This is probably how Scientology started.

I've always loved the occult. That's not to say I *believe* in it -- but there's something fascinating about the rules and connections interwoven into that material. It simultaneously makes the world more straightforward, and more convoluted. If you believe in magic, it makes the world easier to control, but it still allows a greater sense of accomplishment for those who can control it. In some ways, it's the same feeling that a new gadget gives you... I suppose Arthur C. Clarke's maxim about "sufficiently advanced technology" applies to the user as well as the audience!

And with that in mind, I've often wondered about other ways to merge the modern world with the arcane. I've developed zodiacs based on Top 40 hits, and I've written exorcism rituals for scientific equipment. But now, I think I've got a new favourite project:

A tarot deck based on quantum mechanics.

Specifically, I'm working with the above chart - this is the "Standard Model", an organisation of all the categories of indivisible particles in the universe. This will make a deck of 17 cards, and I'll add one more for the Graviton - not only is it still a great mystery, but it'll translate nicely into "the great unknown" when I'm assigning themes and characteristics to each card.

Photon: a massless particle of light, it carries its message to the ends of the universe. It signifies communication and distance, and indicates upcoming travel.

Top Quark: At 173 GeV/c2, this is the heaviest of all particles. Paradoxically, the mass which makes it too short-lived to bond with other quarks also allows it to be viewed independently with relative ease. This suits its other name, Truth, quite well. It signifies judgement and independence, and indicates a challenge in the future.

There's also the means of divination to consider here... I think it'll be based upon drawing the cards in threes, since that's how many quarks fit into a hadron (e.g. proton). Oh, and then, maybe to differentiate this system from Tarot decks a bit more, I'll replace one card with another to symbolise decay... except, of course, that I'll make it known that decay is part of the natural cycle of life and cosmic existence, and it can be a force for renewal as well as destruction, and so on.

I think this is going to be a lot of fun. Thanks for reading this, and stay tuned for updates!


Adam said...

This is a great idea. While I can pretend I understand relativity, I make no such claims about quantum mechanics: it just does make sense! Adding a bunch of tarot hokum on top of it all won't make it any worse. :-)

Corwyn said...

I hope you're not going to make people sign billion year contracts to live on your quantum entangled, tarot image decorated fleet of boats. Good old L. Ron Hubbard!

Although now that I think about it, his fixation with boats does explain where he got "thetan" from. "I was out on my boat trying to think up terms for the religion I'm creating and forgot to put on enough sunscreen. The tan I got is fairly dark. Hey! Thetan!"

About The Author

My photo

Canadian explorer. Chemist by training, biologist by nature. Long-time supporter and participant in National Novel Writing Month. Known as "Aquadeo" in most Internet circles. Also known as "that guy with the pants" to people who have seen me in certain pants.