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The Way of Tarot: The Spiritual Teacher in the Cards Paperback – November 17, 2009
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"A profound work that is both penetrating and fascinating. It offers thought-provoking commentary on the cards from a pair of authors who are among the world's most deeply knowledgeable authorities on the tarot." (Kooch Daniels, co-author of Matrix Meditations, Oct 2009)
"The Way of Tarot is a very impressive work. Whether you agree with the authors conclusions or not, it will make you think outside of the box, and will perhaps be the impetus needed for someone out there in the Tarot world to connect the dots between their thoughts and present them for examination. . . . This is a worthwhile addition to the Tarot library of anyone that wishes to move beyond the divination aspects of the cards into self-realization." (Bonnie Cehovet, certified Tarot Grand Master, Aeclectic Tarot, Oct 2009)
"An excellent all-around guide to both the nuts-and-bolts practical and the spiritual sides of Tarot, The Way of Tarot is filled with invaluable insights for Tarot practitioners of all skill and experience levels." (The Midwest Book Review, Library Bookwatch, Feb 2010)
"The beginning of this book reads like a sophisticated treasure-hunt adventure. It also happens to include a history of tarot cards, which will be invaluable to people who are studying tarot seriously. . . . a reference they can go back to over and over again as they gain experience with the cards." (Anna Jedrziewski, New Age Retailer magazine, Feb 2010)
"The purpose of this book is to show the reader how the tarot can be seen and used in a practical way that is holistic, balanced,and grounded. . . . The Way of Tarot can be a guide along this path." (New Spirit Journal, Vol. 5, No. 12, April 2010)
"The beauty of this deck is that Jodorwsky puts aside the Kabalistic and other Western influences upon the tarot and just studies the primal and bare gestures, numbers, and minute details . . . " (Indras Net, blog: The Sync Whole;@The Heart of Jupiter-Evolve!, Mar 10)
From the Back Cover
TAROT / SPIRITUALITY
Alejandro Jodorowsky’s profound study of the Tarot, which began in the early 1950s, reveals it to be far more than a simple divination system. The Tarot is first and foremost a powerful instrument of self-knowledge and a representation of the structure of the soul.
The Way of Tarot shows that the entire deck is structured like a temple, or a mandala, which is both an image of the world and a representation of the divine. The authors use the sacred art of the original Marseille Tarot--created during a time of religious tolerance in the 11th century--to reconnect with the roots of the Tarot’s Western esoteric wisdom. They explain that the Tarot is a “nomadic cathedral” whose parts--the 78 cards or “arcana”--should always be viewed with an awareness of the whole structure. This understanding is essential to fully grasp the Tarot’s hermetic symbolism.
The authors explore the secret associations behind the hierarchy of the cards and the correspondences between the suits and energies within human beings. Each description of the Major Arcana includes key word summaries, symbolic meanings, traditional interpretations, and a section where the card speaks for itself. Jodorowsky and Costa then take the art of reading the Tarot to a depth never before possible. Using their work with Tarology, a new psychological approach that uses the symbolism and optical language of the Tarot to create a mirror image of the personality, they offer a powerful tool or self-realization, creativity, and healing.
ALEJANDRO JODOROWSKY is a filmmaker who made the legendary El Topo and The Holy Mountain. He also is a psychotherapist and author of many books on Tarot and spiritualism, including Psychomagic and The Spiritual Journey of Alejandro Jodorowsky. MARIANNE COSTA has worked with Jodorowsky since 1997, coteaching workshops on Tarot and family-tree therapy. She is the author of No Woman’s Land. Both authors live in Paris.
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I have to admit, my approach to Tarot is definitely more academic at this point than spiritual- I use the cards for insight and meditation, but I honestly enjoy *studying* different decks, systems, and approaches to Tarot more than anything else. It's like each deck is its own little art museum and library, in a way, and there so much to unravel and find if you take the time. I just love getting a new deck and taking as long as it takes to go through each image on each card and untangle all the knots.
This book is *so* good for that. If you are looking for something just a tiny bit more informative than the Little White Book that comes with decks, this would not be a good book for you. But if you're familiar with the meanings of all the cards, and want to dig deeper, and are open to a slightly unusual approach to Tarot, this book is a gold mine. It took me a while to get familiar enough with tarot to be able to appreciate this book- it was actually the Mary El, Jonasa Jaus, and Margarete Petersen decks and my desire to truly understand them that made me realize how valuable this book is. Even though none of those decks are traditionally Marseilles, this book has been essential in helping me really grasp those approaches to Tarot.
A few notes on content: this book is geared towards the old-school Marseilles decks, and the information about the imagery and symbolism is strictly Marseilles. BUT, the general information about the cards can really work with any system. There is tons of information on the majors, and just a paragraph on each minor. But I find even the shortest blurbs on the minor cards really informative and insightful.
Sorry for my unfocused and poorly written review, but I just wanted to take the opportunity to share my experience with this book. If any of the content appeals to you, go ahead and add it to your library.
I'm a professional Tarot Card Reader and I follow and love the Rider-Waite-Smith system. However, of late I’ve become curious about the Thoth and the Marseilles systems of Tarot -- about how the symbolism came about and was interpreted. This book is a great resource for learning this and more!
Honestly, I was blown away and surprised beyond my expectation at the depth of information that this book provides. While I was expecting a surface level explanation, I was overjoyed (and even a little overwhelmed) by the wisdom and knowledge contained in this tome. And it is quite a big, fat, juicy tome that has opened my eyes to the beauty of the Marseilles cards -- a completely unexpected result! Of course, a lot of further study still awaits me -- but I totally look forward to it!
Meanwhile, if you are, like me, looking to delve into the Marseilles Tarot world, then I will also suggest that you pick up a copy of the Tarot de Marseille by Jodorowsky to go along with it. The book references this deck all the time, and having it on hand is of course useful, but it'll also help you get familiar with the deck so you can do readings with it later on without further issues.