Foreword

Paeans of acclaim greet this book on tarot.

It is written out of a full awareness of life, with a profound imaginative insight which sees the ever-renewing pattern of immediate experience - a rose, a tree in blossom, a bird - with such a sense of vitality, such all-embracing penetration, and plumbs the soul so deeply that the experiencing mind catches the eternal in what is transient and grasps within the configurations of space the presence of some moulding force transcending all spatial bounds. And it teaches us how to engage more closely with life in all its plenitude and to confront it squarely in all its tangible variety. We are shown stage by stage how to exercise our powers of pictorial thinking and ability to interpret symbols until a felicitous disposition of the cards brings the soul to intuitive knowledge of itself.

The spirit speaking to us from these ancient cards is rooted in the remote past of Egyptian mysticism. And every soul which brings these cards to life again can catch in the unchanging mirror of human life the faint intimations of an ancient past stirring in the eternally present. Thus it was once and ever will be - this image of the bonds and linkages between what appears to us to have been, to be now, and still be to come. That which is so intimately compounded in the depths is separated out in the processes of life. Starting from the beginning ever and again, it is the individual, depending on his own knowledge and his own courage, that must find his way through the labyrinth of his destiny woven from his own peculiar intrications of past, present and future. In these pages he will find the clue of Ariadne.

The keyword is integration: to become whole, to become sound, to become one — and that means: to make whole, to make sound, to unite, for only in this way can one become so oneself. Through the symbols recognised and mediated as we contemplate the correspondences between man and his destiny, the tarot pack affords us a profounder experience and a more total intériorisation of life, which speaks to us in symbols and demands from us an active response. This is achieved through the agency of the artist's eye which sees here with such clarity and truth, through the communication of a religious and ethical inspiration, and through the careful pedagogic representation which leads us upwards step by step.

To experience symbols and to be affected by them is one and the same thing. It means to be moved and uplifted in the depths of one's humanity. Their call causes man to be infused with a power stemming from the highest centres of the human spirit and also from that surpassing spirit which serves every creature and every man although existing above the level of conscious experience. Symbols renew man's creative power if he finds (and this book shows him the way) the right response to them in his inner self. For they are creative centres of energy of the spiritual power that pervades all life but is inherent in man. The man who has no answer to return to the urgent questions of the sphinx within himself falls into the abyss of the subconscious.

With all the lucidity of her artistic and creative gifts the author reveals to us with the aid of each of the twenty-two cards the corresponding levels of consciousness in man. The tarot cards, as she interprets them, are a mirror in which seeking man can see himself or someone close to him and can determine his - or their - position on the ladder of development to true man« The wisdom of Ezekiel, which is also the wisdom of Origen, calls for a whole, a true man, he who is united with the genius of humanity within himself, with his eternal self - as distinct from the merely naturally born - a divinely born 'homo humanus\ We men are all born 'men' but we do not all become 'homines humani\ potentiated men, as it were, unless we are good and pious, says Origen. True man united with external and corporeal man forms the 'homo humanus' when God's image is renewed or restored in man.

It is to this knowledge and integration that the tarot pack leads us when properly understood. The language of our tarot interpretation is simple and has the dynamic timbre of the author's Hungarian mother tongue in which the illustrations are of such primal purity and naturalness that people of all ages and degrees of maturity, beginners as well as the more experienced, can be helped along their path. "Wherever the individual may have halted on the path to unification with his genius, he will find that reading symbols so deftly presented, allowing these symbols to elicit their effect during quiet contemplation, and then following their stirrings in his inner self until the soul brings forth from its silent depths its own words and images - this, he will find, releases vital forces.

The soul thinks in images. The soul lives in images. The soul nourishes itself on the flux of images. The soul and its images are fed from the very beginning with the experiences of mankind. Conceptual thought cannot seize hold of the images now rising from the profundity of the soul with their deeply moving and gladdening effects. Intuition experiences and recognises in the bright pictures of allegory what has been experienced by the inner light. Thus in these pages the reader traverses the many fields of life. The symbolism of the sounds, rhythms, colours and forms of life is disclosed to us, the realm of the elements, the realm of the rocks, plants, and animals is revealed, the realm of man and his situation is made apparent. Thus the ancient soul of humanity speaks through the mouth of the modern spirit and shows itself to be eternally youthful, ever standing on the threshold of new miracles, always living again in the inexhaustibility of its warmth in which all creatures are lapped.

The soul of humanity, like the soul of the individual, lives only through love. Inspirited life is never immobilised in the barren monotony of mechanism. Ever and again it brings fresh animation, winged by some spirit on whose pinions it bears a kindred and loving life to all it meets.

And so this book also touches hidden depths of the soul and wakes in them life which would otherwise sleep on, lost in the unconscious. It opens space within us and elements of the soul flow in upon us which in previous generations were accessible only to a few individuals. Through the pictures we can thus break through into a region of being which draws us into itself and nourishes and charges us with its forces. For by concentrating on an object the subject becomes pervious to the energies of the object; the subject comes into sympathetic vibration with the object and thus with the region from which the object comes.

In all ages there have been torch-bearers who through their own creative power have embodied in themselves the truth of old human wisdoms. Thus in a time of spiritual inanition dominated by the intellect the tarot pack has been made available to us again. Languages have changed but the pictures remain. With these attractive tarot cards and the author's profound and yet readily understandable interpretation, Elisabeth Haich has produced a masterly work of initiation into the secrets of life. Out of a deep understanding of being and her own intimate experience of union with her genius, she has illustrated the process by which man becomes man by his insight into the pictures of the twenty-two rungs of the ladder of divine ascent, on which each rung is an experience for the next rung in accordance with the individual's plan of life.

May this work find its way into the world and bring light and help to many.

Dr Ewalt Kliemke

The Illustrated Key To The Tarot

The Illustrated Key To The Tarot

The pathology of the poet says that the undevout astronomer is mad the pathology of the very plain man says that the genius is mad and between these extremes, which stand for ten thousand analogous excesses, the sovereign reason takes the part of a moderator and does what it can. I do not think that there is a pathology of the occult dedications, but about their extravagances no one can question, and it is not less difficult than thankless to act as a moderator regarding them.

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