Monday, June 30, 2008

Sight & Vision

Every time we see a picture, our mind gets some kind of feeling or message, some flash of intuition. Think about the last time you walked through an art museum or gallery. The pictures you liked, you stopped and looked at for a while. Those pictures communicated something to you. The pictures you didn't like also triggered some kind of thought, memory or feeling in you.

No doubt you have had the same experience at someone else's home when you looked at their artwork.

The same is true of a Tarot deck. As you look through them, the same process occurs again and again. You have in your hands a little art gallery and no doubt you like some pictures better than others. No matter what the author or artist says about why they made the picture that way, we get something from it.

Even when we go to a museum and we see a Monet, Rembrandt, Waterhouse, Titian, Van Gogh or Wyeth, we do not know what was in the painter's mind at the time they painted those pictures, but what we do know is how we feel when we see them. There is no right or wrong answer to the question of how we feel.

The Rider-Waite Tarot deck, which was illustrated by Pamela Coleman Smith, with the concept and text written by Edward Waite, is now the modern standard for decks because it was the first one to have picture on every card. They understood that having a picture on every card made it easier for people to use as a metaphysical tool, and was probably the first definitive step in making it forever separate in most people's minds from the playing card deck.

As you know, the playing card deck can be used for game playing and for readings. So can the Tarot, but most people do not play games with their Tarot, just like most people do not do readings with their playing cards. Further in the past, one deck served both purposes.

Give yourself a vote of confidence. When you are shuffling and drawing cards and see a picture, trust your instinct as to what that picture means in response to your thoughts and questions. When you look up what the artist or author wrote about that card, you will probably agree anyway. And there will always be some pictures that you have a hard time relating to or agreeing with. The artist will certainly tell you that there is a particular reason why they chose to put a yellow flower, a blue butterfly or some other detail in a picture, but it may not always be important to answering your question at the moment. On some other day, it might be important, but on those days, your attention will immediately be drawn to that detail and that will be a big clue for you.

The same principles apply when you are laying on the grass looking up at the sky and see shapes in the clouds, stars, the flight of birds, the shapes of branches in trees, stones you find, or gazing into water that runs in a stream, or a camp fire. Sight brings us vision, both the obvious, physical kind, and the not so obvious reality behind the reality, the visions of a visionary. It is all about learning to see.

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