Tarot Update

It seems as if this month just started, as if only a couple of days ago I started using a new tarot deck, but in another couple of days, I need to pick a new deck to use during April. Well, I don’t have to use a new deck, but that’s one of the reasons for my picking a card every day and for learning the tarot — to use my deceased brother’s tarot collection.

Although I am getting familiar with the tarot, I still don’t quite see how it fits in my life. It’s supposed to be a way to get to know oneself, and unless I am extremely obtuse, I’m not learning anything I don’t already know. Most people think of the tarot as a way of learning the future, or at least how to decide to go forward into the future, but that also doesn’t seem to fit with my life. Partly, of course, I don’t want to know. And partly, I already know the future, if not in specifics, then in general. If the past is anything to go by, the future will bring good things to my life, and it will bring a lot of not so good things. Either way, the knowing isn’t important — it’s being able to deal with what comes that’s important, and the lessons I’ve learned from grief lessons tell me I’ll find a way to accept whatever happens.

Besides, even if the purpose of the tarot was to learn the future, it’s nothing special. We can all learn what the future holds just by living. I mean, tomorrow is today’s future, and when I wake up tomorrow, I will know what the future holds. To a certain extent, anyway. Sometimes things change drastically from morning until night, witness all the people who woke up fine and ended up with The Bob by the evening.

Still, although a deep psychic connection with the tarot eludes me (perhaps because any psychic powers I might have are rather weak), I am continuing with my studies.

To date, the deck I like the most is this month’s deck, The Tarot of the Stars. It’s larger than most, which was a problem until I figured out how to shuffle them, and they aren’t slick enough to easily fan out, but other than that, they seem to be a quintessential tarot deck, with plenty of symbolism if I ever get into that aspect, as well as a key word to help figure out the meaning.

Today’s card was the magician, which is about knowledge, willpower, ability, eloquence, beginnings. It’s about harnessing the magician’s power to create the world you want. It’s about a lot of other things too, depending on whose interpretation you go by, but this brief interpretation seems to fit this particular card.

I still have a couple of dozen decks to try out to see if they speak to me, but so far, this is the closest. Oddly, it’s also the one I gravitated toward at the beginning when I first unpacked the decks, but since the instruction booklet that came with the deck is in an obscure dialect of Italian, I couldn’t use the cards until I developed my own guidebook. Once I’ve gone through all the decks, once I’ve gone through all the cards (some cards still haven’t shown up in my daily reading, though I’ve been doing this since July), and once I’ve started doing multi-card readings and need something to do on the off days (you’re not supposed to do a daily spread for oneself, though I know why) and need something to do the off days, I might try to translate the book via Word and Google.

Meantime, there are still two more days of enjoying this deck before I have the onerous task of picking a new one.


What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God.

The Tarot of the Stars

The tarot deck I am using this month is a collector’s item: La Porta Celeste — I Tarocchi delle Stelle. The Tarot of the Stars. It was one of the first in my deceased brother’s collection that caught my eye. It’s a beautiful deck, and large — 6″ X 3.5″, and seems as if it’s the sort of deck one would use to do readings. It also seems more mystical than some, since this deck supposedly has its own cabalistic and alchemical system which is unique when compared to western tarot decks. The artist, Giorgio Tavaglione, integrated copious symbolism into his designs, particularly the astronomical information illustrated above each image. The problem with this deck (and the reason I never used it before) is that the book that comes with the deck is written in an archaic Italian dialect, very difficult to translate because it is loaded with magical and alchemical double entendres.

This is from the introduction:

“Tra le piu antiche immagine-peniero, la Spirale e una delle piu profonde e misterose. Nella Spirale vi e il concetto del Lairinto, con la sua entrata e la sua uscita. Nel Labirinto, con la sua entrata e la sua uscita. Nel Labirinto vi e l’idea/senso della Vita, del”evoluzione individual e di tutta la Societa Umna. Dalle inciscioni megalitiche dei Celti a quelle dell’Africa Nera, dalle decorazioni Mayaa e Azteche a quelle Indu, Deva e Asura, sino all doppia spirale Cinese dello Yin-Yang, la Spirale ha expresso ed esprime l’esensione, lEmanazione, la sviluppo nella continuita, ciclica in una Rotazion Creativa. Qesta meravigliosa immagine Cosmica e simbolo del E’quilibrio nello squlibrio dell Ordine all ‘interno del Cambiamento, della Mutaione. Nella Spirale logritmica si ha la permanenza della forma nonsante la crescita assimetrica.”

The following is more or less a translation, via Google and Word:

“The Spiral is one of the most profound and mysterious images. In the Spiral there is the concept of the Labyrinth, with its entry and exit. In the Labyrinth there is the idea / meaning of Life, of the individual evolution and of the whole Human Society. From the megalithic incisions of the Celts to those of Black Africa, from the Mayan and Aztec decorations to the Hindu, Deva and Asura ones, up to the double Chinese spiral of Yin-Yang, the Spiral has expressed and expresses the extension, the Emanation, the development of a continuous cycle of a creative rotation. This is a wonderful cosmic image and symbol of balance within change. The spiral stays formed, notwithstanding its asymmetric growth.”

It would take me forever for me to retype the book and try to translate it, though I might do a bit here and there. This deck is supposed to be similar to Papus, Wirth, and Cagliostro, all of which conform with the scholarship of Eliphas Levi, whoever he is. I do have both a Papus deck and a Cagliostro, which might help. I imagine, if I continue my tarot studies, I’ll eventually be able to figure out some of the symbolism on my own. If not, I can simply use it like I do any tarot deck, referencing my own collected meanings for each card. (I’ve been keeping a notebook where I keep note the meanings of the cards from various sources, sort of a personal key to the tarot.)

Beyond the ludicrousness of including an instructional book that purportedly even modern Italians can’t read, there is another problem: the large cards make them difficult to shuffle, and the matte finish makes it hard to fan out the cards on a table to choose each day’s offering.

It’s still one of my favorite decks, despite all this, mostly because it seems like a quintessential tarot deck. Too bad it’s not going to be one I use frequently, because I have a duplicate deck in case I damaged the cards. Or perhaps I can sell the duplicate; after all, it is a collector’s item.


What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God