Before he became a tarot star (of sorts), Alejandro Jodorowsky was a maker of exquisitely (or excruciatingly) surrealistic experimental films. I was 24 in 1972 when I first saw El Topo at a midnight drive-in theater screening in Connecticut, and it left a lasting impression (or stain?) on me. A couple of years ago, I … Continue reading Jodo’s New-Age “Art” Films
After a couple of recent conversations with what I can only think of as "traditional tarot snobs" (which is not necessarily a bad thing, it was just painfully obvious that I was talking to a wall), I decided to revisit my opinion of the Waite-Smith deck (if only because the traditionalists damn it so vehemently). … Continue reading Why Waite? Why Now?
The 1984 Dali Universal Tarot was recently reissued by German publisher Taschen, and I received a copy of the updated deck as a gift. While not as sumptuous as the original version (no gilt edges and the card stock is on the lighter side), it is still an impressive product; the large box has a … Continue reading The Dali Universal Tarot Deck Interview
(Full Disclosure: For the moment I'm going to drop back from my current fascination with traditional astrology and revert to my previous incarnation as a New Age psychological astrologer.) I seldom use the meticulous techniques that astrologer Marc Edmund Jones presented in Essentials of Astrological Analysis, but I recently came across a classic case of … Continue reading Oriental Appearance: A Case Study
Value can be a slippery thing; it's not the same for all people and its presence is often apparent only in "the eye of the beholder." In manufacturing, adding value to something is defined as "the amount by which the value of an article is increased at each stage of its production, exclusive of initial … Continue reading A Question of Value
. . . but the curmudgeon is always in! I'm inclined to approach a tarot session as I would a surgical emergency room rather than as an updated 19th Century parlor pastime: "We're going to perform a little triage here, not just exchange polite pleasantries. It could get bloody!" But I'm suspicious that many newcomers … Continue reading The Doctor Is Out
Yesterday I was reading an article that equated geomancy with "earth healing" - that is healing of or through the Earth. This stopped me in my tracks because not only does this usage have absolutely nothing to do with the suffix "mancy," which derives from the ancient Greek word "manteia," meaning divination, it is at odds with … Continue reading Divinatory Revisionism
I sometimes wonder how many people actually make a living wage in the field of divination, much less a handsome income. There are notable exceptions, of course, mostly respected authors, teachers, lecturers, artists, publishers and the occasional shop owner (although those are rapidly disappearing or diversifying in the face of crushing online sales). But I would venture to … Continue reading Craft, Career or Calling?
A comment I encountered on Facebook recently caused me to revisit and reaffirm my reasons for working with the tarot. The woman was arguing against its use for divination, and said "We all know that the original purpose of the tarot was self-improvement." Well, no, actually we don't. Clearly this person doesn't have a clue … Continue reading Love at First Insight
I appreciate the expression mea culpa. It has a contrite, confessional ring to it that in this imperfect world may in fact only be, like the Tarot de Marseille stage-magician's averted glance, an attempt to deflect critical scrutiny (call it moral sleight-of-hand). Bring attention to the little sins and let the big ones go so … Continue reading Mea Culpa, Baby . . . Maybe