Chrysalis Dogma

C05The Chrysalis Dogma is quite simple: You yourself formulate it. This is the overarching principle of Chrysalis Tarot. 

A recent review of Chrysalis published on Amazon was the impetus for this piece. The positive, yet nuanced review, correctly points out that our Divine Child (left) card bears little resemblance to Ryder-Waite’s Hierophant (a good thing), but goes on to acknowledge that the Divine Child card resonated with this reviewer (also a good thing).

A hierophant is akin to a spiritual director. In ancient Greece, the word referred to someone who interpreted the esoteric mysteries; someone who peeled back the curtain between worlds to reveal the hidden Sacred.

The 17th century Marseilles Tarot deck, which parented the 20th century Rider-Waite deck, titled this card Le Pape or The Pope.

Of course that title could not be expected to fly 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 to us. So we changed the name of the 5th major arcana card to something, uh, less authoritative – Divine Child. 

papeChrysalis touts a 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 heavens. Furthermore, we assert that no one is better able than you to apprehend this information (via imagination and intuition). This is accomplished by learning how to listen to and trust your inner voice, an acquired skill. Chrysalis often equates “inner voice” with Higher Self; the only difference being that true Higher Self filters out most 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 upside down meanings! – and tarot readings are then reduced to little more than tricky parlor games that “decode” messages. While that might serve 10-cent boardwalk tarot merchants well, 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 will miss a great deal more simply because dogmatically fixed meanings will, by definition, devalue your intuition and imagination.

Sahasrara chakra symbol

The Crown chakra (above) symbolizes private, direct, two-way conversations 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, contemplation or some other means. That said, the Crown chakra is all that’s required to interpret a tarot reading correctly. This assumes, of course, you approach the divine seeking truth rather than confirmation of your ego, known as confirmation bias.

One role of The 16 Troupe cards in Chrysalis Tarot is to mitigate the ego’s very efficient and very deceptive trick of confirmation bias by allowing inspiration, even Higher Self instruction, to reach you via other people — people who were intentionally placed in your path by “the divine.”

The fact that Chrysalis Tarot even exists bears witness to that truth.

(By the way, that’s my dog Ozzie on The Minstrel’s card!)

© Toney Brooks, 2020