Reading the cards


I think of myself as very irreligious. I don’t really believe in any god, except inasmuch as there may be more powerful or knowledgeable entities than me in the universe (which is completely possible). But a personal deity? One who cares about me, and who can help me in a real way? I don’t see it.

On the other hand, I think the universe is full of odd connections and synchronicities. I think that “fortune-telling” – horoscopes, cards, palmistry – is just a way to tease out the synchronicity, and maybe latch into a feeling about things that are happening around you.

I have an especially strong feeling about card-reading. You shuffle cards in the here and now, and the cards fall into a shape that’s dictated by what Kurt Vonnegut’s Tralfamadorians called “the structure of the moment.”

The cards fall a certain way when you draw them and lay them on the table. An experienced reader can find all kinds of interesting things in them.

Why not?

I have read cards – regular playing cards, Tarot cards, and even the cards of Madame Lenormande – many times. I feel them in my hands as I deal them, and I can tell if the reading is going to be the real deal or not. Sometimes the cards get annoyed with you, especially if they know you’re asking a stupid question (a stupid question is a question to which you already know the answer). Sometimes you get what I call “static” – nonsense answers – but not very often.

Most often, the cards tell me (very sincerely) what’s going on in the world.

Example #1: Back in the early 1980s, I was in a dreadful job, and was applying for a much better job. I was assured – assured! – by the new employer that I was the leading candidate for the job.

I was thrilled. So, just for confirmation, I read the cards.

And they told me I wasn’t getting the job.

I resented the cards’ bad attitude, and dealt them again. They told me again – in very definite terms – that I was not getting the job.

Foolishly I dealt the cards a third time. The cards hate this. (I know I’m anthropomorphizing the cards, but it’s difficult not to; they have moods.) This time, the DEATH card came up.

And – what do you know? – I didn’t get the job.

Example #2: A few years later, I was offered a Peace Corps job in Morocco. I was excited, but uncertain. I read the cards. I saw:

Uncertainty.

Strife.

Difficulties.

Travel overseas. (No kidding!)

And, at the end of it, The Sun. This card represents – let me quote an online source:

The Sun promises the querent his/her day in the sun. Glory, triumph, simple pleasures and truths. This card symbolizes discoveries made wide awake. This is science and math, beautifully constructed music, carefully reasoned philosophy. It is a card of intellect and youthful energy. Like the Sun, the querent will likely come across to others as warm and radiant, and he/she can be told that this is a good time to make decisions.

In short: Oh, shit, go ahead and do it. It’ll turn out just fine, despite the difficulties.

And it did turn out just fine. There were twists and turns and unexpected things, just as the cards had warned.

And at the end of it, the Sun: radiant happiness.

I am timid of the cards. I do not ask them casual questions. I play with them, and meditate on them, but I respect them.

(Do I sound superstitious? I suppose I am.

(But I believe that the present holds the seeds of the future, and that – if you know how – you can peer into the structure of the present and glimpse, dimly, the shape of the future.

(Want me to read for you someday?)


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About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

12 Responses to Reading the cards

  1. starproms says:

    Yes Loren, please do read for me. I also read the Tarot and find it very enlightening. You probably agree with me that reading regularly is definitely the way to go. One gets an affinity with the cards. Which pack do you favour?
    I also do not believe in a monotheistic system i..e. one God. I believe there are lots of Gods and Goddesses, which is much more helpful when praying or wishing or whatever.
    When I started on Wicca, I came to it from a Christian background. Wicca suits me. It runs alongside my Christian beliefs which some people find hard to understand.

  2. Sylvia says:

    You have already read for me, and I’ll never forget it. I was inspired to buy a Tarot deck for my daughter’s Xmas stocking, and proceeded to do my first reading for a (male) guest at our dinner table. I was an absolute novice, but, after reading the cards (lots of older men and water), the guest blanched. It turned out that he had asked what he thought was a challenging question, and was stunned that the reading actually answered it. His question? He had wanted to know if he should repair the leak in his bathroom, or call a plumber. He called a plumber.

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