Monday, October 1, 2012

78 Days of Tarot: Sample Post & Resources for your study


In case you feel you need some sort of template or starting point, I did a sample analysis of my Magical Forest Fool Card today.

This is fairly extensive, so feel free to take what you want from my layout.


Day: 1

Card: Major Aracana: The Fool (0)

Tarot: Magical Forest

Visual Card Description: A cartoonized pig in a red cloak (with fur trim, almost like a King’s robe) is carrying a bag around a stick. He holds a white rose in the other hand. What looks to be a toy or mechanical dog is following him, seemingly of its own accord. He approaches the very edge of a cliff face and shows no sign of stopping. There are mountains in the background, as well as a sun high on the horizon.

Free association: (Keywords that come to mind on first glance): Adventure, Jovial, Child-like, Reckless, Confidence

Rider-Waite/Traditional Associations: The Fool represents innocence and freedom. He is the completion, the infinite, the potential that humans have before conditioning, before living a fully human life. He is the other side of The World, the last of the Major Arcana.

From 78 Degrees of Wisdom (a book of tarot): For the Fool no difference exists between possibility and reality. 0 means a total emptiness of hopes and fears, and the Fool expects nothing, plans nothing. He responds instantly to the immediate situation. Other people will receive his complete spontaneity. Nothing calculated, nothing held back. The Fool gives his honestly and love naturally, to everyone, without ever thinking about it. {Page 17}

Meaning from the lwb (little white book that came with this deck): Dreamy Little Pig sets out, urged on by his own nature and instinct. “I’m setting out to seek my fortune,” he told his mother when he left home and embarked on the great adventure of his life. He follows his own dream, and for this reason he looks up towards the sky and pays no attention to where he places his feet.

My interpretation: I think visual description is important because before I tried to write what the card was visually, I never noticed before this deck’s Fool wrapped in what resembles the attire of a King. That lends an entirely new meaning to this card for me. This deck does many things differently than any other deck I have used before, and symbolism choice is one of those things.
The decision to make the dog a toy deliberately interests me. To me, this Fool is young. A child at heart, but in so many ways more wise than many. I wonder if his cloak means he was once a King in the past, and renounced his title to seek his ‘fortune’. If you notice the description doesn’t mention what Home is, or fortune. Maybe, having completed the circuit of Worldly fortune, or having enough money or land, he sets out to seek a Spiritual fortune in the world. To me this definition adds layers upon layers to the idea of The Fool.

The backdrop of Mountains is interesting. To me, Mountains are a place of solitude and hermitage. When the great prophets of the past wanted to look deeply into themselves, they secluded themselves in caves, or climbed peaks to be away from the World at large. Perhaps the Fool seeks particularly this inward journey of the ascetic.

I will also cover choice of animal. Interesting, the Pig is synonymous with greed in many cultures. Pig is an insult for one who enjoys worldly pleasures and foods, for instance. But pigs are also highly intelligent creatures, interesting thought to be smarter than dogs. (Funny this artist paired both together.) I think perhaps this choice is reflecting, again, the world turned inward, and also a showcase of a sharp potential untapped.

General resources for your days of study:

I will be referencing the book 78 Degrees of Wisdom by Rachel Pollack, because I feel it is excellent and delves deeply into the narrative behind the cards.

Also interesting is The Tarot: History, Symbolism & Divination by Robert Place.

For generalized meanings I actually really like psychic-revelations, because they break each meaning down into areas of influence and also cover reversals.

There’s also of course’s tarot meaning database.

If you want to seriously study Tarot and are curious about the schools of tarot interpretation (Rider Waite is just ONE type of idea for Tarot) check out this guy’s youtube videos. I am linking you to part 2 of a several part series, detailing in depth each respective school of tarot interpretation, with deck examples. Those studying the Thoth (Systems Based) or more Historical decks will find more use out of non-strictly Rider-Waite based interpretations and sources.

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