Osho Zen Tarot Deck
The Osho Zen Tarot does not fit into a regular deck. It is a kind of tool for self-knowledge, on a par with meditation techniques or yoga. The author of the deck himself sought to combine Eastern and Western cultures, turning them into something third. He believed that human consciousness should be renewed, become like an ever-burning candle in the darkness of life. The Osho Zen Tarot deck has become a reflection of the Master. The Path of the Heart, Sannyas, Buddhism, Tao are all the same, just the approaches change. This deck is like a ringing void that allows you to hear yourself. Zen is about the fact that the answer is always inside. Tarot cards simply serve as pointers to the truth.
History of creation of the Osho Zen Tarot Deck
Chandra Mohan Jain or Bhagwan Rajneesh is an Indian guru, the debate about which is still ongoing. He was called Osho – from the English word "ocean". The mystic "blew up" the minds of Europeans back in the distant 70s, but the deceased Master still has new followers around the world. Bhagwan did not follow any particular direction. He just was, and that’s it. In his conversations, a variety of topics were covered – from politics to motherhood, from spiritual quests to material values. Everywhere Osho preached awareness and life only with his mind. He also talked about enlightenment, Nirvana. The vision of the Master is reflected in the Osho Zen Tarot deck.
However, the release of a new magical system came only in 1995 – after the death of the author. Susan Morgan, an American student of the guru, better known as Ma Deva Padma, worked on creating illustrations for the Osho Zen Tarot deck. She managed to convey the message of the Master, because the girl spent a long time next to the enlightened Teacher. One day, Bhagwan told Susan that she should create her own deck. In the future, the student fulfilled the will of the great mentor. She even managed to show some sketches to Bhagwan and get a blessing for further work. In the future, the cards became very popular and were reprinted five more times – in Switzerland, Italy and Russia.
Key features of the Osho Zen Tarot
The Osho Zen Tarot deck is a new understanding of the traditional divination system. There are 23 Major Arcana here, not 22. The last number is the Master. It is equivalent to a "blank card" or the Joker. This Arcana falls when a person has a chance to change events, to get off the wheel of Samsara. The rest of the cards from the major Tarot group demonstrate the whole Universe of Bhagwan Rajneesh. If you look closely, you can find similarities with classical interpretations. For example, the Devil is replaced by the Conditioning, which the Master himself considered to be true evil. The High Priestess is called the Inner Voice, and Strength is called Courage. The enlightened guru seems to give a new interpretation to old things and phenomena.
The suits of the Osho Zen Tarot deck have also changed. Now the traditional Wands have become Fire, Cups have become Water, Pentacles have become Rainbows, and Swords have become Clouds. Even the Earth group (Denarii, Coins) has turned into something sublime and inspiring. The Rainbow here shows external circumstances, surrounding phenomena. The Minor Arcana of the Osho Zen Tarot have their own names – Comparison, Harmony, Ripeness. And here, too, classical meanings slip through. For example, Guilt can be compared to the Eight of Swords, and Patience to the Seven of Pentacles. It’s just that all the same processes begin to be reflected within the person himself. As if consciousness turns into a huge projector, which creates events on the outer plane. The source is always within.
Style and symbolism of the deck
The artist of the Osho Zen Tarot deck has been interested in esotericism since childhood. Susan was greatly influenced by Eastern philosophy with its slowness and calmness. But the girl was also fond of Western practices, which include card fortune-telling. Coming to the commune of Bhagwan was the starting point for Susan. There she was able to integrate two completely different approaches to a single vision of life. A variety of motifs can be traced in the deck – from the Indian Buddha to the Chinese Kung Fu Master. Ma Deva Padma herself considered such a mixture of styles to be quite justified. After all, it perfectly illustrated the versatility of the world.
All cards of the Osho Zen Tarot deck do not have an astrological correspondence, and there are no suit names on them. At the bottom of the Arcana there is only a small rhombus, which serves as an identification symbol. It has a number in it. The color of the figure will indicate belonging to a particular element. Such a minimalistic approach may be dictated by the reluctance to enter into the wilds of the mind, to confuse the questioner. Fortune-telling on Osho Zen Tarot should shed light on all secrets, give simple answers to the most difficult questions. This is the approach of the author of the deck himself.
Interpretation of the Osho Zen Tarot cards
To work with the Osho Zen Tarot, you do not need to know special spreads or techniques. You just have to trust your own intuition. The very image of the card will raise a certain image from the subconscious, which is important for a person at a given moment in time. The fact is that the fortuneteller already knows the answer, and the deck will simply help to see the truth. But this is not a painful process at all. Rajneesh was against radicalism. He "seasoned" the words with humor so that a person could accept what was happening. Therefore, all the images in this deck look a little childish, naive. The most difficult moments and feelings are broken down into stages and presented positively.
Osho Zen Tarot spreads can be done even with the help of one position. Lots of cards are more confusing. It is better to work with one Arcana, but to fully understand its meaning. A three-card spread is also popular. In this case, it is best to leave one position as advice. It is worth using the tool as a key to a better future. Even simple awareness can completely change life, make adjustments.
What questions is the deck suitable for?
The meaning of Osho Zen Tarot will be most fully revealed in matters of spirituality and self-knowledge. If you are interested in external circumstances, then the cards will certainly lead to the same point – to the questioner himself. Although some tarologists even got used to working with such a system. Again, it all depends on experience. But if you stick to the traditions, then the deck is definitely suitable for finding answers within yourself. It will demonstrate the true motives of other people, lift the veil of secrecy.
The Major Arcana of the Osho Zen Tarot deck can show what level the querent is at. The same "path of the hero" here begins with the Fool, and ends with the Master. Therefore, a fortuneteller can easily determine his level. However, the answer should be taken only from a position of complete acceptance. Some moments simply cannot be changed – they just need to be experienced. The philosophy of Zen is built on the belief that life experience turns the neophyte into an enlightened Master. Bhagwan said that every person will definitely reach the highest point of knowledge. You just need to wait for this moment and be as prepared as possible for it.
Who are the Osho Zen Tarot cards for?
The Osho Zen Tarot deck is suitable for those who are close to Bhagwan Rajneesh. These are people who don’t run after money or fame. But they also do not deny material values. Osho himself was very rich. He wore Rolexes, clothes made from the finest fabrics. But at the same time, the Master did not cling to all these benefits. Moreover, he almost never had cash. He simply accepted any manifestations of life as they are. Such fluidity, the ability to be at the moment, the guru presented as the most important thing in this material world. After all, the light of awareness, trust in inner Zen can turn a poor shack into a beautiful palace. It all depends on the mood of the person.
Therefore, the Osho Zen Tarot deck does not give classic predictions. The same millionaire can be unhappy, and the poor man is full of strength, gratitude. This approach to Tarot reading will be shared by people involved in yoga, martial arts. For them, the process is important, not the end goal. Moreover, it doesn’t make sense at all. It exists only in the mind, which is constantly fighting for something. True enlightenment lies beyond human understanding. And yet, Nirvana can be achieved by anyone. The deck will become a companion for those people who have embarked on the path of searching for the truth within themselves. Cards will serve as a compass in this fickle world.