Good morning, All! Welcome to the MashUp for 11 December 2014: the 8 of Pentacles, X the Wheel of Fortune and gracefully lensing for us, even though I treated her husband so cavalierly yesterday, the Queen of Cups. (Today’s deck is *The Bohemian Gothic Tarot* by Alex Ukolov & Karen Mahony. I really like this deck, it has a pervading “The Ripper’s Loose in London!”- vibe, And, it isone of my little “bastards” – these are the “flock” of decks which DON’T serve the higher-Minded ideal and lofty metaphysical aims of my soul, but instead appeal to one of the little dark “kinks” in my character and thus find indulgent acceptance in my eyes.) Having been on a punch drunk stumble through the ghettos of Tarot Town, I pick myself up, brush myself off, and muttering, “They can’t get rid of ME so easily!” I march down the lane to The Ten o’ Cups Tavern to order a pint and contemplate all of these 1 – 2 combo punches the Tarot has been delivering lately, throwing such accurate representations of “what if’s” into my face that I have to remind myself that the Tarot isn’t a vulgar little carnival sideshow that posits inanities. (I would never think that of the Tarot anyway, but literary license, doncha’know . . .) Well, hmm, a lovely wench, the 8 of Pentacles brings me my pint. She reminds me a little of a younger me – she is SO eager to please, she hungers so to do well and prove herself capable of holding on, of succeeding. She’s young, though, she is stumbling a lot, and she’s terribly tempted to take short cuts and practice small deceits to get where she wants to go. I should be aware, this morning, of any like tendencies in myself, I suppose. It’s true, from time to time I yearn for a good shortcut, just like from time to time I yearn for a good rationalization, but it IS cheating. I see that the beldame across the room is scrying her cards. HA! how rich. And just like that, this could all blow away, and I would be left sitting on my cold, flat ass in the snow, regretting that I took this hearth for granted. It can ALL change in the instant of a heartbeat, don’t forget that, Mark. Perhaps the girl is aware of it, too, because I notice she seeks the old woman’s approval of her comportment, but it seems Granny’s occupied with a different aspect of me today, the Strumpet. This is, while bathetically romantic or romantically bathetic, how these two gals, one young one old, seem to be dancing out my character today. Oh JeezuzMaryandJoseph, praise God, I promise I’ll never turn another trick, I promise! Look! She’s here, just as I so flippantly told her husband yesterday, “In this kingdom I’d rather deal with your wife than you!” It’s the Queen of Cups, and perhaps, oh please God let it be so, perhaps she can calm the down the game in the tavern. Radiating everything that is lovely, she can make anyone believe that it is going to be alright, that there IS love, that we ARE loved, that Creation is full of it. The Queen of Cups isn’t really me, of course, you see that as plainly as the wart-incrusted, dirt-caked monstrosity on your face; but let me tell you what the Queen of Cups IS – she’s THAT woman, the One whose eyes seize you across a room, the one whose gentle rise and fall of her brocaded bosom causes you to sway. Oh heavens, if you are a man, you feel your embarrassment rising in your trousers, and if a woman, you blush and giggle nervously, “bothered in your lady parts.” This isn’t dark, tempestuous Carmen inviting you to listen to her song; this is a radiant Aphrodite, a Queen of Love, whose warm & welcoming embrace is non-judgmental and freely full of Passion & Acceptance. If I’m going to manifest ANY grace and elegance today, I would do well to keep her token at my breast. She will allow me to affirm without turning red from the evident exaggeration: I am a radiant, loveable being. I wish I could always see myself in her eyes.