I thought you might like to see the opening words from the book that I wrote to accompany Linda Sutton’s magnificent Tarot paintings for The Opera Tarot :
Good, that’s that!
Three cards here… four there!
And now speak, my beauties,
give us news of the future;
tell us who’s going to betray us,
tell us who’s going to love us!
from Bizet’s Carmen
Love and betrayal! In Bizet’s famous opera, Carmen and her friends are anxious to know their destiny, and as any tarot reader will know, their concerns are the ones which still preoccupy the bulk of their clients today. Relationship problems and, in second place, work or financial difficulties create the majority of business for professional tarot readers, but the Tarot can be used for another more existential end. It can help us fulfil the age-old quest for illumination, for coming to know ourselves more fully – and ultimately for finding the soul and the Deity Within that is our true nature. This is the work suggested in the carving on the entrance to the oracle at Delphi, where each pilgrim was urged to ‘Know Thyself’. This is the work, too, of the spiritual alchemists – not those who sought to turn lead into gold, but those who sought, and continue to seek, to turn the base matter of the self into the gold of self-realization.