The Daily Note (10.25)
Nature, magic, love, alchemy, imagination . . .
For a while at least, this is the last note on “cosmic Tarot.” But I wanted to share some quotes I used in the chapter “Renewal: Reviving Our Culture and Planet,” from Tarot: Methods, Mastery, and More. They capture aspects of the emotional/intellectual logic that could shape a more expansive view of Tarot practice.
C. A. Burland, ethnographer:
“We can now understand the personality which was necessary for an alchemist. The mind must be devoted to the pursuit of understanding, through a realization that on every level in nature there is a symbolic answer to the ultimate problems of existence.” (In The Arts of the Alchemists)
Robert Sardello, archetypal psychologist:
“The physical being of the planet is composed from numerous worlds that in the magical tradition are called inner worlds. The inner worlds are not worlds within our imagination, but our imaginal worlds, populated by the composing beings of the fabric of the physical planet. Our imagination is the organ by which we know these composing beings. The magical world, the inner world, the psychic world is this world of the physical planet and none other.” (In Facing the World with Soul)
D. H. Lawrence, poet:
“Oh what a catastrophe, what a maiming of love when it was made a personal, merely personal feeling, taken away from the rising and setting of the sun, and cut off from the magic connection of the solstice and equinox! We are bleeding at the roots, because we are cut off from the earth and sun and stars, and love is a grinning mockery, because, poor blossom, we plucked it from its stem on the tree of life, and expected it to keep on blooming in our civilized vase on the table.” (In “A Propos of Lady Chatterley’s Lover”)
And this seemed like a good time to bring back something from one of the earliest EP newsletters—taken from poet Diane di Prima’s 1978 manuscript “Structures of Magic and Techniques of Visioning.” She writes:
I’m interested in the combining of the Tarot—the Tree as it was worked out by the Golden Dawn people and later people in terms of changing my point of view or my perspective so that my way of seeing the world is in terms of correspondence, so that everything has a thickness of dimensionality instead of linearity, so that blue also means Jupiter and also means whatever planet it means, [and Wheel of Fortune card and lapis or sapphire] so that everything moves thru several dimensions at once like certain so-called “primitive" languages do: both because it’s a way of seeing and because it’s a way of using words and image that seems to me breaks down the necessity for metaphor in the old sense and makes all that stuff obsolete. I really want to enter that head and live there, not just have it as a quaint old idea, the idea of correspondence.
This passage made me realize that I had understood correspondences mostly as an abstract, informational matter. Di Prima’s poetic perspective opens up a sense of what it would be like actually to experience the world as a web of interconnected qualities, in such a way that “everything has a thickness of dimensionality instead of linearity.”
Mary Greer, whose work illuminates so many aspects of Tarot, includes a concise yet comprehensive table of correspondences in Appendix C of Tarot for Your Self. But for me, anyway, it took a found bit of poetic musing to engage my imagination, and make the table come alive.
As always, thanks for reading! Not sure yet what will develop in the rest of this week’s Notes—looks like we’ll find out together. C