When it comes to the interpretation of the cards, most commonly, people prefer the so-called Waite method associated with the Rider-Waite-Smith deck and subsequently the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Another highly popular method is the one associated with Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot deck. However, few people are aware that both occultists were members of the Golden Dawn and the foundation of interpreting the cards originates in the work of famous French cartomancer Etteilla. Several other occultists, including Gérard Encausse – better known as Papus and Samuel Liddell Mathers, one of the founding fathers of the Order, also used as reference Etteilla’s interpretation.
While the artwork of the Rider-Waite-Smith and Crowley’s Thoth deck inspired several generations of artists and deck creators, the interpretation of the cards may vary from one deck to another.
On the other hand, the interpretation, according to Etteilla’s system, does not fit the astrological attributions proposed by the Golden Dawn and other occultists.
Therefore, in the following, I present both the traditional method of Etteilla and the interpretation according to the astrological attribution of the cards in conformity with the traditional Golden Dawn system.
The Traditional Divinatory Tarot is the most complex and advanced learning and study deck introducing correlated aspects of Astrology, Numerology and Kabbalah. It is based on the Chaldean astrological and numerological system, which is the most appropriate to be used in correlation with the kabbalistic principles.
Although the astrological attribution of the twenty-two Major Arcana cards may be subject of debates, this “classic” association rigorously follows the scheme according to Sepher Yetzirah as it was translated and adjusted by William Wynn Westcott, scholar and another founding father of the Order. The cards were distributed according to their numbering with Roman numerals, respectively The Fool which traditionally is unnumbered or numbered with an Arab zero is positioned as the penultimate card between The Last Judgement and The World.
Therefore, some cards may not be the perfect fit for some of their designated planets or Zodiac signs.
Both Waite and Crowley have operated small changes to obtain better astrological matches for some of the cards. Waite switched the position of Strenght and Justice, while Crowley placed The Fool at the beginning of the Major Arcana in an attempt to obtain some better astrological attributions for some of the cards.
However, in order to operate changes, one should understand and perceive the deck of cards as a whole, complex, clockwork-like system. Learning this first comprehensive system is the ground stone of the educational process and the foundation for developing other viable alternatives.
01. Ace of Wands
02. (Mars in Aries) 2 of Wands
03. (Sun in Aries) 3 of Wands
04. (Venus in Aries) 4 of Wands
05. (Mercury in Taurus) 5 of Disks
06. (Moon in Taurus) 6 of Disks
07. (Saturn in Taurus) 7 of Disks
08. (Jupiter in Gemini) 8 of Swords
09. (Mars in Gemini) 9 of Swords
10. (Sun in Gemini) 10 of Swords
11. Ace of Cups
12. (Venus in Cancer) 2 of Cups
13. (Mercury in Cancer) 3 of Cups
14. (Moon in Cancer) 4 of Cups
15. (Saturn in Leo) 5 of Wands
16. (Jupiter in Leo) 6 of Wands
17. (Mars in Leo) 7 of Wands
18. (Sun in Virgo) 8 of Disks
19. (Venus in Virgo) 9 of Disks
20. (Mercury in Virgo) 10 of Disks
21. Ace of Swords
22. (Moon in Libra) 2 of Swords
23. (Saturn in Libra) 3 of Swords
24. (Jupiter in Libra) 4 of Swords
25. (Mars in Scorpio) 5 of Cups
26. (Sun in Scorpio) 6 of Cups
27. (Venus in Scorpio) 7 of Cups
28. (Mercury in Sagittarius) 8 of Wands
29. (Moon in Sagittarius) 9 of Wands
30. (Saturn in Sagittarius) 10 of Wands
31. Ace of Disks
32. (Jupiter in Capricorn) 2 of Disks
33. (Mars in Capricorn) 3 of Disks
34. (Sun in Capricorn) 4 of Disks
35. (Venus in Aquarius) 5 of Swords
36. (Mercury in Aquarius) 6 of Swords
37. (Moon in Aquarius) 7 of Swords
38. (Saturn in Pisces) 8 of Cups
39. (Jupiter in Pisces) 9 of Cups
40. (Mars in Pisces) 10 of Cups
The Court Cards
41. (Mars in Aries) Knight of Wands
42. (Moon in Taurus) Queen of Disks
43. (Venus in Gemini) Page of Swords
44. (Mars in Cancer) Knight of Cups
45. (Moon in Leo) Queen of Wands
46. (Venus in Virgo) Page of Disks
47. (Mars in Libra) Knight of Swords
48. (Moon in Scorpio) Queen of Cups
49. (Venus in Sagittarius) Page of Wands
50. (Mars in Capricorn) Knight of Disks
51. (Moon in Aquarius) Queen of Swords
52. (Venus in Pisces) Page of Cups
53. (Spring – Sun in Taurus) King of Disks
54. (Summer – Sun in Leo) King of Wands
55. (Autumn – Sun in Scorpio) King of Cups
56. (Winter – Sun in Aquarius) King of Swords
57. (Air – I) The Magician
58. (Mercury _ II) The (High) Priestess
59. (Moon _ III) The Empress
60. (Venus – IV) The Emperor
61. (Aries – V) The Hierophant (The High Priest)
62. (Taurus – VI) The Lover
63. (Gemini – VII) The Chariot
64. (Cancer – VIII) Strength (Lust)
65. (Leo – IX) The Hermit
66. (Virgo – X) Wheel of Fortune
67. (Jupiter – XI) Justice
68. (Libra – XII) The Hanged Man
69. (Water – XIII) Death
70. (Scorpio – XIV) Temperance (Art)
71. (Sagittarius – XV) The Devil
72. (Capricorn – XVI) The Tower
73. (Mars – XVII) The Stars
74. (Aquarius – XVIII) The Moon
75. (Pisces – XIX) The Sun
76. (Sun – XX) Last Judgement (The Aeon)
77. (Fire – -/0) The Fool
78. (Saturn – XXI) The World (The Universe)
TRADITIONAL DIVINATORY TAROT – Study and Learning Deck
78 + cover and bulk card deck, 330gsm superior quality smooth card stock.
The cards feature upright and reversed meaning, astrological, numerological and kabbalistic attributions.
8-sided, accordion, printed mini-booklet with 5 card spreads and further instructions.
PLUS, 24 pages A5 digital booklet, Cartomancy Class One PDF for FREE included!!! (For details click here)
TRADITIONAL DIVINATORY TAROT – REGULAR EDITION 62 USD
TRADITIONAL DIVINATORY TAROT – DELUXE EDITION 78 USD