Don Bisdorf

Inexpert Tarot Reading: March 9

Categories: [blog]

I nearly screwed this one up. I drew two cards and I was ready to go, but then I remembered that I had to set my deck to daylight savings time. I've re-drawn and the new cards should be correct. Dodged a bullet there.

Today's time-corrected cards are the Knight of Swords and the Eight of Wands.

Tarot card depicting a charging knight, and staves falling from the sky

I strongly suspect that if you're a professional tarot reader, you have to take cards like the Eight of Wands out of your deck. Cards like the Knight of Swords are great for readings, because they're dramatic and evocative. "I see that a shining hero will soon race to your aid...or perhaps you will be the shining hero! That'll be fifty bucks." But the Eight of Wands is just a damp squib. Your client was expecting something amazing like the High Priestess and you showed them a bunch of parallel sticks. You'll need to spin a masterwork of symbolism and metaphor to make that card impressive. You're better off tossing it out and slipping in another copy of the Devil or the Tower or something else cool.

And if you're a paying client, you want your tarot reader to have an spiritual, fey beauty about them, not someone who looks like a stand-in for Marty McFly's dad before the timeline shift, so that disqualifies me in any case.

But as for today's reading: it's like a scene from that Spartans movie, right? Not the scene where that guy got kicked into the well. This is where the enemy says "We're going to throw so many sticks at you it will blot out the sun" and the Knight says "Then we will fight in the shade!" and the Knight charges forward and races so fast that the sticks all fall where the Knight used to be instead of where they actually are. And then there's some gory slow-motion shot of the horse kicking someone in the head.

If I were drawing this for a client who was in the tech industry, I'd say this is a message about being disruptive. Not like "your third grade teacher is sending you home with a note" disruptive, but business disruptive, where you come in with a revolutionary idea that makes your competition instantly obsolete, and it probably involves an app and exploting your labor. I'd give you that reading and I'd charge you ten grand which is, like, just a rounding error for you, and you'd run off to pitch your drone-delivered French toast idea.

(The genius part of this is that the drone cooks the French toast while it's flying so it's literally hot off the griddle when it arrives at your door. Send me your contact info if you want in on the IPO.)

But I'm not reading this for a tech billionaire, I'm reading this for you, gentle friends. So let's read this not as a message about moving fast. Instead, it's a message about thinking ahead. If the staff-throwing enemy had planned ahead, we'd be seeing the Eight of Wands to the left of the Knight of Swords, and if you swap the cards around in your head, you'll see that it's a very different picture indeed.

Think first, rush less--whether you're launching a volley of sticks or a breakfast-by-drone startup.

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