I like cards. My parents played pinochle and poker with their family and friends, their pots of coffee at hand and ashtrays piled high with cigarettes that clouded the room in smoke.
My mom’s best friend Rose (who I’m named for) always came to play. Aunt Rose devised the rules for what she called pauper poker — $5 limit and one last game to win something back if you lost it all the hand before. My aunt was a keen penny ante gambler — always small amounts bet and always with the fun in mind. I was ten the year she took me to the race track and I won a staggering $22.22 on a horse I chose for her because I liked the name and the fact it came in second the last time it ran. She said I was her luck charm. :) In Aunt Rose’s later years she found bingo and had a little bag of other luck charms to take along to the games.
I grew up in a neighborhood full of boys and very few girls (two), and there I learned how to play blackjack and poker with outrageous wildcard combinations. I still enjoy playing poker, though my husband teases me about wanting to play wildcard games. Now I ask you, what’s wrong with wildcards when you name them Ace-y Duce-y (aces and 2’s), boxcars (6’s), or puppy toes(the 3 of clubs)? In his neighborhood they played cutthroat poker, not a puppy toe among them.
Interesting thing about cards, people also use them to divine the future. My husband’s grandmother read fortunes off a deck of regular old playing cards exactly as though they were a Tarot deck. She told him a person with red hair was going to change his life. Now that’s an understatement!
Card reading is called Cartomancy or seeing with cards
In a previous post I mention that I have a friend who is an accomplished tarot card reader. One afternoon she read for me. I had no grand question in mind, but I asked if I’d publish my magnum opus that year (the MO is the as yet unnamed series I’ve been writing for 6 years now). The cards said no. I asked about publishing my children’s books. No. I asked about my historical youth novels. No. She said perhaps I’d publish a book I hadn’t written yet. I was knee-deep in the 5th book of the MO. In my mind, the only book I’d be writing next was book 6.
She read the cards again with that new question and they said yes. She then did a different spread that showed the passage of time and learned I’d be contracted with a publisher at the very end of the year, but not for anything I’d written up to that point. Like I said, I only saw book 6 in my future. Several months later, I had that synchronistic week that put me on this romance author’s path. In three days time I’d crafted an edgy novel designed to get noticed and submitted it. On December 29th, I received my contract. A true story and just plan odd.
When we think of fortunetelling we often go to the Hollywood version where Gypsies turn over the Hanged Man or Death cards and act like you’re doomed. But the history of tarot is much more interesting than that. The tarot, or tarocchi, tarock as it was once known, popped up in Europe in the mid-15th century. The decks themselves were symbols of the Renaissance, that cultural movement that sought to shake off an over-reaching and corrupt church and return to the philosophical glory of classical Greece and Rome. Hidden in the cards’ were references to the societal ideals of those times. Later, they became associated with esoteric groups like the Rosicrucians and Freemasons. And after that, the Victorian era, so steeped in romanticism, mysticism, occultism, spiritualism and seances, saw them become the classic tarot cards we recognize today.
Mind you, there are many styles out today and authors have dreamed up just as many interpretations –everything from angel decks to animal decks and more. Some have no similarities to the original decks and card meanings whatsoever.
The tarot deck has two types of cards in the deck called the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana. Arcana, in case you’ve never heard that word before, comes from the Latin Arcanum meaning things hidden. The 56 cards called the Minor Arcana are divided into four suits that correspond to conventional playing card suits of hearts, clubs, spades, and diamonds. Each tarot suit has fourteen cards consisting of four face cards and ten pip cards numbered from ace to ten. The Major Arcana consists of 22 cards rife with symbolism and allegory. Together they make up a 78 card deck. I’ve had a deck known as the Rider-Waite deck since I was a teen. The Rider-Waite was first published in 1910.
There are many ways to read tarot. Simple methods like drawing one card from the deck to complex spreads across a table. It’s as fun as reading tea leaves. :)
American Tarot Association
The cards and their meanings
Julie and I were involved in living history together. She’s an amazing artist who’s written several books on the subject as well as created incredibly striking tarot decks.
Tomorrow ~ More!
Here’s one for today:
Welmish (adjective 1688)
of a pale or sickly color
Today is guest author Nikki Lynn Barrett.
Only two interviews left on the RB4U. The thoughtful questions are a great way to get to know us. Commenting that day gives you a chance to win a collectable t-shirt. Come see!
The February contest has started on Romance Books ‘4’ Us and it’s all about Cupid. Find the little cherub hidden all across the site to win. This month’s contest will have 2 winners who’ll each receive a $50 gift card for Amazon/B&N, then split the remaining prizes (randomly chosen by RB4U). Be sure to check all our pages for news about authors and their books, publishers and their books, and industry representatives. http://www.romancebooks4us.com/
Several promotional opportunities for romance authors can be found on my Exquisite Quills group blogs. Meet the founding authors and our guests.
Exquisite Quills Yahoo Group
Wash Line Monday ~ share your descriptions of clothing in your novel.
Tickle Us Tuesday ~ Share fun and funny snippets from your novel.
First Kiss Wednesday ~ share your best 300 word kiss.
Set the Scene in Six~ share your backdrop or lead-up on Sundays.
The Genesis of a Book ~ share the spark that ignited your novel
Author Interviews ~ We’re booking late spring now.
Today’s author: Christa Jeanne
A new place for your old stars to shine :D
Love Waits in Unexpected Places – Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories
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