Re: virus: Virian Tarot?
Fri, 27 Sep 96 11:52:14 BST

I've taken a look at the Web site that david posted. The first on the list is
Astarte's Web, and it contains a lot if information about the reading of Tarot
decks, and the meaning of the cards. Having merely skimmed over the
documentation, my first impression is that is would be nearly impossible
(nothing is impossible, my old Headmistress used to say!), to create a Virian
Tarot deck, because:

1. The reading if tarot seems to be based on personal perception of the
meaning of a message, and thus any one arrangement of cards can have X number
of interpretations. Hence, truth is neither absolute nor relative, but highly

2. Memes would be relatively difficult to represent visually, and ideally,
no wording could be used in a Tarot deck, in case the "true" meaning of a card
is obscured by placing pre-concieved ideas into the mind of the reader. In
Astarte's Web, the writer says that the Death card does not necessarily mean
that a death is going to occur. I must admit, though, that when I imagine
the Death card in a deck my thoughts immediately bring the image of ending of
life to mind. It's because the human mind tends to associate words with actions
very rapidly, thus making other definitions meaningless (I have a feeling that
this was covered in one of the many emails that I backtracked through since
I got back, but I can't be sure). Hence, a true memetic Tarot deck would have
to be without lables even. This makes the job of the artist harder. Let me
give an example, which may not necessarily be valid, because I don't know
anything about Tarot:
Suppose that the artist was required to depict "War" on a Tarot card.
I can see that this would be fairly straight forward, but then look
back at the picture in your mind, and tell me that it cannot be
interpreted as "Fight", or "Battle", or "Conflict" - a subtle
difference, I Know, but it might be important. Just imagine that
instead of the "Falklands War", there was the "Falklands Fight"!
Doesn't this conjure up images of a few pissed people having a punch
up in a field!!

I hope you get my meaning, and don't ridicule too much for that example.

3. There is no possible logical pattern that the Tarot cards can be read
in. No matter what shape they are arranged in, and what order and meaning
you assign to each card, someone will always be able to say: "but why do it
that way, and not another?" It couldn't possibly work, unless the way the
cards were aranged was completely random, and changed each time a reading
is made - but this would result in it becoming highly complex.

4. As we cannot actually prove the validity of Tarot reading as a serious
and true phenomenon, It would be difficult to accept that a Virian deck would
be any better than the others. I might get shouted at for this, but I recall
that way back, when we spoke of telepathy, few were willing to take it on
board as fact, due to lack of hard evidence (fair enough), despite many
people telling stories of personal experience. I'm very open to new ideas, and
the supernatural phenomena theories, as none of it has been disproved yet.
But I must confess to being sceptical about Tarot, as this isn't really
in the same league - but do feel free to provide me with the evidence that will
help me take it much more seriously, as I confess to knowing little about it.

Richard Jones
"We are the New Breed,
We are the Future"