Temple of the Secrets

in #life5 years ago

My spiritual journey to dive into the secrets of Tarot started in the early 1990s. At the time, there was a museum showing replicas of ancient Egyptian artifacts in my hometown in Germany.


I was offered to run the place, but I would be on my own to generate an income there. I liked the idea and thought it would be a great place, to also include my own art...

In the beginning it was quite horrible as I had no idea of running this kind of business and there was a load of other obstacles too. But with time I learned the ropes as they say and "my" museum started to attract a decent amount of visitors. Nevertheless, I was always happy, when I could close it all down for the winter and focus more on my own art.


Now, the building was built as a hospital some 600 years ago and there was also a chapel attached to it, as anything else would have been unthinkable at the time. But now the chapel was no longer used and pretty much empty. A perfect space for a major piece of art!

Since ancient Egyptian artifacts are a bit... out of place in a small town in Bavaria (southern Germany) I was looking for a theme which would tie both a little closer together.

Eventually I discovered a story about how Tarot cards came into our world in ancient Egypt. In Bavaria and Austria one still plays a card game today, called Tarock. As the cards are supposedly closely related, I had my theme!

I started with building a wooden structure, some 15ft high and a total length of some 45ft, all in a U shape. It was to be filled with 66 large paintings on glass.


The idea was, to illustrate the story of the cards and how they came from ancient Egypt to today's Bavaria in the bottom row. Above that I designed my own versions of the 22 Major Arkana, the main cards of the deck. A special challenge was, to make the "chapters" of the story below match the theme of the card above. In the top row, I just let my mind "fly" free, inspired by the "Book Toth" as the cards were once called in ancient Egypt.


Around 2005 my wife and I added a café to the museum...


...and also had some nice events in the "AEDICULA ARCANORUM" (small Temple of the secrets) as we called it


We spent some wonderful years in this very special building. We even had a flat under the (huge) roof. Nevertheless it wasn't without problems and after 2010 a complete renovation became inevitable. But the town, as the owner didn't want to spend the amount of money necessary.

By then we had bought another building, only some 300 years of age and decided, that there was no other way, but to end our contract and move. The café reopened in 2014 in our own house under the name "Café Venus".


In a first step to renovate the old "hospital" the collection of replicas was taken to storage. I finally took down my Tarot just a few weeks ago. Since I don't have a space big enough in our house, I'm currently looking for a new home for the "Temple of the secrets".

Stay tuned if you like to see more about my Tarot cards in the future and please let me know, if I should post more about the museum.



Wow, this is stunning work and a super amazing story. I would absolutely love to see more photos and many more posts about this. It sounds like you have a lot of stories in it.

Thank you for your kind compliments. Yes, there is much more to it, as I tried to keep the story reasonably short... some 20 years of my life after all. It was sad, when I moved out, as I felt very "close" with the building.. always felt a strange presence of "something", actually was convinced I saw a gost one time. Friendly "White Lady". Hahaha... you'll think I'm nuts!

Thank you for your interest and for encouraging me to post more of this :-) Be careful though... famous colleague here once said: don't ask an artist about his work, if you have any other plans for the day ;-)

That museum is absolutely fantastic my friend. and the scale of your art.. I had no idea!!!!.. such a stunning museum, much the beauty of your art work on display!I hope that its closure is just the beginning for you and that your future holds more fantastic opportunities for expanding your talents.
I am watching my friend... I will have to visit when this happens!

Yes, the building and that little museum were really something. Loved living in that 600 year old place, although I had to share it with a few ghosts... one of which I actually saw!

I'm working on my Venusmachine in my own house now, just 100 yards away, but at a slow pace and nothing, that will have to happen at all cost in this live.

I'll keep you up to date though, if anything major happens and from what I understand you don't really live that far away...

I am very curious to hear about the ghost sighting and would be very happy if you are ok with sharing it !!!
Is what you are working on a museum, or personal ?

Really looks a fabulous place & you had it looking so very tasteful ! ... also I am sure , one of its kind ! ...

I know you packed up your tarot glass paintings, but what happened with the Egyptian artefact museum?

After we moved out, city workers packed up everything and its all in storage somewhere. All very depressing... Viechtach has no money to fix the building and anyone trying to something ther now is crazy in my eyes. Well, they actually found someone who seems almost as stupid as I was and he wants to organize events there. Good luck buddy... I mean it!

So, want your own museum, Leo? I'll get you in touch with the mayor if you want ;-)

Thank you for the offer, but no. I am busy with building my own art career these days. I spent a good deal of the past 20 years building other people's businesses or projects up. Now is time for me. Hence why I no longer busy myself with Fantastic Visions. The generostiy of Stadt Viechtach and your good self, was some of the most I ever got back out of running it.

However, perhaps, now is the time for you to school yourself up on crypto, and then go and have a talk with the mayor. Then convince him to get some experts in to educate the Stadt and Landeskreis how crypto can revolutionise the local economy.

Bitcoin is rescuing many people in dire need over in Venezuela at the moment.

Note: The Austrians are further ahead with crypto than the Germans. ;-)

Hahaha... isn't it funny how all those who were once on a mission to advance the... crowd.. gget to the same point eventually? Yes, Leo, its time to look for ourselves. Maybe keep an eye on just a few, who have been dear and suporting friends along the way as you have been for me. Glad you have good memories aubout the "Bayerwaldlers" ;-)

I do need to talk to our mayer about a number of issues and well, why not put that on table too. You know, its no longer Georg, right? I get along well with the new mayor too, but he faces the same destiny as all mayors, I guess... after a while a lot of people hate you :-b

Yes, I have met the new mayor, but he was more interested in Kathrina. ;-)
And she was hogging his attention, because she thought she would snag an art sale.

Politics is a thankless job. Decentralised governance through cryptographic smart contracts is a solution that a number of leading thinkers are working on.

Creating a new system that makes government obsolete with Dan Larimer

hahaha... yes. now that you mentioned it, I remeber the situation. He thought she was a Libellule artist, right? And well, don't get me wrong, but Kathrina is pretty... how should I say... pfiffig (don't know the right word in English), when it comes to promoting herself. Are you still together?

Franz made some decisions which completely screwed up his private life, so he has a lot on his mind riht now. I really like him and I'm glad I could be of some help in difficult times.

Already started to view the video. All very promising, but I'm afraid, those in power won't move easily..

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” ― R. Buckminster Fuller.

Decentralised cryptographic smart contracts are just that. ;-)

Yes, I liked that statement a lot... we see where the other "approach" leads in the middle East every day... Lots of good and promising ideas out there. Hope they stand a chance :-)

A big thank you for resteeming, Leo :-)

Bitte schön.

Hi @reinhard-schmid. My friend @leoplaw resteemed this which brought me here and I am very happy about that. You had an awesome museum and I would love to see more photos of it and hear more about what you are doing in your new place! I will follow you in hopes for more. I would like to see close ups of the art!

This reminds me of another Steemit friend of mine named @animal-shelter who frequently posts theories and the history of Tarot. You might watch their blog for some related posts too.

As for me, I am an artist and art reviewer here on Steemit, especially comic book art. As a part of my weekly reading, I review recently sold art on the Internet. I will do a full post about this piece below and I really wanted to share it with @animal-shelter too, so I might as well just mention everyone here and hopefully we all get to your blog to see it. If not, I will do a post about this week. Anyway, here it is. If you have any comments about it, I would be happy to include those in my post later this week!

This is a very small rendition of The Lovers, in a comic book style of art with some pretty amazing details and composition, especially considering the format which is a tiny little Tarot card. I thought @animal-shelter would like it, so might you. Let me know what you think.

The Lovers by Fabio Ruotolo

First of all a big thank you to @leoplaw for getting us connected. I'm new here and exactly an internet guru... I take it one adds the @ sign to the username for a reason :-b

Thank you for the interest in my museum, my work and for encouraging me to post more about it.

I willdefinitely check out your friends page too :-)

@leoplaw is an awesome artist who I admire and most of all, I enjoy looking at his work. A class act, and the real deal! I have established a really cool relationship with @gric who is Leo's buddy too. @gric has probably made the biggest impression on me as an artist so far on this steemit site. I imagine you would get along really well with him too.

Yea, if you add the @ symbol and spell the name correctly, it should give them an alert as they were mentioned. Hopefully that will bring them here to chime in. Sometimes I think it doesn't work well, while other times it does. The site is still being tested so it might be buggy too.

Leo, Peter and I have been friends for many years now. I actually own an original painting from each one of them. Look at both every day and am happy I bought them :-)

I actually came here because of one of Peter's posts on fb.

So, you are right, we get along well :-)

About the drawing... well, the Tarot card.. please allow me to come back to it later, when I'm at my PC, so I can look at it and think (hopefully) and write at the same time... the interface on my tablet is a bit.. difficult ;-)

So far I can only say, that I liked it instantly :-)

Please do! And I wanted to be sure that you know I am very interested in seeing more close up shots of those Tarot paintings on that museum wall!

That image of the fool is really nice, love the style, love the color combos. You said they were original paintings but are they yours?

Yes, I painted them

OK I re-read it and I do think the paintings are your work. You might try to make that a little more clear next time. It is such fine work, and unless you told me very clearly that you painted these, I would think you just purchased them from somewhere, or perhaps commissioned by a pro artist.

Thanks a lot for this really good advice @kidsysco. Just wrote a post about it at https://steemit.com/art/@reinhard-schmid/what-is-hinterglas

Oups... I just remembered that I already told you about the post, sorrry. Looking at The Lovers by Fabio Ruotolo right now

Like I said before @kidsysco, this is one truly excellent drawing. I love the precision of the lines and the well planed composition. Also the different approach it adds to the theme of the card. I always understood it as an already "accomplished" love, a couple that has already found each other.

Fabio Ruotolo leaves that open. We do not know, if the young Lady is expecting her lover or if he just found her this very moment. I also like the yin yang I think I see in it.

He, in the light, active, above (sort of in the air)...

She, towards the shadow, calm, below (water)...

Also the way, "weight" is distributed is truly masterful. More empty areas balanced with spaces full of carefully crafted detail... I'm sure you can explain it a lot better :-)

Thanks a lot for sharing this gem with me!

I am not sure I could have said it better myself! Fantastic analysis! It is going to be really neat having you around @reinhard-schmid!

Wow, have you been there? increible

Glad you like it. I actually lived in that building and spent some twenty years working there :-)

Great story, good luck in your projects friend, thanks for your blog

Wow, thanks for this!!!

My pleasure :-)

Natürlich ein Upvote und im Gefolge :-)

Vielen herzlichen Dank :-)

Amazing post and amazing job! I started a series of posts about the tarot in art and about symbolism. I would be very happy to hear your opinion and advice, unless of course you have the time and desire for this. Do not vote! I'm just interested in your opinion. I will publish information on every arcana on Mondays.

Thank you for your kind comment. Not sure, if I am ready to show my work on the subject to an expert like you!

I did a lot or research, before I started designing my own cards. The first five were done in a row, following very much a "conventional" approach. Taking what I thought I had learned about a card and draw it in my own style. Was rather worn out at that point and took a break. After several weeks the complete picture for "The Hermit" popped up in my head.

09_der_eremit04b Kopie.jpg

I figured, I didn't have to finish the cards in any particular order and from then on did every card when it sort of came to me. They are more based on my intuition than the knowledge I had studied...

I like it very much! This is a beautiful image for meditation, very deep, how I feel. I really hope to see the rest of the cards and I wish you creative inspiration :)

Thank you for your kind and encouraging words. When my teacher saw it, his first words were: this is Kailash, the holy mountain! Up until then I had never even heard of it, but from then on, I thought it was ok to follow my intuition :-)

We know more than we think we know. Following your intuition is the most correct way :)

I am again impressed. I made a few of the major arcana of my own in the 1980's and was truly humbled by the idea of making 22, more so 78. Have you considered making miniatures and printing them as a deck?

Yes, its a big project for sure! I never planed to do the minors though. There is a printed deck... may I refer you to an answer I already gave to a similar question on this post

WOW! This is so beautiful. It is amazing that you are restoring and protecting this piece of history.

Well, the sad truth is, that I don't own this wonderful place. The city owns it and since they dont have the funds to rennovate it, I had to move out... Hope they will find an investor eventually to preserve this beauty :-)

Oh, that is very sad. This type of jewels should be preserved and protected. Hope they will be able to.

Just saw you resteemed my post. Most cordial thanks for that. Heading over to your blog to have a look around :-)

you should definitely release your tarot online and have them available to purchase in a set. Jessie Moynihan is currently doing a similar adventure.

A few years ago I looked into it, but to do it right was simply too big of an investment for a deck of only major arkana...

Very nice to meet you Reinhard!

I don't even remember now how I got to this page... Oh yeah @bucho resteemed you so I got curious about the Red Hat painting and then clicked on the Tarot cards link. Curious that I found mister Bucho by accident just as well…

I’m new to the Steemit Community so I'm looking around; finding interesting minds and ideas. It feels like a large endless conference where we you wonder, catching the thoughts and ideas and participating in important discussions. Just like the one you had with @leoplaw. You are 2 beautiful personalities!

I love your energy man! To put a museum together and paint an entire stand-alone collection of illustrations for it is so inspiring and reassuring. I needed this. I needed the solid and confident proof of the real people doing projects they really believe in. Day in - day out.

So much quality! I felt it in every sentence, every image.

I felt the spirit of the place (and the spirits that you’ve met, the White Lady; she was playing around, just like in the dream) and it made me happy. I was listening to "A view to a Kill" by L'imperatrice. The track added a unique nostalgic cream on top of your sweet apple pie of precious memories.

I'm helping my wife with her collection of paintings in the kinbaku theme. Imagine how inspiring it is for us: to see your stories, your progress; you - being an artist bringing projects to life...

Makes me wanna believe it’s real, this freedom of choice; this life worth exploring, and living, and laughing, and feeling alive…

Thank you Reinhard!

Still relatively new too as you can see and I think steemit has the same effect on a lot of people. One is simply overwhelmed with all the awesome content and the wonderful people. Great place for sure :-)

Leo has been a friend for many years. Wonderful person and passionate artist with great skill and devotion.

I'm glad to see, that my story inspires you to get on with your own projects. If there is something you really want to do, it doesn't matter how hard it might be or what others think about it. For me there never really was an alternative to being an artist and I am very thankful for being able to do the things I do.

Thanks a lot for your kind comment and good luck for your future!

Amazing... wish I could resteem this. :)

Again...you are keeping me humble. This is really far out. Couple quick questions. Have you published or plan to publish a deck? Do you have all the cards published somewhere online? And, if not, would you show me your version of The Magician. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

Haha.. far out is right. Some weird times these were.... I did a reproduction of my set. Major arcana only. Can't access my files right now, but I'll find the posts for you.

Hold on... found the magician. Thank you google ;-)

Wild. Thanks for that. Any plans for minor arcana? I imagine 50 cards would get a little tedious.

No further plans 😛

I see now this story by following your links from Schindler's Collection. I am deeply impressed with projects you and your wife started and finding always new ways to keep it alive. "Tample of the Secrets "will find the proper place. Investing so much love, creativity and imagination into something so beautiful must result with an adequate respons. Good luck to both of you in working on so beautiful things.

Very nice place! It is a pity that now it is not.

Something else will happen :-)

Oh wow! I did not know that Tarot cards originated in Egypt. That is really interesting; I shall have to read more on that. What a cool place to have ran for so long!

Your artwork leaves me speechless, and the story about your museum is the coolest thing I bet ever happened in that little Bavarian town. I hope you find a new place to display the cards to the public.

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