Monday, September 9, 2013

On First-Time Marathon Tarot Reading


On Saturday, September 7th, I participated in an event called "Lakerfest," which was a cute, free on-campus activity fair that happened in Cayuga field. Lots of interesting things went on, all for free -- including some kind of raffle. I happened to be one of two tarot readers available to work that day.

I am the apprentice to the owner of The Fey Dragon in Oswego, and so we sort of went as a team. It's a good thing, too -- because we both saw at the very least 50 students a piece line up for tarot readings. Some went back in line to get a reading from the other. It was a little hectic.

But I was warned of this long before the event loomed over the horizon. I was told how much energy would be exchanged, how fast-paced the event would be -- how little time there was to disconnect, recenter, reground and reshield. It got overwhelming fast. I mean -- two days later and I am still exhausted.

I took a single break in four hours worth of ceaseless readings to ground out, drink water and feel the wind. But man, if I didn't feel as though I got ran over by some metaphysical force, than I felt nothing at all. You know that feeling you get when you're about to pass out? The color drains from your face? Or -- better -- that feeling you get in your gut when your phone bleeps because it's only got 1% battery left and you're stuck away from home for a long time still? That is exactly how it feels to do marathon tarot readings. The energy really depletes, and I am finding that it takes a lot to bring it back up. I don't wish to touch another card right yet. Each time I try, my hands shake as though I am lifting something much heavier than a deck of cards. But then again, isn't tarot always much heavier than we realize?

Part of me can still feel a weird sort of exchange happening, like a bit of me remained in the space of the tarot readings and stayed with the people being read. Though I could barely muster the strength to look at some querents in the eye towards the end of my four hour marathon-read -- I found myself recognizing a few students in the hallways today as I wandered to class and work. They looked up too. There was a spark of recognition there between us. Some students turned to their friends, pointing. "That's the fortune teller." Yes, that's one way to put it.

I feel out of space and time when this happens. I feel odd, knowing that they now know me. They have a title for me. Some are weirded out, but most are not. Why? I don't know. One person asked me if I had a degree in fortune telling. I answered that no -- of course not -- but I was working on my Creative Writing Degree. That's close enough, right? And they smiled. I was out of the loop. I've been the weird tarot girl since Freshman Year, but now A LOT of people see me in that light. I am not sure how to react to it. I want to correct them and say "Card reader." or "No, it's Katie. I'm Katie. Hello!" But at the same time, I like the mysticism of the words "Fortune" and "Teller" together in one breath. It's why the word 'sibyl' exists. It's etymology stems from a greek word 'sibylla' which meant 'prophetess.' Much like the word 'vala' and/or 'spækona' in Anglo-Saxon, and similarly, 'völva' in Old Norse. People are all at once in awe, frightened and fascinated by the terminology. They wonder how it is that I can know these things, without realizing that we may just all have the power to know these things.

I come out of this event with new experiences and a bit of a new perspective. I know I need to learn so much more. I know, looking back, that I have come so far since June -- let alone Freshman Year. (I am a pseudo-senior by the way.) I know a pitfall of so much energy being given and not allowing myself time to replenish. I know how fast hours fly while we sleep -- and I know how valuable a good rest is from other experience before just this. It is not enough in the case of this sort of intense work on a metaphysical level. But now I know. For future reference.

Reflecting on this, part of my brain is screaming "NO, I never ever EVER want to do this again!" but the rest of me says, "Well, I know. But we need to. This is our obstacle. This is our challenge." But I have to keep in mind how INTENSE the experience is, and better prepare. Sort out how I feel before hand and make damn sure I get where I need to be in advance of the next marathon read.


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