Once upon a time, many years ago, back when my Wicce's Tarot Collection review site was alive and thriving and well, there was a lovely lady who had her own tarot business and she really enjoyed writing guest tarot deck reviews for my site, etc. She was pleasant, a little reclusive, and lived what seemed to me to be a fairy-tale existence.... very simple, hermit-style dwelling, and a life centered almost entirely on tarot, cats and solitude.
Her guest reviews were always well-presented, clearly thought out and also often represented a deck I did not have access to or a differing point of view on one I had reviewed. After a while she stopped sending them in, and I just pretty much figured she was busy doing her own thing, etc.
A couple of years later....
I received an *email* from her, asking very pointedly that I immediately take down and destroy all copies of any of the work she had done for my site. She was very specific in making sure she said to wipe them off my hard drive, take them off my site, remove them from my backups, and make sure that there weren't any links to them from anywhere else that I had control over.
She had decided to run for local political office near her home, and didn't want her reputation in the community destroyed by being associated with me!
She felt that if anyone in the community knew she was involved with tarot in any way, her reputation would be smeared all over town and she would lose the election.
Furthermore, my being an out-of-the-broom-closet Wiccan could only do *more* harm to her campaign.
Immediately I thought about the fact that she had been doing tarot readings out of her home for over 20 years, and therefore it couldn't *possibly* be a secret in town that she was a card reader. She had not held a regular job in some time, so any journalist doing a story on her qualifications for political office would have unearthed that with or without a connection to me.
And, she was only running for a position on the City Council or something. Not a position where it was one job and it was all-or-nothing for the candidates; she was at best going to be elected to a board or a forum.
I thought it was a very strange request, but I honored it. I saw absolutely no fruit to be gained in arguing logic with her over her strange choices. She said she was sending similar "cease and desist" type emails to anyone who had a link to any of those guest reviews, to ask them to remove them as well.
She sounded very much like she was willing to immediately see anyone as combative who did not promptly do everything as ordered. It was such a complete about-face from what I had been accustomed to, I think I simply was shocked into silence and complied without a word. NOT that I would have given her any difficulty about it.... but to this day I have thought of no reason to be that way about it.
Google searches do not come up with her name, anywhere. I wonder now if she wrote those reviews under a pen name. Perhaps her idyllic life that she described was, in fact, a fantasy world that did not really exist? And when she decided to run for office, she was more able to erase her fantasy world because it wasn't really her all along?
Who knows, maybe the card reader up in the mountains by the lake was a complete fabrication. And maybe she existed, but those who went to her knew her by a different name than the people who were voting for her on that election ballot.
One thing I do know; I know that it hurts to be considered injurious to someone else's reputation simply by being who you are and having them connected with you. But I also know that there are times when it is a liability to what you want to accomplish to be connected with someone who is seen as being a bad influence, a poor role model, a negative asset to the community.
These thoughts and ruminations are somewhat of a rhetoric, but at the same time, not. What do you think? would you have said that the lady's reputation was in danger by her association? I'm not good with politics, social or governmental. I don't generally understand why gay people can't get married, why being Wiccan means I'm not allowed to have contact with my stepdaughter, why running a large tarot review site means I am bad for your election chances. This seems to be a pertinent topic these days, though, and I see a lot of relevance in it. So I figured I'd put my thoughts out there and see what other people are feeling about this.
Yours in tarot,
Gina M. Pace (aka Wicce), creator of the Pagan Tarot, published by LoScarabeo, and webmistress of Wicce's Tarot Collection, one of the internet's largest former tarot review websites and PENDING NEW AND IMPROVED SITE