The Musical Dream Tarot


by Curtiss Hoffman

Size:  8 x 10
No. Pages:  138
Published:  2024
ISBN: 978-1-952194-30-6

The Musical Dream Tarot interweaves Dr. Hoffman’s knowledge of classical music, dreamwork, anthropology, esoterica, and Qabbalah with archetypes from The Pholarcos Tarot by artist Carmen Sorrenti. The Tarot images with associated musical compositions can be experienced at:


This book presents the results of a major creative project undertaken by Dr. Curtiss Hoffman from June of 2021 through January of 2023, to create music received through his dreams to accompany the cards of the Pholarcos Tarot deck, designed by artist Carmen Sorrenti ( The Tarot is a deck of 78 cards (called “Keys”) bearing archetypal images. The first 22 of these Keys, titled and numbered from 0 to 21, are considered the “Major Arcana”, and they incorporate deep archetypes and complex symbolic imagery. The remaining 56 cards, the “Minor Arcana”, are divided into four suits (traditionally called Wands, Swords, Cups, and Pentacles) of 14 cards each, numbered from Ace to 10 followed by four court cards:  Kings, Queens, Knights, and Pages. These suits are the origin of the Clubs, Spades, Hearts, and Diamonds (respectively) of the familiar playing card deck. The imagery of these cards tends to be less complex than that of the Major Arcana.

The musical compositions and the images that inspired them can be experienced at:

The principal purpose of the images is to draw forth a deep intuitive response from the viewer, whether this be a person seeking a Tarot reading for advice from an experienced reader, or someone meditating upon the images for self-development. The images are capable of evoking a psychological response in the viewer. However, numerous practitioners report that something much more powerful is often going on during a “reading”. Remarkable coincidences and synchronicities are often observed between the cards drawn and issues current in the querent’s life. There seems to be a fundamental wisdom operating behind the scenes here; it seems as if SOMEONE knows what they are about and that the selection of cards, though seemingly random, actually provides surprisingly intelligible and poignantly accurate answers. It was in the spirit of acceptance of an unseen source of guidance that Dr. Hoffman undertook the current project.

Table of Contents
List of Figures
1 —  The Tarot – An Introduction
2  — Music and Dreams
3  — The Gilgamesh Cantata
4 —  The Origins of the Project
5 —  The Matrix
6 —  Methodology
7 —  Results of the Project
8 —  The Major Arcana
9 —  The Minor Arcana – Wands
10 — The Minor Arcana – Cups
11— The Minor Arcana – Swords
12 —The Minor Arcana – Pentacles
13— How to Access and Use the Music Files
About the Author


About the Author

Dr. Curtiss Hoffman is professor emeritus of Anthropology at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts. He is the author of The Seven Story Tower: A Mythic Journey through Space and Time, and Stone Prayers: Native American Stone Constructions of the Eastern Seaboard, as well as numerous articles and book chapters on dreams, myth, and archaeology. He is an amateur dulcianist and is a leading member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams.






In The Musical Dream Tarot, Dr. Hoffman demonstrates a vast amount of knowledge of hidden information, archaeological knowledge, and esoteric truths, adding to his prodigious and creative dreaming of musical annotations for Tarot. His systematic way of organizing the musical Tarot comes from his frequent, detailed dreams that are riveting as creative compositions in new music. Dr. Hoffman’s dream process has organized and constructed a singular set of archeological, astrological, and spiritual correspondences that hang together esoterically, musically, methodologically, and in the sublime order of the psyche of dreaming.

This is a rollicking, page-turning academic read of the mysteries of Tarot and dream music unveiled, a skillful combination of subjective dream interpretation, Tarot knowledge, and esoteric correspondences. It connects the Tarot Keys, the traditional musical keys, and planetary-astrological music traditions: a new qualitative methodology taps into the psyche…worthy of teaching to graduate students in traditional and transpersonal levels of psychology. The vessel that is Curt becomes a suitable channel for a source, mystical, or spiritual presence larger than himself. His accomplishments academically and esoterically have prepared him for the reception of this voluminous creative work as revelatory of the spiritual path of Tarot, dreams, and music.

—Dr. Ava Lindberg, Ph.D., Jungian depth psychologist, cultural anthropologist, Adjunct professor, advanced research methods, MACP, Sofia University, Palo Alto, CA
The Musical Dream Tarot is one of the most amazing creations I have ever come across, music of a somewhat Renaissance yet celestial nature originating spontaneously within the author’s dreams, masterfully composed, inspired and aligned with the essence of each Tarot card. In this book the author leads you through his synchronistically interwoven mystical journey of creation – led by a consistent “we will show you” instruction and encouragement from within the dreams themselves. It provides the reader with a highly researched journey through the ancient origins of the Tarot and music itself while leaving you in awe of the unbounded depths and creativity of dreaming.

— Bob Hoss, Past President of the International Association for the Study of Dreams and Director of the DreamScience Foundation
The Musical Dream Tarot provides an innovative means for tapping into the archetypes. One is able to appreciate the compositions without having to be a musician. As a Tarot instructor I have added Curtiss’ masterpiece to my syllabus. Typically, I advise my students to meditate upon each card at bedtime in order to incubate dreams to further and more directly illuminate the Wisdom of the Tarot; having accompanying music to aid in deeper communion is an invaluable resource to bring the student in resonance with each of the Tarot Keys and the four suits.

Curtiss’ suggestion to use the music and Tarot imagery on his website for potential healing is a refreshing perspective on a historic system as the use of sound as a healing tool dates back thousands of years. His motivation in creating this project, to be of service, strikes a chord in me being a student of the Arcane School who seeks “to serve and not exact due service.”

—Maria Carla Cernuto, Esoteric Teacher and Tarot Reader
Curtiss Hoffman’s book, The Musical Dream Tarot, is a profound work of scholarship and inspiration. Dr. Hoffman elucidates how he received music in dreams to accompany the Major and Minor Arcana of the Tarot. The work is stunning in its profound depth and intricacy . . . a lifetime of study and encyclopedic knowledge of classical music, dreamwork, anthropology, esoterica, and Kabbalah has been brought together to enhance the understanding and mystical experience of Tarot images and their potency to expand consciousness. I was inspired and so impressed reading the manuscript, and learned much about Tarot. I am excited to practice more with contemplating the images while listening to their corresponding music. Highly recommended!

—Lauren Z. Schneider, MA, MFT, Institute of Dreams and Tarotpy®