Daily Notes #11
Convergences . . . .
The planned ten days of Daily Notes have flown by—and thanks again to everyone who opened them! It was a great consistency exercise for me.
And . . .
I benefitted from reviewing the Ten Doors more closely. As a result, I’ve made a few revisions to the original text. Biggest change—the “Information” door is now the “History” door:
From this vantage, you will see Tarot as a material artifact that reflects various cultural contexts over time. | Along the history path, you could encounter interests that range from the origin of playing cards to the evolution of printing and the development of secret societies.
Other tweaks include a slightly better description for “Meditation” and an expansion of the “Social” description—both auditioned in previous posts.
I also realized the need to wrap up the series with some notes on how the paths converge. And since eleven is even more Tarot-perfect than ten—here’s an extra Daily Note.
The Ten Doors construct was created as a framework for exploring the diversity of Tarot interests. I thought it would be useful to differentiate among the various approaches to Tarot—and that goal seems even more worthwhile now, when a couple of specific approaches tend to dominate the Tarot space online and in traditional media (newspapers, magazines, television).
I think most people today who are new to Tarot have entered through some version of the Therapeutic door. Self-care, self-help, spiritual exploration, personal growth, and so on. That’s primarily what they are likely to see in “lifestyle” publications, and on social media.
So if they decide to become involved with Tarot, that’s where they are likely to begin—with the many available books, blogs, and courses that take this particular approach.
In practical terms . . . I don’t think there are many available ways for those entering through such a dominant door to connect with any of the other paths. Something I’ve noticed about therapy-oriented resources is that they tend to be “branded” with the interpretations and methodology of one person or one group. In many cases, visitors are encouraged to stay inside a branded space, where they can make purchases and/or add to the metrics of online influence.
So—not a lot of encouragement to explore different approaches.
There are exceptions of course. But from a marketing analysis standpoint, that’s a fair description of what’s currently most visible to Tarot-curious browsers.
Now I have to raise an obvious question:
Does it really matter if a lot of people get stuck in one part of the Tarot space?
My answer, of course, is that matters a lot—but I don’t think there’s time in the scope of this Note to defend my position.
What I can do right now is to take a quick look at Tarot paths that seem to naturally converge. And also at paths that would complement each other in a positive way.
So here are my first three thoughts:
The Creativity and Aesthetic paths have the most obvious potential to cross. I see them as being operationally different, but philosophically aligned! And the same could be said of the Esoteric and Magick paths.
The Symbolism and History paths have a lot in common—both take a relatively analytical/objective view of Tarot. (Reminder: “History” has replaced the “Information” door.) From that perspective, I think they would make useful counter-points to the mostly subjective Therapeutic path.
I like the combination of Meditation and Divination, since I think mind-training in whatever form can strengthen the ability to connect with what’s not or not-yet known. And here again . . . less subjectivity.
Just some preliminary examples of thinking about convergences. Other ideas would be very welcome
In terms of opening up convergence potentials and encouraging wider exploration, I’m not sure what the way forward might be. I don’t think branded Tarot sites are likely to change their approach as long as it’s working. And I don’t think eclectic offerings (like mine, I suppose) can get a lot of traction in the market-driven world of Tarot 2021.
But then—maybe I just haven’t stumbled over the solution yet!
As always, thanks for reading. Tomorrow the full newsletter, and this week, Part 3 of “Makers of Modern Tarot.” Plus some behind-the-scenes outreach efforts: more Facebook invites, getting listed in newsletter directories, and personal notes to a few people I haven’t been in touch with for a while.
Good wishes for a good week. C