Philosophy of Tarot & Alchemy
Updated: Jul 11, 2022
People are hungry and thirsty, not just for food and water, but also for the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence. The ancient Greeks learned that φιλοσοφία, philosophia, literally "love of wisdom,” is the study of general and fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. The goal of any philosophy is to discover the meaning of life: Thine own self be true, know thyself, heal thyself.
A valuable resource for philosophical study, the tarot deck, was created as a tool to help people explore and make sense of this vast body of knowledge. Ancestor to modern playing cards, this pictorial masterpiece has been described as a game, a fortune telling device, a work of art, a secret doctrine, and ultimately, a mirror of human consciousness.
Alchemy, a widely practiced ancient philosophy that is the predecessor of modern chemistry, is deeply Present in the tarot deck, Alchemy is focused on chrysopeia, the transmutation of base metals such as lead into "noble metals" (particularly gold), the creation of an elixir of immortality, and the creation of panaceas able to cure disease. The perfection of the human body and soul was thought to result from the alchemical magnum opus ("Great Work").
Alchemical elements in the tarot deck include The Moist Heaven ~ The Feminine ~ Birth ~ Imprinting; Air (swords/Mental) ~ Water (cups/Heart) ~ Fire (Wands/Creative) ~ Earth (Crystals ~ Pentacles ~ Material World)
Quintessence, the fifth and highest element in ancient and medieval philosophy, is the goal of all inquiry. Quintessence is the most perfect example of a quality—any quality.
Every ancient Celtic community included an appointed person—female or male—to listen deeply to others and offer comfort, understanding, guidance, wisdom and empathy. This work, known as to read a friend’s heart, is practiced every day in every culture and religion on earth.
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