I love divination. All kinds of it. On a cold, rainy weekend, my ideal way to pass the time is to learn a new and obscure method that people somewhere in the world have used to divine the future. Tarot is by far my favorite, and most-used, but I’ve dabbled in tasseomancy, geomancy, scrying, lithomancy, […]Read more "Animating Principles of Divination"
There’s a lot of confusion and misinformation out there regarding what Tarot is and is not. Can Tarot readers really tell the future? Are Tarot readers Satanists? Is it all just a load of malarkey? Here’s a short post to dispel some confusion and explain some of the things that Tarot absolutely can do. 1. Predict […]Read more "Six Things Tarot Can Definitely Do"
In my previous post on the metaphysical commitments required of (a certain kind of) Tarot reader, I hit two main points: the non-identity of mind and brain, and the non-linear nature of time.* One comment I got on that post was to the effect that both of those commitments seem uncontroversial; they’re the kind of […]Read more "The Metaphysics of Tarot, Part 2"
What do you have to believe in order to read Tarot? Well, technically, nothing. Tarot is a practice, not a dogma, and you can learn the interpretive skill without any prerequisite beliefs. But at the same time, the ways in which many readers use Tarot do entail certain metaphysical presuppositions. When I say “metaphysical” here, […]Read more "The Metaphysics of Tarot"
Is Tarot natural? Is it supernatural? Where does it fit in the Great Cosmic LEGO Set of our universe? I ask these questions largely out of an idle sense of curiosity and a childish desire to use a LEGO metaphor on my blog. But I think these questions are worth asking, because the Tarot community–and […]Read more "On Nature and the Natural"
I remember the day I learned the word “concatenation”. It was a Friday, and I was in my eighth-grade* Gothic literature class. We were talking about the numinous experience of the narrator in Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw. That day changed my life. The definition that I learned on that Friday turns out to […]Read more "Emergence, Beauty, and Tarot"
“The future isn’t set in stone. The cards provide a projection for the way you’re heading right now, but your actions can change the outcome.” I don’t think I’ve ever run across an experienced Tarot reader (in the real world or online) who didn’t agree with the above statement or some variation thereof. But personally, […]Read more "And If the Future Is Set in Stone?"
The early German sociologist Max Weber had a lot of really important ideas that shaped the way we think about the world. One of those ideas, which I find particularly useful in my day-to-day life, is the distinction between understanding and explanation. The German words for these concepts are verstehen and erklaren, respectively, and there’s a great Wikipedia article […]Read more "Why I Use Tarot: Understanding vs. Explanation"
Ladies and gentlemen, the results are finally in. This summer, I announced that I would be performing a statistical analysis on my daily draws, conducted over the course of a hundred consecutive days, to look for patterns in Tarot that deviate from a random distribution of the cards. And now, a hundred days later, my […]Read more "Statistics! Tarot! Yay!"
I’m a left-brained person. I like to analyze, to compute, to unscrew things and look at the complications inside them and understand the mechanisms that make them work. And unfortunately, in Tarot, it’s very difficult to apply that left-brained mentality successfully. I’ve been reading Tarot for a little over seven years now, and I’m still […]Read more "A Statistical Analysis of Daily Draws"