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Fixed vs. Adaptable meanings when reading cards?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Sternbach View Post
First off, where are those textbook meanings to be found? I have many textbooks, and they by no means always agree with each other. Not so much that they were in outright contradiction to one another; often, it's more a matter of what aspect of a given card they highlight.

For every card is a symbol that covers a multitude of meanings. So I like to study different people's take on a card. To see what clicks. And to relate those insights to my own experiences with a card as a reader.

It's as though Tarot talks to me in a certain language. After about 30 years of study, I believe that I do have a fairly good command of that language. But that doesn't mean that every connotation of each card is always available to me.

In the beginning, I too was rather going with textbook meanings. I think, for many, this is the best way to go, initially. But at some stage, those meanings expanded in order to no longer give me a bunch of keywords, but to tell me coherent stories. So I continue to listen attentively to the cards' narratives, learning not only about the specific situations they talk about, but also their very language in all its complexity, while at the same time, my awareness and holistic thinking improve.
So true. I've been pulling together a small cataloguing system and at some point I figure I will have to cross the bridge of writing actual card definitions and that just seems so daunting... as far as I'm concerned there can be a vast array of meanings... I think each reader relates different to the energy of a card (or whatever you call it)... but I guess as long as your own language/lingo doesn't contradict itself it's OK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obeygravity View Post
Sorry but I just feel like a lot of this concept is somewhat fallacious, if only because it's putting a confusing burden of authority on a deck that was created ages ago and to assume that any other interpretations outside of that singular person's would create inaccurate results is... Well. That's kind of putting RWS on a God level and that's not something that I think I'd be able to wrap my head around.
Perhaps it's more a case of if I said black you'd say white. I don't see it as burdensome for a deck if we read the images via the system they were based on ages ago. Does the universal flow change then? Certainly not to my understanding, dynamics where the same ages ago as they are now, that's why the cards work imho. I'm not saying that RWS is on a GOD level any more than any other system is on a GOD level but I do acknowledge that I don't have a full understanding of any one system and it's outside of my authority to change it up. I am a student, not on a GOD level and never will be.

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Tarot is a tool. It serves no function whatsoever outside of people using it to interpret whatever messages they're able to pull from the cards.
Good luck with that.
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May I pose a question - If someone was highly psychically developed and they were given a pack of tarot cards to read for the first time with no base knowledge of such do you perceive that they'd be reading tarot or practising divination using psychic ability. It's fine I guess but it's not what I personally am trying to achieve here, I want first hand knowledge of the tarot.

Another thing that puzzles me is why some seem to assume they know better than the sacred knowledge of the age old tried and tested system.
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Originally Posted by headincloud View Post
May I pose a question - If someone was highly psychically developed and they were given a pack of tarot cards to read for the first time with no base knowledge of such do you perceive that they'd be reading tarot or practising divination using psychic ability. It's fine I guess but it's not what I personally am trying to achieve here, I want first hand knowledge of the tarot.

Another thing that puzzles me is why some seem to assume they know better than the sacred knowledge of the age old tried and tested system.
These are good points. But I still think that, no matter how you read, you ARE using the Tarot system if you're using the full pack of cards. The very structure of the deck seems to have something to it. And again, the imagery is often very evocative of the card's traditional meaning.

And I don't think it's about knowing better than the age old wisdom, just personalizing it. Like spirituality, you find what works for you.

Also, you get some people that say, if you're not using trad. Marseille decks, then you're disregarding the evolutionary wisdom of the Tarot imagery. But this is too purist an approach for me.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJP View Post
These are good points. But I still think that, no matter how you read, you ARE using the Tarot system if you're using the full pack of cards. The very structure of the deck seems to have something to it. And again, the imagery is often very evocative of the card's traditional meaning.
We differ here, I don't see the tarot system as a pack of cards that can be separated from the base knowledge that supports and makes up the system in it's entirety and I don't think that knowledge is available to us by staring at the cards alone, although you may well get some psychic info if you're simply using them as a tool in the same manner as tea leaves for example.

Quote:
Also, you get some people that say, if you're not using trad. Marseille decks, then you're disregarding the evolutionary wisdom of the Tarot imagery. But this is too purist an approach for me.
I can't see how the particular deck and system you choose to read through would negate others, imho they all lead to the same place once mastered much like religions.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Sternbach View Post
First off, where are those textbook meanings to be found? I have many textbooks, and they by no means always agree with each other. Not so much that they were in outright contradiction to one another; often, it's more a matter of what aspect of a given card they highlight.

For every card is a symbol that covers a multitude of meanings. So I like to study different people's take on a card. To see what clicks. And to relate those insights to my own experiences with a card as a reader.

It's as though Tarot talks to me in a certain language. After about 30 years of study, I believe that I do have a fairly good command of that language. But that doesn't mean that every connotation of each card is always available to me.

In the beginning, I too was rather going with textbook meanings. I think, for many, this is the best way to go, initially. But at some stage, those meanings expanded in order to no longer give me a bunch of keywords, but to tell me coherent stories. So I continue to listen attentively to the cards' narratives, learning not only about the specific situations they talk about, but also their very language in all its complexity, while at the same time, my awareness and holistic thinking improve.
THIS. Very much so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by headincloud View Post
May I pose a question - If someone was highly psychically developed and they were given a pack of tarot cards to read for the first time with no base knowledge of such do you perceive that they'd be reading tarot or practising divination using psychic ability. It's fine I guess but it's not what I personally am trying to achieve here, I want first hand knowledge of the tarot.

Another thing that puzzles me is why some seem to assume they know better than the sacred knowledge of the age old tried and tested system.
I would say they were using tarot in their own way. I also don't personally see the "sacred" bit - but to each their own.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by headincloud View Post
Perhaps it's more a case of if I said black you'd say white. I don't see it as burdensome for a deck if we read the images via the system they were based on ages ago. Does the universal flow change then? Certainly not to my understanding, dynamics where the same ages ago as they are now, that's why the cards work imho. I'm not saying that RWS is on a GOD level any more than any other system is on a GOD level but I do acknowledge that I don't have a full understanding of any one system and it's outside of my authority to change it up. I am a student, not on a GOD level and never will be.



Good luck with that.
I'm sorry but what dynamics are you referring to? Are you talking about the dynamics of how the world functions? How people's lives interact and intersect? Because while some things remain consistent, I can guarantee that there are many dynamics that no longer remain the same

Anyway, it feels like a lot of this discussion is pointless since there's so much heavy emphasis on appealing to tarot as an authority which is not a concept I can ever concede to. To assume that a system made by a person cannot possibly be or hold any gaps to the point that anyone else providing their own interpretation to it would inherently be at fault is a fallacious idea.

Also thank you but I don't need luck

Quote:
May I pose a question - If someone was highly psychically developed and they were given a pack of tarot cards to read for the first time with no base knowledge of such do you perceive that they'd be reading tarot or practising divination using psychic ability. It's fine I guess but it's not what I personally am trying to achieve here, I want first hand knowledge of the tarot.
As Gregory says, I'd say they'd be reading it in their own way. Many decks hold imagery that is pretty blunt and easy to pick up on that still falls in line with the original card meanings. What if this person is able to intuitively home on those rote interpretations. Would their reading still be invalid from your perspective because they didn't pick up a book first?

This is a form of gate keeping that's outright set up to keep anyone who doesn't perform to your perceived standard as invalid. How is that acceptable? Who made you an authority on this subject?

Quote:
Another thing that puzzles me is why some seem to assume they know better than the sacred knowledge of the age old tried and tested system.
It's clear that this boils down to a differing of opinions on what role tarot actually plays and what it is. If you think that tarot is by default perfect and people are imperfect then yet I can see how you would be puzzled by this.

But I'm of the mind that it's a tool and that's that. Nothing more, nothing less. It's a tool that can be used to pull a message from some divine source (if you believe that) or to help pull a message from your own subconscious if you're struggling to access it. But either way, it's a tool to be used. If you're still able to get that very accurate and relevant message then who cares if you're using a purist methodology and learning? What's important at the end of the day is that the message is received and passed on. Anything past that is trying to create something that is not - giving tarot divine authority when it is something that was still, at the end of the day, made by a flawed human being.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Sternbach View Post
First off, where are those textbook meanings to be found? I have many textbooks, and they by no means always agree with each other. Not so much that they were in outright contradiction to one another; often, it's more a matter of what aspect of a given card they highlight.
I personally use RWS so all of the books based on that system, like you I find they tend to highlight different aspects of the cards base.

Quote:
For every card is a symbol that covers a multitude of meanings. So I like to study different people's take on a card. To see what clicks. And to relate those insights to my own experiences with a card as a reader.
I love to study others takes on cards, and even more interesting are the takes on the questions.

Quote:
In the beginning, I too was rather going with textbook meanings. I think, for many, this is the best way to go, initially. But at some stage, those meanings expanded in order to no longer give me a bunch of keywords, but to tell me coherent stories. So I continue to listen attentively to the cards' narratives, learning not only about the specific situations they talk about, but also their very language in all its complexity, while at the same time, my awareness and holistic thinking improve.
To my understanding that's exactly what happens when we've put the work in.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obeygravity View Post
I'm sorry but what dynamics are you referring to? Are you talking about the dynamics of how the world functions? How people's lives interact and intersect? Because while some things remain consistent, I can guarantee that there are many dynamics that no longer remain the same

Anyway, it feels like a lot of this discussion is pointless since there's so much heavy emphasis on appealing to tarot as an authority which is not a concept I can ever concede to. To assume that a system made by a person cannot possibly be or hold any gaps to the point that anyone else providing their own interpretation to it would inherently be at fault is a fallacious idea.

Also thank you but I don't need luck



As Gregory says, I'd say they'd be reading it in their own way. Many decks hold imagery that is pretty blunt and easy to pick up on that still falls in line with the original card meanings. What if this person is able to intuitively home on those rote interpretations. Would their reading still be invalid from your perspective because they didn't pick up a book first?

This is a form of gate keeping that's outright set up to keep anyone who doesn't perform to your perceived standard as invalid. How is that acceptable? Who made you an authority on this subject?



It's clear that this boils down to a differing of opinions on what role tarot actually plays and what it is. If you think that tarot is by default perfect and people are imperfect then yet I can see how you would be puzzled by this.

But I'm of the mind that it's a tool and that's that. Nothing more, nothing less. It's a tool that can be used to pull a message from some divine source (if you believe that) or to help pull a message from your own subconscious if you're struggling to access it. But either way, it's a tool to be used. If you're still able to get that very accurate and relevant message then who cares if you're using a purist methodology and learning? What's important at the end of the day is that the message is received and passed on. Anything past that is trying to create something that is not - giving tarot divine authority when it is something that was still, at the end of the day, made by a flawed human being.

I'm pretty indifferent as to whether you understand me or not, and how you view the tarot is up to you, follow your own way and what others think will simply bounce off rather than offend, there's no need to try and reform people into your way of thinking simply walk on by.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by headincloud View Post
Where does the base for your tarot images stem from?
Probably Italy.
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