What if the truth of our life is present right now… but we couldn’t see it because we were too busy, too caught up in our own self-important, over-achieving drama?

And, what if all it took to discover the real truth of our selves was one honest-to-goodness real conversation?

That’s what happened to me one fateful night, six years ago when I went to a loft party in Brooklyn. 

I had been working 7-days a week as a NYC entrepreneur as well as being a hands-on dad of two young children.  It had been far too long since I had seen my friends, or given myself an opportunity to hear good music, and dance.

It literally took a divorce to get me to get up and go out.  The day after the divorce papers were on the table I said, “Fuck this.“ and left the house.

A couple of old friends and I found ourselves at a party, somewhere deep in Brooklyn, in an industrial loft live-work space.  As soon as I walked in, I saw one of my campmates from Burning Man I hadn’t seen in about 5 years.

As we reconnected, he told me about a system of self-knowledge he had discovered that was based on the ordinary deck of playing cards, based on the numbers of our date of birth.

So, he asked me, “What’s your date of birth?”  “August 30th”

“Ok,” he says, “that means you’re playing the 9 of Hearts and that’s the symbol of heartfelt endings.  In your life, you’ve probably gone through a lot of tragic endings of your relationships and you’ve got to learn how to let go, forgive and move on.”


My knees felt as if they would buckle under me.  It was as if time slowed and the air became thick around me.  As cheesy as it sounds, It felt like a deja vu scene out of a movie.

How is it that he day after the divorce papers are on the table, I find out that my life script is written for these kinds of experiences?  It’s in the cards for me!

And, it’s true.  Not just in my divorce.  But, in my friendships – inexplicable and sudden endings.  And, then new chapters starting with new friends and new relationships.  It has been a series of heartfelt endings and beginnings in my life.

And all of it means I am indeed learning to transcend my own hurt feelings and sense of personal loss so as to develop a more universal and unconditional approach to love.

That’s the primary pattern of my life as indicated by the 9 of Hearts, but there’s much more to the story.


Finding The Meaning of My Life

We each have 13 cards to play for life, based on the numbers of our date of birth.  And, once I found out my cards to play, I found my purpose in life. 

I have since started a professional practice to share the real meaning of these cards with other people to help them discover the purpose of their life too.

As a boy, my family played lots and lots of card games. Some of my fondest memories from my immediate post-college days were the nights I stayed up with my housemates to playing cards. And then to discover that my beloved cards were much, much more than just for bridge or poker or rummy… or go fish.

Since age 17, I had searched everywhere, read every spiritual book, and studied every religious tradition trying to find the meaning of my life. And yet here in these cards it was hiding right under my nose the whole time.

I studied philosophy at Harvard, went to Roman Catholic seminary to be a priest, went to India, living in Ashrams meditating 8 hours a day, and studied with shamans.  I did all that in my over-achieving attempt to find the meaning of my life… but it was when I relaxed and went to a party that I found the meaning of my life.

But, it wasn’t just from me that the real meaning of these cards was hidden.

The Hidden Book of Life

As I have since discovered in my own research, the deck of cards is actually none other than the ancient and fabled Book of Life.

Consider this:

•      There are 52 cards in the deck, and 52 weeks in the year.

•       There are 4 suits in the deck, and 4 seasons in the year.

•       13 cards in each suit and 13 weeks in each season.

•       The cards:  Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King

•       Are numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

•       Add these up: 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 9 + 10 + 11 + 12 + 13= 91

•       There are 91 days in each season

•       And, 91 x 4 suits = 364.

•       The Joker is worth 1 ¼ or himself plus 1 each of all the 4 suits. 

•       Add the Joker plus the value of the other 52 cards and we get 365 ¼

The deck of cards is a perfect depiction of our calendar year. It symbolically depicts the life cycles of the Earth and our place upon it.

Now, imagine for a moment that the deck has a binding on one side.  It is thus a little book of symbols and numbers that represents the cycles of our life. If you take the binding off, as we have, then we have the loose pages of a book.

It is an open book that represents our life on Earth. It is a little book of our life cycles on Earth.  It is a little book of our life.

Keep in mind that the ancient conception of what makes a book is very different than our own. The books of the Bible, for example, were written on scrolls or parchment. They were not bound together as we think of books today.

So, when ancient Biblical writers were speaking of a Book of Life, they were not thinking of a bound collection of pages the way we think of a book.

This little Book of Life was known in ancient esoteric spiritual societies. It forms the basis of Kabbalah and Hermetic philosophy. The Biblical writers were well aware of it. There are more than 20 references in the Bible to the Book of Life.

In the Middle Ages, the Church ironically called it “The Devil’s Picture Book.” But, it is, in fact, none other than the same Book of Life as referred to in the Bible.

A True Folk Rebellion

The Church feared the spiritual power of this little Book of Life.  In their corruption and greed, they persecuted anyone or anything that threatened their authority or their sway over the masses.

The Book of Life was persecuted because the powers-that-be didn’t want people to have the power of self-determination.  They wanted the control for themselves.

Plus, these playing cards have always been associated with the “common man” and leisure.  In fact, another reason they were persecuted is because the Church thought that idleness encouraged sin.

When people were playing cards, they weren’t working or otherwise doing their social duties.  They were relaxing and connecting with each other.

And, we now know that this little Book of Life can also help us connect to our own deeper truth.

It comes because we take the time to actually discover the deeper, hidden meaning that is already present.  But, if we never stop and make the connection then we miss all the meaning.

It’s no accident that these cards are associated both to leisure and spiritual meaning. It’s only when we actually relax and get off the rat-race that we have the ability to connect to our own authentic truth… that is always present.

Find out what card you are playing here.

A note from Chief Rebel, Jess Davis.

I found Alexander and his card readings when I was looking for affirmation before making the jump to start Folk Rebellion. I learned I was playing the 3 of hearts card. This is what is said in so many words.

Pilgrim, there is no way. The way is made by walking. As you walk the way is made...
And so it is for you, for life. You look in vain to straighten your path along any external slide rule of love. Your quest is fruitless trying to conform to any existing lines drawn in the sand. You make your own way as you go. And this is your perfect way. Your perfect alignment. You were born with a creative heart. Just how creative is up to you. We may think of that line of hearts as a magnetic arrow on a compass pointing to your true North, so to speak, your reflection of your own free will.


I quit my job and started my mission days later, knowing that the unknown is my perfect way.

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