The Way of Tarot: The Spiritual Teacher in the Cards
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Filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky’s insights into the Tarot as a spiritual path
• Works with the original Marseille Tarot to reveal the roots of Western wisdom
• Provides the key to the symbolic language of the Tarot’s “nomadic cathedral”
• Transforms a simple divination tool into a vehicle for self-realization and healing
Alejandro Jodorowsky’s profound study of the Tarot, which began in the early 1950s, reveals it to be far more than a simple divination device. The Tarot is first and foremost a powerful instrument of self-knowledge and a representation of the structure of the soul.
The Way of Tarot shows that the entire deck is structured like a temple, or a mandala, which is both an image of the world and a representation of the divine. The authors use the sacred art of the original Marseille Tarot--created during a time of religious tolerance in the 11th century--to reconnect with the roots of the Tarot’s Western esoteric wisdom. They explain that the Tarot is a “nomadic cathedral” whose parts--the 78 cards or “arcana”--should always be viewed with an awareness of the whole structure. This understanding is essential to fully grasp the Tarot’s hermetic symbolism.
The authors explore the secret associations behind the hierarchy of the cards and the correspondences between the suits and energies within human beings. Each description of the Major Arcana includes key word summaries, symbolic meanings, traditional interpretations, and a section where the card speaks for itself. Jodorowsky and Costa then take the art of reading the Tarot to a depth never before possible. Using their work with Tarology, a new psychological approach that uses the symbolism and optical language of the Tarot to create a mirror image of the personality, they offer a powerful tool for self-realization, creativity, and healing.
numbers on my right, because in Eastern traditions even numbers are considered passive and the odd numbers active, and because the right side is considered active and the left passive. I compared the ornamentation of Western temples with Eastern ones. On the facade of Gothic cathedrals, for example, Notre Dame of Paris, an androgynous Jesus Christ, standing between an earthly dragon and a heavenly dragon, gives us his blessing. On the portal to his right (or to our left as spectators) stands the
flesh-colored, one of whom we have already seen is an herbivore animal traditionally dedicated to service and sacrifice, and the other an angel, the messenger of divine love. On this side the woman is holding a purse or a flask, which is to say a receptive container. Traditionally, psychologically speaking, the left represents the receptive and stabilizing forces as opposed to the active right. If we use our study of The World as our basis, the Tarot seems to function like a mirror that reflects
current incarnation. In reality, you will live in other forms for as long as the universe lives.” Later in France I worked with Marcel Marceau, who bestowed Introduction 5 on me the greatest honor ever granted in his troupe: to show, while motionless in a suggestive pose, the placards announcing the title of his pantomimes. This was how, transformed into a statue of flesh, I traveled through a number of countries for five years. Marceau put all of himself, body and soul, into each
child’s posterior there; between the flames (or the feathers or the tail of some entity) and the crown of The Tower I spotted the head of a ghost, and so on. Because the drawings often seemed to extend beyond their rectangular frames, countless questions surged into my mind. Did The Magician’s table have a fourth leg outside of the card? What is The Hanged Man hiding in his hands? What is The Fool carrying in his sack? What is behind The High Priestess’s veil? Is the prince of The Chariot a dwarf
227 XVIII La Lune/The Moon 235 XVIIII Le Soleil/The Sun 241 XX Le Jugement/Judgment 247 XXI Le Monde/The World 253 Part three The Minor Arcana Opening: The Humble Guardians of the Secret 260 To Begin 269 The Degrees of the Numerology The Aces 271 271 The Twos The Threes The Fours The Fives The Sixes The Sevens The Eights The Nines The Tens The Numerological Degrees by Suit Swords • Cups • Wands • Pentacles The Honors or Court Cards The Pages The Queens The Kings The Knights A