History, Science and the Poetry of Tarot
In this ArkLetter we are going to follow a chain of very large, circular and interrelated ideas. It has been a truly magical February, powerful and healing, every part of which has a bearing on the Tarot of the Holy Light, its significance as a pack of cards, and the alchemical worldview that it represents. With the culmination of February, I'm convinced that evolutionary forces are converging and intensifying as we move forward in time.
Sparks Fly at Tarot History FB
One event came and went shortly after the last Arkletter posted. A new Tarot group has formed up at Facebook, with most of the modern historical researchers of the world gathered there. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1457073457838971/) I, too, was invited, though it took me a few days to notice and respond. The originator of the group set out a question (among others on different topics) that seemed like something I could speak to. The question was, "Why did Levi put the Fool card on the letter Shin?"
This is a perfect question to attract my attention, so, Fool that I am, I entered into the conversation. Facebook members can still revisit the thread, which I'm not going to recapitulate here. It is potentially instructive to read through, and is open to the public, so interested parties are encouraged to wander by. (You'll need to scroll down a ways to find it, since almost a month has gone by since then.)
The value of the Facebook experience for me was to witness an up-to-the-minute performance of the state of Tarot discourse among my contemporaries. I certainly felt some distinct tinges of past episodes at the old watering hole of yore, TarotL. It was a fresh reminder of the principle that the one who forms the question and sets the boundaries around the discussion can create conditions wherein no coherent answer can emerge. The true gold for me came from the strongly etched snapshot I received of the strategies and structures being used to hold people away from learning about the fundaments of magic and esotericism (and therefore Tarot) in European culture.
The Facebook discussion was surreal in that we were ostensibly discussing Levi's esoteric logic, wishing to know why Eliphas Levi made a certain alphabetarian-magical decision that affected the stream of Tarot that followed on after his influence. I love these kinds of endeavors, and deeply enjoy sleuthing out all the implications and ramifications of the alphabetarian magic, as my readers know full well. Yet in the middle of the Facebook discussion, the moderator aggressively asserted that he "believes" there is no basis for investigating prior usage of the alphabet in Tarot, or magic, or any other context, even asserting that I was breaking an unspoken common code by bringing such a thing up!
For context, let me remark that the Levi's quotes under discussion were extracted from a book entitled The Doctrine and Ritual of Transcendental Magic! Nevertheless, current Tarot History rules dictate that the Tarot-specific component of Levi's ideas must be utterly bleached out and wrung free of any magical implications, historical or contemporary, without exception. Tarot Historians (at least the Facebook kind) cannot investigate the history of this alphabetarian predeliction that Levi clearly has, because our moderator has already decided that there is no "there" there! I find this odd in the extreme.
Additionally, despite everybody's fondness for Court de Gebelin and de Mellet, who wrote about Tarot in the Masonic context of Etteilla's day, it is apparently illegal to mention or cite any research that throws further light on the Lodges and Orders, at risk of being called a "religious kook" for admitting such things existed. Eventually it became clear that this crowd's preferred method of research involves looking up the word Tarot in the index of any resource proffered for documentation and scrutiny. If the word Tarot doesn't appear in the index, even academic sourceworks dealing with coincident and interpenetrating subjects are deemed inappropriate, thrown wholesale out of consideration! Apparently I am the only one who sees a contradiction in self-professed "historians" adopting these operative premises.
Now that we have had an up-to-the-minute snapsnot of what the Facebook Historians "believe", I will finish answering this fascinating question, taking the whole previous conversation as backdrop.
Why did Levi put the letter Shin on the Fool?
The Lodges of Levi's time were still recovering from the schisms that happened in Etteilla's era, during which the partisans of Martinez de Pasqually struggled against the partisans of Emanuel Swedenborg for the reputation of leading the "most powerful magical lodge in Europe". Both of these Illuminists were in the spotlight of public acclaim, as promulgators of the most efficacious self-cultivation practices in Europe at the time. Swedenborg was Martinez's Masonic initiator, so there was a loyalty issues in play among other things. Once Pasqually reached the highest levels of Masonry, he chose to start a Lodge under his own authority. Basing his new Order on his Portugese-Jewish father's Masonic charter (rather than following in Swedenborg's footsteps), Pasqually brought forth a teaching steeped in Hebrew magical traditions, backed up by Tantric insights from the Hindu Yoga tradition.
Swedenborg, meanwhile, had devoted the 2nd half of his life to constructing a "Christianized" praxis with roots in Arabic practices, using fact-checking help from the illustrious Dr. Falk, another known savaunt of the day. Swedenborg's overall approach wasn't as austere and demanding for the practitioner as the Hindu-flavored approach of Martinez, thus Swedenborg's paradigm was considered more comfortable to the psychology of Europeans. Both of these charismatic leaders tied their esoteric syntheses to the Hebrew Alphabet, thus focusing a HUGE amount of attention on the inner meanings of the letters and their interrelations with other esoteric code systems including Astrology, Kabbalah and Tarot.
The salient point is, the alphabet was not a neutral or background topic in the 1700's or the 1800's, but was instead a foreground preoccupation. These two occult currents were just a fraction of the vast multicultural webwork of "secret studies and practices" that grew like mushrooms in Europe after the Crusades. Some of the developments in this arena necessarily took place behind closed doors, but some developments were visible in cultural and commercial circles. What is necessary is to piece the WHOLE body of evidence together, matching up the underground and inner-Lodge developments with what clues we find in the public records. If we overlook the evidence for Lodge involvement, leaving huge swaths of the historical record rejected out of hand, then nobody will ever understand the full story, meaning the apprehension of Tarot's full identity lags behind. I could cue up a whole academic bibliography on "the search for the perfect esoteric language", documenting the HUGE stream of Illuminist discourse and magical exploration that filled the Lodges and Orders of Old Masonry, since the scholars just keep mining it out of the archives. But for the moment I'll assume that my reader already understands the meaning of the alphabet in the estimation of occultists in Levi's era, or is doing their own confirmatory research.
An Illustration to Help Us Visualize the Issues
To move from the theoretical to the practical for a minute, let's pick up our cards and do a little thought-exercise. Simultaneous to the Facebook conversation, I have been engaged in a passionate esoteric conversation with Stewart S. Warren over the last month (about whom I will remark below in another context). The contrast created a fascinating mirrored experience for me. Using scans of the modern Jean Noblet reproduction by Flornoy, Warren connected the Trumps to their letters in their traditional 3/7/12 locations on the Tree. For his own reasons, he wanted to illustrate the difference between having the Fool on Shin or on Tav, contrasting the Old Continental and Modern Continental correspondences in action. The issues fall out as follows:
*When the Fool takes residence on the crossbar between the eyes (on Shin), then the World takes its place on the final path from Yesod to Malkuth (the letter Tav).
*The World takes residence on the crossbar between the eyes (on Shin), and the Fool takes its place on the final path between Yesod and Malkuth (Tav).
Here is the Kabbalah Tree with the Fool as Tav, thanks to Stewart Warren, illustrated with the Flornoy edition of the Jean Noblet Tarot:
Here we can see how the Trumps would arrange themselves upon the Tree if one simply followed a one-to-one correspondence between the traditional Trump numbers and the Hebrew letters. The twelve Trumps that represent the signs are the diagonal lines that stitch the three pillars together. The three Trumps carrying the Mother Letters sit on the crossbars of the pelvic, heart, and supernal triangles. The seven Planetary Trumps make up the upright bars of the three Pillars. This is the ancient usage which would have been perfectly clear to anybody who was familiar with the astro-alpha-numeric correspondences that have grounded western magic in the alphabet for thousands of years.
This shows us very directly the consequence of switching The World and The Fool in the sequence of the letters. (We can leave aside for a minute the fact that Trump#21 would have signified Shin to a Kabbalist because Shin is the 21st letter in the alpahbet.) According to the Hebrew traditions regarding the Alphabet on the Tree, the Trump given to Shin would be placed between the two eyes in the Supernal Triangle, essentially on the third-eye point. Meanwhile, the Trump that is given to Tav by default occupies the final path, from Yesod to Malkuth.
Repositioning these two letters/Trumps upon the Tree would clearly have stunningly different consequences for the meditator or mystic who was using this construct as a guide for his or her spiritual work. Switching them one way or the other begs a second question ; "Why does Levi put Tav on The World?" What does this switch do to the operative experience of self-cultivation through the Trumps on the Tree? What was Levi thinking when he introduced this novelty into the settled stream of astro-alpha-numeric tradition?
I would submit that these differences signal the distinction between two different approaches towards the Hebrew mysteries and the spiritual practices that were favored during the Enlightenment. The approach in our illustration was standard practice (grounded in the Sefer Yetzirah) up to the era of Etteilla, as exemplified in the Elus Cohen students of Martinez de Pasqually (Fool as Tav). The alternate approach, favored by Levi, is based on a model sponsored by Emmanuel Swedenborg, which Levi and his contemporaries determined should be the model for the mass mind leading into the 20th century (Fool as Shin).
To my mind, people who lack a grasp of the historic function of the Hebrew alphabet relative to the Kabbalah Tree (thus the Trump placements on the Paths according to the Sefer Yetzira), won't have a clue how to evaluate what Levi or his contemporaries were thinking about when they made this determination. Am I saying this clearly enough? Nobody has to bother with the astro-alpha-numeric matrix that is part of the historical inheritence of Western Esotericism, but if we are dealing with a historical figure who was organizing his thinking via the Alphabet, then the researcher needs to learn what that means in the relevant time and context!
There's plenty more to talk about on this subject, but for now we can leave it at that.
Higher Octaves of the Same Conversation
In my Quabbalistic exchange with Stewart Warren, he asked the question, "How did you determine the correspondences for the Tarot of the Holy Light?"
My answer was:
" I used only elements that were current in the cultural circumstance around Jacob Boehme, at the crack of the 1600's:
* Ptolomy's Almagest and Tetrabiblos provide the core astrology and astro-alchemy.
* Lull's interwoven elemental trines distribute the suits around the Zodiac.
* The designation of the degrees in decanates with their elemental sub-rulers is found in the Seals of Solomon.
* The Sefer Yetzirah puts the letters on the Trumps (matching the trump numbers to the letters).
* The Zero (Fool) is understood to be "zed" in Latin, with the same significance as Omega in Greek and Tav in Hebrew, (as in the name A-zoth in alchemy meaning "full-circle, all-inclusive, beginning to end"). Thus the Fool belongs at the end of the Trump sequence, on the path for Tav.
* The Numbers 1 - 10 are understood just as Decker has finally admitted, as the stations of the Tree and also (simultaneously) the stations of the Pythagorean Tetractys, as taught by Gikatilla.
* We can also include influence from Dee's Monas Hieroglyphica, since Dee was writing in the generation immediately before Boehme. Boehme's emphasis on the planetary pairs in their alchemical relationships matches Dee's exactly.
The thing is, once this "consciousness molecule" of the Tree/Tatractys/Wheel is fully assembled and working in one's body/mind, it becomes obvious that the planets going around the Zodiac are constantly influencing the life-force in the Tree to descend, with each moving body in the heavens advancing the action at its own speed. For the human experience, "time" travels down the backbone (Middle Pillar) along the diagonal paths that hold the signs. Also the will-force travels "down" the Mother Pillar (following the Wet Way) to have its impact on Malkuth, the Earth.
On the literal other hand, the fruits of one's metanoia, re-orientation or "turnaround" slowly grow as one follows the momentum of the Wheel, to re-climb the lightning-bolt path (from "below", as we have it in the THL) to eventually become adepts of the Dry Way, moving UP the Father Pillar, returning grace and thanksgiving to Source. Boehme asserts that when we have wrapped all the feminine properties (Venus, Mercury, Moon) around to complete and harmonize with the wrathful masculine properties (Mars, Jupiter, Saturn), our seven chakras will fuse down to three, similar to what we see on the THL Fool. The artist of that Fool image, out of modesty, placed all three centers a little low on the body, to cover the crotch. But these three orbs are meant to signify Yesod (summarizing the Saturn/Moon pair), Tifaret (deputizing Jupiter and Mercury to the Sun) and Daat (seat of the Creative Word, Sophia, and the Mars/Venus pair)."
Now we have a little more context for this 'sophisticated' topic. I'm including here all the esoteric implications of the word SOPHIStication (pertaining to the biblical Sophia as well as Ophis the snake). When we are engaging in esoteric discourse, there are always multiple levels being addressed at the same time. One has to learn to ask the right questions, or one will never be able to penetrate to the levels where answers can be found. Those who forget this reality run the risk of overlooking the very thing they claim to be seeking. (Isn't there a Grail legend or Rosicrucian fairy tale out there somewhere that reminds us of this eternal truth?)
A Look Into the Cosmic Mirror
On the flip side of the historical coin, let's shift our attention to a very recent presentation from Susan Joy Rennison, my favorite astrotheolgist and archeo-physicist to date. She just finished a speaking tour at Delft University, and has generously shared a you-tube video with the world from her presentations there.
I love Rennison and truly resonate with with her struggle to be heard over all these years. Starting from the perspective of a layperson she became a self-educating dynamo and over nearly two decades has brought together many far-flung connections to produce a synthesis so compelling that she was granted honorary degrees in both Physics and Geophysics for her dedication and penetrating insight. Her article "The Greatest Transition in the History of Mankind; The Return Of Paradise" is so important and optimistic, I want everyone to read it! (see http://www.susanrennison.com/Joyfire_Greatest_Transition.php ) Any time spent to peruse her website is so rewarding -- the amount of thought and dedication that she has put into her analysis is truly remarkable.
The Delft lecture ( http://sg.tudelft.nl/event/1654/ ) covers two hours. The first half is occupied with the most recent scientific findings in the arena of Spaceweather, giving particular attention on the physics of the issue. In the second half Rennison shifts the focus to unfolding the metaphysical implications of these new energies we are collectively encountering. In both sides of the lecture, Rennison keeps reminding us about "a cosmic energy that interacts with humans, an energy that arrives from space and is hidden in our atmosphere." As the discussion unfolds, Rennison leads us into equating this special cosmic energy with Chi, an ancient term for life-force, often talked about in Chinese medicine and philosophy.
Rennison notes that scientists are becoming increasingly bold in borrowing traditional metaphysical terms and expressions to describe their newest findings. This hand-in-glove fit between philosophical vocabulary and scientific evidence has led modern researchers to recognize the reality of the human energy field. Rennison specifically describes the human energy field as "the ethyric templates that control what is happening in the physical". What is notable about this locution is that it conforms to a fascinating degree with the very energies being concentrated and cultivated by the followers of Swedenborg and Pasqually during the heyday of the european Enlightenment!
Indeed, religious and magical terms like the "Holy Spirit", "Cosmic Christ", "Prana", or "Vrill" take on a particular urgency when we hear from the scientists that our atmosphere is currently being overcharged with massive downloads of raw cosmic forces, manifesting as both exotic new forms of matter, and as hitherto unknown forms of energy! I'm struck by the coincidence -- it seems that the conversations, discussions and arguments that were circulating around the Illuminist lodges in the 1700's, about which our modern Tarot "scientists" refuse to hear, have simply jumped from the Tarot salons to the scientific conferences in one time-shortening leap!
It is, of course, particularly interesting that scientists can now register subtle energies which humans take in with our breathing and circulate through our nervous systems. This is a reality that has been acknowledged by all human traditions around the globe and across history, meaning that modern science is now finally catching up with ancient shamanism! I wonder what other insights our johnny-come-lately scientists are learning about these special energies now welling up all around us?
Rennison tells us that myths and legends depict these energies as intelligent and interactive, even interested in humanity and potentially helpful. Some of these subtle energies are traditionally associated with healing and regeneration, although the historical record is also full of cases where invisible energies are associated with madness, illness and spiritual dislocation. It is not a huge mental leap to fathom why the spiritual and religious leaders of every generation have taken time and effort to point out the ranks of so-called angels and demons. Humans are not alone in this world, never have been, never will be! The question is, how fast can we grow up and realize that our world is transitioning, and that phenomena are coming at us that we've previously only encountered in the relam of myth and legend? Suddenly, the manifested and literal material plane is morphing, as celestial events press myriad changes upon the whole solar system, even to the point of changing the properties of time, matter, and our scientific constants!
The potential range of topics for consideration spread out around us like the stars of the Milky Way. We now know that dark matter is streaming through the growing holes in our earth's magnetic shield. It must be causing changes here on Earth, because the climates of several other planets in the solar system are changing too. Our Solar System is now enveloped in the Oort Cloud, a region of complex plasma that we couldn't detect or even imagine just a decade ago. How shall we consider the newly-discovered Ormus Elements, comprising unique elements suspended in plasma form, effectively hidden within the atmosphere? Might these subtle substances even now be affecting our sensitive tissues? What are these and other new manifestations (whether particles or energies) doing to our bodies, minds and spirits?
Rennison tells us that those who are currently alive will have an experience that our ancestors have categorized as "millennial". But let's remember, Rennison is not a religionist, nor a New-Ager, but is instead a mythographer and geophysicist. She is connecting the cutting edge of current science with the most enduring and stable aspects of the world's spiritual traditions. Astrology is the lynchpin of her insight, practiced by the ancient temple priesthoods who have kept the art alive around the globe, through all of recorded history.
The Significance of the Constellation Ophiuchus
One of the things Rennison cleared up for me in this talk is the huge emphasis that present astrologers are putting upon the "heel of the Serpent Barrier" Ophiuchus, which intrudes into the Zodiac at the section of degrees that stretches between Scorpio and Sagittarius. Historically those degrees have been donated to Scorpio to make its section of the sky match the other signs in the 12. All around the circle of the Zodiac there are constellations to the north and south of the Milky Way that impinge onto the central band a little bit, but usually those little overlaps are ignored for the sake of calculating charts with the master 12 Signs.
One thought I heard Rennison say stands out as unique in this talk, though it might have gotten a little lost amidst her many renderings of Ophiuchus through the centuries. The new detail hinges on our current alignment within the Zodiac (due to the precession of the equinox, which is caused by the axis of the earth circling like the axis of a wobbling, spinning top moving across the plane of the ecliptic). The present position of the equinox causes us to directly view the constellation of Aquarius on the east-point at sunrise on the first day of spring (measured at Greenwich) . This is the sign and seal of "the dawning of the Age of Aquarius", which has been anticipated for many centuries now.
The simple astronomical fact is that, due to their positions relative to each other in the Zodiac, when Aquarius is on the eastern horizon, the degrees given to Scorpio (including those degrees holding the heel of Ophiuchus) will appear at the top of the bowl of heaven. This is the region called the midheaven. Therefore, when the heel of Ophiuchus touches the Plane of the Ecliptic overhead, the planet automatically graduates into the "Age of Aquarius" and a new world age, a new energetic dispensation begins. These events are simultaneous due to their astronomical relations in the Great Wheel of the Zodiac.
It took me a few re-listenings to hear the significance of this revelation. Rennison is saying that the world's astrophysicists have now realized the hard data held in the ancient astronomical myths: When the heel of Ophiuchus touches the northern edge of the Ecliptic overhead, a New World Age begins for this solar system and for our Earth. This is not a metaphor, this is a present fact! This sudden revival of attention on Ophiuchus constitutes a parallel sign attending upon "the dawning of the Age of Aquarius".
This rare astronomical development is of the same import and significance of the reset of the Mayan Calendar, which happened a mere few months ago (a nanosecond in geological and astronomical time). In a related scholarly research project completed in 2002, archeo-astronomer John Major Jenkins aligned and coordinated a number of ancient calendars for his amazing synthesis entitled Galactic Alignment; The Transformation of Consciousness According to Mayan, Egyptian and Vedic Traditions. His work focuses on our solar system's transit through a narrow but super-intense window of time that allows for a short period of unobstructed contact between our solar system and the galactic center. He gives a range of dates for this window, starting in the late 1990's and running through 2050 or so. But again, even a 50 year window is a blink of an eye compared to these vast huge cycles of galactic time.
The point of the current dialogue about Ophiuchus is; where it is always normal for the spring-point to rotate ever so slowly backwards through the signs of the Zodiac, and it is always normal for the last degrees of Scorpio to host a few stars of the constellation Ophiuchus, this current appearance of Ophulcus' heel hitting the plane of the Ecliptic at the midheaven on the day of Spring Equinox is a special marker that becomes relevant to whoever is living on the planet right now.
On a more microcosmic scale, I am reminded of the image on the back of the Euskalherria Tarot cards, which shows a metamorphosis in humanity when Jupiter enters the sign of Cancer. Could the creator, Marixtu E. Guler, be pointing to this very same slice of time we are currently transiting? It is tempting to think Guler is referring to this very 12-month period, while Jupiter has been traversing Cancer, which has been characterized by a hammer-and-anvil T-Square in the Cardinal signs (Uranus in Aries, Jupiter in Cancer, Pluto in Capricorn) that will have been hit three times in the course of Jupiter's retrograde. This T-square becomes a full Grand Square every time something transits through Libra (recently we saw Mars take that position). The overall figure extends in time from Fall 2013 to mid-year 2015, as long as Uranus and Pluto maintain their square between Aries and Capricorn, so we are right in the thick of this cosmic action as I type.
Ulitmately, I have to ask myself, how many civilizations have known that "something will be happening" during this era of Earth's history, and how many ways have they been trying to tell us about it?
Pondering the Implications of Rennison's Research
Notice how many times Rennison says very evocative things and then just purses her lips and says "hmmm". Those are things she is offering us to think about, to turn over in our minds and start to work out the possible implications for ourselves. She's not trying to predict, but only to suggest. For example, the rapidity with which complex plasmas become "matter" (atoms, elements) when they hit the edge of our atmosphere is something to think about. The fact that rapid changes arc through matter when exposed to the forces admitted by these 'doughnut holes' in our magnetic shield, allowing raw energies from space to pour through the atmosphere -- this evoked another "hmmmm". The awakening of certain individuals' perceptions above the ultraviolet spectrum, below the infrared spectrum, and beyond the human sensual spectrum in general is a huge "hmmmm" when it comes to emergent phenomena we have only previously heard about in myth and legend. Rennison talks about giant energetic and crystalline structures that are ethyric and invisible, yet they 'stand' and 'resonate' in ways that affect the manifestation of matter..... that's quite a "hmmmmm" right there!
Rennison ultimately wraps the snake's tail all the way back around to its' mouth. She is standing precisely at the intersection point between mystical and literal phenomena, matching ancient cosmic science to modern shamanism, all the while decoding the historical record to connect the dots. She's very focused on the essential point that long, LONG AGO THERE WERE BEINGS ON THIS PLANET WHO KNEW OUR COSMIC SITUATION IN SPACE. These people left us a grid and a model that every human civilization we know about has participated in.
As those who read my works can testify, this is exactly the same essential point that I have come to in my research on ancient esotericism and how it impacts upon the Tarot. THERE IS A FUNDAMENTAL COSMOLOGICAL UNDERSTANDING THAT ORIENTS ALL PRACTITIONERS OF THE SO-CALLED MAGICAL ARTS. Like it? Don't like it? It doesn't matter one bit, our opinions are just grains of sand on an infinite beach.
Getting back to Rennison's reporting: While studying the historical record, our scientists have come to understand that a new type of energy is due to be coming to Earth from deep space. These energies have been detected in various forms, including that of complex plasmas, some of which have been proven to possess healing applications. A startling and intriguing property of these plasmas is that, via the interactions of their ultra-tiny supportive particles, which are electrically suspended and entrained together in a coherent matrix, these plasmas can quickly form regular structures, either liquid or solid.
Rennison asserts that, due to the associations made in ancient mythology, modern astronomers have eventually come to realize that these new energies now coming from space would have certain types of healing energies. She reminds us, " We know that the astronomers are the original priests. They created the religions many, many, many thousands of years ago, and they have a solid tradition of maintaining this knowledge and understanding across the ages. In the light of this, what's taking place now makes perfect sense! The scientists are aware of it, they have studied it, they have acknowledged it. They scientists are admitting that the planet is being flooded with a certain type of special energy, and it has healing applications. And I think if you have an interest in metaphysics, this has to be understood… What the scientists are ultimately doing is repeating the history of the ancient healing arts, but this time they are doing it with these new energies coming to the planet."
Even more poignantly, to paraphrase a long and interesting soliliquy by Rennison, "People should be aware of this, it's very important to understand that humans have the ability to literally bring this energy into themselves. Looking at the mythology, it tells us that there are certain times of the processional cycle that energy floods the earth. And it gets to the point where the levels of healing is such that people don't die. Mythology tells us that there comes a time when there are no more souls for Hades. People need to look at this so we can know what the scientists are learning!"
Ultimately, Rennison is convinced our deep ancestors knew the score about what was coming for us. She is certain that they arranged the cultural religions to keep the collective unconscious focused towards this time, whether we remembered it consciously or not. This is why modern science is finally rediscovering the vocabulary originally coined and polished by the yogis and metaphysicians of ancient times. There is something literal at the heart of the priestly (magical, astronomical) worldview that smacks of hard science and which pertains to the practical science of healing and life-extension. It is the very literal and substantial reality of these extraordinary times we are entering that will demonstrate to us the factual basis of our ancient myths and legends.
All I can say is -- Finally! Thank the Gods! We can all come out of the closet and become the magicians, imagineers, shamans, visionaries, and healers that we truly are!
The Poetry of Tarot
Now, finally, I am pleased to announce the rest of my news about Stewart S. Warren. Some of you might know him as a poet of the Tarot, though this is only one of his considerable talents. We recently met when he approached me to read his latest suite of Tarot poetry and possibly write a little comment on it for the back cover. I liked his work so much that my response ran for several pages, ending up as the Preface for his exquisite new collection, Hieros Gamos: Benediction of the Tarot. This little handbook also includes a thought-provoking essay called 'Poetry and Divination' by Robert Place, and sports an evocative comment from Margaret Starbird. With every poem he has included the relevant Trump from the Flornoy reprint of the Jean Noblet Tarot. The cover is decorated with a sumptuous and luminous alchemical image created by Emily Balivet. Every detail of this volume's presentation is well thought-out and sharply rendered. It is the perfect size and scale to slip into one's handbag for contemplation during those inevitable "in between" moments of life.
Warren also offers two other books of Tarot poetry at his page which look nearly irresistable, since his taste runs towards the mysteries of the oldest Tarots. For those of us who might not ever purchase a copy of these ancient documents, this is an excellent way of having those Trumps available to your eager gaze, while allowing friend Warren to lead your mind into the possibilities of the images. You can find these volumes, along with a wide catalogue of other works Warren has produced, at www.heartlink.com. Please let him know that you heard about him here!
That's it for our esoteric explorations this month. Don't forget to check out the NewMoon Notes and look into the Tarot of the Holy Light Icon for the month. May the lead-up to Spring guide you into a new world of healing and evolution!
ArkLetter 108, March 1, 2014
copyright christine payne-towler 2005-2014, all rights reserved
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