The Avatars of Tarot Past and Present

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

Cheap Shots Redux: Any Excuse Will Do

As I contemplate the flood of new tarot decks on the market (some of which are even offered as "New Tarot,"  apparently to signify a cultural shift), I'm struck by the impression that many of them are just an excuse to circulate portable artwork of a personal nature with little regard for the metaphysical and … Continue reading Cheap Shots Redux: Any Excuse Will Do

“Tarot-Free” Tarot Decks (or “Damn the Symbolism, Full Speed Ahead!”)

I have a problem with self-proclaimed tarot decks that strip the usual symbolism from the cards and replace it with something radically different and wholly unlikely, whether it's animals or flowers or landscapes or similar charming but overly literal artwork that conveys something other than the customary narrative cues while often being utterly devoid of … Continue reading “Tarot-Free” Tarot Decks (or “Damn the Symbolism, Full Speed Ahead!”)

“You Want Fries With That?”

Another day, another new topic. I haven't quite reached the point of the weary "time to make the donuts" drudge from the old Dunkin Donuts commercials yet, but sometimes I wonder. Professional wisdom for blog management is that those who post something 11 times a month receive more viewer traffic (and potentially more advertisers). I'm not in … Continue reading “You Want Fries With That?”

Cheap Shots (The Final Cut): “Is It Live or Is It Memorex?”

This will be the last installment of my "Cheap Shots" series. My "inner curmudgeon" isn't going anywhere, of course, but I've moved on into more productive (as well as kinder) areas of expression. I've said enough already about my views on current populist tarot culture, and need to chill before the "New Age police" discover … Continue reading Cheap Shots (The Final Cut): “Is It Live or Is It Memorex?”

Cheap Shots #29: Faith, Hope and . . . Disparity

I sometimes wonder how those of us who practice divination - especially those for whom "faith" is not the normal mode of approach to all things spiritual - reconcile what we believe to be true about our pursuits and what we're able to confirm as truth. The gap (the "disparity" of the title) between what … Continue reading Cheap Shots #29: Faith, Hope and . . . Disparity

Cheap Shots #28: Prediction vs. Divination

We've been having a spirited and occasionally contentious debate on one of the forums I frequent regarding the difference between divination and prediction (if there even is one), and which approach is most suitable for work with the tarot. A side issue is whether the proper role of a reader in discussing difficult cards is … Continue reading Cheap Shots #28: Prediction vs. Divination

Cheap Shots #27: “You Say Toe-mah-toe . . .”

Sometimes I think American hubris knows no bounds (as an American, I can say that). Consider the matter of pronunciation. The British know that Americans don't talk right, and so do the French. Like many Americans, I had four years of high-school French, and I still remember the basics of proper pronunciation. For example, I … Continue reading Cheap Shots #27: “You Say Toe-mah-toe . . .”