The Tarot Gods were having a bit of a laugh yesterday.
My services as a tarot reader are in demand. With two hen's parties to read at yesterday, plus a number of other one-on-one bookings in the diary, I'm back finding my inner witch/tarot reader/counsellor/shovel-wielding-blow-to-the-back-of-the-head-giver - or whatever skill it is I use when I go reading cards on a regular basis.
Explaining to people that you read tarot can, at times, be difficult. I tend not to tell people about this hobby job until I know them, once I work out where they lie on the mystical plane. I try not to make a fuss of it - it's something that I do. I'd be more ashamed to speak out if I played mixed netball or was into taxidermy or "The Farmer Wants a Wife". Something embarrassing like that. Tarot is a part of me - a small, eclectic part of me.
Friday night was interesting. I went out for dinner with Jonella and her Mum, Connie. A pious woman from Durban, she was asking me about my weekend. I explained that I was racing around, having my cards read and doing a couple of readingsm hoping she wouldn't ask too many questions.
Talking tarot with religious people can be difficult. I tend to avoid it - saves arguments and judgement. However, Connie asked me a direct question. Why was I having my cards read? How did I feel reading cards? This wasn't said with any malice or judgement - I was compelled to answer.
What does one say?
Jonella was looking on with interest. She's warned me about her mum and her religious beliefs - but after a lovely evening at one of the local Vietnamese restaurants, the boundaries were set, I was fine to talk.
I explained that in having my cards read, I was normally looking to get some clarity around what was going on in my life or in a situation in my life. It's more of a counselling session. I don't want to know the future - I want to have a look around about what is going on now. My reader is a trained counsellor, as well as the former head of the Australian tarot guild - I'm in safe hands.
As to me reading - I see myself as somebody who sheds light on the present. I rarely make predictions. I don't give advice - but offer suggestions. If things are good, they are good. It things are not so, what are they doing to make things a bit better?
I told Connie, "Readings are never forced on people. If they don't want them, I don't give them. If people are visibly unhinged or drunk, I won't read for them. I'm not there to make waves - just to have a look. But as one very devout Christian told me once, "Messages come from God in all sorts of ways - who am I to discount what you do? You have nice energy - I'll give it a go." I rather like that analogy - what I do is look at the messages at a point in time - that is all. We tarot readers have our own version of the Hypocratic Oath. "First, do no harm."
I have my cards read about once a year - normally when I want some clarity around a situation. I don't need to go any more than that. - it's like a counselling session, normally with a point.
Jonella said later that her mother was at ease with what I was saying. I'm glad. I don't go out to inflame other people. It's a gentle path you walk when you look into the lives of others.
I booked my reading with Viv a few weeks ago. Work is proving a little stressful at the moment, not knowing what is going on - I wanted a bit of reassurance.
The cards decided to have a laugh at me. For every question I asked, I got another answer, and another question. I asked about work. I'll be fine - now what am I doing about releationships? I asked about money, I have enough - now what am I doing about relationships? Travel. If I want to, I can - now what am I doing about relationships?
The cards decided to shove this in my face. What am I doing about this? Why don't I have relationships? Why do I push everybody away? It was like I got my answers about whatever else, then the cards started on me about my love life or lack of it. It was pretty unrelenting. It all ended in tears. It normally does when my cards get read. Not bad sobby tears, just tears. My natal moon is in Cancer. I'm a sook.
I left, and hour later, flummoxed.
The thing that came up most of all was that to progress, I have a lot of stuff to unlearn. I've done the work on me - now it's time for the unlearning all the stuff that I've taught myself over the last forty-three years. The stuff that appears to be so ingrained that it is a part of me - almost to a cellular level.
But how does one going about unlearning things? In my childhood I learned that to trust would mean getting your feelings trodden over - I don't trust. Never say the words I love you, people just run away. Don't get attached to people, they will just use you. Don't rely on people, they will just let you down. Don't expect anything, you will never be disappointed. Please people, but don't expect to be pleased in return. If you can't do it yourself, you won't be able to do it. Other people leave you weak and vulnerable. Don't go near them.
I have a lot of unlearning to do.
We talked about why I felt all of these things and I can look back and see where it all came from. From my mother being the breadwinner in the family, miserable in the situation - having all of her hard work torn way when my father walked away with the lion's share from their divorce. Young love left me truly scarred - and when love was offered a few years later, I was far too broken to go near it. During my twenties, I lived the life of an illegal alien for many years, reticent to get into relationships for fear of being thrown out of the country - and unwilling to marry for convenience to stay - that would mean relying on somebody. Love was something that was always unrequited - or so I thought. The men I chose were always unavailable. I make my own money because I only know how to support myself. I've been paying my own way since I was fourteen.
And all of this is what I have to unlearn.
Buggered if I know how I'm supposed to do it.
Being honest, these questions have been plaguing me for a while now. A series of events have set off a lot of thinking around these topics. The world has been shoving these questions in my face for a while now. It's time to take notice.
After a wondeful massage after the reading - much needed, I trotted off to my tarot jobs. Two very different events - one at a city bar with a group of professional women dressed to the nines. The other, in a hotel suite, a group of young suburban women, teachers and nurses, down to earth and fun.
Two different groups. The same questions. Will I have children? Will I get married? Is this one the one for me?
As always, with tarot cards, you stick to what you can see. As always, when doing short readings at hen's parties, keep it light, stick to the knowns - work, money, fun.
Somebody will always cry. Of course, somebody did. Hen's parties are about avoiding the buttons. You're going to press one every now and then.
Maybe this is biggest lesson of all. Maybe it's time I got my buttons pushed well and good.
What ever else, it's going to get interesting from here on in.