THE INVERSE, OR HOW TO BOOM THE CARDS LIKE THE DEVIL

‘I’m tired of the inverse of the situation.’

‘ Meaning?’

‘Meaning exactly that, that I’m tired of the inverse situation.’

‘Ok.’

camelia elias carolus zoya marseille‘So, what do I get?’

‘You get the Star and the Devil.’

‘Meaning?’

‘Meaning exactly that, the Star and the Devil.’

‘So, on the outside I got the Star and on the inside I got the Devil?’

‘That’s right. Heaven and Hell.’

‘I knew it. It’s all about the image and appearance, and that ain’t nothing like the hellish reality inside.’

‘Well then, you’ll have to put the Devil on your sleeve, and get on with the real program.’

‘Are you kidding me? What about my image?’

‘Well, fine then. Keep the Devil in the closet, and stop lamenting about how superficial you are.’

‘Is there a third card?’

‘Why? Didn’t you ask about the inverse of the situation? This is this and that is that, and how ‘that’ can become ‘this’? What do you need a third card for?’

‘I guess you’re right.’

‘Damn right. Put the Devil on your sleeve, like I said, and then act accordingly. You’ll only lose the appearance.’

‘And the consequences?’

‘Come back tomorrow, and we’ll triangulate. But today, today we stick to the binary and its inverse situation.

Advice to other Tarot readers from the life and times of a fortuneteller: When your clients resist formulating a concrete question, but do, however, volunteer other type of information, don’t bother with large spreads.

Two cards will do the trick. They will create a tension that will force the other to see just what is needed. In this case here, three cards would have messed with the beautiful symmetry between heaven and hell.

Apart from the direct message, the client also got to gush: ‘Wow, look at that. But if Heaven is just playing to the gallery, and Hell is what IS, then that’s not so good, is it?’

When the client asks a rhetorical question that validates his or her sudden insight, all work is done to everybody’s satisfaction.

Hail symmetry! Hail simplicity!

Note on the cards: Facsimile of Carolus Zoya, Marseille Tarot, Torino, ca. 1790-1800. Courtesy of K. Frank Jensen who gave me permission to copy his original and use it here as I please.

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3 Comments

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  1. “They will create a tension that will force the other to see just what is needed. In this case here, three cards would have messed with the beautiful symmetry between heaven and hell.”

    This is succinctly visceral for me, Camelia. Looking at those cards I can sink into that tension and allow it a felt reality as the archipelago of my own desires and aversions, the tides of my own lungs and flesh, which is to say, of course, as the Star and Devil of my own breathing. How might the Star embrace me? How might the Devil embrace me? How might the musculatures of this embrace echo one another? That place of inter-penetration interests me infinitely more than the space that opens up between them.

    “Two cards will do the trick” The trick, ah, your choice of words here is riveting, a perfect landscape for the dance between the magical and the coy to articulate itself upon. Complete with all the tectonic shifts and rumblings that such a terrain would be wont to inherit from ambiguity and ambivalence. This, as you say, embodied in the client which I interpret to mean, the question of the client’s embodied will within the pantheon of the manifest and the oblique.

    Thank you for allowing me this little trajectory. As always your vision and writing inspires.

    • Hi Rose, there’s nothing like good old structuralism that gives voice to the pulse. This one was was like a good drum, whose drone took us to the belly of the earth, or, as the case was here, to the underworld. Some people live for the image, and they like it, but at the same time, they also know better, and they don’t like it. The two cards here clearly spelt that out, the kind of ambivalence that makes you lose, all the time.

      Thanks for your lovely words. I enjoy their music vey much.

  2. Marcos Marcos Marcos May 3, 2015 — 11:03 pm

    Hello:
    Your appreciations about the mecanisms of interpretation is really amazing. Binomial forces.

    Here at the duo scenario you suggest symmetry and it works. The most incredible is that the cards fisically have defined measures and spacial symmetry. But the figures the drawings don’t. And in this experiment always in the duo configuration you have to find the balance VIII said. Greetings & blessings from Mexico.

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