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([personal profile] thejeopardymaze posting in [community profile] tarot Jul. 25th, 2011 04:16 pm)
After awhile of getting myself familiar with Modern Astrology, I felt like I was hitting a brick wall, and not getting the answers I needed, with far too many of these books being too vague for my taste, the usual repetition taken as gospel about some asteroid or Outer Planet, or stupid crap being made up on the fly-Matthew Currie's labeling of women with Venus opposing Uranus as 'Spice Girls' in an older episode of his podcast easily comes to mind.

It wasn't until I started begrudgingly using the whole sign system and triplicity rulers (there isn't just one set) and started going through a nice Hellenistic/Classical astrology text did much of it come together, and make, dare I say, bitter, fatalistic sense. For personal reasons, I will not get in to that much detail here, though I will say having the Classical ruler of your 7th house conjuncting a nasty fixed star in the 6th house in the Face and Term of Saturn should not be played down with the new age modern kittens and puppies mentality of far too many of today's astrologers still do. I still need to read more of these older texts and learn a few dead languages, but I've come to the conclusions that the ancients were mostly right, even though they might not be the best at writing manuals-that would take a few more centuries.

So what does this have to do with Tarot? A lot I believe, because the Tarot community, including the writer Mary K Greer, seems to be having a similar mentality, with its lack of comfort with fortune telling and how life really can suck. Let's take a look at her latest advice. Sounds so innocent, doesn't it?-

Now first to be fair here, I am aware that there are a fair amount of frauds and exploiters out there who rip people off by exaggerating or making up stuff about how allegedly in big trouble they are. However, people like Mary K Greer and company throw the baby out of the bathwater here by looking down at prediction altogether (especially the nasty realities of life), as though what they themselves are doing doesn't involve it. Even just using it as a psychological exercise involves the use of guesses they wouldn't get through other means. What Greer does is fortune telling, pure and simple, her type of fortune telling only limited by what kind of readings she chooses to do, regardless of what she picks up from readings, or picks and chooses to tell her clients.

From the thread, Greer comments that:

I chose not to tell a young mother-to-be that I saw problems regarding the birth of her child. I was glad when the birth went beautifully, but 3 months later the baby died of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), in circumstances that one could never have protected against. Should I have created an unhealthy state of anxiety for that mother? Absolutely not!

The trouble here is that we don't know all the circumstances in this incident, and this is after all, just one incident. We don't know about previous mental issues this mother may or may not have, nor anything else.

However, this problem could of also perhaps been much more easily predicted using a Horary, and those who use traditional methods of Western Astrology are far more likely to be blunt about these types of issues. If those who read Horaries are honest about fate with their clients, why can't Tarot readers be?

Personally, if I found out a card reader or astrologer was keeping important medical information away from me, I would no longer be seeing them. I would go to someone else.

The issues of ethics in divination, while worth discussing, are still being discussed in the Tarot (and some of the astrology community) in a way that is far too black and white Good vs Evil than an honest look at the difficulties and problems of life. Predicting a breakup (which I have done before) isn't necessarily a bad thing given the context, nor is a death if a Will must be made, or the possibility of getting a disease what preventative steps should be taken. These are all natural parts of life, as are the good things. These are issues traditional diviners have answered for thousands of years. I can't help wonder, why are card readers being held to different standards?

The reason I started this post with the topic of Traditional astrology is because this is where I seem to be leaning towards lately (though I'm not ready to read charts yet), and the mentality of the Tarot community with its focus on Never Be Negative, something which the Traditional Astrology community lacks (unless perhaps they're discussing frauds). Tarot will always have the problem of vagueness, but a good reader should know the difference between fraud and the need for honesty, and not confuse the two. I believe people like Greer do.

My interest in divination has to do with the need for good answers for real life questions one may not be able to get in other ways, thus, like it or not, what Greer does is prediction even if she is choosey about what her guesses are. It's also a reason I would never pay to have her do a reading for me, anymore than most an astrologer who do not accept things like traditional rulerships and essential dignity schemes, if they are not good at or willing to do what the job description involves, then what good are they? It's like a vegan working at a deli who refuses to sell meat products, pointless.

This is not to say one shouldn't have to worry about a proper rapport with clients, and if you do engage in divination you should want honest feedback from your clients, but correct behavior shouldn't be used as a poor argument against the fortune telling aspect of what one is really doing. If you don't understand or don't feel comfortable with discussing how much life can really be difficult in a reading, much less want to be honest with their clients, fine, but I'd rather these people not bother with the finger waving with those who do.

So yeah, I'm a bit skeptical now of whoever seems to deemed as the Pope of Tarot these days, especially when they say this kind of 'advice'.

Pre-ETA: Am I a snob for not approving of the suggestion that you can just mix and match Tarot with Astrology? At the very least, learn the real history and tradition of it first before you get tempted to do something like that.
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