Tarot deck buying is an addictive pleasure. I know a few people who have thousands of them. Those who grouse that you actually need only one deck to ply your trade (if you're a professional) or explore your inner landscape (if you're not) obviously haven't felt the potent allure of the "next big thing." There … Continue reading Stemming the Tide
One of the best quotes I've ever seen describing the nature and purpose of tarot reading comes from respected occultist Dion Fortune in her description of the "intuitive compass:" "A divination should be regarded as a weather vane which shows which way the winds of the invisible forces are blowing, but it should always be … Continue reading Trimming the Sails
While reading Jonathan Dee's Fortune Telling Using Playing Cards, I came across a face-to-face reading technique that hadn't occurred to me before. I seldom look closely at my clients before or during a session because I want to avoid the impression that I'm "cold-reading" them to gather clues that I can then pretend I got … Continue reading The Eyes Have It (The Nose Follows)
This morning I was thinking about the various "tarot factions" that exist and how I might write about them in a fresh (and satirical) way. The timeline for tarot-card development is fairly well-known, at least in broad terms: early Italian decks were appropriated by French, Swiss and German cartiers for the "Marseille" and "Besancon" styles, … Continue reading The Avatars of Tarot Past and Present
The Golden Art Nouveau Tarot is a gorgeous Italian rendering of the the Pamela Colman Smith designs that makes excellent use of gold-foil accents and backgrounds. I decided to put it through my "deck interview" spread to see what it will divulge about itself in the way of a pseudo-psychological "personality profile." I don't actually … Continue reading The Golden Art Nouveau Deck Interview
I've mentioned that I've been reading Jonathan Dee's Fortune Telling Using Playing Cards. In it he describes a "Romany" method of reading that uses reversals (apparently old playing cards weren't double-ended so you could do that easily; now you have to mark them first). In his discussion of reversals he brought up a point that … Continue reading The “Undoing”
As far as I can tell, the publishing house of Rider & Son hasn't been involved with the tarot deck of Arthur Edward Waite and Pamela Colman Smith in over a century (except perhaps as the seller of reproduction rights until US Games bought them); it is now published in something approaching its original form … Continue reading Is It . . . RWS, or RSW, or WS or SW (or How About KSW)?
There is a reasonable assumption that, due to its layered symbolism, any card in a tarot deck can mean almost anything within its broadly-construed conceptual range when encountered in a reading. This elasticity of context is limited only by the diviner's resourcefulness in "connecting the dots," and it could be argued that, in the interest … Continue reading Weasel This!
It's fashionable these days for people who write about the tarot to say "The cards don't predict the future." My response to that is "Well, of course they don't, they never did." They are nothing but tools, evocative visual aids that serve as pointers for the diviner in helping the seeker explore the potential consequences … Continue reading No Fortune-Telling Here . . . Well, Not Much
While working on my initial dream-analysis reading, I started to say that all of the reversed Wands cards in the dream scenario represented an "incursion" of Spirit into the reverie, but then I realized that, in the dream-world, visions of profound import typically don't stand up and shout in order to draw attention to themselves, … Continue reading Flipped Missives: Reversals As Insinuation