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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: 14 May 1997 11:10:47 -0700

49970514 AA1  Hail Satan!

"Jan Tier" :
#># To clarify my question, it seems to me that if a person was (were?) a
#># naturally gifted psychic,
#>                   ~~~~~~~

nagasiva:
#> I'm sorry, but I don't really know what this term means.  

"J. Karlin" :
#I'm sure you wish you didn't.

actually I had several ideas what it *might* mean, but at the time I did
not know what it meant to Jan Tier.  as with symbols, words have a variety
of meanings depending upon the reader or speaker/writer.

 
#> you and jk are using it, but [it] is so thrashed by modern newagers 
#> and the 'psychic community'

#Who the hell do you think runs the tarot industry?

I'm not sure what 'the tarot industry' is.  my point was that it is very
widely used by a number of people in a variety of ways, such that no
single meaning can accurately be presumed 'solely correct'.  this is the 
case with tarot symbolism also, but you have yet to understand it.


#> that I don't really understand it in use within magical forums.  

#What is a 'magical' forum? Something with the word 'magick' in it? 

that's what I meant, as compared to the 'paranormal' forums or 'newage'.


#> at times using traditional associations 

#What's a 'traditional' association? Is that like the
#Lion's Club?

a 'traditional association' is an association between symbol and
significance which has become popular or well-known within certain
social circles.  in this case I was implying the ever-broadening
cultural expression regarding what is gradually expanding around
the term and tool 'tarot'.  there are traditional POPULAR
associations (e.g. the Atu 'Death' being associated with the
prognostication of imminent physical danger), and there are
more central traditional associations (comparatively, that the
Atu 'Death' represents some significant and transformative change).

in neither case are these the 'correct' associations in any
absolute sense, though each has its own relative value and
application.


#> and at times using their own or a combination of the two.  

#That's NOT the 'impression' anyone would get from reading tarot
#books, 

it is the impression *I* have obtained from reading tarot books,
but I read with a critical eye and do not trust 'authorities'
until and unless they provide explanations which stand up to
more than sustained dogma.  there ARE writers on the tarot 
who provide this more expansive perspective.  you just have to
know what to look for (more below).


#or from sampling I-party postings to alt.tarot concerning 
#their methods of reading. 

I don't know what "I-party postings" are, but I have found many
postings on alt.tarot and in general magick forums which
conform to this perspective.


#Nor is it the impression one would get from reading anything 
#YOU'VE previously written about the subject. 

I've remained quite consistent on this point.


#...interest in actually learning tarot, which does involve
#READING (and more importantly---'getting') the works of those 
#who created its traditions.

please elaborate on who you identify as the originators of the
traditions of tarot and who is valuable to read.  if this is
in your REF, please make this known as I did not scroll through
its length to discern this.  thanks.
 

#> these tools are better described as 'mirrors', however, than as 
#> 'channels' or 'springboards', since the cards are given their 
#> configuration via an unconscious process 

#What does that mean? What 'configuration' are you talking about?

the particular session in question.  sometimes people will use very
specific formats ("layouts") wherein the card positions are provided
with pre-designated contextual significance (e.g. "this is the
general atmosphere surrounding the querent").  sometimes the reader
will not do this at all, laying out cards in a seemingly 'random'
or 'inspired pattern', intuiting the signification from the way
the reading develops, what issues it involves, hir intuitive feelings,
and the meanings which she has tended to ascribe to the cards over time.


#What is the 'unconscious process'.

besides the obvious element I've described above, there is the element
of the sequencing of the cards themselves.  this is set into motion
or entirely arranged by the querent (often through cutting or selecting
the cards or somehow 'initializing' them through passing or touch of 
the hands).

sometimes when I am reading cards (almost always for myself) I will
lay the cards out, face down, fanning them.  then I choose from them,
as if I can see their faces, intentionally selecting the cards I want 
and placing them in particular spots on the table.  this process of
card selection is unconscious in that I have no conscious idea which
cards I'm picking or, sometimes, even the significance of the placement.

only later, during the 'reading' phase do I begin to interpret the
meaning of the card, how its position and even (when I keep track
of this) placement in the series factor into what the cards (and/or
any entity beyond them) may be telling me (the 'message' which I am
to read).


#># ...to be able to read tarot effectively.
 
#> ...studying and interpeting the symbols is STUDYING tarot, it isn't
#> reading the cards 

#Yes, it is. THAT'S WHY it's called 'reading' and not 'imagining. 

it is 'reading the cards' only in an unconventional sense, as I have
already said.  conventionally the cards are placed in a 'layout' and
there may well be some issue of focus during the divination.  the
'reading' then includes the interpretation in this important context.  


#That's WHY I asked you where the meanings of symbolism come from. 

we've already discussed that, yes.  I have said that I think the
meanings reside in our minds in reflection of the symbols themselves.


#The divinatory meanings SHOULD be derivative of the symbolism of 
#the card (as it IS in the small cards of Thoth, for example).

we are agreed that the meanings are DERIVED from a reflection on
the cards.  this is what constitutes 'interpreting the symbols of
tarot'.


#> perhaps this is what jk is getting at ('reading the keys of the 
#> ancients').  

#Yeah, except he'd never say anything quite that moronic.

it is one of the phrases of the traditional paradigm.  I'm quite
surprised that you would consider it 'moronic'.  I no longer think
I can guess what you consider 'traditional' and what you do not.


[re: divination]
#> it does not require the assimilation to a traditional system
#> of symbols, but this can deepen and enhance one's language-set.

#How do you know?

as Tom has made clear, knowledge is something which can never become
absolute outside omniscience.  I am merely reflecting my own
experience of the tarot and how I have seen it working in people's
lives.


#> I find it best to choose sources which I like, 

#'like' in what way?

that is very important question.  I don't think I've tried to express
that clearly and I appreciate your asking it.  

in some ways this 'like' takes on the character of an aesthetic and
visceral pleasure.  it 'feels good' in the way certain fabrics feel
good, certain foods taste good, or certain smells are exquisite to
my nose.

in other ways it is rather intellectual, in that it somehow 'fits'
into the conceptualization of the cosmos which I have constructed,
it 'makes sense to me' in relation to the rest of my experience.  it
'reflects truly' the knowledge which I have accepted into my personal
world.  

I like it when a source does not provide a clear-cut and
intellectually-dry taxonomy of a card's 'meaning' (e.g. Eden Gray or
Waite if memory serves).  I always find their description to be
contrived, incomplete, unbalanced, and generally not as useful to me 
in my readings, during which I may *interpret* a comparable meaning.

I like a source which is rich in poetry, takes a number of differing
slants on not only a particular card, but on many of them, relating
the individual to the whole deck, to subsets, to its rank, to its
suit, to its class (Major/Minor).  I also love it when the source
speaks of the cards in a variety of ways, not just the poetic but
the psychological, the mystical, the bodily, the practical.  whatever
depth can be attained in a description of the card that integrates
to the symbols contained therein *as they see it* I find valuable. 

I find that my most favorite sources take *many different perspectives*
not only on tarot reading, but also on how the cards can be understood
and how they can be used.  they explore a variety of options, historical,
popular, and innovative.

I have rarely come across sources which achieved this quality of text,
though a few I have mentioned of late in this forum do offer some 
partial example of success in my estimation (Crowley, Pollack, Newman).

thank you for your patience and your questions,

nagasiva
-- 
see http://www.hollyfeld.org/~tyagi/nagasiva.html  and  call: 408/2-666-SLUG!!!
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