Tarot for the Aquarian Age

If you were around in the 1970s you might remember a peculiar set of tarot cards called THE NEW TAROT, also affectionately known as the “Hippie Tarot.” As fate would have it, this strange tarot was mostly ignored and fell into obscurity. 

For us at Royal Maze, the NEW TAROT – also known as the “WORD of ONE Tarot” or the “Tarot for the Aquarian Age” – is much more than a relic of hippiedom: it is the TAROT for NOW.

1960s America was a time of powerful societal change that continues to resonate today. Young people tuned in and turned on to drugs and altered states of mind, alternative spiritualities and ways of knowing, and trod pathways to connect with the higher self – other dimensions, too.  It was groovy and far out, and if you were with it, you went with the flow. It might sound corny or dumb now, but if you caught the tune of the 60s/70s wave, it really did have power.

In the spirit of going with the flow, one night in 1962, John Starr Cooke and his friends used an improvised Ouija ‘spirit’ board and immediately made contact with an intelligent force calling itself ONE. They were met with a strong positive vibe.

The group soon realized that ONE had a special gift for our world – a new oracle for the new age – and that’s what came through – 22 completely original ‘Books’ were delivered between October 1962 and May 1963. 

John Starr Cooke painted the images as the descriptions for the New Tarot were precisely relayed by ONE over a number of sessions.

In 1968, John Starr Cooke and Rosalind Sharpe published T: The New Tarot. In early 1969, the legendary Ralph Metzner (1936–2019) added an introduction to the booklet. Preparations were then made to release the ‘Book of T’ as a tarot deck. Metzner attended one of the final Ouija sessions. By the end of 1969, the ‘Book of T’ had been published – T: The New Tarot (New Tarot for the Aquarian Age)

If you’re old enough, you may remember the distinct box set, which included the 78-card New Tarot plus 3 instruction booklets and a foldout map. 

People had difficulty penetrating the meaning and significance of these new teachings. This was understandable, given this is a fresh set of symbols that apply in the coming Aquarian Age. The majority of people are familiar only with the medieval European deck of the fast-receding Piscean Age. 

Tuning into the New Tarot is certainly a challenge – but why settle with the old when you can have the new?

This Tarot is a Statement. The statement in its entirety is this:

One is in motion.
That motion is love.
You are that One in motion, in expression.

The Nameless One was formerly known as The Fool. The Nameless One knows that he writes his own Destiny and therefore unwinds it even as he writes it. The Lover becomes Unity, signifying Completion or completeness. The Lightning Struck Tower becomes the Citadel. This Book means the Completion of the Self – the opposite of the Lightning Struck Tower which was the Self’s destruction. Satan becomes the Thinker. The Thinker thinks ‘about’ things. The Thinker thinks he thinks. This is his error. Error is the significance of the Book of the Thinker. The Wheel of Fortune becomes the Royal Maze. The meaning of the Royal Maze is Destiny. It was partly to enter the Maze and be free of it that the Nameless One embarked upon the journey.

For a longer read, continue below….

Are you ready to enter the Royal Maze

First, let’s introduce Tarot

Follow its depths, enter its mystery, and it will enlighten your path. Approach it with respect and patience, and it will guide you to SELF-Realization. 

Fate – Destiny – has brought you here and Destiny is always NOW. 

Introduce yourself to the Tarot for NOW. The Tarot for the Aquarian Age speaks of new ways of Being and SELF-expression. An advanced spiritual ‘technology’ of the emerging Aeon of Aquarius. 

The Tarot for the Aquarian Age is more than a powerful psychological tool to explore the human psyche. It is not a fortune telling device but a thing of great usefulness. 

Its most profound offering is a path to unite the Divine Principle in you with ‘God’, ONE. Self uniting with SELF.

Its most practical use is opening original new pathways for YOU to explore, express, understand, and actualize. 

Tarot is not for everyone – that is for you to decide. Engage and embrace it, and you will receive an answer. 

ONE is in motion. That motion is love. YOU are that ONE in motion.

An entirely new teaching and living philosophy, the Tarot for the Aquarian Age embodies the pure stream of sacred science that guides humanity through the Aeons. 

The New Tarot, also known as The Book of T, was recently delivered to humanity in this period of turmoil and transition. It is a declaration of the turning of the cycle of human evolution* as we enter a new Aeon. ( *Evolution not in the Darwinian sense but in the sense of human awakening and spiritual liberation.)

The symbols on the tarot decks of today refer to a past age; the symbols, archetypes and meanings conveyed on the New Tarot are for the present time and the Aeon to come. 

This website is called the Royal Maze. The journey into (and out of) the Royal Maze BEGINS when ONE looks within. 

The meaning of the Royal Maze is Destiny. Destiny is the manifestation of the Tarot, and Destiny is always NOW.

The prime key is the image you see above – circles + square + cross + X + four additional symbols. This is the central focus of the Royal Maze card of the New Tarot, formerly the Wheel of Fortune in the medieval tarot – that’s the tarot you’re likely to be familiar with. 

John Starr Cooke said, “one has to get into the Maze in order to get out of the Maze; and the ‘only way out is up’ – that is through the crown center.” That’s a central mystery and key to the deeper process ONE enters in this journey.

The Royal Maze card (also known as a ‘Book’) depicts the entire principle of the Manifestation, not to be regarded as a trap but rather as a field in which ONE learns to operate freely. Understand this key and you will appreciate the real-world applications of the Tarot for the Aquarian Age.

Speaking on his ‘Prophecy of the Royal Maze’ film, John Starr Cooke said: “We are all Being together. The whole universe is Being. All moved by the great force of eternal light, the Royal Maze, the Royal Way of the Tarot is a never-ending meaning for all of us.”

The Tarot for the Aquarian Age

The Tarot for the Aquarian Age is unlike any Tarot you have come across. Reach out to it and it will speak to you – which requires some effort on your part. We assure it is well worth devoting your conscious attention to the profound images of this Tarot for NOW and the future. 

Know that this philosophy, and the archetypes of the New Tarot, are abloom and functioning NOW. Embrace this new moment in creation. 

“The Tarot is an ever-progressing rendition or map of the inner structures of consciousness,” explains Cooke. “It is a universal language, and its individual cards form a precise alphabet spelled out again and again in new terms to awaken those who seek to know the Self.” 

The Tarot – its images and symbols – change “to harmonize humanity’s reaction to universal cycles and to keep the awakening mind in tune with the forces and powers present as Age succeeds Age,” said Cooke. 

We NOW enter a new Age, and there is a New Tarot.

How This Came to Be

It is a mystery how the New Tarot arrived in our world – at least for us on the human level – and perhaps that’s the way it is meant to be. To some, it might seem strange or irrational – even impossible – but in the ways of spirit and DESTINY – all is possible.

Our story begins in 1962… when there was a sense something special was about to unfold in the world. Excitement intensified when astrologers pronounced that an astonishing seven-planet conjunction in Aquarius was to take place on February 5. And indeed, that amazing and rare spectacle showered our world, sparking a deep cosmic awareness of something special about to happen… 

1962 came and went, and so did the whole sixties, marked in the United States by huge political, societal and culture change. But buried in the historical debris, and largely long forgotten or never known, are events of extraordinary significance – to be discovered if you KNOW what you’re looking at. For most people, these are ‘unknown unknowns’ – information and happenings that they don’t know they don’t know. People are blindsided because the paradigms in which they operate, particularly the scientific, do not recognize or are ignorant of the functioning of divine/cosmic powers that inject knowledge and patterns into humanity from time to time.  

Well, our story of the New Tarot is very much about that knowledge and the knowers – “I know, and I know that I know!” 

On a cool October night, on a high cliff overlooking the sea, a wizard and his crew set to work. Taking a large sheet of paper, they wrote out the letters of the alphabet. The wizard reached into his pocket, pulled out a silver dollar, and placed it on the paper. With fingers lightly resting on the coin, the communion with the being known as ONE began again. (A name was never given; when asked “Who are you?” the answer was: “We are ONE.”) 

On this magical night ONE had something special to bring to this group. Through the improvised Ouija, ONE introduced the Tarot for the Aquarian Age

This ‘wizard’ was a man named John Starr Cooke. The date was October 20, 1962, and the location was Cooke’s cliff top home in Carmel, California.

And so it began. Between October 1962 and May 1963, ONE described the complete 22 New Tarot cards and John Cooke painted the images as the instructions came through. What followed was the practical implementation of introducing the New Tarot to the world. 

Cover of original box set

Amid the turmoil of the sixties and John’s busy role in the counterculture, by 1968 the group published meditation posters from the original paintings of the New Tarot. In December 1968, John and Rosalind Sharpe Wall – a member of the original group – published the introductory booklet, T: The New Tarot for the Aquarian Age. In 1969, the completed 78-card New Tarot for the Aquarian Age was issued as a boxed set. In 1975, a transcript of the ONE sessions, edited by John and Rosalind, was published as a book, entitled The Word of One: Aquarius Tarot Notes. In 1992, the New Tarot was re-issued by Chamba and Amy Cooke as a boxed set, The Word of One Tarot: Wisdom of the Ages (which included the ‘Atlantean Tarot’ as well as a rendition of the medieval tarot). Chamba, John’s son, worked closely with John’s sister, Alice Kent, to develop the complete set of all three decks representing Tarot wisdom throughout the ages.

School is in session. The Tarot speaks!
– Session 7, October 20, 1962

None of the group had any idea that the seemingly accidental use of a makeshift Ouija board would lead to the revelation of the New Tarot. The sessions with ONE – that began on August 17, 1962 – were not undertaken for that purpose. The dictation from ONE was unexpected and unplanned. Never were personal questions answered ‘personally’. They were, rather, turned back onto the subject of the search and invariably used as further way-pointers.

Essentially, the teaching delivered in the sessions is the doctrine of ONE, the word ONE synonymous with WE, YOU, and the SELF. To enter the maze of concepts in these channeled sessions is like going on a treasure hunt. It is for YOU to identify the clues. The treasure is sublime. It helps to remember that ‘Behind you is YOU’.

The cards or ‘Books’ were dictated in exact detail, even as to color and the placement of the symbols, and John Starr Cooke was given the job of painting them.

It quickly become apparent to John and the group that this was no ordinary Tarot. It was realized that the new symbols in The Book of T are a radical departure from the medieval tarot. They represented a progression, indicating that a new turn in the cycle of human evolution was unfolding. Another chapter had opened. 

It was determined that the 22 trump cards that comprise the new Major Arcana are each a Book containing both principle and understanding in the search for SELF… a visual representation of a new manifesting Consciousness. The symbols on the medieval tarot – the deck commonly used today – refer to a past age; the New Tarot with its deep archetypal images refer to the forthcoming Aquarian Age. 

Dynamic Naked Reversal

The new symbols are not only a progression of those that applied in the previous Piscean Age, but many bear a reverse meaning. The New Tarot has been dubbed the ‘Reverse Tarot’.

This reversal is profoundly expressed in the concept that ONE, or the SELF, composes all events and acts, and that Destiny is a constant flow from without to within and within to without. In the past, as symbolized by the Fool card, Destiny was seen as coming entirely from without. 

A key ‘Book’ of the New Tarot is the Reverser. Formerly Temperance, the androgynous figure of the Reverser refers to the birth of a new Consciousness that depends upon the “correct channeling of flow” – a somewhat deep esoteric concept.

John said the new “archetypes have abandoned thrones, chariots, robes and most royal and spiritual paraphernalia and stand forth nakedly. Most of them are literally naked. Also seen is that black and white are usually reversed, and that there is a consistent emphasis on polarity or on masculine-feminine, right-left, conscious-unconscious, yin-yang – all connected with reversal.” (Source: T: The New Tarot for the Aquarian Age)

These primordial principles eternally seep into the field of humanity but are modified in expression by the changing state of our collective consciousness – and the wider cosmic forces at play.

Why was the New Tarot given at this time?

John explains: “Possibly (1) to rescue the Tarot symbols from their plight as fortune-telling cards and to restore their original and vital meaning as a path, also as a philosophy or teaching, and (2) to state man’s destiny in this particular time-period and indicate the transition into a new age.”

Power of Tarot

John Starr Cooke: What of the Tarot? It seems to be drawing me again.
WE: Follow its depths, enter its mystery, do not ever be frivolous with it. Do not expose it to the profane. You cannot err with it.

– ‘What Of The Tarot?’, Session 6, October 5, 1962

Accessing the full power of Tarot depends on how you see your place in the universe. Believing only in a ‘one god’ universe, or the mechanical materialist scientific universe, blinds you to that power. And, if you think YOU are only the physical body and separate from the ALL, your potential is limited. Ask: Who Am I?

Tarot cards laid out before your eyes – perhaps they sit on a table or digital images on a screen – are tools for triggering the power that is YOU. 

Real power streams through YOU and Tarot cards are like doorways into the Magical Universe. That’s the universe of the ancestors – the indigenous worldviews and ancient wisdom traditions. These other ways of knowing open doorways and secret entry points to a cosmos brimming full of synchronicity, spontaneity, aliveness, feeling. The opposite of the dogmatic worldviews and belief systems that impose controls and limitations on the extraordinary beauty and power of the Magical Universe. 

Right NOW, in the transition between great Ages, we live in an exciting time of fantastic possibility. A fresh set of doorways edge open. Take a step forward and reach out to the archetypes of the New Tarot. This is not an exercise – this is not fiction – this is REAL.

Got Your Bearings?

To help yourself BE your SELF… this is most difficult. 
– ‘The Book of The Way-Shower’, Session 15, November 27, 1962

You now might be thinking…. I’ve read lots of nice appealing words and concepts, hopeful and positive things pointing me to a higher reality, a better way of being…. how does all this translate into transforming my world today or tomorrow?

Before venturing into new territory, it’s always wise to get your bearings.

Figuring out your place in the scheme of things necessitates you to define/describe your ‘world’ and the ‘matrix’ in which you exist. To know where one stands in the cosmos.

Most of us agree we exist in a tripartite (triple) world consisting of 1) the small self or ego level, the personality and functioning of the identity you were given at birth or that which you later embraced; 2) the level of our connection to wider humanity including family, friends, tribe, nation, peers, etc., and; 3) the child of the universe who develops spiritual awareness to see beyond ego and comprehend the larger tapestry of life.

You function to some degree in all three worlds, seeking balance and stability amid the turmoil of everyday life. As a child of the universe, YOU understand the crucial importance of a solid foundation in the material world. The happenings of yesterday and today shape the events of tomorrow, as surely as good foundation stones stabilize a long-enduring physical structure. 

It has been written that the Book of T offers an opportunity to embark on a journey of self-discovery… a journey of self-realization… an adventure into the divine relationship between SELF and the world. 

Your stable foundation in ‘mind body spirit’ places YOU in a powerful position to BEGIN the process of BEING your SELF – while embracing the exciting new archetypal territory of the New Tarot.

Psychological Introspection?

Question: Do you have any practical suggestions concerning the goal?
WE: BE – which necessitates doing.
Question: Doing what?
WE: Expressing ONE.

– ‘The Tarot Is The Story Of One’, Session 104, January 15, 1966

In response to the rapidly changing shape of our worlds – in the physical and mental domains – the emerging trend is Tarot as a tool for self-reflection, self-actualization, psychological introspection. 

On a practical level, Tarot can trigger new thought patterns, and smash mental blocks, for a deeper understanding of ourselves. The symbol system may prompt us into discovering new meanings and interpretations of events and circumstances in our lives. To heal, to activate the imagination, to compose new stories, to understand diverse realities – so we better cope or adjust to worlds in which we are forced to exist or must exist to survive.

An argument could be made that the symbol system of the medieval tarot – with its deep connection to the psyche of many of European heritage – is both the source of redundant psychological programs and the root of that which one needs to confront so as to heal.

The Tarot for the Aquarian Age is a different kettle of fish. WE are not singing from the same song sheet. The Book of T is like a first-edition instruction manual for the coming age, helping ONE navigate the internal landscape, especially as it relates to ‘master keys’ and emerging archetypal patterns.

However, as John Starr Cooke said, the Books of the New Tarot “do not proclaim a new way. Rather, they indicate the breakthrough of the way in our time, and the time to come.”

The New Tarot is a launch pad for the ripe soul ready to rocket into new heights of Beingness. All are welcome – all who inhabit Earth today will birth all who will inhabit Earth in the New Age.

All who are guided and drawn to the Royal Maze (the former Wheel of Fortune in the medieval tarot) can transform themselves and directly engage DESTINY. It is said, only by getting involved in the Royal Maze can one be truly free.

Pioneering Wayfarers

Bringers of the New Word, WE welcome you. 
– ‘What of the Tarot?’, Session 6, October 5, 1962

If you’re still reading this, having started from the top without scrolling here – congratulations – you’re ONE of the special few who are guided to the message of the New Tarot. Attention, will-power, self-awareness, passion, compassion, and a pioneering spirit, are your qualifications for transformation as a means of shining light into the world.

Leave the desert and the pit of bones and enter the flower-filled fields of life. Open the golden heart to recover your lost treasure. The keys await inside the Books of the Heart – the New Tarot. Divinity is your DESTINY. SELF-Realization is your ultimate destination.