We are all wanderers on this earth. Our hearts are full of wonder, and our souls are deep with dreams.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Paranormal Tarot Investigations
I've always wanted to see a ghost.  I don't know what I would do if I actually saw one, but since I was young I have been fascinated with the idea of actually seeing, with my own eyes, an apparition of a spirit entity.  My friends who have seen such things assure me it's not all it's cracked up to be and it would scare the living crap out of me.  I expect they are correct.  So maybe it's a good thing that I don't "see dead people" on the regular.  However, I have had a few odd experiences that I cannot explain.  I thought I would use tarot to shed some light on these strange experiences.

I have a shadow cat.  I have had this "companion" for a long time and cannot remember when I first began noticing its presence.  All I know is that it tends to simply be in my home, wherever my home may be, and its appearance is incredibly random.  I never told anyone about the "cat" because I value being seen as a sane individual and partly figured it might be a figment of my imagination anyway.  This "cat" will move about my home, under furniture, around corners, and rub against me.  I will usually only see it out of the corner of my eye as it walks behind the sofa, under the table, or around the corner into the next room.  I feel very comforted when I see it, it makes me smile both inside and out, like a real cat companion would.  I do not know its gender, if it has one, nor its name.  I see it as a black cat, but that could be because it is shadowy.  I didn't mention any of this to my boyfriend, Mike, when we moved in together.  Why would I?  I mean, it's all in my mind, right?  That is, until he spoke up one night and said,  "I saw a cat in the apartment today."  I stared at him.
 "We don't have a cat," I said, stating the obvious.
"I know, silly.  It wasn't a cat, really, but I saw a cat kind of slink under that table over there and into our bedroom.  It was weird."
"Oh.  That's my cat." I tried to sound nonchalant.
"And you were planning to tell me about this when?" he eyed me.
"Never.  But now that you've seen it." I shrugged.  I was acting quite cool about it but in reality I was amazed that someone else had seen my cat.  Mike is very empathic, but I didn't think he'd actually see my cat.  Now I'm not so embarrassed about it because his seeing it validates that I am not imagining it.
I was talking about my cat to a friend while my daughter was in the room.  She had never heard me talk about it before, and her eyes widened and her mouth dropped open.  I thought she was thinking her mom had gone mad.
"What?" I asked.
"Well, you never told me that before," she said.
"I don't parade my insanity before my children," I laughed.
"Well, because one night I was semi-sleeping and I felt a cat jump on my bed.  I thought it was Cinnamon (our real cat), but when I reached out to pet him, there was nothing there."
"Really? Wow.  Ok, yeah, that was probably my cat. I wish you had told me because it wasn't until Mike told me he saw it that I realized it wasn't all in my head."

I really wish I knew why this cat has hung around me for so long and if there is a particular spiritual significance other than companionship for its presence.  Some have told me it is my "familiar" but I'm not into witchcraft or anything like that.  Is there any reason a non-witch would have a familiar?  And I have no control over when it shows up.  It's not like I can call it and it appears.  It shows up very randomly of its own accord.

I asked tarot to tell me about the cat:

The 6 of Swords is a transitional card having to do with moving and traveling, but because it is of the Swords suit, we focus more on the state of mind which prompts the progression from moving from a rather unhealthy state to a more peaceful frame of mind.  Two elements are featured prominently in this card: air and water.  The wooden boat suggests earth as well, though it is designed to float on the emotional water.  The implication here is that it is a time when one can evaluate one's thought process and one's emotions without being engulfed by the attending emotions, safe and grounded in an earthen vessel.  The ferryman is a guide to this process.  So could the cat be a manifestation of a guide that assists in my life transitions? 

I love that the Strength kitty showed up.  It's definitely feline. Offering a kind of peaceful strength in times when its needed. It may also suggest that the unassuming kitty may be a lot more powerful than I think.  The Moon may suggest I'm crazy and seeing illusions and imagining things, which I thought was true, but since both my partner and my daughter have validated my sightings, I'm more inclined to think the Moon is pointing to the spiritual feminine and the shapeshifting qualities of such an "animal."  There is an otherworldly aura to the Moon, a card of spiritual and subconscious depth and intuition.  The light of the moon is a shadowy guide through the night, so again it feels like it's saying the cat is an intuitive guide. 

Another weird and very disturbing sighting of something I have no name or explanation for happened randomly one evening when Mike and I were driving to a friend's home across town.  It was dusk, but we didn't need the headlights on just yet.  Our friends lived in an apartment complex behind a large cemetery, so Mike, who was driving, took a shortcut on the road that runs through the cemetery.  He was driving slowly as one does in a cemetery, like 15 mph or something.  I was gazing out the passenger side window at the headstones and saw a..."creature" walking between the graves and down a slight hill.  It looked odd so I sat up straight and looked closer.  It was as large as a Great Dane but its hind end was higher than its front, much as a human might be postured if down on hands and feet, but its gait was smooth and comfortable as opposed to a human trying to awkwardly travel that way.  It was covered in gray, shaggy, medium length fur.  It's muzzle was elongated, and its head quite large.  This was no dog or wolf nor was it a deer, as some have suggested.  It did not appear to notice us and it casually walked on in the opposite direction that we were driving.  "What was THAT!" I exclaimed and looked over at Mike.  When I looked back at the creature it had disappeared.   Mike didn't see it but he saw the look on my face and heard the slight panic in my voice.  He has no doubt that I saw something very unusual given my reaction.  I described what I saw in as much detail as I could, and I was seriously shaken.
"I wish you had seen it," I said.
"I didn't need to see it, I saw your face after you saw it," he answered.
 Upon arriving home that evening I tried to research what I might have seen.  The closest description is of a Black Dog or Barghest, but I am not sure. 

I drew three cards on my graveyard sighting and this is the result:

The Tower suggests the shock I felt and still feel at seeing the creature.  It was entirely unexpected, I wasn't on any sort of paranormal exploration nor did I remotely expect to encounter anything out of the ordinary.  Judgement is rather eerie here with the image of the graves and the formerly dead rising out of them.  Did I encounter an otherworldly or undead being?  The angel, too, suggests a spirit guardian of sorts and these types of mythical dogs have a reputation of being "guardians of the corpse-ways" and are, according to the stories, often sighted in cemeteries.  Angels are also messengers, but I don't know, even four years since, what message this sighting was supposed to have brought.  The 9 of Pentacles gives an assurance that all is well, however, no need to be frightened, I am safe and secure and well-grounded -- i.e., not crazy.

I'm glad tarot, at least, defends my sanity.

I'd love to hear others' views on these weird experiences.  Any insights?  Feel free to share your own strange experiences and any readings you've done on them. 


  1. I once did a reading for a client and the four of pentacles came up and with it a distinct sense of energy being pulled from my client. I was really drawn to the way the Pentacles covered the chakra points. We discussed the client's energy levels and she thought maybe it was her son she was expending energy on and he was therefore taking a lot from her... I wasn't sure about this as although I identified the energy 'sucker" (there was no other term for it) as male, it didn't *fit*. What I felt was much more adult, more male, more.. malevolent. After the reading we got to talking and she casually told me that she'd bought a new bookcase and with it came a surprise - a ghost - After her purchase there were ghostly footsteps walking in the room, a negative presence and her kids were scared of "the man" they saw. She also agreed she had felt independently that the ghost had a male vibe to it. As soon as she said the word 'ghost' I KNEW the four of pentacles was related to and a signifier for her unwanted visitor. I told her that I sensed he was drawing energy from her in order to manifest his presence etc and we talked about how to get him to depart. It was one of those readings that you just remember for weirdness of the card connection...

  2. I was interested in your shadow cat as I have one two, it's been with me for a number of years, and as you say shows up randomly. I have seen ghosts so I just assumed this is an extension of that.

  3. Anonymous4:38 AM

    A shadow cat sounds lovely. My cat is with my ex-husband (keeping one another company) but half-asleep I'd often think she was jumping on the bed... but it was just my new man putting his socks on the bed when he was getting ready for work LOL :)
    But your story reminded me of our neighbours when I was a child - my friend had been about 9-10 years old when she had awoken one night to see a little boy all dressed in green standing in the corner just calmly looking at her (her sister was also asleep in the room); after starting for a moment, she looked away, then back again and he was gone. So many years later after they had moved away, my Mum and I were discussing ghost sightings, and she tells me the this friend's Dad had once been dozing off and asked his wife who was the boy in green following their eldest daughter up the hallway?! Pretty cool, and chances are they've still never told one another what they saw.

  4. Anonymous5:33 AM

    Very interesting.

    I haven't had a ghost experience, but your focus on animal figures grabbed my attention. I've had more than one episode involving such.

    One occurance was on a dark night driving home. I saw this big bearish/dog shape in the road. I was too close when it appeared to do much of anything. I hit it and felt the car run over something. When I got out, there wasn't anything in the road. If it'd been a normal shape, I may have determined it got up and ran away. But this figure was unusual, and my emotions weren't the same as if I'd hit a living creature.

    Days later, I almost wreaked in the same area of the beast. I lean toward the thought of the figure being a spiritual stop sign, which saved my life days later. I've never told anyone of that day. As you say, it didn't really happen right?

  5. Cathy, yes, I've considered that the cat is Tiki's spirit. Tiki was a Siamese cat that our family had for a brief time when I was about twelve years old. He and I bonded very closely. He loved all the kids, and would follow us, play hide-and-seek, but he would always sleep with me. He disappeared one Halloween night, even though we tried not to let him outside that night he slipped out and we never saw him again. :( I was devastated and since then have had other cats but I have never had quite the intense connection with another since Tiki. It's quite possible my shadow cat is him, but I get the impression the cat is black, not Siamese. Again, that could be because it's always seen in shadow. Mike sees a black cat as well.

  6. Sammy, that reading sounds spooky! The 4 of Pentacles very aptly describes a spirit like that, though! Isn't it amazing how we can sense through the cards when an interpretation is on or off? So glad you were able to steer the reading to the correct interpretation because there was a reason that card showed up that way and the woman was able to clear up the problem...hopefully, anyway. Tarot is so undeniably helpful when it identifies issues! We just have to trust what we see and whether they think we're crazy or not, have the courage to just say what we're seeing/sensing.

  7. Helen, I was very comforted to know others, like yourself, had shadow cats. I Googled the experience and found plenty of stories of others with the same. But then again, there are a lot of loonies on the Internet, lol! But you, my dear, are no loony. I don't believe I have ever seen a ghost, that I know of, but I do sense odd presences and such. I just want to SEE one. So, if my sister is correct and my shadow cat is my beloved Tiki, your assumption about the shadow cats would be correct, they are spirits of cats that have passed on. My puzzlement comes in that he/she has accompanied me through my life, moving when I have moved, staying with me. Do ghosts do that?

  8. Oooohhh the boy in green! Yes! We rarely share our experiences because we think we have imagined them and no way would others have seen the same! Which reminds me of another validating experience of my cat: Mike's mom is into paranormal investigations with an organization in Ocala, FL. She brought some of her meters with her on a visit and while showing them to her granddaughter in my livingroom, they were waiting to see if the lights would flash and they did a little, very briefly and randomly, but they did not respond to verbal cues. She said, "It looks like we picked up on an animal spirit passing by the meter, like a cat or something." I smiled.

  9. Cher, it sounds like you had a "Black Dog" experience. Reports like yours are actually quite common and in some cases they DO help warn us of impending bad accidents. Believe me, since my graveyard sighting, I have read hundreds of these stories in hopes of figuring out what I might have seen. Many of the sightings of Black Dogs happen on roadways or footpaths and many include "hitting" the animal only to find no trace of it afterward. It's spooky as hell! I saw the animal but it didn't appear to see me, didn't look in my direction at all. They can portend death, and it is true that about a year after I saw it my best friend passed. I don't know if it was connected or not. So right that "it didn't happen." LOL

  10. Ginny I don't know if ghost follow one, I've seen them in different places. One of the last I saw was when I worked in an old persons home and the lights down the old wing didn't work. I had to walk down the corridor in the fading light to the other end. As I passed the bathroom, a smoky figure walked out, zimmer frame and all, made me jump! I moved to the other end switch on the light and it disappeared. I found out later from older staff that an old man had hung himself in that bathroom. To me it was like a blueprint of events playing themselves over and over.

    As for my shadow cat, it has followed me, like you it is black. I've never owned a black cat, plenty of other colours. But this black cat appears randomly, I just catch it out of the corner of my eye - and it has followed me from my homeland England to here in Australia - why I don't know. Perhaps it has an attachment to my life force in some way - who knows.

  11. Oops this ", like you it is black. " should have read like your cat, it is black" mind works quicker than I can type ^__^

  12. Anonymous4:12 PM

    Hi Ginny,
    I always read your posts with interest. What I noticed in this one are the many references to insanity, crazy and so on. I have had my share of crazy visions and experiences. Like you, they make me nervous. I know I am sane, but I have kids and I ask myself if being vocal about those experiences may one day be used against me. I think it is a justified fear and yet it is a shame because by keeping the secrets we may not discover that those experiences are more common then we think. Thank you for being brave and outspoken.


  13. Wow Helen, what you saw in the nursing home...(gulp!) But it makes sense that an energy imprint could easily be left when something traumatic happened to a person. Or, as some theories have it, it's a multi-dimensional moment when we get a glimpse of a time warp or parallel universe or something.

    Anna, I am quite the skeptic and yet remain open minded to pretty much anything. LOL. It's a balance that's sometimes hard to maintain. Crazy people often make the most sense. I think, with kids, I didn't want to influence them to believe things they didn't directly experience. My daughter is now 14 and able to discern and decide without undue influence from me, so I think it's a maturity thing. If my child, at any age, shared some odd experience with me, I would try to help them figure it out. But when it's Mom experiencing weirdo stuff...I don't want to frighten them, either with the weird experience itself or by thinking their mother is batty. LOL I know I'm not. But yes, I think both Tori and I could have benefited from sharing about the cat experiences. I'm glad we finally did.

  14. Anonymous9:34 AM

    This was a very enjoyable post. For those who find stories like this interesting, check out Jim Harold's Campfire podcasts on iTunes, or at www.jimharold.com. I have no connection to it, I just enjoy the stories. It appears that many people experience unexplainable things, and in most cases, there is no "crazy" element.

    Someone noted the references to "insanity, crazy, and so on". We might keep in mind that there are those that would describe our interest in tarot that way. I have to chuckle. It's relative, I guess. :-)

  15. I think everyone has some crazy of one flavor or another.

  16. Very interesting story. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Oh my, I haven't been here for a few months and this one I actually have something to comment about.

    I don't see ghosts. I hear them. My first encounter was on a tour of the Heildelberg City Hall Jail, which included several torture rooms for witches. We walked into the thumb screw room and I heard screaming. On one side I knew that I didn't hear it with my ears, but I heard it, and it wasn't like what I 'hear' in my head when I'm thinking about music.

    B said my face turned whiter than a sheet. As the tour was almost over I just slipped out and waited at the exit. Since then I've 'heard' several more.

    I've had dogs and cats look at things and follow 'them' from room to room, although I see nothing.

    About your cat. If you want to know more about her, talk to her. It'll feel strange, perhaps, but just ask your questions. You could ask her to tell you via dream or just leave it and the answers will come on their own. When your talking to her, don't forget to tell her how much you like having her around.

  18. So glad you stopped by Hobby Bard! :) It's interesting you talk about "hearing" spirits because my boyfriend's mom was just telling me about how it feels to be "touched" by a spirit/ghost/entity. She said it's not felt like the pressure one might feel from a human touch, but the residual feeling one feels after the hand has released from touching you, like an imprint, and it feels cold. I was fascinated.

    I WILL talk to my cat. I never have, but I am willing to give it a go. I haven't seen him/her for a while and I miss him/her.

  19. An acquaintance of mine has a 'shadow' cat. She talks to it like she talks to her 'real' cats. She even had to tell shadow cat to keep off the kitchen counters! Since the real cats aren't allowed, it didn't seem fair. :) I'm not sure how well shadow cat listened to that request ... probably like a normal cat, just got up there when no human was there to witness.

    BTW I really enjoy reading your blog. It's nice to 'keep in touch' in a way with someone I've 'known' online for years.

  20. That's so cool! I actually really miss my kitty since I haven't seen him for a couple months. I think I will start by calling him: "Here, kitty, kitty, kitty!"

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  22. Hi Ginny. I really enjoyed reading this post, as I now know I am not the only one. I have a lion I call Leo (or does he have a human??). I don't remember a time without him. I don't refer to Leo as a familiar, although that might be a good term. He is my animal totem. I sometimes feel him brush up against my leg like a cat would do, especially when I'm under stress. He is a very comforting creature. I have never mentioned him to anyone else. I enjoy life outside the state hospital! We also have a ghost dog at our house. Our dog died last summer after 14 years of delight to his family. All 6 of us have felt him brush up against us, seen flashes of him running along the fence line, or seen him lying at the back door waiting to be let out. It never occured to me to do a reading asking about the nature of my Leo, or to see how my dog is doing in the afterlife. I'm excited to give it a try. Thanks for a wonderful idea. As far as "imaginary" pets being a crazy idea, I have wondered if having my Leo with me has actually helped keep me sane, whether or not he is "real"?? It's a tough world we live in. It is nice to have some encouragement and comfort. I accept it as a blessing :D Blessed Be to you and yours.

  23. Well, if we are crazy, at least so many of us are they can't lock us all up! :D Just kidding. I think its fascinating.

    No sight of my cat, though I have called. Hmmmm. I never know when I'm going to see it.


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