Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

I’m beginning to wonder if the tarot is a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s not supposed to be a prognosticator, but rather a way of gaining insights. I don’t expect anything from my foray into card reading — it’s more a way of honoring my deceased brother since the cards were his. And what the heck — I always like learning something new, especially something that might have deeper meanings. And it’s like decoding messages, which fits with being a mystery writer.

The cards for the previous four days were all high pentacle cards (Queen, Nine, King, Ace in that order), which together indicate prosperity, financial gain, goals achieved, enjoying each day, and new beginnings. All great cards to get, and rather interesting that they would all show up in such a clump. Also interesting in that I started a new job this week, and although it is part-time, it will help tremendously with my finances. And for sure it’s a new beginning.

Today’s card was the King of Wands. This card suggests that an opportunity is presenting itself, and that I have the perseverance and maturity to see it through to the end. Mostly, this is a card of pure energy. It’s that last part that made me wonder about self-fulfilling prophesies. After I did my tarot lesson for the day, I went grocery shopping, did laundry, took a walk, cooked rice, made salads for the next few days, cleaned a bit, talked to a friend on the phone, and now I’m writing this blog.

Whew! Lot of activity! Way more than I usually have the energy for in such a short span of time. So did the card suggest to me that I would have energy and my subconscious said, “Okay, sounds good to me, let’s energize the woman.” Or did I wake up with the energy and the card simply reflected that? Or was my bout of energy and the card coincidental?

Personally, I think it’s coincidence. The storm systems that have been moving through the area and zapping my energy, have passed temporarily, allowing me to get much accomplished. And almost any card can be made to fit any circumstance. I think it’s like horoscopes. The horoscopes that have no connection to anything that happens, we immediately forget, and the ones that strike a chord are those we remember.

But who knows. Certainly not me since I am a neophyte when it comes to the cards. I do enjoy tinkering with them, though. It helps give shape to my day by giving me something to do when I wake before I’ve settled in for the duration. It’s a bit mysterious. And, as I said, it’s a connection to my brother.

It’s all good. Especially the part about having energy. I did like that!

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Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

Mélange

Yesterday I mentioned I hadn’t lived anyplace where fireworks were legal, and it shocked me to hear and see the neighbors’ almost incessant firework displays, especially the huge falls of sparks over my house and garage. I found out today that I still haven’t lived anyplace where fireworks are legal — all fireworks that leave the ground are illegal everywhere in Colorado. Surprisingly, no one issued citations for the firework setter-offers — it’s not as if they were hiding their crime.

But then, the one thing that I don’t like about living here is that the code enforcer only works during the day on weekdays, so the rest of the time, too many people feel free to break the laws they find inconvenient, such as leash laws and firework laws and trespassing laws.

I lucked out on the fourth because there was rain that night, so any sparks that landed would have immediately fizzled out, but I doubt the thought of rain being a safety measure played any part in the wrongdoers’ decisions to shoot off the fireworks because they would have had to stock up long before any rain was in sight. And until the rain, this whole area was so dry and desiccated that any spark could have set the whole town on fire.

People are still setting off fireworks — it’s been a nightly thing since the end of June — but eventually, they will have to run out of the blasted things, so I won’t have to worry until next year. I have no idea what I will do. Even if I spent the night in the yard, looking for fires, chances are any fire that was sparked would be slow to start and I’d miss it until the damage was done.

It makes me wonder — don’t other people think of these things? I’d blame my concern on my growing curmudgeonliness, but the truth is, fireworks are dangerous in ultra-dry climates. That’s why there are laws against them.

Oh, well, I’d be better off turning my thoughts to more important issues, such as what sort of climbing vine to plant along a portion of my fence. Climbing roses don’t do well here because of the frequent hot/cold temperature changes. (They do well as low bushes, not as climbing plants.)  I’d love some wisteria, but it needs to be pruned every year, and in more feeble times, I won’t want to deal with that. Though I might not have to — apparently, wisteria grows slowly in Colorado. And anyway, so far I haven’t done well with purchased plants, so perhaps I should try to transplant a trumpet vine or two. One of the vines I would transplant is riddled with ants, so I wonder if the ants would come with it, or if they would stay in the original area. I guess I’ll find out.

Meantime, the work on the garage is progressing — today they insulated and walled one side of the inside of the building. Yay!

As for Dune — I spent several hours online yesterday looking at books that were published around the same time trying to find one that I might have confused with Dune, but I didn’t have any luck. The lists did remind me of some I liked, such as Malevil by Robert Merle, On the Beach by Nevil Shute, and Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank. I thought of rereading these books, but decided, after the Dune fiasco, that I better not.

I read a mystery yesterday that takes place in a not-so-distant future, and the book itself mystified me. The future as the author had envisioned played absolutely no part in the story. The story could have been set in any age, any place, and it wouldn’t have mattered. It seems to me that if one is making a big deal about the time frame in a story, that time frame needs to play a part. Like a gun showing up in the first chapter of a book and then never mentioned again.

I’ve been picking a tarot card every day, asking the cards what I need to know that day, and so far, all the cards are telling me is that I need to learn what the day’s card means. It doesn’t seem to have any correlation to my life. I am keeping a sort of diary about my excursions into the tarot because I’m interested in knowing if they will show a pattern for the month. I did say I wanted to learn the tarot by osmosis rather than an in-depth study, and that seems to be the case. I am learning some cards — though mostly what I’m learning is that while some decks are based on a certain tradition, others eschew that tradition and make up their own meanings. I wonder if I were to create my own deck of cards, using whatever symbols I want, and giving those symbols any meaning I want, if it would work like a tarot deck.

I think that brings me up to date. If not, I’ll be here again tomorrow with another mélange of ideas and events.

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Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

Learning by Osmosis

I haven’t had a lot of problems with Windows 10 in the year and a half that I’ve been using it. It’s intuitive enough that I quickly picked up any differences between that and the previous systems I had. (First Vista, then Windows 7, which was basically Vista with a different name to offset Vista’s bad press.)

I prefer learning by intuition and osmosis when possible — it’s a lot easier than hard mental labor, for sure. (Most of what I know has come simply from reading, which is the ultimate osmosis medium. Read enough books, and things start to sink in.) This preference for intuition, osmosis, instinct, is what keeps me playing around with the decks of tarot that I inherited. If I finger them enough, perhaps the knowledge of how to read the cards will seep into my mind and I won’t have to actually study them or memorize them. The truth is, I’d like to know what they are all about, but I’m not sure I want to know badly enough to do the work. And I’m not sure I want to know what is hidden in the far recesses of my psyche anyway.

Meantime, there is the computer. It’s a wonderful tool for so many things, my most recent use being to translate an instruction booklet from an obscure Italian tarot deck into English. It’s slow going, but an interesting exercise.

One thing I do not like about the computer, Windows 10 in particular, is the way this system does updates. In previous systems, I could choose which updates to install, and if I uninstalled an update, it stayed uninstalled. Not now. There is no way to choose what to update. Windows 10 updates automatically. Oh, I could stop it updating automatically for a day or week, but then I’d have to install all the updates at once, and I’d be back where I started from. Besides, I don’t want to stop necessary updates, just problematic ones.

I mentioned yesterday that my computer no longer talks to my printer. I found out that a particular update caused the problem with the spooler, so I uninstalled the update. My printer worked perfectly! Yay. Well today, Windows reinstalled the update. Boo. I have to restart the computer to make it take effect, and I was able to put it off for a week, so I have a respite. (But if I have to restart the computer for any other reason during the week, I’m out of luck.) The best I can hope for is that in the interim, since this is a known problem, Windows will come up with a fix. I suppose if it doesn’t, I’ll uninstall the update again. Or wait until I need to use the printer and then uninstall it. So not optimal. So not an intuitive way of dealing with the matter.

And speaking of learning by osmosis — I am especially grateful someone other than me is installing the garage door. Though it seems that installing a door should be intuitive, especially for people who have done it before, the instructions for this door look as complicated as instructions for creating cold fusion would be. Not only are the directions for three different doors included in the booklet and not only does the order of those directions put the first parts last, and the last parts somewhere in the middle, but the instructions read as if they were translated from one archaic language to another and then finally into English. Even though I think putting up the door should be a two-man job, it’s a good thing there’s only one guy working, otherwise the two workers would spend all of their time discussing what the instructions mean.

Come to think of it, as complicated as the tarot is, it sure seems easier than computers and garage doors. Maybe I won’t have any problem learning how to read the cards whether by osmosis or intuition or instinct or even plain hard memory work.

Assuming, that is, I decide I want to.

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Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.