The shadow is the “dark side” of our personality because it consists chiefly of primitive, negative human emotions and impulses like rage, envy, greed, selfishness, desire, and the striving for power.

The personal shadow is the disowned self. This shadow self represents the parts of us we no longer claim to be our own, including inherent positive qualities.

These unexamined or disowned parts of our personality don’t go anywhere. Although we deny them in our attempt to cast them out, we don’t get rid of them.

On an internal level this card is about establishing our inner kingdom, our virtues, values and belief system whose centre is ego. p.275 Phantasmagoria

Disorientated, I open my eyes slowly, uncertain about what day it is or where I am. Fragmented memories of being on the Isle of Ancestors, in the Hall of Mirrors, back at the Blue Pool and the Arches and being gathered up by the Lord of Sceptres drift before me.

As I struggle to regain consciousness and orientate myself I realise that I am actually in my bed, in my apartment, with a dear friend, looking decidedly anxious, hovering by my bedside.

Fergie squeals with pleasure as our eyes meet and I slowly focus, establishing that she is not some kind  of apparition.

It appears that I have been in a semi delirious state for days and Silus, worried about my state, sent her an urgent telegram insisting that she drop everything and get herself down to Shadwell to support me.

Now what you need to know about Fergie is that she comes from a rich background of Romani people and possesses extraordinary power. Fergie is not particularly wealthy and does not aspire to accumulate material possessions but there is a richness about her life that I have always admired. She has an extraordinary capacity to stand firm and she has been a loyal and reliable friend.

Traditionally, throughout history the Roma people have been associated with fortune telling, common methods of fortune telling included palmistry, tea-leaf reading, cartomancy, tarot reading and crystal ball amongst others. Roma women, as long as we have known anything of Roma history, have been arrant fortune-tellers. They plied fortune-telling about France and Germany as early as 1414, the year when the dusky bands were first observed in Europe, and they have never relinquished the practice.

In the time I have known Fergie she has never plied this craft or even offered to read cards for me. So it did surprise me when, over the nourishing breakfast she had bought up from the kitchen, she produced a deck of cards. She said that she thought these cards would help me work with the Shadow which had clearly been troubling me.

I gave her one of those looks! Fortune telling using cards were largely condemned in the past and the prejudice that rose against it is still, to this day, very much present.

“Well”, she said dismissively, “it is true that using cards was shunned harshly by the church for superstitious connotations which went against biblical references, but since when have you subscribed to such nonsense? Besides! You have to admit that these monsters are kind of cute?”

I had to concede that the deck she was holding did look very interesting!

The Shadowland Tarot cleverly provokes unconscious fears that lie asleep in the psyche and stimulates the enquiring mind” Fergie went on to tell me. “Given what Silus has been telling me about the state you have been in I think it might be helpful to spend time working with this woman’s imagery”.

With that I watched, fascinated as she proceeded to riffle shuffle the deck and lay one card on the table next to me. Then she simply asked me what I thought the card was telling me.

“This King appears to be an Elder who is sharing stories and his wisdom with youngsters” I said. “Well isn’t that what you do?” said Fergie. “Perhaps you could be thinking about how to share your wisdom instead of lingering in places like the Isle of Ancestors. The Ancestors do not want you to join them yet! Remember! You were sent with a mission and that mission is not completed yet”.

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