Hey, Dad–Want To Chat?
April 3rd marked the first anniversary of my father’s death. I had wanted to leave an offering out for him that night on our dining room table as I’d done a few times in the past on other special occasions. One such of those other occasions was Thanksgiving Day; I prepared a small plate for him that included some of the meat, sides, and dessert my own family and I had enjoyed that day–all homemade with lots of love–and also left him a glass of water. Fast-forward to the night of April 3rd where I went to prepare his plate but found my current possible offerings very lacking; canned meats and beans, not one morsel of homemade bread (I made some a couple weeks ago but that was long gone), dried pasta, blocks of cheese, tons of frozen meat, fruits and vegetables….Basically, a COVID-19 stay-at-home lockdown kitchen and pantry. We had prepared properly and had plenty of food for survival but how was I supposed to make something out of this worthy to offer up to my dad? Um, yeah–I wasn’t. I didn’t have time to even try and put something meaningful together as it was already after 9pm and I was tired, so I told him: Dad, I’m sorry. I know I said I would leave something out for you tonight but I can’t in good conscience serve you any of what I have because none of it comes remotely close to any of your favorite things. And also because you’d probably haunt my dreams for the rest of my earthly life if I did. So, how about instead I find a way to talk with you? I promise that tomorrow night, you and I will have a conversation.
Confession: when I made that promise to my dad I didn’t yet know how I was actually going to do it. I knew that I was going to try and stick to a medium using Tarot because I’ve been personally studying it for some time now and am really attuned to my deck, and I had heard and read stories about others using Tarot for spirit communication. So it wasn’t so much about the possibility of not finding the information, rather it was having the confidence to know that whichever specific spread or card draw method I used would be the perfect one. Because if a thousand different people had used Tarot for this then there could be at least a thousand different ways for me to choose from for doing it myself. I set out on my quest the next day with the intention that when I found the method that was the one for me, my intuition would let me know.
It didn’t take long for me to find one. The method I used was adapted from this one. I wanted to make sure I brought out the true spirit of my dad by adding as many personal touches as possible, starting with the space. I use The Fountain Tarot deck and always keep them either wrapped in or sitting on top of a silk sash. Wanting to be extra accommodating to them (aka keep them happy so they would help me with my quest!), I decided to lay the spread out on top of this sash. For good measure I worked off a base of another silk scarf that I often wear and feel happy in when doing so. Before I started shuffling the cards, I lit my focusing candle, put out some Lapiz Lazuli for third eye help, and also put on an old Gold wedding band of my dad’s I’d found when cleaning out his home–it fits loosely on the thumb of my right hand.
As I shuffled the cards, I brought to my mind vivid scenes of some of the times I’d been happiest with him from when I was a little girl to the last bit of time I got to spend with him. The ring was starting to be a distraction as it is not a snug fit, so removed it from my hand and placed it on the right side of my space. After this, I felt “ready” and dealt the cards, repeating my questions in my head for each topic. I stuck with the original method of the three topics because I like threes–it’s a calming, rounding, evening number to me. I slightly changed the topics to be our family, my son, and anything else of his choosing. Below shows the outcome:
I’ll admit this was my second pass. The Ten of Wands appeared in my first pass, indicating I may be juggling a bit too much in my mind at the moment and that I might take some more deep breaths, refocus, and try again. Also as I type this, it’s been eight days since I pulled these cards; I needed some extra reflection time because at first look a few of the cards did not make sense to me. Today, on the anniversary of his funeral and burial, all is more clear.
First, our family:
I pulled The Hermit for the topic and the Nine Of Wands reversed for his commentary. The Hermit was one of the cards I didn’t understand at first–what did it mean that our family was alone and needed some private reflection time? Looking back I see now that I could treat each card as a deliberate pull by my dad, meaning for me they were random but for my dad they could be specifically chosen by him going with the “book meaning” or just going by what he saw in the card. For shorter readings, I often ask my clients first what they see in the card before telling them what I see and sharing my interpretation, so why would this differ from that? I now see The Hermit as a card he saw himself in–he lived alone the last few years of his life. It also can represent an old man, which made me think he was possibly choosing this card to “play his role” in the part of our family. The reversed Nine Of Wands I took to be a reminder that we–my family and I–are all on the same team and that we (I) don’t need to be so defensive at times. If someone asks a question it could be because they are just curious or need more clarification, not because they’re trying to get you to see something a different way. Sometimes a question is just that, so just answer it.
Second, my son:
This set of topic and comment cards made my mouth drop open because they were spot-on: though the topic was my son, he’d selected the Queen Of Wands. In Tarot, the Queens are known to be mother cards–either having to do with mothers or directly representing mothers and mother figures. This particular queen is an aspect of The Empress, which is the number 3 Major Arcana card (remember how I said I like my threes?). She is in touch with her intuition and a good influence upon others. She even has a Black cat pictured at her feet which has many meanings, but it also just so happens that I love cats. My dad was literally saying: you asked about your son but this is also about you because you are his mom. The King Of Swords reversed pulled for the commentary also fit the topic and made sense to me immediately; my son is very willful, idealistic and ambitious but all of this can be destructive if they are not properly balanced or do not have a harmless, beneficial outlet. I felt that my dad was saying that it is my responsibility as his mother to steer him in the right direction. And, since I often make good choices when relying on my intuition, I should also keep showing and teaching him to do this as well, with love, and he will be fine.
I left the third topic open to whatever he wanted to say:
These two cards also at first gave me pause because their conventional meanings didn’t fit, but they now make sense seeing them through his eyes. In the Four Of Cups reversed, the prominent color is Blue and there are four cups. At one time I remember him saying his favorite color was Blue, and his passing away left four of us–my mom, my two older brothers, and myself. He was saying: this last message is for and about all of you. The comment card was The Chariot reversed. My dad always cautioned us to make good choices involving work and business, sometimes trying to convince us to stay with “safer” ideas rather than following our dreams and doing what made our hearts happy. Even beyond the grave he is still telling us this: do not self-indulge and make the right financial choices or else your decisions could throw you completely off course.
Do I think my first trial at having a conversation with a deceased family member using Tarot was a success? Absolutely! Do I know for a fact that these words actually came from him? No, but I know they make sense to me and my intuition is not second-guessing any of it like it sometimes does when I’m doing a personal reading and seeing what I want to see rather than what I’m being told. I have come to know that our loved ones who have passed away are not gone forever, they are just gone in the regular, familiar way that we knew them as best. This is why I often talk to my deceased relatives out loud, because I know they hear me. And now, I know that with the right tools at the right time, I just may be able to hear them, too.
Your turn: have you ever tried to speak with a deceased loved one, or heard a loved one speak to you? If so, what method did you use and how did it turn out for you–the messages and the overall experience? Were you able to do it on your own or did someone(s) help you? I always love hearing back from my readers so please, do not be shy. (But if you are shy, you can send me a message here that will be for my eyes only, and I’ll reply to you as well :))
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