Cryptarotography

May 5, 2012 § 2 Comments

Okay, here’s another little taster of what’s in The Tarot Playbook: 78 Novel Ways to Connect with Your Cards. I chose this activity completely at random or, should I say, my deck did: I shuffled and drew the Tower which, when looked up in the handy card index at the back, pointed me to this. It’s called:

CRYPTAROTOGRAPHY

Tarot is a symbolic language. A bird is never simply a bird. A stone is never simply a stone. No Tarotist would ever dare call a spade a spade (as it’s clearly a sword). Hermetic occultists have spent lifetimes coding and decoding this most sacred and esoteric of alphabets. Fortunately for you, this piece of encryption should take less than an hour…

1. You will need something to write on and something to write with. The “on” should be crisp and white, and the “with” should be sharpened to an atom–sized point.

2. List the card names down the left–hand–side of the paper. Though this be a menial task, do not let your mind wander or you’ll miss one out and have to start all over again.

3. Place all the cards in a face-down pile. It doesn’t matter what order they’re in, although the order in which the artist painted them would be ideal.

4. Turn the top card over. Study it for a symbol or detail that you believe is unique to that card. Look for something distinctive and easy to recall. It also helps if it’s something quite central to the image – an arched window is good, a broken toenail is not.

5. When you’ve chosen, make a simplified drawing of that object next to the card’s name in the list. Imagine you are creating a hieroglyph – it should be a true copy of the original item but it should also possess a certain economy of style, making it easy to replicate. For example, if you’ve chosen a feather, you might draw one long curved line dissected by several shorter lines (this could also be used to represent a kebab).

6. Do the same for every card in the deck.

7. When you’ve finished, store your list of codes in a safe place. It is your personal Rosetta Stone. use these codes any time you wish to journal a reading that is particularly personal (or to thwart your nosy little sister). or, for even more fun and giggles, share your code with a close friend and use it whenever you do readings for each other.

This blog post was a sponsored broadcast by The Tarot Playbook: 78 Novel Ways to Connect with Your Cards. Available in all good bookstores and some bad ones.

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