Recently I've been doing some experiments with pop culture magic Tarot readings, specifically with cards from the game Dixit. In the actual game you are given a set number of cards and you are a story teller, sort of. When it's your turn you come up with a word or phrase to describe the card. Then other people choose a card they think represents that word or phrase and give it to you. They all get shuffled together and revealed and people try to choose the card of the actual story teller. The cards themselves are quite beautiful with some excellent art, and no words, all designed to evoke a response from you. I decided to try and use them for tarot readings because the art is quite evocative, but there have been some interesting challenges that have come up with the cards.
The first challenge is just how many cards there are. I have three versions of the game and when I looked on Amazon, they've released even more expansion packs. It's a lot of cards to choose from and you aren't going to necessarily want to use them all, especially if you also want to play the game. When I did a couple of readings I used the entire deck and it made the reading more complicated, so I'm thinking of looking through the deck and just picking the cards that call to me (and I'd still likely use them for the game but mark them in a specific way in order to pull them out for readings).
The second challenge is there are no words (or roles) associated with the cards. When I did a reading with them each time, it made me appreciate how the roles of given cards are spelled out via words (in tarot cards). It was harder to do a reading because those words weren't there and it made me realize how much I've taken those words for granted. The words represent the specific roles of the cards and so I've thought of two possible ways to resolve this challenge. The first way is to make specific cards with specific roles. There is however no space on the cards to write the role. You'd have to keep a separate document and memorize those roles. The other way is to dispense with the roles altogether and just read the cards from an intuitive perspective. Its more challenging but it can be done and I think it can be a good exercise to help the reader hone his/her skills.
The third challenge is related to the second and its that the cards are open to interpretation (purposely so) and in some cases are abstract enough that it can be an additional challenge to read the cards as anything meaningful to the situation or person. However, I think if you have enough practice you can find details that are relevant to the person. It also just may require some experience of doing readings for people with those cards.
This is just my initial foray into doing readings with Dixit cards so I'll post an update in the near future with some further findings.
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Magical Experiments Radio: I interviewed Frater Barrabbas about the difference between Ritual and Ceremonial Magic and his work with the Quabala. Start listening to the show 8 minutes in.