The Conjure Woman

The Conjure Woman
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Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Review of the Buddha Tarot




Whether you love Tarot as much as Astrology, know nothing at all about it, are a lover of Buddhism or are simply a philosopher at heart, this book will fascinate you. In it, I expected to find a summary of Buddhism and perhaps a unique persepective on how that relates to Tarot. Instead, I found much more.

Mr. Place covers a lot of ground. He gives us a timeline of Eastern and Western thought and outlines in detail both Eastern and Western traditions, from Pythagoras to the Neo-Platonists, to the Middle Ages, the Optomists, Buddha and Christianity in all of it's complexity.

As I read through this, I soon discovered I was reading not just an interesting Tarot book, but the history of Philosophy book I'd longed for in College, one that combines Eastern and Western teachings and emphasizes their similarities rather than differences.

You can learn so much from this book! In it you find a history of philosophy, tarot, mysticism and much more. It describes the central teachings of Buddhism then applies them quite ingeniously to tarot.

He then illustrates how the life of Buddha is easily and clearly reflected in the standard tarot, and shows us how he has taken these two traditions and combined them to make a system of divination and self exploration that is entirely original. The cards and their companion book show us a new way of looking at ourselves and at many schools of thought that have helped shape and form our spiritual traditions.

The cards that accompany this book are stunning works of art. That so much talent rests in one person, (Mr. Place), is a rare delight. As with the text, he combines East and West in his illustrations. As most decks show the journey of the archetypal hero (the Fool) to consciousness, here we have the journey of Buddha to enlightenment. They draw from not only Buddhism but Christianity and traditional tarot as well.

Lovers of art, philosophy, Buddhism, tarot, Eastern traditions, all of the above .... just about anyone would treasure and enjoy this book and cards. It makes me want to call my former philosophy professor and tell him I've at last found the book I always wanted to study then and have him recommend it to his students!

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