Archive for August, 2011

Andre Breton’s Arcane 17: An Exploration of the Tarot’s Star card

August 26, 2011

During WWII, the French surrealist poet, Andre Breton, lived in America in self imposed exile. He spent three months in the far reaches of northeastern Canada, where he struggled to make sense of personal losses he had experienced, as well as of the horror and bleakness of global war. During that time, he wrote his extended prose poem, Arcane 17, the title referring to tarot card 17, the Star card. A work of poetic alchemy, this book offers hope for the individual and for our fragile world in advocating an embracing of the divine feminine in nature and in ourselves. The Star serves as a key to the symbolism of the work, and Breton’s method of exploring the image of the card uses creative visualization, offering transformation and transcendence. By examining some of the passages that specifically refer to the Star card, we can follow his surrealist method of drawing meaning from an image that takes on a life of its own when the imagination takes the leap to become one with it. I am giving a presentation on this work at the Bay Area Tarot Symposium this weekend, and I’ll be posting some analysis of Arcane 17 here. Please check in to see more soon!

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