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Being an integration of existing interpretations,
leading to a discourse of
An Original System of Magick
the Sacred Tarot
as a system of Divination
being a guide to
Personal Healing, Growth,
written by Randy Chance and consecrated this 1st day of the Year
nineteen hundred and eighty seven,
An Introduction to the
From the very beginnings of my interest in Magick, I was
drawn irresistibly to the Tarot. That peculiar deck of
colorfully illustrated cards seems to have inspired a singular
energy among virtually all who become preoccupied with occult
knowledge, as can be readily seen. It was certainly by far the
single most endearing and lasting memory Mr. A. E. Waite has
bequeathed to us, of all his many writings. And the unique Mr.
Alistair Crowley seems to have possessed a singular affection for
the cards, which culminated in his designing his own rather
exceptional deck. History is filled with artists, kings and
psychics, each of whose obsession with the Tarot has contributed
to its colorful and mysterious story.
Of the three predominant occult systems, Numerology seems
most potent. Though we can discuss endlessly what Thoth was to
the Egyptians and how it related to what Hermes meant to the
Greeks, or Mercury to the Romans, as soon as I ask you how you
feel about the number three, for instance, suddenly the
conversation gets very personal. Subjective I dare say, easily
to the point of madness, for these abstract archetypes are like
an endless hole in one's psyche that nothing seems to plug up.
It is for this purpose that, after having allowed myself an
appropriate amount of confusion over the many Tarot forms and
interpretations, I concluded that only a system of
symbolism as personal as Numerology could give me the process
needed for dredging up from my inner universe the raw material
needed for a complete and original system of divination and
occult philosophy. But Numerology is and of itself for this very
reason far too inert to be practically applicable for spiritual
Astrology, on the other hand, is anything but inert. The
complexity of it's mechanism continually strains the thought
processes almost to the point of rendering their contents
undecipherable. And yet, for the very reason it's calculations
are at the same time so accessible and yet so controversial, it
has produced a wealth of symbolic imagery unequalled in any system which
attracts the imagination (spiritual or otherwise). As much
as this enormous wealth of imagery is needed for our purposes, I
find the processes of Astrology too fixed, too constraining, to be
really satisfying on a daily basis for spiritual healing and
The Tarot has a unique ability to attach itself to that
continuous dialogue that ushers forth between the conscious and
the unconscious, or as A. E. Waite put it, from "behind the
Veil". And like that dialogue, the statements of the Tarot are
continually changing, continually in a state of flux, as is any
living being. The Tarot's powers are a perfect testimony to the
precept that a human being is not a thing, but a process. And so
I would like to offer my own analysis of that process here,
harvesting as well as I can from all these other occult systems, if I
may, as well as from all the world's mystical and spiritual
preoccupations, as they have guided and inspired me in my own
Mary K. Greer, in her wonderful book, "Tarot for Yourself",
encourages us to write an affirmation of our feelings about the
Tarot, what it means to us, and what we would like to use it for.
A partial description of purposes for the Tarot.
The Tarot is an ancient system of transpersonal symbols
which have evolved from all of the human communities of the Earth
since the beginning of civilization. The Tarot is a distillation
of human experiences with the Unknown. Through endless encounters
with endless people, the Tarot has developed into a set of High
Magickal systems with infinite potential to provoke, change and
transform human spiritual Being.
Some of the major purposes of the Tarot are to create and
help define a relationship between the unconscious and the
conscious, between the Self and the ego, between God and man. And
to concretize a process and a universe of inner symbolism. And
to teach the relationship between that inner world and the
symbols of the collective unconscious. And to provoke out of
the intellectual ruts, the emotional and relationship scripts and
the inertia of spiritual immaturity and stagnation, a process of healing,
integration and individuation.
Some of my primary motives for working with the Tarot are to learn a
basis for creating my own personal approach to symbols. And to learn how
to use the Tarot as a set of symbols for self knowledge, and for personal
One of the most powerful ways in which the Tarot does what
it does is the way in which it integrates the two
hemispheres of the brain. The pictures, designs and visual
symbols on the cards communicate with the right side of the
brain, which deals with non verbal, non temporal, spatial
relationships, and the mystical, inexplicable aspects of
experience. The verbal definitions which we memorize and
contemplate in our Tarot studies are apprehended by the left side
of the brain, which processes the rational, verbal, critical
aspects of experience.
The roots of this approach to left brain - right brain phenomenon are
to be found in the Kaballa, the system of ancient Hebrew mysticism which
provides the background for most traditional Tarot study in our culture.
The Kaballa is based on a mystical approach to the ancient Hebrew language,
which is unique in human history in that
it combines a pictorial approach to communication with a rational one.
Languages of the world generally fall into one of two groups.
They are either, like the Japanese or Chinese languages, based on
pictures, which symbolize ideas, or they are based on phonetic
symbols, which, when put together, conjure an idea in the readers
head (which is what you're doing as you read this book: The
symbols "C-A-T" are not a picture of a cat, they are symbols that
represent sounds which, when pronounced together, present the
idea of cat that has been taught to you).
The Hebrew language, however, does both. It's twenty two
letters are pictorial symbols which each have a distinct meaning.
Yet at the same time, each letter represents a sound which, when
combined with other letters, creates an idea in the same way our
English language does. When you consider as well that each
letter of it's alphabet has a numerical quantity assigned to it,
it becomes apparent that there is a great wealth of symbolism
available at the contemplation of such a system.
I encourage individual approaches to the Tarot. I believe the best
approach is to give oneself permission to let the system of symbolism in
the Tarot inspire one's own personal symbolism. I also believe that, in
studying the Tarot, one's own intuition is the best guide through the maze
and mire of varying interpretations.
I keep a set of blank flash cards in a desk drawer. Whenever I feel like
inventing a new Tarot card, I do so. I may arbitrarily ascribe Kaballa
numerological, gematric (magic words) and/or pictorial symbols and values to
it. I may decide that this symbol is a God, and I think it's fine to have
lots of them. I reserve the right to kill God and reinvent him again on a
daily basis, and I give you permission to do so too.