My clients sometimes seem to have difficulty believing it – seeing me, I imagine, as a Light Being or a visitor from the nether regions of the aether, but I was born. It was somewhere in Kansas thirty-seven years ago, on a day that my mother has since told me seemed auspicious from the moment I emerged in the early moments of the first day of April. I was carrying on a tradition, not only of seeing the light of day on All Fools Day (which is a little like All Saints Day, only sillier), but of actually growing up in the Way of the Fool.
The women in our family had for generations all been Fools in one way or another. My great-grandmother was married to one, my grannie was good at making them (her blueberry was legendary), and my mother loved the Fool’s motley that you see depicted on the old tarot cards, and styled her dresses accordingly, ( although she did go a bit overboard on the bells, but at least I always knew where she was). I remember there was a lot of jangling at our house.
No one knew who my father was – my mother seemed bewildered whenever I asked her, but we managed very well without him, and I had very many uncles who used to visit all the time. My childhood was a simple happy one spent collecting snails. My first experience of divination was when I came over quite funny after gazing at the whorls on the shell of one particularly large snail for too long. I saw a sort of wavy vision of an antlered being, who told me that it was good to be different, and uttered a single word I will never forget – Hermaphroditey. That magical word, the name of a very special goddess, has stayed with me all these years, and I sometimes invoke her to assist in a reading.
I was an only child, apart from a small cross terrier called Spike, a spotted pig and two jack rabbits, who eventually got eaten. There was also an old goat called Alister, much loved by Grannie, who had named him after someone she had known in her youth. She used to say that his droppings were the most accurate divination tool she’d ever known – far better than tea leaves, cake crumbs, or even the tarot cards.
I attended the local school, which was a little wooden building with a small tower and a bell on top – indications perhaps, if I could have read them then, of my future career in tarot.
Then, when I was seven (a magical number!), my mother, Henna, met the love of her life. He was a Welsh Druid Great Ovum, who had come to Utah to find out about the Mormons and polygamy. Well, to cut a long story short, he took a great liking to Henna, (and Grannie too!) and we all upped sticks and moved to Wales. Unfortunately, the idyll didn’t last. Grannie found Wales too wet and windy, and quite lonely after all the uncles and visitors we had in Kansas. She joined a social club, but couldn’t understand what many of the other older people were saying. And Henna found the Druid way of going on very serious after our free and easy life in the little farming community of my birth.
So we moved again, this time to Brighton, on the South Coast of England, where Henna gave tarot readings in a little booth on the Palace Pier. It was funny, but I seemed to have uncles in Brighton too, although there hadn’t been any in Wales. Years passed and eventually Henna was able to buy a run down little house in Kent, which we did up beautifully over time with help from the local craftsmen.
And here I am to this day, following in Henna’s footsteps and reading tarot cards! Grannie died last year, but her spirit visits me from time to time. I always know when she’s around as I get a whiff of blueberry fool, and things tend to rattle more than usual. After Grannie died Henna went back to her Great Ovum in Wales, saying she was too old to carry on as usual. He’d been asking her to try again for years and years and she thought she’d give it a go, even if it meant wearing dull robes instead of her colourful motley, and waving knives about. The house seemed quiet after she’d gone with only my partner for company. Jay almost seems to miss Henna more than I do. But I expect we’ll get used to it. We have each other and we have the magical Tarot cards to sustain us and tell us what to do.
Please leave your shoes at the door and try not to tread on the rabbits.
Bring your troubles here and I will do my best to relieve them by psychically reading the tarot, assisted by the spirit of Grannie and my Goddess Guide, Hermaphroditey.
But please don’t worry, as if that doesn’t work there are other things we can try.
Love to you all, Aisselle
Today I was asked about my rather unusual name.
It is not something I have often discussed but there is a story behind it, and in the spirit of openness, I have decided to share it with you all.
My mother and her mother’s mother, all the way back as far as anyone can recall, all suffered from axillary intertrigo. All of them were witches, of course, of the hereditary variety, and they all believed that this curse was the cost of their special powers.
But as a child, I was told by one of my many uncles that my father was a warlock from an area near to but not within the borders of present-day Slovakia, and that he believed that the curse could be neutralized with an appropriate sacrifice.
Accordingly, he named me, his first-born child, Aisselle, and on the day I was born, he released his large (and financially lucrative) herd of goats into the wilderness, hoping that subsequent children would be spared this embarrassing condition.
And indeed, it seems to have worked, as I am the only one left in the family to manifest the family condition. This may of course be why I was the only child born to my mother, though it is possible that I have unknown half- and even quarter-siblings, somewhere in the dark forests whence my father came. I have always believed this to be true.
My official biography states that my biological father is unknown. This is how he prefers to be remembered, I think. It’s unclear, even to me, exactly how biological my conception actually was, which adds to the confusion. My mother was, as I have said, silent on this point. The intertrigo, however, is a fact.