Thursday, February 23, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
Walking the trails in Tromsø, I imagine the nature speaking to me: “Heed attention,” it says, and then thunders through light and snow: “I never lie to myself.” Suddenly I feel empowered. My pace picks up speed, and I fly over the ice. Whoa! My body is lean and slim and arches in the air like a well-fit tightrope across two mountaintops. The magnetism of the North Pole smuggles me over to my natural state of ashes to ashes in progress. I pulverize culture. I banish words such as ‘responsibility’ and ‘reflection.’ Tall Norwegians pass me by and find me attractive. They can sense the Snow Queen and the Ice Witch at work, making love potions. I can fuck anything here, though not all is worth the while. "I don’t lie to myself,” nature says, and I hear myself banishing all insults to where they came from. Non serviam serves me well as a spell. I wonder what else I should throw into the pot: the sound of my force clenching the fire. The truth is that I am the One.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Sunday, February 5, 2012
As I like to see totalities in action, I never want to miss a beat, so I try to attend as many encounters of this type as possible. On a more pragmatic level, I was interested in seeing what else the Danish tarot community is up to these days. I went to what was advertised as a lecture on tarot by the owners of the Danish Tarot Academy, Ulrik Golodnoff and Søren Rasmusen. As it turned out, there was no lecture, but instead an invitation to the public to just come forward with individual questions, which the two lecturers would answer by looking into the cards, in ‘stereo’ as they put it – the Waite/Smith and Crowley/Harris decks. This is not very interesting for the members of the audience who can make a distinction between place and space and various types of exhibitionism. Also as a general rule, an exhibitionist is not interested in seeing another exhibitionist, or having to listen to people asking questions as to whether the cards could say something about how and when – ‘when, I need to know NOW’ – a lost philanderer lover will return to the one and only loving bosom. While the Waite/Smith Tarot suggested: ‘forget about it, honey, your man is an immature and insincere Page of Cups in reverse’ and the Crowley/Harris suggested busted security in the 4 Wands in reverse, the two lecturers failed to deliver a synthesis or a narrative that would say something commonsensical about how the imagery of the two cards in fact supported the same message. The subject was also lamenting that she didn’t get it, insisting also that her lover promised that he would come back to her. Yes, and there are no dishonest men on the planet, but if she worked hard at it – the two lecturers said – of course the additional 5 cups can also turn into grand love, because good fortune is in sight as signaled by the Wheel of Fortune. The woman was happy with this answer.
For some reason the Danish tarotists are particularly fond of Crowley’s Thoth Tarot. I think this has to do with the fact that they think Crowley/Harris is ‘cooler’ than the standard Waite/Smith. I am a Marseille reader myself, so I don’t belong to the club. In fact, as there aren’t any other Marseille readers in Denmark – most people find the historical decks difficult to read with, as there are no pictures on the minor Arcana cards – I can consider myself a one-woman show. For cultural reasons, however, I rather like the mainstream decks used yesterday, and I can also read with them without any qualms – I can even do the kabbalah stuff in relation to the Thoth deck, if need be. Consequently, this knowledge enables me to make a few assessments. So, on yesterday’s performance: No, no, and no, I don’t think so, OMG, that is so no, absolutely not, no way in hell, nope, and no. I had a hard time finding a ‘yes’ when, for instance, Rasmussen was telling the woman concerned with her lover that the 5 of cups in the Thoth tarot was challenging her to think of what Jesus would do if he was sitting on a hotplate. As an image in itself – Jesus with a hot ass – this works brilliantly, but if you leave things up in hot air, merely telling someone that they need to find a way of hopping between the branches of the Tree of Life, from Geburah ruled by Mars to Tiphareth ruled by the Sun, is not very helpful. Given also what we know of Jesus, who’s to say that he wouldn’t elect to burn and endure it all, carry the heavy cross, instead of taking another path? Thus, telling the woman to go soft and beautiful on the inconstant and disinterested lover is a way of betraying her trust and siding with the absent potential bastard.
At the end of the day, although I can appreciate people’s unfortunate efforts – and I still believe in the poetics of Tarot and its ability to derail our reality for the better, in spite of everything – let’s just say that while entertaining, the Danish Tarot Fair fails on the question of precision. But then, balancing Tarot’s potential for precision with its potential to leave it open and up to us is the grand art. It is for this reason that we don’t give it up, even though we may feel the urge to smash a few pedestals, go from small scale to grand scale and thus rewrite and reclaim the tarot schooling from clubs, establishments, and body and soul fairs.
For more Tarot related posts, go to my Tarot(t)flexions website.