Being Right . . . and Wrong

I was right about being awakened at midnight last night by fireworks. At first, still groggy from being half asleep, I worried something was happening to my house. Being responsible for a house is still so new to me (even though it has almost been three years since I moved here) that I panic at every strange noise. Admittedly, there aren’t as many strange noises as there used to be since I have come to recognize most of them. Still, banging noises do give me pause. But then I fully woke, realized people were celebrating the new year, blew a few wishes for all of you into the wind, and eventually went back to sleep. But not before I noticed there was a bit of snow coming down.

It’s still snowing, and has been all day, so I was wrong about my guess that we’d get a negligible amount of moisture. It turns out I was right to make the effort to plant my wildflower seeds yesterday. Those that didn’t get blown away will be firmly bedded for the rest of the winter, especially since it won’t get above freezing for a couple of days, and then only for two or three hours before the temperature plummets again.

I was also right that despite having a feeling of finality for the end of the year, I don’t have a similar sense of beginning for this new year. I do have a new calendar, though, with empty squares to fill with plans for fun and adventure, so that’s a beginning of sorts.

I also started with a new deck of tarot cards, one I haven’t used before. I never liked these particular cards, which is why I haven’t used them. They seem too bizarre to me and unmagical despite their name “The Magickal Tarot.” [Apparently, I’m wrong about not having used this deck before. While adding tags to this post, I happened to discover a previous discussion of the deck on my blog here: The Magickal Tarot]

This change of decks isn’t a new year sort of thing but a new month thing — every month I change the deck of cards I use, trying to find one that speaks to me. The Magickal Tarot is not such a deck. In fact, it dislikes me as much as I dislike it. The cards it fed me today are the seven of pentacles (Lord of Failure) reversed and the five of swords (Lord of Defeat).

Yikes! Talk about a bad omen for the new year! The first card of my two-card reading denotes the situation, the second card is the challenge I will face. My question was “What do I need to know this year?” and apparently, the cards think I need to know that my hopes will come to naught, and my challenge will be to deal with sorrow and loss and treachery. Oh, my!

The interesting thing to me about this reading was the reversed card. I make sure to keep the cards always in an upright position; I’ve even learned to deal the cards so they always face the same way. And yet, somehow, this one card, for the first time in the 18 months I have been doing a daily one- or two-card reading, was upside down. You’d think that a reversed card of failure would be the opposite of the upright card, but that is not true. If the card were upright, it would mean only delay and success unfulfilled, but reversed, it’s even worse.

I’m not worried about the prognostication. Most of my readings don’t seem to have anything to do with me, so I’m sure this reading is the same.

I hope I’m right about that!


Pat Bertram is the author of intriguing fiction and insightful works of grief.