As you may recall, a few weeks ago I wrote about a tarot card reader in the Mile End. Unfortunately, Duncan, the reader, was booked on that particular day and could not see me. A strange thing happened as I walked away from our brief meeting on the steps outside his business. I had gone to see Duncan on a whim two years ago for a reading. As I walked down St-Joseph Boulevard, I thought about that winter morning and remembered seeing a Queen in my spread. Duncan had asked me if I was having problems with someone close to me, a woman. At the time, I was having a problem with my mother, but in hindsight, the difference of opinion we were having was insignificant. He told me that the problem with this person would go away. I said that we often disagreed, and this problem wasn't likely to go away. "No," he insisted, "based on what I see here, this problem should disappear."
At the time of my reading, my son was about 8 months old, and I was already thinking about my return to work and the upheaval of trying to drop off two kids in the morning instead of one. As I walked along the sidewalk on St-Joseph I thought about my son's birthday. He would be three years old in June, then I stopped. My mother had died unexpectedly less than 18 months after that reading. I thought about this coincidence for a few minutes and had an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. Then I went to pick up my daughter.
Have you ever had your cards read?
I met with Duncan on the following Saturday at the end of March for a reading. I had a few questions for him and was expecting a nice light discussion, much like my visit to the Cuban Santeria shop. I learned from this Ottawa native that there were apparently no occupational hazards working with the occult. I was hoping for some ghosts stories or strange occurrences, but no such luck. I was also curious about his clientele. I was told that 95% of his customers were women between the ages of 18 and 35. I kidded with him a little because he reminded me so much of someone I grew up with in Eastern Ontario. Duncan has the large imposing eyebrows of a Scotsman and an easy laugh. At times while we were talking, I felt a little insincere asking him questions about a topic that I wasn't sure I believed in, something that he had chosen as his profession and took quite seriously.
Then, however, he surprised me. I asked him about why he had chosen to become a tarot card reader. He said that when he was 12 years old, there had been an explosion at his school and that he had been in the wrong place at the wrong time. As a result, he was bedridden for a year. Initially, doctors said that he would never walk again, but then something unusual happened. A reporter from the now defunct Ottawa Journal came to interview Duncan and brought a British astrologer with her. Apparently the astrologer was very attractive, and unsurprisingly, she had the 12-year-old's rapt attention. She told him that she could see an accident in his astrological chart and that the second part of his life would be much better than the first. It's no small wonder that Duncan developed a special interest in astrology and the occult.
We eventually got to my tarot card reading. Before cutting the deck, I asked a very general question about the direction of my career. Once again, I was taking the whole session very lightly, too lightly in fact. As Duncan looked at my cards, he crossed his arms and arched an eyebrow. Then he told me some very unwelcome news. In my spread, a very authoritarian man (the King of Swords) was looking to cause me harm. In addition, he told me that someone was stealing from me (Seven of Swords). I immediately tried to think of who this authoritarian man could be, but drew a blank, and as far as I knew, I didn't have anything that someone could steal. Duncan advised me to be vigilant, and when he noted the concern on my face, he pointed to the last card and said that I would come out of whatever was to happen unscathed.
I walked away from this reading feeling unsettled. My husband poked fun at my concern and gave me his dime-store interpretation of my reading. However, dear reader, what Duncan predicted has recently come to pass, and I'm thankful that I was on my guard. The pain would have been unbearable further down the road. I have lost on a material level, but that isn't what pains me. The hurtful part is coming to terms with the betrayal of a complicit party and having to revise fond childhood memories. But strangely enough, this incident has allowed me to take off my blinders and see what I have been ignoring for years, and now that I see it, I have the peace that comes with closure.
Well, hmmm....I guess you're wondering if I believe in the occult now: I'm still not sure. Would I ever go and get my cards read again? For the time being, I'm happy to live in the present.
The doll postcard is an advertisement for raplapla.
Imported Afro-Cuban Magic
More Mile End Magic