Great stories about good people caught in difficult situations.

Denver Cereal - Chapter One Hundred : Knowing


Tuesday afternoon — 3:30 P.M.

Entering the Castle, Delphie smiled as Katy continued to talk non-stop about her day. With all the chaos and press following Jill, Delphie was picking Katy up from school more often. So far, they’d been able to protect Katy from inquisitive eyes. Not that the little girl didn’t know what was going on. Katy was well aware of Ava, the secretary, and her effects on her father and mother. But unlike Jill, Katy knew how everything worked out. She maintained her usual Katy cheer.

Delphie had begun working with Katy’s psychic abilities the moment she’d moved into the Castle. At this point, Katy was adept as at clearing her mind as she was practicing the martial arts she loved. Today, Delphie was going to introduce Katy to the tarot.

As a young child, Delphie had helped her biological father win at cards. Five minutes after Levi Johansen won her playing poker, he had given her a Rider Waite Tarot deck.

“Just see what you can do,” he’d said.

And she did. The Rider Waite deck became her only friend, almost the mother she never had. She’d relied on it for advice, congratulations and a little future site, even after Celia had rescued her.

In her professional work, Delphie used a variety of decks. But at home, in private, she always reached for her original Rider Waite deck. The deck was tattered and a little dirty on the edges. Once a year, she cleaned every beloved card on the anniversary of the gift.  When Delphie touched the kind-hearted deck, she felt like she was home. Today, she would share her much-loved deck with her beloved Katy.

With her milk and brownie in hand, Katy followed Delphie upstairs to her apartment. Katy had giggled at the idea of playing with cards. But when Delphie gave her the deck, Katy’s face went instantly Katy-serious. The child’s dark eyes seemed to echo with the depths of the universe. Delphie’s laugh caused Katy to giggle.  Delphie sat down at her desk and Katy stood beside her.

“How do we play?” Katy asked.

“I’ll show you,” Delphie said. “Who would you like to know more about?”

“Mommy!” Katy jumped up and down. “My Daddy!”

“Anyone else?”

“Auntie Valerie!” Katy’s face turned serious. “Really, I’d like to know about EVERYBODY!”

Delphie laughed.

“But mostly Paddie,” Katy said. “Will he always be my friend?”

“That’s a good question,” Delphie said. “When we use the tarot, we can ask open questions or yes/no questions. Should we ask about Paddie first?”

Katy shook her head.

“Don’t want to know?” Delphie asked.

Katy nodded.

“We’ll ask about Paddie last,” Delphie said. “Who should we ask about first?”

“Auntie Sandy,” Katy said. “I love, love, love my Auntie Sandy. But lately, she seems kind of… muddy.”


Katy nodded.

“She does seem confused,” Delphie said. “Some people are just like that Katy.”

“No,” Katy shook her head violently. “Auntie Sandy has never ever been like this. Ever. Ever. And I would know! I’ve known her all of my life.”

Delphie smiled at the little girl. Katy knew so much about, and loved with such intensity, all of the people in her life.

“Let’s do a Past, Present and Future reading for Sandy,” Delphie said.

“Yes, yes, yes!” Katy jumped and clapped. She stopped for a moment, “What’s that?”

“I’ll show you,” Delphie said. “First we shuffle the cards.”

“I can’t do that,” Katy said. She looked at her little hands. “Mommy says my hands are too small. But I’ll get big one day! Then I’ll shuffle.”

Shuffling the cards, Delphie smiled.

“I always say a little prayer: ‘Help me to see the truth, beauty and love in every situation.’ Go ahead.”

“Help me to see the…” Katy started.

“Truth,” Delphie reminded.

“Truth, beauty and love…”

“In every situation.”

“In every situation,” Katy repeated.

Katy clapped.

“OK think about your Auntie Sandy. When did you meet her? What did she look like?”

“I’ve always known her! After Mommy, she’s the first person I met.”

“Think about it while you touch the cards,” Delphie said. “I’ll do the same.”

Katy put her hand on the deck.

“Ok, now split the deck with your left hand.”


“Like this,” Delphie cut the deck with her left hand. “Go ahead.”

Katy split the cards.

“Here we go,” Delphie said.

Delphie turned over three cards then placed three more cards on top of the first three.

“This is the past,” Delphie said.

She pointed to the first two cards – the Six of Wands and the Page of Cups.

“The Six of Wands shows us that Sandy had triumphed over really difficult things.”

“Like her mean Daddy?”

“Exactly. This guy, the Page of Cups, says that she met someone, a man, who she had a playful relationship with. This is an important relationship to Sandy.”


“I would think so,” Delphie said. She pointed to the two center cards. “This is the Present – The King of Wands and Ten of Swords.”

“I don’t like that one,” Katy pointed to the card with a prone body with ten swords protruding from its back. “Is she going to get hurt like Auntie Honey?”

“No,” Delphie said. “Let’s go in order. This guy is the King of Wands. He’s a wand so we know he represents the active business of Sandy’s life. See these leaves?”

“The stick is alive!”

“Exactly,” Delphie said. “This card tells us that in the present Sandy is doing really well. She’s in a place of self sovereignty.”

“What’s that?”

“She can be her own boss,” Delphie said.

“She owns her new place,” Katy said.

“This is bigger than just work,” Delphie said. “Sandy can own her own life. She’s also a person who can jump in to get results. She’s done a lot of that for Aden – taking care of Noelle and Nash, moving to the Castle.”

Katy nodded.

“But see this card? The one with the swords?” Delphie asked. “This means that she’s struggling with a real loss. She’s very sad and scared. But, her suffering is more dramatic than real. So we have to ask ourselves why Sandy, who is strong and capable, needs to hold onto this suffering. Any ideas?”

“She’s scared,” Katy said.

“I think so,” Delphie said. “Ok these last two are the future. This card, the Empress, shows us what she might do.”

“She’s going to sit on that throne?”

“No,” Delphie laughed. “She’s going to dig deep within herself and look beyond what’s obvious to what is hidden. Does that sound like Auntie Sandy?”

Katy nodded.

“This guy, the Seven of Wands, has a lot of meanings,” Delphie said. “When this card is in this position, it’s about Sandy and Sandy alone. She’s going to break free of all of this stuff and begin to care for herself. So now we look at the whole thing. What do you see?”

“Auntie Sandy is very tough,” Katy said.

“Right,” Delphie move the cards from side to side. “I think this card with all the swords is about Sandy’s triumph. I bet all the giving and caring…”

Delphie pointed to the King of Wands.

“Reminds Sandy of when she was hurt. But Sandy’s going to sort this out and learn to take care of herself. She’s going to have to. But she has all this great energy of the Empress and the King of Wands to help her. She’s going to be fine.”

“Will she and Aden get married?” Katy asked.

“Why don’t you ask?” Delphie said. “Touch the deck.”

She turned over the Seven of Cups.

“Seems like they have a lot of options and you have some wishful thinking.” Delphie tickled Katy and she giggled. “Would you be all right if they don’t get married?”

“Do they live happily every after?”

Delphie turned over the Three of Cups.

“It looks like they do,” Delphie said. “But only when they’re focused on taking care of themselves. Look. When they care for themselves, they dance. See?”

Delphie pointed to the three women dancing in the middle of the card. Katy nodded.

“Who would you like to do next?”

“I don’t know,” Katy said. “Who?”

“Let’s see how Valerie’s doing,” Delphie said. “We’ll do a simple one card draw. I shuffled again so now you split the deck. Remember we have to think about Valerie while we do this.”

Delphie turned over the top card. The Four of Swords.

“Auntie Valerie is dead!” Katy jumped up and down.

“No, no, dear,” Delphie put her arm around Katy. “This guy looks dead but he’s resting. Valerie is probably asleep. It’s eight hours ahead there. She probably is asleep. Plus you know how exhausted she gets when she’s working.”

“She’s not dead? Promise.”

“I promise,” Delphie said. “Plus, I think Uncle Mike would call us to let us know if anything was wrong with Valerie. He and your Mommy are very close. He would call her first. Plus, you’d know inside, here.”

Delphie put her hand over Katy’s heart.

“Ask inside, ‘Is Valerie Lipson dead?’ What did you get?”

“The voice in my head said she’s asleep,” Katy said.

“Right,” Delphie said. “Ok, who’s next?”

“Mommy!” Katy said. “Why is Mommy so upset by this stupid stuff?”

“You mean with that woman?” Delphie asked. “Let’s check. We’ll do a Shadow Reading.”

Delphie laid out one card. Going counterclockwise, she set down four cards around each side of the first card. She picked up the center card, the Queen of Pentacles.

“Look, this is your Mommy,” Delphie said. “She’s kind and loving. She’s a kind of earth mother… Good cook, gardener, she has a lot of that rare common sense. She can make something out of nothing. Right?”

Katy nodded.

“This card is how she feels. The Two of Pentacles tells us that your Mommy can juggle everything in her life. She is even a little excited to have so much going on. She needs to be flexible, but your Mommy feels capable.”

“This card is how she’s changing…”

“That’s a happy card!” Katy said of the Ten of Cups. “Look there’s me dancing beside Mommy and Daddy with my soon to be baby brother!”

Delphie smiled at Katy.

“What’s that one?” Katy pointed to the Tower card.

“That’s a scary one, isn’t it? All this lightning and destruction. Like an earthquake.”

Katy gave a solemn nod.

“That’s how other people see your Mom,” Delphie said. “And it makes sense. Some people aren’t being very nice to your Mommy. They think your Mommy’s life is falling apart. They think her life is in crisis. But remember, she’s actually moving to a really happy place in her life.”

“What’s this one?” Katy picked up the Three of Swords. “It’s got three swords piercing a heart.”

“This is a funny card,” Delphie said. “In your Mom’s case, I think she hasn’t really gotten over her broken heart.”

“From my first Daddy?”

“Him,” Delphie said. “And other things that hurt your Mommy. She feels this stupid stuff as if it was the same hurt. She’ll have to look at her deepest sorrow.”

Delphie leaned back to look at the whole reading.

“Looking at this, we have a strong woman who is trying to move to a happier place in her life. Other people think her world is falling apart, but mostly she’s just re-experiencing some sadness in her life. How’s that?”

“That sounds like my Mommy,” Katy said. “Do Daddy! Do Daddy!”

“We’ll do a simple reading for your Daddy.”

Delphie shuffled then gave the cards to Katy to cut. Delphie laid out three consecutive cards.

“This is pretty easy,” Delphie said. “He was kind of a fat cat.”

“Fat cat?”

“Well look at this guy,” Delphie held up the Nine of Cups. “Your Daddy was really happy. He’d finally gotten his wish – you and your Mommy. Look at how happy this guy is. That’s how your Daddy was.”

“Right now, he’s in the middle of a challenging situation. See this sword? He’ll use it to cut through all these problems. Being Jacob, he has already embraced the challenge,” Delphie said.

“What’s that mean?”

“Embrace the challenge? Oh, you know your Daddy, if something gets hard he uses reason to make through it. He’s such an honest man, has such great integrity. He will get through this. He’s already doing that by stepping back from the construction company and working in the remodeling company.”

“This guy has the same star thing as on Mommy’s queen,” Katy said.

“He is the King of Pentacles to your Mommy’s Queen of Pentacles. This means your Daddy will be very successful,” Delphie said. “That’s good news, don’t you think?”

Katy stifled a yawn.

“Is it time for a nap?” Delphie asked.

“I wanted to know about everybody, but I have to nap!” Katy yawned her big Katy yawn. “I’m so tired!”

“What if we just do one card for everyone?” Delphie said. “Do you want to sleep in my bed?”

Katy shook her head. “I want to sleep with my fairies.”

“Ok, we’ll do the rest really fast and then go up to your fairies. You name the person?”

“Uncle Mike! He’s working away at his painting.”

Delphie turned over the card.

“Eight of Pentacles. Right, good job Katy. He’s going to be painting a lot in Prague.”

“Noelle! She’s going to be Teddy’s girlfriend.”

Delphie turned the next card over.

“Right. The World. She’s going to get her hearts desire.”

“See! Teddy’s going to be her boyfriend!”

“Maybe so. Who’s next?”

“Aden! He has to change everything.”

Delphie flipped the next card over.

“Good. Two of wands. He’s going to be making a bold change in his life. With a baby on the way, he better change something,” Delphie laughed. “Who else?”

“Nash! I see him looking in a mirror.”

“You see images?”

“Uh huh,” Katy said.

“But not the images on the cards?”

“No, just pictures in my head.”

“Well, your pictures match the meaning of the cards,” Delphie pointed to the card she turned over. “Five of Swords. Nash is being a little self involved.”

“Is that bad?”

“It’s expected,” Delphie said. “He’s been driving Sandy crazy, but she knows it’s just his age. He’ll grow out of it. Anyone else?”

“Uncle Blane!”

“What do you see?”

“I see him going up on a stage,” Katy said. “Like when we went to his graduation from school only different.”

Delphie nodded and turned over the next card.

“Eight of Wands. You’re right. It’s time of Blane to step into life. He’ll have a chance to shine on his own now.”

“Auntie Heather!”

Delphie cocked her head.

“I see something but I’m not sure what it is.”

“Let’s look,” Delphie said. “Knight of Cups. Hmm… I wonder if Heather will meet someone new.”

“Besides Uncle Blane?”

Delphie nodded.

“That’s what I see.”

“In a dream?”

Katy nodded.

“I have too,” Delphie said. “Confusing, because everyone was happy.”

Katy yawned.

“Anyone else?”

“Auntie Tanesha? I see her all smiley and happy.”

“Page of Wands. She’s going to hear some big news soon,” Delphie said. “Good news. That matches.”

“Auntie Honey! I think things are hard for her.”

“Ten of Wands. Honey has her work cut out for her,” Delphie shook her head. “When hasn’t that been true for Honey!”

“Uncle MJ! I see a picture of him staring at the stars.”

“That matches this card,” Delphie held up a card with a big yellow star and a woman on it. “The Star. He’s learning to have hope in his life again.”

“There you are!” Jill poked her head into Delphie’s apartment. Delphie nodded and Jill came in. “I’m sorry to barge in. I’ve been looking all over for you. I thought you and Sam were down the hall.”

“We are,” Delphie said. “Katy and I wanted to look at Tarot cards.”

“Oooh Tarot cards. How fun. Did you learn how to play?” Jill asked.

“Uh huh,” Katy held up her hands and Jill picked her up.

“Katy needs to get her nap.”

“Or I’ll be very grumpy tonight,” Katy said.

“Right,” Jill said. “I bet you had fun with Delphie.”

Katy nodded.

“Say, good bye and thank you to Delphie for taking such good care of you.”

“Thanks Grand-Delphie!” Katy waved as Jill carried her from the room. “WAIT!”

“What happened?” Jill asked.

“What about Paddie?” Katy asked.

Delphie turned over the Lovers card.

“You’ll be friends for a long time,” Delphie said.

“Oh good,” Katy said. “Love you!”

Jill carried Katy from the apartment. Delphie could hear Katy’s sleepy chatter as Jill carried her down the hall and down the stairs.

“I wonder about me,” Delphie said. “Three of Pentacles. I guess I’m starting a new business or making new friends.

“What about Sam? Temperance. That’s my Sam. He’s going to negotiate this work crisis just fine.”

Delphie thanked the deck for helping her then put it away. She wondered what to do next, and then decided to take Katy’s cue. Lying down on her bed, she was asleep in moments.

Denver Cereal will continue next week…


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