I have recently made the jump to open up a small shop for card readings, over on Etsy. This was around a month ago. Making this jump has inevitably got me thinking about my narrative as a card reader, what defines me and what shapes me as a cartomancer? These questions led to much thought these past few days, and an image has been conjured through this thinking.
Imagine a round wooden table inside a warm and cozy kitchen with a small window over the sink. A billowing fire burns in the fireplace on the right wall. The table is worn with scuff marks, as are the 3 chairs that surround it. Fresh flowers sit on the windowsill, half empty cups lie about the table, a couple of small lit candles illuminates a pack of playing cards, disordered and facing up. The smell of coffee, bread and liquor permeate the kitchen. It is night, the kitchen is small, and low music wafts in from another room.
This is what I like to invoke mentally when I sit before a pack of cards, while calling on their history as a game of illusions and trick-taking. I love the cards for their simplicity and directness, for their capacity to play tricks and in so doing revealing the permutations of truth. I love the cards in their barest form, when they speak of the mundane, disclosing the magic in the everyday, conjuring the possibilities, a chimera. As Nietzsche asserts in his essay, On Truth and Lie,
Truths are illusions about which one has forgotten that this is what they are; metaphors which are worn out and without sensuous power; coins which have lost their pictures and now matter only as metal, no longer as coins.
… I want to explore these truths, the truths we tell ourselves and with which we construct our realities, and through this exploration extract ego and identity from the questions posed to the cards. When the ego is extracted from the question, one gains a position of clarity, from this pivotal position, the answer we seek has the exact precision we need so that the unconscious is made conscious. We gain clarity along with perspective.
As I continue to form my cartomantic narrative, I know that herein lies the crux, this is the card reader I aspire to be. Simple and precise. Le Bateleur in all his incarnations, before his table, with his tools, ready to regale you, to entice you, to elevate, as above so below and vice versa. All this while sitting round a kitchen table, quotidian, a cup of black coffee on one hand and the potential of a pack of cards in the other hand.
Of course, all this thinking led me to explore what the meaning and value of cartomancy has in our lives, its purpose and its aim, but I will save that for next week. I hope you, reader, have a wonderful week.
2 thoughts on “A conversation ’round a kitchen table while playing cards”
This was good reading. I enjoyed the reference to the Juggler, because I similarly invoke him when I use the cards. In fact, I’ve been contemplating many of the sorts of things you describe here, although I had not thought about it in quite the same terms.
I also want to compliment your writing in the second paragraph. Very nice imagery.
Thank you so much, I tried my best to put into words what I have in my head. Yeah, I love the juggler, the hermit is my heart but the juggler is my inspiration.