or, Your Fender Stratocaster and You


And when I say “justice” I mean, of course, Judge Judy.  Oh, you may prefer your Ruth Bader Ginsburgs and Sonia Sotomayors, but for me it’s Judge Judy every time. Now and forever.

Judith Sheindlin, a nice Brooklyn girl, is the finest, most upstanding jurist this country has ever produced, bar none. Who could possibly equal the authority with which Judge Judy asks clearly ill-informed plaintiffs, “What? Do I look stupid to you!?”  She barks like a New York City cab driver, as all good jurists should. This woman is the very personification of justice.

So why is there some guy on the card instead of Judge Judy?  Copyright infringement and possible defamation suits.  I know the law. Sort of.

The Hanged Man

Yee-haw! This boy is gonna have some fun!  People often consider this a card signifying sacrifice, but they are so wrong. One would think that the name of the card would make the meaning clear enough; it is the card of hanging around. How can so many people miss this? I’m guessing drugs.

Not only is this the card of hanging around, it’s the card of hanging around on ropes, with your siblings or playmates if at all possible.  A few people of my acquaintance refer to this as the “Howdy-Doody” card, but they seem reluctant to say why. But no matter, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt, then you run.


America’s favorite tarot card!  It’s got a skeleton AND a horsie! What could possibly be better? Oh, I know, Bridget Bardot on a sloth. But I’m here to say that if I had a nickel for every time that was suggested to me I’d have about two and a half dollars.

Anyway. The most annoying thing about the Death card is that it’s not really about death at all. It’s supposed to be one of those dreary “symbolic” dealies having to do with personal transformation and all that nonsense.  And it is nonsense. The card is about summer camps and the horrible crafts one is required to produce in order to survive; the water tortures one must undergo; and horseback riding. 

If this card appears in your reading, avoid summer camps at all costs. In fact, a good piece of advice is to always avoid summer camps. Especially those in New Hampshire.


Temperance, in this deck, is known as The Bummer, although young Skippy there looks cheerful enough. Of course we have no idea what’s being poured into his glass, but I’m pretty sure it’s not vodka. Perhaps it’s the chlorine or other pool chemicals that put that smile on his face, but he’s not telling and neither am I. (Largely because I don’t know.)

So this is the card of moderation. Everyone seems to agree on that. Even me. And that’s why it’s such a  downer card. Although who knows? My delightful 1970s youth was a veritable wonderland full of illicit drugs, dodge ball, and a complete lack of seatbelts or bicycle helmets, but considering today’s climate of glowing good health and many, many, many safety precautions, this card may be gaining ground with everyone. Except me.

The Devil

Here’s the bizarre thing famous tarot expert Eden Gray has to say about this card: The Dweller on the Threshold Outside the Mystical Garden.  Eden, are you kidding? Anton LaVey she ain’t. But dear old Uncle Anton was closer to the truth than the obviously befuddled Eden.  The Devil is the coolest soccer mom in the world.

Naturally, the Devil is affiliated with all manner of overindulgences:  food, liquor, sex, gambling, super hero movies. I could go on and on, but only if you ask nicely. So, we’re looking at overindulgence and a distinct lack of self-control. And what does that mean to plain old you and me, hmmm? It means fun. Real fun. Dangerous fun. The most funnest kind of fun. Uncle Anton was right.

The Tower (Struck by Lightning)

The card of insurance agents throughout the known universe. And probably the unknown universe, as well. If this card turns up in your reading, there’s a good chance that you are already a “prepper” or will become one in the not-too-distant future.  Resistance is futile; start stocking up on bottled water, Gatorade, and canned goods, now for it is pre-ordained.

It is also, inexplicably, the card of water skiers. Who knew?

For the rest of us, it is simply a reminder to make sure the oven is off.

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