This is likely to be a controversial subject. There is an old tenet from computer science that goes: "Garbage in, garbage out (GIGO) is the concept that flawed, or nonsense input data produces nonsense output or 'garbage.' The principle also applies more generally to all analysis and logic, in that arguments are unsound if their … Continue reading Garbage In, Garbage Out
Although I'm no fan of using tarot for psychological profiling (which is better served by natal astrology), preferring instead a more action-and-event-oriented approach, here is a spread that adopts a creative spin on the four cognitive functions of Carl Jung. Reversals may be used to show a further elaboration of the inner landscape.
As time goes on I find myself drawn more and more to working with only the 56 Minor Arcana cards in divination. Granted, the 22 Major Arcana are where most of the philosophical "meat" lies in the tarot, but very few of my readings rise to that level of metaphysical complexity and intensity. Most of … Continue reading The Virtue of Simplicity
It seems to be popular in Europe to read with only the 22 trump cards and leave the pip and court cards aside. This is surely a pre-20th-Century form of cartomancy that antedates the lofty assumptions of Jungian thought and its psychological archetypes. I'm not familiar enough with Joseph Campbell to say so conclusively, but … Continue reading TURN OFF THE CAPS! (Majors-Only Tarot Reading)
In keeping with my life-long aversion to the "father-knows-best" model of authoritarian determinism, I tend to avoid "isms" of any kind. But in contemplating my approach to spiritual matters in general, I was casting around for a definition that does the same thing for me that "scientific materialism" does for the pure rationalist. I consider … Continue reading Spiritual Realism and Fuzzy Logic
Twentieth Century psychologist Carl Gustav Jung subdivided the discriminating faculties of the human personality into four general "types:" sensation (encounters with the physical world that trigger our five bodily receptors); thinking (the intellectual function by which we process the evidence of our senses); feeling (the emotional ways in which we do the same thing); and … Continue reading Jungian Typology and the Four Elements
Another curious phrase used by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn describes the 8 of Swords as the "Lord of Shortened Force." To me, "shortened" implies too little of something, but in Liber T Macgregor Mathers had this to say: “Too much force applied to small things." I just can't see it in that … Continue reading A Force Too Short (or Is It Too Long?)
I've often pondered what Macgregor Mathers intended by the description "blended pleasure" as a pejorative for the emotional state shown in the 4 of Cups. I had to stop and think "Blended with what, and to what end?" The purpose of blending two things is usually to improve the quality of one or both of … Continue reading “Pleasure with Pain for Leaven:” Blended Satisfaction
There seems to be endless online debate over the proper methodology for laying out the cards. It ranges from "Just do it!" with no planned sequence to carefully orchestrating the pull for maximum coherence. To those who profess to using no prescribed technique, I would ask "Not even self-prescribed?" I would argue that "no method" … Continue reading Think Once, Then Stop Thinking
Why do people seek out a tarot reader? Arguably, a minority are those who are merely curious about something they may have heard from friends and who have the time and money to spend on indulging themselves; or they might happen upon a street reader and impulsively decide to "take the plunge." Among them are … Continue reading Medicine Man or Wizard?