The Cards Have Nothing to Say to You

The Cards Have Nothing to Say to You

If I hear about a trend, it is either dead or made it into the mainstream. I thought tarot readings were mainstream mainly because in the town where I was raised, there was a small white house with a picket fence and a big “Tarot Read Here” sign in the front yard.

But I think each new generation discovers tarot readings in their own way and that speaks to the fluidity of the practice. I had my cards read or done or put on a table in front of me (I’m still not sure what the correct verb is) and after all the shuffling and tapping and arranging the lady leaned over the array then leaned way back, frowned, then laughed.

I had kind of thought the whole thing was a bunch of nonsense but now I was curious.

“What does it say?”


“Does that mean I’m going to die?”

“No, it means the cards have nothing to say to you.”

“Well, that’s rude.”

She only shrugged, gathered up her cards and then we played gin rummy (not with her tarot). She later told me she had never seen anything like it. I asked how long she’d been reading tarot, thinking it hadn’t been that long if she’d never seen anything like what had happened with me. She said she’d been reading for about 15 years.


So I don’t have much to do with tarot or for that matter, horoscope. Since the day I was old enough to read my horoscope, it has said some version of, “Most of your problems are in your head, now go clean something.” For fun I will read other horoscopes but then it stops being fun when theirs say things like, “Love is coming, be ready!” or “Take that leap you’ve been thinking of!”

And then a few months ago Felicia got me the cutest set of affirmation cards, called Affirmators. You’re supposed to mix them all up and as you do the mixing you are supposed to close your eyes, take a deep breath and silently ask the cards to give you a message that will benefit you in that moment. Six thinks this is the best thing ever. He announces what he wants, which is usually ice cream or a car (he’s 8) and then plunges in and comes up with the cutest cards that tell him he needs to do less work or be more inspired. He takes these to mean he doesn’t need to do homework or that he should be allowed to watch all the Harry Potter movies.

Over the past few months I have gotten different cards, all of them cheerful urgings to believe in myself and be playful, crap like that. And then, a few weeks ago, I got one of the bonus cards. Bonus cards don’t have a cute picture and a pithy message of the of be-nice-to-yourself variety on it. Bonus cards are more serious. It’s a paragraph about doing something you probably don’t want to do. The one I got was Perseverance. It was about how climbing mountains is hard and I should just keep climbing and that people who climb Everest aren’t fueled by inspirational quotes but rather live on lots of “grunting, and crying, and cursing like freakin’ pirates.”

A useful reminder. I kept my card out on my desk all day and then put it back in the deck the next day. Six and I remember to grab a card about once a week. For three weeks in a row, I got the Perseverance card over and over again. This is what happens when I deal with anything having to do with tapping into the universe. The universe turns implacable. What does implacable mean? It means relentless. Unforgiving. Incapable of being talked out of whatever it has talked itself into.

I hung the perseverance card on the fridge and now only Everett talks with the cards. Sometimes we get a signal. Mine isn’t cute or particularly uplifting but at least it’s clear.

Persevere. It’s about as exciting as the kitten hanging off the branch against an endless blue sky with the words, “Hang in there” written below. Some people are having a deep, rich and ongoing conversation with the universe.

Not me. And that’s okay.

Hang in there.

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