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December 14th, 2004


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02:20 pm - Some Tarotic musings
When I began to work with Tarot, I was 16. I'd been turned onto the cards by a story in my school newspaper, the name of which is lost in my memory somewhere. Whatever it was, the name is no longer important.

A story ran, describing something done in the cafeteria during lunch hour: people predicting the future with sets of cards. To me it sounded like a game. In some ways, my perception of divination actually has not changed: it is still a card game with little or no meaning to me. The only time I ascribe any real meaning to divination is when I'm in ritual. To me, it isn't about predicting the future or understanding your unconscious. Hell, the more I hear about the unconscious, the more I think it doesn't exist. It seems to be a perfectly simple excuse to pretend that you really don't have any will of your own. But that's a different essay.

From the time I picked up the cards, though, I was fascinated by the game. I would ask questions and see what would happen. It wasn't a particularly Pagan exercise, but it was more like something Parker Bros. could have put out on a whim. I still find a Ouiji Board more credible than Tarot cards, but far less fascinating.

I had never bothered to self-identify with any cards, though. I figured that the cards were merely pretty pictures that maybe told a unique story if you set them up against other cards, and that was about the extent of it. I never dreamed that a person could be represented by the "Hanged Man" or "Justice".

One day, though, that all changed. I was talking with a girl, Curi, about Tarot for some reason. I was 18 by now, trying to sort things out. She looked at me, and then at Faith, and pronounced, "He's the Emperor."

"What?" I asked. "How am I the Emperor?" Suddenly, I saw the self-identification with the cards, and I was unhappy with this choice.

She shrugged. "He's a strong willed person, leading. That's you."

I still didn't like this. Immediately upon the realization that a person could self-identify with one of these pictures, I wanted the Magician. It's a cool card, and I was self-styling myself as one of these things.

Almost as if reading my thoughts, she said, "Well, you can't be the Hermit because you like attention, but your ego isn't big enough to be the Magician."

I almost protested that my ego was that size, but to my credit I decided not to. The conversation changed track, though, and turned into a "who's who" game, in which other people were assigned cards, sometimes seemingly willy-nilly. But I remembered that I was not the Magician.

Over the past few years, though, I've been told that I am other cards. I was called Temperance at a festival where I refused to drink. I was called the Hierophant after a ritual that went surprisingly well. I was called the Magician at long last, after a particularly egotistical display of magic.

There is a card, though, that I suspect fits me best, and always has. I came to this realization while shuffling through the cards last night, and if you don't know the card, you probably don't know me. The card carries a lot of misconception and occasional fear, which makes me wonder if people actually understand it.

I was, recently, called something similar to this card. It's made me wonder if this role is something that I desire, or if it's something that has happened? Perhaps more to the point, is this role something that I embrace, or something that I fear? I don't really know the answer to this. One day, I hope to figure it out.

Until then, I'll continue to play the game.

The game of choice, at the moment, is solitare. I can't find anyone to play strip-tarot with me.
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: "It's My Job", -JB

(15 comments Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:tlachtga
Date:December 14th, 2004 11:33 am (UTC)
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The Devil?
From:bloodlikerain
Date:December 14th, 2004 11:34 am (UTC)
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*smirk* you haven't been asking the right people then , now have you?
[User Picture]
From:wishesofastar
Date:December 14th, 2004 11:41 am (UTC)
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How interesting. I don't recall that incident at all. Speaking of Curi, though, she just sent me a copy of her new album. You should check it out; it's at www.curiosityvalentine.com .
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:December 15th, 2004 07:14 am (UTC)
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Ooh, I should.

that incident was, um, freshman year. So yeah, 7 years ago. I'm shocked as hell that I remember it :)
[User Picture]
From:singingwren
Date:December 14th, 2004 11:42 am (UTC)
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When you said something about it being feared and misunderstood, my first guess was the Devil. But the Devil has so many associations with bondage and slavery, which seems unlike you, who need your freedom. Could it be the Tower, then? The shattering of foundations, the necessary removal of assumptions in order for something new to be recognized or created? I used to equate it with disaster -- I too had a time back in junior high when some friends dabbled in tarot over lunch, and I remember a sudden fear of that card -- but the more one understands it, the less senseless its chaos becomes. It could represent cataclysm, but it also represents a catalyst. I associate you with forces in motion.

Now I could be going in an entirely a different direction than the one you intended, but at least I made a semi-educated guess. :) Now you have to give up being enigmatic and say what you think the answer is, so we can compare.
From:bloodlikerain
Date:December 14th, 2004 12:58 pm (UTC)
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I could see the tower as well, although Mike, the very night i met you I thought you had magician written all over you, in the lobby of Halloran hall.

*strokes mikes ego*

and singwren? I love your icon.
[User Picture]
From:singingwren
Date:December 15th, 2004 09:22 am (UTC)
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Hehe, I was just going to say that I thought YOUR icon was really cool. Did you make it?

And yep, Mike could definitely be the Magician, too... *ties little bow around ego's throat*
[User Picture]
From:zylch
Date:December 14th, 2004 12:50 pm (UTC)
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Somehow, I'm guessing that there are people in KC willing to play strip tarot with you if the game is KURS. It's not like it hasn't happened before, after all.
[User Picture]
From:rhiannon76
Date:December 14th, 2004 12:52 pm (UTC)
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if i had to cast you in the tarot, i could see you as the fool. and i mean that in a good way.

i was hoping to invoke you in my last journal entry, but that seems to have failed. therefore, i shall try poking you with a sharp stick instead. *poke* comment, you! *poke* (especially seeing as you have actual long-distance traveling experience with the cat in question. i need details.)
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:December 14th, 2004 02:04 pm (UTC)
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I did reply to that. . . Or so I thought.
[User Picture]
From:rhiannon76
Date:December 14th, 2004 08:59 pm (UTC)
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i think you replied to it at the same moment that i wrote that comment. ;) or at least, i hadn't seen it when i wrote the above. sorry to bug you (though i did kind of enjoy the poking...)
[User Picture]
From:nontacitare
Date:December 14th, 2004 05:30 pm (UTC)
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if i had to cast you in the tarot, i could see you as the fool. and i mean that in a good way.

That's what I would have guessed, as well. I can see you as a trickster figure.

So who was everyone else? ;-)
From:ceolnamara
Date:December 14th, 2004 03:42 pm (UTC)
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I almost protested that my ego was that size, but to my credit I decided not to.

that set me to laughing something fierce.

sadly (or amusingly, more like it) that is something I'd do, except i'd probably not decide not to - there'd be no choice - it'd be an 'in and out' sort of "oops, she said something like that again.

heh.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:December 15th, 2004 07:15 am (UTC)
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I'm glad I could help :)
[User Picture]
From:qorinda
Date:December 14th, 2004 10:20 pm (UTC)
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I can't find anyone to play strip-tarot with me.

Now that sounds like fun. *wink*

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