It is May 2013 and I am reading tarot at a local festival. It is hot. The sun beams down on the awning shade cloth above me, and the cosy tarot nook I carefully set up starts to heat up like a sauna.
A woman of middle age comes in for a reading. She sits down and I can tell she is slightly nervous, or worried rather, though she doesn’t make a fuss about it. I do a general spread first, which I usually start off with, and go through the cards. Being general in nature, my answers mirror this. At the end, I ask her if there is anything specific she would like answered. She replies yes, and asks about having children.
I remember drawing 3 cards using my Rider Waite Smith deck, and they strongly indicated a yes. I explained what I saw, although at this stage my mind had its doubts. These primarily focused around the woman’s age, which although I did not know, I guessed around early to mid forties.
Now I am well aware of the advances in modern medicine concerning pregnancy and so on. Still, my mind had its doubts.
The woman then proceeds to tell me that she has had a number of IVF treatments, which resulted in pregnancies, however none were successful. I think it was around 3 or 4. She then told me this was the last round of IVF she was prepared to go through, due to its emotional and physical toll.
This only served to increase my doubts about giving her such a positive answer. You might think that as a tarot reader, I never have such doubts, or at least I never should have. That is wrong. I am not God. I live in a world where for most of my early years I was exclusively taught to rely on my mental faculties. You know, worship of the IQ and all that. It was only in late twenties that I truly opened up to the other realms of intuition, gut instinct, etc. After swinging the pendulum from one side (mental) to the other (intuitive), I am now finding a balance between the two.
So in a reading like this, I have the cards telling me loud and clear one message, while in the corner of my mind there’s a few other thoughts going on: she’s too old, she’s had IVFs and pregnancies that did not succeed, etc etc. This was a particularly charged situation: someone who is nearly at the end of their patience, endurance, and hope, on a matter that, to most women, is as vital as the blood flowing through our veins. You can forget all about women’s role in life via a career, or running a business, or political leader, or scientist: try telling someone who wants to have children more than anything else in the world, and cannot, that being a mother is not the only thing there is to life. Let me know how it goes…
I know I have to trust the cards. I reinforce what I see, and explain the cards to her in detail. As she gets up to leave, I say, “well, you may have a son”. I don’t know why I said that, it just came to me. And then she leaves, and I am left thinking about the reading as the sweat beads drip down my back, and I know I shouldn’t think about it for now it is done, but it stays with me.
I actually saw two more women that day with the exact same question, though they were younger. It seems to be a very common question, and I understand the pain and hunger that sometimes accompanies it.
It is May of 2014. Same festival, same heat. I am almost done reading for the day, and looking forward to a cool soak in the crystal river that graces the festival fringe. I am just about to leave the stall, when a woman rushes towards me with a pram.
Initially I didn’t. And then I did. She was beaming, and in that radiant glow introduced me to her baby son.
That experience really shook me. Again, there are those who will say it shouldn’t – but it did. Experiences like this mean a tremendous amount to a tarot reader. Not because of some ego drive, not because of some power trip, or anything like that. On the contrary, as I soaked in the river afterwards, and looked at the blue skies and the hills and the trees and all the goodness of this Earth, I actually felt really, really humbled. I was also happy, very happy of course. Her radiance diffused all around me.
I guess I am writing this in part for myself, for those moments when I doubt what I do and why I do it. But I also write this for anyone who has doubts and questions what they see. It’s a natural part of being human, but if your intent is good and honourable, the cards will not lie.
Wishing everyone a blessed week ahead,