debra wrote:Ah. I see.
I wonder if by "moral sense" you mean "sense of self as a responsible agent whose actions shape one's own character." A sense of integrity, in other words. I think that's more what Sacks was talking about in that case, and it is rather different than a "morality tale" that proceeds through a series of steps and ends up, where, dancing in the world maybe.
I was talking about the mix of both: to remind someone of his/her "sense of self as a responsible agent whose actions shape one's own character" by providing specific tools as they appear described in the trumps: fairness in relationships, moderation in our appetites, fortitude to pull ourselves through, a sense of prudence that matches our interlocutor, etc. What I find extremely useful is the way in which, in the Tarot de Marseille, the moral virtues provide us with a structure to give advice. The virtues affect the two cards that precede them. If we work with three cards alone, any card that falls at the end of a three-cards row can take the attributes of a virtue and point out a way of proceeding in regard of the situation defined by the first two cards.
Just as the three virtues have very distinctive attributes, each one of the characters in the cards have attributes that could be worth imitating. I am working here under the assumption that the tarot preaches by example, in a sort of visual sermon. The Emperor, for example, isn’t a virtue, but it is possible that at a certain point in our life we feel the need of projecting authority, just as he does by holding is scepter, while practicing self-control, just as he does by holding his belt. In other words, at some point in our lives the Emperor’s attributes may be worth imitating. The Fool isn’t a virtue but he also possess attributes that could be useful at a certain point: to hit the road, to travel light, to keep sight of your goals, to ignore what distract us from our path... All these images are examples of ways in which we can behave. This way each image becomes a very direct and practical piece of advice that is expressed through the attributes of its characters. Even La Lune, by showing no human being, advises to become absent and wait until things become more clear. So, when I am talking about ‘moral advise’ I am talking about providing the client with tools to modeling/moderate her behavior in ways that may make easier for her to go about wit her life. In a way, what I am suggesting is to turn the ‘tarot as a mirror’ metaphor backwards, so we don’t look at the cards to detect how much like us The Emperor is, but how can we be more like The Emperor.
When I am working with the tarot my main goal is to burn an image, just one
image, in the person’s mind so she can recall that image at the precise moment, eliciting a series of emotional and physical responses. Psychiatrist Milton Erickson was very good at ‘re-routing’ people into a normal baseline behavior that had to do with becoming functional again. He didn’t subscribed to any psychological school or theory, and he rarely cared about the patient’s childhood, past traumas, etc. More often than not he felt that there was no point on dwelling in the client’s past. So, by small direct and indirect adjustments he was able to bring the patient back to his/her normal functioning. We tend to frown upon the idea of ‘normal’, just as we don’t like to talk morals, as if both ideas imply surrendering our individuality or uniqueness, but by normal he meant being able to function in society, something that is very much in tune with returning to a “sense of self” but also includes a sense of the other. I bring all this up because I wonder if, instead of exploring these images in a “how does that makes you feel” kind of way, as some people does, it may be a lot more precise, and useful for the client, to simply acknowledge the moral layer that the whole tarot tale brings about. And then again I wonder if such moral layer, corresponding with the quadriga exegesis, is something that can be seen as exclusive of the Tarot de Marseille, or all pre-Gébelin tarots, and it has been somehow overlooked since.