Saturday, October 21, 2006


I gave mini tarot readings at my church harvest fair today. Whoo, am I wiped out. I did about 8 of them, bam, bam, bam and they were all incredibly intense. The energy was very good today and the cards tuned me in to extremely specific information to help guide the querents. When I say something very specific about someone's life -- something that I could not possibly have known or picked up from any non-verbal cues -- believe me, I'm as shocked as the querent. I don't know how it works. I am well aware that in another time and place I would have been executed for witchcraft and divination for doing this.

It always surprised me who lines up for this kind of thing. First of all, I don't think I've done readings at this church before, although I've offered them for auction items at other congregations I've served. I find that I really like the intensity of a 15-20 minute reading, but the energy can be a bit wild, as though riding white rapids. A fundamentalist Christian mother, then her daughter. A middle-aged rationalist man who shakes with emotion once the cards start to reveal his story. A retired man and his wife in discernment about their life path. A woman who has recently taken up the study of Kabbalah. Most people I've never met before who just came to the church fair for the food, the fun, the crafts and the digging for used treasures.

One thing that concerns me is that although I shuffled the deck between readings, set all the cards facing one way again, and had the querents all shuffle the deck for themselves, several of the cards emerged again and again. This leaves me wondering: is there a community energy that the cards were expressing? I wish now that I had written down the specific cards that kept emerging for people. It would have been interesting to spend some time meditating on the images.

And now, in my psychically depleted state, it's time to dig back into tomorrow morning's sermon on that guy Moses, who did a whole lot of magic tricks himself (not that Tarot is a "magic trick" per se, but hey, you know what I'm saying).


Blogger Chalicechick said...

I, for one, would have been first in line. Though I don't have a rational framework to explain such things, I've always been curious about them.

I've only actually tried it a couple of times and never found anybody who was any good. Being a young chubby woman means that everybody assumed I was looking for a man and that assumption colored whatever better insights they might have had.

I did once have an astrologer who was kind of impressive, but she did theCSO after me and didn't do anything right on him.


Blogger Joel Monka said...

I'd be right behind CC. When you hang out with Pagans as I do, you see a lot of tarot, and I've known people that could make your hair stand on end... but I've never had a good reading. Nor have I ever been able to do one for anyone else. I seem to be card-challenged.

I don't doubt that there could be a community-energy such as you speculate about; I've seen the same effect.

Blogger fausto said...

I am well aware that in another time and place I would have been executed for witchcraft and divination for doing this.

Or perhaps only another time, same place.

A close friend of Mrs. Fausto who had enjoyed a rather racy youth came to Jesus in her young middle years, and is now quite involved in an evangelical congregation.

Last time she came to visit, Mrs. Fausto got out the old Tarot deck they had goofed around with in their twenties. The friend blanched as if she had seen Satan himself and threw the deck into the kitchen trash can as quickly as she could.

Mrs. Fausto and I, never having seen such behavior before, were astonished. "Why did you do that? It's just a parlor game. Surely you don't think they have real supernatural power?" we asked. We didn't really think so, and we didn't know anyone (well, anyone we considered sane) who did.

She did think so, and she was sure that since it could not be the power of God, it must be the power of Evil. All the Biblical admonitions against divination, and so on.

We said, that power is not real. The cards have no power unless you yourself choose to believe they do. You hold the power over the cards, not vice versa.

Ooh. We'd never really spoken or thought in those terms, and although I think we were right in what we said, it was creepy. That happened years ago and we still remember it vividly. We fished the deck of cards out of the trash, but I don't think we've played with them since.

Blogger PeaceBang said...

I certainly don't see Tarot as a parlor game, and I don't read fortunes, but rather identify specific energies around the querent's question. It's just trippy how much specific information comes through about health, career, family issues, etc.

I take the Jungian approach: these are archetypal images and when I'm in the flow, they talk to me.

What's interesting is that I'm such a verbal person but when I read, the language is entirely visual. That's why it's so draining for me.

So is there "power" in the cards, Satanic or godly or otherwise? I don't think of it that way, but I do think there's a message in the cards, an easy way to the riches of the collective unconscious.

I almost always smack into things and drop things a lot after doing readings. It takes awhile to "come back." My old div school roommate Jinnis will remember that I used to wrap a brown scarf around my head after doing witchy stuff like this, as a way of grounding down.

Love, the Witch of Endor

Anonymous Jeff Wilson said...

This is going here, not because it belongs here, but because comments are turned off in the "Violation" thread (and apparently with good reason). I just thought I'd add a quick follow-up to the call for perspectives on how U or U theology might allow misbehavior/abuse. For many years Universalists were not allowed to provide testimony in court cases, even in their own defense, because it was assumed they had antinomian tendencies and therefore could not be trusted under oath. Specifically, because they did not believe in eternal punishment for sin, it was felt they would happily violate whatever commandment they felt like with impunity. Beyond the perjury argument, this was a common theme in anti-Universalist rhetoric: because Universalists thought they were saved, it was widely believed that they necessarily MUST be engaging in all sorts of sinful actions, carnal and otherwise.

I do not know of any specific cases of Universalists (in particular, ministers) who committed abuses with the theological justification that it was no bar to salvation. Generally, this was a specious attack by the opposition. But, that doesn't mean there isn't a certain twisted logic to it, such that I wonder if indeed some Universalists might have committed abusive actions with a clean conscience. In Japan, universalist Buddhist groups did sometimes include members who justified their infractions by saying that committing evil showed their faith in universal salvation. Few authorities, including within their own sects, looked kindly on such twisting of doctrine.

Blogger boyinthebands said...

Jeff's quite right about Universalists being unable to testify in the court. Right there in Blackstone.

This was a cause celebre in Georgia in the 1850s when an accused murderer's only witnesses were two Universalists and they could not testify. (The accused escaped from jail and disappeared.) This and a parallel dispute in North Carolina about the same time led to the change in state law.

Blogger SC Universalist said...

the Universalists not being able to testify in court that I know of was Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. SC was the most recent (the early 20th century), none of those three lasted long - NC's was done away with by legislation in a week.
I havent heard of any Universalist believing that they could do anything they wanted (after all, they did believe in " the certainty of punishment for sin") but certainly could be, since some regualr Partialist Christians have been known to ask for forgiveness sunday Morning for what they did Saturday Night....
As to the sins of Tarots, I dont know either....

Anonymous Jeff Wilson said...

Scott and Stephen referred specifically to Southeastern cases, so I thought I'd just append a note to point out that the barring of Universalists from providing court testimony was a common practice in the Northeast as well. As late as 1828 the Connecticut Supreme Court of Errors (love that name) reaffirmed the rule against Universalist testimony. I believe Connecticut was the last New England state to give up this practice--at least as recently as 1832 the law was used to prevent P.T. Barnum from testifying on his own behalf in a libel case brought by the Congregationalists.

To the best of my knowledge, this legal argument was only applied against Universalists and Buddhists. In 1854 the California Supreme Court declared that Chinese Buddhists in America could not provide testimony, in part because they did not believe in a system of eternal punishment and therefore could not be trusted to provide true testimony.

To return to Peacebang's original topic in the comments on the other thread, while we can imagine hypothetical theological Unitarian or Universalist justifications for abuse (and anti-U/Us certainly did plenty of such imagining), there is still a fundamental difference that relates to her point about the Catholic church. Both the Unitarians and Universalists provided ample room for private discernment of existential truths, and expected children to be guided, not indoctrinated.


Post a Comment

<< Home