Ever wonder why most tarot decks at one time contained 80 cards and not 78? Modern printing practices seem to have changed, but not so long ago tarot decks were printed on sheets of card stock that produced 40 cards per sheet. So the deck creator – or more often the publisher – had two extra cards to do something with. Frequently this meant two advertising cards, but they were sometimes put to good use; in the 1983 standard-size version of the Thoth, they were used for two additional Magus cards. In the Haindl deck they were left blank, which gave me an idea.
I used one of them to create a personal Significator card by designing artwork and gluing it to the face of the card. The second one I turned into a 23rd trump card titled “The Threshold (Gateway to Cosmic Consciousness),” describing it as follows:
Dignified: The “Aha!” moment; a major epiphany or quantum leap in awareness; the next critical step in the evolution of the matter; an irreversible turning-point, an adventure into the Unknown; a transcendent, visionary and creative impulse; a unique opportunity; approach to a new frontier; thinking outside the box; the “dawn of a new day.”
Ill-Dignified: Unwelcome intervention by a higher authority; the matter is taken out of the querent’s hands; being “blind-sided by an irresistible force; a loss of objectivity; the need for a fresh perspective; being “taught a lesson by the Cosmos;” abuse of authority by those in power; indifference or hostility from unexpected quarters; spiritual sustenance denied or withdrawn; the “dark night of the soul.”
Esoterically, “entering upon a higher arc of the soul’s journey on the Path of Return,” ascending beyond the “Celebration of the Great Work Completed” as symbolized by the “dance of the elements” on The Universe card. “Loosing the bonds of Earth.” Spiritual enlightenment. An “Awakening” into an exalted state of consciousness. A “crisis of conscience” or moral dilemma of the highest order.