The first time I went to a fortune teller, I was sixteen. The lady lived in a beautiful large apartment in Copacabana. She wore a turban, a light colored long skirt and a shirt with a few shiny sequins … kind of gypsy fashion. She ushered me to a tiny room with a small round table and two chairs. In the middle, there was a glass of water and two tarot decks.
Very polite, she invited me to sit on the other side of the table, and asked me, “So, dear, who referred me to you?” I don’t recall now who it was, but I gave her the name, and, a little scared, waited to see what she was going to do next. She shuffled some huge cards with various symbols (that I had no idea what they meant; I only noticed some Hebrew letters because I’m Jewish and had studied the alphabet in school). She opened the spread and saw a key. She then asked if my parents were buying a new house- I said no. She described a white house that would bring many joys for many years to come. So far then, for me, that meant nothing.
I was at the height of my anxiety: my last high school year, meaning total pressure to be accepted at a University. I had the hope that, by some sort of magic, she would tell me everything that I wanted to hear: that I was going to be accepted at my number one choice school and that I would get a boyfriend. But instead, she said that I was NOT going to get a boyfriend until I graduated (in high school, but I was scared to death that it was only after my college graduation). She completed saying that if I didn’t sit down and study hard, I would not be accepted anywhere. Her main advice was to cut off all the distractions and focus. Only if I did that, I would get into college. After an hour with her, I left the place a little dizzy and disappointed. I still had a lot of homework to do to make my golden future come true.
I returned home and told my mother that I had been to a card reader. “I do not like you going to these things!” she said, and continued, “I’m a little afraid of it. What did she say?”. “That you are buying a new house which will bring very good times. What new house is that?” I said. “Honnnnn, come listen to this!” she shouted to my father. And that’s how I found out that they had just bought land in Buzios, with two more couples, and that they were planning to build a condominium and then sell the houses.
Thirty years later, I look back and remember: that year, I studied my ass off. I went to my chosen college. The condo was built, and each couple managed to keep one house, after selling the others. I got a boyfriend right after I started college … and the house was properly used. And then, at various points in my life, I consulted tarot card readers, astrologers, and other types of unconventional therapists to help me make decisions. I confess I even got a little addicted to these things! And I decided to study tarot and develop my spiritual side.
Today, as a tarot reader, I clearly realize that the tarot is a powerful oracle, that can help people at various stages of life, especially when we are drowned in doubts, anxiety and pressure. Few are those who come to consult a tarot reader because they won the lottery, married a prince and lived happily ever after.
Because an oracle guides us in those moments, when we cannot focus and listen to our own intuition to know the best way to go. It can then be a wonderful resource. But never a tool to predict your entire future, to plaster your free will. Here and there the cards can give you a hint, but they will also tell you to do your own homework. The tarot will always allow you to change your life. And in this world of tremors, terror and trumps, nothing like a “good o’l tarot” to take a little bit off the uncertainty of life.