In this article he wrote in 2006, Prembodhi remembers the day he arrived in Pune, Osho giving his blessings to a set of Tarot cards, the creation of Intuitive Tarot and ponders over its world-wide development.
One night in Pune, January 1976. These last two weeks have turned my life upside down. I arrived here from the United States on December 24 – sociologist, comrade and freak – and in two weeks I have become – what? I do not know yet and maybe I will never know.
From New York I brought with me a deck of Tarot cards, a Rider-Waite, a companion for meditations and on psychedelic journeys. These last few months I spent hours and hours with them. I would let the image of the cards come into me and talk to me. Then I would enter the images. And so I learned – about myself, about the nature of consciousness, about the reason of things…
“How beautiful would it be if Bhagwan touched them for me, blessed them for me…”
In Poona I came to know that if one had an object that we wished to be touched by the Master, we could give it to Laxmi, his secretary. And so a week ago I handed over my precious companion to Laxmi and the wait began…
After a couple of days I am called to the office: “Bhagwan did not want to bless your cards… He said to take them with you in your next darshan!”
Tonight is my leaving darshan. I’m about to leave, but I’ve just decided to give up everything and come and live here forever – and now I’m going to talk to him about this.
It’s a beautiful evening. The sky is clear and deep. The sounds and scents of the Indian night – the cuckoo, the jasmine – highlight this unusual silence that has entered into me.
In front of Lao Tzu House, where the Master lives, I am among the first in line waiting to enter; we are less than twenty people. As soon as the gate opens I start almost running in order to sit close up.
Bhagwan is sitting in his armchair waiting for us, smiling. I prostrate myself and rest my forehead at his feet.
“Bhagwan, I want to come and live with you…”
(That’s it? I can’t believe it…!)
“Laxmi told me to bring my Tarot cards…”
Bhagwan takes my cards in his hands, caresses them with care, almost with affection. Then he closes his eyes and remains still for a few moments. I close mine too. When I open them again I see that he’s looking at me – I feel that he’s talking to me.
“The Tarot cards can do miracles if you don’t let the mind interfere…”
‘Tarot cards can work miracles if you don’t let your mind interfere…’ The silence deepens, a massive, inexorable silence that dwells behind every sound and amplifies the song of the crickets, of the birds of the night, the whispers of the trees… I feel full of light, or rather, I feel I am a globe of light inside of which is a body that is mine…
My mind struggles to understand the words that the Master says to me. I feel like I’ve been uplifted and carried away, and at the same time I’m certainly here super-present!
“Look at the Tarot cards in a meditative way – they are ancient secret methods of meditation… Don’t interpret the cards, let them speak to you…”
After a moment of silence, Vivek hands him a small beige, elegant towel. He puts it in my open hands that receive it…
“And always play the Tarot cards on this towel!”
End of teaching – and birth of Intuitive Tarot!
It was the summer of 1978 at Majid’s house in Milan. Majid, Rajendra, Mita and I are thinking about a title for a book on Tarot that I am about to write together with Rajendra and that Re Nudo wants to publish.
“Il Tarocco Intuitivo (Intuitive Tarot) – I ask – how does it sound in Italian? Is that comprehensible?”
It seems so to us. I propose to put Bhagwan’s eyes on the cover – the eyes with which he had looked at me that night in Poona – with some Major Arcana in front of him. The Fool, the Magician and Death in the front row and behind them the Devil and the Priestess… Everyone likes the idea.
In a week I am leaving for England for my first seminar called Intuitive Tarot – the first of many hundreds – while Rajendra will go to his beloved South Tyrolean mountains to work on this book of ours. After a few months, Il Tarocco Intuitivo sees the light of day – and it’s distributed at the newsstands! Soon more of my books will follow in English, German, and other languages…
It’s summer of 2006, I type in Google “Intuitive Tarot” – 711,000 entries – and I come to discover the existence of hundreds of people who offer advice in Intuitive Tarot online and by phone, then several sites of Intuitive Tarot and at least two books (in addition to mine) published in 1994 and 1995, and even a deck of Tarot cards (2004) with the same title, plus dozens of online courses – including one called Totally Intuitive Tarot!
I type “Tarocco Intuitivo” in Italian – 12.400 entries – and I discover that from Catania to Bergamo [from south to north Italy, ed.], from Osho centres to Damanhur [a spiritual community and ecovillage near Turin, ed.] there are courses, trainings and Intuitive Tarot sessions on offer…
I try “Intuitiver Tarot” in German – 112,000 entries – where I find dozens of students I taught twenty years ago, and another book of the same title by yet another author…
Then another book comes out in Spanish – El Intuitivo Tarot!
Then I stop. What has happened in these thirty years?
It happened that the inner revolution has spread like wildfire – from individual to individual, from soul to soul – although we were told this could never happen…
In the meantime Bhagwan became Osho and left his body; the Ganges took my deck and I no longer live in Pune; I created a new Tarot deck, Master Tarot – actually the Master’s tarot – and Intuitive Tarot has been followed by Intuitive Astrology and then Evolutionary Astrology… Other journeys, other adventures.
But Intuitive Tarot has gone on by itself, strong on its legs, and this year it is thirty years old. First it was part of the alternative culture, then part of the collective consciousness, the Intuitive Tarot has grown and become huge. It was a great joyous collective operation of an irreverent clean sweep of the magical Western tradition – and it was effective!
Because, finally, the Tarot is no longer frightening; it no longer reminds us of witchcraft, curses and shady magic. The Tarot has become a friend, a confidant, a loving travel companion.
Obituary on Osho News
Prembodhi – (9 January 1943 – 4 October 2018)