Adventures in Tarot~

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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Tarot & the Bathroom Ghost

Many years ago I was part of a tarot study group and we would play a game called 'Missing Card'. Someone would do a three card reading and choose one of the cards to be the missing one. They would present the reading 'report' in full but only identify two of the cards. Everyone else would then try and figure out what card is the missing one.

Well, it was my turn to do a reading. I really do not read for myself so much. I usually have to have a very serious 'crisis' that I feel totally lost before I pick up the cards. Finding something to read about was a challenge. After a while of pondering something 'fun' to read about, it came to me; The Ghost!

A little bit about the ghost.
I had been looking for a new place to rent. While at work I happened to strike up a conversation with a landlord (unknown to me) who happened to have a place available. I would not be off of work until late but he said "Go on in, it's open", I could go see it then. So that I did, I was eager to find something. Upon entering the house and getting about 10 feet in, I stopped, I felt something. I knew this feeling from my first ghost encounter. I acknowledged the presence and the feeling by saying, "There is a ghost here." It was a mix of knee jerk, and knowing that I should express that I know that the ghost was there.

I'm not the kind of person to let a ghost stop me from taking a place I like. I have lived with a ghost before. I moved into the place almost immediately.
It took a few months before we started to see a pattern with this ghost. We discovered that the ghost mostly 'hangs out' in the bathroom and the small bedroom.
Back to the reading. I decided to see if I could find anything out about the ghost that lived with us. Of the three cards I pulled, I could not decide what card to make the missing card. The cards flowed into each other so well. However, even with a good flow in the cards, it felt unfinished. I needed that one last card, the mystery card, and I let the ghost pick it (perhaps the ghost knew what I was doing and wanted to have a say, thus the unfinished reading).

I took the deck into the bathroom and told the ghost to pick a card. I left the room for a few minutes, retrieved my deck, cut it and took the card from the top and made that the mystery card.

'So what are the cards, where's the reading!?'
I hear ya!

I used a spread with the card positions; Idea, Challenge, Advantage.
I added the I Ching (**) associations tot he cards and after pulling the cards and doing the reading, I found that the well known Past, Present, Future(*) spread fell into place nicely.

Idea (*past)(**Temptation)
6 of Swords reversed: the imagery, right away, said to me, "crossing over the river" and I thought, 'could this be a drowning?'
The nutshell traditional meaning (upright) of the card is moving on, or away from a bad situation. Moving on and crossing over are terms of death. In reversed, the moving away would then be moving towards. My house was located just across the street from a river, a good sized one. Way back when, the river used to be much bigger. It was then that I got a sense that this was a young boy who wanted to go to the river and did not wait for an adult. The reversed nature of the card and the 'edginess' of the suit of Swords, there is an essence of defiance. In reversed, the card is about being stuck or an underworld journey. A ghost is indeed considered stuck.

Challenge (*present)(**The Well)
9 of Cups: this card continues with the focus on water, as cups is the suit of water, and the I Ching association of the well, as in water well. The challenge in the present is to find that place of calm, of peace & healing. To get away from the worry & have times of enjoyment.

Advantage (*future)(**Liberation)
10 of Cups: this is the card of home & happiness. I take this to be the environment I have brought to this place (the house). Here is a secure home, we, the kids and I all acknowledge the ghost without fear and have no problems cohabiting. The card indicates a goal achieved successfully & the emotional fulfillment (for the ghost I presume).


Water is a significant theme with this set of cards. There are two Cup cards, the suit of water. In the Sword card the river is just another character in the visual story. Seeing all the water is not a surprise, the ghost does like the bathroom, especially the tub, and we live along the river.

So the missing card. I took my deck to the bathroom and set it on the counter and told the ghost to choose a card and asked, 'What do we need to do for you?' After a few minutes I retrieved my deck and pulled the last card.

From the card: the ghost feels a sense of worthlessness. Maybe because he has difficulty communicating to others who have been in the house before. This child was taken away from the family life he enjoyed. His life was abruptly cut off & that is worrisome for the ghost. I believe that making the ghost a welcomed member of the family may give the ghost just the thing he desires, something that no-one else did, which left the ghost feeling doubtful of ever having a childhood.
The acceptance we offer could lead to the ghosts liberation.
(Can you guess the card?)

Now came the guessing. Typically people would just offer their guess, but one in the group wanted to play with this one so they did their own reading. They meditated on the question I asked.
"What do we need to do for you?"
5 of cups- the ghost has lost much and feels alone. He wants to feel cared about again.
8 of swords- the ghost is bound and unable to communicate, however, he could free himself if he were to choose to do so and the offer made.
9 of swords- the ghost is filled with grief and remorse about things lost and unable to recover. He feels very alone with no one to tell his despair to. He thinks all the time about his losses. They tie him to the house.
4 of cups- the ghost is miserable alone but has been given an offer to be cared about and become a part of a family again which he is deciding whether or not to accept.

The guess for the 'missing' card was the 4 of Cups. And guess what…that was indeed the card!

Putting the two readings side by side is very interesting. It is these sort of happenings that I wished that a skeptic had been in the room. Not only did both sets of cards express near the same message,
the cards themselves had a pattern.

 
Starting with the suits; except for the missing card, the first three card suits have 'flipped'. My Sword is their Cup and their Swords are my Cups. Swords is the Suit of Air and represents intellect, the mind and communication. Cups is the suit of Water and associates with emotions and psychic sensitivity. Very significant symbolism when talking about ghosts, or trying to talk to them.
Now the numbers. I have 6, 9, 10; they have 5, 8, 9. the numbers follow the same counting pattern because the second reading the number is one less in each position. I can't say much about any symbolism of the numbers or the pattern specifically. However, the way I see it, it is one of the 'coincidences' that is just a manner of expression that what is going on, really matters.
In other words, a coincidence is not a coincidence. The number pattern is just something to confirm and give validation to the reading and connection with the ghost.

Now let's look at some key words for the cards using words given by Joan Bunning
 ~ follow link for more detailed meanings
'Missing Card'
4 of Cups; self-absorbed, feeling apathetic, going within
First Cards
6 of Swords; feeling the blues, recovering, traveling
5 of Cups; suffering a loss, feeling sorrow and regret
Second Cards
9 of Cups; wishes fulfilled, physical enjoyment, satisfaction
8 of Swords; Restrictions, powerlessness, confusion
Third Cards
10 of Cups; joy, peace, family
9 of Swords; worry, guilt, anguish

Both readings share the sense of sadness, regret, loneliness and so on. My cards logically had the more personal and environmental card, 10 of Cups; giving the ghost a 'home & family'.

It was a really fun and interesting study of the cards. Not just this one game but the others as well. The study pushed us to look at a meaning and stretch the mind to figure out what card had been pulled.

       

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