Tuesday, 2 April 2013

B: Batons, Wands or Flame Songs

Batons for the Tarot de Marseille; Wands for Rider-Waite-Smith- inspired decks; Flame Songs for the wonderful Songs for the Journey Home.

Tarot is a system, but it's not as firm and fixed as some would have you believe. The cards have well-established meanings and possible interpretations, but different decks offer different shades within the pallette of possibilities. Thanks to this range, readings with different decks can take on different tones, and I have found some decks better suited to some kinds of reading than others.

In the example of the suit names that title this post, all relate to the fire element, with both batons and wands reminding us of something wooden, crafted by human hand from a living tree. Flame Songs is more direct, going straight to the element itself, but the cards within these suits all unite in themes of creativity, busy-ness (and business) and of projects requiring complex skills. For me, fire is the element most involved in spiritual belief - more instinctive than intellectual, more gut-reaction than emotion - and this idea can be seen woven through various cards from these suits also.

The flexibility and range within the broad structure of tarot is one of the things I love about it. Sometimes I'll read with two decks, comparing the angles I get by shuffling and drawing with one and then seeking out the same cards in the other. My knowledge of tarot has also enabled me to use themed decks to learn more about other subjects including Greek myth (The Mythic Tarot), the Celtic tradition (The Celtic Wisdom Tarot) and the sacred landscape of Britain (The Sacred Circle Tarot).

Basically, once again, I arrive at the conclusion that I enjoy making connections between things. Another reminder of the web that binds all things.

1 comment:

  1. Although I have several decks myself, I have never really learned to read them. Something I should sort out. Thank you for the post.