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Tarot Treasures at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

On October 14th, I organized a very special Tarot event. A small group of Tarotists, scholar Robert Place and I were swept behind the scenes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to glimpse at their Tarot collection.

Robert Place, creator of the newly released, “Vampire Tarot” led us through the Met’s collection. The collection included three sheets of Italian woodcut cards. These sheets are, essentially, uncut sheets of Tarot cards made for widespread distribution in the 16th Century. We looked at a deck of the Tarot of Marseilles from the 18th Century and a 16th Century deck of Minchiate cards. The Minchiate cards are a close relative of Tarot, which contains 40 trump cards! They include Trumps for every sign of the zodiac, the elements and additional virtues. After Robert’s lecture and close inspection of these items, the curators let us look through a box of random cards, including fantastic fortune telling cards from the 18th Century. Sadly, photos were not permitted but it was a glorious afternoon!

I gave each attendee a gift bag that included a Tarot activity and Tarot spread I’d created based on our day. I would like to share this with you, dear Tarot lover . . .

Tarot Treasures at The Met

On this blustery, windswept October month we venture into The Metropolitan Museum, one of the world’s great institutions, to peek at Tarot’s past. Art collections, more than artifacts, paint on canvas, sculpted clay . . . are treasures bestowed on us from those who have gone before. More than a mere psychic impression, the artist leaves behind a tangible piece of psyche, point of view, lesson, and experience. Don’t believe me? Wander through an echoing gallery near closing time. Feel the energy reverberating from the canvases.

Message from the Artist Activity

Armed with this knowledge, we may freely converse with Van Gogh, Matisse or Picasso. I challenge you to take your Tarot deck and pick a painting. Sit before it, quietly observing, for at least fifteen minutes. Focus only on the painting. When you feel ready, randomly pick a Tarot card. This card holds a message for you from the artist. What are they whispering to you?

Secrets and Passages Spread

The Print Study room at the Met is a hidden space, not available to the general public. Today you were whisked behind the scenes. Secret passages are available to Tarot readers on a daily basis because a Tarotist is constantly piercing the veil into their subconscious, into other worlds, into murkiness, so we can illuminate what was once muddled and dark.

Secrets lie scattered around us like crunchy autumn leaves. A secret, after all, is only something hidden from knowledge or view. We need only acknowledge them. Once you recognize a fact or thing, it is a secret no longer . . .

Let’s use the metaphor of today’s museum trip to discover a hidden passage, a secret hiding within our own psyche. The secret you uncover may be predictive or it may be a new way of experiencing your reality.

Shuffle your deck while acknowledging there are worlds of possibility you are not yet aware of.

Select five cards to answer the following questions.

Place the cards face down, turning them over as you answer each question.

1. What secret must be revealed to me?

2. How do I integrate this secret into my life?

3. What can I do now that I know this?

4. How will this secret help me resolve conflicts?

5. What will happen know that I know this?

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