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
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
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?
"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)
Here's some more fallout from my study of Etteilla; in his reading examples he talks about one card in a spread "falling into" another, and the meaning of both being modified by their interaction. This spread looks suspiciously like "Production Management 101," but I can see it being used for complex personal or group projects.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: The deck in the photograph is the Waite-Smith Centennial Edition in a Tin, which is copyrighted by U.S. Games Systems Inc. of Stamford, CT, used by permission and in accordance with the provisions of Fair Use. In The Way of Tarot, Alejandro Jodorowsky characterizes the Magician as dwelling entirely in the present, and … Continue reading The Archetypal Celtic Cross
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
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
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
AUTHOR'S NOTE: My metaphysical view of the cards of the Minor Arcana has long been steeped in the numerical symbolism of the Hermetic Tree of Life, seasoned with a little Pythagorean number theory. But it can be refreshing to consider other perspectives, and in this example I'm addressing the opinions of Alejandro Jodorowsky in The … Continue reading The Nines: One Foot Out the Door