- Oct 2016
With a wicked pack of cards.
The clairvoyante’s cards seem to be Tarot cards in this stanza.
Most obviously, “The Hanged Man” is the name of one of the major arcana/trumps, representing a traitorous person, or a crossroads. “The Wheel [of Fortune]” is also a trump, and represents change and movement, and the cycle of life.
The other cards all appear to be minor arcana. “The drowned Phoenician Sailor” seems to refer to the Ten of Swords, representing anguish and defeat, but with a chance of hope. (It is considered one of the most negative cards.) “Belladonna / Lady of the Rocks / Lady of Situations” is the Queen of Cups, representing a difficult road with a large reward at the end. “The man with three staves” is the Three of Wands, representing a journey, or hope for renewal. (Interestingly, this card often depicts a man looking out on a wasteland.) Finally, “the one-eyed merchant” would likely be the Six of Pentacles/Coins, representing equality and generosity.
This could be read into much more deeply than the general meanings of each card, but overall, the message appears to be “bleak, but with hope of salvation or reparation.”