Sunday, February 5, 2017



It was blowing snow this morning as I watched a thirty-something fellow in his hospital jammies and robe run past my RDX. (I was on my way home from Gold’s Gym.)   
I’m assuming he was AWOL from the Psychiatric Ward at the General Hospital, near where I live.  Reflecting on this … I should have beeped my horn and offered him a ride to wherever.  I was going the opposite direction when he ran by and I did make a U turn in this attempt but … he disappeared.

This blog is about the shuffle of life and about the cards that we’re dealt, the cards we’re dealt again and again.  Presumably, this runaway patient was trying to re-shuffle the deck in his life, in his current situation, as all of us are constantly re-shuffling and re-reading the cards we’re dealt.

Some of us, guys like me, were dealt a winning hand from the get-go.  I’m tall (six foot one); I’m dark (but now a bleached California surfer); I’m very middle-class; and I’m male sex and gender.  None of these aforementioned privileges were earned; they just are.

Recently I went for a card reading, the perfect example of projective psychology in commercial action.  For one hundred dollars, under the direction of the card seer, I re-evaluated my life, accordingly, to my desired outcome.

Reading regular decks of cards is called CARTOMANCY.   Here are some of the most common readings:

KING OF HEARTS … a loving male family member.
QUEEN OF HEARTS … a loving female family member.
KING OF DIAMONDS … a wealthy male in a position of authority.
QUEEN OF DIAMONDS … a wealthy female in a position of authority.
KING OF CLUBS … a business man with sexual desire.
QUEEN OF CLUBS … a business woman with social desire.
KING OF SPADES … an ambitious male outsider who is arrogant and deceptive.
QUEEN OF SPADES … an ambitious female outsider who is cold and calculating.

Some other divines from a regular deck suggest that HEARTS represent WATER, DIAMONDS represent EARTH, CLUBS represent FIRE, and SPADES represent AIR.

Typically, the client will shuffle the deck as much as is satisfactory to the client and then the diviner offers three-card spreads.  From left to right those three-card spreads represent the past, present, and future.  These three-card spreads usually extend up to a nine-card grid, three cards in three rows.

Cartomancy is really another form of projective testing.  Projective tests, usually reserved for therapeutic settings, provide the client-participant with an ambiguous stimulus, which in turn reveals the underlying motivations and attitudes of those client-participants.  The most famous projective test is the Rorschach Inkblot (see my blog, INKSPOTS AND BLOGSPOTS: A BUSKOLOGIST PERSPECTIVE published March 20th, 2016).

A card diviner/reader/seer has the unique esemplastic ability to shape all of these singular cards distributed on the nine-card grid, into a whole and unified life projection (picture).  And so, too, does the client, under the guidance of the seer.  So when and if the KING or QUEEN OF SPADES shows up, look out! I think you get the picture.

A thumbnail sketch of my reading:   

I am intelligent and outgoing (which I’m sure was determined not by the cards, but by the phatic chat before my cards were dealt).  I am having difficulty with someone close; someone in my life is both greedy and angry; I am destined to travel; I need to immediately take the reins of my own sweet chariot.

That fellow on the run through the snow banks, still in his hospital vestments, was at the very least, in the throes of attempting to grapple with the reins of his own chariot.  In our social and work lives rarely do we get to deal our own cards, and once the cards are dealt, we have little option but to play the cards we’ve been dealt.  Most of us play our cards with the accords of social convention; whereas, there is always a statistical few who do not.  The number of people committing crime, for example, is a number that is static.  Playing a game of solitaire is not only lonely, it is delusional.  We primates of the human condition are featherless and gregarious creatures, loving the notion of community and social competition.  Not many among us prefer to be scriveners in dimly lit libraries or in the moonlit stairwells of lighthouses.  Not many among us want someone else to shuffle our playing cards or ... to mix the metaphor ... take over the reins of our chariots.

Meanwhile, back at the busking ranch …

As a projective test, the cards can certainly be energizing and enlightening for some, while being enervating and draining for others.  Human life is macedoine of struggle and success, and wherever we happen to be in either a struggle or success, we all been knocked about and knackered to get there.  Admittedly, cartomancy seems to better fit those for us who tend to be laissez-faire or libertine in attitude, each card a memento of what WE REALLY WANT TO DO.  No matter how many times we shuffle the deck, our cards will always read that we can do what WE REALLY WANT TO DO.  

We buskers most certainly fall into the catalogue of laissez-faire and/or the libertine catalogue of the human condition.  And because we can be catalogued as such ...  

Buskers are among those who have gripped the reins of their own chariots, with little regard for the optics of other social judges.

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