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ATS Newsletters

by author


The Boiardo 15th c Poem
Tarot history in brief

quotations from various people

Functions of Readings
What is Tarot?


Med. on XVIIII

Emily E. Auger

Tarot and Other Meditation Decks

L. Atkinson

Orphalese Software review

S. Arwen

Memory & Instinct

Kathy Berkowitz

Waite's Mystical Tradition (Pt 1)
Waite's Mystical Tradition (Pt 2)
Waite's Mystical Tradition (Pt 3)
Waite's Mystical Tradition (Pt 4)

Nina L. Braden

Tarot in Literature

David Brice

Birth of Tarot

Colin Browne

Square & Compasses Tarot

Lee A. Bursten

Journeys in Tarot Creation
Vachetta review


Review: The Lo Scarabeo Story

Ross G. Caldwell

Tarot History

Bonnie Cehovet

Tarology - Poetics of Tarot
Review: Secret of Tarot
The Mystereum Tarot

N. Chishty-Mujahid

Concerning Ghisi’s Laberinto

Craig Conley

A House of Tarot Cards

A.B. Crowther

Rachel Pollack interview

Jean-Michel David

On Paneurythmy and Tarot
Tarot's expression of the numinous
Yarker, Tarot & Arcane Schools
Waite-Smith Sun card
The Fool as Wandering Jew
Tarot as Christian Art
Education through Tarot
Tarot: the vatical & the sacral
Fortuna, Ass & Monkey
Steiner and Tarot
1701 Dodal restored!
Enc. Tarot vol I-IV: review
Christ, World & Sin
Caveat Emptor:
       Visual Tarot

Tarot & AlefBeit
Review: Jean Payen Tarot
Tarot and Freemasonry
I-Ching and Pip Cards
Whither directing your course?
Tarot & the Tree of Life
Ovid, Egypt and Tarot
When the Devil isn't the Devil
Four elements and the suits
Court Cards & MBTI
Certification & Codes
Jean Dodal Marseille
Conference FAQs
Golden Dawn
Kabalah & Tarot
Golden Tarot review
Annual spread
Iraqi Museum
Two Brief TdM reviews
Meditations on the Tarot

Enrique Enriquez

The Joy of Wordplay
J-C. Flornoy interview
Embodied Tarot
Indirect Suggestions
Whispering to the Eye

Mark Filipas

History of Egyptian Decks
Lexicon Theory

Jean-Claude Flornoy

in memorium
from Oral Tradition

Roxanne Flornoy

Children and Tarot
from Oral Tradition

Mary Greer

Killing the Thoth Deck
On the Tarot of the Four Worlds
Egypt, Tarot and Mystery School Initiations

William Haigwood

The Sixties: Counterculture Tarot

Alissa Hall

Parlour Tricks

Kris Hadar

The Tarot

Claas Hoffmann

Crowley-Harris 'Thoth' deck

Michael J. Hurst

Tarot Symbolism review

K. Frank Jensen

Century with the Waite-Smith

Shane Kendal

A Poetry of Tarot

Ken J. Killeen

The Metaphysical Bible

Barbara Klaser

Language of Tarot

E. Koretaka

Cardinal Virtues

Dovid Krafchow

Kabbalistic Tarot

Lisa Larson

Perceptions of Spirituality

Suzan E. Lemont

Therapeutic Tarot Work

Eric K. Lerner

Diloggun and Tarot

N. Levine

Tarot of Prague review

C. Liknaitzky

Journey in Ceramics

Joep van Loon

Tarot Wheel

Karen Mahony


S.J. Mangan

Fool, Alef & Orion

Robert Mealing

Petrarch’s Triumphs
Jean Noblet Tarot
Hunting the "true" Marseille Tarot
Cary Sheet

Fern Mercier

Playing the Fool

C. de Mellet

Inquiries into Tarot

Sophie Nusslé

Fantastic Menagerie

Robert V. O'Neill

Tarot Symbolism
Tower Iconology

Michael Owen

Xultun Tarot

Dan Pelletier

Magic Manga Tarot
the Blank Spot

Robert M. Place

The Fool's Journey

Debra Rosenthal

Looking at the Jacques Vieville

Mjr Tom Schick

Tarot Lovers Calendar

Inna Semetsky

Counseling Reading for Spouses
Learning the language of images
Re-Symbolization of Self
Tarot (dis)contents

Diana Sobolewska

'Bateleur's tale'

Russell Sturgess

Jesus's New Testament

N. Swift

Sufism & Tarot

Arthur E. Waite

Symbols of Tarot

In Memoriam: K. Frank Jensen (1933-2016)

Compiled by Lyn Howarth-Olds (New Zealand)

Friend and honoured to be assisting in the management of the K. Frank Jensen Collection

It is with great sadness that the Tarot world said goodbye this week to a wonderfully unique human-being, K. Frank Jensen (Denmark). He was 83.

K. Frank Jensen

Frank’s interest in Tarot began in the early ’70s. He was not a Tarot Reader. But, among other things, he was a Tarot collector, Tarot author, Tarot researcher and archivist.

In 1975 he established Spilkammeret (literally ‘The Chamber of Games’). Spilkammeret‘s purpose was to collect, preserve, register and document divinatory and symbolic systems (mainly tarot and cartomancy decks) manufactured and used during the 20th century. At the turn of the Millennium the aim was fulfilled and his collection contained approximately 95% of all tarot and cartomantic decks published during the 20th century along with a number of earlier decks. The collection was unique inasmuch as it was considered the most complete in existence.

It was to my great delight that Frank took time in 2011 to contribute to my Letters to the Past Tarot Project. Letters to the Past was an international collaboration featuring 22 well known tarot contemporaries. Each contributor wrote a letter to an historical figure posing a tarot related question. Every letter – completely unique – provided fascinating insight into the world of tarot, its past, its present and its future. Frank’s contribution was a letter penned to Monseigneur Antoine Court de Gébelin. The final paragraph of this letter reads as follows:

Mon Cher Monsieur Gébelin, life is short and death lasts so long. We leave traces of whom we were; we sort of exist, as long as we are remembered. It is, however, only the very few who can leave an imprint that lasts over centuries. You did, but not by your linguistic studies nor by your studies of ancient myths. You lived on through your intuitive and unsubstantiated contention in volume 8 of Monde Primitif, that a deck of 78 playing cards was a secret book by the Egyptian god, Thoth. You would be amazed to see what the seed you sowed, 225 years later, has developed into. It’s likely that you would also be shocked to learn that tarot is no longer solely an esoteric system, but has become mass media, a vehicle for dreams and frustrations, and an industry run by commercial interests.

Fortunately for us all, Frank has also left ‘an imprint’. Something he will be remembered by. He too has ‘sown seeds’.

On December 21, 2012, Frank signed an agreement to generously donate his very large – one-of-a-kind – collection to the Roskilde University Library, Denmark. Much of the collection is already in the hands of the Library. The remaining items that were still in Frank’s possession will be transferred in the coming weeks/months.

It was Frank’s desire that his collection remained whole. Completely intact. In his view, ‘the real value of a collection is its degree of completeness’. Interested parties had contacted him over the years offering their services to act as custodians, care for the collection or to set up Trusts. But in the end Frank was adamant that his collection of around 1500 tarot decks, 600 cartomancy/fortune telling decks, along with some 3000 books and his archive of correspondence, should be kept together in an official institution.

And so it is. Roskilde University Library, only a short distance from where Spilkammeret was originally housed, will care for the K. Frank Jensen Collection. The Collection will not be broken-up, sold, or squirrelled away behind closed doors in private collections. It will forever remain accesible to researchers and interested parties. The K. Frank Jensen Collection is managed by a Board of Directors.

So in closing I will add, Frank Jensen, you too will be ‘one of the few who have left an imprint that lasts over centuries’, and for that we are truly grateful.

Frank Jensen self-portrait with skullsLinks to further information about the KFJ Collection:

Lyn interviewed Frank Jensen in 2011 for the New Zealand-based tarot-Art. You may read the pdf here:

The K. Frank Jensen Interview

K. Frank Jensen’s contribution to these Newsletters – aside from numerous private communications – includes a celebration marking the centenary of the Waite-Smith Tarot Deck:

A Century with the Waite-Smith Tarot (and all the others…)

[He was also instrumental in honouring Pamela Colman-Smith in the deck’s title (previously missing). His book The Story of the Waite-Smith Tarot, established itself as a key reference for the deck on its publication in 2006. His contribution to another international collaborative effort saw him contribute an early photographic self-portrait with his sister standing in naked innocence for the hexagonal Honeycomb Tarot – JMD]

On the ‘Original’ Tarot Sequence Ordering and its Iconography

by Jean-Michel David – In 1947, Gérard Van Rijnberk published in Lyon (France) his now relatively little known yet often referenced and influential Le Tarot: Histoire; Iconographie; Esotérisme. Of course, he claims not so much originality for the bulk that he presents, but rather the careful inclusion of the research and insights that had […]

On Paneurythmy and Tarot

On Paneurhythmy as Movement Reflective of Tarot on the Tree of Life Jean-Michel David – – paneurythmy Peter Deunov and Paneurhythmy During the first half of the 20th century, between the two world wars, Peter Deunov, a Bulgarian teacher and violinist through whom flowed hermetic-spiritual Christian and Bogomil insights, established a brotherhood (still in […]

Arthur Waite’s Secret Mystical Tradition and the Waite-Smith Tarot

by Kathy Berkowitz   Journey of the Soul (Continued) This is the last essay in a series of essays that compares Saint Bonaventure’s The Soul’s Journey into God with Arthur Waite’s Trumps from his 1910 Tarot. Despite the popularity of the Waite-Smith Tarot, few have explored Arthur Waite’s mysticism outside of the magical tradition of […]

The Mat as the Fol (or Fou; Fool)

It’s an interesting story: what does ‘mat’ actually mean or to what does it refer? A sensing-in-the-dark type of answer I have previously provided has included its plausible reference to chess and its arabic provenance as ‘death’ or ‘kill’ (as in ‘check-mate’ – from ‘shah mat’, meaning ‘king dead’). But to be honest, I have […]

Arthur Waite’s Secret Mystical Tradition and the Waite-Smith Tarot

by Kathy Berkowitz   Journey of the Soul (Continued) This is part III of a series of essays that explores Bonaventure’s mystical tradition and its influence on the 1910 Waite-Smith Tarot. Saint Bonaventure’s (1217-1274) The Soul’s Journey to God follows the contemplative method of Pseudo-Dionysius (5th Century). Both Bonaventure and Pseudo-Dionysius were on the recommended […]

Counseling with Tarot: Reading for Spouses

by Inna Semetsky – & This paper is an excerpt (with some modifications and abbreviations) from my book Re-Symbolization of the Self: Human Development and Tarot Hermeneutic. It contains two real-life readings for spouses, Pam and Ross (not their real names). The readings were conducted in the form of 50 minutes counseling […]

Arthur Waite’s Secret Mystical Tradition and the Waite-Smith Tarot

by Kathy Berkowitz   Journey of the Soul (Continued) This is part II of a series of essays where I argue that Arthur Waite’s 1910 Tarot’s hidden tradition is Bonaventure’s (1217-1274) Soul’s Journey into God, which follows the contemplative method of Pseudo Dionysius the Areopagite (5th Century). Both Bonaventure’s and Dionysius’s books are prominent in […]

Tarot’s expression of the numinous

Tarot finds its expression in various settings: divinatory; meditative; and as artistic expression. Each of these three areas may have a numinous quality in either its development or its interpretation. Four examples are presented reflecting four ways in which the numinous is touched: in meditative practice using a similar form to the traditional Christian Lectio […]

John Yarker, Tarot, and the Arcane Schools

by Jean-Michel David John Yarker is perhaps best remembered for his highly active involvement in Freemasonry in especially the UK around the turn of the 20th Century. He was not only instrumental in keeping alive a number of various Orders that had either already ceased active existence, or were on the brink of oblivion. He […]