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 ...
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The Way of Tarot

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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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594776564
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions / Bear & Company
  • Publication date: 11/2/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 263,107
  • File size: 18 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Alejandro Jodorowsky is a playwright, filmmaker, composer, mime, psychotherapist, and author of many books on spirituality and tarot, and over thirty comic books and graphic novels. He has directed several films, including The Rainbow Thief and the cult classics El Topo and The Holy Mountain. He lives in France.

Marianne Costa has worked with Jodorowsky since 1997, coteaching workshops on Tarot and family tree-therapy. The author of No Woman’s Land, she lives in Paris.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter Six

L’Amoureux / The Lover

Union, Emotional Life

The name of this card is not, as often thought, The Lovers plural, but The Lover, singular. However, on it we see four human-shaped figures (the three individuals and the angel) and, if we really want, two entities that are the Earth and the Sun. Among them, who is The Lover? The central figure that is often interpreted to be a young man? The figure on the left, who some view as a transvestite? Or even the angel, the little Cupid aiming his arrow out of the sky? These questions arise because Arcanum VI is, along with The Tower, one of the most ambiguous cards of the Tarot, and one of those that is most poorly understood. VI represents in Tarot numerology the first step into the square of Heaven. It is the time when we stop imagining what would please us and begin doing what we like.
The major tone of this card concerns pleasure and emotional life. This is the very reason why it is so complex and so rich in conflicting meanings. It opens the field to countless projections, and a thousand meanings can be attributed to it, each of which can be right at a given moment. What is taking place with this trio? Is it a quarrel, haggling, a choice, a union? The two figures on the left are looking at each other while the one on the right is looking off into space. The whole of humanity can be comprehended through this card. The relations of its protagonists are extremely ambivalent.

Key words

Eros, Heart, Choice, Emotional Domain, Conflict, Ambiguity, Trio, Social Life, Community, Siblings, Doing What You Love...

The position of these figures’ hands is extremely interesting to observe. Five hands in various positions symbolize the complexity of the relationships in play. The first figure, on the left, has placed her hand on the second one’s shoulder in a gesture of protection or domination, either pushing him forward or holding him back. Her right hand is touching the hem of the boy’s tunic. The movement of her extended index finger can be interpreted as a desire to slide over to his penis or, to the contrary, a prohibition on doing so. The boy has his right hand pressed against his belt. In passing, we should note that this yellow belt has three bands and is the same as that worn by the woman on the left. But who is the owner of the arm touching the belly of the young woman? She and the boy both are wearing clothes with deep blue sleeves that are so closely matched it makes the movement of this arm ambiguous. In some way they make this a “commonly shared arm.” While the young man is touching the young woman’s belly close to her genitals, his gaze is directed away from her toward his right. The card will have an entirely different meaning if we consider this arm to be her own arm protecting or pointing toward her belly while the boy is holding his arm behind his back.
The woman on the right is wearing a headdress consisting of four five-petal flowers. It could represent a splendid awareness, poetic yet nevertheless solid. The violet heart of the flowers concentrates the wisdom of love, truly the ability to sacrifice oneself. The woman on the left is wearing a crown of green leaves; it is active (the red band), and if we agree that these are laurel leaves, we could say that she has the mentality of a victor or a dominatrix.
We can speculate infinitely on the relationship of the three figures: a boy presenting his fiancée to his mother; a woman discovering her husband with his mistress; a man attempting to choose between two women, or, as the traditional interpretation views it, between vice and virtue; a pimp offering a prostitute to a passerby; a young girl asking her mother for permission to wed the boy she has chosen; a mother in love with her daughter’s lover; a mother preferring one of her two children over the other, and so forth.
The interpretations are inexhaustible. All of them lead us to the conclusion that The Lover is a relational card that depicts the beginning of social life. It is the first Arcanum on which several individuals are presented at the same level (The Pope’s disciples are smaller than he is and seen from the back). This is a card of union and disunion, of social and emotional choices. Several clues present in the card direct us toward the notion of union. On the one hand, the sixth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Vav (the nail), represents union. On the other hand, we can see patches of color (light blue then red) between these individuals’ legs that also represent a continuity, a union between them. On the symbolic plane, we could say that the three figures represent the governing centers of the human being: the intellect, the emotional center, and the sexual center joining together to become one.
The ground beneath these individuals’ feet has been plowed. This means that in order to reach the VI, it is necessary to have performed some preliminary psychological, cultural, and spiritual work. This is how we manage to realize what we love and what we want. The red shoes of the central figure are the same as those worn by The Fool and The Emperor; they can be considered as three stages of the same being. It can also be noted that the ground ends between this figure and his neighbor on the right, there is only the red patch. We can then see them as representations of the animus and the anima, two masculine and feminine aspects of one single person.

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Table of Contents

Preface by Marianne Costa

Introduction by Alejandro Jodorowsky

Structure and Numerology of the Tarot

Opening: The Tarot Is a Complete Entity

To Begin

Composition and Rules of Orientation

The Numerology of the Tarot

The Ten Stages for Constructing the Mandala

The Eleven-Color Scale

The Major Arcana

Opening: An Architecture of the Soul

To Begin

Le Mat/The Fool

I Le Bateleur/The Magician

II La Papesse/The High Priestess

III L’Impératrice/The Empress

IIII L’Empereur/The Emperor

V Le Pape/The Pope

VI L’Amoureux/The Lover

VII Le Chariot/The Chariot

VIII La Justice/Justice

VIIII L’Hermite/The Hermit

X La Roue de Fortune/The Wheel of Fortune

XI La Force/Strength

XII Le Pendu/The Hanged Man

XIII L’Arcane sans Nom/The Nameless Arcanum

XIIII Tempérance/Temperance

XV Le Diable/The Devil

XVI La Maison Dieu/The Tower

XVII L’Étoile/The Star

XVIII La Lune/The Moon

XVIIII Le Soleil/The Sun

XX Le Jugement/Judgment

XXI Le Monde/The World

The Minor Arcana

Opening: The Humble Guardians of the Secret

To Begin

The Degrees of the Numerology

- The Aces
- The Twos
- The Threes

- The Fours
- The Fives
- The Sixes
- The Sevens
- The Eights
- The Nines
- The Tens
- The Numerological Degrees by Suit
Swords • Cups • Wands • Pentacles

The Honors or Court Cards

- The Pages
- The Queens
- The Kings
- The Knights
- A Summary of Meaning by Suit
Swords • Cups • Wands • Pentacles

The Tarot Two by Two

Opening: Consciousness as a Joint Work

To Begin

The Duets of the Two Decimal Series

I The Magician—XI Strength
II The High Priestess—XII The Hanged Man
III The Empress—XIII The Nameless Arcanum IIII The Emperor—XIIII Temperance V The Pope—XV The Devil VI The Lover—XVI The Tower VII The Chariot—XVII The Star VIII Justice—XVIII The Moon VIIII The Hermit—XVIIII The Sun X The Wheel of Fortune—XX Judgment

The Couples of the Tarot

- The Fool—The World
- The Magician—Strength
- The High Priestess—The Pope
- The Empress—The Emperor
- The Chariot—The Star
- Justice—The Hermit
- The Moon—The Sun

The Pairs That Add Up to 21

Numerical Succession and Transfer

The Reading of the Tarot

Opening: How to Become a Mirror

To Begin

First Steps to Reading the Tarot

- With One Arcanum
- With Two Arcana
- With One, Two, Then Several Arcana
- With One Partner

Reading Three Cards

Reading Four and More Cards

Reading Ten and More Cards

Conclusion: The Tarotic Philosophy


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  • Posted March 13, 2010

    The Way of Tarot, finally I may be able to follow it

    I've been waiting for a tarot book like this for years. It's by a brilliant man who is multi-talented and has researched this book for many years. It explains the tarot in a way I can finally get it. One of the features I most love is that each Major Arcanum speaks to us the reader.
    Wondrous and inspiring and will remain when others fade away for sure.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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