Wednesday, May 27, 2015


So one of the things they say you’ll probably be able to get away with during a Mercury retrograde is reviewing what you already have rather than getting more or making concrete plans to change.

Now I know. You friends and family are going to ask me, “Seriously, Marcia. You mean you actually let something like the apparent, not even REAL backwards motion of an itty bitty little planet too close to the sun to have an atmosphere determine what you are going to do for something like weeks out of the year??”

Well, no, not exactly. See, I have free will. I can start a trip on an empty tank of gas if I want to. I can hang out under a tall tree in a thunderstorm. I can wear white before Memorial Day. I can, if I want to. But for someone like me, someone who probably packs a little too much into the schedule, having certain times of the year where it’s recommended that you hold back on new things and perhaps take stock of current stuff, maybe let go of technology a little, maybe build in some quiet time or maybe, with gasps from the crowd, throw some things away that no longer serve—great pause for breath—maybe it’s nice to have a reminder a few times a year to pause and reflect.

So I have. For instance, one of my tarot buddies Arwen Lynch Poe said something about finally getting a handle on her collection of decks using a certain app. I used to have a list of my decks. That was years ago, I reflected (see? It’s working already). I miss having that list. People ask me, do you have THIS deck and lately I can’t rightly say. I might. I might have two or three of them especially if I liked it. I might have wanted to buy it and didn’t. It’s good to know what you have.

For instance, one of the things staring at me every time I walked past one of my bookcases was the POMO Tarot Deck by Brian Williams. In fact, I had accidentally gotten two copies of it. Brian’s work was pretty special in Tarot and others ought to enjoy it. So I grabbed one of them and put it on the swap table at Readers Studio in April. Usually you don’t see decks that have collectible value on those swap tables but I actually found a deck I was truly interested in to swap for my offering.

I started to wonder if I have other candidates. Arwen’s idea about inventory sounded good to me, especially with this app that reads barcodes. That should help speed along some of the data entry, at least for the newer decks. Most of my collection is older, self-published, weird and not bar-coded, but something that helps speed the process along is an attractive feature.

So I downloaded it, sprung for the no-ads version that wasn’t free. Sometimes I don’t mind the ads that help pay for free features, but sometimes getting interrupted by someone else’s really good idea of how I could spend more money gets irritating.

Using an app on an iPhone is probably one of those things that Mercury Retrograders would say I should avoid. I deal with software in my Day Job, so naturally the first thing I did was to run into the bugs and “obvious” enhancements to the app and shot off an email to the people who created it. They said they’d get back to me within 48 hours. But it’s Mercury Retrograde. I’m just hoping that they take the suggestions to heart. Heck, I think I’m just happy they got the email and sent an automated reply.

I started slogging through my collection. One thing about making a list of your favorite things is that you get to play with all your toys. I know, I know. Nerd alert. But there are some truly fascinating Tarot, Lenormand, Oracle, antique kids’ games, and other decks out there. I collect because I like them, not because I’m trying to invest for a profit. 

The last time a couple of the bookcases were tickled was perhaps four years ago. Just getting the real dust bunnies out was a good thing. And in the process, I repacked the bookcases so that there’s a better use of space, a very 4 of Pentacles concept. In fact, the whole inventory thing is a sort of 4 of Pentacles thing if you can get past the fairy tale image of King Midas counting his gold. Sometimes it’s a matter of conserving physical resources rather than being miserly, a matter of stability in corporeal space.

As I was sitting on the floor with a hundred decks stacked around me, shelf after shelf, day after day, I thought at least I’m doing something I meant to do for a while now that will help me during some head-spinning shopping spree later. Plus, I’m not spending money while I’m doing this counting and recounting. This project cost me less than $5.00 and could save me a lot more.

This being Mercury Retrograde, I’m not taking chances on software though. Two features I like about the app, bugs notwithstanding, are that it can back your collection up offline and you can send yourself a spreadsheet. You just never know when something electrical can ruin your efforts, right? 

The current count is 658 but I have more to go. I sure don’t want to start this project over due to some silly glitch.

Best wishes!

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