Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It's in the Cards Redux

Having an experience with fortune telling through cards when I was very young, I didn't have another experience with cards (this time it was tarot) until I was in college. My friend, Rebecca, had a deck and gave a reading for me after I expressed an interest in things occult. Then my friend, David, also gave a remarkable reading about the same time. I knew I wanted to know more.
I read an article and looked for, and found, a book on the subject. The book was written in detail, some of it quite esoteric. I knew I needed help and turned to my friends. David gave some suggestions but wasn't interested in attempting to teach someone how to read the cards. Rebecca reluctantly agreed but suggested I find some more books to study; her intention was for me to expand my notions about tarot and not be limited to her ways -- it was a great suggestion.
One early session should have alerted me much sooner that I was on a different path than most.
We began with the Minor Arcana. She asked me what colors I associated with Air? I thought for a moment, even closing my eyes and imagining the sky during a clear day. "Blue!" I suggested, enthusiastically. She suggested I think, instead, of something in the sky. I thought for a moment and said "White!"; for the clouds had turned my clear day a lovely shade of gray/white. No, something else. I thought some more... white could also be stars? or the reflection of the Moon? "Black?" I offered tentatively. A little frustrated, she suggested I think of what makes all the light during the day. "The Sun! Of course! So, let's go with Red for those amazing sunsets!" I believe she was about to cry, both from laughter and frustration. She told me the color associated with Air in the Minor Arcana was Yellow. I actually had to puzzle it out; that was the last color I would have picked for Air.
We went through the other suits with similar results. When we finally ended for the day and I went home, my head was spinning. Surely I would eventually get it? But I struggled with the tarot (and still do, to a degree), trying to make it fit the notions that other people had about those cards.
In recent years, I've grown fond of using playing cards to peer into the unknown, as was done for me when I was just a wee lad.

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