Divination Card

The Tarot Card Deck Designed by Salvador Dal

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Alejandro Jodorowsky Explains How Tarot Cards Can Give You Creative Inspiration

Initially, the project arrived as a commission from producer Albert Broccoli for the James Bond filmLive and Let Die. Likely inspired by his wife Gala, who nurtured his interest in mysticism, writesChicagos Museum of Contemporary Art, Dal eagerly got to work, and continued the project of his own accord when the contractual deal fell through.

Overall, the deck combines the eclectic origins of occult practices with Dals own unmistakable sensibility. Dals Tarot is a pastiche of old-world art, surrealism, kitsch, Christian iconography and Greek and Roman sculpture. Many of his recurring motifs such as the rose, the fly and the bulls head are found throughout the deck. First published in a limited edition in 1984and reissued since in editionsby TASCHENand in book form byother publishersthe deck included an introductory booklet that reads, in Spanish, English, and French:

The Wizard (Arcanum I), Salvador Dal, has transformed with his exceptional art and his marvelous talent the 78 golden plates of The fabulous book of Thot into as many artistic marvels, each one of them duly signed by the hand of this unmatchable, internally famous painter such an extraordinary artistic creation does not detract, in any way, from the Tarots close symbolism. On the contrary, it enhances with its captivating beauty, the Tarots esoteric and plastic meaning.

See a preview video of the full Dal deck above, purchase alimited edition set here, or a much moreaffordable version here.

What might another visionary artist, Salvador Dal, think of Jodorowskys Tarot interpretations? Well never know, but I suspect he would find them enchanting. Not only do the two seem like kindred spirits, but Dal devoted some part of his life to the Tarot, designing his own deck in the 70s.

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The Tarot has long been a tool of charlatans. But it has also long been embraced by brilliant, unconventional thinkers, many of whom themselves have a touch of the charlatan about them (and who would just as likely admit it with a smile). William Butler Yeats was a fan, as is visionary Chilean filmmaker, artist, writer, and psychonautAlejandro Jodorowsky, who has recorded his own Youtube series explaining his take on this classic mode of divination. With its archetypal symbolism, the Tarots appeal to artists should be obvious. Most of them, like Jodorowsky, find far more interesting uses for it than fortune-telling. You must not talk about the future, Jodorowsky tells us in his series, the future is a con. The tarot is a language that talks about the present.

Another tarot variation is the baseball card tarot

It was just around this time that the Tarot saw a massive resurgence in popularity. The occult interests of the 60s counterculture were mainstreamed in the 70s thanks to books like Stuart KaplansTarot Cards for Fun and Fortune Telling. But while Dal had channeled the vivid psychedelia of the age in an earlier illustration project,1969sAlice and Wonderland, his Tarot deck, writes Lisa Rainwater atGalo magazine, actually shows reserve. Yes, reserveas if his reverence for the tarot nearly humbles him. His knack for fanatical self-promotion does get the better of him eventually: he chooses his own face to represent the Magician (above).

Salvador Dals Avant-Garde Christmas Cards

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