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Buddha Tarot

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Old man and the sadhuThis week I am diving into the Buddha Tarot by Robert Place. This set was a gift to me from a friend back in 2004 and I have to admit that even though I did pick it up a few times, I have yet to do a full reading with it. I got a bit of a complicated relationship with Robert Place’s decks. They are stunning but I find them a tad bit cool as in chilly. They usually engage my mind more then my imagination or my intuition. But then there are times when that is quite ok too.

To start the weekend off I did the first exercise from my brand new book Tarosophy by Marcus Katz (and yes I am aware of the stupid ‘war’ in the on-line tarot community between different organizations, but I don’t belong to ANY organization and never will so won’t even bother with that, if me posting the name of a book is so disturbing to some that they feel like calling me names that only reflect on them) The book is awesome! The first exercise is to simply describe with a metaphor what tarot is for you and then ask the deck a question about it. Me being a librarian, I always saw the tarot as a huge filing cabinet so my question was: What am I cataloging? The reply was The Old Man and the Sadhu – The Hermit. Place tells us in the book about the day Siddhartha went to the city and saw the old man and was shaken by facing age but then also saw the Sadhu and realized that he wanted to be a holy man and be serene like the Sadhu. Old age alone is not necessarily wisdom but virtue brings spiritual peace.  I could live a long long life and stuff that catalog with experiences but I need a purpose to create order in it and have use for it.

Buddha 4 of double vajrasMy next question is: How do I create the order I need? The reply this time was 4 of double Vajras. Here is a pig that represents the ‘poison’ Sloth. Kapha is the dosha associated with sloth and this card is a warning against it. I am a Kapha person! I am well aware I need to balance myself and try to be less lazy.

So how can the tarot help me balance my laziness? 10 of Lotuses. This card don’t give away a lot, Lotus is red and fire though. And we see a Wheel here that I see as a symbol for change. Often we see 10 of fire as a burden, but if you are a Kapha life is a burden and perhaps that blast of fire is what is needed to temper me. I need to fill this filing cabinet with more active, inspirational, creative and extrovert experiences or it will just be filled with plans, lists, wishes and thoughts.

Buddha 10 of lotuses


About jema

Dreamer, tarot reader and hobo librarian

3 responses »

  1. I have used this deck many times too, and I realized that it became less cold to me when I began to study Tibetan Buddhism. Suddenly the imagery and symbolism became clear, and I understood the depth of images that at first didn’t really say anything. So, some study of Buddhism symbolism and philosophy is very helpful to open your mind to this great deck! 🙂

    I am very happy that you’ll give this a chance though! I think the Buddha Tarot is a highly underrated deck!

    • If it wasn’t that I have committed to one week with this deck I am sure I would just put it away again. But the reading I did with it just now kinda gave me the idea that this resistance I feel don’t have to be a bad thing. Things we work hard to understand are often the things we keep with us close at heart later in life. And all my best friends I first argued with before I let them in 😀 It’s a tempering process…

  2. Jema

    Thank you so much for your kind comment on my book and taking the time to engage with the exercises. It is fantastic you used Bob’s Buddha deck and got something out of it through the dialogue process. Sometimes I guess different decks require different “accessing” methods.

    May a full deck of possibilities be yours



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