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JK: The Death of Tarot

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.tarot,alt.divination,alt.magick
From: nagasiva 
Subject: JK: The "Death" of Tarot
Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2003 21:38:11 GMT

50030121 VII om

"J. Karlin"  at:

an amusing and informative piece on pop-culture's tendency
to downplay difficult or unpopular interpretations of the
Tarot's 'Death' card in favour of holistic vageness ("It's
*really* about change, not death!" ;> ;> ).

here I respond to the terminal paragraph or two, which offers 
some very curious insight into the mind and doings of one
Stuart Kaplan (U.S. Games Systems):

# has also been reported that [Stuart] Kaplan initiated
# this contact [with police] himself by calling the tip
# line. While helping police to identify the Tarot card
# seems a worthwhile offer, Kaplan was willing to go much
# further than this. Kaplan offered to release to police a
# list of his customers "in the capital area", a move which
# even Kaplan admitted was like looking for "a needle in
# a haystack", and that "...there's just a slim chance
# that what I have can help locate this guy." For those
# who therefore might have considered Kaplan's actions a
# questionable invasion of his customers' privacy, his
# retort is simple: "U.S. Games Systems reasoned, and
# rightly so, that to refuse to cooperate with the
# authorities would be very damaging to tarot's image..."

instead, SKaplan damages his own image and that of 
US Games, despite his claims to the contrary.

[and then draws some conclusions based on recent events]

# seems likely that Tarot has been damaged by the
# events of 2002, events which one could reasonably argue
# are the logical consequences of decades of dishonesty
# practiced by a community and industry far more concerned
# with peddling a Tower of positive images than telling         
# something (perhaps painfully) true about Tarot. 

the Reader community seems to be at odds with the movie
industry on this one, but it isn't unprecedented. I like
the various 'You Will Die!' uses of the Death-card in 
pop-classic James Bond exoticism, for example.

# The damage, therefore, may be truly positive in the sense
# of helping to focus attention on some long-standing
# destructive habits into which many Tarot students,
# practitioners, and peddlers have fallen.

the issue always turns on meaning, its location, and the
status of the real with respect to interpretation of the
arcane. go for the tough sell (death!) or for some less
abrasive and more embraceable result (change!), but your
axioms about what is Tarot typically informs your selection.

# In 2003 we can hope that another, better, Tarot community 
# starts to emerge from the ashes of these disasters, a 
# community which doesn't unduly concern itself with the 
# "positive image of tarot", but which instead devotes 
# itself to learning about, and telling the truth about, 
# Tarot. (jk)

hopeful you are. after all...

'witches' aren't *really* witches, of course. they don't 
use animal parts and roots and things to curse folks. no,
those are the satanists. the Witches (a religion) worship 
nature and fly on greased broomhandles to psychoactive 

oh I forgot, 'Satanists' aren't *really* satanists. they 
don't worship Satan and have anti-Roman Catholic sabbats. 
no, that is the Demonolaters. the Satanists adore animals
and children and would never harm the innocent, whom they
revere as exemplary of nature untouched by the corrupting
hand of societal conditioning.

oh damn, but 'sorcerers' aren't *really* sorcerers, are
they? when does it *really* end? choose a stop and get off?

is the literal or the symbolic meaning the *real meaning*? 
the choice between these two is identifying of one's relation 
to the interpreted (be it in cartomancy or vague and confusing 
scripture) and what one discerns or introduces into Tarot.


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