I stumbled across a very interesting theosophical article at this evening, which suggests that Pope John Paul II may have been a fan of Valentin Tomberg’s “Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey into Christian Hermeticism.”
The writer convincingly argues that the two bottom books you see in this photo were in fact copies of the original two volume set. Mind you, possession alone proves little. I have a copy of the later one volume edition myself. I was wondering if any of you out there had read it. Personally I found it very thought provoking, even if somewhat unorthodox and very heavy going.
4 thoughts on “Papal Tarot?”
I haven’t read it, but would be interested in knowing some of the thoughts that it provoked, and whether it’s worth looking for.
I have it, and it is an astonishing book. Mind you, I don’t really claim to understand it, but I do think it remarkable and look forward to reading it again.
Steve, it is hard to pin it down, but let me give you a sample from the author’s meditation on the arcanum of Justice:
“Christian Hermeticists are unanimous concerning the pre-eminance of the mission and the person of Jesus Christ in the spiritual history of mankind. For them, Jesus Christ is to other spiritual masters of mankind (Krishna, Buddha, Moses, Orpheus, etc) as the sun is to the other visible planets in the heavens, in this they distinguish themselves from modern Theosophists of the school of Blavatsky and from oriental occultists and esotericists, e.g. Yoga, Vedanta, Sufi, Mazdaznan, Gurdijeff’s school, etc. They are Christian, therefore, in the sense that they recognize the uniqueness of the divine Incarnation who is Jesus Christ.”
“At the same time, the tendancy is certainly accentuated, if not prevalent, amongst contemporary Hermeticists to occupy themselves more with the “Cosmic Christ” or the “Logos” than with the human person of the “Son of Man”, Jesus of Nazareth. More importance is attributed to the divine and abstract aspect of the God-Man than to his human and concrete aspect.”
“Therefore, let us once again take recourse to the balance of Justice and weigh up the alternatives: “cosmic principle” and “concrete personality of the Master”. Firstly, let us look at results or fruits in the domain of experience of aspiration to knowledge of the Logos, and those of aspiration to contact with jesus Christ, the Master.”
“It must be pointed, out in the first place, that it was not the revelation or knowledge of the cosmic Logos which gave rise to the new spiritual impulse that manifested itself in the apostles, martyrs and saints – which we call “Christianity” – but rather the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It was not through the name of the Logos that demons were exorcised, the sick were healed, and the dead were brought back to life, but rather through the name of Jesus.”
There is plenty of unorthodox stuff in this book, but he just comes up with amazing comments like this.
Oh, and to tease you further, he prefers the Marseilles deck. In fact, he’s the one who introduced me to that deck. I know you prefer it to the Rider Waite.
Lainie, I am not sure I understand half of it either. He just jumps from place to place, weaving such a thick garment that I loose the original thread.