Turns out, no one. Nobody sank and it’s not like we didn’t try. Top: Me, Gail. Next: Ronda. Third: Jill, Emily, Sara. Last: Modesty skull courtesy Megan Hoogland and Michael Cimino. Ambience courtesy Hallett Pond. Photos and vision by Emily Stark Photography.
The Empress [Reversed] appeared in 100% of the four (4) tarot readings I’ve delivered over the past 48 hours. The readings were a pledge premium for KMSU, which, turns out the demographic that 1) supports public radio + 2) wants a tarot reading = middle aged white women. We will throw me into that sample as well, as middle-aged whitelady fortuneteller. Anyway. The Empress right-side-up is about being expressive and generative and putting stuff out there. It’s the you-go-girl of making and saying things. The Empress [Reversed] is about taking a beat.
That seemed to make sense for everybody personally, like relative to whatever personal circumstances caused them to seek a reading. It also seems to make some sense for the group as a group. Pretty sure I’m bound by science or tarot or both to publish these findings, so I did just that in the nearby Public Art Box owned and operated by the artist Patti Ruskey who does zero social media probably because she’s busy being attuned to higher powers. Here is evidence of the dissemination of my findings.
It is beyond the scope of this research to tell you what to do instead. All I can tell you is that The Empress is not saying you-go-girl, at the moment. She’s taking a beat and then some.
Unrelated to this study, but offered as verification of the powers of midsummer astrology, turns out the traditional 29th wedding anniversary gift is furniture, which on one hand is less mystical than 30 which is the year of the pearl, but on the other hand IS AWESOME because today is our 29th and WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING THAT, so far Scott and I have spent the year sitting on a couch.
So maybe book now, if you’d like your cards read sometime around the next summer solstice. Obviously it shifts my powers into high gear. I mean if the Empress showed up(-side-down) in all my whitelady readings to urge active listening, and if my furniture anniversary year magically mystically saw the world couchbound, then surely, certainly, scientifically, there is lustre ahead.
Well guess what, turns out Zoom is great for tarot because who wants to be stared at while absorbing their truth. You don’t. Doesn’t matter if the truth is harsh or pleasant. Either way, you want some privacy, and GUESS WHAT, here is what it looks like when your tarot reader is politely off-screen so it’s just you and the cards and the truth.
I figured this out yesterday in a meeting that wasn’t supposed to be about tarot, until it was. You don’t switch gears like that and keep making eye contact. You just don’t. If the Querant needs a while to ponder, a decent reader will prop the card and go get a refill.
Other new methodologies I have developed to suit our present moment: 1) Shuffle for at least 20 seconds. 2) Pick cards based on what falls out (this is not really quarantine-related, it’s just spookier).
Readings are free, although I do enjoy payment in the form of hearing, later, that you went from regretting to loving your box-bleached hair. Or, you embraced the regret and called your stylist to book for late July. Or that you were sooo happy after some alone-time staring at cards, that you spent a bit less of the evening screaming into a pillow. Now booking. Like, now.
Well this is awkward. The World is supposed to be about closure but we don’t have that right now. So, I have created this tool for your shelter-in-place survival kit, portable and fully reusable any time you’re craving the feeling of closure and not getting it from the actual world. I know it by heart because it’s what my dad always sang as a lullaby. We thought he’d made it up, of course, until he told us it was the last song the band would always play at every high school dance circa 1957. In hindsight I think it’s possible that he sang it not so much for us, but to remind himself of a time in his life when he wasn’t responsible for calming down a houseful restless girls, he was just a kid who didn’t want the dance to end yet.
Goodnight, Sweetheart (Ray Noble, 1931) Good night sweetheart, till we meet tomorrow Good night sweetheart, sleep will banish sorrow Tears and parting may make us forlorn But with the dawn, a new day is born (so I'll say) Good night sweetheart, tho' I'm not beside you Good night sweetheart, still my love will guide you Dreams enfold you, in each one I'll hold you Good night sweetheart, good night
The World says, till then.
It feels soooo good to know I’m not alone over here engaging in high-risk style experiments, because usually I’m doing that anyway, so WELCOME TO MY WORLD. You are free to leave it once we’re no longer sheltering in place, but for now, I implore you to stay the course. If you’ve cut wispy bangs with a disposable razor, keep at it, maybe add some wisps along the perimeter. Don’t even use a different razor and I’m not kidding. If you’ve quit wearing eye makeup, or quit curling your hair or quit caring about any other thing that used to seem like a necessary trapping of your look but now ONLY NOW are you realizing it was exactly that, a trapping that kept you trapped, please keep not-doing what you’re newly not-doing. If you’ve launched a quest-beard then I know you already get this because you’re calling it a “quest beard” and I could not be happier that that’s a trending term. “Quest” is exactly what we’re on, style-wise. A quest only ends when you learn whatever the inner voice that demanded it wants you to learn, and if you stop now you simply won’t have enough data at the end of this to figure that out. And then you’ll be doomed to repeat the same experiment next time life gets weird.
This is definitely a law of nature and I got a sobering reminder of it when I switched up my #StayHomeMN uniform by wearing the one other pair of jeans I own, and a long-sleeved instead of a short-sleeved t-shirt. Sure enough, a few hours into the day I was vaguely pissy like you get when everybody said they’d go along with a thing but now nobody’s going along with it. I felt worried, despite that nothing personally worrisome was actually happening. I was weepy (as noted in a previous blog series I no longer have the benefit of PMS to legitimize routine weepiness). I was bored and cranky and the worst version of myself.
The mood plummet wasn’t about how I looked. I looked pretty much the same as in the original getup, i.e., absolutely exotic because jeans and t-shirts are not a thing I wear in regular life. But these different-than-the-previous-14-days-jeans and different-fitting t-shirt felt just different enough to signal my whole system for a gear-shift. It was as if I’d gotten my body and therefore my brain all ready for an all-new agenda, which turned out to be a cruel cruel joke, because it was day 14 of same-same-sameness. Fortunately I recognized this disparity and wrested myself from the liar-jeans and stupid long-sleeved t-shirt which honestly I’d never loved in the first place.
Back inside my unlaundered #StayHomeMN jeans and a now-standard short-sleeved t-shirt, the rest of the day went fine.
Judgment says, now we stay the course.
If you’re new to the thrill of staging a production in your living room, using only household items as costumery, and then nailing it, and then your whole mind/body gets flooded with joy regardless of the fact that only a handful of people liked it, welcome. I officially welcome all quarantine-inspired online performers to the joyous joyful most joy-inducing feeling of putting on a show. Here is me inventing that in 1971.
Here is a recreation of the even-more-stunning photo I spent last night trying to find, of my April 1972 living room production of “Jesus Died on the Cross” (original lyrics to the tune of “The Bear Went Over The Mountain” which Amy sung while I wore a bathrobe and taped-on paper beard and solemnly held the space of Jesus the Christ) (same jump rope as above):
I love this photo, and this memory, so much. My search for it, last night, was maddening. And I mean that literally, like at one point after going through every album in every plastic bin in the basement I sat down on the damp shitty crumbling floor and cried.
And then shortly after that I wondered if there could be any way the absence of this particular photo, from where I KNOW it existed the LAST time I went looking for it, could possibly be my husband’s fault.
The Sun, in tarot, is about uninhibited joy. Right now it’s also a cautionary tale about tantrums, and your own personal edge, and knowing when to let go of a vision that can’t be realized despite how good it was.
The Sun says, dance like this is nobody’s fault.
IKNOWRIGHT, it’s the worst right now, waking up and longing for the dusk of this weirdass day. Longing for The Moon to swoop in like some sexytime gypsy orb. Problem is, The Moon is not that, she’s more like a combo librarian/poker master who insists that you shut up and refuses to show her hand. She is not who any of us feel like spending more time with, right now.
This is hard news for a fortuneteller to deliver. Anybody seeking a reading in the first place, is seeking clarity. A directive. Transparency. In general, no querant gets excited upon hearing “you don’t get to know,” or, worse, “quit asking.”
What I can offer, right now, is that it’s fine to be dissatisfied with this. It’s fine to be just flat-out pissed at the lack of answers. The thing about The Moon, scientifically speaking, is that she doesn’t care whether you think she’s hot. She will continue to push and pull your tides even as you stomp around. She will glow in your dark, maintain gravitational pull, urge you to howl.
The Moon says, howl.
Yes I DID just now send an audition video to the Dreadlock Artist Collective and no you CANNOT see it because I am not about to break the rules of The Star.
The rules of The Star are that not only must you nurture any brand-new-baby-dreams that float to the surface in the wake of weirdness, you also have to hold them close. Private, for now. The more outrageous the idea, the better, except you don’t even have to use a word like “outrageous” in your own private brain which is where to keep anything that’s right-now rising up as a glimmer of a thing you might want to try/do/be. A thing upon which you only stumbled due to a billion hours per day on Instagram, thanks to the stay-home order, thanks to a pandemic. Ultimately, when your new thing comes to fruition in a way that may or may not resemble how it looks in your dreamydreams right now, you don’t have to feel grateful for the disaster. You do, though, have to admit that disaster has a way of hacking up some unlikely gifts.
The Star says, all dreamydreams are ordered to shelter in place.
By now we’re all experiencing some mind-blowing outcomes of social distancing right smack in the transition of winter to spring, like sidewalk-chalk-art all along your street, or happy noises from neighbor kids on homeschool recess, or a sex trafficker mistaking you for a vulnerable homeless teenager.
The streets were post-apocalypse-empty, and quiet, so when a guy darted out from behind a building into the park at Second and Jackson hollering hey, HEY, you couldn’t miss him, this person clearly needing something, clearly in need, clearly relieved to find someone to ask for directions or a lighter or whatever. I’m like, hey yes, you need something, hey?
For a few seconds it felt like fate, like I’d been put in the path of this needy person to do some heroics only I could do. This was the one single #StayHomeMN day when instead of walking in the woods, I’d walked through Old Town to Autotronics where my beloved Ford Bronco II had been towed for service right before this whole thing hit. My mission was to pay the Bronco a quick loving visit and reclaim the essentials I’d stashed there, namely, my case of Tarot cards and my Converse Chuck Taylor low-tops so I’d have something other than snow boots to wear out walking.
I’d also left a bunch of shopping totes in my truck, so I stuffed them full of each other plus the Tarot plus the Chucks, leaving no room for my coat once temperatures peaked on my walk back home. By the time I got to Jackson Street Park, I was dragging, and sweating, bags banging against an unnecessary amount of padding.
But the guy clearly needed help so I took a few steps forward to allow us to speak at normal volumes while still keeping pandemic-appropriate distance. There we were, strangers in a park at a time when strangers everywhere are making connections from a distance, trying to do some good however we can, and he’s like, do you want to make some money?
You just gotta open your mouth. Do you want to make some money.
I’m like, what exactly are you saying. What are you asking, exactly. He said, I’ll give you a hundred dollars to get with me, in there.
“There” was the U.S. Bank parking ramp, which, as noted, was empty. He was really put-together, in a tailored coat and dark jeans, and his tone was confident like a hero helping out a girl in need.
“No, nope,” I said. “I’m gonna go.” I took a couple steps back to start the process of walking away.
“Are you sure. Are you sure? You want to take my number in case you change your mind.”
That phrase drained the whole thing of any context that might have felt familiar. This wasn’t small talk turned flirty. This was a business proposition. We were so far away from each other, there’s no way he could have seen how pretty I look with my quarantine-inspired makeup-free face, or how fit I am from walking every day, or how good my dreadlocks look from all the constant palm-rolling. All he could have seen, from that distance, was a small-framed female walking empty streets with matted hair, out-of-season snow boots, a sagging coat, and a lot of overstuffed shopping bags. Possibly in need of help in the form of quick cash. Possibly needy enough to change her mind, later, and give him a call.
The Mankato Public Safety personnel who took my report were wonderful, just really human and patient and great, despite that this was probably their least-urgent matter of the day. Officer McClintock closed out our conversation by asking if there was anything I needed. I’m like, no, I don’t personally need anything, I just need it on record that sex work was solicited in broad daylight at the corner of Second and Jackson.
The Tower is about disaster. Prior to my walk yesterday, I had an adorably clever post planned, about this card. What I’m gonna say instead, is that The Tower suggests now is a good time to keep watch.
The Devil is about your vices, and any decent fortuneteller will present that information without being all judgy. She’ll just be like, well, it appears your _____ (fill in the habit) is providing escape or comfort or a shield right now. You definitely want The Devil upright, not reversed, because reversed is bad news but when it’s upright, she’ll say ok, well, in the long run this is gonna cost you but right now let’s just acknowledge that some needs are being met. So WHEW because fortunately today THE DEVIL IS UPRIGHT.
This is due to the mystical force that is Patrick’s on Third, and the compassionate altruism with which Proprietor John Mayer and his team are meeting the community’s present needs.
Thanks to the awesome craft kit Patrick’s recently delivered to my door, John shall now be crowned.
The Devil says, 507-931-9051, tip your delivery person.