Skeptophilia (skep-to-fil-i-a) (n.) - the love of logical thought, skepticism, and thinking critically. Being an exploration of the applications of skeptical thinking to the world at large, with periodic excursions into linguistics, music, politics, cryptozoology, and why people keep seeing the face of Jesus on grilled cheese sandwiches.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The American political parties get a Tarot reading

I know that many of you are concerned about the upcoming presidential election in the United States.  Even many of my readers from other countries are likely to be keeping their eyes on what happens in Washington, DC, because (like it or not) the US is a major power broker in the world.  Campaigning is getting hot and heavy, and right now the race is in a statistical dead heat -- raising the tension on both sides.

Well, it will come as a great relief to all of you to know that we now have more data from which to make an educated choice.  Some professional Tarot card readers have weighed in on the topic, and have done readings for both parties so that we can find out not only what party spokespeople have to say about the issues -- we can also find out what a bunch of randomly-dealt pieces of card stock with colorful images might indicate.

Psychic ReeNee Cummins has started a group called UPredict, whose stated goal is to do psychic readings not only for people, but for political groups and for "mysterious things going on around the planet."  So Cummins and her team decided to do readings for the Republican and Democratic Parties, asking five questions of the magic cards:
  • How does this party’s platform affect America?
  • Is this convention’s philosophy in touch with a majority of Americans?
  • Division is a problem in America – How is this convention going to affect this?
  • Will there be problems in the areas around the convention?
  • What will be the net effect of the convention on the American Culture?
She then assembled seven readers, including herself, and they began to deal out the cards.  So without any further ado, let's see the results!  Cummins writes:
 The first thing that is apparent about the reading done for the Republicans is the lack of Major Arcana cards in the entire reading. There were only 13 Majors for a reading that involved over 120 cards. When there are few majors in a reading, the reader will usually ask the client if they truly understand what is going on in their lives. There is usually a sad lack of understand [sic] or a major toxic ego involved when there are this small a percentage of Majors in a reading. The readers in the room talked about how there seemed to be a nostalgic element in the Republican Party that wanted to take America back to a simpler time.
Really?  The cards told you that last bit?  Or did you just look up the word "conservative" in the dictionary?
Second, the most populous card was the knights of all suites. Knights are a young, dynamic energy; but it is an uneven energy and can be taken to extremes. Again, why the "my way or the highway attitude"? Why are these people so angry? The economy was crashed in 2008 because of bad banking decisions. However the energy of the knight say that these extremes are the energy levels being exhibited towards the current situation with no reflection on what history actually is or what part they (the Republicans may have played in it).  The Reading Room talked about the war on women and that this junior high like energy would explain why the participants refused to understand that they were hurting more than helping. Again, it also explained a hypocracy [sic] towards attending shows in strip clubs in Tampa where tents had been put up to protect the identity of customers.
Okay, so it's becoming pretty clear that most of the "Reading Room" psychics are not card-carrying GOP members.  So let's turn to what they said about the Democrats:
First, the Major Arcana cards reappeared with the Democratic reading. In fact, the Major's were heavy in this reading. Heavy Major Arcana cards mean that what is going on is very important on a spiritual level. It does not predict that this side will win, it says that they will accept the will of the people, and then fight on for the best conclusion.  The Project TAROT Moment Cards were mainly Major Arcana. The first, and most prominent was The Devil. I know, for conservatives that is enought [sic] to make them weep tears of joy; but that would only be for the ill-informed. The Devil deals with a hell of the client's own making. A mental construct that has no physical component in reality. Now who is making a living hell for this administration? Could it be the Republican's decision to make this administration a one term administration? Could their "junior high" attitude about society explain the bullying that has gone on in the media and between people? Could they have turned this President into their own Devil - only to have people discover that their reality is not the one shared by most of the country.
Myself, I find it a little ironic that these people are talking about "reality" while blathering on about a bunch of playing cards that can magically tell you what's going on behind the scenes in the US political arena.
The adults came back into the room - we had a lot of queens and kings of all suites. The idea of introspection to do the right thing and then lead the people in the manner came out strong. But the inner work of the queens was just as important as the leadership of the king. The fact that there was both kings AND queens shows that while men and women are different, there is a need for both genders and the wisdom they bring to the table. The final Project TAROT moments happened with The Justice card and The Fool. The Justice card was a welcome sight. Yes, Justice will be served, and things will be straightened out. However, the Justice card has it's [sic] sword in the air. It can cut the crap and move us forward, or it can slice and dice people who are on the wrong side of history. The last card - The Fool - back to a card of hope and change. Is that what America wants?
Oh, clearly.  You can't argue with the cards.  All-knowing, connected to the mystical energies of the universe, all that sort of thing.

Or, just maybe -- the interpretation of the cards was reflecting the hopes, desires, political leanings, and (in some cases) prior knowledge of the "readers."

This is my problem with the majority of self-proclaimed psychics -- their readings don't have any sort of scientifically-admissible controls, and yet they rail against the skeptics as being "closed-minded" and "unwilling to consider that there might be more to the universe than what the scientists tell us."  Is that so?  Are we really as blind as all that?  Is there something more affecting outcomes than the known physical components of the universe?

Well, if you want anyone to take you seriously, you have to play by the rules.  Show me that a computer, programmed with the meanings of the Tarot cards, could do a card throw for the Democrats and Republicans, and come to the same conclusions as your "Reading Room" team did.  Or even go so far as to have your "readers" do a second throw for each party, and show that it gives you substantially the same results.  Do something that will convince me that Tarot card readings aren't just clever people imposing their own slant on something that is essentially a random arrangement of pieces of card stock.

I'm guessing they'd probably refuse, however, and simply accuse me of having "a sad lack of understand" and "a major toxic ego."

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