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The Tarot-Card Reader

April 17th, 2015 · No Comments · Abu Dhabi, The National

The National celebrated its seventh birthday today with dinner and party favors at the almost-new Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara on Abu Dhabi Island.

We have had a birthday party every time April 17 rolls around, or on the Friday nearest to it. In this case it was Friday.

These are always fine events, with a dinner spread of many, many options and every not-melting dessert you can imagine. And since the events usually are in four-star hotels or better, we can buy a drink or two, as well. And chat up someone from a department (from a room of about 200) you may never have spoken to before.

Also this year? As an additional activity?

A tarot-card reader.

And what she came up with was … interesting in a hocus-pocus/primitive-body-reading sort of way.

To wit:

One woman was told that the cards foretold her son as a king or emperor. She was also told of potential trouble in her marriage. Good news/bad news, apparently.

Another woman, after saying she had exciting things coming up in her life, was told that the changes were not producing excitement, but instead were producing anxiety and emotion. “But the worst is past.” She was also told to “stop taking care of everyone”, and that “angels will help”.

One man was told that he needed to drink two liters of water every morning. More than a half gallon of water! Which seemed so odd that it drowned out everything else. He wondered if it were even possible.

Another was told to be wary of people close to him, because they did not have his best interests in mind. He was hailed for his recurring role as a mediator and told that he benefits because his mother prays for him.

And, too, there was the “I see economic benefits in your future; money you do not expect will come to you soon.” As well as “beware of false friends” and “your serenity is a gift for all around you.”

All but one of those were actual fortunes, foretold by the cards, and a professional card-reader, a woman from the subcontinent whose husband served as her helper and as a one-man chorus. (“That’s amazing!”)

The process included the woman taking four cards from the tarot deck (which we could not see, in the darkness of the pool area), and then vamping … and later asking the customer/client to pull one card from a second deck, which prompted more observations, and sometimes reinforcement of a point already made.

I have always wondered, too, if they adjust their fortune-telling to reflect their immediate impression with the person sitting across the table. If the person seems annoying or mean, a nasty fortune. If they seem friendly or nice, a kind fortune.

Of course, those who are at all successful at this line of work are close observers of the human condition. What seems to be remarkable insights from someone who can’t possibly know … are mostly about paying attention to the person in front of them, who betray much about their frame of mind by how they present themselves. Nervous, twitchy, giddy, sloppy, prim, grim …

The reader also, according to her business card, coaches yoga, breath meditation and deals with “past life regression” as well as “angel therapy” and “crystal healing” and “aura therapy” and “chakra balancing”. Her slogan is: “Create the life that is waiting for you.”

On the whole, I’m not sure anyone from The National took this very seriously, which made it fun. Journalists are skeptics, after all.

Aside, from that two liters of water thing. Maybe it should be given a try.



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