Waite’s Celtic Cross: A Critical Analysis

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Imagine that you're an experienced diviner at the beginning of the 20th Century when you first encounter Arthur Edward Waite's "Ancient Celtic Method of Divination" in The Pictorial Key to the Tarot. What would a critical assessment of its advantages and shortcomings suggest to you? (The obviously hand-drawn image below is from the … Continue reading Waite’s Celtic Cross: A Critical Analysis

The Color of Wisdom

In The Way of Tarot, Alejandro Jodorowsky describes the color violet (one of the least prominent colors in his version of the Tarot de Marseille) as the "color of wisdom." As a graphic artist I consider violet a "secondary" color that is a blend of the primary colors red and blue. In esoteric color theory, … Continue reading The Color of Wisdom

The Eights: Concentrated Fulfillment or Adaptation and Adjustment?

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This essay is a reprise of more than one prior post, but I recently came across Alejandro Jodorowsky's extremely favorable assessment of the number 8 in its role as tarot symbolism and felt compelled to restate my case. While some esoteric thinkers consider the number 8 to be the ultimate "perfection" of the … Continue reading The Eights: Concentrated Fulfillment or Adaptation and Adjustment?

Cheating the Hitman: Musings on Death (the Card)

"And when the hitman comesHe knows damn well he has been cheated" - from Twilight Zone by Golden Earring I was listening to the Golden Earring song this morning and thinking about its implications for the traditional Death card of the tarot, in which the skeleton seems to be harvesting human heads. The modern assumption … Continue reading Cheating the Hitman: Musings on Death (the Card)

The “Crucible” Problem-Solving Spread: An Alchemical Approach

While thinking about using the Temperance card as a kind of "talisman" for my reading sessions (an adaptation of another of Alejandro Jodorowsky's ritualistic ideas), I decided to create a spread based loosely on alchemical principles, specifically Aleister Crowely's assumption that the vigorous interaction of Fire and Water release Air. The premise is that one's … Continue reading The “Crucible” Problem-Solving Spread: An Alchemical Approach

“Charging” the Reader and the Reading

In The Way of Tarot, Alejandro Jodorowsky floats the idea of "charging" the Major Arcana cards with personal significance instead of relying on the memorization of traditional keywords, in effect turning them into talismans imbued with the power of our own subjective vision. The implication is that conventional teaching methods based on the tarot literature … Continue reading “Charging” the Reader and the Reading

A Short Essay on Esoteric Color Symbolism

As I learned them long ago, these are the brief esoteric meanings for the primary colors of the visible spectrum as they appear in the cards of the tarot: Red - Desire, Elemental Fire (Suit of Wands: Action, Ambition, Inspiration, Opportunism, Arousal, etc.)Blue - Feeling, Elemental Water (Suit of Cups: Intuition, Sensitivity, Kindness, Inclusiveness, Receptivity, … Continue reading A Short Essay on Esoteric Color Symbolism