She said: This is inspired. I have to tell this story as much as I need to make these cards. So you may be wondering why it took this long for someone to come up with Burning Man Tarot, and who better to create them, but the Rangers! Well, there is more to this story. Mickey. What kind of playa name is that? He is Michael to me. The only time he hears “Mickey” out of my mouth is when we are on ranger radio.
So LOVE is a pretty big deal to me. I held out for a long time because I BELIEVE. I have had my heart smashed into a thousand pieces and there is no way I am going to let that happen again. I have had a really hard time understanding love in this life. I knew it existed and saw it all around me, but I had convinced myself true love wasn’t in the cards for me. Never-mind. I had a million other things. So what if I didn’t have a partner, a soulmate, my ONE. I decided I would be enough.
Enter: Ranger Mickey. He was a hot mess. This guy was definitely no threat to me and there was certainly no risk of me falling in love with him. Something about him though…scared me. And I am the type of woman who confronts her fears. At least I wanted to understand it. So I hung around him for a while, we rangered together. As a ranger pair, we made a good team. I could pull 20 hour shifts. No problem. He challenged me. We kept each others EGO in check. I couldn’t understand why I wanted to be around someone who was so annoying. It was pure INSANITY. I spent practically the whole week glued by his side and then ran away with barely a goodbye.
Look, most of my life I have been blessed with great insight (some people call it luck), but this is one I would have never guessed. Two years later, I am still in a bit of shock. But I am learning about love now. It’s way different than I thought it should be. It’s messy and confusing and scary and real. It’s easy to be brave when you have nothing to lose.
I have been engaged twice in my life and both times I realized it was a mistake shortly after saying yes. So a few months ago, Michael proposed and I have said yes in my heart but my head isn’t sure. Is YES the right answer? Is he the one? My ONE?
So my burn was already set up to go well as I had asked friends to mail me on playa. I would send them some playa dust in return. So several people complied and I was getting mail every other day. Anyone who really knows me knows how much I love mail. It’s like instant happy for me and the mailman is my friend. Infact, Ranger Mailman is a close friend of ours and he was our neighbor this year on playa. I am facinated by mail and when I get anything, even bills or flyers, it makes my whole day. I even made a mailbox!
One fine sunny Tuesday in Black Rock City, Michael and I decided to dress up and go for a walk. We were not to work the whole day. This is a big deal. Anyone who knows Ranger Mickey knows that he is always on duty. He doesn’t know how to not work at Burning Man. He always has a radio or two or three. Mr. Radio prides himself on answering almost every “radio check.” Well, he finally met his match. It wasn’t too hard to convince him. Today was our two year anniversary. No laminates, no radios, no khaki, nothing except for a tutu, a parasol, and a third eye.
We wandered through the streets and found all sorts of treats. We had fresh coffee which I got for only a kiss which I chose to give to my love. Poor Michael spun the wheel and had to twerk for his espresso. He looked confused but he learned quite quickly when someone demonstrated. We were stopped by a guy with wagon and he made us a fresh mojito in the middle of the road. Then we found our lost Timmy’s cup that we had just gotten in Canada. We thought it was gone forever! It was shaping up to be a great day indeed.
We decided to go meet the Man and the souk that surrounded him. We had watched it all being built all week and even did stick duty for a short while. It would be great to see how it all came together now.
The tents were bustling with visitors and wanderers and people watchers. Each tent offered something different from games to crafts to manicures to libraries of books. Every one way practicing gifting in their own way. I got a new scarf that matched my skirt exactly when I retold a favorite burning man story from my first year. It was a magical tale that I had forgotten and it was a special treat to retell it. I felt emotional as I remembered what the playa can do, when you allow it.
We ran into our old friend Sergio near the Canadian tent. I always run into him at the strangest times. Interestingly, I just realized, I met him the same day that I first met Michael. Sergio shared that he was going on a journey, an adventure through Spain that he had been dreaming about as long as I have known him. It made my heart happy to hear that he felt encouraged by my travels. I know how traveling can change someone so I was glad to see him before he left. I can’t even imagine what stories he will come back with.
Next, we decided to take a break and rest our weary feet. The red tent we chose was quiet and cool with a mellow vibe. We took off our shoes at the door and found a couple of plump pillows on the floor to sit on. I surveyed my surroundings and noticed someone reading cards, another giving a massages, and even an oxygen bar!
I could tell that Michael felt a little out of place being quite a skeptic of new age-y things and clearly this was out of his scientific scope. I picked up the magic 8-ball that was on the low table in front of us. I playfully shook it and asked Michael to think of a question. As it turns out, he didn’t know how it worked so I had to teach him. “It only knows how to answer YES or NO questions,” I helped him gently. I could tell he thought it was rather silly. For a second, I felt self conscious when I felt his doubt of such a foolish toy and then I remembered, he has the mind of an engineer. It was not his fault. He just needed to be shown how to believe in the power of intention.
I remembered the days long ago when I used to play with my cards and listened to what they said. I understood the guidance that they offered when I gave them the chance. I wondered when I had last played with my beloved Angel cards and felt a sudden need to touch them. I always have them with me but haven’t used them in ages. I began to feel sad for the loss when suddenly, the card reader became free. I jumped up and informed Michael quite purposefully that I was going to have my cards read. Without giving him a chance to react, I was sitting in front of the beautiful young lady. She told me her name was Mallory and I felt instantly comfortable with her. I realized that she would not scare Michael with her down to earth energy, so I asked him to come and join us. I could tell he felt a little shy but curiosity won as sat down to watch this strange ritual.
It was a simple reading. Chose ONE card from the 44 Goddess cards. Just one. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for interpretation. I had my question but dare I ask it? What if my fears are real? What if this love isn’t what I think it is? I decided to face my fear and abandon all my doubts. It was our anniversary, after all. Surely, I had to ask whether HE was the ONE. And I decided that I would listen to what the cards told me. I put all my energy and faith into my shuffling the thick deck. I asked with my whole heart, and I know that when you come from a pure place, the truth always appears.
When I felt my question in all my heart and soul, I gave her the cards back, properly ordered to give me direction. She spread out the cards before me and I knew exactly where to go. I plucked my answer from the cards, and looked at it with anticipation. “True Love”, was the card I chose. I felt overwhelmed with joy. It was such a clear and direct answer. There was no question what it meant. I felt tears pushing behind my eyes with relief that I was in fact on the right path. I was so excited, that it was clear what it meant to me and what I had asked. Mallory looked at me with a knowing smile.
I asked Michael if he wanted to pick card, since it was so easy. He agreed to try it though he had never had a reading before in his life. I was so excited for him to take a step towards believing in gifts from the universe that you can’t quite explain. But what happened next blew me away. After he shuffled his cards for a long time he said he had his question. When he tried to chose a card from the spread Mallory laid before him, the card he wanted seemed to jump away from him. He really had to work at getting it (stubborn), as it wasn’t going to come easy. He dug around at it and finally got ahold of it, trying to hide in the other cards. I was slightly embarrassed for him but amused that he had so much trouble picking a card. I was also proud of him for being so determined and knowing that was the card for him. If he didn’t care, I suppose he would have just grabbed easier one.
When he turned the elusive card over, it was none other than “True Love”. Exactly the card I had chosen a few minutes ago. I couldn’t believe it. And now I did start to cry a little, just feeling so overwhelmed by the perfection of it all. I didn’t have to worry anymore. I had put my faith in the energy of the Goddess and believed that we had channeled a divine moment. And now Michael was also inspired. He was so shocked but elated! What are the chances? I am sure he didn’t care at this moment as he looked as amazed as I felt. I know he hasn’t had any doubts, not from day one. But he could see that I struggled. And now I could tell that he felt we had passed a milesstone.
I told Mallory that it is our anniversary today and what this means for me and us. I hugged her and thanked her profusely and asked her about her experience with this art, as she is clearly gifted. She told us she was just a beginner with reading cards. She confessed that didn’t even have her own deck, that these cards belonged to someone else. She said she was going to get some right away once she got home.
Immediately I knew I had to give her my Angel cards. It was the same strong feeling I have had in the past when there was no if ands or buts. I question most things, just to be sure, but in these moments, its a strong knowing. Even if I don’t understand it or want to, I have to do it. I asked her when she would be there again and she told me she only had one more shift left. I found out where she was camped just in case I missed her. I didn’t tell her why but I said I would see her again soon. I was a little bit sad to have to give up my favorite cards that I had used for so long and had traveled all around the world with me. But I knew it was the right thing to do. Besides, I had bought those cards for myself and cards work better when they are gifted.
As we walked back home, I was walking on air. All the doubt that I had allowed to cloud my intuition and knowing, had disappeared. I felt like my first year on the playa, when I had mystical moments of wonder every day. It was common then because I believed in it, and couldn’t imagine life without it. We walked hand in hand and I felt like I was beaming brighter than the sun. Finally, I get True Love.
We found a bowling alley in the middle of the playa our way home, so we decided to have a game. And I ended up getting a strike! One ball and I knocked them all down. I am not a great bowler, especially not on a wooden bowling alley covered in dust. I figured it was just my luck…and I remembered that we make our luck. I don’t know if I could get any higher. I was winning today.
As we had our anniversary dinner in the commissary, where we had met, we talked about how today could not have gone better if we had planned it. The food was amazing that day, the pot roast was so tender and the potatoes were just right with the salty gravy. After we ate, we went home and relaxed from the perfect day. It was a special day that I will never forget.
I realize the word “Magic” doesn’t make sense for alot of people. They perhaps related to something negative as illusion or trickery. I don’t think of it that way all though I understand how it could feel that way if you were programmed that way since a child, as I was. It took a long time to get over clumsy wording. I was taught “magic” or anything mystical was wrong and evil and would lead to my destruction. (Some organized religions can be very stifling and discouraging if you don’t fit into their mold) What a terrible feeling when I realized so young that a deep part of me was considered evil and dangerous. I suppressed it for years and felt like secretly, I was bad.
Then I went away from what I knew and all the people who had taught it to me. I left and traveled around the world, where I learned, I was just fine. Infact, I was awesome! I learned about “sychronycity”, a word which was more acceptable. So over the years, I embraced my “intuition” and noticed the many schronycities. But now I know its all the same thing. “Synchronicity is defined by Jung as a meaningful coincidence of an external event with a psychic event, such as a dream, fantasy, or thought. These events coincide in time in a way that gives them meaning for the observer. That is, they seem like communications between a divine force and ourselves, and they confirm that there is a connection or interaction between our psyche and physical reality.”
The story seems like it should end here, doesn’t it? But no, there is more. Of course, there is more! I promised you inspiration.
The next day, I got a message that a package had arrived at the post office for me. We were working and decided to stop by on our rounds of the city. I had been expecting a package from Leanne, a dear friend who I connected with years ago at a festival in Canada. We were both spinning flags and hit it off instantly. I love her so much but really haven’t spent enough time with her. She is the kind of friend that I can feel 1000 miles away, she is very strong in her energy. So I was curious to know what she had sent me. When I got the box, I could barely open it fast enough. And you’ll never guess what was inside? Some sage, a crystal, and a brand new set of exactly the Angel cards that I was about to gift to Mallory. The playa provides.
So, after some doing, I did finally find Mallory’s camp but no Mallory. I decided to leave the cards there for her at her tent. The gift was enough and it wasn’t meant for me to see her again. A true gift expects nothing in return. It was an honor to be able to gift a talented woman her first set of cards. I was so happy at the thought of her finding the cards and reading the note I wrote inside. My best playa gift so far, I am sure. It felt so divine.
This is our inspiration for creating the set of Playa Tarot cards. It is meant for me to learn the Tarot to sharpen my intuition and strengthen my belief in myself. Michael is learning to overcome his prejudice of all things mystical and unknown. Some things just can’t be explained. It’s important for us to spread the message that magic can and does happen, if we allow it. And this is our way of letting you bring the power of the playa with you everywhere you go.