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Posted by: Human ( )
Date: September 26, 2022 08:34AM

On The Tarot

“The Tarot consists of 78 cards, which means that the number of different ways in which a deck can be shuffled consists of a one followed by 115 zeroes: roughly one quadrillion times larger than the number of subatomic particles in the universe.”

The essay that is from is a wild, bewildering ride. It takes you from the Tarot to Walter Benjamin and Hermann Göring to Sebald to Rorschach to the US army to IBM to Madeleine Scudéry to Freud to Gnosticism to the Grail legends to China to Cromniomancy and Ololygmancy and Cephalonomancy to gambling to the Urim and Thummin to Lévy-Bruhl to Lucretius to Plato to etc etc etc. And extra points for using “Baxbakwalanuxsiwae”, of course.

A few Snippets, at random:

“Many of the oracle bones are still being deciphered. Five thousand characters have been identified, and only three thousand are understood. But of the inscriptions we can read, quite a lot of them seem to be about human sacrifice. “Should we offer ancestor Ta-chia and Tsu-i ten beheaded men?” Another: “Should a man be burned at the stake? Will rain follow?” Oracle pits tend to be sited near mass graves.”

“Benjamin distinguishes between bourgeois and mystical linguistics. In bourgeois linguistics, which is Saussure’s theory, “the word has an accidental relation to its object.” Names are determined by convention. You could say that in semiotics the relation between word and thing is like the relation between money and commodities; they can be exchanged for one another. In mystical linguistics, meanwhile, “the word is simply the essence of the thing.” This is an aristocratic linguistics: everything is fixed and timeless and in its proper place. But Benjamin’s linguistics are proletarian; productive and insurrectionary. Each word recalls the creation of the universe; the highest form of language is the giving of a name. “The proper name is the communion of man with the creative word of God.” This is why the first act of Adam was to name every living creature in Eden.”

Human, too too human

*Sam Kriss is a favourite of mine. Somehow he was swept up at the tail-end of MeToo and disappeared for a while. He has resurfaced at Substack. I’m very pleased he has.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: September 26, 2022 11:31AM

Absolutely fascinating to read that article. A trip though history through someone else's eyes. My pool of a mind yearns to dwell on that plane of the smorgasbord thinking of this Sam Kriss-- even if I can only mange a drive-by now and then. I saved three paragraphs that I must twist and turn a bit.

Oddly about a year ago I decided I had to have some tarot cards. I had never thought about them before that and haven't thought about them since. I must now have an explore. Perhaps they will tell my why I have not touched them while they remain three feet behind on the shelf, black package same as the black shelf so nearly invisible.

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Posted by: Susan I/S ( )
Date: September 26, 2022 12:04PM

I have used cards since I was 12/13. Great way to rebel. I have used the same kind, not the same deck but the same kind since the early 90s. I recently found a new deck that really... stood out to me. It has been quite interesting as it is different from my usual one. Based on Byzantine iconography.

The main thing D&D is to find the right deck for you. Make sure you are looking at tarot and not oracle or something else. Go down to the shop and look/handle a lot of them. Then buy a new SEALED deck of the one you like. Get a little notebook and just do a "one a day draw". Write it down, learn about that one card. Shuffle side to side so they stay right side up.


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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: September 26, 2022 12:07PM

You are a surprise, Susan. Thanks. I like the one card a day thing. Otherwise it's too overwhelming and I have no interest in stopping in at one of those places with the neon sign.

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Posted by: donbagley ( )
Date: September 27, 2022 09:22PM

I agree. Tarot is like a parlor game mixed with amateur therapy. In college I had a pretty girl do a reading for me. Quite enjoyable. I actually have a deck somewhere. I love the illustrations.

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Posted by: ziller ( )
Date: September 26, 2022 12:06PM

brb ~

using tarot cards to play 'go-fish' with the grandchildrens ~

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: September 26, 2022 12:35PM Panel #4.

7,000 words of industrial grade woo, or so it seems to me. The article appears to have some interesting historical tidbits. Haven't read much of it yet, just skipped around.

The Magic 8 Ball is tarot stripped to its essence. You see what you want (or fear) to see, and confirmation bias cements the "reading". What fits gets "ah ha"ed. What doesn't fit gets forgotten.

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Posted by: ziller ( )
Date: September 26, 2022 01:04PM

but who was i-ching ? ~

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: September 26, 2022 01:59PM

I played poker with tarot cards.
I got a full house and four people died.

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Posted by: ookami ( )
Date: September 26, 2022 05:18PM

I'm almost afraid to ask what would have happened if you got a royal flush.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: September 26, 2022 05:36PM

He did. The queen died.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: September 26, 2022 06:48PM

And Charles has always looked a little flushed.

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Posted by: Susan I/S ( )
Date: September 27, 2022 03:51AM

But how did Charles end up married to The Joker?

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: September 27, 2022 10:17PM

He never has been good at poke her.

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Posted by: wowbagger ( )
Date: September 27, 2022 09:58PM

As a working economist, I have a shelf in my office with several forecasting tools

• Tarot cards
• Ouija board
• I-ching coins
• Fortune cookies
• Coins
• Dice
• Magic 8 ball
• Crystal ball
• Palm with lines
• Cup of Destiny for reading tea leaves
• Top hat with Ema River seerstone (my personal favourite)
• Writings of Nostradamus
• Book of Answers
• Rock/Paper/Scissors/Lizard/Spock dice

All because, uh, SCIENCE!

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