Easy-going. That’s it.
Not easy-going fun – there’s tons of fun in reading cards, and you all know that already – but easy-going in the sense of acceptance.
What is surprising about reading cards is that they say: Take it easy and keep going.
The ‘take it easy part’ is important, as it allows you to understand that although you may read cards to get to the bottom of things – to strategize for a better relationship at work or at home, to be creative in your projects, to find your path and settle goals – in reality, when you read cards you want to learn how to take it easy so that you keep things together and in balance, as balance is the only condition for your resilience.
It’s already a given that you can’t keep going without resilience. Resilience is not fun. Therefore, you need to take it easy if you’re to keep your peace of mind.
If you think about it, the whole set of the major arcana contains an embedded message: There are things you can do something about, and there are things you can’t do anything about.
There’s a surprising subtlety in the cards that says, ‘there’s nothing you can do here,’ or ‘it can’t be helped; it is as it is’. When there’s nothing you can do, and things can’t be helped, you might as well take it easy.
When you take it easy, you’re in accepting mode. When you’re in the accepting mode, you’re in control of your mind. When you’re in control of your mind, you work with your biggest asset, your God-given brain and common-sense. When you work with your common-sense you can discriminate, and thus respond correctly to any situation.
The value of discrimination is the same as saying yes and no to the right things, without mixing the levels.
As an example of the contrary situation, just think about how many times you’ve read the cards with view to remedy having said yes to the wrong things, and having said no to the right things.
The realization of having been wrong is always nasty, and it prompts you right there with the challenge of having to admit that it’s never about the situation itself, but rather about the way in which you respond to it, and hence, take it easy.
So the surprising part, that you’re not always aware of, is that you read cards not only for guidance and inspiration, but rather for a clear message on easy-going.
When you have the power to act and when you don’t
I often say in my cartomantic teachings that one of the most significant distinctions to make in a reading session is the one that discriminates between the cards that afford you a position to act, and the ones that don’t.
If we talk about the Marseille cards, then think of the ones that afford you no power: the Tower, the Wheel of Fortune, the Hanged Man, Death, the Devil, the Moon, and Judgment. Almost a third of the 22-pack.
What do you think when you see these cards: ‘Yay, I can see things differently? (Hanged Man), or ‘I can now transform’ (Death), or ‘I can go public with my life’ (Judgment), or ‘I can change’ (Wheel of Fortune), or ‘I can be passionate in my seductions (Devil), or ‘I can be creative’ (Moon)?
To all of this, what I have to say is this: Think again.
This is even more significant when you use a layout that has the cards locked in specific positions that call for action.
When the Tower is in the position of advice, ‘Do this,’ do you think that you can DO the Tower? Blow up like it? You can’t. Why? For the simple reason because here the agent is a natural, not a human law. We’re here with a natural catastrophe. If you think you can do anything about a natural catastrophe, you’re a fool. So what’s the logical thing to infer, then? We can quickly agree that acceptance is the only sensible thing to do. On rare occasion you may enjoy an outburst because it turns out that such a response is appropriate, but this is, as I said, rare.
If it’s about your finances and the Tower is in the position of advice, then you can say this to yourself or the other you read the cards for: ‘You can become financially stable, if you ‘lose’ everything you think you know about banks. They’re going down.’ The same applies to the gambling on the stock market: ‘Do you speculate? Stop it. The stocks are going down.’
The same applies to Death. You don’t fight it. You accept it. You can fight it, but as obvious wisdom teaches us, death wins. So you can forget about fighting.
If Death calls you to action, then how do you read it? As a situation whose premise starts with the first personal pronoun in the proclaiming mode, ‘I’ can do this and that’?
If you’re lucky, you may be allowed to participate in the wielding of the blade – ‘I, the samurai’, but you’ll never be the ultimate master.
The same applies to the Wheel of Fortune. You’re caught in it. You may think you have agency, but in reality you don’t. You’re subject to conditions that are external to your own power.
Is the Hanged Man in the position of advice? Then wait it out and hope to God that rescue is coming, because if it doesn’t, you’ll be out of this world. Whether you can see things differently or not, while you’re hanging there, is really besides the point when it’s about survival. If anything, the Hanged Man says, ‘don’t die yet.’
When the Moon comes in the position of ‘Do this’, the more commonsensical thing to do is go to bed and pray for a good dream. You can’t bank on being creative when it’s plain as daylight that you’re not on the same page with others, due to a whole lot of howling and misunderstanding.
When the Devil is in the picture, let’s not even go there. You’ll think you have agency, but in reality you will have none. Your own obsessions, addictions, resentments, and hatred will have power over you. You won’t even be able to see it.
As for Judgment, we’re here with the public opinion. Oh, dear. When the trumpet in vogue blasts: ‘Rise,’ most will simply follow, thinking, ‘here’s the new awakening, we’re all individuals.’
If you think about all this, you get to the surprising lesson that says: ‘Take it easy! Learn what acceptance is all about.’
Acceptance is the attitude that not many consider when reading their cards, because everything has to be so goddamn pro-active, but acceptance is there as a very fine, ultimate wisdom: ‘You can only keep going, if you take it easy.’
How about getting pro-active about that?
This essay is in line with my book What is Not: Marseille Tarot à la Carte (2019).
For a visual impression of the same deconstructive nerve, watch my latest video: Martial Arts Cartomancy.
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