I’ve read cards for a couple of decades now, though am very much an anti-woo stalwart. I like the narratives a reading can create, and about seeking meaning from the chance juxtaposition of some printed designs.
But, like most readers, I still feel there’s more I could be getting from the decks. I mean, I’m not a Papus or a Waite, and certainly not a Pollack. And so when the option came up to read a book on pathworking, I took it.
I have always been intrigued by tattoos, and perhaps a little afraid.
I think the first time I ever saw one that sticks in my memory is on an episode of Doctor Who: Jon Pertwee’s doctor is pictured, at the very start of the run, with a tattoo on his arm. I think it’s a question mark, a very Who thing to have – but I can’t be sure. At the time – and this was during my prime write-to-actors period – I think I felt it was a Pertwee tattoo: something that belonged to the actor even though I know he was playing a character.
(It’s a weird time, that – where you’re old enough to know that the person you think is cool on TV is just a grown-up pretending to be someone, but in fan letters and consumption you switch off that piece of knowledge, so that the person is really just Doctor Who foremost. Cognitive dissonance before I knew what it really was, maybe.)
Published to coincide with an exhibition of tarot art curated by the author, The Fool’s Journey sits in a weird position. It’s a little too complex to be just an exhibition catalogue, but it’s also too slender to be a fully-considered work on the tarot. (Place is a respected artist, tarot scholar and has written more lengthy works on the cards, lest it be thought I impugn his credentials as a well-researched writer.)
Part of the difficulty with the book is that I think it’s a little user-unfriendly, at least as far as the layout goes. It’s a larger-format book, which is excellent for the graphics, but the text pages are one-column and stretch the whole page, making navigation difficult and reading a little tiring. I believe it’s a self-published work – the publisher’s address appears to be the author’s – so that explains some of the errant typos that appear through the work. It’s not a deal-breaker, though it does knock the faith in the work a little.
The good, though, is the amount of graphical reproduction on hand. (more…)