Tuesday, September 23, 2014

All on the table

There has been several quantum leaps in my ability of working with the Tarot. I have talked about some of them on this blog (such as hand coloring a Tarot deck); others I have not (such as initiation rituals involving specific Tarot cards).

One of the skill leaps I have not talked about yet (at least, I do not think that I have written about it yet on this blog) is the study of a card using examples from multiple decks.

About eighteen years ago, I took a Tarot class at Herbs and Arts (a Denver occult shop); the class was taught by Timothy (I have no clue what his last name is).

Part of the instructions for the Tarot class was to bring our favorite Tarot deck. Out of eight students, there were no duplicate decks. As we moved from card to card, Timothy would have us pull that card out of our decks, placing them in the center of the study circle where everyone could see them.

At some point during the class, I came to the realization that most differences in opinion about the possible meanings of a Tarot card were based on the differences between the pictures used to illustrate the cards and the parts that readers chose to focus on. (Years later, another teacher, Pat Zalewski, would point out that the pictures used in the Tarot were the most important part--otherwise we could get away with using a deck with just the astrological and kabbalist correspondences on them.)

As a result of the insights I gained during the class, I used the same teaching method ("put all the different versions on the table and study them as a set") when I took on students on my own.

I also developed the habit of not neccessarily seeing the card from the deck that I am using. Occasionally when reading the Tarot, in my mind's eye, I will see a version of the card from a different deck. It makes for an interesting time as a Tarot reader.

A small bunch of magician cards--just a small sample of my Tarot collection. 
For instance, let's say that we were studying the Magician card. In this photo, we have Magician cards from several different decks (representing about half to a third of my personal collection of Tarot decks). They vary from the historical stage performer (sleight of hand artist) to the ceremonial magician practicing real magic (magick if you are a Thelemic). One can pull the standard meanings of skill and deception and self-mastery from the cards as one will.

But there is a version that is slightly different (the censored one), where the magician is working on an erotic monster. (The monster has private parts...something that I decided to conceal...because polite people never talk about sex.) And it is from this version (and not the three versions from the Crowley deck) that I am reminded that magicians are sometimes guilty of creating their own sexual nightmares (haven't we all had that sexual partner that turned into a stalker?!) and warped realities.

Is that last possible reading true for the archetype of the magician? I will leave it to your judgment on whether or not, it fits in with the other possible meanings of the magician card. All I know is that if I am reading the Tarot and that version of the card appears in my mind's eye, I am leaning towards a nightmarish reading of the card.


Mabon 2014 Tarot Blog Hop Masterlist

The theme of the September (Mabon) Tarot Blog Hop is:

In the life of everyone who deals with Tarot, there comes those moments where your understanding of the Tarot undergoes a radical change, or when one's skill with the Tarot takes a giant leap forward. Sometimes this is the result of learning a new technique, or acquiring a special deck, or because of an event in one's life; other times, it is the result of nothing that you can pinpoint. Whatever the cause, the end result is that you approach the Tarot in different manner than you did before.

The topic of the Mabon Blog Hop is to talk about a time when your understanding of the Tarot undergone such a quantum leap, talking about what brought about the change in your understanding of the Tarot (if you have been able to figure it out) and how you approach the Tarot differently than you did before the change.

(I tend to refer to this topic as "the things that I wished I knew about Tarot sooner than I learned them.")

And here is the Master List for the Mabon Tarot Blog Hop (just in case, there are broken links in the circle):

1. Morgan Drake Eckstein http://gleamingsfromthedawn.blogspot.com/2014/09/all-on-table.html  

2. Arwen Lynch http://tarotbyarwen.com/?p=18126

3. Karen Sealey http://pureblessedtarot.wordpress.com/2014/09/23/dont-follow-me/

4. Joanne Sprott http://cosmicwhisperstarot.com/2014/09/23/a-cosmic-shift-mabon-tarot-blog-hop/

5. RoseRed  http://roseredtarot.com/?p=698

6. Louise Underhill http://www.priestesstarot.co.uk/2014/09/tarot-blog-hop-quantum-leap

7. Robin Bondurant Wood http://thequartzcafe.blogspot.com/

8. Stella T'arot http://www.usgamesinc.com/tarotblog/tarotbloghop-profound-moments/

9. Anna Johansson http://magickaltarotmom.wordpress.com/2014/09/24/how-to-choose-your-first-tarot-deck-redux/

10. María Luisa Salazar http://misteriostarot.blogspot.com/2014/09/mis-lecturas-de-tarot-dieron-un-gran.html

11. Tierney Sadler http://www.tierneysadler.com/2014/09/92314honing-your-intuition.html


13. Bridgett Trejo http://blessedpagan.blogspot.com/2014/09/blessed-mabon-2014.html

14. Carla Tate http://www.blackbirdsandrowanberries.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/ten-things-i-used-to-believe-about.html

15. Chloë http://innerwhisperscouk.blogspot.com/2014/09/memory-lane.html

16. Chloe for TABI http://tabitarot.blogspot.com/2014/09/hop-skip-and-jump.html

17. Chloe for Celtic Lenormand http://www.celticlenormand.com/2014/09/lenormand-leaps.html

18. Joanna Ash http://sungoddesstarot.blogspot.com/2014/09/a-quantum-leap-in-my-understanding-of-tarot.html

19. Christiana Gaudet http://tarottrends.com/content/cards-never-shut


21. Leeza Robertson  http://tarotscapes.com/2014mabonbloghop

22. Olivia Destrades http://firstearthtarot.blogspot.com/2014/09/mabon-blog-hop-trusting-intuition.html

23. Deirdre Doran   http://thewillowpathtarot.com/2014/09/23/mabon-2014-tarot-blog-hop/

24. Joy Vernon http://joyvernon.com/Blog/quantum-leap/

25. Hilary Parry http://tarotbyhilary.com/?p=1925

26: Vivianne Kacal  http://kismetscompanion.blogspot.com/2014/09/tarot-blog-hop-mabon-2014.html

27: Ania Marczyk http://aniam.co.uk/blog/epiphanies-and-elephants

28. Alison Cross http://tarot-thrones.blogspot.com/2014/09/autumn-equinox-blog-hop-ancestors.html

Please enjoy the Mabon Tarot Blog Hop. Happy Equinox!