Which one is it?

Which one is it? January 16, 2024

It is often the case that you have to ask that question, ‘which one is it?’ whenever you have to pass judgment on a string of three cards whose visual symmetry can be disturbed by the emerging narrative.

The Empress, Death, and the Charioteer are on the table? Are these two done? Is she finished and he is not? Has Death come for the Empress and not for the Charioteer? What of the two heads on the ground? Is one of the fallen heads hers and the other his? How can we determine what is the case?

If we just read the cards for ourselves, we could leave it at these questions. The more thinking that goes into it, the more exciting the detective story. But if we read the cards for another who wants to know what to do, as the sense that the relationship has run its course is both present and disturbing for them, then we can only think twice about it, not a hundred times. We only have one shot to deliver the best verdict.

Death speaks its own language. If the relationship is ended on account of external circumstance, then both parties can be equally accepting of it. But this is never the case when the fortuneteller sits with one of them lamenting. One of the two will never accept that it’s over. Not without resistance.

As per his nature, the Charioteer moves faster than the Empress, who just sits on her throne. If the man leaves, or decides to be out of there, then that leaves the immobile woman wondering: wasn’t she the one in charge, after all? Wasn’t she the ruler here? What business did Death have with her? Can’t the man, at least, ask about it? Ask anything?

But if Death precedes the Charioteer, there’s no room for negotiation. ‘What is there to ask,’ the man may ask, moving on and away from the woman he once served like a devoted chevalier.

‘Be the Star,’ I said on the occasion of these cards on the table, but then I couldn’t help thinking about what ‘be the Star’ can mean at all, given the circumstance. ‘Overcome your predicament,’ I further said, drawing Force and pointing to the strength related to this card. But can one overcome the end of a relationship when such an end is not desired, or ruled upon? ‘Don’t obsess about it,’ I also said, and then thought, how can one not obsess about what is both in motion and yet still?

Perhaps a cascade of cards is what I needed to look at in order to bring comfort, for how else can one comfort the one who mourns? ‘He’s leaving you, but he’s not really going anywhere else,’ I said, and then watched for a reaction. ‘The past will follow the Hermit, turning the withdrawal into some Papal righteous ritual. You’ll still be in the picture as an idealized lover,’ I finally said, and then watched again for a more profound reaction. It came in the form of a cry: ‘But that’s not what I want,’ the woman sighed. I said, ‘I know,’ and then left it at that.

I can’t imagine a most enjoyable time than reading cards. But how real the pain of others… It’s almost beautiful too. And yet, what is the purpose of it? I think of this every day.


For such thinking, or a sustained practice with the cards:

  • Join the Read like the Devil Club.
  • Visit also Aradia Academy and sign up for the newsletter that will keep you informed on upcoming courses and cartomantic activities. Note the Off the Shelf offering that also includes free resources.
  • Check out my books on the philosophy and practice of divination at EyeCorner Press.
  • Get a reading. When I perform a reading, I also teach, simply because I can’t help myself, so you will be twice served.
About Camelia Elias
Professor, writer, cartomancer. You can read more about the author here.
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