Many of us face junctures in our lives where we are so overloaded with concern we turn to an authority for answers. Some seek the priest or rabbi, others turn to parents or guardians, some even look to the paper for an astrological forecast, trouble moving through our lives like a storm. When that happens we become Quarents. A Quarent is a meditation on language: derived from the divination practice of Tarot, and refers to the person seeking information.
As an Oracle, the Tarot offers ways of seeing our world and ourselves from an objective point of view. Many have offered suggestions as to why and how the Tarot works. One such concept put forth by Robin Wood is: the Universe is trying to tell us something through all manor of techniques, and usually finds the easiest way to help us. A best friend or loved one may say “just the right thing” at the right time and the message is received.
For those who are training themselves to be open, the Tarot offers a conduit of archetypical images and scenarios where we may find a new perspective. For the more skeptical, questions like “well, does the ‘Universe’ then manipulate the cards to tell you your message? (chuckle)”. Perhaps…
Let us consider then the Tarot as an Oracle. A deck of cards: 78 in number, 22 of them are Archetypical in concept. 16 cards of varying degrees of manifestation: combination between the elements, each describing a basic “personality” and the remainder various stages of interaction in quality, each one of these describing a problem. A good Tarot Reader (with experience) recognizes each of these as a tool, quality or situation which holds a story about the various experiences one has in life. In combination they are like algebra: formula describing scenarios which leads to more problems and their solutions.
Once the calculation is described, the mind is then put to rest and the final portion of the reading is made: intuition. Many describe this final aspect as the Heirophant: the ultimate Authority. Not one outside yourself, but that inner portion of yourself which is eternal and “knows”. Once the the mind is at rest, this inner Heirophant “speaks”, perhaps not in words, but in the basic feelings that stir from the center of one’s being.
Paul Foster Case summed up the study of the Tarot in two words: “Know thyself” (Quoted in the Movie “The Matrix”). The study of the Tarot is the study of one’s self, however to truly understand the Tarot, one must read for others, making the obvious connection between ourselves and the people around us. The deeper one goes into this study, the more one understands the people around them.
And so, if you could ask the most important question of your life, what would it be? The answer is in the Question.