A Golden Tarot Moment…

I think I was lucky enough that at a fairly early age, I recognised and embraced that I’d go through most of my life feeling like some kind of fraud… It’s that kind of lurking inner voice that hides in corners of the mind ready to shout boo! at any given moment… BOO!!! What are you doing here?!! You don’t belong here!! Mostly these days, I can tell it to STFU and it crawls back into its box… sometimes it’s a little harder to force the lid to stay down… A couple of weeks ago, I found myself on what felt like a very long car ride with an imaginary backseat driver quizzing me on my sanity…

Ok, ok… I guess I’m my own worst enemy and on this particular day, I had thrown myself out of my comfort zone a little further than intended… I do regularly challenge myself as there’s something about a surge of adrenalin that sharpens your focus and with the bulk of my work being event reading, you’re expected to bring a bit of a buzz… So… I’m on my way to the Ashmolean Museum and the brief I got was to dress suitably for a 17th Century theme. As it happens, I never got around to researching costumes and figured that my trusty pirate costume from eBay seems to with a few tweaks to chameleon itself in to most situations and besides if there were 17th Century re-enactments going on then as Mr S jokingly pointed out to me, there may be a good chance that I’d be burnt at the stake anyway by Puritans…

But by far my biggest stress, was that I’d decided that my usual gigging deck that I know inside out, back to front and upside down and which is now so battered that I can read more than few cards just from the dints on the backs… yeah… my go to trusty deck was going to be far too modern for this gig and I really should invest in something with a bit of history and so I plumped for The Golden Tarot – The Visconti-Sforza deck by Mary Pickard. Now I have read many times with pip decks but always at a leisurely pace and never at fast-paced, whizz ’em through frenzy and I’m driving along and berating myself that I’ve not had time to even skim through this deck yet and it’s been sat at the top of my to read pile for over a fortnight and I’m having a mini-meltdown along the lines of – what on earth possessed you?! And I was fully expecting to glitch on the pips and have my usual fluency fail but no, as it happens, it didn’t quite go that way…

Ok, so I didn’t get burnt at the stake but I did get some woman dressed as a respectable Puritan, trussed and stuffed in bodice and bonnet and layers and starchy cuffs, call me a slapper… But I digress… Ah… no the pips were fine, they glided and flew and unfurled sweet tales… It was the bloody courts that blew me… All those family portraits of androgenous strawberry blondes… I looked at the queue that snaked around me, filled with people from all four corners of the world, a bouquet of faces of all ages and backgrounds and I looked at these cards and thought – Jeez! You bloody rich, privileged, white folk all look the same…

 

 

They popped out far too many times for my liking as I had to double take each one and silently ask myself – who are you? Who am I looking at? And they would quickly step forward and tell me their name and then it happened… That awful moment when you realise that you are thinking out loud in front of a big crowd of people eavesdropping your every word… Hmmm… who are you? Are you the page? Are you the King? King? Page? Page? King? either, both or neither? I looked over at my Querent… Who are you? What’s your status? Or you a page or a King? A novice or an expert?

She gave me an exasperated look and she took a deep breath and birthed words that revealed her identity to me… I don’t know?! I mean, I know technically, I’m an expert but I always feel like I know nothing…

A-ha! A fellow sufferer of impostor syndrome…

I laughed a little inside and also quite loudly outside as I felt the card’s punchline land…

These cards read better than I ever imagined they would and I felt a deep feeling of contentment spread through me as I thought about how wonderfully relevant they still were in today’s world… 15th Century images celebrating a 17th Century gathering filled with 21st Century people. It felt like a convergent point of many lines across time and space… I’ve often said that tarot works because faces change but the stories stay the same. The Golden Tarot kind of flipped that for me as the faces stay the same and the stories change…

But my really sweet spot was that somewhere in me a big gush of falling in love occurred… I felt as though finally, I groked the beauty of a pip deck… All night, people asked to take photos of their readings and at one point someone asked me – what magic is this? How can you tell me all of that from just looking that those pictures, they just look like playing cards??

At that moment, I simply replied – that’s my job, it’s what I do… driving home and thinking more on it… ah yes… I know what that magic is… I see where this deck has the edge over my modern deck… With my modern deck… I narrate the story I see and the images are pretty blatant and anybody with one good eye can see what I see… With this pip deck… I narrate the story that they can’t see… the one that I see in my head…

Or maybe, just maybe, there’s no magic at all… Maybe it’s just that people never tire of a good yarn… especially when they get cast into the leading role… 🙂

6 thoughts on “A Golden Tarot Moment…

  1. Impostor syndrome here as well… It is horrible, isn’t it?

    I absolutely agree, the pips are fine… but I can’t tell the courts apart! Is that a King of a Knight? Is that the Queen of Wands or the Empress???? Aaaargh! I guess I don’t spend enough time with this deck. Good for you for finding love for it!

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    • Yes it doesn’t help that the courts and majors are both bordered with the same coloured… The Emperor is easily mistaken for a king… With the swords the page does feel to carry more power than the hesitant looking king. The page reminds me of Joan of Arc…
      As for impostor syndrome, I think it’s not so bad when you realise you’re not the only one… I like to watch The Apprentice to remind myself that it’s better to be on that end of the scale rather than the other end with loudly self-assured, talentless blowhards… 😂

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  2. Wonderful story. I can so identify with the courts problem, which turned up when I made the mistake of shuffling my new Daniloff tarot for the first time and then realized there was no LWB! I had neglected to ascertain the visual clues that separated Knight from Page from King. Scary! I was saved by Falcon Cloak Tarot, which had done an analysis already. Whew!
    And love the pics of you in action. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Joanne. Ah I’ve just had a look at the Daniloff and can see how that would be tricky 😁 thank goodness for the internet eh?! It’s very easy to slip into auto shuffling a new deck without checking the details first. I did it with CBD TdeM and spun half the deck before I noted that there were small details on the pips that at first glance look symmetrical but do have an upright and Rx to them. Lol my live action shots 🙂 it always surprises me how much my hands wave around and then I think oh I hope I’m not inadvertently signing out obscenities…

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