Tarot for Recovering Pagan Fanatics

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Neo-pagan religions can be fun, but some pagans unfortunately go through a period of religious fanaticism. And fanaticism often limits an important part of your spirit: your sense of humor. It takes time to recover from fanaticism. Now there is a Tarot deck for recovering pagan religious fanatics.

0. The Neophyte


A priest and priestess stand facing one another, performing the Great Rite symbolically by plunging a dagger into a chalice. In the circle surrounding them, a neophyte covers her smiling mouth, trying to suppress a giggle.

Divinatory Meaning
Innocence. A new beginning. There was a time when all of this was good natured fun and not something you took so seriously.

Reversed Meaning
Difficulty in expressing honest laughter. You're taking this all too seriously. Get a life.

I. The Magician


The magician stands outside his double-parked car in a jammed parking lot. He wears full ceremonial regalia and has an altar set up. In his hand is an open book entitled, "Incantations to Asphaltia to find parking spaces."

Divinatory Meaning
You need to understand your own resources better. Don't use a sledgehammer to knock on a door.

Reversed Meaning
You have lost sight that the map is not the territory.

II. The High Priestess


A Wiccan priestess stands, arms outstretched, wearing several pounds worth of pentacles, Celtic jewelry, astrological bracelets, and medallions. She looks ready to tip over.

Divinatory Meaning
You may find yourself with sudden yearnings to join a Roman Catholic convert or seminary. Even if you're most definitely not Catholic. Don't scoff. Stranger things have happened.

Reversed Meaning
You are ready to liberate yourself from the shackles of your old way of life and to put on the shackles of a new way of life.

III. The Nature-Lover?


In the middle of the woods stands a pagan with her face caked in rouge and eye shadow and lipstick. She holds up a symbol of nature -- a miniature plastic tree.

Divinatory Meaning
Be sure that what you claim is your passion is something that you're really passionate about.

Reversed meaning
You are secretly a technocrat.

IV. The Emporium


A pagan bookstore owner stands behind a counter in a bookstore jam-packed with books, pentacles, candles, Celtic jewelry, Tarot decks, etc. Behind him a sign reads, "Pagan Emporium Bookstore: Offering Ancient Wisdom Since 1995."

Divinatory Meaning
Don't just settle for "Question authority." Question those who claim to be authority.

Reversed Meaning
Question those authors who tell you to question authority, but then still want you to buy their books and follow their advice verbatim.

V. Grand High Muckety-Muck


A solemn Wiccan priest stands before an altar holding an athame. Hanging on the wall behind him is a certificate which reads, "Certified Wiccan Initiate. Certificate granted by Walt's Wild Warehouse of Wicca."

Divinatory Meaning
Don't get distracted by initiations, titles, special abilities, etc. Focus instead on what capabilities you really need to live your life.

Reversed Meaning
You have an insatiable desire to get initiated. Consider joining either the Fraternal Order of the Hedgehogs or else the Order of the Co-Hedgehogs and get this whole initiation business out of your system.

VI. The Lovers


A young couple are having a handfasting performed in a grove of oak trees on a sunny summer afternoon.

Divinatory meaning
Don't get too cynical. You may be recovering from fanaticism, but keep in mind that good things can sometimes still happen in the religion.

Reversed Meaning
All you really need is love. And if you don't want to follow that advice, well, then, hey, the song by the same name is still cool.

VII. The Broom


A teenage Goth witch runs down the sidewalk attempting to ride a battered broomstick. A cleaning lady with a dustpan in one hand chases after her, hoping to retrieve her stolen broom.

Divinatory Meaning
You need to develop a better relationship with what occultists begrudgingly refer to as "the Mundane World."

Reversed Meaning
Maybe you really are a boring person after all. Time to clean up your act.

VIII. The Hungry Vegetarian


There's a long buffet table at a wedding banquet. Whole roast pig, roast duck, baked chicken, glazed turkey, and caved ham fill the buffet table. One teeny tiny carrot resides on the plate of the hungry vegetarian. She eyes the roast pig, perhaps wondering if it might be made out of tofu rather than meat.

Divinatory meaning
Time to change your habits.

Reversed Meaning
Go eat a hot dog on a Friday.

IX. The Hermit


The Hermit wears a dark gray robe and has a dark gray beard. He holds a gnarled staff in one hand and a blazing lantern in the other hand. He is doing this however in a crowded movie theater, and the theater patrons scowl at him.

Divinatory Meaning
Don't just trust yourself. Learn what part of yourself to trust.

Reversed Meaning

It is better to have something you believe in rather than to just knock down what you don't believe in.

X. The Wheel Of Fortune


A pagan dressed in purple and yellow robes holds a stick of incense in one hand and a compass in the other hand. He glares at the compass. The needle point is spinning wildly, so that he can't tell which direction is east for quarter-calling.

Divinatory Meaning
Don't just find a new direction - create a new direction.

Reversed Meaning
When you think your life is moving somewhere, maybe you're just going in circles.

XI. The Skeptic


A blindfolded man stands facing a full-length mirror.

Divinatory Meaning
You may say that there is nothing of value in divinatory tools. But divinatory tools are nothing more than a means of looking at yourself. So perhaps you are saying that there is nothing of value in yourself. A man who swallows a placebo cannot deny his own mouth.

Reversed Meaning
You will see through the illusions created by others. Be on guard against becoming snotty. Be careful that you do not forget that even illusions have their value. A man who imagines roses in the clouds can be inspired to become a gardener.

XII. The Contortionist


You see a contortionist, his body twisted in what appears to be an impossible position. In fact, his head appear to be stuck up his own rectum.

Divinatory Meaning
You need to get your head out of your arse.

Reversed Meaning
Even though you think that this doesn't apply to you, you really need to get your head out of your arse.

XIII. Renewal


An occultist's apartment is in flames. His shelves are jammed with ceremonial daggers, magical talismans, occult journals/books, and esoteric tools. Out of all of this wealth of stuff, what will he try to rescue from the flames? Actually, he is reaching for his cat.

Divinatory Meaning
You are about to encounter a situation in your life where you will make decisions that will show you the limits of occultism. Occultism is meant to serve life, not the other way around.

Reversed Meaning
Be nice to your cat.

XIV. Temperance


In a candle lit room, a Hermeticist holds a rosy cross in his left hand and a pentacle in the right hand. To his left side is a host of symbols of crosses and grails. To his right side is a host of daggers and pentacles. Behind him, a window with the shades drawn is open a crack to reveal a hint of sunlight and the wide open outdoors.

Divinatory Meaning
You need to open yourself up to more than what you currently allow yourself to experience.

Reversed Meaning
You are a freak. Perhaps you should spend more time secluded from others so that others do not discover this.

XV. The Adversary


The scene is two booths set up at a psychic fair -- each booth manned by a practitioner. The first booth has a big sign over it, "Pagan Shamanistic Journeying Counseling." The practitioner of this booth glares at the practitioner of the second booth. The sign over the second booth reads, "New Age Shamanistic Journeying Counseling."

Divinatory Meaning
There are things that you dislike that are more similar to you than you care to admit.

Reversed Meaning
Stock market analysts and weather forecasters often give pretty lousy predictions. Don't expect a fortune-teller to give perfect predictions, but don't look too harshly upon them either. They are trying to get you to understand yourself -- and while they may be dead-wrong on some of what they say, the need to understand yourself is real.

XVI. The Tower of Books


An armchair magician has a den jammed full of occult books. In one armchair is a huge stack of books almost up to the ceiling. He stands on a stool trying to add yet another book to the top of the stack, ignorant of the fact that the tower is about ready to topple over on him.

Divinatory Meaning
You need to learn to put your ideas into action.

Reversed Meaning
Clean your room.

XVII. The Celebrity


In an occult bookstore, a pagan celebrity sits at a book signing table, signing copies of her book, Witchcrap for Morons. A few feet away from the table, a group of neo-pagans are scowling and turning their nose up at the author.

Divinatory Meaning
It is far easier for you to condemn what others create than it is for you to create something that you find to be of value. But you really need to learn to trust your own creative projects more.

Reversed Meaning
Quit spending so much time in occult bookstores.

XVIII. The Moon


A pagan painter stands by a moonlit window as he paints a picture of the crescent moon. The depiction of the moon is very well-crafted, but then the painter is going back in and adding some crudely designed pentacles on the moon, lest you forget that this is supposed to be pagan art. Behind him, his two dogs bark fiercely.

Divinatory Meaning
If you can let go of your pretentiousness, your talents can blossom.

Reversed Meaning
Don't forget to feed your dogs.

XIX. The Golden Apple


Three pagan women stand wrestling over who gets the Golden Apple. Behind them, unnoticed, stands a giggling Eris, who holds an entire basket of Golden Apples.

Divinatory Meaning
Keep your perspective on what's really important.

Reversed Meaning
In order to allow a god or goddess room into your heart, you must not be too full of yourself.

XX. Judgment by Conspiracy Theorists


A fundamentalist minister rallies against a pagan group. The minister conjures up images of animal sacrifice and human sacrifice. Meanwhile, the pagan group in question is sitting around in a committee meeting eating vegan chili and tofu.

Divinatory Meaning
You need to get on with your life and worry less about what other people think.

Reversed Meaning
You need to get on with your life and worry less about what other people think. On the other hand, this doesn't give you license to be an arsehole.

XXI. The World in a Pack of Cards


A grungy prisoner in solitary confinement sits in a barren cell. No bed, no food, no sunlight, just a pack of Tarot cards in front of him. A 19th century occultist once said that a prisoner alone in a prison cell with nothing but a pack of Tarot cards would acquire all world knowledge. But, well, this prisoner could probably better use some food and some sunlight and a shower.

Divinatory Meaning
Get a hobby.

Reversed Meaning
No, really, get a hobby.

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