The Tarot Memory Deck

Working with Giordano Bruno’s memory alphabet and wheel system opens up interesting possibilities. I’ve written before about using tarot with the Art of Memory. Now let’s look at using the Taro with Bruno’s memory system. If you have used Tarot for meditation or pathworking, then you already have experience with visualizing the cards and also changing or manipulating the imagery. Using the cards in a memory system will imprint their symbolism even more firmly in your mind.
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Giordano Bruno (the Nolan) was an influential philosopher, astrologer, and poet who was burned at the stake for heresy in 1600 C.E. He was a loud, brash, opinionated ex-monk who was not shy about his support of heliocentrism and his rejection of Christianity. He was also a genius. Bruno’s place in the history of Western civilization got a big upgrade in 1964, when Frances Yates published Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition. That book was my first introduction to Bruno and his work.
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Thoughts on Astrology

Since October of 2015, I have been reading cards at Pairings Portland’s monthly Astrology Night event. This has been a lot of fun and very interesting, but it has brought up a lot of questions about my thoughts on astrology. It’s been a popular form of divination for millenia, so that’s understandable. Just today, I was reminded of something I wrote about astrology about five years ago when asked about the inclusion of Ophiuchus as the 13th sign of the Zodiac.
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When I first started this website, it’s because my weekly Tarot-reading gig at the Press Club was ending and I was eager to find some way to grow and continue my Tarot business. What I didn’t realize at the time was that my Friday afternoons at the Press Club were something special. They may never be replaced. My Tarot reading business never grew after that, but instead has settled into a fairly regular schedule. About once per month, I read cards at Pairings Portland. I also have a few regular customers and I get some jobs at parties here and there, but this is never going to be my main business nor keep me busy.

After coming to this realization, it was time to make a change in the direction of this website. I will be writing here about Hermeticism and the Tarot. Primarily, I will focus on Hermeticism and the Hermetic arts. I want to introduce you to the ars memorativa,1 theurgy, thaumaturgy, and their connection to the Tarot. For now, enjoy this video that might give you an idea of the subjects we will be exploring on this website.


  1. I usually call this the ars memoriae.  

Tarot & Wine Update

The starting time for the Tarot & Wine – Spring Renewal event tomorrow has been changed to 4:00 pm. That’s about the time people start showing up, so I don’t anticipate the change affecting anybody’s schedules. If you were planning to come earlier, please contact me and we can arrange something.

Jeff over at Pairings Portland has revealed the wines that will be paired with my Tarot reading! Check them out. They sound delicious.

Tarot & Wine - Spring Renewal Tasting
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.