Don Bisdorf

Inexpert Tarot Reading: March 11

Categories: [blog]

I have to admit that this one had me stumped for a while. The path to wisdom is strewn with misleading turns. Also, I had to catch up on reading my webcomics.

But you'll see the trouble I had when I show you today's cards: the Queen of Cups and the Four of Swords.

Tarot cards depicting a queen holding a cup by a seashore, and the interior of a tomb.

Uninspiring, right? We've seen the Four of Swords before, and there's not much you can say about that card other than "Yup, that's some dead person."

The Queen of Cups has some odd stuff going on. She looks like maybe she's the ruler of Atlantis; her robe looks like sea waves, and there are fish-tailed kids carved into her throne. And this card is clearly drawn after Atlantis sank, and the Queen was the only survivor. She dragged her throne and her cup of office to shore, and now she just sits there, staring over her submerged domain.

I went around and around trying to figure out what these cards were doing together. Then it hit me.

It's Sunset Boulevard.

No, wait, look. On the left, we see the washed-up celebrity, obsessing over her former domain: silent film, now sunk under the tides of obsolescence. And on the right, the doomed screenwriter, who starts the movie dead.

So, yeah, clearly Sunset Boulevard, and the only problem is that they already did Sunset Boulevard, so if my cards are trying to give me the premise for a hit screenplay, they're about seventy years late. Unsurprising, since this Rider-Waite deck was designed in 1910. It might give me a couple of Fred Astaire musicals or a Bogart flick, but a century-old deck is never going to write the next Scarlett Johansson blockbuster.

Which means that today's message is: use the right tool for the job, friends and neighbors.

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