My Secret Romance

PREFACE

My romance with the Tarot started out as a blind date.

In 2004, I created a conceptual art project that explored the nature of proximity and meaning; I wanted to design a computer game that would randomize the titles to paintings that I had already created. I decided to model my game on the Tarot since it contains cards with pictures on the faces. I designed The Transformational Tarot** as a virtual deck of 116 cards; some of the cards contain an untitled image while others display only a single word. When you “shuffle” the deck, the program creates a spread of randomly chosen image and words.

** You can still play The Transformational Tarot on your computer.

My experiment was very successful, but not in the way I intended. About halfway through the project, after I had programmed the game and created the cards, I realized that I had somehow made the transition from creating a conceptual art project to creating an actual tarot deck. I tested it on myself, and found it was eerily accurate. Then I ran it online and asked for feedback. The results were surprising: my game was reviewed in a magazine and endorsed by the editor. People loved it; many readers said it was the best reading they had ever had.

At the time when I created this computer game, I thought the images and symbolism of what I called the “traditional” Tarot were uselessly archaic; I did not resonate with the images I saw in the Rider Waite Smith deck or other traditional decks. Years later, when a traditional tarot deck came into my hands, I found myself studying it in earnest.

Learning the Tarot by studying what others think the cards mean was very dry and difficult for me. The meanings traditionally assigned to some of the cards didn’t jibe with my interests or intuition. I had just written my first book on creativity, and I intuitively saw that the Tarot, like art, is a tool for personal evolution; a way to access your intuition and higher guidance.

Over the years that I worked with the cards, I developed a blended reading technique which makes it easy to interpret the cards at a glance. My passion for the cards is the same thread that connects and informs all my work; a seeker’s quest for the answers to the questions that haunt all of us: what is the hidden reality that lies behind all things?

~ Excerpt from The Tarot Key: Unlock the Secrets of Your Soul

The Tarot Key
Unlock the Secrets of Your Soul

Do it Yourself Tarot
The Fun, Easy Way to Learn to Read the Tarot

The Tarot of Creativity
Deck of 78 Cards

The Tarot of Creativity
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Energy Reading ~ Pisces: the Secret Unknown

Energy Reading ~ Pisces: the Secret Unknown

 

Rider Waite Smith Tarot
…The journey of the Self started with undifferentiated consciousness: humans and animals in the Garden of Eden lived side-by-side in a state of total harmony and bliss. Once humans made a choice to pursue individuation in the search of self-knowledge — by choosing the apple, which has the sacred symbol of the pentacle, the number of man, at its heart — they had to leave the garden of bliss, and journey through lower forms of consciousness. The self-conscious is the newest kid on the block in the story of evolution; no animal has the kind of brain that seeks to know itself. Our nature forces us to be self-reflective. Self-reflection is how the cosmic mind experiences ego (individuation). Once we integrate the new self-conscious with our total self, we will once again find ourselves in the Garden of Eden, because we will have rediscovered Oneness inside the experience of individuation. We will have come to recognize the divinity inside duality.

Tarot of Creativity
LOVE is the title of The Lovers card in The Tarot of Creativity, but this is not the imperfect love of the spiritually immature; the love referenced here is unconditional love.

…The Lovers/LOVE card shows us how to deal with Duality at the highest level, that of non-judgmental acceptance, which is actually unconditional love. This is the card of the “Divine Other,” the recognition of how to reconcile the state of duality into a working partnership. Which duality? Essentially, that which is inside ourselves. Superficially, this is the Anima (female) inside the male, and the Animus (male) inside the female, but the meaning of this Tarot card goes much further than Jungian psychology.

The LOVE card refers to the ability to see the divinity and sacredness of the Divine Other, the other half of the androgynous Soul. Like the Yin/Yang symbol, a tiny bit of the female portion exists within the male and visa versa…

When You get This Card in a Reading
Treat everything around you with LOVE — and you will see LOVE reflected in everything around you.

~ Excerpt from The Tarot Key: Unlock the Secrets of Your Soul by Aliyah Marr

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Energy Reading ~ Aquarius: the Influences of Others

Energy Reading ~ Aquarius: the Influences of Others

 

Rider Waite Smith Tarot
A man carries ten huge wands towards a village.

The figure in the foreground of this image seems to be burdened down by the ten wands he is carrying. He is unable to see where he is going or how long it will take him to get there. He will never get where he is going because new burdens keep on coming to add on to existing ones. Perhaps, like Zeno’s famous paradox, he can never reach the far off destination because he can never get even halfway there. To those people who present you with the duties and obligations that weigh you down, there is no halfway point: you are either dedicated to them wholeheartedly or you are nothing to them…

Tarot of Creativity
The Ten is the number of social awareness; the number of community. It combines the One of individuality with the Zero of Spirit, and brings an awareness of both into play. The Ten of Fire is about taking the energy of your creative desires out into the community. This card advises us to include others in your plans and work to achieve unity in all our social interactions.

When You get This Card in a Reading
Focus on that which brings a feeling of unity and inclusion in all your relationships.

~ Excerpt from The Tarot Key: Unlock the Secrets of Your Soul by Aliyah Marr

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Energy Reading ~ Capricorn: Labor, Creativity, and Talent

Energy Reading ~ Capricorn: Labor, Creativity, and Talent

 

Rider Waite Smith Tarot
Key #9 THE HERMIT shows an old man who has attained spiritual enlightenment…

He carries the light of his wisdom in a LANTERN in his right hand, holding it aloft to share his LIGHT with others, and light their path. This light is a six-pointed STAR symbolizing Christ consciousness — unity consciousness. The six-pointed STAR is the perfect divine balance and unification of the male and female principles of duality. The knowledge of the unity that underlies all appearances is the gift of wisdom that he wants to share with the people of the valley — those that he left behind in his youth when he started up the mountain in search of truth.

Tarot of Creativity
The title of Key #9 is EMERGENCE. The Hermit represents the perfected man, a man who has realized his spiritual nature while in physical form; the disciple of consciousness is transformed into the teacher. The Seeker’s life as an ordinary man and a seeker is over. Like a butterfly, he was completely changed by his long incubation period in the chrysalis (his cave on the mountain); now he emerges into a new life, which has transformed to meet him.

…What did The Hermit find on the mountain? He sought the snow-covered heights in search of the truth behind appearances. He instinctively knew that what others took for truth was just the illusion of duality—the lie of separation. It took him much time — his whole earthly existence, in fact—but he attained the wisdom he sought when he finally merges completely with his Higher Self: this is what the ancients call “faith.”

When You get This Card in a Reading
Time to emerge from the cocoon.

~ Excerpt from The Tarot Key: Unlock the Secrets of Your Soul by Aliyah Marr

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Energy Reading ~ Sagittarius: Your Hopes and Aspirations

Energy Reading ~ Sagittarius: Your Hopes and Aspirations

 

Rider Waite Smith Tarot
A standing knight on a heavy destrier offers a pentacle.

In the Knight of Pentacles/EARTH, the number Twelve reaches the final point in the creative process: material manifestation. The Knight of Pentacles in the Rider Waite Smith deck shows a very solid knight mounted on a large horse.

He wears oak leaves in his helmet and the same symbol adorns the head of his steed. Oak is a symbol in all Western cultures of steadiness, solidity, patience, and time. It takes a lot of time for an acorn to turn into a robust oak tree. But the result, like a well-constructed house, is worth it. When you want to manifest something that lasts, call upon the Knight of Pentacles; you will be glad that you did.

Tarot of Creativity
In The Tarot of Creativity, the title of the Knight of Earth is entitled CONCEIVE. We might consider a knight to be masculine energy, but the TOC does not have gender bias; instead it promotes the concepts of inclusion and wholeness. A woman can be a warrior, and a man can birth a child.

To understand this card in the TOC it is necessary to look at the preceding card in the suit: the Page of Earth, which is inscribed with the title, Desire. The Suit of Pentacles/EARTH is the last stage in the creative process, where the energy of intent (Fire) is coalesced into matter (Earth).

When You get This Card in a Reading
This is the moment you have been working toward for a long time. Now is the time to focus on practical considerations.

~ Excerpt from The Tarot Key: Unlock the Secrets of Your Soul by Aliyah Marr

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Energy Reading ~ Scorpio: Upcoming Changes

Scorpio: Upcoming Changes.

 

Rider Waite Smith Tarot
A royal page with a flowered tunic is puzzled to find a fish in his cup.

In this card, we have one of the most playful images in the Tarot. The fish in the cup looks like an unexpected surprise; like a delivery of a musical telegram that declares the love the sender has for the recipient.

…This card is about imagination and the delightful and surprising ways that creative inspiration and intuition can suddenly pop up in your life. The fish of imagination emerges from your emotions (water) to play with you.

Tarot of Creativity
…This is the “brainstorm” card, and the “inner voice” card. Psychic ability and creativity are twins that come from the same womb of imagination. Imagination is a power that we use all the time, unconsciously by default, but consciously when we become masters of awareness. This card shows us how we can learn to use our emotions as a compass and our intuition to guide us.

The Page of Water tells you that the CURRENT of imagination is there all the time, running alongside your life, but you must use the rudder of your will or intent in order to master the direction of your vessel. Getting this card in a reading is like a playful invitation from Spirit as the fish of intuition suddenly leaps into your boat.

When You get This Card in a Reading
Let your mind play with possibilities.

~ Excerpt from The Tarot Key: Unlock the Secrets of Your Soul by Aliyah Marr

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Energy Reading ~ Libra: Your Relationships to Others

Energy Reading ~ Libra: Your Relationships to Others

 

Rider Waite Smith Tarot
SPIRIT IN MATTER—at once both the journey and the seeker of experience. The Fool represents the Spirit who has descended into matter. He is the holy fool who can be either foolish or wise.

…The Fool wears his heart on his sleeve, as he foolishly follows his passions with unrestrained, sheer delight; he lives in the moment, totally engaged and without expectations. Eyes on his dreams and head in the clouds, anyone would think he is about to take a fall. The realists in his life are expecting to laugh when he lands flat on his face, as they are sure he is bound to do, but in most cases the Fool finds himself carried in midair by the sheer lightness of his being…

Tarot of Creativity
…The secret of the Fool is his innocence and simplicity, he trusts in his journey, and thus he carries nothing with him: his spirit is unburdened and light. As the Fool travels through the Tarot he discovers the principles and laws of existence. He seeks to clear his thoughts and emotions so that he is a clear conduit for Spirit; he seeks to achieve enlightenment. This state is indicated in the final Major Arcana card, The World/TRANSCEND, a card that shows that the Fool has completed his journey through life. He has succeeded in becoming self-aware while existing in the dense realm of physical reality.

When You get This Card in a Reading
If you get this card in a reading, know that you can look at life as the perennial beginner, and this freshness to life—without memory of hardship, victimization, humiliation, or blocks — is the real secret to creativity. Do the opposite of what you always do, break some rules — risk being foolish.

~ Excerpt from The Tarot Key: Unlock the Secrets of Your Soul by Aliyah Marr

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The Fun, Easy Way to Learn to Read the Tarot

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Deck of 78 Cards

Energy Reading ~ Virgo: Your Body and Mind

Energy Reading ~ Virgo: Your Body and Mind

Rider Waite Smith Tarot
…The MOON reflects only a pale portion of the light of the Sun; it reflects the fear we often have of our own subconscious, the right brain, or female side of our brain. There are great riches to be discovered in the subconscious if you can walk the path in balance. Everything in this card indicates that the extremes of a polarized existence are to be avoided: being a DOG is no better than being a WOLF, and the prison-like TOWERS are austere reminders that a life lived in the prison of the ego or too-rational mind is a severe and barren existence.

Tarot of Creativity
The title of The Moon in The Tarot of Creativity is DREAMING. The infinite pool of universal subconscious that some may call Source can be accessed through our DREAMS. Our personal subconscious is linked with the universal subconscious through our dreams.

…Reality is the dream of the Soul that it has chosen to experience. Karma and the dreams of the incarnated Self in all its myriad forms is the consciousness that is reflected by the MOON. You, as the individual dreamer have access to the collective dream. It cannot be otherwise. The dream you dream unlocks the subconscious like a key.

When You get This Card in a Reading
Are you afraid of your dreams? The subconscious has nothing in it to be afraid of: it is merely a messenger with a message to deliver to you. An artist learns to tap into her dreams for creative material. Use your dreams in order to clear your subconscious; then they can help you know your highest desires, the light of the MOON illuminates the path to your dreams. The best route to your dreams is the most direct one.

~ Excerpt from The Tarot Key: Unlock the Secrets of Your Soul by Aliyah Marr

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The Tarot Key
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Do it Yourself Tarot
The Fun, Easy Way to Learn to Read the Tarot

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Deck of 78 Cards

Energy Reading ~ Leo: Romance

Energy Reading ~ Leo: Romance

 

Rider Waite Smith Tarot
…The MOON reflects only a pale portion of the light of the Sun; it reflects the fear we often have of our own subconscious, the right brain, or female side of our brain. There are great riches to be discovered in the subconscious if you can walk the path in balance. Everything in this card indicates that the extremes of a polarized existence are to be avoided: being a DOG is no better than being a WOLF, and the prison-like TOWERS are austere reminders that a life lived in the prison of the ego or too-rational mind is a severe and barren existence…

Tarot of Creativity
The title of The Moon in The Tarot of Creativity is DREAMING. The infinite pool of universal subconscious that some may call Source can be accessed through our DREAMS. Our personal subconscious is linked with the universal subconscious through our dreams…

Reality is the dream of the Soul that it has chosen to experience. Karma and the dreams of the incarnated Self in all its myriad forms is the consciousness that is reflected by the MOON. You, as the individual dreamer have access to the collective dream. It cannot be otherwise. The dream you dream unlocks the subconscious like a key…

When You get This Card in a Reading
…Use your dreams in order to clear your subconscious; then they can help you know your highest desires, the light of the MOON illuminates the path to your dreams…

~ Excerpt from The Tarot Key: Unlock the Secrets of Your Soul by Aliyah Marr

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The Fun, Easy Way to Learn to Read the Tarot

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Deck of 78 Cards

Energy Reading ~ Cancer: Your Home Environment

Energy Reading ~ Cancer: Your Home Environment

 

Rider Waite Smith Tarot
A craftsman consults with his patrons about a building.

…This card shows you the final building of the creative vision first conceptualized in the Three of Wands. When we get to the Pentacles/EARTH stage of creative manifestation, we have to handle details well. After all, if you don’t put the precise measurements into an architectural plan, the whole thing may fall down. This is due to the density of this plane which operates by certain laws; gravity doesn’t exist at “lighter levels,” such as the level of intent represented by the Wands suit or the level of thought represented by the Swords suit. The suit of Pentacles, as the suit of the material, is very practical.

Tarot of Creativity
It is time to explore and cultivate your ideas. The Three of Earth expresses what happens when you have followed the path of creative manifestation through the number Three.

What was easy to start in the Three of Fire may be a bit harder when you get to the Three of Earth. The manifestation process is easier to influence at the beginning in the Fire stage than in the manifestation stage represented by the Earth suit. But if you are conscious of all aspects of yourself, and the proper way to create, represented by the four suits of the Tarot, you can direct change in a conscious way.

When You get This Card in a Reading
Spend some time with your creative muse. Don’t plan anything, just play and brainstorm for a while without any mental or emotional constraints.

~ Excerpt from The Tarot Key: Unlock the Secrets of Your Soul by Aliyah Marr

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The Tarot Key
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Do it Yourself Tarot
The Fun, Easy Way to Learn to Read the Tarot

Buy The Tarot of Creativity
Deck of 78 Cards

Energy Reading ~ Gemini: Communication

Energy Reading ~ Gemini: Communication

 

Rider Waite Smith Tarot
A page seems to admire a pentacle that he holds aloft.

A wave collapses into a particle when we look at it, and back into a wave when don’t; this is the magic of creation — the magic of the quantum field, which shows us the sleight of hand directed by consciousness itself. The Page looks at the Pentacle with awe and wonder, approving and welcoming it as a magical gift that has suddenly appeared.

Tarot of Creativity
DESIRE is the title of the Page of Earth card. The message represented by the number Eleven is the Divine Intent that emanates from the Higher Self. Intent at the higher level of Spirit translates as desire when it hits the self-conscious…

The creative master learns how to move it from the emotion of desire (perception of lack) to the feeling of desire (intent). This is what is meant by the purification of desire: you graduate from an emotion of lack, to the feeling of wholeness, from the separation induced by the time-space field, to the unification in the moment of now — outside all temporal forms. Desire spurs the impulse, the movement of creation.

When You get This Card in a Reading
Allow the energy of desire to move you towards the life of your dreams.

~ Excerpt from The Tarot Key: Unlock the Secrets of Your Soul by Aliyah Marr

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Do it Yourself Tarot
The Fun, Easy Way to Learn to Read the Tarot

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Deck of 78 Cards

Energy Reading ~ Taurus: Your Finances and Worldly Situation

Energy Reading ~ Taurus: Your Finances and Worldly Situation

 

Rider Waite Smith Tarot
A queen sits on a throne of lions holding a staff as a scepter and a sunflower; a black cat sits alertly at her feet.

…Who can thrive without the love and care of their mother? How long would we live if the planet Earth did not sustain us? The energy of the wisdom of love infuses all matter, it is a wave that undulates below all material existence. Love is the energy that supports the cornucopia of matter,* the ever-flowing breast of the Divine Mother that feeds all life. The archetype of the Goddess Sophia represents the understanding that love is the energy that supports everything in the physical. We can use this archetype to induce love to flow in our life by allowing the principle of love to move freely through us, using us as a channel on the physical plane…

Tarot of Creativity
In The Tarot of Creativity, the Queen of Fire is THE FLAME of pure intent and desire. The mastery of intent and desire requires a strong individual who has erased the lower, unconscious emotions from her life, and purified her desire in the flame of her original, innate being.

The Queen of Fire is in perfect, balanced alignment with her Higher Self. As the material version of her Higher Self, she executes the intent of her Spirit, and she achieves her desires as if by magic, or truth be told, by magic indeed.

When You get This Card in a Reading
The Queen of Fire represents the mastery of the primal force of creation. But mastery isn’t domination, it is a feeling of alignment, a partnership of your lower self with your Higher Self. The Fire that bridges your material experience with the intent of your Spirit is the FLAME of passion.

~ Excerpt from The Tarot Key: Unlock the Secrets of Your Soul by Aliyah Marr

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The Fun, Easy Way to Learn to Read the Tarot

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Deck of 78 Cards

Energy Reading ~ Aries: Your Current Thoughts and Concerns

Energy Reading ~ Aries: Your Current Thoughts and Concerns

 

Rider Waite Smith Tarot
A young man waves a sword in front of turbulent clouds.

…The ego can present formidable opposition to information that may not jibe with its established thought patterns or beliefs. The Page here may be fighting those beliefs, or he may be simply trying to fight the winds of change with his reason — not the most effective use of anyone’s mental energy. As the Page cuts through the clouds of confusion, more light can come through —we become enlightened as everything around us is bathed in light…

Tarot of Creativity
The Page of Air in the TOC is about using your mental powers to envision something new — to dare to see what isn’t in material form yet. The power to ENVISION is the mark of any great thinker. If no one tried to imagine a different reality than the one that presents itself to us, we would never evolve…

The Page of Air shows you how to edit out thoughts and beliefs that do not serve you. This gives us enough space so we can envision something different. You don’t have to spend hours meditating, you can do this as a practice during your normal day. Attaining a state of bliss, or being in the NOW, is a matter of accrual — bit by bit, you can add to your inner silence by being present for small moments during the day. Once you have accrued even a small measure of inner silence, your creative abilities simply open up.

When You get This Card in a Reading
Cut through the confusion and be present in the Now.

~ Excerpt from The Tarot Key: Unlock the Secrets of Your Soul by Aliyah Marr

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The Fun, Easy Way to Learn to Read the Tarot

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Deck of 78 Cards

Energy Reading for the First Wave ~ Justice / Illumination

Energy Reading ~ Standing in the Place of Justice / Illumination

 

Rider Waite Smith Tarot
The Eleven is the first Master number; it means “illumination.” It also means “the teacher,” or “the messenger,” which relates it to the angels. …The principle or concept behind this card is best represented by the ancient Egyptian Goddess Maat, who weighed the heart of the recently deceased against a feather. If the heart was heavier than the feather, the Soul would have to return to physical life, and not pass on. This is a test of emotions and beliefs. The Soul cannot not pass if it is weighed down by heavy negative beliefs, petty thoughts, and unconscious emotions; it has to be “light-hearted,” not burdened with unresolved emotions…

Tarot of Creativity
Your reality is based upon the thoughts and emotions that you are projecting. If you cannot pass the test of inner discipline, you are still emotionally attached to something. The Goddess Justice will not let you pass.

This card stands for Nature and the way she works. Justice/Illumination tells us that what we experience is the result of what we are imagining (as outlined in Key #8/Strength/I-MAGE); this is a law of nature: the Law of Cause and Effect, which is one of the ways that duality achieves Equilibrium. If you ignore the laws of the universe, you are ignorant of your own power to imagine new realities and incapable of manifesting your desires.

When You get This Card in a Reading
In order to experience the illumination of higher awareness, you have to fearlessly face everything, and stop judging it as good or bad.

~ Excerpt from The Tarot Key: Unlock the Secrets of Your Soul by Aliyah Marr

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The Tarot Key
Unlock the Secrets of Your Soul

Do it Yourself Tarot
The Fun, Easy Way to Learn to Read the Tarot

Buy The Tarot of Creativity
Deck of 78 Cards

An Ancient Tool for Self-Realization

The Tarot is an ancient tool for self-actualization that gives you to access a vast library of intuitive, innate knowledge that may be otherwise inaccessible to you. From the view of the scientist, you are using the visual side of your brain—the right hemisphere—when you look at the images on the cards. An anthropologist or art historian may see that you are digging into a long-buried treasure house of cultural clues. A psychologist would immediately see the archetypes in the images of the Major Arcana.

The study of the Tarot is a deep probing into the nature of the deeper reality that underlies all things; an attempt to understand that which can never be completely understood by the rational brain. The depth and breadth of that knowledge is simply much vaster than the human mind can comprehend. It is our nature to seek a single all-inclusive answer for all the questions that constantly elude us, but failing to find it doesn’t stop us from seeking it. The Tarot is the search for the Holy Grail — the well of creativity, wisdom, and personal power that lies within us.

The Tarot is a magical work of art that changes with each viewer, and with each reading. It is a map of human consciousness that is responsive to the degree you are open to what it has to say to you; it teaches you more about you every time you read the cards, even if you read for someone else. Collectively, the cards are an interactive spiritual book of ancient wisdom. Each card is a door to information that slowly reveals itself to you over time.

It takes the same qualities to be an artist that it takes to read Tarot: openness, intuition, an understanding of symbols, and general visual literacy. The images on the cards show a fluid landscape of symbols and universal archetypes that are surprisingly modern and timeless in their import. The Tarot is us: it is the seeker and the sage, the answer and the question, the quest and the Grail, all at the same time.

The Tarot asks the same existential and universal questions that mankind has asked since the beginning of time: What is out there beyond our senses? How can we access our true creative power? And how can we understand, align, and create with the forces in our lives?

~ Excerpt from The Tarot Key: Unlock the Secrets of Your Soul

The Tarot Key
Unlock the Secrets of Your Soul

Do it Yourself Tarot
The Fun, Easy Way to Learn to Read the Tarot

The Tarot of Creativity
Deck of 78 Cards

The Tarot of Creativity
Little White Book

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