The Rowdy Goddess

An Ecstatic Vision of the Goddess, dancing in harmony with the Universe.

Archive for the category “reader”

Come as You Aren’t

Part of what I teach is “how to lie at Tarot,” and someday I’m going to put it together as a workshop. Sometimes in teaching and in reading tarot, you need to adopt a persona so you can make your point. I did that several years ago and, voila, Madame Zelda was born.
I was teaching beginning Tarot with a friend and we wanted to do a session on how not to read Tarot. “We should role-play it,” I said. She agreed as long as I would take the lead. I chose to be the reader. I chose the cards for the reading, choosing some of the most challenging cards in the deck. You know the ones: nine of swords, ten of swords and the like. I chose some provocative ones like the Devil and the Lovers, too.

By that time in my tarot life, I had developed my authentic reader self to be compassionate, listening, intuitive and collaborative. I had to figure out a way to move out of that mindset. So I gave myself pep talks about what a “not reading” would feel and look like.
So we sat down to do our role play. I opened my mouth and a deep, faux-mid-European accent emerged. I asked for money upfront, bargaining and quibbling about the amount. I introduced myself as Madame Zelda who proceeded to deliver this reading. Madame Zelda always refers to herself as “Madame Zelda” and is supremely confident and complimentary of her own wisdom, power, and pyschic ability. That day, Madame Zelda actually gave a good reading in terms of the cards and delivering a message. However, she took center stage and the querent was over-run with information delivered with majestic condescension. I’m sure one of her antecedents is Lady Catherine from Pride and Prejudice.
Over the years, I have become very fond of Madame Zelda and so have many of my friends. She is flamboyant, gaudy, arrogant, honest to the point of rudeness, and very, very funny. I do know that when I sit down to read for people for real, Madame Zelda must fall away. She complains about that at all. It’s hard, she says, to get her message out when she has to go through all that caring and listening.
A few years ago, a friend mentioned that she took Mary Greer and Rachel Pollack’s workshop at the Omega Center in Rhinebeck, NY. These two wonderful, knowledgeable teachers had asked people to adopt another persona as a Reader. To think about costume, character, accent and such. What a genius I am. Just kidding.
Madame Zelda has taught me a lot. She helps me shake up my “business as usual” reading style. She is astute when it comes to the business side and the less than pleasant side of life. Everyone I read for knows I like to put a “pretty face” on things while Madame Zelda reminds me that sometimes you need to tell the hard truths.
Speaking of pretty faces, I think Madame Zelda really looks like this.

A Life Through Reading

A Life through Reading

My parents were/are readers. I have some wonderful memories of my parents readings bits and pieces of books to each other and to us. They found this one author really hilarious. So one of them would read the book first and then read funny bits to us out loud. Then the other would read the same books and read different funny bits out loud. After my parents separated, and I lived (as an adult) with my mother. She’d continue to read bits of books and the paper out loud to me. I thought it was normal.

When I moved away from the Washington D.C. area, I discovered that one of the things I really missed was the Washington Post. Then when I had the opportunity to subscribe on my e-book reader, I discovered what I really missed was my mother reading it out loud to me. I read out loud to other people. In one relationship that didn’t work out, he really didn’t get what I was doing. He didn’t think it was fun, cool, or endearing. Lucky for me, Mike finds it endearing; maybe he pretends but he pretends! I think we’d still get along if he didn’t but you know some things are a real litmus test…

When she retired at age 55, my mother got to read all the time, something years of teaching didn’t allow. She’d go to the library and get shelves of books. To prevent taking out the same book, she started a notebooks of things she had read. Organized (of course!) by author’s last name, she kept track of authors and titles. Somewhere along the way, my brother and sister put the book into a word processing program, and then printed it off. The notebook which we all call The BOOK, is in a binder with alphabetical tabs. She’s eighty now and the book is substantial and hefty. A lot of the times, my youngest brother goes to the library for her. He takes The BOOK with him and consults it. The librarians know him and The BOOK. My niece was visiting and she took The BOOK to the library but she got things my mother had already read. She said to me, “I don’t use The BOOK right.” “Ah grasshopper,” I said, “It takes years to get wise in the way of The BOOK.”

My mother reads mostly mysteries and several years ago I started reading them again so we’d have some things to talk about and read out loud to each other. Now I consult The BOOK for ideas what to read next. We have different tastes, but I can rely on her for some pretty cogent and succinct assessments.

I have a BOOK of sorts of my own. I use the online community of Good Reads. It’s a cool place similar to this blog where you can write about what you read, and then read what others write about books. It’s very cool. I think it combines two things I love: writing and reading. You can find me at www.goodreads.com/gailwood if you are interested in reading what I write about what I read. Perhaps in 25 years, it will be The BOOK for me.

So in these week of love remembered, read something you love. Go to the library and rekindle your love of reading.

 

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