Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Turn the Page

Summer time gives me a chance to have my tarot classes in my backyard, hence the name “Marcia’s Backyard Tarot Classes.” I was trying to avoid being overly clever with the naming so that the purpose and perhaps even the location would be clear. Even the best of efforts, of course, can fail.

“I teach Tarot. In my backyard.” It seems simple enough but I do get questions. This year instead of dragging my tent to all kinds of festivals to read Tarot, I’ve limited that to just a fun few and set the ol’ tent up in the backyard. My husband had been threatening to trim the privet tree (you can’t call something that big a bush when it’s as tall as the house) and one of my Cecile Brunner roses (same height, old rose) which are intertwined so that the fence would stay up and the branches wouldn’t open a living room window, suddenly. And he did. It was such a good job that my shady patio wasn’t that shady. The sparrows pouted about their reduced real estate and the cats were fascinated about the improved view. But I still need my shade for the patio.

California is different from other places I’ve lived. Places like Illinois and Missouri don’t cool off on summer nights when the sun goes down. But California is delightful in its weather-etiquette. If you are in the shade, you are likely to be comfortable even on the hottest days. It’s just that California also has these desert sections that seldom provide shade for those over two feet tall so it can still be hot here. That, and the “Santa Anas” come when the wind patterns shift and suddenly the hot valleys empty their furnace-blast towards the ocean and everyone complains, with good reason, about the high fire danger. That time doesn’t usually last that long, thank goodness.

I don’t like to gloat but while lots of people have been having the sticky-gummy-runny-can’t-take-your-skin-off kind of summer, we’ve had another fairly cool one this year. Still, if you sit in the sun long enough, you’ll scorch, no matter how cool the breezes are. So, tent it is but with the side panels off so the breeze can blow through.

My last class focused on the Tarot Court Cards. Those are the page, knight, queen and king of the four suits, wands, swords, cups and pentacles. There are 16 court cards in all and they are sometimes thought of as the “personalities” of the deck.

So, not to bore you non-Tarot folks with too deep a dive into the class, my students are a fun bunch of gentle people with varying experience. This is just the kind of classroom diversity I like: extraverts, introverts, novices, experienced folks. Of course, since I’m an extravert…ok, raise your hand if you couldn’t tell. I like to say that I’m the quiet one in our family since John is an extravert also, maybe pegging a bit higher on the E scale than I do. This amazes my long-term friends who were used to my let us say “breathless” charm and banter.

There’s a cute post on Facebook right now that talks about the TLC needed by introverts. If you don’t read too carefully, you get the idea that introverts are people who are tired of listening to extraverts. Ha-rumph! I need my space too, you know. And I don’t always talk in my sleep.

Furthermore, there’s some assumption that introverts understand extraverts because they hear them talking. Who says we E people say everything we’re thinking? While I’m chatting you up about how much your hair doesn’t make you look like Justin Bieber really, I’m also remembering my dental appointment on the 16th, fighting off some song in my head that intruded when I smelled your cologne, about to get the appetizers out of the oven, noting the utterly divine red shoes across the room and about to change the topic to the piece of the tragic Columbia shuttle they just found in Texas because you are obviously uncomfortable with any further reassurance about your hair. In short, I’m trying to be nice to you but you have no idea of all the things I’m thinking from just what I’m saying. That would be like saying that all introverts have a one-track mind, certainly unfair too.

Actually, this is all good-natured banter. About 50% of the population of the world is classified in the Jungian-based MBTI as introvert while the rest of us Chatty Cathies are extravert. And interestingly, here we are back at the Tarot Court Cards. So one of the fun exercises we did in my class was to randomly pull a couple of court cards and have them talk to each other. What do they agree about? Where do they differ?

Our first pair was the King of Swords and Queen of Swords, whose pillow talk ranged from complaining to each other how stupid the rest of the world is and that they have to do everything themselves, despairing in the dull wits especially of their child who must be the result of an error in the maternity ward. The King groused away without a thought for her feelings, while the Queen sniped that his problems were, after all, all his fault. It was starting to get fun. Then we had the Page of Pentacles, who must be the dullard child of the K and Q of Swords, being asked to the prom by the Knight of Swords, a sort of irresistible force meets the immoveable object kind of thing. And the class was getting the hang of the energies of the personalities of the Courts.

So, I thought today, what if we got the four Pages in a room together, mostly because Mercury is going retrograde today and Pages are all about communication. They’d be something like students at Hogwarts without those cool wands or brooms. Maybe the Page of Wands would have the wand, OK. So what do they say to each other?

“C’mon, guys, let’s DO something! Wanna toss around the ol’ pigskin or go through a bucket of balls?” gushed the Page of Wands, always first to voice his not-too-well-thought-out impulses, raw energy apparent without too many specifics.

“Wow, hope this doesn’t hurt your feelings or anything, but I was going to watch that new Chick Flick. They say it’s a whole box of tissues. I just feel so connected when everything looks like it’s going to be the worst and then turns out happy for everyone,” smiled the Page of Cups, staring dreamily into his green tea, looking for leaves clinging to the cup. “I’ll bet you’ll have a great time, Wands-y.”

“Naw, I’m getting a pizza and watching the Dirty Jobs marathon. Me and my remote. After all, we’ve already paid for the cable,” said the Page of Pentacles, patting his solid “table muscle” and sinking solidly into the couch to ready himself for some serious downtime. “I gotta save my energy.”

“You guys are all idiots,” muttered the Page of Swords into his iPhone as he texted some smart people he really liked and put his earbuds in to block out the din of others’ voices. He had heard enough but wasn’t about to tell them anything more than that. He thought about taking the skateboard out but was drawn deeper into the mental gymnastics of the multiple games he played simultaneously in his electronic world, oblivious to his fellow Pages.

All of these Pages are going to grow up to be Big Courts someday, just like we did. When they’re older, they can afford their own places and not have to be bothered with each other. At least the Page of Pentacles can.

Best wishes!


All of today's Pages are part of the Tea Tarot, (c) Copyright 2011 Marcia McCord.  The Tea Tarot is available for sale on the Tarot Decks page of this blog.  Reproduction of images from this deck and others copyrighted by me is forbidden without my prior consent.

My next Backyard Tarot class is Saturday, August 13, 2011, starting at 1 pm Pacific Time in Vallejo, California.  Cost per person is $30. Contact me via the email link on the right for more information.

And don't forget there is still time to sneak in a reservation to SF BATS, the Bay Area Tarot Symposium August 27-28, 2011.  If you like Tarot, you will love BATS!  Can't go both days?  You can go one!  Check it out!

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