Frank, the co-author of a tarot guide for self-help, shares his insights about living a meaningful life.
How can a tarot deck help us to live a meaningful life?
Tarot cards are powerful tools to access our unconscious. Plus, the interplay between the cards and our conscious interpretations of what they “mean”, tell us a lot about ourselves. This has been known for a long time, even if more under the guise of esotericism than psychology. More recently, Carl Jung acknowledged the role played by Tarot cards in our lifelong journey for individuation. Even if he did not expand much upon it, Tarot cards are now used to explore archetypes.
What does EXSTATICA contribute to self-help?
It adds a new angle to the psychological use of the Tarot for personal and transpersonal development. In this Tarot book, we explore Four Spheres: Meaning, Cognition, Emotion, Behavior. Our life is harmonious, when these spheres are nested into each others. Meaning is the all-inclusive, outer sphere.
What is the Mantegna Tarot? Why did you decide to incorporate it?
Our contemporary world looks very similar to the Renaissance. Great hopes, but also great challenges. A renewed sense of personal responsibility, but also destructive forces shaking society at its core. Instead of using a historic and philosophical approach, that would have been quite dry, EXSTATICA gets the message across with the so called “Mantegna Tarot”. Interestingly enough, despite its name, these Tarot cards were not conceived by Mantegna, and initially they were simple illustrations, not used as a deck. Time transformed their usage and name.
You mentioned Four Spheres that form our reality. How does the Mantegna Tarot relate to them?
We use the first ten cards to explore the Sphere of Behavior. The Sphere of Emotion includes the cards from 11 to 20. The Sphere of Cognition, includes the cards From 21 to 30. The Sphere of Meaning is the wider: it includes the cards from 31 to 50. The book shows the various tarot spreads available. It also indicates some easy steps to apply EXSTATICA to other decks, like the Sola Busca Tarot, the Tarot of Marseille, the Rider-Waite Tarot, and Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot.
What does your book cover represent?
|It is often said not to judge a book by its cover. But that’s what we often do, unless we have already connected with its authors or topics. It means the message conveyed by a book cover is among its strongest.
Our book cover shows Botticelli’s Birth of Venus. This iconic face summarizes years of Renaissance philosophy and wisdom. The book includes a few other visual inspirations, like the fivefold Floweof Venus and a painting from Francesco del Cossa. Plus, of course, the 50 Mantegna Tarot cards. Properly placed and spaced. So readers can cut their own deck, if they so desire, and start using it right away, without affecting the rest of the book.