Link: Tarot and Pastoral Sports

A.E. Waite baseball card

Given the importance of sports in human society, I’m very surprised that sports doesn’t appear as a theme more often in Tarot. And baseball—that most pastoral of sports! It (or cricket) should have been right up A.E. Waites celtic alley!

Perhaps the lack of tarot-related sporting is due to a negative influence of Brooklyn: birthplace of both the Los Angeles Dodgers and Waite.

In the RWS deck, we have the Five of Wands, about which Waite says “A posse of youths, who are brandishing staves, as if in sport or strife.” There is also a negative reference to sports regarding the Five of Cups: “the children are disporting in an unfamiliar precinct.”

The Golden Dawn gives a sporting outlook to the Eight of Wands: “love of open air, field sports, garden, meadows.” Clearly, wands and baseball bats seem to have something in common!

Yesterday’s SF Gate has an article about Liam Hendriks, ace reliever of the Oakland A’s. Surely, Aces must have something to do with it all! He’s a transplant, not unlike Waite and Colman Smith—originally an Australian. The article concerns a tarot reader who has helped Hendriks improve his game. It appears that personal knowledge, concentration and confidence have been the key to the help she has given him. It’s a very nice article. It’s respectful of tarot, underlines the personal exploration aspect of it, and is another example of tarot’s growing standing in popular culture, no doubt. But of course, A.E. Waite, though he never made the Hall of Fame, is still remembered for his magical play.

John Iacovelli

I have spent 30+ years in the computing industry. In it I've pretty much done everything from tech support for elderly people doing genealogy, to documenting compilers, to software evangelist, to direct mail guru, to CIO of an international corporation. And here I am, older and gray, getting interested in Tarot? 😉

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