#TarotMonkey Weekly Reading: Temperance, the Devil, the Lovers.

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This week’s tarot spread shows Temperance, the Devil, and the Lovers. We will read this spread with the outer cards (Temperance, the Lovers) as possibilities which can come after the central card (the Devil).

The Center: The Devil

The Devil is about giving in to one’s id, to unrestrained passions and instinct. Though not negative in themselves, nor necessarily harmful, these impulses can place us in situations where we have to less control and agency.

On some days the temptation to burst out in anger or give in to impulsive action is very strong and we might give up our attempts to rein in our stronger emotions.

The next two cards will be two ways how we can approach when confronted by the Devil.

First Option: Temperance

Balance is the message of Temperance. And to maintain balance, one must have control. When one is confronted with excesses of the emotions, the conscious mind could step in and attempt to rationalize these feelings.

Temperance can stop us from doing actions that we might regret later. However, it also means repressing an aspect of our person which attempts to express itself.

Second Option: The Lovers

It can happen that when one exercises control, one might end up disregarding the reason for the strong emotions. The Lovers encourage us to allow ourselves to feel these strong emotions.

Why are we reacting strongly? What is triggering these emotions? What will these emotions tell us?

The Lovers remind us that it is also important for us to experience our hidden passions and impulses and acknowledge the side of us that may be uninhibited and amoral. Sometimes, we do need to give a little sympathy to the Devil.

Images are from the Tarot of the Imagination (art by Ferenc Pinter, published by Lo Scarabeo).

#30DayWritingChallenge: The story behind the last text I sent.

Day Sixteen: The story behind the last text I sent.

Lio's text message.

Last week, my friend and previous housemate Lio sent me a message asking if I was available this weekend. He said he has a friend who wanted to have her cards read. We agreed that I will drop by his place near Cash and Carry on Friday afternoon (yesterday) for the tarot reading.

I met Lio through a gay forum website which I admin. We met in person when he, I, and a few other members decided to meet up and exchange porn movies. Some time after that, when I was desperately looking for a housemate for my old apartment, Lio volunteered and we started living together.

Lio was, at that time, a slightly spoiled single child who had little concept of housework. He didn’t cook and his main contribution to the apartment was mostly bottles of alcohol in the fridge. He did mature over the years.

He is now living on his own in Makati. He fetched me outside Cash and Carry; when we arrived at his place, his boyfriend Drew has just finished cooking dinner: an unusual combo of plain pasta, spicy laing, and garlicky longganisa.

More: A frequent joke I threw at Lio was how he was one of the few Bicolano I know who has a low tolerance for piquant dishes.

#TarotMonkey Weekly Reading: The World, the Moon, the Sun.

The cards for this week’s Tarot spread are: The World, the Moon, and the Sun. Read from right (the Sun) to the left (the World), this spread suggests an eclipse.

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The Sun

The Sun is the primary source of energy of our solar system and has been symbolically linked to Life since ancient times. The Sun is illumination, a means to achieve clarity, and a metaphor for burning passions.

The Moon

The ever-changing face of the moon is a metaphor for impermanence and the illusions found in appearance. The light of the moon brings not clarity but confusion, accentuating shadows of doubts while giving less aid to our vision. In this spread, the Moon diminishes the energy and purpose the Sun brings.

The World

In the Tarot of the Imagination, the World is seen surrounded by the Moon, putting the World under the Moon’s influence. The light of the Sun cannot fully reach the World because of the Moon blocking its way.


The illusion of appearances may cause us to doubt our understanding of the world around us. We may feel a loss of purpose and our passions might diminish. During an eclipse, we may wonder what is the point of what we do, if there is no permanence in the world.

But an eclipse is also temporary. The Sun — our purpose, our passion, and our clarity — cannot be hidden forever. It remains there, currently just beyond our vision; but it is never gone.

During times of existential eclipse, it is importance to remember the goals we set up for ourselves and the values we live on by. It is our integrity which can remind us of who we are in those times when we are faced with uncertainties.

Images are from the Tarot of the Imagination (art by Ferenc Pinter, published by Lo Scarabeo).

#30DayWritingChallenge: Something that happened in a mall.

SM Aura

Day Nine: Something that happened in a mall.

“SM Aura would be good,” I wrote in my text message. “There’s a Coffee Bean at the open garden thingy.”

He asked me for a tarot reading about an hour ago. I’ve only talked to Nim on Twitter so far; that was the first time we would be meeting in person.

Like most people who never had a tarot reading, he was quite nervous. He blamed the romantic depictions of tarot in media, with the mysterious reader and the vaguely sinister, magical cards. I could probably achieve that with proper lack of lighting and a smoke machine.

I let him hold my deck (hehe) and browse through the cards so he can be at ease. He asked about each of the suits and what each character of the Majors meant.

It was a short reading, as those things go. He asked a few questions, the answers of which he noted down. I asked him to tell me six months down the road if any of what I said were true.

We were laughing through most of it, too, because he adopted what he called a “faux Catholic schoolgirl” persona while we were talking. Repeatedly, he asked me if that annoyed me. Repeatedly, I assured him that he didn’t.

I’ve had much, much worse clients.

The rest of our stay in the coffee shop, we talked about other things: common friends and acquaintances, work, gay people dating, and the local LGBT movement.

Like many educated, middle class gay men who are also interested in LGBT issues, we’re both frustrated at the seemingly lackluster progress of LGBT rights in the Philippines. Maybe because many gay people from our social class (the class that can potentially have the most influence in LGBT politics) are very uninterested.

We talked about local social media influencers and I told him of my dislike for people who think it is their life’s mission to influence others. “Like evil spirits,” he joked.

We would have stayed longer, but he needed to go home and video chat with his siblings. While I needed to go back and feed my cats.

Next time we hang out, we’ll probably be in the company of other gay Twitter friends. Twitter really has become like a virtual mall for me: A place where I spent lots of hours killing time while talking to friends. Occasionally, there will be something interesting to look at, but not too interesting for me to be buying.

#TarotMonkey Weekly Reading: The Pope, the Star, the Lovers.

For this week’s tarot reading: The Pope, the Star, the Lovers.

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This spread is read from left (the Pope) to right (the Lovers).

The Hierophant (or the Pope): Prudence and deliberate action were once helpful attitudes which strengthened one’s resolution when facing uncertainties. Some rules and patterns were set up to apply order to one’s surroundings. However, these old rules are beginning to stifle one’s creativity; a change is needed.

The Star: Now is the time for exploration: new things can be discovered and learned. Sparks of inspiration can lead to untried yet exciting directions. These new directions carry some risk, however; a fearless attitude is needed to overcome anxiety.

The Lovers: The new ideas received from the Star of inspiration will need to be grounded in reality for them to translate into concrete action. After the discovery comes the application in order to see how these ideas can be transformed into results. Some ideas may need to be abandoned over others. It will be important not to be attached to attractive yet improbable possibilities and choose only those that will contribute to achieving one’s goals.

Images are from the Tarot of the Imagination (art by Ferenc Pinter, published by Lo Scarabeo).