Sunday, February 26, 2012

Deck Review of the "Regretsy" Tarot

"The Regretsy Tarot"
Wendy Sheridan and the "April's Army Artist Collective"
www.caboosterkit.com
$25.00

If I listed a set of topics that would never appear as a tarot deck, "The Regretsy Tarot" would definitely have been on it. Consequently, it requires some introduction before proceeding to the actual deck review.

Some of you, perhaps those of you who don't have access to the interwebs, may not be familiar with Regretsy (www.regretsy.com), an online community created by April Winchell that parodies the handmade crafts that are shown on Etsy. Its motto, "Where DIY meets WTF," describes it perfectly: It takes products on Etsy and makes fun of them. Please note: If you are easily offended, Regretsy is NOT the place for you to visit. It is littered with naughty words, phrases, and concepts, and is completely and totally politically incorrect. Some of its categories of products include "Dead Things", "Dirty Hippies", "Don't Ask Me", "Penises" and "Vaginas" (so glad for the parity here!), and "Whimsicle Fuckery, which is almost a second motto for the site. 

For full disclosure, I am a huge fan of this site. I think what I like most about Regretsy is that is does not hold back.  Despite its detractors--and there are many of them, some of which are former Regretsy fans who "flounce", or end their affiliation with Regretsy in a dramatic, ranting style--the site is extremely popular and has tremendous cultural influence. (As an aside, all of the "flounces" are posted for folks to read and, of course, comment on. This is one of my favorite aspects of the site!). As a born-and-raised Masshole, I had to buy a "Crab-Hammering Puritanical Dickbags" mug from Regretsy as well; my home state did not treat April Winchell so well on one trip, as I recall. 

Cut everything away and it's a thriving, snarky, opinionated, and downright sarcastic social network. People join the community to see what Etsy products are next in line to be mocked. There is something here for everyone to find absolutely wet-your-pants hilarious, and likely at some point in time you will be offended. But you get over it. Or you don't. (Did I mention how hilarious the flounces are?) 

Many Etsy artists who are featured on Regretsy have embraced it, probably because "there is no bad press" and it drives people toward their products. I suspect, however, that many other Etsy artists--and once you see some of the products featured on Regretsy you may question my use of that term--are extremely upset with the skewering they receive. I can totally understand that, too;  if someone took your creation and virtually bashed it with a verbal baseball bat and urinated on it, and then left it up for anyone on the web--which is these days pretty much anyone with an electronic device--to do the same, imagine how you would feel. Luckily, I got over it.

For what it's worth, it sounds like many of the crafters whose works are featured do the same; April Winchell says in her "Regretsy" book that only a very few times people have written to ask her to take their items down, and many have embraced her comments to gain new legions of fans and actually make money. And Regretsy also raises money for charity, helping people in need; http://www.regretsy.com/charity has all the details. 

The deck is based on the "social movement" (social network seems to not convey the amount of influence that it has for me!) that is Regretsy. The cards depict the vocabulary and culture of Regretsy; therefore, it is essential, even if you are one of the "fat, jealous losers" that haunt this site to end bad crafts, to download the PDF guide. 

This is your last warning to click away if you have delicate sensibilities. Personally, I don't want you to turn away but if you must...

If you're still reading at this point, you'll be happy to know that the backs of the cards appear normal at first glance; certainly, from a distance, this could be any tarot deck. Black and white diamond and square patterns on the top and bottom of the card surround what seems to be a nice flower/kaleidoscope image in the center. Look closer and you'll see it represents one of Regretsy's most popular and prevalent themes: Human genitalia, which actually is an entire suit in this deck. A circle of penises surrounds a circle of vaginas--"vagoo" or "bajingo" are popular terms for the female sex organs on Regretsy. (And seriously...who knew how many genitalia-inspired handmade crafts were out there??) 

The images were done by the "April's Army Artist Collective", a group of creative folks from all over the world who designed the cards for practically nothing--they received whatever could be "scraped together", except for the promotional name and website listings at the bottom of each card. They did a fantastic job translating the feel of Regretsy into this tarot deck, and it's clear that a lot of thought went into it. 

The 79-card deck follows the standard pattern of many tarot decks and is divided up into major and minor arcana. According to the guide, the 22 majors represent recurring significant themes to Regretsy folks. The four suits are Genitalia, Tools, Whimsicles, and WTF, and each contains an Ace through Ten, as well as a Page, Knight, Queen, and King. Both the majors and minors give a title for each card, which is extremely helpful, as well as the promotional information for the artist who designed the card.  The cards retain plenty of the Rider-Waite-Smith imagery that is common to many of today's tarot decks, so tarotists should feel fairly comfortable with them once they learn to speak Regretsy.

The one card remaining? Towel Mike, a gorgeous man who is surrounded by many well-loved Regretsy symbols: A cupcake, octopi (whose tentacles are "waving in a lacivious manner"), and more genitalia, with the letters "CF4L" ("Club Fuckery 4 Life") and the Royal Flying Goatse, a reference to an anus opened-wide. (Google "goatse" at your own peril, folks. All I'm going to say is to repeat what is on Card XVIII, "Accidental Goatse": "Once you see it, you can't unsee it." And doing it at work is probably NOT a good idea. Use your home computer, and then clear the history. You'll thank me later.)

And speaking of the majors, they do indeed represent many major Regretsy themes. The octopus appears several times--as the dog's replacement in card I, "Cupcake" (traditionally, the Fool), a Regretsy term used to describe a person who "praises everyone and everything but cannot take criticism at all.", as well as the head of the "The Reseller" (traditionally, The Devil) in card XV.

Card XIV, "The Flounce" (Temperance), shows a group of animals sitting around a table in the forest, laughing heartily, while a cat turns its back on the group and sticks out its tongue. (Read my earlier paragraph for the description of the "flounce".) One of the well-known tarot meanings of Temperance is "good health"; I could see "laughter being the best medicine" as part of this card, provided you can also laugh at yourself.

Other majors include "Steampunk" (Wheel of Fortune)--"what is old becomes new again", complete with octopus; another "Goatse"(Strength), Card VIII, this time very intentional with the axiom, "Dreams are the gateway to the anus"; and a very appropriate (if anything in Regretsy could be called "appropriate"!) use of the female genitalia in "Vagoo", Card 3 (The Empress).

The minors are fascinating in and of themselves. The guide says that normally two tarot suits--Wands and Cups--are dedicated to the male and female genitalia respectively. The Regretsy Tarot takes away any possible symbolism and just calls one suit "Genitalia". I think you know what we can expect on these cards by now, so let's talk about the one card that does NOT have any sex organs on it, the 2 of Genitalia. It has a plain brown background--like what they used to wrap dirty magazines when they sent them in the mail to you--emblazoned with big black letters saying, "OFFENSIVE REGRETSY MATERIAL" and a huge red "REJECTED" stamp on it. The "M for Mature" rating logo is in two corners of the card, and if you look closely at the one on the bottom left, you'll see the words "Disclaimer: Not suitable for ANYONE". I'm sure lots of people feel this way about Regretsy.

The "Whimsicles" suit showcases a very famous misspelling that represents part of Regretsy's raison d'etre. So many people on Etsy could not spell "whimsical" correctly that Regretsy folks borrowed it and use it regularly. The guide states at when a search for "whimsicle" was done on Etsy, there were 722 occurrences. It also says that things that are "cute" or have become "Regretsy memes" have been included in this suit. Note: Honey badger fans will be happy to see it make the Whimsicles court on the "Queen of Whimsicles".

One of the more interesting additions to the Whimsicles suit is the Six of Whimsicles, entitled "Gumball Clown", which has a gumball clown on a black background above roaring flames, holding six sharp knives, under a crescent moon. The guide gives the following as upright and reversed meanings, and while "all of the cards can mean whatever the hell you want them to" (the guide's entry for card XVIII), this quote portrays the guide's style of presenting the card meanings very nicely:

"You are going on a journey far, far away from this hideous nightmare, as fast as your legs will take you. Don't stop to pack; you don't have time! You are surrounded by all sorts of danger. There is fire. There are sharp, pointy things that can cut you. There are horrible candy "treats" that will rot your teeth and give you diabetes. Get Out NOW!" Reversed: What you thought was only a bad dream, is, in fact, reality. Nothing sucks worse than your life at this moment, except possibly if you WERE the Gumball Clown."

The Suit of Tools mocks the tools of the crafters trade: glue guns, cameras, glitter, gears, sewing machines, and, of course, six-legged octopi. The Queen of the suit, "The Queen of Gluing Shit to Other Shit", brandishes a hot glue gun and her caramel-colored hair becomes the glue that fills nearly the entire space. In her other hand, she holds a cat who looks extremely upset covered with shells and other items that have been fixed with the popular crafting adhesive. The glue gun also makes an appearance as the Ace of Tools as well.

As you can imagine, the WTF suit is the most difficult one to put into words. If the Regretsy folks "weren't sure how to categorize this stuff" then it ended up here. I have to say, however, that I'm really fond of Cosmic Yak on the 9 of WTF. Such psychedelic colors! And the simple yet powerful message in a nearly illegible 60's font: "Greetings, people of earth. I am Cosmic Yak." Clearly this belongs in the WTF category. The (Alan) Rickman-Head Fish on the Ace runs a close second.

One concept that is introduced in this suit is the Alchemy Request, which appears on the Knight of WTF. As I understand it, these requests were commissions to Etsy artists by individuals who want custom pieces. The best way to understand this concept is through example. Here's one that originally appeared on January 29, 2010, and was up today on the Regretsy site: A 11X14 or poster-sized painting of Mr. T and Teddy Roosevelt, arm-wrestling, with Teddy winning. The Alchemy request used on this card is a horse rearing back on its hind legs, sitting on a rainbow in the sky with the sun and moon looking on in benediction. (Sadly, Etsy no longer does Alchemy requests. But if you want a true WTF moment, then look at Regretsy's WTF Alchemy Requests category on their site. I have to wonder if Regretsy didn't have an influence on ending the Alchemy Requests on Etsy. I'm thinking yeah.)

While this deck is an absolute collector's item--I believe that no tarot collection is complete without one (and you should probably buy TWO and keep one in its box to hold the value!)--it can be used for divination. The guide did not give suit correspondences to the traditional elements or suits in the guide. However, based on what I've seen here's how I would interpret them:

Whimiscles = Pentacles (the guide says it sounds like pentacles)
Tools = Swords (the 3 of Tools looks like the 3 of Swords with the bleeding heart)
Genitalia = Cups (most of them were "bajingos" so cups seems most appropriate)
WTF = Wands (the cutting edge, "creative" nature taking the fore here)

The guide also states that you should be discrete with this deck. I suggest that you use this with people who have a sense of humor. I'm sure many Regretsy fans would LOVE having a reading with this deck. However, like the genitalia so incredibly prevalent on these cards, I'd definitely be careful when you pull it out. You can buy the Regretsy Tarot Deck at www.caboosterkit.com.

I was thrilled to get this deck and I hope you will buy at least one as well. It would make a great gift for any Regretsy fans and I plan to trot it out when I read for friends at home, or for Regretsy fans in my professional practice. Hopefully many fat, jealous losers will come by, read my work, and have tarot readings with me!

I'll end with one of my favorite Regretsy sayings: NAMASTE BITCHES!




Thursday, February 23, 2012

Review of the Steele Wizard Tarot Deck


The Steele Wizard Tarot is an 88-card tarot deck that took me by surprise, because while it can be considered a “standard” Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) derivative deck in many respects, it has several important features that make it stand out from the pack.

The beautiful, hand-drawn images contain a lot of the RWS imagery, with just enough variation to keep things interesting for the reader.  Many of the images have been reduced down so they are expressed more simply, but that fact doesn’t seem to take away from the power of the artwork. The major arcana have a Roman numeral at the top in the center and their title centered across the bottom, with a gorgeous rainbow crystal framing the image on the left and right. The minors have no numbers but each has the card title across the bottom in the same place as the majors, with the image bordered by a simple intertwined loop pattern of black and white. 

The card backs are entirely black and only adorned with two copies of the symbol on the front of the sturdy box that form the packaging, a black and white filigree drawing of two dragons intertwined. The card stock seems sturdy, yet flexible enough to allow for decent shuffling; however, the designer and illustrator of the deck, Pamela Steele, provides specific recommendations for mixing them.

One of the most interesting features of this tarot deck is the addition of ten additional cards over the standard 78. Six of these are in the major arcana and are numbered 22-27 respectively after the World: the Weaver, the Universe, Truth, Soul Twins, Evolution, and I AM. But if you feel that the 22 standard major arcana don't express the breadth of meaning that you require, or even for a change of pace if your readings seem to be always going in one direction (translation: stuck in a rut), then this deck will really push you outside your comfort zone.

The other four additional cards are Maidens, bringing the tarot court in this deck to five per suit. The Maidens are joined by the standard RWS court: the King, Queen, Knight, and Page. The new court cards fill a need, especially when it comes to identifying people that come up in readings. According to Steele, the Knight represents young women, the Knights young men, and the Pages messengers and children.  I really like the extra balance of feminine energy in the court that the Maidens provide.

The book that comes with the deck is more robust than many that I have seen. It provides some insight into the additional cards, but it would take some time for me to adjust my thinking. It was a challenge for me to understand these new major arcana cards and how they were used, simply because I use 78-card decks almost exclusively. I would have preferred some additional guidance on them, especially in the context of an actual reading. However, it was refreshing to see a Code of Ethics in the book, as well as several useful tarot spreads.

This deck is perfect for those readers looking for something exceptionally rare but prefer to work with standard RWS imagery.  It is also a unique addition to anyone’s tarot deck collection. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Letter from Neptune: The Ultimate Indignity

Hello there Old Man!

I've been in such a chipper mood lately that I almost can't stand myself. So uncontrolled, so dreamy...and that's so me in a nutshell. I could go so far as to say it's also very much NOT you, but that might be pushing the bounds of good taste.

And the bounds of good taste and decorum is what I will not only be pushing with this letter to you. No, Father Time, I suspect you will feel like good taste and decorum will become roadkill by the side of my literary road once I'm done. Guess what? You'll just deal with it. Or you won't. But either way I won't care. You wanna know why?

A week or so ago, I moved into Pisces, the sign that I rule. I'm FINALLY in my dignity!! And for the next 14 years, give or take an hour or three, I'll be in my most comfortable position in the heavens. Just think of all the Pisces folks...and not just the Pisces sun folks, but Pisces Moon and rising people, as well as anyone with lots of Pisces in their charts...who will feel much more at home, intuitive, and complete. The best thing for them to do now is to grab a bottle and head outside with all the rest of the hippies and commune with the Divine. I'm all about connecting with the unconditional love that's all around us and giving it back. 

I mean...we've got to make the most of it now, because it isn't going to happen again for another 165 years or so. The subconscious mind finally comes to the forefront, and more people will be attuned to and accept intuition--or "playing hunches" or some other non-New Age word of your choosing, my non-intuitive friend--as a normal everyday part of life. 

From a more environmental perspective, I expect a lot more ocean research. I do rule the oceans, too, you know. There's this huge body of water that takes up like 70% of the Earth and they're nowhere even close to understanding its complexity. 

People will feel more comfortable with anything I rule. I expect psychics, mediums, dancers, and filmmakers to have an excellent time. Anything that provides an illusion--glamour, if you will--will do well. It's going to be an awesome time!

With that said, unlike certain other more stodgy planets that will not be named, I freely admit my shortcomings. Over the next fourteen years, I expect that our difficulties with drugs in the world will become much, much worse. I'm not just talking about alcohol, though...I suspect that there will be a rise in the use of any illegal drug. More people may turn to drugs instead of addressing their problems directly; consequently, you may find that more people end up in rehab--sadly, I rule addiction, but at the same time I also have psychiatry under my aegis so I can try to help them cope. 

Secrecy is good sometimes, but generally speaking it causes a lot of problems. It's the deceptive aspect of me that gets many into trouble. Expect more extramarital affairs and more people hiding things under cosmetics than ever before. My influence may push people in that direction as well. Any criminal activity that is kept under the radar, like smuggling, could also see an increase. 

I'm not going to sit here and take responsibility for either the good or the bad of my influence over people; they've got free will, so blaming it on me is just an excuse. 

I have to gloat a little...just like you'll want to be proud Papa when you move into Capricorn, which won't happen for a few years yet...but today IT'S ALL ABOUT ME!!

Awww...don't have a negative emotion on me! That's right...you can't anyway...but John did get most of his tax stuff done and finish the meat of his tarot book, as well as receive a shiny new title. So you SHOULD be thrilled for five minutes or so before disappointment suffocates you like relatives on Thanksgiving.

Hope you'll write back...at some point. 

Believe,

Neptune

PS: NEPTUNE IN PISCES FOR THE NEXT 14 YEARS BABY!!! WOO HOO!!! DRINKS ALL AROUND!!! 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Cursed Ship?

Yeah, you read that correctly. I've been asked to give my professional metaphysical opinion on the scenario, which involves the USS Cowpens, a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser currently in service for the US Navy. Quite a number believe that she is "cursed" because her last two captains have been dismissed.

My friend, military blogger Susan Katz Keating, has more of the story if you're interested in reading it. The comments on the story itself are worth it. Take a look here.

 Let's start simply. Do curses exist? Absolutely! And people use them, but most of the time it is done unintentionally. When a couple argues, for example, they might curse each other without even realizing it. Magicaklly speaking, you use curses, hexes, and other forms of "grey" magick at your own peril. You gain the karmic repercussions of anything you do magickally that deliberately harms another person, which is why using a curse is dangerous. You need to decide just how badly you want to harm someone else. Are you willing to accept the backlash the Universe will undoubtedly throw your way? You would need to think carefully about this before working any mojo; this is not a decision that is made lightly.

Now let's move to the matter at hand, the USS Cowpens, or as some call her, "The Mighty Moo". Could an entire ship be cursed? My answer is no. There is no metaphysical meaning to these events, in my humble opinion, which have occurred in the mundane (non-magickal) world. Leadership changes are common, and sometimes these changes are positive and sometimes they're not.

 We need to be exceptionally careful not to ascribe a metaphysical meaning to everything that happens. While I understand and appreciate astrology, for example, and am incredibly passionate about it, I'm not going to assume an event did or did not happen for an astrological reason. It may be that the stars influenced the course of events, but in the end, it comes down to decisions made or not made by humans in the mundane world.

I'd say that a whole combination of events caused the angst on the Cowpens, but I have no evidence that any of it stems from a metaphysical or magickal source.

Many of my own clients talk about being cursed, and to be perfectly honest, folks, that's a cop-out. It's so easy to say "I got fired because I'm cursed!" instead of taking responsibility and saying, "I got fired and I'm angry about it, but I was lazy at work, called my boss a fucktard more than once, took three-hour lunches and drank on the job, so I probably deserved it." You aren't cursed for all eternity, doomed to an existence of standing by the side of a road holding a going out of business sale sign. You just screwed up. And believing that you are cursed will only prolong the run of bad luck you've been having.

 Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. One of the best ways to help yourself is to try making some changes. This can be hard, especially if you're stubborn and/or you don't take criticism well, and others around you have been nagging you to change your ways. Take a moment to put your ego in the closet, listen to those closest to you, and consider what they have to say.

 The way to growth, dear friends, is through evolution--calling it that is a much nicer spin on CHANGE, which is a word that most people really can't abide. You are not cursed any more than the USS Cowpens is. If you're worried about negativity, use protection magick to keep yourself safe and centered and stay free of both intentional and untintentional negative energy. The chances of being deliberately targeted for a curse are about the same as being killed by livestock falling from the sky. 

Also, remember that karma is a product of both our actions and thoughts--I'll bet you're reconsidering your last bout of road rage now--so think, speak, and act positively. Being good doesn't balance out the bad things you've done; they are in two separate "accounts" for lack of a better term.

I'm certain that the USS Cowpens will emerge from its negative cycle soon--if you assume that it's even IN one--hopefully before the arrival of its next permanent commanding officer. They won't need to burn 1000 bundles of sage on the stern under a Scorpio moon to break the "curse", because THERE IS NO CURSE.

One final note: Shit happens to all of us. Calling a run of bad luck a "curse" is a ridiculous and short-sighted way of dealing with it. Moreover, it makes you feel powerless; in truth, using that term is making a choice to be a victim. of circumstance, instead of an empowered individual. I have no idea why you would choose to identify yourself as a victim, but free will being what it is, the choice is yours.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Using Pop Culture Imagery as Mnemonic Devices in the Tarot


No one who has worked with the Tarot would argue that it is filled with imagery that allows the reader to tell a story to a client. Each and every card has a whole range of different meanings, and these meanings can be related to all kinds of other disciplines, like herbalism, astrology, and spirituality; while all of these topics are excellent areas to explore in the Tarot, I often use pop culture imagery as I read, both to forge a closer connection with my clients, and to provide intuitive direction and focus.

One of the biggest advantages for doing this is that they provide jumping-off points for your intuitive self. For me it’s easier to use analogies when reading Tarot that are firmly in mind. For example, I often think of Forrest Gump when I see the Fool. Forrest is na├»ve, honest, and willing to try new experiences, although he is nervous about doing so. That image resonated with me, and I often wonder during readings what Forrest’s reaction would be in various situations.

For the client, what you’re doing when you use pop culture imagery is providing a vehicle for her to better understand the point that you are trying to make in a reading. Even though a number of my clients are foreign-born, I think you would be hard pressed to find a client who has not at least heard of Forrest Gump. So the image of this character is one good way I have found to describe the Fool and many of its attributes.

One of the other reasons for using pop culture imagery in Tarot work is for self-development as readers. Many readers still refer to books during readings, and while I believe you should do whatever it takes to understand the message and convey it to a client, I have heard a number of people express difficulty with memorizing meanings for each card, especially if working with reversals. Images from our everyday culture can aid those of us who may not have the time or discipline to study each card individually. And I’m not just talking about novice readers here; experienced readers stand to gain one or more additional ways of expressing the complicated concepts that appear in a reading.

To obtain the greatest benefit from this imagery, it’s essential that each reader come up with his or her own cultural mnemonic devices. Here’s how I’d do it:

1)    Start small.  Pick 3-5 cards that resonate the most with you using your favorite deck. Ideally these are the cards you know best and really connect with.

2)    Identify major concepts or keywords. Choose a few—no more than four—key words or concepts that represent, in your mind, the meaning of each of the cards you selected in Step 1. Personally, one resource that I use is Joan Bunning’s Learning the Tarot; when I decided to stop using a book, her meanings were my inspiration. So I returned to that book as I thought about these images. Rachel Pollack’s 78 Degrees of Tarot Wisdom and the recently-published Tarot Wisdom also can provide excellent sources of ideas. But let me stress that you should use any Tarot book as a starting point for your own ideas.

3)    Consider which pop culture areas interest you the most. I am always fascinated with the development of American culture in all its forms, so this part was the most fun. What pop culture images does this card remind you of? Do some brainstorming and write down whatever comes to mind that expresses the keywords or concepts for the card you chose in Step 2. Here are a few areas I can suggest as you explore if you need some inspiration: movies; television; the Internet; historical events; famous people; songs; other cultures; occupations or fields of study; and literary heroes and villains. Again, these are just suggestions; your heritage, background, and life experiences will play the central role in choosing cultural topics to draw on.

4)    Match up the cultural images with the cards. Pick which symbols or cultural icons represent the cards the best. Before assigning an image to a card in your mind, consider that you’ll probably be stuck with it for a while, so make choices that make sense to you.

It sounds more complicated than it is, and you may already be doing this to some degree. Many of the devices I’ve come up with I stumbled into in the middle of a reading; I’m happy that I was able to retain those images until the end of a reading so I could write them down!

I’ll end with a few examples from my own Tarot practice. When I think of the Eight of Swords, one mnemonic device I’ve chose is the search engine Yahoo!. For me, the Tarot card represents someone looking at their options and realizing that there are none that seem good, or someone stuck in “analysis paralysis”, which is someone good at thinking about the choice but not good at making the actual decision. A few years ago, when I heard that Yahoo! turned 10 years old, I learned that Yahoo! is actually an acronym that stands for “You Always Have Other Options”. So the energy represented by the Eight of Swords embodies Yahoo! for me, this idea of searching for other options without making a decision; even on the World Wide Web, you may not find an option that is suitable for you and you’ll still be stuck with the “least bad” choice.

Another image I use is for the Moon, and it’s the television show, “Lost”. The card represents that there’s probably a lot more going on that meets the eye, people deceive themselves and each other, and nothing on the surface represents the true reality of the situation. “Lost” is filled with unexpected twists and turns, and one of the reasons many viewers tune in is because they are confused and off-balance. So they come back the next week for some closure, and while it sometimes happens, there are only more and more questions to be answered.

I’ll leave you with one final image representing one of my favorite cards, the Hierophant. For me, Gandhi represents the true essence of the Hierophant: the spiritual teacher who makes us question what we truly believe and take responsibility for our own spiritual development. The Hierophant asks each one of us if we are prepared to make a deep commitment to our spiritual path, and Gandhi certainly was. Despite all of the adversity he faced, Gandhi was a non-conformist; his persistence was legendary and he truly believed in what he was going with every fiber of his being.

I hope suggestions I provided will help you along your path as a reader, and that you’ll work some cultural imagery into your everyday practice and study of the Tarot.