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Tarot Nova

In Samuel R. Delany's sf novel Nova there's an arch exchange between a couple of the characters, Mouse and Katin, that expresses a sensible attitude toward tarot cards:

The Mouse dared half the distance of the rug. "You’re really going to try and tell the future with cards? That's silly. That's superstitious!"

"No it's not, Mouse," Katin countered. "One would think that you of all people—"

The Mouse waved his hand and barked hoarse laughter. "You, Katin, and them cards. That's something!"

"Mouse, the cards don't actually predict anything. They simply propagate an educated commentary on present situations—"

"Cards aren't educated! They're metal and plastic. They don’t know—"

"Mouse, the seventy-eight cards of the Tarot present symbols and mythological images that have recurred and reverberated through forty-five centuries of human history. Someone who understands these symbols can construct a dialogue about a given situation. There's nothing superstitious about it. The Book of Changes, even Chaldean Astrology only become superstitious when they are abused, employed to direct rather than guide and suggest."

The Mouse made that sound again.

"Really, Mouse! It's perfectly logical; you talk like somebody living a thousand years ago."

(The story of Nova is set ~1,150 years in the future.) - ^z - 2013-09-07

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