Tuesday, August 1, 2017

When the Tarot starts reading you (Tarot Blog Hop)

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Welcome to the August edition of the Tarot Blog Hop.

The theme for this particular Hop is Respecting the Divinationary Arts.

When I was a kid, my Wiccan aunt gave my mother a Magic Eight Ball. Now for most people, a Magic Eight Ball is just a novelty item, a joke if you will. Not to my aunt, she could get accuracy out of a Magic Eight Ball. Her secret? "Respect the Magic Eight Ball." In other words, it was not to be treated as a toy, but as an actual sacred object. This was one of my first lessons in divination (if not the first).

The essence of this lesson has influenced how I deal with other divination systems, including Tarot.

If you look back towards the beginnings of the history of Tarot, you encounter a lot of stuff that makes it look like Tarot was more of a game than a legitimate divination device. And there is nothing wrong with that...says the man who has been known to use dice from a Dungeons and Dragons game in place of the Golden Dawn ring and disc (think: Ouija board with a pendulum).

And yes, I have been known to treat Tarot as a game. But in all fairness, I treat most things like they are a game. It is one of the things I learned to do to survive a childhood full of child abuse. And it probably does not help that I am a writer either. But then again, due to my aunt's rule, I tend to treat games as serious divination systems.

Tarot is a story telling game...which a level of scary quantum entanglement built in.

And there is where my respect for the Tarot comes in. I do not know how or why (beyond some half-digested quantum physics analogies) Tarot works to predict (or in the case of active magic and initiation--bends) the future, but it does. The universe seems to be ran by a storyteller, and we are all characters in his/her/its tale.

And the universal storyteller seems to like the symbolism of the Tarot. Once you start to dive into the symbolism of the Tarot, you start to see the symbolism bleed into your daily life. See three bums drinking out of a brown paper bag--see the Three of Cups. Wrestle with your cat--be the Strength card. Work in a restaurant--live the Eight of Pentacles.

In the urban fantasy novel, Last Call, Tim Powers has one of his characters taught by his dad not to ask questions in front of the cards. In this case, the character was referring to poker cards, descendants (or cousins) to our Tarot cards. I have learned to apply that same rule to my own life--there is nothing like playing Uno and find oneself reading the cards in play to remind yourself that the symbolism of Tarot can bleed over into other card games.

(It should be noted that the first fortune telling I did was in high school using a poker deck and instructions by Witch Queen Sybil Leek.) 

But I can't stop just at not asking questions in front of "cards." I got to be careful about asking questions in general, for the entire universe sometimes acts as a giant Tarot deck for me. And when it does, I cannot help but to read the universe as a deck of cards.

Or maybe it is the universe reading me. One can never be sure about things like this when one is a character in a story.

"I see a Tarot card showing a Magic Eight Ball on a Ouija board. We could be here a while."
 Thanks for reading. See you next Tarot Blog Hop.

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Unknown said...

I love the 'universal storyteller' concept and the acknowledgement of the tarot to live bleed over. In teaching tarot I always place emphasis on connecting personal life and symbol vocabulary to the tarot and then in reverse the same happens, our lives start being symbolic as well. I'll have to reference you about this wise advice of being careful of 'asking questions in front of...'

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to know that I'm not the only Tarot reader who's ever had to say to himself during a game of poker, canasta, or cribbage, "Stop reading the cards. Stop it. STAHP." LoL

Ania said...

I don't tend to have Tarot "bleeding" into other things. I can divine using whatever is to hand when the mood takes me, (e.g., the froth left in a glass of Guinness makes for excellent readings), but usually I just take things at face value.

Anonymous said...

I have a sarcastic ball... a magic 8 that only has snarky answers. I've had many a fun time with that using it handle heckling drunks...

Anonymous said...

Wow. So many incisive and wit-born insights, Morgan. One of my favorite bits: Tarot is a story telling game...which a level of scary quantum entanglement built in.

Yes, we are in the story and we make the story, and round and round. :)

Unknown said...

I always catch myself reading the cards when playing poker/rummy... so annoying!

Great post Morgan! :)