How we understand and view life, literature and everything else, comes from past experiences, teachings, hurts and joys, our current situation and beliefs, and our hopes for the future. This is what allows the human race to be so diverse; sometimes a good thing, other times not so good…
It is stimulating to the intellect to be able to discuss differing views on any myriad of topics, providing a chance to expand our understanding and to readdress our views and from whence they came, allowing us to determine if they still retain validity in our lives. In listening once again to my CD lecture series by John O’Donohue, I enjoyed his comments on poetry and of how the best poems, like short stories, allow space for our minds to explore their depths on our own…to allow for our interpretation and expansion of them.
The same sentiment jelled in my mind as one used when interpreting the Tarot. Each tarot deck infuses the creator’s interpretation of the cards by way of the visual medium of art. We are drawn to individual decks based upon our affinity to the type of art used to convey the message, whether it be modern, traditional, fanciful or practical. To me, the joy of having so many different tarot decks near at hand, is in the varied and stimulating ways the interpretation of the deck’s creator allows one to expand their understanding of the card’s messages.
In one of my new decks, the way in which the four of pentacles, commonly represented as a person holding tightly onto his pentacles, coins that represent things of the physical, such as money and possessions, caught my eye. This card depicted instead, a jeweled treasure chest resting on the floor, blocking the open doorway of a home; a door that opened onto a pathway leading to wherever the wanderer wished to venture. How simple and complete a statement this was. All that needs to be done is to gently move the chest of treasured possessions aside, to understand that they are indeed just material things, but things that are best not kept blocking our way forward.
This also may very well apply to the perceptions, beliefs and assumptions that we currently value. It asks of us to address all that we treasure to ensure they still hold pertinent worth to us and asks if they reside in an appropriate place in our “home.” It is Springtime here in the Northern Hemisphere, a time for spring cleaning. A time to open up the drawers and cupboards, to dust out the corners, to clean and rearrange things to allow for better flow…an opportune time to see what we have locked away. An opportune time for this card to appear…
Even though I’ve worked with the Tarot for over 25 years, I found this simple depiction provided me with yet another a new slant in expanding upon its message; one that was offered to me by way of another’s interpretation… For the tarot allows many ways of interpreting each card, just as life allows for many ways in which to interpret and, ultimately understand, each step of our journey.
I have had many conversations with my mentor about the importance of communication, of how, when talking, we are best not to hold back, out of insecurity, what comes to our mind. “There are no stupid questions…” This not only allows one to clear up any misunderstandings, but allows for moments of illumination to be stumbled upon by delving further and further into a topic. Our initial interpretation might be skewed or limited but by talking with another, with getting their perspective, we might come upon the true meaning for us… I am reminded of this each time I create a piece of art with my guides, in trying to understand the meaning of what has been surfaced.
An open mind, an inquiring mind, allows us to continue to grow; to readdress our interpretation of our world.
It’s so hard to communicate because there are so many moving parts. There’s presentation and there’s interpretation and they’re so dependent on each other it makes things very difficult.
– Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain