They say you shouldn’t read tarot for yourself. It gets confusing and your own hopes and desires get in the way. Some even say you can go mad if you do it. Katelan Foisy–descendant of gypsies, psychic, artist, writer and drug-prevention activist–never reads for herself, either. It gets all blurry, she says. So I did it.
Queen of Wands
When a Queen of Wands enters a room, everyone stops the conversation and looks right at her. She radiates warmth, energy and spirit. She is creative and entertaining. Her audience, stunned by her charm, can’t stop gazing at her. On the other hand, Queen of Wands has to be careful because her own passion might burn her.
“I’m in a strange place right now. My head longs for purity, my heart for love, and my body to be free. These days I’m taking deep breaths and walking as slowly as I can. I feel like Norma Jean. With each step I take I don’t know where to begin or where to end. I love going out but hate to leave the house. I like dinner parties and long for stimulation. I search for beauty, yearn for acceptance, and fear being a failure. I’m not here to tell anyone what’s good or bad, right or wrong. I’m just here to tell a story.”–from an introduction to Katelan in her memoir, Blood & Pudding.
Kat has never fit into traditional social structures. In her early years she undertook a spiritual road trip accompanied by her cousin and best friend, Holly. She did a lot of thinking about life, society, her place in the world, and the things that are worth standing up for… Drugs would often be the key to the thirteenth chamber, a train ticket to take her and Holly places.
The air is cold and wintry, the trees bare. Rising with the sun, the Queen of Wands sees a skeleton in black armor mounted on a white horse. She recognizes Death. Death stops before her, looks her in the eye; she humbly looks down to the dirt and asks, “Have I died?” She feels empty and desolate. And the Skeleton answers, “Yes, in a way. You sacrificed your old world, your old self. Both are gone, dead.” Queen of Wands feels sad and Death acknowledges it. “Yes, but it is the only way to be reborn. A new Sun is rising, and it is, for you, a time of great transformation.”
“I hung up the phone and started to sob. Inside my box of art supplies were straight razors. I took one out and went to the bathroom. I undressed, stepped into the shower and blasted hot water. There on my forearm I put one deep gash. “For Brian,” I said to myself. I watched as my blood trickled down the drain. I wasn’t trying to kill or hurt myself. I just wanted a mark to remind myself of what he meant to me.”
“That morning was the funeral. There was the pink light casket, just like the one I saw in my vision. I sat down and sobbed. Holly left me with years of memories. I was angry; she was cheated out of life. Heroin has never been glamorous. This was not romantic; it didn’t release the pain. I was angry at heroin for taking her away, for taking Brian away. It hurt me, I hated it. “
Chills run down my spine as I read parts of Kat’s memoir about the death of her first love, Brian, and then Holly. Each died of a heroin overdose.
Wheel of Fortune
From out of hiding comes Queen of Wands, into the sunlight, as if being pulled up from some low, dark point on a wheel. It is time for a change. She heads back out into the world, expecting nothing. But, strangely, things seem to happen as the hours go by, good things…
Kat and I are sitting on the floor in her room. Her giant cat is soundlessly walking around, gazing at me every once in a while, as if she was trying to make sure her lady is being treated with all due respect she deserves. Kat is telling me how she had been looking for her and Holly’s diaries for years. And then, one day they appeared… In a room where nobody has looked in a long time. She pulls them out, one after another, from a drawer. My fingertips touch Holly’s handwriting. The air is filled with emotions, though neither of us admits as much with our body language. Pink old-fashioned wallpaper. Several decks of tarot cards. Nine glasses filled with water to honor the memory of the loved ones who have passed away. Katelan’s self-portait hangs on the wall. Five copies of Blood and Pudding on the bed.