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Zephyros  Zephyros is offline
Join Date: 31 Jan 2004
Location: Israel
Posts: 8,179

I don't think it is either ever a question of isn't broke don't fix it, or too complicated. The essence of Tarot is what it has always been, it has simply been added to. There are more Marseilles decks coming out all the time, more than at any point in History, and lovers of simplicity have more than enough to choose from.

Now, as to esoteric study, it is a dual edged sword. On the one hand, I don't think everyone should learn it or even strive to. That would be silly, and there is no use in forcing anyone. On the other hand, people who often say they learned the base meanings and then used their intuition.... well, those base meanings obviously have a source, and their source is exactly the esoteric mumbo jumbo people seem to be so allergic to (it does not have to look or talk like a duck to be a duck). In this sense I always recommend going to the source and the formulating one's own ideas.

Now, it is important to remember that at its base, the occult is merely a series of topics meant and formulated to store ideas. The study of these ideas takes the form of mythologies, symbols, primitive cultures, sound, smell, etc. Anything that brings to mind a certain set of ideas that can be meditated upon. Now, these ideas are neither abstract nor removed from reality. On the contrary, study of the occult is the study of people and the human condition, and how to improve both.

Now, a common misconception about this sort of divination is that it is cerebral, and unintuitive. Nothing could be further from the truth. At the end of the day, the process is the same: one receives stimuli from the eyes, and the brain interprets them according to set patterns that have the potential to be more than the sum of their parts. But the more knowledge one assimilates about any particular symbol, the larger your symbolic vocabulary is, and the more connections can be made. Certain cards are connected to others, some appear in others. Some cards have in one symbol several different very conflicting meanings, but the inner dialogue is established in any case.

And yes, may I say that my job's pretty easy. (:

It isn't for everyone and not everyone is interested, but like I said, the process is the same. The fact that there are dozens of interpretations for that crocodile on the Fool merely adds to the cards three dimensional scope, it doesn't detract. The Querent won't hear those interpretations, since that would be silly, and so is the suggestion that that is the way it is done. It isn't. The study is for me, as pondering ideas just for the hell of it does enlarge your horizons, while when I am "performing," as in reading, the Querent receives the sum experience.

What surprises me, honestly, is the vehemence. I see so many posts that say, in essence "you don't need that for Tarot so I won't do it and I'm against it and.... and..." threads like these. It is true, you don't need it. That doesn't mean it isn't useful. Besides, that isn't necessarily for reading; I use divination for myself, but try to avoid reading for others.
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