Friday, February 12, 2010

Tarot Stories

Among the many varieties of tarot sets, there are those which accompany a strong narrative text. For example, in the Tarot of the Cat People, Karen Kuykendall created a whole world of planets where different tribes of cats lived. In the Legacy of the Divine, Ciro Marchetti imagines a world that survives a cataclysm. Luis Royo is the author of a book of the Third Millennium and a Tarot of the Third Millennium. There is a Decameron Tarot by Giacinto Gaudenzi inspired by the medieval tale of the same name by Giovanni Boccaccio, a Dante Tarot inspired by Dante's Inferno, A Wonderland Tarot inspired by the book Alice in Wonderland and the Fairytale Tarot by Karen Mahony, Alex Ukolov, and Irena Triskova, The Inner Child Tarot by Mark & Isha Lerner and Christopher Guilfoil.

Then there are the sets based on mythology. There is an Arthurian Tarot, Druid Animal Oracle, Medicine Cards, the Mythic Tarot, based on the Greek Myths, Llewelllyn Tarot, based on the Mabinogian of Welsh Myths, Babylonian Tarot, Ancient Egyptian Tarot, Norse Tarot, Kalevala Tarot (Finnish, the Voodoo Tarot, and a variety of Celtic inspired tarot sets.

In each of these cases, plus many more that might be named, We get an opportunity to correlate things that are going on in our own life with other well known stories, and sometimes it is easy to garner wisdom from the well told tales, which in these sets all have dynamic art.

In standard tarot decks without an overriding narrative structure like these, there are sets of symbols and pictures on cards that the reader can fashion into a story. The framework of the standard decks gives the reader much more freedom to improvise, although the structure can also suggest a powerful context and font of wisdom to draw from.

It is your choice how you prefer to work or how you prefer to use them as a meditative device or teaching tool.

In the cases where a deck was created to go along with an existing text, the artists have enlarged the scope of the book by creating a parallel illustrated book to go along with the text to form the equivalent of a text with 78 illustrations.

In standard decks and oracle decks where everything can mix and match randomly and make sense, the storyteller, the reader, is the one who forms order out of chaos.

It is an interesting dynamic either way. We simply have to choose what method we prefer to work with, and some of us switch around for the challenge presented by variety, the chance of the shuffle challenging complacency.

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