Frigg on film, shot with a faulty Leica M2 (Photo: Camelia Elias)

‘Please work, because I love you.’ I say this all the time. I say it to things, not people.

Long story short: Because I want to honor the memory of a dear friend, I want to use the film camera that he used in the early 60s. The Leica M2 was good enough then, to win him some prestigious prizes. Not so good anymore, but still.

Photo: Camelia Elias

I shot some films, developed them at home, and decided: ‘Technical error’. Every frame has a line in it on the right hand side that’s presumably caused by a ‘lazy curtain close’.

Photo: Camelia Elias

I won’t get into the meaning of this as The Cartomancer is not about analog photography, but I want to make a point about how I use especially playing cards in conversations about love and love declarations.

As I laid down 9 cards, looking at the camera and the shot it could produce in spite of poor lighting and faulty curtain calls, I heard myself saying it out loud: ‘Please work, because I love you.’

Dondorf Hundertjahrkarte, 1933 (Photo: Camelia Elias)

The camera is stubborn: ‘I’ve been like this, forgotten in a box for 50 years. Why start over? You can have the Kind of Diamonds instructing you on how to fix me, but do I really have to go back to the glorious sharpness I was once capable of? I understand that you’re a powerful Queen of Spades who won’t take no for an answer, but WTF?’

The above conversation is based entirely on reading the cards, row by row. Love ends the 9-carré, or as the Leica M2 puts it: WTF? Frigg, the dog, doesn’t care about how she looks through this lens.

Let’s just say that the jury is out deliberating, but it’s not sure the Queen of Spades will give up so easily. She herself may be retired, but she knows that what was once more than good enough, can come back to its glory. No retirement for legends. There’s a King of Diamonds in the picture already, who shares the belief in good, old craft restored.

Stay tuned for cartomantic courses. The Playing Cards Foundation Course opens for registration on February 7, next week. Learn to have conversations with the cards, and in the process mend your heartaches.

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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