Pardon the Hanged Man's Husband

By Andrew Harris

The usual Hanged Man is overwhelmed and getting ready for vacation, so my wonderful husband agreed to be my guest columnist this month. –-Melanie Harris

My wife usually writes this column.  I asked to write it this time to lighten her workload before we go on vacation and to take the chance to poke gentle fun at her.  I thought of this when she returned from the INATS-West trade show and we looked over her pictures that she took for TR.  Every photo was blurry!  Maybe it is simply because Melanie runs on coffee and is a little shaky, but I thought of it as an ironic commentary on vision and certainty:  Melanie has amazing insight into the unseen world but can be challenged by the physical.  I summed it up in our conversation by saying, “It’s funny how you can see into the future, but the mystery of what is under the pile of stuff at the foot of our bed has no interest for you.” 

She has the ability to recognize and follow signs and portents in life, but she always gets turned around on street directions, and unfailingly thinks we should turn the wrong way in the car.  I am personally terrible about losing things, but she helps me find them with simple spells, so we compliment each other well.  Altogether, I am more scattered than she is by far, but her internal map of the physical world is uncannily inverted. 

This makes me think of how interesting it is to examine the types of things we try to understand or even control, and the other types of things that we ignore.  I am reminded of Jesus’ saying about beams and specks in folks’ eyes:  sometimes we look to solve the big problems in the outside world instead of tackling the small ones of our own. 

Don’t get me wrong, I much prefer a wife like Melanie who takes great care for spirit than one who takes great care with the housework.  She does way too much housework anyway, but would have to be a full time nanny/maid to keep up with our two kids.  I think we can all agree that a little mess is a small price to pay to get to share her insights.  While talking about her blurry pictures, I was reminded of her enthusiasm and surprise at her own surprise when a reading she recently did “quickly came true.”  She commented that even though she believes in the Tarot, she can still be surprised by its uncanny revelations.  I think she should expect to be surprised, because we all should.  That is part of the nature of the Tarot and looking beyond our normal frame of reference.  All things are connected, and the Tarot allows us to reach for deeper connections in the present and those far off in time and space. 

When talking with Melanie about how to work these ideas into an article, I was struck by how often we do this.  Dutifully trained in school by the five-paragraph essay, we try to make sure our stories and tellings have a beginning, middle, and end.  Ultimately, reality cannot be reduced to that, and when we use the Tarot we are looking beyond our conception toward ultimate reality, so we should expect to be surprised no matter how convinced we are of the power of the Tarot.  For a reading, we use the same story format and there is nothing wrong with it.  Most of our world is based on stories and I have utmost respect for them and aspire to contribute my own.  But we should not be surprised if the story we derive from a reading is uncannily accurate or misses something entirely;  that is the nature of framing the infinite for our understanding. 

We have to do this.  It is the only way we operate, and even the most insightful Tarot readers cannot perceive every factor or repercussion of any incident, and we don’t need to.  Just the choice to use the Tarot shows that we are looking beyond ourselves.  To divine is divine.  We should be ready, and surprised, when the universe speaks big to us.  And we shouldn’t always be able to sum it up.    

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Tarot Reflections is published by the American Tarot Association - Copyright (C) 2008 

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