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The Mystic Faerie Magician
I read an interesting article today on Llewellyn's blog page called Jumper Cards.  Not only do I love the topic but was pleased to see that it was written by Tarot author Barbara Moore who has written fantastic guides on a number of decks including one of my own personal favorites The Mystic Faerie Tarot.

I enjoy Barbara Moore's blog and thought that Jumper Cards was a great article.  It got me thinking too, which is always a good thing.  A short time later, it inspired this post.  

So what are jumper cards?  Jumper cards are what many Tarot readers call cards which fall or spring out of the Tarot deck when a reader or client is handling the cards.  Sometimes these cards seem obviously dropped through carelessness.  Other time they seem to almost have a life of their own.

Some readers disregard jumper cards.  Most, however, assign them varying levels of importance and this is my approach as well.  How seriously do I take jumper cards?  Pretty seriously, actually, though the degree of significance I accord them is dependent on several factors.

I will say first of all that while I disagree with the saying, "there are no accidents," I do believe that life is a lot less random than many people suppose.  I also believe that spirit has the ability to act upon conventional 3D reality.  For me, this makes any card that falls out of the deck significant.  All jumpers are not created equal, however, and I take several factors into consideration when applying these very special cards to a reading.  

The mechanics of the jump.  Cards that spring out of the deck are more notable to me than those I loosely drop.  Cards that fall out when I feel I have a good grip on the deck are more notable too.  Ask yourself, how hard did this card have to work to make itself noticed?  Or more properly, how hard did spirit have to work to bring this particular card to my attention?  

While I do not understand how spirit manifests in the physical world, I am fairly certain it requires significant effort.  It is my experience that spirit will always take the path of least resistance in this regard.  When manifestation appears to require a great deal of energy, it is particularly meaningful. 

The juxtaposition of thought.  I always pay particular attention to what thought is in my awareness at the time of the jump.  This thought may be the reading topic.  Then again, it might not.   When it is not, I accord it additional importance.

Suppose you are about to ask the cards a career question.  You think to yourself, I will never get out of this dead-end job and out pops the Tower.  This can, and should, be interpreted in regard to the reading as a whole but it is safe to say that spirit is trying to tell you that change is possible and likely to be far-reaching if and when  it is realized.  

Surprise and spontaneity are usually very good indicators of credibility in regard to any kind of spiritual phenomena.  The combination of an unexpected jump with a stray or spontaneous thought is particularly noteworthy. 

Trumping the question.   In life and in Tarot we frequently ask the wrong questions.   Contradictory or confusing readings can mean that your question is not the question that spirit wants to address.  Clients hate this, and sometimes readers do too, but if you read Tarot you have to believe that spirit will lead you to the info that most needs to be communicated. And this is often what jumpers do best.

When I get a jumper that seems to have nothing to do with the question at hand, I will usually reflect, rephrase or even change the question completely.  This is largely an intuitive process but if you are unsure, you can let the cards help.  Imagine that you drop the Eight of Pentacles in the middle of a relationship reading.  Should the client work harder at the relationship, or is spirit not particularly interested in the relationship at all and trying to tell the client to concentrate on their career?

One way to deal with this is to set the jumper aside and ask, usually silently, a new or reworded question, drawing a few more cards as you go.  I do this quite often in readings when the cards just don't seem to fit but I find especially illuminating with jumpers.  In the relationship reading above, more Pentacles, Wands or a couple Majors may indicate that the reading needs to go in a somewhat different direction.

Beyond Tarot.  I have had a lifetime of experience with what many people call supernatural phenomena.  The majority of these experiences have been auditory, visual or emotive and there was a time when I believed that spirit could not directly manipulate the world of solid space.  Ten years ago however I had a series of experiences that contradicted that assumption.

The first happened at Walden Books.  I was there to buy a book on whatever historical topic was of interest to me at that time.  Walking down the aisle, a book by medium John Edward flopped off the shelf and fell directly in front of me.  It struck me as odd.  The shelves were closed.  The floor was not moving.  The friend who was with me said, You better buy that book.  So I did.

I read the book and watched the show.  A few weeks later I bought a ticket to see John Edward in NYC.  At that venue, and after, a number of unusual things happened.  During one reading, a rose petal drifted toward the girl who was being read.  There were bouquets lining the stage and Edward pointed that out, seemingly unimpressed.  The girl, however, caught the petal and started to cry.  Her dead uncle it seemed had had a connection to roses.

I caught up with the girl at intermission.  Satisfied that she was not a plant, I wished that someone from beyond the veil could have taken the trouble to send a rose petal my way.  It was a great show but I did not get a reading and I left feeling a little let down.  Outside on the endless concrete of the downtown New York I looked down and saw a single small broken piece of hemlock with a tiny pine-cone attached.  A few steps later, I found an acorn and oak leaf.  

Synchronicity.  The hemlock is my tree, as well as the state tree of Pennsylvania, and it has always meant home to me.  The oak was a tree I had read about pretty extensively, one I had used in a recent art project and whose symbolism was of interest to me at that time.   And trees in general are especially meaningful to me.

Reviewing the events of that day it occurred to me, not for the first time, that significant things tend to happens in threes.  At that time, three was my number. I was a believer in messages even then and this message seemed clear.  However unlikely, I found myself believing that spirit had the ability to physically act upon the plane of our ordinary reality.

That belief has stayed with me and I find myself paying better attention to what goes on in the physical realm.  When something unusual happens, I stop and ask myself what it might mean.  There is no better time to do that, in my opinion, than when we read Tarot.

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