Tarot and Timelines.

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“Everything is energy,” the tarot reader explained in a calming, dulcet tone. He was handsome, and looked homeless. He shuffled the cards expertly, repetitiously, and without flair. They were well-worn, and bits of the fraying edges settled on the black felt table below his hands. “And everything is connected. Take what resonates and leave the rest, as the kids like to say these days on YouTube.” 

“Why leave the rest?” 

“Everything you experience and feel, if you don’t fight it, flows with the energy. You know what is meant for you and what isn’t. The rest is for anyone or anything it needs to be for. Who knows? It could even be future influence for you. So pay attention anyway.” 

“But if it’s future influence, doesn’t that mean it should 'resonate'? That I shouldn’t dismiss it? How do I know?” 

“Simple. You’ll feel it. Your gut reactions. Your emotional responses. Anything responding deep down, as they say. You don’t have to react strongly to have a reaction, you know. Sometimes the soul talking is no louder than a cat’s purr in a world of deep bass and machine guns.” 

“This is confusing.”

“Well, nobody said this was going to be easy.” He retorted in the same gentle, wry way of his. “Therapy ain’t easy either, and reading the universe is way more fun anyway.” A laugh escaped him. “As I see it, the ultimate end goals in life are: to know yourself and to flow with the energy. Flow with the river. You’ll get where you need to go. Most people in the world don’t do either. And that’s why free will decisions knock energy out of balance all the time. That’s why there’s chaos.”


“So what’ll it be? Love? Career? Money? Family? Life purpose? Pick your poison. Or elixir. What do you wanna know?”

“I guess…life purpose. What am I supposed to do in the world? I’m grateful for what I have, but I suppose…I don’t have that sense of fulfillment that a lot of others do, in their life. There’s something missing. And objectively, my life is great. Lots of aspects are comfortable and good. Good health, career, good romantic relationship. Good family relationship. Good routines. We just got a house. We have a cat, and that’s been good too. I mean, it’s heaven to a lot of people. So I guess, that’s the problem. Is it just a question of gratitude, or mindset? Am I ungrateful? Am I comparing too much to others? I don’t know. Somehow I just don’t feel content.” 

“Okay. So now we get to simplify: what is your question? What would you like to ask the universe? And we can go from there.” 

“My question is: am I on the right path? I want to know for sure. Am I on the right path, is this what I’m supposed to do, and then what to do if I’m not, or how to keep it up if I am. If that makes sense.” 

“Perfect sense. You like certainty. You were the kid who double-checked your work a lot weren’t ya?”

“It generally doesn’t hurt.”

“That’s great. I love it. So now we’re gonna get scientific. You’ll like this. How familiar are you with the Schrödinger’s cat experiment?”

“That’s the one with the cat being both dead and alive, right?” 

“Essentially. It’s a thought experiment to point out quantum superposition and quantum indeterminacy. A cat is placed in a closed box with an isotope and the idea is that, until observed, the cat could be both alive and dead, or fluctuating between the two states. Adapted to tarot, we can find out what universe you’re in — or, rather, what timeline you’re on. Whether you are on a live cat path, which we can assume is the better one, or a dead cat path, which indicates worse news.”

“Oh, boy.”

Another laugh from Tarot Man, who reached in his pocket for a quarter. “Aw, come on, none of that! No worrying. Be neutral. Don’t fill in any voids before the universe can — certainly not with any anxiety-driven nonsense. Neutrality for outcomes. Either way you learn, right? Think of Thomas Edison. He found thousands of ways how not to invent a lightbulb. And then he found one right way that worked. You learn from failure just as you do from success.”

“That’s true. Good reframing.”

“That’s the spirit. Now. We have two cards here,” he placed two cards next to each other, face down on the table, “and they represent two animals. However, what will determine that is a coin toss. Your job is to pick one animal out of two choices. In two seconds. If it takes more than two seconds to decide, you aren’t using your intuition, you’re using your brain. We don’t want that.” 

“Okay. Got it.”

“All right. Two animals. Pick one in two seconds. You like cats?”

“Love them.”

“Perfect. Let’s choose between a tiger, or a lion. You got two seconds. One, tw—“


“All right. Now comes the coin toss. First card is what comes face up. Heads is lion, tails is tiger.” He tossed the coin, and it twirled on the table before settling, heads up. “Okay, first card is lion, second card is tiger. Let’s see what your card is.” He flipped over the second card to reveal — 

“Death? Is that bad? Is someone going to die? Am I doing everything wrong?”

Tarot man waited patiently before he gave the verdict:

“None of the above. That there, friend, is a live cat.” 

“What? But it’s—”

“Yep. It’s Death. You might need some adjustments here and there, like anyone. Prune the tree of your life. But you’re doing fine. Exactly what you should be doing. Keep it up. Can we move on now? Let’s go deeper. Examine our result, if you will.”

“Yes! Go on. I’m listening.”

Tarot Man grinned and he continued the reading. 

About the Author: 
Genevieve Franco is a writer, artist, and knowledge explorer. Otherwise, she loves to cook/bake, travel, garden, hike and camp, and very occasionally - rock climb. Her purpose is storytelling, particularly as a means to merge the sciences and humanities. She is continuously experimenting with forms both visual and written.
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