Before you read this, caveat lector: I am feeling rather silly today. I am sitting in my apartment in pajama bottoms and a sweatshirt, eating Greek yoghurt out of the carton and spinning around in my chair lip synching Taylor Swift’s newest single. And as I sit here in this strange world-between-the-worlds, it seems to me that the following blog post is a good idea. Tomorrow, in the cold light of day, it may prove to have been exactly the opposite.
Tarot is many beautiful, powerful, terrible things. It’s a trick-taking card game for gambling nobles developed in late medieval Italy. It’s a symbolic compendium of the great archetypes of the human soul. It’s a spiritual guide, a divinatory tool, an astrological calendar, and (for some people) a way to connect with deities or the spirits of the dead. All of these things are deeply meaningful and poetic.
However, Tarot can also sometimes be annoying. This comes from two directions. On one side, every now and then the cards just don’t say what we want them to, or even don’t say anything at all. Maybe we do a spread and we find out that the tensions we’ve been having at work are not, in fact, our boss’s fault, but are caused by our own whiny self-indulgence. Whoops! Or, as has happened to every great Tarot reader over the course of human history (and even to a couple of the mediocre ones), we turn up the cards and there is just no common thread, no story present in their images. We’re left blind and dumb.
The other sense in which Tarot can be annoying is the subject of this post, and it comes not from the cards but from the people asking the questions. Many of the questions I’m asked to read for in Tarot are wonderful, open-ended, and allow my querents to gain a lot of insight about their lives, but half as many again leave me gnashing my teeth in frustration and wishing I could raise my hand like a petulant Hermione Granger and protest, “But that’s not how it works!”
And so I present to you, dearest reader of mine, without the slightest intent of demeaning or devaluing all of the wonderful spiritual work of which Tarot is capable, a satirical list of the most common and most irksome questions I’ve encountered over the course of my Tarot-reading life. Please don’t stone me to death over this list. It’s meant to be funny.
1. Is he the one?
2. What do you mean, “It looks like a toxic co-dependent relationship”? Is he the one or isn’t he?
3. How can I make a lot of money very quickly and without any effort?
4. Hang on a second. I went to another Tarot reader and she said he’s the one. What gives?
5. Going back to the money thing. What are the winning numbers for the Powerball jackpot?
6. My friend’s half Gypsy and three-seventeenths Native American, and she says there’s a curse on me because of my ex-girlfriend’s karma from a past life where we were both jackrabbits. Can you tell me how to remove the curse?
7. How am I going to die?
8. Why has my dream of becoming a world-class pogo-stick stuntman in a yellow leotard not made me as instantly rich and famous as I had expected it would?
9. So I’m, like, not into the “occult” or anything, but I’ve always just had this, like, Really Profound Connection to wolves and I had a dream about a wolf last night and I think it might be my Spirit Animal™.
10. How much should I invest in this new tech startup?
11. Okay, I know I already asked you this, but I just really feel like he’s the one. He is, isn’t he?
12. So my brother’s girlfriend caught him cheating on her with her best friend. The affair had been going on for two years, but my brother feels really bad about it now that she found out. He misses her so much, and he just wants her to understand that this whole thing is not his fault. Is she going to come back to him?
13. I would like to be a Satanist. What’s the proper way to sacrifice a baby to the Tarot?
14. Please give the exact date and time that I will get a new job in my field with a minimum salary of $120,000, and describe the Starbucks beverage I will have in my hand when I get the call from my new employer. I demand that you know the exact temperature, in degrees Celsius, of said Starbucks beverage.
15. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, MAN, I DON’T CARE WHAT THE CARDS SAY! I AM WILLING TO GIVE YOU MY MONEY IF YOU WILL PLEASE JUST TELL ME THAT MY BOYFRIEND IS THE ONE.