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… 🙂

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Tarot… Dealing With Right Tools…

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Respect The Tarot

Welcome to the latest Tarot Blog Hop wrangled by Morgan Drake Eckstein…

When it comes to respecting the Tarot, I must admit to generally erring into healthy disrespect with a side order of irreverence and for the sake of my sanity, I’m going swerve expanding any further on that as over the years I’ve had my fill of humourless nut jobs trying to set me straight…  When it comes to punters then trust me… I’ve met more than my fair share of loons… likewise decks with strange aversions to mixing with Joe Average… and the whole lot I mentally file under the following…

When it comes to actual ritual then I’ve never been hard and fast with that as I’ve often read on the hoof and I read in all manner of places so I figure it’s not a good idea to get too precious about my actual workspace… I can pull a good Diva impression when feeling impish and spriteful but on the whole being flexible gets the next booking… So… I didn’t really think I had a ritual but the ever observant Mr S pulled me up on that one… I was hand on door latch leaving for a gig when he called out to me…

Stop! You haven’t done your thing!

What thing? I asked…

That thing you always do before a gig… you know… where you walk around the room mumbling and grumbling about you’re not in the mood and then you chunter on about how this is going to be the day you finally get busted and that people will work out that you’re not a tarot reader at all… you’re just some woman who makes up stories…

OH! Yeah!! That ritual! YUP! I’m so going to get busted today!! My cover will be blown!!

So… I think on it a bit further and I guess I do have a few of my own rituals/quirks/gig survival tactics…

OK… so first off as already covered is the bumble bee waggle dance and jig of despair… which I guess is mostly about shaking my self out of my extreme introvert mode to ramping myself up to being on demand witty and charming and looking like an effortless extrovert…

Then there’s the important part… singing in the car… again, this gets me out of my rut and into my groove but also, more importantly, it warms up my voice… My voice is my money maker… I can wing it without cards… If needed I can chuck out some palmistry or even get folks to empty their pockets or handbags to do a reading…but if I lose my voice then I’m pretty much screwed… The main question I get asked is  – How the F*** do you manage to speak for so long?

The secret… vocal warm ups… plenty of water and always a sneaky stash of Vocal Zone lozenges in my bag just in case things feel a bit off…

Then of course… I wouldn’t be seen dead without my nails being done… That’s partly due to 12 years of nail inspection as a Croupier… There is ZERO tolerance on dirty nails!!! but mostly because I like the mindfulness of application and it puts me into work mode…

Then we have THE BAG!!

This comes gigging with me for several reasons…

  • Contains stash of bottled water and Vocal Zone lozenges 🙂
  • It amuses me beyond measure when I arrive and people assume I’m carrying an instrument and say – Oh! You must be with the band!
  • I’ve never lost my keys but I get constant anxiety that I will lose my car keys and get stranded… so my case has a handy combination lock on it so I can pack away my valuables without fretting that things may go AWOL whilst I’m busy…
  • I’m a short arse and often for some strange reason, I get to places and they’ve set me up with a really high bar stool… so I can use my case as a handy stool to keep my feet on and steady my balance…

The Crystal Ball!

Though it’s not a crystal ball at all… it’s part of a sound and light machine… Again it has multiple uses…

  • It’s a good weight so useful to keep my table cloth pinned to the table… whether outside in a breeze or when you get one of those people who can’t stand up without dragging your cloth with them…
  • It fascinates small children and I pass it over and ask them to have a good look inside and tell me what they can see but not to tell me until I’ve finished talking to their Mum/Dad
  • I’m a complete air head for remembering whether or not people have paid me… I know I should decide an order to do things but some people pay before and some want to pay after, so now I pin the cash under the ball and avoid the awkward few moments of trying to recall whether or not I’ve been paid… Then as the person leaves the table the cash gets put away ready to start afresh…

And last but not least…

 OMG!!!

Lo Scarabeo! Thank YOU! Thank YOU!!!

THANK YOU!!!

Best free gift EVER!!!

An endless supply of free widgets to fix wonky table legs!!!

There is nothing that annoys and irks my Virgo more than a table that refuses to sit still…

Yay!!! Wonky be gone!! 🙂

Right! Mrs Sealey has left the building…

Go visit my (hopefully) more stable mates…

🙂

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