Monday, February 18, 2013

Tarot Musings

If you know anything at all about the Tarot, you know it can be amazingly complex. For those of you who don't know anything about it... Essentially, aspects of the human condition are summed up in these cards. The classic fortune-telling use for them involves laying our these cards in a spread, and letting them tell the story of the client's life. It sounds simple, but the practice gets complicated- each card has a "basic" meaning, iterations and subtleties of that meaning, and the meanings of the cards all interact in different ways depending on what position of a spread they're in, and that's not even taking reversals into account (which can be interpreted in various different ways just by themselves, with iterations and subtleties in each different interpretation, all of which interacting with the rest of the spread in various ways). Then again, an experienced person can boil down all the meanings of the cards down to their most essential point- like any other expert, making their specialty look easy. 

Of course, fortune telling isn't the only purpose for the tarot. It's easily used for analysis (either of your own life circumstances/psyche/etc or others), creative brain-jogging ways (gaining inspiration from the beautiful artwork, using the cards to build stories of your own), spiritual rituals (displaying a card you wish to have in your life and meditating on it until you find it's energy, for example)... The possibilities are only hampered by your creativity.

There are a couple different reasons I find myself thinking about the tarot. I've been helping a friend make sense of his readings, and I must admit I am feeling a bit of pride in being able to help him do so. I guess I can actually class myself as an intermediate student of tarot, no longer a beginner, and I feel amazingly accomplished for it (probably more than the achievement merits in most eyes, but screw that noise). The second reason is I've been toying with an idea of writing a series of books based on illustrating the Tarot. The idea is for four books, one for each of the suits, and in each book the protagonist would follow the evolution of the court cards (starting out young as a Page, growing a bit and becoming a Knight, maturing and becoming a Queen and finishing their growth as a King) living through the ideals of their suit and all of the major Arcana. Only problem, I'm really not sure what direction I want to take this idea... Ah well, I guess that's what I get to figure out later.

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