What is Divination? Astrology The I Ching The Tarot The Runes
What is Divination?
The Basic Tools
Astrology, with its long tradition, has been revived during the 20th century and was made accessible to a larger circle of people. In the United States, astrology is taught in the meantime at several reputed universities.
Moreover, astrological advice is sought after by leading officials, stars and business people all over the world. Many different astrology schools and techniques have diversified the astrological landscape. One of the strongest and perhaps most important aspects of astrology is its capacity to reveal our true purpose in life.
This so-called psychological or humanistic school of modern astrology, mainly developed by Dane Rudhyar and his followers is, from an empirical point of view, more precise than the prognostic part of astrology, which is the branch of astrology portrayed by the mass media and thus known to the general public.
— See, for example, Dane Rudhyar, Astrology of Personality (1990), An Astrological Triptych (1991), Astrological Mandala (1994).
The stars only set potentialities, which means they incline us to follow certain paths, but they do not determine us.
It is our own thought, our own desire, our own intention that direct us, and not any fixated notion of ‘destiny.’
Astrology is often erroneously taken as the mirror of predestination. However, astrology is from the start set to guide the free human, not the one who is chained by limiting beliefs, of which predestination is just one of many.
Astrology is taught since Antiquity as the science that provides us with self-knowledge and helps us realize our true potential in a creative, happy and constructive way.
Forecasting bears, to repeat it, always a certain risk since we can change our intention and our desires from today, thereby changing our future accordingly.
The astrological forecast, if it’s a forecast only, is a rather rigid assessement of one point on the timeline of life, compared to the ever-changing nature of living and the unpredictable nature of the human being. On the other hand, the psychological, characterological advice of potential astrology is in most cases surprisingly accurate.
The birth chart is an open book for one who is able to interpret it; it reveals with truly scientific exactitude our talents, capacities, creative possibilities, but also our weaknesses and challenges for self-development.
In my personal coaching approach, I use pure potential astrology as a diagnostic tool. This means that I don’t do any kind of forecasting, but use the astrological projection system as a tool for finding the client’s, or their child’s, life mission and innate talents and capacities by a karmic analysis of the birth chart, mainly by examining the Moon Nodes axis.
Numerology is another method to detect astrological data. It can be held that astrology is but a specific form of numerology and vice versa. To say, both techniques lead to the same insights.
The I Ching, the five thousand years old Chinese wisdom and oracle book, is of primary importance in any serious discussion about divinatory practice. Famous writers, psychologists, musicians and writers such as Hermann Hesse, Carl Jung, Joseph Murphy, John Lennon or Terence McKenna have used or analyzed it, not to talk about the Chinese sage Confucius who literally slept with the I Ching under his night pillow. They and many others profited from the advice the book can give on virtually all life situations.
The Tarot is not as old as the I Ching and astrology. It has been conceived by medieval alchemists who took their knowledge from old traditions and distilled it into a set of game cards, composed of twelve large arcanes and a number of small arcanes, to be interpreted as to their importance in the divination process.
The advice-givers, traditionally people who went through initiation in esoteric knowledge, are bound to a set of ethical rules and obligations.
In the application of the most famous of Tarot decks, the Tarot de Marseille, the advice-givers were for example bound to not ask for pecuniary remuneration. They were generally paid with food. However, if the advice-seeker put some money in the place designed for voluntary contribution, the advice-giver could take it.
Nowadays, we can observe that the Tarot again takes an important place alongside various methods of self-exploration.
The abundance of literature shows that many now are searching for their roots and the significance of life.
Among all divinatory practices, the Tarot seems to attract the most of attention from the greater public, perhaps because it is more propagated within popular culture. The very fact that the Tarot has been created shows that there is still space and need for integrated approaches, even after thousands of years of tradition and the most erudite writings already existing.
Every tradition has to be adapted to the period of time where it is to be considered. There are in fact many new Tarot decks, and new divinatory games based on the Tarot system, but more adapted to the psychological insights of our era.
Actually, the young generation today got an acute interest in all they judge as magic in a larger sense, or that is considered as a tool for exploring invisible realms of reality. It is perhaps that the Tarot looks like a game which makes it more attractive for the young than other divinatory practices.
As a result, new magic games are booming within that niche market. The power of creativity behind this vague of new productions is considerable! Despite the fact that there is hardly something really new, the way the old traditions, especially as divinatory card games, have been inspired with new life proves that there are creative impulses in our young generations that are going to foster a revival of perennial science and philosophy during the Aquarius Age.
There are many other systems of divination. The more well known among them are Geomancy, and the Runes, which is originally a Celtic divination method, and nowadays again sought after in initiated circles.
Science and Divination
When I talk about divination, I include here all possible devices, methods and traditions that are used to in some way foretell the future, or specific future events around a chosen developmental theme. Thus, divination can mean Astrology, it can mean Tarot and it can mean Geomancy, and it definitely also can mean using the I Ching.
Now, is there a relationship between divination and science?
Cartesian science never has cared about explaining divination and why it works, whereas archetypal and transformational psychology, especially the Jungian branch of it, has been a pioneering and insight-provoking pathway to open the depth of the psyche and its divinatory potential to the modern researcher. One of the leading publications in this context is Sallie Nichols’ study Jung and Tarot (1986). A scientific approach to divination is characterized by a certain reticence to take the whole process for granted, and is antipathic toward a mere belief in a divinatory prediction. This is a good thing! For we have to elucidate the relationship between divination and suggestion!
Joseph Murphy explains it conclusively in his book The Power of Your Subconscious Mind (1982). The solution to the riddle of how divination works is contained in one single phrase of this book. Here it is:
Remember that because your future is the result of your habitual thinking, it is already in your mind unless you change it through prayer.
— Joseph Murphy, The Power of Your Subconscious Mind (1982), p. 165
What divination does, and only does is to read our habitual and repetitive thought patterns, and extrapolate them on a virtual time line into the future.
This is, then, what is called ‘predicting the future.’ When you know what it’s really about and how it is done, you see that there is no mystery about it, and that it makes sense, while the expression ‘prediction’ is nonsense.
But don’t fall in the trap of the mass mind that for that very reason believes the future was predestined. That would be a wrong conclusion because you can change your thoughts at this very moment, if you really want to, and thereby you change your future accordingly.
And that is what gave Dr. Murphy the deep and lasting motivation to write his books in the first place, and to lecture, and to be a minister and spiritual guide because he has seen, everywhere, what the results are of those false beliefs, of those false conclusions that are rampant in all our media, our newspapers, magazines, and today also on the Internet.
Murphy also has seen how destructive, then, for such a fragile and widely manipulated mindset it is, when fortune tellers, astrologers and other diviners come along with their so-called ‘predictions.’
Murphy has seen it all around himself, and even in his own family, how people fall ill and even die, without having to die, because of the suggestions they receive from others in the form of hypnotic spells wrapped in various forms, and also, unfortunately, in professional divination, when done by unspiritual, greedy and dishonest life consultants.
And it’s a fact, only to look at the Internet, what masses of scam artists are around in all those fields called esoteric, new age, mindpower and all the rest of it! When such power of irresponsible manipulative greed meets the fragile and ignorant mind of ‘man in the street,’ then we can virtually predict disasters to happen.
The science that I have in mind when I put up the dichotomy science vs. divination is the Science of Mind, also called Religious Science, as it was founded by Ernest Holmes in 1927, and expanded and commercialized in the 1960s, by Joseph Murphy and Catherine Ponder.
I studied the science of mind over the last twenty years; it clearly emphasizes the priority of mind over matter — spiritual monism — and also the priority of the present over the past and any form of predestination.
Let us be reminded in this context that the Bible is against both astrology and any form of fortune telling. For example, Deuteronomy 18: 9–12:
Deuteronomy 18: 9–12
9 When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.
10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.
11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
When I came across these Bible quotes in 1991, I was first revolted!
I found the Bible forwarded here a form of Christian fundamentalism that was completely against my convictions and spirituality. Yet I wanted to understand what the Bible meant here, what the deeper meaning was behind these admonitions.
First of all, let me say this.
Divination is not unique to Asian culture and tradition. It’s universal for all pre-patriarchal and also for all tribal cultures worldwide.
The three great monotheistic cultures, Judaism, Islam and Christianity, in their orthodox or right-wing branches, are surely the only religions that have something against it!
And the reason for this bias might be the simple fact that in pre-patriarchal cultures divination really was the business of females, not of males.
Even in ancient Greece, the Oracle in Delphi was told by women. And with the depreciation and dethronement of women as it’s implicit in all three monotheistic or male god religions, that powerful role of women was a sting.
And what about divination in the ancient Mesoamerican religions?
I shall quote from An Illustrated Dictionary of The Gods and Symbols of Ancient Mexico and the Maya (1993), a wonderful book written by Mary Miller and Karl Taube, that contains 260 illustrations. Under the key word ‘divination,’ on page 79, the authors write that divination was an essential element of Mesoamerican religious life.
As a sign of its importance, the primordial ANCESTRAL COUPLE and even the creators themselves are often described as diviners. Thus the Aztec genetrix TOCI was regarded as the goddess of diviners as well as the mother of the gods. It is quite likely that the aged Goddess O of the Maya was similarly regarded as a diviner as well as an aged creator goddess. In Central Mexico, the primordial couple known as Oxomoco and Cipactonal are described as diviners. According to the Quiché Maya POPOL VUH, the aged couple Xpiyacoc and Xmucane performed divinatory hand casting during the creation of people. Not only do diviners play a role in CREATION ACCOUNTS, but the actual practitioners frequently compare their ritual acts to that of creation. Thus the diviner commonly describes and invokes the images and forces present at the time of creation. (…)
So the question arises: how does the Bible relate to divining? And why does it exhort us to be careful with it? Let me begin by giving an example taken from Dr. Murphy’s book The Power of Your Subconscious Mind (1982). Because of the importance of the subject, I shall exceptionally quote the entire sequence:
How Suggestion Killed a Man
A distant relative of mine went to a celebrated crystal gazer in India and asked the woman to read his future. The seer told him that he had a bad heart. She predicted that he would die at the next new moon.
My relative was aghast. He called up everyone in his family and told them about the prediction. He met with his lawyer to make sure his will was up-to-date. When I tried to talk him out of his conviction, he told me that the crystal gazer was known to have amazing occult powers. She could do great good or harm to those she dealt with. He was convinced of the truth of this.
As the new moon approached, he became more and more withdrawn. A month before this man had been happy, healthy, vigorous, and robust. Now he was an invalid. On the / predicted date, he suffered a fatal heart attack. He died not knowing he was the cause of his own death.
How many of us have heard similar stories and shivered a little at the thought that the world is full of mysterious uncontrollable forces? Yes, the world is full of forces, but they are neither mysterious nor uncontrollable. My relative killed himself, by allowing a powerful suggestion to enter into his subconscious mind. He believed in the crystal gazer’s powers, so he accepted her prediction completely.
Let us take another look at what happened, knowing what we do about the way the subconscious mind works. Whatever the conscious, reasoning mind of a person believes, the subconscious mind will accept and act upon. My relative was in a suggestible state when he went to see the fortune teller. She gave him a negative suggestion, and he accepted it. He became terrified. He constantly ruminated on his conviction that he was going to die at the next new moon. He told everyone about it, and he prepared for his end. It was his own fear and expectation of the end, accepted as true by his subconscious mind, that brought about his death.
The woman who predicted his death had no more power than the stones and sticks in the field. Her suggestion in itself had no power to create or bring about the end she suggested. If he had known the laws of his mind, he would have completely rejected the negative suggestion and refused to give her words any attention. He could have gone about the business of living with the secure knowledge that he was governed and controlled by his own thoughts and feelings. The prophecy of the seer would have been like a rubber ball thrown at an armored tank. He could have easily neutralized and dissipated her suggestion with no harm to himself. Instead, through lack of awareness and knowledge, he allowed it to kill him./
In themselves, the suggestions of others have no power over you. Whatever power they have, they gain because you give it to them through your own thoughts. You have to give your mental consent. You have to entertain and accept the thought. At that point it becomes your own thought, and your subconscious works to bring it into experience.
Remember, you have the capacity to choose. Choose life! Choose love! Choose health!
— Joseph Murphy, The Power of Your Subconscious Mind (1982), pp. 29–30.
There is a difference between foolishly accepting for true any ‘prediction’ by an astrologer or fortune teller, or any divination device, on one hand, and pondering a certain divination with a critical inner distance, on the other.
For a serious astrologer, it is a question of professional ethics not to make any suggestions. This is equally true for a serious Feng Shui consultant, Tarot expert, and even for paranormals who practice their profession within the rules of the unwritten ethical code set in Antiquity for all Hermetic Sciences.
But from the side of the client, a certain level of emotional maturity is equally required! How many people die because they receive ‘death sentences’ from their medical doctors, taking for granted that the gods in white coats determine their destiny, and ignorant about the pitfalls and limitations Western medical science!
There is a responsibility linked to every new piece of knowledge you learn and digest. This responsibility requires you to use the knowledge not with a foolish, immature or infantile mindset that takes everything for granted when it comes from a so-called ‘authority.’
The Prime Vocabulary
Astrology as a mythological and projective divinatory system is still based upon the Ptolemaic worldview which considered the Sun moving around the Earth, and located the Earth in the middle of the universe.
The amazing news is that it doesn’t matter what the basic paradigm is for astrology to be accurate; there are astrologers who have rewritten astrology entirely for our modern solar-centered worldview. However, the divinatory results are exactly the same under the new system, probably because they do not depend on the way we understand the universe to be set in place.
The truth, if there is any, may one day reveal our present worldview as faulty, ridiculous and inaccurate, just as we today consider the ancient Ptolemaic worldview.
And yet, this will not change the accuracy of astrology. Why? The reason is that when consciousness evolves, the astrological language evolves, but that doesn’t change the astrological divination results.
Astrology is the oldest known perennial science and it has done uncountable favors to the progress of humanity. When you want to use this science to receive valuable advice about yourself and your destiny, you must humble yourself and study astrology seriously. You may, for example, start with consulting a serious astrology site such as Astrodienst — astro.com, based in Zurich, Switzerland, whose mastermind is the famous American astrologer and psychologist Liz Greene.
You will then learn to distinguish perennial astrology from the whitewash you have today, by the thousands and thousands of sites on the Internet and in your usual lifestyle magazines, and that is a vulgarized and highly inaccurate version of astrology. Actually, it has nothing ever to do with real astrology and is really only a cunning money-making device. And why? You have more than one hundred vectors to consider to establish one single birth chart, to do it accurately!
Astrology opened me the door to my own life!
It all started back in the 1970s when I was in my twenties. It was not yet really serious, but I made some amazing discoveries after I had drawn my birth chart. I namely discovered that I did not know myself, that I had no idea who I was! I was in fact encountering myself for the first time in my life, and that was a dumbfounding and exhilarating experience! The real knowledge I got in 1988 when I met two professional astrologers in Switzerland.
But let me take abstraction from my own life story and report more about the perennial principles of astrology.
Manly P. Hall
It should be remembered that among the ancients, astrology was one of the sciences of government. The prognostic aspect of the subject was not the main interest in the minds of such men as Pythagoras and Plato; these philosophers saw in the motion of the heavenly bodies and the order of the cosmos a great pattern of natural laws. The Universe was a celestial empire populated with planets and suns, and moons, in a heavenly arrangement which was a clue to the proper distribution of human affairs. The State, they advocated, should be patterned after the Cosmos. Governments of men should be in harmony with the larger government of the world.
— Manly P. Hall, The Secret Destiny of America (1991).
The Stars Incline But Do Not Determine
Let me add a note here to the subject of so-called predestination. Many people defend the wrong opinion astrology was a technique that fixated people on certain constellations of their birth chart, thus enchaining them in a belief system that restricts their decisions, or influences them in ways that impairs their free will.
This is not true. One of the oldest wisdom sayings in astrology is that the stars ‘incline but do not determine.’ Astrology is all about potentialities, and potential. That’s why I call my own approach to karmic astrology Potential Astrology — because it’s about human potential, the human potential of the client I am consulting.
And astrology, then, is a diagnostic technique to find out about people’s higher life cycles, those namely that go beyond a particular lifetime, and the intent they have set for these greater cycles of Becoming.
Karmic astrology finds out at which point of the cosmic life cycle the client is at the moment of consultation, and shows ways to realize the potential so that all ‘runs smoothly’ as it were. You can do without, of course, as I did without at first, and fell on my nose so hard that it almost broke me. But you can also ask for help and astrology provides this help, which is not suggestive in any way — provided you consider its advice with a mindset that is critical and emotionally mature!
Astrology is an information factor among others for important decision-making. Of course, Dr. Murphy is right when he warns about irresponsible practitioners, and especially crystal gazers who confront people suddenly and as it were dictatorially with their own bad thoughts, their subconscious thought patterns, thus presenting these temporary thoughts as eternal and unchangeable reality. This is the danger, especially when you go to ask for advice in a depressed and thus suggestible mood!
To repeat it, it requires emotional maturity to use powerful tools such as Astrology, Numerology, the Tarot or the I Ching. People with an infantile mindset, entangled as they are in codependence and imitation are easily led astray, because they usually consume what the mass mind says, the media, the television, completely exposed with their mind and souls to the big opinion makers.
If you are addicted to the mass mind, you ignore the complexity of life, and you should definitely stay away from any kind of divination!
In this case, what you really need is to get a distance from this dangerous soup of lies and half-truths, and build autonomy and spiritual self-reliance, and thus become a self-thinker! Only after that, you may use the tools I am proposing here for gaining self-knowledge, and in that case, you can do it safely, and with true benefit, otherwise not.
This is why in Antiquity, this knowledge was reserved for a select few, and was therefore called Hermetic or Arcane, which means secret or occult.
The problems today with esoteric sciences are all a result of the vulgarization of this knowledge, and of the wrong information that is spread by the many scam artists, also and especially on the Internet, who practice esoteric sciences with a profit orientation and against the divine spirit that is behind them and that has created them in the first place.
Basic Astrological Vocabulary
Ecliptic Apparent trajectory of the Sun, always expressed as a one-year cycle of Sun moving around the earth which is considered as static, in the middle of heaven.
The Four Elements Ptolemy applied the theory of the four elements in astrology, that he was the first to codify as a unified system of divination. He assigned each element to three signs, which is where the expression triplicity originates from.
Fire is the first element which characterizes the signs Aries, Leo and Sagittarius. The determinant psychological function of fire is intuition. Fire also implies struggle, exaggeration and dramatization.
Earth has for its function perception. It’s perception that is common to this triplicity that encompasses the signs Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn. It indicates material realization, practical sense and perseverance, but there can also be obstinacy or a lack of skill to begin things in the right way.
Air regulates thought and thinking. It indicates subtleness and flexibility, imagination, intelligence, but also a certain dispersion that may be the result of too many interests and too much striving for ‘doing it right’ for everybody.
Water is the fourth element, which rules emotions. It stands for discipline, a certain conformity, sensitiveness and reverie. There may be emotional instability as a result of one’s environment.
Geocentric Worldview Looking at the heavens, we naturally think we are at the center of the universe, and thus, as a result of our observer bias, we actually distort perception of reality, and suffer from an illusion. Today our science tells us that the ancients were wrong and that our planet is not the center of the universe.
Heliocentric Worldview The heliocentric worldview assumes that the sun is in the center of the universe; it is today considered as the ‘right’ worldview, scientifically speaking, and it is correct when we speak and inquire about our own solar system. But it would be as incorrect as the geocentric worldview when we inquire about the whole of the universe. Probably we can today assume that there is no center of the universe as the universe is not three-dimensional, and thus we cannot grasp what in a four-dimensional universe would be a center.
The I Ching
The Book of Changes
The I Ching or Book of Changes is the oldest of the Chinese classic texts.
A system of symbols designed to identify order in what appear to be chance events, it embodies an ancient cosmology and philosophy that is at the heart of Chinese cultural beliefs.
The philosophy centers on the ideas of the dynamic balance of opposites, the evolution of events as a process, and acceptance of the inevitability of change.
It is based on the alternation of complementary energies called yin and yang, which are developmental poles that by their alternation trigger inevitable change. It is also based on the old integrative philosophy of the five elements that is part of many other esoteric science traditions.
The I Ching has been has been a book for divination and relief, and for spiritual learning for many great and famous people such as Confucius, Hermann Hesse, John Lennon, Carl Gustav Jung, and many others.
While in the Western world the cultural imbeddedness of the I Ching may come second after the actual practice of divination, many believe it expresses the wisdom and philosophy of ancient China. In my view the I Ching’s philosophy, in the terminology of our times has to be qualified as science.
There is life science and there is death science. I consider Western traditional science as death science, as it used to be based on vivisection, on the killing of the natural and vibrant life, for observing it. This is why that from the start, this kind of science was distorting its very object of observation.
What Aldous Huxley once called Perennial Philosophy is actually a Perennial Science. But it was not the Western world that was strong in that oldest of sciences, but ancient Egypt, Persia, India, and China, to name only these.
Interestingly so, the translation of the word Ayurveda, one of the most ancient healing sciences from ancient India, means Science of Life.
Life science, by contrast, looks at life without any set principles or assumptions and observes the dynamic patterns or changes in the living and moving texture of life. It is a science that since its start in ancient China, around five thousand years ago, was interested in life, and thus drew conclusions from life, and not from death. Traditional Chinese science, and Chinese Medicine is life science, one branch of this very large body of science and philosophy being Feng Shui.
The I Ching is based upon life science, and is perhaps the highest condensation of it. Needless to add that, as such, it is non-judgmental and thus bears no moralistic bias regarding human behavior. It looks at human behavior in exactly the same way it looks at all life patterns, and sees the changing nature of it before all.
Structure of the I Ching
You can consider each hexagram or kua as a vibrational pattern or energy pattern that is a unique mix of the two base energies, yin and yang, represented symbolically by lines. Yang is represented by a solid line, yin by a dotted line. Each hexagram is composed of six lines. The first three lines correspond to the lower trigram, the upper three lines compose the upper trigram. And two trigrams each form all 64 hexagrams.
Hexagrams are dynamic patterns in that there is a down-to-up movement contained in them, and a certain time-span inherent in that movement. The lower trigram thus deals with matters that are in their beginning stage, from the start of a project until about half of its realization. The upper trigram deals with the culmination and the end of processes or projects, positively or negatively.
When we observe changes, we learn that if things are kept within reasonable boundaries and the balance of yin and yang is maintained, then they will last. Endurance and lasting success thus are the result of balance, and not of unlimited strength, of flexible adaptation to circumstance, and not of rigid willpower put into one-pointed action.
Richard Wilhelm (1873–1930) was a German missionary and sinologist translator who translated many philosophical works from Chinese into German that in turn were translated into other major languages of the world, including English. His translation of the I Ching is still regarded as one of the finest, as is his translation of The Secret of the Golden Flower, both of which include insightful introductions by Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung, who was a personal friend of him.
I am working with the I Ching now since twenty years, the first ten of which I was using only Richard Wilhelm’s translation. Subsequently, I was wishing to learn subtler differences, and was studying various other editions, among them Blofeld’s translation, which I entirely disliked, then an illustrated version by Kok Kok Kiang, from Singapore, which I abandoned because it actually treats the sacred book like a jester’s treasure box, and finally the two editions I am still today consulting which are Hua Ching Ni’s masterful translation and interpretation, The Book of Changes and the Unchanging Truth (1999), and The I Ching Workbook (1984), by R. L. Wing.
Richard Wilhelm The I Ching or Book of Changes (1967)
Helmut Wilhelm The Wilhelm Lectures on the Book of Changes (1995)
Hua-Ching Ni I Ching: The Book of Changes and the Unchanging Truth (1999)
Alfred Huang The Complete I Ching (1998)
John Blofeld The Book of Changes (1965)
Kok Kok Kiang The I Ching (Illustrated) (1993)
Peter Fritz Walter The Leadership I Ching (2014)
I have begun with consulting Tarot cards back in 1989. I was in Geneva at that time, and it was a cold winter. Two years before I had completed my law doctorate, and was then working in a law firm, with a famous criminal lawyer in Geneva.
At the same time I was pursuing new studies at the university. I was enrolled in the first semester of psychology and was not sure if I should continue or not. My mood was depressive, as this kind of work left me empty, and my creative potential was unused. I knew I could make a brilliant career as an international lawyer, but I did not want it.
I was working as the assistant of this lawyer with the promise that one day I would be his associate. But what was the promise worth? Was the man honest?
My salary was rather low, too low even for somebody without complete 3-cycle education, a lawyer’s diploma in Germany, a Master in European Integration (LL.M.) and a doctorate in international law from one of the best universities in Europe. With these qualifications I was earning less than two thousand dollars per month.
When I passed that esoterism store in the old town of Geneva, on a very cold winter day, I just dropped in, without an idea to buy something. And there was this Tarot game on a table, actually there were many, but my attention was seized by a particular one, The Mythic Tarot by Liz Greene.
The answer of the Tarot was to change my job. And I followed the advice, dropped my engagement with law, despite having done three diplomas in Germany for it, and a law doctorate in Switzerland, and became a coach and human potential researcher. And I never regretted the decision.
Needless to add that since that time I always consult the Tarot, but also the I Ching, for decision-making.
The Tarot de Marseille
The Tarot de Marseille is one of the standard patterns for the design of tarot cards. It is a pattern from which many subsequent tarot decks are derived. Research showed that the Tarot deck was invented in northern Italy in the fifteenth century. The antecedents of the Tarot de Marseille were probably introduced into southern France at around 1499.
The name Tarot de Marseille is not of particularly ancient vintage; it was coined in the 1930s by the French cartomancer Paul Marteau, who gave this collective name to a variety of closely related designs that were being made in the city of Marseille in the south of France, a city that was a centre of playing card manufacture.
The Tarot de Marseille is one of the standards from which many tarot decks of the nineteenth century and later are derived. Like other Tarot decks, the Tarot de Marseille contains fifty-six cards in the four standard suits. In French language versions of the Tarot de Marseille, those suits are identified by their French names of Bâtons (Rods, Staves, Scepters, or Wands), Épées (Swords), Coupes (Cups), and Deniers (Coins). These count from Ace to 10. As well, there are four court cards in each suit: a Valet (Knave or Page), Chevalier or Cavalier (Horse-rider or Knight), Reine (Queen) and Roi (King).
Occultists call this series the minor arcana. There are also the standard twenty-two trump cards, or major arcana. At times, the Fool, which is unnumbered in the Tarot de Marseille, is viewed is separate and additional to the other twenty-one numbered atouts.
(01) Le Bateleur The Mountebank, The Juggler, The Magician
(02) La Papesse The Papess, or The Female Pope
(03) L’Impératrice The Empress
(04) L’Empereur The Emperor
(05) Le Pape The Pope
(06) L’Amoureux The Lover
(07) Le Chariot The Chariot
(08) La Justice Justice
(09) L’Hermite The Hermit
(10) La Roue de Fortune The Wheel of Fortune
(11) La Force Strength, or Fortitude
(12) Le Pendu The Hanged Man
(13) L’Arcane sans nom, La Mort Death
(14) La Tempérance Temperance
(15) Le Diable The Devil
(16) La Maison Dieu The House of God, or The Tower
(17) L’Étoile The Star
(18) La Lune The Moon
(19) Le Soleil The Sun
(20) Le Jugement Judgment
(21) Le Monde The World
(22) Le Mat The Fool
A leading publication for understanding the Jungian approach to the Tarot is: Sallie Nichols, Jung and Tarot: An Archetypal Journey (1986).
What are Runes?
Runes originally are an ancient alphabet found in inscriptions on stone in Scandinavian countries. The runic alphabet belongs to the Germanic group of languages, but is related to Greek and Latin alphabets.
Runes were inscribed on stone monuments to commemorate events and individuals as well as for magical purposes. A Norwegian monument indicates that runes were believed to give magical protection.
The use of runic inscriptions has been revived in both the modern magical and new age ideas and activities, and crated a vast contemporary literature. Runes are used for divination.
Nowadays, what is to be seen in the market is more of Rune Cards than actual Runes. I myself work with the set of Rune Cards by Silver RavenWolf & Nigel Jackson, Rune Mysteries (2000), which come with a book.
Ralph H. Blum & Susan Loughan The Healing Runes (1995)
Silver RavenWolf & Nigel Jackson Rune Mysteries (2000)
Edred, Thorsson Futhark: A Handbook of Rune Magic (1984)
Leon D. Wild The Runes Workbook (2004)