Tarot Bites…

Summertime, and the livin’ is easy. Except, flying home from Spain on Sunday over the Bay of Biscay , it was clear to see the cradle of our summer weather problems….you could look down and see what the jet stream was brewing there, and  the head on the beer  just went on and on. The account below was written in 2010 and spoke of events in 2009. Our summers have been odd since at least 2008, with the last scorcher in 2006. Implications for the UK Tourist Industry, offset against the effects of recession?

‘The weather was odd at home last year in 2010, and even in N Italy where we went in August 2009…it was very changeable, cool at times, and there were  cracking thunderstorms nearly every day. Forked lightening like you could scarcely believe.  Now, you can’t see the bites in this photo, taken near Florence that summer, but the Italian for ‘mosquito,’ I can inform you, is zanzara. And the word for a bite is puntura. These are helpful words to know when you need to go to la farmacia.

I had received a warning about the mosquito campaign from the Tarot, fat lot of good it did me. The warning was presented as follows.

The Page of Swords (A Page card in Tarot can mean something small, swords can mean air and something that is sword-like and sharp – like a needle or in this case, a bite or sting)

The Page of Pentacles Reversed (ie in Tarot’s language ‘debased earth’, prefiguring the infection of said bites, round and swollen and red, the opposite of the green associated with pentacles cards, the suit of earth. )

The Page of Cups Reversed. Ahem. Not looking one’s best going round impersonating a human giant measle. The suit of Cups relates to healing, happiness, well-being and beauty. It corresponds with the element of water, and therefore also indicated a need to ensure maintenance of adequate hydration.

I had upon reading this duly armed myself with repellent ( ask for controlgio d’insetti, folks) after our first night there. Did it work? Did it heck. But don’t let that put you off. It might for you.

Then – and perhaps I reacted unusually badly because my immune system was depressed, I tried anti-histamines, hydrocortisone, lavender, tea tree, TCP and finally, a course of antibiotics from a gentle Italian GP who came out 40 minutes after being called. This allowed us the guilty thrill of using that little plastic E111 card for the first time. The service was brilliant though it did cost 25 euros for the call-out, but hey, it was 7.30 on a Saturday evening. We were grateful. Would we have received such a prompt response at home?

We need the Jet Stream to move north. I think we’ll have some better pockets dotted fairly regularly throughout August. Better than June and July, I mean.  Another fairly crummy summer so far…but we will never surrender.  We will fight it in the garden, and in front of the telly, and in good company, and with a cup of cocoa and….

One of the hottest summers I remember, was two weeks spent on the Appin Peninsula in NW Scotland. And it was sublime. It was glorious, and there were white sands and blue waters to rival the Med any day. The only problem (- there is always a serpent in paradise) was the darn, pesking clouds of mozzies.

I think that’s where I came in…

A Tarot Reading for Mustard The Pony

Mustard was a 13 year old gelding, and he competed in dressage. This much I had already been told before looking at his cards. My brief was to enquire about his general happiness and well-being, and to see whether the Tarot could pick up on any of his preferences or wishes. Here are a few of the cards we got, and an indication of the feedback I received from Mustard’s owner.
How was Mustard feeling about life at that moment? I drew the 4 of Pentacles. This card of material stability indicated that he generally felt safe and secure, and enjoyed his current routine. He didn’t seem too keen on sharing. He liked to hang on to any good thing he was given. He was by temperament, steadfast, slightly conservative, not given to impulsive behaviour. He liked a little bit of variety in his routine ‘but not too much’. His owner laughed at this description, saying she recognised it. He could be stubborn.
The 7 of Cups suggested to me that Mustard was sensitive and responsive with a good imagination. His owner confirmed this, saying he was the most easily trained pony she had worked with, very quick on the uptake.
I asked to know more about something he liked, and the 3 of Cups suggested Mustard had two special friendships. These must have been a horse and a pony he shared his field with during day time, his owner explained.
I asked about what might be coming up in the near future for Mustard. I drew the 6 of Swords, a card of possible relocation which made me ask if Mustard was aware of any plans for him to move. The answer was maybe; he was going to be moved very soon to a new, bigger stable with 30 horses and ponies.
The 5 of Cups , a grieving card, indicated Mustard would not like separation from his two old friends. His owner said he would still see his friends. Their owner and she rode the horses out together and would continue to do so.I suggested she try telling Mustard this, sending him a visual message of him going along the lanes with his old friends. He might not be able to understand the words but he might receive the ‘TV’ picture and the emotion she attached to that. Who are we to say he could not?
I drew a general advice card for Mustard. This was The Moon card and I sensed he felt afraid if stabled alone at night.
Rider-Waite Moon card, dreams, hunting, fear, psychism. U’S Games.

There were dogs barking somewhere near outside, he seemed to be saying; he didn’t like that. And strange shadows scared him. I suggested his owner leave an old coat with Mustard when he is alone, so her scent can reassure him in her absence. She confirmed that there were dogs on a neighbouring farm. There were two or three Jack Russells and they barked a lot. It hadn’t occurred to her they might worry Mustard with night barking as she wasn’t usually there at that time, but she was moving him to the bigger stable because she was aware he didn’t like being alone at night.

I drew a card to signify something Mustard else might worry about.
The 5 of Wands suggested Mustard was anxious in competitions. He didn’t like loud noise and if ever asked to, would be nervous of jumping a 5 barred gate. I suggested his owner try rubbing a little Rescue Remedy on his nose (not on the sensitive bits) the next time they competed, the following weekend. The owner did try it, and reported her surprise at noticing a difference in his body language from usual: she said he was much more ‘laid back.’
I drew another card, asking to know about something Mustard would enjoy but hasn’t got? I drew the Page of Pentacles, and The Moon card. These somehow suggested…and this was purely an intuitive impression – mangold or swedes. I was told he has never eaten one, to the best of the owner’s knowledge. Well, I hope he gets to try one soon so we will know. Meanwhile, on this point the Tarot remains unproven.
I was told Mustard was receiving citronella products to minimise insect bites. Tarot is not a vet and does not claim to be but The Empress Card suggested if there was any question of supplementing his diet in any way omega 3/6 oils – vegetable based, as with hemp or flax seed instead of fish oils might benefit him. Something to do with his grains or feed might not be suiting him…the card shows a field of what looks like wheat or corn.
Months later, I heard that the owner had changed Mustard’s hay intake, and this apparently sorted the problem.
Other species read for so far: dogs, cats, hamsters, fish and birds. I’d probably struggle with anything too different from ourselves. I seriously doubt I could read for a worm or a jellyfish, and verification might be an issue, but I’d be open to trying. Such is the fun of Tarot.