The Tarot People Whim-Whams

After time away sewing and knitting and reading over the winter, I started reading tarot blogs again and got uncomfortable. I have one friend I always read, and a few other people occasionally whom I enjoy. Beyond those I get uncomfortable. I wanted to sort this out in my mind with a ramble.

A person once referred to tarot people as being either saccharine or backstabbing. I find it difficult to connect with saccharine which often feels like a lack of intelligence to me, and the other kind are frighteningly vindictive. Yikes. Such is the polarity of being human.

Part of it is forums, the cliques that build up on them, and the correctness of belief that ensues. The other part is that with the Internet and the opportunity to turn tarot work into a wider business, many people see themselves as gurus and they attract the needy and easily led, the people that aren’t keen on thinking for themselves. One guy I used to know called them “sheeple” which is a gross generalization but somewhat apt.

The Internet also fuels those sad folk who desperately want to be famous. You know them: they post everywhere they have blogs and videos and write reviews in various arenas where all they talk about is themselves and how much they know or how smart they are and how much experience and wisdom they have and how gifted they are and how many books they’ve written and how if you don’t agree with them you are an idiot…zzzzz. I didn’t put commas in there for a reason.

This too of course is a generalization. Somewhere in the middle of these polarizations lie the rest of us.

I like to write the odd review, I think many of us feel such compulsion when a deck or artist strikes us. I like to take more time to write reviews; life changes over weeks and months, I want to experience a deck that way. I like to mess around with cards and art and poetry and words. I like to show images or compare them. I do riffs on one card reminding me of another, or a book or a piece of artwork, that’s something I have enjoyed for years. I’ve always written stories and poems with cards.

I am uncomfortable when other people seem to break my own connection with cards and books and art. Perhaps it destroys the meditative value of them for me, the closeness I feel, I’m not quite sure. I am not really a people person, I find people stimulating but ultimately overwhelming, so that might be it. For me cards are just a way of being quiet and connected to the Self.

So that’s it I think, I just like to mess around by myself, and sometimes reading other people’s blogs makes me uncomfortable, winds me up too much, makes me angry or sad needlessly. You would think by now I would know this, having crashed and burned on a few groups and lists years ago, escaping, relieved to go. I like to do my own blog and mess around.

Let’s have a card to go with this. I’ve got to rummage for a suitable deck, something from my early days….the Portal Tarot! I was so hoping this would be expanded and published in a full deck, but alas, life has moved on.

I will go upstairs where it’s warmer and make myself a cup of red clover tea. Then I can hug my Portal Tarot and say “Hello old friend it’s just you and me and we’re going to connect.” Darn, the Portal insists on nettle tea, not red clover. He’s always like this, very firm about things. Okay, we’ll have nettle, after feeding the cats of course, then we’ll shuffle and pick a card and read the booklet and sip our tea and enjoy ourselves.

0 – THE FOOL

Fool_Portal

I thought of an isolated sphere that is actually connected to others. The Fool, not being fixed in place, can float around and do what he wants, joining together with others or not, but his inner and outer worlds are always joined. Impulse and adventure, the adventure is not limited by being alone.

I keep thinking of the song I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles, which fits beautifully with this card.

Verse 1

I’m dreaming dreams,
I’m scheming schemes,
I’m building castles high.
They’re born anew,
Their days are few,
Just like a sweet butterfly.
And as the daylight is dawning,
They come again in the morning.

Chorus

I’m forever blowing bubbles,
Pretty bubbles in the air,
They fly so high,
Nearly reach the sky,
Then like my dreams,
They fade and die.
Fortune’s always hiding,
I’ve looked everywhere,
I’m forever blowing bubbles,
Pretty bubbles in the air.

Verse 2

When shadows creep,
When I’m asleep,
To lands of hope I stray.
Then at daybreak,
When I awake,
My bluebird flutters away.
Happiness new seemed so near me,
Happiness come forth and heal me.

Repeat Chorus

 

A good time with cards is ever satisfying, ever rich, ever resonant.

Kind of like a good cup of tea and a dog skipping at your heels.

 

 

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About JJ

Eccentric erminois dweller.
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4 Responses to The Tarot People Whim-Whams

  1. PLN says:

    I guess you get these kind of people in every area. Wrapped up in it is a need to be accepted and respected for ‘something’, I’d imagine, probably triggered by an event or two in their past – something which initially caused them to feel inadequate or shut out in some way. I kind of feel sorry for them. Oddbod was a bit like that.

    I’d really like to share my knowledge of tarot in a creative way through classes at some point. I am actually going on a course tomorrow to see how somebody else does it. My main reasons for wanting to do it is not to show that I am the fountain of all tarot knowledge, but because I love to work with the cards and would enjoy to help others use them in a practical way. However, aside from my blog, I find it difficult to publicise what I do. I hate all of that consistent marketing and posting and dropping links everywhere, so would never push myself in the same way. Aside from being virtual junk-mail, it doesn’t promote the kind of person I’d trust or want to learn from. I find the idea of tarot gurus and self-appointed spokespeople kind of embarrassing and a little unnerving. Many are not wanting to share their love of their cards with others, they are wanting to show how much more they think they know. What I have often found is that these people who profess to know so much, usually know bugger all and are pretty crap readers.

    People want to be experts these days and the internet allows people to look like one, whether they are or not. Just because you are taking 100% of the time, it doesn’t mean that what you say has any credibility. My boyfriend was telling me about how the receptionist at his work has a channel online and hosts a programme every week. I have come to realise that anyone can have a channel and host a programme every week, in the same way that anyone can write and publish decks and books these days. It doesn’t make them any good though.

    I love your reviews because they are original. I haven’t seen anyone else do them in the way you do. The difference between yours and a lot of peoples is that yours are a response, rather than some kind of endorcement by an ego or ‘tarot personality’. My own reviews have only been ever to help people understand how a deck is so that they either don’t make the same mistake I did in buying it or can enjoy those wonderful aspects as I have. Not to put my seal of 13 years of tarot experience on the product publicly.

    I should think there will always be people out there trying to work their way up to some kind of place of ‘respect’ in tarot or whatever else (by bashing everyone up with their endless chatter). I find the best way for me to deal with that is to keep away from where those kind of people dwell. Since we were ousted from the Jump the Shark Forum, I have never seriously considered joining another one. I prefer this quieter lifestyle that we have now on our blogs. The forums were only ever a high and extreme dose of a far, far wider tarot community. I prefer living on the outskirts of it.

    • JJ says:

      Yes, that’s it isn’t it? The quieter lifestyle is apt.

      Oh, and my reviews as a response is exactly the point, it’s a personal overview, a response to a deep feeling of connection to the cards and the author’s take on life. That’s why I have to make things or fiddle around in some way, to show how they affect me.

      I can understand running courses if you are passionate about something. One thing that stands out with your work is the time you put into cards and readings and journals. You have always done that in the 12 years I’ve known you. I think people are more open to creativity with cards these days–not like the old days where we were often ridiculed and snubbed.

      I tried two forums and a mailing list after we were banned at the Jump the Shark Forum, but people seem to want to buy and buy and not actually work with cards. I don’t find that engages my mind. Many people would say to me “I don’t have time” which really meant “I want to yak about nothing in the chat forum.” That’s definitely not me!

      • PLN says:

        The High Priestess comes to mind – that idea of ignoring the shouty voices and concentrating on the quiet one beneath the ‘racket’. Teaching (in tarot or otherwise) does not have to be about dictating and lording it over your students. It’s about sharing, encouraging, listening and guiding sensitively.

        I am thinking about starting off by sharing my knowledge of court cards (something I need to get ‘right’ in my head beforehand – see blog) but as much as I need to cement my own understanding to begin with, part of the learning process is that these guidelines are flexible and open to re-evaluation. Do you think that Pamela Colman Smith and Arthur Waite would conceive and produce the same tarot deck in 2010 as they did in 1910? Things change with learning.

        Haha, @ the yakkers. I wonder how people manage to live their lives when they are posting and linking and all the rest of it every five minutes. I am approaching tomorrow with an open mind. But often, intuitive approaches to tarot are an alternative to not finding the time (or effort) to research what the creator or the artist intended.

        (Just think, we’d either be berated or banned for these opinions if we were anywhere else! )

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