Benebell Wen is the author of Holistic Tarot: An Integrative Approach to Using Tarot for Personal Growth, which was shortlisted for the Eric Hoffer Award, and The Tao of Craft: Fu Talismans and Casting Sigils in the Eastern Esoteric Traditions, both published by North Atlantic Books (2015 and 2016 respectively). She is also the creator of the Spirit Keeper’s Tarot, which won the Judges Choice Award for Best Tarot Deck from the 2019 International Tarot Foundation CARTA Awards and Best Author of a Tarot Deck.
Wen has presented at the Bay Area Theosophical Society, San Francisco Bay Area Tarot Symposium, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, PantheaCon, Readers Studio, the UK Tarot Conference in London, and the Masters of the Tarot Conference at the Omega Institute. Reading tarot for others has always been her first passion. When not immersed in metaphysical studies, Wen is a practicing attorney licensed in California and New York.
Being Keepers Of Spirit With Benebell Wen
We are thrilled that Benebell Wen is one of our headliners for StaarCon 2021. In our conversation for this StaarCast episode, we discuss her books, her art, and her passion for all things mystical.
We’ll begin in 18th century France and cover three different tarot divination methods from three centuries. How has astrology, philosophical Hermeticism, alchemy, Cabalism (the Qabalah), and Rosicrucianism influenced the evolution of tarot into an occult tool? And what does Hermes Trismegistus have to do with tarot? What do we even mean by “occult”? Let’s discuss together.
This is a nuts-and-bolts foundational primer on the advent of tarot occultism, who the key players were, and how French occult interpretation of the tarot continues to influence tarot readers today.
This will start as a study of how shamanism has been practiced throughout history and by various world cultures, though first, we’ll draw the distinction between a shaman and having a shamanistic experience. We’ll then discuss application of core concepts by the modern-day tarot reader. I’ll share my perspective on using a tarot deck to detect spirit presence in a room and what that means in more rationalist, psychology-based terms. We’ll also explore methods for channeling a spirit with the tarot as our tool. This session is moderated by Amie Mouser.
Why did our artists create the cards the way they did? What are our favorite card depictions, and why? How do different types of art stimulate our physic senses differently? How would you like to depict the cards? What sort of deck would you design if you could? Be part of a conversation about our art and with our artists.
I’ll be sharing my personal life story and why I’m deeply invested in these topics.
We’ll explore the theoretics of exorcisms and find the universal common denominator of exorcism rituals by examining practices from different cultures and religions around the world. We’ll talk about pre-Christian concepts of daimons and demonology from Egyptian mythos, Taoist mysticism, and where these seemingly disparate Mysteries intersect.
Most importantly, we’ll consider the peculiar relevance of understanding demonology in today’s world and why more than ever, spiritualists of the 21st century can better serve their world through deepened knowledge of exorcistic practices and demonology.
(This is not a tarot-related presentation.)