The methods by which human personality, age and gender have been assigned to the court cards of the tarot have never resembled an exact science. The old ways of using physical traits as the basis for qualitative "thumbnails" are almost entirely unsatisfactory: Wands people are assumed to be fair-haired, light-skinned and blue-eyed, those at the … Continue reading “Will the Real Page of Wands Please Stand Up?”
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
Continuing with my exploration of the "meditation patterns" for the Minor Arcana from Jim Eshelman's Liber Theta, here are the patterns for the Sagittarius trump card, Temperance (Art in the Thoth deck), and the three decans of Sagittarius; I call this sequence "Art for Art's Sake." The Minor Arcana for Sagittarius are the 8 of … Continue reading Temperance/Art and the Sagittarius Decans
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)?
As I continue my study and practice of playing-card divination, I'm gaining some insights into the nature and application of the court cards that can be readily integrated into my knowledge of the tarot courts. The main idea is one of the progressive or incremental unfolding of the hierarchical and numerical energy in human terms. … Continue reading Incremental Court Cards
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
Continuing my exploration of the "meditation patterns" for the Minor Arcana from Jim Eshelman's Liber Theta, here are the patterns for the Leo trump card, Strength (Lust in the Thoth Deck), and the three decans of Leo; I call this sequence "The Three Trials of Lust." The Minor Arcana for the Leo decans are 5 … Continue reading Meditation Patterns: Strength/Lust and the Leo Decans
A Facebook friend of mine just reminded me that Liber Theta, the College of Thelema's Thoth-based rewrite of the Golden Dawn's Liber T, includes what author Jim Eshelman calls "meditation patterns" for each pair of Major Arcana that are considered "astrological counterparts" to the Minor Arcanum for the associated decan of the Chaldean zodiac. There … Continue reading Meditation Patterns: The Emperor and the Aries Decans