s Wheel.
It is you in your best moments. You, doing the things you best love, forgetting all else in that moment.
May Luck smile on you.
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* 🙂
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
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.
The Chariot Card from the Gilded Tarot, by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti.
I was playing with the cards, no particular question, just a few things on my mind. I pulled The Chariot card, but it was upside-down, Reversed.
I drew it with the Strength card and this was also Reversed but I wasn’t sure of the message. The function of questions in tarot reading is to provide a framework for interpretation. Sometimes though, the challenge is what question to frame, and then, the trick is to just start pulling cards, refine with further questions, or wait for an insight.
The car was behaving itself, so it wasn’t a vehicle malfunction message, which it certainly can be, drawing The Chariot Reversed. I asked my eighteen year old daughter how she was getting on with her driving lessons. She’d only had five lessons, and was loving it, or so I thought, but she replied that she wasn’t enjoying them any more.
I asked why not. She’d had a scare last time, she said, turning left. She’d struggled to steer, the wheel locked, and another driver got impatient. More than that. Furious.
‘Steer!’ the instructor shouted.
‘It won’t turn any further!’
She felt shaky afterwards. Other drivers were so aggressive, she said. Tail-gating, gesticulating, sticking their fingers up as they overtake. They could see this was a learner, learning with Mr Pass, in his mini with its big sign on top, and they were learners once.
So, her nerves had been a little rattled. Maternal counselling followed, a small bracer. Keep your mind on what you’re doing, stick your fingers right back up at them. Testosterone twats. They were learners once. We imagined a few scenarios, she began to laugh and concoct in he rimagination enjoyable ways of deliberately causing annoyance, pressing the buttons of the petrol stress-heads. Laughing draws many a sting.
So, what had the Tarot done, here? Nothing unduly dramatic, it had merely waved a flag, causing me to pay attention to something that had been passing under the radar. For her first three lessons she had been eager to go out, and she’d come in whoop-whooping, and now, waiting, she was saying, ‘I’m not in the mood.’
The shine had come off the learning. Now that the Tarot had drawn it to my attention, I could offer perspective and encouragement, the polite word for a gentle kick up the rear.
The Chariot Reversed stood for Driving, negatively aspected. Strength Rev represented the experience of intimidation. She’ ll have to turn Strength right way up, and not let into her emotional space any unmannerly Mr Toad stress-merchant who wants to go at 50mph in a 30 mph zone, and thinks they are an expert and infallible, forgetting respect.
If you’re Mr/Ms Toad. Take it easy. Poop-poop! Remember what happened to Mr Toad. Remember the hare and the tortoise.
The Tarot’s Moon card: Things That Go Bump In The Night…
The Tarot card that might be talking about things going bump in the night, and we don’t mean burglars, or …well, you know…is The Moon card: Its meanings: Dreams, Illusions, Shadows, Psychic Perception, Deceit, Danger, Fear of the Unknown, Paranoia.
Things that go bump in the night. If it’s filmable, if it’s reproducable, I don’t think it’s the real/unreal thing.
Why? Because such experiences are perceptions of the Amygdala. The eyes see what the brain sees, projecting, not reflecting. This is the vision of the psychic eye. It does not mean that it is not ‘real’.
Reports of ghosts may be considered suspect for a number of reasons. For one thing, they can be good for business…certain businesses. There was an interesting legal situation in the ’90s when a famously haunted Lancashire property, Chingle Hall, was sold at a value to reflect its haunted status with tourist income potential, which did not, em, materialise as substantially as expected.
This doesn’t mean there aren’t ghosts anywhere, anytime, ye who cry scorn and derision. It’s something so easy to do, just dismiss it, if it hasn’t happened to you. Ghosts are not performing seals, or maybe it requires a certain kind of sensitivity to be open to that perception. Which begs the question, what is a ghost, anyway?
Have I experienced anything of that sort, myself? Yes, I have, on a few occasions. The first occasion was long before I ever thought of learning Tarot, and it was extraordinary although the full strangeness did not hit me right away or even for some years. I was ‘fetched’ to a scene where a man had just died, and it turned out to have been the man himself who had done the fetching. There was the body, round the back of M&S in Leicester, there was the ambulance, and the paramedics, trying to resuscitate him, but he was now too far outside himself, and very shocked at its suddenness, poor man.
These days, there’s a small dog on the staircase just now and then. I’ve seen it running down, fading in and out of view. Nothing unpleasant whatsoever. I’ve seen it in the kitchen and on the landing, and I’ve seen it run under the dining table. It’s the size of a large terrier with pricked ears and a short dark coat. I see the movement and the shape, not the detail.
I imagine it’s some kind of energy residue; a print or a memory of a previous household pet.
Other things over the years have been sadder, stranger, creepier, and I have definitely not wished to encourage them.
I’m not asking if you ‘believe’ in such. If you don’t, you don’t, and many don’t. I get that. But, I have heard a lot of stories, presented quite matter of factly, by people in perfect possession of all their marbles. If you are interested, look up the books of TC Lethbridge, psychic researcher and academic with a scientific background. He said, ‘today’s magic is tomorrow’s science,’ and I think he’s near the mark.
The world is not only stranger than we know. It may be stranger than we CAN know. Why should recognising possibilities and the limits of current understanding be a barrier to enquiry?
Tarot, Runes, our dreams, myths and songs, are some of the many boats available for exploring these deep waters. Some may prefer to stay in harbour, and not explore at all, and that’s fine; they needn’t. But not everyone has the choice, the current pulls them out. I chose Tarot but I didn’t choose the things that went before, I learned they were part of my make-up. For all our intellectual achievements and aspirations, resistant to ‘superstition’ or not ‘we’ remain an instinctive animal. We rely on it for our safety. If someone gives you the creeps, then they give you the creeps, and there’ll be a reason. Police, Emergency Services Personnel, the Military, all need good instincts, or else.
To be psychic is only an extreme form of instinct. This is our nature and our default. Factual truth may also be poetic. Stories come from someone’s experience, and myths and fairy tales from a collective experience. In this sense, however fanciful, even ghost stories contain some essential truth. They do not lie.
A good discipline for a reader is to read little and often. It’s a kind of self-programming. Make it tough on yourself, tarot is wonderfully subtle but sometimes you need to nail a colour to the mast.
However open your vision, and habits of interpretation when doing readings for others, it’s good to know you will generally get it right. You won’t always of course, so feed yourself a piece of humble pie every day, but you need to be right a LOT as a professional reader, or what’s your value? So practice, and challenge yourself with the nail-biting no-no that is the CLOSED QUESTION.
‘Will XYZ happen or won’t it?’ The second card is to ask why will it or won’t it? The discussion or meditation then opens out again if necessary.
Here is a recent example: I was thinking of attending a tarot social event, taking a friend, a fellow local tarot reader and professional clairvoyant . Knowing what a hermit-crab this shy friend can be, I marked him as a POSSIBLE attendee only, half-expecting him to bow out in advance.
Two days before the scheduled event, he rang to say he’d be going, but I still expected him to change his mind, and the day before I pulled two cards to test this out.
I drew The Ace of Wands Reversed. Wands is the suit of trips and longer journeys, also of selling, bartering and exchange, buzz, chatting, marketing…general communications. Drawing it reversed, denied, suggested he was about to cry off. Now, this was absolutely fine, and was just as I expected, but could the Tarot tell me why in advance of the facts?
I drew The Hierophant Reversed. The Hierophant which used to be known as The Pope, suggests a priest, a teacher, a counsellor or healer, a church, a tradition and an established order. It is orthodoxy and conformity. It can also signify marriage…and keys! That’s the Tarot for you!
I looked at it and was puzzled. ‘But A***** doesn’t GO to church!’ I said.
Later that afternoon he rang to say he still wanted to go to the tarot event but was now double-booked. I was glad to think he had plans elsewhere, he’d been a bit down and depressed, and I read this as a sign of recovery. I told him not to worry about the tarot social, I could see he really wanted to go to the other thing instead.
What was it?
A Christian Science church, he said. Did I want to go? Er, well, no. They had a guest speaker coming in, he said. A healer visiting from the States.
Ahaaa! So that was why the Tarot had seemed to say ‘church.’ But it also meant ‘priest/healer.’ It knew what was going on, all right. And the cards had been drawn reversed because, having decided time-planning didn’t allow him to go to both, the events were then being perceived as being in conflict with one another.
Jung coined a phrase to describe how he thought tarot worked: ‘synchronicity.’ Something in the reader connects with something in the cards. The cards are shuffled blind and drawn at random. However, synchronicity proposes that actually the selection isn’t random;
”[In synchronistic experiences] the perception of wholeness derives not from our ego, our conscious sense of self, but instead from the way in which the meaning unites all of who we are, parts of experience we were unaware of, potentials we have that have lain dormant or underdeveloped, elements of our personality that we didn’t know existed”
One evening a client left after an intense reading, and that day I had been very, very tired. I went upstairs with a cup of tea to lounge with a book. My teenage daughter came in asking me to take a look in the cards for her.
I said, ‘not right now, sweetie, I’m too tired. Give me half an hour’.
She persisted, and as I knew the question, and knew it wasn’t serious, and could wait I became annoyed.
‘If you keep on asking when I’ve said I’m too tired,’ I said. ‘I’ll show you the Devil card! Now then.’
She asked again. Oh, dear.
‘Right!’ I said and whipped the cards out from their cloth and shuffled them furiously.
‘Now see THIS!’ I hissed, pulled a card and brandished it at her, and knock me down with a very small chick feather, it was, it really was THE DEVIL CARD. Look atta ugly mug.
Ooh-er. A Devilish Tarot Tantrum to match my own.
She was I might say, suitably impressed. In fact she ran from the room howling for her dad, who was watching the footie and wasn’t remotely interested in this psychodrama, while I sniggered, feeling better now, peacefully drinking my tea.
Hey, you old Devil… you said it for me, heh heh! Now go away again, thank you.
Idly playing with my cards at the dining table, I asked Il Matrimonio what he was doing with the fish tanks. He kept two tanks of tropical fish at that time, guppies in one, neon tetras in the tank in the dining room.
Male guppies are colourful, every individual’s unique. The females are drab coloured. They produce live babies, but the adults tend to cannibalise the newborns if they don’t make for the weeds as soon as they emerge, and hide there until they’re too big to be eaten. Awww. So sweeeet.
Neon tetras are small and slim, blue, red and white, with a zingy neon strip along their sides, as the name suggests.
The hubby explained that he was introducing a young male guppy into the tetra tank for his own safety. Whereupon, using my old Universal Waite deck that day, I drew The High Priestess. (US Games)
However, I work with reversed cards, and I drew her reversed. A reversed card is not necessarily negative in connotation. It may simply flag up an area requiring special care. But I felt this was a warning, to be read in a literal sense.
‘I don’t think you should do that,’ I said. ‘I’m seeing danger here from a lady who is blue, white and red. I think the tetras will have him if you put him in there, and I think he won’t last two weeks.’
(Tarot can work like this with timing. The High Priestess is Major Trump 2.)
Il Matrimonio was having none of it. The tetras were no risk to the guppy, they were too small, completely harmless. What did I know about tropical fish, etc etc?
Eff all, it is true. Please, any proper a-fish-ionad-os reading this, do not troll me on this score. But the reader does not have to factually know. That is the point and indeed the potential usefulness of oracular divination.
‘Ok,’ I said, ‘in which case it is a warning against the tetra tank. I wouldn’t put him in there.’
‘Well, he won’t last if I leave him where he is.’
A few days later, poor guppy was gone. RIP. Not so much as a fin left.
Not saying the tetras did it any harm. It might have been something about the tank, and maybe guppy was toast whatever Il Matrimonio did, but they certainly cleaned him away.
All we had left were the tetras, swimming innocently about, the piscine little High Priests/esses in their grotto.
True Tarot Tales – real life stories behind the scenes. Watch the Tarot at work with UK reader Katie-Ellen Hazeldine.
I am a practitioner of divination via cartomancy. I use Tarot cards, ordinary playing cards and Norse runes as tools for uncovering or clarifying what is hidden or unclear, looking at people and situations, investigating any questions, analysing and evaluating strategies and options, and sourcing guidance and forecasts (estimates and predictions) in respect of specific scenarios.
How does it work?
There is no easy, pat answer. Basically it is a kind of applied psychology enabled by symbolism. Sometimes it is ‘spooky’, occasionally exceedingly so, and at other times less so, but read on while I illustrate as best as I can, how this psychic reading ‘thing’ works in practice.
Important: I read in confidence and I keep my promises. These are true stories, shared within the boundaries of confidentiality and ethics and client identities are thoroughly disguised.
There is no such person as ‘a psychic’ or ‘A tarot reader’. There is only the reader you consult; this, that or another reader. The only common denominator is the use of a 78 card Tarot deck in delivering whatever is the reader’s stated service remit.
This may mean fortune-telling or it might not, depending on the reader’s personal approach. There are many applications for Tarot. There is no industry standard, and no formal training or accreditation available. Readers come from every kind of educational and employment background, and the reading you get depends on the background, interests, skills and abilities of your chosen reader.
Sometimes I find myself operating as a kind of bloodhound, doing an investigative reading. This is often practical and specific in scope. At other times I find that I am operating as a personal adviser or even counsellor. Sometimes the experience is oracular. We are dealing with the great imponderables, and in that moment, whatever emerges via the cards, I am nothing but a voice. My approach is secular but that is not in any way to dismiss, exclude or discount the sacred, whatever is your understanding or definition of that word.
The questions are never the same, and I can never be ready. I can only prepare to respond. But the Tarot deals with the commonality of the human condition , and this is my touchstone for responding. This commonality, embedded in the symbolism of the Tarot helps me read in real time for someone I’ve never met or know nothing about.
For more information about me, please visit the ‘About’ page.
For the latest postings, stories, case studies and other writings, please scroll down.
Meanwhile- suitably numinous 🙂 – here is a video introduction to the Tarot, introduced by His Illustrious Numinousness, Sir Christopher Lee, RIP.