Celtic Wisdom Tarot
Text by Caitlin Matthews, art by Olivia Raynor
Destiny Books, 1999 ISBN 0-89281-720-8
The book says: The Rememberer of Lore transmits the wisdom of traditions by which we all live. The essential lore that we need to keep over before us is sung by the bard. What song is guiding you at this time?
Keywords: Tradition, Meditation, Exposition of ideas, Remembrance, Genius, Performance, Spiritual counsel, Sacred lore, Faithful maintenance.
Reversed: Hidebound or conformist concepts, Muddling, Misinformation, propaganda or conspiracy, Forgetfulness, adherence to narrow views.
TarotBroad’s Buzz: This card speaks to me of the Bardic tradition in Celtic culture. The Bard was much more than a storyteller and singer. He memorized the genealogy of the kings, the myths and legends of the tribe, tribal law and the wisdom of the people. There are tales of Bards whose curses brought kingdoms crashing down. This card represents the keeper of traditions and lore. The one who passes the knowledge down to the younger generation to ensure it continues.
It is actually one of the more positive Hierophant images I’ve ever seen. When I see this card it reminds me that traditions and ancient legends are the foundations upon which our culture and history is based. It reminds of the saying that those who do not remember history are condemned to repeat it (or something like that) and that is why the Rememberer is so important. If we don’t learn from the tales of our ancestors then we will continue to make the same mistakes and never advance to the next step in the cycle. The Rememberer serves as our spiritual guide along the path.
At the same time he appears isolated and solitary. The wreath that surrounds him also serves to separate him from others. The Bard may need to be solitary in order to focus his energy and his mind upon his art. But he may also be solitary because those who remind us of the past may often raise issues we prefer not to face. On some level this serves to connect him with the Hermit. He cannot be alone because by its nature his work requires him to go out amongst the people to hear their stories and to share them with others. But his travels may also prevent him from putting down roots in community. So while he can help others learn and remember the tales and traditions of our ancestors, he also serves as the thread connecting different communities to each others; part of the pattern and yet separate. He teaches the lore but does not necessarily participate in the making of the history.