All posts by Paul E. Meade

Bad Cards

By Paul E. Meade | February 2, 2002 | Leave a comment

From: meade@twod.gsfc.nasa.gov (Paul E. Meade)
Subject: Re: posting of the tarot
Date: 2 Aug 1994 12:07:00 GMT

[...]

IMHO (but then, isn’t everything I post), NONE of the Tarot Cards (and especially not the Majors) are intrinsically good nor intrinsically bad. For example, I see the Hanged Man (often depicted a man hung upside down by one foot and not looking particularly distressed by it) as emblematic of a new, radically different point of view (the world turned upside down) which can lead to new insights (perhaps good, perhaps bad) about the world (or your life, or whatever). It reminds me of the fragment of Norse verse about Odin hanging ‘nine whole days’, pierced (with a spear?) and wounded, and coming away from the experience with an understanding of the runes.

Although this is not the standard line that you will find in BOOKS about the Tarot, I feel that it is most important for you to look at the cards and decide what they mean for YOU. After all, you are the one to whom they are going to be talking, so it’s best for you to establish the ‘language’ which they are going to use. And of course it’s not easy to decide what each and every card means – there are a few cards in my deck which don’t speak loudly to me, and I usually ‘go by the book’ for those cards. Curiously enough, I find that those cards don’t come up very often in readings. It’s also OK to let the meanings change over time as you become more familiar with the cards and more experienced at reading them – don’t think that the meanings that you assign to them now are set in stone for all time. Remember – the Tarot is a tool and how you use that tool is up to you.

One of my favourite cards is The Tower, which in my deck is depicted by as physical tower being struck by lightning and destroyed, while an a luminous extension of the tower continues to rise undamaged to a starry night sky. To me, this card perfectly embodies the idea of ‘per aspera ad astra’ (through difficulties to the stars), which is one of the most powerful images in my life – continuing on towards a higher goal in spite of mundane difficulties and pain.

- paul (meade@twod.gsfc.nasa.gov)