Since I've been working with the Tarot de Marseille lately, I thought I would revisit the concept of facing, which in older terminology defines the "gaze" or "regard" of the central figure on each of the trump and court cards. (Is it looking, gesturing or posing toward the left, the right or straight out at the … Continue reading Gaze: Cooperation, Confrontation or Indifference?
In 1966, the English rock band The Yardbirds released the song that was the inspiration for the title of this post. The image it conveys reminds me strongly of something I picked up from the Enrique Enriquez documentary, "Tarology," regarding the structural patterns that are evident in the "pip" cards of the Tarot de Marseille. … Continue reading Over Under Sideways Down
During my intermittent involvement with the Tarot de Marseille (I'm still waiting for that "one book to rule them all"), I've come across the opinion that Batons and Swords are the "hard" suits, while Cups and Coins are "soft." There is some logic to this: both wooden batons (also called staves) and edged metal blades … Continue reading Hard and Soft, Red and Black
I have now added searchable categories for my Waite-Smith, Tarot de Marseille and Lenormand-related posts and am beginning to populate them. These posts aren't as easy to chase down as the Thoth group because they are often tied to broader commentary, so it will take me some time to capture them. As before, use the … Continue reading RWS, TdM and Lenormand Binning
"Some folk rip and roar, some folk b'lieve in signs But if you want me, you got to take your time Because I'm built for comfort, I ain't built for speed" Built for Comfort (Willie Dixon/Howling Wolf) There is something (well, actually 40 "somethings") about the Tarot de Marseill that eludes a facile approach to … Continue reading Tarot de Marseille: Built for Comfort, Not for Speed
I've been slowly and patiently working my way through Alejandro Jodorowsky's Tarot de Marseille book, The Way of Tarot (a full analysis of which will have to wait for another time, assuming I get to the end of it). I came to it prepared to be disappointed, convinced by previous reviews that it veers too … Continue reading Jodo’s Hermit: Walk this Way
Unfortunately, I missed my chance to pick up the self-published edition of Yoav Ben-Dov's brilliant Conver-based Tarot de Marseille while he was still alive. Fortunately, US Games has apparently acquired the license and has just released an admirable version of the CBD tarot at a reasonable price. I performed my "Personality Profile" deck interview spread … Continue reading The CBD Tarot de Marseille Deck Interview
I've worked with the Aleister Crowley/Frieda Harris Thoth deck since 1972 and have been consistently impressed by how evocative the Minor Arcana are, mainly through their use of color and mood along with Crowley's Golden-Dawn-derived titles and brief explanations in The Book of Thoth. I never felt any need for scenic illustrations and their encapsulated … Continue reading The Thoth Minor Arcana
I've been working with the numerological ideas of Joseph Maxwell and the geometric graphics of J.E. Cirlot to come up with a new model for interpreting the Tarot de Marseille pip cards. This involves Maxwell's isomorphs of the first four numbers, and Cirlot's metaphysical interpretations of the point, line, cross, triangle, square and circle. I've … Continue reading Maxwell and Cirlot: Numbers Don’t Lie
That's more than an amusing rhetorical question. One of the most daunting challenges facing those who would divine with historical decks like the Tarot de Mareille (TdM) is how to coax useful meaning from their sparely illustrated, non-scenic minor - or "pip" - cards. There is no body of traditional literature explaining how the stereotypical … Continue reading Do the Pips Roar or Squeak?