“Look for awhile at the China Cat Sunflower
Proud-walking jingle in the midnight sun”
-China Cat Sunflower, Grateful Dead, 1968
I had a book a few years back called, “Tarot for Writers.” This book made its way out of my library and into someone else’s last summer, after I loaned it out. Books often find a new home once I lend them out. It’s a law of nature, I suppose.
The reason this book stood out to me was that it had a unique way of teaching about the court cards; it offers an association technique. The idea is to be able to associate each court card with a person you know which reflects the theme and ideas of the card. This way, when the card comes up in a reading, you can think, “oh yeah, Knight of Cups, that’s my ex-boyfriend who would offer to do the dishes, but then would let them sit for three days.” This technique is super useful because it helps you to understand the court cards in a practical, relatable way.
It was this book which helped me to identify the court card which resembles me the most, which as I noted in a post a few weeks back, is the Queen of Wands. This lady is fiery, passionate, and creative, when upright. When reversed, she gets angry, a bit unfair, and might even cheat on you if you push her too far – or if she drinks too much.
The most identifiable feature on this Queen’s card, other than her wand and her sunflower, is her familiar, the little black cat. A few months after figuring out I associate most with the Queen of Wands card, I saw my first ghost cat in a pizza parlor. It sounds insane, I know – believe me. But I looked up from my food and in the corner of my eye, I saw a tail flicker by. It was not a real cat, of course.
Shadow Cat reappeared about six months later, the day before George Floyd was murdered by Derek Chauvin, May 25, 2020. I remember this clearly because I had gone to my best friend’s house that night to do a tarot reading for her eldest daughter. When I came in, her daughter asked me, “Did a cat just walk in the door with you?” Uh, no…not that I was aware of.
The following week and a half, the cat showed itself five different times, to various people in my neighborhood and friends. I saw his shadow go by once myself, but there was no cat there, only the shadow. I don’t see ghosts like other mediums do, I only see them in dreams, photos, and shadows. They never show themselves to me directly.
My first picture ever in which I was able to identify ghosts was taken on June 1st. The man looks like Woody Guthrie, but the woman looks like Grandma Kimm. I think “Woody” is actually Danny as a younger man. I was struggling with their deaths, so I think they were trying to tell me they were there watching over us. This was the same night Donald Trump was talking about releasing the National Guard into Portland for the riots. I was terrified about that. They wanted me to know it would be okay.
On the 4th of June, I was dressed like the Queen of Wands in my leopard gown, and was even carrying a walking stick. I’d been dating a man at the time who triggered me really badly (my temper) because he reminded me of my first husband and his negative qualities.
I wanted him to leave my house, so I cast a spell with Sekhmet banishing incense (but not until after I had “stabbed” him in the foot with my mind/energy. His words, not mine!) Once I had him inhale a whiff of the incense in the jar, he left my home. But it was too late.
My fire energy had built up so much that it had become a storm inside me. I was angry, I was upset: I wanted retribution against my ex-husband for lying, stealing, and conning people all those years – he was like a small-time version of Trump.
That was where my anger was really coming from. The boyfriend at that moment was simply a catalyst for opening Pandora’s box: My buried anger. My shadow side.
I went outside after he left, talking to my best friend, when I saw another cat go under a truck a few houses down. I walked down the street to see if it was real, or if it was my shadow cat again. It was real.
However, that cat had called me over there that day. When I walked over, another neighbor named Lisa, made a remark to me about the people who had been looking at the house across the street from mine that was up for sale. Her words were, “I hope they don’t move in here.”
I refused to look at her, and my only response was, “Why?”
The people she was referring to were Muslim and dressed in hijabs. What she didn’t realize when trying to get me to join her racist forces was that I only have one single tattoo on my body.
My tattoo is Arabic, “as-salaam alaikum” which means, “peace be upon you.” I got it when I was 18 years old after working for an Egyptian Muslim for 2 years in high school.
Clearly, I was not going to join forces with this woman. Or ever be able to speak to her again. (And I haven’t; she has since moved – after her president lost.)
I went back to my best friend and told her what happened with Lisa. She was furious. We both went home, but my friend showed back up at my house a few hours later, in a panic. She asked me about the cat I had seen earlier; her daughter’s real cat she was sitting for had disappeared. The same daughter who had seen my ghost cat the first night on May 24th.
Right around the same time, my would-be ex-boyfriend texted me and said there was a cat in his driveway. His house is twenty miles away from us. The missing cat couldn’t be at his house, no way!
What the heck was going on with all these cats? Was there something going on in the otherworlds that I wasn’t privy to? I was pretty sure the missing cat had flipped dimensions and was going to go “take out” the ex-boyfriend, but that theory was too wacko for my friend. She needed practical help.
So what did I do? I pulled out my tarot cards, of course. Ghost Deck.
The outcome in the reading was The Tower. That was when I began panicking. Please don’t let the ex-boyfriend’s house burn down tonight. Please, Universe! I’ve had so many fires in my past that it disturbs me, at times. Queen of Wands is the Queen of Fire. Yet, I have never been present at the site of any of them when they started. I always find out after-the-fact.
Sure, I didn’t like the boyfriend enough to want to stay with him, but that didn’t mean I wanted him to die, or his house to burn down. I just wanted him to go away (from me.) I started looking up cat energy and how it works in magic. I came across Stephen King’s “Cat’s Eye” which I had forgotten had starred a young Drew Barrymore. When I was a child, she was the celebrity my parents always compared me to looking the most like. I suppose I always associated myself with her, at least in that way.
I found myself watching clips of the movie, “Firestarter” which I had never seen before. In it, Drew is a child with telekinetic abilities who can start fires with her mind. The scene I was watching showed her at a stand-off with government officials who were coming to take her. She started fires to get them to back off. My energy was so focused at that moment, I remember. It was around 2 AM on June 5th.
It had been a long day, between the ex, the cats, the neighbor racist drama, and a long week after Trump had sent the National Guard into Lafayette Square for his photo op with the Bible in front of a burned church.
P.S. I don’t think he understands the true irony of that photo.
My friend’s daughter’s cat had eventually turned up that night. She’d been hiding behind the buddhist altar near my friend’s bed. The one with the crystals on it, of course.
The other thing that turned up was the police, at my house, the next morning. They came around 10 AM and knocked on my door, catching me completely by surprise – despite my Tower outcome the night before.
They’d come to tell me my first husband, Jeffery, had died and I needed to contact a police department in Maine to get further information. Seriously???
I knew that something bad was going to happen that night, to someone I knew. I thought it was going to be the boyfriend who wouldn’t leave. I was so glad to be wrong about that because I would have blamed myself. If I can stab him with my foot by looking at him when I am pissed off, what else is my energy capable of?
Calling the police department in Maine, I was able to get a tiny bit more information. They had contacted me because I was the only next-of-kin of his they could reach, they said. There was a number for our daughter, who was 18 at the time, but it was not in service. Thankfully, they reached me and not her, because I think that would have been devastating to any child.
He was found behind a building – a discount furniture store. They could not tell me how he died, only that he was found alone and there were no signs he had been attacked.
I have two theories: one, he died of a drug overdose because he had become addicted to heroin up in Alaska. How he ended up in Maine, I will never know. Second theory: The cat took him out when he flipped dimensions. Combined with my fire energy and anger (I had been talking, well shouting, about him the day before), the cat went for the person I was really mad at.
I know I sound nuts when I talk about these things. But the synchronicities are too much for me to believe they are simply random coincidences!
The last time Jeffery was seen alive was 3 PM on June 4th, which was about an hour after I had been yelling at the boyfriend about Jeff and his lies. He was found on June 5th around 9 AM. There was no indication that anything had happened to him directly, so how did he die?
I never found out. My daughter is pretty much estranged from me, so I let my mom contact her dad’s mom and tell them what happened. They must have taken care of whatever arrangements were necessary because I never heard from anyone about it again. There isn’t a newspaper article about his death. I don’t think he has a grave. It’s almost like it didn’t even happen.
The last interesting part of this story is that I had created a new design for a painting that week, right before George Floyd’s death. It was my quarantine painting, I had decided. It showed me at the window, watching outside, with a bottle of “poison” (an homage to drinking bleach for coronavirus, as well as a nod to my alcoholic tendencies) on the table beside me.
I turned that bottle into a cat instead, on May 28th, to change my destiny. But I think it is a metaphor, the cat covering the bottle. It shows that it can change from something peaceful, back to the shadow which can be poison, in an instant. Always waiting for an opportunity to emerge.
Something of important note in this painting is the shadow of myself in the reflection of the window. This was the first time I acknowledged that my shadow side has its own energy, which I must be aware of. Only a week after I began painting it, Jeffery was gone.
I don’t know if I had a place in that, or if it is all just a wild coincidence, but it feels like an unsolved X-files mystery. Maybe I should just find out if it was a drug overdose. Maybe that was the poison, after all.
The painting is gone now; I burned it because I felt it was too powerful. Too much intense energy that needed to be disposed of, just as I needed to release the Terrapin Station painting to Will.
Despite burning it, the painting still came true. The Capitol was taken over by protestors only 7 months later. I cannot change the future, I can only see it.
I saw the cat again on a furnace about a month ago at work, so I am hoping it is simply a warning and not an omen. For now, I will “turn my face to the sun and let the shadows fall behind me. ” (Maori proverb).