The Devil is always a fascinating card to approach from an interpretive standpoint. As I understand it, the paragon of evil shown in early decks was intended to be a demon (or arch-demon), not the biblical Satan; its elevation came later. There is a modern tendency to see the Devil as "not such a bad … Continue reading Devilish Details
Had Omar Khayyam been a tarotist, he might have said something like "The moving Wheel spins, and having spun, moves on." Until fairly recently, the usual interpretation of the Wheel of Fortune was predominantly positive, given its astrological correspondence to the planet Jupiter, known as "the Greater Benefic." A sampling of keywords yields "Destiny; fortune; … Continue reading A Turn of the Wheel . . .
In the realm of "It's all good!" affirmational self-persuasion, the Tower is a tough archetype to fit into the model. Traditional decks name it "The Blasted Tower" or "the House of God," relating it to the Tower of Babel as a symbol of divine retribution for human arrogance. It is customarily seen as a traumatic … Continue reading The Tower as Opportunity
The Lady and the Lion: Trump #11 in early decks and also in Aleister Crowley's Thoth but Trump #8 in decks based on A.E. Waite's model, this card has variously been titled Force (or Fortitude), Strength and Lust. Tarot de Marseille decks customarily show a woman opening the jaws of a lion, apparently without having … Continue reading Force, Strength or Lust?
During my recent exploration of the Opening of the Key (OotK) method as described by Aleister Crowley in both the Book of Thoth and in his 1912 release of the Golden Dawn tarot material in The Equinox, Volume 1, Number 8 (which he also identified as "revised and improved" from the version "given to students … Continue reading Christopher Hyatt and the Opening of the Key
I just calculated a chart for a newborn that, while remarkable for several reasons, contains a "textbook" example of a translation of light scenario. First a definition for those unfamiliar with the concept, from On the Heavenly Spheres by Helena Avelar and Luis Ribeiro: "Translation of light occurs when faster planet A separates from slower … Continue reading An Astrological Thumbnail: Translation of Light
As I discussed in a previous post, the Book of Thoth is silent about how to count and pair the cards when the Significator is at or near one end of the line, such that the full count can't be reached and pairs may not be achievable. In Israel Regardie's Complete Golden Dawn System of … Continue reading Counting with the OoTK: The Ultimate Solution?
I was thinking today about the ways that the Major Arcana cards tie together numerologically. Except for the Fool, all of them have what Phillip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm call "numerological counterparts:" trump cards whose numbers when subject to mathematical reduction result in a lower-numbered card with which the original card can be seen as having … Continue reading Numerological Fun with the Trumps
For those of you aren't British, this is the source of my title: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_full_monty_(phrase) A question was recently raised on one of the tarot forums as to whether there is a comprehensive table providing a side-by-side comparison of card meanings across all the major deck styles: Tarot de Marseille (TdM), Etteilla, Wirth, Golden Dawn, RWS … Continue reading The Full Monty: Comparing Tarot Deck Styles
Another question that the Book of Thoth leaves completely unanswered is how one goes about actually reading the paired cards on either side of the Significator at the end of the First Operation of the "Opening of the Key" (OotK) method. "Make a story of these cards." OK, Al, but are they to be read as … Continue reading How to Read the OotK Pairs