I have my eyes closed to smell the roses on my table. I also put three cards on the table to postpone what I have to do. Every day there’s cause to think of the things that ‘I prefer not to do’, but how it this thinking going to help me? It never does. I use the cards to displace the eating of toads, while well knowing that I can’t avoid the meal.

I look at the cards and laugh my wits out. This laughter functions as a good appetizer. The toad has turned into French cuisine, and I remember already how I relish eating frog’s legs.

Danish fortune-telling cards ca. 1900 in my collection (Photo: Camelia Elias)

The toad I’m talking about is cleaning the house. I prefer not to. I prefer to go back to the writing streak that I’ve purposely allotted some time to. I’ve been having a lot of highly disciplined fun with publishing three books in one month, finishing a fourth manuscript, and finalizing the fifth I’m working on, for which only the pictures are missing, plus a translation. I’m excited because this latter book is not about the Tarot, but rather about ten pieces of very fun memory about the place I’ll move to in a manner of days. More about that later.

Let’s look at the cards, a very old set of fortunetelling cards in my collection:

Tree, Cannon, and Gardener. Some fat Hearts above. 

Danish fortune-telling cards ca. 1900 in my collection (Photo: Camelia Elias)

I laughed because of language. When I was young, whenever we had to clean the house, my mother would use this phrase: ‘Intru-n ele ca cu tunu’. Here’s an off-beat translation, as I can’t quite capture the tone of what’s implied in the Romanian as much as I would like to: ‘I’m going to get to it like a cannon.’

In English this phrase comes across flat. The reason for it is because ‘getting to something’ lacks the urgency that the Romanian has unto which we can tag the idea of arriving. It’s like saying: ‘I’m here how, I’ve arrived at this task, and my getting to it is like blasting the hell out of it with the biggest cannon there is out there on the planet.’ Now, this long sentence fits more the Romanian phrase: ‘Intru-n ele ca cu tunu’ – here the plural is also present, ‘ele’ referring to a set of tasks, or toads that needs handling simultaneously.

I think particularly about the idea of arriving at it. Arriving at the Tree. With the cannon. What happens when you blast it? Flower pots happen. The Gardener holds two of them, ever so proudly. The big wild tree is now a bonsai. Cultivated to the heart’s desire.

I keep talking. I have writing to do. Read some cards when you have to procrastinate and see how fast you can arrive at the scene with your biggest gun.

Stay tuned for cartomantic courses. Next in line is the Lenormand Foundation Course, registration opening in late September.

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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