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Tarot in Plain Sight, Tarot as Insight
September 8, 2008 8:34 PM   Subscribe

Wow, we've had Pomo Tarot and 80's Tarot and Star Trek Tarot and Barbie Tarot and Victoria Regina Tarot and more. But how about... Tarot as blog? Arcanalogue: Unique insights into ancient constructs via contemporary recontextualizations from a filter-practitioner. via projects.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur (24 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
this is really good
posted by pyramid termite at 9:11 PM on September 8, 2008


So this version makes falsifiable predictions?
posted by orthogonality at 9:16 PM on September 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


orthogonality, I'm afraid that remark may be hermitosis-ist.
posted by grobstein at 9:19 PM on September 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thanks for this.
posted by regicide is good for you at 9:22 PM on September 8, 2008


OMG BUNNY TAROT & MANDALA!!!1
nice one!
posted by not_on_display at 9:24 PM on September 8, 2008


I'm bummed and excited that it's about halfway through.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:32 PM on September 8, 2008


Oh... I was all, "Why is my page taking so long to load??" Now I feel really dizzy.

Don't worry, Ambrosia -- I plan to keep making laps once I finish the deck, so that each card will be presented in several different contexts. Also, I'd to start doing additional features and interviews at that point. One thing at a time though... completing all 78 cards even once will already be a whole lot of work. Fortunately I'm lucky to know some very inspiring people. And I couldn't have done any of it without MetaFilter -- I've tried to write mefites individually when I featured their posts, but please consider this site my love letter to all of you.

Well, most of you ;)
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 9:50 PM on September 8, 2008


I think self linking is a no-no on MeFi is it not?
posted by shockingbluamp at 10:14 PM on September 8, 2008


Wow. I'm mesmerized.

This is one of those rare little gem posts that I feel lucky to have found, and reminds my why I keep checking back on Metafilter 423 times a day.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:22 PM on September 8, 2008


shockingbluamp: Actually it's not uncommon for one user to "promote" another's Project to the front page. Here's cortex on the subject
posted by contraption at 10:34 PM on September 8, 2008


Very cool. I became familiar with hermitosis' tarot blog when he wrote me a MeFiMail to tell me he'd linked to one of my posts, but I hadn't checked it in awhile. Thanks for bringing it back to my attention, Ambrosia Voyeur!
posted by amyms at 11:11 PM on September 8, 2008


Frickin' awesome. I packed up my decks a few years ago; I should get 'em back out. It was always so calming to interpret the cards, and I felt better in touch with myself and those for whom I read.

Must. As soon as I'm back home. Wednesday. Ack.
posted by sadiehawkinstein at 11:22 PM on September 8, 2008


I thought this read porno tarot.
posted by adamvasco at 11:52 PM on September 8, 2008


Mmmm. Bunnies. This is awesome.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:32 AM on September 9, 2008


So this version makes falsifiable predictions?

No. So what? Just because some people inappropriately use Tarot in an attempt to foretell the future doesn't mean it's useless for every purpose. A screwdriver doesn't make falsifiable predictions, either, but that doesn't mean we condemn the screwdriver, only those who would attempt to use the screwdriver to divine the future.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:03 AM on September 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Nice site, but as a designer I'm thinking it really needs more green. It's just... missing something. Maybe Christmas colors would help.






(It's an INSIDE JOKE, people. Please ignore me.)

In all seriousness, a big yay for Not-Hermitosis-ist... he's been working SO hard on this! Woo hoo! :)
posted by miss lynnster at 8:33 AM on September 9, 2008


Nice! I find tarot fascinating, although I've only just started looking into it seriously.

Here's a nice one: Urnash Tarot (use the swirly thing to navigate)
posted by Drexen at 8:53 AM on September 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


I've dabbled in tarot off and on, but mostly as a reflective technique rather than a predictive one (more "try looking at the situation from this angle and see if it gets you anywhere" rather than "this is guaranteed to happen").

A question: the minor arcana has the "princess" court card. That's a card I've not heard of before. How does that relate to the Rider-Waite type decks?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:46 AM on September 9, 2008


The Rider-Waite deck and its offshoots use a Page-Knight-Queen-King structure. The Crowleyan offshoots follow a Princess-Prince-Queen-Knight structure (no King, oddly).

I don't necessarily like the former, because of the hierarchy and phallocentrism it imposes on the court cards. We already get enough of that with the Minor Arcana flowing from Ace to Ten. I find it interesting that the latter (Crowleyan) concept instead uses two dualities, set side by side. In my opinion, it makes it easier for the reader to imagine a Prince or Princess "graduating" into either a Queen or King (irrespective of gender). Also, the court cards each indicate one of the classical elements: earth, air, water, and fire. While a Kabbalistic interpretation would still project hierarchical implications onto them, for the casual reader those elemental concepts are all equal, like the four seasons.

Occult author Lon Milo Duquette puts a great deal of effort into explaining why the Princess card is the linchpin to the deck's role in Western magickal philosopy, a simplified fairy-tale version of the Kabbalistic worldview. The Princess, as the most earthbound element, represents each of us stirring in an enchanted slumber. We have fallen for the illusion that our world is all that exists, and several layers of illusion stand between us and an unadulterated view of reality. "You are the King of the universe, who has fallen asleep and is dreaming he is the Queen, who has fallen asleep and is dreaming she is the Prince, who has fallen asleep and is dreaming he is a sleeping Princess."

Whether you or I believe in any of that claptrap is irrelevant. I do find the idea beautiful and useful enough for the sake of reading that I decided to follow that pattern in my own writing.
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 10:06 AM on September 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


The Rider-Waite deck and its offshoots use a Page-Knight-Queen-King structure. The Crowleyan offshoots follow a Princess-Prince-Queen-Knight structure (no King, oddly).

Ahhhh, gotcha.

Whether you or I believe in any of that claptrap is irrelevant. I do find the idea beautiful and useful enough for the sake of reading that I decided to follow that pattern in my own writing.

As it should be. I take a highly individualistic approach to any "divinatory" means myself -- we all have our own associations with different symbols and concepts and etc., and some are strong enough to trump what "the rules" say it should mean. (The picture on "The Emperor" card on my own deck bears a striking resemblance to my recent ex, so no matter what the rest of the spread, when that card turns up I'm probably going to say "well, okay, that's Tom.") All of this involves a lot of personal intuition, and we all have our own mythologies -- so the things that resonate with us strongest are the right directions for us to go in.

And if I keep going I may delve into Jungian theory, but what little I know about Jung I learned from obsessively reading interviews with Sting when I was 14, so I should quit while I'm ahead.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:18 AM on September 9, 2008


Oh, and PS -- part of my online handle comes from my own favorite tarot card; I took a dorky "what tarot card are you" quiz years ago and got "the Empress"; this was in the days before I knew too much about tarot, and when I read their description of the Empress, it was exactly the kind of person I indeed aspired to be, so I got a big, big charge out of it. I LOVE what you did with the Empress on your site.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:24 AM on September 9, 2008


So this version makes falsifiable predictions?

As others have said, tarot isn't really meant to tell the future; it's more of a way of exploring one's (often unconscious) expectations and feelings about the situations and ideas each card is said to represent. Take a look at the blog, and you'll see what I mean -- there is little or no "prediction" in any of these posts. A good reader is as interested in interpreting the client's reaction to the meaning of the cards as in what the cards are supposed to represent.

The card ritual calms one enough to be receptive to any ideas and feelings that come up; as it does so, it suggests topics through the meaning and imagery of the cards, which in turn trigger ideas and feelings. There is not necessarily anything predictive or otherwise supernatural about this -- it just sometimes seems like there is, because our subconscious minds are often way ahead of us!

Thus, in my (very limited) experience, tarot is closer to card-based talk therapy than to any "falsifiable" kind of magic. Keeping in mind, of course, that therapy can have pretty damn magical effects on one's life... not everything in our lives is falsifiable.

Dammit, I should buy a deck.
posted by vorfeed at 11:19 AM on September 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


Wow, thanks for the post. I think I am going to stay up all night reading it. Seriously, this is all kinds of awesome.
posted by saucysault at 7:16 PM on September 9, 2008


This has indeed been prepared with the awesome sauce. Nice work!
posted by dejah420 at 5:10 PM on September 13, 2008


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