18 January 2012. Filed under category Personal.
Click to go to 'Why So Serious?' and have your future told!

Click to go to 'Why So Serious?' and have your future told!

My mind is scientifically aligned, but my imagination and fascination is firmly rooted in the wispy clouds of magic. It was therefore with great pleasure that I received a Tarot reading, my most occult gift yet.

I was first going to give you the low-down of what the fortune-teller revealed about my future, but then changed my mind. Instead, I will employ the power of crowd sourcing to see what else the cards may reveal about my future. If you would be so kind to indulge me in this, please follow these simple steps:

  1. Study the spread.
  2. Visit the earth mother, connect with the Source, commune with the sun or do whatever else you do to see into the future.
  3. Write your interpretation of the cards in the comments. No sneak peaking of other people’s visions!
The Tarot Spread

Finally, an observation: I thought that fortune-tellers were old wrinkly hags with a hunchback and a tendency to eat children. I’m happy that my sexy young man of a fortune-teller rescued me from that misconception.


Please write your Tarot interpretation, serious or not, here!

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  1. The Oracle says:

    Easy. Dolphins are gay animals, so the two coming out of your heart on the harmony card clearly means that you will find a partner and be harmonious together. The flowering card above it means you two will adopt babies. That, or one of you will be pregnant through some crazy fluke of nature.

    However, all is not well with this picture. The Source card is clearly the evil eye of Sauron, so you have a really miffed off and powerful enemy somewhere.

    The other cards are just pretty decorations. Not everything carries meaning, you know.

  2. PDragon says:

    It will be a while before anyone can yell ‘Snap’….

  3. Xavier says:

    Hi Gustav,

    There is no greater challenge than the ones we lay out for ourselves. The answers are already in your hands. The way to grow is very seldom the easy road. Maybe the cards confirm this: I don’t know how to interpret them. I’d be more at ease with traditional tarot.
    I’m working on the path with you, hoping to give you a nudge so maybe one day, at your pace, you reinvent yourself profoundly. But again, if you follow the easy road, it absolutely doesn’t make you a bad person nor it should authorize others to look down on you…

    I’m placing my hope on these two hands of yours which can achieve great things for others, once the card you lay facing down is actually your own picture. Did the last sentence just sound too harsh?


  4. Imogen says:

    It’s hard to imagine a set of cards/words more confirming of your choice to become a nomad. But then, I’ve heard that the secret of good “fortune telling” is to use descriptions that anyone can interpret as applying to them. So I’d at least need to know which cards didn’t come up in order to assess the spread. Tarot cards are like statistics, as a rule, they can be interpreted to support whatever argument you choose. Perhaps it’s in your interpretation, and not the cards themselves, that you find your most valuable information.

  5. Craig Brown says:

    I don’t know anything about Tarot readings but…
    Ahem, this looks like it was last years reading! All of these cards look like they were designed for you, and someone about to embark on a life changing course, perhaps involving travel 😉 The only card that doesn’t quite yet feel like you is Harmony. Perhaps this will coming after your Flowering.
    OK, a small bit of research on Tarot spreads. First, you don’t say if you are asking a question. This looks like the Celtic Cross spread using Osho Zen Tarot Cards. Anyway, here goes. So you are currently in harmony (don’t see that) and your immediate challenge is a flowering (your online business…yes!). In the distant past you were friendly (true and helpful) and you recently realized the totality of your situation (in Mexico?). For the near future you will just be living moment to moment (indeed) with the hope of one day becoming you most authentic self, where the outside matches the inside. The best thing you can do as you become a nomad is to go with the flow and in your new contact with the outside world you must be quiet, not live so much in the head, and let your quiet inner energy guide you in all your creative endeavors. Your hope for the future is to live the life you have always felt inside. This will result in a life of traveling. LOL, that’s my truest best shot.
    I really agree with Imogen about “the secret of good ‘fortune telling’ is to use descriptions that anyone can interpret as applying to them.” But this is no criticism, really…it helps us find the essentially human things we all share. The symbolism is beautiful. And my mind is also scientifically aligned.
    Did you shuffle the deck first to give it your “energy”? Now that would be very Bad Science (inside joke).

  6. Gustav, the Modern Nomad says:

    So, yes indeed, I shuffled it, letting my energy spill all over it. I also conjured up the question, “What will come of my new nomadic life?” It was a no-brainer, really.

    As for something else, I have a friend who made me my personal astrology chart. I put equal amount of faith in the mystical powers of distant lumps of rock and gasses, impressively large as they are, as I do in Tarot. But the rich symbolism still is a fantastic midwife for discussion and I remember having a wonderful evening pouring over the charts with a bottle of wine and good friends.

    Then again, any evening where I am the sole focus of everyone’s attention is a good one.

    1. J. says:

      I knew we had a lot in common…

      1. Gustav, the Modern Nomad says:

        You just wait until after Burning Man 2012. Then we will have a lot in common! 😉

  7. Gustav, the Modern Nomad says:

    As a kid, I used to draw one card every morning. I entered the card in a carefully managed Excel spreadsheet so I later could do statistical analysis on the data.

    1. Craig Brown says:

      That sounds like an experiment. What was the hypothesis? The result? Surely you are going to say more. (Including the true interpretation before the next post?)

  8. Rich says:

    Your reading tells me this:

    You have friends with fantastic taste in Tarot decks. The Osho Zen is one of my favourites! 🙂

    I’m not going to go into detail explaining this spread, but I will add something that I imagine not many people will have gone into (I haven’t cheated and read others’ inputs) – the negative side of the reading.

    IMO – The spread shows that your new life has challenged you in one major way. You find it difficult to move freely through your life as a steady progression of life, finding more that you take it as a series of disparate events, keeping the parts of your new life separate from each other. The challenge to you is to find the flow through moving from one place to another, one group of friends to another, one setting to another, etc… and appreciate this life as a whole, and more than the sum of its parts.

    Take it as you will, 🙂

    1. Gustav, the Modern Nomad says:

      That is uncannily accurate. That has indeed been something of a trend. The only thing tying all these places together is me and to some degree, you readers. But the friends I make in one place never meets the ones I make elsewhere. I too feel a bit disjointed by all this jumping around. It’s not a major problem, but it is worth keeping an eye on.

      Thanks for the input!

      1. kimera azriel says:

        I disagree that none of your world friends have met each other. Rich and I have met a few of your Cali friends and look forward to going to Mexico someday and will most likely meet a few of your wonderful friends there too.
        If you make your way to Seattle Wa. I have friends there that would host you. I’m sure Rich could arrange the same for you in S.A.


        1. Gustav, the Modern Nomad says:

          Fair point. Rich, you were all wrong; try harder next time. 😉

    2. Craig Brown says:

      1. Rich’s most eloquent reply could apply to me as well. One day I am dealing with a hysterical Mother and the next I’m having dinner at a cafe in Paris with Philippe? What do they really know of each other? But this is the “beauty” of Tarot. Interpreting humanity.

      2. Your life may seem disparate NOW. But as you network and your life grows the world will become smaller and smaller. Already five of your friends are mine now on facebook. I’ve met Jon. But neither of us have yet met Crys or Brittany. I’m finishing a book Elliot recommended. And where are you now and how did you meet Xavier? Your cyber avatar is thriving and growing even when your actual body is alone and feeling disconnected. And btw, some of us will meet between Aug. 27-Sep. 3. And more happenings. I saw this as a psychological challenge from the beginning, equal to finding a mobile career. And just as satisfying to overcome.

      1. Xavier says:

        Craig: I am so often aligned with your answers to the point that it is troubling. 🙂 Thanks for the positive energy you bring to this blog.
        But we shouldn’t worry too much for “Poor Gustav”‘s internal dilemmas. Now that I know him in person, I can say that he knows very well why he does certain things and which objective he wants to reach.I appreciate his honesty about his agenda even if I don’t necessarily agree with nor relate to his motives.

        I don’t think that the point here is necessarily the connections between life threads for Gustav but much more about his willingness to genuinely “know” people. When you are keen to explore other people’s lives and motivations, these connections are somewhat a natural mental process and get established.
        It’s been a point of a daily discussion between Gustav and I to let him consider a point of view where the others, people will be first and him second. I don’t want to change him : I hope that one day he comes with the motivation on his own. I am convinced that the answers that he is seeking along his journey won’t come from feedback and self-introspection: he has done that enough already. He needs to “forget himself” to “rediscover himself”. By giving genuinely, he will grow. He has a tremendous talent for it but for the moment, the talent is sleeping in one of the corners of his soul…

        I know that he is reading what I am writing but I am not sure that he is “listening”. Still 2 more weeks to try to get an awakening: working on it… I haven’t given up yet. I’m trying to implant the “idea” of selflessness in him…

        Gustav: plenty of affection going your way. I like you tons.


        1. Gustav, the Modern Nomad says:

          Xavier, this is actually about me using up the hot water, isn’t it? What can I say? I ‘forgot about myself’ and the minutes ticked on.

          I have the deepest respect for selfless people. It is beautiful when someone gives with no thought of getting anything back, just for the cheer pleasure of it. It is one of the principles of Burning Man and you know how much I depend on that week.

          But while I love the quality in others, I know myself well enough to know that selflessness is not part of my psyche. I don’t use people in a selfish way either. I strive towards making every meeting mutually beneficial.

          However, my mind is not immovable. I do listen to you, but don’t be disappointed if you are unable to shift me in three weeks. You are up against thirty years worth of compound momentum. It takes a long time to change how someone thinks, and thanks heaven for that as we would be terribly gullible and unreliable otherwise.

          I am very grateful for the ‘input’ I get from you, as I am for all the different experiences and ideas I am coming across in my travel. I am excited to see what will come of it, but whatever it is, it must grow gradually from a solid ground. We don’t want to fulfil Richard’s dystopian prediction by having me latch onto things that do not connect back to my roots.

          1. Xavier says:

            Yes, the hot water we were missing was to dip you into the cauldron and cook you up with some vegetables: kinda fan of Swedish stews here!

            I am just trying to implant some ideas for the overall journey. You might adopt them tomorrow, in 5 years, never… Up to you: your call.

            But just know that I’ll keep my affection intact and still watch/contribute to your journey happily.


        2. Craig Brown says:

          A while back, maybe ten years?, I made the decision to start asking people that I met on the airplane more about their own adventures. Why were they on the plane? I maybe even crossed boundaries inquiring into their motivations, etc…and I stopped talking so much about myself. (“so much”, mind you). Then, off the plane, I started to delve more deeply into others’ psychologies and life paths and how I could help. An amazing thing happened! Love flooded into my life! Opportunities exploded exponentially. People are fascinating. This was no selfLESS endeavor it turns out. It turns out it was the best way to make each meeting not only “mutually beneficial” but mutually connected. Maybe this sounds corny, but it actually happened to me. Now, I do know that Gustav loves experiments 😉 His current path is almost forcing this very experiment whether he likes it or not.This is what could lead to the satisfying outcome I mentioned above. And now I feel I’m posting too much here! LOL

  9. This is how I see it. It’s like a game board where START lies exactly where the asian guy begins jumping happily in a very step-by-step manner (totally unaware of what’s coming!)

    So game on! The FLOWER POWER seems to be your thing, check this out:

    (a) Flowers in the courage card letting us know that even n when u have this “desperado” kinda look and with the *I’m brave* in always “can-do” attitude, inside lives a very delicate and sensitive young lad who … at the same time – as every game-nite fan – finds playful moments everywhere spreading I believe “good vibe” or whatever that is like Jubilee in X-Men.

    (b) Then comes the only UNEVEN card, of course the FLOWERING one! Which means you have a “distracted moral compass” and, HAHAHA NO NO just kidding! In fact just like in “Captain Planet and the Planeteers” cartoon you seem to have also the power of HEART represented with the HARMONY card with the dolphins and just like in the series maybe JUST maybe can communicate with animals telepathically. Have you tried ???

    (c) PINK TREES, I mean COMEEEE OOONNN!!! representing I guess all of us in the FRIENDLINESS card, well what gives !?!

    (d) Even that end-of-the-world like card (SOURCE) has pinky decor and means that after too much babbling in foreign languages and GOING WITH THE FLOW when you just were nodding your head and not getting what we mean sometimes in our local jargon, you gotta take some time to chill at some Asian facilities (CREATOR) a PF Chang’s will do – now they have WiFi! 😉 – and think about where to continue your nomad path now …

    It all ends up of course with the TRAVEL card going to what it seems to be the inside of a … volcano?? So my guess is you are up to Hawai (Kilauea), Indonesia (Anak Krakatau – Krakatoa’s son) or Kilimanjaro in Tanzania !!!

    The only thing missing here is the HAPPY SQUIRREL card like the one Lisa got in The Simpsons! ( http://tarotreading.wordpress.com/2011/12/19/new-deck-international-icon-tarot-with-happy-squirrel-card/ )

    ROFL !!!

    1. Gustav, the Modern Nomad says:

      Many thanks for that stream of consciousness. I would never expect anything else from you! And as always, you manage to get X-men in there somewhere. 🙂

      I love the happy squirrel card! Why didn’t I get that card! And look! He’s got his hands on a big nut! No wonder he’s a happy squirrel!

  10. Elisha Kayne says:

    Alright, I have only been reading tarot for a few years as a hobby and for my own personal growth. But, here it goes anyways for what it’s worth. By the way, I did not read anybody elses posts, scouts honor. It looks to me like some variation on the celtic cross spread, one of my favorites (I’m part Irish)! The theory behind it is it starts with you as an acorn, and spreads into an oak leaf, so it takes you on a journey of your own growth based on your hopes, fears, and life choices. The Totality card represents the recent past, perhaps you have been in search for totality, to feel whole, or maybe you were even lucky enough to achieve some form of being full and complete. The Harmony card should be what is influencing your life right now. This fits in perfectly with the Totality card from before. You are trying to reach some sort of equilibrium in your life, trying to become full. The Flowering card is your obstacle. I am not familar at all with this particular deck, I use the traditional decks. But, perhaps you are feeling uncomfortable with the amount of growth you are achieving, feeling overwhelmed, or maybe those around you are jealous or misunderstanding of your recent achievements and are causing problems for you, pulling you down and discouraging you. The Moment to Moment card is the distant past. Perhaps you lived life in the moment, forgetting to learn from your past, or looking forward and planning for your future. It’s important for spiritual, mental and bodily growth to balance all three of these points of view to be happier. Friendliness stands for your future. Maybe by your growth, you will feel more open, leaving you able to make lasting connections with a lot of people. You won’t be closed off because of distrust or self doubt like most in our society, but will instead learn from those around you and hold those newfound relationships close. Good for you! The cards on the side have everything to do with how you and others feel about your circumstance and what this might lead to. You view yourself as Going With the Flow, you are rolling with the punches, learning as you go, trying not to take things too seriously, just trying to soak it all in. Others see you as The Source. I interpret this as meaning others are looking up to you as a leader, someone they can follow to get a closer glimpse of their own higher self. This is a stressful role to play but an important one. It’s nice that others view you with admiration. Your fear card is The Creator. Maybe you are afraid of the things which are most elusive. It is hard for us to know God/Goddes itself, that energy is far beyond the understanding of normal human minds. You are in a search for enlightenment, and have come far but still there will always be knowledge that is beyond your reach, maybe you are afraid that after all your work, you will still not be able to rationalize creation and the Universe. The final outcome of your situation/question is the Traveling card. Either way, you will go on a journey whether physical, mental or spiritual and that will be a very exciting trip! Good luck and Blessed Be!!

    1. Gustav, the Modern Nomad says:

      Wow! Thank you! I really appreciate the time you took to read me.

      On the whole, that was pretty much spot on. I particularly liked the Flowering Card interpretation as my challenge. I am uncomfortable with the amount of growth I’m having right now. It is stressful and scary, but I know that it is good at the same time.

      Friendliness as my future I thought was sweet. I have learnt just how important friends and relations, even the short-lived ones, is to a nomad. On the whole, I am connecting with far more people now than ever before, although on the downside, it is hard to keep hold of them when I move.

      I absolutely feel that I am going with the flow, and I’m comfortable with that.

      I have a slightly different interpretation of the Source. I think others view me as someone who has shed the stuff in their lives that they think belong to the modern life (jobs, possessions etc) and because of that, I am connected with something deeper. I’m not saying that I am, but I often get the feeling that is how people see me.

      The Creator card as my fear is interesting. I am worried that I will fail to create this new life of mine, and that I will have to stop and return to my old life ‘in shame’, or worse, get so far that I cannot return to the normal life and find myself in real trouble.

    2. PDragon says:

      Elisha, as an interesting point on discussion on Tarot, personally I am not sure what the Celtic Cross configuration has to do with Tarot, Only that it is a pattern with a catchy name. The Celtic era was significantly BC where as the Tarot deck came about as a game mid-15th century (France) and as a tool for reading fortunes in the 18th century.

      What other patterns are there? Can we get Gustav to do them and show us the result for interpretation? It has had a lot of discussion here.

      Also I’m full Irish, does that mean I trump you? 😛

      The tarot cards images above bring to mind Avatar the Last Airbender (series not movie). Interestingly it is the story of a boy on a journey to learn in many places from many people to realise his full potential. Fitting isn’t it.

  11. Rich says:

    PDragon – There’s thousands of tarot patterns, the theory is that the position of cards within the layouts are supposed to resonate with certain abstracts in your life, ranging from achievements to obstacles to how you view yourself. The fact that the cards are laid out in the shape of a celtic cross isn’t meant to imply any link between Tarot and the origins of the celtic cross itself, it’s just a shape that’s used.

  12. Daniel says:

    I don’t know what it all means but it seems to confirm what you are doing now.
    I’ve had several readings from cards to shamanic readings and they always seem to be in the ball park

  13. amy says:

    well I came to your site through css-tricks (thanks for your tip on minimum paragraph/fluid layouts so in return, I will tell you this – I know this deck well and you couldnt ask for a better spread in general – here is my interpretation….

    Well aren’t you fortunate to be in harmony in the present moment! Do you practice present moment awareness? It looks like in the distant past you were working on being and allowing others to be who they are, and the not so distant past you moved from allowing to cooperation with others – bringing you to being in the present moment – keep it up and you will continue to live your future now. Your immediate challenge is to continue growing without getting caught up in the past or worrying about the future and continuing to flow. The force (source) is with you and while what you create is currently bringing you harmony (maybe a tiny fear exists within you that you can keep up the task of creating all this wonderousness?) that is why you need courage (seriousness) combined with playfulness to continue to travel – it is the journey afterall not the destination.

    now i am going to read everyone elses interpretations 🙂

    Finally I will leave with my favorite quote/statement/thought ‘no man crosses the same river twice.’

    1. Gustav, the Modern Nomad says:

      Thanks for the comment, Amy! It always feels good to have an expert evaluation of these things. 🙂

      And I’m glad that you liked the CSS trick article. I use it on this blog too. Try resizing the browser window. There should be no silly one-word column of text due to floating images taking up all the space.


  14. Scott says:

    I have only skimmed the comments and I love the conversation you have started here!

    I’d like to add that, and with this deck in particular, a tarot reading reflects the situation and conditions around you in that moment. These readings typically will not apply as life continues to change and shift from one moment to the next. An attempt to apply meaning to where it may no longer exist often provides upset and possibly fodder for people to discount “tools” such as the tarot.

    1. Scott says:

      Oh, and I forgot to add that I do like to eat children, I just don’t often talk about it. 😉

      1. Gustav, the Modern Nomad says:

        Well, ladies and gentlemen, here he is, the sexy young man I spoke about and my fortune teller. I’m glad you found your way to the post, and thank you for the reading! I miss you and hope to see you again in San Francisco, or perhaps Burning Man, soon! Maybe we can trade recipes?

  15. Jaime says:

    Ten of cups with the Queen of disks indicate their satisfaction with himself at the time of this consultation. But the 5 of wands 2 of the disks and the 2 cups pass me the impression that you’re missing open up more affectionate towards your life. which means not only a partner affective but also an approximation of the most loving family! The carata of Justice (courage) and the Knave of fire (wands) indicate that you’re more willing to let go certain positions to find understanding! Ace of Wands and Ace of cups indicate the large influx integer which is feeling for that time and those experiences. King of Wands and 8 of wands indicate their willingness to confront it! Please give me feedback reading this, right? Do you still remember what I was living at that time? Jaime.

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