When is a Curse not a Curse? Magic and Tarot Reading

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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.


When facing the horrors of life it is easy to expect diabolical forces. Sometimes they are present and sometimes they are not.  Breaking down your beliefs and facing the reality can be heartbreaking but is ultimately liberating.

When facing the horrors of life it is easy to expect diabolical forces. Sometimes they are present and sometimes they are only in our minds. Breaking down our beliefs and facing the truth can be heartbreaking but is ultimately liberating.

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.
Andrew McGregor

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7 comments on “When is a Curse not a Curse? Magic and Tarot Reading”

  1. Tina Brooks

    this made me cry.

    For years I kept the voices I heard a secret. I had no clue that other people heard voices or that they were real.

    I finally went to a shrink when I was about 20 fearing schizophrenia. “You need more sleep” the shrink said.

    A few years ago, my spirit guide, Melody finally came to the fore and since then she and I have been working at relearning how to hear the voices I’ve supressed for so long. A few months back, I actually began hearing the voices of the house plants “we’re thirsty” or “water me”, they’ll say.

    I know that to many people it sounds weird. But I’m 47, I’ve been “weird now for a very long time. 🙂

    My love (and Melody’s) to you and Melinda! <3

  2. Andrew McGregor

    Thanks for sharing Tina. I am honuoured!

    I amazed at how far we have come and how far we have to go as a society in learning to deal with this issues in the wide range of ways they need to be handled.

  3. Jonathan Sudler

    I totally agree with your take on the voices. I have heard them all my life. As a child my mother accused me of ‘consorting with demons’. My friends call me an animal whisperer, in fact I am very quiet around animals so I can ‘hear’ them, feel their fear and generally I hear what they want.

    With the tarot, there is a heightened sense of being present and the stories roll out around the cards. And just when you think you have it, another card shows up to tell its story and changes the context of what came before. Sometimes its like being a referee at an Italian family dinner.

    To me, the best moment is when you get the validation from the querent on the details nobody knew about but they come screaming through in the cards. (This just happened recently with an infidelity situation). That validation proves to me that I am, in fact, not an escapee from the basket makers over at Camp Rubber Room. So, as long as your intentions are for the higher good, keep talking guys, cuz I am listening 🙂

  4. Andrew McGregor

    Indeed. It is all about what is helping and working versus isolating and destroying isn’t it?
    For me it is not so much like being a referee but I certainly know folks who would resonate with that idea. I mostly have one guide who helps in readings so it can be a conversation between us. If the client brings in a lot of people I try to get my guide to mediate who I talk with. She has way more perspective than I do about who they all would be and whether they are helpful or not.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Andrew

  5. Susan Morrish

    Thank you for this story Andrew. It shows what great insight you have.

  6. Lisa North

    What an amazing story. Your gift is truly wonderful and I love reading stories like this. Keep em coming!!!!!!!!

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