In looking over my “Aces/Princesses” paradigm of descent into materiality that “operates via the ‘solar’ potency of the Sixes, establishing their ‘kingdom on Earth’ through the administrative vigor of the fixed signs,” I thought it might be interesting to use the “quintessence” technique to turn the series of cards into single trumps to use as talismans for invoking the “Spirit of Earth” in the practice of meditation and other esoteric pursuits. In exploring this idea, I also remembered that I have seen tarot cards turned into wearable amulets that would serve my purpose admirably.
As it turned out, all four of the series “Princess/Ace/Six/Prince” yield the same “quint” card. (This could be altered by reversing some of the cards and subtracting their values from the sum, but I chose not to do so for the model; that’s a subject for another essay.) I use the numbers 11 through 14 for the court cards, so the addition came out “30” for each group [11+1+6+12 = 30]. There are several ways to approach the reduction of numbers larger than 21. The usual way is through “theosophical reduction,” by which the digits of the sum total are added together as many times as necessary to arrive at a number below 22 that identifies the applicable trump; in this case 3+0 = 3, the Empress. That works well enough here because the Princesses are the “Earth” members of the tarot court and the symbolic “daughters” of the Empress, who is an exemplar of “Mother Nature.”
But I prefer the method of “casting out nines” (that is, subtracting increments of nine) until the remainder comes in below 21. Here that produces the World/Universe (30 – 9 = 21), which can of course be reduced further to the Empress by way of the Hanged Man if you so desire, by performing the calculation two more times (21 – 9 = 12; 12 – 9 = 3). The advantage is that you can stop where think it’s best, which for my present purpose would be at the World because of its strong ties to the “roots of the Earth.” (The path of the World on the Tree of Life leads from the mundane sephira Malkuth, sphere of the Princesses, and is attributed to Saturn, ruler of the cardinal Earth sign, Capricorn.) Also, it displays the four “Holy Living Creatures” of Ezekiel that figured prominently in my earlier discussion of the Chaldean decans.
I also find it interesting that all of the cards in the series occupy the Middle Pillar on the Tree of Life: the Aces are identified with Kether, the “Crown,” and the Princesses with Malkuth, the “Kingdom,” together representing the beginning and end of the “Descent of Spirit into Matter” (and, in reverse order, the beginning and end of the “Way of Return”). Both the Sixes and the Princes relate to Tiphareth, the central sphere of the Sun. I’m using the Thoth deck for this exercise, and I have arrayed the sets right-to-left (Wands-Cups-Swords-Disks) in the order of the Hebrew letters of the Tetragrammaton.