In ancient times, the amethyst was believed to ward off drunkenness and to help its wearer maintain a calm, sober mind. Soldiers often incorporated the amethyst into their armor, or at least that’s what I read. The amethyst was also a stone of the high priests and is referenced in several verses in the Bible, namely Exodus and Revelations. What I find most interesting of all is across many cultures and civilizations, the amethyst has consistently been considered a healer’s stone, one with potent healing properties, for both physical and mental ailments.
The hubby visited Peru recently and brought me back the above amethyst crystal. There were hundreds upon hundreds of crystals at the little shop in Cusco but that one resonated with him as the one I’d like most.
Amethyst is a crystalline quartz that can range from a light pastel purple like the one pictured to a deep, rich purple with blue undertones. Generally I see the light amethysts as conducive of channeling intuition and energies helpful to attaining secret knowledge or wisdom. Dark amethysts are perhaps more practical for the everyday objectives: channeling energies that will help attract power and affluence. The light amethyst crystal is perfect for me, as I’ve been seeking a more spiritual path these days.
When reading tarot for issues that involve healing of some kind, I’ll be keeping this amethyst crystal nearby.
Okay, so it looks more like straightforward cartomancy than it does tarot, but still. Also, it looks like I have to own up to a guilty pleasure before proceeding: yes, that’s right, I’ve been watching BravoTV’s Shahs of Sunset, a reality show that follows a cast of socialite Persian Americans in Beverly Hills. In Season 2, Episode 2, two of the main cast members, Asa and Reza consult with a Persian psychic, Shohreh.
Sitting in a Los Angeles cafe, Habibi Cafe to be exact, Shohreh uses a deck of oversize cards to read about Reza. From what I could see, there are pip cards, as opposed to the pictured suits of the RWS, Thoth, or other contemporary decks.
Also, whatever it was the psychic told Reza, he seemed thoroughly impressed. And where did she get that oversize deck? I want one.
Yes, this was a meaningless post. Just happy to see cartomancy get some air time.
People of color, especially Asians, form associations around their race for every topic– blogging, voting, golfing, farming, realtors, lawyers, doctors, chess players, musicians, journalists, kidney donors, Republicans, Democrats, pole dancing, basketball, you name it, there is probably a group of Asians who have formed an association. Yet there are no Asian American tarot associations, no gatherings of Diasporic Asians who are interested in tarot. Why not?
Jolin Tsai, another Taiwanese pop sensation, features tarot divination in one of her music videos. Seems like it isn’t quite as taboo for mainstream public figures in East Asia to associate themselves with tarot as it seems to be here in the U.S. We seem to be irrevocably Puritan when it comes to our open-mindedness to such practices.
I ended the article with this, and a silly quoted statement from my friend:
[Asian tarot readers] see no problems with the few individual Asian tarot readers who exist to assimilate into the greater tarot associations at large rather than group-identifying with Asians only.
“That’s because only white-washed Asians do tarot,” said one of my friends. “Asian Americans who are anchored solidly in the Asian American community aren’t into that kind of stuff. If they were, there’d be an Asian American tarot group like the one you’re asking about. The absence of such an Asian American tarot group is your proof that activist Asian Americans aren’t into it.”
. . . Have you had any experiences with the tarot? With Asians who practice tarot? And why the heck isn’t there an Asian American tarot association?
In spite of how common and acceptable tarot practice is in East Asia and its seeming endorsement from Asian celebrities, in the States, Asian Americans consider tarot to be “white-washed,” meaning Asians who reject their ethnic heritage to act as whitebread as possible are the ones who are thought to be tarot practitioners. Interesting juxtaposition there.
One of the commenters below the post, Jonathan V, an Asian American male tarot reader, pointed out an authenticity and exotification issue that I immediately related to, since I also practice both tarot and I Ching. There tends to be doubt about the “authenticity” of my tarot readings, but then non-Asians seem to love it when I use I Ching. I’m suddenly an “authentic” I Ching divination practitioner simply because of how I look. I look the part, i.e., I’m Asian. Nevermind that I was born and raised here and just as competent and just as inept as the next John or Jane Doe I Ching student over.
In any event, I hope that article expands the dialogue of Asian American tarot practitioners and the correlation of tarot to race and culture.
I will start by saying that you only need one tarot deck to be a practitioner. Every deck over one is excess. That being said, if you’re a tarot enthusiast, there will be no convincing you to stop hoarding tarot decks. I mean, you probably only need one pair of shoes, and yet I have fifty. I like to collect. So if you, too, must collect, then at least try to keep your collecting focused. This post will offer tips on building a tarot deck library.
I recently stumbled across the following three personality assessment questions. I didn’t come up with these, though the expression of the ideas are my own. You may have seen one or all of these before, but here they are again:
Which shape are you drawn to: Circle, Square, Triangle, or Squiggle Line?
Optimist. Artistic and expressive. Spiritual. A communicator. Intellectual and philosophical. You pursue understanding.
Organizer. Planner. Structured. A precisionist. Detail-oriented. Perhaps you view yourself as a triangle, but others see you as the square. You pursue order.
Leader. Executive. Aggressive. Confident. Decisive. You pursue power.
Innovator. Creator. Original thinker. Dynamic. You pursue fame.
Do you prefer to live near the sea, atop a mountain, on a farm, in a big city, or in the jungle?