Osho Zen Tarot is an unconventional tarot card deck. Find out about Osho's unorthodox teachings and how to use this captivating card deck.
Osho (1931 – 1990) was an Indian mystic, spiritual teacher and zen master.
In the 1960s he traveled in India as a public speaker but his criticism of institutionalized religions and his unconventional teachings made him very controversial.
In the 1970s he established an ashram that soon became a hub for many westerners in search of spiritual guidance. His pupils were attracted by Osho's charismatic personality and provocative views.
In the 1980s Osho moved to the USA and was soon surrounded by a community of followers in Oregon.
The leaders of the community came soon in conflict with the local residents and the commune was dispersed after Osho told the authorities that the commune leadership committed several major crimes.
Despite his disciples' unwavering affection and his provocative teachings, Osho lead an extravagant lifestyle that attracted also open criticism and a good deal of negative notoriety.
After he was charged with violation of immigration laws, he returned to native India where he died in 1990.
His teachings stress the importance of love, awareness, laughter, playfulness and creativity in everyday life.
Meditation is seen by Osho as the only path to enlightenment and the ultimate freedom.
Osho's philosophy had a strong impact on the New Age movement and his
popularity actually increased after his death also thanks to his pupils
that popularized Osho's oral teaching with numerous books.
This tarot deck is as unconventional as Osho's teachings and lifestyle. It can be used as a tool to get in touch with the wisdom of Zen.
Zen stresses the possibility for each individual to reach the enlightenment through meditation, the only path to freedom from the illusions of the mind.
Osho zen tarot deck illustrates a journey of self-discovery and liberation and consulting the cards is like playing a zen game that reflects the here and now in your personal journey.
The Osho zen tarot is composed of 22 Major Arcana that represent the fundamental themes of the human spiritual voyage.
The Major Arcana do not have the traditional names or representations: for example the Magician and the High Priestess are replaced by Existence and Inner Voice.
The Master card (representing Osho himself, the only one without a number) was added to the traditional Major Arcana. It is a symbol of ultimate achievement and transcendence of the journey itself.
The Minor Arcana are divided into four suits: Fire (Wands), Water (Cups), Clouds (Swords), Rainbows (Pentacles).
In the court cards the traditional characters of Kings, Queens, Knights and Pages are replaced with a concept regarding the field represented in each suit.
Although I find that often modern tarot cards lack the magic and mystery of the traditional decks, the images of Osho zen tarot are artistic and captivating, highly evocative of emotions and situations.
Some of the cards even show a sense of humor, revealing the funny side of a certain situation and this can definitely help to see things in a different perspective.
The book, included with the cards, offers a commentary and an explanation for each card, a little pearl of zen wisdom for guidance and reflection.
The commentary is often based on Osho's philosophy but, even if you don't agree with it, the explanation is always interesting and sometimes little zen tales are offered to convey the meaning of the card.
The only fault I find in this deck, is the design at the back of the cards.
The picture is a composition of a strange scribble and murky colors that do not harmonize with the bright images of the front.
The overall look of this design is disturbingly ugly and it should be improved as it detracts from the pleasure of handling these otherwise beautiful tarot cards.
The illustrations of this deck make it an outstanding addition to any serious tarot collection but I would not recommend it as a first tarot deck or to anyone who does not appreciate Osho or the Zen approach to life.
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