I have been writing over the last few weeks about the relationship between magic and tarot. You can find all the posts here if you missed any.
Is it a Curse or Not?
I am not used to seeing her with anyone when she comes in for readings. Her son stares at me with an expression that I cannot quite read. Is it anger? Boredom? I just can’t get any real sense of what he is thinking about being her. She looks at me in a fearful manner and I think. “What am I getting into here?”
“Andrew you have to tell me what is wrong with my son,” she says. I wonder if she is going to break down right there in the shop before we even get into the reading room. “I will do what I can to help you. Let’s see what the cards have to say about what is going on,” I reply. I am painfully aware that she is talking to me and he is not. Has she strong-armed him into being here?
In working as a reader I often end up being a fixture in peoples lives. At this point I have known this woman for perhaps 4 years. I have read for her Mom and her oldest daughter. As we walk to the reading room I am very aware of the weight of the situation. I search my heart to get a sense of what I feel about the notion of discerning “what is wrong with some one”. Given my relationship to the family I decide to go ahead and start the conversation. If it is beyond what I can deal with I will speak up and we can move ahead from there.
“Somebody’s done him something” she tells me. Implying he has been cursed. To look at him it is obvious that something is wrong. “Tell me what you have done so far?” I ask trying to get the lay of the land. She fills me in on his suspensions at school. His dwindling communication and appetite. He has been to several doctors and a psychiatrist. “They all say he is fine, but you can see he is not.”
Most often when someone comes and sits with me asking if they are cursed the answer is no. The solution of their crawling skin is in adjusting their diabetes medication. Their sensations ‘down there’ are caused by yeast or fungus – and no I don’t need to see it thank you. The strange bone on their door was left by a cat or racoon and that powder is just old bird poop. When people have explored all of the more worldly options it leaves fewer answers for ocham’s razor to provide.
“Are you okay with me reading for you?” I ask him. He is 14 and though his mother is present it is his consent that I really want. He looks at me in the eyes blankly and nods. I pull out the cards and ask him to shuffle them and give the back when he feels done. I quietly recite the prayers I use to start my readings. When I am done he hands me the cards and I take a deep breath and get ready to deal the cards.
As I take the cards back I hear quite clearly a voice in my head say “He hears voices when no one is there.” Having learned that just speaking these kind of things when I get them is the best option I repeat this to him.
“You hear voices when no one is there don’t you?” Everything changes in his face. His eyes bulge and he becomes obviously anxious and keeps looking at his mother. “Do you need to be alone with Andrew? I can leave if you don’t want to talk in front of me,” she says. He looks back and forth a between his mother and I as we all sit in the silence. “No you can stay,” he says to her. “Yes I do.” he whispers to me. I realize I am clenching the cards in my hands.
Putting the deck on the table we spend the next 30 minutes talking about how to advocate for him. That having not spoken about the voices everyone ignored what was going on thinking it was some sort of rebellion. We talk about her need to take him to the psychiatrist and not leave until he hears her. As she leaves I ask her to let me know what happens. He looks at me with gratitude and relief.
I see her 6 months later. She had taken him to the hospital straight from seeing me and they had kept him for a month. Now they had gotten his medicine working well and he was back in school and doing better. She told me that she had fully expected me to say he was cursed and was willing to pay a lot of money for me to clean him up. That any reader from her country would have insisted on that explanation.
I have not seen him again since then, but last I heard he was applying to college. Sometimes magic is the last thing a person needs.
Thanks for reading.
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