Thursday, November 20, 2008

I've been reading Leo Martello's book Reading the Tarot, a work I enjoy for its vigor and concision. Martello was an opinionated stregone, and the force of his personality comes through the pages of this useful guide to the Tarot.

I enjoy the rhymed messages he included for the pips. Some, such as the one for the Ace of Pentacles (which corresponds to diamonds in a standard card deck), are humorous:

"Ace of Pentacles a girl's best friend,
A Beau's best bet to insure a blend!"

They're a fun way to help memorize basic meanings for these cards. Of course, Martello did not advocate a rote approach to reading the cards, one based purely on memorization. He regarded his own interpretations as a starting point, or more precisely a focal point to trigger the subconscious mind and evoke images and ideas. He maintained that a study of the meanings of the cards should work in concert with one's own intuition. He wrote "between a literal reading of the cards and an intuitively enlightened one, you'll be amazed at the revelations this combination brings."

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