Alejandro Jodorowsky on Tarot and Memory

Alejandro Jodorowsky

Alejandro Jodorowsky

Alejandro Jodorowsky is well-known to Tarotists because of his 1973 surrealist film The Holy Mountain. Recently, the esteemed filmmaker published a book titled Manual of Psychomagic: The Practice of Shamanic Psychotherapy. An excerpt of the book is available on Disinformation.

In the excerpt, Jodorowsky talks about his approach to reading cards.

“I turned the Tarot reading into a kind of synthetic psychoanalysis that I call “tarology.” Essentially, the goal of tarology is not to guess the future but rather, guided by the Arcana, question the consultant about the past in order to help him or her solve current problems.”
Alejandro Jodorowsky

This is an intelligent approach, and it’s definitely similar to my own approach, which I call “Arnemancy.”1 Even more interesting, though, is his approach to using the Tarot to explore and interact with memory. He associates memory with the inner world, and states that the goal of his technique is to “act, not just talk.”

A Tarotist interfaces with his inner world through the imagery of the cards. Using tools of visualization, actively interacting with the creation and use of memory is a powerful and effective tool. There are probably many techniques for memory work, but my favorite is the Art of Memory. As I have said before, every effective Tarotist should include mnemotechnics in his toolbox.


  1. Hopefully you have determined that “Arnemancy” is a tongue-in-cheek label. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *