Sunday, December 18, 2011

How to get your cards to talk to you (effectively & in plain words)

Three easy lessons here: three easy exercises. These are each designed to help you develop your dialog with the cards instead of being forced to memorize keywords and phrases, or see them as some spooky coded message. They are, after all, only scraps of paper with printing on them. Get any of that "mysterious tarot" crap out of your head. YOU are the mysterious being scientists are still trying to figure out (they should use astrology  much easier that way). The tarot  or any oracle deck for that matter  is only a VISUAL TOOL to stimulate the psychic processes inside you. Leave all of the superstition to movie directors and people who come to you for a reading.  It may feel like I am robbing you of the romance of the tarot, but trust me  when you can see the distant past and future ACCURATELY, there will be enough romance of the tarot to go around. Superstition only clouds your perception and distorts the translation of psychic impulse to cognitive awareness. You will learn this sooner or later; best learn it now (free). So here are three fun exercises I would like you to do over the next few weeks. You can do them anywhere, but having a deck on hand really helps. If you have taped up your deck (like I tell you to in The Easiest Way to Learn the Tarot— EVER!!)  this will help with the first two exercises.

Noun: Simply think up a noun (person, place, or thing  event, location . . . ) and pick a card out of your deck to represent that. Give yourself no more than five seconds to do this, fifteen if you get stuck. It is important not to over-analyze this or get too picky about which card is "most exact." When you are reading for people ("in the real world" not in practice or tarot school) you will find that the cards have to have several variations of meaning. They cannot possibly be accurate if they only have 78 meanings (or 156 if you count reversals). Keywords and phrases don't work. They limit your thinking and they are a barbaric way of teaching the tarot. While it is best to study the traditional meanings of the tarot so you know what the artist who designed your deck was intending, and what people have figured out over the years, do not buy into any of the add-ons to the tarot taht just don't resonate with you. The most important meaning any card can have is the one that is right in front of you  right now. You will see this in real life readings. These exercises help you loosen up your attitude on the cards and free them to speak candidly with you, not stilted, and in only formal terms.

Always remember: divining the future is not a "logic-based" activity or we could just have computers predict for us  and don't think corporations don't spend billions of dollars trying. To correctly divine the future we must interpret the visions, symbols, and impulses correctly. We can't do that if we limit the vocabulary that we allow our tools to use when they speak to us.

Here is an example of how to do this exercise. I will give you a noun: "Taxi cab, or taxi driver."

Now I want you to go through the deck and pick out a card that represents that (occupation or physical object). When I pose this to my students, 99% of the time they say, "The Chariot." This is a good card, but I correct them that this is more weighty, more like an airline pilot or a bus driver, as The Chariot implies autonomy, authority, responsibility, and it may mean many other occupations.

But specifically the 6 of Swords (at least in W/S symbolism) shows us a man in a gondola ferrying across his charge. This may be the husband or a professional gondolier. If a taxi driver or chauffer came to you for a reading this would make a good significator card, or if it came up in a job spread it would be a good indicator of being someone who transports people around for money. Given that The Chariot is more bold and authoritative, that card may be more suited for a white collar job or even a military career by comparison.

These are just guidelines, not facts cast in stone.

Another example: Noun . . . Church, or temple. Well, without even having to put any thought into it three cards come to mind: the chapel in the 4 of Swords, the arch in the 3 of Coins (Pentacles), and the stained glass window set into the wall of the 5 of Swords.

Any of these would be a good "instant answer." Each card has its nuances, the 4 of Swords could also serv as a museum card or a funeral home. It is all about picking a simple common noun and assigning a card to it without adding any stress to your life.

This exercises teaches you to see the cards from a slightly different perspective and relax your mind, remove a lot of the superstition that people like to pile on tarot cards. It makes you a better reader fast because it helps the cards speak to you. If you have a tarot buddy you can do this as a simple game: One person says a noun and the other goes through the deck and comes up with a card. If you have the cards spread out the process goes much faster.

Verb: This is the same exercise but with an action. Let's say you open the fridge and discover you are out of milk. So you run to the store to get some. This is a simple daily action; no big deal. So let's pick a rather unobtrusive "minor" Arcana card to represent this action. How about the 8 of Cups? He threw on a cloak (jacket) and is headed off to the corner store. There is no reason he "has to be" abandoning his home and happiness, the crescent moon showing the emptiness he feels and the full moon showing his desire for fulfillment. You have heard me say this before, but I would have drawn the crescent moon, as a reflection of the full moon, in the water. Much more symbologically correct.

So "Verb" can simply be anything you do throughout the day: eating dinner. Why not any of the Cups cards? (2, 3, 4, Page, and so on. .  .) Each card might signify drinking versus eating, or being full/not wanting seconds (4), overindulging (3?), maybe a buffet (7), or even the 4 of Wands. If you do not like these cards when you should find a card that say "eating diner" to you. Because if you cannot pull a card that say "eating dinner" you cannot read the tarot. The tarot, as a system, must be able to describe ANY EVENT OR ACTION in life or it is a flawed system. It is not about ambiguities or vague notions. It points you in the direction of an answer as clearly as the 78 illustrations will allow (in singletons or card combinations) and your mind must tie the impulse you receive as a result to the real life situation at hand.

A word here: The cards do not spell out events and situations. This is a common misconception among tarot authors and casual students alike. Tarot cards ONLY "speak" to you. They are a visual alphabet that triggers your mind to realize the link between their image and the issue at hand. ALL of the magic happens inside you. The cards must be properly placed in a spread to give you valid answers: you can't just pick cards at random without tuning in and getting the order delivered to you (shuffle, cast). But the actual reading part is not the cards telling you something. They are only sparking impulses in your mind to create the chain of though that  leads you to the answer. Without your skills and talent (learned and natural abilities) they are rather useless.

Also while you are sitting in front of the TV . . .

Simply watch life happen. This is easiest if you are watching the news, because the news (reports of daily events) is so chaotic. you never know what's coming up. When the reporter says something that sparks that interest in your head simply draw a card and glance at it. Do not put any weight or validation to this card. Just see what comes up. Here we are training you to "hear" (physically and psychically) that "ding" inside your head that something was said of importance, or that someone just lied, or there is some reason that bit of information needs to be fleshed out. In comic book terms we are developing your "Spidey sense." This is a very real teaching we use in mystery schools. Do this, as basic as it sounds. Practice it for years and you will develop a BS detector that stuns people when they discover you have this talent. Eventually you will no longer need the cards.

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Thanks for reading.

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Did you know . . .

. . . that in 1701, 80 years before the lie originated that "the tarot came from Egypt"or had ANY connection or it at all—there were so many variations of card designs in France that they actually had to pass a law "standardizing" what images were to be allowed on tarot cards?

The tarot has always been a trump-game, and at times so popular, with so many artists and card makers trying to place their own version of it in the forefront of popular society that there were literally hundreds of different images. Large variations, small variations . . . all based on the whim and whimsy of the card manufacturer's in-house artist(s). The government had to step in and say, "enough is enough!" The tarot we have today is in large part based on the Tarot de Marseille, but even that was a deck that was manufactured in several parts of Europe and may have had its own variations due to local artist influence, skill, and design preferences of the region. 

Think about this the next time someone tries to con you into believing that the images on the tarot are anything other than government/mega-church influenced images. The "spiritual symbolism" and "journey of the fool" is a nice bedtime story but it is less true mystery school doctrine than it is wishful thinking mixed with government/religious propaganda of the 18th century. 

Oh, believe what you will, but here is some nice proof of my assertions in brief. ( A little valid research will prove even more. I don't say these things to be a curmudgeon (I am still a bit young to be one of those anyway, but I like the term). I do decry bullshit though, especially that which authors attempt to make vast amounts of money on. History will prove them fools and charlatans (and how out of date is THAT word?) but for now as long as they can pay their rents selling snake oil I suppose there will be people who believe anything.

Learn the tarot. Read the tarot. Develop your skills, but please; don't buy into the hype-machine that the tarot is anything more than it is: a fun game that over time has become a fun divination tool. One of many to be certain, but a rather good one given how many minds have gone into making it so. And always remember, no matter where the tarot came from what matters more than any thing else is that it works for you. Better to spend your time practicing with it to develop your psychic abilities (which we all have, but in slightly different strengths ;-) than to spend too much time trying to make it any more mystical than it is. It is only a deck of cards after all.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Quick disclaimer (please take a moment to read)

Hey kids

I was just watching an old episode of the Twilight Zone (the Rod Serling TV series from the '60's—hmmm . . . is it time to start calling it the "1960's" yet? After all we are in a new century and who knows how long this post will be up). Anyway, if you are not familiar with it, The Twilight Zone (that is a link to Youtube)  was not for everyone. It is an all-time classic now, but it was definitely a niche show, and that is the point of this post. I want all of you to become Twilight Zones.

I have spent my life examining the world from a philosophical view; it is simply in my blood, who I am. I have studied magic, divination, religion, and philosophy since first awareness. Sometimes I wished I would have studied high finance, or how to become a celebrity—those paths seem to be more physically rewarding. I see things differently than most people it seems. I am adamant on things like truth in metaphysics and the destruction of superstition and lies perpetuated through the generations to make way for real truth and workable magic that gets you results you can see, touch, taste, and feel. This puts me at odds with many "experts" (and pseudo-experts) in the fields of metaphysics and divination. I am a niche in a sense, and I know I am "not for everyone." Many people desperately want to cling to fantasy and try to make it their reality, even if at the end of their lives they fail miserably. I simply cannot do that. I must find answers that work, are repeatable, and can be passed on to future generations.

So you will read here, and in my books, on my websites, and hear in my audio lessons and interviews, more than my opinions. You will be subjected to my philosophy on magic and divination and philosophy, even as I try to remain objective and allow everyone to believe whatever it is that makes them happy. I do not apologize for this and I don't want you to ever apologize for what you believe in, as long as it works for you and creates real, tangible results you can see, touch, taste, and feel. It is my "job" in life, my mission to help you evolve, even beyond what I have been capable of. I am here to help as much as I can for as long as I can, and then I will be somewhere else, learning and doing, and hopefully helping out.

In the course of all of this I will present the viewpoints of others: students, experts, artists, teachers, and authors. I may present points I strongly disagree with but see as valid enough that you should be exposed to them. Other times, like my previous post about the Joker in playing cards, I will refute lies and misinformation that is poisoning the well of current accepted knowledge. I will leave it up to you to do even a little research to verify that what I say is true, or if you do deep research and find I am wrong on anything I am eager to see proof where I have erred so that I may correct it.

I want you to stretch yourself beyond your perceived limitations and grow to your fullest extent, to find the lasting happiness so many seek (and often fail to attain). This blog, and the associated websites and books are  on the subject of tarot, but other times we will explore astrology, energy work, manifestation, confidence, popularity, and prosperity. It is my belief that to find happiness you must find a balance of responsibility which creates self-worth, pleasure, and evolution, so that you overcome obstacles that plague so many in this world.

Now, on a side note, given the basic capitalistic state of affairs our global society runs on, we all need to pay the rent. I can pay the rent by working a mundane job that has nothing to do with helping people, and squeeze in a few hours a week doing the great work or I can pay my bills by working full time to help as many of you as I can. I choose the latter. To this extent I will occasionally point you to products and services you may benefit from. I will never suggest anything that I have found to be a scam, or questionable. If I suggest an author whose views I personally disagree with and have a link to their products or services I may make that link an affiliate link, meaning that if you decide to try their style of teaching I may get a tiny commission of the sale. I want to make sure this is clear as I believe in transparency. I am not here to sell you products. I am here to help, and in that process things like books, videos, seminars, and so on may cost money. That is the way of life. Until health care is free (don't hold your breath on that ever happening) and my mechanic fixes my car for free, food being free, rent being free, and of course my internet connection :-)  . . . I think you get the idea. Until all of that happens it is natural that we all must find a way to earn money to survive and thrive.

It is not for me to tell you how to live your life but I hope you will provide real value to the world around you and know the labor and psychic expenditure you put forth has value. I want you to be the best readers the world has ever seen, unconstrained by false beliefs and ludicrous superstitions that hold so many back. I want people to value you, and the gifts you give to them. I am here. I am me, and not much else. I make no claims of supernatural powers. In fact all of us have abilities others would find amazing if we only knew ourselves and honed those abilities.

Find yourself. I can help you do this. Any competent astrologer can help you find your special psychic powers. But find them. Train yourself, even if "you have no time," because time is the only thing you truly own. We all make "deals with the devil" meaning that we all trade our time for work, family, or whatever responsibilities that demand we sacrifice our dreams and goals to the realities of the life we choose. We all have obligations and distractions. But make some time for yourself and find out who you are. Let me help, or get someone who will. No matter what your religious views are knowing yourself is paramount to success and happiness, and will cut years off of your attempts to find happiness. Knowing who you are tells you what you want and like.

This life, whether a one-shot deal, or one of many, is the only life you have right now. It is the only one that counts. Make something of it. Make yourself happy and bring value to the world by being that amazing super-human who lives inside you. Pick one thing and perfect it. Become a niche. You may "not be for everyone." No one is. That is the problem with religion; there simply is no "one size fits all" and the more we try to force our beliefs on others the more we are like a shoe salesman who tries to sell everyone the same exact shoe—one pair; forever. No choices but this shoe. Take the time to be you, and I will be me. I hope to god we can all find a way to get along. But until then just be you and I will try to understand and help you along. I hope you will do the same for others, even when we disagree.

Thanks for reading.

Joker does not equal Fool

Well howdy! (I have a Texas accent today because we are's about uhxploar gamblin!)

The Joker, in modern playing card decks is often thought to be a direct descendant of the Fool. This myth is so pervasive that many pseudo-scholars have lined up in a parade to pass on this misinformation.

Well, they are wrong and should be made to eat poo for banging the drum and spreading so many lies that now the general tarot reading public simply assumes it is true "because it says so on the internets." The Joker was only recently added to French card decks, which have had tarot decks for over five centuries. You see, it was the French scholars who invented "the tarot" as we know it. At the time (circa 1790) they thought the old Italian cards were heiroglyphics from "Ancient Egypt" which was thought to be the well-spring of all things Occult. This has caused centuries of misinformation and to this day pseudo-scholars who refuse to do the most basic academic research claim the Tarot is Egyptian and that "no one knows its origins" when we can clearly trace it from China to the middle east (but not "ancient Egypt--this is more like the 1300's) and into Italy, Germany, then France, and finally centuries later reinvigorated in France and still later reinvigorated in England by one Arthur Edward Waite.

It is very upsetting that the scientific information is easily found but the vast number of "tarot experts" persist in clinging to outdated beliefs. All one has to do is look at any tarot website or read a book on the tarot with a highlighter to mark the glaring errors. These are not opinions; these are proven facts and it is sad that we, as pagans, look like idiots for swallowing such tripe without ever thinking. Oh well. But...

Also, the Joker evolved from the game of Euchre, and almost immediately spread to Poker, which was all the rage at the same time as Euchre. Original "Jokers" were not Jokers at all, or Jesters, or Fools. They were the best or imperial bower or bauer (as in Jack Bauer, which is funny because the whole thing ties into Jacks--whomever created the show 24 has some secret voodoo knowledge and hid clues in plain sight for those in the know; a subtle nod to signal other adherents).

So . . . let us put this to rest. This information comes from the International Playing-Card Society, who has a stake in recording card history.

So let's not add wishful thinking to the dog pile of myths about the tarot. Okay, now get practicing!