I bought the two albums at a reasonable price, because I wanted to hear the music that reminded me of my teenage years again, to make connections with that period of my life again, to draw out patterns. I'm rather fond of discerning patterns, you see, and I think that I can do a reasonably competent job at picking out patterns in my academic work and my weblogging observations.
However, I also think that I do a fairly poor job at picking out patterns in my own life. Witness how, a decade after I hit puberty, I only then realized a) that I had a sexual orientation and b) that it wasn't heterosexual. Like Lisa in The Simpsons episode when all of the teachers went on strike, I need external feedback to judge just what I'm about. I'm doing much better now than I did two years ago, of course, but getting input is always good.
I found an interesting explanation of how tarot cards are supposed to work here.
Tarot Cards are merely the tools professional readers use to tap into a special state of mind consciousness -- a state where the reader has learned to turn off their imagination and tune into their intuition. When a seeker poses a question to a reader, they are consciously and subconsciously opening a doorway or opportunity for shared consciousness.
Dr. Carl G. Jung (1875-1962) a noted Swiss psychologist dedicate most of his life to this shared consciousness research. His work showed that our subconscious mind has the ability to not only absorb and retain ideas, impressions, and events around us but can also share thoughts or impressions with others through a Universal Consciousness. His theories under pin many aspects of modern prediction.
We are all familiar with our subconscious mind's ability to recall past events and details that our conscious mind has blocked or forgotten. This is the basis of modern hypnotherapy or hypnosis. Hypnosis works because our subconscious mind is like a huge image library that is receptive to our conscious mind and environment. But how do we communicate between our subconscious and conscious minds? One clue can be found in our dreams where we experience images, impressions and carry on conversations without ever uttering a word or opening our eyes to the conscious world. When we dream our conscious and subconscious minds communicate through an informal language of images and impressions. Tarot formalizes this process. By committing to memory specific meanings associated with the images of the Tarot and through the formal practice of tuning-in to their intuition to develop impressions, the professional Tarot reader is able to bridge this gap between the conscious world and that of a universal consciousness.
This may be an ill-judged reaction based on my reaction to the Freud and Jung, communicated through intermediaries, that I was taught in my literary theory class in the fall semester here at Queen's. I don't believe in the subconsciousness, or in repressed memories. The evidence I've seen in support of these two psychological hypotheses has been unconvincing, more anecdotal than anything and often disproved radically (as in the case of the McMartin daycare accusations).
Still, I went. Why? Wish-fulfillment, I suppose, out of a desire to see if the tarot card reading would try to discern patterns in my life that I could act upon. Tarot card readings can play a role as a sort of an amateur psychology, I believe, simply by giving people choices and warnings. It cost 40 dollars Canadian, but why not go at least once?
I was very surprised to find out that the woman giving the reading was my Grade 7 geography teacher, resident in Kingston for the past decade and working on a PhD in French linguistics in between stints at tarot card readings and like activities. She did recognize me after a moment. It is, indeed, a small world.
I'm not going to tell you the question that I asked about. I'll only tell one person, and that on the condition that said person asks a specific question to this end. Let's just say that I found the entire process--my shuffling of the deck, her laying out of the cards, and then her explanation for the next twenty or so minutes of what each card meant, laid out in sequence--remarkably soothing. Afterwards, I went out into the associated shop to pick out a free stone, in my case one made of snowflake obsidian, as a sort of talisman.
I left the shop revivified, with some hope that my question would receive a favourable answer and that things would go well for me. I may be an agnostic about the real effectiveness of tarot cards, but I've no interest in denying their positive effects.
A friend of mine offered to retest me on the cards--she does readings of her own. I think I'll accept.