Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I’m looking forward to this Sunday, September 4th, when I will be back at the Triple Goddess. I will show up even though it’s the Labor Day weekend, because some people find that a convenient time to stop by. Having recently introduced the Round Robin Tarot technique, I’d like to start out with that again, because it would be good to get some more practice with this—especially with looking for connecting themes and images among the different cards that are drawn for each individual. (See the previous post for a description of the round robin technique.) Even if you are a regular visitor, there’s always something new to get out of it, as there is always a different mix of participants and card decks being used. I’m planning to use the Osho Zen Tarot deck, which uses some strikingly different imagery. (This deck, which is published by the Osho Zen Institute in Switzerland, is illustrated by Deva Padma, and edited by Sarito Carol Neiman.)

Then, because it’s back-to-school for a lot of young people and others, this is a good time to try out “The Wizards Tarot” (by Corrine Kenner and John J. Blumen), which is set up using the theme of a school for aspiring magicians—The Mandrake Academy—where the teachers of the different magical arts are portrayed in the Major Arcana cards, while the Minor Arcana represent four different groups of students, much like the different student households in Harry Potter. Normally, I tend to avoid anything which seems like an obvious imitation of anything else, so I had misgivings about a card deck that appears to be modeled after Harry Potter. However, because the artwork is so splendid, and the whole idea of belonging to a magical academy is such an intriguing concept to get into and work inside of, I believe there is great potential for exploring and trying new things with this deck. By the way, a group of my old friends had a shared sense of having belonged to a special academy in a past lifetime, though the memories were different depending on the person’s orientation—for some it was more of a military institution, for some the emphasis was on the arts, for others magic, etc. It all taps into certain archetypes of a grand educational institution and experience, which I believe also contributes to the popularity of Harry Potter.

I have long maintained that we can experience the different tarot cards as teaching personalities, each with its own teaching style, so this is an opportunity to better get to know the cards as mentors. One little quibble I have with the minor cards in the Wizard’s deck, is, although they do represent the students, shown in their school uniforms and everything, they otherwise reproduce the standard Rider-Waite-Smith imagery, but I would like to see how different Minor Arcana situations could be rendered as learning challenges or “teachable moments.” (Nevertheless, I do appreciate the massive effort it took to bring out this deck, and realize that reworking the Minors would have taken a lot longer.) As a group, perhaps we can contribute some new ideas on interpreting these cards in the context of lessons in the magic of living. Also, the group setting provides an opportunity to enter a collective fantasy.

School time is also a time to “get back to basics,” so if we have some extra time left over, I will trot out some of the more basic tarot techniques that I haven’t demonstrated in a good while.

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