As you know, I grew up in a fundamentalist Christian household. I was not a rebellious child and when I could no longer live by the house rules I moved out. The letter of the law was King. So what is a girl to do when she finds herself drawn to forbidden fruit? How to peek into the unknown and to satisfy my own curiosity while soothing my conscience? I will tell you.
Ever since I was small I had loved ghost stories, witches, vampires. Basically everything considered contaminating and evil by my spiritual community. The way I skirted the edge for awhile was by reading books on New Age and The Occult written by Christians. I understood the information to be biased but thought I could read between the lines.
I remember huddling close to a tiny black and white TV my ear close to the speaker since the volume was at a whisper, trying to watch the movie The Witches of Eastwick. Much to my chagrin my mother’s 6th sense kicked in and she called up the stairs “You better not be watching that movie!”
After awhile I had to branch out for information. I have always thought that any philosophy worth its weight can hold its own side by side any other. Bear in mind this is pre-internet. I would go to the public library and read what I could there. Sometimes I would also go to the University library to see what was there. Sure, sure some would still condemn me but I am really not into that sort of thing anymore. I could never have checked out these books and taken them home for in depth exploration and analysis. There was little privacy and no sanctity of my room or belongings.
Out on my own and firmly committed to my Heathenistic ways I caught wind of a family story that I had never heard. Apparently when I was an infant my maternal grandmother took me and my mother to see a ” Fortune Teller”. I displayed a inordinate amount of interest and unwittingly shut down the flow of information. :S
My grandmother was a very religious person with whom I feel a kinship because she too was a part of a spiritual community that she could not fully abide. Women were forbidden to wear jewelry. That was OK. She did not wear it but she did have a spectacular collection of it hidden away in a jewelry box. In my minds eye I see her sitting in front of a mirror in the dead of night by the dim glow of a lamp as she holds the earrings up to her ears and smiles at her reflection.
How she could justify this excursion I will never know. How she convinced my mother to go is also one of the greatest mysteries of all time right along with Nessie and Sasquatch. If I remember correctly my mother was asking about a job opportunity. I do not know what my Grandmother asked. But what really interests me is what this woman had to say about me. This is a secret locked away in the mind of my mother. A secret she will probably take to her grave. But this is what I imagine.
I can imagine a gypsy woman wearing a turban in a close dark room lit with the flickering flames of candles. Maybe there is the heady exotic scent of incense wafting through the air. I see my mother and grandmother sitting on large floor cushions enclosed in walls covered in brightly colored cloths. I see her spread her cards across the table as her bangle bracelets softly tinkle. She makes a grande pronouncement befitting a king or queen of old, full of mystery and promise as I coo and wiggle in my carrier. Does this have any basis in reality probably not but a girl can dream.
But two can play that game. I have read cards myself for close to 18 years. I used to do it professionally but have since tired of reading for those who do not share my interest in reflection and insight. Like all such techniques I view the tarot as a mirror whose reflection holds your own. It can reveal hidden desires or your darkest fears. So I did a reading with the intent of finding out what was said. Here is what I found.
Heart of the Matter:
Seven of Pentacles
Unwarranted concerns, labor before gains that will come in the future, movement, gain, profit, investment, revaluations.
The Opposing Factor:
Nine of Wands
Order, discipline, completion, reserve strength, trust in one’s ability, unification of the conscious and the unconscious.
Six of Pentacles
Generosity both given and received, having of prosperity, practical help, charity, philanthropy, presents, gifts, if in trouble, receiving help, if well, giving help to those in need.
New beginnings and opportunities, passion, amusement, bliss, thoughtlessness.
Seven of Wands
Courage, determination, fighting spirit, to hold your own, success, gain, profit, victory.
Ace of Cups
Joy, love, beauty, good health, the beginning, new possibilities, new ideas.
Eight of Cups
A change or gaining of perspective, breaking an irrelevant link with the past, disillusion with the present, shedding attachments, changing ones path, leaving the known for the unknown.
Nine of Cups
Your wish fulfilled, goals achieved, victory, success, triumph, difficulties surmounted, getting what you think you want, being content, the joy of camaraderie.
Queen of Cups
Success, Happiness, Advantage, Pleasure, Imagination. Developing a romance. A women of virtue and pure heart. A loving mother. A loyal friend. Psychic powers.
Stability, control, power, accomplishment, protection, a great person, fathering, authority and will.
Here I see my journey lain out before me. Looking back I see more clearly both the positive and negative aspects of each card as they manifested over the years. Overall a message of Hope and Self realization.
Update: Memory is not 100%. That is why it is so important to have others to help fill in the blanks. Evidently I got some of the details wrong in my account of this situation. But the benefit of open discussion is never a bad thing right? My Aunt M took my mother and Grandmother to this woman who read out of her house “for entertainment purposes only”. My grandmother refused to touch the cards at all. Mom does not remember what she or Aunt M asked about. The woman said I would be a singer. And if you knew me when, you know that singing preoccupied a lot of my time Once Upon a Time. Mom missed a call about a job opportunity while she was there and sees it as payback for engaging in such activities.