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The Maya Book of Life: Understanding the Xultun Tarot Paperback – January 19, 2013
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From the Back Cover
Out of the Xultun Tarot, Michael Owen has created both a memory device and a philosophical machine that twists together the threads of spiritual alchemy, Jungian psychology, indigenous medicine teachings and DNA coding. Owen shows that, in Peter Balin's single painting of the twenty-two Major Arcana of the Tarot, we have a multi-textured tapestry that depicts the Self from a shamanic perspective. This is a profound book of wisdom that will richly reward the reader who has an affinity for these teachings. It offers a fresh look at the tarot and its myths and symbols that can take your personal work with any tarot deck to a new level.
A brilliant, eye-opening synthesis of post-Jungian tarot and the shamanic genius of the classic Mayan civilization. Michael Owen shows a remarkable command of this important and original material. His psychological sophistication and savvy interpretations of the archetypes illuminate a more universal cosmos for the emerging 21st century tarot. A fascinating and inspiring journey of natural wisdom, Jungian depth, and timeless spirituality.
This book is more than an impressive analysis of Peter Balin's artistic creation of the Mayan Tarot. It has warmth. It is to be in touch with Michael Owen's sensitivity to Nature and to his understanding of a world in which all living things are inwardly and outwardly connected.
The new edition of the Xultun Tarot is cause for celebration. The Xultun was the first "cultural" tarot, adapting the European images and structures to a very artistic and spiritual tradition. This has become standard but it was Peter Balin's deck that showed the way. It is fitting, therefore, that we now have Michael Owen's deep study, using the insights and wide-ranging knowledge of Jungian studies to open the deck up further and re-connect the Mayan images and teachings to traditional tarot, psychology, alchemy, and ancient wisdom teachings.
In writing this book, Michael Owen has performed a dual service. First, he has brought the Xultun Tarot deck to the level of prominence it has deserved since first being revealed in 1976. Second, he has added a significant work to the corpus of Tarot literature. This book not only amplifies and illuminates the Xultun deck, but also provides a welcome reminder about how the Tarot enriches consciousness.
An inspirational book that uncovers not only an unknown part of New Zealand tarot history but reveals many mysteries about tarot itself. Together Peter Balin's original artistic genius and Michael Owen's depth analysis interweave many strands--Mayan mythology and culture meets European Western Mystery tradition; Jungian psychology blends with indigenous wisdom. The Maya Book of Life becomes a new World card in itself, where the past marries a multi-cultural present to dance the birth of our future.
I have been very excited and inspired by your impressive and sensitive integration of shamanism, alchemy and earth consciousness.
About the Author
Michael Owen is a clinical psychologist in private practice and author of Jung and the Native American Moon Cycles and The 27 Club: Why Age 27 Is Important. He lives in New Zealand.
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