I’ll be giving a presentation on the Tarot at the Weird Shift gallery on Saturday

I probably should have mentioned this before, but I’ll be giving a “microtalk” on the Tarot this Saturday at the Weird Shift Storefront.” More specifically, I’ll be talking about the possible origins of the Tarot and the sources of the imagery from the earliest decks. No one knows for sure, but most scholars dismiss the idea that the cards were originally used for divination and doubt that it contained deliberately kabbalistic symbolism. But the alternate theories I’ll present are just as interesting.

The event will start at 7:30pm, but I don’t know when I’ll be speaking.

Technoccult Interview: Psychopomp Author Amanda Sledz

Cover of Psychopomp by Amanda Sledz

Amanda Sledz

In her series Psychopomp, author Amanda Sledz takes a literary approach to writing about urban shamanism, magical thinking, tarot, telepathy and other themes usually reserved for the fantasy genre. The series follows four characters: Meena, a woman who has experienced a break with reality; her parents, Frank and Esther; and Lola, a teenager who is becoming a shaman whether she wants to or not.

The first book in the series, Psychopomp Volume One: Cracked Plate, explores mental illness, empathy, our differing experiences of place, immigration and cultural identity, and the way our experience of family shapes our identity — without resorting to the cliches of genre fiction or descending into boring academic prose.

Amanda was raised in Cleveland and now lives in Portland, OR. She is self-publishing Psychopomp, but her work has appeared eFiction Horror and various small literary magazines. You can also check out some of Amanda’s works in progress on her site.

An excerpt from the first installment is here. You can buy the book from Amanda here, from Powells Books or from Amazon here.

I recently caught-up with her to talk about Psychopomp, self-publishing and more.

Klint Finley: I understand you wrote a first draft of the first book in college — can you walk us through how the book evolved?

Amanda Sledz: I started working on it during my last semester of graduate school. I’d finished the entirety of an MFA in nonfiction writing, and thought I’d try my hand at fiction before escaping the clutches of academentia. There were a lot of subjects that I wrote about in my master’s thesis that were perceived as being unbelievable, because magical thinking as a means of interacting with hardship was described as a natural way of operating. The tone of the thesis (which was a memoir) became very self-conscious, with the over-awareness of the audience that’s required for decent nonfiction writing. I found myself longing to write something uncorked that still utilized the same themes.

I finished the first draft, which consisted of a shorter version of each section, very quickly. The editing and perfecting and development of repetition took a long, long time.

I abandoned it after wrangling it and getting sections of it published in small literary magazines. Then just over a year ago I was cleaning off my hard drive and thought doing nothing with it would be a waste.

And, in a way, as Grant Morrison might say I had myself locked in a hypersigil. I’m fairly certain my writing career would be permanently stalled if I didn’t let it escape.

Continue reading

Science Tarot

Science Tarot: 7 of Wands - Expansion

Science Tarot: 2 of Swords - Action

Science Tarot

Unlike so many of the cool tarot decks I’ve seen online, you can actually buy this as a full, printed deck.

(via Boing Boing thanks to Chris)

Cards of Wu

The Ambassador

“A series of woodcuts in the form of divination cards. Click on thumbnails to enlarge.”

Cards of Wu

(via Aeris Morpheme.com)

LOST tarot cards

the Believer

the devoted

i09: LOST tarot cards

One project from my occult days that I’ve actually hoped to one day finish is a tarot deck using understandable modern archetypes – “The Engingeer,” “The Teacher,” “The Athlete,” “The Cop,” etc. But even if you don’t watch the show LOST, you can understand and appreciate the archetypes here. (Reminds me of Jorn Barger’s ideas about the need for an archetypal family such as the Earwickers or the Simpsons in artificial intelligence.)

(via Catvincent)

LOST tarot

the Believer

the devoted

i09: LOST tarot cards

(via Catvincent)

Alexandro Jodorowsky interview from 2004


Arthur Magazine editor Jay Babcock has re-published his 2004 interview with Alexandro Jodorowsky from LA Weekly:

I don’t suffer to write it. But when I need to write a new series, a new album, for three days I do nothing. The only thing I can do is to see movies, see television, read . . . Because I am as if paralyzed! Suddenly, [with relief] the idea comes. I say thank you, because I am grateful. I am really grateful because I received the idea. But I don’t construct the idea. I am not a constructor. I receive the idea.

Q: Where do you think it comes from?

The unconscious. It comes directly from the unconscious. I think the unconscious is a very, very enormous universe, no? And when you open the doors to the unconscious, you start to receive. Sometimes you see a terrible vision of yourself: desires you don’t want to have, ideas you detest, feelings that hurt you. When you open the door, you can see yourself in a very weird way, like a bad trip on LSD. You can have that. You have all the hell, and paradise, no? You need to have the courage to open the doors.

Arthur: In the Heart of the Universe

Free Evolver teleseminars for Mutate readers

Update: we’ve got our responders. Thanks everyone!

Evolver has a special offer for Mutate readers:

Throughout human history, people have looked to the natural world for patterns to provide insight into their lives, and what might await them in the future. This is the origin of oracles and divination: the systematic approach to the deeper patterns of cosmos, mind, and nature. Over two weeks in November, you can join four of the world’s most sought-after divinatory teachers in a series of intimate conversations exploring the ways that these ancient traditions can transform your life. The Evolver Intensives tele-seminar series “Divination: How to Read the Future Now” is a unique opportunity to engage in discussions with four leaders at the vanguard of an archaic revival: celebrated spiritualist and Tarot expert Rachel Pollack; archetypal astrologer VerDarLuz; initiated diviner and I Ching scholar Stephen Karcher; and John Michael Greer, geomancer and Grand Archdruid of the Ancient Order of Druids in America. Hosted by acclaimed author Erik Davis, take part in a life-changing journey through the deeper flows of reality.

More info

It costs $50, but the first 2 people to e-mail me at redacted will get it for free.
Offer is over, we’ve got our 2 people.

(I don’t have any relationship with Evolver, they’re making this offer so I thought I’d share it)

Alejandro Jodorowsky – Tarot of Marseilles

Alejandro jodorowsky – Tarot of marseilles
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Alejandro Jodorowsky talks about his fascination with the Tarot and how he helped recreate what the Tarot of Marseilles looked like 1400 years ago. He also goes into what the different Tarot cards mean. This video is an extra from the 2007 restored DVD of The Holy Mountain (1973 film).

(via Arthur)

Here are two lengthy videos in Spanish with Jodorowsky on the Tarot:

Alejandro Jodorowsky: El Tarot, El Mundo (pt 1/6)

Alejandro Jodorowsky: Especial Tarot (pt 1/6)

You can buy Jodorowsky’s book on the Tarot of Marseilles from Amazon.com.

September Moon

“This New Moon happened on August 30, and it is the first Blue Moon of the year. A Blue Moon is when the Julian calendar and the 13 months of the Moon are in conflict.

8+3=11, which is the Strength card, take it out and set it down. Now remember that this moon covers the Julian month of September, so think 9+3=12 and take out the 12th card, The Hanged Man. Place it down, crossing the Strength card. And consider both the positives and negatives of The Hanged Man.

This is a Moon that you can not prepare for. Bluntly, expect some personal betrayals this moon. Batten down the hatches and try to ride it out.

Historically, The Hanged Man, who in years gone by was referred to as the ‘traitor’ who under this Blue Moon is influenced by Strength, is going to be a guest that we shall long remember.

While this view is short on words, it is not short on warnings. A tough month in many personal ways is ahead for us.

Step carefully, and tremble humbly, considering the unknowns of ‘betrayal’.

This New Moon was in Virgo, so throughout this month we can expect the judgementalness that is associated with this sign. Because this Moon creates the conflict between the natural cycle and the man made Julian calendar, we can expect this judgementalness to carry through each cycle for the rest of the year, diminishing slightly each New Moon until the natural cycle and Julian calendar are re-aligned.

The New Moon will be on 9-15, so take The Hermit (the 9th card) and The Magi (the 1st card), set them down and add 9+1+5=15: The Devil card. The Full Moon will be a Moon of lusts and temptations, as well as a somewhat playful time. It would be wise to recall the humility of The Hermit as well as the mystery of The Magi as the Moon is full.

Whilst the Moon waxes it will be the Justice card that rules, which instructs us to consider the pleasures of the solitary person who seeks truth in their surroundings. As the Moon wanes, it will be governed by The Magi, which leads us to accept the mysteries that surround us. Due to the fact it is a Blue Moon, be prepared for exposure to some of the sour side of the mysteries.”

Natalia Vladimirova Tikimirov

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