Tarot: theory and practice
Traditionally, scholars and authors divided the Tarot deck into Major and Minor Arcane.
Each group of cards has its role and function in the Tarot deck.
The second line of the ‘Emerald Tablet’ of Hermes Trismegistos stated: “That which is below is like that which is above & that which is above is like that which is below to do the miracles of one only thing” – which commonly became known as ‘as above, so below’.
So, the basic architecture of the Tarot deck is built upon the same principle. Read more…
The Tarot is an instrument of self-observation and self-remembering.
Gurdjieff mentioned the Tarot, but never speak about it explicitly or mention it as a tool of the “Fourth Way”.
P.D. Ouspensky, on the other hand, was very interested in this issue, and he has written “The Symbolism of the Tarot”, his account on the Tarot and especially on the 22 cards of the so-called Major Arcane. Read more…
Welcome to the first annual INTERNATIONAL TAROT DAY BLOG HOP! Today we celebrate the global practice of Tarot and the connection that it provides across multiple cultures and geographical locations. Join us as we undertake this journey throughout the 78 cards of the Tarot.
I’m thrilled to be taking part in the very first International Tarot Day Blog Hop! I trust you enjoyed Miranda Kassidy’s article on Eight of Swords, and now, we’re tackling another challenging Tarot card: the Nine of Swords.
Vast majority of the Tarot readers consider the Nine of Swords card to carry a ‘negative’ connotation, while the unaware audience feel uneasy looking at such Tarot cards as: The Devil, Death, The Tower, Judgement, Four, Nine and Ten of Swords and so on.
My first observation would be that there are no ‘negative’ or ‘positive’ Tarot cards – planets, numbers, etc. In nature, there are three types of circulating energies: active – which sometimes is called ‘positive’; reactive – which sometimes is labelled passive or ‘negative’ and neuter – which sometimes is also called reconciling. Although we’ve been educated for thousand years to choose between two sides, to love or hate, to like or dislike things; there is always also a third option: to be indifferent – or objective. Read more…
Someone formulated a question regarding the ‘professional’, respectively ‘non-professional’ quality of a Tarot reader. It’s a pretty good question I guess.
Let’s start with what the vast majority believes and expressed in different forms: “Professional can find a market demand for the type of service offered”; “To me, “professional” means someone who makes their living off of what they are doing.”; “Anyone who lives off of readings / gets paid for readings – is technically a ‘professional’.” – and so on.
I would agree if it would be about hookers, hired assassins, or any other ‘shady’, respectively purely physical/material services. But we are talking about a ‘spiritual’ service which requires a higher degree of ‘spirituality’ – awareness, enlightenment, consciousness, call it as you please. It requires a different type of understanding not only of the things we can see, touch, smell or taste but also of the unseen (world). Read more…
Although generally, I prefer the quick and simple spreads, three up to seven cards, sometimes, some specific and complex questions, requires some more in-depth analyses.
This 12 cards spread is highly recommended for personal development, so-called ‘spiritual’ matters, but it is also an excellent choice to obtain a detailed answer to any specific question regardless its subject. Read more…
The Lovers was for a very long time associated with the idea of love and marriage.
Probably, it is one of the most misunderstood and misinterpreted Tarot card.
In each case, there is a story behind the significance of the Tarot cards.
In the case of The Lovers, it is the story of Adam, Eve and Lilith.
It is not a story of love and marriage, as erroneously most of the people think, but a story of taking the right decision.
As many Bible, respectively Bible related stories and characters, Lilith has her origins in the Babylonian mythology.
The name ‘Lilith’ derives from the ancient Sumerian word ‘lilītu’ which designate female demons and wind spirits. These demons supposedly dwell in desert lands and are especially dangerous to pregnant women and infants.
Lilith was also associated with sexually frustrated and aggressive women.
In most of her myth, Lilith represents chaos, seduction and ungodliness.
In the Jewish folklore, Lilith appears as Adam’s first wife, who was created at the same time and from the same dirt as Adam.
The word ‘lilit’ only appears once in the Hebrew Bible in the Book of Isaiah 34:14. However, her legend developed extensively during the Middle Ages.
One of the most circulated story, based on the work of the 13th-century Algerian Talmudist, Isaac ben Jacob ha-Cohen, stated that Lilith left Adam because she refused to become subservient to him and after she had coupled with the archangel Samael.
These myths originated the design and the story behind The Lovers card.
Adam at a crossroad compelled to chose between two women: Lilith and Eve.
Obviously, this is an allegorical depiction of a situation. It can be a woman who has to decide between two men. Lilith for instance, choosing between Adam and Samael.
In the Golden Dawn tradition, The Lovers is associated with the zodiac sign Gemini. I think this is also a mistake.
I think the card corresponding to the zodiac sign is The Magician and The Lovers represent the dominant ruling planet of the sign, which is Mercury.
There are no two Tarot cards which represent the same astrological aspect. With only 78 possibilities, there is no point having two cards with same or similar meaning.
As I previously stated, Astrology is Geometry. Each group of Tarot cards represents a specific astrological aspect, and each card has its very specific position and significance on the Zodiac Wheel.
If the card representing the zodiac sign is positioned on the Zodiac Wheel in the domicile, there is no point to have a second card in the same position with similar meaning. In this particular case is The Magician for Gemini, respectively The Lovers for Mercury in Gemini.
After extensive study, I got to the conclusion that the cards representing the planets are, with few arguable exceptions, in Fall, respectively offset at 90° which is called in astrological terminology ‘Square’.
So, The Lovers card represents Mercury in Virgo.
Mercury in Virgo is a very interesting situation. Mercury, an airy planet in Virgo, an earthly sign. Practically any emotional aspect is out of the question, and we have got a strictly rational decision upon a practical matter.
May the card still signify a decision regarding a relationship issue?
Yes, it can, but only if the question is about a relationship issue and the other cards are concluding in the same direction.
(Excerpt from the book “The Unified Esoteric Tarot – General introduction and Guidebook” by Attila Blága. Full or partial use of this text for commercial or non-commercial distribution by any means whatsoever is strictly prohibited unless expressly authorised by the author.)
The four Aces represent the four cardinal points, the four seasons, respectively the four major astronomical events, the two equinoxes and the two solstices.
The Ace of Wands represents the Spring or March Equinox, The Ace of Cups represents the Summer or June Solstice, the Ace of Swords represent Autumn or the September Equinox and the Ace of Disks represent the Winter or December Solstice. Read more…
“…the Alphabet of Thoth can be dimly traced in the modern Tarot which can be had at almost every bookseller in Paris. As for it being understood or utilized, the many fortune-tellers in Paris, who make a professional living by it, are sad specimens of failures of attempts at reading, let alone correctly interpreting the symbolism of the Tarot without a preliminary philosophical study of the Science.” – Helena Petrovna Blavatsky