Tag Archives: Bardos

RETURN OF THE HOODOO PILOT BARDO TAROT

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We enter Time at the Spiral Gate.

As inquiries and requests for The HOODOO PILOT BARDO TAROT have continued to come rolling in to Space Hoodoo HQ, I have decided to rewrite the original booklet which accompanied the first run of the deck. Initially, I offered a short introduction to the Tarot, followed by a series of comments and quips on each one of these idiosyncratic cards. I use the term “idiosyncratic” because the symbols and images employed in creating this deck were quite eclectic and personal. In my own treating of the Tarot Keys, I have depicted an extremely diverse array of themes. We find in this Magical Gallery an Egyptian Priestess, the Nordic God Odin, an old school crystal radio and a tower built from coffee cups.

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It’s a bit of a mix.

For myself, this mix comes together without any problem. This is because the Tarot is really a “skeleton” upon which we cultivate a “new skin” whereby it may walk, talk and serve as a Traveling Companion on our personal path through this world (and others).

This is one of the primary uses of the Tarot, to open what we call M.A.P.s (or Mandala Access Points). As a whole, the Tarot offers a depiction of reality in its many facets, fitting the diversified components into a harmonious unified structure. For those who have worked with the Tarot in conjunction with the Qabalistic Tree of Life, this is apparent. The Tree lays out a schematic of our World from the mundane realm of bodily life and sense impressions (Malkuth, the “Kingdom”) to the heights of transcendental and supernal glory (Kether, the “Crown”). Any card drawn can be located on this map and help us to orient our inner compass thereby.

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However, each card also connects into our life condition as a type of “perfection in potentia.” The symbolic framework of each image is related to in a very personal way as we discern its connection to whatever we happen to be dealing with and what we may BECOME by means of that process.

Thus the interplay between the Personal and Universal, Individual and Cosmic, is an absolutely vital aspect of making the Tarot “work” in ANY fashion.

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Wittgenstien once remarked that the whole purpose of Philosophy is to discover connections. Hence, Philosophy wasn’t something reserved for those who would read endless volumes of heady books and argue with others over the correct way to assess life, the universe and everything. To be a Philosopher meant being engaged with an active examination of life itself. It doesn’t matter whether your views might later be overturned. That’s the whole POINT. To keep pushing in deeper, to keep swimming out into the stars with change and transmutation expressing a dynamic process of development.
After writing the book meant to put all Philosophical questions to rest forever, Wittgenstein was challenged by a friend who, making a simple “naughty gesture,” poked a hole through his airtight approach. All wrapped up and good to go? Not anymore. And so he went back to work, endlessly attacking the new problem, discovering new connections, questioning more than postulating.

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In fact, I find this to be one of the most powerful things about Wittgenstein’s philosophy. He presents more questions than answers. Where some present a point of view meant to seat people in a room where they can spend the rest of their lives, Wittgenstein was picking the locks on doors leading into unexplored vistas.

For some, being a Philosopher means erecting a castle. For Ludwig Wittgenstein, it meant GETTING ON THE TRAIN.
Think of the Tarot like THIS. You are a Philosopher and the Tarot is your Train. And you’re going to ride with interesting passengers.

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With this thought in mind, we relaunch the HOODOO PILOT BARDO TAROT. I wished to write more extensively on each card, describing what it’s loaded with, why its content was important to me and why I fit it into the Tarot Structure as I did. It’s my feeling that in doing so, this deck will serve as more than a “variation on a theme.” It can indicate considerations which forge the connections of which Wittgenstein wrote. The idea is not to turn up images which have been mastered by the intellect but to open gates whereby the Mind & Heart, known as one thing, can look with new eyes at M.A.P. location, fueling up for movement.

Just as THE Tarot is a Living Organic Verity, given expression in endless symbols, so it is that Mandalas depict RELATIONSHIPS which are always in motion and never static. This requires motion, Thelemic “GO-ING,” if you will (no pun intended), a coming into a direct knowing of the Balance and Symmetry therein shown.

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Part Portable Gallery, Magical Autobiography and Divination System, we offer this deck for $55 + post. If interested in purchasing this pack, please contact us at kylefite@yahoo.com. Each deck is made to order, cut by hand and will be shipped with its accompanying book.

We will continue to post Tarot updates on this blog and also at www.spacebuddhaa.com

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“Ultimately, being lost in the Labyrinth is the same thing as being on the Royal Road…the real purpose of any Tarot is not to poke at and predict a possible future but to present a Form-Vehicle whereby we function as Co-Creators with the Cosmic Mind, fashioning from Illusion a Work of Amazing Artistry.”

-Kyle Fite, The Hoodoo Pilot Bardo Tarot (original booklet)

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THE BARDO BEAR STORYTIME ADVENTURE TAROT!

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The BARDO BEAR STORYTIME ADVENTURE TAROT is HERE!

This set of cards has been designed to be used in a variety of fashions.

On one hand, the B-Bear deck is a TAROT: 78 cards divided into Major and Minor Arcana. The Major cards all have connection to the basic themes expressed in the 22 Greater Trumps as we’ve come to know and love them-and one may certainly read them along such lines. The Minor cards, however, begin to veer away from the division into four Suits and fall into categories of People, Places and Things. This is where the “Storytime Adventure” aspect comes into play!

You’ll find Ray Guns…

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Slumbering Mummies…

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…and Samurai Pigs!

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When laying out the cards, each one should be considered as a element in a tale that has yet to be told. Instead of utilizing Tarot spreads indicating factors at play with direct consideration of a Querent’s question, the B-Bear Tarot fills spaces in a developing storyline. This storyline may, indeed, be used as an oracle regarding any area of concern by transposition onto the scenario. However, it is recommended that the user of this deck get familiar with the function of these cards through practice with generating simple stories before relating these tales to the question at hand.

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“The Star” – Know it…and THROW IT!  

A very simple approach to this practice may be designating three “slots,” one for each developing part of the “adventure.” Card one sets the “scene,” tells us where we are at and, perhaps, introduces a main character. Card two interjects a new factor (person, place or thing) into this setting-and card three indicates how this interaction plays out.

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Death is never the end in the B-Bear Tarot! 

Because of the diversity of images, a storyline may not be immediately apparent. This is where the reader will need to consider what, exactly, is being expressed in each card. It would be quite easy, for example, to look at the Space Bear card (allocated to The World or Universe in traditional Tarot decks) and begin the story with: “There was a Teddy Bear who went to the Moon…” The IMPLICATIONS of the card, however, may be a theme of exploration, travel, shifting of circumstance, victory, pride and so forth. Depending on where the card falls, the IDEA one is hit with may be more applicable to a successful story than a surface read.

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“Space Bear” -He’s OUT THERE! 

This approach and others are discussed in the accompanying chapbook for the B-Bear Tarot.

This deck is a multidimensional tool and will work on many levels. It is a sweet and fun set of images and “safe” for any little one who would wish to create their own stories. Parents can share in this with their kids, working together to build an adventure.

Beyond this, the deck is tool for “kids of all ages” to generate an unfolding plot which may be related to deep levels of psychology. This is where the images give rise to personal mythmaking and explorations of a Jungian nature. Examples of this will be provided in the book.

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“The Hanged Bear” -seeing the world from a different point of view!

We are already working on Booster Packs for this deck (and this may be the first time in Tarot History that a deck extends into Boosters!). This will allow card switch-outs to introduce focused themes in the B-Bear Universe (such as the Mayan Adventure with “Little Quetzalcoatl”).

The BARDO BEAR STORYTIME ADVENTURE TAROT is offered for $50 + post. Each deck includes accompanying chapbook with tipped on color plate for removal and framing, if wished.

Please contact us at kylefite@yahoo.com if interested in having one of these decks.

It’s an Adventure….

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Mars Attacks…B-Bear and D-Fly fight back! 

C.S. Lewis GOES TO HELL

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“Dear Lucy, You don’t need to worry about going to Hell. You’re actually already THERE. Love, Clive.”

In his wonderful little novel, The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis described a very different vision of Heaven than that glibly gobbled up by most. Instead of a wispy wonderland where ethereal beings drift in and out of some floating field of clouds lit with laser light show, new arrivals find themselves confronted with such solidity of Spiritscape as to be dangerous, if not lethal, to their fragile forms, ghostlike in comparison to the ultra-reality of the Higher Realms.

There is a tree hung with marvelous fruits of gold. One newcomer, with an eye for opportunity, decides to get some of these items imported to the Hell Zone where they’d certainly fetch a nice price. Problem is: he can lift nary a one from the ground. They may as well have been cast in iron and held fast by the most powerful supermagnet in the universe.

Too real for those hands, made of misty Maya, to clutch.

The narrator of the tale, a certain fellow with a fondness for furs and fauns, can’t even cross a small stream in this new territory. The waters catch and carry his airy body as if it were a dry and wind-tossed leaf being knocked down a conveyor belt.

Unlike many mainline Christian views on the matter, Lewis’ treatment of Damnation is not one in which adherence to correct dogma determines one’s eternal state of affairs. Regardless of belief or perspective, no one hanging about in Hell is forced stay a moment longer than they choose.

In fact, there is actually a magic bus making daily rounds from the Center of Hell to the Pearly Gates. You just need to get on and take a trip.

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“Fare is FREE…and they actually pay YOU if you ride on the TOP!”

This open door policy, however, isn’t quite as simple as it initially appears. One might be inclined to think Hell’s shopping strips would have closed up long ago if the customers didn’t have to stick around.

The thing is:

THEY WANT TO.

Here we find incredible insight from Lewis in this book. In fact, I think he’s a bit in league with the Tibetans who regard all impressions rising up in the Bardo States between lives as projections of the mind.

We don’t all drum up Dante when making this trek. Lucifer lunching on Judas is more likely to appear as a billboard pushing McDonald’s latest dollar menu.

Now, I believe the traditional theories on Hell hold if we can regard them away from the Thou Shalt Knots.

In essence, the human being is born into a shitstorm.

Prior to popping the mucous plug between Mommy’s belly-pod and that sad farewell to your Pal Placenta, you’ve been infected with this disease called ORIGINAL SIN, the nature of which Phil Dick described, in a private correspondence, as “Being Fucked Up.” Potential at first and typically well-realized in the twinkling of an eye.

An entropy timer on the upper right hand of your computer monitor begins to run and you’ve got just a few short years to beat the disease before you wind up at a certain bus stop.

Sounds about right to me.

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Game Loading…

This death run is BIG BUSINESS. When the economy takes a nosedive, there are certain stores which will never need to scrawl a sad sayonara with sharpie on cardboard to hang in the window. Gas stations, grocery stores and “gentlemen’s clubs” will just adjust their prices and the same crowd keeps rolling in.

The necessities of life, right? Forget the bric-a-brac. Target what someone cannot live without and sort the plan to ensure they get it from YOU.

Theologies break out on the planet like an insect-swarm. Half of the time you don’t even get the option of purchasing a can of Raid. Your parental custodian units are more than happy to see their little bundle of joy fed upon by their preferred parasite of choice. They’ll likely even earn rewards for future purchases.

Ever ask someone what their religious views are and they tell you how they were RAISED?

The program is still functional, held onto in the attic of the mind, “just in case.”

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Wiring Schematic of Religious Indoctrination 

The situation (so swiftly siphoned by those in the know) is rooted in the flowering of consciousness and its tendency toward self-awareness. If you don’t transplant that weed-and fast-we could be looking at a full blown existential crisis leading to strange political views, private mysticism and other assorted perspective points which threaten tight and highly protected levels of societal control. You could be seriously cutting into someone else’s profit margin if your NEW DISEASE starts to spread in the pig pen. The lunch meat in waiting may just decide that farm life doesn’t suit them anymore.

Most pen-pigs, however, are well bred to stick with the Devil They Know. Some rabble-rouser could tear up the fence and, like dutiful doggies, any inadvertent wander-fest will find them wagging their little tails all the way home, even as Charleton Heston is screaming from the wayside: “Soylent Green…is PUPPIES!”

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“That’s fucked UP, Man…” 

Case in point:

Little Lucy pushed through petticoats and saw Satan sauntering about with her Father’s face. Demon Daddy, unhappy with the report card, showed her the way to a lifelong career in conformity, the perimeter of which defined an extraterrestrial exoskeleton wherein her heavy heaving heart would be washed down with a glass of chianti, bottled on her birthday.

A small group of Junior Bodhisattvas calling themselves the “Shunyata Supersquad” happened to be on Christmas Break from H.U. (that’s “Heaven’s University”-no connection with Eckankar) and took her on as a personal case. They were in like Flynn and busted through the beastly bones in a 93 second long display of killer CGI effects with KMFDM’s “ANARCHY” as backing track. The editing room cut this straight into a heartwarming dialogue wherein Lucy was spoken to of her Father & Mother Who Art In Heaven. The camera lingered on the back of the bus as it lifted off the ground, sailed off to the Empyrean and snowflakes shimmered into a fabulous foreground fade-out.

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College Kids bored on Holiday

Lucy was back with her bags that night.

After all, it was Christmas Eve and she needed to tell Daddy about her promotion at work. He wasn’t too pleased with how her life had turned out and he certainly wouldn’t have been impressed if she missed hot ham and tedious tabletalk to gaze at a bunch of golden apples.

Meanwhile, the Parasite from Pluto had rebuilt itself and was stuffed into a stocking, camouflaged as an innocuous item meant to provide pleasure while downloading critical updates to the Guilt File on Lucy’s Heartdrive.

It all looked like another dull round, as Blake would say. And it was. Lovecraftian Horrors continued their pernicious partnership with E.T. parasites who bred in the brain just as flies leave their squirming young in flesh gone gray. All to the tune of Bing Bloody Crosby.

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“I’m dreaming of a White Witch…”

The Good News (read: “Gospel” if you like Jesus, “Glad Word” if you like Horus) is that the bus always runs on time-and the Supersquad isn’t slacking with their studies this semester. All 5 of them are maintaining straight A’s in “Skillful Means Level Two” (albeit with a few bamboo stripes that will probably leave scars).

At the campus commons, they’re planning their Spring Break (and Lucy’s Break OUT).

In truth, they ARE Lucy and they aren’t going to rest until the beatles are broken and she’s back in the sky, dancing to the Diamond Sutra.

WALTER MITTY AT THE GATES OF HELL

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WHO is Walter Mitty?

This question was first asked of me in a high school textbook where we read Thurber’s classic tale.

Is he a Victor over his humdrum life through the power of Imagination-or a wretched sap whose daydreams are always bound to be brought back to ground by a browbeating wife?

Since this is Thurber we’re talking about, we really DO have to go with the latter option.

Never the less, this short story always stayed with me and after college, I began my own Walter Mitty tale. It picked up where Thurber left off. Mitty died, a loser, and his wife prattled on about this and that at the funeral. It was as dull an event as the outer life he lived as guests mulled about, fumbled for sympathetic words and his widow kept talking about whether or not he’d look better in a different suit.

Meanwhile, Mitty had entered the Bardos and the welcoming committee was a giant Crab-Demon at the Gates of Hell. I may have been thinking of the Crab-Aliens Burroughs had written about in his Cutups-or the Egyptian Demons he described in “The Western Lands” (I’d been reading a bit of Burroughs at the time). Either way, the idea was pretty basic. Mitty is dead and now malevolent monstrosities were about to recycle his sorry ass. And what easier pickings could one ask for? Here comes the spineless one, the man who could never stick up for himself on earth, he who never enlisted let alone flew a plane into enemy territory for a smashing victory.

And at this moment, the REAL Walter Mitty stands up, a Soul who spent his human life secretly honing his battle skills, ready to move when every other person he knew would be destined for a metaphysical meat grinder.

A sword appears in Walter’s hand and he rushes the creature, slashing shimmering shell into shards and lopping off both stalked eyes with a single swing.

Behind the crumpled bits of beast, howlings rise and ripple from a stone stairwell spiraling God (or Satan) knows where.

“Bring it on,” says Mitty, now resembling Clint Eastwood. “Otherwise I will.”

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I don’t think I ever finished the story but perhaps I had brought it where I needed it to go. Thurber’s humor aside, we DO live in several worlds at once. And we also DIE. What we carry with us is a form which will continue to erode and dissolve. Eventually, the Mind Itself goes and what can possibly carry the Being through at THAT point?

The Body of Habits-which is deeper than the mind.

We’ve got this life to work on the Body of Habits and then it’s the Shuttlebus. Ready or not, we’re burning up, the Etheric Body sizzling and popping away from the Astral. The Astral being blasted apart like tissue in a Thunderstorm.

Perhaps the Center of Mitty’s Bardo would be the Projection of his Wife, her sharp and overbearing voice demanding that he put away the groceries after he’s chopped every tentacle off of Cthulhu.

Yes, I think a great way to end the tale is with Mitty loading cans of green beans and peas into a cupboard-and then stopping. He turns toward his wife with a jar of pickled beets in his right hand and then HURLS THEM AT HER as a sardonic smile tightens across his face. She explodes into a Field of Light billowing into the Luminous Void and Mitty walks on through.

Final scene is a toddler playing with a plastic military jet. His Father approaches and tousles his hair.

“You know, Walt,” says the Dad (offscreen) “I think you’re going to make a fine Hero someday.”

A note from the A.F. Price and Wong Mou-Lam translation of The Diamond Sutra tells us:

“A Bodhisattva is an advancing devotee of Enlightenment. A vast and complex doctrine surrounds this difficult Sanskrit Buddhist term. It is most commonly considered to be derived from Bodhi-Enlightenment, and Sattva-a being; but we prefer the view that Sattva is related to sakta or satvan, implying a spiritual hero.”

Walter Mitty: The unassuming Rosicrucian, the Bodhisattva in disguise, a Man with a Plan to harm none, serve all and come back ready for more. I think many of us are not unlike him. Our childhood dreams of heroics, stardom, wealth or a fairy tale ending all turned into a dilapidated shack on the outskirts of town. “How did I get HERE?” I’ve heard many bemoan. How, indeed? It couldn’t have been just one wrong turn. One thing leads to another and the world is not our oyster. Not even its shell.

That is, unless we see beyond this brief moving picture show and realize there are other movies to watch, other films in which we might actively play a part and other worlds toward which our adventures on all levels are taking us.

(above illustration “Walter Mitty at the Gates of Hell,” Handpainted Artflip w/ 1947 S American Wheat Cent by Kyle Fite, 2013)