QUEEN of CUPS. A person who reflects the true nature of the observer. Poetic, dreamy and imaginative.
Jem arrived on my doorstep late this morning. In case you didn’t read my last series, she’s my best friend from the Whorehouse. She takes care of me when I’m being stupid … and of course I’m being very stupid right now. She flew in from Cheyenne to set me right … and she is the Queen of Cups … my “true nature” – that is: a witch.
I’m at my best naked in the wilderness under a full moon, in a magic circle at one with the Goddess.
Why would a good Catholic girl consort with witches? Firstly, who said I was a “good” Catholic girl? Secondly, it is because I am one of them. I knew it even during my teenage religious crisis, when I went religion mad. I wanted to be a nun, but that was because it was the closest thing to being a priestess. Now, that leaves me as one torn between my heritage and my true nature – and in the limbo that separates them.
I am one of them, yet I’m not sensitive like some. I can read the Tarot, and I can heal ghosts – but only if someone can tell me they are there. That is my “special power” according to Jem, but it’s a blind power.
Jem, a sensitive one, says my house is filled with ghosts – not benign ones like my London house. These push me into doing things that aren’t good for me. Jem saw them last time she visited, but only now did she realize their malign nature. She believes that a house that once stood on this site in the early 1800’s might have been owned by a polygamist, perhaps even a Mormon on mission from the church. Joseph Smith’s trek took him through this area. In fact, my Mormon ancestors lived in southern Illinois, but that is where an acrimonious family split took place – in either Decatur or Springfield. I’m not sure.
Jem also says that they see one of their own in me that they want to reclaim. In fact, she thinks that one of the wives might have been a blood relative. She suspected that was what drew me to buy this house in the first place – one that was far too big for my needs with a pool that rarely gets used, and on the Illinois side of the river, in East St Louis, further away from work than I would like.
Concerned for me, Jem sat through my rehearsal this afternoon, before taking me out to dinner. The moon was still full tonight, so she wanted to cast a spell to protect me from these malevolent spirits. First, however, she needed to discover their intent. That meant observing me in front of Max and his wives. She was certain that it would become clear, as this night was going to be different.
And different it was. Tonight, the tables were turned. Max and Lore demonstrated how they had “loving” sex – and I mean they went all the way in front of the camera for my benefit. It was their pitch, their lure, and then Puddle-duck took over. She did the hard sell. I could have all of that and more with the three of them together in Pittsburgh. She was playing me with sexual innuendo, telling where and how to touch myself, and then Jem stopped it.
Initially, I begged her to let me continue, but Jem said that I had been hypnotized by Puddle-duck, or might have had a spell cast on me by her or Max when he originally marked me. She even suggested that I called her Puddle-duck because using her real name, also Jemima, reminded me of Jem, possibly weakening the spell.
Then it was back out to the garden under the full moon, this time protected by a circle. Jem suggested that this time the ghosts would be more difficult to banish. The family had been massacred, burnt in their home for their unusual beliefs. The spell allowed them temporary possession of me, and Jem was afraid where it might take me – to Pittsburgh, to Utah, or more likely, Hell. That’s not Hell in the Catholic sense, but an inferno where these ghosts lived in perpetual agony.
Jem said there were at least eight of them, so I drew eight cards to represent them: The Priestess, Ruin (10 of Swords), Princess of Wands, Strife (5 of Wands), Ace of Wands, Power (4 of Disks), Disappointment (5 of Cups), and Sorrow (3 of Swords). Even if Jem hadn’t been there, I would have known right away their malady: fire and disagreement. The Priestess was their spiritual leader, their witch, perhaps one who wielded power like Puddle-duck. The rest told me of their downfall. The Princess of Wands was the alpha female and had made a decision that the others disagreed with (possibly including the Priestess). The husband (signified by Power, since the males dominated their religion) sided with the Princess and the decision led to their ruin and ultimately their deaths.
At the time, I sensed something (or someone) missing. Since I wasn’t sensitive like Jem, I took her at her word. These ghosts needed harmony and completion. For a family who died in fire, a candle spell wouldn’t work, nor would knots, as they were bound to their fate. Water: that was the only thing I could think of. Jem opened the circle to include my pool, which I’d already prepared for winter, but there was still a few feet of water below the cover. I rolled back the cover and stepped into the freezing pool, then submerged with the cards held against my chest.
They wanted me, so I gave myself to them in such a way they would lose the fire that motivated them. Hopefully that would free them.
The only thing I hadn’t allowed for was the temperature of the water. I could barely climb out of the pool afterwards. We thanked the Goddess, and Jem dragged me to bed (with her next to me to raise my body temperature).
I’m still shivering as she types this for me. (That’s why there were no slips or stutters tonight.)