The Dream Tarot

reading the dream tarot

divination
seeking to know, to see, to understand. often through signs or symbols. often through cards or spirits. often through dreams.

dreaming
the accumulation of memories synthesized. in a dream state, brain activity resembles that of being awake but the dreamer generally lacks control. deepest desires. repressed memories. obsessions. fears. everything comes to light in a dream. or doesn’t. dreams come from memories, memories lead to stories, stories become memories and you read others’ words through the lens of your life which is a lens of memory, of your own interpretation of the world.

interpretation
trying to divine the creator’s ideas. interpreting a dream is to divine the ideas of the mind at rest. imposing meaning on the ambiguous. assigning reality to images, reading dreams like the tarot.

the tarot
a form of divination and interpretation. universal and particular, cards with their meanings, querents with their questions. but it is also a game. it interprets you while you think you interpret it.

writing
stories as a dream. impose meaning on the text but the text reflects no meaning back at you.

interpret it through your own experience. work to understand, remain uncertain that you have, or give up control and choose confusion.

but still.

can you offer no redemption, no contextualization, no means to interpret or understand?

but when have you ever been offered the means to understand what goes on around you? except through memories.

you turn to divination to prayers and sacred texts and experts, fall exhausted into uncensored dreams where meaning feels closer yet still eludes you. when do things make more sense? in that surreal logic of dreams, or the illogic of waking: teeth on edge, bitter coffee, cold water, another front page story less logical than a dream.

you interpret the world through your memories but memories are constructed, are synthesized through your dreams while you sleep. you can’t even trust your own memories. and if memories create the basis for understanding the world, can you trust even that — the very real and tangible of everything around you?

you would never say you follow signs, and yet you see them all the time. it must be a sign you say, you laugh, you dream about the next day and the next day comes and you put no weight in it. only a dream, you say.

but it sticks with you, behind the third and fifth rib, between the optic nerves, on the surface of your retina. when you act on impulse you are drawing from memories which occupy the same space as dreams.

dream memories, things you said last week, something you heard on the news, the story from someone else’s childhood all blend together, parts becoming you, parts slipping through and away. so you grasp the tangible: paper, pen, a pack of tarot cards.

even in these you can’t avoid the confusion and fallacy of interpretation. your words are read wrong. you cannot make sense of the text. you do not know how to read the cards.

still, hold the cards, feel their weight, their texture — they have meaning. shuffle them, spread them. now their meaning changes but each piece is the same. like the dreams you write and re-arrange.

levels of interpretation: you dream, you write the dream, you take pieces of those dreams and write them into and through pieces of other dreams. circling back around to dreams as if they offer something, as if they owe something. like poetry like fairy tales like life. always returning. searching for meaning that may not exist.

you interpret and reinterpret.

the more you work with the cards the more it seems you are imposing your own story on the raw material. where is the magic now if you contain it? if something is open to interpretation does it have no meaning, or is it only that specific meanings are not important? if you aren’t given enough how will you fill in the blanks? how far will you follow a thread of dream logic?

you are tricking yourself.

you no longer know what piece went to what dream. what meaning are you creating in this new spread, this next reading?

you question the cards.

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