The Art & Business Of Fortune Telling

Oct 11, 2011

One of the many things I love about the Canadian novelist Robertson Davies is the way his otherwise orderly, scholarly, reasonable Canadian characters are forever bumping up against the realms of the obscure which include, to borrow a list from another Davies fan, alchemy, saints' legends, Gypsy wisdom, tarot cards, shamanistic rituals, Anglo-Catholicism, and Jungian psychology. Davies rarely seems to endorse any of the above. He simply notes that they exist and that some people use them in interesting ways.

As we get ready to do a show on tarot cards, I'm already bracing for the now-familiar cascade of complaints from hardcore NPR hyper-rationalists, and I wish I knew what Davies would say. Maybe that you don't have to go looking for this stuff. It's all around you. And avoiding it is, in its own way, an act of will and an esoteric choice: a decision about the way one's own consciousness explores the universe.

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