Tarot contribution
Author of Méditations sûr les 22 arcanes majeurs du Tarot (an exegesis using as a base the Marseille Tarot) published anonymously in French in 1984 (with a foreword by a Catholic theologian, the Jesuit Hans Urs von Balthasar), and in English as Meditations on the Tarot in 1985. ISBN 1585421618.
Le Mat itinérant. L'amour et ses symboles. Une méditation chrétienne sur le Tarot. Edition établi et présentée par Friederike Migneco et Volker Zotz. Luxembourg: Kairos Edition 2007 [French with German translation] ISBN 9782959982958.
Valentin Arnoldevitch Tomberg (27th February, 1900 - 24th February, 1973) was a Russian Christian mystic, polyglot scholar and hermeticist.
Valentin Tomberg was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. His parents were Protestant; the mother was a devout Russian and the father a sceptic of Baltic origin. As an adolescent, Tomberg was drawn to Theosophy and the mystical practices of the Eastern Orthodox Church. In 1917 he came in contact with Hermetic Martinism as presented by Prof. G. O. Mebes, who was also infuential on Dimitr Sudowski (better known as Mouni Saddhu). He also discovered the works of Rudolf Steiner. During the Russian Revolution of 1917 that shortly followed, Tomberg's parents were shot. In 1920 Tomberg fled to Tallinn in Estonia. Tomberg worked as a nurse at a hospital, in a pharmacy, on a farm and in the Tallinn Central Post Office. He studied languages and comparative religion at the University of Tartu in Estonia.
In 1925 (the year of Steiner's death), Tomberg joined the Anthroposophical Society founded by Rudolf Steiner. He married Maria Demski, a Polish Catholic, in the early 1930s; they had a son, Alexis. During the 1930s, Tomberg, then in his 30s, published his original occult research in a number of articles and lectures, which made him a controversial figure in Anthroposophical circles. As a result of the controversies, in 1938 the Tombergs were invited to move to Amsterdam. In 1940, however, he was asked to withdraw from the Anthroposophical Society in the Netherlands as well, by its chairman Zeylmans van Emmichhoven, due to his being too controversial.
He was active in Dutch Nazi resistance by hiding allied pilots and parachuters. Tomberg and a Russian friend, the poet-philosopher Nikolai Belotsvietof, allegedly approached the leader of the Christian Community, Emil Bock about creating a new ritual focusing on Sophia, but was rebuffed. He then joined the Russian Orthodox Church in Holland but left shortly thereafter, as its leadership turned out to be sympathetic to National Socialism.
Towards the end of World War II, Tomberg received a Ph.D. in Jurisprudence from the University of Cologne, where he had moved in 1944. He studied under Prof. von Hippel, who became a personal friend. His thesis was published as Degeneration and Regeneration in the Science of Law, followed by the thesis Peoples' Rights as Humanity's Rights in 1946. Around this time, he converted to Roman Catholicism.
Shortly after the war he helped founding a community college in the Ruhr area. In 1948, however, he moved to England, where he became a translator for the BBC monitoring Soviet broadcasts during the Cold War. He retired early, to Reading near the River Thames in 1960, where he worked on the manuscripts for his main work, written in French and entitled Méditations sûr les 22 arcanes majeurs du Tarot (translated into English by Robert Powell as Meditations on the Tarot).
Tomberg died on a holiday in Majorca in 1973. Two weeks later his wife and collaborator Maria died as well.
Rumours that a Dutch or German rough translation of the manuscript to Méditations sûr les 22 arcanes majeurs du Tarot was circulated in the Netherlands against Tomberg's intentions a year before his death, have not yet been confirmed. However, it is a fact that in 1972 a German translation by Gertrude von Hippel was published by Anton Hain with a preface by Ernst von Hippel with the title Anonymus d'Outre Tombe: Meditationen über die Großen Arcana des Taro; ISBN 3-445-10904-4. This early edition was published in 300 copies and quite some passages are supposed to have been omitted. In 1980 the first formal publication appeared with the title Meditations sur les 22 Arcana majeur du Tarot; an edition by the publishing house Aubier in Paris.
Some people working out of Anthroposophical views believe that Tomberg was an incarnation of the present Boddhisattva, who will, in about 2,500 years, become the Maitreya Buddha. The characteristics of the Boddhisattva were listed by Rudolf Steiner and include a radical change of life and outlook at the age of 33, which was so in the case of Tomberg, as with St. Dominic and Blaise Pascal.
Tomberg's major written works were published posthumously. They include:
- Lazarus, komm heraus: vier Schriften (Come Forth, Lazarus), a study of Christian mysticism, written in German and published in 1985, ISBN 3-90637-108-5. Translated as Covenant of the Heart and published in English in 1992. Also published as Lazarus, come forth! Meditations of a Christian esotericist on the mysteries of the raising of Lazarus, the Ten Commandments, the Three Kingdoms, and the Breath of Life. ISBN 1-58420-040-5.
- Méditations sûr les 22 arcanes majeurs du Tarot (an exegesis using as a base the Marseille Tarot) published anonymously in French in 1984 (with a foreword by a Catholic theologian, the Jesuit Hans Urs von Balthasar), and in English as Meditations on the Tarot in 1985. ISBN 1-58542-161-8.
- Christ and Sophia: anthroposophic meditations on the Old Testament, New Testament, and apocalypse, Great Barrington, MA: SteinerBooks, 2006. ISBN 0-88010-565-8. (This is effectively a reprint of three studies that Tomberg prepared for as a series of 12 lectures for each of the aforementioned three parts of the Bible)
- Degeneration und Regeneration der Rechtswissenschaft, Bonn: Bouvier, 1974 [German]. ISBN 3-41601-032-9.
- Le Mat itinérant. L'amour et ses symboles. Une méditation chrétienne sur le Tarot. Edition établi et présentée par Friederike Migneco et Volker Zotz. Luxembourg: Kairos Edition 2007 [French with German translation] ISBN 978-2-9599829-5-8.
To be added
 Books on this author
- Valentin Tomberg - Leben, Werk, Wirkung, Band 1.1: Valentin Tombergs Leben von 1900-1944, Eine Biographie von Liesel Heckmann [German]. ISBN 3-90716-077-0.
- Valentin Tomberg - Leben, Werk, Wirkung, Band 1.2: Valentin Tombergs Leben von 1944-1973, Eine Biographie von Liesel Heckmann & Michael Frensch [German]. ISBN 3-90716-082-7.
- Valentin Tomberg - Band II: Werk, Edited by the Ramsteiner Kreis, Trier [German].
- The Bodhisattva Question: Krishnamurti, Rudolf Steiner, Annie Besant, Valentin Tomberg, and the Mystery of the Twentieth-century Master, by T.H. Meyer (Author), Elizabeth Vreede (Author), John M. Wood (Translator) ISBN 0904693503