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?)
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”
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?
I decided to test this spread on a hypothetical scenario in which three individuals are engaged in a disagreement. To do this I randomly pulled three court cards for the middle position instead of one. I used the magnificent Golden Art Nouveau Tarot with reversals. The situation assumes that two junior individuals are up against … Continue reading The “One-Act Play” Example Reading: A Three-Way Conflict
Why, you might well ask, after spending almost 40 years studying and divining with the Crowley-Harris Thoth Tarot and The Book of Thoth, and then nine more years striving to master the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot (RWS), would someone want to take on the task of trying to fathom the Tarot de Marseille (TdM) and its non-scenic … Continue reading Why the TdM?
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
A long time ago there was a song by British blues band Savoy Brown titled "Life's One-Act Play." It struck my as a perfect idea for a small spread that shows the outcome of a single "act" or "scene" in the life of the seeker. It is a three-carder at heart, with an additional summary … Continue reading The “Life’s One-Act Play” Situational Awareness Spread
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?”