It is not always that we, as card readers, are called on to help with decoding trajectories for the future that the images on the cards may prompt us to consider, such as fresh visions for making better choices, for feeling better, or for getting better insights into the general but deep questions of the soul. Going deep is difficult, most would agree, and therefore it’s important that one does the best one can. Including going back.
‘But why did he marry her, when…’
… A woman wants to know, after telling me all about the greatest passion on the planet with someone who, as she put it, ‘both got it and didn’t get it,’ and because of that let everything die. Hmm. Always a tough one and one that also always tempts me to say, ‘I’ve been there myself.’ But not everything is about the reader and her wisdom. Nor does a situation like this call for being judgmental on the ethical implications of someone marrying someone else when… Indeed, one could think of the other woman and what exactly she’s got on her hands on false premise, but it’s better to abstain.
Women are tough. All of them. They can take a lot, they can think a lot, and they can also act a lot. It’s a shame that, generally speaking, for all that women are, they are still not considered people. More often than not they are just some ‘things’ that men desire, ‘things’ that one does favors to by taking them as wives, and ‘things’ one discards when one simply does not want them anymore. It makes you wonder why women want to marry at all, and ever. For me, the implication of the question above discloses an unnecessary and humiliating bewilderment: ‘why did he marry her instead of me.’
The known tarotist and a friend of mine, Rachel Pollack, told me yesterday in a casual and private conversation about men and women that the trouble with men is precisely that they don’t think women are people. How very apt, and sad at the same time. For, indeed, looking at the woman in front of me who wants to know why her lover married another woman when… makes me wonder (and there is so much in these dots that words fail to describe just what this magical state of longing and attempt at forgiveness is all about). If women were considered people, would they ever have to go through this?
The cards were relentless:
The Charioteer, The Hanged Man, The Moon
It looks like conquering a territory came to a halt. The Charioteer, now still looking on to what was, perhaps told himself, ‘just as well,’ while entering deeply into his dark night of the soul… and a new relationship.
I had to tell my woman that her man married another because of regrets. The cards tell us that theirs was not a situation of the old Roman saying: veni, vidi, vici, or I came, I saw, I conquered. Sometimes the Charioteer is too eager, too sure of his shining armor. The woman who resists the clichéd approach to conquering will always be interested in testing the bold. ‘Have you,’ I asked? ‘I have’ she said. ‘Of course,’ I thought, a smart woman will test the other’s real power, and if it exists. The more she thinks about it, the more her passion grows. And out in the woods where shining armors are not valued, other rules apply. Out in the woods, if captured by the hidden forces in alliance with the trees, the confident one loses if he fails to show his soul. For who cares about shining armors? Stripped of his ‘identity’, and now Hanged, the conqueror cannot think straight. Manifesting an honest thought is not even an option any more. With his head upside down and touching the mud the man is beyond articulation.
There is no solution to this one. For the woman, it may be a comfort to know that, unless her man is now completely mad, or at least deeply depressed and melancholic, he’s playing the role of a good liar. Such honors the Moon can also bring us, all based on what others make of it. Not on what we make of it, for deep inside we will always know better. Or not. Some value delusion as a heroic act. But the Moon is not what you think. You can only handle the dark night of your soul if you acknowledge the soul. Marrying another ‘just as well’ is easier. Not honest, but easy. Some can live with that.
‘And the passion?,’ the woman wanted to know. I finally regained my posture as a reader of cards and said: ‘Your man didn’t get what it was all about. He lies a lot. Ergo, he is not worthy of what you are.’ The breath stopped. Her breath. There was a silence in the room, just like in the dots above, elliptically circumventing the signs. The signs that say, ‘everything was wrong,’ even when none of it mattered.
It may well be that women are not people, but they still make the best philosophers around. The card looking on, the bottom card in the cut deck was the Papesse. This card almost always represents the querent in the context of such questions. She holds the keys to everything. She still presides over the other’s affairs, but not as involved. ‘The affairs of common men should not be part of your interests,’ I said. ‘No,’ she said, and then added all on her own, ‘I know when a lie is told in the dark’.
Blessings of the dark and the wild.
Oswald Wirth Tarot after the 1889 blueprint edition, by K. Frank Jensen. Hand coloring by Witta Kiessling Jensen and Natascha Kiessling. Number 6 of a limited edition of 10. Editions Ouroboros, 2005/2012.