Answer to the Question: Do I Believe in Reincarnation?

Yesterday someone asked did I believe in reincarnation?

yew gutenberg

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..

sun card

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.

This one had me as they say, gob-smacked.

Until next time 🙂

Tarot Travel Timing

Il Matrimonio dreaded the schlepp from Lytham to Dover one Wednesday afternoon. He particularly dreaded the return journey on Thursday evening much as he loves and worships his car. I call her Black Betty. Skip if you don’t like this rock classic.

The journey down proved tedious in the extreme, starting with delays at Luton, which persisted one way and another the whole of the rest of the way down.

He rang on Thursday morning to ask me to look in the cards for clues as to the optimal time to set off on his return journey. This was shaping up ominously. An accident at the Dartford Tunnel had been backing up the roads all the way back to Sevenoaks.

He thought he might wait until 9.00PM before setting off, what did the Tarot suggest?

Tarot felt he should set off earlier.  ! had my cards beside the phone, loose in a heap and all facing down. I swirled them about with my free hand and pulled out four cards.

Card 1 represented outcome of Departure at 6.00 PM
Card 2 represented outcome of Departure at 7.00 PM
Card 3 represented outcome of Departure at 8.00 PM
Card 4 represented outcome of Departure at 9.00 PM

Against 7.00 PM I drew the Two of Swords. A lady sits, blindfolded, holding two crossed swords. If you leave at 7.00 I told him, you’ll have a largely clear run, but there will be one slower patch, maybe roadworks.

Two of Swords from the Rider-Waite Tarot deck
Two of Swords from the Rider-Waite Tarot deck (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you leave at 8.00, I said, looking at the Ace of Swords, you should have a straight clear run, or at least, the best you’ll get.

That was because this card  represents a) a good decision and b) represents a sword that cuts a Gordion Knot, or to put it less politely,  cuts through the crap.

From The Gilded Tarot, by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti.
From The Gilded Tarot, by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti.

Il Matrimonio by no means acts on all such suggestions  coz we all have free will, innit?

On this occasion, he had a nap, set off at 7.40 PM and arrived home at 00.20  (Two of Swords)

Although as he had set out, Tarot’s rival, the great god, Tom-Tom, had predicted an arrival time of 00.45.

There were no jams or problems whatsoever during the 330 mile drive home. Tarot beat Tom-Tom. Yay.

Till next time 🙂

Which Way Home?

‘The hunger for meaning and purpose is nothing less than the human homing instinct — the Fourth Instinct — at work.  But in the tangled maze of history, we have been sidetracked; in the long journey home, we forgot our destination. Indeed, we were told that it does not exist.’ Arianna Huffington.

The Tarot‘s Cards correlating to the Four Major Points Of The Compass are:

Ace of Pentacles = North

Ace of Cups =West

Ace of Wands =South

Ace of Swords= East

But where is ‘home’, beyond it being the people in your life?

‘There’s that feeling I get, when I look to the west’.’ Led Zeppelin.

‘My sun shall rise in the East, then shall my soul be at peace, ‘ Vangelis.

‘From all points of the compass flock’d birds of all feather.’ Source: Gutenberg. Org

From the beginning, we have been a migratory animal, in some parts of the world, more than others. Several cards in Tarot talk of home, rightly so, as it is a key ingredient of human experience, and a ruling perception.  The Ace of Pentacles, Ten of Pentacles, Four of Wands, and Six of Cups all tell stories of a person’s home in a reading.

The Tarot’s Ace of Pentacles, which sometimes talks about food, money, or books, or bricks and mortar says, Earth itself is the nest, the Soul of Man is in the roots of the species. Below is The Ace of Pentacles from The Gilded Tarot, publisher Llewellyn, by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti.

Time To Say Goodbye…retirement was on the cards.

I was in good odour with a regular client. In June 2010, a reading indicated that her husband had reason to be hopeful of early retirement with a viable retirement package.  He had been wanting to go for some time, but hadn’t found an early way out that he would find  acceptable financially.

The cards assessed the chances of an opportunity materialising before the end of 2010 as 6 out of 8, odds I translated as meaning it was highly likely, though not inevitable.

Nothing is inevitable but Death…and taxes, so the saying goes. The future consists of so many complex variables, I find it more meaningful to attach a weighting to ‘predictions’, or forecasts, as I prefer to think of them.

What’s the difference? Well, a prediction is a statement about the future presented as a virtual fact, a done deal. A forecast is an indication of the likelihood that something will happen, leaving space for the workings of undetected random chance and free will. Society uses all manner of forecasting…from the weather to the Stock Exchange.  tarot readers just offer another, personalised form, intuitively collected using tarot symbols as tools of assessment and translation, as our equivalent of the gathering and statistical analysis of hard data.

The chief cards I drew indicative of a viable ending coming into view over time’s horizon were The Emperor Reversed, Justice and Judgment.

The Emperor often indicates a man of mature years, or an organisation, generally a large one. His employer was a global defence company.
Justice = Law, contract.
Judgement = as in Judgement Day, in a benign way, a time of reckoning, the right time for completing or ending something.

I heard today he was invited to go in December, as part of a larger redundancy programme and – which will not necessarily the case for all such invitees – he is delighted.

Tarot ‘Plays’ Footie

I rarely watch sport, and can’t bear all the roaring and howling that comes out of the telly when football’s on.  Some of those commentators get really foamingly hysterical and could do with a slap. But who am I to naysay a national passion? The card below, the 6 of Pentacles, also known as Coins or Discs, is the card I have learned to associate with the ‘home crowd’.

 I wouldn’t feel comfortable using the Tarot for betting purposes.  Or safe. It would seem disrespectful, contrary to ethics, and if  it didn’t work out, there could be unwanted comeback. And if it did work out, there could be unwanted comeback.

Maybe someone would like to make a movie about a tarot reader who gets a hit man set on to them by a cartel of evil bookmakers, because the reader’s giving too many winning tips and it’s costing the bookmakers big time. Hello, Quentin T? Are you there?

But if Tarot is a divination tool, what will it co-operate in divining for and what won’t it divine for? Does the ability to divine depend upon the reader having a personal interest or sense of connection to the question? 

I live just down the road from Blackpool and Saturday was  a big sporting event. Blackpool (the Tangerines) were playing Cardiff at Wembley. At stake, so I gather, a place in the Premier League and £90 million. High stakes indeed.

I laid out my cards in a counting spread. I laid out six cards and above them another.  The six cards ‘count’ for one point each. The solitary card above them counts for two, giving a total of eight.

I laid out two of these spreads, one to represent Blackpool, the other Cardiff.

As I shuffled I asked to be shown the winning team.

Normally in a counting spread, a likelihood of something happening will be given by a result of drawing more upright cards than upside down cards, known as reversals.

I drew a count of three upright cards for Blackpool. Doesn’t look great, I thought. Then I drew a count of two uprights for Cardiff. Oh, I thought. That’s not a win either according to my usual system.

I decided that the Tarot had answered a differently phrased question. It knew what I was trying to get at and had answered me very directly, not by saying a yes or no, but by indicating the SCORE.

And a little over two hours later, we had the score: Blackpool 3: Cardiff City 2.

SEE VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS BELOW (…if you absolutely must.)

http://www.footytube.com/video/blackpool-cardiff-city-may22-47851

As a tarot reader, getting an answer that doesn’t seem to fit the question, be prepared to discover that the answer you’ll get is a correct answer to the question as the Tarot preferred to tackle it.

Tackle. Geddit?

So in answer to the original question…no. Divination does not require an emotional connection from the reader. In  fact, this could skew the results. Reading for yourself if you’re tired or anxious, or reading for loved ones where there is anxiety or hope attached to the question, may produce distortion of interpretation. 

If reading for yourself, try pulling  an extra card – a  BIAS CARD to identify any such distortion.

When receiving a reading, bear in mind tarot and similar activities work best when your reader is in an ‘alpha state,’ a condition of relaxed consciousness. Scowling at a reader with cold suspicion, arms folded, is not conducive to the alpha state for either of you…because you too,  will get most from your reading in the creative receptivity of alpha state.

If you follow football, you have pretty good hunches sometimes, and want to be even better at hedging your bets…you could do much worse than hone your intuition by learning a divination skill.  Joking aside, such skills, whether you’re using tarot cards, ordinary playing cards, runes, divining rods, mirrors or pendulums…are a tool for life, with who knows how many applications.

Questions or comments? Just click on the comment tag below. 

Double Trouble…

What a few weeks it has been for anyone using the Tarot to try and divine the Election outcome.  On May 4 I looked in the cards and saw a riot of apparent contradiction. Cross- referencing a number of question-and-answer columns, I seemed to be witnessing the following scenario post May 6:-

Gordon Brown still in situ in No. 10

BUT David Cameron the ‘winner’…just

AND a Hung Parliament was probable. (chance  3/5 or greater.)

GB! I thought. And I meant Gordon Bennett!  not Gordon Brown. It looked completely bonkers.  I tried to rationalise what I was looking at and couldn’t. I couldn’t  think of a formula or precedent, that would allow me to accept the Tarot’s preview as likely.

Now, to use the Tarot for divination on public matters or world events doesn’t feel at all the same as doing an interpersonal reading. When attempting to divine impersonal events, such as earthquakes for example, or the actions or thinking of a mass collective…such as the national consciousness, the variables are truly enormous.

Even so. Hindsight (or Back In Time, as Tarot author Janet Boyer terms it) serves here as a reminder that reading the Tarot can require NERVE.

We have come though an education system that doesn’t teach us to how to train or access our unconscious mind pro-actively.  To live peaceably in society settings, the human animal has had to compromise individual instinct…which is why the divination arts are so often regarded with mistrust and disfavour. They theoretically represent a potential threat to society.  Imagine the social consequences of all of us acting on our gut feelings about other people…we’d struggle to work productively in co-operative teams of strangers in the workplace for starters, wouldn’t we? 

As a tarot reader it doesn’t necessarily come easy, trusting what you see in your cards when it doesn’t square with your rational analysis of the question.  Learning to ‘just go with it’ is the simplest and yet the hardest thing of all.

And so, returning to the reading on the Election, we drew the Emperor Rev as an Emperor  (PM, Government, authority figure, paterfamilias) departed  – with gravitas and dignity in my personal view, just as he had conducted himself in the T.V debates – with gravitas and dignity.

And now we have two younger, smaller Emperors…

Let’s hope it’s a harmonious workable team, as in the Tarot’s Chariot card, able to forge smoothly ahead, and not the Chariot Reversed which would signify Double Trouble…

Below is the Chariot Card from the popular pre 1900’s IJJ Swiss Tarot Deck.

I would say to tarot students, ‘nerve’ develops with experience.  Cutting your ‘tarot teeth’ reading for a forgiving audience -family, friends, friends of friends, doing lots and lots of them, will help you find your key strengths and affinities in working with the Tarot.

This develops confidence in your divination…the Tarot’s power is the power of self-trust.

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