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.”
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.
Hopefully you have determined that “Arnemancy” is a tongue-in-cheek label. ↩
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 Tarot.com. 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.
Here’s a quick, three-card Tarot reading for the New 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.