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Predictions: 2009 Eastern Quarterfinals, Caps-Rangers April 14, 2009

Posted by CapitalSpirit in Uncategorized.
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Hope this isn’t an omen.

The Tarot of the Angels deck that I’ve been using for predictions for the past year was recently damaged beyond service. I’ve ordered another deck, and will use an older deck for this reading. This one here was one of my first Tarot decks–one I have used for earlier predictions on this blog, in fact–and it’s still in very good condition. It also has a couple of features my lamented Angels deck doesn’t have–such as a timeline that actually comes into play in this reading. (Although I’m a little puzzled at the time it’s giving me.)

Deck: Quest Tarot (Martin)
Spread: Celtic Cross
Question: “How will the Washington Capitals do in their first-round series with the New York Rangers?”

INITIAL IMPRESSION: Distribution is a little odd, but I’ll deal with that at the end. I’m trying to find some really, really bad news in this layout, somewhere, so I won’t look like a complete idiot should the Caps lose. But frankly, I can’t seem to find any. Two Major Arcana cards here, both reversed, and that’s unusual. But only one is in a predictive position, and frankly, it’s giving an indication that really ought to have been obvious by now. There are a couple of Aces here, both face-up, and that’s good news. Lots and lots of Earth energy here, which portends a physical series. (It’s the playoffs. Duh.) This whole spread looks so positive that I’m wondering how accurate it can be. Is this too good to be true? Or are we just going to take it to the Blueshirts just like that?

BASIS: 3 OF WANDS, VIRTUE. Hard work has paid off; doing the right thing has been rewarded; expectations have been met. That is essentially what’s being said by this card in this position with regard to this specific question. Where do things stand right now? That’s what the Basis card represents. And where things stand for the Caps is, essentially, “Virtue is its own reward.” The Caps have been playing the regular season with skill, poise, and–importantly–class. The Caps finished the regular season with only 29 major penalties, third fewest in the NHL. That’s just under half the Rangers’ total of 59, seventh-most on the circuit. While some might grumble that less than three dozen majors is the mark of a sissy team, I would remind those people that the fewest number of majors of any team this season was 12, by Detroit. And sissies the Red Wings ain’t. Virtue has been rewarded here, and that’s what the 3 of Wands is saying here. The Caps are where they are because they have played this season with skill and class.

CROSSING: 10 OF STONES, RICHNESS. A Crossing card can describe either a path, an obstacle, or a false good. And you really have to read the whole spread to figure out which way to read it. Based mostly on the Outcome, I’m going to read this as a path–the path to Richness, essentially. This represents material abundance; being king of the castle; and coming home to a celebration. After a season-concluding week on the road, complete with an inglorious conclusion in Florida, the Caps now come home for Games 1 and 2 of the Conference Quarterfinals. Time to Rock the Red, and soak up the love from 18,277 red-clad admirers. A very fun road to be on, that’s for sure.

DISTANT PAST: MOTHER OF STONES, PERCEPTION. When this card refers to a situation, it’s a situation of calmness, serenity, and–here we go again–material abundance. If this is a hockey player, they’re a physical or “earth-y” player who’s got five to nine years’ experience. Now, I do keep a list of players by rank, and I was looking over all the 5-to-9-year players. And Matt Bradley’s name just jumped out at me loud and clear. I wanted to say this was John Erskine at first, but I just wasn’t feeling that from this roster. Matt Bradley has gotten a little too quiet for my taste as the season has drawn to a close–perhaps that’s why he’s showing up in the Distant Past position. But if he’s turning up here, his influence may yet be felt in the series against the Rangers. Take it however you will–either our calm and serene days are now officially ancient history, or Matt Bradley may be making his presence felt from out of the past. (Either that, or he’s so ancient-history by now that he’s headed for the press box.)

RECENT PAST: 2 OF WANDS, DOMINION. While this isn’t a card of outright victory, it is a “Yes! I did it!” kind of card. That almost certainly describes our regular-season performance: it’s been a regular campaign for the ages–at least, for the Caps–and we’ve hit the finish line and thrown up our arms in victory. Well, that is now officially old news. It’s past. It’s over. It’s done. Forget it now–that Dominion is officially in the rear view mirror. The playoffs are here, and it’s time to start a new journey. That’s not to say this card is going away–it’s just on its way out of the picture for now. The message here is to forget the regular season, and move forward with the REAL hockey season.

GENERAL DIRECTION: IX, THE HERMIT, REFLECTION, REVERSED. (Element: Earth) This is one of the two reversed Majors I alluded to earlier. And while this is in a predictive position, it’s not really a harbinger of bad news. How come? Well, The Hermit is about taking the phone off the hook and disappearing for a while. It’s about getting away from the stresses of life. It’s about taking a step back to take two more steps forward. Retreat; contemplation; monk in a monastery; mystic on a mountaintop; that kind of energy. When reversed, the meaning is essentially one of “get off your mountaintop and get on with your life.” The retreat in the woods is over; time to get back to the concrete jungle. The interpretation I’m about to offer here seems too easy to be genuine, but here goes nothing. The month of meaningless games against cupcake opponents is over. To find their way forward, the Caps need to get back to playing their regular game. Banish cute. You’re not playing for the highlight reels now, guys. You’re playing for the Stanley Cup. Come back to the real world, now, or it’s going to be an awfully long summer. (That’s a caution, not a prediction. The Outcome is more emphatic, and more positive, but no fair skipping ahead.)

IMMEDIATE FUTURE: FATHER OF STONES, GUARDIAN. There are only two Caps who have nine or more years experience that I’d put into the suit of Stones. Those are Brashear and Theodore. And frankly, Theodore was who I thought of right away the second I saw this card hit the table. This position is kind of the Celtic Cross version of “Coming Soon” at your local multiplex. And honestly, I’m not surprised to see this card in this position. There have been some who have said that Henrik Lundqvist is a better goalie than Jose Theodore. I don’t buy that, quite frankly, and I don’t have to ask him to know Jose doesn’t buy that either. He will take the crease with something to prove, and I think he’ll do just fine for Games 1 and 2. Beyond that, I can’t say–this card is an IMMEDIATE future card, not a long-term (as in, full series) one. If I’m reading this right, Jose Theodore should have two very solid outings in the first two games.

TEAM: ACE OF SWORDS, COGNITION. This is the only Air card on this spread, and it’s a good one. This card represents incredible mental acuity, out-thinking the opposition, cutting right to the heart of things, laser focus, and similar energies. The Caps have had a few days to prepare for the Blueshirts, and this tells me that they have REALLY been doing their homework these past few days. While the overall distribution is Earth-heavy, which may indicate a more physical series, the Ace of Swords in this position indicates that the Caps will still have the mental edge. They may not out-hit the Rangers, but they should out-think them. Overall, this is a VERY good card to come up to represent the team.

TIMELINE: in this specific deck, Aces also predict timelines. I’ll spare you the nuts and bolts of how it works, but it does involve having the month and date of birth of the seeker. I assume the seeker here is the Capitals organization, and the “date of birth” that I use is June 9th, 1972, the date the franchise was awarded to Abe Polin. Using that date of birth, the time that this Ace is predicting is 11 AM on October 19th. I have no idea what to make of that, but I will report it as part of the reading.

OUTSIDE INFLUENCES: DAUGHTER OF STONES, POSSIBILITIES, REVERSED. Two years or less at the NHL level, New York Rangers, physical player…Brandon Dubinsky, maybe? 113 PIMs this season? That’s who my intuition is telling me it is, so I’ll go with it. This card is reversed, so this is the “bad” version of whoever this card represents (Dubinsky, I think.) As a situation, this card can also represent a lack of possibilities, ignored opportunities, and not knowing truth from falsehood. That could be an outside influence bearing on the Caps’ series, or this could simply represent Dubinsky being one of the worse influences on the series. We’ll see.

HOPES AND FEARS: THE MOON, DREAMS, REVERSED. (Element: Water) I don’t want to call this a “nightmare” card–that would be the 9 of Swords–but it’s not a pleasant card to come up as a Hopes and Fears–that is, subconscious influence–card. Emotional fluctuations, racing thoughts, the past coming back to haunt you–that’s part of what this card can represent. It also represents deception: things may not be what they seem by the light of the moon, but when reversed, they DEFINITELY aren’t what they seem. I think there may be some players on the team who, subconsciously, are afraid of another first-round exit like the one they suffered last year. It’s an emotional time for some of the younger players: the last time they were the first-round favorite, they got chased on a ticky-tack power play in overtime of Game 7. There may be some subconscious fears of that series still lingering with some of the players. If I could give counsel to such a player, I would say this: Remember who you are. You are a Washington Capital; you are a champion of the Southeast Division; and you have teammates, families, fans, and a whole lot more who love you as you are. You can do this. Fear not.

OUTCOME: ACE OF CUPS, EMOTION. Love; joy; artistry; emotional fulfillment; creativity; abundance; enjoying the moment. There are a whole lot of very sweet interpretations of this card. But if Aces represent beginnings, and Cups represent emotion, then what we have here, essentially, is an emotional beginning. Not an ending; a beginning. If so, this series represents a first step. It is not the end of our journey. There will be a lot of love and joy surrounding the team in this series, so I don’t see three games in New York here. Three games in the Phone Booth, yes. And that will be when we take our next step.

DISTRIBUTION: EARTH 5, FIRE 2, WATER 2, AIR 1. As I’ve alluded to several times by now, this will be a very physical series based on the number of Earth cards I see here. There may not be a whole lot of conscious thought going on, but with an Ace of Swords representing the team, what Air energy is on the Caps’ side is most potent. Spirit and Emotion are about where they should be.

FINAL PREDICTION: Last year, I saw a 6 of Wands reversed, and shaded a bit on my way to a bad misread. Here, there’s not much to misread. An Ace as the Outcome is very, very good news, and a second Ace on the staff shows that the spiritual energy in play is very, very powerfully working in the Caps’ favor. Either this deck is toying with me, or this series is going to be a very, very good start to the Caps’ postseason. Based on the cards, I’m going to go with:

CAPITALS IN FIVE.

CAPITAL SPIRIT
WAITER, TELL THE KITCHEN TO KEEP THE CROW ON SHORT CALL

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