Journeying the Sixties: A Counterculture Tarot


Journeying the Sixties: A Counterculture Tarot

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Journalist and writer William Cook Haigwood offers a unique look at the Counterculture of the 1960s in this collection of historical essays and vintage photographs that uses the symbolism of the Tarot to describe and conceptualize the era’s critical cycles of experience. Journeying the Sixties: A Counterculture Tarot features photographs selected from thousands made by the author during more than 15 years of reporting and participation in what has come to be called “the 20th century’s longest decade.” Selected images from the period have been formatted as Tarot cards. Essays supporting the cards use the Fool’s Journey to extend a new reading of the period’s crucial touchpoints, including the changing nature of personal relationships, the sexual revolution, the emergence of the New Left, feminism, civil rights, cultural and artistic developments and social, economic and intellectual achievements. Foreword is by renowned Tarot author and scholar Mary K. Greer. It is a time that emerges in remarkably accessible ways through the Tarot, a system of symbolic silos of experience described by Sixties historian and critic Theodore Roszak as “a circle that goes somewhere.” For reasons that become evident, the Tarot offers a revealing template for a return visit to a unique and controversial period in the world’s cultural and political history. Haigwood’s photographs, many never before published, provide a fresh view of a generation’s experience with change at a crucial cultural crossroads of American history. His well-researched essays look critically at the ideas, actions, relationships and struggles of the time, as well as many of its key players. Haigwood describes Journeying the Sixties as a kind of “reverse inquiry,” a selective—if still broad—inventory of events that views the Counterculture’s primary, oscillating experiences through the lens of a psyche reactivated by Tarot symbolism. It is a “return trip” and the cards of the Tarot, reformed anew from recovered photographs of the era, are its signposts. The author studied history at UC-Berkeley during the 1960s while working as a reporter and photographer for local news media. His 35-year career in journalism included positions as editor and publisher for several Northern California newspapers. He is currently completing a trilogy of literary novels set in the San Francisco Bay Area and that address questions of identity, faith and survival against the backdrop of the Great Recession of 2008-09. He resides in the wine country north of San Francisco and serves as program coordinator for a human services agency that works locally to treat and prevent child abuse.

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