Tag Archives: James Bean

Review – Eleusis

Eleusis –

Unveiling the Tarot Mysteries

Author: James Bean
Independently Published

Eleusis cover

“Eleusis” adds yet another level to the mystery of the origins of Tarot. Here we see the 22 cards of the Major Arcana connected to the sacred initiation rites at Eleusis. (In mythology, Eleusis is the place where the cult of the Goddess Demeter existed, and where the famous religious festivals, called the “Elusinian mysteries” , were performed.)

Normally I do not include the chapter headings in my reviews, but in this case, it will help to show the foundation and flow for this book.


0 the Fool – The Initiate

1 The Magician – Hermes

The Legend of Demeter and Persephone

2 High Priestess – Demeter

3 The Empress – Persephone

4 The Emperor – Hades

5 The Hierophant

6 The Lovers

7 The Chariot – Triptolemus

8 Strength – Hercules

9 The Hermit – Hecate

10 Wheel of Fortune – The Narrow Bridge

11 Justice – The Gate

12 Hanged Man – Descent

13 Death – The Lord of Death

14 Temperance – Dionysus

15 The Devil – Hieros-Gamos

16 The Tower – Climax

17 The Star – Mystery Ritual

18 The Moon – Womb of the Earth

19 The Sun – Helios

20 Judgment – Ascent

21 The World – Son of the Sun


In his introduction, Beam notes that his belief is that the origins of the Tarot reflect the principle players and the secret rites that took place in ancient Greece that showed the initiate the secrets of life and death. His belief is htat the cards of the Tarot represent sacred, secret cults. While these rites were forbidden to be spoken about, they were eventually depicted in visual form.

Each card carries information about the images depicted, the meaning of the card within the context of the Elusinian mysteries, and keywords. Interspersed are author’s notes, such as the one on not confusing Hades with Hell, and under the Hierophant we see the progressive schedule of the initiates.

In this short book (44 pages) we get a basic overall image of the connection between the Major Arcana of the Tarot and the Elusinian mysteries. It is a good read, but I for one would like to have seen this material expanded upon.

© 2000 – 2013 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction in any venue prohibited without the written permission of the author.

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Posted by on August 4, 2013 in Tarot


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