I heard T. Susan Chang on Gordon’s podcast over at Rune Soup first. I was so impressed, that I bought her book. And then… I discovered that we lived relatively near one another and had mutual friends. So we had tea. I enjoyed the face-to-face contact of ‘finding the others’ and I really appreciated meeting a fellow practitioner.
But reading a book of correspondences is not as interesting as reading the essays on either side of those tables of correspondences. In a sense, the essays before and after these tables are the meat of the book. One of the key ideas that Ms. Chang presents — which I think is critical! — is the idea that if you want to learn Tarot, you need to track its use for a while… a good long while.
And that’s what T. Susan Chang recommended, so that’s what I did. I built a spreadsheet to track my Tarot card pulls.
I’m coming up on seventy-eight days, myself. Every day, I draw two cards and I record them in a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet links to (and pulls information about each card from) a database, to a list of conditional highlighting rules, to a table for journal entries. It also exports info from the card-pulls into charts and graphs, so I have a sense of how the information plays back in my history.
And the results have been spectacular. I’ve gotten some really nice experiences out of this program of study. It’s helped me with my geomantic practice, too, as I compare Tarot cards and their placement on the Tree of Life, with the placements that my Druidic order uses for the sixteen geomantic figures.
Now… I wouldn’t have known what to database-ize without Chang’s book. And without Chang’s conversation over some lovely tea one morning, I’m not sure I would have completely followed through on spreadsheet-ing my results of Tarot card pulls, or built the database from her book.
But… I learned a lot more about how spreadsheets work than I thought I would. I’ve definitely learned more about Tarot in seventy-eight days than I thought I would. I’ve definitely learned more about myself in seventy-eight days, too.
Book? Highly recommended. Spreadsheet? Highly recommended. Tarot? Definitely.
Is there any particular question you try to divine with the pulls?
Are the concepts of these tables transferable to other divination systems?
Yeah, the question when learning a new divination system should always be something like “What will I encounter today?”
And yes, I think that correspondence tables can be applied to other divination systems. It’s the process of building those tables that is labor intensive. T. Susan Chang has done that work for you in Tarot Correspondences, and Bill Witcomb did it in his two books, Magician’s Reflection and Magician’s Companion. Turns out he has another book called “The Book of Good Practices” which I haven’t read, might be useful. And Aleister Crowley did the same sort of correspondence tables ad nauseam in 777. And there are others in Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy, though I’d wait to get that until Eric Purdue’s translation comes out.
It’s computerizing those tables, and tracking the stats, which delivers interesting results. Today I pulled two cards, the Emperor and the 9 of cups. I have a lot of stuff to do today, including giving a lot of commands; and we’re holding a dinner party of sorts tonight… and we’re nine people for dinner. I kinda know what today’s cards are about, you see? It’s knowing that the time-periods associated with these two cards point to a March-April resonance, and that things which happen today may be connected with Mars, with fire and water as elemental energies, and with Jupiter in Pisces, that’s interesting to me.
You see… I have a new business contract for an event in April, which will require a lot of work in March. So I should work on that project today. It’s that there’s some emotional stuff lingering, but also that I have some passion-projects that need my attention (and that keeping the house warm in 0° [c. -18°C] weather is also a priority); oh, and things that happen today may have a resonance with when Jupiter enters Pisces — which occurs in March 2023. That’s a broad time-stamp, and useful for thinking ahead: bits of today may echo to March this year. And that’s just the way in which time-correspondences are useful; think of the things that I can do with other kinds of resonances, like stones and plants and animal encounters…