hth: recent b&w photo of Gillian Anderson (Default)
I had so much fun doing my annual Samhain divinations this year that I started thinking -- other people make a little bit of money reading tarot cards and whatnot for people, don't they? And I'm really pretty good at that stuff, aren't I? I was reminded of an anecdote in, I think it's Textual Poachers but I'm not sure, where an artist was talking about going to cons and seeing people sell bad pencil drawings of Mr. Spock, and that her reaction was to say to herself, "Self, *I* can do bad pencil drawings of Mr. Spock!" Ever since I read that, it's been the first thing I think of when what I really mean is, why not me? Self, I can do bad pencil drawings of Mr. Spock! Or in this case, read cards.

The interesting thing to me about tarot, or any other symbol-based divination (I read runes and ogham, too, and am possibly better at those, but they're much less fun to look at than cards, so less appealing to people who aren't deeply interested in those systems themselves), is that when you start out, you get all this advice to let your intuition guide you, but if you're anything like me, you don't really get what that means. There are so many books! Pages and pages of meanings that you really should memorize! What if one line out of all those pages holds the Key To It All, and it's the sentence you forgot? And then there are positions and card combinations and reverses, and you study and study so you'll know how to do it right.

And then at some point, years later, you lay seven cards on the floor and you look at them all together, and you don't think about any of those pages of information. You're just watching a story kind of coalesce out of the lines of the spread, and the King of Swords can mean a billion different things, but right here and now, you're just convinced it can only mean one thing. It's just *clear.* And I find myself actually disregarding all those basics of position and order and whatnot -- two cards can fall close enough together that they're really only saying one thing, for example, and I don't even read reversed anymore because I think it's stupid. You learn all this stuff, and then at some point, you just say the hell with it and you say to your querent, stop me if this isn't making any sense to you, but here's what I'm seeing. It's pretty cool.

I realize this is exactly the reason that the hard-nosed materialists out there disregard divination altogether -- if I can just say that the cards mean whatever feels right, and my querent can interpret what I say any way she likes, then all we're doing is telling each other stories until something seems to jibe with reality. Which sounds pretty much like how therapy works, too, so even if that's all that does go on, it's a cheap and fun reality check with an impartial observer of your life and totally worth a few minutes and a few bucks here and there. It's a fair service to provide, and even if I never end up making anything more than pin money with it, I'd feel pretty good about saying that I do it. Of course, I have negative idea how one goes about building a clientele for something like this -- I may have already exhausted my supply of co-workers who will pay me for this in the past couple of weeks. *g* Maybe I should take a field trip out to the new age bookstore in Raleigh (it's a crime that we don't have one in Durham or Chapel Hill, really) and chat with the readers there -- see how they got their gigs. If nothing else, I bet I'd meet some interesting characters.
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hth: recent b&w photo of Gillian Anderson (Default)

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