Each morning, before I rise from bed to begin my day, I consult the oracle.
I take a stack of seventy-eight cards,
Shuffle them five times,
Cut the deck,
One card, face up, to provide an inkling of the day ahead.
I began this little ritual a little over a month ago and was immediately surprised by how often the same cards came up. Day after day after day, I draw the same card, only to see it replaced a few days later, by a different (if thematically similar) card. A day or two pass, and it’s back to the first card.
In one respect it has been reassuring. The oracle certainly seems to be representative of the patterns in my day to day. Even if my days have a certain “sameness” to them, what are the odds of pulling the same card again and again, from a throughly shuffled deck?
Check that. I have no doubt that somewhere, someone is busy calculating those odds exactly, determined to show that the likelihood is actually much greater than I think, and that the whole exercise is a waste of time.
Spare me, oh statisticians, I have better things to do than to listen to you explain that pulling any single card out of seventy-eight, repeatedly, over multiple days, does not represent a pattern.
The pattern, I am afraid, is there to see, and all your calculations be damned.
I wish it were otherwise.
As of late, almost every card I have drawn speaks toward my need to overcome the challenges and adversity in my daily life.
Yes, thank you. I hadn’t noticed.
My regular readers may remember that a couple weeks ago I mentioned that both my refrigerator and clothes dryer were on the blink. Additionally, my work days have been exceedingly hectic; money is tighter than ever; I’ve had to rule out any vacation plans until sometime next year; My kitchen sink is thoroughly clogged; Some unknown animal has been trying to dig up the grave of a lost pet in my backyard; and on top of all that, Winter is on it’s way and up in my attic there is a furnace that stubbornly refuses to light.
I was ticking off a few of these points to a friend the other night. I also mentioned that I had arranged to have the refrigerator and dryer serviced the following day and that perhaps, with that done, things might begin looking up.
“Yeah, until you have a car accident,” she joked.
I asked her to refrain from jinxing me.
Actually, I may have shouted.
In any case, the repair guy came and went, and the dryer is now happily fixed.
The fridge? Yeah, not so much.
Oh, and I was rear-ended on my way to work on Saturday, and only narrowly avoided being plowed into the back of a bus that was stopped in front of me. My car seems to have taken little damage (remarkable considering what happened to the front bumper of the Ford F-150 that slammed into it), but my body feels like…,
Well…, it feels like I was hit by a truck.
If anyone dares suggest that, “at least I still have my health,” I will surely punch him in the nose. It’s been that kind of week.
Which brings us to this morning.
Cut and Draw.
Screw that! I’m staying in bed.
For those unfamiliar with the Tarot, this is the “your world is crashing down around you” card. No kittens and kisses here folks. This card is all about watching whatever castles you’ve carefully built up, go washing away with the tide.
Now my rationalists friends are, I have no doubt, already coughing politely into their fists.
“You can’t possibly believe in the Tarot,” they will say.
And I don’t.
Or rather, I should say that I neither believe nor disbelieve in the Tarot.
Much in the same way that I neither believe nor disbelieve in a barometer.
These things are tools, and handy enough when we know how to read them. The choice to use them, or not, is ours, but their functionality does not require our belief.
Even so, when the barometer drops suddenly on a spring day in Texas, one would be wise to seek shelter – whatever your beliefs.
The same may be true of certain cards. In my experience, The Tower is the card that says, “stop pushing against the wind, find a hole, and just ride out the freaking storm.”
And so here I am, hunkering down and waiting for this particular squall to blow itself out.
— Work – Bills – Furnace – Fridge – Sink – Car – Whiplash —
It’s okay. I can wait.
Because, the good news here, is that the storm always passes. The Towers that we build up may get blasted into smithereens by lightning sent down from the Fates or the Gods and just blind, stupid luck, but when the smoke clears we may find that we have a stronger foundation upon which to build again.
We are mistaken when we measure our lives by the bricks that we lay down one upon the other. A better gauge, I think, is our determination to start stacking those tumbled bricks up again, knowing all the while, that eventually we will draw The Tower yet again.
When I start building again, I think I’ll find a way to work in some flying buttresses.
I like them because they’re both functional and attractive.
Now then, where are those cards.
ADDENDUM: It did not occur to me, until I had already written this piece, that this is my 78th post on this blog. That’s seventy-eight posts and seventy-eight cards in a standard Tarot deck. Simple random chance at work, I am sure! 😀