I put my favorite deck (the Shadowscapes) aside some time ago, with no intention of picking it up again. My readings with it had become frustrating and stressful, to the point where I would have a visceral reaction of displeasure to most of the images. As much as I loved the artwork, I didn’t think I should use it any longer.
After that, I switched deck styles completely, using various “historical” decks, like the LoScarabeo reproduction of the Visconti-Sforza. (It’s very shiny). Learning to read the simple pips is a fun and ongoing adventure. Recently though, I felt drawn back to my Shadowscapes. It was strong enough that I actually did take the deck out despite my misgivings, and pull a few cards. I felt the old connection with it come sparkling back.
Later, I messaged a friend wondering why I felt so strongly drawn to this old deck again. She simply replied that it probably had something to teach me. I wondered what on earth that could be, so I took the cards out one more time and shuffled them. Then I pulled one; It was the Heirophant.
Not very subtle.
I’ve been wanting to go deeper into my Tarot studies lately, but my efforts so far haven’t been promising. Then on two separate occasions today, I decided to pull a Tarot card for myself. Both times I drew Trump II, The High Priestess. This card is symbolic of intuition and inner knowledge. It is also often My Lady Saraswati’s “calling card,” as it invariably shows up when She has something to say.
This afternoon I remembered that the moon is assigned to the High Priestess, and I felt a certain nudge to check up on the moon’s current position in the Zodiac. As of this writing, it is in roughly the same place it is on my natal chart – transitioning from Gemini to Cancer.
My Lady set me to working on Tarot to develop my discernment and signal clarity, and somewhere along the way, I stopped caring about whether my practices conformed with Buddhism, because I realized that my beliefs are in line with the Buddhadharma.
This afternoon I asked My Lady what she thought of my progress. I pulled three cards. All three were tens. I think that’s a clear answer!
I’ve read in a few pagan 101 books that Tarot cards and other divination methods work by tapping into one’s subconscious mind. This actually makes a great deal of sense to me, though I honestly don’t think it’s the whole answer. To me, Tarot is a create-your-own Rorscharch blot test.
Have you ever taken a Rorscharch test? They’re not used much anymore. They’re basically big colored inkblots on cards, and you (the patient) have to interpret them. The “results” are totally subjective, which is why they’ve fallen out of favor. I tended to see animals: bugs, birds, a fox’s face. “Normal” people, I learned, usually saw human faces and figures. My therapist confessed to me that he had patients who saw terrifying things.
Tarot too is almost entirely subjective. Yet, like the ink blots of the Rorscharch test, it can still tell us about ourselves. I love animals, which is no doubt why I saw critters and creepy-crawlies of all sorts in those shapes. Realizing this has made my Tarot skills stronger. I no longer try to use rigid layouts, instead building my spreads intuitively and organically, card by card. They tend to spread outward from a central point.
Like an inkblot…
I am the roaring raging wave of wrath that slays the haters of devotion, I am the six of swords that shall carry you away from here, and take you to a safer place, a place of sanctuary. I am she who stands before the veil, between the pillars of the Temple. I am the mighty torrent, inciter of pious words and inspirer of gracious deeds. I am the Three of Cups and the Queen of Swords. If you are a Fool, then I shall make you a sage, a priest, a worker of wonders…a Magician!
Draw the cards. Call on me. ❤
My Lady sits upon a silver throne,
A crescent moon of white beneath her feet
In starry splendor, heaven’s light has shone
Upon her face and form, her smile so sweet.
My Lady walks within a garden wall
A crescent crown of white upon her brow
Her starry splendor, radiant to all
I see her and I kiss her feet and bow
My Lady stands before a temple veil
A crescent smile of white upon her lips
Before her starry splendor my words fail
She lifts me to my feet and grants a kiss
My Lady is a splendid crescent one,
Her Moon to me, more wondrous than the Sun