Episode 47: Dan Pelletier discusses Tarot Myths


This Podcast Episode has been archived. It is available for purchase at shop.tarotconnection.net in the Year One Archive mp3 DVD.

Myths, legends… Each myth, each legend had a basis for beginning. To simply say, Ah it’s a legend, don’t believe it’s is a knee-jerk reaction.

It’s a mythtake in my opinion. A blind knee-jerk in the name of rationale.

Stating something is not true because it’s a legend, or a myth, may be as heinous as blindly accepting a myth or legend as fact.

In fact it may be worse.

Debunking myths blindly (Hey I bought my first deck and it didn’t affect me!) does few any favors; students find no wisdom in such lessons. You may very well obstruct growth by imposing your world view upon them as opposed to allowing students to find their own view.

For instance, why SHOULD someone be given his or her first deck? Does it make a difference? Will they be a better reader? Will the deck work better?

Without exploring the root of the myth your syllogism is fallacious. Or as we said as a kid, Are-Oh-En-Gee WRONG.

I really want to see folks stop simply stating, It’s a myth! Don’t believe it!

I used to be one of those folks. And I now know that my prior stance was wrong. I no longer hold those beliefs.

Myths have a root.

Fables and myths are what we use to describe what we don’t comprehend. They are our attempts to make the impossible possible.

Wisdom often lies in the undertones. That’s where we find truth.

Dan Pelletier

Dan Pelletier lives north of Seattle Washington with his wife of 22 years, Jan, his two cats, Spook and Pookha, and 32 rosebushes. He has been reading Tarot for himself and others for over thirty years.

Dan is also co-owner of The Tarot Garden, a highly respected resource for tarot decks and related information on the Internet. He has written articles appearing on the Tarot for Life website newsletter, Seeker’s Journey, and Tarot Passages; and has published interviews with deck creators on the tarotgarden.com website library.

Hermit’s Journey with Bonnie Cehovet – Symbolism of the Chariot and Strength

Welcome to the Hermit’s Journey. My name is Bonnie Cehovet, and today we will be continuing on our journey through the symbols in the Major Arcana. As I noted in the first Pod Cast of this series, that of the Fool, the imagery and symbolism in the Tarot is what connects us to its archetypal qualities and wisdom. It acts as a gateway between our conscious and our unconscious worlds. Each deck carries with it its own unique brand of imagery and symbols. For the purposes of this discussion, I will be referring to the Waite-Smith Tarot (also known as the Rider-Waite Tarot), as it is a
traditional reference, and quite often used for teaching purposes. Interpreting the imagery and symbols is done in two ways: through the intent of the author/illustrator (and here we need to remember that the background for the Rider-Waite deck is that of the Golden Dawn), and how the Seeker sees it through the veil of their own personal life experiences.

Let’s continue our journey through the symbols of the Chariot and Strength. The major theme for the Chariot is that of independence and self-sufficiency. As the Charioteer, each of us attempts mental control over our emotional and physical selves. This is a card of challenge, of confidence, and of being prepared, of developing our innate skills. The Chariot is the final card in the first series of seven Trump cards, and indicates that the Fool, the one taking the journey, has emerged from this phase a victor.

In Tarot Symbolism, Robert V. O’Neill places the Chariot as symbolic of the body, the horses as symbols of human instincts, and the Charioteer as symbolic of the mind. The horses pulling in different directions indicate that duality is still present.

In The Tarot – History, Symbolism, and Divination, Robert M. Place notes that the chariot is the cubic stone, and the Charioteer is the spirit emerging from the stone.

In The Heart of the Tarot, Sandra Thomson speaks of the Charioteer’s shield, with the symbols of yoni and lingam (tantric sexual symbols) below the winged sun, showing that he has the power to move energy from the base chakra to the crown chakra at will. The Egyptian winged solar disc itself represents aspiration.

… From the Chariot, and the ending of the first third of the Fool’s journey, we move on to Strength, and the beginning of the second third of the journey. Strength is where we begin to refine our personalities. The theme of Strength
is that of dealing with contradictory emotions – of acknowledging them, and then either resolving them, or bringing them into some sense of balance. We exert control over our world by using the right form of strength at the right time.

The female figure in this card represents feminine spiritual energy. Her purpose is to tame the masculine energy of basic instincts and brute force.

Tarot by the Numbers: The Four’s by Ginny Hunt

I’ve always liked the number four. Not sure why, but I do. Fours have a certain nice sound to them and they’re orderly and you can pair it off into two two’s. It’s just a nice number. And it’s true that fours represent stability, orderliness, practicality, patience, responsibility and all those nice things, so it’s no wonder our dear Mr. Emperor of the Major Arcana is the supreme IV of Tarot. Fours are very solid and dependable, like a square. In fact, the word, “square” has come to mean things like “fair, proper, honest, and straightforward.” We say we got a “square deal” if it was an honest exchange, a “square meal” is a proper one and if you’ve won something, I hope you won it “fair and square.” (read the full post)

Music Credits

  • Opening Music: time release by the Droney Tones. Right Click to Download this Song
  • Hermits Journey Music: Dark Moon by Suzanne Teng from Enchanted Wind (Magnatune) Right Click to Download this Song
  • 78 Notes Music: Steamy River by Rhonda Lorence from Winter Moon (Magnatune) Right Click to Download this Song
  • Closing Music: Only Begun by Artemis from Gravity (Magnatune) Get Music
  • Play or Download the Episode

    4 Comments to “Episode 47: Dan Pelletier discusses Tarot Myths”

    1. Ona Iole Budur Says:

      I really enjoyed this podcast. I would like to suggest a podcast of beginner decks and study and practice tools. If you could base it off of Revelations Taro by Zach Wong that would be great.

      I just found out about Revelations Tarot by Zach Wong and It looks amazing. I saw it on aeclectictarot.com. As a beginner I have been working with the Witches Tarot (which I like for the most part) while I am trying to be patient with my awakening intuition I can see how Revelations Tarot can awaken intuition in a way that no other modern card that I have seen does.

      Please let me know what you think.


      Ona Iole Budur

    2. Bonnie Cehovet Says:

      As always, I enjoyed hearing Dan’s take on the Tarot. I like the idea of what amounts to “psychic” fingerprints on decks – the subject amuses me. I also like interactive decks – a good example of which would be the “Tarot of Dreams” by Ciro Marchetti. A Science Fiction Tarot – not sure I am looking forward to that one! ;-) I would love, however, to have a deck done by the Benet Gesserit!

      Ginny made the Four’s come alive, and gives us a great deal to think about. The Four of Pentacles – it serves a purpose, but I sigh whenever it comes up in a reading. ;-)

      A small corretion on the url for Aeclectic Tarot – it is aeclectic.net/tarot. And it is indeed an excellent resource!


    3. Allan Says:

      This was a great podcast and gave me a sense of how the myths that I had not taken seriously developed. It made me think more critically about the traditions of the tarot and seriously consider if I need to give them more respect as I develop my practice.

      I love the conversation with Dan and the Ginny Hunt is always a pleasure.

    4. Alissa Hall Says:

      Listening to Dan’s rants is always a pleasure, and this program certainly had some quality rants worth giving time to – the science fiction deck ideas and the novelty of finding what Tarot could evolve into, if we left paper cards behind, was particularly intriguing.

      When discussing the myth of “Your first deck must be gifted to you,” another theory behind the formation of this myth which I’ve shared with Dan is due to the stigma of owning a Tarot deck which was more prevalent in earlier times.

      In many communities around the world, to be known as a “Tarot reader” was to be labeled in a negative fashion – compared to being a “Satanist,” a “Witch,” or some other misconstrued and derogatory label. Therefore, to have your first deck gifted to you was a way to keep one’s Tarot interest anonymous from those who might wish you harm for your love of the occult.”


    RSS subscribe

    You must be logged in to post a comment.