I’ve always had what I thought was a healthy curiosity for the mystical. I read my horoscope every day. I don’t believe in coincidences. And I don’t believe in absolute destiny. I’m somewhere in the middle of doing the best I can, and knowing that I can’t control people, places, things or outcomes. I’m somewhere in the middle of believing there are forces and energies which impact me and my world, and knowing that it’s what I do with them that really matters. I’m somewhere in the middle of being a spiritual being, and making decisions which take into account my material world. So, having a tarot card reading puts me in the middle of myself.

     As it did a couple of weeks ago when I attended two group sessions with a card reader and self-proclaimed mystic. The cards which presented themselves as the result of a numerology exercise felt relevant and aligned with my evolution and current state of mind, body, and spirit. There was possibility, creative energy, and clarity of intent. They landed in front of me as comfortable affirmations.

     I then drew a card that I was instructed to put under my pillow. To repeat a mantra that I would be awake in my dreams, and remember those dreams in the morning. The card was deeply disturbing to me. A threatening card, a reversal card, a dark card. I didn’t want to dream that night or remember if I had. I feared I would have a nightmare, or be otherwise jarred into an abyss of avoided reality. I wasn’t. I woke up mildly relieved and moderately haunted. Still.

     Later that day I had a private reading. As I sat quietly listening to the steady reporting of a tiny woman with grey-blue hair and an expressionless face tell me that addiction was in my family, and that I had a tumultuous relationship with my father, I felt confusion arising. I knew one to be true, the other to be about the wrong parent. As she continued to cast her glance over an arrangement of faded cards that I had drawn and she had placed, I struggled to find a connection between her story and my life experience. The figures on the cards were intriguing, the labels faded and almost impossible to read. The Foot, The Creative, The Lovers.  And others. 

     As she took a breath in and wrapped up her lengthy interpretation of the jumble of cards sitting on the table between us her closing words landed in my brain. I know that you said you were struggling with some big changes you need to make in your life over the next few months. I looked at her questioningly. Her already pale face lost its form and definition. Oh my, I’m so sorry. That wasn’t you. I had never spoken to her.

     Days later, still disturbed and questioning my perceptions and self-awareness, I called my wise and trusted friend and shared the experience. This reaching out and sharing a vulnerability when I am in the middle of it is new behaviour for me. I usually wait until I have filed it in a drawer that opens only in my dark moments of alone time. Then I use the past tense and share my resolution.

     Her words were soft and buttery. I felt my confidence return. I was empowered as she reminded me of my past, present and future. She has a deep understanding of who I am. She reminded me that each card has a shadow and a light interpretation. The reader had a mistaken orientation. She thought you were someone else.

     I had handed my power over to this unknown woman with a deck of tarot cards. My open mind and energy were clearly fragile. I believe there are insights to be gained and self-awareness affirmations available from mystical sources. I now know to be protective of my energy. I now know to trust my intuition and awareness when I sense disquiet and misalignment. I now know we are all fallible. I now know that the cards we’re dealt with aren’t as important as the meaning we give them. And if we choose not to give them meaning, they have no power.

     At least, that has been my experience.