Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey into Christian Hermeticism

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Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey into Christian Hermeticism is a book published posthumuously and anonymously in 1985. It was originally written in French, and translated into English by Robert A. Powell of the [Sophia Foundation.

Though the author published the book anonymously, since publication and his death, it has become well known that the writer was Valentin Tomberg. The Afterword states that "The author wished to remain anonymous in order to allow the work to speak for itself, to avoid the interposition of any kind of personal element between the work and the reader".

The author appears to be a Roman Catholic, although the ideas expressed are often not commonly associated with Catholic dogma. Many of the ideas are strongly influenced by Jungian thought. The body of the work is divided into 22 Chapters, called "Letters", with a Foreword by the author and an Afterword by Hans Urs von Balthasar, a Swiss theologian. Each chapter is centered around a card from the Major Arcana of the Tarot of Marseilles.

Each card is taken as an "arcanum," which the author defines in part in Letter I: The Magician as "... that which it is necessary to 'know' in order to be fruitful in a given domain of spiritual life. ... a 'ferment' or an 'enzyme' whose presence stimulates the spiritual and the psychic life of man." He writes that they "are neither allegories nor secrets ... [but] authentic symbols ... [which] conceal and reveal their sense at one and the same time according to the depth of meditation." The symbolism of the cards is taken as a springboard for discussing and describing various aspects of spiritual life and growth.


  • Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey into Christian Hermeticism ISBN 1-58542-161-8.

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