That the Tarot originated in ancient Egypt as a divinatory tool is a romantic misconception. Ron Decker’s meticulous scholarship will surprise practitioners and academics alike, revealing the Tarot’s true evolution and meanings as its inventor(s) understood it. The Tarot consists of the Minor Arcana, four suits of cards similar to our modern deck, and the Major Arcana, twenty-two allegorical or “trump” cards. Decker says the four-suit deck was invented in Asia Minor before AD 1000; Italian courtiers added the trumps in the 1400s. But Tarot was first used as a game. Tarot divination was only created in the 1700s by a Parisian fortuneteller who based the trump images on Hermeticism, which merges Greco-Egyptian alchemy, astrology, numerology, magic, and mysticism. Today, the suit-cards are often traced to the ancient Jewish Cabala. But, says Decker, they, too, acquired their meanings only in the 1700s, and he cites a lost numerical system based on Cabala at that time Decker’s interpretation integrates three whole systems-astrological, arithmological, mystagogical (concerning initiation rites into the Mysteries). His depth of knowledge makes the book a must-have for serious students of Tarot and esotericism
Originally published in 1992, The Esoteric Scene, Cultic Milieu, and Occult Tarot examines beliefs, practices, and activities described as mystical, psychical, magical, spiritual, metaphysical, theophysical, esoteric, occult, and/or pagan, among other possible labels, by their American disciplines. The book is comprised using a mixture of field work and interviews and provides a broad overview of the esoteric community and the social meanings of occultism. The book describes and analyses social meanings of ‘esoteric culture’ as it is experienced, defined, structured and enacted by societal members and examines the sociological significance of esoteric culture as a formulation of alternative sociocultural realities. It provides a sociological understanding of esoteric culture and the cultural milieu.
In this pioneering scholarly work on occult symbols in literature, the reader is offered a vivid look into how W.B. Yeats, T.S. Eliot, and Franz Kafka-three masters of symbolic expression-utilized Tarot cards in their poetry and prose. Focusing on the Tarot's ancient associations with divine knowledge, its pictorial representation of both the Jewish and Christian Cabala, and the Tarot's more recent pedestrian affiliation with the occult, June Leavitt skillfully demonstrates how Yeats, Eliot, and Kafka align themselves in their uniquely individual ways with the Tarot symbols' mapping of reality. Paying close attention to the mystical nuances of the Tarot, Ms. Leavitt shows how Tarot symbols allow for radically new readings of the texts in which they are situated, and play a transformative role in the three writers' search for God. This search remained indecisive for Kafka, resulted in Eliot's conversion to Anglo-Catholicism, and went hand in hand with Yeats' passion for pagan gods and angels. Visit the author's website at http: //www.spiritualityteaching.com.
This volume presents students and scholars with a comprehensive overview of the fascinating world of the occult. It explores the history of Western occultism, from ancient and medieval sources via the Renaissance, right up to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and contemporary occultism. Written by a distinguished team of contributors, the essays consider key figures, beliefs and practices as well as popular culture.
With ovear 3000 cross-referenced entries this is an invaluable reference to the mystical and esoteric traditions. It gives succinct definitions in the fields of magic hermeticism, alchemy, spiritualism, parapsychology, eastern and western mysticism, mind and consciousness research divination, tarot, and a variety of less welll-known subjects. It also features biographies of leading figures in the field with details of their lives, philosophies and writings- from astrologer Evangeline Adams to the prophet Zarathustra.
In the first book-length study of Tarot cards on the silver screen, Emily E. Auger contextualizes cartomancy – the practice of fortune telling via playing cards – and dives deep into its invention and promulgation in film. After providing an introduction to divination and cartomancy, Auger offers detailed descriptions and analyses of the roles that cartomancy and Tarot cards play in films. The book features a filmography including nearly two hundred films, detailing their relationships to cartomancy. As Tarot communities continue to grow worldwide, Cartomancy and Tarot in Film will be of increasing interest to scholars of esoteric studies, film, folklore, playing cards, popular culture, and religion, as well as diviners the world over.
"Given the historical orientation of philosophy, is it unreasonable to suggest a wider cast of the net into the deep waters of magic? By encountering magical thought as theory, we come to a new understanding of a thought that looks back at us from a funhouse mirror."-from The Occult Mind Divination, like many critical modes, involves reading signs, and magic, more generally, can be seen as a kind of criticism that takes the universe-seen and unseen, known and unknowable-as its text. In The Occult Mind, Christopher I. Lehrich explores the history of magic in Western thought, suggesting a bold new understanding of the claims made about the power of various belief systems. In closely interlinked essays on such disparate topics as ley lines, the Tarot, the Corpus Hermeticum, writing and ritual in magical practice, and early attempts to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics, Lehrich treats magic and its parts as an intellectual object that requires interpretive zeal on the part of readers/observers. Drawing illuminating parallels between the practice of magic and more recent interpretive systems-structuralism, deconstruction, semiotics-Lehrich deftly suggests that the specter of magic haunts all such attempts to grasp the character of knowledge. Offering a radical new approach to the nature and value of occult thought, Lehrich's brilliantly conceived and executed book posits magic as a mode of theory that is intrinsically subversive of normative conceptions of reason and truth. In elucidating the deep parallels between occult thought and academic discourse, Lehrich demonstrates that sixteenth-century occult philosophy often touched on issues that have become central to philosophical discourse only in the past fifty years.
Read Tarot in the Present Moment, Full of Joy, Prosperity, and Peace Fill your heart with abundance and ease by uniting Tarot with the modern mindfulness movement. Combining the card archetypes and meanings with today’s well-researched methods of meditation, this groundbreaking book shows you how to find a clearer path forward through compassion. Mindful Tarot cultivates our capacity to live and love what is unknown and unresolved. It is a practice of patience and openness, encouraging you to embrace the present moment: complete, lavish, and unconstrained. Lisa Freinkel Tishman teaches you to develop skills on three levels: mindful awareness of yourself and your querent, a deeper relationship with your cards, and a transformed understanding of the Tarot system. She also provides exercises, analyses of all 78 cards, and step-by-step examples of her own daily practice.
Western esotericism has now emerged as an academic study in its own right, combining spirituality with an empirical observation of the natural world while also relating the humanity to the universe through a harmonious celestial order. This introduction to the Western esoteric traditions offers a concise overview of their historical development. Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke explores these traditions, from their roots in Hermeticism, Neo-Platonism, and Gnosticism in the early Christian era up to their reverberations in today's scientific paradigms. While the study of Western esotericism is usually confined to the history of ideas, Goodrick-Clarke examines the phenomenon much more broadly. He demonstrates that, far from being a strictly intellectual movement, the spread of esotericism owes a great deal to geopolitics and globalization. In Hellenistic culture, for example, the empire of Alexander the Great, which stretched across Egypt and Western Asia to provinces in India, facilitated a mixing of Eastern and Western cultures. As the Greeks absorbed ideas from Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, and Persia, they gave rise to the first esoteric movements. From the late sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, post-Reformation spirituality found expression in theosophy, Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry. Similarly, in the modern era, dissatisfaction with the hegemony of science in Western culture and a lack of faith in traditional Christianity led thinkers like Madame Blavatsky to look East for spiritual inspiration. Goodrick-Clarke further examines Modern esoteric thought in the light of new scientific and medical paradigms along with the analytical psychology of Carl Gustav Jung. This book traces the complete history of these movements and is the definitive account of Western esotericism.