Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tarot and I

   My partner, Cat Dancing has her own excellent Tarot Blog, check it out. There is a button for it on this page. However, I have my own card story to tell here.
   First, a bit of history. From the time I was a teen I have been fascinated by the Tarot. I got my first deck, the ubiquitous Rider-Waite-Smith deck, when I was eighteen. At the time I had dated a young witch named Leslie. The cards were incredibly detailed and interesting. The art just got to me. I also got Waite's paperback on the cards, but I just couldn't get my head around the meanings. It was simply the art and the fact there was meaning there that interested me. For several years I would pull the cards out and look at them, wondering what I was missing.
   Over time I began to pick up other decks of the Tarot. I would find them at garage sales, used book stores, thrift stores and friends would gift me with them. Again, I loved the various artistic takes on the themes.
   My step-daughter, Sara, became interested and I let her use my original deck. Later, I tried to trade her out of them, but she refused. I found another Rider-Waite-Smith deck soon, and it felt like coming home again.
   Cat and I met in 2007. She was already a professional Tarot reader and teacher of several years. We met online originally. We had never really met in person, although we were in similar orbits. As a reader and teacher, Cat had her own collection of Tarot decks. When she discovered that I also had several decks, she thought we should meet. The result, as they say, is history. We've been fairly inseparable ever since.
   Together we still attract new decks now and then. We now have over fifty decks of Tarot and oracle cards.
   Before meeting Cat, I was only interested in the art of the cards. I began attending all of Cat's various classes in the Tarot and began to learn something of the history and meanings associated with them. In my own small way, I have learned to read the cards. 
   One of the truisms of using the Tarot is that the cards have a sense of humor. They usually tell you what you NEED to know, but not always what you WANT to hear. And often, parts of the readings will prick your bubble in not so subtle ways if you pay attention.
   One story about that involves the cards you see above. No, they're not tarot cards. However, there are relationships between the Tarot and ordinary playing cards. I know several readers who use playing cards for their divination. Here is what happened.
   I had begun a practice of drawing three Tarot cards as a daily reading. I had a set way of doing it, shuffle the deck a few times till it felt right, cut the deck. The card just below the cut indicates past, the card at the cut is present, and the card above the cut is future. As I said, I was doing this daily. It was a very interesting process, and often illuminating.
   One day I hadn't done my daily three cards. I was feeling a bit down from certain things happening in my life, and as I often do at those times I went for a walk. We live on a twisty dirt road in the country near McDade, Texas. I was walking along, and it came to me that I had not drawn my three cards that day. Moments later, I saw something sticking out of a wheel rut in the road. I stopped. It was the corner of a playing card. I picked it up. 
   A playing card, Jack of Clubs, in very nice condition. I thought, hmmm. It's a card! ( I had a firm grasp on the obvious!) I kept walking. 
   Within a few yards I found another card. This one was the four of spades. Again, it was half buried in the dirt but in good shape. As I walked on I found one more card, the Queen of diamonds. 
   My walk covered about a mile of the dirt road. (Half a mile north to the pavement, turn around and walk back.) I didn't find any more cards. 
   It dawned on me. I hadn't drawn my usual three Tarot cards, but I had been given three cards. As I looked at them and compared them with their equivalent Tarot counterparts, I got two messages. One was private and definitely relevant to my situation, the other was "you're gonna get your three cards no matter what!" 
   An ironic message from the universe, how refreshing!
   I finished my walk.
   A few weeks later, I found myself walking again. Half in jest I thought, "okay, where's my cards today!" A few steps further I literally stumbled across another card, this one the eight of spades. Again, relevant to my situation. I felt a bit chastened.
   Another few weeks after that, I was walking at lunch near where I worked. This was near the town of Kyle, Texas, a good 60 miles from home. My thoughts went back to my earlier walks, and I almost immediately found another card beside the road. This one was from a similar deck, but it was the Jack of hearts. 
   Apparently the cards were following me around.
   I got the message. I often get readings of the cards that give me a tweak, and I've come to take them in stride, somewhat. It's always interesting, though.
   A caveat. In my own interpretation of the cards, I used their Tarot equivalents. In fact, if you look into divination with playing cards, those cards have a fairly complex and somewhat different set of meanings of their own. I'm just letting you know.
   Thanks for reading.

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