Tag Archives: Tarot
You have the power to discover the secrets of your past-lives – using the Tarot! The following method is not a Tarot spread per se, but a way of using Tarot imagery in conjunction with one’s clairvoyant and intuitive abilities. To wit:
The whole point of past-life therapy – discovering one’s previous incarnations, etc – is not to aggrandise oneself by deluding oneself that one was someone really important; nor is it to go on an astral junket; instead it is to discover one’s “Karma,” and to work out how it is relevant to one’s current incarnation.
Now in the Tarot, Karmic-forces are represented by the twenty-two tarot trumps. It therefore stands to reason that they key to discovering your own Karma, and by implication your past-lives, lies within at least one of those twenty-two cards.
I have therefore devised a method by which this can be put into practice, which uses a pendulum as well as the cards. Take your favourite Tarot deck, and extract the Trumps therefrom, laying them out before you with The Fool at the very top, then trumps 1 to 7 in one row, 8 to 14 in the next, and 15 to 21 in the third.
Now, prepare as you would for a divination by banishing all unwanted influences and opening up psychically. Take your pendulum, and spend some time establishing your “Yes” and “No” signals. Now ask your pendulum the following questions:
- “I intend to find out which tarot card holds the key to knowledge of my past lives. Can I do this?”
- “May I do this?”
- “Should I do this?”
If you get at least one “No,” then unfortunately the time is not yet right for you to be discovering your past-lives, so stop there.
If, however, you get three “Yes” signals, continue by asking:
- “Which tarot card holds the key to my knowledge of my past lives? Is it The Fool?” (WAIT FOR SIGNAL)
- “Is it The Magician?” (WAIT FOR SIGNAL)
- “Is it The High Priestess?” Etc etc etc
I.e. go through the trumps one by one. Once you get your first “Yes,” do not just stop but ask “Are any other cards relevant as well?” If you get a “Yes,” continue checking the other tarot trumps, otherwise finish there.
If you do end up with more than one Tarot trump, use the pendulum to go through them sorting them into order of importance.
In all cases one should finish by expressing gratitude for the help you have received, and by closing down psychically.
Now that you have at least one Tarot trump, you can discover exactly how this relates to your Karma by clairvoyance, e.g. by treating it as an astral doorway and then going through it, as one would a tattva-card: or by using your knowledge of the card’s qabalistic / astrological / etc symbolic associations, you can devise an appropriate magical ceremony to make contact with a corresponding spirit guide who can explain what it all means in detail.
When I first tried this method on myself, I came up with one particular tarot trump which, as it turned out, happened to represent a good summary of the successes in my life. This I took as meaning that they were successful because I was making use of my Karmic strengths, which helped me make sense of a lot of things. Different people may come up with different tarot trumps by this method – YMMV.
“The Hermetic Tablet: Journal of Western Ritual Magic, Autumnal Equinox 2014” is a new journal just published, featuring contributions from the great and the good of the Western Mystery Tradition. It even includes a pair of articles by me in it!
My own contribution is entitled “Non Divinatory Uses of the Tarot” and is the transcript of a public talk I gave in Salford in March earlier this year. It also features a ritual I composed entitled “Meditation On The Sun” which I also demonstrated on the same occasion.
It is currently available in paperback or limited edition hardback from lulu.com. For more information, and to order your copy, click on the link below:
Recently I have been taking time to colour the BOTA Tarot deck – which is famously left black & white for students to fill in as their appreciation of the esoteric significance of colour develops. However, instead of trying to colour in the actual cards, I thought it would be far easier for me – in terms of detail and control of colour – if I scanned them, printed them out A4 size, and then painted them. I used acrylic paints, simply because that is what I had to hand.
It soon occurred to me, would I be able to convert these pictures I was making back into tarot cards? Or in other words, create my own deck based on the BOTA cards. After doing some research I found that the answer was theoretically yes – and surprisingly easier than one might think. But first a caveat. The BOTA deck, I am guessing, is still in copyright, so obviously one cannot create one’s own commercial deck this way. It would have to be a deck for private use only. If I have come up with 100% original designs, that would have been a different situation entirely. However, the fact of the matter is that there are companies – on the internet, even – that if you provide them with a full set of PNG files according to their specifications, they will print them and turn them into a Tarot deck on your behalf. Usually they do this as part of a wider scheme of creating customised playing card decks generally. Apparently quite a few professional Tarot readers do have their own personalised Tarot decks printed up to impress their clients when giving readings. Typical size for each image is 3″*5″ @ 300dpi, or 900*1500 pixels. Note that 1/8th of an inch is routinely shaved off each edge as the bleed area, leaving the printed product 2.75″ * 4.75″, which appears to be an industry standard. Clearly, a graphics program more sophisticated than MS Paint is required! I personally have an old version of Photoshop. I believe there is a freeware program called “GIMP,” although I didn’t particularly like it when I gave it a try. The typical cost for such a deck starts from about $15 for one deck – although if you want your tarot deck to come in a box, you are going to have to pay considerably more, e.g. $26. By way of comparison, the Rider Waite is currently retailing on Amazon for $11, the Crowley Thoth for $21 and Tarot of Marseille for around $16 (all boxed). The only way you would be able to compete with these big boys if you actually went and tried to come up with a proper commercial deck and market it as such. To compete with the Rider Waite, for example, you would only begin to break even by selling out a run of at least 250 decks. However this does not take into account either costs run up in the creation of the deck, or actual profit (is there such a thing???), which if you are going to be working on a professional basis will be considerable. Harry Wendrich, creator of the Golden Dawn Temple Tarot, once told me that he simply employed local people to sit for him as models for the characters he depicted in his cards, which is an excellent strategy for a professional artist, although some of them look particularly shady.
OK I’ve been tagged by fellow author Maria Savva to take part in this blog-tour, about the main-character from one of my novels.
The character I have chosen is Miranda T Warren, from Taromancer.
1. Tell us a little about this main character. Is she fictional or a historic person?
Miranda is a forty-something single woman who lives alone with only her cat Nixie for company. To supplement her income from her not particularly well-paid job she works as a Tarot reader – a profession with which she is becoming increasingly disenchanted. Miranda is a strictly fictional character, although I do put a lot of my own words into her mouth.
2. When and where is the story set?
Modern day England, mostly in Miranda’s home-town which I left unspecified but for the fact that it is relatively near London.
3. What should we know about her?
Miranda was raised a Christian but lost her faith roundabout the same-time her mum died, when she was a child. In her teens she turned to paganism. Now however she is at a spiritual cross-roads – seeking idealism, but not sure how or where to find it.
4. What is the main conflict? What messes up her life?
Her long-time frustrations about how her life has been diverging from what it ought to be come to a crisis point one fateful evening, when she finds herself staring over the edge of a bridge into the river beneath… As it happens, a crazy old man saves her from herself, and persuades her that to solve her problems she ought to go on a Spiritual Quest, which turns out to be even more radical than she ever expected.
5. What is her personal goal?
Her quest to re-kindle her interest in the Tarot comes to represent her quest for spiritual wholeness, and closure on all the negative issues in her life.
6. What are the titles of your novels, and where can we read more about them?
(The Demon Detective and other stories)
A Fairy Story By Any Other Name
and Taromancer, which is a stand-alone novel in its own right. I also have written several short-stories and a novella in the “Demon Detective” series.
Full details can be found on my website: http://solascendans.com
The books themselves are all available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/alexsumner
7. When can we expect your next book to be published?
I have several WIPs – probably later this year.
OK, Tag time!
I may be taking a liberty in catching them unprepared, but nevertheless I’d like to shout out some authors I admire:
Tarot Cards are bad for your health and can give you violent stomach-ache! So you’d better stop eating them! Joking aside for one moment, that would actually have been far more sensible advice than that given by US Televangelist Pat Robertson to a woman who emailed into his show.
Apparently, a woman’s son experienced violent stomach pains when she prayed to him in the name of Jesus. She then emailed Robertson for advice. Now I am no Doctor, but I am a qualified First-Aider, and can tell you for nothing that if someone came to me with stomach pains I would firstly carry out a full Secondary Survey, and then – unless a specific medical condition indicated otherwise – call 111 (NHS Direct) or 999 (for an Ambulance) (i.e. in the UK) depending on how serious the patient’s condition apppeared.
Ah! But does Robertson do any of this? Does he even suggest getting checked out by a doctor at all? Erm no. He automatically assumes that it is caused by one of the woman’s ancestors having practiced witchcraft, or used tarot cards, and then recommends getting in an exorcist who really believes in spiritual warfare to sort this whole thing out.
Let’s just rewind for one second: it was when the woman prayed to Jesus that the boy felt sick. I suppose it would have been beyond Robertson to suggest, “Well stop praying to Jesus, then?”
Robertson is well-known in the USA as a particularly rabid right-wing televangelist. I have had to cause to mention his antics before on this blog in regard to his remarks on the 2010 Haitian Earthquake. Indeed, I noted at the time:
“Pat” apparently is not actually his real-name, but a childhood nickname derived from the fact that as a baby people liked to pat him a lot.
May I suggest that in the future he might consider changing it to Punch Robertson.
This is a follow up post to my original blog World Tarot Day, which was first proclaimed in 2003 and is celebrated on May 25th each year. Since I first wrote that blog post, more Tarot decks have come into my possession, so I thought I would write a completely new blog post reviewing them as well.
This deck was created by Sandra Tabatha Cicero of the Golden Dawn-fame. I once attended a public talk in London where she explained the complete background of this deck. It turns out that Tabby is a bit of a nut for Babylonian mythology! Each minor represents an aspect of ancient Babylonian folklore or mythology in general, whilst each Major is an actual Babylonian deity or pair of deities, apart from the “Wheel of Fortune” and “Temperance.” The former is “The Tablet of Destiny,” an artefact first mentioned in the Enuma Elish, whilst the latter is the “Tree of Life” – the point being that the Babylonian version is more primordial than that mentioned in the Book of Genesis, upon which the Qabalistic Tree of Life is based.
Unusually, this is an 83 card deck. There is an extra Major called “Genesis” which is without number or attribution. Tabby explained that she had created this card because in her view the Babylonian concept of the creation of the Universe was not well represented in the conventional Major Arcana.
The four other extra cards are additional Court Cards named “Kerubs,” thus allowing the five elements (i.e. Spirit in addition to the other four) to be represented.
IMHO, Tabby is to be congratulated for having created a truly original deck. It is completely unlike the Golden Dawn deck, a version of which she also created. Also, it has the distinction of being a completely illustrated deck which is not just another Rider-Waite clone or variant. Meanwhile, going through the meanings of the cards is a lesson in Babylonian mythology in itself.
The Tarot of Marseilles
The Tarot of Marseilles is a classic deck, the original design dating from 1760, although cognate decks can be found dating from 1650. Nowadays there are many reproductions of the original version available – some good (e.g. the Jodorowsky / Camoin version), and some which are quite frankly cheap knock-offs.
Incidentally, in his book The Way of Tarot, Alejandro Jodorowksy appears to have been labouring all his life under the misapprehension that the Tarot of Marseilles is the oldest known version of the Tarot, this due to the fact that Max Ernst once told him so whilst warning him against the Rider-Waite deck. Unfortunately, Max Ernst told Jodo a crock of shit! The oldest two decks are in fact the Visconti and Sola-Buschi, both mid 15th century… the latter of which inspired the artwork in the Rider-Waite.
This deck is essentially a variation of the Rider Waite, but with the key difference that that artwork consists of digital photography of the eponymous “Sensual Goddess” acting out the scenes depicted on the cards. As it happens, this Sensual Goddess is a buxom glamour-model (actually the photographer’s wife), often (but not always) in a state of undress.
Fortunately, however, the deck stays on the right-side of artistic nudity. Indeed, the creators make a point of the fact that they have tried to keep it glamorous without being smutty.
Nevertheless, this deck will not please those of a prudish disposition. This makes me wonder: this deck may be great for doing readings for oneself, but one would have to exercise a great deal of discretion if one wanted to give readings for other people. Even if the nudity did not bother them, it might still distract them from the seriousness of the Tarot reading!
That aside, it’s clear from the LWB that the creators know their Tarot, and have done their research into the subject. In this regard, I would like to relate a story: on receiving the deck, went through each card with the LWB. As I did so, I picked up a psychic vibe from the cards: that the whole project to create the deck had been a *magical operation* undertaken by the photographer and his wife (i.e. the Sensual Goddess), and that here I was, effectively participating in it down the line, as it were. So one could say that I am writing this review because I am caught up in the spell. 🙂
Maxwell Miller, the creator of this deck, has not done himself any favours by giving it the exact same name as a number of completely dissimilar decks, (so says the author of The Magus – :::shudder:::). That being said, however, I must say how much I really enjoy the artwork in this particular deck, which contains Astrological, Alchemical, Qabalistic, Sufi, Hindu symbolism and more. In other words, it is “Universal” because it draws on traditions from across the globe.
This is a 74 card deck instead of the traditional 78: instead of having King, Queen, Prince (Knight) and Princess (Page), the court cards are simply King, Queen and Knave. But the quality of the artwork is almost enough to tempt me to overlook this detail.
This is an amusing take on the Rider-Waite Deck. It attempts to imagine what Pamela Colman-Smith’s artwork would have looked like if the scenes had been observed from the reverse-angle, i.e. behind the characters depicted in the cards. This allows for a scope of creativity… which is only realised in some of the cards.
So for example, in “The Magician” we find out that there is a cheeky monkey hiding behind the eponymous main character, thus pointing out the tricksterish associations of the card. In the 4 of Chalices (i.e. Cups), we find out that the thoughtful looking man is actually Bellerophon, awaiting Pegasus to come to him, whilst the King of Chalices is revealed as Noah – i.e. because he was master of the deluge.
Unfortunately, though, a number of the cards are no more than depictions of original Colman-Smith version, from a different angle but adding nothing new in the way of symbolism. Also, because many of them are facing away from the viewer, one cannot see the character’s facial expressions. Taken to the extreme, in the 4 of Pentacles the main character, by having his back to the viewer, conceals all of the traditional symbolism associated with that card!
I mention this because of the striking art-work (much use of Photoshop, methinks). Whilst visually this is an appealing deck (always an important consideration if you are doing Tarot readings for clients), in some cards it lacks some of the traditional symbolism.
Nice news story about how a Tarot reader has been instrumental in getting an antiquated town ordinance reviewed. Today, Front Royal, Virginia. Tomorrow, “The Universe” ! (See what I did there? 😉 )
Further to what I wrote about in the post New Beginnings I have spoken to my contacts in the Illuminati and I can confirm that I will be appearing at Salford Masonic Hall (click on the link for directions from Google maps) on Saturday 1st March 2014 (next weekend) – where I shall be presenting a talk and making myself available to answer questions thereafter. There will actually be several speakers that day – all taking part in a day of talks devoted to Tarot and Divination.
The fun starts at 10am! 🙂
Saturday March 1st 2014 is an auspicious date, astrologically speaking. The previous day, Mercury will have turned direct again after its most recent retrograde period. Whilst in the early hours of Saturday morning (GMT) is the precise moment of the New Moon.
What better day than to start some new adventure? Indeed, and I myself shall be marking the day by hitting the road to promote the print edition of my latest* book Taromancer. On that Saturday I shall commence my nation-wide tour of the United Kingdom with a book-signing / tarot-reading session in Manchester. The print edition is available from Amazon, although I will be bringing along a limited number of copies myself.
Please get in touch if you are interested in coming along and I will keep you informed as to the precise time and place!
* When I say “latest” I mean I came out with it on Kindle as long ago as December 2013. Yes! Believe it or not I am still on the promotional trail of the last book, unlike some writers I could mention! 😉