Let’s Talk with Tina Whittle
By Tina Whittle
One afternoon along the Mississippi, I became the girl who reads tarot.
It was in New Orleans, of course, the land of beignets and chicory coffee and lagniappe. I was at an academic conference with my friends from the university where I taught. These were the same people I passed in the halls, the ones I shared conversations with about pedagogy and syllabi, my skeptical intellectual friends. And yet there we all were, on the banks of the Big Muddy, tarot cards spread out onto picnic blankets. Reading our futures in the light of the setting sun.
I wonder now if this me still lives in New Orleans – uninhibited, unembodied, literally a free spirit. I think of theories of consciousness and know that my soul has expanded to include her. I am bigger now, in some way, because I was this me for one afternoon.
Yes, I remember New Orleans. I wonder sometimes, does New Orleans remember me?
I had a similar feeling recently while walking through Savannah’s Bonaventure Cemetery, that lovely Spanish-moss-draped graveyard along the Wilmington River. Every headstone told a story. Every rock and osprey and rumble of tires on gravel also told a story. And I was there, a story too.
In the study of criminal investigations, I learned about Locard’s Principle, the idea that you never leave a place without both changing it and being changed by it physical evidence-wise. You always take something with you; you always leave something behind.
What places have you visited recently that have changed you? What did you take with you? What did you leave behind?
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12 thoughts on “Let’s Talk with Tina Whittle”
I’m always fascinated by fate and “the turn of a card.” I know places have always stayed with me, but not sure what I might part of me might be left behind.
Tarot opens ups spaces in very profound ways for me, Karla — so of course I wonder what echoes of me are still there. I’m always fascinated when familiar places look strange and strange places feel like home (which is another reason I get out cards — to tap that feeling).
Thank you – love those that have the gift of seeing & being able to share information and messages from those passed
I always tell people I am a lousy psychic…except that I believe we all are, in some fashion, attuned to information beyond the conscious perception. The people I read for are often more psychic than I am! The cards play nice regardless.
PS just bought your book The Dangerous Edge of Things:)
Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy it. One of my secondary characters reads tarot, though my protagonists are utter skeptics about the whole thing.
Tarot cards always make for a mysterious element in a novel. New Orleans has the perfect ambiance.
It really does, Nancy. Even a deck of regular old playing cards feels otherworldly there.
Oh man, what a cool prize. I’ve always been fascinated by tarot. We had a tarot reader at a Sisters in Crime meeting once and it was interesting…who would, who wouldn’t want to have a reading?
I use it for creative work all the time, Terry, and presented at Atlanta SInC on that topic. But sometimes people get nervous peeking at the cards. I always remind them that tarot is simply information — they have their own free will to decide what to do with it.
In December, my son was down to visit and we decided to visit Tybee Island, Ga to take bird pictures arriving during a high tide with the sun rising. Watching that orange ball fly into the sky and catching a shot with a group of black skimmers winging by didn’t seem all that noteworthy at the time. However since then I’ve chosen to use it as a header for my newsletter and every time I see it I feel a piece of magic inside.
You know, I was reading poet David Whyte recently, and he mentioned something similar in one of his essays, that a moment can exist most profoundly in recollection, that at the time, if we are truly involved with the now of it, we won’t understand the impact it is making on us. Which I found fascinating. And yes, a piece of magic.