The Witch Cards
A long time ago, my cousin and I were in a store in Salem, Massachusetts. There was a barrel of tarot cards by the cash register, and I got a strong vibe that I was meant to own a certain deck in the barrel. So I plucked it out and paid for it without a lot of thought.
They look like playing cards, but they have an object on each card along with a short description of what the object means. The cards came with instructions on how to lay them out and give a reading.
Like the cards, I was drawn to Mental Floss’s recent post about tarot cards. I especially love that they were historically a form of Choose Your Own Adventure story since my new book is about interactive fiction.
Most of the time they sit in my drawer. I’m not really sure I believe in it at all. (Even though I totally believe that my body somehow knew I was supposed to buy this specific deck in a sea of decks.) The ChickieNob is always begging me to read her cards, though I have no clue what I’m doing. It’s sort of anticlimactic when you need to keep pausing to consult the how-to directions that come with the cards. It would probably help if I memorized the instructions.
But there’s another part of me that thinks it’s better not to know anything. That hearing something could make it a self-fulfilling prophecy. And while I would be okay with life spoilers since I like having time to get accustomed to change, this in between — this maybe real or maybe not — probably isn’t helpful. Right?
If there was a time traveler who could come back and definitively tell you the highlights and low points of your life, would you want to hear them? Even knowing that there was nothing you could do to change the path because the time traveler could prove these fixed events in time? (And yes, this “what if” assumes that you have no free will and your destiny is set, so just roll with that.) Or would you rather not know anything and be surprised by life in the moment?
A P.S. to the story: I was in Salem a few years ago, and I swung by the store again. They no longer sell them, and when I asked about them, the woman said they never sold them. Creepy.