Magic: writing the tarot

Tarot cards Hierophant and High priestess with an open book nearbyI am currently writing a manuscript about the Tarot deck.  The Major Arcana get two pages apiece, the Minors and Court Cards are getting one page apiece.

I began this project in a fancy, leather-cover, lined notebook when I realized that there was a lot of space left over in a blank book after setting aside adequate space for another writing project I’m working on… and one other writing project I’m working on.  When you have more than eighty pages left in a notebook that’s intended for dedicated writing for one group of sixty, and one group of sixteen, it doesn’t take too much work to realize, “oh, The Tarot goes here, doesn’t it?” and then you do the page count, 44 pages for the Majors and 108 cards for all the Minors… and  and it all just fits, with one page left over for the grace of God or a hideous mistake, or a colophon to explain the writing process.

Done.

This Tarot project is exactly 2/3s done today, and this morning’s cards were the High Priestess and the Hierophant.  It’s a nice pairing, really — the High Priestess speaks to the intuitive side of the work, the creative and the nurturing and the upwelling of your own ideas from deep within; and the Hierophant speaks to the rigid, tradition-bound side that likes to see things done a certain way, managed a certain way, and completed in a certain way.  You can’t write about Tarot without considering the way that both cards play out – in your life, in your magic, in your practice of reading either for yourself or for others. Sometimes you have to play the tradition-bound final authority; and sometimes the gatekeeper to something intensely mysterious, indescribable, and deeply personal.  Ideally, your ability to work with Tarot encompasses both extremes, and the less-well-defined middle.

But more than that, it was a reminder that for this Tarot project, I’m staying in the shallows, far closer to the Hierophant’s watchful eyes than the mysteries which the High Priestess half-conceals, half-reveals.  There’s going to have to be another book, at some point, isn’t there? where the vast majority of pages are allocated to this deck of many consciousnesses, and how I unpack them in a more High Priestess-like way, less subject to the authoritarian and hidebound interpretive dogmas of the Hierophant on his throne.

3 comments

  1. Well done! It’s super nice when you reach that 2/3 mark. You know that you’re almost to the home stretch! If you need a beta reader, I’m happy offer my time (dont’ worry, I dont’ charge or anything, just dig reading, specially tarot-related things).

    • Thank you for the kind offer. There’s material in this handwritten book that’s nominally oath-bound, so I suspect that there’s the “finish the last fifteen cards” process, and then the “type up the material” process, and then there’s the “revise the material” process, and somewhere in there, there’s also “compare text with oath-bound materials, and remove references.” So we’re still a long way from beta readership.

      • It’s all a process. But oh man it feels good when it’s done! But definitely keep posting about it if nothing else 🙂 offer stands regardless of when it’s ready.

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