Atrophy is a thing.
Hello and welcome to TaoCraft Tarot blog and podcast. I’m glad you are here.
The beautiful part of the Alleyman’s Tarot is the exposure it gives to unique or less well known Tarot cards. The downside to the Alleyman’s Tarot is the unique and lesser known cards. 99% of the time the cards read easily, no reference book required. Sometimes a card just doesn’t resonate on that intuitive level. That dissonance can happen even with the most well known and much used Tarot deck that you own. Maybe that is just a professional’s problem. You do a high enough volume of these things, fizzles and disconnects will happen.
Fortunately it is an easy fix. The Alleyman’s Tarot came with the Alleyman’s guidebook which was styled to look like a handwritten journal and is just as brilliant as the deck itself. So when I pull a card that I’m not familiar with and it doesn’t read intuitively, going to the guidebook usually shakes some message or another loose.
If the deck is standard Rider-Waite-Smith type then it gets even more fun. Then you have the option of turning to that deck’s guidebook, any guidebook from any deck that follows that format plus all the stand alone references that aren’t connected to any particular deck. With all of that material as inspiration, something somewhere is bound to ring a bell and resonate with the day’s energy.
Today neither of those things that generally apply helped much.
The Three of Books is from the Jost Amman deck, a 16th century game playing deck. While the artwork on the cards by German artist Jost Amman was originally presented in a booklet with inspirational sayings, the book is rare or lost from what I’ve seen in a brief internet search. So that leaves us with Dane Asmund’s excellent guide book.
Which, today, doesn’t quite capture the feel. He talks about teaching and taming baser instinct. I get mental images of honing a knife on an old fashioned whetstone. After seeing his read and going “nah” that and the mental image led me to the idea of use to avoid atrophy.
Here is another path to the same basic concept.
In Breaking Dawn, Stephanie Meyers writes of elder vampires from Hungary or somewhere in Middle Europe seeming to have physically deteriorated from lack of movement…or something like that. It’s been a while since I read the book, and I don’t think this detail was in the movie. Atrophy is a thing. Muscles that aren’t used, shrink. Couch potatoes and astronauts alike have proven that fact.
In other other words – use it or lose it.
That resonates with today’s energy a little better than taming instincts.
In the 1980s and ’90s there was an American study funded by the National Institute on ageing of over 900 nuns that looked at lifestyle, aging and the onset of dementia. The study showed that nuns who had higher education levels, higher verbal skills at a younger age, and who remained physically and mentally active had less and later onset of dementia.
The moral of the story and advice of today’s card is, essentially, read a book.
Meyer’s vampires became more decrepit the less they moved in spite of their immortality. The nuns aged well because they read more. The human animal is healthier when they are both physically and mentally active and agile.
So read a book. Or three. And I’ll see you at the next sip.
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