Willow and Tara entered their apartment, both extremely tired. They had only had perhaps three hours worth of sleep, before being called to the Magic Box.
Tara was deeply disturbed by everything she had heard today, and the uncertainty of what lay ahead. The tension that surrounded Buffy and Angel was beyond unpleasant...and it was not centered on love, but fear. They needed guidance, and not from the sources they were getting it from. Those "sources" only seemed to confuse them further.... The two Warriors needed a firmer understanding...and she knew how to do that.
As Willow closed the door of the apartment, Tara went into the special room they had set up together for their ceremonial -- as well as everyday -- magic. Willow followed behind, her expression showing that she did not know what was going on. Once inside the Magic Room -- as they had nicknamed it --, Tara went over to were they kept their private magic supplies in a locked chest. She opened it, and rummaged around for a moment, looking for one thing. She pulled out a black bag about ten inches by five inches, then an incense holder, some incense, and matches. She stood, went to the middle of the room, and sat down.
As Tara lighted the incense, Willow moved out of the doorway, and into the room, to sit beside her lover. It was then that she caught the scent of the incense, and asked, "Strawberry? I'm not aware of any spell that uses strawberry incense."
Tara smiled faintly, her eyes filled with love, as she gazed with a sidelong glance at Willow, then returned her attention back to what she was doing. She opened the bag, and pulled out a book, and handed it to her companion.
Uncertainly, Willow read the title, "The Faeries' Oracle
," then opened the book. As she skimmed through the pages -- without reading what was written --, she noticed the fascinating drawings of faeries on them, many of them barely seeable on the sand-colored paper. After a while, she noticed that there were now very
distinct numbered pictures of faeries of all kinds, and that they were titled. A moment later she realized that she was looking at pictures of Tarot cards and their descriptions and meanings.
Frowning slightly, Willow asked, "Why haven't I seen these before, Tara? I thought you'd shown me all your magic stuff."
Tara had been sitting quietly, waiting for Willow to ask her just that question. She replied, saying softly, "I wanted to. I would've shown you before this, but they didn't want me to."
Tara watched as Willow tilted her head slightly, confusion in her eyes, as she said, "They? Who're They?"
"The faeries. They're the ones who like the strawberry incense. When I need them to help me, I use that."
Off of Willow's uncomprehending gaze, Tara said softly -- as she pulled a smaller brown bag out of the black one and unzipped it --, "Here, I'll show you."
What she would normally say silently in her head, she now said out loud for Willow's benefit. "My friends, I ask for your help. Some friends of Willow's and mine are having a difficult time. They need guidance other than what they're getting. I feel the need to come to you for this help. Tell us what you will, and we in turn will tell the others."
With those words spoken, I began to shuffle the deck, keeping in mind the situation that Buffy and Angel were in. After shuffling a few times, I just held the deck, and said to Willow, "Wills, did you notice that this wasn't like other decks, when you were looking in the book?"
Willow nodded, as she said, "You mean like the fact that there are no Cups, Wands, Pentagrams, Swords, or defined Elements in it?"
I nodded, then said, "That's because there's no true set order to them. Sure, they're numbered, but that's only to make it easier to find them in the book."
As Willow said, "Huh," in response, I looked at the cards in my hands, and murmured softly, "I'm going to do a set layout called the Question Game. I believe this will give us the answers that are needed."
Holding the cards in my right hand, I laid them out on the floor with my left.
After placing the first card before me, I placed the second one to the left of it. The third went above the first, while the fourth went below the first. The fifth card went to the right of the first card. The sixth was above and to the right of the fifth, while the seventh card went to the bottom-right of the fifth card. This completed my layout.
Placing the unused cards to the left of me -- where Willow wasn't sitting --, I studied the cards before me. Each place on the spread had a meaning, which -- coupled with the meaning of the card -- would tell me what I needed to know. Drawing in a deep breath, I closed my eyes, and held my left hand directly over the cards. After a moment to ready myself, I began to move my hand to sense which card felt warmest.
My hand was warm and tingled, as it stopped over the second card. Before I turned it over, I thought of what that place meant: This is how it happened.
Meaning that this is what caused the problem that Buffy and Angel now faced.
I turned the card over -- making the top of the card now the bottom. I blinked, not understanding. I would have to go to the book.... I usually did any way.
As I took the book from Willow, she looked at the card, face scrunched cutely in concentration, as she said, "That look's like the same picture as on the back of the cards."
"It is," is all I say, as I quickly flip through the book to number fifty-one, to look up the meaning of the Topsie-Turvets, Reversed. As I got to the page, I thought, Oh yeah. That's right. This card means the same thing as the upright meaning...only worse.
"Looks like it was unavoidable," I murmured. "Because of everything that had happened, there was no choice but
for it to happen."
At Willow's odd look, I said, "This card usually means a new perspective or outlook on something, but what I'm getting is that because of the aspect of Immortality coming into their lives...what happened was unavoidable. I don't know why yet, but I know we will by the end of this reading."
Turning back to the cards after Willow nodded, I once again passed my left hand over the cards to see which was next. The faeries seemed to be playing with me. They wouldn't tell me at first, which made me frown. Then, after several moments of silent debate with them, I flipped over the first card, as I thought of the placement's meaning: the situation or problem.
Sighing, I looked in the book again. They weren't going to make this easy for me in any way. The Oak Men, Reversed. Meaning: I had to look a little harder.
"Please don't make me pull another card, guys," I muttered, then silently cursed, as I realized that I had no other choice.
Taking the unused cards into my hands, I placed the top card over the Oak Men.
"Solus, Reversed," I said, not understanding. It's been too long since I used them. The meanings aren't coming too clear.
Picking up the book, I looked at the meaning, and felt a jolt run through me, as I whispered in shock, "They had lost their way. I understand the Topsie-Turvets now too. Because they had lost their way, they couldn't look at anything from a new perspective, thus what happened couldn't be avoided, like I said earlier."
Once again, I placed my hand over the cards. The cards all felt the same. That was when a thought struck me: go in the order of the numbers. That upset me, then I remembered how I didn't understand the second card's meaning until the first card had been turned over.
"Alright. Alright! I'll do it in order," I said, a little upset, making my love look at me strangely.
I turned over the third card, while thinking, This is their emotions right now.
Penelope Dreamweaver, Reversed. I read the meaning, but it did not make sense until I reached the last paragraph.
"Huh, seems that their emotional state right now is that everything is unfair. They'll need to snap out of that fast if they want to keep living."
"True," said Willow, "but considering everything they've been through recently...it's understandable."
Nodding, I turned over the fourth card, thinking, This card represents what will happen in the future
, and just realized I had flipped over the fifth
card and thought that
"They pulled one on me," I said in disbelief. "I hate it when they do that!"
But the card had been pulled, so I looked at it. Tobaira of the Waters, Upright. Finally, one that's upright! Not that I'm arguing or anything.
I looked up the meaning, and said, "Looks like things are going to change, and they'll be good
"So there's a light at the end of the tunnel," Willow asked hopefully.
Nodding, I turned over the fourth card, thinking, This is what they fear.
Losgunna, Reversed. I looked at the book, and the meaning made no sense, so I pulled another card from the unused ones, and laid it on top of Losgunna. I became chilled.
The Dark Lady, Upright.
"They fear changing," I said numbly. "It will destroy them, if they don't.... But they will
change. That's what Tobaira's saying."
"Hope is still there then?"
"Yes," I said in reply to Willow's question.
Sighing, I turned the sixth card. This is a warning.
My eyebrows shot up. The Piper, Upright.
"Beware being persuaded against your will, Warriors."
I shuddered. Those we not my words, but another's. My lips thinned, as I grimly turned over the last card. This is a suggestion of what they need to do.
The Faery Godmother, Upright. I did not even need to look at the book for this one's meaning, for it was this
card that told me who they needed to go to for guidance and help. The funny thing was, that this person had pretty much been here since this mess started. I looked up at Willow. By her expression, I knew she knew I had the answer.
"Adam. They have to have Adam's help to solve their situation.... It's the only