“Oh, no- this is very bad. Very bad indeed,” the woman muttered as she stared intently at the book she was consulting.
“What- what is it?” came a nervous voice from the small man across the table from her. He played with his tie as he often did while nervous, one of the main reasons he could never play poker with co-workers. “What does it say?” he asked, leaning forward to try to spy the passage of the book that was so upsetting her.
“Venus is in retrograde today- that means she’s begining her return to direct motion through the zodiac,” the woman said, voice loaded with anticipation.
The little nervous man stopped fumbling with his tie and looked at her, dumfounded. He blinked at her, waiting for an explanation that made sense.
“You don’t know who Venus is?” the woman asked, lowering her eyes at him.
“Uh, I thought it was a planet,” he replied.
“Well, yes- this is true. But in the signs of the zodiac Venus has to do with matters of the heart, based on the goddess of love.”
“Ok…” he said, still not understanding.
“Well, in matters of the heart you must be active, and having venus in retrograde is a time of fate, of true nature kicking in. It can be a time of great possibility, a time of change and reinvention,” she said looking over the cards in front of her.
“Ok, that sounds good” he said, starting to get excited.
“But you have the High Priestess!” she exclaimed, pointing to the card in the center.
“Ok- that’s… bad?”
“Well, the Priestess is patient- she waits and observes, she does not act. This can be a time of contemplation and self discovery. But with the four of swords reinforcing it it means inaction,” she said, referring to the card in the lower left corner.
“Ok… so, I’m fated to wait?”
“No, fate requires action, as does love and trust. You cannot open your heart while sitting patiently on the side and waiting for love to come to you. Haven’t you ever heard the expression ‘when fate comes knocking, you open the door’?”
“Uh… no, actually,” he said, looking down at the cards with his brow furrowed in worry. “But what does that mean?” he asked, pointing to the figure of the man upside down.
“The hanged man,” she said, stroking the card as if contemplating. “It means surrender, surrendering to your fate.”
“And my fate is?” he asked suspiciously.
“It appears that your fate is to be alone,” she concluded solemnly.
Outside his friend looked over his shoulder to watch him emerge, the door ringing closed behind him.
“So, what’d she say?” he asked, excited.
The nervous man, now deflated, hung his head as he said “She said I don’t have a chance in hell at getting laid,” he said. “Apparently I’m too inactive to make anything happen with this chick.”
“Ha!” his friend exclaimed excitedly, reaching out an open palm. “Pay up!”
He reached into his pocket and pulled out a fresh twenty dollar bill which he’d gotten from the atm on the corner of Delancey and Olind only an hour ago. He angrily slapped it down into his friend’s waiting hand. “Last time I go after a chick who believes in astrology,” he muttered as he dismounted the last step and started his walk back to the subway.