Ana Sayfa

Tarot – The World of Symbols - Hajo Banzhaf

Interview by Kaja Cudak, Spring 2008



You are a philosopher, astrologer, author and co-author of over seventeen books. This is impressive. If you now meet Hajo Banzhaf of twenty years ago, what would you ask him about? What would you say to him? Are you happy now? Do you feel satisfied as a Tarot expert and a man?
I would tell him: I am glad that you have found your path.

Let us retrospect. Let us return to your family home in Germany. What do you remember from your own childhood – which images, events, persons?
I have only little memories. I have four brothers but they are all so much older that I was kind of a single child. I had wonderful parents and was raised in a warm and safe environment. It was a very Christian family and so I was very religious when I grew up.

You had been studying languages and philosophy before you became a famous Astrology and Tarot expert and writer. What did the times of studies give you? What did it teach you?
It was one of the very hard times in my life. I had lost all my belief and so I was suffering because life made no more sense to me. In this time philosophy helped me a lot, especially Albert Camus.

What was the most important lesson for you in that time?
That we cannot find THE answer when we ask for the sense of life. There is ONE truth, but everyone has his own approach to it. This is why everyone has to find his own path. If there were only ONE path, ONE right behavior, ONE way to act correctly, it would be horrible as we would live in a dictatorship that makes all human being equal in a awful sense. Wherever we look we can see that the signature of life is multitude. And so is mankind. There are not two identical people on earth just as there are not two identical horoscopes over millions of years. So everyone has the very individual task two find HIS own answers and his own truth.

You are “a seven” according to numerology. According to the traditional numerology “sevens” have in their blood a passion for the ancient civilizations, the world religions, the knowledge of magic and parapsychology. When and where did you find out about your calling?
As I said before I grew up in a very religious environment and it was very early, may be at the age of 12, that I became interested in other religions, first of all in Buddhism and Islam. But it was much later when I studied Astrology that I became more and more interested in the roots of our culture, especially in the history of Mesopotamia and Egypt.

Why were you so fascinated in Tarot as a man? And who taught you the language of Tarot?
As with most people it was an incident that brought me in touch with Tarot. In fact it was a Jewish woman from Poland that gave me the very first reading of my life. I am very sorry that I do not know her name. She was in Munich only for a couple of days. And no one knows her address where she came from or where she is now. I had liked so much to thank her for this initial step. At that time I had no idea what it this first encounter with the cards should mean to me and my life. However, in the beginning Tarot was for me not more but an interesting game. It was only when I read that wonderful book “Jung and Tarot” by Sallie Nichols that I began to understand the very deep background of the Tarot symbolism. I began to go deeper and deeper into the world of Jungian Psychology and that was my key to understand the cards. So in a way C. G. Jung was my teacher.

Many people confuse Tarot with destination and doom. This false belief has been passed on to us from generation to generation. Wheat is the origin of fear of Tarot and why is it so strong?
It is a misunderstanding. Some people still believe that there is something like “the book of life” where the future of the world and of every creature is written down in every liitle detail. And they believe that astrology, Tarot or another divination method would allow us to have a brief look inside the next pages. Of course they are afraid that there might be something dangerous forthcoming. But this is not an appropriate approach for nowadays mankind. The future is not hidden for us for pedagogical reasons, we cannot see it because it simply does not yet exist. We create it altogether in every moment by our individual and collective decisions and behavior. As many decisions have already been made in our life, the future is not absolutely blank. But it is not yet fixed. This is very important to be considered when making readings and predictions. We can see tendencies but no absolute and inevitable developments. The knowledge that oracles give us can even help us to find a better way than that one the cards predicted. So there is no reason to be afraid of Tarot.

Many people told the me about the subtle soul of Tarot. A deck of Tarot cards in friendly hands can help and cure people. A deck of Tarot cards used in black magic will pay back to its owner with bad energy. What should we remember when working with Tarot and what is key to friendship with Tarot? Is moderation the key?
Well the best is to always remember that Tarot is a wonderful servant but a terrible master. It is very helpful to listen to the advice of the cards, but it is terror if we do not dare to leave the house unless we have the allowance form the cards.

Please tell me just a few words what Tarot used to be for you and what Tarot is for you today?
In the beginning Tarot was for me a game for fortune telling. Now it has become a very good advisor and the Major Arcana are to me like a book of old wisdom that talks to me in images and symbols instead of words. 

Today we are using the Tarot deck as a divination tool and also as a business help and a soul therapy. What role will Tarot play in the future and how will we be using it?
I don’t know. I have not asked the cards this question yet!

Over twenty years ago you started going on the way of Tarot. What is your way today and what do you search for in Tarot and in the world which surrounds you ?
For myself the most important book that I wrote is “Tarot and the Journey of the Hero” (Droga Tarota in Polish). I worked on it many, many years an became a deeper and deeper insight into life. Now I want to do a similar book: Tarot and Alchemy. Instead of the mythological background I will show the transformation process in the cards. and this is very fascinating as it helps us to understand what really has to be done to come from lead to gold, from the deep to the high, from the sick to the health, from the night to the light.

What do you do when you do not work with the deck of Tarot cards? How do you spend your spare time? Where do you find peace and relief?
I practice Zen Mediation for many, man years. I love to read and to write and meet good friends almost every day.

Are you happy now? Do you feel satisfied as a Tarot expert and a man ?
It is now 3 months ago that my wonderful wife Brigitte died – at the age of only 48 - quiet and peacefully in my arms. For this I am of course much more sad than happy these days. But if I understand your question more in general than I am very, very thankful for the life that I lived so far. I am glad that Tarot and Astrology came along my way and that it helped me to understand myself an d life in general much better and to find answers to many questions that troubled me.

And does Tarot conceal any secrets from you?
If you study the world of symbols you will never come to an end or to a ground. You can look deeper and deeper and you will understand more and more. So it is a never-ending secret.

Thank you for conversation.


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