Saturday, 22 May 2010
World Tarot Day
This morning I had an epiphany about the whole World Tarot Day debate that has been going on this year. It suddenly reminded me of Shrove Tuesday, known in the UK as Pancake Day.
Back in the late 70's/early 80's, Jif Lemon (a lemon juice in a bottle product) came up with a series of ads with the tagline: "Don't forget the pancakes on Jif Lemon Day!" and for me, as a kid, Pancake Day WAS Jif Lemon Day.
Now, to put this in context, my mum only used to make desserts on special occasions: birthdays, Jif Lemon Day, and maybe Christmas! So, it was a special day for me, as a child. However, looking back on it from a more adult standpoint, I think about what the true spirit of the day is intended to be. Shrove Tuesday, the day before Lent, is the day for using up all your tasty food before giving it up for 40 days. Basically, then, there's an aspect of counting your blessings, and a forethought to abstinence.
So, what's all this got to do with World Tarot Day? Well, some might say that only Christians should celebrate Shrove Tuesday. Others might mention the bastardisation of the day in the UK, where it has become Pancake Day and many people don't really remember why you eat pancakes, but just enjoy the fact. Then there is the Jif Lemon aspect, where a company took over the day to try to sell a product.
Looking, then, to World Tarot Day, what's my point? For one thing, I find it bizarre that in this day and age it is actually possible to Copyright a day! Jif Lemon, anyone? On the other hand, if I think about the spirit of the day, to quote it's founder, Den Elder: "I wanted a day of "celebration"... A day everybody could just come together and have some nice fun and make an effort to help those unfamiliar with tarot to realize it has a lot of positive attributes."
Fundamentally I think that, as in the UK where it has become Pancake Day, or during my childhood when it became Jif Lemon Day, it isn't possible to control a day. I'm sure Roman Catholics might be quite shocked at what has been done to Shrove Tuesday. But is it wrong? Should only Christians be allowed to celebrate on that day, or only pancake eaters, or only people who buy Jif Lemon? The spirit of that day is to count your blessings, and the spirit of World Tarot Day is to celebrate tarot. The rest is just window dressing and politics.
So, on May 25th, I hope you draw a card, or get a reading, or join in the World's Largest Tarot Reading, or do anything else that for you and anyone you know is a celebration of the wonderful, beautiful, insightful images that are Tarot.
For anyone who has no idea what I'm talking about, here are a few links:
Den Elder Interview
Original World Tarot Day
Non-branded World Tarot Day