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A Treatise Prepared for the Gallup Organization on the Symbolism of the Scarab
2002-06-03 20:54:29

Cuts of the Cards
Also, when I was your age, we walked ten miles each way to school in smog as thick as pipe smoke, wearing respirators, through mudslides, while being chased by serial killers. And we LIKED it that way.
-- Tjames Madison


Well dahlings, the response to my new tarot column has been quite overwhelming. I got three whole pieces of mail requesting my arcane insight. One asked why blogs suck so much, and one was a completely incomprehensible tale of bears shitting random numbers in the woods — I am fairly certain it was a cryptographic allegory. Howsomever, only ONE of the inquiries was accompanied by a crisp ten-dollar bill, and so it's the Gallup Organization that will this week reap the benefit of my wicked pack of cards.

I can see why Gallup needs help. They posed such brain-teasers as "Have you attended live theater in San Francisco within the past 3 months?" Do you suppose that the Hustler Club and the Lucky Lady are supposed to count? I fear that I am skewing their results dreadfully.

But I also know that this 40-page questionnaire, shyly sent to me on the approach of my birth-day, is a mere smokescreen. The query they truly wished to pose to me, had they only the courage, is simply this:

Siduri, what is the point of your life? And what conclusions can we draw from this about humanity in general?

And Siduri divines:

Well Gallup, that's raaather a personal question, but I am a Sybil in the service of Truth and I never mind talking about myself. So I will tell you what the cards say.

The point of my life is apparently represented by the Three of Coins. This card is called Work. Associated with engineers and architects, it represents the transmutation of raw energy into something concrete. It is not in itself a card of vision or creativity, but it exists in service of these things: it reflects the Great Work of the hermeticists. It's an odd card for me, as I am a lazy, unambitious spendthrift and I hardly work at all, but I'd like to think it means I am Doing Something regardless.

Unfortunately for the rest of the teeming masses, the conclusions I drew for them are represented by the Ten of Swords, which is called Ruin. It indicates "pain, affliction, tears, sadness, desolation."

"It teaches the lesson which statesmen should have learned, and have not; that if one goes on fighting long enough, all ends in destruction."

Well, dear me. Sometimes the cards can be a bit of a downer. It is clear, Gallup, that through your questions about what time of day I watch TV, you truly intended to consider the great perils of individual effort, and to show how our easily our lifeworks can be shattered by the madness of politicians and zealots. It's true, isn't it, that in our choice of newspapers to read or financial transactions to pursue, we are each fighting in our own way against the crushing forces of Entropy and the knowledge that we will die alone and in pain. I choose to put my share of Earth's oxygen to use in drunken rants and in multiple visits to stripclubs, but all my careful labor could be easily overruled by a nuclear warhead. Sooner or later I and all my works will be forgotten — murdered impartially by a rioting sun at the best case, erased by my brothers-in-species at the worst.

O Gallup, why inquire too deeply into the human heart? Peer too far into the future, and the same vision will always confront you. Tears! Affliction! Sadness! Desolation!

Yet as Crowley reminds us, my lovelies, "disaster is a sthenic disease. As soon as things are bad enough, one begins to build up again. When all the Governments have smashed each other, there still remains the peasant. At the end of Candide's misadventures, he could still cultivate his garden." So you see that Work and Ruin devour each other. And I am nothing less than a dungbeetle in the radioactive rubble, pushing my little shitball in time to "The Circle of Life," as sung in chorus by Simba and Nyarlathotep.

I do admit to wishing it was my side that had the nuclear warheads. But the cards say you're on your own, my dear Gallup. Each of us to our own work, such as it is, and the earth to the cockroaches when the sky falls down.

So! Want a FREE tarot reading of your very own? Mail me your amusing tales of pain and bitterness at siduri@pigdog.org.

Over.  End of Story.  Go home now.


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