The World Is One Big Tarot Card



I talk a lot in allegories. What’s an allegory? It’s when a picture or a story has lots of symbolism that makes another story in subtext. When I read for a client, the pictures on the Tarot deck come alive for me with layers of meaning, and each object in the picture can represent an aspect of what the cards have to say.

Let’s take the Six of Swords: it’s a Tarot card that shows a sad woman in a boat, accompanied by a child and a few belongings. The boatman pushes his pole through the water, making the boat move from choppy water to smoother water ahead. The sky is dark, but getting lighter where they are going.

Often, for a client, I explain its message this way: The woman in the boat mourns, because in order to get from the rough waters to the smooth, she has to give up a lot of what tells her who she is, or has been, or her boat won’t float. The client often looks at me with a dawning realization that their life is the same way: old ideas, old values, old excuses have to be “left on the shore” in order for them to move to the life they want.

But what happens if you’re not reading Tarot? Is there still allegory in your life?

Oh, you betcha.

A while back, it had been a rough week. People I thought I could count on told me that nothing I did seemed to pay off. That wanting my career to have more than just Tarot readings meant I couldn’t make up my mind. Couldn’t I just settle on one thing and do it? Why did I need to write books if I didn’t want to be an author for a living?

I felt like I had been sideswiped by a walrus, tusks in my direction. I felt bruised, shocked.  It took me several hours to regain my emotional equilibrium. But once I did, I looked out in the world to see if I could recognize some allegory — some story that would show me what I needed to do.

First: the idea that nothing I did seemed to pay off. For that, the Universe just had me look outside my kitchen window. We’d moved our suet feeder OFF the deck railing and onto a pole further down in the yard, thinking that would keep the squirrels away from it. And for a few days, it did. One squirrel kept trying to climb the pole, but no matter what he did, he’d slide down, the delicious free lunch gently swaying above his head.

Then the squirrel finally realized that if he launched himself FROM THE DECK RAIL he just might land on the suet block. Took him a few tries, but at launch eight – TA DAH! – lunch was served, and our woodpeckers went elsewhere. (At least until we moved the entire bird feeder station  a little farther away from the deck rail.)

Back to me.  When I kept trying the same avenues I always had – lots of readings, not so much social media – I was like that squirrel. It had worked in the beginning of my career, so why not now? Because the world has shifted from where it was in 2000. And I have to shift with it. If I do, then I’ll find another way to make things work, like our fuzzy-tailed friend.

And that bit about settling for one thing? I got an out-of-the-blue friendly Facebook message from an old friend and ex-roommate who is a world famous economist – and a legendary juggler. He doesn’t just stick with balls, or Indian clubs, or beanbags either. He juggles whatever comes to hand, and if they are all different objects, well, so be it! He hones his skills. He has a hell of a good time. And no one tells him that an economist shouldn’t bother juggling – or that a juggler can’t possibly be a serious economist.

That was my reminder that it is completely possible to do two things wonderfully, even if they don’t necessarily match up, because it’s part of who I am.

So – who was the boatman for me? A dear friend who knows the ins and outs of Hollywood and the ups and downs of this crazy career we both share. She is the one who is helping me traverse from the rough waters to the smooth, with a bright light in the distance (a huge possibility that bears working on but can’t be spoken of quite yet). She reassured me that the way I saw things was not foolishness, but a recognition of new directions. And even if I had to jettison some old ways of working – and old friends to boot – it would be worth it in the end if I just hung on and didn’t “rock the boat” with self-doubt and self-recrimination.

So there you are. The world brought a simple Tarot card alive for me in three clear and fabulous ways.

So here’s your assignment: look at the toughest day you’ve had in a while. Really look at it. And then choose a Tarot card that would help make sense of it. When you do, study the card and ask the Universe to “bring it alive” for you in an allegory you can’t miss.

Get ready to be wonderfully surprised. And let us know how it goes.