Monday, June 15, 2015

Is My SO Cursed Tarot Reading

After doing a reading to see if I am cursed I decided I should do one to see if my significant other (SO) is cursed. Looking into this is important to me because my reading on myself turned up a big "maybe" and pointed to people I can't identify. I thought maybe we would have some cards in common and that would help me identify who is involved.

My SO's reading looks like this:

If you read my post about whether I am cursed then you already know a little about how to read this spread. Of not, you can go read the the first part of it for a quick explanation of go to the Hoodoo sight for the original instructions.

This particular reading short and sweet, though, and you can get away with knowing one simple aspect of how to read this spread. All you need is how to determine if you are, are not, or might be cursed. The answer to that question hinges on where XV The Devil falls when you lay out the cards.If it falls in the top three cards, then yes you are cursed. If it falls in the bottom three cards then no you are not cursed. If It's one of the two cards across the middle of the spread then you may or may not be cursed. 

Notice that XV The Devil is one of the bottom three cards. Thus, my SO is not cursed. It's a bitter-sweet conclusion. I'm glad no curse has settled on my SO. I'm glad that we do not each have a curse acting in our lives and combining to become some more dreadful. I am sad that any curse that impacts our lives comes specifically from me.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Am I Cursed Tarot Reading

I am desperate. I need to figure out this curse that I swear keeps influencing my life. If I was all alone, a hermit, I might throw my hands up and say screw it. I'm not alone, though. I can't go live under a bridge because I refuse to drag my family and friends there. I've pulled enough people through more than enough of the mud and muck that fills so much of my life.

I explained how I feel and presented the evidence that I am cursed to a friend recently. She suggested a little divination. She offered to do a reading for me but I feel like I need to do a reading for myself. My friend loves me very much and I am concerned that she might pull some punches and not share the intensity of some of what she sees. Also, I can consider the cards at a level of intimacy that she is incapable of simply because she cannot crawl inside my brain and heart. Of course, that provides her with an objectivity that I am incapable of achieving because I cannot crawl out of my head and heart. I might still take her up on her offer to read for me for that reason.

I did a little research and found a spread that looks like it will be helpful. The original spread and full instructions are at the Texas Hoodoo website (

Basic Layout
Position 1 is the far left, XV The Devil in my spread.

Position 8 is the far right, the Knight of Wands.

Positions 2, 3, and 4 wrap clockwise over the top of the spread - the Page of Swords, the Knight of Pentacles, and the King of Swords.

Positions 5, 6, and 7 wrap counter clockwise across the bottom three cards - III The Empress, the Queen of Swords, and IV The Emperor.

Yes, No, Maybe

According to the directions, where XV The Devil lands in the spread determines whether I am cursed, I might be cursed, or I'm not cursed. Finding XV The Devil among the top three cards indicates a "yes, you're definitely cursed." If XV The Devil is one of the bottom three cards it indicates "no, you're definitely not cursed." When in the far left or far right position, the indication is "maybe you are and maybe you aren't."

Unfortunately for me, my reading fails to provide a clear yes or no answer. The spread tells me "maybe." My situation is more complicated than a simple yes or no can provide. This tells me that a dreadful force is acting in my life but so is a force acting to my benefit, which sounds about right for someone living with bipolar disorder. After all, the cycles of up and down bring cycles of creativity and destruction with them.


The spread also provides a little information about who is working against me and who is working for me. The top of the spread is the "yes" side so the people suggested in those cards are the ones working against me, possibly the person who initiated the curse. The bottom cards provide information about who is working with me and in opposition to the curse.

Specifically, positions 2 and 3, the Page of Swords and the Knight of Pentacle, reveal who is working with the curse while positions 6 and 7, the Queen of Swords and IV The Emperor, reveal who is working against it. I just have no idea at the moment who these cards represent.

Interesting Observations

III The Empress and IV The Emperor sit opposite one another, symetrically positioned across the bottom of the spread in the set of cards that represents the people helping me. According to the spread's instructions, III The Empress does not represent someone that's helping me but she is looking out at me. She sees me and knows my plight. IV The Emperor appears initially to be looking forward, at me or at his subjects, but he's actually looking out of the corners of his eyes at III The Empress. He's looking to her for guidance. He cannot do his job alone. Considering these things and the closeness of their relationship, I would say that IV The Emperor is helping me with careful attention to the guidance and advice of III The Empress.  I have one final observation about III The Empress and IV The Emperor. Aside from XV The Devil who represents the curse itself, they are the only Major Arcana cards in the spread. They are the heavy hitters and, fortunately, they are on my side.

The location of all the Sword cards is notable, too. They create a "V" through the middle of the spread.

The women in the spread appear only in the bottom. The Page may be a boy or a girl but will be a youth either way and can not be a mature woman.

No cards from the suite of Cups are present.

Back to Who

Intuition plays a role in reading tarot cards and it led me to impression that IV The Emperor represents a Greek God. Which one, though? These cards are not created around the Greek pantheon so I went in search of a deck that is. I found The Mythic Tarot. Matching my cards to the corresponding card in the Mythic Tarot deck indicated that IV The Emperor represents Zeus and III The Empress represents Demeter, both of whom I have strong connections to. The correlations rang true. I am certain that they are on my side in this.

The remaining cards, being Court cards and not Major Arcana cards, leads me to the conclusion that they represent regular people. Other than that, who they represent still eludes me.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Feeling Cursed

The human brain tends to remember the negative experiences of life. I'm pretty sure it's an evolutionary trait that helped us survive by reminding us of things, places, activities, etc that put us in unhealthy or dangerous situations. It's a good idea that, at least in my case, has gone awry. It acts with an intensity that can be paralyzing.

The negatives cling to me like parasites and leave little to no room for positives. I have a terrible time finding the positives and, when I do, keeping the positives in mind is just as hard. It adds up to feeling like I'm cursed. The extent of that cursed feeling waxes and wanes with my moods. Recognizing that correlation to my mood has been helpful in the sense that I'm better equipped to wait out the feeling but it does nothing the reduce the pain, anxiety, and sense of helplessness that comes along with it. Family and friends criticize me for being pessimistic or defeatist. Saying things like, "It could be worse," is not helpful. I continue to feel what I feel and a certain guilt for feeling that way is added to the emotional burden I already carry.

The other day, a valuable lesson I learned in a class I took a million years ago popped into my head. The context of the original lesson was completely different from my current situation so I never thought to use it in my battle against my curse before. The mind is resilient but that characteristic must be nurtured, it must be fed. Feeding it a diet primarily consisting of negatives kills it. It must be given plenty of positives. One positive for each negative is insufficient, though. It makes for a malnourished resiliency, one that's sick and leaves a person at risk of giving up. Because of this and the fact that critiquing each other was a significant part of the class, the teacher established an important rule. Before someone could offer up a criticism, they had to provide three compliments.

This provided me with a technique, a new weapon to wield against the darkness. I am forcing myself to find at least two positives that are directly related to the negative situation feeding the cursed feeling. A recent example is when the transmission went out on my vehicle. Positive 1) The vehicle rolled to a stop in a location safe from traffic and from being impounded. Positive 2) Someone near and dear to me was willing and able to tow it to the shop for me.

My curse is a little more intense than that. It involves a large number of things going wrong all in a small window of time. The transmission was just one of them. Looking at each problem, each thing that's gone wrong, and finding a couple of elements in each situation that worked to my advantage is time consuming. Hopefully it will be worth time.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Checking on my Comfort Zone

Recently, a friend introduced me to a site called Superbetter. It's all about making yourself better - more resilient, more optimistic, more motivated. It's filled with games but not like flash games or xbox games. These are quests and you face challenges, gain allies, learn skills, and fight off bad guys. It intrigued me and, since my friend signed up for it, I figured I would sign up, too. I don't play everyday. Honestly, I haven't been to the website in weeks.

While working through my quest I got stuck. It's my own fault, too. I was faced with a challenge and didn't do it. I haven't done it yet. I started to but it was uncomfortable so I set it aside with the intention of returning to it the next day. I did return to it but I didn't do anything about it beyond rereading the description of what I was supposed to do. What did I get stuck on, you ask? It's silly, really. All I needed to do was write a journal entry answering this question:

What is your current relationship with your comfort zone?
Fortressed within it?
Always busting through it?

See what I mean? It's simple. Yet, it's so complex. Formulating a reply has been troublesome and it's been weighing on me.
Source: Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

My comfort zone is always changing. It varies with my mood - how manic or depressed I am or if I'm neither. My level of anxiety plays a big role in defining what I enjoy doing or what I'm willing to try. Likewise it determines what completely freaks me out, it draws that proverbial line in the sand which I cannot cross. What feels impossible for me one week is second nature the next and vice versa.

Source: Clinical
My healthy self, if I know my healthy self - which is dubious, is bound to be somewhere in the middle between manic and depressed. That's only logical. She must be more cautious than the manic version of me and must also be more relaxed than the anxious version of me. Surely she is, or at least believes herself to be, more capable than the depressed version of me.

So, today? At this moment? I feel good about myself. I believe I'm good at my job and I enjoy it. I feel good about my relationships with family and friends. Calling my best friend is not a stretch today even though the same activity yesterday was distressing and I couldn't bring myself to do it. I feel like I have something worth sharing on my blog and I'm able to adequately answer the Superbetter question.

Will I feel the same tomorrow? Who knows.

If you're curious, here's a little about Superbetter from TED Talks.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


My heart beat in slow motion - one Mississippi, two Mississippi – and I swear I saw the molecules of air in front of my little sister's face fly away in chaotic, swirling tornadoes when she screamed my name.

The car in front of us drove it's front left wheel up the guardrail, grinding along the metal boundary between interstate overpass and old county road below and, with the other three wheels still on the surface of the highway, the body of the car gauged a long, terrible arc into the asphalt before stopping.

I pulled onto the shoulder of I-10 only yards from the steep concrete retainer wall which stretched beneath the overpass and my younger sister, a nurse, burst from my little Jetta and scrambled through traffic to the unfolding tragedy where she knelt close to the person who lay motionless on the ground.

The echo off the concrete of the underpass doubled the roar of the cars and the rumble of semi engines yet I still heard my sister yell adamantly at the person beside her, “Stay with me damn you! Look at me! Don't you dare close your eyes!”

I called 911 while she did the miraculous thing that I could not and in those terrible moments she evolved in my mind from little sister to woman and hero.

This weeks prompts are the word "fearless" and this image.
For more information about Five Sentence Fiction check out Lillie McFerrin Writes.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Illusions in the Rain

Visual prompt for this weeks FSF Challenge.
The rain poured thick and loud, obscuring the buildings that lined the street and roaring over our voices no matter how loud we tried to talk or how hard we tried to listen.

Seizing the hand of my long-time friend, who rather like Big Bird's Mr. Snuffleupagus existed only in my imagination, I pulled him eagerly down the middle of the narrow street slowly filling with water.

I laughed, sang, and twirled in his arms to music that existed only in my mind as we approached the arched tunnel through a stone pedestrian bridge which stretched across the road we sloshed along.

When we stepped into cover of the small underpass I pointed to the curtain of water hanging over it's opposite end and announced, “Leaving through that side, in a magical moment, will take me to another point in my life," and then I snarled, "it might even be a time when my mind is not lost and you don't exist.”

I saw bewilderment on his face and a touch of fear in his eyes as I loosed my fingers from around his hand and shoved him back into the downpour we just left and then I rushed through the enchanted veil of rain which promised to free me from my madness.

Saturday, July 19, 2014


NOTICE: This post may be a trigger for you.

I think I manage the anxiety I experience rather well. Most days I can keep my darker emotions from ganging up on me and I've done a great job of successfully beating them off. There is a certain threshold, though. Somber turns to despair and I feel defeated, crushed beneath the weight of my own sick brain. Grumpy morphs into a full blown rage and the catalyst will be something ridiculous. Discomfort becomes humiliation and shame as my brain brings to the forefront of my conscious mind everything it believes I've ever done wrong. What happens beyond the threshold is not anything I'm proud of.

I scratch and cut myself. It makes sense to me in the moment. I've done it enough throughout my life that I no longer carry sharp things with me when I feel the stable ground beneath me tremble, a sign that a terrible fissure threatens to open under my feet. Leaving the pocket knife at home interferes with my attempts to cut myself. Most of the time, the appeal of cutting fades away before I can gain possession of an object capable of drawing blood. Sometimes cutting is so terribly seductive that, unable to access anything sharper, I resort to using my fingernails. They don't cut per se; they scratch well, though. They become claws that scrape at the skin of my thighs in moments of desperation.

I don't know if it's seeing the stripes or feeling the sting that helps me keep my demons at bay. I guess it's both. I make more cuts and scratches when my distress is more intense. The more my efforts fail to ease my anguish, the more ferocious my actions become. The physical pain is probably the larger part of it although the blushing lines swelling on my skin do create an odd feeling of satisfaction - gratification blended with disgrace.

Don't judge me for this behavior. I know it's messed up. I don't need to be reminded. I don't even want to talk about it most of the time because the people I confide in almost always focus on the action and make me feel even more ashamed which isn't helpful. The problem isn't the cutting or the scratching. They are symptoms, physical manifestations of the dark hurt and anxiety that have escalated beyond my ability to fend off in a manner deemed healthy by the normal people of the world. Let's deal with the emotions I can't handle and the scratching will go away.

Don't judge me for this behavior. Other peoples' actions are mesed up, too. Making an 11:00pm run to the stop-and-rob for a cheap six-pack of beer because you can't slow down your mind enough to go to sleep is damaging to the body, too. It's just not exposed. Is harming your liver somehow more nobel than injuring your skin? I'm not even referring to alcoholism, just the occassional "had a rough day" gin and tonic. What about smoking when stressed? Over-eating? Going on spending sprees? All of these have consequences.

Don't judge me for this behavior. We all have our coping methods and mine usually heal within a few days.