July [11] 2008

Excerpted from ‘The Travel Guide’ (Copyright, 2004)

Rosengarten’s Tarot Of The Nine Paths (TNP) is a perfect matrix of twenty-seven archetypal principles believed to be instrumental in all processes of spiritual growth and self-development. “Perfection” here refers to something being complete and whole unto itself like a living organism or an ecosystem.

                                                                  (Click matrix to expand)


TNP marks a crucial departure from the traditional tarot as it is concerned exclusively with the “trumps” or “higher keys” which form the tarot’s Major Arcana. As such, TNP offers a powerful lens through which deeper potentials laden in the human psyche can be brought into awareness for contemplation and/or intentional use; in particular, TNP catalogues those innate possibilities associated with man’s higher purpose, destination, and spiritual completion echoing what the brilliant Swiss psychoanalyst, CG Jung, termed “the archetypes of transformation.” 

By design, TNP retains the essential infrastructure of tarot’s 600 year-old Major Arcana with respect to long-established naming and ordering conventions, pictorial motifs, esoteric correspondences and metaphysical associations while otherwise expanding the sacred canon from 22 to 27 “archetypal forged” transformative agents. Thus TNP’s five new trumps (Keys 22-26) are entitled: The Well, The River, The Ring, The Dragon, and The Great Web. I believe these timeless yet highly contemporary themes bring a new synthesis and finality to the original Renaissance map and mind-set by giving a minor yet crucial “upgrade” to the system. These new themes are amplified in the TNP lexicon later in this exhibit. (Note: A Complete TNP Exhibit is scheduled to open in “The Paraplex” of The Haunted Mortuary, New Orleans, Jan. 2009)


How Was TNP First Conceived? The delicate expansion was determined by a hidden formula of numeric and philosophical interior relationships woven into the Greater Arcana itself, perhaps since its inception (though unconsciously). “The Hermit Effect,” as I’ve termed it, is based on the magical implications and properties of the number nine. As will be shown, this unique number runs intricately and thoughtfully throughout the symbolic underpinnings of the deck. It has made possible the construction of an “extra wing” to the metaphysical edifice without disturbing, as it were, the existing “sacred architecture.” The end result is an intuitively fluid, intellectually sound, matrix of interdependent spiritual principles which elegantly assemble into a map or travel guide of consciousness.

As detailed in my book Tarot And Psychology: Spectrums Of Possibility (2000), each trump card is understood with regard to its unique archetypal agency (purpose or instrumentality). Likewise in the Tarot of the Nine Paths, “agents and agency” are tied to the “business” of describing, understanding, and classifying these universal “symbols of transformation.” 

Specifically, they represent the means by which the 27 Majors accomplish their designated tasks as indicated by The Hermit Effect (+9). In Tarot Of The Nine Paths, the number nine is paramount. Associated with Trump IX (The Hermit), number 9 is the symbolic markof spiritual fulfillment and completion. It is also the mathematical basis of Tarot Constellations (including Soul & Personality cards), and carries the psychological signature of Tarot’s “wisdom making/wisdom-seeking” directive. 

In TNP, the many themes associated with The Hermit –WISDOM, COMPLETION, INDEPENDENCE, TENACITY, and INDIVIDUATION–are at the heart of this entire system. In “Rosengarten’s Phrases” (The  Lexicon of TNP),  The Hermit is referred to as The Wise Guide:

The Wise Guide, wisdom and tenacity in pursuit of true self; ‘individuation’- the process by which a person becomes a psychological individual’(Jung); self-realization. Fiercely independent and self-directed; a master of the invisible; Bob Dylan archetype, cares little for outside approval, values aloneness, independence; He “seeks his own salvation with diligence” (as the Buddha advised for us all). 

Taken together, one might simply pose the following creed or motto that carries the card’s true modus operandi:

This is the correct philosophical stance that a traveler adopts with respect to each of the 27 trumps: It is akin to the Jungian notion of individuation (self-realization), i.e. making an intense commitment to becoming a whole psychological individual, but with special emphasis given to spiritual development. 

To order $80. Autographed Limited Edition. Contact Art Rosengarten, Ph.D., at www. moonlightcounseling.com for this remarkable tarot deck.


One Response to “A TAROT FOR THIS AGE: TNP”

  1. Dave Says:

    While tarot cards might be 600 years old, the esoteric uses of them are not. The tarot was made for playing a card game.

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