Tag: Art

A visit to the Museo Dei Tarocchi

By | Leave a comment

Museo Dei Tarocchi, photo by Stacie NoelIn September 2014, I had the opportunity to visit the Museo Dei Tarocchi (Tarot Museum) in Bologna Italy.

Nestled in the mountains of Riola stands a beautiful 400-year-old building restored by Morena Poltronieri and Ernesto Fazoli. The museum is filled with treasures including original esoteric artwork contributed by Italian and international artists, a plethora of tarot decks old and new, rare and unusual texts, mini art installations, and a gift shop to purchase decks made by local artists.

Morena Poltronieri taught me about the history of tarot in Italy, while guiding me along on an informative tour throughout the museum. Tarot artifacts filled the room, from the bottom to the top; an esoteric enthusiasts dream. Continue reading


The Esoteric Secrets of Surrealism, by Patrick Lepetit

By | 1 comment

The Esoteric Secrets of Surrealism, by Patrick LepetittThe Esoteric Secrets of Surrealism, by Patrick Lepetitt
The Esoteric Secrets of Surrealism: Origins, Magic, and Secret Societies, by Patrick Lepetitt
Inner Traditions, 9781620551752, 544 pp. (incl. bibliography and notes), 2014

The Esoteric Secrets of Surrealism symbolizes a reuniting of art, science, and mysticism: the head, body, and heart, all working together.

As an artistic movement surrealism seeks to “resolve the previously contradictory conditions of dream and reality” as a revolutionary act. From the outset, the surrealists declared war on rationality, which had allowed for the atrocities of two world wars to take place, causing French novelist Albert Camus to proclaim that “surrealism’s essential enemy is rationalism.” Devoted anarchists, the surrealists felt that “so long as revolutionaries confine themselves to certain specific aspects of social life without attacking the spiritual structure of society directly,” then they were doomed to failure. This caused poet Tristan Tzara to claim that “the love of ghosts, witchcraft, occultism, magic, vice, dream, madness, passions, true or invented folklore, mythology (or even mystification), social or other kinds of utopias, real or imagined journeys, bric-a-brac, marvels, the adventures and mores of primitive peoples and generally everything that did not fit into the rigid frameworks in which beauty had been placed to identify itself with the mind.”

The surrealists were interested in occult and metaphysical currents from the very beginning — as seen with the Vodou-ispired works of Cuban painter Wifredo Lam, or the explicitly Pagan paintings of Leonora Carrington — although often not in so many words, as they “ventured onto the terrain of mediumship stripped of its spiritualist clutter.” In the process the surrealists would become a kind of secret society and take a similar role to that of the Freemasons or Rosicrucians in the Enlightenment, illuminating and updating the age old mysteries with emerging schools of thought like psychoanalysis, quantum physics, and relativity. Continue reading


William Blake’s Sexual Path to Spiritual Vision, by Marsha Keith Schuchard

By | 3 comments

William Blake's Sexual Path to Spiritual Vision, by Marsha Keith Schuchard

William Blake's Sexual Path to Spiritual Vision, by Marsha Keith Schuchard

William Blake’s Sexual Path to Spiritual Vision, by Marsha Keith Schuchard
Inner Traditions, 9781594772115, 398 pp., 2008

Reading William Blake one cannot help but realize this is a man who is both religious and spiritually active, especially his poems known as the prophecies. The question is what was the nature of his spiritual life? What inspired Blake to create works that are both heavily Christian and at the same time antagonistic to many Christian ideals? The surprising answer is laid out as Schuchard leads us back into the complex religious web of mystical Christianity of the 17th and 18th century.

No clear, singular document exists that explains Blake’s religious life and upbringing, so Schuchard researched and wrote this text as a “reconstruction of the lost religious history of the family of William Blake.” This area is rarely investigated, and considering how bizarre and complicated a picture Schuchard paints it’s not surprising that “sensible academic critics have cautiously refrained from taking the plunge” into this counter-religious culture. Continue reading


Page 1 of 41234