I don’t know much about Tarot cards (I’m not even sure if you capitalize the word) but I was given a reading as a Christmas present from my all-knowing and all-seeing wife and so I went down to Greenwich Village to visit Eva the Tarot card reader.

Eva didn’t have a flowing robe or crystal ball but she was wearing something that looked like a turban. Maybe she was only having a bad hair day but it helped fit into my preconceived notion of what a Tarot card reader should look like. (Although I must say that the jeans kind of ruined the effect.)

Anyway, this Tarot reading was held in what was essentially a therapist’s office and that’s kind of what it felt like. Eva wasn’t overly forthcoming about how the whole thing worked so it was up to me to get the crystal ball rolling (sorry, I kept looking for one that wasn’t there.) I wasn’t burning up with any overriding question about my life (Will I lose my hair…get married…have kids? You know, critical questions in precisely that order) so I had to think up a few on the spot.

“I’ve written this novel and I’m going to submit it to publishers soon. How do you think it will go?” I asked.

Eva shuffled her cards (she seemed to be always shuffling the cards), and laid them out in front of us. Immediately, I knew I was in trouble:

book card

Now you don’t have to be a psychic or a Tarot card reader to know that card does not bode well for someone who’s written a book. Talk about rejection!! Ten swords, a lot of blood and a dead writer. It looked like a preview of “48 Hours.”

I raised my eyebrows.

“It looks like you may be in for a bit of a struggle,” Eva said.

I think I must have turned white because she quickly pointed to the last card in the deck,  a card with some trees on fire. “It looks like you’ll burst through and have a lot of success but not before you go through a difficult period,” she said.


Well, that was certainly an optimistic spin, as opposed to saying the whole process could go up in flames.

I guess that was my problem with the entire reading. It felt like you could interpret the cards pretty much any way you wanted to. The cards could have had any meaning you assigned. But I walked out of there happy enough. Maybe my novel will burst through, maybe it will go up in flames, but whatever happens, I remain optimistic. Here is one of the last cards that appeared — The Magician — and like Woody Allen, I believe there is always magic in the world.

magic man



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