Many asked me this question and I have no answer. I do not even know if the question itself is correct.
Then one day a woman tarot card reader who is quite famous said that women have special gift, (perhaps she meant intuition) than men can ever have.That would explain why women were far superior to men tarot card readers or as tarot card readers.
I am neither in a position to accept or reject.
This impression and controversy may have arisen because Hindi news channels have a bevy of tarot card readers, lean, chubby, slim and fat, emaciated looking and overfed women talking glibly in good Hindi, grimacing, gesturing,shuffling cards, carrying themselves smartly, answering questions put to them instantaneously and intelligently with some safe prevarication and flinging broad smiles sometimes. Some of those smiles can break the glass of my television set.
A cynical male astrologer,quite irritated with these women tarot card readers said that these women need not be accurate but it suits them because tarot card reading needs no brains and interpretative skill. An impressive chatty style women master so well is all that is needed to answer questions through tarot cards he insisted. His further explanation was that tarot cards had no range, no depth. It was a ludicrously shallow technique to answer question. He was speaking from experience he insisted. I do not take the opinion of this astrologer seriously who thinks that women have no brains and is against my encouraging women astrologers. He goes to the extent of saying that santaan (progeny) used in astrological texts refers only to male children.
Here I disagreed with him reminding him of the Prashna Shlaka in the Ramcharit Manas of Tulsidas or Hanumad Jyotish which too answered many questions in only â€œyesâ€ or â€œnoâ€ without any elaborate reasoning as astrologers do, were used brilliantly by some devout men and women.
But my friend had last laugh when he said again â€œa womanâ€! I was then like a cricketer who go out hit wicket !!
But the answer and the right explanation still eludes me. I studied about tarrot cards for a day or two and did not pursue it. It did appear to me to be a very shallow approach I thought. But I decided to remain unprejudiced and no one has convinced me that tarrot cards can be good predictive tool.
Himachal version of Tarrot Cards
In 2001, when I had gone to Mussorie Academy of Officers to deliver a lecture, I was told by the wife of an old friend, an IAS officer, that in Himachal Pradesh something like tarrot cards did exist in villages with paintings of Shoorpanakha, Mandodari etc, of the Ramayana to answer questions similarly. How accurate and reliable were they she did not know not having tried it she told me. But she did say that it was mostly women who did it !
I had heard of a well known astrologer ,Deepak Kapoor of Prashana fame, giving four out of five predictions correctly in a one day match series very correctly. When I asked him, he said that he took the start of an innings as his basis, not prashna. I too did it in 1974 but later did not forget it into a good tool of astrological predictive tool. On the other hand Manoj Pathak has answered such questions on the basis of Prashna with a high percentage of success. I decided not to know the outcome of these matches as it reduces my enjoyment of the game and quietens the palpitation of tantalizing moments of a match.
Was there anything more elaborate than tarrot cards and less complicated than astrology my IAS friendâ€™s wife had asked me. I said that I could think of Ramal which is perhaps the gifts of West Asian Muslim countries to India during the Moghul period of Indian history.
I have seen some brilliant, even hair raising prediction done through Ramal and I learnt it for a week and gave it up as I had no time to do both Ramal and astrology. I have reasons to place Ramal far above tarrot cards.
Predictions about the World Cup
The reason for my discussing it is that I am seeing on a television channel a sumptuous looking woman reading tarrot cards and predicting the outcome of Indian performance in Cricket World Cup first by saying that India had forty five and later modifying it, sixty five percent chances of India reaching semi finals. Anyone one of us could have made such a prediction without shuffling any cards.
She did say that Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be a match winner and Saurav Ganguly will be the pivot around whom would be woven the stories of Indian victories. On these two points she seemed to speak with lot of confidence.
But nothing happened with Indian Cricket Team.