# The “Tree of Life or Strife” Mixed-Destiny Spread

In contemplating ways to bring the Qliphoth or "shells" to bear on the standard Tree of Life spread, I came up with the following 10-card "light-and-shadow" variation. It is read in two parts, first as two sub-sets according to the Qabalistic number series, and then as an "as-drawn" 10-card line with two subdivisions ("above" and … Continue reading The “Tree of Life or Strife” Mixed-Destiny Spread

# “Theosophical Reduction” or “Casting Out Nines?”

I've touched on this subject before but wanted to spend some time going over the details. There are situations (particularly the "quintessence" calculation) where we add together the numerical values of all the cards in a spread to arrive at a single trump card that can provide a summary "roll-up" of the combined energies at … Continue reading “Theosophical Reduction” or “Casting Out Nines?”

# When Stability Goes Stale: A Study of the Fours and the Binary Paradigm

My assumption has always been that Four is one of the "good" numbers: it is the doubling of the binary (Two), which is the root of conciliation and harmony, as well as the source of the term foursquare, which means "standing squarely and solidly." It is synonymous with stability and anything in a steady-state condition. … Continue reading When Stability Goes Stale: A Study of the Fours and the Binary Paradigm

# Transitional Cards

I use two different numerical models in my work with the minor (or "pip") cards of the tarot: the Pythagorean sequence that exhibits an increasingly complex geometric progression, and the Qabalistic  numeration based on the descent of the sephiroth on the Tree of Life. Both explain the emergence of formless "archetypal energy" from a primal … Continue reading Transitional Cards

# Decimal Counterparts: An Alternative Approach

If I recall correctly (which may or may not be the case), a few years ago I encountered - very briefly in the writing of Anthony Louis and then more exhaustively in that of James Wanless - the notion of decimal counterparts among the trump cards of the tarot. The assumption is that the two-digit … Continue reading Decimal Counterparts: An Alternative Approach

# Recombinant Trumps: Hierophant and Star

The Hierophant and the Star are not cards that would normally be mentioned in the same breath. The former, as the mundane channel for divine inspiration, has its feet on the ground and its head in the clouds, while the latter is about as removed from earthly concerns as one can get while still remaining … Continue reading Recombinant Trumps: Hierophant and Star

# Recombinant Trumps: Lovers and Tower

This pair presents what might be considered a "turnaround" of the previous one since the trump cards swap position from top to bottom and left to right: where before the Tower and the Lovers were subsidiary counterparts to the Chariot and the Devil, respectively, here they are the primary trumps. The Lovers now appears to … Continue reading Recombinant Trumps: Lovers and Tower

# Counterparts and the Tarot de Marseille

This tableau presents the Tarot de Marseille in a matched arrangement of numerological and archetypal counterparts that provides a condensed "snapshot" of the model I've been exploring in detail with the Waite-Smith deck. This layout shows the pre-eminence of the first nine numbered trump cards (the Fool as zero is a non-participant in this model), … Continue reading Counterparts and the Tarot de Marseille

# Recombinant Trumps: Chariot and Devil

The fourth array of trump-card counterparts involves the Chariot and the Devil on opposite sides of Justice, and the relevant numbers for the accompanying cards are Seven, Fifteen and Six; there are no court-card counterparts for these trumps. Once again, I have inserted the Fool into this tableau without an obvious numerological derivation because the … Continue reading Recombinant Trumps: Chariot and Devil

# Recombinant Trumps: Strength and Temperance

The third array of trump-card counterparts involves Strength and Temperance on opposite sides of Justice, and the relevant numbers for the accompanying cards are Eight, Fourteen and Five. I decided to insert the Fool in all of these tableaux, even without an obvious numerological derivation. because the Fool represents the "jumping-off place" for all of … Continue reading Recombinant Trumps: Strength and Temperance