. . . there are
just some things that ought not to be done
deck, when it was released in 1909, caused a paradigm shift in
the world of tarot. Now, the minor number cards are illustrated
with evocative pictures that gave one a leg-up on the meanings
of the cards. and, these meanings could become very subjective
and not just memorized phrases from a book, written by someone
else, with someone else's prejudices. you can now, just make it
all up to fit the circumstances of the reading, and that is mighty
okay, 'cause you know, the darkest secret of the occult and of
tarot is that several someone's over several distant periods of
time made all this crap up. you can too.
did not end in 1909. Pamela colman smith drew up some fast and
dirty pictures to illustrate the meanings of the cards that arth
waite fed to her. they are not the only way to illustsrate those
meanings. let me repeat this louder and larger.
they are not the
only way to illustrate those meanings of those cards.
Creativity did not
die in 1909. there are plenty of capable artists out there who
can interpret, or reintepret the meanings of the cards in new
and viable ways. The final word was not written with smith and
waite and the rws deck. i really like the deck. but, it is not
the final word on anything. it is only one perspective, one view
of "how things are." one of my main concerns in life
is "where is tarot going in the 21st century?" I am
always amazes and enthused when someone comes up with a new vision,
a new version of the "same old thing." it stretches
and challenges me, and though i may piss and whine about it, i
do like to be streched and challenged. sometimes i even like to
be really pissed off by a deck. it provokes a reaction, and that
is a rare and beautiful thing. life nowadays can seem too safe,
too easy, too sure, too scripted. and we all know that it is not.
the images of the tarot have been around for a few hundred years
now and still have something to say. even nowadays. even with
the often fakey medievalism, which only has the virtue of being
fairly timeless and accessible.
many decks take
the imagery of the rws and translate that into another culture.
this genuinely annoys me. what has an emperor have to do with
native american culture? what does the number ten have to do with
chinese culture really? what does a three of swords meaning heartbreak
have to do with celtic culture? oftentimes these decks just merely
take the characters and dress them up in new ways and give them
new tchotchkes to play with and don't get into what really matters
in that particular culture.
the following is
my take on some of those decks and my commentary on them. some
places i give a tentative timeline of versions of a deck. many
of these i like for one reason or another, rational or not. i
am very subject to emotional attachment to an old dear friend
who just may be a bit derivative. but. . . .
i love to hear from
people who are rethinking, redesigning the paradigm. i love to
see new images that actually make me think, even after i have
initially reacted, positively or negatively. i can give a whole
rant on how i hatedhated the lord of the rings movies because
they screwed with my vision of those books i've been reading for
so many years. but, i have to admit, after getting into the director's
et al heads through the commentaries, i have a respect and fondness
for them, because they did what they had to do with what they
had to work with. they were and are honest movies. they are not
the movies i would have done, but they were honest. and i love
to see honest tarot decks.
you can feed me
any line of reasoning, rational or not, and i will accept it if
you make it all hang together and interrelate - make the whole
system work. we take a great leap out of normalcy when we enter
the divinatory universe and the rules out there are rather limber.
stay consistant. don't let your artistic reach exceed your grasp
(i despise the motherpeace deck for that reason). actually sit
down and think about tarot. have some fun along the way. feel
free to email me an
survey of catty comments and comparisons (typing madly on
this one - be patient)
aquarian deck -
tentative timelines and commentary
morgan greer deck
- tentative timelines and commentary
the robin wood deck