The Chariot


Lima’s head had been going round and round in circles on her way home from Hoxton that Friday night she had bumped into Leo mid-break up with Rick. By the time she reached Willesden Green tube station, her anger had reached boiling point. She was fuming at Leo. Who the heck was that bimbo Leo had wrapped around his little finger? And how dare he interrupt her break-up with Rick to bring that in to the mix, Lima thought.

But soon after the thought crossed Lima’s mind, she tripped on the way up the stairs at the station. She knocked her left knee on the concrete but fortunately Lima’s right knee fell onto her backpack, which she was carrying in her right hand, softening the blow. Lima yelped. A young black teenager came to her rescue. “Easy sister, you a’ight?”, he said, raising an arm to help her up. She took the teenager’s left arm and he lifted her up. He was of slight build, shorter than Lima and “most definitely” weighed less than her she believed, but he had the strength of a lion. They had a brief chat as they walked slowly up the stairs together, “maybe they have someone in the ticket hall who knows first aid, innit” he said to Lima.

“I’ll be fine,” Lima said. “My mum is pretty good with stuff like that. It’s just a knock.”

“If I weren’t late for ma lady,” he said. “I’d lift you up and take you home.”

For the first time that night, Lima giggled. The teenager was a charmer. He reminded Lima of Leo a little. He had a gentle warrior-like presence. Maybe they are from the same family, Lima chortled to herself. The lad walked in front of Lima, as she tapped her Oyster card at the gates. Once she had gone through the barriers, he looked back at her and said: “You take care my lovely, and watch your step. It ain’t worth the drama.” He winked at her and continued: “know what I mean?” She thanked the lad and turned left outside the station as he walked the opposite direction to her.

Lima wondered whether her mum would come and pick her up. She decided against the idea of calling her mum. Lima hobbled most of the way home, intermittently putting her left leg down putting pressure on the knee. Her knee hurt, it was more of a hard knock to the knee cap and she could feel the area swelling up.

The fall had taken Lima’s focus away from earlier events that evening. As painful as it was, the knock to the knee was Lima’s inner being’s way of alerting Lima to stop and take heed of the situation she was creating by having negative thoughts towards Leo. She would later become aware how having those negative thoughts directed at her twin soul came back and bit her in the ass literally. Rule of thumb in a twin soul relationship, if you don’t like what you see in him, take a good, long, hard look at yourself because the source of that is coming from you, given that they always mirror the other half of their soul. Lima’s inner being would make sure that she learned that lesson fast.

By Monday morning, Lima would be a completely different being altogether. In fact she was more her inner being or true self. The weekend spent at home nursing a bruised and swollen knee, listening to music and time spent in meditation would change her world for the better. See Estrellar had attempted to put Lima on the spiritual path years previously, but Lima was sitting on the fence. Estrellar had told Lima to meditate and get to know who she truly is, instead of running from the very being that was responsible for her “living, breathing and walking”.

Focusing on her inner being was not as “difficult” as Lima had once perceived it to be. It was Saturday afternoon and Lima put on some blissed out beats to help her relax so she could centre and ground herself. She lit some tea lights and placed them around her bedroom. She also lit a frankincense incense stick. Estrellar told Lima that frankincense would help facilitate her connection to her inner being. Lima was not surprised at the amount of junk that would come at her whilst in meditation – a whole stream of trash attempting to distract her and take her focus away from her inner being and her inner peace.

Lima’s inner being had much guidance to share with Lima. Not so much in a flurry of information but rather through a sense of knowing and awareness. As Lima focused on her breath for a few minutes and took in the scent of the incense, she was able to connect to her inner being. The first of Lima’s insights was that whatever she put out, she got back – so whatever she was thinking towards Leo, he would throw it back at her. She was directed to release all beliefs and thoughts that did not belong to her inner being and replace it with the Divine Love of her inner being.

The second of her insights was to “park her butt down” and read Roni Pani’s ‘Moment by Moment: The Art of Simply Being’. Estrellar had given Lima the book as a gift for her birthday two years ago. She also bought Lima a tarot deck, her very first tarot deck in fact. Lima smiled sweetly at Estrellar on the parting of gifts, but pulled a face as she trundled upstairs to her room while reading the synopsis of the book on the back cover. It wasn’t her “cup of chai”, Lima thought.She would leave the book in a shelf above her turntables, where it would sit there amidst coffee table books on street style and graffiti, remaining untouched for the best part of two years.

As for the tarot deck, Lima was not initially interested in the art of divination. Rather she was attracted to the artwork of divination. Lima loved the deck itself. It was ‘The Tarot de L’Artiste’ – a modern, quirky take on the traditional Rider-Waite-Smith deck. The images were vibrant and whimsical featuring bold and colourful illustrations. Estrellar thought it would be a great deck to introduce Lima to the tarot, given its fun and artistic flair. Fun and flair was definitely on Lima’s mind when she picked out her favourite cards from the box and proceeded to place them on walls and shelves like a display of postcards. Not the intended use for tarot that her inner being nor Estrellar wanted.

During Lima’s brief moments of enlightenment or conscious awareness, as it were, her inner being would point her eyes in the direction of the cards each time she needed Lima to know something. There they were on display – Lima’s favourites – they were The Moon, Queen of Cups, Strength, 10 of Cups, The Star, The Empress, The Sun, and The Chariot. But Lima would often lose herself in the imagery and attempt to use the colours and images as symbols to create items of clothing with her sewing machine, rather than what her inner being wanted her to do which was to gather the cards up and use them as a tool to seek answers from within.

It took the weekend post breaking up with Rick and acknowledging just how much she truly wanted to be with Leo, for Lima to have the “spiritual awakening” her inner being and Estrellar long desired for her. On that same afternoon she was directed to pick up the Roni Pani book from her shelf. In a sweep of energy, as Lima made her way to the shelf, caused one of the tarot cards that had been leaning against the book to fall on Lima’s decks. It landed face down. Lima went to pick up the card and turn it round. It was The Chariot. She was instantly drawn to the card, in a way she had never been before. The card featured a muscled warrior on a chariot. He was holding a flame torch in his hand and the chariot had an engraved lion on its front. The lion was emblazoned in a mix of yellow, pink, orange and various shades of blue – it contrasted to the white and purple of the gallant warrior who stood within an orange border, akin to a photo frame with tiny coloured rose petals. For the first time, the tarot card took Lima on a journey and called out to her: “and so your journey of self-discovery begins”.

Lima was mesmerised by the card. She felt the intuitive urge to regroup the cards she had been using in an art gallery-like display. She found the original box with the remaining cards in the top drawer of her bedside cabinet. She gathered the cards that had been carefully curated round her bedroom and put them back in their box. Next Lima felt the desire to hunt down some pieces of material that she could put her tarot deck in. A small, rectangular cedar wood box came into her awareness. She did not own one yet but she knew that it would be where she would store her deck. That was after wrapping it around in a lush piece of material. Lima vowed to treat her deck with the respect it deserved.

Lima walked over to her wardrobe. She bent down, careful not to cause pain to her left knee that she was nursing with some arnica gel, which her mum had given her to reduce the swelling and the bruising. She had on a pair of ¾-length lounge pants so her knee was within easy reach to rub the ointment in throughout the day.

Lima took a clear perspex storage box out from the bottom of her wardrobe. She threw all discarded bits of material in it once she had cut patterns and created outfits using her sewing machine. The idea was that she would find a use for these scrap pieces of material, often customizing clothes she had bought in shops with the scraps. She found a piece of cobalt blue Thai silk that her mum had bought her back from Bangkok. She had previously made a pair of lungi-style beach pants with the material. The leftover piece of material was frayed at the edges. Lima would sew a hem with her sewing machine at some point. Not right now though. She placed the tarot deck and material on her table and picked up ‘Moment by Moment: The Art of Simply Being’ and walked over to her bed.

Many people had spoken to Lima about‘Moment by Moment: The Art of Simply Being’, but she was never in that space to engage with them about it, choosing to change the subject to something that she truly felt she had a “connection” with which usually meant music. She had caught Roni Pani being interviewed on an American chat show on a cable channel some time ago. It was something that her inner being had directed her to in a few rare moments of Lima being in the present. Lima’s head however wouldn’t allow her to focus on the show for long enough, and she was directed to a thought that stated: “who is this man with the Yoda-like poise sparking off wisdom?” and then another thought came, “may the force be with you”, and another, “do or do not, there is no try” and yet another, “I cannot teach him. The boy has no patience”. Then thoughts about different Star Wars characters came to the forefront including Darth Vader, Chewbacca, Luke Skywalker and then Princess Leia. The Princess Leia thought took Lima on a journey on whether she should recreate the hair buns look for her next gig at Jam-Min. Lima’s focus had wandered and she was no longer in her inner being’s awareness. She decided to flick the switch and turn it on some rather “soul destroying” show instead, The Billionaire’s Housewife. Thoughts of inane drivel were coming in a dozen a second when Lima switched over. Like energy attracts like energy, as it were.

Lima opened the book and sat there until she finished reading the 200 or so pages. She sat diligently reading ‘Moment by Moment: The Art of Simply Being’. It was only when her mum knocked at the door, did she realise she had sat still for the best part of two-and-a-half hours. Even her mum’s offer of going for dinner with her and her dad to Nando’s could not sway her from her reading. She asked her mum to pick up a take away for her instead.

Juan couldn’t believe what he was hearing when Joyce went down to let him know that his daughter was passing on her favourite peri-peri chicken to savour and consume the lessons of Roni Pani instead. Juan had to see this for himself. Was his daughter finally gliding into her spiritual awareness instead of treading water on the peripheries?

He hurriedly climbed the stairs in anticipation. Juan knocked on Lima’s door. He couldn’t help but manage a massive grin. The Emperor opened the door at his daughter’s command. “Just wanted to double-check that you really are turning down Nando’s for Roni Pani,” he said. Lima burst out laughing and replied: “Yes Dad, yes. There truly is more to life than Nando’s”.  Her father started laughing too and closed the door behind him. The grin on his face grew as he waltzed down the stairs this time.

After her dad left the room, Lima reached for her mobile phone on her bedside table. Intuitively she felt the need to text her aunt, and thank her for the book and tarot deck, albeit acknowledging the gifts some two years later. “Hey Estrellar,” Lima texted. “Just wanted to say thank you for the Roni Pani book and tarot deck that you gave me for my birthday sometime ago. Wondered if you would be willing to give me some lessons on how to use the tarot? Besos, Lima x”.

Estrellar was with Ulisses driving through west London in their car when she received Lima’s text. Sitting in the passenger seat, she leant down to her bag to take her phone out. She smiled as she had sensed what was coming. She lifted the mobile out of her handbag and swiped the handset to turn it on to read the text message. She read it, and still smiling, turned to Ulisses, his eyes firmly fixed on the road, and proclaimed in Brazilian Portugese: “Oh meu deus, finalmente”.

All characters and events in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Twins At Work are a writing duo. ‘Tarot Tales: The Mirror’ is their latest book. 

© Twins At Work. All rights reserved.

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