Re: virus: Holy Fire
Thu, 26 Sep 1996 22:02:25 -0500 (CDT)

On Thu, 26 Sep 1996, Jason McVean wrote:

> Vicki Rosenweig writes:
> > My immediate thought on "what techniques can we lift from Tarot"
> > is that Tarot appeals to people who think visually, and maybe we
> > should try to create a set of Virian images that would promote, or
> > serve as reminders of, our ideas. Also, Tarot images are somewhat
> > plastic: there's always a Fool, for example, but the exact appearance
> > of the card changes from deck to deck (and different people who care
> > about such things have different ideas of how much alteration is
> > possible before a set of cards with pictures on them stop being a
> > Tarot deck).
> A Virian Tarot deck! Now _that_ is an interesting idea. I'll have
> to think about the implications of it but it sounds visually
> intriguing. Unfortunately, I know very little about Tarot cards
> so I don't know how much can be borrowed from them. Any ideas
> from more knowledgeable folk out there?
> J
> --
> ---------------------------------------------------------------
> Dept. of Physics and Astronomy University of Calgary
> "All my life I've been waiting, and watching, and waiting for
> flesh that smells familiar." Sara Craig - Thank You (Very Much)
> ---------------------------------------------------------------

Having looked at a few of these 'Tarot decks':

They are all based on symbolic overloading. You need a decent number of
cards in the deck. I would advise serious mutual consultation, so the
deck actually is representative of the current form of the Church of Virus.
[It may need updating: one major problem with Rider-Waite is that its
imagery was obsoleted by cultural change. An example (the only one I
know of) of an effective translation into modern imagery is the Inner
Child deck. It's still highly dependent on the common mythology
accessible to Western culture.]

The original Rider-Waite apparently functioned/was designed as a
crash-encoding schema integrating astrology, numerology, and the Qabala.
I would definitely make an effort to avoid the imagery in Rider-Waite.
Retrofitting the Virian concepts into the conventional format is [in my
heuristics] not likely to work.

The original Rider-Waite was based on the following schema:
22 Major Arcana: the key archetypes. The implementation is viewed best
as a cycle--the various cards were intended to be seen as various
archetypical stages in various projects/processes, with the end becoming
a new beginning.
My personal preferences [whatever the exact number] would be towards
highly nonlinear organization. Cycles are simply lines that repeat. [At
least, from a geometrical point of view.]
4 suits of 14 cards: These map into various key professions at the
time the deck was designed, and are intended to key various typical
situations in these professions.
My first guess on a choice for these suits would be [gasp!] the
Virian Virtues. This requires care--preaching is inherently
antievangelistic, and that's not a good trait for the intended results.

Incidentally, a playing card deck can be viewed as a reduced version of a
Tarot deck. Another example of memetic evolution, this time translating
into the physical.

[Resulting procedure: Delete the Major Arcana, and truncate the suits to 13
cards each. Trash the artwork, of course. Import the Fool as the
Joker, if required.]

The reading procedure needs MAJOR updating! I have no good conjectures
on an effective Virian procedure; it must allow for both emotional and
rational reasoning. There should be some explicit specifications to
'invalidate' a passive-mind state, both from a generic intellectual
perspective and my particular spiritual framework.

A multiple-stage technique may be useful, and is blatantly absent from
the literature on any of these I have seen.

/ Kenneth Boyd