Aeclectic Tarot
Tarot Cards & Reviews          Tarot Forum               Free Tarot Readings           Tarot Card Meanings

Has tarot been made to me more complex than it needs to be?

  > Aeclectic Tarot Forum > Tarot > Talking Tarot





 
Spectre Made Flesh's Avatar
Spectre Made Flesh  Spectre Made Flesh is offline
Resident
 
Join Date: 11 Feb 2014
Location: England
Posts: 49
Spectre Made Flesh 

I believe that traditional ordinary playing cards were used for fortune telling before Tarot cards were used for that purpose. So, if we accept that Tarot wasn't originally used for fortune telling (as LRichard said), and that applying the Qabalah etc. to give meanings to Tarot was something added much later, then perhaps one could argue that the 'proper' way to read cards is the way people originally did it, by numerology and suit meanings, and everything else - whether the Qabalah or intuition - is just an irrelevance tacked on later by people with their own agenda?
Top   #81
Richard's Avatar
Richard  Richard is offline
Le Mat
 
Join Date: 21 Dec 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 6,587
Richard 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectre Made Flesh View Post
I believe that traditional ordinary playing cards were used for fortune telling before Tarot cards were used for that purpose. So, if we accept that Tarot wasn't originally used for fortune telling (as LRichard said), and that applying the Qabalah etc. to give meanings to Tarot was something added much later, then perhaps one could argue that the 'proper' way to read cards is the way people originally did it, by numerology and suit meanings, and everything else - whether the Qabalah or intuition - is just an irrelevance tacked on later by people with their own agenda?
My view is that Tarot was layered onto the Qabalistic Tree of Life. Tacking Qabalah onto Tarot is like putting the Statue of Liberty in a bird bath.
Attached Images
 
Top   #82
ravenest's Avatar
ravenest  ravenest is offline
ravenator
 
Join Date: 02 Feb 2006
Location: NSW, Australia
Posts: 13,835
ravenest 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectre Made Flesh View Post
I believe that traditional ordinary playing cards were used for fortune telling before Tarot cards were used for that purpose. So, if we accept that Tarot wasn't originally used for fortune telling (as LRichard said), and that applying the Qabalah etc. to give meanings to Tarot was something added much later, then perhaps one could argue that the 'proper' way to read cards is the way people originally did it, by numerology and suit meanings, and everything else - whether the Qabalah or intuition - is just an irrelevance tacked on later by people with their own agenda?
I disagree in the context of the way I use them as it isnt just for a card playing game or fortune telling (although I have played with both) ... I can use it as a Book of Knowledge that makes a fine framework to hold many of the essential teachings of the Western (and by extension others as well) Mystery or Wisdom Tradition and a valid map of the Psyche and the Soul of the World.

How did it come to be that? Times changed and people saw relevant ways of using the tarots basic map and structure ( in a similar way that some plant alchemy turned into modern medicines).

But further, how did the original pattern get there in the first place? Even as a game of cards; why 4 suits, some courts, a base ten system, even in the first place and the Majors added.

A card deck is one expression of patterns and rules in number and extracted from nature and ourselves, even our physiology perhaps *.

So the question is NOT whether tarot has become more complex than it WAS, but more complex then "it needs to be". SO we circle back again to ... that depends on the person and the usage.

* eg. even in the hands; left and right for active and passive - 2, four fingers each hand, 10 digits, 3 joints on each of the 4 fingers = 12 (showing the usual divisions of astrology ; signs, elements and modes. The duality and the 3 / 4 pattern is also seen in the mechanics of human vision and other things. It is also reflected in Tarot and the Kabbalah, Tree of Life, etc.

I wonder where you think " numerology and suit meanings, and everything else " originated ?
Top   #83
Richard's Avatar
Richard  Richard is offline
Le Mat
 
Join Date: 21 Dec 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 6,587
Richard 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectre Made Flesh View Post
.....So, if we accept that Tarot wasn't originally used for fortune telling (as LRichard said.....
I did not say that. I said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by LRichard View Post
......From a historical perspective Tarot was originally a game deck........
I refer you to http://tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=151973 for an explanation of what constitutes historical research and what sort of conclusions are regarded as valid by historians.

My beliefs concerning the origins of Tarot are not historically verifiable because they have to do with spooky stuff like the collective unconscious and the influence of "gods" on the course of human events. Since I don't try to push my wacky ideas onto others, I always appreciate it when others don't try to push their equally wacky ideas onto me. I also appreciate not being misquoted. I'm habitually very careful about how I phrase certain things because my professional life required that I publish numerous scientific articles in scholarly journals ("publish or perish"), and for that you have to express yourself as accurately as possible with no bullshit. Otherwise, your peers will shoot to kill first, and ask questions later.
Top   #84
seedcake's Avatar
seedcake  seedcake is offline
Starlight, Chaos, Glitter
 
Join Date: 20 Jan 2014
Location: Orion Constellation
Posts: 2,202
seedcake 

I haven't read the whole thread, and even if, I wouldn't be able to remember everyone's post which I found very helpful. Maybe someone else said similiar thing but anyway, I'd like to give some thoughts. This subject was with me for a few days after checking this place for a while too.

When I started to use Tarot, I had already some kind of experience in cetrain areas. Psychology, oriental mysticism (awful umbrella term, I'm sorry) with sufism, buddhism, many kinds of mythologies etc. When I take cards, no matter if I want or not, I'm including all those elements. It's not because I have such purpose in mind, it's going this way. When I study Tarot, I'm opening myself for many ideas but I feel the best (and I guess many people too) with those which I have in my mind already.
Top   #85
dancing_moon's Avatar
dancing_moon  dancing_moon is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 31 Oct 2012
Location: Ukraine
Posts: 4,708
dancing_moon 

I've been following this thread with great interest. Actually, I've been wondering about the same thing myself.

Personally, I don't see how I can 'just read the cards' and at the same time 'just say what I think the card means'. If a card depicts 6 large Cups, and I don't think it means 6 actual cups, then I'm reading it as a symbol for something else. And from there I have two ways to go:

1. I just utter something that comes to mind in relation with the card. This way, the meaning of the card would change from a reading to a reading. I can actually get good results using this method if I'm a psychic. However, it's also easy to color my reading with my personal bugs, frustrations, assumptions and past experiences.

2. I use some preset system of correspondences between the cards (symbols) and actual meanings. It can be a keyword/phrase for each card ('nostalgy', 'the past', 'sweet memories') or a more complex system involving numerology, Kabbalah, Elemental Dignities, etc. The complexity of that system will depend on the reader, and how much of that system is actually revealed to the sitter during a reading again depends on the reader and the sitter. If you're exchanging readings with a fellow reader, you might want to tell them and hear from them many more details about the actual process of interpretation, whereas a 'civilian' sitter is usually only interested in your final conclusions, and often in very plain terms.

I think in most cases I use both ways to a greater or lesser extent. Does it make it more complex than it needs to be? Maybe. And so much more fascinating, too.
Top   #86
Aura Wolf's Avatar
Aura Wolf  Aura Wolf is offline
Of the cosmic woodland
 
Join Date: 20 Sep 2002
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 3,385
Aura Wolf 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenest View Post
Well, there are some 'tricks' ... finding out which way works best for you, what methods suit you best. I was never a good learner ... in the way they wanted me to learn .. I work totally different to that.

[ Also ... Swedenborg probably didnt spend a lot of time on the internet , watching TV, gaming, ]
Those are some good methods you described...methinks I need more systems to apply to learning in my life. And yes, shooting my computer would help...but it's so entertaining. How else could I learn so many fascinating things I probably don't really need to know?

Quote:
Originally Posted by closrapexa View Post
If you ask me (which nobody did, but so what) Tarot isn't complicated enough. People seem to think all the esoteric crap is artificially piled on their favorite deck, the RWS, and they pine nostalgically for simpler times. This is a fairly astounding exercise in selective history. Without esoteric stuff, there would be no RWS in the first place, so it was never actually a question of "just look at the cards and read." That occult material was "lost" for much of the 20th century (fell out of fashion) and its re-entry into popular culture over the past ten to twenty years, that is the actual restoration. The only truly intuitive school of decks that exists today is the Marseilles which, paradoxically, people don't use because it is seen in itself as a complication.
EXACTLY. Thank you. I almost want to ditch all RWS-based decks I own and try the Marseilles again.

Quote:
Plus, the fairly uniform vocabulary of meanings existing among so-called "intuitive" readers shows that far from "just looking," people actually learn by heart meanings constructed from "esoteric nonsense" while ignoring where they came from. Some even go so far as to call the meanings "traditional" when they're actually anything but.
Quote:
People should read however they want, just as they should do anything any which way they want. However,arguing that something doesn't exist when it does, just in front of you, is like scientists debating creationists. It's futile. Not that I have anything against truly intuitive reading, but for the sake of challenge and integrity I think people should burn all "meanings" books and look at the cards really intuitively.
Once more you articulate very well everything I was thinking and trying to communicate. I'm actually extremely peeved lately, as I'm attempting to get back into tarot full force, that I can't seem to unlearn all the bullshit meanings I memorized when I first started reading over a decade ago. It's not that I can't read differently than that if I allow myself to be in the zone, it's just that I still can't stop the specific rehashed meaning from popping into my head every time I attempt to read a card intuitively. This is actually why I don't like memorizing information usually, because even if I learn new things that feel more right for me, it can be difficult to erase or replace the old ones. I suppose the only way is to cease entertaining them for the sake of some false notion of security.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LRichard View Post
I believe in live and let live as regards how one uses a deck of cards, but the way people keep blasting away at the esoteric approach, methinks they protest too much. I.e., their excessive defensiveness may mean that they feel threatened. For example, they may feel deep inside that there is something in Qabalah that may be good to know, and it worries them, because they don't want to go to the effort of learning whatever it is. Hence dissing it is a defensive maneuver designed to remove the threat.
I would have to agree with this, as I can confirm that while I never had a problem with the esoteric stuff, and in fact find it fascinating, there have been times (and are still times) where I shy away from learning certain systems of correspondences because it seems like too much work. Which I suppose is fine in and of itself, but should certainly not be used an excuse to bash something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenest View Post
But further, how did the original pattern get there in the first place? Even as a game of cards; why 4 suits, some courts, a base ten system, even in the first place and the Majors added.

A card deck is one expression of patterns and rules in number and extracted from nature and ourselves, even our physiology perhaps *.

* eg. even in the hands; left and right for active and passive - 2, four fingers each hand, 10 digits, 3 joints on each of the 4 fingers = 12 (showing the usual divisions of astrology ; signs, elements and modes. The duality and the 3 / 4 pattern is also seen in the mechanics of human vision and other things. It is also reflected in Tarot and the Kabbalah, Tree of Life, etc.

I wonder where you think " numerology and suit meanings, and everything else " originated ?
Wonderful This is what I meant by tarot being one of many systems used to describe the universe. The symbolism and mathematics and patterns are infinite, and some may not believe in their relevance but it's certainly undeniable that they exist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LRichard View Post
My beliefs concerning the origins of Tarot are not historically verifiable because they have to do with spooky stuff like the collective unconscious and the influence of "gods" on the course of human events. Since I don't try to push my wacky ideas onto others, I always appreciate it when others don't try to push their equally wacky ideas onto me.
Please, push your wacky ideas onto me sometime. I love them
Top   #87
Aura Wolf's Avatar
Aura Wolf  Aura Wolf is offline
Of the cosmic woodland
 
Join Date: 20 Sep 2002
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 3,385
Aura Wolf 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dancing_moon View Post
Personally, I don't see how I can 'just read the cards' and at the same time 'just say what I think the card means'. If a card depicts 6 large Cups, and I don't think it means 6 actual cups, then I'm reading it as a symbol for something else. And from there I have two ways to go:

1. I just utter something that comes to mind in relation with the card. This way, the meaning of the card would change from a reading to a reading. I can actually get good results using this method if I'm a psychic. However, it's also easy to color my reading with my personal bugs, frustrations, assumptions and past experiences.

2. I use some preset system of correspondences between the cards (symbols) and actual meanings. It can be a keyword/phrase for each card ('nostalgy', 'the past', 'sweet memories') or a more complex system involving numerology, Kabbalah, Elemental Dignities, etc. The complexity of that system will depend on the reader, and how much of that system is actually revealed to the sitter during a reading again depends on the reader and the sitter. If you're exchanging readings with a fellow reader, you might want to tell them and hear from them many more details about the actual process of interpretation, whereas a 'civilian' sitter is usually only interested in your final conclusions, and often in very plain terms.

I think in most cases I use both ways to a greater or lesser extent. Does it make it more complex than it needs to be? Maybe. And so much more fascinating, too.
I think I do something similar. It's hard to tell sometimes because I mostly read for myself these days, though I've been wanting to read more for others again. I think when there's another person involved in the reading it changes the dynamic of it, at least for me. I can feel their energy feeding into the process, so the way I read may vary depending on who the person is and how they interact with the cards. Or I may have the same processes running in the background but the way I translate the information might be different. What I say to myself isn't necessarily what I would say to others, because there are so many different ways of understanding
Top   #88
PAMUYA's Avatar
PAMUYA  PAMUYA is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 13 Jun 2008
Location: under the Bodhi tree
Posts: 5,664
PAMUYA 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowdancer View Post
I have been wondering this for a while, but it was piqued by a recent posting on another thread where I mentioned the contra-card system I occasionally use.

I was taught/began my tarot journey in 1986. The guy who taught me was a chirpy Londoner, and he gave the basics. Nothing elaborate. No systems. No symbolic depth. His readings were straight forward. He said what he thought the card meant. No peeling back of layers, psychological analysis, no astrological or numerology associations.
JUST. READ. THE. CARD.

I am sure readers prior to this did pretty much the same? There did not seem to be a dearth of books on the subject around the time I started.
Yet in 17 years or so, the market has exploded. Thousands and thousands of decks now to choose from. Books on every aspect and subject you can think of within this wonderful world of tarot.
Systems abound. Systems within systems. Heck knows how many ways to interpret a card or selection of cards in relation to each other.

So.....

Have we over complicated things? If so, why? Does this enhance or hinder what we are trying to convey? If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and sounds like a duck, shouldn't we just call call it a duck? Instead of giving in to the urge to elaborate as much as possible, thus losing site of the real nuts and bolts?

If we had a reader from the 1960's looking in for a brief while, what would they be thinking as they take in the whole sway of publications now dedicated to different ways of reading tarot?

Anyways enough ponderings from me. This really did come to mind when I listened to a podcast some time ago. The main guest was a person who was pretty down to earth. They were discussing a deck they had involvement with. The presenter then took two cards for further discussion as to how they could be read. Heck, the presenter certainly lost me at 'hello'. They tried to really go deep, psychoanalyse etc, and the end result was far from what the guest had really intended. Was the presenter trying to be clever? I don't think so. I think they had fallen into the trap of going down the analysis road and the result was a tangled mess, far from what was needed.

My take? I think we have perhaps gone just a little too far. The next round of authors will try to find a different angle, a different method, a different way. After all the field is already saturated with books so there will be pressure to be different and new. And so the world of tarot becomes a little bit more elaborate and complex.
Yet most of the time, I should be calling out the duck in the room.
Yes to your question, tarot has been made more complex than is has to be. As Einstein said, if your can't explain something simply, you do not understand it well enough. Not just in tarot, but everything in life. We are dealing with different cultures, beliefs, and traditions trying to understand the meaning of life, the whys and hows through tarot. We are also dealing with the egos of all these readers responding and defending their positions. We as humans are going through the same emotional, psychological problems as our ancestors, the only thing that is different is our access to information, we are constantly being bombarded with data of all kinds. Who is right? No one, everyone? A combination? You must find your own way, what makes sense to you, keep an open and flexable mind.

Don't get caught up in information over load.
Top   #89
Richard's Avatar
Richard  Richard is offline
Le Mat
 
Join Date: 21 Dec 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 6,587
Richard 

Doesn't the answer to the complexity issue involve two considerations: (1) the amount of complexity the author of the deck put into it, and (2) the purpose for which the deck is used?

Person A may not care at all whether the RWS Emperor's throne is decorated with Ram's heads, whereas to person B the Ram symbolism may be highly significant. It is amusing when people think that their own particular view of things should be universally accepted.
Top   #90

 





 


More in the Aeclectic Tarot Forum
· Tarot
· Tarot Special Interest
· Beyond Tarot
· Forum Library

Elsewhere on Aeclectic Tarot
· Tarot Cards & Reviews
· Free Tarot Readings
· What's New
· Tarot Card Meanings

Aeclectic Tarot Categories
· Angel Decks
· Dark & Gothic Decks
· Goddess Decks
· Fairy Decks
· Doreen Virtue Decks
· Beginner Decks
· Cat Decks
· Pagan & Wiccan Decks
· Ancient Egyptian Decks
· Celtic Decks
· Lenormand Decks
· Rider-Waite Decks
· Marseilles Decks
· Thoth Decks
· Oracle Decks
· List All Decks
· Popular Tarot Decks
· Available Decks
· Tarot Books
· What's New

Copyright © 1996 - 2020 Aeclectic Tarot. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy. Contact us.