This program will not be recorded
How do we grapple with the concept of Fate? As moderns, we are conditioned to believe that all things are possible and within reach, even while knowing at some level that cannot be true. This crisis of the imagination has a practical solution: traditional divination. The 78 cards of the tarot, imprinted with archetypal imagery, are a pocket universe: they depict the life we think we know in shapes and symbols that stir the imagination and re-acquaint us with mystery. Drawn at random, a tarot card expresses a willingness to invite Fate into our lives as a friend; to embrace the gifts of chance. By doing so, we can heal our own relationship with uncertainty.
First, we will consider a working model of the “oracular moment”: how tarot intersects with the concept of synchronicity, and how we can accommodate these glimpses of acausal order in our lives. Then, we will start working on a personal “language of fate,” discovering how to use metaphor and symbol to unlock meaning from the archetypal images in the tarot. We will go on to learn how to configure the questions we ask the cards for maximum insight and agency, both for ourselves and others. And we will conclude with techniques that use our new fluency in conversing with Fate to argue, negotiate, and change our very futures: i.e., magic.
Each two-hour session will begin with a presentation and continue as a workshop-style discussion where we draw cards for ourselves and one another. We will seek to interpret their meaning with increasingly complexity and depth over the four weeks.
I. The Crossroads of Fate: Synchronicity and the Oracular Moment
II. The Shape of Fate: Meaning, Metaphor, and Divinatory Language
III. Inquiries for Fate: Designing Questions and Interpreting Answers
IV. Requests of Fate: Acts of Magical Transformation
Required class material—one tarot deck. Suggested editions:
The Original Rider Waite Smith Tarot (ISBN: 978-0880796866
Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Set (ISBN: 978-1572816398)
Smith-Waite Tarot Deck, Borderless Edition (ISBN: 978-1572818835) recommended for those
who have some familiarity with tarot.
Jung, C.G. (1972) Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
von Franz, M.-L. (1980) Lectures 1, 2, and 5 from On Divination and Synchronicity. Toronto: Inner City Books.
Jung, C.G. (1967) Foreword to The I Ching, or, Book of Changes, translated by Richard Wilhelm and Cary F. Baynes. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Dunn, Patrick. (2008) Magic, Power, Language, Symbol: A Magician's Exploration of Linguistics. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Worldwide
T. Susan Chang, has been reading tarot for 25 years. She is the author of Tarot Correspondences: Ancient Secrets for Everyday Readers (Llewellyn 2018), 36 Secrets: A Decanic Journey through the Minor Arcana of the Tarot (Anima Mundi 2021), and the co-author of Tarot Deciphered: Decoding Esoteric Symbolism in Modern Tarot (Llewellyn 2021). She hosts, with Mel Meleen, the Fortune's Wheelhouse esoteric tarot podcast (www.patreon.com/fortuneswheelhouse), which explores imagery and symbolism in Golden Dawn-based decks like the Waite Smith and Thoth tarots. She is the creator of the Arcana Case® for tarot decks, which can be found at www.etsy.com/shop/tarotista, along with her line of zodiacal and esoteric perfumes. She offers online tarot readings and tarot mentorship sessions via Zoom or Skype, and currently teaches the Living Tarot, an online tarot course for all levels of reader experience, to over 200 students. Besides her work in tarot, she co-presents “Godsong: 365 Days with Homer’s Ilad and Odyssey,” an online course with Jack Grayle; she writes occasional cookbook reviews for NPR, and she teaches an undergraduate course on “Writing about the Senses” for Smith College. Her offerings, events, and blog posts can be found at www.tsusanchang.com. On Facebook she can be found at the Fortune's Wheelhouse Academy group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/244982916053599); on Instagram and Twitter she is @tsusanchang.
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