Serendipitous Synchronicity: The Tarot Cards
From the earliest stages of human history, seers have provided insights and advice about the future through a wide variety of methods. One of the most widely known and commonly used methods of divination is tarot cards, a device widely used by many even in our more "enlightened" times. I purchased my first deck at the age of sixteen and learned the symbols well. Other friends became fascinated with these cards too. Many of us had our own decks.
Most of my friends gave up their pursuits of majick and divination with the onset of adulthood. I must confess that my own spirtuality runs pretty strong, and the frequently hypocritical and domineering Christian churches I have encountered provided little that addressed my own personal religious needs. I kept up my studies and became fairly proficient with the tarot. Eventually, I became disillusioned with the prospect of divining the future. Events will unfold as they will while we construct the present. I turned my attention to the here and now, leaving foreknowledge of the future to those who felt they needed it. My past, however, is rich with stories. This is one of them.
A friend of mine was in possession of a "broken" tarot deck. The Page of Cups was missing. He asked me if I had any use for the deck. No obvious use came to mind, but I took the deck anyway, thinking that something good could be done with the individual cards. The deck sat for a while. I thought about shuffling out the twenty-two trumps and using them separately. I sorted the cards but realized that I never did anything with the tarot that required the use of only the trumps. I started sorting through the trumps, looking for meaning. Eventually, I settled on three cards, removed them from the pile, placed them in my coat pocket, and discarded the remainder of the deck.
It's interesting to note that I later borrowed a book from the same friend and discovered the missing Page of Cups in use as a bookmark. Too late, I guess, but had I found it earlier, this story wouldn't be very interesting.
Those three trumps remained in the pocket of my coat for about two years. From time to time, I would pull them out and wonder why I was carrying those three particular cards. Sometimes answers come slowly. I considered discarding them but resisted the urge. I had selected them for a reason, I mused. Someday I would understand my own mysteries.
One fine autumn day, I was socializing at my church with two friends. No others were present. One of my friends had been explaining the ritual of selecting one's own personal significator trump, a symbol that would then be used as a focal point of majickal power and as a personal defining symbol. The significator trump is slected by drawing at random a single card from the deck of twenty-two trumps after deep deliberation and focusing on one's own self. Such a ritual requires a deep commitment to the selection process. The card can only be drawn once. He explained that he was thrilled when he drew the Magician. The Magician is a symbol of mastery of power and is often portrayed presiding over the symbols of all four suits of the tarot. It was a fitting card for him, representing his quest for power and the mastery he had already acquired.
My other friend had also performed the ceremony under the guidance of the Magician. His significator turned out to be the Lovers. I could have guess that. He's a sexy guy. The card was and still is perfectly appropriate. The Magician offered to me his deck of trumps. "Care to give it a try, Al?" At that moment, I reached into my pocket and withdrew three cards. "Actually," I said, "I already drew mine a couple of years ago. I drew yours too." I handed him the Magician card I had been storing. I handed the Lover his Lovers card. My card was the Hermit, a symbol of knowledge, understanding, and isolation, the wise man on the mountaintop, remote but shining his light down to those who will look to it. I was a little disappointed with my lot, but in hindsight, no other trump is more perfectly descriptive of the way my life has been until now. "I think we all have our trumps," I said. "I have been carrying those around for two years now." The Magician was flabbergasted. The Lover was speechless. It is majickal moments of serendipitous synchronicity like these that make religious belief an amazing and wonderful thing.
Serendipitous synchronicity. I love it! The best stories are true.
The years have passed. We have continued. Our church did not. My own spirituality had waned until recently. Now that I have remembered this event, dredeged up from the dim and distant past, I have begun to realize that I chose those three cards for a reason. There was a dual purpose in their selection. Those symbols were not merely for the benefit of my friends. They all were about me and who I am. I chose them because they were representative of me. I have been playing the Hermit for all these years, but I am a Magician and a Lover too. Self-knowledge is the best kind of knowledge. After years on the mountain, I now have more self-understanding than I could ever have hoped. It's time I came down off the mountain top and spread a little love and majick around. It's time for a new identity because the old one allowed me to show only a small side of what I have to offer as a person.
I have no illusions that some people won't be comfortable with the new me. Things are changing faster than I can track, but I like what I am and am becoming. I would like to introduce the world to the new me. I would like you to meet Alsexy, bearer of the light and master of his own destiny. I no longer need to divine the future. I'm busy building it.