I've been reading Tarot again. It's been a long time since I played with the cards, and it feels like I've reunited with an old friend.
I love shuffling them, cutting 3 piles, and then turning out a Celtic Cross. I don't read them with any occult aspirations, but to dive into a stream of symbols and inquiry. Less Cher's Dark Lady, more Forever Jung. As the symbols play in their positions and talk to each other across the formation, something knits together. It's meditation plus. It's a way in.
Plus, the cards are so pretty. High Priestess with pomegranates for days. The Moon with her Resting Bitch Face and lobster. The Fool with his impossible flower and his puppy and his red napsack. You don't have to wear a turban, pajamas are fine Tarot-pulling garb. Though there's nothing wrong with turbans, in concept, so if you need an excuse for working a turban into your look? Bam: Tarot. It's not a good look on me, but I bet you could totally rock it.
I silently say the name of the position as I deal and reveal the cards. I ask them questions, talk back to them, argue, welcome, tell them to BRING IT MUTHAFUCKAS.
Now / What Crosses Me /The Past / The Future / Above / Below / Advice / Influences / Hopes & Fears / Outcome
Oh, you again, Devil? What the hell?
(I would mention the Death card, but I figure "Devil" is bad enough. If I'm ever accused of murder, and investigators/Brian Williams comb my Tweets and blog posts, they will be showing this to the jury as evidence of my tendencies, and adding Tarot to the pile that is already mounting means I'll be doomed. It would be a lot to ask of a jury to consider the mythopoetics of supreme endings, right? Of the value of contemplating temptation and earthly distractions via devilish imagery -- and the lyrics to Dark Lady won't help me a bit. I'm doomed. Although, bright side, think of the web traffic I'll get when my Dateline episode comes out! But you can't see Google Analytics in prison, can you, so this is a if-a-tree-falls-n-the-forest-before-you-post-bail-situation for sure. I truly hope I get house arrest, if it comes down to that. When is it "too soon" to post a Kickstarter for one's hypothetical-at-this-point legal fund? Not that I'm premeditating ANYTHING. Hi, Judge Judy!)
And ... centered again. Card. Card. Card. Cups. Swords. Rods. See, I need this practice.
It's the Hopes & Fears spot, that Number 9 card, that is the juiciest, of course. It's hard to ask yourself "what am I really afraid of here?" and maybe even harder "what do I really, really hope for?" Letting passing thoughts sprout monstrous limbs and lungs and fangs in the dark shelter of shhhhhh is one of my specialties. I make crisp beds for things never said, install bunk bed unconscious in utero cots for those unacknowledged siblings of Hope & Fear, hoping the right twin vanishes but fully expecting Fear to win out. It's much better to ask and answer, to call and respond, to let them both have their say and then to let them float away.
If we're at a party or having coffee I might read your cards with you if you want. Bring a moleskine and a pen, and smuggle in a tiny bottle of Amaretto for The Hierophant. Wear four rings for the Queens. Look at them on your hands when you cut the deck into three piles, and then I'll take it from there.