|The Noble Tarot
DAVID ALLEN HULSE
|The Noble Tarot was my first magical project designed at the very beginnings of my occult studies. The 22 Major Arcana Tarot cards were drawn in a 6 month period in 1966. Their designs represent my first glimpse into the symbolism of the Tarot, without any formal influence or training.
I had heard the word Tarot on a television program and had no idea what the Tarot cards really were. In 1966 there were very few books on the subject, and the availability of printed Tarot decks were almost non-existent in my home town of Sacramento, California.
I went to a college library in town, and found an encyclopedia article that gave the names and Roman numerals associated with the 22 pictorial cards which make up the Major Arcana. The article gave a very brief definition of the divinatory meanings of the cards and a brief description of their designs. Not all cards were pictured in this article, just a few of the significant cards. I wrote down what information seemed useful, and used these notes as the basis for the my own unique designs.
At that point in my spiritual development I was pursuing the path of Buddhism, especially Zen Buddhism. I had been exposed to the writings of D.T. Suzuki, Alan Watts, and the Theosophist Ernest Wood. I began my study of Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese Buddhist terminology. I was practicing on my own a form of zazen (sitting meditation). So, armed with the names and numbers of the 22 Major Arcana cards, I slowly meditated on the image of each card and developed some very unique designs. Since the designs were captured through Buddhist meditations, I named my deck THE NOBLE TAROT, based on the Buddhist terminology "the noble eightfold path of Buddhism".
Many years later, after much study of traditional Tarot symbolism, I wrote a brief commentary on the symbolism I had unconsciously worked into my designs. The colors I seemingly randomly painted the cards with were especially ripe with deeper meanings.
I have never been able to publish this deck, but with the advent of the Internet I felt that these designs could finally be presented on my own web site. I ultimately painted 3 other decks after this initial deck. But this first deck, devoid of any traditional influence, is the most creative and unique approach I could give to the Tarot.
This deck was not intended for fortune telling but rather for meditation only. I will post my brief commentary on these cards, as well, in a separate article. Enjoy! They are very different from any other Tarot deck you may have encountered in your own magical studies.
|Note: When this deck was first penned in 1966 I did not know the following symbolic attributes, described in this brief commentary. I had a deep understanding of Buddhism, but no understanding of the Western Mysteries. Outside of discovering the Tarot in an encyclopedia article my interests were grounded in the Eastern Mysteries. However, as my years of Hermetic studies progressed later in my life I found in these cards, that were captured through Buddhist meditation techniques, keys to the Qabalah of the Golden Dawn - David Allen Hulse, January 1, 2001.|
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