Who am I?
Outside the blogosphere, my passions include music and mythology, and the latter actually influences the way I interpret the Tarot pretty heavily.
In fact, if it wasn’t for my fascination with myth, I’d probably never have picked up the cards. To me, an understanding of myth is an understanding of the human condition. Unfortunately, though, no matter how much I read, no matter how much I learned about humanity throughout the ages, I could not extrapolate anything practical from the myths to apply to my own life. I had a tantalizing glimpse of the solution to my existential quandaries, but I could not quite grasp it.
Then I started to study the Tarot.
Because of the mythic archetypes inherent in the cards, the Tarot contains the pieces of an outline for the basic story that is at the heart of mythologies from around the world. But, rather than being a single story written down in a book, the Tarot is a deck of cards that can be arranged and rearranged to tell any story. It becomes a story you interact with. It’s as if you asked the pages of the Odyssey for advice on your own journey, and the Odyssey answered. In essence, the Tarot bridges the gap between mythology and reality.
But I digress. So, who am I?
Rather than reveal anything personal, I’ll use Tarot terms to introduce myself within the context of this blog. Anything you, the reader, need to know about me, the writer, can be garnered from four cards.
I keep several significators, but there are two in particular which I would like to share here.
The card which best represents my general personality is the Knight of Cups. According to the astrological attributions of the Golden Dawn, my date of birth falls under this card’s domain. Furthermore, my most recent Myers-Brigg Type Indicator results correspond with the Knight of Cups (according to MK Greer’s book on the Tarot court – the other possibility for me based on the MBTI is the Page of Cups, but I’ll stick to the Knight). At his best, the Knight of Cups is creative, romantic, and loyal. At his worst, he is ruled by unbalanced emotions and addictive tendencies.
As the Sentinel, the writer of this blog, and a student of the Tarot and of magic, I use the Knight of Pentacles. The Pentacles are the emblem of Earth, of making the abstract tangible, and the Knight plods along his course with resolute determination. He is no master, but he is neither a novice. He views the world around him as magic manifest, and its beauty is a comfort to him as he does his piece of the Great Work.
I have a healthy respect for each of the cards of the Major Arcana, but there are two that I especially identify with. These two cards guide my study and practice, and they represent my approach to the Tarot. They are the Magician and the Hermit, and they represent an active/passive dichotomy, the median of which forms a road leading to material potency and spiritual enlightenment. They are two incarnations of the mythical figure that is supposed to have created the Tarot, and I can think of none better to define my relationship with the cards.
Incidentally, it was the Hermit who first attracted my attention to the Tarot, as I’ve recounted here.
The Tarot has come to play a serious role in my spiritual and intellectual life, and while my existential quandaries are still far from resolved, I now feel as though I’ve found a path and a guide in the cards. It may be a life-long endeavor, but I honestly wouldn’t want it to end any sooner.
I don’t usually do readings for people (except occasionally for my closest friends). At this point in my life, the Tarot is a solitary activity for me. I think that is important to keep in mind if you wish to read this blog. I share my thoughts purely for the sake of adding my two cents to an open discourse on a subject that is fascinating to me.
Finally, I want to say that in spite of the Tarot’s virtually limitless uses for things like divination, meditation, and magic; in spite of its spiritual and mythic connotations; in spite of all creative potential, artistic merit, and the wisdom expressed within, I always keep in the back of my mind that it originated as a game, and nothing more. I talk of study and practice, but ultimately I’m just playing with my cards, and this simple recognition keeps me humble. I approach the cards with respect, certainly, but I am reminded never to take them too seriously. There’s a life lesson in that which, I believe, trumps anything else the Tarot can deliver.
So, that’s who I am, or at least, how I identify myself as a Tarot reader.
But enough about me. How about you?