AUTHOR’S NOTE: The first half of this essay is an update of a post I wrote in mid-2018 as I worked my way through Alejandro Jodorowsky’s The Way of Tarot the first time. I’m now nearly finished with my second reading and have a better grasp of what he was getting at with the Hermit. …


AUTHOR’S NOTE: For the last couple of years as Valentine’s Day approaches I’ve been reposting my essay on the suit of Cups as the pinnacle of romantic expression. Here it is for my new readers:

It’s likely that the song of the title (written by bluesman Slim Harpo and recorded by several ’60s rockers) was talking more about the tumescent love of Crowley’s Ace of Disks (“It’ll last all the while”) than the sweet emotion of the RWS 2 of Cups. But with the “season of love” — or at least its Hallmark equivalent — upon us, I thought I…


Around the end of every year there seems to be a flood of new-deck announcements and glossy (albeit online for most of us) catalogs from Lo Scarabeo, U.S. Games Systems and a few smaller publishing houses. These feed the pernicious addiction many of us share: “Deck Acquisition Syndrome (DAS).” Every tarot forum I’ve participated in (I’m presently on hiatus from all of them) has had something similar to “enabling” and “de-enabling” threads aimed at either pointing members toward worthwhile new decks or warning them away from less impressive fare. Because not everyone has the same interests or tastes, I’ve learned…


No, I’m not talking about yoga or the Kama Sutra. Not long ago I came across the notion of adjusting the meanings of spread positions according to the cards that land in them, creating a cut-to-fit spontaneity in the reading. The idea is that the positional layout wouldn’t change but the significance of each position would be more elastic, offering a symphony of challenges and opportunities rather than a single steady note. I dubbed them “stretchable” positions that would mold themselves around the nature of their resident cards, making for a kind of blended pastiche of meaning. …


AUTHOR’S NOTE: This essay first appeared in The Cartomancer quarterly journal a couple of years ago. Now that the 12-month republishing ban has expired, I’m free to offer it here. This subject is central to an understanding of the art of tarot reading, and I touch on it frequently in my writing.

Archimedes Exclaiming Eureka! (By Giammaria Mazzucchelli — Public Domain, www.ssplprints.com, )

First, a disclaimer: I’m not a huge fan of intuition as the sole arrow in my interpretive quiver. The risk of chasing my own subconscious phantoms rather than reading the plain evidence in the cards is simply too great. When I do rely on it, I always seek…


I seldom do daily draws any more because my life just doesn’t change enough to warrant that detailed level of scrutiny. But I do believe there can be value in looking at the elemental tone and the numerical vibration of the upcoming day, not to see what will happen and why, but rather how it might transpire. I’m not so much interested in the scope or shape of the experience as its texture; what it will feel like and what I should do with its energy. In that sense, the trump cards are a case of “too much information” and…


Now to the heart of the matter.

Rather than using the Astrological Spread with the “Astro-Tarot Mandala” as described in Part 1 of this essay, I decided to come up with unique ways to choose which horoscope houses and planets will be highlighted by the specific cards in a reading. …


This essay is yet another installment in a long-running theme that has been intriguing me for several years: the blending of tarot and astrology in more practical ways than simply using the latter to provide depth to the meaning of the individual cards. In this case the natal horoscope provides a personalized backdrop for the traditional Astrological Spread.

There are readers who choose to ignore the use of esoteric correspondences with the tarot, and astrology — as the most widely applied — is singled out in particular. There are two main arguments: first, astrology and tarot are two distinctly incompatible…


As a companion piece to yesterday’s post, “Of Time and Tarot,” here is a summary of various methods for timing future events with the tarot, along with a personal approach to applying the trump cards that uses their inherent nature rather than the Golden Dawn’s monthly astrological associations shown in the last list. In my experience, none of these techniques is foolproof; sometimes the best we can come up with is “sooner rather than later” or its opposite, and occasionally we get an answer that is “just plain silly.” (For example, “You will hear about your medical diagnosis five years…


AUTHOR’S NOTE: This essay first appeared in Reflections, the American Tarot Association’s quarterly journal.

Those who delve even casually into divination with the tarot realize early on that, while the cards often excel at answering questions involving “What? Why? How?” and perhaps even “Who?” (if only in terms of gender and approximate age), they are markedly less effective in addressing “Where?” and “When?” We are concerned here with the last of these considerations.

A number of attempts have been made to attribute time spans to the cards of the tarot. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn used the corresponding…

Parsifal the Scribe

I’ve been involved in the esoteric arts since 1972, with a primary interest in tarot and astrology. See my previous work at www.parsifalswheeldivination.com.

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