Synesthesia Experiment Spread
On This Day
Synesthesia stems from the Greek words syn (“together”) and aisthesis (“perception”). The word literally means “joined perception.”
Pamela Colman Smith was born this day in 1878. Smith paved the way for intuitive tarot reading when she illustrated the minor arcana for the first time since the fifteenth century’s Sola Busca deck.
Summation of Spread
Synesthesia, common among artists, connects to the Empress card, who embodies the imagination. From the possible pregnancy she displays under her flowing garments to the number 3 signifying two forces combined to create a third, the Empress is the essence of creation.
Smith had a high degree of synesthesia, a condition where one sense, like sight, is perceived with an additional sense, like hearing. For instance, hearing a Beethoven concerto, you also taste chocolate. Upon hearing the concerto, you would always experience the taste of chocolate. In fact, Smith created artwork by listening to Beethoven’s Piano Sonata no. 11 and other pieces of music. This spread is an experiment to discover whether you have these qualities and explore your connection to your senses.
Cast Your Cards
Ask yourself each question; answer with a yes or a no. If the answer is yes, you have synesthesia. If the answer is no, take the question a bit further by answering the second question (in italics) in correlation with a flip of the card.
1. Do numbers or letters cause a color experience to me?
What color is the number 9?
2. Do calendar days and months have a specific taste to me? What does October taste like?
3. Do sounds produce colors in my head?
What color is a honking car horn?
4. Do certain words ever trigger a taste in my mouth?
What does the word authority taste like?
5. Does touching objects produce a smell?
When I feel soft silk, what does it smell like?