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iDivination: Redefining the Occult

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The paintings of Lisa Iris are featured in The Crystal Wind OracleTM, created by Antonio de Liberato. Enjoy a free demo at www.crystalwind.ca  The Crystal Wind OracleTM is available on the Android Market, Apple App Store and Amazon appstore for Android.

When consulting Tarot or Oracle Card apps, I’ve asked

“Can I really trust an electronic medium?” *grin* Can Lifestyle Software commune with my soul? Can a touchscreen interface with the future? Doesn’t a reading depend on shuffling your energy into the cards or on the abilities of a psychic? That being said, my day isn’t complete without consulting an Oracle app and being mesmerized by a succession of eerily accurate cards.  Perhaps you too are skeptical but intrigued by iDivination.  Let’s share an overview of Cartomancy to understand the app as part of a continuum. It becomes clear iDivination mirrors an ongoing redefinition of the occult, from What is Hidden, a system of control and secrecy, to What is Beyond Comprehension, a celebration of the mystic in an Age of Connectivity. From there, we’re better able to ask “Do Tarot and Oracle apps really work?”

Changing With the Times

My resistance to Tarot apps begs the question, what makes printed cards so sacrosanct that a digital format seems less credible? Perhaps it’s a comforting attachment to ritual, the physicality of a beloved deck, or nostalgia for an era when Tarot became part of my life. My resistance to Oracle Card apps revealed other misconceptions: that Oracle Cards were a New Age upstart in contrast to Tarot, which had been passed down, essentially unchanged, through various mystery schools from an unearthly point of origin. Untrue on both counts! The fact is, all divination cards are wondrously human, adaptive creations and products of the technology of the times - starting from hand painted cards, throughout the evolution of printing, to digital media.

Our odyssey begins with the origin of playing cards, introduced to Europe from Egypt in the 14th century. Tarocchi was an object d’art intended for aristocrats and games similar to Bridge.  Additional trumps were added to enliven the game. The first record of  Tarocchi being used for divination was in the 15th century. Traveling across Europe, Tarot cards became a compendium of esoteric symbolism. As any deck collector knows, artists and occultists have created countless variations of Tarot iconography, many delightfully irreverent.

If you thought Oracle Cards were a recent innovation you’ll be surprised to learn they debuted in the 18th century, created by the legendary Madame Lenormand. Her custom imagery and interpretations broke away from the Tarot format. (The accuracy of Madame Lenormand’s predictions got her in trouble, but she survived the French Revolution and gave readings to Empress Josephine). Her cards destroyed after her death, the decks bearing her name are tributes based on Oracle Cards that flourished in the 1800‘s, such as the German “Game of Hope”.  Although it’s impossible to do justice to all the decks and intriguing personalities who created them, it’s evident Cartomancy has always been an interpretative art, free of absolutes.

From Fortune Telling to Self Realization

When you fell in love with the Cards, was your first deck The Rider-Waite Tarot? Published in 1909 and cherished to this day, what’s the secret to its longevity? I believe it’s because The Rider-Waite Tarot embodies a shift from one esoteric paradigm to another, spanning the Masonic occultism of the 19th century to the beginnings of 20th century psychoanalysis. This venerable deck began as a precis of occult symbolism, dictated by Freemason Arthur Edward Waite to the artist, Pamela Colman Smith.  Within the same decade, Swiss psychologist Carl Jung formulated his theory of the Archetypes. These personifications of primal energies at the core of the collective unconscious can be found in Major Arcana imagery. The combined influences of The Rider-Waite Tarot and Jungian psychology set a precedent for the reemergence of the Divine Feminine expressed in today’s Goddess-oriented Oracle Cards. It was a woman (analysand and future psychoanalyst Sabina Spielrein) whose hysteria and repressed desires led Jung into the realm of Goddesses Hecate and Persephone, the Underworld of the subconscious. As if freed from the suffocating constraints of corsets and fin de siecle hypocrisies, the Anima’s psychic force was irrevocably unleashed. Jung’s analyses of the psyche, archetypes, dreams and synchronicity remain a guide to the heart of Cartomancy. The Rider-Waite Tarot divulged symbolism privy to Freemasons and the Golden Dawn, thus democratizing the occult. Jung humanized the gods or eternal powers as aspects of our collective unconscious. Our fate was no longer determined by the Cards. The Cards were now a emblem of spiritual autonomy and a means to self realization.

iDivination and the New Transparency

As heirs of Jung’s legacy, we integrate the past with the present that defines us: the explosion of information technology and the wireless revolution. How do we reconcile tech-based transparency with divination and occult traditions? How can What Is Hidden exist in the Internet Age? The millennial generation, surfing a nearly infinite wave of info and entertainment, has no time or tolerance for manipulative obfuscation. Google Search reveals all to the seeker: an exhaustive reference for symbolism, mythologies, histories, mysteries and conspiracies. The occult, defined by What is Hidden, seems regressive or an exhausted fad. The internet exposes of hidden agendas misidentifies the occult with its twisted inversion: the methodology of delusion and thought control. Yet, however the Mystery has been distorted and exploited by the dark side of human nature, the Mystery endures as Itself - inviolate, elusive and eternal. The Mystery is the mirror world and the language of dreams, the provenance of symbolism, visions, art, sexuality, spirituality and the urge towards self realization. Like Dante’s Beatrice, the Mystery is the transcendent beloved, beckoning us towards the sublime.  As this longing and calling seems embedded in our DNA, the Mystery is invariably rediscovered and reinterpreted by successive generations.

From What is Hidden to What is Beyond Comprehension

iDivination is part of a redefinition of the occult, from What is Hidden - the paradigm of knowledge controlled by an elite, accessible in stages to the acolyte, with an emphasis on secrecy and ritual - to What is Beyond Comprehension - an exponential awe and awareness of multidimensional realities as a shared consciousness accelerated by technology. With iPhones and iPads in hand, we have become the Magician, the Tarot’s symbol for the god Mercury. Ever in flight, we circumnavigate streaming currents of data, surveying culture and the heavens, unfettered yet interconnected with all. If we wish to check in with our intuition, “there’s an app for that.” A touch captures a synchronistic instant from the etheric slipstream. A card levitates and turns, offering an acausal perspective, activating insight. Human consciousness resonates with an electronic impulse of information and merges as a wave in a plasma multiverse, said to resemble a quantum computer.

Divination‘s connecting principle, which applies to both printed card and app, is synchronicity or meaningful coincidence. What makes a coincidental occurrence mystical or Beyond Comprehension is that it happens outside the mechanisms of cause and effect, past, present, and future. To answer “Do Tarot or Oracle apps really work?” I reply, “You dreamt of freedom and a hummingbird flew up to greet you. How did the hummingbird work? Your receptivity is the answer. It is you who are the medium and epiphany”.


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You can see the amazing art of Lisa Iris at her online gallery: www.lisairis.ca.

Visit her Fan Page at https://www.facebook.com/ArtistLisaIris

Visit the Zazzle store here: ZAZZLE!

About the Author:

The paintings of Lisa Iris are featured in The Crystal Wind OracleTM, created by Antonio de Liberato. Enjoy a free demo at www.crystalwind.ca  The Crystal Wind OracleTM is available on the Android Market, Apple App Store and Amazon appstore for Android.

All Lisa Iris artwork is protected by copyright. Crystal Wind PathworX Inc. holds the licensed exclusive worldwide rights to Lisa Iris artwork. Any reproduction or use of Lisa Iris artwork for other purposes is expressly forbidden, without prior written approval from Crystal Wind PathworX Inc.  All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission from Crystal WindTM,  Exclusive Licensed Worldwide agents for Lisa Iris. www.lisairis.ca. All artwork is copyrighted and may not be reproduced by any means, electronic or otherwise, without first obtaining the permission of Crystal Wind.

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