If you listen carefully, you might hear John Wayne saying "Those're fightin' words, pilgrim!" But I'm not attacking anyone here; consider this an op-ed with a curmudgeonly observation or two (or six). Take it as you will. It goes without saying that I'm generally at odds with those who believe tarot reading thrives only on … Continue reading “Thinking Man’s Tarot”
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)
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
All images copyright U.S. Games Systems, Inc, Stamford, CT I haven't done one of these in a while, but recently I was performing a decision-making spread and the 8 of Wands came up as the "resolution" card in one of the decision chains; I judged it as reflecting an open-ended (inconclusive) outcome and was strongly … Continue reading The Arrow and the Song
"We're all here just to have a little fun Fred'll play the fiddle, now we'll begun" (from "The Corn Won't Grow So Rock-and-Roll" by Goose Creek Symphony) Most face-to-face tarot readers have certain protocols and courtesies they go through between the time a sitter "sits" and the moment the diviner "starts the clock" on the … Continue reading First Things First: Preliminary Courtesies
Writers who care about originality love the synonym. It lets us repeat the same idea (sometimes ad nauseum) without seeming overly redundant or hackneyed. You may have noticed that I try not to use the word "shows" to describe the import of the cards in a reading more than once in the same piece of … Continue reading Down with the Synonym! – Variations on a Theme
Tarot of Dreams by Ciro Marchetti Once in a while, as I mine public information sources like Wikipedia, I bump into the term "pseudoscience" used to describe the esoteric arts, and especially astrology. Even in supposedly unbiased academic circles, the implication of this epithet is that what we do is invalid or "fake" and … Continue reading Pseudoscience: Mystics vs. Statistics
Today I was thinking that, with the inordinate number of tarot decks being purchased as a result of the pandemic lock-down, it might be appropriate to have a "Surgeon General's Warning" on the boxes, something like "Warning! Excessive consumption of this type of product can be hazardous to your wealth." I've pretty much immunized myself … Continue reading Hazardous to Your Wealth?