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Author Topic: Tarot Work is "Black Magic": A Rant  (Read 436 times)

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Tinevisce

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Tarot Work is "Black Magic": A Rant
« on: September 15, 2014, 02:36:38 PM »

Disclaimer- I'm in a right, god-awful mood at work, so this is going to be a long winded rant.


I recently found out that one of my colleagues- he and I report to the same manager, although we're technically not from the same team- is a (self professed) practitioner of Kundalini Yoga.

Cool, I thought to myself, here's someone I might someday go to for handsdown advice on chakra work.

However, he's always been shifty about the topics: all, "Be very careful of what you get into" and "it's very dangerous", "I wouldn't recommend these things to anyone"

 :shifty:
I can understand cautioning someone to not try these things out on a whim, not in the least because it's the respectful thing to do- but I did feel his attitude was bordering on fear mongering.
(If this conv. was about practical tantra work, I'd happily agree to all of the above- maybe add in my own dire warnings. But I have trying to believe a spiritual practice aimed at self empowerment is as potentially detrimental as a form of magic that works with enslaved earth bound spirits. Anyway, I'm not a practitioner of Kundalini, so I told myself it might very well be true. Don't comment on things you don't know about, and all that jazz.)

Now, in my workplace, most of the people know that I read Tarot cards; and I've often done readings for my colleagues. Most people come to me with the idea of the Tarot being something akin to a hororscope with cards- since most people are quite willing listeners, I explain to them that the Tarot (for me) works on a different paradigm. I view it as a tool for examining situations.
I try my best with the cards, and let them know if I can't make too much sense of a reading (it's been happening rarer as time goes on). Of course, my querents also know when something I say resonates with them- so they won't really eat up any BS. :)
A lot of questions are very heartfelt ones, things that have really bothered them- I tread carefully with those questions. I do hope I help them see things a bit more clearly.

On Friday and today evening, I did readings for two of my colleagues- they were both very personal queries, so I commandeered the meeting romm for the readings.
Today, post reading, I go in for dinner (I'm working the night shifts this fortnight) with Kundalini dude, my roommate (yes, that one- he's also a colleague) and another colleague.
Kundalini dude takes me to a side, and asks, "Where did you learn the Tarot?"

I told him I learnt it initially over the Internet, and then it's been practice. I did sense a lecture coming on, but I don't like confrontations, so I let him go on.

He went on to tell me that I should never read for others without learning from a proper guru as...and I loosely translate..."black magics like the Tarot" has very high energy that could potentially hurt me or others.
Oooh kay- I think a fuse or two burnt out at "black magic". A warning to not take the Tarot lightly, I'd get. Even an apprehension of being too young or inexperienced to guide others, I would get and agree with. But black magic? Seriously? Not everything remotely related to the Occult (insofar as you can even define that term) is a left hand deal. Not everything is tantra. [I'm not even going to go into the whole magic-being-an-inherently-corruptive-influence issue]

To add to this, roomie gives me a side eyed glance, and says, "Yeah, not everything can be found on the Internet". Along with my dad, he's also been a bit apprehensive of my recent interest in crystals. Apparently, someone a really long time ago wore a blue sapphire and went crazy in his family/social circle.
Since our folk traditions maintain blue sapphire as a very tempermental stone that can destroy you unless you have some kinship with it, and none of my other sources (this forum, and the Crystal Bible, for example) mention this- he's somehow convinced that Indian astrology/mysticism must have it right and everything else is either wrong or misinformed.

 :brickwall: :brickwall: :brickwall:

The part that's really pissing me off though is how for one moment, I got a shiver down my own spine; one moment of what-if. I hated it, and myself

Repeat after me:
a) Not everything is a left hand path; and there is such a thing as self empowerment. This is not a bad thing.

b) The dangers of the path- unless you are indeed working with enslaved entities- are not about unknown forces striking you down; it's about creating bad situations for yourself. It won't be a mysterious streak of misfortune- your working (at absolute worst, that is) will create situation A (that you intended), which will spark off situations B, C and D (that you did not intend)


This is the exact kind of fear mongering which turned me off of Hinduism back in 2005, and blah, I hate that this fear of the unknown is still in me. I've been reading about my practices- whatever they maybe over the years- dilligently for the entire period and I don't like I still have such a plebian corner tucked in inside me
 :gaah:

Is my culture so ingrained with spirituality being something you can only achieve with someone else's help? Is self empowerment so hard to see as potentially a good thing?
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earthmuffin

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Re: Tarot Work is "Black Magic": A Rant
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2014, 04:09:16 PM »

T, I think you will encounter some superstitious folks in every religion and every culture. My own husband looked weirdly at me the first time I brought home a smudge stick, as if the smudge stick was going to do something evil to our house. :rolleye: But I realized it was his fear of the unknown.

I think you have a good thoughtful and respectful attitude that will serve to keep you out of any trouble whatever path you take. It seems in the types of comments you are getting from kundalini guy and others, the commenters really just want to caution you about that (not that you need the cautioning) and get carried away by their own superstitions and fears as my husband did. And then there are those who like to have their spirituality be an elitist club that only they and select others are deemed fit to practice. I say to them "whatever!" :rolleye: and just go on my merry way. :)
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Tinevisce

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Re: Tarot Work is "Black Magic": A Rant
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2014, 07:37:01 PM »

I think the 'black magic' bit really peeved me because it smacks of a worldview which presupposes any kind of magic is inherently corruptive.

If doing a reading connects me to my querent energetically, I'd get just as connected with them by, I dunno, talking to them.

It really messed with my head because I expected better from someone supposedly on a similar path.

Roomie's insinuation that the Indian paradigm is the only correct paradigm out there really hit a nerve. Ignorance and jingoism, hallelujah

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Crystal Dragon

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Re: Tarot Work is "Black Magic": A Rant
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2014, 03:55:50 AM »

 :grouphug:

Honey, just let them be paranoid and superstitious on their own ... or not, it's their choice.  From what I can tell, you're not likely to fall into anything bad.  You spend the time to do some research and ask questions because you want to understand things before jumping in ... that's a good thing.  As EM said, twits are everywhere and we can choose to not deal with them.

And those who want to malign magic or energy work?  I just ask them what they think prayer is.  ;)
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Tinevisce

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Re: Tarot Work is "Black Magic": A Rant
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2014, 02:38:28 PM »

 ()

Thank you!

I think it wasn't his attitudes that bothered me so much as my reaction to them- I think I was mostly pissed at myself for my own fears that surfaced, my own doubts.
I might not be a particularly kick ass practitioner skills wise; but my mysticism has been a part of my life in some shape or form for almost 7 years. I should be immune to fear mongering by now, no?
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Re: Tarot Work is "Black Magic": A Rant
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2014, 04:00:34 PM »

I might not be a particularly kick ass practitioner skills wise; but my mysticism has been a part of my life in some shape or form for almost 7 years. I should be immune to fear mongering by now, no?

Maybe, maybe not.  There are a lot of reasons to doubt ourselves and our own abilities ... how we were raised (both secular and religious), how our brain works, how many siblings we have (and birth order if we have siblings), how old we are (and how many "bad" life experiences we've had), and so on.  We all react based on the experiences we've had and changing a pattern that is well ingrained and subconscious is really tough to do.  ;)
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Tinevisce

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Re: Tarot Work is "Black Magic": A Rant
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2014, 04:13:49 PM »

It's not doubting my ability, so much as a fear of a massive, black boogeyman taking me for practising witchcraft and calling on forces I'll have no control over. :crazy:

That I'd think that after all these years, even for a moment, is what pissed me off.

Edited to add: In some ways, I'm lucky to have been brought up by families (from both parents' sides) who are quite secular. Some are religious, others aren't- but none of them hold much regard for traditional thinking.
This way, I've been a blank slate for a lot of things on this path. This is a really good thing, for me.

That said, some cultural remanants still remain, I guess.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2014, 04:17:51 PM by Tinevisce »
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Re: Tarot Work is "Black Magic": A Rant
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2014, 04:19:14 PM »

Don't dwell on it ... just strive to wipe out that "programming" from childhood.  It happens to all of us in some form or another.  ;)
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vordan

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Re: Tarot Work is "Black Magic": A Rant
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2014, 09:05:18 AM »

My tendency to help people by doing readings and be honest about my spirituality has gotten me branded as a devil worshipper in my line of work. I about gave one old woman a heart attack when I offered to read her cards after she had heard all the rumors about me. She lectures me about how all that is devilish or that I am deceiving people about once every other month now. Since I can quote the Bible better then many of the people claiming to be Christians and quit doing readings for people at work, some are convinced I am actually a believer which has given me some relief. I still tell them that my beliefs are just complicated. What really struck me is that the worse a Christian the person was the more they would light into me about it. Apparently drunks, drug addicts,  habitual liars, thieves, philanderers and the overly sexually promiscuous love finding someone they consider beneath them. It is like the old behavioral studies of chickens and a pecking order, the more insecure someone is the more they will pick on others. So I lay really low about my spiritual beliefs now. Those who actually are good people will leave you alone or at the most say something on rare occasion. A person has to follow their spiritual path, it takes courage to do it sometimes. There is a certain amount of humor in your case for a kundalini yoga path such as your co-worker followed  approaches raw witchcraft, which in a society that is as traditional as that from which it springs, many of the "rules" surrounding it are there to convince others that it is not.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2014, 09:23:26 AM by vordan »
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Tinevisce

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Re: Tarot Work is "Black Magic": A Rant
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2014, 12:52:03 PM »

My tendency to help people by doing readings and be honest about my spirituality has gotten me branded as a devil worshipper in my line of work. I about gave one old woman a heart attack when I offered to read her cards after she had heard all the rumors about me. She lectures me about how all that is devilish or that I am deceiving people about once every other month now. Since I can quote the Bible better then many of the people claiming to be Christians and quit doing readings for people at work, some are convinced I am actually a believer which has given me some relief. I still tell them that my beliefs are just complicated. What really struck me is that the worse a Christian the person was the more they would light into me about it. Apparently drunks, drug addicts,  habitual liars, thieves, philanderers and the overly sexually promiscuous love finding someone they consider beneath them. It is like the old behavioral studies of chickens and a pecking order, the more insecure someone is the more they will pick on others. So I lay really low about my spiritual beliefs now. Those who actually are good people will leave you alone or at the most say something on rare occasion. A person has to follow their spiritual path, it takes courage to do it sometimes. There is a certain amount of humor in your case for a kundalini yoga path such as your co-worker followed  approaches raw witchcraft, which in a society that is as traditional as that from which it springs, many of the "rules" surrounding it are there to convince others that it is not.

That does make a certain amount of sense. What I can get from this particular colleague is that he keeps emphasizing how you're (and by that I mean him, and a chosen few others) either 'magically'  chosen by any such mystic path; or you're not. Conscious effort to make 'progress' (which is of course not often quantifiable in such situations) on such a road is undesirable.
It does somewhat fit in with the pecking order theory in a way- he has a lot of personal tragedy in his life, and I guess that could lead someone down such a worldview. Anyway, it's not for me to speculate on what his motivations are.

Culturally, it might be helpful to understand that the only form of occult practice India knows is a left hand path; one on which I do not have the guts to go down, really.  :whistle:
Couple this with the fact that the Bramhanical right hand has often viciously maligned the more fringe Tantric left, and you can get where such views might come from. Of course, magic or the Occult is often only what you make of it. So if you go to tantra after being steeped in (and agreeing to) a culture that views it as something primarily dirty or dangerous, that is what it will be for you. At least at the outset.
And if you're not careful, this is how you might end up viewing every other path out there. Jingoism, also, will not help you in this regard. ;)

We also give a lot of importance to a guru in any form of education- and a lot of people who might themselves be on a similar spiritual path nonetheless view solitary practitioners with either disbelief or wariness.
I do agree somewhat- but then talking to you folks on here or WF or PJ is, to me, the same as interacting with a guru. :)
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