Sunday, June 24, 2012

My Favorite Obsession: Tarot Cards!

VII (7) The Chariot = Victory, my 'Soul Card' from the Tarot. This Italian deck includes the key word (meaning) of each card  written along the left border in 4 European languages
My collection of 48 Tarot decks.
What is your hobby? Anata-no shumi-wa nan desuka?
What do you like to do? Anata-wa nani o surukoto-ga suki desuka?
What excites you?
What is your passion (jonetsu)?
Do you enjoy sports? Supotsu-wa suki desuka?
Do you like watching movies? Eiga-wo-miru kotoga suki desuka?
Do you love art ? Reading ? Nature hiking?

Are you a collector? Anatawa shushuka desuka?
Do you have a collection? Korekushon-o motte-masuka?
If so, what do you collect?

My brother Chris collects coins. He started collecting them when he was just a boy. He has a very nice coin collection. He taught me a lot about being a collector and taking good care of your collectibles. I used to have a pretty big comic book collection. I started collecting comic books when I was a boy... mostly Batman, House of Mystery, Archie, and anything featuring vampires, werewolves, witches and monsters.
I sold my comic books on ebay a few years ago to help earn money before we moved to Japan. Can you believe I made about $2,000.00 from selling my old comic books?

I have a confession (kokuhaku) to make...
I am such a geek! Cho Otaku-desu!

I have also collected Tarot cards over the years. I started actually collecting Tarot cards when I was in high school, but I bought my first deck of Tarot cards when I was about 12 or 13 years old and in Junior high school.
My first deck of Tarot cards ! The classic 'Rider - Waite - Smith Tarot'.

While I was a high school student I discovered that there were many different types of Tarot decks being published. Some of them were reprints of old European classics with traditional (dento-teki) symbolism (shochoshugi). Some were new and featured contemporary (dojidai) art or unique themes; like: 'The Ukiyoe Tarot' with Japanese art, 'The Native American Tarot' based on American Indian tribal themes and legends, the circular (maru) shaped 'Motherpeace Tarot' with circle shaped cards.... and the list goes on and on.

At first, I was just interested in using the Tarot for Divination (uranai) or "Fortune-telling". Then, I became deeply interested in it's use in meditation and learning about occult philosophy and psychology (shinrigaku). Soon, I discovered that there were many beautiful and original decks with a wide range of art and symbolism. I now have 48 Tarot decks, Oracle cards or divination packs. There are so many now available that can suit any taste.
I have loved art and the occult all my life. Tarot is where these two passions meet and where my obsession (toritsuki, kyohakukan'nen) has grown! I usually buy them for myself but I also have decks that were given to me as gifts. I get some decks just for their artwork. Sometimes I just shuffle through a deck to get inspiration or to find a model for one of my own drawings or paintings. Sometimes I read the Little White Book (LWB) that comes with each pack of Tarot cards to get the meaning (imi) of a card, but I also like to trust my own intuition (chokkan) for a card's interpretation (kaishaku). Tarot is a way of training your intuition.
A new Japanese Tarot deck and book set I recently found.  Most of the  decks produced in Japan  are not so attractive or they contain only the 22 Major Arcana cards (not the complete 78). This set has all 78 cards but every character is kind of artificial anime looking and THEY ARE ALL BLOND! But it's still pretty nice.

Tarot is a very old system of symbols (shocho, kigo) and it has direct connections to other Esoteric (nankai, himitsu) Arts like Astrology (hoshi uranai), Numerology and Cabbala. The deeper you look, the more you see... and learn!
Tarot of the Master. Reprint of an old Italian deck.
VI (6) LOVE card from 'Tarot of the Master'. The key meaning: 'Love' is written in 5 Western languages along the left edge of the green border.

Tarot encouraged me (susumeru shimashta) to read and study when I was in school, as it still does today. Studying the Tarot taught me the meanings of many words like 'Temperance', 'Justice', 'Judgement', and 'Hierophant' (!), as well as about Archetypes (genkei), Consciousness (ishiki), the Unconscious (muishiki), Subconscious (senzai'ishiki), and the deeper meanings of many words and symbols. I would recommend to English students to get a pack of 78 Tarot cards to play with just to pick a card they like and read the suggested meanings in the LWB.  Studying the image and symbols of each card and reading it's key words one can greatly increase one's knowledge of English vocabulary. Tarot can also act as a record of European  history.

Recommended for starters...
The popular Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot and the Morgan-Greer Tarot.  Bright colors and  classic  images. Easy to read.
Rare decks:
I Tarocchi Dell'Alba Dorata has only the 22 Major Arcana
The weird H.P.Lovecraft Tarot based on horror-fantasy.
The Druid Craft Tarot & the new  Mary-El Tarot.
Two new favorites.

This deck contains vivid contemporary artwork with Cabbalistic and elemental symbols. Each of the 5 suits (the Major + 4 Minor Arcana) feature a different ancient world culture. Egyptian, African, Meso-American, Viking and Indian.

Rohrig Tarot
Psychology & Mysticism

The Goddess Tarot, a gift from a dear friend.

The Rider Waite Smith, The Grand Etteilla, and Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarots.

How can you deepen and expand your English vocabulary and comprehension?
Why be shy? Give Tarot a try! Hazukashii-garanai !

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