This is a ONE year programme progressing through the book Meditations on the Tarot. Sessions are expected to be held at the Michael Centre in Warranwood (Melbourne outer Eastern).
Sessions will be held on the FIRST Saturday of each month and the ensuing Monday beginning in February.
Two letters (ie, chapters and thus cards) are expected to be covered each month.
Meditations on the Tarot is one of those rare books that contains a vast breadth and depth of spiritual insight, referencing not only – though predominantly – key Western Esoteric Traditions, as well as aspects from Eastern sources.
The book is divided into twenty-two letters that were published post-humously, written in the latter part of the 1960s from an ‘Unknown’ Author (UA) to his readers (‘UA’ is an appellation becoming increasingly common when referring to its author, and reminiscent of the Martinist ‘Unknown Philosopher’). Such ‘letter’ style is not unusual, and is found in some classic Russian and mediaeval Christian texts – for example The Cloud of Unknowing.
The UA clearly comes from a Christian perspective, but not one which would be expected from any exoteric church – though I have been informed that the previous Pope had a copy of the German translation of the work!
Each letter is an exegesis of one of the trumps, with the final letter making implications for the rest of the deck. Though the author clearly refers to the Marseille deck in the text, he also states (p 260):
The twenty-two Cards of the Major Arcana of the Tarot being an organism, a complete whole, it is not a question of diverse and disparate origins of particular Cards, but rather of the degrees of their evolution or transformation. For the Tarot, also, is not a wheel, a closed circle, but rather a spiral, i.e. it evolves through tradition and … reincarnation
Reading the book is certainly a journey, not so much because it takes the reader along well traveled paths (which it does, being firmly grounded in tradition) – but rather because the reader is lead far and wide to a very diverse and broad range of other authors – some well known, such as Drs Steiner or Jung, others not as well, such as Dr Carton or Prof. Mebes.
The classics are also extremely well interwoven, and relevant quotes from such important esoteric, spiritual and hermetic texts as the Kore Kosmu, the Bible, the Zohar, the Vishvasara Tantra, the Hermetica (amongst others), as well as quotes from or references to Wirth, Origen, Papus, Bergson, Goethe, Kant, Eliphas Lévi, Nietzsche, d’Olivet, Péladan, Philip de Lyons, Plato, Albertus Magnus, and Sts Anthony, Teresa, John of the Cross, Augustine, Bonaventure, Francis of Assisi, Thomas Aquinas, and the Buddha (in addition to those previously mentioned, ie, Steiner et al.). Each quote or reference is carefully selected and artfully placed.
Of Tarot’s history, the UA states (ibid.):
The authors who saw in the Tarot the ‘Sacred Book of Thoth’ (Thoth = Hermes Trismegistus) were both right and wrong at the same time. They were right in so far as they traced back the history of the essence of the Tarot to antiquity, notably to ancient Egypt. And they were wrong in so far as they believed that the Tarot had been inherited from ancient Egypt, i.e. that it had been transmitted from generation to generation subject to minor iconographic changes.
This work ranks amongst the classics of mysticism, gnosis and magic – the three pathways into Hermeticism. For all serious Tarot enthusiasts, and for all aspirants walking the Occidental Spiritual paths, I would recommend it without reservation, and invite you to share with others a journey of discovery into the book’s incredible wealth.
Each session will begin with a quiet time for reflection on the card image upon which the Letter is based, followed by, alternately, either a presentation introducing some of the sources used by the author of the work, or a discussion based on the content, its insights, and, when appropriate, its consequences.
To participate in this ongoing study, simply come along.
Meditations on the Tarot online version of the book
To download pdfs for the current month of study, go to > pdf/mott