BRUEGEL TAROT: VIII Justice

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It’s The Little Things… 

There’s a fine line between justice and revenge, thought Christine, and what I’ve done is justice. But, was it? At least it was justified. However, somewhere deep down a little voice told her it had been revenge. 

It all started a two years ago when Christine met Rowan at a class she was taking. He’d shown up, out of the blue and with a wink and a smile had won her over. Well, it hadn’t been that simple, but Christine was not wrong in claiming he had started it. 

He flirted first, asked for her number, called her, invited her for coffee, drinks, dinner. Soon they were going to the movies, to concerts, to restaurants, day trips, nights out. They were always together, or else they’d be phoning, chatting and emailing. 

Rowan was charming and amiable. He was also good-looking and smart. He was everything a girl could want, and without knowing when or how, Christine fell head over heels for him. 

Except, he wasn’t interested. At least not in that way, he said, let’s just be friends, he said.  But the flirting didn’t stop. Nor did the constant contact. Christine would cry herself to sleep wondering why he wasn’t interested in her, what was wrong with her. 

Before she knew it, Rowan, unwittingly, answered all her secret questions. He would look at women, totally different in appearance to her, and say they were beautiful, but never Christine. No matter how hard she tried to look her best, she never got a compliment. Well, not a verbal compliment, because in behavior, Rowan acted like she was Aphrodite, Goddess of Beauty and Queen of Hearts. He would stand so near her that she would feel the warmth emanating from his body. He would look at her with eyes that said, “I see only you” and he would smile at her like she was the most radiant thing in the world. But in words, Rowan always retracted. His closeness would be contradicted by his hand on her shoulder, slowly pushing her away. His gaze would be followed by words like fat, ugly, pimply, casually thrown into conversation meant to sting, but assuring Christine that he wasn’t talking about her, or was he? The smile, Christine soon found out, was the worst. Hurtful comments like “you’re so weird,” “you’re so pushy, it’s creepy,” “gosh what a nerd,” would come wrapped in its treacherous warmth. They pained Christine to the bone. No one had ever said anything like that to her before. She should’ve walked away, but he wouldn’t let her. He still called, and emailed, and even showed up unexpected. 

I should’ve just run, Christine thought for the millionth time. But she hadn’t. Instead, she’d held on to the hope he might one day change his mind. 

When he spoke for the first time about a girl he was seeing, Christine almost died. She cried for hours. Every time he spoke of Lucy, it stung Christine so deep down that her soul hurt. So she came clean, and told Rowan how she felt about him, and that if he still wanted to be friends he’d need to leave her alone. She wouldn’t contact him, she said, and she would appreciate it if he didn’t either. Rowan agreed. 

For one marvelous week Christine felt herself liberated of his presence. She still cried and looked at herself in the mirror wondering what was wrong with her, but Rowan wasn’t there to sting her with honeyed gestures, and she felt herself beginning to heal. 

But Rowan wasn’t about to let go so easily. He called her the week after saying he missed her, and the week after that, until Christine, heart on her sleeve, told him she would never speak to him again, she never wanted to see him again. 

And so it was for almost a year, until one day, she saw Rowan walking down the street. He was walking towards her. Christine lifted her coat collar and hid her face with her hair and sunglasses as he approached. There was a discarded piece of cable on the pavement. She gingerly and discreetly kicked it his way. It tangled between his feet and Rowan fell flat on his face. 

“Timber!” Christine mumbled to herself and kept walking as if nothing had happened, smirking with satisfaction. 

ALEISTER CROWLEY THOTH TAROT DECK: VIII of Swords, Adjustment

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Adjustment

‘Adjustment’ was the only word Kendra could come up with to describe the last month of her life. In just four weeks she’d had to adjust to the radical changes that had occurred in such a short time. Most people did not experience so much in their lifetime. 

It all started when Kendra was forced to make the most harrowing decision of her life: keep the baby, or let it go.

John and Kendra had been trying for children for years, and finally, the dream had come true, and for five wonderful months everything went swimmingly. Then came that day, that appointment when the doctor said there were complications and enumerated a list of genetic conditions Kendra couldn’t spell, let alone pronounce.

“Kendra,” the doctor spoke softly, “if you carry this baby to term your lives are in danger. Should we lose you and it survive, the baby’s life will be difficult, and painful, and it probably won’t live much longer than you. Should we lose the baby and you survive, you probably won’t be able to have another child. Ideally, you could both live, but the chances are very slim. If so, adjustments would have to be made in your life, and in your home.”

Kendra looked into the doctor’s eyes, she knew where this was going, and she sought some alternative, or enlightenment in the doctor’s gaze, but all she saw was the despair of a mother losing a child, of a mother choosing to lose a child. Kendra saw the doctor’s eyes water, as she blinked back tears, kept a straight face and sighed. 

“You’re saying I should let it go?” 

“I’m saying that is an option available to you, neither I, nor anyone else will judge you for it. This is the most difficult decision of your life, believe me, I loved someone who was once faced with it too.”

“Who?” 

“My daughter, she chose to keep the baby and in the end, we lost both.”

Kendra looked down at her hands, palm up on her lap. They were empty. There was nothing, but the big fat teardrops that plunked on them. She even thought she heard the sound they made as they splashed against her palm, like a storm pounding on rocks. 

“You don’t have to decide right now,” the doctor told her, and Kendra nodded, folded her hands and set them against her protruding belly. 

“Do you know the sex?”

“She’s a girl.”

Kendra spent many moments with her eyes closed, asking for clarity, praying for guidance. Once, she raised her eyes to the moonless, yet starry night and saw Andromeda. She who was sacrificed, though saved by Perseus. Kendra covered her face with her hands and cried, praying for help. She was on her knees when the pain ripped through her. 

Kendra didn’t need to choose. The baby left on its own.

There was a funeral, and a service. Everyone rallied around her, her parents, her sister, her friends. All of them understood, no one judged. All but John, only he judged, and his judgement was severe. 

Andromeda was still in the sky above her when John left. The moon, whose light she had missed the night the universe decided for her, was full when Kendra was forced to move out of her home and back in with her parents, so that the house could be sold per the divorce. 

The moon was absent again when she started her new job. Kendra had never worked before, John had been the sole provider, but now, she had to look after herself. Kendra was more alone than ever. She was surrounded by people who loved her, but she felt there was one person missing. One love that was lost. And it wasn’t John. 

Kendra looked around the cafeteria and took stock of her life. She wasn’t happy, but she wasn’t sad. Nor was she angry. It was Death that had taken that life, not Kendra. To her surprise, she often found solace and comfort in the cheerfulness of others. Her job filled her with purpose and satisfaction. Her parents had welcomed her with open arms and still smiled when she came home. She saw her sister every day, and they had more fun now, than they’d ever had before. 

“I’ve adjusted,” Kendra sighed as she put away her lunch. She’d gotten into the habit of putting her palm on her belly whenever she felt like giving thanks. It kept her from breaking into a million tragic pieces. She gave thanks for her meal, her job, her life and most importantly, for the strength to adjust. She stayed like that for a moment; long enough for Peter to ask if she was leaving. 

Kendra looked into his eyes and, for the first time in a long time, smiled so bright that Peter couldn’t take his eyes off her. He sought her, asked her out and before she knew it, Kendra was happy again. 

Andromeda had returned when Kendra went into labor. Peter, her husband held her hand and kissed her as they welcomed their perfect little girl into the world. 

THE GODDESS TAROT: Ace of Cups

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Moon, Moon

The moon rose full in the sky. The waves splashed against the rocks on the beach. Lara sat on her porch, the soft light from the gas lantern framing the doorway. Everywhere else there was darkness and moonlight. The moon shone on the water in broken patterns of light on the waves. She could barely distinguish the soft foam on the sand. 

“Moon, Moon,” Lara said softly, “will he return tonight?”

But the moon only glistened on the waves, and no matter how hard Lara tried, she could not see the horizon. The water was much too dark. 

Lara closed her eyes and listened. She listened for the sound of creaking wood, of a flapping sail, of a rocking ship, but all she heard was the sound of waves breaking on the beach, their soft rolling rattle as they drew back, only to break again. 

Lara wiped away the two tears she allowed to trickle down her cheek. She was certain that tonight was the night, she had felt it as the sun set the ocean alight and gave way to the cold white moon. 

“Tonight was a beginning, Moon, I felt it,” she whispered, face turned upward, “won’t you tell me what will begin?”

She listened to the lapping of the waves. 

Lara stood up with a sigh, took the lantern and went inside. The door creaked shut. If only she had heeded the Moon as its arms of light reached out to her through the window. If only she had stopped for a moment to listen, she might have heard the soft fluttering of a sail, and the far away cry of a weary sailor.