Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Tarot Method for Teachers, or How to Do Things with Signals.

 As a method of divination the Tarot combines a mechanical combinatorial (and architectural) "art of memory" technology with a set of esoteric symbols. Each card is considered a signal from the Book of Thoth and Kabbalah. This technology and knowledge base can be a resource for reflecting on a teacher's theory and practice when "the rubber hits the road." Positions in the layout and the meanings of cards become a structure for analyzing the emergent situation as teaching encounters student needs.

The Wand represents the Will in classical Tarot which intersects with many of the teacher's concerns not only about the engagement and discipline of students but also the teacher's leadership skills and voice of authority. The teacher has a natural motivation to earn student trust.

The Cup indicates an esoteric seeker's emotional capacity to undergo the rigors of initiation. A teacher must get a barometer reading of their mood and how it affects their practice. This can also symbolize the teacher's interest in deepening the understanding of their students.

The Sword stands for the capacity of the intellect to make discernments, its cutting power said to be able to destroy ideas or preconceived patterns of thinking. The teacher must use this Sword to adapt their lesson plan in the face of the emergent situation in the classroom.

The Disk (or Pentacle) in classical Tarot represents the Book of the magician's aspiration in which are written ritual formulas and talismans. The teacher relies on experience as the basis of their knowledge and must inscribe this Disk with their lesson plans and basic values.

When the Court Cards show up in a reading it could indicate the presence of a person, or an aspect of ones personality. They have elemental attributions so the Queen of Wands represents the watery part of fire, which could indicate a personality both zesty and emotional. So when a Court Card comes up in a reading the teacher might consider whose personalities are on their mind and which could be matched to the situation unfolding in the layout. The elemental attributions give much to consider in terms of "dignity" relationships with nearby cards.

The Trumps, on the other hand, when found in a traditional Tarot reading can indicate forces beyond the control of the querent, or deeply rooted archetypal dimensions of the personality. To a teacher they might represent disciplinary "big questions," institutional forces, parental impacts. 

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