one year cake

Supertarot is over 1 week old!

Yeah, I know, Supertarot has been going for years, but now it is on WordPress, new possibilities open up. Timing wasn’t brilliant, when one of the database servers on my web host had a catastrophic failure. It took time to get back up and running, but the backups worked really well, without any intervention from me.

Turning Supertarot into a CMS was an interesting experience that was challenging, I have to admit. The navigation structure on the static site was a mess, and it took me ages to figure out a better slimmed down way. Things are way more interactive – please post comments and questions on the relevant pages so I get some more feedback.

The search function is really good, and hopefully you will find your favourite pages again.

Now that I am able to see the most popular pages at a glance, hopefully I will add to the website. For example, I was surprised at how popular Understanding Court Cards is so I need to think about what else can be done in that area.

Looking forward to hearing what you think!

Welcome to Supertarot!

Welcome to the new-look Supertarot website. Its been a long time coming…. I wanted to make it responsive using WordPress, but earlier versions were not quite up to it. I was having headaches with the navigation, not to mention the layouts of a number of the pages.

In the end I decided to do some drastic pruning, which made me think about what is the core of Supertarot? The Tarot meanings, Liber 777, Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot, the Golden Dawn Opening of The Key Tarot spread, so the section on other tarot spreads disappeared, along with the section of the Tarot Masters.

Unfortunately transferring to WordPress inevitably means breaking all the links, but now we have a decent search bar at the top of the page so I hope there will not be too much heart break.

Now you can add comments and criticisms – nice to get some more feedback.


Extra resource on the meanings of groups of cards

Now this site is on WordPress, I can respond much quicker to problems,  issues or inspirations, and here is a good example.

In the process of converting the site I moved a page to a post on the meanings of groups of cards, such as three Queens, two aces, which got a comment, so now it is restored! This also sparked something extra which you can use to compare and contrast with your own experiences.

Adding to the Tarot card meanings

While I was working on the facelift for Supertarot, I did a few tweaks. Basically, the Astrology section, Liber 777 and the card meanings are all interlinked. If you want to know about say, the Hermit card, also look it up in Liber 777. Look closely, and you will see that the order of the Major Arcana is different between the meanings and Liber 777. This is deliberate!

Now, the first paragraph for each of the Minor Arcana concerns the dictionary meanings. I also paid a bit more attention to the titles of the Minor Arcana – Love, Abundance, Oppression, etc. There is a belief that reversed cards show the opposite interpretation. This does not work with dictionary definitions – not many of the titles of the 36 cards have antonyms. Furthermore, some meanings do not chime with the dictionary. Five of Swords Defeat is a good example, for to defeat means to win, overcome, but in the Tarot, it means to lose. Go figure.



Tarot, Gall’s Law and extreme programming

Tarot readers love complexity; tarot is a rich medium full of imagery, arcane concepts, mysticism, magic and philosophies in a smorgasbord of chicken soup. Is there any problem with that? You bet. We have lost the wood for the trees. In my view tarot needs to be deconstructed to its simplest forms, to rediscover a purity of order and structure that is mathematically based. If we do not, we cannot find new insights and uses for this already brilliant and powerful system.

A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. The inverse proposition also appears to be true: A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be made to work. You have to start over, beginning with a working simple system.

John Gall

John Gall brilliantly summarises the nature of the beast. Tarot is way too complex – it has lost its simplicity. The complexity of tarot means that we can never know when we have made a mistake in interpretation, or what that mistake might be. The extension of Gall’s Law is taken into extreme programming, where systems are kept as simple as possible and then greater complexity can be added at a later stage. In tarot terms, complexity can be summarised as the divinatory meanings, which are to some extent arbitrary interpretations based upon different systems. Extreme tarot requires that the divinatory meanings have to be stripped out before real deconstruction can take place. Continue reading


Deconstructing the Tarot

For years I have been hard at work deconstructing my knowledge of the Tarot, a process that will continue for a lot longer, I suspect – probably it will never end. In case you wondered, yes, there is more than enough to warrant spending that length of time. In fact, in any spiritual discipline, the process of deconstructing (and reconstructing), is always ongoing. I hope to be sharing the fruits of my labours over the next few months.

So, what have I been studying? Principally The Book of Thoth, a veritable cornucopia of knowledge, and to do it justice, I have been going deeply into Crowley’s writings – which takes a lot of time and effort. One of my conclusions is that few people ever bother to read his writings properly! For example, there is a large body of work devoted to Eastern Mysticism, including Yoga, I Ching, and Buddhism – which is where I started my own spiritual journey. Despite Crowley’s notoriety, there is almost nothing demonic in his writings – trying reading the source, rather than what others say, with an open mind, and you will be surprised. I was. One of my ongoing conclusions is that nobody has done better than Crowley at integrating the spiritual and magical systems of East and West.

Tarot is far more than learning tarot spreads and divinatory meanings, so the deconstruction barely touched those aspects. In parallel to the intellectual knowledge, spiritual experiences have been profound, and continue to be so.

One result is that I have had to re-assess my own writings on the esoteric aspects of the Tarot. Several years ago I acquired where I placed the esoterica. The focus of Supertarot is on the Opening of the Key Spread, Elemental Dignities, Card Counting, and the divinatory meanings of the cards, which are all fundamental techniques to the development of the spiritual aspects of the Tarot, and is where I will be developing these ideas.

So, the first change is somewhat modest, but is very profound. In 2003 I had some spiritual experiences about a golden larva, which I thought had to be killed. Other writers on the tarot had also commented on the phenomena. However, recently the larva returned, and my knowledge has increased to the point where I knew that far from being malefic, it actually represents profound spiritual progress. We live and learn.


Tarot and strategy

Games that use chance to determine the next move nevertheless require strategy to win. Remember playing Ludo as a child? Depending on the roll of a dice, which counter you move is critical to winning or losing. Monopoly is another classic example. I found that the orange set of streets with houses and hotels was always a good idea and not owning the expensive Mayfair and Park Lane. Military gaming also requires several dice to decide the nature of the move. Simple tarot spreads such as the Celtic Cross eliminate that uncertainty.

While clients may appreciate the illusion of security and continuity, the nature of these spreads eliminates the possibility of exploring other, better outcomes and strategies. Life is never as simple and straightforward as the representation in these spreads, and as a result we may be failing our clients.

The Opening of the Key spread in contrast, returns the power of randomization to the reading. How does it do that? By having all 78 cards available in sequence, and by knowing the count associated with each card we can explore the complexities and possible outcomes available. In many respects, the OOTK spread is more powerful than throwing dice, as it represents parallel outcomes, not the sequential linear possibilities of the dice. The reader can follow different time lines, and the way that different people and characters in the drama act out their parts.

Understanding strategy is key here. The classic game of using dice is backgammon, where the aim is simple – get your pieces to the home and bear them off before your opponent. In tarot terms, this is how positional spreads such as the Celtic Cross spread works. However, the strategy of winning backgammon is to maximise the power of your own position and simultaneously minimise the power of your opponent’s position. When the game starts neither player knows what strategy he will use – it is only after a few moves that a pattern will start to emerge, and within a few throws of the dice, the strategy can change dramatically. As any backgammon player will tell you, the game is a mixture of luck, skill and foresight, and knowledge of percentages and statistics. Continue reading