Sunday, May 29, 2016

Tarot - Fortune Telling and something more

“For long eons we have struggled with ourselves and the world, weaving veils to engender our separateness, constructing belief systems to hide our ignorance, creating enemies to disguise our inner conflicts, chasing from one experience to another to fill our emptiness, unaware that the same masks that hide our deepest pain hide our greatest potential.”
Kiara Windrider, Year Zero (Divine Arts Media, 2011)

The Fortune Teller Lucas van Leyden (16th C)

Fortune telling - random chance (The Magician)
There has been a nagging question concerning using Tarot cards to “do a reading,” and make predictions, or foretelling the future in someone’s life. The fortune teller lays out the cards in a certain pattern and tries to ascertain the meaning suggested by the symbols and significance of the card: “you may take a trip by boat somewhere; you are at odds with your co-worker or significant other,” and so on. Some Tarot readers receive payment from their grateful clients. Randomness and chance provide an enormous number of possibilities and combinations that appeal to the querent who is seeking to know their unknown destiny. Tarot cards are often used as an oracleportals to explore areas of probability in times of uncertainty, crises, situations of powerlessness and fear, or to find out if the person you just met will be the right one. Cynthia Giles mentions that Tarot was also a card game in the 15th century and it was called “Trionfi” in Italy and “Trumps” in English. It was played in a manner similar to Bridge (Giles, Tarot, History, Mystery and Lore, 1994). Of course we see ordinary playing cards used in gambling, and bets placed on the outcome provide a sense of risk, fun and adventure for some, disaster for others.

“Tradition gives one the feeling that life is predictable.”
Susan Griffin, A Chorus of Stones (2007, p. 193)
Gambling – a gambler’s risks (The Fool)
The gambling Fool takes a chance, a risk, in a kind of ignorant frenzy hoping to win a little money on the bet. We all like to win something, but for some it can become an addiction in trying to win over and over again. Some risk it all. Some win, some lose.  I have been watching the current Korean drama “Jackpot” about the young Prince soon to become King Yongjo (a real life Korean King 1724-1776). There is lots of gaming and people placing bets on the outcome, including the slight of hand corruption of the merchants and officials involved, ending in a plot for a coup against the King, where, as usual, the peasants suffer most at the hands of their deceitful masters.

“Divination is primarily a non-scientific method of acquiring knowledge unavailable by other means. The underlying principle of divination is one which transcends or bypasses the material picture of the world which is the prevailing view today”
Nigel Pennick, Secret Games of the Gods” (Weiser, 1997)

Mysteries of life – (The Hermit – The Fool transformed, contemplation)
Hieronymus Bosch The Conjurer (15th C)
On the other hand, in “Tarot of Cosmic Consciousness” we take a different approach: the path to self-knowledge and spiritual consciousness by examining creative processes and universal awareness suggested by the cards. We see Tarot cards, especially the Major Arcana, as positive steps of initiation into the sacred mysteries of life. For some, it is a key to esoteric, hermetic and alchemical knowledge.  My teacher, Gail Fairfield, thinks of Tarot cards as mnemonic devices or psychic tools designed to trigger our memories, to stimulate our thinking and find meaning in our lives. What are we trying to remember when we contemplate the Judgment card or The Tower?  When have you acted like the Fool?  Are you being fooled by someone or something? When did a situation seem almost magical to you? Perhaps The Magician can represent someone who is a channel for radiant Cosmic Being and can bring a deeper dimension to your experiences.

“Like a hot air balloon your psychic tool can lift you out
of your everyday reality and give you a new point of view on things.”
Gail Fairfield, Choice Centered Tarot (Red-Wheel-Weiser, 1984)

System underlying Tarot - relates to ancient ritual systems of metaphysical thought
Early peoples established ritual systems that intended to bring one in line with the structure of the cosmos and help one identify with the processes of nature. In their time, the ancients used stones and trees, and positions of the sun and moon, to to stimulate their imagination. Today, it seems the painted paper Tarot cards accomplish the same thing in providing a symbolic and allegorical method for discovering a more comprehensive understanding of one’s life journey.
The Minor Arcana consists of 4 suits of cards numbered 1-10:
Wands (Magic); Cups (Elixir of Life); Swords (Truth); Pentacles or Coins (Talismans)
There are 4 court cards for each suit: King, Queen, Prince, Princess, or Knight and Page.
56 cards altogether

Then there are 22 Major Arcana cards: Fool, Magician, High Priestess, Empress, Emperor, Hierophant, Lovers, Chariot, Strength, Hermit, Wheel of Fortune, Hanged Man, Justice, Death, Temperance, Devil, Tower, Star, Moon, Sun, Judgment, World.
78 cards altogether - Why are they arranged in such a way in 4 suits and a sequence of numbers?

Number 4
4 suits relate to ancient elements, the 4 states of matter: Wands, Fire, (creativity); Cups, Water, (emotions); Swords, Air (intellect); Coins, Pentacles, Earth (concrete material manifestation)
4 seasons: spring, summer, fall and winter and nature’s processes
4 cardinal directions: point to infinite possibilities
4 square: boxed in, confinement

Numbers 1-10 in relation to Tarot cards especially the Minor Arcana
0 – zero –No thing, empty, void, the un-manifest
1 – (first) beginning, origin, the One Being
2 – (second) reflection of the One, or an opposite, duality
3 – (third) unfoldment, multiplication, synthesis
Princess of Cups TOCC
4 – (fourth) order, measurement, classification
5 – (fifth) individuation, process of creation, nature’s designs
6 – (sixth) perfection, balance, symmetry, harmony
7 – (seventh) integrated being, rest, security
8 – (eighth) fulfillment, completion, cycling to a new level
9 – (ninth) assimilation, attainment of goals, finality
10 – (tenth) beginning again on a higher level

The 4 court cards: King, Queen, Knight (Prince), Page (Princess) – are symbolic of more advanced states of growth and maturity, which can be applied to anyone, rather than monarchal powers.
Monarchies have been in existence for eons (think of Egyptian Pharaohs, Biblical Kings, medieval feudalism). Since WWI and WWII, monarchies have faded, disappeared, or have become more ceremonial with only a few left such as the Arab Kingdom, and the British Kingdom where the Queen is a constitutional monarch.

Studying the Tarot cards can take you on an inner spiritual journey of self-transformation. By expanding your consciousness and meditating on the Tarot “pictures,” this can be a powerful tool in finding your spiritual selfhood. Here you are on the path to discovery of your spiritual being or cosmic soul.