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. 

Tarot and the SE Area ARTWalk

SE Area Art Walk

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Date(s) - Feb 28, 2015 - Mar 1, 2015
10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Lucky No. 3: an Arts Boutique


I’ll be at Lucky No. 3: an Arts Boutique for the 12th annual Southeast Portland Art Walk.

This event takes place from 10am to 5pm on Saturday, February 28th, and Sunday, March 1st. Artists, studios, and galleries from all over Southeast Portland will be participating! Read more at the SE Area ARTWalk website.

Lucky No. 3 will be hosting at least three artists. In addition, I’ll have a table reading Tarot cards. Even better, I’ll be doing readings for tips only! That means you just leave me whatever you think the reading is worth, even if it’s just a cookie. I don’t accept pets or children as payment.

Please come on by! The art gallery is really great and the entire walk is a blast.

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Wine, Tarot, and Creepy Jazz
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Date(s) - Feb 13, 2015
2:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Pairings Portland


Arnemancy and Pairings Portland is combining a 5-wine tasting flight and Tarot readings like we’ve done before. However, we will also be celebrating Friday the 13th and Valentine’s Day!

The Tarot Readings

For $10, you will get a 3-card reading, and this will be a good day for readings about the odd, unusual, and creepy. It will also be a great time for romance readings! What will the cards tell you about your love life? What will your cards tell you about the shoggoth living in your basement? Come and find out!

Wine and Snacks

Jeffrey Weissler of Pairings Portland has put together a great flight of wines for this auspicious event. Here is his description:

  1. A Tarot card chosen for the day.
  2. The Numerology of Friday the 13th. More specifically 2/13/2015.
  3. A wine paired to Pisces, the current Sun sign.
  4. The personality of our fabulous Tarot Reader, Erik L. Arneson! (That’s me!) 
  5. A wine paired to chocolate, because chocolate rocks and it’s the night before Valentine’s Day!

The wine flight will cost $20 and includes a Missionary Chocolates truffle and entry into a drawing for Pairings Portland’s excellent Pairings Basic Class.

Creepy Jazz

I’ll be done with Tarot readings for the evening at 8pm. Following me are Melissa Carroll and Corey Heppner, with some “Creepy Jazz” from 8-10pm. There is no cover!

As you can see, this will be a fun event. Working with Jeff has been a blast. He’s always coming up with new creative things to do. Come and see what we’re up to this time!

Check out the event on Facebook and Meetup to learn more!

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I recently wrote about the Art of Memory on this blog, and it’s an ongoing interest of mine. Robert O’Neill has a surprisingly complicated article about Tarot and the Art of Memory on I’m not sure why I didn’t come across it before. It’s worth a read.

Though O’Neill has a great collection of references, where his article really shines is in the in-depth discussion of the creation of memory images. Check it out.

The Art of Memory, or ars memoriæ, is a mnemonic technique dating from classical Greece. The technique improves upon our natural memory through discipline, planning, and visualization skills. One of its core methods involves a memory palace, in which memorized architectural details are used to store striking images that aid recall.1 The memory palace technique has been popularized in popular fiction by characters such as Hannibal Lecter and BBC’s latest Sherlock Holmes.

Let’s look at how the Art of Memory relates to the study and use of Tarot.

  1. I won’t discuss the technique fully here. The Wikipedia entry on the Art of Memory is a great starting point, however. 

The Tarot Blog’s First Year

There hasn’t been very much activity on the Tarot reading front in December. Last year, it was a very slow month. This year, I focused my December efforts in other directions.

I already have events planned for 2015, though. Stay tuned for details! Thank you all for the support you showed me in 2014. Here’s a report showing how this blog did since its inception earlier this year:
Arnemancy in 2014.

Get Your Tarot Read at Brunch!

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Date(s) - Nov 23, 2014
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Crush Bar


Reverend Erik will once more be at Crush Bar reading Tarot cards! Come on by this Sunday, November 23rd, and get a holiday reading. What is in store for you this Thanksgiving? How can you best escape the consumerist crush of Christmas?

Come and see Reverend Erik at Crush bar, and explore the mysteries this holiday season!

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Date(s) - Nov 1, 2014
2:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Pairings Portland


Pairings Portland has scary wines for this event! Well, not exactly scary, but definitely not normal comfort zone wines.

The focus will be on wines outside the norm: those hidden in the shadows of what we know, offering flavors and pairing opportunities that will linger in the memory. Each wine will be paired to a cheese, too. The featured cheese styles are soft, goat, sheep, aged, and blue. The spooky wine and cheese tasting will cost $25.

I will also be there, reading Tarot cards! I’ll be offering my normal full readings at $10 for a short reading and $20 for a full reading.

If you’ve looked for a great time for a full Tarot reading, All Hallows’ Day is it!

For more information and to RSVP, check out the Facebook event page.

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MeditationLearn to meditate on the Tarot cards in just five minutes. The following technique is simple and effective, and you can practice it in just five minutes.

Meditating with the Tarot is one of the best methods to learn the symbolism and meanings of the cards. Tarot meditation is an essential tool for all Tarotists. With this meditation technique, you will strengthen your visualization skills, expand your imaginative abilities, and gain a deep understanding of Tarot symbolism.

Things You’ll Need

First, you will need a quiet, comfortable space and about some free time. You should be dressed comfortably, and if you’re not going to be happy about sitting on the floor, then you should get a comfortable chair or stool.

You will also need your Tarot deck. This technique works with any deck.

Getting Started

Select a card to act as the focus of your meditation. You can do this randomly, or you can pick a specific card which you’d like to study in more depth. I find this technique is excellent if there is a particular card that I have had trouble reading.

Once you have your Tarot card chosen, sit comfortably and relax your body. You can do this through deep breathing or some other method. I won’t go into too much detail on how to get started meditating. Instead, check out this handy guide.

Focus on the Card

The next step requires some work, and may take practice. Focus on the card and memorize its image. Close your eyes and picture the card in your imagination. Pay attention to color and detail. Notice every line, every shadow, and every shape.

It can help to scan the card back and forth, like you’re reading the page of a book. Take your time. It might take a few tries before you see the image of the Tarot card in your mind’s eye. Close your eyes and hold the image before you.

Identify With the Card

As you focus on your mental image of the card, notice how it makes you feel. The cards symbolize archetypal patterns that occur in all of our lives. Find a time in your life whose meaning corresponds with the feeling the image of the Tarot card evokes. That emotion and that memory will help solidify the meaning of the card in your mind.

Wrap It Up

When you’re done meditating, it’s time to bring yourself back to normal awareness. Open your eyes and take in your surroundings. Some people like to ring a small bell, clap, or stamp their feet to signal that the meditation is at an end. Some people like to have a cookie. You pick!

This meditation is incredibly helpful for learning the meaning of Tarot cards. It’s an important step in building advanced Tarot techniques, as well. You will see the best results if you practice it daily, with a different card each day.

Book a Tarot reading with me!