Classes and Lectures

Alchemy Becomes Art:

A Visual History of Hermetic Philosophy from Ancient Egypt to 19th Century Symbolists

with Robert M. Place

Two Saturday Power Point presentations over Zoom

sponsored by Morbid Anatomy

February 12 and 19, 2022

2–4 pm Eastern time

$100

PLEASE NOTE: All classes will also be recorded and archived for students who cannot make that time
Taught via Zoom by Robert M Place.

Go to the Morbid Anatomy website to register:

https://www.morbidanatomy.org/classes/alchemy-becomes-art-a-visual-history-of-hermetic-philosophy-from-ancient-egypt-to-19th-century-symbolists-a-two-week-online-workshop-with-robert-m-place

Alchemy is the ancient mystical discipline that predates modern science, chemistry, medicine, and depth psychology. But it is also the source of modern Western mystical philosophy and a major influence on the arts. Beside the many creative activities that alchemists explored, all alchemists dreamed of completing the one Great Work or Magnum Opus of alchemy and creating the Philosopher’s Stone. The Stone is not actually a physical substance, it a mystical catalyst that transforms what it touches to its highest form. Composed of the mysterious fifth element, it can cure any illness, turn lead into gold, and turn an ordinary person into an enlightened sage.

In this series of two classes, we will discuss the history and symbolism of alchemy and learn that alchemy is a golden thread of mystical truth that runs through Western culture, from its origins in Egyptian religion to modern art movements.

  1. A discussion of the History, Philosophy, and Practice of Western Alchemy: stressing the role of transmutation and the mystical quest for enlightenment. Starting with the ancient Egyptians, we will demonstrate that the alchemical Magnum Opus, the quest for the mystical Philosopher’s Stone, is actually based on the myth of the death and resurrection of the god Osiris. Alchemy married laboratory experimentation with this mysticism. But in the 16th century, laboratory alchemy and philosophical alchemy split, and the philosophical branch led to the development of mystical societies, like the Rosicrucians and Masons.
  • Alchemy Becomes Art: after the split between Laboratory Alchemy and philosophical alchemy, alchemists in Germany, such as Jacob Bohme and Michael Maier, created alchemical texts that were actually multimedia works of art. These mystics had a strong influence on German Romantics, and helped to create this movement in art, music, and literature. We will demonstrate that Romantic art incorporated all seven Hermetic principles, which were the bases of alchemical philosophy. We will follow the influence of Romanticism on the Pre-Raphaelites, the Hudson River School, and the Symbolists, who in turn influenced 20th century Modern Art. And demonstrate its influence on the fascination with Egyptian art and mysticism that gave birth to the occult Tarot.    

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Buddhism and Tarot: Archetype and Awakening

A 5-day workshop retreat at Omega Institute, in New York

October 16 – 21

with Robert M Place and Esther Freinkel Tishman

In “Buddhism and Tarot” we will explore an intertwined practice of mindfulness, Buddhist teaching, and the perennial wisdom of the Tarot archetypes.

With Robert’s celebrated and recently reissued Buddha Tarot (Schiffer 2021) as our backdrop, we will encounter the Tarot as a tool for awakening. Our time together will include meditation and mindfulness practice – as well as teaching, discussion, and Tarot reading. Participants will also have the opportunity for 1-on-1 Tarot consultations.

Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the Tarot as a mandala – or sacred map – of the awakened heart. They will also come away refreshed and inspired, having renewed the spirit with mindfulness and playful exploration of the Tarot.

Workshop cost includes a copy of Robert’s Buddha Tarot. No prior Tarot, meditation or mindfulness experience is required.

Robert M. Place is an internationally known visionary artist, whose award-winning works, in painting, sculpture, and jewelry, have been displayed in galleries and museums throughout the world.  He is best known as the designer, illustrator, and coauthor of the original Alchemical Tarot, published by HarperCollins in 1995. He is also the designer, illustrator, and author of The Alchemical Tarot Renewed, the award-winning The Tarot of the SaintsThe Angels TarotThe Raziel Tarot, The Vampire Tarot, The Tarot of the Sevenfold MysteryThe Tarot of the Alchemical Magnum Opus, The Marziano Tarot, and numerous other oracle decks, including The Buddha Tarot, which received international acclaim for is flawless amalgamation of Eastern and Western mysticism.  Robert is the author of The Tarot: History, Symbolism, and Divination, which Booklist has said, “may be the best book ever written on that deck of cards decorated with mysterious images called the tarot.” He is the author of Astrology and Divination, Magic and Alchemy, Shamanism, Alchemy and the Tarot, and The Tarot, Magic, Alchemy, Hermeticism, and Neoplatonism. He is the curator of The Fools’ Journey and the author of the catalog for this exhibition of Tarot art that originated at the LA Craft and Folk-Art Museum.  

Esther Freinkel Tishman is a Zen teacher, academic, Tarot expert, interfaith chaplain and mindfulness instructor. As a scholar of archetype and religion, Esther has published extensively on poetry, philosophy and mysticism (under the names Lisa Freinkel and Lisa Freinkel Tishman.) In 2020 her book Mindful Tarot (Llewellyn) was nominated by the International Tarot Foundation for best tarot book of the year. Shakespeare Bulletin has characterized her writing as “engaging, provocative, impressively learned” and according to one leading scholarly journal, her book Reading Shakespeare’s Will (Columbia UP) offered a “major shift in our understanding” of early modern visionary poetics.

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Because of the coronavirus outbreak,

Tarot at the Met is canceled

until the pandemic is under control enough to allow us to reconvene

 Wednesday, June 17, 2020

from 2:00 pm to 4:30 PM

Fortune Small Card Costumes des Peuples Etrangers 1890s DP274090

I will once again take a small group of people into the back rooms of the Metropolitan Museum to look at the museum’s collection of historic Tarot and divination cards, ranging from the earliest woodcut Tarocchi, printed in 15th century Italy, to rare 19th century Le Normand divination decks. All accompanied by my talk on the history and symbolism of the cards.  This year we will also see one of the oldest and richly illustrated books on divination with cards, Le Sorti, published in Venice in 1540.

The afternoon at the Met is $85 per person, prepaid. Each participant is also responsible for obtaining a ticket for entrance into the museum for the day. There is only room for 14 people at this event so don’t delay; it will fill up quickly. I will be handling this event  myself; so all arrangement must be made through me.

To register contact me at:

alchemicaltarot@aol.com

Payments can be made by PayPal, check, Visa, or Master Card, or by requesting a PayPal invoice.

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Beijing, China

My Chinese workshops are also being conducted through Zoom.

You can contact Giselle Gao for details: 

giselleg@foxmail.com

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 These photos are from my 2021 class in Hangzhou, China

 

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To receive The Restored Temple of Hermes, my free newsletter e-mailed every three months or so, with links to my latest articles and news about up-coming lectures, workshops, and publications, send an e-mail to me with The Restored Temple of Hermes in the subject line. Also, please let me know what state or country you live in.

alchemicaltarot@aol.com

Issue 62 of the Restored Temple of Hermes was sent out on Dwecember 22, 2021. If you did not receive it you may need to send me an updated email address.

Robert Place Teaching 2

15 Responses to Classes and Lectures

  1. ArdensEye says:

    Hi Robert,

    I took a workshop with you just after the first printing of the first deck and book, both of which I still have, it must have been 1995 or 1996. The workshop was in Northern California, maybe Berkeley or Sonoma County? Your class was important to me and I continue working with the Tarot. My name was Sidra then; I have been living in Berkeley, CA since 1984.

    I plan to buy your “Alchemy and Tarot” book, the Renewed 4th Edition deck and the new Marziano deck through Indiegogo. Just wanted to check in with you after all these years. I am very glad to see your work has developed so deeply and that you remain a productive artist and writer. Cudos to you!

    My new name came through mystical channels, using the Kabalarians of Canada’s system of analysis and resonance. I legally changed it on December 19, 2003. It was part of my alchemical transformation, helping me move gradually from lead into gold, or more balanced, so to speak.

    Thank you for what you have contributed to world knowledge, healing and beauty.

    Sincerely,

    Arden Kamille Varnel

  2. ArdensEye says:

    The class was August 11, 1996, and my name was Sidara, as you inscribed the book to me on that date.

  3. Emilija Klein says:

    Will you ever come to Saint Louis?

  4. Christa Shearey says:

    Do you teach classes at The Open Center New York often? Just curious because I am interested in the class but can’t make it in this May.

  5. Kate says:

    Hi please do u know the next class /september or so 2019!! I too will miss mayb& very much look toward the possibility of a class.. Thank u!!!

  6. Claudia Garzon says:

    Do you teach online

  7. Justin Parker says:

    Hi Robert. Do you ever come to Philadelphia?

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