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The credible Tarot

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ChrLzs

You appear to have me mistaken for someone posting in defense of the article.

??? I was quoting your words...

Edited by ChrLzs

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Tiggs

??? I was quoting your words...

You said, and I quote: "now it's just about 'exploring what you currently believe'", implying that my position had somehow changed through the course of the thread. As if I had initially supported the OP position and were now backing away from such.

Let me make this perfectly clear:

I've never claimed that Tarot has any ability to actually divine the future.

I've never claimed to support the OP article, or to be engaging in it's defense. I don't think anyone in this thread, so far, actually has.

My position has been, and remains, that Tarot cards are merely a tool to interact with your unconscious, in much the same way that I believe Pendulums also to be. Nothing psychic. No Voodoo / Witchcraft / Magic etc. required.

The study I cited, that you dismissed out of hand due to lack of peer review, actually shows a negative effect.

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eight bits

Cool thread.

Jungians say unconscious instead of subconscious to avoid the connotation that there is anything "inferior" about being an aspect of the unconscious. It's all one self.

Similarly, Jungians avoid talking about a second "mind," since that connotes some kind of persistent division within the one mind other than functional specializations. A symphony is played by one orchestra - there is a violin section and a horn section, etc., each trying to be heard, but not a separate violin orchestra contending with a horn orchestra, etc.

So, turning to Tiggs'

Here's a hypothesis: The subconscious mind is able to shuffle the deck in such a way to produce the cards that it wants the conscious mind to see.

There could be some aspect of the unconscious that would influence a shuffle in order to present itself to consciousness, but that would be the hard way with this apparatus. Far easier to just work with what comes and make some ideas and connections "feel right" or "meaningful" while alternative ideas "feel wrong."

If the deal is hopeless for such use, then it can simply "feel right" to shuffle again, or to walk away and try again another day. Or perhaps move to the pendulum or ouija board, where the whole mind can see what's being presented, and little nudges here or there will be effective.

but unless the claim is that any card could be bent to tell the same story regardless - then the cards chosen must have some impact on the possible interpretations.

No, the claim (?) would be that there are many stories that have the same moral. Recall that usually you are not interpreting a single card, but some ensemble of cards; there is a profusion of features present, and you will attend to only a fraction of them, and only a fraction of those will feel "right" for incorporation in the "story."

So,

The possibility of choice is essential.

not really. Possible, but the long way around.

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Tiggs

Cool thread.

Hi eight bits, welcome to the thread.

Jungians say unconscious instead of subconscious to avoid the connotation that there is anything "inferior" about being an aspect of the unconscious. It's all one self.

That's interesting. I think of sub as in under. As in - always there, but underneath our conscious perception. The word unconscious implies (to me) doing something (usually bad) without consciously thinking.

If anything, I'm in awe of the part of me that can keep me breathing, filter numerous different mission-critical inputs and allow me to type without even looking at my keyboard, while my conscious is still trying to work out whether or not I've missed an apostrophe.

But, happy to use whichever term.

Similarly, Jungians avoid talking about a second "mind," since that connotes some kind of persistent division within the one mind other than functional specializations. A symphony is played by one orchestra - there is a violin section and a horn section, etc., each trying to be heard, but not a separate violin orchestra contending with a horn orchestra, etc.

I like the orchestra analogy. But rather than violins and horns - I tend to think that one section of us is singing, while the other's playing all the instruments.

There could be some aspect of the unconscious that would influence a shuffle in order to present itself to consciousness, but that would be the hard way with this apparatus. Far easier to just work with what comes and make some ideas and connections "feel right" or "meaningful" while alternative ideas "feel wrong."

If the deal is hopeless for such use, then it can simply "feel right" to shuffle again, or to walk away and try again another day. Or perhaps move to the pendulum or ouija board, where the whole mind can see what's being presented, and little nudges here or there will be effective.

Well, that has been the generally accepted explanation of what's happening, for some time.

On the other hand - it's interesting that shuffling is by and large a process that the conscious mind avoids looking at. While it's a large overall process, is moving a card in either direction when splitting the deck, every time the cards fall in a shuffle a large nudge?

As for "feeling right" to shuffle again, I think it's interesting to note that I also get a feeling when I believe that the shuffle is done.

Maybe there is no unconscious effect in action. It's not as if we can deal ourselves a winning poker hand, every time, after all. I don't know - it's just a gut feel that I have that something else is happening, I guess.

Perhaps I've just convinced myself that the results are too close to home, for it to be (more or less) random. Perhaps the situations being questioned are so multi-faceted that any combination of cards would result in revealing a single facet - and would thus, look true to the enquirer (namely, in this case, me.)

No, the claim (?) would be that there are many stories that have the same moral. Recall that usually you are not interpreting a single card, but some ensemble of cards; there is a profusion of features present, and you will attend to only a fraction of them, and only a fraction of those will feel "right" for incorporation in the "story."

Sure - but some of the Tarot spreads - for example, the Past, Present and Future spread - assign roles to each card. Perhaps you're right, but looking at the cards and their general meaning - it would be difficult for me to read both "Magician" and "Tower" in the past role and come up with the same "story".

Maybe I'm just not that good at interpretation. Or maybe either option would still make for a passable story (see facets, above).

not really. Possible, but the long way around.

When I said "The possibility of choice is essential", I meant it from the perspective of the enquirer. If the cards were going to turn up the same, regardless of the question or who's being read - then it wouldn't feel like a targeted divination, personal to them.

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back to earth

How can you both consciously shuffle the deck and not be looking at the cards?

Again, I find your responses curious. I am conscious that I am shuffling as I am awake and aware and know what I am doing. Same as walking, I am consciously walking, want to walk, get from a to b ... but I dont have to consciously control each leg and put it in front of the other.

Perhaps the reason you're having such a difficult time describing it is because you don't normally have to think about it. Same as handshakes. Like most people, you do it without thinking.

Whereas, I think that tracking an array of 78 cards over multiple slices should be easily within the computational range of the unconscious.

Onbly if it has some way of being aware of the cards changing position. You just know as well as I how shuffling works ... unless you spread every card face down on the table so its sight, feel , smell and all other unconscious triggers are available for input ... the dynamics in real occurences just are not going to work as you describe in a real shuffle.

I dont know how I can further explain that here .... just watch people shuffle, you will see cards move around in blocks or groups.

Then there is the ' bridge shuffle' some use, flicking the cards from two piles into one . I guess I just dont ascribe these 'superpowers' to the 'subconscious' as you do.

Almost like they're not consciously shuffling them?

yes almost

To be fair - the unconscious has access to a level of fine motor control that the conscious does not.

Entirely okay with the concept that the reading is subjective.

I just don't think that it's necessarily the whole story.

I dont think it is the whole story either .

It can definitely happen. About once every 456,456 readings, on average (if you're only using three cards). The "on average" bit is the bit that most people don't catch. Those occurrences can cluster, but they should even out, eventually, given enough time and readings - providing that the shuffling itself is random.

people focus on the unusual (especially within such a topic / subject ) and give it special significance over any evening out.

I agree.

Well, it's entirely possible that I'm wrong. Wouldn't be the first - or the last - time.

Interpretation is obviously the end result, so let's test your different cards, same / similar outcome theory.

No, its not my theory. I have noticed it occur and I have read about many others having it occur and how they deal with it and postulating why it occurs.

Taking a simple 3 card Past-Present-Future spread, for example, how would you make the following cards lead to a similar outcome:

A: Four of Wands, Ace of Cups, Five of Wands

B: Wheel of Fortune, Knight of Wands, The Hanged Man

C: Seven of Swords, Strength (8), The Queen of Pentacles

If you need a question to base those replies on - let's say I'm asking about my career.

No way ... that is a set up . Its like me saying some fruits are alike ( meaning an orange and a mandarin ) and you put a tomato and banana on the table and say demonstrate. I was saying some fruits are alike, not all of them. Some card combinations that are different can lead to a similar outcome, not all or any combination .... and the association is subjective - I mean you might be even able to do the exercise with those cards when I cant.

This is what I mean about the outcome / interpretation of a card being psychologically projective - its the simple solution that explains why tarot comes 'true' , why some get so p***ed off when others suggest it does ... or doesnt.

I did not say any card combination can be like any other one ... some can though. I can demo with selected cards that can make a similar outcome to others ... if that is what you want ?

"Anyone who considers arithmetic methods of producing random digits is, of course, in a state of sin." - John Von Neumann.

:innocent::whistle:

If you don't believe that the unconscious could track that, then there's really no other conclusion you can reach,

ermmm ... there is ... and I have been outlining it ... its in the

interpretation . of the reading and the psychological dynamics involved.

I personally think that our conscious mind is very wobbly and slow, compared to the unconscious. A bit like a single buggy copy of Windows 3.1 being drip fed information by a supercomputer.

So, obviously, we're going to come to different conclusions.

I see the unconscious like the workings inside a computer ... we dont have to know about that ... all we do is press the buttons and read the screen / results ( - the consciousness ) ... sometimes we dont even need to read the screen - there seems direct wiring between unconscious psycho.logical drives and resultant actions .

Or as they say 'I couldnt help myself " or 'it was automatic' .

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Tiggs

Again, I find your responses curious. I am conscious that I am shuffling as I am awake and aware and know what I am doing. Same as walking, I am consciously walking, want to walk, get from a to b ... but I dont have to consciously control each leg and put it in front of the other.

I don't mean conscious, as in the sense of being awake and aware. I think we can take it as read that someone is awake whilst shuffling and know that they are shuffling.

I mean it as in "being in focused control of your actions".

In your example, it's the difference between walking from point a to point b, or walking from point a to point b avoiding the cracks in the pavement. The latter takes specific conscious attention to do. The former, not so much.

If I tell you that you are now in conscious control of your breathing, then you will shift your focus to your breathing, whereas before, you were breathing, but just not particularly consciously aware that you were doing so.

It's the same with shuffling - or at least, it is for me. You hand over the details to the unconscious and do it on "cruise control".

Onbly if it has some way of being aware of the cards changing position. You just know as well as I how shuffling works ... unless you spread every card face down on the table so its sight, feel , smell and all other unconscious triggers are available for input ... the dynamics in real occurences just are not going to work as you describe in a real shuffle.

I dont know how I can further explain that here .... just watch people shuffle, you will see cards move around in blocks or groups.

Then there is the ' bridge shuffle' some use, flicking the cards from two piles into one .

Both types of shuffle would be relatively trivial to model, in terms of computation for card position.

I guess I just dont ascribe these 'superpowers' to the 'subconscious' as you do.

That would appear to be the main difference, yes.

I don't regard the unconscious as being little more than a mute version of the conscious.

I'm working on the basis that the conscious mind lags the real-world by around 80 milliseconds or so; our conscious perception of reality is pieced together by the unconscious and fed to us, recalculating our environment so it seems like a single continuous stream.

When, in reality, it's thousands of different pieces of information arriving at different times; information that is filtered, weighed and reassembled in a false chronological order before being shipped to our consciousness for further contemplation.

When was the last time you remember everything disappearing, because you blinked?

Just then, right? Because unless you're consciously aware of yourself blinking and expect it to happen, the unconscious papers over the cracks for you.

Our consciousness is living in Plato's cave - and all of the shadows on the cave wall are being arranged by our unconscious.

No way ... that is a set up . Its like me saying some fruits are alike ( meaning an orange and a mandarin ) and you put a tomato and banana on the table and say demonstrate. I was saying some fruits are alike, not all of them. Some card combinations that are different can lead to a similar outcome, not all or any combination .... and the association is subjective - I mean you might be even able to do the exercise with those cards when I cant.

This is what I mean about the outcome / interpretation of a card being psychologically projective - its the simple solution that explains why tarot comes 'true' , why some get so p***ed off when others suggest it does ... or doesnt.

I did not say any card combination can be like any other one ... some can though. I can demo with selected cards that can make a similar outcome to others ... if that is what you want ?

And here we are, at the heart of the matter.

We seem to agree that not every sequence of cards can be interpreted in the same manner. And yet, it would appear that for most people who use them, they report that their interpretations seem to be subjectively assessed by the enquirer as mostly accurate.

At first glance, that leads me to think that one of the following four possibilities is probably true:

A: The assertion that "most Tarot Reader's interpretations seem to be subjectively assessed by the enquirer as mostly accurate" is incorrect.

B: The people reporting their subjective success rates are incorrect.

C: There is more than one possible interpretation that the enquirer would subjectively assess as mostly accurate.

or

D: The sequence of the cards being drawn is manipulated to obtain a sequence which would lead to an interpretation that the enquirer would subjectively assess as mostly accurate.

Unless, of course, you can think of a fifth.

Edited by Tiggs

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eight bits

Tiggs

Good to be here.

That's interesting. I think of sub as in under. As in - always there, but underneath our conscious perception. The word unconscious implies (to me) doing something (usually bad) without consciously thinking.

But doing that comes in many flavors. There are several performances that we do consciously and attentively when we learn them, but afterwards do "automatically." Some we would perform worse if we did try to think about them (the proverbial centipede deciding which leg to move next).

Those things aren't typically integrated into a different mind or self. Just because I am not consciously thinking about how to drive the car usually, it doesn't follow that my driving will express my attitude about my mother. However, if at some moment I do happen to be overwhelmed by my attitude about my mother, then that might express itself in my driving, whether or not I am attending to the driving.

On the other hand - it's interesting that shuffling is by and large a process that the conscious mind avoids looking at.

Shuffling cards would be another example of something I have learned to do without attention to how.

While it's a large overall process, is moving a card in either direction when splitting the deck, every time the cards fall in a shuffle a large nudge?

It would be for me. Other people (you mentioned magicians at some point) might learn to "place" cards as automatically as I've learned to shuffle them at all. But it would still be the long way around.

A tarot card doesn't have a message typed on it ("Your relationship with your mother needs more work."). Every card either has a definite number of female figures or lacks a female figure. Either way, that's a feature of the card, the presence or absence of female figures. You notice that as significant (as a carrier for meaning) or you don't.

If something about your mother is the message that has found an avenue of expression, then that's what will be expressed. "Hmm, Death XIII, upside down. Isn't it odd that there's only one female figure? Upside down is opposite. The opposite of death is life. The one woman who gave me life is my mother...," and we're off).

Symbolic thought has its own impetus. The expression will find itself in whatever material. The very icon of this is Picasso's bicycle bull:

http://sfcitizen.com...birthday-pablo/

The idea is a bull's head; the material is a bicycle seat and handlebars. The material has nothing to do with the idea expressed; the mind makes the material express the idea.

Sure - but some of the Tarot spreads - for example, the Past, Present and Future spread - assign roles to each card...

Very plastic roles. Evocative, too. Collectively, "past present and future" is everywhen. Very few ideas won't fit in there somewhere. Not fitting in there somewhere is itself a feature (think of the proof by induction that there is no uninteresting number). Thought will find a form (that's Freud and Jung in five words; the rest is commentary).

it would be difficult for me to read both "Magician" and "Tower" in the past role and come up with the same "story".

That's OK. You've got a lot of stories to tell. They all "want" to be told. Magician comes up as past? "My turn," says one story; the other stories grumble, but wait in line.

If the cards were going to turn up the same, regardless of the question or who's being read - then it wouldn't feel like a targeted divination, personal to them.

There are forms of divination where there is no choice, and the "target" is identical at each session - dark mirror scrying, for example. We never see anything uninterpreted, the visual apparatus always creates its version of our surround which becomes our experience of seeing anything. If we choose the target so as to leave room for interpretation (like the Necker cube), then interesting things will happen, you just need to wait.

As you probably know, there is another ambiguous figure, an animated spinning dancer or skater silhouette, sometimes presented with a "meaning" according to whether you first saw her as spinning clockwise or counterclockwise. Baloney, of course, but you do see her one way or the other at any given time, a different way at different times.

There need be no objective degrees of freedom in the target display. The perceiver will furnish whatever degrees of freedom are required for the idea to get through. As to social interaction, as in a reader-client situation, that's part of the service, to draw the client into the process. Cards are nice props for patter, but the client will see something in the dark mirror, too. It's all good.

Edited by eight bits

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Tiggs

But doing that comes in many flavors. There are several performances that we do consciously and attentively when we learn them, but afterwards do "automatically." Some we would perform worse if we did try to think about them (the proverbial centipede deciding which leg to move next).

Sure - it's just that I personally associate the word unconscious with a lack of forethought, rather than automated processes in general.

But, again - entirely happy to use whichever the majority is comfortable with.

Those things aren't typically integrated into a different mind or self. Just because I am not consciously thinking about how to drive the car usually, it doesn't follow that my driving will express my attitude about my mother. However, if at some moment I do happen to be overwhelmed by my attitude about my mother, then that might express itself in my driving, whether or not I am attending to the driving.

True - but when you're shuffling a tarot deck your conscious mind is engaged with thinking about your attitude towards the subject matter that's the question in hand.

Shuffling cards would be another example of something I have learned to do without attention to how.

I think the only time I do pay attention to it is if it goes catastrophically wrong, such as if I fumble the cards (which does happen sometimes - though usually with playing cards, which are much smaller than Tarot cards).

It would be for me. Other people (you mentioned magicians at some point) might learn to "place" cards as automatically as I've learned to shuffle them at all. But it would still be the long way around.

It's certainly more processing for the unconscious to do, but it has got to shuffle a deck anyway, and it does needs some sort of way to decide where it's going to cut it.

But maybe you're right. Maybe I'm just seeing calculation where there is none.

A tarot card doesn't have a message typed on it ("Your relationship with your mother needs more work."). Every card either has a definite number of female figures or lacks a female figure. Either way, that's a feature of the card, the presence or absence of female figures. You notice that as significant (as a carrier for meaning) or you don't.

If something about your mother is the message that has found an avenue of expression, then that's what will be expressed. "Hmm, Death XIII, upside down. Isn't it odd that there's only one female figure? Upside down is opposite. The opposite of death is life. The one woman who gave me life is my mother...," and we're off).

Symbolic thought has its own impetus. The expression will find itself in whatever material. The very icon of this is Picasso's bicycle bull:

http://sfcitizen.com...birthday-pablo/

The idea is a bull's head; the material is a bicycle seat and handlebars. The material has nothing to do with the idea expressed; the mind makes the material express the idea.

Interesting. I don't use the illustrations on the cards to weave the narrative, as they all vary so much, between decks.

Very plastic roles. Evocative, too. Collectively, "past present and future" is everywhen. Very few ideas won't fit in there somewhere. Not fitting in there somewhere is itself a feature (think of the proof by induction that there is no uninteresting number). Thought will find a form (that's Freud and Jung in five words; the rest is commentary).

That's OK. You've got a lot of stories to tell. They all "want" to be told. Magician comes up as past? "My turn," says one story; the other stories grumble, but wait in line.

I suspect you're correct. It's not so much that any set of cards tells the same story, as that many stories can fit the same question. Which would render any manipulation of the deck by the unconscious fairly much moot.

There are forms of divination where there is no choice, and the "target" is identical at each session - dark mirror scrying, for example. We never see anything uninterpreted, the visual apparatus always creates its version of our surround which becomes our experience of seeing anything. If we choose the target so as to leave room for interpretation (like the Necker cube), then interesting things will happen, you just need to wait.

As you probably know, there is another ambiguous figure, an animated spinning dancer or skater silhouette, sometimes presented with a "meaning" according to whether you first saw her as spinning clockwise or counterclockwise. Baloney, of course, but you do see her one way or the other at any given time, a different way at different times.

There need be no objective degrees of freedom in the target display. The perceiver will furnish whatever degrees of freedom are required for the idea to get through. As to social interaction, as in a reader-client situation, that's part of the service, to draw the client into the process. Cards are nice props for patter, but the client will see something in the dark mirror, too. It's all good.

Then can we agree that at least the illusion of variability is necessary, perhaps? Not everyone reports seeing the same thing in a black mirror, and If the dress is always white and gold, then there's no story.

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back to earth

Interesting. I don't use the illustrations on the cards to weave the narrative, as they all vary so much, between decks.

Oh ... hoorayyy!

You know, I have bought up this point with tarot readers who are more like story tellers concocting the 'plot' from the scenic illustrations ( like on the minors of the RW deck ) ... they didnt like what I said and would not address the point that many decks have totally different images.

It came to head with this card

rw06cups.jpg

Most saw an innocent happiness ( just going from the scenic image ) but then someone, then another starts : "That boy looks weird to me, why is he giving that little girl flowers and why is the guy in the background walking away ? I think he is a pedophile and trying to tempt the little girl. "

The someone else " No, look at the girl, thats actually an old woman, she must be a dwarf .... "

The all these people started saying how negative and suspect they thought the card was .

I told them they were nuts, its just that Pixie was a bad artists and did a poorly paid rushed job on the deck ... more outrage.

So , I am curious to ask (although I have my own answer ) ;

How do you then discern what a minor cards meaning is if you do not use the illustration on the card ?

Edited by back to earth
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Tiggs

How do you then discern what a minor cards meaning is if you do not use the illustration on the card ?

Rather amateurishly, I imagine, I cross-reference it against a list of the interpretations given by A.E. Waite for each card.

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back to earth

So, you must only use the RW then .

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Tiggs

So, you must only use the RW then .

I only have two decks. I don't use them very often, but when I do, I mostly use the Rider-Waite deck. The second deck is a sort of Crowley/Rider-Waite hybrid, with modern illustrations, which has it's own list of interpretations.

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eight bits

b2e

How do you then discern what a minor cards meaning is if you do not use the illustration on the card ?

The meaning is not an attribute of the card, but an attribute of the relationship between the card and the viewer. That's pretty much true of any work of art except maybe a propaganda poster or a traffic sign.

It is as strange that there would be a book of card meanings as a book of dream meanings. There's nothing wrong with amplifying symbols. What's strange is that an early step in symbolic thought like amplification would be mistaken for the whole process.

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markdohle

You said, and I quote: "now it's just about 'exploring what you currently believe'", implying that my position had somehow changed through the course of the thread. As if I had initially supported the OP position and were now backing away from such.

My position has been, and remains, that Tarot cards are merely a tool to interact with your unconscious, in much the same way that I believe Pendulums also to be. Nothing psychic. No Voodoo / Witchcraft / Magic etc. required.

The study I cited, that you dismissed out of hand due to lack of peer review, actually shows a negative effect.

Well said.

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ChrLzs

I didn't respond earlier as the thread headed off on a tangent that was of no interest to me, but seeing this is getting repeated and 'applauded', I have a few comments...

{Tiggs -}You said, and I quote: "now it's just about 'exploring what you currently believe'"

And yet I was quoting Tigg's words!! - here they are:

{Tiggs -}I think it's a credible way to explore what you currently believe will happen in the future.

There was no surrounding context that seems to make them any more clear... so my point was - and remains - that as soon as you start waving around terms like "explore" and "believe", you are talking about interpretations - SUBJECTIVE stuff that cannot be properly measured without going to great lengths.. and it's therefore a long stretch to call any of this 'credible' - which Tiggs did...

{Tiggs -}.. implying that my position had somehow changed through the course of the thread. As if I had initially supported the OP position and were now backing away from such.
Well, given they were actually Tiggs own words... I did not intend to imply that he'd changed his position - he certainly appeared, and still appears, to be supporting the use of the term 'credible' in regard to at least some aspects of Tarot readings... If I'm wrong about that, I apologise..
Let me make this perfectly clear:

I've never claimed that Tarot has any ability to actually divine the future.

I've never claimed to support the OP article, or to be engaging in it's defense. I don't think anyone in this thread, so far, actually has.

My position has been, and remains, that Tarot cards are merely a tool to interact with your unconscious, in much the same way that I believe Pendulums also to be. Nothing psychic. No Voodoo / Witchcraft / Magic etc. required.

That bolded bit is where I get confused... "interact with your unconscious" - what on earth does that mean? It sounds as if Tiggs is suggesting something outside the realm of accepted science. If it just means that you are are affected by what you see and hear, or that pictures might make you think of something you would not have thought of before... well, duh.. - I don't see the mystery or interest in stating something that supremely obvious - if that's it, *any* pretty pictures on cards would do fine ( as would playing some nice music as you give your 'reading'..).. If it's just about having something pretty that makes you think of 'stuff' that might be useful, why would it matter what brand/flavor of Tarot..?

The study I cited, that you dismissed out of hand due to lack of peer review, actually shows a negative effect.

It sorta does, although I'd have to ask why Tiggs responded to my request for peer-reviewed literature showing Tarot's credibility by simply supplying that link, without any explanation or even a smilie...

And here's the ACTUAL conclusion from that (non-peer-reviewed) paper- please note the bolded parts, and tell me that it is clearly stating *anything*...:

The mean score for the Non-Believers Group was

6.13 (SD = 4.99) and that for the Believers Group was 19.26 (SD = 3.89). Results were analyzed using a 2 (Reading: Real vs. Control) x 2 (Belief Group: Believers vs. Non-believers) mixed Analysis of Variance. The ANOVA revealed a significant main effect for Belief Group (F(1, 28) = 6.09, p = .02) with Believers giving higher overall ratings to the readings (6.09) compared to the Non-Believers (5.09). The overall ratings given to Real vs Control Readings did not differ significantly (F(1, 28) = .15, not sig.), but the interaction between Belief Group and Reading was highly significant (F(1, 28) = 7.42, p = .011). As can be seen from Figure 1, the pattern of results obtained did not correspond to what might be predicted upon the basis of either of the general hypotheses outlined. Post hoc t-tests revealed that the ratings given to the Real and Control readings did not differ significantly for the non-believers (means of 5.48 and 4.70, respectively; t(14) = 1.41, not sig.), but did so for the believers (t(14) = 2.79, p = .014). However, the believers gave the Control readings higher overall ratings (6.61) than the Real readings (5.58). Simple effects analysis further revealed that the groups did not differ with respect to the ratings given to the Real reading but the believers gave a significantly higher rating to the Control rating compared to the non-believers. This intriguing result obviously requires replication and a replication study is currently being planned. The possibility that the result might be an artifact due to an unintentional sampling bias relating to the order in which the Real and Control readings were read is ruled out by the fact that the Real reading was the first one to be read for 16 participants and the Control reading was first for the remaining 14.

:cry: :cry: :cry: Is that quite clear?? :D It's about as clear as mud to me, I'm sorry - in fact I would be suspicious that it is deliberately worded as to be as confusing as possible... The thing is, they don't clearly state what the 'effect' was that they were testing - was it that the reading matched what the participants thought, or was it how it matched *reality* - and then they made it worse by using the term "Real" readings versus Control readings, which, deliberately or not, implies that the reading is in fact something tangibly real and verifiable... Very unscientific use of terminology. As soon as you throw in complexities like that and do not properly address/explain them, then your 'conclusion' can and will be misinterpreted. And in this case, there are a number of places on the web that do promote this document as some sort of proof that tarot is 'valid' (or.. dare i say it - 'credible').

Again, my point was about the fact that you can't just drag up any old bit of paper as if it is a reference, and that applies no matter what side of the fence you are arguing from...

Well said.

I agree to disagree..

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eight bits

ChrLzs

No doubt, Tiggs will sort out the finer points of his argument. I'd like to say a few things about the issues as I see them.

There is nothing controversial that most people have access to more personal knowledge than they are consciously aware of having at any given moment. One aspect of this is the "deductive closure problem," that I provably cannot know all the implications of things I know. More modestly, for most folks "What was the name of your second grade teacher?" illustrates the point. Here and now, I don't know, but very likely her name will come to me later, now that the issue has become salient.

Which illustrates a second point: some of the information which is available but not currently in consciousness can be elicited. For example, we might have a structured interview for that very purpose. That is an aspect of "knowledge engineering," a tough-minded reality-grounded field.

Add to this that I can perform at least two polar complementary modes of thinking. There is the syntactical, low ambiguity mode that is properly called "logical thinking." There is also a high ambiguity, meaning-driven mode that might be called "symbolic thought." Natural language supports a shifting mix of the two. I can take a break from filling out my tax return to read a poetry book, using English for both activities.

I see little a priori reason to exclude that Tarot readings might be an efficient and effective means for some people to elicit knowledge not currently in consciousness. "Just thinking" about some problems can be effective (hence a pillar of the venerable educational technique "writing across the curriculum"), why not thinking combined with known-to-be evocative images?

One person's woo is another person's manipulation of setting and set. If the point of the overall activity is to achieve involvement in the elicitation effort, then critical analysis of the woo component as if it were a fact claim rather than a motivational technique is a category mistake.

Personally, I can do without the woolier aspects of Kathleen Meadows' approach to the problem. I have other ways than hers of looking at the problems of consciousness and thought. However, that doesn't dispose of the underlying question of whether there is potential client benefit in what she does. I am unlikely ever to be her client. Those who are her clients might benefit from a different approach than I would prefer.

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Mikko-kun

If you dont have an eye, how the hell you think you could see?

A certain mind's eye.

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Tiggs

I didn't respond earlier as the thread headed off on a tangent that was of no interest to me, but seeing this is getting repeated and 'applauded', I have a few comments...

And yet I was quoting Tigg's words!! - here they are:

It's not the words I used. It's the words you used, just before you quoted them.

"Now it's just about"

You'll perhaps note the word "Now", implying a qualitative change over time.

There was no surrounding context that seems to make them any more clear... so my point was - and remains - that as soon as you start waving around terms like "explore" and "believe", you are talking about interpretations - SUBJECTIVE stuff that cannot be properly measured without going to great lengths.. and it's therefore a long stretch to call any of this 'credible' - which Tiggs did...

And 'credible' is the crux of our disagreement. Let me quote my former post in full:

I think it depends what you mean by credible.

I don't think for a moment that it's a credible way to predict the future with any certainty.

I think it's a credible way to explore what you currently believe will happen in the future.

You'll perhaps note from my post that the word "credible" is not necessarily a synonym for "scientifically solid". Among other definitions, it can mean "capable of achieving a goal" - such as "a credible candidate for President" (many of which are far from scientifically solid).

Let me see if I can break this down for you:

1. The interpretation of Tarot cards is entirely subjective.

2. Because their interpretation is entirely subjective, when someone uses them to predict future events, they do so in the context of what they subjectively believe may happen in the future.

An abstract example: You turn up a banana on a card predicting your future.

One person may believe that they have a future as a grocer. Another, that they have a trip to Africa coming their way. A third may believe that they're going to slip up badly.

Virtually no-one thinks it means that they're going to marry Madonna. Because very few people actually believe that marrying Madonna is a future possibility. Except the guy Madonna was flirting with last night, with that banana.

Again - the interpretation of Tarot Cards is entirely subjective - which is exactly why they're a credible tool for exploring what you currently believe will happen in the future. As opposed to, say, hanging upside down in a tree and barking at the moon - which might work for some people, but it's not as tried and tested as using a deck of Tarot. Or as convenient.

In summary: People use tarot cards to explore their beliefs about their future.

They're a credible tool for doing that.

They're not a credible tool for accurately predicting the future - but I appear to have said that, already.

That bolded bit is where I get confused... "interact with your unconscious" - what on earth does that mean? It sounds as if Tiggs is suggesting something outside the realm of accepted science. If it just means that you are are affected by what you see and hear, or that pictures might make you think of something you would not have thought of before... well, duh.

Well, duh.

I don't see the mystery or interest in stating something that supremely obvious

When people have entirely grasped the wrong end of the stick, I sometimes find myself having to state the supremely obvious.

If it's just about having something pretty that makes you think of 'stuff' that might be useful, why would it matter what brand/flavor of Tarot..?

IMO, having cards with a wide enough range of imagery / archetypes sufficient to cover most circumstances is pretty much the only requirement.

It sorta does, although I'd have to ask why Tiggs responded to my request for peer-reviewed literature

Again. When you reel off a laundry list of requirements and only ask for at least one or two of them - you don't then get to retrospectively choose which one is mandatory.

showing Tarot's credibility

Meeting your stated definition for credibility.

by simply supplying that link, without any explanation or even a smilie...

I had a couple of reasons, actually.

Firstly, given the nature of your entry into the thread, I figured that it would be at least a little fun to get you to backtrack and concede that you needed all of the things you'd stated to be scientifically credible, so I supplied you with a credible paper, by your definition. I had also hoped that you might catch on that the OP's sense of the word credible, and your own, were entirely different, if you had to reconsider yours.

Secondly, I am actually interested in doing some experiments in the field. This one (or something like it) is potentially on my to-do list. Given that you were bemoaning the lack of scientific papers in the field, I was interested in finding out your opinion on the experiment itself, and whether you could highlight any particular loopholes with the methodology.

And here's the ACTUAL conclusion from that (non-peer-reviewed) paper- please note the bolded parts, and tell me that it is clearly stating *anything*...:

It looks fairly straight forward to me. I personally don't have any particular issues with the word "real".

And in this case, there are a number of places on the web that do promote this document as some sort of proof that tarot is 'valid'

Sure. But the internet is full of people who'll believe almost anything.

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ChrLzs

Again, with a little bolding to reinforce the point that it *wasn't* about meeting just one (or even two..) of the criteria, here's what I said:

Credible, to me, means peer-reviewed or controlled experiments or non-subjective criteria or repeatability, verifiability, falsifiability, or (gasp) maybe even more than one of those things combined..

Imo, that paper met *none* of those... and given that and the fact that you seem to have clarified that you do not claim anything unexplained or paranormal here, in contrast to the article... I revert to my comment that this sort of stuff isn't worth the discussion it is getting. I am somewhat puzzled by what type of research you wish to undertake - if it's just that having pictures and words near you will help to prompt thoughts and ideas... well, I think that's pretty much covered...

I would elaborate on why I think that paper meets none of my (harsh, but standard scientific) criteria, but given it's not a 'published' paper, I think a much more sensible use of my time is simply to offer to look at whatever sort of research you propose (if you do get around to it) and carefully examine what you hope to achieve/demonstrate and then go through the areas that need to be addressed to successfully come to a conclusion. A repeatable, verifiable conclusion...

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Tiggs

Again, with a little bolding to reinforce the point that it *wasn't* about meeting just one (or even two..) of the criteria, here's what I said:

Even if you don't highlight them, your or's haven't magically become and's.

Imo, that paper met *none* of those...

So it's not a controlled experiment, then? Or Falsifiable? Or Repeatable? I also note you have yet to provide another instance of the same experiment coming to different conclusions, showing that it's non-Verifiable. You've just assumed that it isn't. When I offered to repeat the experiment with you to test its verifiability, you declined, concluding: I've seen what it is made of, and I ain't buying it.

and given that and the fact that you seem to have clarified that you do not claim anything unexplained or paranormal here, in contrast to the article

Where, exactly, do you think the article claims that anything unexplained or paranormal is happening? Because I don't particularly think that it has.

I think, once again, this hinges around your personal interpretation of the word "credible" - which you seem to believe, in the context of tarot, can only mean precise prediction of the future as scientific fact.

I would elaborate on why I think that paper meets none of my (harsh, but standard scientific) criteria, but given it's not a 'published' paper, I think a much more sensible use of my time is simply to offer to look at whatever sort of research you propose (if you do get around to it) and carefully examine what you hope to achieve/demonstrate and then go through the areas that need to be addressed to successfully come to a conclusion. A repeatable, verifiable conclusion...

Wonderful. In that case, then - I propose to repeat that experiment. Feel free to examine away.

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eight bits

On a point arising, whatever anybody thinks about the merits of the paper offered by Tiggs, it apparently was "peer reviewed," Its authors were affiliated with a bona fide education and research institution, the University of London. The authors' section within the university, The Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit, continues to be active. The conference and its sponsoring organization appear to have ample numbers of participants with acadmic affiliations, reassuring us that there is such a thing as a meaningful "peer" to perform "peer review."

These conclusions are based on the 2015 conference call for papers and book of abstracts. It is possible that the arrangements in 2004 were different, but peer reviewed conferences in other fields existed long before the turn of this century.

http://www.parapsych...convention.aspx

I have often posted here at UM about the limitations of what may be inferred about the quality of a research report from "peer review." However, whether or not a specific work has been so vetted is a question of fact. There is ample reason to believe that peer review did occur in this case.

ETA Under the circumsatnces, Tiggs's proposed use of the material is routine for serious research. The "usual thing" is to begin with the reported research, and modify it both to tighten any worrisome methodological sources of concern, and also to focus on the aspects of the work most interesting to the person "repeating" the work.

Repeating is in quotes because it is not possible literally to repeat any past event. The most that can be achieved is to perform a conceptually similar experiment. That being so, it cannot be surprising that the similar work will often include modfications and improvements of the earlier experiment. Nevertheless, attention to the earlier work as a starting point is an efficient way to investigate furrther.

Edited by eight bits

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ChrLzs

Even if you don't highlight them, your or's haven't magically become and's.

True. And the GASP remains as it was, with rather obvious intent to express sarcasm, perhaps even cynicism, that maybe, just maybe, I was underplaying it....

So it's not a controlled experiment, then?

Certainly not. If you are judging stuff subjectively, it's virtually impossible to apply controls, but more tellingly, there is virtually no documentation of the controls, let alone the 'Real' tests! Did you not spot that? Just like we have no examples of how the matches/non-matches were decided.

Or Falsifiable?

By it's very design, this was merely showing a (small) trend in one direction, based on those non-documented controls and subjective matching.... So no, it wasn't falsifiable. To be fair, I happily concede that this is one thing that may not be applicable to topics like psychology where subjectivity simply cannot be avoided.

Or Repeatable?

Again duh - if it's repeatable (and worthy of repeating....) someone will have done it, and it isn't up to me to go prove that a repeat of this doesn't exist - how could I or anyone possibly do that? It is the default position - and it is up to the claimant to show the supporting studies if any.

Given the very slender 'details' we were given, how would anyone, or you, repeat it accurately anyway?

I also note you have yet to provide another instance of the same experiment coming to different conclusions

Seriously - you want me to come up with negative proof?? Of an experiment that wasn't fully documented?? As above, and surely you should know this - it's up to the claimant to provide the support, not for us to disprove it.

You've just assumed that it isn't.

Au contraire, as above. Again, the default is that it isn't proven, *especially* when there is so little documentation of how the tests were done. Doing a properly controlled experiment/study doesn't just mean that you come up with some sort of "Control" data. It *must* ALL be fully documented and open to intense scrutiny.

When I offered to repeat the experiment with you to test its verifiability, you declined, concluding: I've seen what it is made of, and I ain't buying it.

And like everything else I've posted thus far, I am sticking to that - you can't possibly repeat that particular experiment - they have not included all the details of the methodology, nor the actual data for perusal of how those methods were applied.

If, however, you create a new study and genuinely are interested in avoiding the things that *caused* that one to not be suitable for peer review...

Where, exactly, do you think the article claims that anything unexplained or paranormal is happening? Because I don't particularly think that it has.

You are correct in that the article does not explicitly say that, and as I said, I'm pleased you have clarified your point of view. But I would point out that many respondents have brought up the paranormal/unexplained angle, and you are clearly aware that my main complaint is the use of 'credible' as a headline...

I think, once again, this hinges around your personal interpretation of the word "credible" - which you seem to believe, in the context of tarot, can only mean precise prediction of the future as scientific fact.

Well, I would point out that until you said that, I didn't think Tarot was only used for forecasting...?? But I did (and do) think that specific Tarot images are very, very important to those who use them (hence the debate about which deck to use..) and have some 'deep significance' over any old drawings or words. I'm trying (and clearly failing) to work out what that 'deep significance' can be, if not paranormal/unexplained/spiritual...

Perhaps you can help me here - can you explain what question/s you hope to answer, or what you hope to show, by setting up another study?

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ChrLzs

Eight bits, that is 100% wrong - you do NOT get to just assume something was properly peer-reviewed on the basis of its purported source.

WHERE was it published?

WHERE can we find supporting studies?

May I reiterate that this isn't about the results, it's about whether they can be checked and verified.

Eight bits, show us how you have been able to verify the methodologies used.. I'm sure Tiggs for one would like to have that information in order to do his 'repeat'.....

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eight bits

ChrLzs

Eight bits, that is 100% wrong

Well, I don't like half-measures.

- you do NOT get to just assume something was properly peer-reviewed on the basis of its purported source.

Please read my post. I didn't "just assume." I checked out the current peer review policy of the long-lived conference. The assumption I did make was that the policy hadn't changed in the past dozen years, reasonable enough in a low-stakes controversy, and the a priori plausibility of the conference being peer-reviewed in the first place.

I did some other checking. The second author is a senior academic, with some grant funding. The first author has done fairly well, too. No fishy smell here.

How is the source purported? The conference's sponsoring organization distributes the paper. (Apparently Tiggs got past a members-only-pay wall. Good for him.)

BTW, who are you to say what I get to do? Mom, is that you?

WHERE can we find supporting studies?

Funny you should ask. The first author later published a literature review,

http://www.awareness...l-explanations/

for those who don't feel like following the citations in the paper, I suppose. I can't find that anybody did more in the same vein experimentally. All the more reason for somebody to do that. Tiggs seems interested. We should be encouraging him.

May I reiterate that this isn't about the results, it's about whether they can be checked and verified.

Presumably, that is what Tiggs proposes to do.

Eight bits, show us how you have been able to verify the methodologies used..

The methodology was adequately disclosed, and the statistical analysis, too. You can judge the appropriateness for yourself. If Tiggs is going to revisit it, then I'm sure he would appreciate anybody pointing out any lapses they see.

The question itself is fairly straightforward, and a variation on the classic Ronald Fisher investigation of a lady who claimed she could tell whether the tea or the milk went first into her teacup, when the mixture was presented to her stirred. Fisher tea-tasting lady is searchable, if you are unfamiliar with the case.

The accomodation in this experiment of multiple "tasters" of two categories by using 2x2 analysis of variance as the chief analytical tool is also a usual thing. This allows the discrimination made in the paper between one group scoring both target-types higher than the other group versus either group scoring a particular target type higher than the other type. Good question, right method. It's also Fisher's, as it happens.

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Tiggs

True. And the GASP remains as it was, with rather obvious intent to express sarcasm, perhaps even cynicism, that maybe, just maybe, I was underplaying it....

Which still doesn't miraculously transform any of your or's into an and.

Certainly not. If you are judging stuff subjectively, it's virtually impossible to apply controls, but more tellingly, there is virtually no documentation of the controls, let alone the 'Real' tests! Did you not spot that? Just like we have no examples of how the matches/non-matches were decided.

...

You really need to re-read the paper. The control was part of the test. They mention that in literally the first paragraph.

By it's very design, this was merely showing a (small) trend in one direction, based on those non-documented controls and subjective matching

One man's small is another man's statistically significant.

So no, it wasn't falsifiable. To be fair, I happily concede that this is one thing that may not be applicable to topics like psychology where subjectivity simply cannot be avoided.

Sure it is. You repeat the test, and if you get a different set of results - then the results of the original test are falsified.

Exactly the same way that you falsify neutrinos travelling faster than light, for example.

Again duh - if it's repeatable (and worthy of repeating....) someone will have done it,

Supposition.

and it isn't up to me to go prove that a repeat of this doesn't exist - how could I or anyone possibly do that? It is the default position - and it is up to the claimant to show the supporting studies if any. Given the very slender 'details' we were given, how would anyone, or you, repeat it accurately anyway?

By repeating the experiment using the method laid out in the paper.

Seriously - you want me to come up with negative proof?? Of an experiment that wasn't fully documented??

Again - the methodology used is fully documented. And how is asking you to provide evidence to back up your position that someone must have run an experiment that falsifies the result negative proof, exactly? Surely - the default position should be that the experiment has not been falsified until there is evidence that it has been.

Au contraire, as above. Again, the default is that it isn't proven, *especially* when there is so little documentation of how the tests were done. Doing a properly controlled experiment/study doesn't just mean that you come up with some sort of "Control" data. It *must* ALL be fully documented and open to intense scrutiny.

Stop me if you've heard this before - but it is documented.

And like everything else I've posted thus far, I am sticking to that - you can't possibly repeat that particular experiment - they have not included all the details of the methodology, nor the actual data for perusal of how those methods were applied.

The methodology is documented. As are the mechanisms they used to arrive at their scores.

You are correct in that the article does not explicitly say that, and as I said, I'm pleased you have clarified your point of view. But I would point out that many respondents have brought up the paranormal/unexplained angle, and you are clearly aware that my main complaint is the use of 'credible' as a headline...

A complaint which I believe is based on your inability to think of credible in any other way than being a synonym for scientifically accurate.

I understand that your desire is to ensure that people aren't "duped" into believing that Tarot cards can accurately predict the future. But given the OP hasn't claimed such - then perhaps you've jumped the gun a little.

Well, I would point out that until you said that, I didn't think Tarot was only used for forecasting...?? But I did (and do) think that specific Tarot images are very, very important to those who use them (hence the debate about which deck to use..) and have some 'deep significance' over any old drawings or words. I'm trying (and clearly failing) to work out what that 'deep significance' can be, if not paranormal/unexplained/spiritual...

Essentially, there are two different deck types in mass circulation - the Rider-Waite deck and the Crowley-Thoth deck. The Rider-Waite is older, by far the more widely used and considered more 'traditional'. Due to the way it handles reversals (the card is upside down) it's considered easier to interpret than the Crowley-Thoth, which uses a card's neighbours within the spread to determine whether or not the card has a reverse meaning. There are also differences in the cards themselves - for example, the RW has Temperance as it's 14th Major Arcana card, Crowley uses Art, and renames pentacles as disks, etc.

As such, people tend to prefer one deck type over the other - but in essence, they're both fairly similar.

In terms of usage, I believe that the majority of people use Tarot cards for forecasting. That said - there is reportedly some use of them for occult practices, where the imagery would be more significant (and where the Crowley-Thoth is apparently the more dominant of the two).

Perhaps you can help me here - can you explain what question/s you hope to answer, or what you hope to show, by setting up another study?

Well, primarily - I'd like to do it as a way of either confirming or falsifying the study's results.

What I'm hoping to examine is the relationship between the cards that someone selects and their subjective opinion of them vs their subjective opinion of cards they haven't selected.

As to what I hope to show - whatever the results of the experiments determine.

Edited by Tiggs
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