(From „Meditations on the Tarot“, Verlag Anton Hain, Meisenheim am Glan 1972, Translated into English from the German rendering by Gertrud von Hippel.)

These meditations on the Major Arcana of the Tarot are letters addressed to the unknown friend. Anyone who is prepared to read them all and then out of the experience of a meditative study of them will have come to know what Christian Hermeticism is about, can consider himself recipient of these letters. He will know too, that the author of these letters will have divulged more about himself in the letters than he could have done in any other way. He will have got to know the author himself better through these letters than he could have done from any other source.

These letters are written in French because in France a literature concerned with the Tarot has existed since the 18th century to this day, i.e. the second half of the 20th century – a phenomenon one does not find anywhere else. Similarly there exists in France an ongoing hermetic tradition – and it lives on persistently – that comprises the spirit of free research as well as devotion to the written record and living tradition. The contents of these letters will therefore “incarnate” into this tradition, - i.e. become an organic part of it as well as render a contribution to it.

As these letters are appointed to serve as support and contribution to the Hermetic tradition, whose origins trail away in historic distances that have long since become legendary as the epoch of Hermes Trismegistos, they are a tangible enunciation of the age old stream of Thought, Endeavour and Revelation. Their aim is not only to let the tradition revive in the 20th century, but also – and  preeminently - to let the reader, or rather the unknown friend, dive into this stream, - be it for a time, be it forever. Therefore the many quotations of modern and ancient authors that you will find in these letters do neither serve literary purposes nor purposes of erudition. They are invocations of the masters of the tradition to be present with their impulses giving impetus to the striving and clarity of thought in the stream of meditative thought presented in these 22 letters on the Major Arcana of the Tarot. Fundamentally they are 22 spiritual exercises through which you, dear unknown friend, may submerge yourself in the stream of the living tradition and so enter the Community of Spirits that have served it and continue to serve it.

The quotations in question merely serve the purpose of letting this community stand out the more strongly. For the members of the chain of the tradition are not merely thoughts and endeavours, they are above all the living beings who thought these thoughts and made these endeavours. The being of the tradition is no mere teaching. It is rather a community of spirits from age to age.

Nothing remains to be said in this foreword to the meditation-letters on the Tarot, because all other questions concerning them will find their answer in the letters themselves.

                     Your friend greets you, dear unknown friend, from beyond the grave.

†          †