Growing up in the 1950s, I felt lost amid the materialism and shallow sunniness of the postwar culture; I longed for some overarching meaning. Then I came across books by two novelists, Jack Kerouac and J.D. Salinger, that opened my eyes to an entirely new way of looking at the world. I had not known that books could do this. These novels made life seem a much more mysterious and rich experience than I had imagined. At heart, they were books about spiritual journeys, and they made spirituality seem hip and wonderful. They also introduced me to the Buddhist concept of "right livelihood," thereby ultimately changing my life, for in time I gave up a lucrative career as a missile engineer to become a novelist and teacher of literature. Today, these novels have become spiritual classics, timeless books that provide special wisdom and insight for readers grappling with life's thorniest philosophical dilemmas. The novel as an art form originally came into being as bourgeois entertainment concerned with everyday matters, such as money, success, and ambition. Paradoxically, its very concreteness, which requires the novelist to create plausible characters operating in a credible world, makes the novel an ideal vehicle for exploring spiritual themes and presenting unorthodox worldviews. The best-selling novelists of our time seem not to understand this; but over the past century or so, the form's masters have put this opportunity to especially good use. Their handiwork includes, among others, the following 10 spiritual classics (including a novella, a short story collection, and one novel-like sacred scripture). I cherish these volumes as old friends and teachers; your summer reading experience will be greatly enhanced by packing one or more of these treasures in your travel bag.
This beautiful little jewel of a novel relates the life story of a man born into a wealthy Brahmin family in India in the time of Buddha. Siddhartha leaves his family as a young man and, along with his pal Govinda, heads to the forest to join a group of wandering ascetics in search of the meaning of life. The book is divided into three parts: Siddhartha as ascetic, as sensualist, and finally as ferryman on the river. There, under the tutelage of an old, unlettered wise man, Vasudeva, Siddhartha, with his fierce honesty, tries to find his salvation. Hesse struggles to find the words to convey experiences of bliss and transcendence which go beyond where language can travel. At one point, Siddhartha meets Buddha himself and, in a beautiful scene, tells Buddha that although he knows Buddha has found the answer, Siddhartha must seek it on his own—just as Buddha did. In the extremely moving conclusion, Siddhartha realizes his original aim by reaching a state of enlightenment and compassion for all.
I remember being in a parking garage in Los Angeles once, and I was driving up a steep ramp. Another car came flying over that ramp in the opposite direction, coming right at me with lightning speed. All of a sudden, my car stalled right in its tracks. Had I continued to drive, I would have hit the approaching car head on, but because my car stopped so suddenly, the other vehicle had room to avoid me. Was it a random act of luck that my car stalled at that precise moment, or did I have a little Divine help? I think I know the answer to that one.
The Tarocco Siciliano is the only deck to use the so-called Portuguese suit system which uses Spanish pips but intersects them like Italian pips. Some of the trumps are different such as the lowest trump, Miseria (destitution). It omits the Two and Three of coins, and numerals one to four in clubs, swords and cups: it thus has 64 cards but the ace of coins is not used, being the bearer of the former stamp tax. The cards are quite small and not reversible.
Now that you have grounded yourself, please select the cards we will use for your Tarot card reading. Remember, I shuffle my deck and draw new cards for the Tarot spreads every day, and these cards represent each one as it was laid out in front of me. Please take a moment to pause between drawing your cards, and when you are done selecting your cards for your Tarot reading you will be whisked away to a detailed interpretation of each card and what it means in its position in the Celtic Cross Spread.