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Tarot Revelations

This description may be from another edition of this product. Tarot Revelations is an analysis of the mysterious philosophy in the ancient cards that became modern playing cards. Citing Dante, C.G.Jung, and early Gnostics and alchemists, Campbell and Roberts...


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Customer Reviews

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Exhaustive analysis via numerology/astrology/alchemy

Since no Table of Contents is provided, I provide it herein: p. 3: Part I-Exoteric Tarot: Symbolism of the Marseille Deck by J. Campbell p. 27: Colin Wilson's Intro to Part II p. 39: Part II Richard Roberts' Esoteric Tarot: Symbolism of the Waite/Rider Deck: p. 41: Preface p. 43: I. The Great Myth p. 49: II. The Infinite Ladder p. 59: III. The Magic Nine Arrangement p. 101: IV. Alchemical Descent p. 133: V. The Alchemical Ascent p. 167: VI. Patterns in the Magic Nine p. 193: VII. The Hermetic World p. 229: VIII. The Book of the Dead p. 259: IX. The Caduceus and Astrology p. 286: List of Footnotes [actually endnotes w/o explanatory material & mostly Jung, Cirlot, & Case as well as Waite, Campbell, Frazer, & a few others) p. 295: Color Plates--too small but drawings are interspersed in text to some degree Thus Campbell & Wilson's portions are quite small; it's really a Roberts book (Wilson only introduces Roberts' work--was Campbell's an afterthought?). Despite brevity, Campbell makes acute observations e.g. pp. 23-4: "The 4 signs of Ezekiel's the 3rd & 4th millenniums BC, however, were read as zodiacal references to the 4 equinoxes & solstices: Taurus, the Bull, the Spring equinox; Leo the Lion, summer solstice; the Eagle (now Scorpio), the autumnal equinox; & Aquarius, the water-carrier, the winter solstice" & p. 25: "turn card 12, The Hanged Man, upside down & the legs will be seen to be in the same position as those of the dancing figure of The World. The implied idea is of each of us as an inverted reflection, clothed in the garments of temporality, of the noumenal or "Real." Roberts provides p. 293: "3 treatments given to the Major Arcana, numerical, alchemical, & astrological" for which p. 247: "Our task is rather like that of the restorer of a painting which lies beneath several layers of other pictures added over the years. One has to know how much to rub away-- & where to stop!" But there's the rub! The amount depends on the level of abstraction (inverse of level of detail) one uses as context ~ a microscope with several lenses. What's seen differs by lens (~the 4 levels of interpretation, PARDES in Kabbalah). Roberts mostly uses 2--individual elements on a card & certain card layouts (arrangement), for each of his 3 "slide stains" [my terms] i.e. numerology. He did an exhaustive ( & exhausting) survey of symbolic meanings to card elements, mostly reflecting his 3 "stains." But, stains sometimes mask important highlights & alternate stains may be better. He does introduce bits from Kabbalah, Hinduism, Gnosticism, & Hermeticism & heavily uses Jung (Collected Works of C.G. Jung: 21 Volume Hardcover Set). It's surprising that there are so few quotations from Waite--whose deck is being analyzed, esp. since Roberts attributes a multitude of meanings to Waite's deck not given in Waite's THE PICTORIAL KEY TO THE TAROT: BEING FRAGMENTS OF A SECRET TRADITION UNDER THE VEIL OF DIVINATION--st

Advanced Symbology

An excellent treatise on the symbology of the Tarot - both the Marsailles deck (by Joseph Campbell) and the Waite deck (by Richard Roberts). Echoing some of the other reviews - the material is very dense. It is an excellent work, but not for the beginner. A good foundation in Jung and Campbell will go a long way to helping to digest the concepts. Also, Joseph Campbell's contributions are pretty limited. If you are looking for pure Joe Campbell, this is going to disappoint. The detailed analysis of the symbols of the Waite Tarot opened new vistas that I had not seen before. While Roberts himself admits that the analysis is somewhat subjective and specualtive, he ties the material back to Jung and others with an adroit style, and there is little in the way of pure speculation. A good read for the advanced student of Jung and Campbell - not so good for the novice.

unique perspective

a uniquely elegant and informative look inside the world of Tarot by a powerful collaboration indeed.Tarot from a Jungian and mythological perspective is what you will get with this highly interesting work.

And you shall know the truth, and it will set you free ...

For years, I ignored the Tarot because I thought it was a frivolous card game and that material written about it was cultish at worst and childish at best. It did not help that Tarot cards on the market were manufactured by American Games. I became interested in the Tarot cards because Bill Moyers interviewed Joseph Campbell, and as Moyers had never struck me as a kook, I thought perhaps Campbell was worth getting to know. Getting to know Campbell led me to TAROT REVELATIONS. Much of my formal education concerns the social sciences including ethnography and the study of religion, myths, belief systems, etc. As a professional social scientist in a job that deals with ethnic issues, I have struggled to operationally define and measure ethnicity, and view cultural elements including myths as the basis of belief systems around which various ethnic groups organize their societies. I have arrived at the conclusion that most of the smaller systems are doomed, but fortunately, anthropologists and others have recorded enough material that we may still study the myths of our ancestors. Joseph Campbell points the way. Mark Twain is purported to have said, don't let school get in the way of your education. Like Twain, Campbell--a highly educated man and a college professor--was able to break out of the mold of formal education and develop a fresh viewpoint concerning the world and what makes it tick. In other words, he was able to get past the mental censorship of academe.In TAROT REVELATIONS, Campbell takes a leaf from Sir James Frazier's book 'The Golden Bough' and suggests a core set of concepts underlie all belief systems. He suggests Jungian psychologists have their own terms for these mythical elements which Jung recognized ages ago. As an empirical test of his idea that mythical elements have universal meanings, he compares the Tarot cards of the Major Arcana with the works of Dante and notes their similarities. He also demonstates how the cards can be used to illustrate the "ideal life, lived virtuously according to the knightly codes of the Middle Ages."In the remainder of the book, Richard Roberts, a student of Campbell, shows how the cards reflect the various mythological belief systems of historical peoples in the ancient world--Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, Keltoi, Iberians, etc. Roberts uses a deck designed about 100 years ago by A.E.Waite, a member of a group interested in arcane matters that included many illustrious members including W.B.Yeats. Waite did not invent the cards, he merely redesigned them using historical sources such as Tarot decks from the Middle Ages. Waite hired Pamela Coleman, an artist and fellow New Dawn member to illustrate the cards. Coleman, a Jamaican by birth with occult interests of her own was later "discovered" by Afred Stigliz who arranged for a showing of her works in New York City. Roberts compares the elements in the Tarot deck with various myth based and arcane systems including alchemy, astrology, and Hermet

An Excellent Treatise on the Tarot

I would HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone interested in the interperetations of the Tarot cards and how they relate to the initiatory Magickal systems of organizations like the Golden Dawn and even Freemasonry. Joseph Campbell (who needs no introduction!) writes on the French Mersailes deck, and Richard Roberts does a wonderful job with the Waite-Rider deck, including an explanation of his "Magic Nine" arrangement that is probably the most revealing layout of the cards. The authors focus less on the divinitory aspects of Tarot and more on the individuals journey through the mysteries of the Cosmos as outlined by the symbolism of the Tarot. Get this book! You will be glad you did.
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