I do know that it’s wrong to use your mobile phone while driving but I just had to in this case. Fortunately I was in a traffic queue and just after I spotted this advert there was serendipity. Given the hurry I was in and the distance of the bus from me I’m quite pleased with how the picture turned out.
What surprised me about the advert was partly that Fashion History should have been something starting with a T to match the tarot part of that sentence and I think KAE missed the point of how those literary devices work. The main surprise in this advert was to see KAE advertising courses in Tarot. I don’t think they should.
Tarot is either the name for a pack of cards used in Europe for about 400 years or tarot refers to the practice of conning people with bullshit, from Wikipedia: “the late 18th century, some tarot decks began to be used for divination via tarot card reading and cartomancy leading to custom decks developed for such occult purposes.”. I’m guessing that this reference to Tarot on this advert isn’t just about the design of the cards but more likely to be about the spooky divination of said cards. Let’s see.
As I type this I’ve got another tab open [actually it’s a whole browser on my other screen] and I am going to look through the tarot information on the KAE website. The first thing I noticed in the search results is that there are two course and they don’t cost as much as I thought they would, but the socialist in me does think that if people want to further their education then it should be free of cost, however I do understand the modern world.
In a moment I am going to click on the more information hyperlinks and see where that takes me. Le Boutillier. Hmm. Le Boutillier. Very sensible choosing a name that sounds like it’s from New Orleans or of French descent. It gives you a certain credence in this realm of tarot. It could be that Le Boutillier is their birth name but I suspect not, I will try and find out.
Understanding the Tarot is an online course run out of the Tonbridge part of KAE. It’s a basic course for anyone “wishing to understand how Tarot reading can be commonly used to measure potential outcomes and evaluate influences surrounding a person, an event, or both.” So this is a course in nothing. There’s a little bit about understanding the 22 Major Arcana cards but the rest of it is absolute nothing. Oh well.
Creativity and Inspiration with Tarot is an online course [sensible in a pandemic] and it is basically learning how to make up shit in story form from the cards that you have. So I guess it’s about using your imagination. There isn’t anything about telling the future or past but just the story aspect of the cards. The tutor for this course is Martin Laya Rey. Almost definitely not their real name and made up to sound exotic. I’ll see what they say about themselves shortly.
Ally Le Boutillier. Her biography on KAE says “a Reiki Practitioner, Hypnotherapist, Bereavement Counsellor and Numerologist.” Of those things there only one is actually a real thing to do and even then, given her other practices I wonder if she can counsel people without resorting to after-life souls stuff. Now to google and see what happens. Oddly she does not have her own website, there’s some things on Linkedin and Facebook but I’m not trawling through those sites. It does appear that Le Boutillier is her last name, she mentions her late father and his name is the same. Perhaps I was harsh about that. She does have a YouTube channel and she has a playlist called Deepak Chopra. That is all you need to know. Deepak is a man who utters such vague rubbish that those who believe the supernatural love him.
Martin Laya Rey has two google results and that is the page at KAE and an advert tweet for a cook at a cafe in a cinema. This is super odd. Maybe I’m the odd older person as I have a number of google results for my name. It seems odd that no one else is called that also. So, I have no other information on this person. I could go to Facebook but I don’t like making myself busy on that site, they are immoral. In terms of names I have no idea from web results if it is their actual name so let’s go with a yes.
My conclusions. This stuff seems harmless enough. Tarot is a giggle if you take it as a bit of fun. I guess it’s like a Ouija game – which is a game and the science of it is well known – the problem is when people take these things seriously and start taking the advice of the cards. There is a false hope in the idea that there are super natural things and even more false hope that they are communicating to us through vague symbols and other people. The legitimacy provided to tarot by it being an official course on an adult education platform does not help and is one of the ways that practitioners are able to claim that they do a real thing. It’s a bit like the reiki poster up in the doctors surgery. Reiki is rubbish but gets condoned because it has a poster up in a place of goodness.