Is it necessary for the Tarot to be syncretic?
This was a question that I received from the Twitter-verse.
Being honest, I had to look up the meaning of the word, syncretic when it was first posed to me. And several times since. I’ve got to love adding new words to my English vocabulary.
Syncretic means “to encompass all things”, in the simplistic term. I’m all for simple, clear communication, so I’ll try not to over complicate the answer, which can turn into an essay if I’m not careful!
Does the Tarot have to be syncretic? There are plenty of decks out there with references to the Qabbalah, i-Ching, numerology (in general), astrology. Certainly, there’s numerology involved (we use numbers to identify the cards in lots of different ways).
In my view, to have a Tarot deck that encompasses ALL the divination elements from Qabbalah to runes, Hebrew to Chinese Astrology & i-Ching, would make it a particularly busy Tarot deck before we even look at the card itself. The Hermatic Tarot is quite close I think to achieving it, but even that deck stops short of combining a lot of ideas.
The Wildwood though isn’t syncretic. It’s not going to pull in everything from everywhere else. It doesn’t need to. It’s got a lot going for it already. It’s got its Wheel of the Year, tied into the seasons & times of the Pagan Year. It still has its scary figures, The Blasted Oak (Tower), The Guardian (Devil-esque) The Journey (Death) and so much more!
I currently believe (& I say currently, as my views can change like everyone else’s as we learn more) that the Tarot doesn’t need to be syncretic. It’s almost impossible for it to be that! I’m happy to talk about it, happy to have my views changed & reviewed to either match that, or not.
If it is syncretic, what decks are syncretic? I’m keen to hear your views in reply!
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