Chapter One Using the Cards

We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time.

Over the centuries, Tarot decks have become popular tools for fortune-telling, and in many minds the two are inextricably linked. Serious-minded students of Tarot look down on using the cards for such lowly purposes as predicting rising and declining fortunes in love, business and other personal affairs. Randomly shuffling and dealing out the cosmic secrets contained within the cards borders on blasphemy. To these aficionados, the Tarot is a key for unlocking universal truths hidden deep within the subconscious. In much the same manner, a mage searches within herself for the definitions of reality that mark her progress toward Ascension.

Tarot decks are meant to be used. Their very form — distinct cards placed in a precise hierarchy in relationship to one another — demands their use in visual displays as the best method of studying their contents. Cards, like books, can be read. Unlike books, however, their pages can be arranged in a variety of ways. Each arrangement of the cards unfolds a new awareness of the meanings of the images. By rearranging the cards, either randomly or by intention, the building blocks of reality are themselves re-ordered. The world around us, reflected in the cards, becomes a very different place. Attempting to understand the meaning of these reassembled chunks of possibility is the true work of fortune-tellers, philosophers, mages and Storytellers.

The Illustrated Key To The Tarot

The Illustrated Key To The Tarot

The pathology of the poet says that the undevout astronomer is mad the pathology of the very plain man says that the genius is mad and between these extremes, which stand for ten thousand analogous excesses, the sovereign reason takes the part of a moderator and does what it can. I do not think that there is a pathology of the occult dedications, but about their extravagances no one can question, and it is not less difficult than thankless to act as a moderator regarding them.

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