Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Getting back into the swing of things

I just put a brand new 512 MB of RAM into my machine, (with my own two hands!) and I'm raring to go. Been really busy lately, housesitting and stuff, so haven't been posting lately. I really want to try to get more substantive and concentrate on having worthwhile things to say. Things that have to do with my studies and writings.

To that end, then, I offer my opinion on something I came across while surfing on Amazon last night, a recommendation list by a "tarot expert".

Right off the bat I smell an agenda here--you can pretty much tell this was one of those situations where someone was doing a favor for another author/person with something to pimp, with the idea that when the time came, the one having their back scratched would reciprocate. I take a look at this woman's rather charming website, and discover that (sucking in breath) ooooh! She's got several tarot and divination decks slated to be published in the next four years! Coincidence? You be the judge.

Shameless self promotion not really being a problem, I press on. I find it really hard to believe that she, a "tarot professional", is often asked the difference between a pro and an expert. Joseph Martin, one of the professionals she name-checks here, once said the two main things people ask about when getting a reading are "getting laid and getting paid". Unless someone else was interested in becoming a professional reader, I don't see how this would come up, I see this as her way of setting up her argument to assure that she would be perceived as an Authority.

She is very adamant that: "A Tarot Professional is definitely not just anyone who can:
1. Write/publish Tarot books.
2. Create Tarot decks.
3. Take a Tarot class or course.
4. Write Tarot articles.
5. Write reviews of Tarot decks or books.
6. Get their work published in a magazine, ezine, newspaper, etc."

and that: "the truth is anyone can write books and publish them, create decks, take a class or course, write articles, review books or decks, or manage to have their work published without having any prior qualifications."

Anyone can also read cards in the park, or on one of those psychic telephone lines, or put out a shingle in front of a nice office, manage to make enough to live on for a year, and consider themselves a professional. I have nothing against those tarot certifications and degrees that are out there, but the fact is, the coursework that they are based on is comprised of the very things listed by Ms. Fox-Heins.

An author is plugged, who is "recognized as a historical and philosophical Tarot Expert." Recognized by whom? I have been studying the cards off and on for over twenty years, and I've never read any of his books, which all came out in the past five years.

You have to remember, before the occult revival of the turn of the twentieth century, for hundreds of years divination was the domain of little old ladies reading cards and tea leaves in their kitchens. And no, I don't have any documentation to back that up.

Having said that, I have no disrespect whatsoever for folks that actually do read professionally--I'd like to have a turn at it myself someday. What I have an objection to is fundamentalism and overcomplication for its own sake. Again, nothing against the licences and certifications people can get if they feel so led, but there is not now, nor will there ever be, the equivalent of "passing a bar exam" for the tarot.

At least not if people like me have anything to do with it.

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"Sophia" said...

Hear, hear! I read through some of the qualifications on a couple of the tarot certification sites and it sounded *awfully* commercial-driven to me. One of the things that particularly bugged me was that in order to rise to the next level of certification, besides the rise in cost, the tarot reader was expected to design and teach a tarot course. Um. What if that's not your forte? What if you're a bang up reader but not a teacher? We each have our gifts. What if you're an ace reader, but writing is not something you do well? Well, then, sucker, I guess you have to remain at the novice level the rest of your life, huh? What? That's insane.

I dunno. I've always been the anti-Hierophant myself. And I'm so glad that a great many tarot readers feel the way you do.

Hermgirl said...

Interestingly, (after what I've just said about fundamentalism) I consider my card to be the Hierophant. One of the ways I look at that card is that a person has an Inner Teacher.

So I think of it as being a person who says: "Let everyone create their own fundamentalism, and don't obscure people's ability to find the True Plumb Line by overcomplicating things."

My favorite businessperson, Anita Roddick, former CEO of the Body Shop said it like this: "You lead people to the Source of their own Power." If I was any kind of a leader, I'd wanna be like that.

Jennifer said...

Pros read for compensation..that's the definition of "professional." Experts write books, teach classes, etc. Charlatans write articles defining themselves and their friends as the only "pros." ;-)

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