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The Way of Tarot: The Spiritual Teacher in the Cards

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  637 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky’s insights into the Tarot as a spiritual path

• Works with the original Marseille Tarot to reveal the roots of Western wisdom

• Provides the key to the symbolic language of the Tarot’s “nomadic cathedral”

• Transforms a simple divination tool into a vehicle for self-realization and healing

Alejandro Jodorowsky’s profound study of the Tarot, w
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Paperback, 552 pages
Published November 17th 2009 by Destiny Books (first published November 1st 2004)
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4.33  · 
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 ·  637 ratings  ·  41 reviews


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Miriam
Mar 13, 2017 added it
The true study of the Arcanum begins with the consistent order of the entire Tarot; every detail, tiny as it may be, begins from the links that connect all seventy-eight cards. To understand these myriad symbols, one needs to have seen the final symbol they all form together: a mandala.

My interest in the Tarot is not this intense. I find the symbolism interesting, and even more so the visual qualities. I had thought, given Jadorowsky's interest in the visual that there would be something worthwh
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Matt
Nov 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: would-read-again
It's hard not to approach a book about the tarot without some strong measure of skepticism. I do not believe in divination and honestly I read this book because I loved "The Holy Mountain" and "El Topo" and I wanted to learn more about the underlying symbolism of the Major Arcana.

So, to say this book surprised me is a bit of an understatement. Not only does Jodorowsky do a lot to demystify the tarot (admitting its origins as a poker like game in the late Middle Ages to Renaissance) but he at onc
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Tara Greene
Oct 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book came highly recommended from a friend of mine who is an amazing artist and reads tarot herself. I am a professional Tarot reader but had never studied The MarseillesTarot one of the oldest editions specifically which Jodorowsky works with in this book.
I had loved his films El Topo and the Magic Mountain years ago, as he is fascinated with archetypes and that is what the Tarot is. The fountain of archetypal knowledge and symbolism it is virtually the Unconscious itself.
These are very mu
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Monica
Aug 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is definitely not an every day reading. This is definitely not a reading for everybody. This is a book that needs attention, an open mind and a desire to accept that nothing is static and that everything changes and it can be changed. The reader of such a book needs to have two preconditions: he/she should have an interest of some sort in the art of Tarot and he/she should have a more poignant spiritual/philosophical side than a normal person.
The last paragraph of the book is mind blowing
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Laura
Dec 28, 2009 marked it as to-read
it's crazy that this man could be both one of the greatest filmmakers ever and also one of the world's top experts on the tarot. jodorowsky links the tarot and psychoanalysis in fascinating ways.
AL
Jun 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is my newest reference guide to life. I will be consulting it frequently for many years to come. Not only will you get advice on how to understand to read the language of the Tarot, in addition you receive the wisdom of Jodorowsky and his profound journeys through life. He understands humanity and has discovered how to bring healing into the art of Tarot instead of mere divination. Become a mirror, as I have always been inclined towards, and find the means to heal the wounds of life.
Gabriel Clarke
Oct 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2016
Finished at the second attempt. At worst, it's pompous and didactic, a sort of hellishly complicated self-help book by Tarot's own Paolo Coelho. At its best , it's challenging, bracingly different and wholly refreshing. This is not a book for beginners but forms a genuine and much-needed alternative to the generic Rider-Waite-Coleman-Smith default. There have been other attempts to reset Tarot away from the Golden Dawn-based system but this one is *serious*. Highly recommended.
Ollie
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When I was 8 years old, my mother bought a copy of Cosmopolitan magazine that came with a free Tarot deck. She gave it to me to play with - together with its detachable guide - and I've been ever since a studier of it.

I've read many books on the Tarot - from straight forward divinations, to books on the meaning of the cards when upside down - but this one truly stands out as different from all the rest. First of all, it's written by the filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky, known for the films "El Top
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Giga Beriashvili
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The most fascinating book on the Tarot of Marsielle that I have ever read. I sat down and read this book in two days! A lot of information to be read once and again and again. The writing is poetic, insightful, detailed and enjoyable to read. I would recommend this to any beginner who is interested in Tarot or advanced practitioner of the art. Jodorowsky is really brilliant.
Hugh
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In typical Jodo fashion this book goes from the sublime to the ridiculous. I do NOT recommend it as a first book for someone new to Tarot. It is a good book, and it is good for learning the TdM Deck, but if you are brand new to Tarot then Rachel Pollock's "78 Degrees of Wisdom" is a better choice to get going.
Marius
Apr 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: tarot
The way of the Tarot is a rather unorthodox approach to interpretation of Tarot cards. The card stock is the authors own deck the Jodorowsky/Camoin Tarot de Marseille. The book covers; overall deck structure with a mainly numerological approach, description and interpretation of each of the cards in the minor and major arcana, an analysis of the synergy between tarot cards two by two and finally reading the Tarots using 1-10 card spreads. Jodorowsky goes in depth with this topic, which is eviden ...more
John
Dec 28, 2018 rated it liked it
A dense and frenetic commentary on the Tarot by the Creep but inimitable Alejandaro Jodorowsky.

Jodo has a few interesting comments, namely;

1.) The Tarot should be treated as an entire entity, not a tapestry or disparate threads that come to a whole.

2.) There's plenty of interesting symmetry within the Tarot, and it can be examined in a variety of lenses such as Christianity; The Trinity+Mary, Four Gospels, The Kabbalah, The Four Noble Truths, the Four Caste Systems of India, The Four Elements, T
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Deluge
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very good read. I don't think I really believe in magic, clairvoyance, etc., but I do believe in the psyche. I've been exploring tarot reading for psychological insight, and the author gives an exposition that does not push any specific spiritual dogma other than being open minded, and remember that tarot does not predict the future.

I should note that it follows the Marseille Tarot, particularly Camoin, I think.
Justin
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: occult
Describes different aspects of tarot much like you'd expect.
I know nothing of tarot so it's hard to rate but Jodorowsky seems to have both knowledge of and love for the Tarot (although I generally like Jodorowsky so I am both biased and ignorant here).
Oliver Ho
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
A big, strange book—it’s pretty much exactly what you might expect from Jodorowsky writing about his life’s work with tarot. Most of it is material I will re-read and try to absorb. Some of it gets too far out there for me, but it’s done well enough that I’m fine with it.
Cal Godot
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If thought Crowley's book on the Tarot was wacky, you must read Jodo's take. Among the dozens of books I have read on the subject, this one rises immediately to the top five. Particularly for practical usage.
Catherine Eberhardt
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The most comprehensive book to date on tarot. Never ending reference. Could be slightly more non-binary in regards to sexuality, slightly dated, but overall the interpretations are incredibly thoughtful and powerful. Very important work here.
Stewart
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
I could not finish this. I love Jodorowsky's stories but his "interpretation" of the tarot is a sprawling frenetic mess. I really truly and sincerely wanted to love it. Maybe I will return to it in the future, but it will be gathering dust for years I fear.
Mica
Nov 16, 2016 rated it liked it
This book makes great reference material, but I think it's highly worth reading once in it's entirety, if you can handle how dense it is.
Lujain
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
mapping the trajectory of the soul.
Bill
Jan 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tarot
This man is insane. In a good way.

I have to admit I started to skim once I got to the conclusion. This is the first tarot book I've read where I've concluded that I wasn't ready to digest all that it contained.

While the author gets some details about tarot history wrong, and meanders into idiosyncratic asides, the quality of the writing and the passion of his beliefs more than make up for the negatives.

I will be coming back to this when I have learned more about the Tarot de Marseilles from more
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Sara Gray
May 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Three and a half stars. I really liked this history of the Tarot and Jodorowsky's explication of each of the Arcana's themes and interpretations. It helped me appreciate the nuances of Tarot reading and how much of an imaginative and psychological exercise it can be. That said, Tarot-reading is also for folks who like to nerd out on numerology, color theory, and a bunch of other complicated mind tricks that I'm not interested in at all. I was glad to learn more, but I won't be putting it into pr ...more
Jolene Simon
Jan 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I Never believed in divination, but i think a quantum field Minsk everything, and pur subconscious (working With archetypes) CAN be reached using thèse old archétypes that Tarot cards are. As Jodorowsky says basicaly, it's giving you a picture of Your vêry own thoughts and probabilities. I've Been reading several books about Tarots, they are always a projection of the ego of the author... Not this One. This is the book.
Amie
Aug 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: my-shelf
Just started reading this book. Like Jodorowsky's other book, Psychomagic, there are some pretty astounding tales being told about his life and experiences. it also proves to be entertaining as well as informative - and those are just my initial insights having just started to read the book yesterday...
Jose Daniel
Mar 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book helped me how to see and listen to a graphic lenguaje, that is the tarot.
Niamh
Oct 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book offers a scaffolding, that upon internalising one must reject to develop a dynamic understanding of the symbols in the deck.
Irene
Jan 31, 2016 rated it did not like it
Read the introduction and Conclusion; skimmed to bulk of the text. Not unlike his most recent book and movie, a lot about his perspective on life (and death).
Rommel
Jan 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tarot card reading Jodorowsky style.

It's spanish so must be able to read and understand spanish but it's a really cool book if you are into that kind of thing.
Mary
Apr 10, 2017 marked it as for-consideration
In the acknowlegments to Moonglow Michael Chabon comments that in the charming introduction to this book Jodorowsky makes a Fool of him.
Daniel Hernandez
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
indispensible for any aspiring tarotin
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Also credited as Alexandro Jodorowsky

Better known for his surreal films El Topo and The Holy Mountain filmed in the early 1970s, Alejandro Jodorowsky is also an accomplished writer of graphic novels and a psychotherapist. He developed Psychomagic, a combination of psychotherapy and shamanic magic. His fans have included John Lennon and Marilyn Manson.
“the Tarot constitutes first and foremost an apprenticeship in seeing” 0 likes
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