The Mythic Tarot

The Mythic Tarot

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by Liz Greene, Juliet Sharman-Burke
     
 

The Worldwide Bestselling Tarot Deck

Drawing on characters and stories from Greek mythology, The Mythic Tarot offers an imaginative and accessible approach to classic Tarot. Each suit depicts archetypal characters — such as the heroic Odysseus, the Earth Mother Demeter, and Athena, the goddess of justice — and every card tells a

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Overview

The Worldwide Bestselling Tarot Deck

Drawing on characters and stories from Greek mythology, The Mythic Tarot offers an imaginative and accessible approach to classic Tarot. Each suit depicts archetypal characters — such as the heroic Odysseus, the Earth Mother Demeter, and Athena, the goddess of justice — and every card tells a well-known mythical story. Rich with psychological insight, these mythical legends provide the wisdom and the insight we seek for personal growth.

In this beautifully designed kit you'll find:

  • An elegant, colorfully illustrated deck of cards
  • A reading guide, complete with information on how Tarot works, the meaning of each card, and how to conduct readings
  • A black silk cloth for use in readings, outlined with the classic Celtic cross spread

Appealing for both beginning and experienced Tarot readers, The Mythic Tarot will stimulate your curiosity and offer you an endless source of fresh insight and intuitive guidance.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780671618636
Publisher:
Touchstone
Publication date:
10/15/1986
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
6.25(w) x 8.34(h) x 1.44(d)

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Read an Excerpt

"The Magician" The card of the Magician portrays a wiry, slender young man with curling black hair, who stands facing us at a crossroads. He is dressed for the road in a short white tunic and a deep red travelling cloak. With his left hand he points upward toward heaven. With the right he gestures at a flat rock which lies before him at the centre of the convergence of roads. On the rock four objects are assembled: a chalice, a sword, a flaming wand or caduceus entwined by two snakes, and a pentacle. Behind him can be seen a barren landscape of brown and grey rocks -- a continuation of the landscape which we met in the card of the Fool. Two branches of the road vanish in the rocky distance.

The cup represents the Cup of Fortune, particularly fortune in love, for Hermes is wise in the knowledge of the heart.

The sword represents the cutting edge of the mind and its power, given to Hermes by his father Zeus.

The bag of pentacles or coins marks Hermes as the god of sudden good luck and as the patron of merchants and businessmen.

The caduceus is Hermes' wand of magic, entwined by two snakes which represent all opposites: good and evil, male and female, dark and light.

Here we meet the god Hermes, guide of travellers, patron of thieves and liars, ruler of magic and divination, and bringer of sudden good luck and changes in fortune. He is called the Trickster because he is deceitful and ambiguous, yet he is the trusted messenger of the gods and the guide of souls into the underworld. In Greek myth Hermes was the son of Zeus, king of the gods, and the mysterious nymph Maia, who is also called Mother Night. Thus he is the child of both spiritual light and primordial darkness, and his colours -- red and white -- reflect the mixture of earthly passions and spiritual clarity which are part of his nature.

When Hermes was only a baby he toddled out of his cradle and stole a herd of cattle from his brother Apollo, the sun-god. To fool Apollo he put on sandals which faced backward, so that the angry god went in the wrong direction looking for the culprit. When Apollo finally confronted him about who had stolen his cattle, Hermes presented him with a gift: a lyre which he made from a tortoiseshell. Hermes flattered his brother with praise from a wily, honeyed tongue, telling the older god that the gift was meant to honour Apollo's wonderful skill at music. Apollo was so beguiled that he forgot about the cattle, and in return bestowed upon Hermes a gift of his own: that of divination. Hermes thus became the master of the four elements, and eventually taught men the skills of geomancy (divination by earth), pyromancy (divination by fire), hydromancy (divination by water), and aeromancy (divination by air). He was always worshipped at crossroads, where statues called Herms were erected to honour him and invoke his blessings upon the traveller, the wanderer and the homeless.


On an inner level, Hermes, the Magician, is the guide. This means that somewhere within us, no matter how lost or confused we might be at any point in life, there is something within which has foresight and resources which are often hidden from consciousness but which can divine what direction to take and what choices to make. The Magician does not come when he is called, for Hermes is a wily and playful god, and does not always respond to what we think is an important situation. He has his own ideas of what might be important. He comes in the night, often in the form of disturbing dreams, or in the guise of a meeting with another person who turns out to be somehow significant as a catalyst on the journey. Or Hermes can appear as a sudden hunch, or the discovery that one knows more than one thought. The book which one 'accidentally' reads, or the chance visit from a friend, or any of a thousand strange little 'turns of fate', are the handiwork of the Magician, the inner guide. In a sense the Magician is spiritual teacher and protector of the Fool, just as in the myth the god Hermes managed to sew the unborn Dionysos into Zeus' thigh and looked after the child until he was born. Hermes, the Magician, is that unconscious power within which looks after us although we cannot see him, and which appears as though by magic at the most critical and difficult moments in life to offer guidance and wisdom.

Hermes was not a god upon whom one could rely for the ordinary decisions of everyday life. He could be tricky and treacherous, and often his directions led men and women astray into the night, through convoluted paths that left the known and well-trodden landscape and took the traveller into strange and frustrating places. To follow the inner guide does not always mean making the choices which are secure and guarantee results. Often they are the opposite. But because Hermes is the master of the four elements, his wisdom can penetrate all the spheres of life -- the mind, the imagination, the heart and the body. Without him we have no inner resources at all, but must always rely upon the direction of others, and are doomed to travel like sheep on the same worn track as everybody else. The Fool meets the Magician only after he has braved the precipice, for the visitations of the inner guide do not come when one hides safely within the maternal cave.


On a divinatory level, Hermes, the Magician, points to potential skills and creative abilities which have not yet manifested. He may appear as an upsurge of energy and an intuition of exciting new opportunities. He presages insight and an awareness of unexplored possibilities. The Fool is blind, with only his animal sense of a meaning to be found somewhere, somehow. But through his meeting with Hermes, the Magician, it becomes clear that the journey is possible, and that one has capacities that have yet to be developed.

Copyright © Juliet Sharman-Burke and Liz Greene 1986

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