Thursday, 5 November 2015
I'll grow up some day but today was apparently not the day
I finally received a copy of the companion book for this deck yesterday. I didn't realise I'd ordered a used copy, and this one is not only grubby, whoever owned it before me felt compelled to underline every line of the text for the first two chapters, in shaky pencil lines, and draw big Xs next to a few things that must have been extra impressive (they probably said it 'resonated'), and then abruptly stopped reading. I of course have been busily scrubbing the pencil lines out and writing my own snarky responses to the text in the margins, in pen. This has proven irresistible. I must talk back to it. I have no doubts Eakins is a spiritual and lovely person and she is clearly knowledgeable and sincere (what with her PhD and all), but I do chuckle a bit at sentences like:
'There is an infinitude I want to convey, and so I will try to bundle it into the next few pages in much the same way a forest of oak trees can be bundled into an acorn. As in a mystery, though much will be concealed, much will be revealed also. ...Even as I write to you, I am excited as a summer seed slipping out of its winter coat to enter into the miracle of its burgeoning.' Well, a healthy self esteem is a good thing, I guess. Chasing metaphors beyond two lines means you should probably back up and start again. (At least that's what my old uni professor said. He used to wear a fish tie. I wonder whatever happened to him.) And she says 'querists' for 'querants' which also amuses me greatly. It just sounds funny. (Seriously, though, while both words are archaic, a querant 'seeks', whereas a querist merely 'asks'. Which would you rather do in a reading? ... On a side note, it's been said that I talk about writers as if they have no feelings, but, if you put something out there for public consumption, you need to be ready for some people not to be as in love with your baby as you are.) After a few pages of this, you begin to settle into the prose style. I mean, I've waded through Regardie, Fortune and Waite, a little tortured flowery language isn't going to stand between me and a few good tarot/occult insights. I won't judge the ideas by the words they're wrapped in, but I might laugh at the words.
Anyway, I've made it to page 32, and there is much I agree with. Also much I disagree with. I agree that tarot is '78 different angles on any given subject'. But the significator is NOT the 'first card you draw in a spread,' and I don't know many readers who read by turning the cards all face down and turning them over one at a time 'fully interpreting each card before moving on to the next.' Yet Eakins says you must do it this way. She also advocates drawing lots of so-called 'clarifiers' for when you are 'confused or dissatisfied' with what you've drawn, and most distressing of all, she says, 'I will not end the reading until I feel the story has a happy ending.' Really? Because there are some situations that you are going to need four or five decks for before you get to a 'happy ending' -- if you ever do! Some situations don't have a 'happy ending', sorry! Not everything is going to be tied up in a nice fat bow just because you've paid someone to turn over some cards for you. You have to be prepared to hear what you hear. And no, I am not talking about predicting the future. I'm talking about just plain old facing the truth.
So anyway, I'm finding it entertaining and engaging (though maybe not for all the right reasons), I can't really say yet whether this is a book I will refer to regularly. Or even if this is a deck I will use regularly, for that matter. If I want a blurry, Thoth-ish deck, I think I would probably reach for the Intuitive Tarot (Cilla Conway).
On to today's draw, The High Priestess. Feet planted wide apart, substantial legs framing the unfurling scroll (so much for hidden secrets), sturdy arms braced elbow on thigh, and an eyeball for a head. Not exactly the prom queen. And do I see stigmata? What are those blurry red bits? She's got gimel and the moon lurking just behind her on either side...but I don't know. Something about the set-up here makes me think she's sitting at the end of a bowling lane. Maybe it's those blue gutters on either side of the black and white floor.
I'm feeling way too candid to continue. The moon is definitely in Sagittarius. :)