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The Jungian Tarot Deck Cards – January, 2001

3.8 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Unavailable for almost a decade, Marcus Aurelius Press is pleased to announce the reissue of this important work by art historian and author, Dr. Robert Wang.

The Jungian Tarot Deck, first published in 1988, is intended to be a visual introduction to Jungian philosophy. The key is the archetypal image encountered through creative visualization or, as Jung called it, "active imagination."

It is a process which may, theoretically, lead to discovery of a true Inner Self. Such creative visualization is at the heart of all mystical and religious systems, from those of the ancient world, to the spiritual exercises of Ignatius Loyola, to Hermeticism and Rosicrucianism, to Alchemy, and to the remarkably creative occult exercises of the nineteenth century.

One of the main purposes of this work is to demonstrate parallels between Jungian philosophy and Hermetic Kabbalah, a system which has been essential to Western mysticism since the Italian Renaissance which Wang explored in depth in Qabbalistic Tarot.

Wang considers Jung's ideas about regressions from the personal into the collective to be commensurate with the Kabbalistic method of working backwards from the lowest level of the Tree of Life (the material condition), through the upper levels which symbolize not only the enlightened Self, but a condition of nonbeing which transcends all consciousness, personal or collective.

From the Author

It is my hope that viewing the tarot images in psychological terms may serve to amplify our understanding of a whole class of literature previously considered "mystical."

As an art historian my amateur incursion into comparative religion is very tentative and my sources are general. I should also admit that as a historian I have a specific bias. History is, to me, something secure against which religious, mythological, and psychological ideologies must be measured, and it bothers me to find so many discussions of the history of tarot predicated upon irresponsible speculation when the historical tracks of the cards are so clear.

I have no doubt that the tarot originated in fourteenth-century Italy. Of course interpretation of the tarot in serious psychological terms would have seemed laughable, if not absolutely bizarre to its originators, who developed the cards as a game.

It was not until the late nineteenth century that tarot was systematically related to Astrology, to Kabbalah, and to Alchemy. And it was the twentieth century which added an overlay of modern psychological theory


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Product Details

  • Cards: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Marcus Aurelius Press (January 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0971559120
  • ISBN-13: 978-0971559127
  • Product Dimensions: 4.8 x 3.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Hi on November 7, 2004
Format: Cards
I have been interested in and studied what has been called by Dion Fortune the 'Western Esoteric Tradition' and have been fascinated by the tarot. I am currently training as a Jungian analyst and I was looking for a pack that combines the two. For a long time I could not find one and then I was given one as a gift. I was very happy to receive it and see that one exist.

This pack is drawn by a serious student of the occult and of history (I recommend his books to widen your understanding of the roots of this tradition). In conjunction with his own interest in Jungian psychology, Mr. Wang has gone to the trouble of collaborating with Jungian analysts trained at the C. J. Jung Institutes of Zurich and New York. The result is an amazing deck that I am still exploring and will continue to explore for a long time. Mr. Wang has kept the traditional number of cards and figures for the Major Arcana. For the minor arcana he has used the colors of the sephiroth of the Tree of Life in the four worlds in the tradition of the Golden Dawn which makes them a useful reference for students.

There is a principle (which some people may not be aware of) that the minor cards are purposely without image because they represent subjective experiences whereas the major cards represent objective forces (Paul Case also felt this, and would not use pictorial minor cards for his BOTA deck). In Jungian terms one could see it as indicative of a shift from the personal to the collective unconscious.

It is well to keep clear in our minds the difference between archetypal imagery and the archetypes themselves that have no image. An archetypal image is not a role model but am image in the individual's personal unconsious associated with a particular complex surrounding an unknowable archetype.
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I collect tarot decks and have long been interested in Jung, so I thought this would be perfect for me. Unfortunately, I find it very hard to read with these cards. The reason--ironically for a Jungian deck--is that the people in the images have such specific features that it is very hard to see them as generic archetypes. It's a bit like seeing your neighbor on a tarot card--I find myself wondering who the models were and what their lives were like. This might not bother other people, but it drives me nuts when I'm trying to focus on a reading. The cards aren't particularly aesthetically pleasing, either, so they're not the sort one would buy to keep on the shelf and cherish. Intellectually, they're interesting but would be more so with at least a small booklet explaining the artist's thinking--it's a little annoying to have to buy a separate book in order to have any explanation whatsoever. In short, an interesting deck but no use to me.
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Format: Cards
I really enjoy the symbolism of this deck. Robert Wang provides a unique interpretation of the entire deck. Each Major Arcana has a unique chakra incorporated in it. Chakras are visual tools for meditation, most popular in Eastern philosophy, that were used by Jung. The cards are simple compared to the symbolism of other decks (ex- Thoth). I have to disagree with Deb28 when she says the Minor Arcana are "so unimaginatively rendered." There are very simple, uniform symbols for each suit but there is also a sphere on each card representing the sepirah in the corresponding color scale that the card represents. The colors and symbolism is subtle, but with a good knowledge of qabalah and/or tarot, this deck can be very powerful. It works well for readings, study, or meditation. This is a great deck but I wouldn't recommend it for beginners.
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Format: Cards
THE BEST DECK I HAVE EVER USED. This remarkable deck and its companion book, The Jungian Tarot and Its Archetypal Imagery has changed the way I view tarot. Until I began to work with this deck as a stimulus to "creative visualization," I had always considered the tarot to be a set of simple pictures used for telling fortunes. But working with these beautifully painted cards as a "doorway" into my own mind has been an amazing experience. What surprised me is how previously murky ideas of Jungian psychology were clarified, and how I began to really appreciate the simplicity and practicality of Jung's principles as I "encountered" the different archetypal images of male and female (such as daughter, mother and grandmother). Moreover, the book has brought the cards to life for me with its extremely understandable explanations of Jungian concepts. I would recommend study of these cards to anyone who wants to appreciate the real psychological depth of the tarot images.
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Format: Cards
I have read with, studied, and meditated with the Tarot for four decades. As I have matured in Tarot and allied disciplines, such as Astrology, Qabala, and other basics of Occultism, far from "mastering" the simple deck of 78 images, my sense of mystery has only deepened. Yes, of course, Tarot is an Oracle without equal; but to use the Tarot in only this way is to grab an hors d'ouvres or two and rush off before the banquet is served.
This banquet of self-knowledge is what Robert Wang's Jungian Tarot offers the sincere adherent. Dr. Wang has at his disposal an experience and a mastery of both the Western Mystery Tradition and Jungian psychology, and blends them seamlessly in the Jungian Tarot. Taking Jung's remark that Jung found a correlation between Tarot images and the archetypes of the collective unconscious, Dr. Wang presents this deck and its icons as lenses to focus on these shifting phenomena; and, just as these images arise autonomously from the psyche and are not subject to rational order, the cards of the Major Arcana are not numbered. The individual cards serve primarily as doorways into an aspect of the psyche; that the images are precisely "Qabalistically correct" takes second place to their numinous qualities and to their purpose as entrances into the collective unconscious. [to the Qabalist, the correlations are obvious--for instance, on the Fool card, which tradition places on the 11th Path of the Tree of Life, you see a Crown in the sky to the upper right of the Fool--an allusion to the 11th Path's emanation from Kether, "The Crown", the first Sephirah, diagonally down and "stage right" from Kether. The colors of the cards, as well, follow closely the traditional Golden Dawn assignations.
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