Tarot Secrets | JewishBoston
I had to keep reading when the words “Torah and Tarot” landed in my inbox amid the pandemic.
Walter Paice of Jonathan Prince Studio/Berkshire House, the mystery man behind the email, wrote about a theory by scholar Stav Appel that one of the original decks of tarot cards contained secret Judaic content and was presumably the creation of Crypto-JewsJews of Faith who were forced to observe Judaism in secret due to religious persecution.
I have long been fascinated by tarot, sensing something so deeply Jewish and universally spiritual in the meaning of the cards, the art and ritual and tradition of their reading. I’ve also long been fascinated by crypto-Judaism and a culture’s ability to survive underground.
AAnd as if tarot and history hadn’t hooked me already, the team at Jonathan Prince Studio/Berkshire House wereWe are looking to use augmented reality to tell this story! I knew this would appeal to my art collaborator and AR/VR coding husband, so in early 2021 Mike and I met the mysterious Walter on Zoom.
Mike and I were captivated when Walter showed us the demo of the “Secrets of the Tarot” augmented reality app. Holding her phone in front of the tarot card, locusts started jumping off the card and a red band started flowing like a river of blood. We watched in awe as each section of the map led us through what quickly became clear was the whole story of the Passover Exodus.
Walter explained that this was only the first card and that the studio was looking for people who would like to join them in this journey to reveal the Jewish traditions and legends hidden in the 22 illustrated maps of the Jean Noblet Tarot de Marseille, created in the 1600s.
And where did this whole journey begin?
Jonathan Prince, a world-renowned sculptor based in the Berkshires, met Torah scholar Stav Appel through a networking group. Jonathan was interested in thinking about the art of mixed reality when Stav shared this incredible crypto-Jewish tarot card theory.
It was in these conversations that “Secrets of the Tarot” was born, bringing ancient stories to life through modern technology.
Now JArts is proud to present “Secrets of the Tarot” with creators Jonathan Prince of Berkshire House, scholar Stav Appel and Walter Paice, now in his own company, Monsolo.
We hope that by using your cell phonetechnology you already own, you will join us on this journey to uncover the stories hidden in the maps left behind by the crypto-Jews of Europe, Jews of faith who strove to maintain their traditions in ways that would avoid being detected by the “Holy Office of the Inquisition.”
Stav’s search is understood through the card game “Torah in the Tarot”. And now, “Secrets of the Tarot” is the augmented reality project that will bring these stories, which have been totally unrecognized for 400 years, to life.
Currently, you can order a deck of “Torah in the Tarot” cards online.
JArts will announce the augmented reality applicationp and event launch this fall. Sign up here to receive our emails!
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