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Don’t Shoot the Messenger!

Oh crap, the Tower!!!



The other day before I did a reading for someone on shindigtarot.com, the client said, “Not the Tower, not the Tower!” It is almost the tarot version of “No Whammies! No Whammies!” Poor Tower Card. I think that might be the only time you will ever hear anyone, anywhere, say that.

It made me think about those misunderstood “big baddy” cards that no one wants to get. You know the usual suspects. I’ll put them in the order of what I think are the biggest and baddiest (your list may include the same cards, more of them, and/or less):


  • Death (“Does this mean I’m going to DIE?!”)
  • The Devil (“I’m possessed?!”)
  • The Tower (“Oh my, that doesn’t look good at all…”)
  • 10 of Swords (the resolution of a very volatile situation… maybe)
  • 9 of Swords (what I like to call the nightmares card)
Of course we all have had some experiences in readings of cards that we, personally, don’t want to see. Perhaps a certain card that is the significator of an ex popping up in a reading, giving us a warning that sometime soon he would come a’knocking back at our door. Perhaps you had a reading that stuck with you in a bad way, and seeing one of the cards from that reading takes you back to that time and that bad memory. Whatever the reason, what is it about these cards that make them into the boogiemen of the tarot?

I would say, a) misconceptions, and b) no one likes to hear difficult news. Simple answers, yes, but let’s keep in mind the title of this post. I’m not talking about me being “shot” as the messenger, just by being a tarot reader. The messengers in question are those self-same big baddy cards.

Donnaleigh (http://donnaleigh.net/) tweeted a quotation that really hit this idea home with me. The quotation was, roughly, “Nothing is good nor bad. It just is.” Again, a simple idea. But I have found lately that “keeping it simple, stupid” is increasingly harder to do in an ever-more-complicated world, but so necessary.

So the next time the Tower comes up in a reading, I’m not saying to welcome it with open arms. But don’t blame the Tower for the destruction it’s telling you is happening (which will consequently lead to the building of a strong foundation after the dust has settled). Accept the message the Tower carries with it, but do not let the Tower become that message forever.

7 Responses to Don’t Shoot the Messenger!

  1. Barbara says:

    Excellent post.

    This reminds me of the Shakespeare quote: "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."

    This quote is one I think of as well when considering the Swords. They are traditionally said to represent challenges…but many times things are challenges because of the way we think!

    Also, you might be interested in my post on the "dark cards" and the greater role these experiences play in our healing and growth.
    http://practicaltarotreadings.com/810/the-dark-side-of-tarot/

    See ya later!
    Barbara

  2. Lorraine says:

    Ah, that brings back fond memories of my very first tarot reading. The Tower popped right up there. And I still came back for more. That's what I call not shooting the messenger.

    Cheers,
    Lorraine

  3. Hilary says:

    Barbara: I believe the Shakespeare quote was the one that Donnaleigh posted!

    Yes, those poor Swords. Challenges yes, but damnit, they're Swords… I usually take Swords as a sign to cut through those challenges!

    Lorraine: I had forgotten you had got the Tower in your first reading (remember, I usually don't retain info about a person's reading as the info isn't for me)… glad the oogie boogie Tower didn't scare you off from tarot readings! 🙂

  4. George Courtney says:

    Yeah those are the people's least favorite. I think especially when they reoccur when you get several readings over time. I have had the happen, eh, I guess its a blinking caution sign lol! But there cannot be creation without destruction, reminds me of Pluto transits. Those are not fun, the stories the stories. . .

  5. Hilary says:

    George: Reoccurring cards happen when you're not getting the message. An example of this is I read for someone who constantly asked about love… when her true love would come into her life, what would he look like, how she could identify him once he was in her life, etc. The cards wouldn't answer the question, focusing more on how she should be turning inward and how a man wouldn't ultimately make her happy. When the third reading in a row had the exact same cards fall in the exact same positions (not kidding, even after shuffling vigorously) I finally had to yell at her, "If you don't change the pattern in your life, why the hell do you think the cards will change?"

  6. […] Hilarites know that negative situations are either changeable or likely able to be mitigated. So, you should never fear a tarot reading nor the tarot reader. The cards (and the reader) are just trying to help. Even if big baddie cards come out. […]

  7. […] the mindset of “forewarned is forearmed.” [I speak more about this when I’ve talked about the Tower card and other “big baddy” cards of the tarot… don’t shoot the messenger, after all: pay attention to the […]

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