Photo: Camelia Elias

Sometimes in consultation situations, you get to have a sharp dialogue with the sitter, even before you lay down any cards.

Here’s a scenario:

A lot of anger and frustration is put on your table before the visual language of the cards takes over.

Successful woman in private business is not so successful anymore in her communication with her clients.

Woman: ‘Everything was fine, and then all of a sudden, I feel all this resistance. I keep doing what I’ve always been doing, and I let people have access to a lot of free services, and it looks like now they’re somewhere else in their expectations.’

Me: ‘Do you have any idea what prompted the change?’

Woman: ‘Hmm. Let me think. It all started around the time I invested energy in reading a ton on marketing and social relations’.

Me: ‘What is the gist of what you’ve learnt so far?’

Woman: ‘That no matter what, I must always be grateful for the people who listen to me, as they might as well go somewhere else. At least that’s what Seth Godin says.’

Me: ‘True that. But let’s think: What is presupposed in this gratitude? That when people listen to you they do you a favour and therefore you must bow to them? If you act according to this thinking, then you can be sure that this path will lead to the death of your business. On occasion, marketing specialists can be right, but if they assume too much, it’s a problem.’

Woman: [Thinking about it] ‘I see what you mean. So, what’s the better approach?’

Me: ‘Not to assume anything at all. You offer what you offer. If people listen to you, fine. If they don’t, fine. They can go somewhere else. This notion that you have to be forever grateful to the ones who consume the value that you create is rather an expression of ultimate fear, leading to the death of your business. Imagine this scenario: Spiritual leader teaches about impermanence and the non-substantiality of all things. Students flock to the Zen temple, leading to the teaching becoming a successful business. Some time passes, and the students get tired of Zen philosophy and practice. Too much detachment and self-introspection. Off the students go to where they are allowed to cling to something. Something external, like Jesus or Solomonic magic, as all that stuff about finding your own mind is too much work. What will the Zen master do? Change his philosophy to accommodate the students, and thus ‘protect’ his business? Like hell. People come, people go. When they come, say welcome. When they go, say farewell.’

Woman: ‘Oh.’

But’s let’s see what the cards say.

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

Empress, Death, Justice

Woman: ‘Oh, wow’.

Me: ‘You got it. The Empress acting according to the rules of following opinions on the internet leads to her death. How about finding your own Justice instead? The idea that a business has to be like a family, where you get to nurture everyone, is an illusion. You are nobody’s mother, and the ones working for your are not your children.’

Just laugh at it

I have to say that if I hadn’t already covered Death in my series of Deconstructed Cards, I would have used this example and give it the title: ‘When Death makes you laugh.’

When this is said, situations such as the above are countless. Every week I get to read cards for at least three very angry and frustrated women. I’ve also been there myself, but fortunately for me, my peace of mind doesn’t get knocked off so easily.

The disgruntled Empress (Photo: Camelia Elias)

I often advise the disgruntled empresses to use their anger creatively, by positioning themselves boldly against any assumptions. You’re in business (private or public) for a reason. You do what you do without self-doubt, fear, or apology.

There will always be certain personages among your clients who will behave no better than certain personages on the internet, who object from the position of ‘I know everything already,’ or follow your work for the sake of debunking it.

Just think about it: If you say, ‘I’m a financial consultant,’ and the response is, ‘yeah, but I object’, or, ‘I’m a philosopher,’ and the reaction is, ‘yeah, you philosophize too much, or, ‘I’m a card reader,’ and the attitude is, ‘yeah, but your method is crap’, or ‘I’m a woman,’ and the conclusion is, ‘I can see that, but I still object’, then what do you suppose we can call all this? I think ‘stupid’ would cover it.

Turn it into a solid practice to discern between objections. The idea is not to be forever grateful to the ones who listen and then, when they stop, be angry and frustrated.

People listen for a reason. The day they stop listening is not something you should worry about, and definitely not when you sit in your discerning power, following your own justice.

What better success than that?

Radiant Reading, the advanced course in reading with the Marseille cards, is now open for registration until tomorrow. Join some very happy readers.

About Camelia Elias
Camelia Elias, PhD, Dr.Phil., is a former university professor. After 20 years in the academia, she left her career to pursue her interests in teaching and writing on the philosophy and practice of reading cards. She works with contemplative arts, oracular language, and martial arts cartomancy and Zen at her own school, Aradia Academy. You can read more about the author here.
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