"Widely regarded as originating from the mid-15th century card games in various parts of Europe, from the late 18th century the tarocchini or tarot has held a special place for students of the western esoteric tradition as a map of initiatic, mental and spiritual pathways. The divinatory abilities of the tarot cards was first described in The Oracles of Francesco Marcolino da Forlì written in 1540, and later manuscripts, The Square of Sevens (1735) and Pratesi Cartomancer (1750) document divinatory meaning for each card as well as a system for laying them out. François Rabelais gives tarau as the name of one of the games played by Gargantua in his influential 16th century work, Gargantua and Pantagruel. Some writers have traced the images and names of the cards as far back as ancient Egypt and the Kabbalah.
Today the most widely used of all tarot decks is Thoth Deck developed by Aleister Crowley and Lady Frieda Harris. Intricately detailed with astrological, zodiacal, elemental and Qabalistic symbols their formation was a dramatic rethinking of the way that tarot images are considered. Created for the new aeon of spiritual enlightenment, Crowley presented a fresh re-visioning of the tarot which has resonated with the contemporary mind ever since. He also presented the tarot as an ever-changing and developing dynamic in its own right. In redefining it for the new age, he provided inspiration to a range of contemporary artists in the symbolic power of eternal images and concepts.
Collective777 is the art guild of Ordo Templi Orientis Australia comprising 15 professional artists working across film, painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, sound, and new media, all of which have a deep connection and affinity with the tarot deck as a tool of magical insight. The group’s first international exhibition, ARCANA presents a contemporary revisioning of the traditional tarot concepts through the perspective of personal initiatic experience and Thelemic philosophy. Already creating a strong profile in their home country through a series of high profile commercial exhibitions and museum showings, the guild includes members Barry William Hale, Mitchell Nolte, Robert Buratti, Annette Gray, Nathan Hopkins, Laith Tierney and honorary member, J. Daniel Gunther amongst others."
For more information on Collective777, visit their website: www.collective777.com