Tue, 09 Aug 2022

Tarot cards can be used for many purposes. Some use them for future telling, some for occultism. Some as a creative tool for story telling, some as an inspiration for visual arts. EXSTATICA focuses on how to use the Mantegna Tarot for transpersonal discovery.

EXSTATICA: the Mantegna Tarot for Transpersonal Psychology

EXSTATICA is a Tarot book that explores Four Spheres: Meaning, Cognition, Emotion, Behavior. Our life is harmonious, when these spheres are aligned. With Meaning including all of them, blending together our thoughts, emotions, actions.

Why is the Mantegna Tarot Unique?

The Mantegna Tarot opens for us a door, to access the wisdom of the Italian Renaissance. Our contemporary world looks very similar to the Renaissance. Great hopes, but also great challenges. A renewed sense of personal responsibility, but also destructive forces shaking society at its core. Instead of using a historic and philosophical approach, that would have been quite dry, EXSTATICA gets the message across using the symbolic power of the Mantegna Tarot. Interestingly enough, despite its name, these Tarot cards were not conceived by Mantegna, and initially they were simple illustrations, not used as a deck. Time transformed their usage and name.

EXSTATICA uses this 50 cards deck, to guide us through this journey of personal discover. The Sphere of Behavior includes the first ten cards of the Mantegna Tarot. The cards from 11 to 20, belong to the Sphere of Emotion. The Sphere of Cognition includes the cards from 21 to 30. The outer Sphere of Meaning includes the cards from 31 to 50. The Visconti Sforza Tarot, Sola Busca Tarot, Tarot of Marseille, Rider-Waite Tarot, Thoth Tarot, and other decks can be used with EXSTATICA as well.

How can the Mantegna Tarot help us to live a meaningful life?

Tarot cards are powerful tools to access our unconscious. Plus, the interplay between the cards and our conscious interpretations of what they 'mean', tell us a lot about ourselves. This has been known for a long time, even if more under the guise of esotericism than psychology. More recently, Carl Jung acknowledged the role played by Tarot cards in our lifelong journey for individuation. Even if he did not expand much upon it, Tarot cards are now used to explore archetypes.

What does EXSTATICA book cover represent?

Our book cover shows Botticelli's Birth of Venus. This iconic face summarizes years of Renaissance philosophy and wisdom. The book includes a few other visual inspirations, like the fivefold Flower of Venus and a painting from Francesco del Cossa. Plus, of course, the 50 Mantegna Tarot cards. Properly placed and spaced. So readers can cut their own deck, if they so desire, and start using it right away, without affecting the rest of the book.

How to Use the Mantegna Tarot for Transpersonal Psychology?

One way to read the Mantegna Tarot is with a Triangle spread:


The deck is divided into four groups: A/B, C, D, E. Based on the letters that each card carries. At the top of the triangle, people can place one card from the A/B group (Meaning). Then, they draw another card from the same group, and place it on the second line. Next to it, they place one card from the C group (Cognition). For the third row, they draw one card from the C group, and then two cards from the D group (Emotions). At bottom, they place one card from the D group, and three cards from the E group (Behavior). Then they interpret this triangle spread as a whole, inspired by how these cards relate to their life, using the meanings offered in EXSTATICA. They can start by doing this once per week, on a specific day, like every Friday. Then they can make it a once a month practice.

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