Our wrangler Morgan Drake Eckstein has asked us to write about how we show respect to the tarot and any other divination system we might use.
At first, I had no idea what to write. I don't have any elaborate rituals, I say no prayers, light no candles or incense sticks before reading… I was worried my post would consist of one line: "I wash my hands and wipe the table clean before starting to shuffle." Not a very interesting hop.
Then I made myself think harder and ended up looking like Winnie the Pooh; bent over with effort, scratching my head.
Still I had only a vague idea of the basic stuff everyone does (I think). I don't ask the same question over and over unless something changes in my (or querent's) circumstances. I read whatever cards came out and put extra effort in if they don't make sense at first glance. I don't like people touching my cards except when cutting the deck – a habit I got from my grandparents while playing Rummy. But these are common enough. Nothing extra there.
So what the heck do I do to show respect to the cards?
Even after falling over like a sack of potatoes (remember I was in the Pooh position), I couldn't think of anything special. And then, after resigning to hopelessness and almost withdrawing from the hop, it dawned on me. I'll ask the cards!
Out comes the wonderful Egyptian Tarot from its 15 year old cotton wrap that I sewn for it when its box fell apart! It looks as if a five year old has done the sewing but they have lived in it forever and it has a sentimental value for both of us – i.e. the deck and me.
Me: Hi guys, nice to see you again!
ET (Egyptian Tarot): And about time too! You always play with the Trionfi della Luna! 😡
Me: Oh don't be such Ten of Swords, you know you are my favourites!
ET: Yeah yeah, so you keep saying…
Me, shuffling: So I have this blog hop I want to do but I have no idea how I show respect to you guys and my other decks… help?
ET – Out jump the Seven Swords, The Crocodile (Fool), The Magus, and the Slave of the Pentacle (Page): When the need is great you come to us with an open mind, believe in our magic and put it to use, and strive to learn.
Me: Awww… 🙂 But that's what anyone would do. Don't you need a ritual or some candles or stuff…? I'm starting to feel bad about not having any special measures for you guys.
ET – out jumps the Nine of Cups, the Three of Cups and the Nine of Pentacles: You stay out of that BS, girl! You love us, and that is quite enough of an offering. (Nine Cups in this deck means a marriage proposal that should be turned down immediately)
Me: But how do I love you? I only come to you when I need advice. I don't do daily draws or journals or journeys. I just… come when I need you.
ET – out jump the Two Swords face down, The Two Cups, the Seven Scepters and the Ten Scepters: You don't fight with us, you work with us in peace and after taking our ideas on board you see them through to success.
Me: Ah, I'm starting to understand. I honor you and show you respect by actually listening to your advice and seeing it through, even if I don't want to. Huh, that makes sense. Still… Are you OK in your 15 years old wrap? It's kind of embarrassing, looking at the wonderful pouches and cloths available…
ET – out jump the Twilight (Moon), The Crown of the Magi (World), the Two Ways (Lovers) and the Four Cups: Don't let others influence you with their own beliefs. We feel good in our lame wrap, it is part of us now. We love it this way and feel safe and loved.
Me, melting down: I love you guys. Thank you! Anything I could do for you? You do look grubby, maybe a bath with a baby wipe? (In the 15+ years I've been using them I never physically cleaned them and well… I wasn't always washing hands before using them. Especially on a certain occasion on a gig ten years ago when I had to quickly grab a jam sandwich between two readings to avoid dying from starvation.)
ET: out jump the Seven Swords, the Eight Swords and the Ten Cups:
DO NOT DARE TO TOUCH US YOU FREAK OR WE WILL NEVER ANSWER A QUESTION EVER AGAIN!
…We are quite happy as we are, thank you very much. *
Me, almost falling off my seat, laughing: Ok-OK! I love you too guys… 😛
*I need to share the description of these cards, to show the gravity of the deck's words (and for those who read RWS and may not understand the reason for the red colour and the caps lock): Seven Swords: sudden catastrophe that may affect the brain; a loss of position; ultimate triumph. Eight Swords: you are threatened with the loss of a law suit; that great anxieties are in store for you, you may even be sentenced to a heavy penalty, prison or death. The Ten of Cups is the sudden change of tone, and has the nice and cozy meaning similar to the RWS.
And so the reading ended, the wonderful Egyptian Tarot has gone back to its lame wrap, and I have learned that the important thing is not the ritual, the candles and the looks, but the love and respect you show your cards in your heart. Follow their advice and they will guide you through the maze of life.