Rachel Pollack – Tarot Author
In 2008, Rachel Pollack (Tarot author) was in Adelaide, South Australia, for some workshops. I was able to catch up with her for an interview, and in this part of our talk, we discussed her first book on Tarot.
Rachel: I don’t think I was thinking about it in that way. I felt there was something worth saying though… I’d been writing fiction, and not getting very far with it, and then I thought that because I’d been teaching Tarot, maybe I should write about that. I decided that my audience was people who had a sensitivity for spiritual ideas, but who didn’t necessarily know anything about it. So it treats readers as people who are smart enough and sensitive enough to spirituality to get it, but it doesn’t start by assuming they’re already involved. So anybody can read it—that’s the way it seems to me anyway…
Don: When Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom was republished in the one volume recently, were there many changes that you wanted to make to it?
Rachel: The biggest change was to the section on The Moon, because when I wrote it I was very much following the occult tradition of seeing the moon as insanity and dangerous. Since getting involved in Goddess worship and ritual and nature, I really came to see the Moon quite differently. I realised that to some extent it was a patriarchal bias of the occult tradition that sees the moon as fearful. There’s this beautiful book about Kabbalah called Dreams of Being Eaten Alive, by David Rosenberg, and he has this wonderful line in it, where he says, “The most important thing to remember about Kabbalah is that it’s always a mistake to clarify it.” I feel that about Tarot too. It’s always a mistake to start explaining it—to say this is this and this is this—and to have it all as this big list in your head.