Tarot was, most likely, developed from imported Persian playing cards, and may or may not have been used as divinatory aids at first. But then again, late-medieval and early-Renaissance people used everything for divination, from little card stock spinning wheels to pins stuck in their copies of Homer. So it seems likely. When you divine with something, with a set of something, there are certain expectations that come with it. Your divinatory system needs to have everything inside it. What if you’re experiencing anxiety because of an illness but there are no symbols of illness in your divination system? Now we’re to the point of this essay: cultures code what are included and excluded from divinatory systems — what do we do when we aren’t included, or what if we are but in a deeply unsettling way? You guessed it: let’s talk about gender and tarot cards. It’s Pride month, and it’s as good a time as any to get really personal…
I assume you’re as hyped up about the new Gorillaz album as I am, right? It’s coming out pretty soon, and it’s titled The Now Now. And while several songs have already been released, I’m just over here still listening to Humanz from a few years ago. So, naturally, I thought I’d do a tarot reading for it.
Here’s a tarot spread you may find helpful. It’s for those times when you feel something that just seems a little weird and you don’t know where it’s coming from or why.
This may come as no surprise, but one of my favorite bands is The Decemberists. I first learned about them in grad school. I was introduced to them, I shit you not, from this Questionable Content strip. The title says the joke at the end is like one of their songs. So I immediately looked them up. I remember, too, that Amazon was giving away an mp3 of a song, maybe “The Engine Driver.” So I grabbed that, and proceeded to get as much as I could. I even found a used CD of The Tain when I went back to school, in the local music/book store (that is, naturally, out of business now). This is a long, personal introduction just to say this: their new album is out!
Here’s something a little different. Recently my wife has been a little sick, and so one day I got to thinking of which tarot cards might represent illness in some way. You know, the way you do. So this post should be a little simpler than usual. I say “should.” Here are four cards I came up with that indicate something to do with illness.