The Why of Cards

Modern living sometimes cuts us off from living immersed in an ever-changing and therefore mysterious environment.

The elements many card systems are based on are Fire, Air, Water and Earth. These days, people on the one hand don’t give them much thought, and on the other, exalt them to a belief.

Imagine early humankind dealing with these on a daily basis.

The literal conditions needed for survival, that changed at a moment’s notice. Purely rational thought we rely upon now couldn’t deal with the mystery of that, alone. The intuition and instincts that could help us tap into the system of the weather, the animal herd migrations, the dangers and probabilities … gave us an edge in living another day, first.

That’s what’s missing in our sterile suburbs. In living in our heads.

That’s why people reach for a deck of pictures that depict exactly what life forces around us we’re forced to leave behind … save maybe for in our dreams and religions … or even in our drugs … and why we reach for these beliefs so that we can keep that mystery alive.

Within the atmosphere of each card, within artworks too, and within music as well, the human soul can expand again, exactly where we are. We can feel alive. We can reaffirm our life source. And perhaps, even in the urbane sprawls of cities, we relive it in a kind of new version of Other within that constantly changing system too. So that we can feel alive again. That seems to be our future. For better or for worse.

But the real thing cannot be replaced, and has to live on in our hearts. This is our soul. Nature. In a way, the more we “get back out there”, the less we need cards. As a reader, that’s a sobering thought. But then, that’s not very likely for the future for humanity at this stage, on the whole.

Of course readings have certainly added to the simple environmental elements over hundreds and thousands of years. It’s more like accessing a library of observed human truths, and cards are like stills of a movie about life. It’s evolved into more than the sum of its archetypes. The mystery is back in the sense that Other people’s thoughts have shaped this, beyond mine.

And that’s interesting. And soul-felt. So it turns out that, having a reading is really pretty much like a conversation with human evolution. Where do we want to take it today?

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