Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A Tale Of A Wedding Dress

When I was in my early 20's I was in a band where we liked to dress and used imagery to express our selves. We were considered goth but at the time goth was not a term used to describe a music genre. I was influenced by the silent films I saw and I decided that for our first show at the On Broadway where we played with groups with names like "Beast" "Black Dolls" and "Fade To Black" I was not going to wear your typical black clothing but appear in a long white dress and look like the gothic images of ghosts and female vampires I saw in those old horror movies. So being new to San Francisco I decided to shop for an old dress in the Haight area. At that time thrift and vintage stores had more affordable items. You could find something unique on a budget and it would last you for years if you did not end up selling it or giving it away. I came across a store called Ardvarks. While going through racks of long dresses, I pulled out a faded white crepe dress that looked like it was from the Victorian period. It looked barely worn and in good shape except one flaw. It had dried blood stains on it. I wondered why such a garment that looked like it was out of a gothic novel was doing hanging among old prom dresses and colorful bridesmaids outfits so I decided to ask a store employee. The guy who worked there merely shrugged at my question and told me that it was found in an attic of a Victorian house and that was all he knew. I decided it would look striking on stage so I paid 12 dollars for it and took it home.

Like many dresses from that period it was a very small size but as I have always been on the thin side, I had no problem fitting into it. I felt so feminine and regal when I put it on while I was getting ready to go on stage except for one problem. I was freezing in it and I felt an icy cold presence around me that I couldn't shake off. Being a thin crepe dress and my tendency to get cold, I should have expected it. Except this was no ordinary type of cold. It felt like a cold presence walking around me. Several friends and my band mates noticed this and remarked on it. They were not the type of individuals who sensed these things right away (with the exception of my sister and my friend Sara.) but they felt this one keenly and it gave them the creeps. It ended up that I only wore the dress twice. Once for a photo session and once for the show I bought it for. But that is not where the story ends. Like many items I rarely wear, it ended up in my closet in a box. But the ice cold presence did not go away. It would walk by me when I least expected it and at night my room mate and I heard soft knocks and what sounded like a slight tapping. At times it went on for a while and finally my room mate requested I give the dress away. How she connected the noise with the dress, I don't know but she was very adamant that it was the cause of the disturbance and the interesting part was that she was right. I knew I was never going to wear it again so I was not bothered much about giving it up. I sold it to a vintage store who was thrilled to have such a beautiful time piece in their collection. After this the cold presence was no longer felt and the knocks stopped too. I often thought about who wore this dress and what really happened. Did she die before she became a bride? Was there a terrible accident? I will never know the answer to those questions. But it does make me wonder how many other mysteries in Old San Francisco remain unsolved. Their stories are important and if I was investigating them more closely as I am doing now, I would go back and try to find out more.

May their souls be at peace during the season of light. We will tell more stories tonight on the air.

Photo of me when I was with a group called Children Of Night in 1982 wearing the famous wedding dress by Bob Shattuck.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016


The best Tarot readers that I have seen and have had a personal reading from, have all been what I consider "people" persons.  They are able to perceive and pick up intuitively on other people's unrest, patience, frustrations, etc.  This does not mean they are friendly wonderful, people persons, but they have the ability to "pick up on" the perceptions of others intuitively.

These type of people make for effective Tarot card readers, as they can perhaps see the bigger picture that is presented by the cards, before them.  Tarot reading requires an astute listener, and someone with a certain degree of empathy.  Having empathy helps when presenting both good and bad in a reading forecast.

I have been fascinated by Tarot for years, and have had readings done a number of times.  I have even begun painting my own Tarot deck, but have yet to complete it. I believe Tarot is what you put into it, like most things in life.

If you are skeptical and do not believe any of the prophetic nature of the readings, then you will of course not listen and close yourself off to what is really, more often than not, common sense and forces the person who is being read to take a closer look at their current, past and maybe future activities.

Tarot doesn't tell you the name of the person coming into your life, it doesn't tell you where you may have gone wrong, only you know these things, and it is the job of the Tarot reader to help review your past and current choices and maybe try to find who the person of interest may be, or what mistake in your past your may have made.

Is Tarot magic? The answer to that question is no, not really.  It is merely a tool used by someone effectively who speaks with people frequently and has a genuine nature to want to listen and help out where and when they can.

I think the most effective thing about Tarot, isn't the mystic cards or the "what do they cards say about me" aspect, but that they help induce conversation with the person being read.  Anything that can get people talking to one another about themselves, their actions, behaviors with others can only be a positive and if it takes a deck of cards to make this happen, then so be it.

Anthony Anderson

Tarot As A Guide To Your Inner Self

Tarot was originally created as images that speak to the subconcious and reveal what your inner psyche is trying to tell you, Much like dreams and the images that arise during deep meditation. Yet most of the time when certain cards come up such as the tower or the death card they can be scary and intimidating if one is not prepared to understand the deeper meaning behind a situation. That is why it the responsibility of a reader to  counsel the client fully and have them walk away with better knowledge on how to approach their issue than when they came. One way to do this is to look at the surrounding cards and see where and why the situation is occuring.Timing is also a factor. I have done readings where I saw what was going to happen the very next day to readings that came true a year later. The cards traditionally can predict a time frame but mixed together in a pattern it's a combination of intuition and remaining open to letting events unfold. There is also the practice of asking further questions and seeing what solutions the cards reveal. A journal or a notebook is always best to keep a record of the readings. Then you can go back and see what the pattern was trying to tell you. Keep in mind that the pattern comes from your inner self. The cards work as a tool to help you because the mind responds to imagery and symbols as a way to help us understand ourselves.

One exercise I recommend for those who would like to start reading for them selves is to pick a deck where the images are most the pleasing or you feel the most connection with. I always recommend the Rider Waite Smith deck to start with. But if you have an affinity for another deck you run across then by all means buy that one. When I started reading for others I was working a lot with herbs and making herbal remedies. I came across the herbal tarot and the deck not only helped with personal situations but the herbs in the deck were great reminders of what that person needed for their well being at the time. Take for example one person was having nightmares and feeling vulnerable. The card with St. Johns Wort keep coming up. As a flower remedy it is used for protection. As an herbal remedy it is used for mild depression. The latin name for it called Hypericum means over a spirit. It was exactly the sort of help this person needed to get started on her healing process and the cards were a great tool to help her see this. (They did not replace a more serious visit to a doctor or therapist.Always be mindful of that.) After a while you will start to form a connection with your deck where you feel more familiar and it becomes easier and more like working with a long time friend.

One way of learning to read for yourself is to take the cards, and throw out all the traditional and astrological meanings for the time being, and think of a question. Put your hands over the deck and hold it while concentrating on your question. Shuffle and when you feel an intuitive shift inside to stop then placethe cards in one large spread and pick the card that stands out for you. Look at the image and see what  is the first thing that comes to your mind. Go with it.Even if it doesn't appear to make sense. Write it down and come back to it later. You will be surprised at what comes through. For example when my cat Phoebe died I was grieving and not ready for another cat. Candlemas a pagan holiday celebrated in February was coming and I asked Brigit the Goddess who traditionally is associated with this day if she had a message for me. The Sun card came up which sometimes announces a young male child. (among other meanings.) I was confused but went with it and before long I was given a golden tabby kitten where the stripe on his side was shaped round like a sun. I named him Apollo. I had dreamed of him the year before when my cats were still alive. Now he had finally entered my life when I least expected it and right on February 1st. (I swear it's true.I have a couple of people who can attest to this.) This experience was talked about in Pamela Eakins book on tarot. I also recommend her deck Tarot Of The Spirit. The images are beautiful and very powerful.

I look forward to discussing this very special oracle with our guest Tommy Netzband who is a professional reader and hearing what our listeners have to say.

Photo above is of Pamela Coleman Smith who helped create the Rider Waite Smith deck in 1910.