Ambiguous Cards with Significant Meaning

His name was Seth, which either meant that he didn’t care enough about his job to adopt a flashy moniker or he didn’t need one. Other than the name, however, my tarot card reader looked the part: mysterious tattoos, gauges, dressed in all black. But still, if I had paid £10—they should give me something more exciting than Seth. 

I had made this frivolous monetary decision on a total whim in Afflecks, Manchester’s indoor market that’s something of a Hot Topic meets vintage boutique meets Vegan bakery meets comic book emporium. As I wandered over to a store advertising half-priced corsets (but in a totally Wiccan kind of way, rest assured), I noticed they also offered tarot card readings. I had always wanted to have my cards read just for fun but hadn’t been willing to fork over the cash for something as, well, bullshit as tarot. But, here I was, caught up in the Pagan goddess-like energy of Afflecks and the time seemed right. I paid for my ten minutes and waited.

Seth began by closing his eyes and rifling through the cards. Then he laid about 10 cards out in a formation that I now know is called the “Celtic cross” and began to tell me how each one related to my life. I learned a view things about myself: For one, apparently I am feeling suspicious of something right now, but also feel the need to express myself. (Perhaps…through a blog? Gasp!) In the near future, I will tell someone the truth and stand up for something because it’s the right thing to do. I can only imagine this will entail an aggressive exchange of words with that one hostel-mate who slams doors in the morning and hogs the power outlet.

As you would expect, all his explanations were vague enough to apply to many situations. As I listened, I found myself trying to relate what he said to things in my life, and then hard-core judging myself for buying into it, and then realizing I had zoned out and now we were talking about swords again. (A lot of my cards were very sword-centric: either that’s par for the course or I lead a more stabby life than most).

Some of what he said did particularly resonate. The cards indicated that I was doing something that felt really right and that now was a good time for hard work. Both couldn’t apply more to being a Researcher-Writer: while the hours are long (as in 24/7), this has been one of my most exciting adventures and I love what I’m doing. (I promise I did not write this while at sword point from my editor).

Did I leave Seth’s little tarot room with any profound insight into myself or the nature of human beings? Did I have my skepticism cast aside? No. But I could have gotten my nipples pierced at Afflecks and I did this instead, so I think I made a good choice.

Mia Karr

Mia is packing up her set of all seven Harry Potter books and the collected James Joyce before heading off to the U.K., and then getting realistic and replacing them with a flashlight and extra underwear. She plans to find out exactly how much beer is in a pint while gallivanting around Ireland and aspires to show her parents that she is putting her (forthcoming) English degree to use by communing with Shakespeare’s homeland. When she’s not making plans to get the royal family to adopt her, she enjoys drinking coffee and talking about the severity of her coffee addiction.