The Alchemical Tarot
The Power of Alchemical Images
The Power of The Alchemical Tarot lies in its ability to act as a tool for communication with our inner wisdom. As the famous psychoanalyst, Carl Jung, discovered each of us only uses a small part of our total psyche; this is the conscious part called the ego. The vast majority of our psychic ability remains unconscious. Jung called the totality of our psyche, both conscious and unconscious, the Self. We may also refer to it as the Higher Self, our over soul, our guardian angel, our genius, or our daemon. Even though our Higher Self is our true personality and connected to the infinite intelligence of the universe, our egos are so effective at separating us from this unity that for most of us the Higher Self, if we encounter it at all, seems like a separate personality. So, we make little use of our psychic inheritance, the accumulated knowledge and wisdom of our ancestors, and the infinite creative potential of the Universal Self.To bridge this gap and use our inheritance, each of us must let unconscious information merge into our consciousness in a way that is safe and guided by the Higher Self. We must develop our intuition. One of the best tools for developing intuition in a safe guided way is the Tarot, and because of its mystical, alchemical symbolism, The Alchemical Tarot is uniquely well suited for this task.
The Alchemical Tarot is the creation of the internationally known mystical artist, Robert M. Place. The deck began with a flash of insight, in which Place realized that the symbolic images in alchemical texts were interchangeable with the standard Tarot trumps, and that the Tarot outlined the same process of mystical transformation as alchemy. This insight led him into a process of research, writing, and drawing and after eight years the result was an uncommonly beautiful and meaningful deck.
Alchemy is the precursor of modern medicine and science, but unlike modern science, alchemy recognizes that the world is alive and that it has a purpose. This purpose is shared by every component of the world, including ourselves. The purpose may be defined as evolution toward a higher state. The goal of alchemy was to speed up this evolution by creating a mystical agent or catalyst known as the philosopher’s stone. The process of creating this stone was called the gerat work or opus and once created the philosopher’s stone had the power to cause whatever it came into contact with to transform into its higher state.
Because alchemists believed that the highest state of all metals was gold, they believed that the philosopher’s stone could change lead into gold, but this was not the real goal of alchemy. The real goal of alchemy was to transform an ordinary mortal into an immortal. Of course, the only real immortality that we can achieve is to stop identifying with our finite ego and become our Higher Self, which is connected to infinite intelligence and does not die with the body. This state is known as enlightenment or gnosis; Jung called it individuation and realized that the alchemists were on the same path as himself.
Jung accepted alchemy as the precursor of his own Depth Psychology and did much to inspire modern interest in alchemy. He discovered that the surreal images contained in alchemical texts were related to images that spontaneously emerged in the dreams of his patients. This was the map of the unconscious that he had been looking for.
Alchemical symbols are connected to a wisdom tradition that is derived from the Higher Self. Therefore, the alchemical images in The Alchemical Tarot magnify the symbolic purpose of the Tarot and unveil the transformative wisdom of the Higher Self. They are the perfect tool for connecting us with our inner wisdom. Each card in The Alchemical Tarot was carefully drawn to capture real alchemical symbols in a way that is clear and concise and in harmony with the aesthetic balance of the composition. They are the natural vehicle of the unconscious and they can be used by any Tarot reader at any level, from beginner to master, in the same way as other decks.
View Place’s newest deck, the Tarot of the Sevenfold Mystery
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