This is a chapter in my book “Compassionate Tarot Companion”.
The book’s overview with download & 2 chapters … {-here-}
All blog posts that are chapters … {-here-}

Why is it so often possible to accurately foretell the future? Because Reality hurries to make itself known to open minds who seek it.

One time a friend of mine behested me to help a friend of hers who had a bit of trouble. This other person did a marginally profitable small business organizing public divination events in shopping malls.

My friend had promised to work at one of these events on a certain Saturday but had to cancel and natur­ally felt obliged to find a replacement.

And incidentally, I come from that economic class of small trade so I understand that kind of obligation as a moral issue. My friend assured me it was scrupulously honest, and well motivated, and would in fact be a chal­lenge as it was outside my usual line, at that time, of free pastoral counseling.

I agreed and I showed up on the appointed morning at the appointed pre-opening time at the shut glass doors of the specified shopping mall, with a folding card table, and three folding chairs, and a canvas bag containing lunch, beverage, the First Edition of The Simple Tarot and other small equipment.

It was a challenge. It was a shopping mall. The custo­mers paid twenty bucks for twenty minutes and money back if not completely satisfied.

Actually they would browse a bit, around outside our red plush rope corral there in front of a department store, perusing the services on offer, our eight neatly set tables with our little signs and our various card decks and gazing crystals available for patronage, then pay the proprietor at a table at the entrance to our red plush rope corral; …

Then with their pink paper ticket just like at a movie show in hand they would either proceed to the desired table or else take a turn at the electronic palm-reading aura-photograph machine.

I’m proud to say my customers were satisfied.

It was a challenge. Retail is not easy.

First it was a rather busy morning and noon, maybe four or five of the usual sort of bewilderments and emo­tional dislocations that life ordinarily bestows on us all, and all pretty much successfully reaching agreement on the facts of the case and choices that might be helpful.

So, it’s still early afternoon and I’m feeling refreshed by an egg salad sandwich, low-fat milk and a brisk walk around the place. I felt exercised and limbered up.

Two women entered, very young and older. A daughter and mother, relying closely on each other’s tender love according to their body language.

They are dressed alike in ladies’ suits; tasteful and groomed, serious reserved decorum. It was a comfort­able style of suit worn by ladies with open minds.

I was not occupied and they came directly to my table. They’d bought one ticket the older lady presented as I rose and bowed, she saying with a tense but gentle smile that the reading was a gift to her daughter.

In my mind’s eye the young lady’s calm clean pretty face resembled certain Picasso portraits where the face is dramatically split by a vertical line with a different shading scheme on either half.

Actually the dividing line was tilted slightly toward my left as I was looking at her. It crossed her face’s center line a little higher than the eyes.

I examined this remarkable effect in the mind’s eye, as you may imagine, with considerable surprise and extreme care.

I discovered this was merely a generalized approx­imate depiction of something deeper which had an effect of splitting her, for when I palpated around that intersec­tion spot in the mind’s eye with imaginary fingertips, there was released a powerful emotional scent of dire foreboding.

So I conjured into my eyes whatever vague image I had on hand of the shape and functioning of the human brain, fitted that to the picture, focused into that as finely as possible, saw something wrong beyond my ability to recognize, it being represented merely as resembling cascading water, and I became convinced that her brain was malfunctioning.

The disorder radiated from a small region near upper center, slightly to the left as I was looking at her.

Would that I could reach in that easily and set things right.

I invited them to please be seated around the table, the sick girl to my right and the mother to her right. It seemed the best arrangement at the square card table.

I played one of my standard opening moves, ask­ing if they had a specific question or else desired a general reading. They chose a general reading.

Considering the girl’s condition – probably unable to fully participate – I decided to play the cards entirely myself, ignoring the general reading request. Instead I dealt a small pattern of a few cards, asking only for the most important and solid aspects of the future.

That’s what I wanted to see immediately in order to guide my opening of the verbal conversation.

I don’t recall which cards they were – that’s not usually the kind of thing your memory records – but the cards chose to show me one single thing.

There was a major event scheduled for the very near future from which these ladies were dearly hoping for good results.

There was a strong sense of their hopes, and that the event would certainly take place; but the spread of cards was too small to represent more detail or the likely results. And I said all that, pointing out my reasoning on the pictures and the printed words.

Now, this next bit – when a client suddenly decides to open up because they suddenly decide you can be trusted – this doesn’t often happen with such a sudden rush in Tarot reading.

This is more typical of methods where you work without graphic aids, like spirit mediumship. Because there you don’t have things the client can see for them­selves to check your veracity, at least to some degree, and also to maintain their self-reliance.

In methods without graphic aids a self-respecting client needs to see you pass a serious test, before they take you seriously. So this phenomenon like a sudden threshold of trust is much more common there.

For example, in spirit mediumship the dead person will almost always start right in immediately by giving you something to say purely for recognition.

Like, one day a different friend brought a lady round the house who was earnestly yearning to talk with her dear brother, because he’d been killed in an auto wreck without the chance to say goodbye.

Well, the very first thing this fellow said for me to say was a rather joking insult of the lady’s boyfriend. It turns out he’d always humorously insulted his sister’s boyfriends, as a loving intimacy between them, a quite remarkable sort of chaste virtuous filial eroticism.

She burst into tears of joy. There ensued a fare-well conversation of such tenderness as one feels privi­leged to witness in a lifetime.

But as I say, a sudden recognition of the reader’s honesty and earnestness for truth, that recognition sud­denly break­ing on the situation, that is not the usual way of things in a Tarot reading.

And that afternoon, at the moment their appoint­ment was predicted, there were no tears nor any flood of words. My two ladies were too composed for that.

There was instead a psychic exhalation of immense relief. Nor was I the entity they suddenly trusted. Instead it’s almost right to say they suddenly trusted God, or something like it.

On seeing that demonstration of reality’s eagerness to be known, written there for them to see right on those pictures and the printed words, that clear prediction of a thing they knew was in the offing, there was released in them some knotty fear.

I thought perhaps a fear that unintelligible chaos rules the world.

Visibly to me, the chakra in their bosoms light­ened. Both together breathed a sigh which in its visible depiction in my eyes filled our little space in that worldly place with lightened color.

Prayer can arise from many aspects of a human being, not only from our Buddha consciousness, to use a common phrase, but also from the awareness we focus on this world, or from our skin and blood and bones.

Their nearly silent sigh arose from deep within their bodies. It held some vaguely audible echo of some formula of words. It reached into the ground and opened toward the sky.

So then the mother trusted me with information. She informed me in a minimum of calmly spoken senten­ces that – as the cards had said – that Monday morning they would go to see a doctor, a new one, who might finally diagnose her daughter’s illness.

Given that, perhaps a useful treatment could be found. They were wondering if this reading could predict the outcome. This was Saturday; they had many hours in which to hope and worry.

I didn’t bother with my standard suggestion: You should rephrase that kind of question. Usually, instead of a prediction, you should request advice on what to do, for that’s a ques­tion from an open mind. I rephrased it myself and set about it.

What could they do to maximize the chances of success? What should I tell them on that score?

The High Priest, the psychopomp, the masculine teacher – came up – Me – I remember that – and some other card which seemed to represent a female student – Her. A few more verified my understanding.

So I began at last to speak directly to the daughter, as her temporary teacher: “Mental illness is a very diffi­cult life.”

She blinked in some surprise, for mental illness had not been mentioned by anyone, but she then nodded definite agree­ment.

“It is a very difficult life,” I repeated, “but it is a life that you can learn from.”

There was, in fact, not much I knew. Were there useful drugs for this condition? I did not know.

Could scan machines pinpoint the trouble? Yes or no, that wasn’t indicated in these cards and I certainly had insufficient confidence in the psychic scan I’d done to venture that opinion.

And was it even a physical disorder? For all I knew, that microscopic cascade in her head might symbo­lize some ghastly memory or self-deceit and she might need a psychiatric talking cure.

But a proper boatman rows the boat they have, however small, so tend the business you have on hand.

I had asked the cards what I should say and they displayed this relationship of a soul-guide teacher and a student.

Apparently there was to be a manifestation of all those old Zen and Tao stories on the subject, some mani­festation like my experiences as student and teacher, a tale like some teacher of mine told about their teacher, or such as that.

So I drew up all I knew of such relationships, the basic common human facts of how to make that relation­ship work for best results, and spoke on that.

I advised the girl to exercise her judgment on this doctor. Judge this doctor on the score of whether this could be her teacher.

If a therapeutic regimen was found or not, a long road lay ahead, a lifetime as a human being lay ahead, and techniques must be learned to manage. Techniques must be found to nurture her humanity. And a teacher must be found who teaches what the student needs to learn.

That was the gist of it as I recall. Of course, in that state of mind the words tumble forth too quickly to be weighed and measured into memory, so other things perhaps were said as well.

In any case, her clear pretty bright-eyed attentive face is etched in memory as vividly as anything I’ve ever seen. While a twenty-dollar prophet spoke, she weighed and measured every word of it exactly with the same brave careful prudence I was dearly hoping she would find within herself that Monday morning.

There were some little smiles and nods.

When I was finished talking, finding nothing more along that line, her mother spoke. Thank you very much, she said in frank sincerity.

Was it twenty minutes? I looked at the clock I’d set out on the table there for clients to see and yes it was. Well, but I felt nearly like a cheat. They had paid me with their confidence and good company far more than twenty minutes worth.

I would never see these people again; was there at least some necessary parting thought? No, not even that came to mind.

So we made a little ceremony of taking leave, shak­ing hands, my customary thanks for their trust, and best wishes for the future. With the same air of dignity and calm in which they’d come, they left.

It was only then I realized the daughter had never spoken. Apparently her illness interfered with speech, but she had been so honestly herself, and so open, that words from her had truly not been needed.

So you see, that is the largest personal experience from which I speak about visioning the future. That story does illustrate what I hoped to say.

When we are forced by incomprehensible causes to live in situations unfit for human life – whether by illness mysteriously opening beneath our feet, or through enor­mous circumstances like the billions of us who live in poverty, or if we find ourselves the helpless prey of those who feed their demons on our pain, or in whatever way we find ourselves in desperate frustration of human hope without a visible exit; …

In those times we yearn for evidence that there is sense beneath the chaos.

And our yearning is focused on the future.

Some of us can be satisfied with nonsense prom­ises of heaven in another world, or nonsense schemes for purifying society here by brutal politics and war.

Some retreat into an attitude of self-defense and denial. Some seek oblivion in drunkenness. And there is always suicide.

But there are also always those who seek to under­stand by thinking with an open mind. For those there is always available the epiphany of Lao Tsu and Rumi, the epiphany of reality hurrying to make itself known.

That can be a brave thinking person’s reconcil­iation with the Universe.

(- Here is the end of this blog post.-)

3 thoughts on “Troubles

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