OSHO Zen Tarot Study Group: The Master....


Hi Martin,
welcome to AT :thumbsup:

Osho (Rajneesh) lived from 1931 to 1990 and he died before the deck was released. It was first published in 1995. However AT has a nice interview with the deck creator Ma Deva Padma from some years ago here.....

Did Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh participate in the creation of this deck? It is impossible to separate him from the creation of that deck. I lived for so many years in his community, my rooms were in his house. His presence throughout that creative time permeated the making of the deck.

Did he give it his seal of approval?
Yes. He was still alive when a marvelous tarot reader and German disciple, Ma Jivan Upasika, asked Osho about creating a tarot deck. He said she should do it and then she came to me. So I sent some drawings in for Osho to consider and his response was that I was to create the cards. Little did I know that within a year or so Upasika would leave the commune and I would eventually carry the bulk of that project (for 5 years in total). So the creation of what we now have as the Osho Zen Tarot, all the paintings, including the design of the cards, the commentaries for the book and finally selecting the quotes from Osho's Zen discourses was an ongoing work that I kept steadily at while other projects and community functions were also tended to. My studio was in the house where the master lived for many years. His presence never left, even after his body died. SO often I felt him smiling as though in the room with me as I painted late into many a night.
While he was alive he always supported my creative expression and creating the Osho Zen Deck was a personally transforming and profound work between master and devoted disciple. For years I had literally prayed in the early years of my disciplehood that my creative abilities would one day support his teachings. It wasn't too far into the project that I was certain this work would be just that. It was clear to me way before anyone really saw what I was doing that it would be used, loved and respected by hundreds of thousands of people the world over. That has all come to pass. And if I'm not mistaken it is the most popular Osho title at present and is in 14 or 15 foreign translations.

What were his views on tarot, if any?
As I recall he was never big on esoteric secrecy or practices, his way was to open the mysteries so that humanity could grow into a new species with greater presence, responsibility and intelligence, what he referred to as The New Man. Aquarian vision to the max!

What made you decide to add the Master card as an additional Major Arcana card?
It was not my decision. I can't say whether it was Ma Jivan Upasika's idea or whether in those early days Osho had requested she include him in the deck. I never questioned it as it made total sense to me that a card for The Master should be there.
In that interview she says that he knew of the tarot deck being created and backed it. It's claimed that he specifically asked for The Master card to be included but she doesn't seem to know. All these statements are through at least 1 person so who knows the truth!

If he did ask for the card of himself to be included, it makes me feel more uncomfortable to read with it. Such ego! But if you want to include it to read with or not, that is up to you :) Try it both ways and see what works better for you :)


l have just brought the Osho Zen out for an airing and it still reads beautifully for me. It was lovely to revisit the images, they get my intuition going so well.
As for the Master card l have no problem with it.
l see it as a reminder that as much as we look after our earthly body we need also to look after our inner spiritual being as well.
It is not selfish or ego driven to do this, more like a healing process in getting the balance right just as we do in meditation.
l know nothing of Osho's background so my enjoyment of the deck continues to be good.
Many, many people read the Thoth tarot even though Crowleys background was allegedly far more lurid and distasteful. l bought this deck recently and although its artwork is extraordinary l do not want to read with it.
So lovely to get back to my usual decks including the Roots of Asia and the Osho Zen.

Daniel thanks for the link to Ma Deva Padma's interview :thumbsup: