Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Celebrity Tarot: Dorothy Parker

I did this reading around Mother's Day, with a spread I created for the occassion. It took a morbid turn when I found she never actually had children; she miscarried. So let's just call this a general reading, shall we?

Coincidently, Parker's death was just remembered at Parkerfest in NY. I found that too, from my research.
I'd look chunky in a flapper dress but have a thing for the Charleston....

Golden Tarot

*Role as Mother/Present Influences
Ace of Coins x 8 of Cups
My first thoughts were that she wasn't very emotionally
close as a mother-years of depression and drinking seem to
be represented by the 8.

After checking a few biographies I found she never had kids.
Sadly, she miscarried.
So the Ace would represent that one pregnancy she went through that never resulted in a child.

Parker never quite stayed married either- divorced three times, again marrying but living apart from her last husband, Alan Campbell.

*Personal Life
Hanged Man
Would suicide attempts and a poetry collection called "Enough Rope" do the trick?
Parker grew up around family death and, later, dissatisfaction with her own work.

Dissatisfaction was a theme in her life- she was a theater critic, mowed down contemporaries with her wit and advocated civil rights.
She worked hard for other people, personally and politically, but didn't seem to find much pleasure in her own life.

*Professional Life
The Star
I can vouch for this- Parker was, and is, more celebrated than she believed.

She wrote for the New Yorker, Vogue and Vanity Fair. She supported the Civil Rights Movement and many anti fascist groups.

The Star clearly shows Parker's role as an advocate, even of unpopular causes. She was blacklisted in Hollywood for being a communist.

Pfft. Whatever. She's Dorothy Parker.
She left all she had to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and the NAACP. They didn't even know who she was. And her ashes may have sat in a filing drawer for over a decade. With all the self-deprecating Parker did, she'd probably find the humor in that.

*Past Influences
Ace of Swords

Sharp wit. Losing a few family members when young, Parker realized nothing can be counted on. This shaped her writing, speaking and sense of humor.

Her memory and intellect served in her storytelling; overheard conversations, current events and contemporaries' blunders are collected for later use, like her poems and short fiction.

But in Parker's hands, they are more than quaint anecdotes. You are presented with all you need to know, nothing more, and there is no wasted sentiment.

*Future Influences
4 of Coins
Unfortunately, Parker's later years saw her low on money and living (with a lap dog she always seemed to have) in a hotel, where she died.

She spent the years after her last husband died drinking, taking pills and speakeasy-hopping, not being celebrated at lawn parties and luncheons like before.

She wasn't earning much, if anything, but was she through with being public?
The 4 of Coins shows this reduced means of living, keeping her indulgences to herself, but having $20 grand left to donate to Dr. King.
Not quite the elderly shut-in with millions in cash plastered in the walls. But a lady who liked to party and who gave of herself during her life and after.

Read her work! Seriously.
She's one of the small handful of writers I connect to- her poetry about love, death and the "roaring dead" left me going "Hell yeah! This lady is writing for me!"

Thanks to "The Portable Dorothy Parker", ed. Marion Meade, pub. Penguin.
Tarot images from taroteca.

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