Sunday, January 8, 2012

Thoughts on Tarot and Reputation.

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.

The reason?

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


  1. Wonderful! Honestly I would have said unfortunately that the lady's reputation would be in jeopardy do to association. Why? Because thats how the masses think. Should it be that way? No.

    I know from personal experience I like to surround myself with all sorts of energies and I am able to honor the beauty in all (at least I do my best to) and am known to have friends who hate each other. I don't try and fix relationships as that is not my place but I ask that I not be judged for honoring a different perception. I've lost friends both physical and online due to my association with either certain individuals, groups, thoughts, my faith etc.. Hell I've lost friends because I went Vegan. It does suck that people judge you by the company you keep without understanding why you keep such company. But at the end of the day I have to ask myself was the friendship even worth it if they would drop you like that because you may oppose something they believe in or something they have said or they oppose something you believe in or something you have said... Hmm indeed.

  2. I suppose small towns have different politics than I am used to... and it sounded like she was from/in a small town....

    I can't imagine anyone stopping being your friend because you went Vegan! but then again, maybe I can, because I know people who have lost friends because they stopped drinking, and the drinking friends "felt judged" by the other person's sobriety!

    Obviously the drinking friend was not as secure in themselves as they wanted to believe if they felt "judged" just because someone else said "well I have to stop drinking, I have a problem with alcohol" but people will take issue with something you say or do without checking your intention first. Hmmm. Indeed.

  3. Well said, Michael.

  4. Great post, Gina! I am so sorry to hear this but sadly not surprised. I have come to the conclusion that many people are sheep, especially when it comes to elections of any kind and religion. You have to be so "vanilla" in today's political landscape so you will appeal to anyone. That's one of the many reasons I will never be in politics.

    I read a story a whole back about a card reader/Reiki master who was barred from entering a beauty contest because of her "association with the deal arts". Apparently some Christian group was sponsoring the show and decided she was somehow morally bankrupt. Total bullshit.

    Whether or not she gets elected, I wish her well. But one more closed-minded elected official will not do anyone who is chocolate, pistachio, or heaven forbid, rocky road, any good at all. And eating vanilla all the time sucks.

  5. Depending on where she lived, yes, her reputation would have been in danger. At the least of being made to look like a crackpot or worse, being made to look like a Satanist. In the past year I had someone refuse to sell me their car when they found out I read Tarot. I'm dead serious about that. Private owner who flipped out over my connection with Le Diablo.

    I never realized he and I were that close. LOL

    We all know clever people can twist a situation to benefit them. Perhaps she was one of those individuals who likes to create drama where there isn't any so that she got attention.

    For me, my reputation is built and maintained by me. My actions in public and in private are subject to scrutiny by certain groups. Certainly my public face as President of the American Tarot Association is one I work hard to keep clean.

    One of the things I personally do is avoid those types who cause/create/attract drama like your person. I say you are far better off without her in your sphere. Sometimes it is hard to remove those people from your life, but I know from personal experience, it's very rewarding.

    Intriguing post, Gina.