Halley cast the tarot for me

a mini tarot A few weeks ago when I was in New York for the PDF conference, Halley Suitt (rhymes with Sally Root) was offering to give tarot readings at the cocktail party the night before the conference. I’ve always been a fan of divination and the subconscious so I asked her to read me. Mary Hodder took a picture of us and put it up at Flickr and Jon Lebkowsky asked me to tell the story, so here’s the reading as best as I can recall it (the closeup of the cards links to a larger “in situ” picture).
This was not one of your extended Celtic-cross type layouts. Halley had me choose three cards and then a final card for summation.
The first card was the Seven of Staves (or Wands). Note that I’m linking to pages that discuss the tarot and show the same deck, but that the interpretations may not tally precisely with what Halley read for me. The magic, as it were, for me in divination is the human element and what we read in each other consciously and unconsciously, so my memory of her words count much more to me than anyone else’s generic interpretation. Halley told me that for a writer this card meant that I had something to say, that I needed to get out, and that if I were to persevere I would be successful in saying my piece.
(I am simplifying our dialogue because I do not remember all the details and nuances, though the gist was clear.)
My second card was The Devil, and Halley read it to mean that to achieve the success (in writing or speech) that I longed for I would need to embrace my inner “bad boy” – that I would have to deal with the dark side of myself and perhaps even indulge a kind of forbidden selfishness without which my own words would fail to make it to the surface. Naturally, this is a very powerful card, even with all of its obvious negative symbolism.
The third card was The Sun and Halley took this as a very good omen indeed, suggesting that if I were able to handle the darkness and get my words, my speech, my writing, my saying out of myself and accept the consequences good or ill, that I would meet with success, radiance, a happy ending.
The final card was the Five of Swords which Halley read to me as a form of victory with negative consequences. She pointed to the illustration and showed that the others have surrendered to the warrior, but that there was jealousy, resentment, negative feelings, and rumors surrounding the victor. Together we interpreted this as connecting to both the first and second cards, in that what probably holds me back from entirely expressing myself is a form of self-censorship driven by fear of selfishness and of how others will receive or perceive me. That is, I may be more afraid of being seen as selfish than of the actual vice of selfishness. Together, Halley read these cards as encouraging me to plow ahead and speak my mind and damn the consequences.
Not a bad reading on the eve of a public speaking event covering the twin power streams of politics and technology in my home city, the Mammon-ridden veritable capital of the planet, eh?