An Obscura Day Trip into the Six of Swords

April 28th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Today is International Obscura Day. I wrote about it a few weeks ago. It’s a day sponsored by Atlas Obscura and is dedicated to seeking out and exploring unusual places.

Since this is The Tarot Room, I thought we might seek out an obscure place in Tarot, and wondered if we could find something unfamiliar in the landscape of the very familiar RWS deck.

6 of Swords from the Smith Waite Tarot

The card I randomly drew for this journey was the 6 of Swords, a very appropriate card.

It shows three people travelling by boat, perhaps on their way to an obscure place of their own.

Though the trio in the boat seems to be moving past them, I can’t help but notice the two islands in the background of the card.

I’ve never really considered these islands before. What a perfect obscure destination for today.

Since I can’t crawl into the image, I did the next best thing and pulled a card asking … what’s on the two islands pictured in the 6 of Swords?

10 of Swords from the Smith Waite Tarot

The card I got was the 10 of Swords – pretty scary, we might not want to go there. The card shows a guy laying face down with ten swords in his back. There’s water behind him and dark clouds above.

Hmmm … not exactly what I expected. It looks like there’s been a murder of some sort on the island, or at least within the context of Tarot, the death of an idea. Swords represent ideas, thoughts, and ways of thinking.

The 10 of Swords specifically points to the end of a particular paradigm, or view of the world. When it appears, there’s no holding onto how you used to see things. The choice is only to move forward, with a new direction, and sense of purpose.

Not unlike the sense of direction and purpose exhibited by the three people in the boat. They know not to waste their time on distractions and won’t maroon themselves on the island.

Like the card they represent, they’re thinking is clear, balanced, and focused. They move steadily towards their goal while staying evenly afloat. Emotions and thoughts are in a comfortable union.

So it turns out that our obscure place might be obscure for a reason, and I for one don’t plan on going back. It taught me a little more about the 6 of Swords though, and for that alone, our Obscura voyage was worth the trip.

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Obscura Day 2012

April 4th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Obscura Day 2012

Saturday, April 28th is Obscura Day – an international celebration of unusual places.

The day is organized by the people at Atlas Obscura, which describes itself as ‘a compendium of the world’s wonders, curiosities and esoterica.’

While looking at their website, I see that today’s featured places include the Kherwra Salt Mines, the Giant Crystals of Naica, and the Kingdom of Boomeria. All are definitely unusual, as are some of the tours organized for Obscura Day itself.

In Kyonan, Japan you can visit the 1553 stone-carved monks at the Nihon-ji temple, while in Los Angeles you can join Maja’s Mysteries’ esoteric tour of LA.

Mitch Horowitz is doing his Occult Tour of New York City, and in Toronto, Mysterion promises an evening of the unusual and bizarre.

Less mysterious, but at least as interesting is the chance to visit the world’s second largest particle accelerator in Batavia, Illinois, or take a tour below the streets of Sacramento.

In England, the Chislehurst Caves will be open after dark, or for those in Berlin, join a street art tour and take part in a graffiti workshop.

But if nothing’s planned in your area, don’t despair. Consider creating your own event and join the Obscura fun.

Or at the very least, take the opportunity of Obscura Day to look around your own neighbourhood. You never know what curiosities you might find.

Here’s some clips from last year’s events …

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