“Story. It’s all story.”
This is what the late brilliant Rachel Pollack wrote that she would want as an epitaph if she had a tombstone. And it’s also what she thought about tarot. She wrote in 2015:
“The cards originated as images, not doctrines or the set of meanings we attach to them. This allows them to pull together strands and possibilities, to create stories that are meaningful in people’s lives, whether personal or on the larger scale of sacred teachings and spiritual pathways. When we read the cards there are three ‘people’ present, the subject, the reader, and the cards themselves. Together, they create a story, or allow a story to emerge, of the person’s life and possibilities.”
I’ve been reading tarot for 20 years, and the longer I have been in this practice, the more I have come to this view of cartomancy. I hold a similar view of astrology. These are practices through which we co-create meaning of the stories of our lives. To say that tarot or astrology are practices of telling stories is not to say that they aren’t true, but that the truth of these stories is like the truth of art, of dance, of music, of poetry and myth. Their truth is in their affects, how they shape our perceptions of the potentialities of our lives, how they become meaningful to us. And it is a great gift to be able to be immersed in such practices and to share them with others.
You can read the full text of what Pollack wrote here: https://www.tarotassociation.net/rachel-pollack-august-17-1945-april-7-2023/