My early teens were a tumultuous time, with loads of interpersonal drama. But it was also a time of “spiritual” awakening—or maybe an occult one?—when many lifetime practices began. From about the age of twelve I began to read every paranormal book in the Santa Monica County Library. I nearly succeeded, but that wasn’t as impressive as it might sound. Paranormal books were looked down upon back then (still are in many circles). The entire collection at Santa Monica consisted of one bookcase: perhaps seven tall, five feet wide, crammed full of the classic titles of the time. There was Charles Berlitz’s The Bermuda Triangle, Donald Keyhoe’s Flying Saucers Are Real, The Philadelphia Experiment, The Search for Bridey Murphy, The Interrupted Journey, books by Hans Holzer and Brad Steiger, and scads of others. Everything topic was covered, some of it profound and some sensationalist junk: ghosts, UFOs, bizarre theories, metaphysics, and reincarnation. As long as it was strange, I was into it. I also scanned the book sections of the local drug stores for “weird books” and SFF to squander my allowance on. I didn’t completely give up on critical thinking. Even back then some of this stuff seemed like junk. But I loved the mental adrenaline rush reading it gave me, the boundless what ifs.

This was also the time I began playing with the Ouija board—at first with my enthusiastic mom who bought it for us to play with and my friends. We’d have mostly hilarious, nonsense sessions. It was a lot of fun. Some “guy” kept coming through to flirt with my mom. He told her that her second husband would have the initials QZK and we spent many sessions trying to get the scoop on him. Answers on QZK never really showed up, of course. Mostly we got evasion and nonsense. Mom was still married at the time to my biological father, but they’d been estranged for years. She really wanted to believe in an afterlife of love. (She did eventually get it but not with QZK.)

I also tried working the Ouija by myself. At first the planchette was sluggish, then it moved more rapidly. I was not conscious of pushing it but I’m mostly convinced I unconsciously made it move and was mostly talking to my own right brain. I suffered no ill effects or demon possessions. The hysteria over Ouija boards conjuring demons really began in the 1970s after The Exorcist came out. Before that, it was considered a parlor game for people to fool around with. The The abominable Ed and Lorraine Warren also popularized the whole satanic panic/demon possession thing and still haunt the paranormal zeitgeist through The Conjuring movie franchise.

It didn’t take long for me to get bored with solo Ouija board sessions (no friends to play with) and I moved on to Tarot. I’ve done Tarot on and off ever since. I also tried my hand at automatic writing. Like the Ouija sessions, it began slowly and painfully, then became more fluid, then fast. The “spirits” would move the pen in big looping scrolls, taking up a whole notebook page with ten to fifteen words. The handwriting gradually got smaller, but never conformed to neat and staying within the lines. (Spirits don’t conform to the rules.) Again, I didn’t feel as if I was pushing the pen, but I believe it was an exercise in unconscious talking to conscious. Later it developed into something more profound—a way of having meaningful dialogue with my Self. When I was in therapy, trying to dive deep down and clear out the programmed junk in my psyche, my Jungian therapist encouraged me to continue with the automatic writing. I still practice it. It remains a beneficial way of talking to my Self, divining how I truly feel about things, working through the decision-making process, et al.

Except sometimes. Sometimes, even in the early days, the tone would shift into something that felt outside myself, much deeper than talking to the wayward winds inside my brain. Something channeled from Elsewhere? I dunno. I get this now and again with Tarot, too, that feeling when a reading really clicks into place and seems more than wish fulfillment or facile projection. A few years back I asked “Them” if I was talking to my ancestors. They answered along the lines of “took you long enough to figure that out.” “They” sometimes have a good sense of humor.

I continue to talk to myself and the ancestors. It’s a great comfort when I need it, a way of calming myself when I’m stressed, or working through what worries me. The messages that come through are overwhelmingly positive. If negative things come through (almost always self-critical crap, as distinctly different in tone as the profound messages are) I say a little clarification/protection prayer and ask them if the negative things are true. They usually respond with something like, “No. That’s interference from your Shadow or old negative programming.”

But it all began back there in my early teens. I really needed to believe in “cosmic friends” or better angels or a realm outside the tough times I was going through. I’m glad I found those better angels—even if they were merely the better angels of my own mind and soul finding their way to the surface. They have sustained me throughout my life.


“The question is Apollo. What do I need to know?”

This card jumped out of the deck and I thought the laurel wreath significant.

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help.”

Okay. I need to take a deep dive on Apollo. Any suggestions?

I got a weird “spam” call the other day. I don’t usually answer numbers I don’t recognize, but I did this one. An older-sounding man said, “Hello. My name is Joe. We have so much bad news these days that I wanted to give my neighbors some good news.” “Okay,” I said in my skeptical I-don’t-know-who-tf-you-are tone. He continued, “It says in the Book of Isaiah—” At which point I hung up.

It reminded me of the summer when I was seventeen and fell in with a bad crowd. This all came about because of a super huge crush I had on one of my classmates in high school, and because I was graduating and not entirely sure of my direction, and because I was an introvert who wanted to feel part of something, and because of music. Lots of fun music and riotously fun Tuesday night rival-like meetings at a local church where they had gigantic, rollicking singalongs and talked in tongues and laid on hands and all that jazz. So I spent the late spring and summer of my seventeenth year on a journey of attempted indoctrination into the cult-like world of the Evangelical Christians. This was also the summer my BFF and I volunteered at the La Brea Tar Pits working in the labs there. A weird science/religion combo if ever there was one, but I was confused and exploring my options.

I won’t mention the particular sect I got involved with because I don’t want to paint an entire group of people with a broad brush. It all began with my crush, a newly minted born-again Christian, talking to me at lunchtime about Jesus. I had not been raised in any religion. My mother had always encouraged me to listen and make up my own mind about things. But I had “sampled” many of the Christian churches of my friends, both Protestant and Catholic, and I had been enchanted by the occult from my early teens. So I listened politely to my crush, mainly (if I’m honest) because he was cute and I liked the attention. Sometimes my BFF would join us in these lunch discussions. She was always more skeptical, asked more questions, had more objections to blanket declarations than I had. I suspect my crush had a crush on her. At any rate, he invited us to a Christian coffeehouse with him one Saturday where they played Christian-themed folk-rock and it was something to do for two introverted girls, so we went along. It was actually a lot of fun. The music was good, everyone was friendly, and there was a dynamic young long-haired preacher from New Zealand who made the rounds talking to the kids. (And he was really cute—with a dishy accent.) Things at the coffeehouse usually broke up about 11 and afterwards we’d pile into my crush’s car and drive all over L.A. and into the canyons to look down on the lights of L.A. and go to the all-nite eateries—all innocent, good clean fun. It was a blast, so it got to be a regular thing. Me, my crush, my crush’s BFF, and my BFF. Kind of like dating, except not.

The young preacherman at the coffeehouse would come around and chat with groups of kids. He was quite charismatic and emphasized over and over again how we needed to stop random people on the street and start quoting scripture to them because even if they resisted the message and scoffed, you could be planting a seed that would allow God into their hearts and save them. I won’t even get into how dangerous that would be for young girls to do on the streets of L.A., but regardless, I wasn’t about to do it. First of all, I was far too introverted to even contemplate such a thing, and second, I couldn’t help thinking that if God was such a mighty being why did he need my pissant help to open somebody’s heart? Seemed like he could do that on his own if he was into forced conversions. No, what the preacherman was talking about was a human need to spew scripture, a way of proving something to the same human doing the spewing. Like, I don’t know . . . that they were holier than thou? Or maybe, as I suspect was the case with my telephoning Bible spammer, something that made them feel like they were taking positive action in a world that was confusing and often terrifying and often felt like it was spinning out of their control.

But I won’t say that I was unfazed by all this, especially by the really cute preacherman and the sincerity of my crush (even though it became clear as summer waned that he wasn’t interested in me in that way). I was enchanted, to a certain extent, and briefly felt part of something larger and there was. . . fellowship. I can’t emphasize enough how powerful the draw of fellowship was to a questing, confused little introvert like I was then. (That’s how cults get you.) That enchantment even went so far that I allowed the preacherman to convince me that I needed to burn my tarot cards. Yeah, I know. (And for anyone who might be justifiably horrified by this, please know I would not do anything remotely like this now, but it was a weird time in my headspace.) I’ve regretted that so many times I can’t even tell you, but I was caught up in the moment.

Preacherman wanted to burn them with me present so I could be “released from Satan’s bond,” but I declined. I was already feeling uncomfortable about the whole thing and they’d been a gift from my two best friends who had pooled their resources to buy the deck for me, so I was feeling like a foul betrayer of their friendship and thinking I should just call the whole thing off, but, I mean, like, I’d already brought them there and everyone was staring at me expectantly . . . In retrospect, I realize the preacherman wanted that audience of kids to watch me watching those cards burn, hoping my reaction to being “liberated” would play into their acceptance of his message, but I didn’t get that at the time. I just knew I didn’t want to be part of it. Those cards did liberate me, but not in the way the preacherman anticipated.

He took them out to the parking lot with a group of followers (they didn’t want the fire marshal to come down on them for burning something inside the club) while I stayed inside. He was out there for quite a while and when he came back he was flushed with victory. He started preaching about how those cards of Satan had really resisted the flames. He kept lighting them and Satan kept putting out the flames but he prayed and prayed and finally they caught fire and burned with a great, bright fire. And all the while I’m thinking, “They had a protective coating on them. That’s why they resisted the flames. And that’s probably why they burned so bright afterwards.” The preacherman’s house of tarot cards collapsed in my mind at that point. It wasn’t the final final straw, but just about. I couldn’t help thinking that if he was full of shit on that count, what else was bullshit? I eventually came to realize it all was.

So a deck of Smith-Waite reproduction tarot cards—and science—saved me from an Evangelical cult. Something inevitably would have, I think, because I was never a true convert and my BFF had already called bullshit and I was much more accustomed to listening to her than preachermen (even really cute ones). But those cards were the catalyst. I still regret the loss of them, and I kind of wonder if maybe that’s why I can never get decent readings from Smith-Waite decks. They are almost always overwhelmingly negative. I can’t say I blame them for holding a grudge.

Yesterday I did a 4-card spread, inspired by something I saw by Dreamwidth user tjoel2. I used the Crow Tarot by MJ Cullinane, which has become the deck I feel most bonded with. The way I decided to do the spread was to ask four questions, draw a card for each and interpret each as I would in the Advice/Outcome position. I set my intentions, then asked/wrote out (my way of setting questions) two personal and two general questions. I won’t post the personal ones. Not that I’m trying to hide anything but I don’t think the world needs to read about my neurosis right now. (Although I fully admit that it’s possible my interpretations may have some of that neurosis leaking into the reading.) But I thought the other two cards might be worth sharing. These are my interpretations and I am open to hearing about others. (I am sure there will be others.) So:

Question: How will this pandemic affect the nation?

The Emperor Reversed is all about warning against arrogance, and about over-confidence getting in the way. It’s also about losing the respect that you crave. About not having wisdom, authority, and clear vision that’s needed for a successful outcome. This is about leaders needing to step up and do what’s right. Remember, I asked about the nation. And for me I think the non-emperor we’re talking about here, the one who is failing, is Donald Trump and his cadre of yes men. Individual governors and mayors are taking this seriously and stepping up to lead, but our national leadership has failed badly. The president who would be an emperor is acting as neither.

Question: Will our democracy survive?

This is about a time of quiet reflection and the passing on of knowledge. The knowledge comes from the tree of knowledge that the crow-hermit sits on; the lantern is the symbol of the wisdom needed to light the way; snowflakes represent cleansing and moving in a spiritual direction that will help fulfill the journey. We arrive at a good place by understanding how we arrived in the situation in the first place. The Hermit counsels going inward, quieting the mind, and connecting with the inner light, the light that will guide us. It still burns brightly if we allow ourselves to see it. If we listen to the guidance of our higher selves. “Remove yourself from the chatter” to receive these messages. Well, that will be a challenge in this fractured nation, but this card actually does give me hope. The bedrock of who we are, I have to believe, is still in place. Time and again, we have been challenged. It always seems to be tragedy that brings us together, to remember who we are, that deep, fundamental thing that used to be called “American exceptionalism.” Well. we haven’t been very exceptional lately and have turned our backs on the principles that made us strong. This card says to me (and maybe it’s just my ardent hope) that if we allow ourselves to remember those principles and truly live them (rather than just giving lip service), we may all pull through this and be a stronger nation on the other side of the crisis. One that has the wisdom to treat all citizens equally, knowing it makes us stronger when we do that, not weaker. A nation that truly seeks liberty and justice for all.

What do you think?

Well, this Musings post is grossly long, and maybe a bit dated, but I started throwing things into the file, then got caught up in the holidays—and God forbid anyone should be deprived of my Musings. [insert barf emoji] At least it has a lot of pictures.

One of my most profound mystical experiences, or contact with the numinous, was invoked by a dead cat. It changed me from near-atheist to “oh I get it now.” Thank you, Mocha. The Mocha Hierophany.

Mocha, an old soul from the 80s:

New Year’s Day sunset: Even enhancing the color on this doesn’t come close to the intensity of the light. Nothing ever beats Nature. Thank you, Nature.

The same sky from my friend who lives a few miles from here. This one captures the immensity of the sky better than mine did, how the clouds seemed to go on forever.

Here’s a question for you: is poetry a purely mammalian response to the world? Is magic? Would intelligent and highly advanced reptiles, for instance, have that sense of wonder and awe and poetry? I don’t want to be Mammalian-Centric.

I always think of the four of swords as the “rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated” card. (Yes, dad jokes help me remember the meanings.)

A few days before the new year (December 30th) I found out that I share blood with one of the accused Salem witches (Mary Leach Ireson). We’re descended from the same ancestor (Richard Leech) through the brother (Lawrence Leech) of my direct ancestor (Thomas Leech). Maybe that’s why I’ve always been obsessed with these trials. I particularly like the “maybe you were a witch but didn’t know it” line of questioning. Apparently, the “maybe I’m a witch but didn’t know it” defense worked because she wasn’t executed and lived until 1711.

As I’ve said before, women rarely appear in the historical record unless they’ve suffered some trauma.

I have so much work to do and a limited amount of time. But time is not my enemy. If I focus on what needs to be done, not allowing myself to be distracted, I will do what I need to do. The only reason I say it isn’t against me is because I will do what I can do. If time runs out, then it does. It will eventually anyway so why so sweat it?

You know that weird stuff you have to clear from your parents or grandparents’ homes when they pass? When you reach a certain age you can’t be arsed about good taste. Sometimes you just want stuff that makes you giggle or because you know it will chagrin some of the people who inherit it.

I finally got my Red Book set up so that people can actually see it instead of being hidden away in a room they can’t go in.

Last month I pulled my novel Venus In Transit out of the trunk. I started working on it in 1999. It was inspired by Patrick Harpur’s Daimonic Reality and later given shape and spin by George P. Hansen’s The Trickster and the Paranormal. Plus all those thousands and thousands of paranormal shows I’ve watched over the years and many another paranormal book. I had the novel in a fairly polished state and was getting ready to start marketing it when my mother had a stroke and my world went all to hell for several years. Then there was the very long and painful writer’s block afterwards.

Things started to loosen up for me artistically after watching season one of Hellier last year—and that’s when I had my Hellier related synchronicity storm. Which let me know I was on the right track creatively. I finished one novel this summer and started working on another. Then Hellier Season 2 came along. It fed my head yet again, and there was something about the discussion in that series of pushing through frustration that reminded me of the artistic process.

Whenever an artist, or at least any artist I know, reaches a point of frustration it’s often the sign of imminent breakthrough to a new way of doing things. Pushing through that frustration is a vital part of the process. So I got out that old paranormal novel with an idea to see if it really was ready to market and I fell into a hole with it for about a week. That edit is done, but when I got to the part in the story where my investigator discovers strange, small, three-toed footprints with dermal ridges, I thought, “No one will ever believe I didn’t get this from Hellier.” But those are the breaks. Hellier2 did encourage me to pull it back out of the trunk and that’s got to be a good thing.

Hellier is beautifully shot and edited. I remember when the granddaddy of paranormal shows, Ghost Hunters, premiered. They used that cinema vérité style which gave a feel of credibility (and because it was cheap to produce), but imitation is not the sincerest form of flattery. Most of what’s come since has been crap.

My life is a lot better since I’ve given up trying to find ultimate answers. I’m more content trying to find ultimate questions.

Well, I got within 100 pages of finishing Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson but my medieval porn book arrived so…sorry Neal.

Cats exist simultaneously in this time/space and in hyperspace which is why they always seem to take up a vastly greater amount of space than their physical bodies would imply.

I’ve been to both Disneyland and the “Disneyland of Cemeteries”—Forest Lawn—and I would choose to spend my eternity in neither of them. (Talk about terrifying!)

Lt. Col. Vindman during the impeachment hearings reading that paragraph to his dad and talking about it? “Don’t worry. This is America. We do what’s right here.” We have to justify his faith in this country. It’s been what was true in the past and we can’t let it fall away. DO THE RIGHT THING, AMERICA. And Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi talking to Vindman about the pride of being an immigrant and being an American? Yep, that’s the essence of what this country it’s always been.

Got Fluffy Bunnies of Doom? No? May I recommend the tarot as seen through the eyes of F-Bod Studios:

This is a funny wall calendar representation of 12 scenes from the Major Arcana—but it also reproduces many of the key elements of the Rider-Waite deck. As filtered through the fluffy bunnies of doom, that is. A few of my favorites (sorry for the blurry copied-from-a-thumbnail-on-the-website quality of the images):

Here’s the URL for this calendar: https://www.cafepress.com/fbod.156871009

But there are other funny and arty calendars to be found here: https://www.cafepress.com/fbod/3622034

And the main shop with many irreverent t-shirts and “weird crap,” as F-Bod puts it, can be found here: https://www.cafepress.com/fbod

I was initially drawn to this deck when one of the people I follow did a reading featuring the Knight of Swords (yes, that guy again) and used the Familiars deck. The suit of swords in that deck are crows and as some of you may remember, I have something of a thing regarding crows. I thought, “Oh, I have to get that one!” (Any excuse to buy another deck.) But in poking around on Amazon I came across the Crow Tarot by MJ Cullinane. It looked great, and since I didn’t have the money for both decks, I bought that one.

I can’t tell you how much I love this deck. It’s not only beautiful it just—I don’t know, feels good. In the interview I did with the deck, when I asked, “What are your limits as a deck?” it answered with the Moon, which I took to mean, “I dwell on the shadow side and illusions.” But I haven’t found that to be so. Maybe if I work with it a bit longer I will, but so far I have found it otherwise. “How can I best learn and collaborate with you?” I asked. “I will show you play and wonder, new ideas.” (Page of Cups)

As soon as I took the plastic off the deck and looked at the first card (The Fool), the crows started cawing outside. This is not such an unusual thing as I feed the local murder and they’re always about in the neighborhood. But the timing was amusing. All through my two readings they were cawing and making noise walking around on the metal roof of the art room (also known as the bird’s room from when my pet starling lived there). They don’t often do that—but I had fed them a couple of hours earlier so maybe they were saying thank you?

This is a very “jumpy” deck. I’ve started using a loose shuffle technique to give cards a chance to “jump out” of the deck while I’m asking a question. (As the saying goes, “If it falls to the floor, it comes to your door.”) With the Aquarian and the Marseille, which I’ve also used recently, that didn’t happen too often. It happens a lot with the Crow Tarot. Also, it’s not uncommon for a small group of cards to turn themselves perpendicular to the rest of the deck, as if trying to reverse themselves. If that happens, I push them back in that reversed position and keep shuffling.

My friend came over Sunday for a “craft day,” something we do on a semi-regular basis in order to encourage each other to do work on projects outside our normal range of arty stuff. (She’s a painter, I’m mostly a writer, and taking an arty break from our usual disciplines sometimes shakes things loose in the more “serious” projects.) It’s also a great excuse for kibitzing. I was showing her the Crow Tarot because it’s so beautiful. She was going through it and talking about how she wants to get a deck and do daily cards, but she was also talking about her current struggle with her painting. She wants to go in a different direction and she has a clear vision of what she wants to do, but something inside her is resisting, holding her back.

She handed the deck back to me and I was just about the put it away when The Fool jumped out and landed on the floor between us—reversed for me, upright for her. I read out the reversed meaning, assuming it was for me, but it didn’t seem to fit my current situation without stretching things. I put the card back and asked her if she wanted to do the card a day thing with this deck. She did, and shuffled the deck, eventually turning up the top card: The Fool, upright.

“…The Fool card asks that you have faith in the universe and live fearlessly. You will come through the storm. If you allow hope to replace fear, imagine the adventures you have waiting.”

“All right, already,” she said. “I get it.”

I should also note that my card of the day for yesterday was The Fool. Upright. All right, already. I get it.

I’ve been working with the Marseille tarot lately and I quite like it. I’ve been finding a lot of clarity with it. When I “interviewed” the deck it said that its strength was in helping me reconcile conflicts [Temperance] and that has proved to be the case. I used it to find clarity with what the Knight of Swords has been trying to tell me and that seems to have worked. I basically told the Knight if I hadn’t gotten the message correct, he should show up again and so far he hasn’t. Fingers crossed.

This Marseille deck came to me in a strange way. Many years ago Llewellyn publishing offered a subscription service called, “Enhancing Your Mind Body Spirit.” The basic deal was that for a low monthly fee they would send you how-to cards and spiritual chatchkes on a variety of New Age stuff. (This was back before New Age became a subject of much mockery.) What can I say? It sounded like a good idea at the time.

It wasn’t long before I realized it was a diletante’s dream: one month I’d get an essence oil and/or incense and/or a couple of rune stones (building towards a full set) and/or small crystals, et al., and some cards I could file in my special notebook on such subjects as Reiki, aroma therapy, astrology, or whatall. Some months I would get a few Llewellyn reproduction cards from the Marseille tarot.

Although I almost never used the how-to cards (they were superficial treatments at best and designed mostly, I think, to get you to buy Llewellyn books on subjects that caught your fancy), the subscription was relatively cheap and I liked the chatchkes. I also had a lot more disposable income back then, so I let the thing ride much longer than I would have otherwise. But I did reach a point where I thought it was ridiculous and was just about to cancel the membership when Llewellyn sent a notice that they weren’t making enough money on this scheme and would discontinue the service. They phrased it nicer than that, but that’s the essence. They also said members shouldn’t worry about the partial rune and tarot decks or the incomplete cards sets because they’d send out one final large chatchke shipment. When I got mine, it had a complete set of runes, a complete Marseille deck (leaving me with about one and a third sets each), a final set of how-to cards and crystals and oils and incense. I put everything away and didn’t think about it again.

Until I pulled this Marseille deck out of my tarot box recently. There was no accompanying interpretation booklet. I suspect there were cards for that but in the chaos following my mother’s stroke in 2012 and the caregiving that followed, I put them somewhere “safe.” I’ve never found them again, of course. So I downloaded this, the late Yoav Ben Dov’s “CBD Tarot de Marseille” interpretation guide.

I quite like using this guide. So maybe that’s I find this deck so soothing at the moment. That’s at least one good thing that came out of Llewellyn. I know many people are skeptical of them these days, but back in the olden, pre-internet days, they were one of the only places—besides musty old esoteric libraries or specialist/used bookstores—that you could find stuff on mysticism and the occult. The internet has brought a fundamental sea change in these studies, but I am still grateful for those life rafts Llewellyn set adrift. They let me know that I may have been seriously weird, but at least I wasn’t alone.

Yesterday, I decided to try a new deck of tarot. I had a reproduction of the Marseille deck that I’d never used and was going through it preparing to ask what they call interview questions to get to know the cards. I was shuffling them, hadn’t even asked a question yet, but one of them leapt from my hands and fell on the floor, which is always supposed to be significant. It fell sideways so it was neither upright nor reversed.

What card was it? This guy:

I stared at it, gobsmacked, then laughed. What else could I do? I picked him up and immediately opened the Marseille interpretation booklet.

Upright: “Energy and resources to advance, still looking for the right direction. Hovering above practical constraints. Determination and perseverance.”

Reversed: “Confusion, negative and inhibiting thoughts, self defeat. Sloppy use of one’s own tools may cause damage.”

I was still puzzled as to what the Knight was trying to tell me, but in the interval between then and now, I think I have a clearer picture. I went back to when he first started making his appearance, when he came up twice in the same reading, both times reversed. It occurred to me that I should perhaps always read him from the reversed position? But then I thought about the way he’d landed on the floor, sideways. As if I were at a tipping point and it could go either way.

It also occurred to me that I am at somewhat of a tipping point in my life—physically, spiritually, and in my creative life. I’ve been treading water, not really pushing myself too hard, allowing rationalization to dictate my momentum (or lack thereof) rather than just getting on with things.

So maybe Mr. Knight is telling me to get over myself and get moving.

If that’s not what he’s saying, I’m sure he’ll crop up again because I firmly believe the Universe repeats itself until you do get the message. Sometimes with slaps upside the head. And the slaps get harder the longer you refuse to listen.

I’m listening, Universe. I just hope I’m understanding.

I think this guy is having a good laugh at my expense.

If any of you read my last Musings post, you may remember this:

I used this deck quite a lot at one point in my life. Can you tell?

Fortunately, the cards don’t look as disreputable as the box. And after literally decades of using this deck, I just discovered that I had two Knights of Swords. I’m not sure what that means. I would probably have never known if they both hadn’t come up in the same reading. Reversed. And yes, I guess the day of that reading had been about being, “indiscreet, extravagant, and foolish.” I’ve been through the entire deck now and there are no other duplications and no missing cards. But I guess I’d better pay attention to that Knight, hadn’t I?

Well, I dropped the deck and because the box is in such poor shape (and I hadn’t gotten around yet to tying a ribbon around it), the cards went kablooie, most of them sliding under a heavy table with a low shelf that I can’t readily see under. Given the arthritic state of my knees, getting down on the floor to fish under there wasn’t an option. I got a stick to fish most of them out, apologizing the whole time that I meant no disrespect, and managed to push the table enough to fetch the rest of them. Then I set about the business of reordering them (again) and taking inventory. Of course, the only card still missing was the Knight of Swords.

So I poked around with the stick some more, managed to push the table some more, but wherever he’s decided to hide, he’s well hidden. I retrieved the spare Knight of Swords from the mantelpiece where I’d given it a place of honor, and apologized again, hoping neither one of them minded the current situation. Next, I shuffled the cards and asked, “What the heck is the Knight of Swords trying to tell me?”

I drew the Four of Swords: “retreat, recuperation, exile.”

Dude, I didn’t mean to exile you. I’m very sorry. Or if you just need downtime, that’s okay.

I’m sure he’ll turn up again when he’s in the mood. Or when it holds some significance or messes with my mind the most. Or maybe he won’t. I’ll just have to wait and see.

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