It’s been quite a week. So much has happened and I fear that my life is going to change significantly. Yet one thing has stood out for me this week in the few spare moments I have had to myself. I have found deep solace in my cards and have had to confront a certain skepticism somewhere deep within me and marvel to myself at how sometimes we can shuffle at length, draw on a whim and the cards really can be spot on. I shalln’t go into any theory about how this is so, partly because I have no theory and I merely wanted to record my own silent wonder here. I am not one given to compulsive daily draws and sometimes – for really important issues – I am reluctant to read for myself, reluctant to hear answers, unsure of the level of my own objectivity. When I do read for myself, I think it through carefully and try to read the cards as if I were reading for a stranger (admittedly, not always easy). It all started with a phonecall out of the blue last week. Summoned to a meeting with my boss. No idea why. I had a weekend to sweat it out, but felt sure that I hadn’t done anything wrong, made no mistake, no gaffs that I could recall. I simply couldn’t resist; curiosity got the better of me. I had to draw a card over the weekend. There are times when only an oracle deck will do. I didn’t want all the interpretive baggage of tarot at this stage, just a sign, a clue and so chose an oracle that I bought recently which is so not me but which I find I quite like simply because it does feel like a deck from a totally different universe; The Spirit of the Wheel Meditation Deck by Linda Ewashina & Jody Bergsma. I have read – but not really inwardly digested – the LWB and only know that it is based on the North American Indian Medicine Wheel which I have never really studied and the cards come with keywords anyway (something I dislike in tarot but quite like in an oracle deck as it often saves me from worrying too much about having to remember a whole new system.) So one evening last weekend, I shuffled and, asking for a clue, drew the following card; number 16, Earth Renewal Moon, a wolf and a moon, but it was the keywords that attracted my attention; Greater Responsibility, Inner Knowing, Teaching.
To my mind this could only mean one thing; a promotion and that I had it in me to take it. Slightly unnerved and with plenty to think about, I drew (the following day) another card. This time I drew the card from John Matthew’s The Shaman’s Oracle, one of my favourite decks that I have used here before (“here” I always say as if it were a place). My feeling of disquiet must have got the better of me for the card which my hand plucked from the deck was The Shaman of Courage, which speaks for itself much as the card from the Spirit of the Wheel deck did.
The image seems to be telling me that this is the energy I will need to draw on within myself. There may be “greater responsibility” on the way, but courage is required. Later, I checked the meaning in the companion book and read how “we can all summon up from deep within ourselves the courage we need, however much we may doubt it.” The card also bears an interesting concept; that of transforming fear into power. Less than 24 hours later my hunch, interpretation (or fear) was confirmed; I had indeed been offered a promotion. The opportunity knocked me sideways; it really wasn’t what I had expected at this moment in my life. It will be a huge responsibility. However, after thinking long and hard (my mind returning constantly to these two cards, unable to think of any other cards in the decks that could have spoken quite so directly to me), I accepted and then spent two or three days in a state of mental turmoil, thinking of the implications, the fears, the doubts, remembering all those quotes about man & courage & seizing opportunities, feeling the fear and doing it anyway and all the rest. But I said yes and consequently had a series of sleepless nights because of it. Then a couple of nights ago – perhaps when I was at my most anxious – I sat up in bed and took out my trusty Tarot Balbi, a deck I bought when I was first getting interested in tarot and which has accompanied me on a journey now of almost exactly thirty years. I have since learnt to love its pop art colours though when I first bought it in the early 1980s (and paid, I remember, £4.95 for it; the cheapest of all the decks in the shop that day and we were a bit too near the 70s for me to find it attractive) I thought the colours were a bit too garish for my tastes. I kept it, though it was always my least favourite deck, but the last few years have seen me learn to love it. Reaching for this, as I reached this week, was like reaching out to an old friend that we may have neglected but feel the need to hear the truth from. Propped up on pillows I shuffled this already randomised deck and drew two cards; what is the truth of the issue? Now remember what all the tarot books say about the Major Arcana versus the Minor Arcana? How the Majors are the big upheavals and the Minors are the smaller ones? I suppose it was inevitable that I would draw two Major Arcana cards at a time of such turmoil; a sign of the depth and intensity with which this issue was affecting me. I drew The Tower and the Fool.
Could any other cards have spoken quite this clearly? Absolute rupture and a bolt-from-the-blue and yet (as if out of the rubble), the Fool with his rucksack striding onwards and upwards. This is how I felt in a nutshell. The conciseness of the cards stunned me. I had been feeling totally destabilised and yet subconsciously sensing (though I never actually articulated it) that this was the beginning of a long learning process, humility, angst, the next phase of my life, discovering facets of myself that I might not know I possessed, potential yet to be realised. Most definitely a Fool and Tower moment rolled into one. The cards really do amaze us sometimes.