Friday, 1 May 2015

Tarot Blog Hop Beltane 2015: Yikes !


The host of this year's Beltane Blog Hop is Morgan Drake Eckstein, and the topic they have chosen was inspired by the recent Ostara Blog Hop, and is as follows:

''The theme of the May 1, 2015 Tarot Blog Hop is Dealing with the distasteful cards.

Reading the entries of the last blog hop (updating the Tarot), I noticed that we all agreed that the distasteful cards needed to stay in the Tarot deck.
The "distasteful" cards are those which when turned over (revealed) evoke a strong negative reaction--the cards that indicate that something upsetting is about to happen, and that big changes are about to visit one's life.
A short list of such cards would probably include: Hanged Man, Death, Tower, Devil, Three of Swords, Ten of Swords, and the Happy Squirrel (*wink*). 
These are cards that when revealed that you can see the client visibly try to run away from. They can be unpleasant...mainly because most humans really do not like changes in their lives, even when their lives are a complete and utter mess.
So how do we deal with these cards when they show up? What do we tell our clients? What rituals (actions) can we take to better cope with these energies?
Feel free to expand upon this idea--heavens knows that my own entry will probably drift a little, or a lot from the original thought.''

There are 2 things we need to consider when discussing 'distasteful' cards: the level of distastefulness, and how different tarot decks portray these cards, which may mitigate or exacerbate the unwelcome appearance of one of these cards in a reading.
I think there are 3 levels of 'distastefulness' - firstly, a slight aversion, the kind that results in a raised eyebrow or perhaps a facial expression displaying that a bad smell is unfortunately present, or that one's cucumber sandwiches have been served with the crusts on. This might be cards like the 5 of Wands or 8 of Swords ...

Bruegel Tarot


 Secondly, a definite sigh or grunt and the kind of martyred expression that accompanies the presence of other people's noisy and badly behaved brats in your vicinity, or that one's Pimms is not the No.1 Cup served with cucumber, apples, strawberries, orange and lemon slices and borage but some kind of devilish abomination they concocted for winter at the behest of the marketing department. This might be cards like the 9 or 10 of Wands.

Victorian Romantic Tarot

Finally comes the kind of card(s) that has the effect of the other person's kid that has simultaneously pooped, peed and puked in your lap when you have no tissues, wipes or a change of clothes - or (perish the thought) of being on a dinner date with someone who asks for a well-done Steak Tartare and drinks the finger bowls from the crevettes* - that makes one involuntarily gulp down a scream and quickly rearrange one's face into complete neutrality rather a doomed rabbit trapped in the headlights.

What's with all the food references ? I don't know - I must be hungry, or have been given a copy of the Cook's Tarot to review...

Now, let's see how deck design can either ameliorate or intensify the negative effects of that 3rd grouping of cards ... let's take, oh, XVI The Tower, a card I personally hate to see:

Sirian Starseed Tarot

Whimsical Tarot



Another traditional baddie, the 10 of Swords:

Deviant Moon Tarot
Shadowscapes Tarot


And finally ... umm ... what say we see the contrast between these 3 of Swords cards:

Labyrinth Tarot
Spirit of Flowers Tarot


The message of the cards is not different so much as the tone of voice it is delivered in has been altered by the effect of the style of the art: there's your harridan screeching a warning, or the subtle hint of a laid-back hippie. This links in nicely to a discussion about whether these softer tones of voices, pastel colors or caricature depictions renders a reading too toothless to be useful, an issue of sparing the rod and so the querent is spoiled. I know - interesting, right ?

I think that gentling a harsh message so that the querent can accept it and work with it is what an ethical, compassionate reader should do. One would have to know one's querent awfully well to simply lay bad news out in a starkly, with the kind of bedside manner that should get a doctor fired.

Enough of my soapbox, jump to the USGames blog to continue the journey, or backtrack to Karen's blog before for another perspective ...

* I have actually had both these things happen in my career ...

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  1. LOL. Love the analogies. I think the trick is to find a balance between something that is enough to shake the client awake without terrifying them into mortification.

  2. The "cucumber sandwich with crust" made me read that bit out loud to my coworkers. :D

  3. LOL love it! It makes me want to see a LWB written by Debrett's :D

  4. Nice exploration of the topic! I like the cucumber sandwiches with crusts bit. And the final message is thought-provoking. Thank you!

    1. well, it's supposed to be coming into summer so cucumber sandwiches are seasonal ;)

  5. Great post Viv. Even though all the food references are about to drive me back to the kitchen! Love the cards that you have chosen too :-D

    1. Yes - take the Debrett's suggestion away with you for your Courts ! :)

  6. Wow, Spirit of Flowers......very puzzling 3 of Swords. Talk about toothless!! I wonder what the thought was behind that one!

    1. Pretty, isn't it ? It's a bindweed, from the convolvulus family, seeds are hallucinogenic, so I'm not sure about the connection to sorrow ...

  7. Oh, this was a wonderful read, brilliantly done! Delivery and message, exactly as your sum suggests. Thank you!

  8. Thoroughly enjoyed this, food references and all. Thank you!

  9. Love your approach. Thank you.

  10. Feeling you on the winter Pimms here. Not quite Three of Swords territory but definitely worse than a Five of Wands.

  11. Hilarious, Viv! My, I can hardly believe the *story - someone would really do that? And you didn't either smack them or walk out of the restaurant?

    I rather love that Whimsical Tarot Tower. For anyone who knows the story, and who doesn't, it expresses the Tower beautifully, while still being totally in keeping with the deck :)


Thanks ! I love comments :-)