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Jodorowsky's "Way of Tarot"

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Penthasilia  Penthasilia is offline
Join Date: 08 Jun 2010
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Originally Posted by Laura Borealis View Post
Hi Penthasilia! We were talking about the videos on his YouTube channel as being in Spanish.

I've read the introduction, and skimmed the rest. I haven't bought it yet, but probably will eventually. I wouldn't rely on it for historic fact - he is a mystic and a storyteller, not a historian. But there are plenty of sources online and in books for the factual history of tarot. I can forgive him the bending of the "truth" in the service of a greater understanding of the cards.
Gotcha! I should have read more closely. And yes- I know about the historical fact piece, but I am also not a historian, and tend more toward the mystical side of card usage- so that is where I tend to travel anyway- which is why I liked his book- bringing it to life.
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Debra  Debra is offline
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Originally Posted by Barleywine View Post
On further reflection - although I still think it's more than a little facile as a way to resolve a structural anomaly in his model - walking backwards may not be an entirely "un-Hermit-like" activity.

Pertinent anecdote:

Back in my late teens I had a real problem with authority figures (yeah, I know, who didn't?). I was in the Army, and when I finally soured on all the BS, I hit upon a few malicious ways to rub it in. Because you were supposed to salute officers when approaching them outdoors, I hit on the idea that I would just turn around and walk backwards until I passed them, thus able to pretend I didn't see them and not salute at all. Not a single one of them ever called me on it. It must have been completely outside their ability to process. ...

..... Maybe in the "one-step-forward-two-steps-back" mode of spiritual development?
See, now, here's where imagination and empathy enter in and perhaps help with spiritual development. The rule about enlisted personnel saluting officers is much more onerous for the latter who must return each salute. (Think). What makes it tolerable on both sides is treating it as routine courtesy, which in fact is what it is. Walking backwards is almost always to deliberately disrupt and disrespect others, sort of like spitting in their path. No need for the Hermit to do that, as his ego does not demand attention.
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bruho26  bruho26 is offline
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Originally Posted by Lee View Post

I don't find Jodorowsky's interpretations to be well-thought-out or consistent. For example, he's worked out a system of interpretation that explains why each trump card is facing the way it is. However, as is common when people try to make tarot fit into some system, there's always at least one or two cards that can't be made to fit. In this case it's the Hermit. In Jodorowsky's system, the TdM Hermit should be facing right, but, inconveniently for Jodorowsky, he's facing left. Jodorowsky explains this by saying that therefore the Hermit must be walking backwards.

It's this kind of thing that I don't appreciate. I don't want you to think I approach the tarot with deadly seriousness -- quite the opposite, I prefer a light approach with a healthy dose of humor. But to me, Jodorowsky's concepts and writing betray a lack of respect for his audience which rubs me the wrong way.

Hi Lee, Ive read that book many times, and I have seen many of his readings on youtube and what I take from the walking backwards thing is that is coherent with the inner search or spiritual quest meaning of the card; The hermit walks backwards blind but his intuition leads him.
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Lee  Lee is offline
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I appreciate those who have posted that they find meaning and insight in the concept of the Hermit walking backwards. We all see these things in different ways and my way isn't necessarily any more valid than anyone else's. For me personally, the image of the Hermit is very straightforward - an elderly gentleman, a mendicant or monk, walking forward, holding a lantern lighting his way, the entire image symbolizing a search for knowledge.

For me, this image and interpretation is so clear, true, and unambiguous that the idea of it showing someone walking backwards is out of place and unnecessary. It's like saying the Emperor is throwing his scepter which will return to him like a boomerang, or that the figures on Judgement are being sucked back into the earth. It's possible to make up all kinds of outlandish, Keystone-Cops-like scenarios for each of the Majors. It might be an interesting creative exercise but I don't think it adds anything to the cards or is helpful for reading purposes.
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Lee  Lee is offline
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By the way, welcome to Aeclectic, bruho26!
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