Perspectives on Tarot has changed a lot recently: new title, new reading format, evolving content approach. So here’s an up-to-date overview, for readers just arriving, and readers catching up.
So far, it’s just me — Cynthia Giles. This link leads to my own website, where you can find out more about non-Tarot, non-Medium aspects of my career.
A fair amount of the content here has been adapted from my books, but there are also many new stories. And I’m planning to introduce additional voices to Perspectives on Tarot, through guest posts and interviews. …
For this episode of Tarot Notes, I wanted to share two stories about the Tarot as creative inspiration.
I. From a dream to a theory
Tarot attracts a surprisingly wide range of enthusiasts — including the noted historian and social theorist Theodore Roszak.
Roszak began his career with The Making of a Counter Culture (1969), an influential study that shaped our understanding of more than one generation. He went on to write such provocative books as Where the Wasteland Ends (1972) and Person/Planet: The Creative Disintegration of Industrial Society (1979). …
In the spring of 1987, Tarot theorist Guido Gillabel created 22 major arcana designs — inspired by the archetypal symbolism of birth and rebirth. The designs were executed in minimalist (almost diagrammatic) ink drawings, and produced in a limited edition of 99 decks.
Here are The Fool and The Empress from Gillabel’s original Cosmic Egg Tarot, which measures 2.5”x 2.5”.
The Esoteric Tarot: Backgrounds left off at a consequential moment in Tarot history. The ambitious origin story created by Antoine Court de Gebelin in 1775 had set the stage for a complete transformation of the Tarot.
Almost overnight, the Tarot cards were swept out of the Renaissance, into the Enlightenment — and beyond.
Court de Gebelin himself was a man of serious ideas and good repute, who numbered among his friends the American polymath Ben Franklin. And although his ideas about the Tarot were based on some false assumptions, they were significant. …
As it turns out, Tarot never really goes out of fashion as a topic. But Tarot stories have been surfacing more often in mainstream publications, I think, since 2017 — possibly because generating an endless stream of content has become such a necessity for marketers and publishers.
So Tarot turns up in the “bigs” (like Cosmo and NYT) as well as digital mags like Aeon, and content collections like Mental Floss and NBC’s Think.
I haven’t performed a detailed analysis, but my general impression is that mainstream Tarot stories fall into two general categories. One comprises semi-serious accounts, often coupled…
In 2011, the UK’s Focal Point gallery put together an exhibition titled “Outrageous Fortune: Artists Remake the Tarot.” And curator Andrew Hunt’s idea for organizing the show was as complex as a Tarot reading . . . .
I’m looking around for big ideas about Tarot and its relationship to the wider world. There’s a lot of territory to search! So I’ve tried to organize/describe the field of inquiry.
More on that at the end of this story. But first I want to share insights from two readers who responded to previous stories — and expand a bit on the questions they raised.
I wrote this short reflection in 2005, and shared it here on Medium last year.
The Trouble with Tarot
The trouble is . . . Tarot morphs into whatever someone wants it to be. It’s…
I set out recently (‘Spinning the Wheel”)to find places where Tarot intersects with serious issues — and the first thing I thought of was an episode from my own past. It struck me as a precursor to the darker recesses of today’s social media . . .
If you haven’t read the “New Revolution” timeline I posted a while back, this would be a great time. And if you have — consider a quick refresher.
I mention that piece because there are a couple of milestones I left off. They weren’t a fit for the theme of positive growth in…
There’s a story behind this makeover, of course. It starts with a practical problem, and culminates with some existential questions.
Here’s the short version.
When I originally started this Medium publication, I intended to use it as a platform for making the text of my two Tarot books available online. I planned to add some color illustrations, update where necessary, and break up the text a bit for easy on-screen reading.
Hmmmm . . .
By the time I finished “revising” just one chapter from History, Mystery, and Lore, I’d found myself going much further. Rewriting, expanding, and even rethinking…
A Tarot dance performance + some notes on the “Christmas Star” 2020
I’m constantly surprised by the Tarot-inspired projects I stumble over, in places I would never have thought to look. And this week’s newsletter starts off with the latest example . . .
The goal of Aura CuriAtlas Physical Theater is to “find magic in ordinary situations, presented in unusual ways.” Blending dance, acrobatics, and visual art since 2013, the company takes its name from the combined qualities of lightness (Aura), strength (Atlas), and play (Curiosity).
Given the adventurous spirit of Aura CuriAtlas, it’s not surprising that in 2019…
Ideas and information about Tarot, 1421–2021. Viewed from various vantage points.