Pickle Lake, Northwestern Ontario, 1978
The Beginning of story of my relationship with the Tarot cards started when, a long time ago, my new friend Margaret took a course on the Tarot cards from a mysterious man. He impressed on her that she had a sacred duty to teach the Tarot wherever she went, and gave her a wooden box containing a new, Rider-Waite pack of Tarot cards, which he asked her to keep safe. One day she would meet the person for whom they were destined. She would recognize that person beyond doubt, and could then pass on the box, laying down the burden of teaching the Tarot. Shortly after I met Margaret, she asked me if I would like to learn the Tarot cards. The time was right, and I said yes. Beginning our first lesson, she told me the ancient myth that surrounds the cards, and their origins.
The great library of Alexandria, in Egypt, founded under Ptolemy I around 300 BCE, housed an enormous accumulation of knowledge, and included in it were the scrolls of sacred literature of the Ancient Egyptians. There was always the danger that these secrets might be lost, by fire or other threats, so the priests of the Ancient Egyptian religion created the Tarot cards, in which are contained the wisdom of ages. Primarily, the cards are concerned with the journey the individual takes from immaturity to maturity in this world. The Ancient Egyptians were aware of, and believed in, deeper dimensions of existence other than that bounded by our puny senses, and the sacred journey also applied on a deeper level than just the material. This is the purpose of all life. This is the Force behind Evolution: we are called to ever deepening maturity. The Force is with us on this journey.
It was like meeting old friends! As Margaret told me the story, I realized that I knew the cards and their meaning. Margaret immediately gave me the wooden box with the Rider-Waite deck, telling me that they were for me. She told me about the burden she had been carrying for too long, as she hated teaching the Tarot. She knew the cards were for me, and she was free. That was the end of our lessons. Since then, I have been pondering the cards and their meaning, and applying what I learn to my own life. The cards are a tool leading us to a deeper understanding of ourselves and others.
Not too long after meeting them, as I poured over the cards one morning, suddenly I found poetry filling my head. I was compelled to write it, and it began with an inner call to me to follow the ancient path of the mystics of all time. I had already been following that path with my studies of comparative religions and political systems, but this was different. It was personal.