Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday: Tarot-Card Reading

Thanks to everyone who helped me out with yesterday’s title dilemma. I really appreciate all of your heartfelt feedback. In light of it, I’ve decided to stick with my current title: Hollow Souls. After all, I like it. Folks who have read my novel seem to like it. Even those who haven’t read it think it’s pretty okay, so I’m officially not going to worry about it for now. Really, I have more important things to fret over... like, um, my revision.

In an effort to delay the inevitable even longer, I’m going to switch gears for a moment. Inspired by my blogging buddies Bane and Bridget (say THAT five times fast!), who recently revealed little curious tidbits about themselves, I’ve decided to share a few of the things I “learned” during my first official tarot-card reading at Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo. As I mentioned in Monday’s post, this unique experience was part of my thirty-third birthday celebration, and although I’ve never been a believer in astrology, sooth-saying, and predestination (I’m all about free will, baby!), it was still a bit enlightening. True, I influenced the lady’s reading with my questions, and later, Dan dismissed most of her prognostications as mere generalizations and misinterpretations (now, say that five times FASTER!). But all I can think is... Stifle thyself, Danny. Every new experience is a chance to learn something, so here’s what I learned from the varied card configurations in the back room of Marie Laveau's:

1. In general, this is a transitional year for me – I’ll have to make a lot of important decisions – and supposedly, I’m really good at making decisions. Dan had a hearty chuckle when I told him that.

2. This year, I’m going to be offered a big job opportunity – something that will force me to make a huge change in my life. As a freelance travel writer, I sure hope she meant another guidebook because I have no intention of putting down roots... yet.

3. A few years down the road, I’ll be going back to school – in my chosen field. So, I guess that means no Master of Theology for me. Yes, I long ago dreamed of being a Unitarian Universalist minister – a story for another day.

4. Also a few years down the road, I’ll be teaching others. I’m just not sure what.

5. Apparently, my health is fine... for now. So’s my marriage. Phew.

6. But it’s a good thing that I never plan to make a lot of money from my writing because, apparently, my fiction will not be my primary source of income. Of course, what Dan plans is another thing entirely.

7. I apparently have a problem with authority – which probably explains why I’ve been a freelancer for nearly a decade now.

8. My problem with authority stems from some unresolved issues with my mother – which is also the reason that I have yet to revise my novel. Hey, that’s what the reader said!

9. Kids are still a possibility in my life, perhaps in a few years – but I don’t need them to complete me. Dan was happy to hear that one.

10. To have kids, I’ll have to settle down permanently (and deal with my unresolved parental issues). Dan was not, however, happy to hear that.

11. The only thing that really disturbed me was when she said I’d have to have one big blowup with my mother in order to resolve said unresolved issues. Dan, of course, wondered why I wasn’t more concerned about the money thing.

So, there you have it, folks. My first “real” reading. I’ve had friends “practice” on me before, and maybe my niece will try next summer (yes, we bought her a pack of tarot cards for her last birthday), but this was my first professional experience, and I quite enjoyed it. Perhaps it’s all a bunch of crapola, but at the very least, it gave me some food for thought... and fodder for a blog post.

So, what do you think? Should I take any of it seriously?


A misinterpreted wave said...

Oooh, sounds so interesting, but I have to agree with Dan. Her musings do seem quite superficial in the end.

I sometimes wonder if people start to base decisions they make on the readings they have been given, and that this sometimes makes things 'come true' so to speak.

Still want to get mine done though hehehe

Stephanie Thornton said...


But what really got me was the picture. I would swear I have a picture of that same exact sign in my scrapbook from my trip to New Orleans in 2003. Now I'm going to have to go check.

Have a great weekend!

Becky said...

Sounds like a lot of generalizations. Everyone has blow ups (and unresolved issues) with their parents, and when you become a parent, you do resolve all sorts of issues, because your whole perspective changes. School? Lots of people go back to school, especially, I'd think, people who aren't rolling in the dough. I'd say she's a good "people reader", which is probably what tarot is all about. BTW I know exactly where that place is! Isn't it funny how much of that stuff is so prevalent in New Orleans?

Oh, and as to your mom, it was clearly evident from my short meeting with her that she's very proud of you, is protective, very smart and loves you a lot. Not bad things....

Bane of Anubis said...

I remember having my palm read about 10 years ago. I, of course, asked her about my potential writing career. She told me I'd have technical items published first, but that I'd find some success (and she did give me an approximate age for this arc).

Though I can't remember her exact words (and was just playing along), she has been surprisingly correct. Of course, we probably tend to read more into these things, but I'll readily admit there are a bunch of things in this world I don't understand (which is why I'll never ever say 'Bloody Mary' in front of a mirror 3 times in a row ;)

Susan R. Mills said...

Nope! I had a reading done back about fifteen years ago. None of what she told me came true. By the way, I love the title of your book. I'd keep it.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I agree with the pack - readings aren't reliable. Stick with your husband on this one. :)

Thanks for dropping by Book Dreaming!

Laura Martone said...

Chris - Oh, it was interesting alright. The lady was very nice, but still, I felt a bit weird the whole time. Like it was a "This Is Your Life" moment. And you and Dan are right - the musings were superficial at best. She even said, at the start, that she was no soothsayer, and we both agreed that, when people base major decisions around readings, it just becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Which I'd never do, by the way. Just thought it would spark a good discussion, which it has! P.S. Oh, do a reading! Do a reading! Blog fodder, if nothing else. ;-)

Steph T. - That's funny about the photo. I think Marie Laveau's is photographed almost as often as the St. Louis Cathedral. It's certainly part of New Orleans lore. P.S. Hope you have a good weekend, too!

Laura Martone said...

Becky - Yup. You're right. Everyone has issues with their folks from time to time - makes sense that having your own kids can clear some of that up. Thanks, BTW, for the kind words about my mom. She'd appreciate that. And, yes, tarot card readers are everywhere in the FQ - even at night, you'll spot them on Bourbon, in Jackson Square, and in random doorways. Too weird.

Bane - YOU had your palm read? No way! Can't quite imagine that. ;-) So, even with your career background, you were still thinking about writing a decade ago. Too cool. Funny that she's been right so far - even if you don't "believe" - either it's coincidence or she just "read" you well. WYSIWYG, right? P.S. I DID do the Bloody Mary thing as a kid... I'm a morbid sort, after all... but nothing every happened. Well, I scared myself something awful, but that doesn't count. I was kinda disappointed.

Laura Martone said...

Susan - Thanks, as always, for your perspective. On the reading - and the title!

Shannon - Thanks and you're welcome!

Donna Hole said...

Yes; I'd take it seriously. I had a professional read for me a couple years ago. She said: think very hard about something that is really bothering you right now, a serious issue on your mind, while I shuffle. Don't tell me anything about this issue until after the reading. Then she dealt out the cards, and wow, in generalized terms, there was my issue laid out for me to view.

First she said my problem involved a sick family member (my brother was very ill) with a potentially life threatening disease (he'd said he'd just been diagnosed with Hep C). There was happiness in his future, possibly a marriage (he'd just moved in with a girlfriend) or the birth of a new child (she was a new grandmother), but there was also sorrow involving a decision he needed to make. Depending on his decisions, there was either limited health, or death.

I did not prompt this woman, but disclosed the info in parenthesis as she read. Though her reading was vague, generalized, it did fit what was on my mind, and his. Months later, he married the girl, and announced he had less than 6 months to live if he continued drinking, or 3-5 years (he had liver disease) if he quit drinking and conformed to pharmacology and diet changes.

He chose the alcoholism. Please don't feel bad; we all make unhealthy - though less devastating - choices every day in our lives.

So, I say take it seriously because it could be a preview to some major changes in your life; but remember your choices are yours. Maybe you won't make your living off your fiction novels yet, but your travel guides and theater reviews seem to be doing well. Schooling in your future could be as simple as the Film Festival you hosted and the education your participants gained, or could mean a writers conference/workshop you plan to attend.

And since you and Dan share so much of your interests and philosophies together, some of his carma may be linked to yours. It seems to me what affects one career affects the other's.

Don't let this reading rule your life; just be open to the possibility of unseen forces colluding to effect the best possible destiny for you and your husband. After all, having information is the sureset way to change an outcome, right.

Oh hell, didn't mean to write a novel here. Now that I'm all warmed up, maybe I should open my own novels and do some revision.

Thanks for "listening" Laura.


Donna Hole said...

Uhm, all that was to say that maybe your unresolved issues with your mother plays a major role in your writing and personal choices.

Okay; I'm done.


Laura Martone said...

Hi, Donna!

Phew. That WAS quite the novel you wrote yesterday, and I appreciate it muchly. In fact, I rather enjoy "listening" to your opinion.

And you're probably right - unresolved issues with my mom surely do play a role in my writing and personal choices. It's certainly something I've worked through in my novel - and the tarot-card reader was right about one thing... I am anxious about Mom's opinion of my book.

Still, while it sounds like your reading offered some truth about your own life (sorry, btw, about your brother), I think mine was very much influenced by my own thoughts and comments. So, I'd hesitate to take it as gospel truth. On the other hand, it could all be interpreted as you said. My writing, my schooling, etc., could all happen in ways I least expect. And certainly, Dan and I have linked futures. Kids, school, film fests, travel, writing - what affects me, affects him, too. A fact that can be both good and bad at times.

I certainly won't let this - or any - reading rule my life, but I don't think it's ever a negative thing to be open to the possibilities.