Loose Leaf Tarot


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When you’ll never be a royal (Or, on being who you actually are, right now)

page_vs_queen

Lately, it feels like court cards are coming up an awful lot when I do readings, sneaking in no matter what question I’m contemplating or what story I’m trying to explore. They turn up in the simplest spreads and the most complex. I’ll be hoping for a poignant major card to reveal itself, so I can smile knowingly while feeling wise and connected to deep universal truths, like a real tarot reader. But instead, here’s yet another page or queen, looking smug, forcing me to think up even more possible meanings for these images I’ve been seeing over and over for weeks.

(I get it, court cards. I’ve always shunned you a bit, and now that I’m listening, you have all sorts of things to tell me about what’s up with my shit. Okay. Just stop trying to forcibly take over my blog, maybe?)

Today when I threw my cards, the story was one that comes up a lot for me. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve got a very swords-heavy personality. But I’ve always been drawn to the wands, in real life as well as in tarot. Wands people are warm and sharp at the same time, like a shot of cinnamon liquor. They make you feel like something special is happening no matter what, and like you’re right in the middle of it. Or at least, they’re right in the middle of it, and maybe if you’re lucky you’ll be along for the ride.

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Our bodies, our tarot

splint_empress

Having my dominant arm in a splint for the past week or so has taught me two things about tarot, one quite obvious and the other relatively unexpected. The obvious: doing satisfying spreads is really hampered by not being able to shuffle well. The more surprising: in all the years I’ve been reading tarot, I’ve never really learned to connect the cards with my physical self, with what’s going on with my body.

I’ve tried a few times since I broke my wrist to do a little low-key session, to figure out how to make use of the unavoidable down time and delays that come from an injury. But even leaving aside the shuffling, I’m just not getting much out of the cards I pull. They don’t feel relevant to something so physical as, “Dear Tarot, I can’t do all the things and also painkillers make me feel funny, halp please.”

The truth is, I’ve always connected tarot pretty exclusively with the more conceptual, psychological aspects of my life, not much with day-to-day living and certainly not with my physical needs. This blind spot is partly a result of my personality. I’m a swords person all the way; my strengths and my weaknesses almost all come from that air-place of intellect, abstract ideas, and observation.

But I’m thinking there’s more to my physical disconnect with the cards, something actually inherent to the traditional organization of the major arcana, and to the imagery of the Waite Smith deck. It’s a gender thing, and something that intersects with the general lack of diverse bodies in most tarot decks.

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