I still have pretty much no grasp on tarot cards as of yet, but i was watching some Bones last night and saw an episode including a psychic who used tarot cards. It was almost cool, except i knew the commonly accepted definitions behind at least half the cards shown on-screen and most of her explanations of them were way off. So, basically i know tarot just well enough to know when someone else is doing it wrong.
(For example, there is simply no way you can use tarot cards to figure out there’s a pile of bodies buried under a fountain. Even the ninety-nine-cents-a-minute phone-readers advertised at three in the morning wouldn’t try to pull crap like that.)
Of course, i also don’t use my tarot for actual divination purposes, and the psychic in ‘Bones’ was portrayed as an actual, honest-to-goodness psychic. Presuming psychics can exist (and with a little poking around with mild telepathy and talents for examining subconscious thoughts, there’s at least plausible explanations for them), it wouldn’t have been completely ludicrous for the psychic to be simply using her tarot cards to guide and focus her psychic visions. In that case, she wouldn’t need to have even a basic understanding of ‘real’ tarot – ‘Hm, this card shows a person in bed. My awesome psychic intuition tells me it’s a literal depiction of a man you’re friends with being sick in bed.’
They didn’t actually explain that in the show, though, which irritated me to no end. At one point Booth is interrogating the psychic – because, let’s face it, you can’t just say ‘Hey, there’s a dozen bodies buried under the fountain, you might want to go check on that’ without the cops thinking you were involved somehow – and when she’s asked how she knew where the bodies were, the psychic basically says ‘Well, it’s difficult to explain what i do with the cards.’
I can do it in a single (albeit somewhat run-on) sentence, woman: You have stronger intuition than most people, but the exact details of your intuition are often fuzzy, so you use the cards as a focal point to help complete the visions. YAY.
I have no patience for people who pretend stuff cannot be explained, who act like it just is and if you can’t accept it, you’re too close-minded to deal with.
unrelated random somewhat-tarot stuff:
I’m finishing up the character matrix for my NaNo, which meant doing another tarot reading for one of my characters. By sheer accident, he’s basically a young male Sarah Palin. He’s certainly not going to be a duplicate of her by the time i get around to actually writing, but i find it somewhat amusing. And a bit frightening – she fits perfectly into the novel. As a villain.
Actually, pretty much all my current antagonists are the dragon version of the Republican party. That wasn’t really intentional at all – i needed evil dragon politicians and every time i pull a card for one of them it matches fairly well with the current Republican party’s beliefs, with just enough variation to make them individuals instead of GOPbots. Granted, i don’t think McCain has ever plotted to kidnap a half-dragon boy in order to prevent illegal immigration from an alternate dimension, but some conspiracy theorist can probably pull up a website relating a similar story.