I’m cruising through the Arctic in the North of Norway. I do a Tarot reading here, and another there. I quickly settle the score with the incredulous ones upon being presented with the question: ‘so, you’re an academic AND a fortuneteller?’ I just say ‘yes.’ But ‘yes’ is never enough. ‘Surely you don’t believe in that sort of thing,’ people go, without defining what ‘that sort of thing’ is. I always say the following to this: ‘well, obviously I don’t believe in it. What I believe in is the words of men and women walking down the aisle, swearing eternal love to each other, only to demonstrate the opposite in the end.’ As they say, 50 million people can’t be wrong. They all believe in THAT sort of thing, and so do I, so help me God.

Here’s a recent reading that addressed the above issue. As one can ask meta-questions of Tarot, we asked the following: ‘how does the belief in tarot compare to the belief in marriage?’

I pulled two sets of 3 cards for each, one for Tarot and the other one for marriage:

TAROT: As de Baston (Ace of Wands), Roy Despee (King of Swords) Le Fov (The Fool)

On what you get out of your belief in Tarot, here’s what I said:

Tarot allows you to put your will and belief forcefully to work in the service of your dissecting mind. Whatever you find sets you free. You don’t explain the Tarot, you just let it walk its talk. It will always have an answer that will tell you what you need to know. Whether you believe in the Tarot or not, the Tarot always wins.

MARRIAGE: 3 de deniers (3 coins), Valet de deniers (page of coins), 5 de coupes (5 cups)

Here, the story is this one:

Two get together to tend to a third. But they only use half of their potential. With assets buried in the ground, what you invest in returns as disappointment in love, broken engagements, loss and sorrow.

THE VERDICT: Before I said anything, the woman in front of me disclosed that she is tired of her marriage, that she is tired of who she is in it, and many more things. I myself got a lesson in the benefits of why not to do it.

So, no fortune was told on this occasion. More like misfortune, which is yet not enough reason to give up fortunetelling just because the uninitiated may have a problem with it.

Enjoy your freedoms, and the suspension of (dis)belief.


Note on the deck: Jean Noblet’s Tarot de Marseille, 1650, as restored by Jean-Claude Flornoy


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