Dr Amy Hale on Surrealist Occultist Ithell Colquhoun

Ithell Colquhoun tarot

Listen to Dr Amy Hale elucidate the life of the inspirational Ithell Colquhoun – Surrealist and Occultist and the publication TARO as COLOUR. Tune in for a  great conversation on Occulture Podcast. Look out for her forthcoming Biography of Ithell Colquhoun with ‘Strange Attractor’. 

Dr Amy Hale on Surrealist Artist Ithell Colquhoun

You couldn’t ask for a more dynamic personality to be in the house than Dr. Amy Hale, whose work on British Surrealist and esotericist Ithell Colquhoun is the foundation for our conversation here.

Amy is a scholar of all things occult and esoteric, and has a PhD in Folklore and Mythology from UCLA. Her research and writing ranges from contemporary Cornwall to modern Pagan and occult subcultures in the United States and the United Kingdom. She’s written about topics as diverse as modern Druidry, Cornish ethnonationalism, Pagan religious tourism, color theory, the occult, and extremist politics in modern Paganism. We’ll touch on some of those ideas and concepts throughout our chat here.



‘Such was the first and last appearance of Ithell Colquhoun’s revolutionary explorations of the Taro As Colour. The product of a lifetime of esoteric study and art practice, Colquhoun’s bold project seeks to dispense with the figurative narratives of the traditional tarot and re-imagines the forces behind each card as pure colour. Drawing from the pioneering work of Moina Mathers and Florence Farr in the 1890s, Colquhoun integrates the esoteric teachings of the Golden Dawn with Surrealist automatic techniques to produce a design for a taro deck that remains unique in Western esotericism. Setting aside the role of the tarot in fortune-telling, through the power of pure colour Colquhoun invites us to reach for transcendence.’….



  • Ithell’s interest in the convergence of color, metaphysics and space
  • The Golden Dawn’s Book T and how Ithell interacted with it
  • A concept called the cube of space
  • A concept called psychological morphology that Ithell used
  • The structure of the tarot deck
  • How Ithell incorporated her idea of feminism into the deck


Listen to the podcast here

Occulture Podcast Taro as Colour 

you can check out more of Amy’s research here

          Dr Amy’s Website


Barry William Hale

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