In the beginning…
But we never really get to see the beginning, do we? we come in the middle of a story and try to make sense of what we are reading. Or watching. Or hearing… To figure out who the characters are and what’s their relation with each other. In this particular case, where do we begin?
I guess a possible beginning would be the first TarotCon I attended. This was about 5-6 years ago. I had never been into one, and decided going to that particular conference because well, being mostly self-taught, there came a point where I felt the need to see how much I had progressed. I packed my Thoth deck and a few other decks and off I went. Being a Thothite by heart, although that has recently been challenged by the Marseille decks, I ended up using the Thoth deck all the time. And trying to explain why the Thoth deck, in spite of its fame as one of the most challenging decks there is, wasn’t, in fact, that hard to use. Anyway, one of the ladies there, after a brief explanation of how I read with the Thoth and successfully applying those ideas to her own reading said I should start writing a blog. “You should put all this knowledge up there, where everyone can see it”, she said.
Nothing happened, but one year later I was back at the same TarotCon for more. It was a great year for me, as I’ve met fellow tarotists Shelley Ruelle (from the Sparrow Tarot), Camelia Elias (Card Empress and masterful writer of Tarotflexions) and her partner Bent Sorensen. Out of this meeting came the Maelstromtarot (link here and on the menu), a blog that was designed to feature a set of different writers all bringing their unique approach to tarot to form a kaleidoscope of visions and, hopefully, give a sense of what the tarot could offer. There was also an attempt at a portuguese blog about cards and related things that is now buried under an unmarked grave in the cemetery of dead blogs that populate the web.
Beginnings are powerful things. There is a lot of energy put up to those, to put things in motion and get on with it. But, as it happens with everything, eventually a time comes where things have to sleep. It is during these small deaths that, with luck, we are reminded of the dream that sparked the whole adventure. The thought of it. The potential of it. The virus of it. And so it was that I kept hearing that lady from time ago telling me “You should put all this knowledge up there, where everyone can see it”.
And so here I am again, writing this piece of what is the first of a series of posts about how I see the tarot and how I work with the tarot.
In the beginning there was the end…
When yesterday I mentioned I was going to start a blog to a friend of mine, her immediate question was “What do you want to blog about?” To which I just replied “it will be about cards and stuff” and left it at that. But questions are like cherries. You pick a cherry from the bowl and a few more come out with it. And well, another blog about cards? Really? Isn’t the web already stuffed with blogs about tarot and cards and practically every single subject one can think about? So why am I writing this? To what end?
The simple answer would be “to answer to that voice that keeps echoing throughout time”. But this, again, raises all sorts of questions about voices in our heads. So instead, I asked the cards “where will this lead to?
Three cards from the Thoth deck fell into the table: The 2 of clubs, the High Priestess and Lust, this deck’s version of The Force.
The first thing I noticed about this cards were the colors. Yellow / Blue / Yellow. When we talk about energy bursting forth, an image that usually springs to mind is that of an explosion. Fire. Light. Brightness. Hues of yellow and orange everywhere. And in a sense, that’s exactly what we have here. Now this being the 2 of Clubs, we get to see two clubs crossed in a X pattern. There’s a block here, something to be overcome. But then, that’s usually the case with beginnings. As things are set into motion, resistances need to be overcome. It takes energy to start moving what was once at rest, immobile. This card then, is referring to this initial spark. Energy comes out and things start moving. Where does this energy come from and where does it go?
The answer is in the next card, the High Priestess. That energy comes from a figure, which in the card is portrayed as a woman. She radiates energy into the world and we get to see all kinds of things at her feet: animals, plants, crystals. The animate and the inanimate. As it goes forth and spreads out, its brightness fades and dulls. Resistances have been broken, as indicated by the movement of the clubs, now exiting the image, propelled by the strength of her might. It is a time to nurture what there is. To help things grow and mature and reach their potential. The High Priestess is usually a card associated with knowledge. Something that is hidden or, at least she keeps for herself. However, in this context, it does seem that she opens up her book and sends forth what she has inside her. If I am to take action and follow that little voice inside my head, this seems like a good omen. Things are going to be talked about that other readers should find useful. This then is a journey to open up to the world and start putting out there what was locked.
As to where it leads, the third card shows us that it leads to integration. The high priestess is no longer on her own plane, separated from the rest of the world, but is part of the world. See there, as she rides that lion, raising her cup high for all to see. There’s enjoyment there. But there’s something more as the card returns to its yellow-dominant color. That energy that was released from her in that first instant as portrayed in the 2 of Clubs is once again visible. Whatever she has put forth in the previous cards came back, re-energizing /reinvigorating her. She also seems to have tamed her beast and put it to good use. What once might have been a source of problems now is the mean with which she can move herself and explore this world she helped nurture.
Integrating with the world and taming beasts… Sounds like an exciting journey. if this was a story, it would be a nice place to end it. But, of course, the story never ends… Instead, it just keeps going and going, even when there’s no one witness to it. But that’s the thing about endings… They are just another form of beginnings.