Osho Zen Tarot


Does anyone think it is possible to use this deck like a traditional Tarot? It seems to me that most of the Major and Minor Arcana are the same, but the Court cards are radically different (I feel particularly little in the way of intuitive understanding from the suit of Swords, which I think have been sacrificed in this deck to the Zen dislike of all things intellectual). Despite those flaws, the artistry and powerful symbolism of this deck does call to me, but I'm uncertain how to interpret it. The guidebook included with the deck is decent, in parts, but it reads more like a religious appeal than a guide book to interpreting the cards.

Does anyone see any way to salvage this deck in terms of traditional Tarot symbolism? What correspondences and discrepancies would you see?


Actually I had read that thread before, Astraea, but by all means thank you for pointing it out.

My problem with that thread is that the general consensus (by everyone) is that the Osho Zen is so radically different from the traditional Tarot that it would be impossible to use it in the same manner. I don't know how much this is true. It's not as though the traditional 78 cards aren't there, with the traditional suits. True enough the symbolism is radically different, but most of the original divination meanings have been retained, in one form or another.

I wonder if we can't construct our own set of correspondences and interpretations to link the Osho Zen back to the traditional Tarot, and where necessary, to recognize some of its distinguishing characteristics. I wonder if it wouldn't be possible to find some way of interpreting the Osho along traditional Tarot lines? Has anyone attempted this? Does anyone have thoughts on which cards need to be reinterpreted along these lines?

There certainly could be room for a deep study of the unique symbolism and correspondences to be drawn from this deck.


Yes, I see what you mean -- I have the deck and enjoy it very much, but use it exclusively for meditative purposes and not as a reading deck, so relating it to more traditional tarot symbolism hasn't been an issue. I find your suggestions very interesting and workable, and I join you in looking forward to input from members who use the deck for reading.


78 cards

some of the meanings in this deck have the totally opposite as the traditional tarot as it has been known to become. The nine of water/cups for example: the standard definition is the "wish card" but in this zen deck it becomes "laziness."

It does not seem that zen dislikes intellectuality (the zen-cults may but actual zen does not) but rather places logic (sounds vulcan doesn't it) as the center of the situation with a spiritual openness that applies to everything (including the tarot). The mind card presents the perfect picture of a polluted mind but without explicit understanding of which traditional suit this is related to it is hard to identify the astrology of the situation. i personally think it resembles Gemini (being one myself) beyond all. if this card come up it tells me that i am thinking and dwelling on something i need to let go. Whereas Morality doesn't apply to any air or fire sign i know of but it supposidly represents Gemini (which i can understand with medatation) but only does so as much as the King of Clouds (control) represents Libra.

Much of the traditional set of interpretations is not always present in these cards, but a new set is there for us to use. There is a specific set of vibratiosn in this deck but it is not shut out to what you need or want it to be.


wishcard can be laziness, sort of.........
wishing is passive, not doing anything to improve your situation or whatever you are wishing about.
wishing keeps you there where you dont have/are, you keep lacking coz of wishing. so i can see laziness, definately



This is probably the defining card for this deck. Renaming teh Devil as Conditioning is the smartest and most logical thing to do in regard to the messages portrayed. The intense christian symbolisim (lions and sheep) is conveyed in a way that gives a surreal peacfulness to teh scene.

At the same time, it resembles the zen story of the lion and the sheep and the saying "Lion in sheeps clothing." The term conditioning is just one of many one-line description that this major (of any deck) can utilize for diviniation and readings.

I also find in a 4-6 (or more) card reading if you just read teh keywords you may be able to make a sentence that offers itself as an answer.