“As above, so below” is, without doubt, the most famous saying of Hermeticism. Originally, it was an astrological aphorism and meant that what happened in the heavens was reflected here on earth. Modern Hermeticists look at it more broadly—as an expression of the interconnection between the “Above” and the “Below,” the material realms with the spiritual realms, the immanent with the transcendent.
What happens on a spiritual (and symbolic) level has consequences in the material and what happens in the material realms can have consequences in the spiritual, too. Like astrology, which is incorporated in Hermetic Tarot, the divination system of Hermetic Tarot is one of the most potent methods that can reflect for us both the Above and the Below.
In addition to astrology, Hermetic Tarot also uses the symbols of Hermetic Qabbalah. Hermetic Qabbalah is an adaptation of Hebrew Qabbalah that expands the symbols beyond those of just Judaism to include a wide variety of spiritual paths, mythologies, and other forms of ancient wisdom. It uses the diagram of the Tree of Life as a primary emblem of the Divine Universe, representing the Above and the Below—and everything between.
A Hermetic Tarot reading is rooted in these concepts. What we do during a reading is to reveal the symbolic bridge between your Above and your Below, using the motifs of the cards as interpreted by the principles of Hermeticism.
Hermeticism is an ancient spiritual, philosophical, and magical tradition. It is a path of spiritual growth. Hermeticism takes its name from the God Hermês Trismegistos (Greek, "Thrice-Greatest Hermes"), a Græco-Egyptian form of the great Egyptian God of Wisdom and Magic, Thôth. What the Hermetic Fellowship defines as Hermeticism has also been called the Western Esoteric Tradition, and embraces the Perennial Philosophy or the Ageless Wisdom.
I was drawn to the imagery and wonder of Tarot at an early age. Ever since, the cards and I have had an evolving, often-magical, and sometimes difficult relationship. Why difficult? Because Tarot doesn’t just tell us what we want to hear. It tells us what we need to know. For me, Tarot has always been there, guiding me in my journey, leading me to a deeper exploration of myself and of subjects that are important to me: Hermeticism, Hermetic Qabbalah, Yoga, Jungian Archtypes and the Mystery Traditions.
For many years I thought that I shouldn’t charge money to read Tarot for others. Tarot has always been a part of my spiritual practice and I felt that the Art of Divination should not be used as a commodity.
But everything changed when I became involved with the founding of Ffynnon, a private retreat center focused on art, spirit, and nature that we are creating in the woods just outside of Portland. Now, with the founding of Ffynnon, all my work and skills as a reader have a higher purpose. They directly support the building and shaping of this magical place, a place that will continue to grow long after I am gone. Fynnon represents a higher purpose to me. Then, as your Tarot reader, I become a link in a chain of service to something much greater than myself.
I believe we are all connected to a higher purpose, to Spirit, but there are times in our journey when we lose sight of it, as I did. Tarot can help us reconnect when it seems like we’re groping in the darkness for an answer. It can shine a light on our path, helping us find our higher self and our greatest good.
My study and practice of Tarot is based on the principles of Hermetic Qabbalah, which is not the same as Jewish Qabbalah. Hermetic Qabbalah arose from the Renaissance which blended Jewish Qabbalah with Hermeticism.
No, but doesn't it make a fun wizard's name? I have chosen Paradoxos as my public magical name, meaning "The Unexpected One, the Paradoxical One". You can also call me by my given name, Neal.
Tarot Readings are by-appointment only and take place in-person at my house in Inner SE Portland. I am available for house calls within the greater Portland metro area for an addtional $25 fee, and can even travel longer distances if expenses are paid. I do not provide long-distance readings over the phone or video.
The exact address will be provided when your appointment is booked.
“I have come to him for readings both with very specific questions as well as for an annual "general" look at the overall picture for more than ten years now, and I am always grateful for the perspective that he is able to offer me through the deck itself. He is wise and intuitive, and each person is always held with respect and dignity. I suppose going to a Tarot reader could be weird or woo-woo, but "Paradoxos" makes it very practical, pragmatic, and applicable to one's daily life. I'm grateful that such a capable and caring person is able to translate this ancient art into the now. A visit to him is always illuminating!”
“Paradoxos is my poet of the Tarot. He brings to the table of divination knowledge beyond the framework of the spread. He knows the names of the stars that rule the cards, the movement of the planets within the reading. His theurgic wisdom and study of the Qabala bring depth to his response to the images revealed. He has, in my experiences with him, the sixth sense to elucidate well for any seeker the revelations of the Tarot.”
“When I have a Tarot reading with Neal, or "Paradoxos", I always come away with a fresh, deeper perspective and new attitude. His Tarot reading bridges the inner and the outer situation I am in, and gives me insight into the archetypal energies that are at work. His reading transcends mere simple rote interpretation of images, not "painting by numbers," rather it portrays an interconnected archetypal constellation specific to my concerns. With his trained artist's eye, cabalistic roots, keen open mind, honesty and an intuitive sensitivity, Neal helps me explore and amplify the ancient Truths that point the Way. By bringing the messages from Above and Below into consciousness, his readings illuminates obstacles and opens the Door.”
“Neal's intuitive readings always leave me in a state of calm, having a clearer view of the path forward. He is intelligent, grounded, and wise, without being arrogant or ego-centric. You can tell he has the ability to "get out of the way" and let the reading come through him, rather than forcing any answers on the questioner/client.”