Calculating transformations


Today I came across these great math-inspired spreads by Kiki (Tarot Dame) again and decided to finally try out a few of them. No questions, no topic, just to see what stories come up.

A + B = C

Eight of Wands
+ Three of Wands
= King of Pentacles

A field of erupting volcanoes and a raging stone elephant coming alive atop yet another surface about to crack with heat, both of which are accompanied with flying fire sprites, result in a starship castle that looks like a huge war machine. I’m thinking of the idiom “fighting fire with fire” here, of escalating violence and destruction (will Earth be ultimately unsuitable for housing human beings?). The first two cards seem very similar to me, with the third as a much multiplied version of it, so I take the sequence to mean “more of the same will result in more of the same.”

A – B = C

The Chariot
– Queen of Pentacles
= Two of Swords

A centaur-like creature with two female torsos and heads carries a male human figure. He’s pulling the hair of one of the heads as well as fondling the butt of the creature, which results in resistance and protest. The other head is looking away, looking almost disassociated. If we take away the female (physical and mental) strength/power from this scene, we are left with a maleness that is outdated, narcissistic, and way too self-referential. I’m surprised – is the Tarot of Metamorphosis a feminist? Or is that just me, reading it?

Okay, one more.

(A-B) + C = D

(Four of Wands – Queen of Wands) + Ten of Pentacles = The Magician

An angel enclosed in a narrow space made by four trees whose branches intertwine. Remove a big splash of water and the humanoid energy from this rather sunny card. I suppose that leaves us with mostly dry wood and loose feathers. What once was a cage or prison is now empty and could be a source of energy (firewood?). Now add fiery energy that is bursting from an egg-like steel shell resting on angular branches. And we get – hallucinations? Or maybe not… I’m most struck by the way the Magician’s right hand is bound by a piece of heavy metal machinery. What responsibility or code of honor holds him down? At the same time, landscapes are created from his mind and body, which tells me his powers influence or even make his surroundings. So, if we stop feeding what limits us, and add a spurt of “fire,” we may just end up with everything we need to change our world.

Interesting! Using the cards like this seems mostly like a mental exercise or a creativity device to me, to come up with ways that make our calculations make sense. I imagine it could be a great way to become more familiar with all the different relationships between certain cards. Since the result is also given in a card, the focus lies on making the story come together (not on finding the result).

A variation of this exercise could be to draw just two (or three) cards to add to each other or subtract one from the other, and then look through the deck to find a card that makes sense to us as a result of this calculation.


2 responses »

  1. fascinating spread idea/exercise even if i’n not normally a math person myself. might have to experiment a bit with this myself…

    also, that’s a pretty intense deck you have yourself working with there, i must say :0

    (and thanks for the comments, btw!)

  2. That is a very interesting way to look at how the cards interact. Tarot of Metamorphosis looks like a deck that makes you interpret in a different way.

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