Sunday, 28 January 2018

Tarot for Magical Times

Circle Network Card Review: Tarot for Magical Times By Rachel Pollack and Johannes Fiebig. Published by AGM Urania. 160 page full color explanatory book £10.21

‘Enlightenment is man’s emergency from his self-incurred immaturity.’ Kant

Astrologically, we are influenced by the planet Pluto which entered the constellation of Capricorn in 2008. It will occupy this position until 2024 during which time we will experience a process of cultural and personal transformation due to the breakdown of organisational structures, dogma and habits. Previously, when this planetary configuration occurred, it was the time of the Reformation and the Age of Enlightenment. Tarot for Magical Times focuses on this precise issue and uses the card of the Tower to play a central role in representing this planetary position.

The cards are taken from the Rider-Waite deck and Major Arcana is seen as offering a prophecy for the fall of the world and the Minor Suits offer different approaches to survival and the restoration of a new society; wands as struggle, cups as heart energy, swords as sorrow and pentacles as earth energies. The Court cards do not represent people but ways in which it is possible to respond to the crises and a method to assess opportunities that may be presented. Divinatory meanings are followed by recommended action to revitalise initiative, similar to the I Ching Book of Changes.

The well-produced explanatory book explains the Pluto connection and explains each card in detail. As with the Golden Dawn, Tarot for Magical Times divides the year into the astrological signs and selects three cards to represent each sign. Each sign is divided into decans, or durations of ten days, and a card is chosen for each decan. The book provides exercises in true and false security. It offers several spreads, including one card for each day of the year.

I chose a card for my birthday. The decan in which it falls is 2nd decan of Cancer which is entitled 'A time of flowing feelings' and the card is Three of Cups. To be in the moment and give myself to the pure joy of being and to smile in harmony with the world, this is one of the best cards in the deck. Yet the reading also warns against emotional and internal dependency and because the women hold the cups in a haughty manner, they are both beautiful and arrogant. The instructions are to say the right thing in the right place and not to allow others to set a value on my emotions. Even if I cannot identify with others, I am to accept their feelings. The advice is not to be afraid of emotional reactions but understand what I feel. Be open to others or withdraw, even if it feels strange. I will be able to bear several truths at the same time and I am to let my soul grow and revisit old friendships and make new ones.

The authors are internationally renowned tarot specialists and highly experienced tarot authors. This is the first time I have come across the tarot used to anticipate societal events and provide guidance. As I consider the news reports in recent days, of corruption in banking, media, police, politics, pharmaceuticals and even registered charities, of future ordeals in climate change, pollution and human overpopulation, I look through the cards for answers to these crises. I think there is a valuable and mature personal understanding to be received from using the tarot in this manner.

Book published in English (with German edition EUR 12.99 and as a boxed set with 78 miniature cards EUR £24.99) Reviewer: Wendy Stokes

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