“Some people never get, some never give. Some people never die, some never live.” – – Don Williams
I was watching an episode of the Twilight Zone a few weeks ago in which a couple was stranded in a town, having their every move dictated by a little fortune-telling machine in the booth of a restaurant they had been in. Since an initial reading, they returned repeatedly for guidance, convinced that they were trapped in this town they were passing through, and could leave only when the oracle allowed.
I have been in recovery for over 26 years now, and I swear that there’s nothing that can form a vice grip on me more than when getting obsessive about a psychic or tarot card reading and living my life according to what I heard. Twelve steps out the window. Serenity gone. Happiness internally only when the outside circumstances and people with me behave according to the dictates of myself and the reading. It’s only been in recent years that I’ve been able to admit that more often than not when I go in for a reading, I’m looking to hear about future events that will conform to my wishes. The wonder and usefulness of tarot and psychic readings can easily be perverted into addictive drugs by a mind not focused on the here and now, and instead looking toward fantasies of the future to make it happy.
There is great wisdom in metaphoric stories like “The Wizard of Oz,” in which Dorothy strays from her own inner teacher (home) to find bliss on the yellow brick road. True, she learned lessons on the way to Oz, but the predominant one was that there is in fact “no place like home.” Dorothy ultimately finds that her true joy is in the love she had all along, not the cravings that came about due to her own inner dissatisfaction. The story of the prodigal son is told over and over again in mythology and movies past and present. Sadly, the real story is usually of someone unable to cope with inner turmoil, instead turning to outside addictions. That is, those that present an illusion of being outside.
I once began a long string of tarot readings with a few different readers. What was I looking for? Same as about everybody else when we go for a reading: finance and romance. When am I gonna hit it big. When is that next perfect person coming into my life. I noticed after a while that with each reading, I would get an answer for when “Ms. Right” would come into my life, but the aforementioned time would come and go with no one materializing. So I’d go for another reading. Same result. Another reading. Ditto. I got into therapy during a very lonely aftermath of all of those readings stretching a span of about two years. After some probing, my therapist asked me, “did you ever notice something you commonly did after every single one of those readings?” He knew the answer but didn’t give it to me, letting me go off on my own til I finally put two and two together a few weeks later. After every single one of those readings in which a partner was prophesied for me, I dropped out of circulation, making certain that the alliance never happened. After one too many painful endings, I was trying to ensure I would never get hurt again.
Another common trick I’ve noticed is looking for reassurance that someone is going to “get theirs.” One Facebook ploy I’ve seen in this regard is that every now and then somebody posts something referencing “karma.” This often makes me aware once again that I’m not alone, because the way the word “karma” is used on the social media, it can be defined as “God getting someone for doing something I didn’t like.” Karma, of course, always only works on the other person. Unfortunately, I can’t even pretend to not be prone to thoughts of “God will get you” on my behalf. Enough of this, and eventually, luckily, I notice that I’m living in my own manufactured misery. I’ve even noticed in my case that on occasion the other person is getting their just dues. And then it stops. Once again it was therapy guy to the rescue when he said, “fuck with an oracle and it’ll fuck right back with you.” Wow. That’s an eye opener, and gave me a shiver down my spine. I wonder if God’ll get him for that . . .
A few things I’ve seen over the years have taught me the following: 1) No reader is perfect. Everybody has an off day including the most adept of psychic and tarot card readers. The reading still needs to filter thru the ego of the reader, and sometimes information can be a bit skewed. 2) Readings provide a potential future, not anything written in stone. I could write volumes on this. 3) Readings can be an extremely harsh mistress to someone going through an addictive cycle. Number three, I’m afraid, is one that I haven’t learned fully yet. The worst thing that I let readings do when in an addictive phase is consume me with potential futures. The number of writers and philosophers who talk about “living in the here and now” as the only way to create a better future is overwhelming. Go to any Barnes & Noble and it will seem like every other book written has a version of that sentiment written. I know. Believe me, my considerably lighter wallet is testament to that. All of this can take away from the gifts offered by very well intending readers, and I’ve met many who are not only wonderfully kind, but extremely talented and with only my best interest at heart. I can still cause a reading to go awry. Readings can be an absolute wonder, but I’m writing this due to the fact that I’ve been pretty consumed by the many I’ve had over the last year. The few situations in question have morphed into something different so many times over the last year, my obsession with the possible outcomes so great, it’s been crazy-making at times. It is indeed living half a life. So to all of those wonderful readers who have spent time with me in the last year, thank you so much. The info you gave me was accurate as it could be, I’m sure – – but I managed to make it into a replacement for my own heart and soul, a tragic and grievous error that I don’t wish on anyone. And of all of you I ask only one favor: if I ask you for a reading, please provide me with one. But only after I’ve submitted to a sobriety test.
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