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    The Descent of the Tree

    This is a short note to open up a thought about how we tell the story of the four suits in the Tarot. The Major Arcana are often described as The Fool’s Journey. It is a narrative which we can tell from the Fool setting off unheeding and joyful into the world, then having a series of archetypal encounters which lead, finally, to The World and a sense of completion and accomplishment. Each suit also has a narrative. It might not be as explicit as The Fool’s Journey but it underlies a lot of our thinking about the suits. From Ace to Ten, there is a sense of movement which…

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    Altered States – a tarot exercise

      We talk about altered states of consciousness a lot in the magical community and there is a tendency to assume that these are deep trances in which one is unassailable by outside world, or wild psychedelic trips brought about by heroic doses of psilocybin. The phrase ‘altered state of consciousness’ is, in fact, rather problematic: altered from what? And by how much? And what exactly is a ‘state’ when it comes to describing consciousness anyway? Largely we talk about altered states when we are looking for ways to get the mind to interact more intensely with the realm of the spiritual, the spirits, the imaginal, the archetypal. The tarot,…

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    The Mystical Tarot – The Devil

    Some tarot decks really don’t get the attention they deserve. I absolutely love the Mystical Tarot, published by Lo Scarabeo in 2017, created by Giuliano Costa and think it warrants study and use. It’s a rich, detailed and absorbing deck with so many layers to peel back. I spent a bit of time with it this afternoon, looking at how the artist has interpreted the cards. They are absolutely crammed with symbolism and whilst being recognisably in the spirit of the Waite Smith deck, they have a unique quality which is at once artistically satisfying and magically potent.   The Devil was first out of the pack today. There are…