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Post Info TOPIC: Do You Really Need A Manual For Tea Leaves?


Regular Crew

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Do You Really Need A Manual For Tea Leaves?


*I was in a writing mood, so this turns into a bit of an essay.*

To put things in order: I'm a sort of slouching heathen with Wiccan-like leanings. There, that was clear, right?

So I play with Tarot, tea-leaf readings, and so on without much discipline, but I've been thinking about  how ultimately impersonal Tarot can be, or the symbol dictionaries for tea leaves or what-have-you. The symbols depend on both our cultural context and our personal context, right? So not every symbol means the same to every individual, not deep down, with nuance. And from this line of thought, I've concluded that extra study is interesting but unnecessary; it's self-awareness, openness, the development of our internal dictionaries that informs what we interpret. Agree/Disagree/Something Else? 

This whole thing cemented for me two Halloweens ago, when we had a friend over. My home's a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, so when a storm came up, of course we had a blackout. After we lit the table candes, I made us some tea and suggested we try leaf readings. After three or four minor pictures, I got a very clear swill-about: a man with an axe in high mid-swing. Very clear, just like that. 

Visiting friend is from the city. When I gleefully point out the chopping scene, she protests that it's too "dark" and we should maybe do some blessing juju. But, I say, we live in the country here, and chopping something is usually good - wood for the fire or meat for the table. She calms down a bit, the night goes on, we go to bed. 

Next morning, we're supposed to drop her off for the next bus to the city, but are greatly delayed when our turkeys start dropping like flies. They're not sick, but the person in charge of feeding them has been very irresponsible. Now we have the quick butchering of about forty turkeys to take care of before our other errands. Very irritating. But I immediately connected this with that and added "the chopping man" to my list of subconcious symbols, another "is what it is" sign. 

I just don't think "A Guide To Tea Reading By Lady Appleseed WitchWattle" (must use that name sometime), resident of The City, pop. 50,000 is relevant to my lifestyle, and I feel very conflicted whenever I talk to people who can't leave the formalized stuff behind. I think the dictionaries and lexicons that deal in symbols and "soft" stuff (i.e., not herbalism) kill our ability to connect with real things more than they help. 

And now it's polite to invite your opinions, stories, etc. Cue cute smiley face! :D



-- Edited by friedoniongirl on Sunday 26th of May 2013 02:47:02 PM

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Mookish Deity Most High

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I would be inclined to agree with you. I was given a set of Tarot cards and started looking through them, writing down my own ideas on them then comparing to the book. Since they are very detailed cards my initial glancing at them had missed a lot of the details but my main ideas didn't really reflect in what the book said. I never really thought about the difference cultural meanings would have for symbols until you started this thread though. A very interesting topic.

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Regular Crew

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I've often thought the best way to do Tarot is to design your own deck for that reason. -- I'm still thinking over it and on/off studying Tarot. Do you know some good essays or discussions about it somewhere on the net (books are good, too :))?

Just after I started this thread, I went through the one about what your culture means to you, and that means food and spirituality to me, mostly -- and a lot of shame over the stupidity of my ancestors. The only religious community I was in was some form of Christian church until I was five. After that, I was introduced to a heap of Celtic mythology, but was never given a doctrine. I find myself simultaneously advocating openness and questioning, of the symbols and everything, but also the value of "locking in" to a tradition to ground yourself. I feel like a big ol' spiritual hypocrite! Must be why I sympathize with trickster characters so much.


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Honoured Mook

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I completely agree that you should use your own intuition when doing any sort of 'psychic' reading or dream interpretation etc. I think the best readers are intuitive rather than going by the book :)

With regards to discussions and forums etc. check this out:
www.aeclectic.net/tarot/

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