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Chapter 4 -- Pretty basic to me, but like you I also liked her take on how to care for decks. She emphasized what those rituals can do for you, the reader, not the decks themselves. There are definitely benefits to those things without having to believe in any superstitious rules about tarot, or in any "woo" , and I like that she pointed that part out.

Chapter 5 -- The elemental designations for the suits were nothing new to me. Although she says people don't always agree, I think Wands/Fire, Cups/Water, Swords/Air, and Pentacles/Earth are the most common, and what the average tarot reader probably uses. I did really like the 4-quadrant chart showing willpower, perception, force, and matter as Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles (location 860 for Kindle readers.) This may be something very elementary to those who study the Golden Dawn system, but I hadn't really absorbed it before and find this "quaternary of positive science" to be an interesting idea. She said they're derived from Papus, so there he is again! I guess I should seek him out?

She assigns The Magician to Earth instead of Air, and while I get what she says about her reasons, I'm more inclined to see him as Air myself. But then again, I've been influenced by some TdM and historical decks & studies to see the Magician in more of a manipulative and cunning light, for good or bad, and I see those as mental qualities.

But to be honest, I rarely think about the elemental associations for the Majors! Maybe that will change as I work through the book.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalliope View Post
She assigns The Magician to Earth instead of Air, and while I get what she says about her reasons, I'm more inclined to see him as Air myself. ... But to be honest, I rarely think about the elemental associations for the Majors! Maybe that will change as I work through the book.
I am right with you on that one, when I read that I thought "Earth? But he's so air... right? I mean... oh... I don't suppose I have ever done a reading where I thought too hard about him being air. Then I tried to get extra philosophical about it, considered him (or her depending on the deck) to be drawing from the Air / realm of ideas and manifesting it into the realm of Earth / matter.

Then I had a lie down after all the philosophical gymnastics.
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Chapter 6 discussed ideas for a Tarot journal. I do think that the journal is an absolutely essential item for the tarot student, I've been keeping one for a long time in two formats.

At first I thought that this was a lot of sections for a journal but came to the conclusion that a new person could start with all these and then maintain the sections they found especially beneficial. And I really like the personal reflections section:

Through your card reflections, you will eventually adopt your own personal approach to card interpretation and will cease to rely on the published guides of others

I think it's a smart idea to keep the lists of meanings you get from books of card interpretations separate from your own musings that you develop as you study. This section becomes your distilled impression of the card and will be less disjointed than an exhaustive list of keywords.

If one were to attempt a journal with these sections I would highly recommend Evernote for the everything but the record of readings as it will make those notes easily searchable. There is something about writing readings down in a blank book that I do love so that part I probably would not substitute.
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I have to admit, I've stalled early on in the book. All of this stuff about "analytics" and not believing in predictive readings has kind of turned me off. Okay, really turned me off. I just want to read the cards and enjoy what I do. I feel like I'm doing it the "wrong" way by doing predictive readings. (I don't believe there's a right way and a wrong way, but I feel like the author does!)

Maybe this book just isn't for folks like me?
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Originally Posted by Tibor View Post

First she wrote: 'Tarot....It is a science of the mind', then she wrote: 'Art, which is what the tarot is,...'
The way I was thought at university is that psychology is the science of the mind. For me personally Tarot is an art not a science.
Yes, that bugged me too. I, too, think of Tarot as an art. And somehow all of this stuff about not doing predictive readings, and calling her way of reading "analytics" feels almost...apologetic...to me. Like she desperately wants to distinguish herself from the stereotype of the old gypsy woman with a head scarf and big earrings and the "woo woo" of Tarot mystique.

And I kind of get that, but in a way I find it a bit, I don't know, arrogant somehow. Like she wants to point out that MOST Tarot readers are superstitious nuts, but she's not one. lol



Quote:
Originally Posted by Tibor View Post
Another thing: The author clearly believes in past-lives as she mentions it when she defines 'personal unconscious' from a metaphysical point of view. It just made me wonder: if you believe in past-lives then wouldn't you believe in destiny? After all, in this current life-time you are who or what you are for a reason and that reason surely has something to do with who or what you were in your previous life? If you you believe in destiny wouldn't you be more open to the fortune-telling aspects of the Tarot.
I am not trying to discredit what the author said, neither do I support fortune-telling for all the wrong reasons she mentioned in her book; rather I am just trying to understand how the author thinks about Tarot and uses it as a tool for her 'tarot analytics' as opposed to divination.
Yes, that confused me as well! And in flipping around through the book, I see several example readings where she HAS done predictions. I'm just baffled. Again, this book might just not be for me.
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I am so behind with the reading of the book as I have been very busy in my personal life.

Now that I thought about what others commented about past-lives I can see that past-lives and destiny can be mutually exclusive and do not necessarily relate to each other the way I thought they should (especially liked your comment kalliope).

Although I have not got that far but reading about the Magician being assigned to Earth: I think that will be a shocker for me!!! Unless she can explain her reasoning behind this.
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I didn't properly keep track of the chapters for each week (and somehow left out chapter 4 when I originally posted. Will remedy by playing catch up this week.

In Chapter 7 the book discusses rote beginner learning and makes it clear that a new reader should memorize the meanings of the cards. I quite agree. The chapter talks about how you will form your own meanings for the cards in time that are a blend of tradition and your experiences/learnings but we all start somewhere.

People have compared learning taro to learning Jazz, noting young musicians learn how to play basic songs before they learn how to freestyle. I think the "throw the book out and just say what the card is saying to you" advice some give forgets that when beginners look at a card they usually go blank.

The books also discusses learning by doing readings for teddy bears and fictional clients. The reason being that a new reader is likely to say absolutely the wrong thing to a client and may have a negative impact on them. perhaps I'm a tad too cavalier about these things, I advocate reading for friends early on, but I think the warnings from the book are wise and that one must have humility when reading for another person and take great care with them as our words will weigh heavily on them.
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I haven't abandoned the thread! I just need to review my notes for the last few chapters and write up my thoughts. Promise I'll be back, hopefully later today.
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Originally Posted by kalliope View Post
I haven't abandoned the thread! I just need to review my notes for the last few chapters and write up my thoughts. Promise I'll be back, hopefully later today.
Glad to hear it!

Chapter 8's thoughts on keywords was good; I feel like keywords has become a bit of a dirty word for readers. Possibly it's because we are afraid that it means people will learn to give cut and paste readings but they are a good place to start.
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It's hard to really post about the Cyclopedia of card meanings chapter other than to say that I think the book does an admirable job of blending old traditions with new thoughts that have arisen about these cards.

Reading through it made me realize that I have probably relied on my own collected meanings for the cards for a little too long and they have dug grooves into my Tarot brain that can be hard to get out of.
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