“We Have Seen the Enemy, and He Is . . .”

I deliberately left Walt Kelly’s “Pogo” observation open-ended here. I performed a test reading with my new “Mystic Traveler” spread, asking “What’s up with my tarot-reading gig?” I’ve been an intermittent (“on-call”) reader at a local New Age shop for the last year, and was led to believe that I would be at the top of the list for client calls. But it has pretty much dried up since the middle of this year, although I see other readers listed there.

All images copyright U.S. Games Systems, Inc, Stamford, CT

I chose the 4 of Swords from the Albano-Waite deck as my “Intention” card since what I’m after is “peace of mind;” this hasn’t been a money-making venture, just a chance to get some face-to-face reading practice and have some fun. So reaching “mental closure” rather than trying to jump-start things is my main objective.

The “Fate” card is the 9 of Wands reversed. It’s not really clear who the “enemy” is here, but I think it’s more than jockeying for professional advantage. Reversal of this card always makes me think an adversary has sneaked “behind the lines” and mounted a flanking maneuver.

I will get back to the Hierophant reversed as “Opportunity” card later. Suffice it to say now that my advanced and somewhat unconventional reading style may be a liability in these provincial parts.

The “Where” card showing where I’m going is the Universe reversed. It has me thinking “Nowhere fast.” There is Saturnian drag at work here, dampening the usual “success” interpretation of this card, and also putting the “completion” meaning on hold (unless it’s showing a disappointing conclusion).

The “What” card is the 3 of Pentacles, suggesting – along with the Hierophant reversed – that the “workmanlike” quality of my performance may have been an issue for at least one client, as shown by Card #4. I think, though, that it’s really more a question of understanding the “blueprint” than one of appreciating the finished “structure.”

The “How” card is the 9 of Pentacles. Its advice seems to be to let this go and tend to my private practice. Read in combination with the Hierophant reversed, the idea is one of internalizing (retracting the horns of the Taurean “Bull” that is the Hierophant’s symbol). Gratification lies there rather than in hustling for attention from the few potential clients. The observation of Voltaire’s Candide that I can always “tend my garden” when philosophical head-scratching fails is an excellent analogy here.

The “Who” card is the Ace of Swords reversed. There was clearly some under-cutting here that may have come from one of two places. The last client I had in June gave me the distinct impression that the reading did not entirely meet her conventional expectations for detail (never mind that I was only permitted half-an-hour per reading). She looked mildly displeased but also didn’t say a single word in protest or request clarification; however, I wouldn’t doubt she “stabbed me in the back” with the shop owner (it does suggest a Roman “thumbs-down”), which left me vulnerable to the 7 of Wands. Another possibility is that the other available readers have been “low-balling” on price, but that’s less likely since it would also erode the proprietor’s profit.

The “Why” card is the 7 of Wands. Although I may be holding the “moral high ground” in this, constantly fending off competition is not really where I want to be. I think that 9 of Pentacles/Hierophant reversed combination is showing me the way forward.


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