Is it in the Cards?

August 15, 2009

I happened to be up in Ashland Oregon over the fourth of July weekend for a family reunion with my sister and niece. On a whim, we decided to have our Tarot cards read. Something I had never done before, but you know what they say: When in Ashland…

So I sit down before a woman with dark wavy hair. I admit skepticism settled in right beside me. I’ve never been much of a believer in psychic phenomenon.

The cards were larger than I expected, about the size of my entire hand. Could the other side of these purple rectangles tell my life’s secrets? Could the images on the reverse side really predict the future?

After choosing three cards, I turned over the first as instructed. This picture indicated change. Fair enough. I’d lost a great deal of weight lately and my daughter would soon be leaving the nest for college. Hmm. Maybe there was something to this process.

The second image took my breath away. This rectangular portend depicted a woman with a flower in her hair in a tropic setting. I have a character in my Hawaiian novel, a femme fatale, who routinely tucks a hibiscus behind her ear. And then there was the butterfly. The literal translation of one of my other characters is butterfly. And, of course, my novel is set in Maui.

Because of my strong reaction to this card, the Tarot reader indicated she was going to do something she didn’t normally do. She plucked that card from under my nose, picked up the remaining stack and shuffled them. She spread the cards out once again (probably close to a hundred cards, mind you), then instructed me to ask a question. Well, what’s the one question a writer wants to know? Dare I ask it?

“Will my book be published?” The words tumbled from my lips before I could stop myself.

Why had I asked that? Did I really want to know? Would I get the death card that would tell me not in this lifetime?

The Tarot reader inclined her head, her meaning clear. My fingers gravitated to three random cards. The woman sneaked a peek at what I’d chosen and laughed.

Why had she tipped her head back and guffawed? Oh dear. I pictured a card with the image of a court jester, smirking with a thought bubble and the words: You? Published?

My three selections were placed face down before me. I flipped the first card as instructed. The card indicated delay. A length of time would pass. Nothing would happen anytime soon. Well, that wasn’t much of a surprise. I’ve been working on this novel for over a decade. I flipped the second card and gasped.

The reason the Tarot reader had chuckled was now apparent. Out of all those cards, I’d once again found that Hawaiian card. What were the odds? Skepticism opened her wings and took flight. Perhaps there was something to this psychic process after all.

Good news came with the final card. This one held the promise of success. My hard work would eventually be rewarded.

Will my Tarot reading come true? Is the future publication of my book now pre-ordained? Only time will tell….