The first time I explored the “occult” was a drawing of Tarot cards at a friend’s farm. Deep in the night and wild, the farm was a meeting place for couples and people in love, a safe but eerie space away from my version of normality.
I’d just gotten myself involved in a relationship that was short, fast, loud and deadly. It was a complicated affair, but one that seemed a positive step forward at the time. It was my first step into a deeper physical intimacy and on that I cherished because I made it happen. It was my step. My walk forward into… whatever.
Of course, it wasn’t positive and wasn’t to be for very long. A tangle of feelings, connections and memories ultimately tore the whole thing apart. Wham. Blamo. Ugly mess. But that’s not something to worry about anymore. I couldn’t have known at the time, even though the signs were there.
The first sign was a scary one: everyone’s favourite card to draw in the game of Tarot.
I’ve never really put much stock in things like Tarot. I’ve always seen the Universe as having its own rules that it could change up whenever it feels like. I’ve always thought that there’s no sense fighting, or searching, for the future because nothing you plan will ever work out the way you thought. The Universe is a tricky bastard like that.
But now I think there is a way to “tap in”, to read the Universe’s mind in a way. Even if it’s all a trick of the mind, the power of suggestion, I really did feel like that specific card was hot and drawn to me before we flipped it over and revealed it.
You don’t get DEATH and react well at first. That little skeletal bastard on his horse doesn’t seem like a good sign when you flip it over. He seems like an even worse sign when the question you asked of the cards was “how will my future love-life be?” And he’s a terrible sign for someone who’s just entered into their first “adult” relationship.
Of course, Death is misunderstood. Some times things have to die so that you can move on to bigger and better things. Death has been said to represent “transformation and passage from lower to higher”, and now I’m thinking that’s what my small Death has allowed.
I struggled for some time after the inevitable break up. I lost something secret and beautiful, I lost a group of friends. I still feel the pains at times, knowing that the tangle has damaged some other close relationships to me. I beat myself up, blamed myself for everything, and then blamed everyone else for the pain.
But there’s no sense in blame, nothing to be gained anymore from anger of jealousy. The Death came and I was allowed passage from lower to higher.
A couple of months after I met someone really, truly dear. Instead of the tangle of secrecy and connections that you must encounter in a small city like Adelaide, this relationship was outside the circle. For better or worse, the first time I’ve felt truly connected was to someone who lives 16,000 kilometers away.
My Death allowed me to look at things in a different light. I saw people in a different light. Instead of formulaic beings, bottles of chemicals with set reactions, I saw creatures with their own lives, their own stories and their own Deaths. Sonder.
But Death is painful as well. It must hurt to allow the passage. Receiving the break-up text last year was one of the worst pains of my life. That was a Death. The passage was meeting someone new and wonderful. Saying “see you later” to them as they left the country was another Death, but not a truly painful one because I knew there was the promise of life after it.
Perhaps my second life really was “higher”. Perhaps the Tarot cards told the truth. The passage, the transformation, really does change who you are as a person, or at least puts you in a better cosmic “place”. It’s a place to receive things more beautiful, if you let them in.