Okay folks…. yeah. So…. I got REALLY behind on this! So here’s 13-20 for the challenge okay. That should bring me up to date. The questions are up on Calamity’s blog, so check them out if you want to answer them, too.
#13: Is there a card that continuously stumps you when it is drawn? Why do you believe this to be so?
5 of Coins/Pentacles in my Manga Tarot deck. I always forget that in that deck, it has to do with nostalgia. I have absolutely no idea why that keeps happening. I’ve been using this deck for about 7 years now. You’d think I’d remember it during a reading by now!
#14: For what purposes do you usually use the Tarot?
For myself, meditation. As well as an objective guide to help me make tough decisions and consider the implications of them. For others, simply to read for them when asked. The most common spreads I use are based on decision making and cutting through the excuses to the heart of matters.
#15: How much emphasis do you put on the textbook meanings for cards, and how much stress do you place on the “feeling” you get from cards through their artwork/symbolism, etc. Do you do both, or one or the other?
When reading for myself, I use the guidebook for the deck. This is to prevent myself from looking at the cards subjectively and with bias. I read them for myself as flat-fact and direct messages that need to be absorbed. For others, I use the artwork/symbolism method. This is because the reading is NOT for myself, and I view it as my job to examine every last inch of the card and provide the person I’m reading for every scrap of information available to me. I can then place the information into a framework the person can better understand by using the artwork and pointing out the symbols for use as illustrations of the concepts and ideas.
#16: Do you ever use the Major Arcana without the Minor Arcana or vice versa?
In the context of doing readings…. NEVER. Even when spreads have explicitely stated to do so. Why would I purposely limit my vocabulary to a smaller number of words when I have so many available to me to tell the story? Why then would I remove part of the story before attempting to tell it? It doesn’t make sense to do these things. To me it feels wrong to use part of the deck and not the other because you are deliberately setting aside elements of the story that may need to be told, and you are omitting important information.
As for meditation context, I single out specific cards, some of them are Major, some of them are Minor. It depends on my mood and the card needed for the work of the day. So technically, the answer in this context is yes, I do.
#17: Do you do readings using reversals? Why or why not?
Sort of. Some readers I know take reversals to mean the exact opposite of the card’s actual meaning. In my readings and experience I’ve found that reversals tend to be more a sign of difficulty, but no change in the meaning. For example: the Death card is drawn. Basic meaning: end of the old, rise of the new. When reversed, I would read it as the same Death/Rebirth meaning, but that the transition between states may be difficult to accomplish due to outside influences such as difficult people at work/home, financial problems, or simply not quite understanding or knowing what you are doing.
#18: Do you feel a “connection” to your cards?
Oh yes. Two of them, the Manga Tarot and the Universal Fantasy Tarot are the only two I never had to look at samples of the artwork for. The moment I saw them on the shelf at Books-A-Million I knew I had to own them. So much so that I bought 2 of the Manga Tarot deck within a week of one another. As for all of my others, I would deliberately wait until the shop I worked at had only the display copy left before buying it. This was because the cards, for me, are far more effective when others have played with them previously. I don’t think the cards have a mind of their own, but there is a certain fit when the cards already have boxed edges, or are slightly bent on one corner. Or you get them to start with completely out of their original order. It also helps me break in “new” decks by steadily replacing the energies of those who have touched and played with them before with my own. It’s a process that helps strengthen my bond with my decks. The closest I can come to it is adopting a pre-owned pet and showing it love and kindness, gaining it’s trust, and then becoming best of friends.
#19: Do you feel/think the cards “think” or have their own consciousness? What do you believe makes the cards “tick”?
No. The cards are tools. That said, I view them more as an extension of the user. It is their energies that feed the decks and help to guide the hands to draw just the right one at the right time. I suppose the more energy one puts into their deck and bonding with it, the more we imbue it with a sort of artificial consciousness. But they still cannot utilize the energy without a human from which to draw it.
#20: Do you read for yourself and/or for others? Why or why not?
I have mentioned before, but I forget what post, that I do readings for others. I never charge, and I never take donations. I am often rude and crude and straightforward with my readings. I don’t sugar coat anything and I tell the absolute truth as I see it in the cards. People who come to me only do so out of desperation and as a last resort because of how blunt and sometimes offensive the messages can sometimes be. But I am honest with them, and the people who want me to read for them respect that about me… even if I do pull a card and have to tell them to basically “Frunk off because you’re bashing your head in with a lemon and it’s not working out so just back off and leave the poor sod alone for a while! Otherwise you’ll scare that one off, too!” Not all that nice, but I do give a disclaimer before EVERY reading for anyone I read for. Now then, the WHY part of the question…. I do it because I have that intuitive ability and can use the cards effectively. I do it because despite the seemingly callous nature of my readings, I am actually rather nice to have around as a friend or loved one. I have known for 10 years now that I was put on this earth to help people and to share my knowledge. Reading tarot is but one way of accomplishing this mission.