Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Answering a few questions

So I notice that quite a number of my blogger friends have been doing the whole 30 Day Challenge thing. I admit there is no way that I could stick to that all the way through, nor do I find all of the questions interesting. I figured that answering a few in a single post might be a nice little exercise...

My parents were never super religious, but I spent a fair amount of my childhood in [catholic] church. I always had found the masses incredibly boring and never listened. At around age 12 or so I realized I did not agree with and could not believe in anything the priest was saying, so I went to my local library and started looking into other religions. Wicca was the only one that really intruiged, so I studied/'practiced' it for a couple years before realizing atheism was the path for me.

Anyway, some of the Wicca books discussed tarot cards, which intrigued me. I bought my first deck ten years ago at a local Barnes and Noble at the age of 14 - the Universal Waite deck, specifically. I disliked the art from the very beginning, but it was apparently the 'proper' deck to learn on and so learn on it I did. I consulted lwb and a book titled 'Tarot for Beginners' or something similar. I had a couple periods of totally forgetting about the deck, going back to it, etc. It wasn't until a few years later when I was in high school that I got my second deck, carefully chosen based on aesthetic appeal - the Gilded tarot. I remember opening it with such excitement on the ferry ride home and almost losing one of the King cards...eventually I gave both decks away. :0

The first spread I learned was the Celtic Cross. I found it overly long, complicated, often confusing and just unnatural. In fact, it wasn't until I totally stopped using it that I found my reading improve significantly, and my interest in and attention to the cards became more stable. I've never gone back to it since. I know its 'tried and true' and all that but really just is not the reading method for me. I am generally averse to spreads that are more than five or six cards unless there is something really interesting/intriguing about them and...this is none of those things for me, at all.

In general I don't have a favorite spread. Other than structured reading exchanges on forums and times where I deliberately choose to use a spread because it looks interesting/really relevant/I just want to experiment, I tend to play it fast and loose with spreads. Make one up on the spot that seems appropriate, or not use one at all. Sometimes just pulling cards I find that they organize themselves into 'spreads' for me...not all decks are like this, but for example with the almost seems an insult to the deck to force it into a spread when it is so obviously able to do that itself...

I sometimes use reversals, though much less than I used to. It mostly depends on the deck. In general, meaty/complex/unusual decks tends to mean no reversals, whereas 'simple' RWS variations tend to be better for using them.

I prefer reading for myself than for others generally, especially offline... mostly because I feel not so confident in my 'people skills' as they relate to tarot, and because I know my verbal communication skills are and always have been noticeably inferior to my writing skills so that...even when I KNOW what the cards are saying, getting that phrased right, on the spot, can be tricky indeed.

I know some people say they cannot read for themselves, but in my case it has always been MUCH easier to read for me than for anyone else. After all, I know all the details of my life and situation and so can make all kinds of analysis and connections to specific things, whereas for other people it is...poking and guessing and talking in a kind of general way and hoping it means something to the other person - it feels like grasping in the dark, whereas reading for me is more like picking up a tool and using it to examine things I know of in a new way. Also, reading for free on any kind of scale would be too much of a time suck, whereas reading for money feels like too much pressure and stress, worry about whether they are getting their 'money's worth' and...yeah. Not for me, at least right now.

Oh, and I have absolutely no 'special' time or place or rituals around my tarot reading. I read/do draws for myself absolutely anywhere - in bed, on the floor, in the car, on the bus, on the train, at a cafe, in the library, in a hallway, really just anywhere. Why not? In my experience it makes absolutely no difference.

When I was in Tunisia I kept doing daily draws for myself when we were on the bus visiting the south of the country. At one point the director of the language school asked me for a reading and I obliged... he spent the rest of the summer calling me 'Deghaza', which means fortune-teller in the Syrian dialect. At one point we went on a field trip to the national TV station and he introduced me to the staff as 'Deghaza', to their amusement. I chatted with several of the employees and none of them ever learned my real name...


Carla said...

I like your idea of just answering some of them all in one go. I couldn't even manage to read through the entire list, let alone answer them in 30 blog entries! It would be sooo boring for people to read, I thought. So I might get the list out and do something similar to what you've done here. :) x In fact, most of our answers are pretty much the same.

Bonkers said...

yeah this def felt more doable to me than the activity as it was originally described :]

thesycamoretree said...

Hmmm... Just went to check out all the questions and saw that the blog has been shut down for now by the author.
I think I might manage one question a week, but one every day would make me feel exposed somehow. Guess I'm not good at being interviewed, even when I'm interviewing myself about seemingly innocuous stuff. :) I'm too private a person in some ways!

Saturness said...

I haven't been following closely the events in the divination-blog world, so I have no idea what the 30 Day Challenge is. Nevertheless, I did enjoy your post because I felt I could know a bit more about you through it, and that's something that is very exciting to me.

I too bought my first deck when I was 13 (the Enchanted Tarot), though it would take me about 7 years to start studying the cards seriously. The Playing Card Oracles was the deck that turned me into a more dedicated student of divination. But my love for the Tarot remained, even though I don't always study it as I should.

I also don't have any rituals concerning card-reading. I read cards anywhere!

I feel not so confident in my 'people skills' as they relate to tarot, and because I know my verbal communication skills are and always have been noticeably inferior to my writing skills

You know, I have some communication problems too. I think I write decently, but when speaking I tend to verbalize my ideas in strange ways, sometimes people don't really get what I'm talking about. I also have a difficult time keeping a logic line, because my thought fly in every direction.

That said, when reading for others I found that somehow my speaking skills get a bit better. I think it's because I talk more slowly, as I'm trying to get the message from the cards. It doesn't keep me from using weird metaphors sometimes, but it's far less confusing than my usual rambling.

What I want to say is - sometimes you can surprise yourself, lol! :) Of course, you must do what makes you comfortable, but don't hinder yourself because of a self-perceived flaws.

Thank you for this post! I loved to learn more about you!

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