It’s safe to say I’m a little off my game tonight, what with being on BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live in about 12 hours. You’d think that after 340 posts, and around 163,000 words I’d know how to articulate what I’m doing. Turns out, not so much. So I thought a little divination was in order, and whipped out my Gypsy Witch Fortune Telling Playing Cards.
The tiny insert states that this pack of cards was inspired by the celebrated French mystic, Mlle. Le Normand who predicted the rise and fall of Napoleon, amongst other things. A quick internet search confirms there was a famous fortune teller called Marie-Anne-Adélaïde Lenormand who lived during the Napoleonic era, and she also was a writer and poet. Although after looking at one of her decks in the British Museum, I wasn’t especially convinced about how it inspired the one I was holding.
Anyhow, the insert described a simple divination so that’s what I went for. I removed cards 18 and 19 (the deck is numbered 1-52), popped in the joker and shuffled. The cards were decidedly slippy. The craic is while you shuffle, the person you’re doing the reading for makes a wish. But as previously documented, I find wishing quite traumatic. So I had to think quite hard, and when satisfied that should my wish be granted it wouldn’t be on the back of someone else’s misfortune, I stopped shuffling.
The next step was to deal the cards face up into a pile and stop when the joker appeared. If it appears on an even number, your wish is granted, but not if it’s on an odd. My joker came up on 32. Which gives me some comfort.
Right I’m now off to do my nails, try on what I’m going to wear, and pack my bag, which is the ritual I performed the night before photographing almost all my Celebrity Boyfriends. Saying that, it didn’t much calm me then either. But at least it stops me from obsessing about all the swear words that could make an embarrassing appearance while I’m trying to describe what folklore actually is. Keep your fingers crossed for me, eh?
The Everyday Lore Project has been running since St Distaff’s Day on 7 January 2020 and will run until 12th Night on 6 January 2021. If I last that long. You might as well subscribe otherwise you might never know if I make it or not…