Sunday, July 18, 2010

Why Tarot?

Sorry for the lack of posts the last couple of weeks but travel, funeral, and other events have kept me busy. This isn't even counting negotiations that I am involved in but I definitely  don't want to talk about that. Instead, I will briefly explain why somebody who is often considered a skeptic is spending so much time creating a Tarot fortune telling game. I don't think that Tarot cards can tell the future, but I do think they can be a mirror to the soul. By soul I am referring to a persons true nature. Why I believe this will take a bit of explanation.

The Tarot consists of 78 cards. 21 cards form the Major Arcana, 56 cards form the Minor Arcana which are essentially a deck of playing cards, and 1 Card (the Fool) is between the two and represents the average person. These cards all have a symbolic meaning attached to them. The thing is, when I was researching the Tarot I discovered that the cards had a variety of meanings attached to them. The meaning of the cards are whatever the reader attaches to the card. More importantly, because the cards are highly symbolic in nature, cards can have a wide variety of meanings. This is where the mirror metaphor comes in.

When reading a layout, it is not just the symbol on the card that matters, but the person for whom the layout is for. Because the person is associating themselves and their situation with the cards, they are looking deeper into themselves to find meaning. What you then have is an essentially random set of symbols that get meaning attached to them. Some people may believe that "spirits" or other mystical forces are influencing the shuffle, but pure randomness works just as well. Ultimately, what you have is a brainstorming tool that is designed to work on the emotional level.

So, in summary, I like the Tarot because I think it is a really neat brainstorming tool. Unfortunately, the mysticism surrounding it may have obscured it's true value. I am sure that many fortune tellers really do believe they are foreseeing the future (and if they know the person whom they are doing the reading for well enough they may in fact be able to predict that persons future actions) but I do have to wonder how many of them are just in it for the money and are just playing on the mysticism to draw the crowd?

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