The not-joking joker

Welcome to TaoCraft Tarot blog and podcast. I’m glad you are here.

Usually Short Sip is Tarot contemplation for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. You might want to pour yourself a full mug for this one. Possibly a full mug of something stronger than coffee. Or maybe not. I don’t know – let’s jump in and see where this takes us.

This is the joker card from the Alleyman’s Tarot deck. The thing I love about exploring this outsized deck with you is the way it pushes me to the edge of my comfort zone. It also lets me interact with cards, decks and art I wouldn’t have otherwise.. This card is a little bit of both of those things.

As always, I read the card as-is before looking at the deck creators intentions and was rewarded for that pattern with this card. Intuitive reading is the whole intended point of the card which was originally drawn by Christian Ellingstad for the Arcadia playing cards. All of the cards in the Alleyman’s Tarot were either created by its author, created specifically for the deck, or used with direct permission. The author in me respects the work it took to make that level of permission and scholarship happen.

Here, the Joker card and its lovely line drawing pulls in two directions. The lighter, easier of the two talks about cartomancy. Technically, cartomancy means divination or an intuitive reading with any cards. Lenormand Tarot, Marseille style Tarot, oracle decks, playing cards – reading with all of those fall under the term cartomancy. You could use old maid cards if you really wanted to. Just as often, if not more so, when you hear the word cartomancy, it usually refers to using playing cards for the reading.

How do you do that, you might ask? The coffee mug isn’t big enough for that this morning. More on that some other day.

Long story short, readings with playing cards are at the same time the easiest and the hardest readings you can do. There are no details or complicated symbolism on playing cards. There isn’t much to memorize, so playing cards are a good way to start learning cartomancy in its largest sense.

Which is precisely why playing cards are the most difficult to use. There aren’t established meanings. There aren’t a lot of details or images for your intuition to use as fuel to find the right message. You have to read playing cards intuitively or you are screwed. Unless you add a big dose of pure intuition, playing cards are only good for playing games. But, on the other hand, if you are willing to take that chance and make the leap into intuitive reading, then playing cards are as good as any other deck for finding the insight and guidance you need.

OK, great. But what else is the Joker telling us about today?

After working with the Alleyman’s deck, I’m starting to take reversals more seriously. But even if we stick with my usual practice of deciding with pure intuition whether a reversal is indicating a slowing or blockage of energy or just happenstance, my hunch today is this card rightfully should stay upside down. So much so that this is in the old-school flip the meaning territory, which is rare in my experience.

This joker is serious.

Period. Underline. Exclamation point.

Ok, fine. But what is this joker so serious about?

I live in America. I’ll let you decide if that is a good thing or a bad thing because after the past 6 or 7 years, I’m honestly of two minds about it. Especially after the past couple of weeks.

99.999% of the time I avoid religion and politics in readings. My job is to try to bring clarity, not stir up muck. Despite that deliberate effort, sometimes intuition steps in, yoinks the good intentions right out of your hands and spits the real talk. Most of the time if it comes up, it is encouragement to get literally involved in civics; volunteer at an animal shelter, plant trees, that sort of thing. There is more to it this time. Full on politics has come crashing into a pretty little playing card.

After 4 July 2022 I can only see an inverted Joker one way: This is serious.

What the actual freaking fuckitty frack was that yesterday, America?

To the rest of the world, all I can say is – I’m sorry. I did all I had the means to do. I voted, yard signed, contributed – at one point I even volunteered and phone banked – which sucked – for a candidate who, luckily, did not suck. Yet here we are, screaming down the highway to theocracy and oligarchy and a bunch of other -archys and -isms that are – um – bad.

Democracy is in danger. Look at yesterday as if it were a Tarot reading. Consider the implications and symbolism if you drew a card that was an assault rifle slaughter of innocents at an Independence Day celebration. I’m at a loss for words. On top of the death, horror and tragedy you have a literal representation of democracy and decency under fire.

Maybe it was the movie JFK, but the phrase “kill box” keeps coming to mind. And, too, there was just an interview with Andrea Mitchell and a retired agent who worked in Dallas at one point in his career. He spoke about the paralles between the Highland Park shooting and Lee Harvey Oswald. I encourage you to listen to reliable news reporting and get the information directly for yourself. I’m not a journalist. It’s my job to stand here and point to the symbolism of it all.

This is serious.

I am worried for all religious and spiritual minorities (atheist, agnostic and secular included) as well as our LGBTQIA and our POC brothers and sisters.

This joker is not joking. All good and decent people have to band and act together, including voting this fall in hordes and droves. We have to make the polls look like that scene from the movie World War Z.

Meanwhile. Stay safe, be careful. Protect your privacy. Protest smart. Be aware of your surroundings in both cyberspace and meatspace. You are precious. We need you.

Thank you for reading and listening. Short Sip will be back tomorrow, hopefully with a little better mood for you. Take good care of yourself.

Author: SageWordsTarot

I read Tarot, write e-books and make stuff. 25 + years experience reading Tarot, oracle cards. Retired Tai Chi instructor. Reiki master-practitioner 20+ years

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