Saturday, August 3, 2013

A Tarot Reading in Second Life

This is your karma. You do not understand now, but you will understand later. The source of pain is within your own larger expression of being.

H. Raven Rose

            Second Life (SL) has been a dynamic, changing environment for me.  Recently, I’ve made two new friends inworld under different circumstances which led to an opportunity for a new experience for me as well as for one of these friends.

            I’d written a story about a visit to the Regency Era in SL a short while ago. One of my hosts while I was there was Merry Chase.         We became friends.  Afterwards, I learned that she performed Tarot card readings inworld.  Having written about Tarot in SL once before, I was intrigued because Merry uses an actual deck inworld during her readings. 

            We agreed to permit me to do a story about an inworld reading.  Merry asked if I wanted to be the subject.  I suggested that we have a third party so that I could focus on the reading and be impartial.  She recommended that I select the subject or querant to avoid any perceived conflicts of interest on her part. 

            That’s where my second new friend comes in.  In another story (You see the pattern here.)  I wrote about a new, nudist sim, Utopia Naked Isle Resort.  Shorlty afterwards, I became friends with one of its managers, Lisah Lorefield.  (Yes, the very same Lisah Lorefield whom I stood up last week when I lost Internet access.)  Being an open minded and inquisitive person, good qualities to have when being a friend of mine, Lisah readily agreed to being the querant for Merry’s Tarot reading. 

            Once we all agreed to participate, we scheduled the reading and we were off.  I’d like to point out that Merry normally charges for a Tarot reading.  She kindly did this one on a complimentary basis.  The reading would take place at Merry’s Tarot center inworld. 

            Merry is an experienced Tarot reader having done them in Real Life (RL) for over twenty-five years.  She has done seventeen readings in SL.  Merry has traded readings with really good RL Tarot readers, people who have designed decks for sale.  She knows the business.  Merry has many interests inworld mainly focusing on historical themes such as the Regency Era and 1920’s Berlin.  (Where she finds time for all this is another story beyond the scope of this story.) 

            Lisah had never had a Tarot reading before in either RL or SL and approached it with an open mind.  (Don’t worry, we didn’t shock Merry’s Regency values as both of us were properly attired for the reading.  Although Lisah did extend an invitation for Merry to visit Utopia.) 

            For the reading, Lisah and I meet Merry under a gazebo she’d built (Merry is a very versatile woman.) the day before for this occasion which overlooked the sea.  Merry is not in her usual Regency attire but has affected a New Age look for her Tarot activities.  We sit on pillows on the ground around a deck of cards in the middle. 

            One point before we begin.  A Tarot reading is a private and personal matter.  Some feel a Tarot reader is akin to a doctor or a clergy member with similar rules of confidentiality.  So, while I’m attending this reading, I’m there as an observer and as Lisah’s guest.  I do not participate and I will not write about the personal observations made by Merry.  Later, after some time has passed, Lisah and I may meet again and look back on the reading but not this time.  What we are doing is not a game.  This story talks about the session and how it’s conducted. 

            Lisa uses a standard seventy-eight card deck.  She opens by asking Lisah whether her reading would be about a specific question, or a more general overview of how things stand with her.  But the cards seem to have a mind of their own she adds.  Merry continues that sometimes when someone asks one question they’re answering another.  Merry says that it’s the same with SL or RL – one can ask about SL but it might turn out to be just as relevant to their RL.  Merry ends her opening that Lisah  can ask a specific question and can tell it to her or not, as she prefers.

            Lisah says that she does not have a specific question. 

            Merry next instructs Lisah to in her mind's eye, to take the cards in her hand and shuffle them and when she feels ready for Merry to deal them out, to let her know.

                Lisah says she’s done.

            Merry shuffles the deck and a pattern of cards appears on the ground in front of us.  She explains that this spread is commonly called the Celtic Cross, but she wants Lisah to think of it as her home; a house of cards.

            Merry begins her reading of the cards.  She says that the first card we look at, the center, is Lisah’s hearth.  It's at the heart of the matter, just like her fireplace is at the heart of her home. 

            Lisah nods in agreement. 

            Merry describes the significance of the card.  Since this card is covered by another, she uses a web link to bring up its image.  She reminds Lisah to interrupt her at any time she needs her to slow down or to explain something.   

The next card, across her hearth, is the kindling Merry says, describing that it's a catalyst that gets things going.  It could be an obstacle or challenge or just a spark that ignites the situation.

Merry explains that the best hope for the cards as we progress is that they provide a helpful insight or meditation, whether happy or not.

Merry says that next we look above Lisah’s hearth card and that of course is her mantelpiece card where she places things of value or significance are placed that she wants to keep in sight.

Lisah says she is curious and wants to continue and understands everything so far. 

Merry goes on and says we know the kind of stuff we put on the mantelpiece, portraits of loved ones, cherished objects, trophies, things to remind us of goals or memories.  She explains what the card tells us we find for Lisah. 

The next card is Lisah’s hearthrug, where she stands in front of that fire.  It is not her foundation or even floor but just a hearthrug, easily changed.

Merry takes us to the next card known as the back door to see who or what has just left.

This is followed by a card to determine who is coming in the front door.  She explains that is the closest we get to a "prediction" in this reading.  The card tells Lisah of possibilities for the near future. 

Merry explains that the next four cards are a change of pace - looking at Lisah’s house via maps.  The four maps are from different perspectives – Lisah’s  own, those close to her, the world at large, and the Universe.

We go walk through each map starting with Lisah’s own map - her personal approach to the situation currently.

The next view is the map of Lisah’s house as family and closest friends see it.

Then the following map is the world, where we see what the big world sends.

Merry asks Lisah if she’s good so far. 

Lisah smiles and replies in the affirmative and says that she is impressed.

Merry replies, “Sweet!”  (Please note that I’ve been very quiet so far in this reading.) 

Now the last but not least as Merry explains is the Universe card and of course on its map Lisah seems very small.  (As we all do.)  But everything is connected so even the Universe has something specifically for her.  Merry turns over the card and explains its significance for Lisah. 

Merry has turned over and explained every card in the original spread.  Lisah has heard what the possible implications of this could be for her.  However, only she knows herself well enough to understand what it means. 

Merry goes back over the cards and looks for trends.  She explains these and asks Lisah if she has any questions.  Lisah replies that she has no questions and pretty much understands all the cards. 

Merry adds that the cards make a good basis for meditation so maybe in thinking about them in the next couple of weeks, more will make sense to Lisah.  Lisah says that it has more to do with her RL (maybe mixed up with her SL life sometimes).  Merry smiles saying that she finds usually readings span about that time - two weeks to maybe a couple months and that her readings seem to gravitate towards RL but that they can be about both.  She feels that she doesn't really think of them as separate - SL is something we real people do.

            The reading is over and I begin to ask my questions.  (What did you really think I was going to be quiet for the whole story?) 

            I begin by asking Lisah how does she feel after this reading?   

                She replies that is impressed adding that she came here with a neutral opinion.  Merry smiles upon hearing this saying how happy she is to hear both that Lisah was neutral, and that she was impressed.

My next query to Lisah is how does she feel about herself after this.   Merry cautions that she certainly doesn’t have to reveal anything personal.  Lisah responds that she understands what the cards say.

 I switch and ask Merry my next question.  How does she feel while doing a reading?

Merry responds that the way she sees it, the cards tell a story, and she reads the story, but the person who the story is about is the one who knows best what its real meanings are.  She continues that the cards are archetypes so they are things that happen in all lives at one time or another, but out of seventy-eight cards, these ones came up at this time and in these positions for Lisah, so she doesn't just parrot this card means this, that card means that. Merry tries to be open to the relationships between the cards and their varied shades of meaning, and maybe a bit of her own intuition.

I next ask Merry what do you think influences the cards? The querant or something else?

Merry replies that she really doesn't know the answer to that question.  Sometimes it creeps her out, how right-on a reading can turn out to be.  Out of the seventeen readings Merry has done in SL, she’s had fifteen right-ons in her opinion. 

I ask Merry if she’s been affected by these readings.

Merry says that she is affected in that she really enjoys it the same way she would enjoy writing a poem or making a little clay animal, it's got some of that creative charge.

The answer is not what I’m looking for so I continue if it’s either by being drawn to the quearants or something else.  Then Merry sees where I’m going.  She explains that, yes, there is that feeling of knowing intimate things about strangers, but she thinks that's something we all encounter to some degree in SL.  Our souls are already bared here more readily than in RL, and then we throw around these ancient archetypes and it can be very deep.

I then ask if there is there a difference between doing readings in SL and RL. 

Merry responds that, well, the weird thing is it's different but not as different as she would have thought.  She explains that she can't look in the querant's eyes, read body language, get those little clues as to how on-track she is but somehow …  Merry stops herself and asks me if I’ve had you had the experience of getting to know people really fast in SL, or sharing things here you might not share so readily in RL?  I reply affirmatively.  (I don’t one can be inworld and not have this experience. 

Merry continues that she thinks because we are here as "avatars," these disembodied spirits of ourselves, there is some sort of openness and truth to our communication even when we think we're only playing.  She says it's like we step into Dream Time. 

We have come to the end of the reading and our discussion about it and the SL aspects of it. 

Lisah and I have both made copies of the deck.  Merry asks me when I plan to have my reading and I promise to schedule one.  Merry’s RL doorbell rings and she has to leave us.  Lisah and I thank her again and we leave. 

Lisah and I do meet briefly afterwards to discuss the reading.  She’s very impressed by the reading itself and how Merry handled it.  I am as well but I’m also impressed by the inworld mechanics of the reading.  Anyone interested in a Tarot reading inworld has to see this. 

I’m asked by Lisah how it felt to sit through her reading when I wasn’t familiar with either her SL or RL.  I replied that I was there as an observer and not to comment on her private lives.  I want to write about the reading’s mechanics and how it worked.  We take our leave of each shortly afterwards. 

I would like to thank both Merry Chase and Lisah Lorefield for permitting me to join their reading and share it with my readers.  I hope my coverage is seen as serious by all and that Tarot is not simply a parlor trick. 

For anyone wishing a reading with Merry she can be reached by notecard inworld.  She does charge and her rates are as follows: 

One-Card Flash Insight: 250L
Three-Card Past-Present-Future: 500L
Five-Card Overview: 1000L
Seven-Card Horseshoe: 1500L
Nine-Card Mandala: 2000L
Ten-Card Celtic Cross In-Depth Reading: 2500L  (This is what Lisah received.) 

            Her Facebook page has more information and testimonials. 

            I’ve included links to pictures of Lisah’s reading. 

As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives. 

I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at

            If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
please click here

Photo No. 1   We Start

Photo No. 3   The Initial Spread

Photo No. 4   Cards Turned Over

Photo No. 5    All Cards Turned Over

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