The fortuneteller as a grey eminence

If the fortuneteller is not a grand, grey eminence, what is she? What exactly is her function? I like to think of myself as a grey eminence, a title reserved to the masters who are past the age of illusion. Often people come to the cards for empowerments that, sadly, also equally often consist of plain flattery in the form of false validation. But when someone comes to me and says, ‘fuck, I think my whole spirit just died,’ the only thing I can offer that’s genuine is this question, ‘what spirit?’ – echoing my favorite Zen masters plus Nisargadatta.

Apart from what the cards have to say, I never tell anyone that they are some marvellous such and such geniuses, nor that they are unfortunate victims of circumstance, people with whom I then sincerely sympathize. I just ask the people who come to me for empowerment to think about the notions of identity, spirit, and self, and other bogus ideas such as ‘follow your heart’ – when the conditions for it are not even there – or ‘perform only what gives you joy’ – when the knowledge of what that might look like is lacking.

If there’s an empowerment, then it consists of this: prepare yourself to die. Properly. Question your fears and desires. Are you a slave to them? Why? Because they are a source of thrill and enjoyment? I like what answer we get here from the cards, not just the hard cards, such as the spades in a pack, but the other suits too. They are not there to give us what we want to hear. They are there to remind us of what divination is actually all about, namely hearing uncomfortable truths.

Jakob Holmblad’s Samlede Værker, 1700s, in my collection

Even the Queen of Hearts must heed attention to what is essential. A community of vulnerable people crying is only as good as its beliefs. But are these beliefs going anywhere? Not if you ask the grey eminences around who have forsaken all beliefs. There’s belief, and then there’s the singular work of what direction to give the sincere dropping of all pretense.

This month Aradia Academy has kicked off the teaching season to great satisfaction, mine and that of the students who let me know that this is the case. Today I’ve made a teaching plan for the whole year, and some, while thinking about how I might transmit precisely the function of the fortuneteller as the grey eminence that she ought to embody.

Since it’s Saturday, let’s celebrate Saturn, a grey eminence we can’t mess with: Hail the reign of Saturn! Do we master what we do, or are we just playing around, fooling with the cards? I take the first. This year’s course plan will be announced on Tuesday. Stay tuned via Aradia Academy’s newsletter, and keep going.

Published by Camelia Elias

Read like the Devil | Martial Arts Cartomancy | Zen

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