The Esoteric Tarot: Ancient Sources Rediscovered in Hermeticism and Cabala by Ronald Decker (broadcast 7-29-2013) Tarot cards in their many forms have evoked a sense of mystery, fascination, fear, curiosity and any number of other reactions based mostly on very little information of what they are, where they came from and what people do with them. In The Esoteric Tarot Ronald Decker, art historian and retired curator of antique cards at U.S. Playing card Company provides us with the evolution of the Tarot, its symbols, their connotations and their sources.
Although it is clear that the Tarot was not invented by the Egyptians, the love of things Egyptian by those who designed the cards is just as clear. From astrologers in Asia Minor before AD1000 creating the four suit deck of cards with esoteric symbols as suit-signs, to Italian humanists before 1440 supplementing the suits with trump cards that blended Egyptian, Classical and Christian motifs in the game of tarocchi (still played today), to French savants by the 1750s beginning to interpret the allegories of the trumps along Egyptian lines, Decker takes us through the philosophy and mysticism of a number of cultures as expressed by these cards. He brings us, also, up to the present day’s increased interest in the Tarot as a tool for better understanding our own psychology and/or a tool for discovering hints about what may happen tomorrow.
Well illustrated this is a fine resource for anyone who is curious to begin to learn something about this deck of cards that has intrigued so many for so long as well as for those already students of the cards and their history to learn still more. Find out more at Quest Books.
Posted in book review, Non-fiction, Uncategorized
Tagged cabala, De Gebelin, esoteric, Etteilla, Gikatilla, hermeticism, Ronald Decker, tarocchi, Tarot, The Esoteric Tarot
if words could save us by Anthony S. Abbott (broadcast 10-24-2011) Both personal and universal Abbott’s stunning use of language and poetic form reaches deep into the reader’s psyche and heart. He shares with us the rich, moving thrust of life, filled with a consideration of pleasure, puzzlement and pain that captures the emotions. The effect is that of sitting with a thoughtful friend who quietly, and with grace, opens a world of experience to you. A generous addition to the collection is a CD with the poet’s own rendition of his words.
This conversation also introduces a very freshly printed volume, What Writer’s Do, volume editor Anthony Abbott and Series Editor Rand Brandes. “Anyone who loves to read will want to own this collection documenting Lenoir-Rhyne University’s remarkable Visiting Writers Series. From Julia Alvarez’s explanation about why her haiku-a-month project failed to Abigail DeWitt’s confession that all her characters are versions of herself, this book is a treasure trove.” Shannon Ravenal Find out more about both of these works at http://www.thegirlintheyellowraincoat.com/
My Business Is To Create (Blake’s Infinite Writing) My Business Is To Create (Blake’s Infinite Writing) by Eric G. Wilson (broadcast 10-17-2011) Based on and celebrating William Blake’s personification of creativity in action, Wilson provides an indispensable writer’s handbook that is a call to consider life itself as a creative act. A small book of just some 85 pages, not including notes, it manages to offer an exquisitely written distillation of Blake’s approach to imagining the world and the effect it has had on so many of those who followed him, from Yeats to Ginsberg, from Emily Dickinson to Phillip K. Dick. Included along the way are wise words for all who write or want to write. A book to excite the way the reader, and the writer, looks at life. Find out more at http://www.wfu.edu/~wilsoneg/
In the Arms of a Marquess by Katharine Ashe (broadcast 9-26-2011) Ashe has written a perfect example of the historical romance novel. This third installment of the “Rogues of the Sea” trilogy takes us to Regency England and the romance and danger of the West Indies. Supported by thorough historical research her story of passion blends seamlessly into the cultural mores, adventure and political intrigues of the time. For lovers of historical romance this is a definite winner. Find out more at http://www.katharineashe.com/
Kingdom in the Balance/The Source by Debra Killeen/Diana Bastine (broadcast 9-19-2011) Sister authors, Killeen and Bastine, have each come up with good reading fantasy novels that fit into the young adult category. Kingdom in the Balance, by Killeen, is the final and very satisfying installment in The Myrridian Cycle. This series of five books takes place in a medieval kingdom discovered by accidental visitors from our time who become actively involved, as does the reader, in a world where Magic works and who controls it intensifies the intrigue. The Source, by Bastine, also takes us into another world but this is one hidden in ancient caves deep below the magic terrain of Ireland. The story begins when a young girl discovers a strange-looking man who she first suspect is a vampire but soon learns something about him even more fantastic. This is Bastine’s first novel and gives promise of a lot more enjoyable reading to come. Find out more at http://www.myrridia.net/ and http://www.fairycatmother.net/
Paul reviews (broadcast 9-12-2011) Paul discusses the family resemblances between the ancient esoteric poem by Parmenides, a pre-Socratic philosopher as discussed by Vishwa Adluri in his recently released Parmenides, Plato and Mortal Philosophy (Continuum) (click on title for more information) and some of the ideas developed by Indian Tantric philosopher Abhinavagupta in his famous work the Paramarthasara [The Essence of Highest Reality] as revealed by the great Indian Pandit, Swami Lakshmanjoo. Click on Abhinavagupta’s Paramarthasara (The Essence of the Highest Reality) for more information.
The Magician King by Lev Grossman (broadcast 9-5-11) Here is an invitation to enter another world, a world of magic, challenging, oft times dangerous, but always offering the possibility of achieving all one might wish for. The Magician King continues the story of very human individuals who happen to have rare and special gifts. How these gifts effect their lives, their humanity and the worlds they live in forms the basis of the literary fantasy series that began with the bestselling The Magicians. Listen in as Grossman talks about the difference between Fantasy and Science Fiction, writing and why we need the printed page. Find out more at The Magician King.
Tarot Books reviews by Paul Nagy (broadcast 8-15-2011) Paul introduces us to some new and some not so new top of the line books about Tarot by authors Rachel Pollack, Marcus Katz, Alejandro Jodorowsky andJane Rades. To find out more about the individual authors and their work click on their names.