Archive for July, 2007

Episode 1 of the Tarot Table Talk Podcast

July 29, 2007

 

The Fool

You can listen to Episode 1 of the Tarot Table Talk Podcast—Observing the Fool—by clicking here, or you may read the transcript below. A complete listing of the Tarot Table Talk Podcast episodes may be found on The Magician’s Table website.

Episode 1, in MP3 format is 10.7 MB and approximately 8 minutes long.

* * *

Welcome to the first episode of Tarot Table Talk. I’m Susan Gold. This podcast provides hands-on exercises for experienced tarot enthusiasts as well as those who are new to the cards.

In addition to a variety of exercises, there will be a series of episodes that demonstrate ways you can use the tarot to inspire both personal and creative writing. There will also be another series of self-reflective exercises to help you celebrate the Celtic holidays.

I thought I would kick off this show with an exercise to guide you into The Fool card from the Rider-Waite deck. This will be similar to a creative visualization except that it will not be a personal self-reflective journey. Your primary role in this exercise is as an observer.

I will begin by describing the card in detail and then suggest scenarios and possibilities for you to imagine. Hopefully stories will emerge to help you develop a better understanding of who The Fool is. If you like to write fiction, you might want to have a pen and pad of paper nearby to jot some notes. You might choose to have The Fool in front of you, or you can close your eyes—if you’re not driving—and simply listen.

If you don’t usually work with the Rider-Waite deck, no worries, you may think of this as a comparative study.
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Choose your card for the week of July 29, 2007

July 28, 2007

If you are viewing this entry on Sunday or Monday, choose the card below that best illustrates how you expect your week to go. At the end of the week you can see if things went as anticipated. You might also consider the card that symbolizes how you would like the week to go, or the kind of energy you need to get through the week.

If you are viewing this entry anytime between Tuesday and Thursday, choose the card below that best illustrates how your week is going. On Sunday you can see if anything unexpected happened to change your feelings. You might also consider the card that symbolizes how you would like the week to go, or the kind of energy you need to get through the rest of the week.

If you are viewing this entry on Friday or Saturday, choose the card below that best illustrates how your week has gone.

Don’t worry about what the cards mean. Base your choice on the pictures—the stories they tell and how they make you feel. If you would like to read about your card, click on the card interpretation link under the appropriate suit/major arcana on the right.

Let us know which card you chose—post a comment!

Knight of WandsFive of Pentacles Page of Cups

Ten of Pentacles Two of Swords The Fool

Six of Swords: Into the Looking Glass

July 24, 2007

Six of Swords

Need to put on your lipstick? Straighten your tie? Or take a metaphorical look at yourself? If you need a mirror, make sure you use the left side of the boat for your reflection—the water’s calmer over there.

* * *

A couple weeks ago I was telling my friend Carole Pierce how disoriented I was when I received an email from a Carol Pearce. She then told me that long ago she had been drawn to the author Carol S. Pearson—in part because of her name—and in part because she had written a neat book called The Hero Within: Six Archetypes We Live By.

When Carole recommends a book, or anything else for that matter, I must, at the very least, make a note of it. This time I hopped online and ended up ordering Pearson’s more recent book, Awakening the Heroes Within: Twelve Archetypes to Help Us Find Ourselves and Transform Our World. I can’t put it down—and quickly realized it would provide the perfect framework for a course in mythology that Carole and I will be teaching in the fall. Even I, cynic of cynics, have to admit this seems a bit synchronistic. Do you agree?

I’m very excited about the mythology course, which I’ll write about in the future, but I want to put in a plug for Awakening the Heroes Within. While it’s not a tarot book—tarot doesn’t even show up in the index—every page deepens my understanding of the major arcana. Pearson takes twelve archetypes and maps them onto the hero’s journey. She also looks at their part in the development of our Ego, Soul, and Self. It’s an accessible introduction to the principles of Jungian psychology and demonstrates, if not explicitly, the psychological depth of the cards.

You may be asking, What’s the deal with the Six of Swords? Well, there’s a quote from the book which, while talking about the Sage archetype, offers a new interpretation of the Six of Swords:

“In therapy, the Sage allows us to notice our pathological patterns, and to see the way we have been projecting our own scripts or perceptions onto the world. It observes those patterns and is capable of experiencing greater truth beyond them. The difference between reflecting reality in a relatively adequate way and through distorted thinking is like the difference between looking at the world reflected in a calm pond and in one in which the water is moving” (59).

Many tarotists note the imagery of the Six of Swords, which suggests moving to calmer waters. The card can also symbolize, in part, the need to accept the truth and move on or risk being imprisoned by a limited point of view. Taking a look at oneself and one’s circumstanses seems pretty important here, but it’s truly self-defeating if the reflection isn’t clear.

Choose your card for the week of July 22, 2007

July 21, 2007

If you are viewing this entry on Sunday or Monday, choose the card below that best illustrates how you expect your week to go. At the end of the week you can see if things went as anticipated. You might also consider the card that symbolizes how you would like the week to go, or the kind of energy you need to get through the week.

If you are viewing this entry anytime between Tuesday and Thursday, choose the card below that best illustrates how your week is going. On Sunday you can see if anything unexpected happened to change your feelings. You might also consider the card that symbolizes how you would like the week to go, or the kind of energy you need to get through the rest of the week.

If you are viewing this entry on Friday or Saturday, choose the card below that best illustrates how your week has gone.

Don’t worry about what the cards mean. Base your choice on the pictures—the stories they tell and how they make you feel. If you would like to read about your card, click on the card interpretation link under the appropriate suit/major arcana on the right.

Let us know which card you chose—post a comment!

Queen of Cups The Hanged Man Six of Pentacles

Three of Wands The Star Two of Pentacles

To Share or not To Share: Coming out as a Tarotist

July 20, 2007

I don’t often talk about my tarot work with others because I’m afraid of being judged. I’m not a psychic but people will think that I think I’m a psychic. People will think that I think I’m a fortune teller. People will think I’m a whacko or weirdo or a spacey new-aged hippy. Or maybe they’ll respond that tarot is the work of the devil or against their religion. I worry that I’ll be shut down or won’t get the opportunity to explain that I’m attracted to tarot because it’s a wonderful tool for self-reflection and creative expression—that I’ve never once used it to make a prediction.

This afternoon I finished a six-day intensive teacher education course in order to renew my credential. On the first day—of course—the professor asked us to introduce ourselves to a partner. And—of course—we were to share something personal as well as a little about our teaching experience. This is uncomfortable for an introvert, and for and introverted tarot reader, it’s a nightmare. My partner started oil painting four years ago. Lucky her. Me? Um. Well. Hmm. I like to write fiction, I said. (Never mind that I haven’t touched my novel in about a year.)

A few days later, I got a little braver. When we were asked to share something that was going on in our lives with a small group, I told them that I had just taught a beginning tarot workshop. Another classmate said that he was into tarot and different forms of divination and then we moved on with the next phase of the activity. Phew.

Today, as we finished our finals and were saying our goodbyes, my classmate wanted to know more about the workshop I did. I gave him my business card, and the professor noticed the exchange. “Why didn’t you share this with the whole class?” She asked.

“Well, not everyone’s into tarot,” I said sheepishly.

What she said next will stay with me even more than the wealth of wisdom I have filed away over the six days. She said something like this: “The universe doesn’t give everyone the opportunity to learn about and try different things. If people learn about something from someone they admire, they might develop an interest in it or gain a new perspective on it. That’s why I give students the opportunity to share.”

Wow.

My professor made me realize that if I want to see tarot go mainstream—and I do, I do, I do—then I need to be willing to talk it up when I get the opportunity and not worry about misconceptions people might have or how I might be judged.

Thanks Professor C !

The Ace of Wands: In Search of Fresh Soil

July 18, 2007

Ace of Wands

 

I just repotted some plants. Have you ever put off that task for just a tad too long? The plant gets stuck in the pot, roots growing through the water holes at the bottom. You pull and rip and tear to get the plant out and then hope there isn’t too much damage to prevent it from thriving in a new situation.

While I played tug of war with a particularly stubborn ficus, I kept seeing that branch from the Ace of Wands, except in my vision, it had roots trailing under it. The divine hand was transporting the sapling to a slightly larger pot, or perhaps a meadow with the perfect amount of both sunlight and shade.

I’d like to imagine that divine hand plucking me out of a situation before I become rootbound. Alas, I’ve learned not to rely upon divine intervention. I must do it for myself, hard as it is.

The Ace of Wands can represent a spark of imagination, the beginning of a project, or the first stages of a creative pursuit—any of which may be just what we need when we feel our roots rotting.

*    *    *
Exercise for Reflection:

Find a card in the deck that represents a situation or a relationship that you have outgrown. Find another card that represents how you imagine you would feel if you were to move on.

That Blanket Hog, the Four of Pentacles

July 16, 2007

Four of Pentacles

 

I’ve never been wild about the Four of Pentacles. He looks greedy, hugging that money. He also reminds me of a time when I was a kid, and I dropped a quarter. A bully claimed it by stomping his foot on it.

I wonder if the guy in the Four of Pentacles has a partner and worry that he might be possessive or controlling.

On Saturday, I co-taught a beginning tarot reading workshop with my friend Carole. (What an energizing day that was!) We talked about the facets of the Four of Pentacles and apparently he crept into my subconcious. My poor husband woke up in the cold this morning—summers aren’t all that warm in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I had wrapped all the blankets around myself.

When I realized what I had done, this card sprang to mind. Suddenly I felt more compassion for the man in the Four of Pentacles—not to mention the poor guy shivering in the bed with me!

Today I’m more in touch with the vulnerability represented in this card. There are times when we just need some warmth, a little reassurance or a sense of stability.

Choose your card for the week of July 15, 2007

July 15, 2007

If you are viewing this entry on Sunday or Monday, choose the card below that best illustrates how you expect your week to go. At the end of the week you can see if things went as anticipated. You might also consider the card that symbolizes how you would like the week to go, or the kind of energy you need to get through the week.

If you are viewing this entry anytime between Tuesday and Thursday, choose the card below that best illustrates how your week is going. On Sunday you can see if anything unexpected happened to change your feelings. You might also consider the card that symbolizes how you would like the week to go, or the kind of energy you need to get through the rest of the week.

If you are viewing this entry on Friday or Saturday, choose the card below that best illustrates how your week has gone.

Don’t worry about what the cards mean. Base your choice on the pictures—the stories they tell and how they make you feel. If you would like to read about your card, click on the card interpretation link under the appropriate suit/major arcana on the right.

Let us know which card you chose—post a comment!

Ten of Cups Page of Pentacles Hermit

Wheel of Fortune Six of Wands Queen of Swords

A conversation piece

July 9, 2007

Wanna show the world you’re obsessed with tarot? Try this!

Living Room

Tarot Magnet Board

Here’s all you need:

  • a spare copy of your favorite deck
  • a roll of magnetic strip from your local craft store—my neighborhood hardware store carries this, also
  • a 31″ x 23″ dry erase board from an office supply store such as Office Depot (they probably come in other sizes, too)

Adhere small pieces of the magnetic strip to the backs of your favorite cards*, lay them out on the board, and hang it in an eye-catching place—as if all those cards wouldn’t be eye catching anywhere! Shuffle them around when you need a change.

*I can fit four rows of ten cards using the standard-sized Rider-Waite deck.

I actually prepared this board for a beginning tarot class that I’m co-teaching with my friend Carole on the 14th. Each row shows a different suit, Ace through Ten. (Unfortunately, the court cards don’t fit.) The idea is to be able to see the progression of each suit in its row and each group of numbers by column.

I had the board propped up against the couch for a couple days, and my husband and I kept commenting on it. We finally decided to put it up. I see stories and connections wherever my eye lands. I just glanced over at it, and my attention went to the figure in the Nine of Swords who sits up in bed with her hands covering her face. No wonder she’s had a nightmare. On one side of her, in the Eight of Swords, a woman is blindfolded, tied up and surrounded by a fence of swords, and on the other side, in the Ten of Swords, a man lies with ten swords in his back! Not exactly a recipe for sweet dreams.

Anyway, this should make a fun conversation piece!

Choose your card for the week of July 8, 2007

July 8, 2007

If you are viewing this entry on Sunday or Monday, choose the card below that best illustrates how you expect your week to go. At the end of the week you can see if things went as anticipated. You might also consider the card that symbolizes how you would like the week to go, or the kind of energy you need to get through the week.

If you are viewing this entry anytime between Tuesday and Thursday, choose the card below that best illustrates how your week is going. On Sunday you can see if anything unexpected happened to change your feelings. You might also consider the card that symbolizes how you would like the week to go, or the kind of energy you need to get through the rest of the week.

If you are viewing this entry on Friday or Saturday, choose the card below that best illustrates how your week has gone.

Don’t worry about what the cards mean. Base your choice on the pictures—the stories they tell and how they make you feel. If you would like to read about your card, click on the card interpretation link under the appropriate suit/major arcana on the right.

Let us know which card you chose—post a comment!

Ace of Pentacles 10 Swords Queen of Pentacles

Knight of Cups The Magician Page of Swords