Trumped Up Life

Seems the Truth-Seeker might need a break (or time out!) After the fear spread, Eris suggested it might need a good smudging and a Nag to its Champa. I don’t have sage, but I do have sunshine, so I let the cards get a tan and blow the stink off. After all, a lack of vitamin D gets everyone down this time of year. I think it might be a little sulky because I put it in a box with the other decks. It has grown used to being out on the table since I first got it, but I thought it might like a nap in the dark with the rest of them. Apparently I was wrong. I tried to do a reading on The Star as my fear and got all repeating cards! Decks are funny people ;)


A Tarot Timeline is something I saw… somewhere in the mires of the internet. The concept is that you assign the 22 trumps to major events in your lifetime. I thought this would be a fun little exercise to kill an hour, but it was really difficult to find events or moments to represent the trumps. I had to really reach and take some things literally, rather than work with the symbols and archetypes. It forced me examine and define my life from a new point of view and, in light of this, an overarching theme became clear: My life has been typified by Tower after Tower after Tower in its most ruinous of forms. But seeing as there’s only 1 Tower to be had…

Chariot: Birth. I am Cancerian and from the stories I’ve been told of my attitude from birth, I came in to life with the wheels already spinning. My attitude was… definite.

Temperance: Early childhood. Balance, peace, equilibrium. Raised equally (to my mind) by my parents and grandparents (who I adore) with just the right amount of freedom and just the right amount of structure. I have very few unhappy memories of my childhood and none of them have anything to do with my family life. All I remember is everything being just as it should be.

Hanged Man: Age 2.75 My mother goes into labour with my brother. My father being out of town, I go to stay with my grandparents. I choke on juice while drinking it lying down (despite being told, multiple times, not to do so. Oh, headstrong Charioteer). My grandmother holds me upside down and shakes me a little to clear my airway. The old methods work best!

Tower: Age 5.75 My father is transferred to another branch by the company he works for. Another branch on the other side of the country. Transposed from my home and grandparents, friends and places I loved, my world fell to pieces. I reacted appropriately and fell to pieces as well. This was the beginning of my lifelong battle with chronic depression.

High Priestess: School years. I love learning! Being able to read my own books… oh! All that hidden knowledge, mine. I devoured anything and everything I could get my hands on. My teachers noticed and encouraged me, allowing me extra freedom to explore and express my creativity in peace and quiet.

Justice Rx: 13th birthday. Driving from the airport to my grandparents house, we are in a car accident. The car rolls several times, my brother and I are unharmed, my mother’s spine is fractured. She spends 8 weeks supine in a hospital bed, 1,400km away from us. The judge – with a history of drunk-driving – who caused the accident, suffers no repercussions.

Emperor: High School. A new environment, a totally new world. When old friends turn on me, I learn to harness the power of carefully applied wit and words to destroy, even as I am destroyed. I become a ruler, respected and accepted.

Wheel of Fortune: 1993. The triumph and devastation of first love; every day brings new heights of emotion. The good days are very, very, oh so good. The bad days are the blackest ever. But the wheel turns. And turns again.

World: 1994. I connect to the internet for the first time and suddenly, a whole new world is at my disposal. The High Priestess rejoices (in private)!

Lovers: 1995. In deciding which future to pursue, I am forced to choose between what I really want and what is possible. It is not much of a choice and leads to the inevitable string of failed “marriages”.

Fool: 1996. Leaving home to pursue my dream of studying costume and art, I collapse under the pressure of a very heavy course-load and malnutrition (due to poverty and undiagnosed immune disorder) after 4 short months. I was a fool to think I could survive away from the safety of my family.

Strength: 1996. A childhood friend dies, my dreams come crashing down around me, my self esteem is further ground down and I crush the beast that stirs within. A friendship is strengthened by a shared experience, bellydancing saves my spirit, somehow my body survives as well.

Fool: 1997. I leave home to to go to college again, to pursue my dream again, only to fail again. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

Magician: 1999. My body is transformed and a lifelong wish is fulfilled by the addition of a tattoo. It is a magical, mystical and spiritual experience.

Moon: 1999. Moonstruck in my first real relationship, I lie to myself for as long as I can. We barely ever see daylight. The entire experience is based in illusion and dreams, but eventually I crawl out of the swamp, though the beast that lurks within drags me back in a number of times.

Sun: 2000. I emerge from the bad relationship with a stronger sense of self, knowing what I do and don’t want from a partner and at long last believing that I am desirable.

Death: 2001. Immigration and marriage. The end of one life and the beginning of another!

Hierophant: Working in Canada is a very different experience. There is an emphasis on tradition, doing things by the book and pieces of paper that say you’re qualified. Despite my intelligence, proven work history, skills set and multiple capabilities, I am relegated to permanent “altar boy” status. I wither and die.

Star: 2005. The discovery of celiac disease delivers hope for an end to the constant struggle with unknown health problems for both my husband and I.

Empress: 2006. 2 days before her 55th birthday, my mother is diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer. My maternal grandfather passes away 5 days later. I am reunited with my family for the first time in 4.5 years.

Devil: 2007. The year of facing – and facing down – my depression.

Judgement: I quit the job that nearly destroyed me, leaving the abusive work environment to start something completely new. After several years floundering in limbo, it is good to wake up.

Hermit: Right here, right now. I have withdrawn, simplified, followed my inner guide even while others cannot understand. Only in the dark, can things come to light.

I could have substituted the Tower for most of the things I wrote above, for the impact they had on me. Is it due to my watery nature? That every change is a CHANGE? Why I feel such a lack of kinship with earth, which has let me down so often? The water is never destroyed, but its course is forever altered. And it makes me so sad. That I have experienced such upheaval in one form or another, constantly, it’s no wonder that I feel such loss and fear. How can I ever be expected to relax and be happy when I keep waiting for this, too, to collapse? To be happy… have I ever been unreservedly happy?

Which brings me to another important point: I didn’t think I would live to 21 and definitely not to 25. But I did. And beyond it. And I feel like I’m past my expiry date; I have no direction, no plan. I don’t know what to do with the years I’ve presumably still got ahead of me. I tried to explain this to someone who was supposed to help me figure things out and they told me it was a delusion, something I’ve convinced myself to believe as an excuse. Betrayed, again. But it’s not; I’ve always felt this way, long before I had need for complex falsehoods to fortify my faulty (Fawlty??) tower.

What do you do when you’re a stranger in your own life?


3 thoughts on “Trumped Up Life

  1. erishilton says:

    The elemental connection to the Tower got me to thinking… I think of the tower image on the Spiral deck as it crashes into the sea. I wonder if you bear the burden of being so deeply connected to air and water? It’s hard to feel grounded, to rest when you’re always moving, or soaring in some direction or another. The wind keeps blowing, and the seas are never quite as calm as they should be. It’s more than just metaphorical…

    Of course I don’t have the answers, but the tarot just might. Water is a pain the ass, whether it’s too much or not enough.


  2. submerina says:

    Iceclone, I don’t know about the Katalin, but the cards are very provocative. I guess you know that the whole deck is viewable on albideuter?

    Ms. H, that is an EXCELLENT observation. Wow. I never thought of the Tower connection, even though I recognise the wind+water=turmoil thing. And I wonder if I don’t feel somehow “betrayed” by earth as well, because it’s never been there to support me? As I’ve been working on birth cards etc. this week, and the Chariot (7) is my astrological card – could the Tower (1+6) be my astrological shadow? Hmm.


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