Thorough Tarot

I love all manner of fortune telling. Fortune cookies, astrological charts, tarot readings, palm readings, all of it. Sign me up. Do I think these things really portend the future? Not on your life. Would it freak me out if someone told me that they saw The Grim in my tea grounds or something equally Trelawney-like? That’s never happened to me but I sincerely doubt it would faze me. So although I don’t think these activities are telling me anything about my actual future, I still love them. It’s fun. Plus, I tend to be, for better and worse, a person who thinks a lot about my place in the world, how I relate to other people, and the ways in which who I am affects how I behave, and fortunes plug into that part of my brain. When I read a daily horoscope, I don’t think it ‘s really written for me, but it’s interesting for me to pick out the parts of it that resonate and ask myself why that might be. It’s like a Rorschach test. It’s not so much what the fortune says, it’s what I hear it saying that’s compelling.

This weekend I went to a friend’s house for dinner and afterward he busted out his tarot deck and gave readings for all who wanted one. My lovely reader let me know that I could think on a question or issue that I wanted addressed or I could just let him do the reading and keep my interpretation private. I chose the latter, mostly because the thing I was wondering about was large, interior, how-to-deal type stuff which I couldn’t have articulated succinctly even if I wanted to. I do not know much about these readings, but I was told mine was a particularly strong one, with a powerful message. Indeed, as I heard others’ readings, I saw how some of them seemed more mysterious, with foggy places found everywhere, while mine seemed as clear as a bell to my ears. Everything that was said to me made immediate sense, which I find fascinating just in that apparently I’m feeling surefooted about where I am right now, including feeling certainty about knowing what I don’t know and what I need to figure out. When the cards showed that I was feeling strength, I felt like I knew what that was referring to. When the cards showed my resentment for something, I felt like I knew toward what.

I know it sounds navel-gazey, and it probably is, but it’s made me think about some of my shit, good and bad, for the past couple of days. I probably don’t need help doing more of that, come to think of it, but I can’t help it. If you want to know what’s important to you or what’s driving you up a fricking wall, have a tarot reading done and see what messages you glom on to. Every time you think “AH HA, I KNEW IT,” it’s significant. Plus, you might find out that your bike is at the Alamo.


  1. There are so many ways I appreciate this. One is, I reserve the right to be rational and dismiss things when I need to, but I look for the woo-woo, too. When I was laid off from my job in 2002 and I spent a hard winter as a chainman on a survey crew, descending into muddy pits where the parking garages of tall buildings would later be and working for a boss who disliked me intensely for some reason she never would tell me — I latched onto the idea that the red-tailed hawk was my familiar. I kept seeing it circling above me in my most downcast, exhausted, humiliated moments, and in places where I wouldn’t have expected to see one, like downtown Seattle. I let that bird carry my soul up and away, because I just couldn’t deal. I needed those wings then. Did I believe it? Not the right question. I needed the succour that acting as if I believed it provided. I don’t know that there’s really any difference. The gate of the mind can stay shut fast, but the heart still roams where it needs to.

    You managed to write “which who” in a way that, no matter how hard I stare at it, I cannot find anything ungrammatical about. I’d have said no way on that one in a game show.

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