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grazia got me musing about Tarot and learnings and teachings.

A few days ago I was thinking how amazingly patient my astrology teacher was. How she addressed every question, and morevor did this in a very gentle and validating way.

I expressed my admiration and amazement (since I think in her place I would have felt like shouting Keep up you twits! rather than That's a very interesting question Peter). She thanked me for the compliment and said she was so patient because she really wanted people to understand, which didn't mean that she wasn't secretly thinking various expletives. :)

Astrology is new to me, I am still learning my way around and I think part of my impatience is in the thirst for knowledge, because when I get excited I have the tendency to want to leap ahead and can get exasperated when people don't follow.

However, with Tarot it is different. When I taught Tarot I was good. I was an ace teacher, because I was patient. I already knew the material so I didn't feel like leaping anywhere, and the gratification was not in attaining dizzying heights of thought and understanding but in making someone else understand.

I suffered greatly through my father's inability to teach me about the things he loved (music and math) through in fact really severely affecting my attitude to those subjects and my self-esteem. It did affect my view of teaching and the necessity of adapting the material to the students. I love teaching the things I know and love.

I have taught Tarot to several people, in radically different ways, depending on that person's understandings and beliefs and it gave me a deep and profound pleasure to find a way of mentally connecting to someoen and explaining and hopefully starting them off on thier own journey with the cards.

I was glad I remembered that. It made me feel less mean.



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 3rd, 2004 11:05 am (UTC)
islands in the sun and Designing a New World etc...

They often say "you teach what you have to learn", believe me your teacher gets as much learning out of teaching you than you get out of her. So I would feel happy for her. When my student says silly things (which he does - being a "leap before you look" Arien)I don't have time to really notice it and think about it and I certainly don't associate it with him or his ability, I'm thinking about too many other things and I imagine it's the same for your teacher pretty much.

And about the tarot - I'd be fascinated to know how you explained it to other people, but personally the way you explained it to me completely brought it to life for me, and even though you taught me a little I feel I know a lot because I understand the foundations of it.

You certainly taught it the right way to me, because I :
-saw the point of it (a huge battle between teachers and me)
-saw the potential for making others things of it (important for me if I'm going to pursue it)
-understood the basic concept so that I could continue studying it alone (a great advantage for me who loves working alone)

So it was taught perfectly for someone like me, so if you taught other people differently, according to their own attitudes then you should really be teaching or designing a new educational system, which we desperately need. I'll help if you want.


Mar. 4th, 2004 03:37 am (UTC)
Re: islands in the sun and Designing a New World etc...
And about the tarot - I'd be fascinated to know how you explained it to other people, but personally the way you explained it to me completely brought it to life for me, and even though you taught me a little I feel I know a lot because I understand the foundations of it.

I think I was explaining it to you in a fairly systematic way because you have a brilliant logical mind and a foundation for understanding symbolism and I'm glad it worked and made it come alive for you. I feel so pleased to hear you say that :)

When I was trying to teach my brother (triple earth sign, woe is me) I made it as practical as I could {since he wasn't in it for the rich symbolism, he only wanted something with which to impress the girls and his mates} so I taught him how to use it for basic divination. Because he isn't particularly creative or able to run with his own interpretations I made it systematic and tried to lay it out for him in terms of simple structure and *rules* and for each card gave him the basics of *in love/career/health spread this would probably mean X*.

My goddaughter {she is interestingly triple water- Scorpio Sun, Pisces Moon, Cancer rising) on the other hand was very intuitive and creative so I didn't teach her any of the *meanings* at first, just encouraged her to use the different aspects of the cards as a basis for triggering her own intuition and have each card mean to her whatever she wanted it to. This approach worked well for her because it really allowed her to explore her own psychic self and didn't limit the scope of her interpretations. And over time, as she grew more comfortable with the cards and richness and versatility of the symbolism, and the many levels they work on I taught her the symbol meanings and archetypes as an added dimension.

She had had some supersticions about the Tarot before (Yugoslavia is unfortunate for perpetuating that mindset) and I thought it was important that she not be afraid of it, so I encouraged her to just *play* with it, treat the cards as friendly guides not portents of doom.

As for re-designing the education system with you, I would love to; it is so important and vital to teach something well and to work with the abilities and constraints of each person, not against them. My less compassionate side would behead incompetent educators in thier masses, but we can call that plan B.


N )
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 5th, 2004 03:07 am (UTC)
Re: ooo
Universal Waite deck is the one I tend to reccomend to people as their starting point because it has lots of pretty colours and the *classical* symbolism. But there are lots and lots and lots of decks, including LOTR so most people say take one you feel attracted to and where you can understand the images.

It depends what you want from the Tarot really, if you want to work with the classical meanings then I can reccomend a list of decks and books and if you just want to play with it (which is cool too) go with whichever deck speaks out to you the most.

I would offer to teach you but we'd sort of need to be in the same place for that to happen properly.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


deep sky, firefly

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