Monday, August 10

It's in the Cards

This year I decided to put fifteen years of study and learning to practical use. I am reading Tarot at the Saturday Market. For those who don’t know, the Saturday Market is a 40 year institution in Eugene where local artists, craftspersons ( there’s a clunky word) and merchants sell their wares directly to the public. 

You may be wondering -Tarot, isn’t it new age woo-woo stuff or like evil?  No, you have been misinformed. That’s a myth, thanks to religious propaganda that discredited personal divination in favor of clergy being the sole dispensers of divine knowledge. Divination goes back to ancient times, and modern readers know the cards are merely a tool for understanding and connecting with the inner self and the divine. The tarot does not predict the future however, that’s prophecy and shouldn’t be dabbled in. The tarot is about possibilities based on the current situation and (standard disclaimer) subject to change without notice.

So the tarot is ancient and shrouded in mystery huh? Tarot as a form of divination may have been around a long time but was not mentioned until the 14th century when it appeared in medieval Europe, via Islam c. 1375.  The trumps or tarocchi in Italian, were lavishly painted decks of playing cards for the rich. Because of religious censorship and persecution  (all playing cards were banned by the church as a form of gambling ) very little is known about tarot before this time. 

The modern Tarot deck is composed of 78 cards, ace to ten of four suits ( pentacles, cups, wands, and swords). The court cards: the pages, knights, queens and kings which make up the minor arcana. The major arcana consist of 22 cards from 0 to 21 (or 1 to 22 depending on the deck). The imagery in tarot borrows from numerology, astrology, Kabbala and Christian iconography i.e., the tower (the tower of Babel) the lovers ( Adam and Eve in Eden), the heirophant or pope card and so on. The popular standard deck , “Rider-Waite” created in 1909 by A.E. Waite, is a fusion of these many different ideas. 

Where did you learn tarot? Do you wear a turban and use a crystal ball? Years ago I took classes from two expert readers have been honing my skill with privates readings and meditation since then. And no I don’t wear a turban or use props, sorry. My approach is pretty straight forward. 

When I started reading I was afraid I would be off  base or just plain wrong because I didn’t have all the meanings of all the cards memorized. That’s where the surprise came in. I discovered that when I laid out the cards their meaning was immediately clear. A total stranger sits down, doesn’t tell me their question and the answer is as plain as day. Wow, I am amazed and astonished at the results. 

I am also exhausted by the end of the day. It may seem easy to sit and talk to people over a couple of cards with pretty pictures but it takes a lot of psychic energy to do this. It’s similar to the feeling I have after an intense ki-aikido class.  

I also discovered that most people ask about one of three things. Work, money or relationships. Once in a while someone will get squeamish about imagery on a card. “No that card doesn’t mean  death”  I’m tempted to say  “That one means death.” but so far I have restrained myself. By the way there is not a single reputable tarotist who would ever predict this to a client except under the most unusual of circumstances. When The death card is seen in movies it is for dramatic effect because of it’s connotation and vivid imagery. The card is in fact a positive symbol in many instances. 

So the next time you are in Eugene on a Saturday come down to the market for a reading. I’d love to find out what the cards have to say to you.

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