The Chrysalis Dogma is quite simple: You yourself write it. And that is the most important and overarching principle in Chrysalis Tarot.
A recent review of Chrysalis published on Amazon provided the impetus for this piece. The positive, yet nuanced review, correctly points out that Chrysalis’ Divine Child (left) bears very little resemblance to Ryder-Waite’s Hierophant (a good thing), but then goes on to acknowledge that the Divine Child card resonated with the reviewer (another good thing).
A hierophant is someone akin to a spiritual director. In ancient Greece, the word referred to a person who interpreted the esoteric mysteries; someone who peeled back the curtain between worlds to reveal the obscured Sacred.
The 17th century Marseilles Tarot deck, which parented the Rider-Waite deck, titled this card Le Pape – The Pope.
Of course that title could not be expected to sell well in Protestant England, so the William Rider and Son publishing house of London made sure the name got changed to something, uh, less provocative – hence, The Hierophant. Time shuffled along until two enfants terribles, Holly and Toney (that’s me), came along. The notion that spiritual direction should be subservient to dogmatic “correct beliefs” in any shape or form was anathema. So we changed the name of the 5th major arcana card to something, uh, less authoritative – hence, Divine Child.
Chrysalis touts this simple truth: You are your own spiritual director. It asserts that Ultimate Truth, as well as your personal road map to destiny, are indeed found in the stars. Furthermore, it asserts that no one is better equipped than you to apprehend this information via imagination and intuition. This can be accomplished by learning how to listen to and trust your inner voice, an acquired skill. Chrysalis often equates “inner voice” with the Higher Self; the only difference being that true Higher Self filters out 99.9% of ego-induced mind chatter.
I mentioned “dogmatic correct beliefs.” Another non-religious example somewhat familiar to all of us occurs when tarot cards become super glued to fixed meanings – even to upside down meanings! – and tarot readings are reduced to little more than tricky parlor games to “decode” messages. While that might be good for today’s 10-cent boardwalk tarot merchants, it contributes little to one’s spiritual growth. Such “decoding” might get a few things right from time to time and and even provide valuable insight, but it misses a great deal more simply because dogmatically fixed meanings will, by definition, devalue your intuition and imagination.
The Crown chakra (above) symbolizes your private, direct, two-way conversation with the Akasha Field. The Sanskrit word Akasha refers to the eternal and infinite cosmos, some might say “the divine,” where an ocean of information and waves of inspiration await personal inquiry via the tarot, meditation or by some other means. That said, the Crown chakra is all that’s needed to interpret a tarot reading correctly. This assumes, of course, you approach the divine seeking truth rather than confirmation of your ego.
One role of The Troupe cards in Chrysalis Tarot is to mitigate the ego’s very efficient and very deceptive safety net of confirmation bias and allow inspiration to reach out to you through other people. People who incidentally were placed in your path by “the divine.”
The fact that Chrysalis Tarot even exists bears witness to this truth. (By the way, that’s my dog Ozzie on The Minstrel’s card!)
© Toney Brooks, 2020