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Alas…

10329296_1421073688154919_6295224645325141367_nWelcome to the Hallowe’en Tarot Blog hop post. In this edition, we have been asked to seek guidance from our ancestors or ghosts on what we need to work on in the year to come, but before we tweak that veil to seek them out, I must guide you to my neighbours:

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So, on to ancestors and what they may have to say. On the whole, mine seem content to remain where they are, pushing up daisies, but literature has more than ample compensation for their lassitude. Books abound with the dead, the undead, the spirits and messages from beyond. Many of the best known writers have flirted with the spirits, some benign, even comedic, others a good deal more scary: J.K.Rowling, Noel Coward, Hillary Mantel, Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, Charles Dickens, Susan Hill (bane of many a GCSE student) and Stephen King to name but a few. Even Shakespeare gets in on the act.

Taking that a step further, in a literary sense, Shakespeare is the ancestor of anyone who writes or speaks English, having contributed over 1700 new words* and numerous (now) commonly-used expressions to the language. He also had plenty to say about the human condition and families, hence, I am going to claim him as a worthy ancestor and borrow his legacy in the form of a little reading scenario, just for fun**.

*which does make you wonder if anyone watching his plays back then had the faintest idea of what he was talking about. “What did he say?…Eh? What’s that supposed to mean then?” “Shhh!”

Picture yourself as a roving Tarot reader, loosely affiliated to a Carnival or Fair, currently camped out in a field somewhere. You are all decked out in jingly bracelets and scarves, (it’s what the punters expect from a teller of fortunes, after all) and ensconced in your little tent, you await your first customer, wondering what the day will bring on this, the day when spirits walk abroad…  Now read on:

It has been a quiet day. The late autumn mists have settled on the field and there is a chill in the air. A gust of icy wind plucks at your tent flap and for a moment you glimpse two solemn young men hovering indecisively outside.

You shiver in the sudden chill and throw another log on your brazier, watching the sparks fly up as it shatters the glowing remnants within.

One of the young men enters and stands blinking; his eyes seeking you out in the gloom. He is richly attired in black robes and his purse moves with a comforting chink as he approaches. You motion for him to take a seat.

“I need some advice, old krone”, he opens, betraying the hint of a Northern European accent.

“Yes…”, you prompt calmly, suppressing irritation at his address. Old, indeed!

“My father died and my mother has remarried…my uncle”, he says flatly.

“It is natural to feel a sense of betrayal to your father’s memory, but you must not expect your mother to mourn forever”, you venture gently.

“No, you don’t understand”, he says vehemently, “…He only died a couple of weeks ago!”

Drat…jumped in too soon. That’s what comes of having no one to talk to all day! Must remember to listen more and talk less.

“Oh…I imagine that this has caused you a few sleepless nights”, you say, registering his drawn features and tired eyes.

“Yes. I feel haunted…my father…. My mother…my girlfriend…my friends…. They’re all out to get me…”, he gibbers, with rising hysteria.

“Easy…Calm yourself. No-one can harm you here”, you soothe.

“To sleep…perchance…”, he murmurs, staring and wringing his hands. Then, suddenly drawing himself up, “Yes, of course”, he says, levelly, looking at you. “I do apologise. You must think me quite mad.”

“What is it that you want to know?”, you ask gently.

“I can’t get over my father’s death. He seemed so well, when last I saw him alive…it must have been murder most foul! Are they plotting against me too? Am I going mad? What does the future hold?” There is real desperation in his eyes now, but he seems sane.

You reach for your deck and shuffle the cards…

 

Over to you. What guidance do the cards have to offer this young man and can you guess who he is? 🙂

For my part, I drew the Ace of Crowns (no, not Crones!) from the Shakespearian Tarot:

ace-crowns

 

 

The caption reads: “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown“. The quote is from Henry IV, Part Two, but under the circumstances, it seems rather apt in this case, wouldn’t you say? 😉

What do you think I should tell the young man?

 

 

 

 

 

I’d love to hear what cards you drew and the advice you had to offer him in the comments below.  Meanwhile, here are the links to my neighbours and their ancestral advisors:

 

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**In truth, I wrote this some years ago as part of a series of celebrity readings on the old UKTarotTalk group

 

 

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31 October 2016

13 Comments to “Alas…”

  1. oooh you know I am going to take this challenge up, but it may be a little while before it appears either here or on my own space. However I will look at this none the less…

  2. I too will take up your challenge, but probably not until my own Shakespearean venture is over. Final week of rehearsals for our production of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ next week 🙂 ). A great post, thank you!

  3. I would tell him – why don’t you stage a play, about a king and see what happens. After all, there is a curtain, like a stage curtain, in the card, and a crown …..

    Ali x

  4. I definitely owe a large part of my identity to Shakespeare, as he was the first to use the name “Olivia”!!

  5. Everybody dies in the end…

  6. I’d tell him the cards are offering him a new beginning, if he’s willing to take it. And remind him “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves.” Of course, he probably won’t listen, but hey… 😀

  7. Perhaps the Ace of Crowns is saying that he can leave the crown right where it is if he wants, go and make a fresh start somewhere else. It would be interesting to draw some more cards of ancestor advice from his dead father, “Hammy, don’t worry about it. Elope with Ophelia. You weren’t going to be a good king anyway.”

    • LOL “Hammy” Love it! I suppose it wouldn’t be much of a story if he did the sensible thing, but boy do you want to give him a slap sometimes 😀

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