I don’t care what you think about me. I don’t think about you at all
~ Coco Chanel
Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel had to overcome obstacles to success just like you and I. She suffered many hardships, including the death of her mother when she was young, being abandoned by a father who didn’t love her, growing up in an orphanage, and the stigma of her early years which plagued her throughout her life.
She suffered extreme poverty, self-doubt, low self-esteem and craved love. People jealous of her talent also spread malicious rumors and tried to undermine her success.
But she didn’t let obstacles stop her from doing the work she loved. The pursuit of excellence born from her experience, fueled by her determination to be an independent woman, and the desire to liberate others, ultimately led to her success.
Her boundless imagination, strength of purpose and courageous spirit is an inspiration to young and old. Have you ever wondered what sustained her throughout her life and career?
Tarot and other subjects such as astrology, alternative healing, psychic phenomena, spirituality, and a fascination with the Goddess legends, captured Coco Chanel’s interest.
She, like many people, found great wisdom, peace, comfort and healing from an eclectic array of spiritual rituals.
As the astrologer, Jessica Adams, shares on her website, “Coco Chanel used the Lenormand oracle card deck to help her in business—as well as in her personal life. As my friend, Justine Picardie explains in her acclaimed biography of Chanel, ‘the cards still rest where she left them, lying in a moment frozen in time, in her apartment in Paris.’”
Coco was taught the precepts of Theosophy by the first and foremost love of her life, the English playboy, Captain Arthur Edward “Boy” Capel (CBE).
Theosophy is defined by some sources as, “A collection of mystical and occultist philosophies concerning, or seeking direct knowledge of, the presumed mysteries of life and nature, particularly of the nature of divinity and the origin and purpose of the universe.”
My first experience with psychic phenomena and the tarot was when I was a teenager in New Zealand in the late 70s. A friend had given her baby up for adoption and asked me to come with her to visit a psychic for a reading.
I remember feeling both apprehensive and excited. I was amazed that the reading revealed such true things about my life, and I knew then that there was something special about tarot cards.
Like Coco, it’s a fascination that stayed with me throughout my life and which continues to provide inspiration courage and fortitude—both personally and professionally. No one knows exactly how tarot cards originated. The earliest Tarot deck dates back to the 1400s Renaissance Italy.
‘I’ve come to believe that a lot of wisdom was incorporated in the tarot. I feel, as others do, that the ancient keepers of the old ways or earth-based spirituality, wanted to pass on information,” writes Karen Vogel in the introduction to her Motherpeace Tarot Guidebook.
‘As warfare increasingly became a way of life in the Dark Ages of Europe, old ways were lost as whole cities and civilizations were wiped out.
‘It was more and more difficult to pass on oral and written traditions since whole cultures were destroyed and ancient libraries burned. One of the traditional stories about the origins of the tarot is that the wisdom keepers in these cultures were the storytellers, artists, and healers.
They chose between writing a spiritual or philosophical text or putting the knowledge into a game. They decided that a game in the form of cards would last longer, be more accessible to everyone, and easier to hide.’
By the time of the Renaissance Christianity had dominated Europe as both a political and religious powerhouse. Millions of women, who were often the healers and spiritual leaders, were murdered during the Inquisition. Those who threatened Church authority or knew about ritual and healing, either died or went into hiding, taking certain information with them. It was in this atmosphere that tarot began and subsequently spread all over Europe.
Of all the psychological theories in the West, that of revered Swiss psychologist Carl Jung stands out as most applicable to Tarot.
Jung wrote about Tarot on several occasions, seeing it as depicting archetypes of transformation like those he found in myths, dreams, and alchemy.
He described its divinatory abilities as similar to the IChing and astrology, and late in life established a group who attempted to integrate insights about a person based on multiple divination systems including Tarot.
Jessica Adams also notes, “This connection with astrology is not something that the house of Chanel shies away from today. In fact, I vividly remember Karl Lagerfeld’s illustration of the zodiac sign Sagittarius, decorating my horoscope column in Vogue Australia.”
Astrology also played a major role in Lagerfeld’s campaign for the perfume Chance, where a lion plays a key role. The ‘Chanel-Leo’ is very important when understanding the house of Chanel, the woman who created it—and the fragrance.
Jessica Adams also suggests that one of the cards in Coco’s Lenormand deck inspired one of the secret ingredients contained in Chanel N°5, “…this card shows a beautiful green tree, seven love hearts, and the message… ‘A tree far away means good health—when near—illness there will be, many trees close together means things will turn out all right, you’ll see.’
As we now know, a naturally occurring tree moss is one of the secret ingredients in Chanel N°5 fragrance. A coincidence? Or did Chanel bring together astrology and the Lenormand, when choosing her blend?”
Experiment with tarot—either have a reading with an experienced tarot card reader or study the cards and their meanings for yourself
Feed your curiosity—take note of the places and circumstances where tarot, astrological symbols and other mystical and occultist philosophies are used—in business and life
How could you blend astrology and tarot into your career and life?
He who has a mind to understand, let him understand
~ Mary Magdalene, in The Gospel of Mary
I am an artist, storyteller, intuitive guide, mentor and Reiki master. All my creations are infused with positive energy , inspiration, and light. I believe in magic and the power of beauty, joy, love, purpose, and creativity to transform your life. My greatest joy is helping your realize your dreams. That makes my soul sing!
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