This blog started out as solely focused on food. cooking and spirituality are incredibly co-mingled for me, and now I'm adding to the focus by making the blog more about my spiritual life in general. I hope the result is something readable!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Day Seven: Divination

7. Beliefs – Divination

Coming back from a little bit of a break (hey, I had company and wasn’t motivated) to talk about divination. I read Tarot, which is a lot less...mysterious and spooky than it sounds. I’m pretty shit at reading for other people, it should be known, and I basically just use the cards as a tool for self-reflection and guidance on how to sort out the tangled jumble of stuff that is my brain.

The important question, I guess, is how do I think this stuff works, anyway? First it should be known that I hold no illusions about some arcane ancient egyptian/atlantean store of knowledge coded in the symbols on tarot cards. I’m more of an intuitive reader than a...whatever the other kind is. All the Golden Dawn/OTO/BOTA Thothy stuff doesn’t grab me as much as being able to look at an image on a card and feeling drawn into it, taking on the role of the figures and discovering how that relates to my daily life. But how that connection is formed? I have no idea.

It could be the Jungian notion of archetypes and the collective unconscious as we just understand certain images because the human mind has a mental...culture and language, as it were, that can be understood intuitively.

OR, from an animist point of view, my spirit is coming into contact with the spirit inherent in the deck of cards (because everything has spirit in animist thought, remember) and communicating on an unconscious level and gaining insight from that.

Aesthetic ramblings and some pictures under the cut!

I started out reading on a version of the tradition Rider-Waite-Smith deck that was given to me as a birthday present I think when I was fourteen or so? I think by my best friend? SO LONG AGO. Those cards are beat up and the box is falling apart and in the passage of time I learned that what I really crave is something that I can appreciate with an artist’s eye in addition to being able to get functional readings out of it. The RWS tarot is, as many in the business know, kind of...well, let’s not mince words. it’s fugly.

What are those colors, seriously?
Difficult to build a relationship with illustrations that are glaring and harsh to the eye, in my experience. Still, it's the best deck to learn from, probably. Thankfully, for those who like the classic deck, there's some excellent versions called the Radiant Rider-Waite and Universal Waite that have updated the coloring and the lines so everything is much more luminous and lively and doesn't feel all static and sad. Another bonus is that since they keep the standard RWS symbolism, you can use those decks with any of the billions of learn to read tarot books. Most all the books tend to focus on the images in that one deck, simply because it's the most well-known and widespread in the US.

But enough about that! My baby, the darling of my heart and I'm so glad I found it and I kind of don't like reading with anything else, is the Deviant Moon Tarot by a really cool guy named Patrick Valenza.
Some people find Deviant Moon too "dark" a deck in its imagery and interpretation, but I need a bit of dark in my cards. This deck, in addition to being populated by a host of awesome looking fantastical creaturepeople with no real race or real life culture to cloud my impression of the cards, is so..so snarky to me. This deck does not hesitate to give me a good kick in the pants when I've gotten lax in my reading habits or have fallen into my tendency to sugarcoat or handwave away negative implications about things I'm doing.

Girlfriend, who I got hooked on Tarot and has now run amok with it and is more dedicated about daily readings and is therefore probably better than me at this point, uses the even more hardcore Archeon Tarot:
Archeon is a gorgeous deck and I especially love the ravens that show up in it and my GOD the COLORS, but in practice I don't think it likes me that much. *shrug*

On the flip side of the spooky scale, I also own the Golden Tarot. Like Deviant Moon it was created through digital collage, but the images are made from medieval and renaissance artwork. It's got a completely different feel to it, the cards have actual gilded edges, and it is very peaceful and inspirational in its interpretations.

not the three of wands but you see what I'm talking about.

This is a great deck for morning readings, which I should really get back into the habit of doing. it's full of light and golds and sunshine, which would probably make it excellent for augmenting my work with Shining God. 

Is that enough pictures for now? I might start putting some readings I've done on the blog, once I get caught back up with the 30 Days schedule. For now though, on to the next bit of writing. :)

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