The Cartomancer: Your Second Chance

The Cartomancer: Your Second Chance April 27, 2016

Photo: Camelia Elias
Photo: Camelia Elias

Prompted by a reading where the Wheel of Fortune featured into it, I devised a Tarot game based on these two questions:

  • Why am I here?
  • Why am I really here?

The reason for the second question is related to what we know about the Wheel of Fortune. It gives you a chance for a second draw. While the Wheel of Fortune can say many things about the nature of change, the most powerful aspect I like about it is this one, when it hits me as a possibility: ‘Have another go. You got the Wheel, you have earned the right to throw the dice twice.’

In the context of belonging to groups, religions, countless pagan orientations, and endless discussions of anything that has conflict in it – for that is what makes people go, that is what gets people’s adrenaline up, namely, contrast and conflict, I thought it a good idea to present here an alternative.

If you’re genuinely asking yourself, once part of a group/organization/work/social media forum/: ‘Why am I here?’, then I suggest that after the initial response and reaction to your own question, you ask yourself again: ‘Why am I really here?’


Do a simple three-card draw for each question and then compare. But let your comparison rise above polarity. This is a question you ask yourself, not the witnessing crowd that demands more conflict, more this god or that god, more man or woman, more traditional witch or modern witch, more Tarot or Lenormand, more playing-cards or oracles, more bones or crystals, more shamanism or Santeria. Let this question lead you to your own inner place, not the place dictated by peer pressure.

From Zen to Zowie

Here’s an example from someone who got tired of spiritual sports, from yoga to pilgrim marathons, and now wanted to try Zen and a few other meditation practices – something I happen to know something about, and which I consult on.

For the first question, ‘Why am I here?’, we got these cards:

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

World, Star, Force

So I said:

You are here because there’s something to worship: Wholeness on a pedestal, a whole world. You worship it, but you don’t know why. Hence you struggle. But wholeness is beyond knowledge. You struggle to understand it, you lose power.

For the second question, ‘Why am I really here?’, we got these cards:

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

Magician, Judgment, Empress

Here I said:

You are really here because you are awakening simultaneously within yourself two powers: a magical one and an imperial one. One is of doing the other of commanding.

These are essential dimensions of power if you are to wield it in the world so that it makes a resounding impact regardless of what you do by default, for instance, kneel in front of the altar to pray to the Virgin Mary, Hekate, Lilith or the Buddha. Your animal spirit can also be in attendance as a matter of course. You may struggle to get what the animal says, but it’s all there, as a reflection of yourself and the ways in which you can know yourself, beyond language and other verbal tricks.


The point with this exercise is to see to what extent the two questions are in agreement. Here there isn’t a lot of contradiction in the two pictures, and we can see how they support each other.

In the second reading, however, we have a deeper sense of the ‘real’ insofar as it relates to the person’s own concerns regardless of invocation, which seems to be the theme in the first reading.

The second reading is more like a boom in your head. When the Angel blasts his message through his trumpet, there’s no way you won’t hear it. You may look to the left, and ask incredulously with the Magician: ‘Who, me, no way, I’m just a con.’ But you may also look straight ahead and accept the consecration: ‘Power? Thank you. I’ll take it.’

There’s always more below the surface, or as the case may be, right under your nose. Allow yourself to remember that if you ask: ‘Why?’, you can also ask, ‘Why, really?’

The above is part of my inquiry program called Non Reading that involves radical boldness in dialogue. I’m particularly fond of addressing questions about thresholds, insight, contemplation, and the nature of awareness. You are welcome to ask me anything.

More words of power? Stay in the loop.

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