Destiny or Doom? Tarot’s Cassandra Moments.

    

   

 

 

Cassandra knew the Horse was bad news but couldn’t stop it.

(source: http://images.ucomics.com/comics/ts/2006/ts060416.jpg)

 

On the evening of Saturday, Feb 13 2010, idly playing with my tarot cards, I  become unsettled at the picture that emerged.

In an eight card spread I had the Chariot Reversed in the opening position, the Seven of Swords in the problem position, The Moon card in the ‘external influences position’ and the Ace of Coins Reversed in the outcome position.

It suggested a car problem. Losses, a sneak thief or maybe a database problem affecting the car. I knew I didn’t like it. But I was uncertain about the specifics.  I puzzled over the  ‘thief’ thoughts prompted by The Moon and Seven of Swords in connection with our car.  How to respond?

We were away from home that night, and, feeling time was of the essence I asked Il Matrimonio to go straight down and check on the car. He returned saying everything was fine, adding a few rude remarks about mad cows for good measure.

Cassandras need broad shoulders sometimes. It’s perfectly true Tarot readers and their kind need to keep a tight rein on discipline and common sense if they are not to be carried away by the fairies. But  Tarot is learned rather than taught, and risk of error and looking like an idiot is what it takes, in a serious attempt to hone skill. There will always be moments of self-doubt, confusion, discomfort, even downright fear at times.

Sometimes it’s with hindsight that we realise the Tarot did in fact know, and did in fact, try to tell us. We just weren’t able to join the dots in time. This is the occasional doom of all ‘sooth-sayers’ and is what I call a Cassandra Moment.

Cassandra was a seer and princess of Troy. She knew that the wooden horse left behind by the Greeks who had supposedly left and gone home after a ten-year siege was dangerous. She said so, but in their joy and relief that at last it was all over, no-one was ready to listen.  The Greeks climbed out of the horse in the night, swords in hand, and her gift wasn’t able to save Troy, or herself either.

Anyway, back to the ‘car thief’. I was not satisfied. I was uneasy. But I just had to say, pending the hard evidence…my intuition on to something, and time will soon tell me what this was about. And in fact I found out the very next day, on returning home, when we discovered an unexplained debit on our credit card.

A car rental company in Pisa had on Friday 12 taken a payment of £42.00 for no  reason we had been informed of. So the ‘theft’ had already occurred by the time I saw it on Saturday.

If I had seen it on Thursday, could I have stopped it?

Pisa: Author’s own photograph

Well, no. Having drawn the Ace of Coins Reversed (taking a financial loss) and Justice Reversed (injustice, bad contract) I was not hopeful of redress, and it emerged we had been fined for a parking offence committed last August in Pisa. That’s right. Last August! No wonder it hadn’t occurred to me to look in that direction.

The Tarot had warned me actually. The day before our trip I had drawn The Tower card. This is rarely good news. It can be a disaster card.  However, I interpreted the cards appearance as a prefiguring of the Tower of Pisa. So you see how Cassandras may self-deceive.

On the way back to our holiday accommodation from Pisa we had a blow out on the autostrada, an unpleasant experience though no-one was hurt. I was able to warn my husband just before it happened and he went into the slow lane, thank goodness. The Tarot had proved itself with almost immediate effect, and this fining business was now the post script.

Merda! We were not knowingly guilty of an offence. We had stopped to ask for directions to the nearest parking, to be beckoned into a parking bay by a smiling uniformed parking attendant. But the police in Pisa had fined the car rental company for unauthorised parking, and the car rental company had recouped the fine on the credit card  without notifying us. We were dismayed that they had retained our card details so long and were besides, furious.

I challenged the fine, and was with great politeness referred to some mind-bogglingly complex, time-bandit bureaucratic municipal maze.

Therefore, be very, very careful if visiting Florence Pisa or Rome by car. This is a worryingly common story.

I did say the Justice card was reversed, didn’t I?  One must keep one’s sense of humour.  I’ll only add, beware smiling car park attendants in the Comune di Pisa. They might turn out to be a little wooden horse, or a little wooden pony. Or an ass.

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.

Ding Dong (Door) Bell…

A client was late in arriving.  She had wanted a reading at a Saturday tea-time and now she was 1o minutes late. Hmmm. Was she en-route or was she going to be a no-show?  Tarot readers get caught out now and then, just like anybody else. They’re only fallible

I have a friend, Andrew, who is a very gifted clairvoyant. He will quite often pluck meaningful names out of the ether…very spooky, and when he does there’s nothing hit and miss about it. He did that with me once. ‘Who’s Edward?’ he said. ‘He’s very important to you. He’s a relative isn’t he? Is he your father…no hang on. He isn’t Edward. He’s Ted.’

Correct. And even someone with this spooky ability gets hit by timewasters and importunate sales callers.  Even the most super-psychic person in the world could not operate at their highest frequency all the time.

Andrew’s telephone rang one day.

‘I’ll make an appointment,’ the man said. ‘If you can tell me my name.’ Andrew might actually have been able to do so. But there was only one response such ignorance and crassness deserved. How would a reading with such a discourteous client have gone?

 ‘I think it must be Mr Twat,’  Andrew said. ‘But I’m sorry, I’m all booked up.’ 

I don’t pursue clients in any way shape or form. Don’t spam, don’t telephone (though I return calls if a message is left.) If they book then don’t show up – which has happened four times in 10 years – without making a cancellation, well, OK. I’ll remember them,  and they just won’t get another appointment  

So now, with this lady running late, having requested a time that I had accommodated out of goodwill,  I asked my cards, was the client en-route?

I drew The Chariot. This card of travel vehicles, speed, progress, ambition and teamwork was an indication that yes, she was on her way over.

The IJJ Tarot’s Chariot

How soon would she be arriving?

I drew the 4 of Cups. This seemed to indicate that she would be arriving in approximately 4 minutes, and that there was probably no particular crisis to be discussed in the reading, but she was in a rut and looking for ways to move ahead.

The lady arrived, apologising, just as I was re-shuffling the cards. It might have been 4 minutes later, more like 2-3. And she was a delight to read for.