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Tarot for Recovering Pagan Fanatics

THE NEOPHYTE
A priest and priestess stand facing one another, performing the Great Rite symbolically by plunging a dagger into a chalice. In the circle surrounding them, a neophyte covers her smiling mouth, trying to suppress a giggle.
Divinatory Meaning: Innocence. A new beginning. There was a time when all of this was good-natured fun and not something you took so seriously.
Reversed Meaning: Difficulty in expressing honest laughter. You're taking this all too seriously. Get a life.

THE MAGICIAN
The magician stands outside his double-parked car in a jammed parking lot. He wears full ceremonial regalia and has an altar set-up. In his hand is an open book entitled "Incantations to Aspahaltia to Find Parking Spaces"
Divinatory Meaning: You need to understand your own resources better. Don't use a sledgehammer to knock on a door.
Reversed Meaning: You have lost sight that the map is not the territory.

THE HIGH PRIESTESS
A Wiccan priestess stands, arms outstretched, wearing several pounds worth of pentacles, Celtic jewelry, astrological bracelets and medallions. She looks ready to tip over.
Divinatory Meaning: You may find yourself with sudden yearnings to join a Roman Catholic convent or seminary. Even if you're most definitely not Catholic. Don't scoff. Stranger things have happened.
Reversed Meaning: You are ready to liberate yourself form the shackles of your old way of life and to put on the shackles of a new way of life.

THE NATURE LOVER
Un the middle of the woods stands a Pagan with her face caked in rouge and eye shadow and lipstick. She holds up a symbol of - a miniature plastic tree.
Divinatory Meaning: Examine that what you claim is your passion is something that you're really passionate about.
Reversed Meaning: You are secretly a technocrat.

THE EMPORIUM
A Pagan bookstore owner stands behind a counter in a bookstore jam-paked with books, pentacles, candles, Celtic jewellery, Tarot decks, etc. Behind him a sign reads "Pagan Emporium Bookstore: Offering Ancient Wisdom Since 1995."
Divinatory Meaning: Don't just settle for "Question Authority". Question those who claim to be authority.
Reversed Meaning: Question those authors who tell you to question authority, but then still want you to buy their books and follow their advice verbatim.

GRAND HIGH MUCKETY-MUCK
A solemn High Priest stands before an altar holding an athame. Hanging on the wall behind him is a certificate that reads, "Certified Wiccan initiate. Certificate granted by Walt's Wild Warehouse of Wicca."
Divinatory Meaning: Don't get distracted by initiations, titles, special abilities, etc. Focus instead on what capabilities you really need to live your life.
Reversed Meaning: You have a insatiable desire to get initiated. Consider joining either the Fraternal Order of the Hedgehogs or else the Order of Co-Hedgehogs and get this whole initiation business out of your system.

THE LOVERS
A young couple are having a handfasting performed in a grove of oak trees on a sunny summer afternoon.
Divinatory Meaning: Don't get too cynical. You may be recovering from fanaticism, but keep in mind that good things can sometimes still happen in religion.
Reversed Meaning: All you really need is love. And if you don't want to follow that advice, well, then, the song by the same name is still cool.

THE BROOM
A teenage Goth witch runs down the sidewalk attempting to ride a battered broomstick. A cleaning lady with a dustpan in one hand chases after her, hoping to retrieve her stolen broom.
Divinatory Meaning: You need to develop a better relationship with what occultists begrudgingly refer to as "the Mundane World."
Reversed Meaning: Maybe you really are a boring person after all. Time to clean up your act.

THE HUNGRY VEGETARIAN
There's a long buffet table at a wedding banquet. Whole roast pig, roast duck, baked chicken, glazed turkey, and caved ham fill the buffet table. One teeny tiny carrot resides on the plate of the hungry vegetarian. She eyes the roast pig, perhaps wondering if it might be made out of tofu rather than meat.
Divinatory Meaning: Time to change your habits.
Reversed Meaning: Go eat a hot dog on a Friday.

THE HERMIT
The Hermit wears a dark gray robe and has a dark gray beard. He holds a gnarled staff in one hand and a blazing lantern in the other hand. He is doing this however in a crowded movie theatre, and the theatre patrons scowl at him.
Divinatory Meaning: Don't just trust yourself. Learn what part of yourself to trust.
Reversed Meaning: It is better to have something you believe in rather than to just knock down what you don't believe in.

THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE
A Pagan dressed in purple and yellow robes holds a stick of incense in one hand and a compass in the other hand. He glares at the compass. The needle point is spinning wildly, so that he can't tell which direction is east for quarter-calling.
Divinatory Meaning: Don't just find a new direction - create a new direction.
Reversed Meaning: When you think your life is moving somewhere, maybe you're just going in circles.

THE SKEPTIC
A blindfolded man stands facing a full-length mirror.
Divinatory Meaning: You may say that there is nothing of value in divinatory tools. But divinatory tools are nothing but a means of looking at yourself. So perhaps you are saying that there is nothing of value in yourself. A man who swallows a placebo cannot deny his own mouth.
Reversed Meaning: You will see through the illusions created by others. Be on guard against becoming snotty. Be careful that you do not forget that even illusions have their value. A man who imagines roses in the clouds can be inspired to become a gardener.

THE CONTORTIONIST
A contortionist has his body twisted in what appears to be an impossible position. In face, his head appears to be stuck up his own rectum.
Divinatory Meaning: You need to get your head out of your arse.
Reversed Meaning: Even though you think that this doesn't apply to you, you really need to your head out of your arse.

RENEWAL
An occultists's apartment is in flames. His shelves are jammed with ceremonial daggers, magical talismans and occult books. Out of all of this wealth of stuff, what will he try to rescue form the flames? Actually he is reaching for his cat.
Divinatory Meaning: You are about to encounter a situation in your life where you will make decisions that will show you the limits of occultism. Occultism is meant to serve life, not the other way around.
Reversed Meaning: Be nice to your cat.

TEMPERANCE
In a candle lit room, a Hermeticist holds a rosy cross in his left hand a and a pentacle in the right hand. To his left side is a host of symbols of crosses and grails. To his right side is a host of daggers and pentacles. Behind him, a window with the shades drawn is open a crack to reveal a hint of sunlight and the wide open outdoors.
Divinatory Meaning: You need to open yourself up to more than what you currently allow yourself to experience.
Reversed Meaning: You are a freak. Perhaps you should spend more time in seclusion so that others do not discover this.

THE ADVERSARY
The scene is two booths set up at a psychic fair - each booth manned by a practitioner. The first booth has a big sign over it, "Pagan Shamanistic Counselling." The practitioner of this booth glares at the practitioner of the second booth. The sign over the second booth reads, "New Age Shamanistic Counseling."
Divinatory Meaning: There are things that you dislike that are more similar to you than you care to admit.
Reversed Meaning: Stock mark analysts and weather forecasters often give pretty lousy predictions. Don't expect a fortuneteller to give perfect predictions, but don't look too harshly upon them either. They are trying to get you to understand yourself - and while they may be dead wrong on some of what they say, the need to understand yourself is real.

THE TOWER OF BOOKS
An armchair magician has a den jammed full of occult books. In one armchair is a huge stack of books almost up to the ceiling. He stands on a stool trying to add yet another book to the top of the stack, ignorant of the fact that the tower is bout ready to topple over on him.
Divinatory Meaning: Learn to put your ideas into action.
Reversed Meaning: Clean your room.

THE CELEBRITY
In an occult bookstore, a Pagan celebrity sits at a book signing table, signing copies of her book "Witchcrap for Morons" A few feet away from the table, a group of Neo-Pagans are scowling and turning their nose up at the author.
Divinatory Meaning: It is easier for you to condemn what others create than it is for you to create something that you find value in. But you really need to learn to trust your own creative projects more.
Reversed Meaning: Quit spending so much time in occult bookstores.

THE MOON
A Pagan painter stands by a moonlit window as he paints a picture of the crescent moon. The depiction of the moon is very well-crafted, but then the painter is going back in and adding some crudely designed pentacles on the moon, lest you forget that this is supposed to be Pagan art. Behind him, his two dogs bark fiercely.
Divinatory Meaning: If you can let go of your pretentiousness, your talents can blossom.
Reversed Meaning: Don't forget to feed your dogs.

THE GOLDEN APPLE
Three Pagan women stand wrestling over who gets the Golden Apple. Behind them, unnoticed, stand a giggling Eris, who holds an entire basket of Golden Apples.
Divinatory Meaning: Keep your perspective on what's really important.
Reversed Meaning: In order to allow a god or goddess room into your head, you must not be too full of yourself.

JUDGMENT BY CONSPIRACY THEORISTS
A fundamentalist minister rallies against a Pagan group. The minister conjures up images of animal sacrifice. Meanwhile, the Pagan group in question is sitting around in a committee meeting eating vegan chili and tofu.
Divinatory Meaning: You need to get on with your life and worry less about what other people think.
Reversed Meaning: You need to get on with your life and worry less about what other people think. On the other hand, this doesn't give you license to be an arsehole.

THE WORLD IN A PACK OF CARDS
A grungy prisoner in solitary confinement sits in a barren cell. He has no bed, no fool, no sunlight, just a pack of Tarot cards. A 19th century occultist once said that a prisoner alone in a prison cell with nothing but a pack of Tarot cards would acquire all world knowledge. However, this prisoner could use instead some food and some sunlight and a shower.
Divinatory Meaning: Get a hobby
Reversed Meaning: No, really, get a hobby.

The author of "Tarot for Recovering Pagan Fanatics" wishes to remain anonymous

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