The Tarot Collectors Forum 2011 Collaborative Tarot decks arrived from the printers mid-week last week. Andrew and I made plans to set up our little shipping and handling factory at my dining room table for Friday. A lot of people have paid but a few people haven’t so we wanted to make sure we had the list and addresses correct.
Apparently mail from the USA to New Zealand gets pounded to a pulp and my New Zealander asked for extra wrapping. We can do that! I’m always amazed at mail delivery anyway. That may be why I based two of my own decks on postcards. Can you imagine it actually got there? I have one of my 1903 picture postcards on my desk right now, my favorite Argentine gypsy card which is the cover card of my Picture Postcard Tarot. Her tinted scarf and heavy silver earring and beautiful profile tell more of a story than her August 26, 1903 postmarks in Buenos Aires. Someone thought of someone that day and reached out.
And one person no longer lives in France so we made sure we had the right address and the right country. We packaged, we boxed, we taped, we addressed, we filled out little-box customs forms, and we piled them into the colorful African woven market baskets I bought as my Ft. Bragg souvenirs. We did all this until well after the Post Office closed.
But I had a deadline to stop that Friday night, too, because I was scheduled to read tarot at a Halloween party here in town. The Halloween House was not too far from own house on a street I had never driven down before. It was a steep hill and I, dressed in my long black lace dress with my frog-handled cane, stepped carefully out of my car in the darkening nightfall. I made it to the house with my tote full of cards and walked up the luminaria-lined drive. Robin had gone all out with turning her front and back yards into a Halloween Haunted House, a benefit for Bay Respite Care this year. She’s been doing this for years to bring Halloween to her daughter who has a fatal form of multiple sclerosis.
By the time I was barely settled in the gazebo with the comfy wicker couch and chairs, shabby chic décor, incense and candle light, I had readings booked to last nearly to midnight. I met wonderful people, drank a gallon of water and read tarot in the flickering candles. It was a perfect evening and I was glad to be able to be part of it.
Saturday was busy too. The Berkeley All-Blues women’s rugby team hosted two rugby matches out at our rugby pitch. John wanted me to bring my tarot cards there to read too and had set up my favorite Italian-style tile-topped table and my two good folding chairs under the trees. Wine tasting! Now there’s a benefit of Northern California! A winery had hoped to ply us with their whites, reds and a lovely muscat. The white was buttery, the Zinfandel robust and I cut it off at two tastes. I don’t like drunk tarot reading any more than I approve of drunk driving. I had just one “customer” for my complementary readings, a career-path discussion that showed promise. There were happy dogs and happy rugby players, but I had to go at 4:30 pm if I were going to do everything we had planned for the evening.
Each year the last weekend of October, our local Catholic high school holds a Trivia Night. My friend Nancy asks us to come because John and I tend to know a strange and diverse bunch of factoids. Along with our trivial minds, we were also to bring goodies to share and wear costumes. This year, the theme was Hawaii.
I’ve never been there. I know muumuus, leis, Hawaiian print shirts, flip-flops (as opposed to thongs and You Thong People Know Who You Are), grass skirts and flowers at your ear. I figured that this is what everyone else knew about Hawaii too. As I drove to the grocery store to get the pineapple pieces and Hawaiian Kettle Style Potato Chips and anything else I could think of as island food, a picture began to form in my mind. Boy, was John going to be surprised when he saw my costume!
The Fool is usually placed with the Major Arcana but his number is 0, Zero, Null, blank. In the same way that the ancient tarot decks portrayed the Fool as the scary, crazy homeless guy, the picture of the way the unfortunate were treated in the 1400’s in Italy and everywhere else, the Fool is outside of the Tarot “society” and therefore can roam freely if randomly through it. Our more modern portrayal of the Fool is more like a court jester, the cartoon-Kokopelli amusing the court, speaking the truth without penalty, appearing foolish. He is the beginning of the journey, incompletely prepared, without a plan or support structure, save the dog (or weasel or cat-like creature nipping at his heels or a bit higher to tear his breeches). He does not understand consequence and is usually depicted as having benign intent. He is often shown about to step off a cliff and in the Tarot, in spite of his foolish leap before looking, he is protected by the forces of the Universe who are probably amused and nod knowingly as he progresses through wisdom.
|Picture Postcard Tarot|
(c) Copyright 2010 Marcia McCord
Ah, I thought. In Hawaii, the Fool would be the Tourist, the idiot who came prepared to live a Hawaiian lifetime in a week, despite the impossibility of that. And so my costume emerged: I faked a wet-suit from black tights and t-shirts, wrapped a beach towel picturing a surfer around my middle, put on pearl and seashell jewelry, donned swim-fin flippers and diving mask and I was almost ready. All I needed was Tourist Sunburn. Familiar with decades of my own sunburn and instead of that luscious tropical tan, I faked the Coppertone near-death blistering burn so familiar. Yeow! I grabbed my dip-net, a sand bucket, a bag of seashells and I was ready. All I had to do was walk downstairs in flippers. Right.
I made it in one piece and John was properly stunned. Nancy’s mom Geraldine laughed out loud. I bent and folded myself into the back seat and we were off to Trivia Night. Sadly, we did not win the trivia prize this year; we flubbed the music section but John got some amazing answers in especially the basketball question. During one of the breaks between rounds, I noticed a tall good-looking guy from the next table staring at me in, at the very least, disbelief. I had to acknowledge his unvoiced thoughts. I pointed to my husband.
“Just think how he feels!”
My “fan” laughed out loud. And I won the prize for the women’s costume contest! It’s a gift card at Jamba Juice. Something in pineapple, perhaps?
Sunday was a little more restful although I had evening tarot readings in the back yard. Monday was the main event, though. This year I had help from my friend Andrew and his friend Patrick. Patrick and John put up the tent in the driveway while Andrew and I grabbed some dinner for everyone. The boys set up speakers with a Spooktacular playlist and featured a Deal or No Deal game where the prizes were, alas, not millions of dollars but extra candy for the kids. The Eye of Zohar and my Friendly Ghost papier mache props had survived their year of storage in the garage. The evening was perfect in its weather. I readied my brass cauldron of candies and shuffled my Tarot decks. I warmed up by offering free one-card readings on Facebook. Then, we were invaded! Spidermen, princesses, Minnie Mice, a Baby Bunny Wabbit, Iron Men, teens professing to be nerds, all wanted candy. Their parents came too, some for tarot readings.
“Uh, yer gonna wanna get that looked at by a professional,” I recommended to one dad with fake blood streaming down his chest from a “wound” in his Zombie neck. He laughed aloud. Even Father Steve came by for the entertainment and stayed to talk about travel long after we ran out of candy. It had been a long four days in the weekend, long but fun. We’ll do this again next year.
I Can Haz Jamba Juice!