Saturday, April 27, 2013

Divination (In the Category of Say What You Mean.)

Divination, Tweeps, or Whining? I narrow it down to these three possibilities for this week’s blog post. All of them make me say,hmmm?” They may all yet make it here in one form or another. But it’s the weekend. My deadline looms.

From across the room, a glint catches my eye – our crystal ball collection throws glimmers in the day’s failing light. It’s sparkly; I’m a magpie. Prisms have ever fascinated me. And kaleidoscopes. Divination -- like a whisper.

The Sun in Pisces at the time of my birth predicates a fascination with prophecy, spiritualism, the occult. I have always been intrigued, but blog-wise, I’m still not sure what direction to take. I experience  the usual hebdomadal panic: #52weeks. I want to meet this goal, but can I? I grab my newest tarot deck (I collect them…this one has a Lord of the Rings theme…). I shuffle the cards.

I shuffle adroitly; I’ve had years of practice. The technique is simple: split the deck; interlace the top ten cards of each side; arch both, and slowly cascade them together. Tap the deck on the table to smooth the sides, repeat until the desired comfort level of randomness has been achieved. As I shuffle I mutter my query: Why am I blogging? Why the hell am I blogging?

Kim’s Rules of Tarot:
  1. Follow the instructions. (This requires reading them.)
  2. Read directly from The Book* (applies to any deck, regardless of how long you have owned it).
  3. Believe none of it. In the words of Alice, “You’re nothing but a pack of cards!”** 
I throw a new spread. I generally deal the 10-card Celtic Cross, but this deck has Middle Earth-ian themes, so I go with Gandalf’s Spread, a 7-card variant laid out on the table to resemble a runic G. I grab The Book. I’ve already marked the three sections I’ll need to read the cards: the throw and its meanings, interpretations for the Major Arcana cards and the Minor Arcanas. I turn the cards face up one at a time.

Card # 1, present situation: represents the querent’s current working and living conditions and the area of present influence.*** I reveal the Empress, a Major Arcana card (represented by Galadriel, Belladonna Took & Rose Gamgee…the triple feminine aspects of maid, mother and crone). I flip to the correct page and read. “The Empress Card shows the mighty ability of the earthly plane to create new forms of physical life and support them.”  Do blogs count as physical life?

Card # 2, the near future: the sphere of influence coming into being, in a broad sense. The Queen of Swords (Lady Eowyn) joins the Empress It’s a girl-power throw. I can feel it. I find the page. “A determined woman who will not be swayed from her purpose.” I can relate to that…I am stubborn, damn stubborn.

Card # 3, the recent past: shows the most recent sphere of influence, which has just passed or is passing – Another strong-looking woman, this time it’s the Queen of Wands (Theodwyn, Sister of Theoden). I’ve never heard of Theodwyn, but the book explains she is  the mother of Eomer and Eowyn. “An independent-minded woman who intends to exert her influence, either directly or indirectly, on the situation as it develops.” I mull this one for a bit. Somehow, it’s discomforting.

Card # 4 shows the querent’s present position or attitude…it attempts to place the querent in the proper perspective. The Emperor (Elrond), I’m taken aback…all that girl power, and now, a dude. And in the querent position no less! Still, it’s a pretty cool dude and another Major Arcana card. (The Major Arcana comprise only 1/3 of the tarot deck and, as such, are given greater relevance in the interpretation of the throw.) “The Emperor card is a strong one, denoting the principle of self-determination, the way the individual will may be taken and channeled with unswerving sense of direction.” Another “tenacious” card. I begin to feel bullied. It is only a pack of cards, but damn it… .

Card # 5, hopes and anxieties: shows the inner hopes, fears, anxieties and hidden emotions of the querent. I draw the Ace of Swords (Gwaihir the Eagle). “A liberating situation or opportunity that enables rapid progress to be made now. Breakthrough.” Hmmm.

Card # 6, opposing, contrary influences: shows the nature of obstacles that may lie just ahead. I always get a little thrill of dread when I reveal this position’s card. The Lightning Struck Tower has yet to show itself, a transformation card, yes, but with baggage. The Six of Wands turns up instead. “Victory against the forces of negativity. Take time out to take a bow.”

Take a bow? Really? But then I think about it. I would never tell you the contents of this blog are bow-worthy. They are not. But they never had to be Pulitzer material. They just had to be, once a week, every week, for 52 weeks. And maybe these weekly posts, these burps, as I sometimes call them, don’t completely suck. Maybe they do. That isn’t the point.

In the Gandalf Spread of the Lord of the Rings Tarot, the given meaning of card # 7, the final position, confuses me: helpful, supportive influences? I’ve never seen it in a tarot book before. The last position usually represents the final outcome of the query, the culmination of the preceding cards. The notion of helpful and supportive influences makes the entire reading feel open-ended and unfinished.

But I follow the instructions. I flip the last unrevealed card. It is the Nine of Coins, “Recognition and acknowledgment for an accomplishment or completion of a task.”

I smile broadly. #52Weeks

*In this particular case, the book is: Donaldson, Terry. The Lord of the Rings Tarot. Stamford, CT:  U.S. Game Systems, 1997. Printed book.

**Carroll, Lewis. Alice In Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass. Kingsport, TN: Grosset & Dunlap, Inc., 1946. p. 133.

***Descriptions of the cards position are from Tarot: Cards for Fun and Fortune Telling. (Kaplan, S.R. New York, NY: U.S. Game Systems, 1970.)


  1. :-) Yup, that's what it's all about!

  2. Your posts totally don't suck, and I had no idea you read Tarot! I want to see your Lord of the Rings deck - it sounds awesome. Love the final card. From this post, it would seem as if it was correct :-)