FA Cup Final: Arsene Wenger was the King of Hearts & Cups

King of Hearts

Meanings: Mature person, benevolent, an advisor, mentor, king of ceremonies, financial success, abundance.

The equivalent card in the Tarot deck is, appropriately enough as his team has won the FA Cup Final, the King of Cups.

So we’d just had a bite of lunch yesterday, a bit of psychic salad with spooky peppered mackerel, and Il Matrimonio said as he is prone to do from time to time, ‘I bet you don’t know who is playing in the final today?’

I said, ‘what final?’

He said, ‘you’re joking.’

‘Well, is it the FA cup final? Maybe there’s a European Cup Final for all I know.’

‘That’s next week,’ he scoffed, and you gather, I don’t follow footie too closely though I have the odd moment. Besides which, maybe I had other things on my mind.

‘So, who’s playing?’ said Il Sarky Bastardo.

‘Um. Chelsea.’

‘Hallelujah. Who are they playing?’

‘Man United? No. Spurs?’

‘No, but it is a London Final. It’s Arsenal. So, what do you think? Will Arsene Wenger be resigning?’

‘Who’s the Chelsea manager these days?’

‘Antonio Conte. He’s fun. Lively, runs up and down.’

‘Give me a few minutes,’ I said and went into the study to sit with my deck of £0.99 playing cards. The Tarot is my oldest friend, my right hand man in divination, but lately I have exploring cartomancy, reading with ordinary playing cards. and practice makes – not perfect. There is no such thing, least of all in divination whether that means Tarot, Runes, Pendulums,  whatever…

Ultimately, there is only doing. You can read up, you can swot all you like, and you better had, and I do. There is a lot to study, but theory is merely your start point and should never be the ending point. You only develop skill by doing, and that’s how you also advance the theory. Lots and lots of doing, falling on your face if that’s what it takes, and you certainly will,  because you are human and the oracle too, is human, and its wisdom is the wisdom of ancestral understanding while its frailties are yours alone, the reader’s.

So this is what came up.

Will Arsene Wenger be resigning after today’s match?

Answer: the Four of Diamonds.


The Four of Diamonds denotes patience. The stability of the four did not suggest change, while Diamonds is the suit of business. It is literally, a foursquare card. The answer could have been read as a yes, therefore, according to this traditional colour system of interpretation but based on the individual card meaning, I did not see any change in Arsene Wenger’s role, or at least, no change for the ‘worse.’ Not if he doesn’t want to.

I put the card back into the deck, shuffled blind and for the sake of an even handed comparison, asked the same question about Antonio Conte. Would he be resigning?

Il Matrimonio yelled, ‘no way! Stupid question!’ and I told him to shut up. I know diddly squat about any of it, which is kind of part of the interest in doing the reading, and how I work is how I work and requires a certain logic.

So I asked and bless my soul, I pulled out the same card: the Four of Diamonds. So perhaps then, I deduced, the cards were educating me that neither would be resigning, both were staying in post, and additionally, I could in future take the Four of Diamonds to translate as ‘a football manager.’

‘I don’t think Arsene will be resigning,’ I said to Il Matrimonio.

But who was going to win?

(A question of less moment than the forthcoming General Election, and I think the polls are probably on track THIS time.)

These were the cards.

The Top row represented Arsenal

The Bottom Row represented Chelsea

The bottom 2 cards were just additional comment cards.

FA Cup Final Reading 2017 prediction Arrsenal top row


The central and final cards contain the answer in a 5 card line spread. The other cards provide the premise of the question, and additional comments.

The first card, top left, made me smile. Two of Clubs, eh? Well, yes, this is a question of two clubs, right enough. Next to it, the Nine of Hearts is generally viewed as a highly auspicious card; wishes granted. The central card, the heart or linchpin of the answer, is the Nine of Clubs and is nicknamed by Romany tradition, ‘The Achiever,’ which speaks for itself. The 3 of Spades is a dreadful card.  Sorrow. This card was surely reflecting the current mood of the nation; our grief as well as rage and frustration in the aftermath of the terrible crime and ensuing tragedy in Manchester.

The last card represents Arsene Wenger himself; a quiet man, looking back over the match, seeming pleased but in a rather quiet way.

Arsenal in summary: There were 3 black suit cards and 2 red suit cards which on the face of it didn’t look too optimistic. But  the Club  cards were both positive in translation and the terrible card, the 3 of Spades…rightfully belonged here somewhere in the story, with a minute’s silence was observed at the beginning of the game.

Arsenal could certainly win, but I couldn’t decide without also looking at Chelsea.

Chelsea’s cards on the bottom row were all black suit cards. First we had The Joker which could mean absolutely anything. It is a destiny card. A wild card.

On this occasion, I asked Il Matrimonio, was there a Chelsea player who was a bit of a maverick? A dark young man? (I was looking here at the Jack of Spades next door to the Joker) He looked as if he might prove significant to Chelsea’s chances. This might be in a good way or not.

That was probably Diego Costa, Il Matrimonio said.

The central card, a key card, was the Five of Clubs, nicknamed The Renovator, it can be a sporty card, but often indicates that some change is overdue. Perhaps to the line up or the formation? The Ace of Clubs seemed auspicious, I felt it might well represent a goal, but the final, outcome card, the eight of Spades, nicknamed The Workaholic, somehow suggested that Chelsea would get into gear too little, too late, and would end working harder than when they had started.

The two comment cards, drawn with no question in mind, just as an add on were both eights: the eight of Diamonds and the Eight of Hearts. Did Il Matrimonio know which player/s would be wearing a Number 8 shirt? Was it one of the strikers?

He was by now glued to the box and shouted through, ‘I hear your question.’

The match hadn’t started yet, but he was absorbed in the buildup, lots of yelling and excited voices, the testosterone was rising, and he was there, becoming part of it and didn’t want disturbing.

‘It looks like Arsenal to win,’ I said.



The score:

Arsenal 2

Chelsea 1

aaron ramsey FA cup final

The player in a Number 8 shirt turned out to be Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey (above) who scored the second goal for Arsenal after Alexis Sanchez scored the first goal, uphold after some controversy as to whether it was allowable after the ball had appeared to touch his arm.

Diego Costa (the Joker?) scored the Chelsea goal.

And he is a dark young man but perhaps the ‘dark young man’ detected by the Page of Spades was not only him, but I had also sensed another player, who was also a ‘dark young man,’  Victor Moses who was, I found out later, sent off for ‘diving’. This Page is sharp, quick, clever, but sometimes controversy can attach to him (and in other readings, it might of course be a her)

Il Matrimonio said afterwards that my forecast had been out of step with most of the commentators and pundits, except for Ian Wright.

Ian Wright has warned Chelsea that Arsenal are beginning to find some form – just in time for the FA Cup final. (The Sport Review.com)


I’m going to keep on getting to know these nifty little cards. They are not nearly as visually interesting as my beloved Tarot decks,  and some might say, who cares, if they do the job? And fair enough, though what price on beauty – wherever it is found?

Till next time 🙂

Tarot Talks Fee-Fi-Fum-Football.

Cover of "The Gilded Tarot"
Cover of The Gilded Tarot

I have had the cards out on a few football questions recently, out of interest. Not my interest, particularly, but Il Matrimonio’s.

This is such a poisoned chalice. When I get stuff like this right, he’s intrigued and chuffed, but he’s likely to turn round next day and say it was a good guess, or deny I’d told him what I’d told him, the treasonous reptile. If I get it wrong, he’ll jeer,  whereupon I beat him back into his vivarium, and would throw a cockroach after him, if I could find one.

I’ll have a go at these questions anyway. I’m not charging for this work, it forms no part  of my professional service, not directly. It’s to benefit my own study. How else does may one study the workings of intuition except to test it on those questions where one has no emotional stake?

Recently, he asked me to consult the Tarot re:  Wigan Athletic v Manchester City in the FA Cup Final.

I looked and said I thought it was Wigan Athletic to win this match. I assessed their chances as 75% likely to win (but I did not see them winning their next match, I tweeted to this effect, and sadly, they didn’t)

He said this was impossible, that none of the pundits agreed. Why not, I asked?  Because, he said,  Man City were second in the Premier League, Wigan Athletic were in the bottom three, and Wigan hadn’t scored against Man City since 2007.

His objections to the forecast were based on trend, but a pattern may break at any time. Right or wrong, that was what I saw.  The odds were in Wigan’s favour  plus, I’d got The Magician as the outcome card, and The Magician is Mastery of Skill.

The Magician from The Gilded Tarot, by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti.

magiciangildedSo, how had I decided this?

By means of a counting spread, and by using reversals (allowing upside down cards) as a way of qualifying the odds numerically.

I shuffled (which I do abominably)  asking, ‘Wigan Athletic to win?’ Then I drew three cards and laid them out in a row. How many upright (‘dignified’) cards did I have?  Two out of three. the middle card counted for 50%, the flanking cards for 25% each. The middle and final cards were upright, and the final card was The Magician. This was a wonderful card in the circumstances. It is the ultimate card  of Skill and Mastery.

This forecasting method has proven highly reliable. Not infallible, I ‘m no such thing and would never claim to be, but I’d expect to get it right 90% + of the time and am perplexed till I understand why I miss the mark when it happens.

Today, however, I was asked another football question, and arrived at a response very differently.

Il Matrimonio slithered into the kitchen, hissing, ‘Crystal Palace or Watford?’

This time I  did not reach for my cards. I was preparing lunch, I just said ‘wait,’  and paused, knife suspended fatefully over an imperilled avocado.

‘Crystal Palace?’ I said aloud to myself, and upon saying this felt a mild but distinct spasm on the left side of my neck which ran down my left arm into my fingers. It was mildly unpleasant, like the crawls you might get, pedalling your feet in bed at night when you’re low on magnesium or other salts.

Noting this reaction I said, ‘Crystal Palace to win’.

‘They’ve just scored,’ he said. ‘Fifteen minutes to go, let’s see if Watford pull it back,’ and off he wended, sidewinding his way back to the television.

Result: Crystal Palace 1: Watford 0.

So what?

For many it will only be stating the obvious to say that the physical and the psychic are one and the same. The very subtlety and sophistication of the Tarot’s vast reference library may be a weakness as well as a strength; a temptation to intellectualizing, which is NOT what is wanted, in trying to obtain a true result on Divination.

Until next time 🙂