I have a few Tarot decks, and the one I’ve been reading with most often is the Witches Tarot. It’s a solid deck, but it uses Wands/Fire and Swords/Air and the court cards are special cases in a few respects, which I have to remember to keep track of. I have a Rider-Waite deck that I learned on, working through Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom by Rachel Pollack, but I let my kids check out my decks at some point. Long story short, I lost four cards from my Rider-Waite deck and couldn’t read with it anymore. (Well, I suppose I could have, but the idea of reading from a deck with missing cards bugged me.) In October 2014, I made a note of what cards were missing, I stashed the rest of the deck in a safe spot, and that was that. Periodically I looked through the kids’ toys or anywhere else the cards might be, but they never turned up. And I considered re-buying the deck, but I’d worked with this deck. I didn’t want a new deck, I wanted my cards back.
I was thinking about this last night, listening to the Lucky Mojo Hoodoo Rootwork Hour podcast from December 6, where cat yronwode read for a client on air from a Rider-Waite deck and described what was on each card. Even though it had been a while since I’d read from this deck, I could see the cards clearly in my mind as she described them. The VI of Wands came up twice, I remember, because I thought it was remarkable for the same card to show up in readings done by two different readers (cat and Madame Nadia) for the same client’s question.
The second part of this story is that I have a hate-hate relationship with opening mail and filing important papers. It triggers an “I can’t deal with this right now” anxiety thing. I chuck mail and papers in a box to deal with later. Months and years pass, until this bullshit hits a critical mass and, in this case, papers spill everywhere and threaten to take over my office (when they’re supposed to be relegated to a small file cabinet in a back corner). Today I hit that point and hauled all the boxes and papers out, put on some music, and enlisted the fam to help me open envelopes and sort through things.
In one of those dusty boxes, Matt found a jack-o-lantern cookie tin Margaret once kept special things in. And in that tin, there was a stack of Tarot cards from the two decks I let her play with back in 2014… and my four missing Rider-Waite cards: VI of Wands, Page of Cups, X of Pentacles, Knight of Pentacles. We’d never have found them if I hadn’t hauled all that crap out of the office to finally straighten up the room.
I knew the four cards had to be the same ones I was missing, because I don’t have two Rider-Waite decks, but I checked my note anyway (curious about the date): VI of Wands, Page of Cups, X of Pentacles, Knight of Pentacles. Same order.
So thank you, Universe, for the impetus to get my witch on last night, to listen to that podcast, and to tear up the office today. Thank you for sending my four cards (and, by extension, the whole deck) back to me. They get a brand-new bag sewn for them tonight.