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Tarot and I Ching ? same spirit, different voices?

hilary

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I?ve been reading Stephen Karcher?s Encyclopaedia of Divination, and wondering?

What do the contrasts between the countless methods of divination mean? Even just concentrating on the two most popular (?), tarot and the I Ching, the differences seem huge.

<UL><LI>Is it the same spirit, different voices? <LI>Different methods for different people? <LI>Or are the two so different that they answer different kinds of questions, or lead to different kinds of truth? <LI>Might it be possible for tarot and the I Ching to work together??</LI>[/list]
Any tarot readers reading this - I'd be very interested to know what you think. If I managed to study some very basic tarot in my spare time (LOL), what could I learn? (And how should I start?)
 
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dharma

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Hello Hilary,

In my opinion, all forms of divination can be likened to different languages. I, myself, can communicate in three different languages (English, French and Greek) and I am very much aware of how dissimiar each is from the other in form, structure and nuance. Though each are a form of human communication they stem from very specific cultures and traditions that affect the imagery and intention evoked when expressed. I think different methods of divination are similar in this respect.

Some languages (or methods of divination, for that matter) may lend themselves better to certain individuals than others. Each has something unique to offer and allows for different aspects of a person to emerge and be developed. They may, for example, have more words or expressions that define or explain certain things or activities more concisely, mainly because this is more natural or inherent to the culture which the language or divination springs from.

Keeping this in mind, it's fair to say that all languages and forms of divination are perfect in and of themselves. One needn't necessarily learn another language or form of divination to manage or get the job done, for instance. However, learning more than one form of divination widens one's scope of understanding and 'knowing' in the same way that speaking many languages automatically widens and enhances one's communication skills. Beyond that, it stimulates one's personal boundaries and comfort zones to open and stretch to allow for things that one's conventional method or customs had no need of or no place for previously.

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I meditated on the following question and drew 12 cards for you--this is what came up.

What should Hilary know about learning the art of Tarot card reading?

Self: The Sun
Present:Judgement
Obstacles: Page of Cups
Basis of Matter: The Moon
Crowning Ideal: 9 of Wands
Past Influence: Page of Swords
Future Influence: King of Swords
Attitude: The World
Outer Environment: Strength
Illusions: King of Cups
Outcome: 3 of Cups
Distant Future: The Empress

The Sun card as the Self reflects the ambition and spontaneity you feel towards the issue of acquiring the necessary skills to read Tarot cards. It's like the dawning of a new day when you sense a great optimism in the air.

The present atmosphere is colored by the Judgment card that is pointing out a new direction that, if taken, will in time bring major changes and improvements into your personal and professional life. It's a kind of rebirthing process. However,the Page of Cups says you must find enough quiet study time for the intuition to emerge--this will be your greatest challenge.

The Moon emphasizes psychic awareness and the creative potential of the unconscious mind. A worthwhile Tarot reading demands attention to feelings, hunches, and intuitions. Gut feelings, in that sense, are more reliable than logical analysis. The process of learning to speak the language of emotions often leaves the beginner feeling uncertain, confused, and doubtful about the images that surface from the unconscious. A good Tarot reader masters this realm.

You are very strong willed and highly curious (Page of Swords). Your tendency to dispassionate rationality will, however, interfere with the Moon's irrational demands. In time, you will find a middle ground between the two extremes as the Page of Swords is not one to give up once curiosity has been aroused.

The immediate future shows you attempting to make sense of the Tarot cards in the manner of the King of Swords (as most beginners do); rationally, logically, and without connection to one's feelings. This beginners stage has obvious limits as you will discover. It's like learning the alphabet and perhaps a few basic words of a new language. The ability to read a good novel will take time and practice.

Your inner attitude is The World. It would seem that you feel that you have successfully completed a cycle and are prepared to move on to a new level. You are experiencing a natural conclusion that beckons you to new heights. You believe that Tarot may give you more insight when and after I Ching has had it's say.

Though you have great faith in your ability to succeed at this the outer environment will consistently test your limits (Strength) and patience. Your inner fortitude will evolve and refine as a result of this pursuit. Courage is necessary for the work ahead because learning to be an effective Tarot card reader is nothing less than the process of coming to terms with your inner Shadow. As you get more involved, you will fear that this is something you may not be able to do alone. You may very well need the assistance of a teacher (King of Cups)--you should seek someone out who understands unconscious motivations and is in touch with emotions for the best results.

The outcome (3 of Cups) says that the initial years of this sort of study will be more of a hobby and that of having fun. Much is achieved by acquainting yourself with the different images in the deck. It is like the early stages of a pregnancy when a seed is planted and growth is taking place beneath the surface. It appears that the process will be fun-filled for you. Enjoy!
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The best you are likely to achieve with this attempt (9 of Wands) is all-out success after a long delay. Because you are naturally very wary as a person, your strong defensive attitude makes this inevitable. However, as stubbornly rigid as you can be you are also very doggedly-determined. When you don't succeed, you will try and try again! It is this perservance will win out in the end.

The distant future (The Empress) shows, yet again, gain and successful results of your hard work and effort. Faithfully nurturing this study will yield you a good harvest.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You will find a great deal of Tarot decks out there to choose from. Finding one that you feel connected to requires investigation. However, it's hard to really be sure until you actually have them in your hands and are working with them. Picking the right deck is crucial, otherwise you could spend years working with them and not really ever connect--they need to 'speak' to you.

I personally had a tough time grasping the Tarot until I found The Mythic Tarot. In this instance, the four suits in the deck (56 cards in all) recount the stories of Psyche & Eros, Jason and the Golden Fleece, Orestes and the Curse of the House of Artreus, and Daedalus and the Labyrinth. The 22 high cards depict pretty much all the major Gods and Goddess from Greek mythology.

These cards are appropriate for me because of their archetypal nature. Mythic images are really spontaneous pictures, sprung from the human imagination, which describe in poetic language essential human experiences and essential human patterns of development. Considering my background, these are perfectly suited to me. You will need to find what resonates with you.

Whatever deck you choose I suggest that it come with it's own book--although, it shouldn't be your ONLY resource. The more interpretations you read for all the different cards the better off you will be.

For a free on-line course/download go to:

http://www2.dgsys.com/~bunning/top.html

There you have it, Hilary--I hope this helps.
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with love,
Dharma
 

hilary

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Hello Dharma,

Yes, it helps!

I like your analogy with language - that makes a lot of sense to me, since I started out as a linguist. (Have you tried translating from one foreign language to another, without going via your own? It seems to call for the growth of brain cells I don't have...)

Your reading is very interesting... Thank you! All sounds pretty comprehensively on target, except for the part about the World. I'm partly interested in tarot for the new perspectives it might offer me on the I Ching - there's most definitely no sense that I've 'completed' learning about that. Oh ye gods and small fishes, no!

One thing I think tarot adds actually comes from its limitations. The I Ching offers me fragments of narrative, pure flows of force and correspondence, imagery (from more than one source) and words. If one level is hard to get to grips with, you can find help from the next. Tarot just offers images - and I'm not the visual type. Integrating it with Greek mythology is a tempting idea, because these are narratives I know extremely well. Maybe I'd do better with something less familiar... don't know...

I know you've used I Ching as well as tarot - how do your experiences of the two compare?
 
D

dharma

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Hilary: "Have you tried translating from one foreign language to another, without going via your own? It seems to call for the growth of brain cells I don't have..."

Dharma: "It certainly is very difficult to communicate in one language, all the while translating from another......direct translations always lose something of import.......it's definitely more practical to grow the brain cells, otherwise, the attempt at communication is an embarrassing chore rather than a flow of information."
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Hilary: "Your reading is very interesting... Thank you! All sounds pretty comprehensively on target, except for the part about the World. I'm partly interested in tarot for the new perspectives it might offer me on the I Ching - there's most definitely no sense that I've 'completed' learning about that. Oh ye gods and small fishes, no!"

Dharma: "I never meant to imply that you were 'finished' with your I Ching studies--that would be an impossibility, I think. The World card speaks of 'cycles'--each one open-ended and merging easily into the next. The implication here is that nothing is ever really over--only a new level of growth is emerging from the previous one. The World card serves as a marker in life -- the time at which we BEGIN that new level in the ever-spiraling cycle of our learning. Picking up the Tarot at this time, does not mean you are finished with the I Ching, but rather adding to your understanding of it in a new way or perhaps enhancing your own intuitive abilities."


Hilary: "One thing I think tarot adds actually comes from its limitations. The I Ching offers me fragments of narrative, pure flows of force and correspondence, imagery (from more than one source) and words. If one level is hard to get to grips with, you can find help from the next. Tarot just offers images - and I'm not the visual type."

Dharma: "You are incorrect about Tarot being only visual. The Tarot cards/images are a short-hand, much in the way the characters in the Chinese language are used. There is, however, a lot of printed material to absorb to understand the initial cryptic significance of the symbols. Each card contains a plethora of information and is, in that sense, not much different from the I Ching."

Regarding Symbols: We each draw from an internal bank of personal images that we then translate into words when we communicate with each other. This is why I suggest that the 'correct' deck of images are chosen for each individual--we must find the images that resonate with our personal INNER images, otherwise, the difficulty in learning Tarot as a second or third language becomes a double duty.


Hilary: "I know you've used I Ching as well as tarot - how do your experiences of the two compare?"

Dharma: "The Tarot is definitely my *mothertongue* while Astrology is a close second language. This is interesting because Astrology was my first love and I discovered the Tarot many years afterwards. It's a bit of a play, I think, on my grasp of languages in reality. Greek was my first language and English came years later. However, I mastered the English language to a higher degree than the Greek one. French came last, a curiosity much like the I Ching, which I continue to learn in a very halting way. I often seem to understand more than I can say in both cases. I find them both (I Ching and French) helpful adjuncts to other methods and languages, only because they contain a lot of depth that I haven't as yet plumbed."

"Finally, answering your questions has been very insightful for me. I don't think I would have ever seen this theme running through my experience. It's all in the asking of the question, isn't it? Had YOU not asked--it's not likely I would have, either."

"Interestingly, this dialogue has effectively answered ANOTHER question that had preoccupied my thoughts over the past week. I had put the question OUT there and waited for a (Universal) response. I see now that the issue was only an issue because I was asking the 'wrong' question. However, life truly is a remarkable adventure--it has steered me, albeit in a convoluted way, exactly where I needed to be to get my answer. Thanking you for your unwitting participation."
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with love,
Dharma
 

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