The Dream Logic Tarot


About the Dream Logic Tarot

The Dream Logic Tarot explores the archetypes developed in the West from the traditional Tarot, including astrology, the elements, and the tree of life. In addition to the traditional concepts, we have incorporated fractals: representations of Mandelbrot’s complex systems. Chaos theory and Mandelbrot’s mathematics are used as a metaphor for existence in contrast with Gaussian mathematics (the bell curve, averages) which tends to mirror how we think the world works. Mandelbrot’s theories, according to some of the sources of our inspiration (the books of Nicholas Taleb) represent that minor changes in a variable can have wildly non-linear effects on a given system. Rather than an average, a small change can have huge and (to humans) unpredictable results.

In addition to Mandelbrot and N. N. Taleb’s books, I was inspired by post-1960’s psychological theories including NLP, also concepts from System’s Theory, General Semantics, evolutionary psychology, and the books of Robert Anton Wilson.

The use of the Tarot in divination may be an art relying upon the narrative fallacy and ambiguity. But this does not make it any less useful as a psychological exercise.

Our subjective human experiences are delineated by archetypal mythologies. These stories inform the narratives we tell ourselves and we fit our lives into them. Through this process, information is lost. Details that do not fit neatly into our narrative and may in fact conflict with it fall away as memory is molded and shaped into the story. But we cannot escape narrative, so we use it.

The tarot randomly draws from 78 archetypes: which each could have several different positive and negative meanings. By going through this mental exercise of seeing how they may fit into your life’s current situation, you are using randomness (or God or fate, whichever you like) and forcing yourself to think about the problem state from another perspective. If you were already clear about the issue, you probably wouldn’t be running the Tarot on it. By forcing yourself to think about the issue from new perspectives you are making yourself more flexible on the topic and hence, hopefully ultimately more resourceful. Hopefully moving the issue from a problem or stuck state into a solution oriented or at least more open space. If a solution is still not visible, you have still opened your mind on the topic.

The Tarot is created with the traditional platonic concepts, the four elements in traditional Western philosophy (Earth, Air, Water, Fire), Astrology, and the tree of life. We also incorporate fractals and post-Freudian branches of psychology, and other emerging scientific theories and concepts. I was heavily influenced by Nicholas Taleb’s books: The Black Swan, Anti-fragile, Fooled by Randomness, and Bed of Procrustes, NLP, general semantics, chaos theory and cognitive science also informed my thinking throughout much of the project. My collaborator Anthony Teth brought his expertise in the traditional thinking surrounding the Tarot as well as his own obsessions and narratives including Chaos Magick, Aleister Crowley’s writings, and the works of Robert Anton Wilson.