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Christopher Earnshaw is a director of the Edgar Cayce Centre in Japan; as well as completing a Master's degree in Transpersonal Studies from Atlantic University, founded by Edgar Cayce, he is also a Tarot Master.  Earnshaw, who works in the pharmaceutical industry, has a degree from London University in Japanese and Chinese, and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience, and has lived more than 25 years in Japan. Earnshaw is also the author of four other books including "Letters from an English Public School".

The Beginning

For the first time ever, the real origins of the Tarot have been uncovered, and with a startling discovery! That the Tarot is no less than a powerful tool for spiritual development, until now known to very few, and decoded by none other than the greatest American psychic ever, Edgar Cayce.

The Tarot of the Revelation is a tool both for advanced Tarot readers and for those seeking spiritual growth, and while traditional Tarot systems follow the Marseilles or the new Rider-Waite systems, the Tarot of the Revelation draws on a far older and richer source - the Bible!

The Book of Revelation has been protected by a curse for two millennia, but now its secrets are finally revealed!

This 240-page book teaches you how to use a regular Tarot deck both in divination and as a tool of spiritual growth, with full interpretations on its use, empowering exercises, affirmations straight from the Book of Revelation and spiritual lessons from Edgar Cayce.

A full and unique explanation of the key metaphysical concepts underlying the Tarot, the Bible, and man's spiritual journey. A complete history of the origin of the Book of Revelation, its secret message, and its importance for us all today.

My Research

I first noticed that the Book of Revelation has 22 chapters, like the 22 cards of the Major Arcana and that they both started with a solitary man. Then other coincidences appeared, such as finding in the Book of Revelation the angel with one foot on land and one foot on water, the World (the establishment of a New Jerusalem on earth, the same image as is used for the World Card in the Gaudenzi Durer Tarot), Judgement and the Tower. After much studying and deliberation I was able to find the other eighteen images hidden in the text and matched the images from the Book of Revelation to the Tarot, and I settled on this, which I believe is the closet fit possible, but there are certainly other possibilities. This led to me rediscovering other interesting details concerning the antichrist, St. Michael and the Dragon, Chi-Rho, and the Wheel of Fortune, among others. As many of the cards were found to be nearly in the same sequence in the Book of Revelation as in the Major Arcana, (there is a theory that the order of the chapters was changed and this may account for some mismatches), I assumed all the cards were to be found in the Book of Revelation, unlike Dr Betts in his book "Tarot and the Millennium". But as some of the images where not apparent from the text, I was left to make some difficult choices.

Layer after layer of metaphysical symbolism had been added to traditional Tarot cards, which had to be stripped away in order to expose the simplicity of the cards and their hidden lessons. Allegory usually has several levels of meaning, some even contradictory, many of which were added to deceive the casual observer, particularly the eyes of the Inquisition. In the Tarot of the Revelation, the title of the Lovers card has been changed for obvious reasons to The Marriage, and the Hermit is only inferred in the card of the same name. I have endeavoured to remain faithful to the descriptions given in the Book of Revelation and not be distracted by the traditional designs of the cards: for example, the High Priestess is normally shown sitting between two pillars with a curtain drawn across, holding a book, sometimes closed to indicate the hidden teachings; but in the Tarot of the Revelation, the Strong Angel is holding the closed book. Perhaps over time, the wings of the angel were thought to be columns with a curtain drawn across, or so designed to disguise the real image. I also believe that the label "High Priestess" was added to disguise its true origin. In line with the Book of Revelation I would have preferred to title this card the Strong Angel, but then it would have confused people hoping to use this deck as regular tarot cards. Again, calling the Strong Angel the "High Priest" would have confused it with the Hierophant; but as angels are, I believe, androgynous, no angel would disapprove of being called "High Priestess". The same can be seen in The Chariot, I believe it was intended to represent the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, but reducing them to two and adding a chariot cleverly disguised the original card.

As a tool for spiritual enlightenment, the order of the cards has been changed to correspond to the teachings and images in the Book of Revelation, as they move in parallel with the chapters. The major changes are the new positions for the Wheel of Fortune, Temperance, The Devil, The Hierophant, The Hermit, The Marriage (Lovers) and Hanged Man.

More important is the similarity of position of the remaining cards, fourteen of which are only one or two positions different from the regular Tarot (with Justice [Libra] at 8 and Strength [Leo] at 11), Death is normally number 13 for example, but in the Tarot of the Revelation it is number 14. Secondly, all fourteen cards are in the same order in the Tarot and the same order in the Book of Revelation. To me this was a very important insight. My belief is that astrology and other symbolism in the cards were added when the cards were first manufactured to conceal the original meaning from the Church of Rome. Early cards were often unnumbered, so it is possible that the order of the cards could be changed at will to show the secret teachings. In the present cards I have included both numbers, left is the traditional order and right is the Tarot of the Revelation order.

Many scholars have associated aspects of the cards with the Gnostic faith, (cards number 2 and 3 as the pregnant Popess Pope Joan, for instance), but the symbolism, new ordering and other changes helped hide this fact. When I came across Edgar Cayce's interpretation of the Book of Revelation I realized the importance of the Tarot cards and the need to put them before a wider audience. Though Cayce gave more than 14,260 readings on various subjects during his life, only ten relate to the 236 verses of the Book of Revelation, which were made between March 1933 and September 1937, in the #281 series of Cayce readings. Though the various cards and their relative positions are open to interpretation, I believe the intention of the cards is incontrovertible.

Over a period of 1,200 years of persecution various Gnostic sects preserved their secret teachings, passing them on orally (epoptic teaching). However, when they were faced with possible extermination after 1255, they took advantage of new woodblock technology to both protect and disseminate their secret. It is said that the Vatican has made special studies of the Book of Revelation to see if there is a prophecy for our times, certainly the more one studies the book the more questions one has, for example why was the Red Dragon chained in the bottomless pit for 1,000 years instead of being put into the Lake of Fire with the other two beasts? Nearly all the major characters and scenes in the Book of Revelation are accounted for in traditional Tarot cards, with the exception of the Strong Angel throwing the millstone into the sea, Rev 18:21, which appears in the "Gran Tarot Esoterico" as the Wheel of Fortune, perhaps as a secret sign particularly noticeable due to its incongruity, and the angel with the golden censer and incense, Rev 8:3-5. I have included the millstone in the Wheel of Fortune image.

The Tarot of the Revelation opens with John in exile in Patmos. Although in peace, he felt abandoned, and despaired as he had lost everything except his faith, and it finishes with the Star, the Morning Star, indicating that John and mankind's consciousnesses had been rejoined with God's consciousness and he had completed his transcendence. For those readers who want to understand how these things can be found in the Book of Revelation, I have included my compilation of Edgar Cayce's interpretation at the end of the text.

I hope the reader will be stimulated, as I was, to research these things for himself. For example what is the basis of consubstantiation and whether there is a similar concept in Gnosticism? (There is!) The reader might rightly ask why, if these secret doctrines are protected by curses, do I have the temerity to write this book? Because I believe that the Oversoul (mine as well as John's) wants it known, remembering that John wrote the Book of Revelation as it was dictated to him: "Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings," Rev 10:11.