I love Singapore for its eclectic mix of races and religions. Although I was brought up as a Roman Catholic, I had a taste of ancestor worship from my Peranakan culture (
The 7th Month Festival Of The Hungry Ghost
The only festival that I didn’t get was the Chinese festival of the hungry ghost which falls on the 7th month of the Chinese lunar calendar. Intrinsic to the festival is ancestor worship where descendants traditionally demonstrate their filial piety to their ancestors by preparing ritualistic food offerings and burning incense, joss paper and papier-mâché form of material goods like clothes, cars, houses, and even Ipads, for their ancestors. Elaborate meals would be served with empty seats for each of the deceased in the family, treating the deceased as if they are still living. Elaborately staged outdoor performances are organized with the first row of chairs left empty in the belief that the deceased would visit and be entertained by these performances.
The reason I didn’t get it was that to me, spirits should be left where they were and not be disturbed. They lived in their own realm and we lived in ours. I was brought up to believe that when one dies, he or she can’t take anything material along. I felt that the burning of joss, incense and other festival paraphernalia was unfriendly to the environment, the smoke irritated my eyes and the smells clung to my hair as I walked past these activities along the street. Moreover, my dogs were left with very little spaces to “do their thing” when we went out on our nightly walks.
That’s the reason why I was thrown into a state of confusion when I had a disconcerting dream a few days ago. I dreamt of a family of 4, a man, a woman, a little boy and a little girl. I knew none of them. They stood together facing me and the man told me he couldn’t cross over because the entire family was not properly clothed. Under any other circumstances, I would have laughed it off as a comical or nonsensical dream. However, when I recounted the dream to Mum and my friends, they advised that I should purchase 4 sets of papier-mâché clothes and burn them as an offering to the 4 people who appeared in my dream. Their rationale was that this being the Chinese 7th lunar month, it was the spirits’ way of trying to reach out to me for help. As I was frightened out of my wits by the thought that I was visited by wandering spirits in my dream, one of my mentors, assured me that being spiritually sensitive at this stage of my life as a professional tarot reader might have opened the opportunity for spirits to communicate with me. She said it was nothing to be afraid of, and I would be doing a good deed by rendering whatever help I could render.
Now, I was already a skeptic at the start of my tarot reading journey. It took me a long time to accept and embrace this skill as a gift from the universe for the purpose of doing something good for the people around me. I am of course even more skeptical with this “utter nonsense” about spirits visiting me in my dream and my having to help them cross over. However, I spent the last few days worrying about that family. And I felt so terrible about my skepticism. What if they truly needed my help and were not a figment of my imagination? So upon the advice of Mum and my friends, David and I braved the drizzle last night to purchase 4 packs of papier-mâché “clothes and things” with the intention to burn them as an offering to that family tomorrow, on the 15th day of the 7th lunar month ( yes, the instructions from Mum and my looney friends were quite specific). All that time I was muttering in flustered exasperation to myself “You guys had better not be pulling my leg!”
What My Cards Told Me
Still skeptical and fighting mentally with my Catholic upbringing and my rational self, I decided to do a spiritual read with my tarot cards to see what my intuition tells me. And the below were the cards I drew:
1. What’s the situation surrounding that family? - World Reversed
2. Why have they approached me? – Page of Pentacles
3. How can I help them? – 8 of Wands
4. Outcome – 4 of Swords
This tarot card spread revealed that that family was stuck in this world and not able to move on to the next as they cannot let go off their negative illusions about themselves in their “naked” state. This “naked” state could have been propelled by their sense of incompletion or non-fulfillment in this world when they were alive. They were not able to find the light to cross over in this “naked” state.
Why Have They Approached Me? – Page Of Pentacles
They may have approached me because they wanted to tap into my heightened spiritual consciousness to get help. I had been opening my mind to a smorgasbord of esoteric studies, discovering new things along my journey of spiritual enrichment. I was at a stage of learning all the tangible aspects of my spirituality from specific rituals during meditation through to the different techniques of reading my tarot cards, and applying it practically to my everyday life. That family was part of an everyday life, taken very tragically and suddenly from it into a world of unknown. They have become beneficiaries of a culture steeped in religious traditions. If it wasn’t for the 7th month festival of the hungry ghost, they wouldn’t have been able to reach out to me to request for help. I was going to be that conduit, ready to apply my intuition and compassion garnered from months of learning and spiritual awakening.
How Can I Help Them? – 8 Of Wands
The 8 Of Wands was a clear signal that this was my “breakthrough moment” in my spiritual path. It assured me that I had the ability to take immediate action and transform the situation for that family into a positive one. As a card indicating travel and movement, it signaled to me that with my help that family can move on quickly into the light to the world where they now belonged.
Outcome – 4 Of Swords
Well, this dream had been etched in my mind throughout my waking hours for the past few days. I had been agonizing over it as I was caught in a tug of war between my Catholic beliefs, my skepticism, fears that everyone was going to laugh at me when they heard about it and the nudge from my intuition to do the right thing. I have been so spiritually drained by this tug of war but was glad that my intuition won. After fulfilling my obligation to that family, I planned to recharge by meditating to the sunrise this weekend. The 4 of Swords indicated that my higher self will thank me for the opportunity to refresh my spiritual energies by resting and recovering from this episode.
About The Writer:
The writer of this blog post is a marketeer by trade, and a tarot card reader by accident. She obtained a Certified Professional Tarot Reader qualification from the Tarot Certification Board of America (TCBA) and is also a certified numerologist who runs a Tarot consultancy based in Singapore. A member of the American Tarot Association (ATA) and the Tarot Association of the British Isles (TABI), she is also a reader for the Free Tarot Network and is a mentor for the ATA.
She can be contacted at www.facebook.com/SunGoddessTarot or www.sungoddesstarot.com