2 Card Tarot

Mad props to Áine Órga for turning me on to 2 Card Tarot. I think Daily Draws (of 1 card) are great for learning a new deck or for a daily inspiration or perspective, but it's a bit short to really be a "reading" or "to be tarot." Full spreads can cover a lot of ground, but they can turn into epic stories! So much material and character development! 2 Cards is just enough to let you talk about the resonance between them, to tell a "short story", but to keep it brief. And perhaps to keep it a bit more conceptual than narrative.

If you aren't already familiar with Áine Órga's work, you should definitely check out her vlog and her blog. She's a smart and deep thinker who isn't afraid to stare into the mirror with relentless honesty. Her courage is inspiring. Here in the West we tend to be afraid of words like "jihad" because, like the American President-Elect, we think it means "Radical Islamic Terrorism." But jihad actually has a much more simple meaning. Jihad means to struggle. For a Muslim, the first and primary struggle, is to struggle with yourself. If you follow Áine Órga's work, you may find useful knowledge, and you will also have the chance to see the beauty and power of jihad.

Áine Órga

Here's what Áine Órga said about Tarot in her latest vlog:

I feel like tarot, because it resonates with me so much
because it just excites me so much
because I love shuffling a deck
I love drawing the cards
I love the symbolism
I love the structure of the deck
I love the almost infinite variety of interpretations
and systems of meaning that can be attached to the deck
and if I love it so much, then why not use it more?
Why not use it more for different avenues?
Different aspects of my life?

-- Áine Órga

Juxtaposed Tarot Artists

One small extension I've added to Áine Órga's 2 Card Tarot is to draw 1 card each from 2 different decks. From 2 different tarot artists. There are so many wonderful and powerful tarot decks out there, it's hard not to fetishize them just a little. The impulse to use more than one deck is ever present. In a full reading I think it might be too complicated and unnecessarily messy. But with 2 Card Tarot it seems to work. I've tried matching up a number of different tarot decks and some pairings definitely work better than others. Decks that are close to each other seem more resistant to pairing.

In the pair here, the minimal qualities and extensive white space of Siolo Thompson's Linestrider deck seems to resonate electrically next to the dark and colorful density of Gabi Angus-West's BoneFire deck. Both decks are indy decks that were later picked up by publishers. Also, both decks are now available for your phone or tablet as lovely eDecks from The Fool's Dog. For me the corporeal qualities of a physical deck and an F2F reading are something that neither an eDeck nor an eDivination reading can come close to the experience of. Even so, I love these Fool's Dog apps as ultra-handy ways to carry and quickly access any card from the deck or any page from the book. They're low-cost, wonderful aids to a physical deck.

Justice & Page of Wands

When I look at this Linestrider Justice card the words of Bob Dylan's Gotta Serve Somebody come to mind:

You may be a state trooper, you might be a young Turk
You may be the head of some big TV network
You may be rich or poor, you may be blind or lame
You may be living in another country under another name

But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes
You're gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody

Siolo Thompson's Justice card is so minimal. A figure. Scales. A sword. But the way it's depicted, the sword also looks like The Washington Monument. Or a pencil. Or a paint brush. It dominates the simple landscape. The scales seem to ask what your values are?

What choices do you make?

What tradeoffs do you make without even knowing you're making them?

By contrast Gabi Angus-West's Page of Wands is bursting, overflowing with action. A young girl, a Page, is perched in a tree and is preparing to send a flaming paper airplane down to those below. Not Moses bring tablets from a burning bush down from a mountaintop, but a Page tossing a flaming paper tablet down to us below.

Is she the young prodigy whose dream is manifest as our reality? Is all that is tangible and real to us simply an incarnation of her imagination? Of her curiosity?

The choices of Justice, taken with the world-building of the Page of Wands, can be taken as a reminder that our reality is ultimately of our own choice. Our culture, our laws, our reality, are a dream we agree to dream together.

One day a Page tosses a paper plane from a tree, or a butterfly flaps its wings in the Rain Forest, and a week later there is a rainstorm of possibilities on the other side of the globe.

How limitless would our possibilities be if we could remove the blindfolds of our being and imagine new possibilities? How many things that never were can we dream of? And why shouldn't we?

two tarot cards held in the air by a hand. The depth of field is very low so that the cards are in sharp focus, but the background is a soft blur. The 2 juxtaposed cards are Justice (Linestrider deck) & Page of Wands (BoneFire deck)