Tarot Thursday – The Magician

The Magician

 

Here we see a magician juggling balls of energy and a knife.  Is he actually doing the work of physically juggling them, or is he doing the deeper job of keeping them suspended with his mind?  Mixed among the balls are alchemic symbols such as the bird, the olive branch, the cup or Holy Grail, the fish, and a knife or grimoire.  On his chest in an interlaced knot work design which when stripped of the decorative effect represents the limitless possibilities of Infinity.  Notice that his cloak shows all four of the elements – water, fire, air and earth – the Magician can work with any element.  The Magician’s expression is intent and focused on the task he is performing.

When the Magician appears in your spread he is telling you to pay attention!  Are there opportunities coming your way that you aren’t seeing?  Are you using your creativity in a positive way to manifest the reality you want to have happen?  Are you using self-control?  The Magician can also warn of some less than desirable human traits such as addictive behaviors (including substance abuse).  The Magician may also be warning you that you are being weak unnecessarily and that by garnering your personal strength you can overcome a temporary period of insecurity or stagnation.

Tarot Thursdays

Happy Thursday!

Today we start our indepth look at the tarot deck.  We’ll start with The Fool and go through the entire major arcana and then we’ll look at the minor arcana suits.  Today The Fool receives our focus:

The Fool

The Fool

The Fool is the first of the Major Arcana in the Tarot Deck.  Some people have difficulty with the idea of the Fool being numbered as 0 instead of the more standard 1 to begin the set.  The number 0 is represented as a circle.  The circle has long been used to indicate the enclosure of the possibilities.  (The Zodiac is set in a circle, Medicine Wheels and many other traditional meditative mazes are circular in shape.  The digit 0 (or the circle, also representative of the Sun in Astrology) also represents the concepts of boundless space, limitless time, and the limitless possibilities before you.

Here we see the Fool gazing into his dreams.  His lack of attention to reality and unrealistic attitudes are emblematic of him walking on the air.  The Fool can indicate a new life journey.  The Fool wears his brightly colored clothes, looking much like the Landsknecht Knight of the late Renaissance.  His hands frame a butterfly alluding to the limitless possibilities if he is wise enough to capitalize on them.  The Fool can indicate change or the need for change.  If Fool has shown up in your spread take the time to look at your options and make a considered decision.  Don’t walk on air and hope.  Build a foundation, stay connected and achieve!  But don’t loose sight of the dreamer within you.  Within us all lives The Fool, ready to come out and enjoy the Universe!

 

Tarot Thursdays – History and Belief

The High Priestess

The High Priestess

Tarot cards have been given many associations over the years. They were created by the Egyptians.  NO!  It was the Rom as they moved North in their travels!  NO!  It was the Golden Dawn Society. Wait! Wasn’t it the Hell Rake club of late Victorian nobility?

Actually, it was none of those.  Tarot began as a card game among the aristocracy of the European Continent, primarily Italy. It is believed that at one time the great houses of the time competed with each other to have the most beautiful deck created for their Houses.  The game was a card game of strategy and skill, played by numerous players and could provide a rainy afternoon’s entertainment at an Italian Villa!  The oldest known deck in existence, the Visconti-Sforza deck, dates back to the 1500s.

Today the Tarot isn’t used much to play the card game anymore as much as it is used in Cartomancy.  The Tarot has made several permutations over the years, but the archetypes they represent can call to all of us.  Used primarily as a self-introspection device, the Tarot can be an extremely instructive tool.  A caution here:  I do not recommend that you read for yourself on important matters.   It is extremely difficult to separate your emotions from the reading…and those emotions will change how you interpret the cards.  Most professional readers don’t read for themselves…personally, I just don’t do it.

The Tarot works under a simple system.  Cards are picked or placed in a certain order.  Where the card lands in the spread (or in the order drawn) gives that card a specific purpose.  The cards each have a variety of meanings.  The position of the card combined with its meaning is what gives the message in the reading.  What brings the real message is the interpretation done by the tarot reader.  Through years of study and experience, a good reader is able to fill in the blanks, see correlations that are not obvious, and help you to see through to a clarity of the situation or issue.

Jungian archtypes are present in Tarot.  While we may not want to admit it, we are more like one another than we are different.  There are many stages of life or basic life experiences that we all share to a certain degree.  This mutual experience across the lives of us all create a basic connection through that mutual sharing.  That connection is part of the energy we call have which is how many who work with energy are able do know without knowing and see without seeing.

There’s a wide variety of decks based on differing religious belief systems, angles, dragons, and even movies or fiction books.  On our website we use the Matt Myers Art Nouveau Tarot.  Thanks to US Games Systems Inc. for the use of the images – if you decide to purchase your own deck, we strongly recommend US Games Systems Inc. as your outlet if you want something new!  If used is okay with you, there’s almost always a deck on e-bay for a considerably reduced price.

Some say that you should never let another person touch your tarot deck.  Some instruct you to sleep with the deck under your pillow.   Some recommend cleansing your deck by waving it through smoke or the heat just about the flame of a candle.  Some say you must keep your tarot cards in a silk bag, preferably placed in a sacred box.  If you feel any of these would be helpful in your learning and connection with the Tarot, then by all means do so.  We all find our own path to how we feel about and use the Tarot.  What is most important to know about Tarot is that in and of itself it is not evil.  Have evil people used the tarot for their own ends? Absolutely.  But in and of themselves they are neither good nor bad.  Like most inanimate objects they just…are.  It is the reader behind the cards that imbues the reading with the energy.

Me?  I’ve got about 40 or 50 decks and have a list of others that I want to get.  People touch my cards all the time – when doing pubic shows the client always has the choice to pick his or her own card.  I encourage people to pick up the different decks, look a little closer, etc.  I’ve slept with them on the headboard of my bed but that was because it was a small trailer and that was the best/safest place for them.  Rather than “cleanse” the cards, I tend to “cleanse” the area with positive energy – I started doing that because a lot of public venues do not allow any type of flame or smoke.  My cards are normally kept somewhere easy to find and close to hand in the office.  They don’t live in a special box…they take up most of the inside of the drop-front secretary desk.

We’ll look at the individual cards, discussing each in depth – the meanings, symbology, and more here on Tarot Thursdays!  I hope you’ll join me on a tour through the tarot.

Tarot Thursday

Tarot Thursday: We’ll be going through the entire Tarot deck, taking an in-depth look at a different card each week. It will be a great way to get to know the Tarot and how it is used!