virus: Virian Tarot?
Fri, 27 Sep 1996 02:19:17 -0600

A couple of problems with this:

First, the Rider-Waite (from which virtaully all modern decks are
derived, except those that replicate Crowley's memes, such as the Magickal
Tarot) was designed with one of Waite's strongest motivations in mind: the
obfuscation of information so that it did not fall into the hands of the
"unenlightened." It was designed to be useless, with just enough symbolism
thrown in to make it look like it means something.
Second, the earliest known Tarot decks, such as the Visconti-Sforza
deck, created as a commemoration of a marriage that united those two
houses, was designed to reflect Medieval society and Christian ideals. The
Qabbalistic symbolism was thrown in later. The trumps originally were
derived from sources such as the visions of Ezekiel in the books of the
Nevi'im, and the court cards were originally representative of monarchical
and military power structures.
Third, the concept of the cards as images representing part of a cycle
is a modern invention, primarily stemming from Crowley's _Book of Thoth_
and _Magick In Theory and Practice_. The deck was not structured to work
that way; the original images (both for the trumps and pip cards) were
representations of static ideals. This has resulted in a confusion of
symbolic and interprative meanings which makes a reading done with a modern
deck absolutely nonsensical. A good example of this is the Medieval Scapini
deck, in which one meaning for a card can often be found on ten others as
Trying to remedy these problems from a Virian standpoint would result
in a destruction of the deck's structure and means of use -- so why use the
Tarot deck as a basis? Decks such as the Creative Whack Pack or the
Sphericles Oracle may serve the purpose better.
A note on the reading procedure: as someone noted in a previous post,
the contemporary way of reading the cards is inapplicable to the concept of
process. Notably, this form of interpretation seems to have had its origin
in Waite's work (see the comments on him, above). At least, I've found no
mention of it in works before his Pictoral Guide to the Tarot -- about
which, BTW, Crowley was right. It is _completely_ unreadable, but gives the
reader a sense that he has learned something. No doubt that was Waite's
intention, given the views he expressed about the "laity" in his
Basically, according to Waite, if you weren't a Freemason, you had no
place knowing any of the "Divine Mysteries," and damned if he was going to
violate that sacred trust....

Towards the accumulation of useful information,