The other day, I was at the cafe taking my morning coffee, when I overheard some boys talking right next to me. They were talking about money, more specifically, about the money they could win by playing the lottery. As is typical, they were talking about very high amounts, enough to become millionaires. They were talking about how they would be happy, because they then would have the means to do what they want. How they would travel, pay their debts, help their kin, buy cars, houses, party all night, the works…
I couldn’t help smiling at the naivety of these people. Did they really think that money would solve all their problems? Was this the only way they could be happy? Did they really need to help others?
I was curious. Curious enough to pick up my cards and make a reading. Armed with my trustworthy Rider-Waite deck, I then proceeded to a simple 3-card spread. The question, “would they really be able to make their wish come true?” The answer, made me chuckle:
As you can see, we have our Emperor center stage and surrounded by two aces. The Ace of Swords and the Ace of Pentacles. Substitute the scepter our emperor has in his hand with a sword, and you’ll almost have a repetition: weapon on the side of weapon; coin on the side of coin. The answer couldn’t be simpler: these people could dream all they wanted. In the end, if they truly wanted to accomplish something, they would have to fight. And fight a lot. They would have to be determined to win.
You want to be happy, you work for it. Every single day. Fight for it. For the privilege of happiness. Otherwise, it will all be smokes and mirrors.
I must have chuckled very loud. Or maybe it was destiny. They were soon at my table asking all the usual questions. Can I truly read the tarot? (Well, if I can’t what was I doing with a pack of cards???) Can the cards truly predict the future??? (after the reading I’ve made, if they didn’t, something was truly very wrong…) and then, the fatal question: “Could I predict the numbers for the next lottery draw?”
I tried to explain that it didn’t work like that. That money was just a part of life, not more and not less important than other things. And that even the cards acknowledge that by placing money (pents) in equal footing with determination (wands), love (cups) and resourcefulness (swords). “But no!”, they would say. If the cards can indeed predict the future it should predict the lottery numbers. For they were in the future.
I confess that this is the type of situation that propels me to open the deck and start talking about their lives and the hell with it. But the logic, although flawed, was valid. Why can’t the cards predict the future? So, before trying to devise a mean to do it, I simply asked the cards, how could I use them to get rich?
And again, I was laughing.
The straight answer, I couldn’t. Because, in the end, it was not that important. Or, going by the reading, even if I did use them and actually got rich, I would be lost in a see of indulgence: I would try to fulfill wish after wish after wish, running after every little whim, only to chase a mirage. And, not only that, but I would end up having to defend what was mine from the world. I actually thought that the Seven of Cups was an inspired card, because here they were talking about using money to party and travel and get cars and houses and here was the card that actually talked about all that. Coincidence?? I truly think not.
But these cards also had another reading in them (and how many times do you find you can do two or more readings from the same draw and all of them be correct???) That they were so involved with their dreams, they couldn’t really see anything other than that. They would not be content with a negative answer. So I gave them an answer. The third reading from these cards: If they wanted to get rich, they would have to play at least once for each dream they had. So, 7 dreams, 7 lottery cards. And that they should play together, otherwise, someone might get an advantage and quarrels would start. Never once, should they put themselves above the rest of the group, otherwise, they wouldn’t be rich. They would just end up fighting. And, of course, never stop dreaming. Go after what you want…
Were they happy? I honestly don’t know. I do know that once again I got a lesson out of it. A lesson about always chasing our dreams, but also, always minding what we’re chasing. After all, it’s not what you get out of it, but how you get out of it…
P.S. – When searching for a cute picture to accompany this post, here’s what I found:
Don’t you just love it when everything comes full circle? I know I do 🙂 🙂 🙂