Morphing the Tarot & Other Joys

 This CD is hard to describe. It consists primarily of essays about the tarot and Qabala. There are also poems and articles about the Western Mystery Tradition. The title comes from a set of nine movies that show Tarot cards “morphing” into one another. The different movies illustrate different card sequences. For example, the first movie shows the cards morphing into each other in numerical order. The second movie shows the cards associated with the three mother letters - The Fool morphs into the Hanged Man, which morphs into the World. Some of the movies are set to music.

 The CD uses a new, unnamed deck, described as being designed specifically for this CD. The description says: “For those who are responsive, they stimulate and evoke the state of consciousness intended or relevant to the Hebrew letters and the Tarot images.” They are boldly colored. A few of the cards can be seen at the bottom of this review.

 There are more than 60 essays and other writings. They vary in length. Some do not mention tarot at all. They seem to be describing a philosophy or approach from a mystery school, but we are not told that the author is a member of any particular school or tradition. The first essay, Morphing, the Tarot and the Man, gives background information and describes how each card “morphs” into the following card. Here is a sample paragraph from that section:

  “The Fool morphs into the Magician by concentrating. In the Alchemical sense, Air or Spirit morphs into quicksilver. The Magician morphs into the High Priestess by dividing and liquefying. Quicksilver morphs into silver. The High Priestess morphs into the Empress by desire, love, growth and by multiplying herself. Silver morphs into copper. The Empress morphs into the Emperor by seeing, caring for and putting order to what has grown and has been born. Copper morphs into iron and gold through the process of calcination. “

 The essays touch on many esoteric subjects and seem drawn from a wide range of spiritual teachings. Qabala, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, and Christianity are all represented. Esoteric disciplines such as Astrology - both Western and Vedic, Gematria, and Alchemy are mentioned, as well as Western Mystery Tradition concepts such as Knowledge of and Conversation with the Holy Guardian Angel. The essays run the gamut from advice for living to discussions of the eternal nature of the soul. One article I found especially interesting (The Emerald City) discussed the Wizard of Oz in terms of the Tree of Life, Tarot, and the Cube of Space. However, I found some of the theories/conclusions a bit shaky due to the rather unbridled use of gematria and etymology. For example, the author sees significance in L. Frank Baum's name: "Taking a clue from the name of the author let us look at the book in relation to the Tree of Life. In German, Baum means tree. Frank means free. The L. is the equivalent of the letter Lamed. Therefore first part of Mr. Baum’s name can be translated as meaning learning to be free." Is this providence or merely a coincidence? Another example is "The setting is Kansas and things are depicted as gray and the people as gray. The word Kansas can be interpreted as a song of sadness. Kan is the root of chant or song. Sa is the root of sad or sated." Maybe Baum chose Kansas just because they frequently have tornadoes. Still, the correspondences gave me pause for thought, even those that I found implausible.

The essays are stored as .html files. You open them with your web browsing software. The morphing sequences are .mov files, viewable with desktop video software like Windows Media Player or Apple Quicktime.  I recommend this CD for those who are interested in combining tarot with other esoteric disciplines, especially the Qabala. There is something here for every spiritual persuasion. By the same token, I doubt that anyone will agree with all of the essays. They do provide some interesting ideas on tarot and other subjects.

Morphing the Tarot & Other Joys
Author Fra David Lamed
Available from the author's web site

 


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