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'Real' vs. 'Nonhistorical, Intuitive' Meanings

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.tarot
Subject: Re: 'Real' vs. 'Nonhistorical, Intuitive' Meanings (was Re: Dog in The Fool card?)
Date: 8 May 1997 19:33:48 GMT

In article <>, "J. Karlin"  writes:
>nagasiva wrote:

>'only the individual can determine for himself what
>tarot symbolism means' 

IMO this is not the most effective way to start
learning tarot.  After doing the basics, yes, then
the individual has to decide -- but IMO it is not a
good starting place.

>he is not only lying, but eradicating a huge number 
>of pathways, some of them entirely didactic and even 
>a bit boring, which WILL serve to enlighten a student 
>about the meaning of symbolism (tarot and otherwise). 
>THAT'S a fact, not just a prejudice.

IMO its like learning mathematics or any other complicated
skillset.  Best to start with the basics.  Memorize the
standard attributions in a system.  Use it.  Then do another 
system and compare it with the first.  Then a third system. 
Each time compare and contrast, get new insights.  Also pay
particular attention to mythology and QBL and see how they
relate to Tarot.  Relate everyday situations to cards.
Keep doing this and sooner or later card attributions stop
being rote memorizations; a gestalt thing occurs and they
start to have meaning beyond the list of attributions.  The
more you put into your study the deeper the meaning and the
better the application.  Yet it all starts with very simple
and boring memorization of someone else's system.

I started with RJ Stewart's Merlin Tarot.  Not a good deck
for beginners as it is somewhat nonstandard and does not
relate to the QBL.  Instead he relates it to the 3 worlds of
the celts.  [BTW, its for sale.  Very good to Excellent condition
(depends on how fussy you are - could probably find a mark somewhere
if you looked really hard).  Includes his tarot book which is 
defective in spots.  Originally $25ish I'd sell it for $10 including 
postage.  I have RJ Stewart's books on the Vitae Merlini for sale too.]

Next I went to the Rider-Waite.  I have sticky notes on all my
Rider-Waite cards and I keep adding to them.  I now have a 2nd
Rider-Waite deck with no notes attached, so I do spreads and then
can tell how much I remember.  Getting better.  Having more
incidents now of intuiting beyond the rote attributions.

I also have the illustrated book about Crowley's deck.  The
artwork in that one appeals to me greatly.  That will be the
next deck I do.

>> most readers of the type of which I am speaking utilize the symbols of 
>> the cards in ways they have developed over time---
>I doubt most of them can actually read cards.

I'm starting to wonder about this.  There were so few responses
and only one insightful response to my question about tarot card
attributions.  I thought there were many expert tarot diviners 
around.  (Now I'm starting to suspect an emperor has no clothes type

>One can utilize cold reading to make 'guessing' look
>pretty impressive.


>> #> Their source is unimportant. What is important is that they
>> #> are a language that one can learn to read.
>> #The question is what IS that language and how does one
>> #learn it.

Its beyond language.  When its working its a gnosis thing.  But
it takes a lot of effort to even do the basics necessary to 
reach the point where intuitive meanings pop into one's head.
I get more now than I did a few years ago.  I still have a long
way to go.

- Peggy -

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