I have been reading and teaching tarot, and watching the birth of some very beautiful and meaningful decks within my own family. As I have often mentioned, it's a tough gig for me to be one of the few people in an extended family of artists with barely enough eye-hand coordination of my own to from letters - pictures are as far beyond me as corporeal flight. But image is as natural to me as spiritual flight.
Image has always been integral to who I am. Jim and I, though we both produce creative work on our own, have a collaborative place where true exchange occurs. I get to see images come out of my brain without struggling to force words to attempt to be paint. I am not as certain what he gets - but we could ask him. He has talked about the energy that comes from watching me struggle with words, and suddenly finding a picture coming out of my head through his hands. (It's ok, we're married.)
Some people look at the tarot as a divination device, and I have seen it work that way in the hands/brain of a skilled reader. Certainly Robin can do it. Can I? Well, you would have to ask the people I read for... The cards can also be used as a great meditation device, for focus, or to get people who are blocked to open up and tell you what the problem is.
There are two ways of thinking about using the images to see - you can learn the traditional meanings of the cards by rote, or you can relax, open your mind to the pictures, and let them flow into and out of you as a story. That is how I read, and how I teach my students to read. Over the years we have learned to see what the cards mean by collecting pictures, or music, that brings a card into focus.
I read the cards the way I write a story - especially the way I write a poem. I lay the cards out in different ways until I look down and see what I am after. Just as when I write, I am not always after a complete, rigid structure with a beginning, middle and end. I am after a concept, a new thought, a way to see and sometimes, with a blaze of joy - a phrase that wants to be featured, or joined to a fellow phrase.
The cards, as I have been offering them here, are stories - so I hope they are interesting to some of you. No knowledge of tarot is needed to play along.
I have been taking the most basic, traditional interpretations of the cards, and trying to join them to a picture that makes me say Aha! But I will be branching out soon into concepts I think are missing from traditionaly defined decks.
If the pictures make you see a different story, I hope you will share it with me. Everything I have *really* learned about reading the cards has come from those moments.
ending and begining, closing one door to open another, completing a chapter, putting the past behind you
going through transition, moving from the known to the unknown, being cast adrift, waiting in an in-between state, shedding old attitudes, getting back to basics
experiencing inexorable forces, being in the path of sweeping change, riding your fate, accepting the inevitable, embracing the turn of the wheel, reaching for the future with a reborn spirit