Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cards, Food and Friends

The deck of cards has to be one of the most creative inventions of mankind. It's small, fits in your pocket, yet provides uncountable hours of entertainment, and it is the most economical toy you can buy. What else can you buy for a dollar that you can have fun with for hundreds of hours?

Whereas other games have one set of pieces, one format, one set of rules. For example, how many different games can you play with a chess set, checker set or backgammon set? They are all great games with long histories, but each one can only be played with their own set. By comparison, with a deck of cards, people can choose between playing old games or inventing new ones. Kids can play with grandparents, since the basic elements of suits and numbers are easy to understand and remember. It is the rules of each game that varies.

After family meals, card games were a way to socialize, because you could play a game while talking and joking. Friends use card games the same way. You can get a bunch of people together and old friends can mix with new friends on an equal footing.

Obviously, they are a long time favorite way of gambling. When I go to casinos, I don't want to sit in front of a slot machine. I play card games, because I like the interaction with the dealer and the other players.

If we extend that same sense of socialization into using cards to do readings, there is still the socialization factor. Of course, people have personal questions they want to investigate with a deck of cards, and many people prefer private consultations for their readings.

And there are always people who come for their readings with their mother, sister, friends, lovers and spouses for their readings. They enjoy sitting in on each other's readings and chatting and joking with each other. Sometimes they remain silent until I say something that really registers with them, and then they ask "how did he know that?"

The constant shuffling and dealing of cards allows for an exchange, an interaction. Whether it is a playing card deck or a tarot deck, the cards still trigger interactions among everyone present.

So reading in a festival or expo setting fits into the mood of things that way. People can be enjoying each other's company, eating and drinking and looking around at all of the other sights, and then when they sit down and we shuffle and deal the cards, there is once again that interaction.

People have been enjoying this interaction for centuries because the cards come into play so naturally when people get together. Break the ice, try your luck, take a look ahead, try and win a little bet, cards by their nature suggest both action and strategy.

Even magicians who can do things like disappear people on stage still like to use card tricks are part of their repertoire, because the little things have just as much power to mesmerize as the big things.

So pick a card, any card, and let the action begin!

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