Wyrd and Tarot

In astrology and feng shui we look for patterns in time and space, and create usable symbols from them; with the tarot, we provide the symbols, and watch for the patterns that arise... Whichever way we choose, the principle is the same: it provides a focus for our intuition to watching the weavings of the wyrd.

Reading the wyrd is like remembering a dream we never had. But it has to come from somewhere, in a form we can grasp - hence the importance of symbols. Conventional psychology shows that most mechanisms of memory are associative, relying on symbolic 'hooks' to retrieve a clustering of memories: the scents and sounds of childhood may bring back more memories than we'd wish! With the tarot, we take this process a step further, reaching beyond the blurred boundary of 'I', and into the collective 'memory' that is the wyrd, the interweaving of everywhere, everywhen, everyone.

Within the process, the symbols we choose, and the patterns we present - the deck of cards, and the layout or 'spread' - provide our map of the wyrd. There are any number of decks to choose from these days: so many that I'm surprised no-one's tried to sell a Tea-Leaf deck! Yet the quality of the 'map' - the richness and consistency of the symbols it provides - is important: if it fails to make sense, or to provide adequate hooks and anchors for that weird kind of 'memory', it's all too easy to lose direction, or even the way home to 'I'... At Wyrdsmiths we use a variety of tarot styles, such as the Harris/Crowley 'Thoth' deck, which interweaves Egyptian, Grecian, Eastern, Mediaeval and Christian symbolism with attributes from numerology, astrology, alchemy and Cabala - a complex map! But we'd generally recommend that beginners should start on a simpler system such as the well-known Rider-Waite deck and 'Celtic Cross' spread.

"In order to remember something you never knew, first set out to forget it" - that's the weird process through which tarot works. 'Beginner's Luck' does work well here, but it's not reliable beyond the beginning stage - as the weird pattern of the labyrinth illustrates! Like all forms of divination, it's a kind of guesswork, but an 'educated guess' that depends on a deep respect for the nature of the wyrd - and a great deal of discipline and practice...

As a tool to identify new directions and new possibilities within the wyrd - especially when stuck in the labyrinth's 'Dark Night of the Soul' - the tarot has almost no equal: which is why, as Wyrdsmiths, we'll happily use it even in a business setting. And for you, perhaps? Let us know!