Sortilege Intimacy.

2:05:00 PM

There's something freeing for me about the cards.  When I shuffle the deck, I enter a different space of consciousness, I elevate to some place between this world and the next.  It's a lot like a good drug trip or a mind-blowing orgasm without the bleary haze and bodily sensations- just pure energy working in and out of my consciousness.  Shuffling is part of the trance process; you've got to do it, and you have to take the cards with you when you leave your body, that's how the spirits come to recognize the pictures of the cards.  They aren't a key for my corporeal body return to- no they ARE the flight, the trip, the sabbat and the ride home all at once.  They are bonded intimately to me and to my ancestors and my ancestral spirits, and part of that intimacy comes from the constant handling of the deck.  

Every single card in every one of my reading decks has been lovingly stroked and caressed by my hands.  They know the oil of my skin and the callouses of my thumbs.  They move like water in my hands; arranging and rearranging as I see fit.  I can handle them, and they handle me.  In a way, I have a far more intimate relationship with cards than I do with people.  I can stand the touch of the cards.  I can't stand the touch of another person quite as well.  The cards speak, but they don't gossip.  The cards move but I'm in control.  The cards reveal my secrets but they never betray my feelings.  I can touch them, but they can't touch me unless I consent.  I can be myself with the cards.  It's people I haven't figured out how to bond with.   You'd think this would make it difficult to read for other people.  You are right.  And you are wrong.

Part of why I quit reading professionally was my dislike of being paid for the service, yes, but the other part was the intimacy.  It takes a lot out of me to give anyone my time, even, or especially, people I love- they're the hardest people for me to be around.  That might sound counterintuitive from the outside but think about it: People who love you are invested in your wellbeing and so there is a pressure on you to do well, be well, however, strangers offer anonymity and can ask nothing of you that you are obliged to give.  It's safe to be distant, and so I am.

There's so much intimacy in card reading.  When you pull cards for someone, you are offering to be their confidant, their oathkeeper.  Me pulling your cards means I'm willing to have a private, confidential, spiritual relationship that I will not betray.  If I've ever pulled your cards for you, I did so because I wanted to be closer to you in the only way I know how.  Maybe I found you too intelligent not to probe for secrets.  Maybe I want you and I want to see into your love life to see if I get to pass through it.  Maybe I felt too afraid for you to let you go without pulling your card.  There's always an ulterior motive with me, and it's called intimacy. I want to feel like part of your life and your story without actually being relied on.  I think this all comes from the fact that in person, I don't really connect to anyone.  I feel an intense fear of closeness that has prevented me from starting or maintaining closeness with other people.  My closest friends growing up were characters from books and the dead who surround me.  My most intimate relationship was probably with Dorian Gray or Lady Chatterley.

When people I love ask me for readings, I get especially nervous, especially if they're someone I really want to outlive.  I don't like knowing what's coming for my loved ones.  I don't like feeling the presence of nearing demise, of already seeing the decay form around the edges of their relationships.  This is why I don't read them as often as they'd all probably like.  There's something... too intimate about reading for people I care deeply about.  It starts as this hollow pit in the stomach that becomes an anxiety in the shoulders, and, finally, an ache in the spine.  I don't want this kind of closeness.  Not with people who care about me.  And yet, I'm a lonely witch because of it.  There's something too vulnerable about being looked up to, being trusted or relied on.  I'm not reliable.  I'm a flake, and I'll flake out of having to read for people the closer I get to them.  Because I don't really want to know.  Because I don't really want you to see me struggle to put the truth nicely.  Because I'm afraid if I see you, you'll see me back.

I'm terrified of intimacy.  Physical intimacy slightly horrifies me, but emotional intimacy... dear gods spare me.  There's something too needy about it, too feely, too... much.  It's too intense to deal with.  I only ever learned how to forge deep intellectual bonds.  I never figured out how to lay my hand against someone else and leave it there.  I never learned how to expose my total self without a backup plan.  For a lot of readers, it is absolutely imperitive to touch your client's hand, to feel their souls through something as simple as a brief touch.  I wish I could. 

I wish being physically touched didn't make me physically ill sometimes.  I wish I had the ability to hug someone without breaking out into a cold sweat, to kiss someone without feeling dirty afterwards, to touch the hands of a shaking client to let them feel my warmth without immediately getting up to clutch my chest as my heart goes into arrhythmic somersaults.  I wish it didn't actually hurt me, physically, like an itching pain all over my skin, to reach out.  If I could, I'd shake every hand and hold your hand while I reach inside and look through the pages of your possibilities.  I wish I had it in me to reveal myself.  Instead, I let the cards do the talking and I just keep my round gaze steady on yours, wishing you could see me the way I see you.

But that's much too close.

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  1. I feel the same way with my profession. I establish the connection and thus creating the amount of control I have in it. I don't like to be physically touched as I have recently learned...which is funny in its own way since I touch people for a living. I say keep doing what you do and the people who love you will get to know you through your distance. It is not through our words that we get to know people, but with our actions and reflection.