The Tower, Leonora Carrington. From her Major Arcana, recently printed by Fulgur.

My apologies to those watching this site, especially through an RSS reader or similar, who have probably just had a series of post notifications. While I was away conducting some business – and taking the opportunity for a brief magical retreat this late summer – there was a bit of a hosting crisis on the server, which wiped much of the site. I didn’t notice until much too late to fix it on the backend – a rarely checked folder of my email full of increasingly dire notices. Restoring some of my work here, I’ve taken the opportunity to give the site a little facelift as well. There’s a lot more magical writing to come over the next few months.

It also leaves me with a funny divinatory story. Every morning I draw a simple three-card tarot reading for my day ahead, both as a way of keeping my senses sharpened and of deepening my associations with the cards: typically I will very quickly review the day’s events before bed, and make a note of anything that looks retrospectively related to the reading, but which I failed to see in advance. This is a good way of personalising the cards, or noticing patterns of relations between cards which crop up together, or in daily sequences.

On the day the hosting for this site failed – quite catastrophically, and with me quite unaware – I drew a Three of Cups, Six of Swords and The Tower. I was quite puzzled by this reading, being unaware of the emerging digital crisis. I thought, perhaps, some interpersonal crisis was indicated, maybe involving one of the collaborative work projects I’m involved in. And though there was some grousing through the day, nothing quite as disastrous as suggested by The Tower came to light. My journal entry for the evening has scribbled at the end: ‘…divinatory misfire?’

A few days later, realising what had happened, and clocking the date of the fatal backend failure, I ended up cackling to myself. Both minor arcana in the reading are ruled by Mercury, governor of all communications and writing, electric deity of the internet – and certainly the Cups card suggests the sociability and genial outwardness of public writing. What a fool! The cards had been near enough clobbering me over the head with a message I had been too hurried, or simply too unreflective, to grasp. At that point, all you can do is laugh. Sometimes the experience of divination is such that it reminds you of the most important lesson of all: however mighty, you are still human – and humans make mistakes. Learn to laugh at them.