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The Good Devil…

Posted on 3/18/2010 at 1:15:49 AM

Most of the time I hear all sorts of good things about the World of New Age and a lot about the inherent good of the Tarot, and how it helps people so much. But more than I would like to admit, I do hear some pretty bad things from people that usually don’t know much about tarot or what it really is. All the exposure that these folks have had have been through misrepresentation from the media, television or inadequate portrayals in the motion picture industry. Occasionally, and sadly, some people get ripped off by flim-flam charlatans and scam artists…you know the ones…they tell the person they are reading for that they have a terrible curse upon them and for a gazillion bucks the reader will remove it. Whenever I hear about this sort of thing going on it just really bugs me. I mean…really bugs me.  That is why I do a lot of free readings and don’t charge an arm and a leg for my services. I figure it all comes back around and so I don’t sweat the money part so much. 

The Stella's Tarot ~ XV. The Devil

Stella's Tarot ~ XV. The Devil


That is why whenever I hear of something really good coming from working with the tarot I just get so excited about it. And that is what happened in the case I am going to share with you now. 

There is a young man that I have been doing readings for for a little while now.  He has given me permission to tell his story as long as I change his name. So lets call him Murray. I think he’d like that name.

Murray has been coming to me for a little under a year. I never charge him for readings, as he really doesn’t have the extra cash to pay. So I don’t mind reading for him for free. Right off the bat I could tell that Murray had some issues in his life. Drugs, drinking, legal problems and hanging out with the wrong crowd were big ones. This all pretty much was getting him down, as his life was  just one big downward spiral. Nothing really good ever happened for him, and I felt bad for it. I had hoped that through my friendship and work through the tarot I could somehow get through to him and help him get clean and on the road to sobriety. I really worried about him when I didn’t hear from him for a while, and was so relieved when he would finally called me and touch bases, asking to get together for a reading. I guess it’s just the “mother hen” coming out in me where Murray was concerned.

What was really interesting was that  he would manage to pull The Devil card from the deck every single time without fail. I remember the first time this happened during his  first reading. It’s quite normal to have the querent raise an eyebrow when cards like Death, the Tower and the Devil show up in a reading. At first he was very concerned at seeing this card, but after explaining what it meant,  he would settle into a more calm and somber mood, nodding his head as I explained how this card reflected the vices and bad habits of his life and how he could break free from that and initiate change. After dealing with all sorts of substance abuse issues within my immediate family, I knew what those reflective nods meant. Quiting an addiction is easier said than done no matter how sincere or how hard one tries to quit. I never pushed him, but always tried to explain the positive side of The Devil card whenever he presented himself in front of Murray. I wasn’t going to hold my breath in anticipation of his getting clean any time soon, but I always hoped that one day he would tire of the party life and get his act together.

On a sunny afternoon, not too long ago, I heard a knock on the door. When I opened it there stood Murray. Would I do a reading for him? Sure.

He was unusually quiet and oddly lucid as he cut the cards after the usual shuffling. He picked his cards and sure enough…there was Mister Devil card as usual. We were doing a three card reading and I remember the cards he chose (which is unusual, as I don’t usually remember readings soon after I do them) – Temperance, The Four of Cups and The Devil. In that order. As his eyes landed on The Devil card he smiled, instantly knowing what that card meant from experience.

Tapping the Four of Cups, he said, “I think I know what this card means. The boy is refusing the cup. He doesn’t want it anymore.”

“Yes, that is one way to look at it.”

And then he tapped on Temperance, “What does Temperance mean?”

“Let’s look it up in the Dictionary,” I said as I pulled it up on my trusty iPhone dictionary app. As I read the meanings, his face grew entirely serious, and no sooner had I read the part about it meaning abstinence from alcohol, he stopped me.

“Oh my God.” His face was pale and he was so dead serious he was beginning to freak me out a bit. “I have to tell you something very important. I’ve been clean and sober for the last week. I have been seriously considering stopping everything all together.” He blinked. I didn’t know what to sa,y so I stayed quiet and let him continue. “…this is so weird. This is a sign!” Yes it is, I thought. Yes…it is.

There were tears in his eyes and soon there were tears in mine. To see this sort of break through for a person and all spurred on by a tarot reading was a wonderful thing to see. It did my heart good after putting up with so much flack from a very biased and ignorant public in the past few months and years. Here was a young person before me having a perfect “Ah Ha!” moment, all on account of the tarot cards. How could anyone think that such a good thing happening could be so bad?

Seeing the figure of the Devil enlightening a person to turn his life around instead of being used to scare the crap out of people and manipulate them for money and gain was an irony that was not lost on me that day! Murray wasn’t aware of my own little “Ah Ha!” moment, but that’s ok. I wasn’t going to steal his thunder. It was a very amazing afternoon for the both of us…one I will never forget.

So, the next time someone makes assumptions about the tarot in a negative way, just think of Murray. Last I heard he was still on the wagon and even bragging to his friends how he has quit the high life for good. He is so proud of himself and so am I. I didn’t need my faith in the tarot recharged, but the reboot didn’t hurt my feelings at all. Never underestimate the good in people when reflected in the cards…

Namaste everyone!

Posted on Thursday, March 18th, 2010 at 1:15 am In Old News... | Comments RSS

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