Guest Article: "Is Tarot a Living Entity?"

For those of you who are interested in the amazing divination system of Tarot, here is an excellent article, written by my dear friend Caroline Kenner. Not only is she a force of nature as a shamanic teacher and healer, but she and her husband own and operate the best company of Tarot Card Apps I've ever seen (The Fool's Dog)!

(C) The Fool's Dog, 2012

Q:  Do you sense Tarot to be a living entity?
A: "O, yes. The oracle of the Tarot is a massive egregore. I hear the oracle speak sometimes when I'm working with the cards, and even when the oracle is not speaking, I sense its presence. The voices change depending on the deck I am using. Crowley's Thoth deck is possibly the most focused oracular voice I hear, so I am learning to read with it, even though I don't like Uncle Al at all. It is a brilliant deck."

"When we were creating The Fool's Dog, we took the Tarot's egregore into account: Ivo Dominguez Jr. had given us a spell, reading, or other magical working for our wedding present. We saved that magical working for something important. Ivo is a great mage, and he knows how to render spells in what appears to be junk code. So in every single copy of every Fool's Dog app we've ever sold, there is a bit of junk code that connects our apps to the oracle of the Tarot more closely."
"I address the oracle directly when I am framing the question in a reading, similar to what I do with my spirit allies in a shamanic healing. The biggest difference is that I can see my spirit allies in journey, and I've never seen the egregore of the Tarot. The Tarot is just a guiding voice. But the timbre and tone and even the gender of the voice I hear changes with each deck."
"Egregores are everywhere. There is an egregore for every organization, every religious tradition, every school or nation or company. An egregore is the spirit that forms when there is group consciousness. Focusing on work, play, religion, sports, whatever: egregores take etheric shape whenever we humans join our spirits together for a common purpose."
(<-- This is why there are egregores that have to be remediated during House Clearings/Blessings! MLC)

Using Bryn Mawr College, my alma mater, as an example:
"The egregore of Bryn Mawr has a lot of consciousness from Athena, Who is our Matron and a strong guiding presence on campus. Built on the Athena part of Bryn Mawr's egregore, there are layers and layers composed of the thought forms of everyone who's ever attended, taught or administered at the college. So, since we have a long tradition of brilliant, ornery women demanding change, Bryn Mawr College has grown into a cauldron where very bright women from all over the world come to be "cooked" and then emerge to create fundamental societal change in the world. We who graduated from the college carry that spirit, the egregore of Bryn Mawr, with us everywhere we go in the world afterwards. I am proud of this, it is a great strength, and I give thanks."
"So: Bryn Mawr is not that old, it was founded in 1885. The Tarot is a great deal older, and with many more minds involved in the egregore. There are layers from the Tarot's history as a gambling game, there are layers of flattering lies and tall, dark and handsome. There are layers in the Tarot's egregore that connect with all the oracular tools of the world: at its base, the Tarot egregore shares features in common with I Ching, Runes, Ogham.....but Tarot also has fine art in its egregore. This is one of the parts of the Tarot that really makes my heart sing: the art."
"Far from being mere symbolic figures like the three divination systems mentioned above, the Tarot partakes of all the artistic symbology of Western culture. One of the things I notice most about the Tarot: it is pan-European. The egregore of Tarot is strongest from cultures/language groups that use it the most, but all of Europe is in there. So a deck that roots itself in ancient Europe and features imagery from our ancient European ancestors: well, that's a really strong deck that speaks in a particularly clear and compelling voice. I am thinking of The Wildwood Tarot here."
"Other decks claim different turf, and bring yet a new layer of thought form to the Tarot: Egyptian, Cowboy, Trees, even Housewives.....the oracle of the Tarot is very diverse at this point in time, and speaks in many different accents. I believe the egregore comes to whisper where it wants to go into the dreams of Tarot artists. I believe that each individual deck has their own egregore, not just Thoth. The Tarot egregore is a chorus, a symphony of all the egregores of all the decks that ever were, plus the living thoughts of all the people who ever used those decks, plus all the clients. No wonder it is a bit chaotic."
"Finally, here's a fun suggestion: we all know that Pixie's deck has had an unusual trajectory in its history. Most of us own Pixie's deck, even if we read with a different deck most of the time. I got some very interesting results when I asked the oracle to comment on the publishing history of Pixie's deck. Judging from the reading, the deck has very mixed feelings about the way a certain individual and company have treated the deck. Fascinating. We rarely ask the Tarot how it feels about itself, and it's a very worthwhile and interesting query."
(c) Caroline Kenner, 2015 (do not use without permission)

Interested in hearing/learning more? The Fool's Dog runs a "Tarot Tuesday" meet-up in Silver Spring, every first Tuesday of the month.  Hope to see you there!


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