Tarot 101, My Way – Major Arcana: Strength (or Justice) and The Hermit

This will be a split analysis because of the swapping of Strength and Justice that was performed by Arthur Edward Waite for reasons of astrological continuity. The Tarot de Marseille (TdM) that formed the model for later esoteric decks had no occult correspondences, so there was never an issue with the fact that Justice (Trump VIII) … Continue reading Tarot 101, My Way – Major Arcana: Strength (or Justice) and The Hermit

The End of the World and the Major Arcana

This brief poem by Archibald MacLeish is also a candidate for "tarotization." It looks like a five-card trump sequence. Quite unexpectedly, as Vasserot The armless ambidextrian was lighting A match between his great and second toe This suggests the dexterous skill of the Magician. Call it "sleight-of-toe." And Ralph the lion was engaged in biting … Continue reading The End of the World and the Major Arcana

Tarot 101, My Way – Major Arcana: The Lovers and The Chariot

The Lovers and the Chariot together signal a departure or a new phase, an opportunity leading to decisive movement that brings optimistic tidings. The Lovers is one of the most misrepresented trump cards in modern tarot art, with many artists seeing only "ecstatic love" in it, a kind of "soul-mate connection" (or is that "twin flame" these days?). But the … Continue reading Tarot 101, My Way – Major Arcana: The Lovers and The Chariot

Kubla Khan and the Major Arcana

I've been having a lot of fun lately trying to marry popular song titles and lyrics to the images of the tarot by creating metaphorical links between them. I realized this morning that something similar should be do-able with the mystical poetry that forms part of the "Great Works" of traditional literature. I already used the "bloody but … Continue reading Kubla Khan and the Major Arcana

Tarot 101, My Way – Major Arcana: The Emperor and The Hierophant

These cards depict the twin pillars of patriarchal authority, one secular and the other spiritual: the State and the Church. Taken as a pair, there is an undeniable aura of "Father knows best" about them. In less flattering terms, we might say they've "got you coming and going." I once created a simple allegory about … Continue reading Tarot 101, My Way – Major Arcana: The Emperor and The Hierophant

Tarot 101, My Way – Major Acana: The Priestess and The Empress

Stacking these up a bit, but I'm afraid if I sleep on this I'll lose the inspiration. Here we have two dramatically different expressions of the feminine archetype. The Priestess has her head to the sky while the feet of the Empress are firmly rooted in the earth. The Priestess is virginal - even crystalline - … Continue reading Tarot 101, My Way – Major Acana: The Priestess and The Empress

Tarot 101, My Way – Major Arcana: The Fool and The Magician

Now we dive into a card-by-card examination of the Major Arcana, which I'm taking two at a time since they are brief "thumbnail sketches" (supported by links to my previous posts). Since my approach to the tarot is esoteric in the main but with a practical slant, I've decided to begin each sub-section with commentary on the … Continue reading Tarot 101, My Way – Major Arcana: The Fool and The Magician

Tarot 101, My Way – Card Reading for Beginners

The first impression that newcomers to the tarot cards often receive, if they're serious about learning, is "These things are complicated" (and they would not be wrong). You aren't going to digest them at one sitting (or even 100, for that matter), you have to approach them as you would eating an elephant, one well-chewed … Continue reading Tarot 101, My Way – Card Reading for Beginners

Tarot 101, My Way – The Minor Arcana

In my experience, the numbered suit cards of the tarot provide the "meat" of any reading aimed at examining the eventualities of day-to-day existence. The Waite-Smith deck and its ilk even have prosaic scenes on their Minor Arcana  that suggest - for better or worse, as we shall see - ready-made narrative vignettes. One of the best ways to … Continue reading Tarot 101, My Way – The Minor Arcana