This file is from PANEGYRIA Volume 4, Number 1 (Spring Equinox issue). Panegyria is $8 per

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This file is from PANEGYRIA Volume 4, Number 1 (Spring Equinox issue). Panegyria is $8 per year; their address is P.O. Box 85507, Seattle, WA 98145. It can also be downloaded from Earthrite BBS, at 415-651-9496. Enjoy! - Talespinner, WeirdBase _________________________________________________________________ TAROT TIDBITS by Pagan X I realized only recently that as systems, the Tarot and the I Ching have different areas of emphasis. With the Tarot, the effort is in the interpretation, and the cards seem to easily arrange themselves properly. With the I Ching, the effort is in obtaining the correct hexagram, as the interpretation is all written out. Using the yarrow sticks, it takes some time to obtain the hexagram, and that time is spent thinking about the question. I assume that it is in this time that the mind somehow gets the fingers to obtain the correct hexagram. Sometimes the answer occurs to you in the time you take to think about it, so the I Ching actually functions functions as a means to still the mind for careful thought! Under debate is the importance of having read the books that go with most decks, and knowing the correspondences, etc. I now feel, and the newer Tarot books emphasize this, that the corres- pondences to other systems (most notable, the Kabbala) is not intrinsic to the traditional design of the cards. Some decks are designed with these correspondences, such as the Waite-Smith and Crowley-Harris decks, and for these it probably is a good idea to read their accompanying books. Numerological, astrological, etc. symbols and interpretations may be fun or useful to know, but probably won't give one some revealed, indispensible truth that is applicable to all Tarot decks. The truly traditional deck (in which only the Major Arcana has pictures, such as the IJJ Swiss) works on mythology, archetypes, and Renaissance art and seems to have more validity than the works of occultists. I think that those who emphasize the necessity of studying all the symbols, in classes and in reading books, have a vested interest in getting one to take the classes and buy the books! The Sight itself cannot be taught. At the same time, it is useful to know the artist's intentions and to have something to fall back on when inspiration fails. There are several things to remember while reading that give one confidence: 1. People want to believe, so they will take anything you say and try to make it fit. This is especially true of interpreting court cards as people they know. 2. Just paying complete attention to this person makes him/ her feel better. 3. If you are hammy enough, you are at the least, enter- taining. 4. If you are confident enough, you will be believed. When I teach a class, I try to instill a sense of chutzpah in poten- tial readers. Those are all forces operating even when your ESP is not engaged, and you are just intellectually doing your best. Any- one can learn to read Tarot. If your Sight is working, if you are truly inspired in the sense of prophecy, you will know things. I find myself doing readings both ways, intellectually dredging ever morsel I can from the cards in as confident a manner as I can muster, or, dramatically Seeing the situation in little pictures superimposed on the faces of the cards. Most people come to you wanting you to know amazing things and tell them wonders. They want to believe in magic, and they want to be understood as people. But, they only want to be understood just so far; if you know too much, you can be invading their sense of privacy. Well, why did they get a reading? I told you they _wanted_ to believe, but that doesn't mean they _do_ believe. And, if you get someone who has made it a point to be a very rational person and not believe, you can actually threaten their vision of the universe. That's scary. Some people go through a period when synchronicity intrudes upon their lives and they have to re-think the connective forces in the universe. They deny and delight in these forces simultaneously. The disgusting thing about synchronicity is that it is so very often trivial (and that's a good indicator of its connection with the subconscious). Oracles, such as the Tarot and I Ching, are means of controlling the phenomenon of synchronicity and of becoming comfortable with it. Once one accepts and recognizes these things, and works with them, the universe becomes poetry as events become metaphor. The universe becomes a word game, a dream place; you see how the structure of the brain organizes perception and experience, and just maybe...the universe becomes sentient to you, and that is awareness of the Goddess. I know with reading Tarot, that the cards are a means whereby I release the powers of my Sight. They become obvious enough that I see other pictures, as if superimposed on the cards or in them. I do not know how much these pictures correspond to the representations on the cards, whether the arrangement of the cards itself has importance in the same way the arrangement of lines in a hexagram is important, or whether the cards are a dis- traction for my conscious mind, allowing my subconscious to work. Of course, as I am reading in the inspired state, it's very obvious to me that specific cards are saying specific things strongly, but these messages vary from reading to reading. It is hard for me, therefore, to confidently give a meaning for each card that applies in all cases. This is one of the reasons I suspect the books of interpretation. Sometimes the cards fail me miserably, and I must be a showman; at that time, the Goddess does not have a message for that person, or perhaps they are not permitting me to break their privacy (this implies some coopera- tion from the querant). So I can read in many ways, in varying degrees of importance. This varies, too, with my mood, and my time, as my Sight waxes and wanes. Reading Tarot cards gives me a very special feeling, as a Priestess of the Goddess. Sometimes I have a cold sensation from the crown of my head through to my mouth, as words and images are literally poured into me, and from me, to the querant. I find myself talking very much with my hands, gesturing, and often trying to express very visual concepts with metaphor and similes. Sometimes I say things I do not understand, but the querant does. In doing readings, I am performing an obvious and direct service for another person, usually comforting them in a stressful time. Reading for myself is never so dramatic, because I often want to "pretty up" the story; but the cards often have a way of insis- ting on occasion. I knew I was pregnant when the Empress showed up three readings in a row. I still wonder about the origin of the cards. I find the same symbols in the imagery of medieval parades, in Dante's Divine Comedy and Grimms' Fairy Tales. Different decks suit me for different moods and purposes, but I still find the Waite- Smith to be the most effective, and the Crowley-Harris too disturbing. The Crowley-Harris must be difficult to publish, as I have seen decks with terrible color undertones of poisonous green, blue, and orange, and none that struck me as having good color quality at all. I do not use the feminist decks ("Mother- peace" and "Daughters of the Moon") for divination because they reflect visions of the world that are too idealistic, almost too optimistic. I use them for meditation and fantasy, but it seems to me aht egalitarian decks cannot be used to clearly See the oppressive, real world. The Aquarian deck is a variation on Waite's designs, and a visually lovely deck, very popular. Definitely shop around for decks, classes and books. The markup on decks can be high, as much as $3.00 difference for the Motherpeace deck ($19.95 to 22.95), and books also can be inflated by putting a little price sticker over the publisher's price. Classes are harder to evaluate -- I have never taken any -- but I would be suspicious of classes offered at places selling price-inflated decks! Professional readers are also costly, and I have to say candidly that I have gotten much better readings from a talented roommate than from the professional who charged $26.50 for an hour. I am especially wary of anyone who reads past lives in cards, because there's no way to test them while you are sitting there. There could be and probably are good professionals, I just haven't the budget to do the research.

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