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

Screen Shot 2014-01-27 at 12.04.54 AM

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.


Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 12.35.28 AMNote on the deck:

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.

9 thoughts on “PASSION

  1. cazadoradesignos says:

    Camelia, I refuse to believe that all men think that women are not people. I know there are some of them out there. But I had met many that don`t believe that.

    My take> A relationship that began with much drive and certainty…someway, it loosed it`s momentum. Got stuck, and now the waters or emotion and relationship are rotten. The Charioteer was driven by the adventure and the “rush” of passion, but he loosed interest. I also think he is lying, at least he didn`t felt compromised after the first “rush”.

    1. Camelia Elias says:

      I hear you, Aurora. And of course, one cannot generalize. But it is astonishing how often it applies. While I’m fortunate enough to know decent men, I also know too many who are simply clueless about women. Most of these men, out of a superiority position, also like to retort rhetorically, while pretending defeat in the face of the ‘unintelligible’: ‘who can understand women?’ This implies that we are so ‘out there’ that geniuses such as these men will never even bother to figure out. That’s why the escape route: Always find a dumber one, if the one you happen to fancy gets ideas that are not related to spreading her legs. Culturally speaking, and unfortunately for our lot, there are enough women out there who think that their sole function in life is to make sure that they get taken as wives. Oh, dear. People speak of revolutions, equality between the sexes, more freedom of speech. I’d like to see the simplest of them happening some day: women saying ‘no’ to marriage. En masse. LOL. I’m rolling over at the idea. I’ll stake my head on it that that one simple act would be enough to get rid of the patronizing men. As it is, let’s just say that I feel sorry for all the women who marry, for whatever reason, and I bless all the ones that don’t. I believe in good relationships – I’m in one myself – but I don’t believe in the sanctimoniousness of the so-called venerable institution of marriage.

  2. Miguel Marques says:

    You know, I have a friend of mine with a similar situation.

    When we connected, at a friend’s birthday, we had a battle if the wills. She was asking little old me (I was in my late teens / early twenties at the time), why would she allow me the pleasure of her company (her words, precisely). Understanding what she wanted me to say, I instead said “so that you might know yourself better”. She paused for a moment, as if to consider what I said, and said it was a good answer, but not the one she wanted, and as such, I had to give her another. When I refused to give her the answer she wanted from me, she asked someone else the same thing, just so she could rub it in my face. I think you know what I mean. I see something of her in you. I then replied that she could have that answer from other people and she didn’t need me to say it. It was the beginning of one of the best friendships I ever had.
    Anyway, she and her boyfriend were one of those couples that can’t stand each other, but also can’t stand to be far from each other. He was full of passion for everything life could give (womanizer, drug abuse, etc, but also capable of the most affectionate displays of love). She, was very very rational about everything, and wouldn’t let anyone tell her how to live her life or even disturb her balance. The feeling between them was “so strong it physically hurt”, as she put it.
    This went one for more than 20 years. The broke up several times, only to reconnect a few weeks later. Or months, if things ended that badly. She never yielded. He did. They’re together now, for a couple of years, their troubles finally ended. And she finally had her chance to pull out from the world.

    1. Camelia Elias says:

      Heh, Miguel. Very advanced for a young man, to offer to be with a woman so that she can know herself. Very good answer. I would have taken you. As for people’s general ambivalence, most think that by ‘acting’ they can get passed it. You can solve nothing through acting until conflict is resolved. Usually the acts based on the premise of ‘just as well’ fail, as they fail to incorporate all of the following necessary elements: compassion, humor, ruthlessness, and honor. From my understanding, the man above possesses none of these qualities. He may convince himself that he does – the Moon is not there for nothing – but he won’t convince the ones accustomed to paying attention. It’s lucky for him that so many others are clueless, so he can enjoy his delusion. The lady I read for understood why it’s worthless to be concerned with such a one, and she appreciated the lesson that calls for her to laugh at herself.

      1. Miguel Marques says:

        Not knowing the details, I would suggest fear of being alone. I’ve found out a very long time ago that most people get together not because of love, but of being afraid to remain alone. So they just find someone to get together. In this case, what matters is the presence. The not arriving to an empty home. These are the people who usually opt with the easier answer. They go with whoever’s available and won’t present any difficulties. Many times they will let go of a significant relationship because they are scared of its implications. Of working through it and making it work for them.
        When you have someone like your client who’s aware of what she wants and is willing to fight for it, well… She’s at a whole different level. But if she fights for the relationship, she will just scare the other part. He will not understand and will withdraw to find someone who is also afraid of being alone and just wants to commit so that he won’t have to dine alone with just a TV set for company.

      2. Camelia Elias says:

        The fear of being alone leads to the preservation of status quo. That’s why marriage is such a holy cow for so many, and that even in spite of everyone hating it, especially the moralists that sing its praises. But sure, we have heard of hypocrisy. About the woman fighting for the relationship. She made it clear that she didn’t, as she saw from the beginning who she was dealing with. She said she kept at it because she wanted to know just how low the other can go. She had her answer: very very low. So, yes, you’re right about her being on a higher level. Much much higher. What got me going here is the economy of it: while he lost everything by gaining nothing other than a piece of mainstream culture and a whole lot of the hassle that goes into maintaing the clichés and the appearances, she gained insight. But not the kind that this man would ever understand. So, basically all is cool.

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