The Cartomancer: Priestess, Oh Priestess…

The Cartomancer: Priestess, Oh Priestess… April 12, 2017

camelia elias, marseille tarot,
Photo: Camelia Elias

Every reading of cards is a three-part process: Narrative, analysis, advice.

Let’s have a brief look at each:

Narrative is your act of stringing a story based on what you see. The cards speak a visual language inviting you to humble yourself and see what you see, not what you invent is a ‘system’ – esoteric or rational.

Analysis is what you make of it. It’s more than interpretation, as it requires you to heed attention according to the rules of logic against the background of what is possible and what is probable.

Advice is what you prescribe. Do this, do that, don’t do this, don’t do that. Advice is also a word of comfort, or a word that strengthens the heart.

Many come to diviners because their heart has gone to stone. They lost faith and trust. They feel that they need to test everything before acceptance comes.

There’s resistance to acceptance, and suspicion leads the way. But what is this way? Climbing the mountain without the proper equipment? If you make it to the top you may find that your heart has gone ruthless.

The reason why acceptance rules is because we’re always subject to the 50/50 rule.

Just yesterday I said this to someone:

I happen to have complete trust in the obvious: that what we live by is always a 50/50 thing, whether life, love, luck, and work. This simple realization gives me complete peace of mind.

What we operate with always, in spite of what most would have us believe, is variables of the 50/50. Sometimes you get it and other times you don’t.

We are never beyond what’s possible and what’s probable. We can help things along by employing technologies of magic, but the fact still remains. The pendulum swings both ways: it’s a 50/50 deal.

Once this got clear in my head, the first thing that happened to me as a diviner is that I’ve stopped testing. There is nothing to test. There’s just the poetry of living the magical life.

The point is thus that living a life without projections is living a life beyond hopes and fears.

In my Radiant Reading class (advanced Marseille), we’ve recently discussed the Celtic Cross and how we can best read it beyond positionality: ‘this is you, this is the other, this crosses you, this is above you, this is below you…’

One of the students expressed anxiety with having to read card 9 as an expression of both fears AND desires, referring also to many texts that are downright contradictory in their take on how to read this position as a combination of two contradictory states.

This is what I said, in response to ‘I don’t get it’:

I fear she doesn’t love me discloses an implicit desire: I desire that she loves me. It’s that simple. Why people complicate everything for no good reason merely discloses their fear of being inadequate, which in itself carries the desire to be master.’

Our fears and desires are never more than narratives.

We can analyze what’s happening at this level, and even offer advice of this kind: memories and projections have no inherent nature. It’s all semantics. It’s all a way of putting it so that it serves a specific purpose.

The art is to know what this specific purpose is.

I’m looking at my cards instructing me on what a good topic for this essay would be:

camelia elias, marseille tarot,
Marseille Tarot, Jean Noblet, 1650, as reconstructed by Jean-Claude Flornoy (Photo: Camelia Elias)

The Tower, The Priestess, The Hanged Man

While looking and maintaining an empty mind of ‘no judgment’, I feel my cultural competence kicking is, sending me to the world of enchantments:

Rapuntzel, Rapuntzel, let down your hair, so that I may climb thy golden stair.

Arthur Rackham [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons, 1909
Arthur Rackham [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons, 1909
Brothers Grimm fairytale about the young damsel with enchanted golden hair locked up in the tower hits on me. The hair is used as a rope for the witch who keeps Rapuntzel away from the world. Whenever she needs to visit Rapuntzel and climb to her chamber, she sings the spell. The spell opens the gate to beauty and richness.

But what if it does more?

What if it unlocks fears and desires? What if the spell unlocks the acceptance of the 50/50 rule?

Sometimes the witch climbs the golden stairs, and sometimes the prince climbs the golden stairs.

Although we all know how it all went once the Prince learnt the spell, the truth is that without the witch’s 50 percent part in it, creating the spell and maintaining secrecy about it, he would never have thought of Rapunzel as being fascinating, as worth conquering, and as fulfilling his deepest desire.

The point here is that any string of cards, whether laid out as a Celtic Cross or as a three-card spread, tells a story that can be experienced both spontaneously and as validating of what you already know. As soon as the image hits your eyes, you find words pouring. Words that describe, analyze, evaluate, and give advice.

In my new video lecture series about the power of the trumps, I talk about how the image follows the words, always, simply because what makes divination an act of fortunetelling is words, the words that go into formulating in the form of a question what you have in your heart: hopes and fears.

How do you go beyond them?

Priestess, oh priestess, let down your words so that I may climb thy inky swords.

The word is sharper than the sword, they say. Perhaps, indeed, what cuts the Hanged Man’s rope is the parole, the uttered spell, not the blade, and not the axe, but the enchantment that will last…

(… that is, if the Prince manages to escape getting hung up by the foot in the gold hair.)

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