My Consultation with the Cards
The future--unknown to most--looms ahead, intangible yet ever present. Intimidating with its mystery, it coaxes anyone stuck in the flow of time to wonder what comes next. The questions--What will I be? When will it happen? Will I be rich?--all swirl together into one large inquiry made by each individual of human kind: Will my dreams come true?
Melanie Carter, an English student at Virginia Commonwealth University and my college roommate, did just this. Her medium is a beautiful deck of black and white tarot cards.
It was my curiosity about the future that brought Melanie and me together on the carpet of our apartment one day. We sat cross-legged, with those cards in a box between us. She was going to help me find answers and hopefully appease my curiosity.
Melanie started by sorting the cards “to get rid of any residual energy,” she said, into their respective suits: wands, swords, cups, pentacles, and face cards, or the major Arcana. Personal energy is how Tarot cards work. Your energy guides the answers and works the actual magic of the cards, if you will. The reader is there purely to interpret what the cards have told you, a translator, in a manner of speaking.
The next step was for me to fill these cards with my energy, by shuffling them and asking the question I wanted answered out loud, how the outlook looks for my future. She told me to shuffle them until it felt right to stop. So I shuffled the large deck of cards, mixing them while focusing on my question, trying not to wonder how I'd know when to stop. The time came when I felt like the cards were properly mixed and I handed them back to Melanie.
Melanie put the stack face down on the carpet and took the first 10 cards off the top. She laid them down on the carpet in a carefully placed pattern. The first card was placed in the middle of the space between us. This card represented me. On top of this one, a card was placed horizontally on its middle, representing the influences crossing me, working on my present state.
Four following cards were then placed in order starting with the North, then the South and East, and ending in the West positions, forming a sort of cross between us with each card at the point of an imaginary compass. These four cards represented, all in accordance with the question I asked: my beliefs, its foundation in the past, the forces acting on it from the past, and the forces working on it from the immediate future. Melanie explained this all to me as she formed the pattern and all I could think was, this is why I’m coming to her and not doing it on my own.
The last four cards were placed in a vertical line to the right of the cross already placed. These were read from bottom to top in respect to Melanie; the first being how the question I asked affects me, the second how it affects my environment and how people see me in this environment, and the third being my hopes for the question’s answer. The very last card is the “culmination,” she said, of all the others. This card is the best possible outcome for the question I asked. This is the answer I had come to find out.
Eager to find out what lay in my future, I looked closely at the cards and the pictures on them. The very first card she pulled, the ‘me’ card, is “Death.” Nervously I looked up at Melanie. A quick flicker of a thought flashed across my mind about how maybe the future is better left unknown after all.
Melanie explained how the Death card simply means change or transitions. She continued explaining the cards, pointing out how each card helped to lead up and explain the end card, how this big change is towards a positive end goal but how there will be a challenge that could possibly keep it from happening. So I was left with the knowledge that I have a big change coming that will end in my favor if I am careful.
It was intriguing how the cards were able to tell me these things and that Melanie was able to interpret them. If I learned anything from this experience it was that even though I might get a pleasant answer to my question, the future is variable so not even the reading is a definite. Now instead of wondering what the future will bring, I get to wonder when what the cards told me will come into play. This should be interesting.