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Gnostic Tarot:: Mandalas for Spiritual Transformation Paperback – October 1, 1998

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Samuel Weiser; 1st edition (October 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578630304
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578630301
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,450,243 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I have a life-long interest in religion, spirituality, and comparative phenomenology. In pursuit of that interest, I have studied the world religions intensively with a strong emphasis on religious experience, such as visions and dreams, and comparative myth and ritual. My areas of specialization are comparative religions of Native North American (including Maya and Aztec) and shamanism of Asia and Siberia. I also have a strong interest in eastern religions (MA thesis on Daoism) and in Islamic Sufism. As a psychic researcher, I am interested in studying the phenomenology of altered states, trance, mystical visions, OOBE, NDE and other non-ordinary perceptions. My most recent research has been in the area of Western Esotericism and contemporary Hermetic spirituality in relation to transpersonal theory. Interdisciplinary PhD,teach in Religious Studies Department, College of Charleston,


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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is a treasure for those who use the tarot for meditation or for personal spirituality. The Gnostic viewpoint on each card is well written, and the general information is good as well. It is a shame that there is not a Gnostic deck to go with this book, but perhaps there is one in the works. The use of the Ravenwood Eastern deck with it seems shallow.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Hayward H. Siegel on January 15, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book gives a great presentation on the spiritual and metaphysical aspects of the Tarot. Irwin sets forth a modern view of what is Gnosticism, and discusses it very well. He emphasizes the use of one's imagination as a tool to be used in interpreting the Tarot Cards. He gives some pointers as to how to develop the use of one's imagination. The Ravenswood Tarot, Waite Tarot, and Gnostic Tarot are discussed, in giving his interpretations of the cards in the Tarot deck. Unfortunately, there is no Gnostic Tarot deck to look at; you must use your imagination, using the Gnostic interpretations of the cards, to picture in your mind, as to how the cards might appear. I do think it would have been helpful, if such a deck existed, and hopefully Irwin will have one made soon. However, the existance of such a deck, might defeat the main point of this book, namely, the use of your imagination. Some interpretaions of the cards, given by Irwin, differ from some of the usual interpretations given for the cards, by others. But, I can't say that he is wrong. His opinion is as valid as anyone else's opinion. That is the beauty of studying Tarot. Everyone can develop his or her own opinion as to what each card represents. Two can look at the same card, and have two different interpretations. What might be the reason? It is set forth in this book, the use of IMAGINATION.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Erinmat on February 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is really a good fortune to come by this rich and thorough study amongst so many books on tarot, who repeat approximately the same meanings on and on with just different words. Here a further step into the spiritual meaning of each arcane is decisively made. Tarot is here contemplated with a truly synthetic approach : gnosticism, alchemy, hermetism, Jung's process of individuation, all these approaches are restored in their original meaning, and their link to this universal fund of imagery and representations of the spiritual world, appearing in all religions and spiritual paths of development, is strongly established.
Lee Irvin's method allows each student to create his/her visualization of this archetypal tarot, which he calls the Gnostic Tarot, and which is to be found nowhere if you look for material pack of cards. Gnostic Tarot is this living and ever-changing image (imago), with its aura of definite wisdom, which is the missing link between the whole variety of physical decks and the unknown and enigmatic Tarot of the origin. Once you have accessed to this archetypal tarot, each energy contributing to the arcanes become terribly vibrant !
One more discovery : the beautiful and hieratic Ravenswood Eastern Tarot, that is plain white and black, leaving it up to you to fill it up with your affinity colors. Out of print, alas ! Who could persuade its editor to reimpress this deck ? Its impassible and enigmatic figures evoke strongly the oriental stream of wisdom, where a philosophical and intellectual approach to spiritual unfoldment plays a major role.
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