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'Real' vs. 'Nonhistorical, Intuitive' Meanings

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.tarot
From: tyagi@houseofkaos.abyss.com (nagasiva)
Subject: Re: 'Real' vs. 'Nonhistorical, Intuitive' Meanings (was Re: Dog in The Fool card?)
Date: 11 May 1997 03:09:18 -0700

49970511 AA1  Hail Satan!

"J. Karlin" :
>...the archives of alt.tarot....

where are these located?  you just talking about Deja News?


nagasiva:
[I have not yet taken the time to...]
>> ...assimilate what conventional sources
>> have indicated the 'meanings' of the symbols might be.  

>What do you mean 'conventional' sources? Give me
>an example or two here of what you think a 'conventional'
>source for meaning about tarot would be and how it
>has not inspired you to 'spend time' assimilating its
>suggestions.

Waite's book on said deck.  Case's book on his.  I have glanced 
through them preremptorily and found them not to my taste.


[ones I did read about]
>> especially the Smith-Waite and Harris-Crowley,

>Why 'especially' those?

I find them to be the most valuable, personally.  the first
on account of its popularity and solidness of symbol within
the tarot tradition and the second due to my affinity for
Crowley, his writings, and the Thoth deck (I have always
preferred it over all others).


>use it to 'prop up' some personal melodrama, wherein
>you star as the 'Grand Meditator', then you need not
>study anything about it all....

true.  or where the cards are used as reflective devices.


>You also should not expect to be given much respect by 
>those who KNOW that tarot is about much more than that 
>kind of desultory nonsense.

such knowledge usually convinces me that the individual is
over-attached to the tool, lost in Da'ath.  it is possible
to base one's attitude less on an assessment of intellectual 
assimilation and more on a interactive history with mutual 
respect, allowing for one's own ignorance.


>...it is not simply that I am averse to the concept
>that intuition alone might render an intersting
>meaning from a symbol on a tarot card, I find
>it 'problematic' that 'intuitives' NEVER can produce 
>the goods when called upon to do so.

thanks for making this clear.  I have seen people
'produce the goods' which you apparently you have
not.  perhaps this is what gives me my incentive
to contrast your words in alt.tarot, however biasedly.


>> to presume that those I came across were somehow the 
>> 'real' or 'necessary' significations of either symbol 
>> or, as composite, card.

>If you come to the thing prepossessed of the notion that
>'real' and 'necessary' are illusions, you will manufacture
>a way for them to be so.

agreed, and vice versa (prepossessed of the notion that there
are real and necessary meanings leads one to presume this).


>> I really don't *know* what my level of understanding regarding 
>> to what the symbols in tarot have been ascribed might be, 

>What does that even mean?

as I said, I was explaining what I think to be the limitations of
my knowledge.  having sampled I see there is much I do not know.
I cannot, looking out over the water, determine where the other
shore yet lies.


>Look, do you know what the word 'symbol' means?

image implying significance beyond its ontological presence.


>And do you know how it is used in tarot?

in a variety of ways, sometimes unexpectedly.


>> though I suspect from watching you and others in alt.tarot 
>> that I am woefully ignorant, 

>If you admit this kind of 'ignorance' then how can 
>you claim to know the parameters that might govern 
>the 'necessities' of making choices about tarot
>applications? 

I only reflect my experience of intuitives and my own
results with having studied somewhat more than these
the historical associations.


>> even while having taken some time to reflect more deeply 
>> than the sources you disdain.

>The quality of 'reflection' depends upon the clarity of
>the mirror, and THAT depends to some degree upon your
>willingness to accept ALL possibilities, including the
>ones which say you are wrong. 

>I'm curious, can you imagine a situation in which your
>beliefs about tarot, and how its symbolism can (and
>should) be acquired, are utterly wrong?

>Assuming you can imagine such a thing, what is the 
>nature of that situation?

of course I can.  it amounts to a type of dogmatism, as I 
am seeing it, and I distrust dogmas, even while I can
understand them.  my experience yields exceptions to the
generalizations I have seen you make about the value or
legitimacy of certain types of readings or variations in
interpretation.

I can imagine that you are speaking of a very important vector
of application for tarot and are attempting to chamption it.
I don't find that dismissing the alternatives, no matter how
deep they may be in comparison, is a positive or consistently
useful means of displaying the importance or relevance of this 
vector, rather than merely presenting it in fellowship.


"J. Karlin" > #...the questions I continually raise and discuss about this issue
>> #(of the correct interpretation(s) of tarot symbolism) are NOT merely
>> #addressed to the context of tarot applications, and I think you
>> #know this.
 
>I talk about this frequently. In fact, I talk about it
>in the FAQ. Have you read the FAQ since I rewrote it?

of course not.  it is overly long and biased.  I have read some of it,
then put it aside.  I don't like 'FAQs' which are designed as you have
designed it.  if I desire to read it later I shall, but my preference
is for FAQs which really stick to brief responses to frequently asked
questions.  I consider your FAQ a 'REFerence' text regarding your own
views on the tarot.  when I am interested in delving into your views
deeply enough to read that long text then I'll get back to it.  I admit
that your attitude in Usenet provides incentive for both possibilities.

I would like to steer clear of personality-issues, however, and stick
strictly with tarot-discussion, so....

[much snipped]


>> your comments are often generalizations, 

>Give me a couple of specific examples.

examples throughout this discussion, below I point out many.


>...give me a concise definition of what you mean
>by 'divination' and explain to me why it is not
>'fortune-telling'.

reflective reverie utilizing a symbol-set of one's own devise or
that supplied by another to which one becomes accustomed and
thereafter infers meaning by virtue of previous experience and
personal ascription.  this is of course influenced by the nature
of the tool, but only in a structural way.

by 'reflective reverie' I mean a sort of trance-state wherein
one may gain orientation to one's life circumstance or to the
situation about which one seeks guidance and begins to see the
connection between life-elements and the divinatory tools or
the symbols upon them.

'fortune-telling', as I mean it in comparison to this, is the
use of a divinatory tool to attempt to prognosticate, foretell
the future in some particular and specific way.  it has some
similarities in that one can enter reflective reverie to do it,
but I never felt anyone who tried to tell the future in my 
presence was very convincing.

rather than expressing dynamics within a relation (e.g. one's
position and relationship with a lover, for example, or with
one's finances, or spirituality, anything), fortune-telling 
attempts to set into concrete some sort of determined future 
event ("your mother is going to die tomorrow").


>...look at the various applications
>that can be made, for example, of a concert piano. 
>The majority of the applications, which are not devoted 
>to the playing of music, are going to appear as a kind
>of affrontery to the educated person (especially
>to the person educated in music), and the same is
>true of tarot. Whatever 'freedom of application'
>the uneducated may proclaim for themselves does
>not lessen the fact that their ignorance can never
>produce the same sounds as a trained student of
>the subject. 

agreed.  and I have rarely enjoyed that divide, preferring
the nonschooled approach to every instrument, knowing that
I would appear 'unrefined' and that my poundings and whatnot
might sound as 'noise'.  I still feel that as my familiarity
with the instrument grows I am playing 'music' though it
does not replicate melodic or familiar tunes.  some of my 
intuitive and artistic friends (some who have taken lessons 
in these instruments) have agreed with my assessment.

I think there are at least two ways to going about mastering
an instrument, both of them take alot of time with it. I don't
see that dismissing the less 'official' is helpful to those
who learn differently, however.


>...there are really only a handful of people in any 
>generation who are going to 'get' tarot in any profoundly 
>(or even interestingly) meaningful way....

what are the qualities of this 'getting'?  what can this
person do with tarot that you see that others cannot?


>> only represent the alternative until I'm satisfied.

>Well, if that's a way of saying you are just here to
>preach whatever you believe in, I don't think you
>have to use me as some kind of launching pad from which
>to 'take off', and that's especially the case if you're
>not even going to bother to understand the nature of
>the pad.

not my intent.  I saw your text as extreme.  I left open the
possibility that it was my projection.  I'm still watching
for your explanation of what it was I was contrasting and
have yet to entirely see what it is you are saying.  you are
apparently (by your comments at the end of this post) not 
interested in merely responding directly to my queries so 
as to make my ignorance or your bias (or both) clear.  so
be it.  occasionally I will comment upon your posts as I have
to present a contrary view, however much you enjoy or agree 
with it.  


>> #That's NOT reading cards.
>> 
>> actually it IS reading the cards to make up stories about them in
>> reflection of their images 

>No, it's not. That's not reading cards. That's making
>up stories.

here is an example of one of the generalizations I was talking about.
these usually take the form of your comment with a quite possibly
particular meaning without distinguishing what that meaning is at
the time of your statement.  you could say more here, for example,
about what kind of 'reading' they are not doing when 'making up
stories'.  defined the way I was: 'inferring stories from looking
at the pictures on the cards', this is a type of 'reading', even
if you don't like this definition.


>Do you actually read anything or anyone about whom you form opinions? 

of course.


>Or is it your avowed position that, as with the 'problem'
>you see in determining specific meanings in tarot, 

another generalization.  I have few difficulties with people
determining specific meanings, even basing these on historical
sources such as designed the deck one is using.  what I am
here to contrast is the notion that this is the only valuable
way to use tarot and the only set of associations between
symbol and concept which are valuable to utilize in divination.
is this clear enough?


>whatever Crowley might have to say about anything is pretty
>much subject to such a wide range of interpretation 
>that there is little reason for you to bother with 
>attempting to absorb it, even subjectively?

way past what I would claim.  another generalization.  if you
want to explain why you bring up this tangental subject of the
meaning of _The Book of Lies_ as a title I'd happily hear it.


[as with a symbol]
>> the title means anything which a human mind
>> cares or discerns to think it means.

>what it DOES mean is a hell of a lot more interesting 
>that what you just wrote, or anything you've written in
>this post. 

interesting to you, yes.  it is possible I've even heard of
and/or thought of this significance.  

what I hear you arguing (indirectly) in response is that the
meanings you claim are 'real' are 'more interesting' than
the ones which are ascribed to the tarot symbols by
intuitive rather than intellectual-studied readers.  if my
inference is correct, then I say put it out there so that
people can absorb its significance and be done with the
bellyaching about whether someone comes up with an alternative
you don't like.


>And I'm willing to bet that even YOU
>might also think that if you ever get off your
>'intuitive' ass and actually learn it.

there are many things I could learn.  certain databits draw me
while others do not.  do you have more to say in defense of 
your claim that there are 'correct' meanings to the symbols of
tarot than what seems to me some sort of chastisement?


>Look, do the prerequisite work at least---
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
another generalization.  it implies that there is some sort of
consistent work which should be done by all in order to proceed
'correctly' in one's studies and/or use of tarot.  I don't
believe that this is true and I'd like to know why you do, if so.


>I really don't have the time right now to seriously consider 
>anything you are writing. And I mean this with all due respect
>that you are sincere, but I'm really busy and I really can't 
>have long conversations with you or anyone who won't do his 
>homework.

I hadn't noticed.  my impression is that you just don't want to
respond directly to my challenges and questions.  I wasn't asking
you to explain anything specific about the knowledge you claim to 
have.  I was asking for a brief defense of the One True Interpretation 
paradigm or an explanation for why you can't defend it against the
comparison of my experience that intuitive alternatives are quite 
valuable and should not be dismissed out of hand.

tyagi
-- 
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