So today, my dear Rancourtesans, I have a fabulous guest on the blog. Cora Ramos is here, talking about the Tarot. I’ve been following Cora’s blog through WANA112 & Triberr, and she’s done a truly fascinating series of posts on how to build characters using astrology and the Tarot. Here’s a link to her post on Aries (that would be my sign) so you can check it out and see what I mean. I asked her if she would do a post here, explaining the Tarot, so prepare to be educated…and entertained…and probably intrigued…
Thanks Cora! Appreciate having you here.
“Bohemianism is a way of life. A state of mind. An atmosphere. It’s about living richly and irreverently, beyond convention. It’s about being uninhibited, unbuttoned, creative and free.” The Bohemian Manifesto
The Tarot fits right into that mind set.
Once upon a time, the wise ones of ancient Atlantis could see the coming catastrophe that would wipe out their great civilization. To guard against losing the wisdom and story of who we are as a human race, they began disseminating the knowledge around the world into different cultures. Eventually, this knowledge came down to the ancient Egyptian, Thoth Hermes. Only the priests and priestesses, who passed a series of tests and challenges, were deemed worthy to receive the ancient secrets and carry them forward.
Is that true? I don’t know, but it makes for good story.
When Liv asked me to do a post for her on the Tarot, extending what I am doing on my own blog ([email protected]) with the Tarot, I decided to go into its history—the known and the speculated. No one can prove or disprove the origin of the Tarot.
Tarot is the book of secrets, or more aptly, the secret books. The Tarot cards are said to contain the wisdom of ancient civilizations—the occult doctrines (deeper truths) of such bibles as the Jewish Kabala, Hebrew bible, the Koran, the Christian bible, the bible of Freemasons, the Odyssey bible of Greece and the Hindu Vedas. It is said to be the Bible of bibles, the book of Thoth Hermes—the book of Adam.
Is any of that true? Again, it makes for good story only now we see many of the same symbols and their meanings being shared among these different religions, metaphysical and mystic groups. I find it interesting when religious zealots get all fired up over their segment of truth being the only right one, to the exclusion of all others, when in fact they all share many of the same symbols. Only the interpretations vary (which is probably why the Egyptian priests allowed only those who showed they understood the knowledge to have it).
When the dark ages were on the horizon in Europe, the keepers of esoteric knowledge wanted to keep that knowledge intact. Freedoms of thought and expression were becoming more than a little difficult to maintain. People were being tortured or burned at the stake for speaking anything other than the official line of the current religious or secular rulers.
Think of the great alchemists (chemists) that had to hide their own explorations and beliefs because it was considered magic and evil by the Inquisition—Nostradamus, Paracelsus, Isaac Newton and Leonardo da Vinci to name a few. If you were not careful, you could end up like Joan of Arc (a mystic).
And so, this knowledge was transformed into visual/symbolic format. A picture is worth a thousand words, as the saying goes—thus, the creation of the Tarot deck. The deck includes information of numbers, astrology (the astronomy of the day), science (which to many at the time was seen as magical) and esoteric secrets. These cards were then cleverly given to the nomadic gypsies, who used them for fortune telling and gaming to support themselves, insuring that the knowledge hidden in them would be spread around the world. Clever idea—no one suspects the poor guy just trying to make a living.
Some believe they are just playing cards.
Whatever Tarot is said to be, it is definitely a group of 78 cards that can be used for divination or meditation (56 of which are the playing cards we use for fun or gaming—called the Minor Arcana, or lesser arcane, and the other 22 are the picture/story cards called the Major Arcana).
I am truly amazed at the reaction different people have to the Tarot. “Witchcraft, demonic use, devil worship and consorting with evil spirits” are a few of the fears harbored by some people regarding anyone using the Tarot. (Is this leftover fear conditioning from more repressive times in history? It could be. In addition, it doesn’t help that the symbols or cards are often used in movies at some kind of devil ceremony or murder scene).
“Evil is as evil does.” (A Forrest Gumpism)
They are just a deck of cards, people! They have symbols embedded in them. You can learn the symbols and their meanings or you can meditate on them and let your own creative mind bring in fresh insight to your writing, problems, relationships, etc. just as you do with any book of writing or inspiration.
Whatever the truth is, use the Tarot wisely and be rewarded. It holds many truths that can enlighten, inspire and instruct if you let it. You might even be accused of having a bohemian life style. Like that’s a bad thing?
Come visit me at my Cora Ramos Blog for the rest of the month for more tarot readings on writing and inspiration. And thank you Liv for having me guest on your new, exciting blog.