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by Ariel Frailich
A piece in David Parr’s wonderful book Brain Food (see the review) reminded me of something similar I had dreamed up a while ago. It’s a combination of fortune-telling and prediction. It can be done with a regular deck as well as a Tarot deck.
The All-Seeing One offers to give a reading. A Tarot deck is shuffled and the Seeker cuts. “I believe this is for you, but we’ll look at it later.” The All-Seeing One brings out an envelope, shows that it contains a sheet of paper, closes it and hands it to the Seeker for safekeeping.
The All-Seeing One removes the top card, puts it face up on the table and says “Past.” A short reading follows. This is repeated for “Present” and again for “Future.”
Now the Seeker is instructed to remove the sheet and open it. It depicts the three cards lying on the table.
After a few moments, the All-Seeing One gathers the cards. “Makes you wonder, doesn’t it….”
Prior to the performance, the All-Seeing One had removed three cards at random from either a Tarot deck or a regular deck and made a photocopy (or a scan) of the three cards side by side. The sheet was then folded and placed in an envelope, and the envelope placed in a case or pocket with the three cards hidden behind it.
If the All-Seeing One is a novitiate, he or she has memorized the interpretations of the three cards from a book on the topic, having picked the most favourable interpretation for the card representing the future, even replacing that card if no positive interpretation is possible.
During the performance, after the All-Seeing One shuffles the deck (Tarot cards aren’t supposed to be handled by anyone but the seer) and the Seeker cuts it (this is permissible), the All-Seeing One completes the cut, removes the envelope and, in the act of opening the flap and pulling the sheet out partway, brings the envelope directly over the deck (which was left slightly unsquared) and drops the three cards onto the deck by simply releasing them from the very fingertips. Then the sheet is pushed back into the envelope and the envelope given to the Seeker.
The performance proceeds as described above.