After Hours 8.18.21
Discussion 3: Science & Tarot
by Dr. Chandler Puritty
Hi friends and neighbors! Dr. Chandler Puritty here, your local climate change scientist/tarot card reader. Today we’re talking science and magic! Thankfully, the beautiful people at Threadspun have provided me with a list of questions which should keep this piece more focused than the last (we’ll see though). Also I’m going to pretend it’s a live interview because that’s a dream of mine.
Kimmy: Do you believe there is a nexus between science and tarot? Why or why not?
Dr. P: Hi Kimmy! Long time no see, I’m doing well thanks for asking and what a cool question to start off on! My answer would have to be yes, of course there’s a nexus between science and tarot. To me, they’re exactly the same thing- both are tools to aid exploration into the unknown. We do science to try and get an idea of how our world works and how we could potentially improve it – to me, tarot is the same except using energy. I am a formally trained ecologist and I was introduced to ecology as the study of the connections of all living things. As a highly sensitive person and intuitive, I believe that all things are energetically connected as well so to me I’m utilizing the same set of skills through a different lens.
Kimmy: How long have you studied tarot? Are there different "types" of tarot?
Dr. P: Oooo more great questions! I’ve been working with tarot for about 5 years now? Time flies but I picked it up during my second/third year of my PhD program. My sister got an oracle deck and she heard that you needed to be gifted her first tarot deck so I went to buy her one and also one for myself (because if I hear a rule, I’m going to go out of my way to contradict it). By working with tarot, I was quickly able to totally change my life (ie burn the one I had always known and wait patiently for my wonderful new life to take its place). And yes there are tons of different types of tarot! Tarot is simply a tool for intuitive channeling. There is the original deck and meanings named after its authors and illustrator, Rider Waite Smith. Fun fact, Pamela Colman Smith the illustrator was a half white American and half Jamaican. From this a seemingly infinite number of deck and meaning variations arose. I also use oracle cards which do not conform to the traditional 72 card deck. So there are plenty of kinds of cards and as far as interpretations, the limit is only your imagination. Each reading and each reader is like a snowflake. There’s no such thing as a wrong answer or misinterpretation, it’s wonderful.
Kimmy: How do you personally prefer to interpret readings?
Dr. P: When I get a new deck, I like to familiarize myself with the recommended meanings in the informational booklet. As I get more comfortable with the meaning, the card becomes more of a feeling to me. When I pull that card and grasp at that feeling it’s the best reflection of the card’s intended meaning. I interpret it a bit differently each time, based on the inquiry. From there, I also love pattern recognition so I look for stories in color, numbers, or other cues from the art on the card. I also pull multiple cards or cards from multiple decks for each question which gives me more depth and context to the intended meaning. Sometimes I connect it with astrology or moon cycles or someone’s Saturn return, it’s all about trusting that I should express whatever comes to mind during a reading.
Kimmy: Do science and tarot affect your daily life the same or differently?
Dr. P: Now this one’s a thinker! My first instinct was “Who uses science? It’s definitely only tarot” but then I remembered my definition of science. To me science is a verb not a noun. What we learned in science class was mostly science history. Science is the decades of research, trial and error, adaptation and perseverance that went into what was written. Science is not knowing how something works and doing your best to figure it out, informed by the lessons of your failures. So by that definition to live a human life is to be a scientist, to be a specialist/expert in the study of yourself. Tarot I use in my day to day life to calm myself mostly. The ups and downs of an experimental life can be stressful, so I turn to tarot to remind me of the bigger picture, the lesson, the promise of better times, and to turn me towards tools I can use to move through through the experience. So to make a long story short, I use science to deal with the things I can control in my life, and tarot to be at peace with what I can’t and the rest of the great unknown.
Kimmy: Should everyone have a lil tarot in their life?
Dr. P: YES. Tarot is a tool to connect with your subconscious inner knowing or intuition and bypass the pesky often anxious conscious mind. Working with tarot increases your conscious awareness of these subconscious feelings. Like training wheels, they help you build confidence in trusting yourself. I still use cards for my readings but rarely for my day to day life (aside from my weekly Instagram readings on @housepuritty) because of the body and feeling awareness I’ve gained from working with them daily for years. I recommend everyone have some sort of deck they connect with including all of my clients. I sometimes go to other readers when I’m having trouble getting clarity on my own but also I can clear up the overwhelming majority of my internal drama with a flick of da wrist 10/10.