The Tattooist of Auschwitz

Easter is a time of hope. It therefore seems the perfect moment to explore the riveting survival tale of the Jewish man who tattoed prisoners at the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War 2. His story has not come to light until now because of the incredible guilt he carried about what he was forced to do to his fellow prisoners.

Let’s explore his story shall we? No spoilers, I promise. Continue reading

Throwback Thursday: The Tarot Of Game Of Thrones Season 1

GoT1Throwback Thursday is a chance to revisit some of my favorite posts. Seeing as how fans like myself are beginning to rev up for the next season of GoT I thought I’d take the opportunity to revisit where the TV show began by republishing the Tarot of Game of Thrones Season One. Continue reading

The Tarot Of The Walking Dead

I’ve just finished mainlining series two of ‘The Walking Dead’. Seeing as how I can’t get those zombies out of my head I thought we might explore the Tarot of this television show.

6 Cups

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Two Of Pentacles: Nurturing All Sides Of Your Personality

2 Pents

Continuing on the theme from my previous post…I feel the need for a break from the internet. Not completely, whoa, let’s not get carried away. More a slowdown. My gut instinct is protesting. Yelling at me to switch off and read some books for awhile. To balance me out. My yin with my yang. Being a Gemini I’m very aware of the double-sided nature of my personality. I guess that’s why I’m not posting as much lately. It’s not you google, it’s me. Really.

The Two Of Pentacles card can be a reminder to pay attention to other aspects of your life. Especially when reversed.

Have you ever taken a break from the Internet for your own sanity?

The Tarot Of Elections

It’s the day after the election here in Australia and while most peeps are probably nursing a hangover after celebrating the win or the loss I thought I’d have a look at the Tarot Of Elections.

The Empress

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Two Of Pentacles: Juggling The Good With The Bad

2 Pents

I’ve just finished reading Dan Brown’s latest blockbuster ‘Inferno’. I loved ‘The Da Vinci Code’ and have read several of his other novels. Some of my friends look down their noses at his writing and when I started reading ‘Inferno’ I was determined to pay closer attention to the text. And what a shock it was. Either his writing has deteriorated or I’ve been blind. Large slabs of the story were basically travelogue slash history lesson. But I read on because there were still things for me to enjoy in the story.

This to me is a Two Of Pentacles situation. I was prepared to put up with the tedious writing to enjoy the benefits of a good plot. In life you have to juggle the good with the bad.

Have you read ‘Inferno’? Did you enjoy it?

Two Of Pentacles: Swapping One Thing For Another

2 PentsRandom Mathematical Fact: I was teaching my students how to turn fractions into decimals and back again today and it struck me how this situation is embodied in the Two Of Pentacles card. For those who have tried to block maths from their mind since they left high school a fraction looks like this 1/10 and in decimal notation it would be described like this 0.1. In maths language 1/10 = 0.1 = 1/10. They are interchangeable.

And it seems to me that describes a definite facet of the Two Of Pentacles card: The ability to swap one thing for another!

What do you think? Makes sense or not?

The Tarot Of Game Of Thrones Season One

So I made the fatal mistake of letting a boy in my local video shop (yes, some of us still hire them instead of downloading them off the internet) talk me into renting the first few episodes of the TV series ‘Game Of Thrones’. Now of course I’m hooked. Hooked and repulsed in equal measure because Lord Of The Rings it is not. The good guys don’t necessarily win. Justice doesn’t prevail.

But I’m enjoying the characters. The women are unexpectedly diverse and well-rounded. And even though I haven’t quite got to the end of season one I thought it would be fun to explore the Tarot of the leads.

King Wands

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The Boston Bombers And The Frankston Rapist: The Tarot Of Dealing With Imported Cultural Values

So they’ve caught the last remaining Boston Marathon Bomber and everyone can breathe a sigh of relief. At least the immediate danger is over. Although the pain is not. Everything about this situation makes me sad. The loved ones lost. The victims who must learn to live without an arm or leg or maybe both. The families hurting. The futileness of the whole thing. And two young men who believed that harming others in the most horrific way was the best thing they could do with their lives. How did they come to such a conclusion? Was it because they were born in a country where terrorism is seen as a valid means of expressing your dissatisfaction? And more importantly, how can we stop this from happening again?

Australia like America has a worrying track record when it comes to ensuring newcomers embrace the values of our society. Men from certain countries manage to find a way to have more than one wife, 14-year-old girls are sent back to their parent’s country-of-birth to get married, female babies are circumcised, even though these things are against Australian law. And then there is this. Alongside the news about the capture of the Boston Bomber in the Australian media this morning was a distressing story about a young Afghan refugee who confused rape with consensual sex.

Esmatullah Sharifi was jailed a few years ago for raping a 25-year-old woman on Christmas Eve. He subsequently faced the courts again on charges of raping an 18-year-old five days before the other rape took place. The courts heard that Sharifi regularly drove around outside nightclubs in Frankston, on the outskirts of Melbourne, on the lookout for drunk, vulnerable, young women. As a result of these two cases Sharifi was placed on the sexual offenders registry and sentenced to 14 years in prison. Incredibly, unbelievably, he has won the right to appeal his sentence on the basis that as a refugee he did not understand what ‘consent’ means in Australia. Even though in the second case it was made clear that the girl screamed and called for help at which point he put one hand over her mouth and another around her neck to restrict her breathing i.e. He had to use force for the sexual act to be performed. As one commentator has pointed out, the idea that rape might somehow be excused in Australia because of cultural differences in horrifying.

It strikes me that there are disturbing parallels between the Boston Bombers and the Frankston rapist. In both cases the imported cultural values of young men has led to acts that we would consider evil. So maybe we need to look at the ways we manage the assimilation of immigrants. Of course the onus should be on the individuals involved to take responsibility for their actions. Few immigrants commit such horrifying deeds and there are plenty of homegrown rapists and murderers. But surely it’s also in our interest as a society to look for better ways to impart our values to newcomers.

This is how I would describe the Tarot of this situation:

The Emperor: Young men

The Devil: Evil

Justice: Weighing our options as a society

Two Of Pentacles: Dealing with different values

We need to consider carefully how we deal with young men who are importing what we would consider evil values into our society. We need to deal with those values before they erupt into rape and murder. Ignorance should never be admitted as a valid excuse before the law.

Any suggestions as to how?

Two Of Pentacles: Not Science Versus Tarot But Science AND Tarot

2 Pents

Two Of Pentacles: Holding two opposing belief systems at once.

I’m a science geek AND a Tarot fan. Most peeps would assume the two are incompatible. That if you believe you can be guided by invisible forces through Tarot cards there’s no way in the world you are a follower of the scientific method. My favorite geeky Facebook page ‘I F* Love Science’ ( I f* love I F* Love Science) scoffs at astrology and Tarot on a regular basis.

But I humbly beg to differ. Continue reading