I get up in the morning and before coffee I find myself sweeping the floors. ‘Too much sand,’ I tell myself, while also practicing the fine art of acceptance.
I find it a high privilege that I get to spend 7 days at a cabin in the woods and by the sea, so there’s no reason for complaints.
I have a technique of picking up the dust. It takes time, but when I’m done, it’s perfect.
This makes me think of time, and how we always want to measure it. But what is it that we measure? Temporality? Or something else?
I finish with the sweeping and sit down on the porch to enjoy the sun. I want to shoot a picture of my cards today, answering the very question of time:
What is time?
You see, in the morning I tend to pose the grand questions, the metaphysical ones, the real questions, the ones that emerge in my dreams, where truth resides.
We only feel mythical in dreams. The rest of the day we spend feeling fragmented, postmodern, or post-ironic, enjoying whatever we consider is our ‘vulnerable story’. That’s the one that sells these days.
But in dreams we’re beyond time.
As I take pictures with my iPhone, I see that student of Cards and Magic and Radiant Reading, Charles Webb, a most fascinating film scholar and Vodou Man, sends me another pic of my new book, The Power of the Trumps, a version of the transcript of eight lectures.
He calls the book brilliant. Others said the same about the video lectures, emphasizing also their wish on Facebook: ‘I wish the lectures would never end’.
Scholar of illuminated manuscripts, Domenic Leo, also asked on Facebook: ‘How did you choose the image for the cover? Temperance?’
I said: ‘I didn’t choose it, it chose me.’ He insisted: ‘And that means…?’
I didn’t reply intentionally.
But I’ll reply here:
I chose it, or it chose me – this one doesn’t change – because it’s timely. Because Temperance, in addition to being a card of time, is a card of balancing between our awareness of what time is – not about division – and the cultural ways of measuring it.
What did you invest your time in today? When we think of value, we don’t think of ‘this is how my time is measured.’ This is interesting because it’s both counter-intuitive and counter-cultural.
The last lecture in the series, Take your Time, is ‘the bomb’, my partner told me, and I was wondering about that.
You see, part of what I call, ‘the subtle power of the trumps’ has to do with our notion of time and how we measure it, but only as waste.
Because you see, I happen to entertain the idea that the Tarot is all about what is timely, not about how we operate with cultural divisions:
This is behind you, this is ahead of you, this is past and this is the future. The present is here too, but as it’s too difficult to pin down, we sweep it under the rug.
The lecture entitled ‘Take your Time’ features the cards of Strength, Popess, and Temperance. These are not your usual suspects in a discussion of what we do with time in Tarot.
But then, the whole point of the lecture series is to say something about the subtle power of the obvious. The obvious that always eludes us, simply because, it’s, well, obvious.
My cards this morning said the following (I shuffled the whole deck, and got all trumps, hmm, I guess the power of the trumps insists…)
Time is what you perceive with your fingertips. You’re here now, timely poring out what you’ve got, without any interest in how it all gets to be received.
The earth is a beautiful thing, mother and friend to all. It receives all.
The Popes of the world come along and instruct you on the usefulness of this thing called, ‘time’. But if time is what you make of it, not what you measure, then today, the Pope says, time is about a vehicle to pleasure.
It looks like the Star’s two chalices turn into six, suggesting that if we take the time it takes for everything we do, no matter what it is, we get to the idea of how we align ourselves with the recipes about everything between heaven and earth: ‘Do this, do that, don’t do this, don’t do that.’
It’s not enough that you get instruction and information about the ways of the world, about how you invest your time. What you also need to think about is how you blend your perception of what you’re doing with the conditions for doing it.
Temperance was considered a card of Time by the occultists of the 19th century, and I talk about this in my lecture, but I think that what they forgot to add is that if Temperance is a card of time, then it is so because it is also, above all, about what is timely.
It was timely for me last week to record 8 lectures in one sitting, edit the transcript, and fling it all to the public also in book form.
Maybe it’s timely for you to join me for a live talk about The Power of the Trumps on Good Friday, April the 14.
Get the lectures, and get inspired. Time is, after all, the pleasure of your body, the illuminated mind, and the balance between them.
P.S. My finger is on the ‘publish’ button, when I get a notification that Debi Ann Scott has tagged me on FB. Well, let’s have her feedback here too, as it makes me happy to see that the power of the trumps hits just the right nerve.
“Camelia, it was late, but decided to watch the first few videos from your “The Power of the Trumps, a subtle burst” course before I retired for the night. I started around 11:00pm. It’s now 3:30am. Watching, contemplating and note taking. I started and couldn’t stop! Charles Webb said the Book was brilliant. I add to this enchanting and penetrating wisdom. I will be watching and reading this over and over. Thank you for this gift!” – Debi Ann Scott.
Note on the cards:
The Playing Card Marseille by Ryan Edward. Hand-colored first prototype.
The lectures mentioned here are part of the series of video recorded lectures followed by a live Q&A, Beyond Cards and Magic. While the lectures will be available at all times, the fun part is the possibility to sit with me for a live talk, and ask questions. The Q&A session will be recored and sent out to all who join this class/workshop/webinar/book.
If not this time, stay in the loop for other cartomantic activities.