Aeclectic Tarot
Dedicated to the diversity and beauty of Tarot since 1996


    · Tarot Decks   · Tarot Meanings   · Tarot Forum   · Home

Tarot Decks Tarot Card Meanings Free Tarot Readings Forum Community What's New
Library Index

Naked Tarot

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 29 Jan 2005, and now archived in the Forum Library.



jumptothemoonyea  29 Jan 2005 
If Tarot could be compared to a man, who likes to travel from country to country, changing his (or her?) clothes to respect the customs of the place, or travel from century to century changing the style to vibrate with time ...

What is he or she or it looks like when naked? Or there is no such thing as naked tarot? w/o DECKoration? What is the essence of Tarot?

:) 


SunChariot  29 Jan 2005 
jumptothemoonyea wrote:
If Tarot could be compared to a man, who likes to travel from country to country, changing his (or her?) clothes to respect the customs of the place, or travel from century to century changing the style to vibrate with time ...

What is he or she or it looks like when naked? Or there is no such thing as naked tarot? w/o DECKoration? What is the essence of Tarot?

:)



My opinion of that is that there is no clearcut answer.:-) There is, I think, a "naked Tarot" but it will be different to each of us. Tarot may not mean to me what it does to you, and that is fine. Tarot is a reflection of who we are inside and an individual thing.

But here is my take on your questions anyway. :-)

Tarot is not any one thing: it is everthing. Tarot is a mirror of our souls and our souls are connected to the universe.

The essense of Tarot is that it is a mirror that reflects our deepest selves back at us. I believe that to be a constant. I guess that would make the "naked Tarot" the clearest version of who you really are at any given time, once the inessentials have been put aside and once the illusions have been stripped away.

I beleive it has always been a mirror and always will be a mirror. It just reflects back what is looking into it. It will show us different things as we grow with our life experiences.

And I think also over the centuries, as societal values change and we change with them, we may see different things in the mirror. Someone living in a society which fears the divination (looking in the mirror) will likely not see the same thing as one living in a society that is excited by the prospect. Just as someone who truly fears becoming fat can look in a mirror and see a fat person when there is not one there. Our emotions can change what we see, but the mirror is still just a mirror.

As we change it still faithfully reflects back at us the new changed person. Over the centuries we wear different clothes, hairstyles...and two people in two different centuries may see two different images. But the mirror is still just a mirror; It is only us who have changed.

Can't wait to hear what others have to say about this. :-) I found it a reallY fun question, made me stop and think. :-)

Bar 


Magi  29 Jan 2005 
The essence of the tarot is the archtypecal symbols that are recurrent within the human life. These symbols are multi leveled and ever present. On this point, at it's most basic level the earliest tarot images are the multitude of ancient cave pantings that early humans left behind. The tarot deck that we have today is this same symbolisim in a very refined form.

I may step on a few toes here, but you can watch the symbols of the tarot evolve from cave pantings, to tomb paintings, to statuary, to paintings, to cards, and all you need do is visit a few muesiems.

look around you and you will see the tarot alive and well in our lives today. As I said in another thread, the tarot is a living orginisim, not unlike any organic life. And all organic life must grow by a series of numbers called the Fibinarchi series. Example; 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, ect, with each succesive number being the combined total of the previous two.

I think the real question is what is do you gain from the tarot? If you gain nothing from it, than you should put the cards away, because they'll be of no real use to you. Under stand that I in no way mean any of this to be flamitory, but the tarot is a set of symbols that we can use to better ourselves, not a cheap parlor game.
And with that said I'm done.

Blessings,
Magi 


SunChariot  29 Jan 2005 
Magi wrote:
The essence of the tarot is the archtypecal symbols that are recurrent within the human life. These symbols are multi leveled and ever present. On this point, at it's most basic level the earliest tarot images are the multitude of ancient cave pantings that early humans left behind. The tarot deck that we have today is this same symbolisim in a very refined form.

I may step on a few toes here, but you can watch the symbols of the tarot evolve from cave pantings, to tomb paintings, to statuary, to paintings, to cards, and all you need do is visit a few muesiems.

look around you and you will see the tarot alive and well in our lives today. As I said in another thread, the tarot is a living orginisim, not unlike any organic life. And all organic life must grow by a series of numbers called the Fibinarchi series. Example; 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, ect, with each succesive number being the combined total of the previous two.

I think the real question is what is do you gain from the tarot? If you gain nothing from it, than you should put the cards away, because they'll be of no real use to you. Under stand that I in no way mean any of this to be flamitory, but the tarot is a set of symbols that we can use to better ourselves, not a cheap parlor game.
And with that said I'm done.

Blessings,
Magi


I found your answer truly beautiful Magi! Thank you for sharing it. I loved your first paragraph, just beautiful!

Bar 


Fulgour  29 Jan 2005 
jumptothemoonyea wrote:
What is he or she or it looks like when naked? Or there is no such thing as naked tarot? w/o DECKoration? What is the essence of Tarot?
I'm thinking you're going to tell us eventually... pictures too? 


rainwolf  30 Jan 2005 
Maybe the essence of tarot is like the international icon tarot-people void of expression or gender, you would have to take out any personal symbolism tho, i think it would be bland and boring, but at the least it would still give you answers, just not be fulfilling. 


closrapexa  30 Jan 2005 
There is a naked Tarot, but it is not depicted on peices of paper. It is in all of us, the information and enlightenemnet do not come from the cards, sincew they are only a tool, but from ourselves. Perhaps some one, perhaps a magi or witch, may reach a level of self knowledge that makes it so that they do need the cards anymore. That, I guess, is the true, naked Tarot. 


noby  30 Jan 2005 
I think what is seen as a 'naked tarot' differs from person to person; I think it is whatever speaks most clearly and directly, without the distortion and static of extraneous ideas. And what is 'direct' and what is 'extraneous' is going to vary from person to person. For me, I see 'naked' in terms of tarot as referring to a peeling away of things that limit the cards to more specific contexts.

I find a naked Major Arcana to be one that finds a way to circumvent as much specifics regarding culture and time period as possible. Decks that dance around this for me include the Fey, Navigators of the Mystic Sea, and International Icon. Of course, each of these examples has elements that make them not purely naked, but I find the way each avoids specific cultural baggage to free up the archetypes for me. I think spunch has created a beautiful Major Arcana that I see as being very naked. Actually, in clarity of archetypes and nudity, I think spunch's Majors far surpass those of the other three published decks I've mentioned here.

I find the Navigators of the Mystic Sea courts to be a good example of what I see as 'naked,' a divestment of extraneous things to get to the essential elements. (The way NotMS presents the courts is the 'element of element' system, such as Water of Water for the Queen of Cups and Water of Fire for the King of Cups.) I get to a naked understanding of the court through considering these elemental attributions as they relate to personality types. Comparing the courts to other systems of personality typing, such as Myers-Briggs, has helped me see the courts more systematically.

As for the Minor Arcana, I think one simple answer to what a 'naked' version would be is that it would be simple pip cards without full illustrations. (Of course, some people are going to find fleshed-out images more direct than pips.) I've been contemplating a Minor Arcana that explores the aspects of the numbers in as broad and essential a way as possible, and have come up with this. My experimenting with creating the cards has made me wonder if I could create a system of courts and Major Arcana cards that would work with these minors, and if so, what form they would take. 


Sulis  30 Jan 2005 
I think that the International Icon Tarot is a good example of a 'naked' tarot - it's been stripped right down to the bascic symbols and archetypes.

http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/cards/international-icon/

http://www.aeclectic.net/cgi/buyframe.cgi?type=deck&id=1162

Love

Sulis xx 


jumptothemoonyea  30 Jan 2005 
I find ideas expressed above deep and beautiful. Thank you.

Fulgor - this is a serious discussion, I would not ask if I knew. 


Fulgour  30 Jan 2005 
jumptothemoonyea wrote:
w/o DECKoration? What is the essence of Tarot?

It is indeed a serious question, jumptothemoonyea, as are all such.
My question was equally valid, and I assume your answer is, "No."

Travelling through space and time, Tarot outwardly adapts to each
new environment, but if stripped of any outward appearance, what
does it look like "naked"?


I don't know. Thanks for asking. :) 


RedMaple  30 Jan 2005 
closrapexa wrote:
There is a naked Tarot, but it is not depicted on peices of paper. It is in all of us, the information and enlightenemnet do not come from the cards, sincew they are only a tool, but from ourselves. Perhaps some one, perhaps a magi or witch, may reach a level of self knowledge that makes it so that they do need the cards anymore. That, I guess, is the true, naked Tarot.


Absolutely. All the different Tarots are like the different names of G-d. 


SunChariot  30 Jan 2005 
jumptothemoonyea wrote:
I find ideas expressed above deep and beautiful. Thank you.


Me too, I find the ideas in this thread deep and beautiful. Thank you for starting it jumptothemoonyea! What a great question.:-) 


le pendu  31 Jan 2005 
I thought the COSMIC TRIBE was the naked tarot!




sorry.. just had to.

hee hee
robert 


jumptothemoonyea  31 Jan 2005 
le pendu wrote:
I thought the COSMIC TRIBE was the naked tarot!

glad you found the answer :)

if it would be that easy, all our questions would be solved by removing the clothes

:) 


M-Press  31 Jan 2005 
Interesting question...
when I first started reading teh thread and thinking about it, i actually thought of a regukar playing cards deck. but then, that would only be about the pips, and what about the Majors?

and then of course, after reading in other posts about the international icons tarot, that made sense, and thre is also Simone's deck, the one in progress in the creation area, that has just 3 colrs and it's very simplified in form.
BUT, now I'm not sure anymore. I don't necessary think that simple forms and less decoration, make a deck MORE pure, and "the essense" of it.
To me the most naked tarot, is the one that speaks to me the most. It's naked, becasue in front of it, I can be naked. I get the messages, directly, as if someone reads my mind, and knows exactly what to tell me, and how. A deck is like a mirror- we see in it what we can see, what we are willing, and able to capture. A deck is naked if I can look at it with no make up... 


Pook  01 Feb 2005 
M-Press wrote:

To me the most naked tarot, is the one that speaks to me the most. It's naked, becasue in front of it, I can be naked. I get the messages, directly, as if someone reads my mind, and knows exactly what to tell me, and how. A deck is like a mirror- we see in it what we can see, what we are willing, and able to capture. A deck is naked if I can look at it with no make up...


So then, for each of us to have our own naked tarot, wouldnt we each have to create our own deck that speaks to us as no other deck possibly ever could? Or even that we read and read and practice and study with our whole hearts and souls open to every possibility until we dont need the images anymore, but simply the words on a card? 


Niomi  01 Feb 2005 
'Symbolically' naked tarot would be like a naked person, I think. Very fragile, vulnerable, and very beautiful. Some of the most beautiful parts of life are shared between two people that are naked, not just pysically, but emotionally.

Getting the tarot to 'undress' for you would be much the same as a person, I think. It takes trust, companionship, and time. When you truely peel down all the layers, you will find another facet of yourself in someone else. It does make you feel as if everyone is a part of you.

Naked tarot is more a feeling than a appearance, I think. And I don't know about you, but diffrent people bring out diffrent parts of me. My closest friends bring out the most beautiful parts. 


NightWing  02 Feb 2005 
What an interesting question!

People seem to be mostly talking about how tarot cards are culturally determined in their imagery, and recalling (like Jung) that there are/were ancient Archetypes upon which these various culturally determined images are all based. This makes sense.

But, historically, I think we can agree that Tarot cards as we know them arose out of European culture, and the current imagery reflects that. Perhaps even the entire concept and use of tarot reflects a "western" or Euro-mindset!

Even something like the International Icon tarot still is reflective of Euro-concepts, rather than say, the life and culture of an indigenous people living in the heart of the Amazon or in an isolated part of Borneo. Whatever could be added to Tarot to make it meaningful there?

I think it is easier to imagine what one would have to delete or remove from a card to get it to a "naked" state. This is perhaps more obvious with the Majors and the Court cards. But what about the Minor Arcana? Not every civilization or every culture has or had equivalents to Swords, Wands, or Coins(let alone Pentacles), though I can't think of any that hasn't had some sort of drinking vessel, - a "cup". So, perhaps "cups" excepted, what would a non-enculturated "Sword" or "Wand" or "Coin" be? 


Phaedra  02 Feb 2005 
I don't think a stripped-down card image is necessarily more universal, and is certainly less evocative, than one that is culturally specific. Artists, writers, playwrights -- and their audiences -- have often noted that extremely personal and specific art can convey universal themes better than attempts to be Universal (with a capital U and lots of stirring music).

Although Europeans (and Americans) have a lot to atone for in terms of being cultural imperialists, that does not mean that all things Euro-centric are bad. Is it even more imperialist or culturally arrogant to assume that dressing a European form, the Tarot, in kimonos makes it "Japanese", or throwing in some jaguars makes it "Mayan", however pretty the result may be?

One doesn't need to be of a culture to use its divination system. I can work with I Ching even though I am not Chinese. I could, conceivably, learn to read the shells of Ifa, even though I am not Yoruban. I'm sure I miss some of the subtleties, but I don't think that would justify trying to make my I Ching less Chinese or Ifa less African.

I think essence of Tarot is that it is not naked; that the richness of images plays in the brain and opens conduits for the reader in its own unique way. Perhaps the decks that "work" for you have images your brain processes successfully, while those that don't have images you can't parse, any more than the seemingly random array of cowrie shells that mean nothing to me speak volumes to my Babalowe. 


M-Press  02 Feb 2005 
Pook wrote:
So then, for each of us to have our own naked tarot, wouldnt we each have to create our own deck that speaks to us as no other deck possibly ever could? Or even that we read and read and practice and study with our whole hearts and souls open to every possibility until we dont need the images anymore, but simply the words on a card?


There is more than one deck that I can be naked in front of. I don't think one HAS to create their own deck to feel that way with a deck. A deck that you just love and connect to, can be this deck for you...

Now regarding an Uncultured deck? Is this what we are looking for? A naked deck should be one with no culture? a naked body has no culture? primitive art has no culture?
ohhh, i'm getting confused!
I can be naked in front if my favorite deck, but I don't think it has no culture! And there is SO much culture in NAKED!
Tarot can be naked, but not with no culture... 


Fudugazi  02 Feb 2005 
M-Press wrote:
Now regarding an Uncultured deck? Is this what we are looking for? A naked deck should be one with no culture? a naked body has no culture? primitive art has no culture?


Everything has culture. From the moment we come into the world we are born into a culture, a civilisation. Some are more sophisticated in some ways than others (e.g. Western culture more sophisticatd mechanically than Amazonian culture; Amazon forest tribal culture more sophisticated in shamanistic connection and astral travel than Western culture). Tarot belongs to whatever culture it is born out of - even if I were to represent an Amazonian tribe in a tarot deck, it would still be a Western European Tarot, circa 2005. Part of Western culture nowadays is to discover other ways of living, in a curious, open, but not very deep way (i.e. I'm not going to live 25 years in the Amazonian rainforest with no other contact so I can really get into their culture).

Well, I'm drifting from the naked tarot. Lori Walls' Erotica Tarot is certainly very naked - but is is "naked"? It looks complex and touches upon many of our fantasies and unconscious desires, so I would say it is in your face, but not direct enough, despite being explicit, to be naked.

To me, a naked Tarot is direct, talks to you so you don't have to ask yourself why you think this or that. The Tarot de Marseille is like that. Its symbolism speaks to my unconscious and my conscious mind without interference - even those symbols I cannot analyse. Something about those non-scenic pips, too: they are very naked. I am naked with them. I can't lie when I'm with the Marseille, it won't let me. 


The Naked Tarot thread was originally posted on 29 Jan 2005 in the Talking Tarot board, and is now archived in the Forum Library. Read the active threads in Talking Tarot, or read more archived threads.

 


Tarot Forum Categories
· Tarot Decks
· Using Tarot Cards
· Tarot Trading
· Talking Tarot
· Reading Exchange
· Your Readings
· Tarot Games & Fun
· Professional Tarot
· Marseilles
· Rider-Waite-Smith
· Thoth Tarot
· Tarot Study Groups
· Lenormand
· Oracles
· Divination
· Spirituality
· Chat
· New Members
· Advertisements
· Forum Help


Aeclectic Tarot Categories
· Dark & Gothic Decks
· Steampunk Decks
· Goddess Decks
· Angel Decks
· Fairy Decks
· Dragon Decks
· Beginner Decks
· Pagan & Wiccan Decks
· Ancient Egyptian Decks
· Celtic Decks
· Fantasy Decks
· Beginner Books
· Lenormand Decks
· Rider-Waite Decks
· Marseilles Decks
· Thoth Decks
· Oracle Decks
· Doreen Virtue Decks
· Popular Tarot Decks
· Available Decks
· Upcoming Decks
· Solandia's Top Ten
· Top Ten Decks
· List All Decks

Who is behind the Aeclectic Tarot Forum?

My name is Kate Hill (also known as Solandia) and I'm a Tarot reader, deck collector, and lifelong student of the beauty and diversity of Tarot cards.

I created Aeclectic in 1996 to share my passion for Tarot with the world, and started the forum in 2000 so others could share theirs too. Contact me via email or here at the forum.

  Contribute to Aeclectic

· Add your deck
· Write a review
· Join the community

Get new deck updates via email
  Aeclectic Tarot Resources

Copyright © Aeclectic Tarot. All rights reserved.