Saturday, February 28, 2009

I'm afraid of the evil tarot and pentagram!

As most of you know, I've been interested in tarot for years. I enjoy both reading for friends and having my own cards read by others. Once in awhile I'll still shell out $30 to see what a good reader has to say but mostly I read, or a good Milwaukee friend will read for me. (You know who you are, Jurg.)

Lately I've had people ask why anyone would want to have their cards read. I admit, this question often seems to come from the seriously non-curious. Nevertheless, it's a good question. Why would anyone want to have someone else seemingly dive into their lives and personal affairs?

My first response to that question is this: insight. To me, the first and foremost tool of tarot is to give one insight into either a general or specific situation in her/his life. Tarot is the exploration of options, a presenter of choices, a purveyor of power ("knowledge is power"), and a method of directing our focus on what concerns may be imminent.

Of course there are many other ways of using the tarot: as a ritual tool, access to our unconscious, focus for meditation, clarification of goals, understanding dreams or even creating dreams.

Tarot is not used to cast evil spells or make others do what they do not wish to do. There have been rather accurate past portrayals in the media of witches, witchcraft and the use of esoteric tools, but most often witches, tarot, books of shadows and other accoutrement are depicted as in some way evil and tools of wicked intent. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Just as the tarot is not a tool of malevolent scheming, neither is the pentagram a symbol to be feared. Do you know what the pentagram represents? It is a five pointed star representing elements: air, earth, fire, water and spirit. It is a tool of protection, not fear.

The number five is considered to be mystical and magickal. We have five senses (those which are known as the common senses). Five toes, five fingers, five pillars of the Muslim faith, five daily times of prayer, five wounds of Christ on the cross.

Every person is a star!

There is a tarot layout which is done in the shape of the five pointed pentagram. By the way, the symbol you often see us wearing is actually called a pentacle, which is a pentagram within a circle.

One "suit" of the tarot card deck is called pentacles, or sometimes coins. This suit represents prosperity, finances, business ventures. The ace of pentacles can represent a new, prosperous beginning.

So you see, tarot cards and pentagrams are actually a wondrous celebration of life, nature and spirit.

Those are today's words. Spread 'em, ok? (All right, that was a little wytch joke.)

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