Tarot, Jodorowsky, and Questions from a Crippled Hand

Tarot, Jodorowsky, and Questions from a Crippled Hand March 21, 2014
Jodorowsky, are you looking at me ?!?! photo by Irene Tobon. Text added. Licensed under CC 2.0

The Dance of Reality – Sacred , Profane, and Timeless

Alejandro Jodorowsky is a genius. I thought that way before I was blessed with the opportunity to shake his hand last Friday night. The man is a filmmaker, author, shaman, visionary, iconoclast. The Dance of Reality, Jordorowsky’s first film in 23 years had it’s NY premiere at MOMA, the Museum of Modern Art on March 14, 2014. Like all of his films it’s an artful display of a world bizarre. Most people are familiar with his cult/occult classic Holy Mountain. I consider that film to be required viewing for all my spiritual godchildren, my film students and my tarot students. Alejandro Jodorowsky’s work is so powerful, so transformational, it defies all description. I respect him as a fellow filmmaker, a cinema scholar (I got my Master’s in Cinema Studies from NYU,) and as tarot reader and spiritual advisor for the past two decades. The Dance of Reality, like most of Jodorowsky’s films shows us an artful, colorful, and insightful way of being. Spoiler: there is even a scene where the woman gives a urine blessing to her husband. Bravo, Bravissimo! Jodorowsky explained the title of the film, and the workings of life itself during the post film discussion:

“Synchronicity is the Reality, it’s completely like a construction, a concept construction, where every second is a minute, every second is a little minute where we don’t realize it when we aren’t paying attention,… I am sure you know when you are speaking about a person and the next day, the next week you find the person, or the person calls you, we communicate, intercommunicate with the person, and when you realize that, everything starts to be a dance. Reality is a dance like the universe is a dance.”

Alejandro Jodorowsky discussing the Dance of Reality photo by Lilith Dorsey. Copyright 2014.

Despite my holding up a crippled hand in homage to the Jaime character in the film, I did not get a chance to ask my questions during the Q and A. In the shining hope that someone (maybe even the master himself someday) may have an answer or thoughts on these topics I will ask them now. Please post your thoughts in the comment section below or contact me directly at voodoouniverse@yahoo.com

  • Are all of Jodorowsky’s films tarot allegories? In the sense that tarot is the key to the dance of life, that allows us to see through a different lens, as do film and other creative venues?
  • The scene where the theosophist tells the boy to melt down all the symbols, the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim, together… seems to offer up a different commentary on religion than your earlier films. The message reads as one of all religions are equally useful at their core if we can transmute them into something we can use, was that Jodorowsky’s intention?
  • There is a scene where the boy and his mother cover themselves in black shoe polish, during Jodorowsky’s commentary he mentioned Al Jolson, in Psychomagic, he talks about healing otherness by disguise in similar ways? Are there other ways you recommend to heal what seems to be a global feeling of otherness and longing?


Pick A Number, Any Sacred Number

One of the delightful parts of the evening was when Jodorowsky began to speak about tarot. He is the author of The Way of the Tarot: The Spiritual Teacher in the Cards, and also Psychomagic: The Transformative Power of Shamanic Psychotherapy. In Psychomagic, he speaks about his idea of the Tarot as “ I do not read the future, but I content myself with the present and focus the client of self-knowledge, starting from the principle that it is useless to know the future if one ignores who one is here in the moment.” The audience on Friday night responded with ‘ooooh and aaaaah’ when he told a Dominican woman to cover her leg with 4 kilos of dirt from her motherland to connect with her heritage and her true soul. The scuttlebutt is that the next joint project between Jodorowsky and MOMA will be a marathon tarot session. I will be holding up a crippled hand and hoping to be among the chosen.

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