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Tarot, Surrealism, and The Rights of Women

October 11, 2011

I like to do Tarot readings. I think this is interesting. Not because I am interesting, particularly, although one always likes to think so, but because why would a smart, highly educated person like myself turn to Tarot? I don’t really have an answer. It is not magical thinking. I don’t “believe” in Tarot. But I do like the coincidences. I like the pictures. I like the break from the book (Six weeks and counting before I turn it in). So, just now, I went to when I couldn’t bear to look at the pages I had printed out — my chapter on The Rights of Women (Am I saying too much? Is this the right amount of information for my reader? Has the story ground to a halt? Does everyone want to know this detail that I found Fascinating? Probably not. And how are the sentences?) — and one of the cards that turned up was so perfect and so much what I wanted to hear that I feel more cheerful, ready to try again. Here is the card.
My favorite part of the (computer generated) reading is: “This card, sometimes named “The Garden,” suggests the kind of long labor that bears, at the end of the season, what appears to be a natural cornucopia. The point is that your ambitious vision and devoted labors may give you even better results than you dared dream (Isn’t that great? EVEN BETTER RESULTS THAN YOU DARED DREAM). Now you have more decisions to make, more details to secure, more work to accomplish — but that is the price of success.” Isn’t that nice? And in case you are suspicious, as most of my friends and family are, not all of the readings are like this. Sometimes I get cards with names like “Failure” or “Danger” or “Strife.” Besides, Tarot is exactly the kind of thing that the surrealists used to do in turn-of-the-century Paris. My son and I stayed in the hotel where Andre Breton lived when he wrote “les champs magnétiques.” He would have approved of this. The thing is to get into the backyard of one’s brain — I like to say that Apollinaire or someone said this, but I think I coined the phrase myself.

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