Monday, February 19, 2007

Dabbling in The Occult

A little while ago I happened upon a deck of tarot cards that I had bought as a child (inspired, I suspect, by Jane Seymour's desperately sexy tarot-reading voodoo priestess in the Bond film 'Live and Let Die') but which had lain lost and forgotten for many years.

Since my (so-called) love life is once again in ruins, and since I had recently fallen to ruminating on romances past as a result of last week's reviled V-Day, I decided to see if the cards had any advice for me. I was, I think, prompted in particular by the teasing I received last week from my commenter-in-chief, Tulsa, that I appeared to have my next romantic target already in mind. Alas I do not; I do, however, know several very clever and attractive women in The Unnameable City who might be considered worthy of further investigation in this regard. So, I decided to do 'a reading' on each of them in turn, to see if the prospects were auspicious for transforming a friendship into something more.

And you know what? They were all alarmingly BAD. A few of them were so ill-starred that I was left wondering if the lovely ladies in question had embraced lesbian feminism or been run over by a truck or contracted bird 'flu in my absence - really quite frightening. The one on the girl I would have regarded as the frontrunner (a long-standing but icily discouraged crushette of mine) was not quite that bad..... but deeply unpromising. I was so dejected by this that I repeated the reading to see if I might get a better result. In fact, I repeated it twice - and got almost identical (identically dismal) results each time. Oh dear.

Then, in a moment of folly, having almost run out of 'live prospects' to put through the test, I casually tried out one of my exes..... and the reading was astoundingly positive. I was sceptical, scornful, derisive. I thought I'd try again, to prove it was mere chance, a misleading divination. I concentrated on a slightly different question regarding my relationship with this woman, and shuffled and spread the cards again. Almost identical result. I repeated the process - varying the 'question' just slightly each time - twice, thrice more. All the readings were very encouraging... most of them seeming to trumpet 'love of your life', 'what are you waiting for?', 'strike while the iron is hot!', and so on.

Very, very strange. The Finger of Fate is once again jabbing me playfully in the ribs and chuckling, "Does this hurt??"

And NO, of course I don't believe in all this hokum. But I am intrigued as to how the process interacts with and is influenced by my subconscious (the scope for this is more obvious in the interpretation of the cards themselves, of course; but where, as here, the cards are mostly pretty unambiguous, you start to wonder if you aren't somehow unconsciously controlling the shuffle...).

I am intrigued also by my responses to these stimuli. (It's a bit like using a coin toss to make a decision: if after the first toss you opt for a 'best of three' decision-making process, you realise that at some level you really want the heads alternative rather than the tails that came down - or whatever it is.)

Who are the cards encouraging me to pursue? Will I follow their random promptings? And with what disastrous (or ecstatic) consequences?

Watch this space.


Froog said...

Can a finger chuckle??

No, pedants, probably not.... but you catch my drift, I think.

Anonymous said...

#1 - you saw the new Bond? What do you think? The day before my holiday in *** I had a free afternoon and meandered my way past a movie theater, then backtracked to see if Bond was playing. It was, but alas, I'd missed the last showing. I really want to see it. We're a family of Bond-watchers.

#2 my apologies that my comments should bring you to such potentially painful tarot card readings. I, too, don't believe in this hokum. On the rare occasions I've visited fortune tellers, their comments were either ridiculously all encompassing or scarily on point.

Feeling guilty for having prompted Fate's finger poking, let me clarify I wish you all the best with any of the several very clever and attractive women.

Froog said...

No, I haven't been to see the new Bond yet. I was tempted but... I have only a few days in London, and so much else to see and do: PROPER films like 'Last King of Scotland' and 'Babel', and a new Christopher Hampton play at The Garrick, and the Hogarth exhibition at the Tate....

One of the (many) things I hate about London is that there's so much going on here culturally, and I CAN'T AFFORD TO DO ANY OF IT!

So, tonight I just got wrecked watching the football in a pub. And even that was ridiculously expensive!

Anonymous said...

caught Babel at the downtown theater in SD last night. disturbing interconnected stories. the cinmatography leaves something to be desired - too many sharp cuts. And the theatre was a beautiful old place in downtown that had been revived (a good thing) but in the revival, had been cut into 12 tiny rooms (not a good thing). but the emotions in the movie come to the surface quickly and the interconnections is played well, I think.

Froog said...

I liked the cinematography just fine, especially the muted colours in the Morrocco segments; and the tempo of the editing is the feature of Inarritu's style that most appeals to me, I think.

However, I did find this considerably less satisfying than his previous films. I think '21 Grams' has to be my favourite, because there the disparate storylines are closely woven together. 'Amores Perros' was, like 'Babel', essentially a 'portmanteau film' - completely separate stories, the plot device used to link them arbitrary and irrelevant - but at least they were STORIES, they had movement, purpose, conclusion. This was just a random collection of incidents - compellingly rendered, yes; some interesting thematic links, yes; but NO ACTUAL STORY.

I was reminded of that great Simpsons episode (I think it's the one where Mr Burns belatedly thanks Bart for a life-saving blood transfusion by presenting him with an enormous carved stone head from the ancient Olmecs) where the story finishes a minute or two early and the family, left sitting embarrassedly on the sofa, start to deconstruct the story we've just seen, debating whether there was any moral to it. Bart (I think) makes the surprisingly wise observation: "Why does it have to mean ANYTHING? Maybe it was just a bunch of stuff that happened."

Anonymous said...

My mother used to pretty frequently visit a tarot card reader who she swore by.. she was some 50 year old crone with a missing leg or something who chain-smoked constantly. A few of the things she talked about were pretty spot on but I think this has a lot more to do with being a good reader of people than a good reader of cards. I guess the value of tarot is just to get you thinking about your question. A couple of times I have read my own cards asking sort of "what should I do" type questions and realized that I didn't like the answer I was getting, so I ruled that option out.

I liked the new bond film. There's a part in it where he's poisoned by digitoxin and it's actually kind of realistic from a toxicological point of view. I was impressed by this.. digitoxin is a really cool way of poisoning someone.

Froog said...

Oooh, you're scaring me now! There are no COOL ways of poisoning people.

If you can't make it as an Evil Genius in your own right, maybe you can land yourself a gig as a toxicology consultant in Hollywood. Action movie villains always need newer and cooler ways to poison people!