“Bereshith”: By Way of an Introduction

Just what the world needs . . . another Tarot blog (zzzzzz).

If you’d suggested to me that I’d be involved in such an enterprise a few years ago, I’d have reacted in similar fashion. Yet here I am launching this Website, devoted as it is to the study of the venerated 78-chapter gospel of living that provides us with a roadmap to spiritual self-realization. Why so now?

I’m a professional writer by trade, most of my work having been done in the fields of marketing and advertising in the corporate sector. In my spare time, I’ve studied the Tarot, and its sizable literary canon, for the better part of four decades, and have acquired (in my opinion only; you, the reader, will pass final judgment) a fair deal of knowledge about the cards, their origins, their so-called “divinatory” meanings, and their associations and correlations to the various schools of esoterica, mythology, religion and psychology. Still, I’d never thought about writing a book, or launching a Website, devoted to the cards, until very recently. Again, why so?

Some four years ago from the time of this writing, I left the corporate world to pursue a new freelance career. While I didn’t make conscious plans for this—more accurately, as with millions of my fellows in the Great Recession, I was laid off—looking back I now realize that it was a blessing in disguise, for at the time of my dismissal, I was existing in a state of emotional and psychological stasis: My former career, while reasonably profitable, no longer gave me the slightest sense of satisfaction after 35 years, nor did it give me a greater sense of purpose or place. On the contrary: in a world facing a calamitous future driven by the disruptions of anthropogenic global warming, much of my creative output—commissioned at times by corporate interests that are profiting from, and even exacerbating, this destructive trend—could have been said to be actively harmful to humanity. Be part of the problem or be part of the solution, right?

So I asked myself, To what enterprise could I devote my skills in a way that would (a) provide me with personal satisfaction and purpose, and/or (b) that might prove beneficial to others? Or even (c) one that might serve as an act of atonement, in some small regard, to help heal our broken world? Shortly thereafter, the apocryphal “light bulb” flicked on over my head, and over the course of a year I commenced to write a book (actually, two books—one a straightforward reference work which will be published here, the other a series of meditations that may see daylight at a later time) on the subject that has held so much fascination for me for the past 40 years.

Fast forward three years, and neither of my books has seen publication. The reason, as has been related to me by both agents and publishing houses, has little if anything to do with the quality of the written work but with the challenges confronting a first-time (i.e., commercially unproven) author writing for a “niche” audience at the same time that the industry itself is gradually inching away from smaller, “specialty” market demographics. (This helps to explain the rise of the so-called “self-publishing” industry in recent years.) So, dear reader, I have decided to self-publish the work here, and make it available free of charge; it will provide the editorial cornerstone, the prima materia, of the site as I build it out over the coming weeks and months.

I hope you will find whatever insights and observations the site begs to offer will be of practical use in your life—that is the goal of spiritual path-work, after all, and it will likewise be the goal of this site. If ever I seem to lose sight of this, I shall trust you to call attention to the error of my ways. Just as the cards “communicate” with us, we devotees of the Tarot and of the related esoteric arts should never hesitate to dialogue with each other when inspiration strikes.

Besides covering the individual cards and discussing how their meanings have changed and evolved (or haven’t) to suit the needs of our post-millennial world, we’ll also review the cards’ origins and their diverse artistic renditions, and we’ll shine a light on some of the cards’ most insightful commentaries and concordances. We’ll look at a variety of spreads—of which there are literally thousands—to find ones that work optimally for us at our particular level of experience, from novice to advanced. As the site (hopefully) grows and develops an audience, we’ll even examine some spreads in the context of providing answers to queries sent by readers who follow the site. We may even welcome guests to post here on occasion. (A diversity of voices generally makes for a more engaging blog.) And, of course, in the coming days you will see ample links to other Tarot sites run by some our most accomplished modern-day scholars and commentators, as well as a recommended reading list of Tarot and Tarot-related publications. This early in the game, I can’t say where the site will eventually end up, but I will endeavor to make the journey as engaging and instructive as possible, and hopefully a little entertaining, too. Exercising our psychic abilities doesn’t have to be a somber pursuit!

Dante DiMatteo

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