Tag: Tarot

Manual of Psychomagic, by Alejandro Jodorowsky

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Alejandro JodorowskyManual of Psychomagic, by Alejandro JodorowskyManual of Psychomagic: The Practice of Shamanic Psychotherapy, by Alejandro Jodorowsky, translated by Rachael LaValley Inner Traditions, 978-1-62055-107-3, 243 pp. (incl. appendix and index) 2009, 2015In essence a self-help spellbook, Alejandro Jodorowsky begins Manual of Psychomagic with a brief introduction outlining his perspective. He believes that many of an individual’s problems (including physical ailments such as psoriasis, cancer, and infectious disease) stem from the effects of misguided parental actions and sociocultural restrictions on one’s unconscious. To allow one’s unconscious to release the tension it holds one must undertake a dramatic ritual. Through the ritual’s performance and the symbolic fulfillment of desires or release of bonds, the unconscious will be satisfied and one’s problems will dissipate.Jodorowsky’s method is as follows: he uses the tarot to discover and diagnose a consultant’s issue and then prescribes them an act to undertake. He states explicitly that psychomagic is not in fact magick, but acts directly on the individual’s psyche. Unfortunately Manual of Psychomagic suffers from a number of endemic flaws -- including one piece of critically misguided advice. Read More

Tarot of Loka

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Tarot of Loka, detail from the back of the cardsThe Tarot of LokaTarot of Loka: A Card Game Based on Medieval Tarot Games, designed by Alessio Cavatore, illustrated by Ralph Horsley Lo Scarabeo, 9780738746753, 80 cards, 61 pp. booklet, 2015Loka is an ancient Sanskrit word meaning world, realm, or level of consciousness, an apt choice for an elemental fantasy game or tarot oracle, but there is no Vedic symbolism on the cards as might be expected. “Good” and “Evil” cards are a clever and original addition to the major arcana, making 80 cards instead of the usual 78.The major arcana are resplendently prominent in this deck, but their divinatory meanings are not. Marketed primarily as a game, the Tarot of Loka’s accompanying booklet does not discuss tarot interpretation, but it does endorse the cards’ use for readings, if desired. Tarot purists may not approve of using the same deck for both gaming and divination, but I like the versatility. After all, divination can be done during all kinds of mundane activities. Loka might be just the thing for bringing tarot into the mainstream as a fun and safe activity. Tarot originated as a card game, so any objections to its use this way are easily refuted. Read More

Prisma Visions Tarot

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Prisma Visions Tarot, by James R. EadsPrisma Visions Tarot, by James R. EadsPrisma Visions Tarot, illustrated by James R. Eads, written by Katherine Tombs James R. Eads, 79 cards, 96 pp. booklet, 2015There have been a number of gorgeous self-published decks coming out in recent years, and the Prisma Visions Tarot ranks high amongst them. It comes packaged in a sturdy flip-top box, with 79 silver gilt-edged cards, and a small booklet outlining the deck’s symbolism and use.This is James R. Eads’ second tarot deck, following the Light Visions Tarot, which was produced in a limited edition of 500 copies, and has since sold out. Unlike his previous deck, the Prisma Visions Tarot is full colour, and is slated to be available indefinitely.The trump cards of the Prisma Visions Tarot are bordered, but for the four suits, each card carries on from the next, creating a panoramic landscape for each suit. The cards have an impressionist feel, and the backgrounds are predominantly dark blue, and give the impression that the scenes take place at night, with the exception of the dusky oranges and yellows of the Pentacles. Read More

Infinity Tarot Deck

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Infinity Tarot Deck, card detailInfinity Tarot DeckInfinity Tarot Deck, artwork by Severino Baraldi, text by Perluca Zizzi Lo Scarabeo, 9780738746357, 78 cards, 36 pp. booklet, 2015The Infinity Tarot is an Italian-designed tarot deck, inspired by these words of mystic poet William Blake, who recognized that the spiritual essence of humankind is imagination.
To see a world in a grain of sand, And heaven in a wild flower, To hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour. -- William Blake
The above quote is inscribed on the tarot box, and the deck itself encapsulates this concept of nature and the infinite. This deck is unique because of the unusual shape of the cards.The cards are rounded like the symbol for infinity, and about the same size as an average tarot deck, though the shape does make the cards a little unwieldy when shuffling, but you get used to it. The back of the cards has a colourful design of creatures and gemstones. They are presented in an elegant box of the same shape. Read More

Creativity and revolution at TarotCon Denver 2015

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Richard Hartnett demonstrates numerology with the Magician at TarotCon Denver 2015

Richard Hartnett demonstrates numerology with the Magician at TarotCon Denver 2015

As a first-time attendee of a TarotCon, or any tarot-themed convention, I didn't know quite what to expect. Writers' conventions and those focused on popular culture, which I’d attended in the past, provided formality and an assortment of presentations housed in large venues.TarotCon Denver 2015 was on a smaller scale, but had a far deeper impact.Tarot acts as both personal tool and a means to better read one's environment. This also holds true when playing with tea leaf readings or spell casting, both of which were also in evidence at this year’s TarotCon.  Read More

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