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In The Cards

Tarot readings will not tell you exactly when you are going to meet your soul mate.

If you meet a Tarot reader who tries to sell you on the concept that the cards will tell you or that they are negative and you must come back for more advice is part of the smoke and mirrors that makes true Tarot readers, like Jackie Major here in Portland, cringe a little bit.

As I walked into Others! coffee shop I had but one mission in mind.  To ask the Tarot cards if I was going to fall in love in the next year.  With someone who would love me back.  And create a healthy relationship with me.  And be easy on the eyes.  And love bacon as much as me.  I have heard how this Tarot/Universe thing works.  If you are not totally specific in your question it will backfire on you.

Like if I ask “Will I fall in love in the next year” it might say that “Yes, you will.”

It does not mention, however, that he is not going to love me back.

Bastard.

Jackie and I sat down at the table, and before we began the reading she told me a little about herself and how she reads Tarot.  Jackie has been a Professional Clairvoyant and Tarot Reader for over 20 years.  Which was awesome, because I am not going to put the outcome of my future love life in just anyone’s hands?  Most importantly, she explained the way she reads Tarot.

First of all, she doesn’t ask a lot of questions or get information from her subjects right off.  So none of that “I’m seeing a family member who has crossed over with the initial M.  Do you know any family members with an M in their name?”  She merely lays out the spread (her own variation based on a few different ones she has used in the past) and interprets the cards as they fall.

Jackie doesn’t believe that what the cards say will absolutely be your destiny or fate.  “The future can only represent your potential,” Jackie told me.  “But humans possess free-will.  It is up to you to self-empower and create the reality you want.”

I like this chick, I really do.

Now that I’ve told you all the details and how-to of my Tarot reading*, I know you are dying to know what it said.  Remember, we went through the whole reading with her just telling me things, and then me interpreting and clarifying afterwards.

So here goes:

Tarot Reading by Jackie Major at Others! Coffee Shop

(Click here for full size image)

The Spread/Throw Explanation

The first two cards thrown illustrate Your Interior Life: What Is Going On Within You (What You Are Healing.)   They include a Focus card and a Desire card.

The next two cards illustrate Your External Life: People & Situations Around You.  They include an Unexpected card and an Others card.

The next three cards illustrate your Default Energy.  The more you resist these cards, the more they will persist in your life.  They include a Special Guidance Card, a Best Course of Action Card and a Probably Outcome card.

The final card in a standard reading is your Key Card: Use this to amplify or clarify the meaning of any of the cards.

My Very Personalized Tarot Reading*

My first two cards thrown were Participation (Focus Card) and The Burden (Desire Card) – Meaning I have a deep desire to be included and “participate” in things, but that I also find it a lot of work to be open enough with others to let that happen.  Her exact phrase, something I’ve talked to friends a lot about recently, was “Being intellectual can be very isolating.”

Creepy how the Tarot picked up on recent conversations.  Creepy creepy creepy.

The next two cards thrown were Abundance (Unexpected Card) and Going With The Flow (Others Card) – Meaning that I have an abundance of people (like I’ve never had before) rushing in to accept me for who I am.  It is with them that I am going to learn to embrace and live in my emotions, not just facts and details.

Seriously…has this woman been tapping my cell phone and email?

The next three cards were The Hermit/Aloneness (Special Guidance Card), Moment To Moment (Best Course of Action), and No-Thingness/High Priest (Probably Outcome) – Meaning that I don’t need a lantern or some external source to figure out what I want.  I already know.  So I should stay the current course and let things unfold naturally. I should not focus on what I don’t want but instead what I do.  And finally I need to find some spirituality or deeper meaning in my life.  “Religion is the politics of God, spirituality is the manifestation” Jackie told me.

Ok, kind of ambiguous but pretty on point.  I’m curious if I’m projecting it to be on point or if it really is.  Darn analytical mind…

The final card was The Outsider (Key Card) – Meaning that I’ve generally felt unaccepted or like I didn’t quite fit in for most of my life.  I’ve always felt value and comfort being outside the box and looking in, but I need to remember that locked does not always mean locked.  Sometimes we need to allow ourselves ways to facilitate what we want to happen.

My Clarifications

I explained to Jackie my question coming in and what answer I was seeking.   Based on this new information she was able to provide me insight on what the future could hold (all those fantastic cards over to the right like Traveling and Friendliness and Breakthrough and Courage.)

The Reading Outcome

The chance of my love life changing sooner rather than later seems to be a good possibility.  Mostly because I have created that space in my own life.  Jackie was even able to help me pin down what kind of companion I am looking for, based on my energy in the cards and my clarifications.

Basically, if you are a world traveler who is multi-dimensional (an intellectually stimulating individual I can talk to for hours; emotionally open and will challenge me to be the same because you accept my quirks and outsider-ness as adorable traits not annoyances; physically adventurous and playful because I can get bored very easily but am very affectionate once I cross a certain threshold; and as spiritually curious as I am) then we should probably chat.

A lot.

Over coffee.

Seriously.

* Jackie uses the Osho-Zen Tarot Deck, which is not a traditional Rider-Waite type deck.  The names of many of the cards are changed, but have a correlation to the original Tarot deck.

The Sweetest Thing

Did you know that the Third Saturday of October is officially Sweetest Day.

I know, I’m a bit skeptical, too.

As I set out to investigate what seemed to be yet another day for people to celebrate their sweetie (aka another day for card makers, florists and candy companies to make out like bandits) I was pleasantly surprised and disheartened all at once.

The holiday absolutely started as a way for one of these industries to make a killing.

Yes, for those AP English folks out there the Sweetest Day was originally created in 1922 by the candy confectioners of Cleveland.  I’ll admit, I’m immediately biased if there is chocolate involved.  But at the same time, as a single girl who also has lots of guy friends, I find it more than insulting that there appears to be some sort of Valentine’s-Lite that we have to take into account now.


Photo Credit: Getty Images – Roger Charity

First piece of good news with this holiday, it is mostly celebrated in the Great Lakes Regions and parts of the Northeast US, so if you don’t live in any of those places then you are safe from the holiday.

The second piece is the spirit with which the holiday was created.  I mean sure, if you want to JUST look at the fact that it was candy companies looking to make money, then yes it does seem like a pretty lame holiday.  But the holiday was supposed to be a day to offer gifts of chocolate and red vines to orphans, shut-ins, and those otherwise forgotten.

What good does a roll of Smarties do for someone who is “otherwise forgotten” in the world, right?

Well, in my experience a kind and sincere gesture to those who are outside the box of love and affection appreciate such small gestures immensely.  But we should not remember such folks only on the third Saturday of October.  And maybe, they’d like something more than a card, truffle or carnation.

Or maybe that would be just what they’d need.

I personally spent the Sweetest Day this year having Early Thanksgiving, hosted by a couple of friends are probably some of the most legitimately sweet people I know.

Cause single folks…that’s right around the corner…Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, holidays.

Grrr…I take it back.  Damn the holidays!

But make sure to spread the love and happiness of them.  Cause that’s more important than any present we could ever give or receive.

Sleeping With The Enemy

I frequently worry about inevitably sleeping with someone.

No no…not THAT kind of “sleeping” with someone.  Jeez…

The actual, fall asleep together in a bed for a full 8 hours, wake up in the morning fully rested and go about your day sleeping with someone.

My concern isn’t so much about the level of commitment that involves.  I mean, I know it will probably mean getting beyond a second date with someone.  In the past six months I’ve actually gotten better about that whole commitment thing.

My concern lies in the fact that after ten or so years of having a big old bed to myself, I’ve developed some…habits…that I’m pretty sure will be hard to break.  Especially in an unconscious state.

Abuse the Snooze – I’ve been known to sleep THROUGH my alarm clock buzzing frantically less than a foot away from my face.  I can also hit the snooze button approximately 1 zillion times.  The greatest accomplishment of this particular skill is that I can do it in my sleep.  I feel that someone who is not waking up at that same time will probably get annoyed with that after awhile.

Over Covers Overload – In the winter, I have been known to sleep with a microfiber sheet, a wool army blanket, a fleece throw, an electric blanket and a down comforter.  And full pajamas.  I don’t like to be cold when I sleep, what can I say?!  In the summer it’s a sheet and the down comforter.  Someone told me it’s the weight of the covers that I’m probably drawn to.  Regardless, I doubt that a bed-mate is going to be comfortable.

Speaking of covers…

Did I go to war last night?
Photo Credit: Getty Images – Amy DiLorenzo

Sleep Marathons – I run marathons in my sleep.  Or fight double agent spies.  Or wrestle greased pigs.  Whatever it is I dream about, it’s manifestation is a complete Armageddon of the aforementioned 100 layers of sheets.  I kick up the sheets so they are no longer hospital bed folded at the foot of my platform bed.  Somehow the wool blanket ends up hanging out of the bed while all the other over covers are still in place.  I have even managed to pull up the fitted sheet.  Sleeping with me is a dangerous sport.

No Yellow Line – Remember when you shared a room with someone, and got in a big fight, and wanted to draw a big yellow line down the middle of the room so everyone stayed on their side.  Well, I’m not sure how that will work for me since I have grown accustomed to sleeping in the veritable center of my mattress and then sprawling out.  In fact, I usually sleep in a modified tree pose, and I realize how odd that is.

I could talk about the drooling in my sleep thing too, but some things are just better left relatively unsaid.

Do you have any bedtime habits that you need to adjust or have adjusted for a regular bed-mate?

Are You Tongue-Tied Around The Opposite Sex?

It’s no secret that for most single people, the thing that stands most in the way of dating and relationships stares back at you in the mirror each and every day.

I talked last week about meeting up with someone I talked to for hours, but just not being able to make the next step happen.  And I can’t forget my own follies in walking the walk when approaching a member of the opposite sex that I thought was kind of dreamy.  I decided some serious and professional action was necessary.  So I set up an appointment with Rachel Flehinger.

Most people know Rachel from her brassy awesomeness as one of The Snug’s best bartenders, others know her hilarious hijinks from her improv comedy troupe Running With Scissors.  What people DON’T know, however, is that right here in Portland we have the white girl version of Hitch.  Yes, Rachel is a confidence and self-image coach.  And she’ll help you figure out the crazy interpersonal world of dating along the way.

I’ll totally give away the spoiler of THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF INFORMATION Rachel gave me during our conversation at the very beginning.  Ready?  This one is earth shattering. Wait for it…

SMILE MORE.


Photo Credit: Flickr – Kelly Bowden

Rachel explained to me that muscles hold memory, so by smiling more your muscles are going to relax, thus causing you to relax.  The muscles “remember” the good feelings associated with smiling and will make the experience much more enjoyable for you.  Plus, when the object of your affection sees you smiling they are going to smile back, and as Rachel says “Pretty soon you are smiling like idiots at each other.”

Obviously there’s got to be more to this human interpersonal talking-to-each-other-and-maybe-getting-a-date-out-of-it situation, right?

Well, every situation is different for every person. Rachel suggests the next piece to the puzzle is Lowering The Stakes.  We put so much “on the line’ when we are trying to ask someone out, like it’s all or nothing.  Instead consider you just want to get to know someone.  A first date does not necessarily a relationship make.  And, as she puts it, “Nothing is more awkward than trying to be romantic or flirting when you feel awkward.”

The next time you are with a person and having a great time, it’s as simple as saying “This is really a lot of fun.  We should do it again some time.”  A lot of the time people will ignore their instincts, and never bring such a thing up.  That seems innocent enough.  And remember, smile while you are doing it!

But with something so casual, isn’t it easy to end up in the dreaded Friend Zone.  “The Friend Zone is a disease you contract, it’s chronic,” explains Rachel.  “The only thing you can do is preventative care to make sure you DON’T end up there.  You need to make sure you take your communication vitamins beforehand.”  Some of the ways Rachel suggests that you do this are:

  • Compliment Them – Some something that someone who is romantically interested in a person would say.  “You’re looking very pretty/handsome today.”
  • Don’t Make Jokes Out of Awkward Situations – Being uncomfortable is your problem, not their problem.  If something is awkward, just smile and let the awkwardness pass.  (See, here we are with that smiling thing again!)
  • Set Realistic Goals For Yourself – Push yourself JUST A SMIDGE outside your comfort zone, to a level of flirtation you are comfortable with.
  • Trust That You Are Likeable – You don’t need to “figure yourself out.”  Just be honest with yourself, which is a pretty good rule of thumb for life in general.

There is about 100 tons more information and “secrets” Rachel shared with me so I encourage you to check out Rachel’s website: www.yourinneraction.com for more details on her coaching and acting services, and learn how to “live the potential” of the person you want to be.

Seriously, the woman is pretty darn good at this dating doctor thing, it’s worth a consult.

Her final thought to me was a quote that she had heard awhile back and loved: “If you do what you always did, you will get what you always got.”

In other words, if something isn’t working, change it.

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

Ever meet one of those people that you can talk to for hours and still want to chatter away more?

Well, then, welcome to the end of my Summer of 2010.

It was a summer party, backyard BBQ of sorts.  Hanging out, super chill, walking around laughing and checking the score of the Sox game.  Everyone I knew, either by my own friendships or through stories of their shenanigans.  My friends are very big on the shenanigan scene.

But this one particular individual, I hadn’t even heard of until about four days before the party when he was casually introduced in conversation.

Yet when I met him, it was like I had known him for years as closely as our (apparent) mutual friends did.  For the next 4 hours we talked, pausing only to chat with other people at the party (because it’s rude to spend your entire time enthralled with someone else when you are supposed to be being social with other people.)

We talked about where we grew up, schooling, current jobs, fascination with sports and athletes, music, travel, ambitions, life in general….shall I go on?  It’s one of those scenes you see in movies that never happen in real life.

The connection was immediate.

Or so I thought.

He loves me he loves me not
Photo Credit: Getty Images – Jenni Holma

I don’t know if it was a case of falling hopelessly in like with the entire idea of how the situation would manifest.  Or maybe thinking for a moment that movie scenes really *do* play out in real life.

Regardless, the mutual infatuation subsided nearly as quickly as it began.  Sure, there was the occasional Facebook interaction or mention in passing to the mutual friends.  But there was nothing indicating that the like was reciprocated in any other manner than an afternoon of completely engaged conversation and great company.

And that’s one of the most FRUSTRATING parts of this whole stupid dating game!  Liking someone, wondering if they like you back, putting it out there a little, getting it returned, going in a little more, they’re still on board, finally adjusting your mind to the fact “Hey, I actually rather like this character” and then radio silence.

It’s like you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t.  Even though inside you have come to terms with your like and you want to just scream it at the top of your lungs for everyone to hear.

Or you just have to wait patiently until you find the person who has those same feelings back for you and it will all work out and blah blah blah.

Sorry, but at least in this current moment, I’m totally not buying it.

How do you handle a new crush on the object of your affection?  Do you lay all your cards right out on the table or do you carefully play your hand?  Which seems better?