Crone’s Corner by She-Wolf
The Rune V 5 I 3, Spring 1995
Years ago while I was reading Tarot cards for a charity event, I came upon a reading that indicated danger. To this day I have no idea which cards were showing or how they were arranged—I have a great talent for forgetting which helps maintain privacy but can be embarrassing when someone asks, “Remember when…?” I do remember that the young woman for whom I read faced some serious, life-threatening accident. I told her, “Look both ways before you cross the street. Wear a life jacket in boats and a seat belt in cars. Take care of yourself and be aware.” I hoped that my warnings would be sufficient to change for her one possible destiny. This person had never had her “fortune told” before, but that night, the Gods had chosen to warn her. “in one hour,” I asked, “ could you have someone else read your cards, then come back and tell me what they said?” She agreed to all this and when she returned, she told me her second reading was quite wonderful. Apparently she had taken the warning to heart.
I may be the world’s greatest skeptic. A part of me never believes magic is going to work and is always amazed when it does. Another part of me knows you can’t deny the Gods or your own powers. Sometimes I fight the cards (my “logical” side), but I’m always wrong. That same evening, another young woman asked for a reading. The cards said she feared learning. “That’s silly, “ I thought, but I couldn’t figure any other way to read it. As it happens, this woman had graduated from high school at a very young age and had gone directly into college. This proved to be disastrous. Now she was finally preparing to give college another try and naturally was apprehensive. Teach me to second-guess the cards.
Some who have precognition or divinatory skills thrust upon them may seek the advice of an experienced elder in answering troubling questions. “If I knew the plane would crash and it did, was it my fault?” “Should I be honest about what I see when I’m asked to read for someone?” My advice has always been, if we are in no position to help, we can’t blame ourselves for knowledge that comes to us, especially when it is unbidden. That which we merely observe is not necessarily of our making. But if the Gods bring together the knowledge and the querent, we have become their tool, their voice, and it behooves us to convey their messages to the best of our abilities. This is one of the many roles of the priesthood. We can’t know all, however. We can see only as far as talent and the Gods allow. If I had known by divination that I would break my leg, suffer through surgery and months of pain, like any sane person, I would have tried to avoid the accident. But if I had known that the accident would introduce me to wonderful new friends, a new priest and teacher, and eventually even my husband, would I still have avoided it? Fortunately, my ignorance protected me from having to choose.
No path can or should avoid all pain, and all things born die. To read only happy cards is to deny life as it really is. It is better to use our skills as diviners to understand the reasons for difficulties, the lessons they teach, the gifts they bring. Yet, to rely too heavily on divination is to hobble through life on crutches, which build great shoulder muscles and take stress from the wound, but are no substitute for walking on your own.
Image: Cards from assorted Tarot decks by Marilyn Evans
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