a cache of usenet and other text files pertaining
to occult, mystical, and spiritual subjects.


Tarot Philosophy

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.divination,alt.tarot,alt.occult
From: (nagasiva)
Subject: Tarot Philosophy
Date: 13 Jan 1999 02:27:43 -0800

 [old stuff, sorry for any duplication -- technical difficulties]

49980430 aa2 Hail Satan!  (talking with Enrique; genericized for repost)
RE the differences in the ways that tarot may be used:
strict tarot reading -- using the cards which one identifies as
			'tarot' for the focus of a divination.
			divination reflects something about the
			present or a configuration of powers,
			intelligences or circumstances.  the
			symbols on the cards fit into a coherent
			framework or pattern in association with
			the dynamics between the reader and
			querent which inspires the interpretation.

general divination --	engaging in such divination using any
			means, inclusive of merely touching cards
			or fiddling around with objects of
			divination, regardless of whether one is
			concerned with seeing the divinatory items.
			the symbols on the cards may be of little or
			no consequence in the divinatory result.

fortune telling --	using cards one may identify as 'tarot'
			or indeed any number of tools in order
			to attempt prophesy or a vision of the
			future in relation to the querent.  I 
			have never seen this accomplished in what 
			I could call a 'convincing manner.'  the
			symbols on the cards are important but
			only in what I would say is an enterprise
			of fabricated charlatanry.

psychicism --		obtaining 'impressions' from the aura of
			a person while fiddling with cards,
			holding their hand, or merely observing
			their totality.  various means obtain
			a variety of results.  the symbols are
			generally unimportant except as they are
			deemed to have power in and of themselves,
			in this case the cards being used as a
			psychic tool to amplify or orient the 
			process or obtaining impressions.

previous nagasiva:
# >of COURSE there is such a thing as "tarot". :>  a deck is a "tarot"
# >deck because someone thinks that it is.  this is the case for
# >all objects of perception.  it may be less fundamentally a tarot
# >deck in terms of whether that same person would, if exposed to
# >many classic and popular versions of objects provided a similar
# >identification, continue to agree it qualifies, but at least for
# >the moment it is a "tarot" deck.
RE the objection that someone's thought may be a 'mistake':
knowledge is subjectively-defined.  within the perceptual and
deduced conclusions of any single person may be all manner of
'false' or 'mistaken' perceptions as assessed by a wider field
of experience and perception as well as a different knowledge-set.  

if we seek to know whether a deck is 'really tarot or not',
then we shall have to examine our criteria for what makes a
thing 'real'.  I provide two possibilities here: 

	a) a thing is 'real' as it is perceived

	b) a thing is 'real' as it stands up to challenge 
	   and observation over time, reflecting consensual
	   perception that stands up to reason.

for those who prefer objective knowledge (so-called) then option
'b)' above will be their preference.  in this case an individual
or group still (though more rigorously) defines the category of
knowledge such that artistic forms like 'tarot' will be directly
relative to the observer and its biases and dependent upon its
prejudices and perceptions.

that is, there is ultimately no way to discover an absolute 
definition for 'real tarot' outside some presumed criteria of 
our own devise, and this rests upon as much a castle in the 
clouds (whether we select that 'previous usage' or 'historical 
association') as any preliminarily ignorant choice.

# >there is no fundamental structure to tarot except in terms of
# >historic precedent and bias.  this means that if one values
# >history and the preferences of certain sources then one will
# >naturally place a greater emphasis on these in an evaluation
# >of whether a deck qualifies as "tarot".

RE the objection that no consensus or agreement is herein possible:
this is a fallcious objection.  merely because there is no absolute
and fundamental structure to be obtained this does not mean that
concretations of preference might not develop within certain
cultures that seize hold of the tool and language.  

for the Hermetics

The Arcane Archive is copyright by the authors cited.
Send comments to the Arcane Archivist:

Did you like what you read here? Find it useful?
Then please click on the Paypal Secure Server logo and make a small
donation to the site maintainer for the creation and upkeep of this site.

The ARCANE ARCHIVE is a large domain,
organized into a number of sub-directories,
each dealing with a different branch of
religion, mysticism, occultism, or esoteric knowledge.
Here are the major ARCANE ARCHIVE directories you can visit:
interdisciplinary: geometry, natural proportion, ratio, archaeoastronomy
mysticism: enlightenment, self-realization, trance, meditation, consciousness
occultism: divination, hermeticism, amulets, sigils, magick, witchcraft, spells
religion: buddhism, christianity, hinduism, islam, judaism, taoism, wicca, voodoo
societies and fraternal orders: freemasonry, golden dawn, rosicrucians, etc.


There are thousands of web pages at the ARCANE ARCHIVE. You can use ATOMZ.COM
to search for a single word (like witchcraft, hoodoo, pagan, or magic) or an
exact phrase (like Kwan Yin, golden ratio, or book of shadows):

Search For:
Match:  Any word All words Exact phrase


Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy, sacred architecture, and sacred geometry
Lucky Mojo Forum: practitioners answer queries on conjure; sponsored by the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, recipes, and an ordering option
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: ethical diviners and hoodoo spell-casters
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith, the Smallest Church in the World
Satan Service Org: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century ceremonial occultist
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective
The Mystic Tea Room: divination by reading tea-leaves, with a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, etc.
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races