Thursday, August 21, 2008

on FAQs & then some

I’ve been spending some time back in this old forum where locals could discuss everything about tarot. It’s funny how I came up with a tarot 101 online community for foreigners a few years but I grew tired of it, because maybe I’ve evolved from a novice to an intermediate reader/enthusiast more quickly than the others. However, I’m always happy to give tips to beginners, & one good thing anyone can tell me (aside from praises for giving quality readings) is that I’ve inspired them to actually learn the craft & read for themselves. One girl I know online whom I’ve met up with once a couple of months ago told me she just got The Sorcerers’ Tarot recently. I told her outright that personally the deck does not appeal to me, but if it works for her, then great! That’s what people should realize — whatever you choose should be something you’re drawn to, not because everybody else has it, or likes it. Anyway, there is this special card that got my attention while reading a review of The Sorcerers’ Tarot online:

Isn’t that just the cutest thing? Too bad I really wouldn’t want to own the rest of the pack, but this should be one of the most striking renditions of the 6 of Pentacles, which reminds me of the Housewives’ Tarot take on the card. Now that I think about it, that card is most fitting for this post! I’m publishing some of the frequently asked questions from the aforementioned forum for locals along with my own humble answers.

The most popular newbie question so far would have to be, “How do I store my tarot cards? Should I keep them in a black silk pouch like what I’ve been reading in guidebooks & online resources? What if I can’t find any black silk to wrap them up with?”
★ You don’t have to get a silk pouch. You can get one in velvet. Or satin. You can also keep the cards in a wooden box. You can also just wrap them up in a nice scarf. You can definitely improvise. There are no hard nor fast rules in storing them. Your personal preference should prevail, really. So it wouldn’t really matter what colors you choose or material for your cards, as long you like what you’re working with.
I still have my cards in their original boxes even if those are already frayed! But I know I should get new scarves for them soon. Hehe, honestly, I’ve realized don’t like wooden boxes, especially that I’m always on the go & I bring more than one deck at a time! Scarves & pouches are better. I’m thinking of getting a good solid bag to keep them in one place, but I don’t have any ideas yet.

As for crystals to use for readings, a clear quartz would be nice, & an amethyst, & some hematite, for starters. Yeah, candles are also awesome to use before or after reading, but too bad there’s hardly any chance of doing so in public LOL for obvious reasons. Scented candles are love. Which reminds me, I should get new stuff.

Now on with the rest of them Frequently Asked Questions…
Q: So basically, these readings are information about myself that I should already know?

★ Obviously.

But you’re not expected to actually soak it all up in one sitting.

That’s why you have to spend time contemplating on the results if you really want answers for a very serious dilemma that you’ve requested a reading for. But that could be easier said than done. Nevertheless, we should always try. Helping ourselves is still the key. Other people & measures can only do so much.

Q: I don’t know if I want to tell my friend to give me a deck as a gift (just so I could say it was given to me as per tradition)… or I should personally buy my own deck…

★ That actually works both ways. If your friend would be willing to give you a deck without qualms, then by all means accept it, graciously, at that. But if you can get it for yourself because you can’t take it any longer without owning it, then go right ahead.

Don’t worry, it’s OK to purchase your own deck, provided you’d spend a lot of time with it after & consecrate it wholly to be yours.

Q: Most of the time I make my own interpretations… even if I’ve already read the meanings from the guide books I feel that the results are rather way off or irrelevant to my questions, thus I’d come up with my own, whatever I’d understand & pick up from the cards’ imagery…

★ That’s what’s actually fun about reading tarot — whatever you see first regardless of what the guidebook + traditional meanings would say, they hold great meaning. So you really have to pay attention to the images & the feelings they evoke in you. It’s your intuition already at work, actually. So relax, have fun. Try writing down the associations that you get when you draw a certain card from the pile, as they can help in your future readings.

Q: No matter how many times I’d shuffle the deck, I still end up getting the same cards… weird, huh?

★ Actually, NO. That actually makes a whole lot of sense. Again, pay attention to what cards & suits are repeating themselves, as those have very urgent messages to impart. According to traditional meaning, Major Arcana cards denote life-changing events, Court cards depict a lot of other people involved in one’s dilemma, & the rest of the Minor Arcana cards illustrate daily activities, among other things.

Q: Which is more ideal, the original Rider-Waite or Universal deck?

★ Personally, I would want the Universal or Universal Waite Tarot. The Universal deck, which I already have, has crisper detail & more balanced colors, but its Suit of Swords & other ominous-looking cards such as The Tower & The Devil are foreboding. The Universal Waite is a much gentler rendition, & I kinda regret selling the first one I’ve ever had a few years ago.

Q: If you read for other people, to whom should the cards face?

★ Of course, the cards should face you first so that you could take a good look at them, then you can show them to your querent so that they’d understand what you’re saying, even if the cards aren’t really that pictorial or anything. Their associations with their cards as opposed to yours can enrich the reading experience & thus help them arrive at a much clearer conclusion, so don’t worry with whatever they have to say that may not jive with your interpretations at first.

Q: Do we really need a Significator when reading? Because if I take one card out of the deck, I feel that would mean I wouldn’t be able to use it altogether in my reading? Or is it really up to me if I wanna use a Signifactor? I read in some websites that using one is up to the reader.

★ Yes, it does make a difference, at least in my perspective & experience. Your reading can be amplified with one Significator or so. But yes, it’s also up to you to use one or not. Personally, I take one card or so while shuffling that I feel like I have to flip up before the actual reading starts, & then use that as my Significator. It’s very interesting how that can be very relevant in the actual reading, especially when it has a lot to do with the querent per se.

Q: How true is it that by telling someone else’s fortune, you endanger your own?

★ Seriously, reading for other people is tricky… a reader should be centered, grounded, & protected. I have a tendency to feel sick & suicidal a day or two after a long session.

Q: My friend’s sister says that reading the tarot can actually slow one’s life down. What does she mean?

★ Maybe because whoever is reading them tends to be more focused on other people & the card meanings & the whole waxing philosophical deal before, during, & most especially AFTER a reading. So the reader must detach himself or herself quickly from a session or a marathon as soon as it’s over. But that’s just my 2 cents.

Q: I’ve read somewhere that a Tarot Deck can end up being a BURDEN to its owner? What does that mean? How can the cards be a burden? Anyway, if ever a deck does become a burden — can we just throw it away into a trash bin or some lonely highway?

★ Some people who get rid of their cards that I’ve met at random tell me they burn those decks to smithereens. I guess the “burden” pertains to the repercussions that practitioners can acquire from readings… it can be very draining indeed to read & use them sometimes. Again, a reader should be centered + grounded + shielded, & people should take the ritual/practice seriously. I actually hate it when people are skeptical to the point of jeering but ask to have their cards read anyway.

Oh, & I’d rather not think about the bad vibes. :P

Plus, the cards aren't ever a burden at all. They're such wonderful gifts + tools once you learn how to properly use them, & I can't imagine living my life anymore without my decks!

I will then revamp my old online community because of this post, & for my birthday next month I hope to score the Tarot Bible as ANOTHER present to myself, hehe. It’s been a while since I’ve bought reading material related to the subject anyway, & I’m seriously cutting down on buying books for a while, because gadzooks, I have more books & magazines than clothes & accessories, for crying out loud! Yeah, I'm not that vain, even though I should be.

In case anyone is wondering, btw, some songs I enjoy listening to while “meditating” or spending time with my tarot cards in peace (which happens every Sunday morning) are: Amazing Life by Jem, Destiny by Zero 7, Protection by Massive Attack, & Remember Me by Elak. If you happen to know more songs like those, please let me know. :)


Jordie Nilla said...

I thank God I can still pick an apple off my tree and eat it on the spot without having to worry about chemicals.
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