On December 21 Frank signed the bequest papers, and his collection now belongs to the university. At the signing of the document, Frank brought a few rare decks and books, among them a Mayan Tarot pack. We all liked the idea that what the Mayans predicted was for us a very good omen, namely, not the end of the world on December 21st 2012, as popular belief had it, but the shift to a new consciousness represented by a new sun, new knowledge and new illumination. What we all hope now is that students and researchers, both at Roskilde University and worldwide, will soon discover what a gift Frank made.
The collection is set up under the name of K. Frank Jensen Collection, and it has a board consisting of 4 members. I had the honor of being appointed by Martin Bayer as the president of the collection, and now I look forward to collaborating on future research projects with all interested. I’m already planning our first Tarot conference due to take place this year, and which will mark the opening of the collection. Reputed scholars of Tarot have already been invited, and we look forward to honoring Frank’s request for ‘No money. Only knowledge.’ I see this as a great opportunity for Roskilde University to be as revolutionary as it has always been by promoting research into matters that counter the current discourse about having academics behave like business people.
Diving into situated wisdoms, which is what I call what Tarot cards represent, is a way of promoting self-knowledge in context. Such knowledge is and should be independent of clichés that make us forget what the purpose of higher education is all about: not to make money, not to pretend to make a global impact, not to promote meaningless visibility, but to participate in the creation of a decent human being.
§ For the Danish version of this story, go to the press release here.
§ Note on the cards that the journalist selected for RucNyt:
Ayrshire Witches Tarot. Ouroboros, Denmark 1995/2011. Art by John Upton, Scotland, colouring by K. Frank Jensen, Denmark. Here is also what Frank writes about this in Manteia #13, February 1995, pg. 6-8, ‘A Standard Witches Pattern?’ “As a contribution to my ongoing yearly mailart projects ‘Mail Artist‘s Tarot’ (1993-1996), the Scotish artist and mail artist, John Upton sent me in 1995 the original line drawings for a 78 card tarot deck he had drawn to be used in a Gardnerian Witchcraft Coven, based in Ayrshire, in which he was the High Priest. According to a tradition each coven has to create their own tarot deck to be used in the coven work, and which illustrates more or less the coven‘s secret rituals. The original line art was copied so all members, who wanted so, could colour their own copy, and the original line drawings ended up with me. I decided to make a colour version too and settled on an overall green and pink tone, since most coven rituals took place nude and out of doors.”