Four as a “Closed Loop”System

"The security that arises from needs being met." This observation was presented in The Grand Etteilla regarding the nature of the 4 of Clubs (Wands). It equates the card with the process of "digestion" that succeeds the "generation" of the 3 of Clubs, but there is no mention of the "elimination" that must inevitably follow. … Continue reading Four as a “Closed Loop”System

The “Test of Strength” Developmental Insight Spread

As is probably obvious from my track record, I love to create spreads around cultural metaphors or analogies. This one is based on the "test of strength" games (aka "Strongman" or "High-Striker") that are popular at carnivals, in which the player uses a hammer to drive a metal striker up a vertical column with the … Continue reading The “Test of Strength” Developmental Insight Spread

A Utilitarian “Day-Trip” Event Planning Spread

While at a Maine beach yesterday I was thinking about how the tarot might be used for planning any kind of daily outing or event, covering circumstances such as weather, general comfort level, crowds and access (meaning "getting there and getting in"). It applies the 40 "elemental" minor cards and the astrological correspondences for the … Continue reading A Utilitarian “Day-Trip” Event Planning Spread

Even and Odd Pips: Closed and Open Circuits

More useful insights from Paul Marteau's Tarot de Marseille book. I'm over half-way through it now and I'm not entirely sure I like his writing style; while his observations are generally coherent if a bit clinical, they tend to wander all over the spiritual, mental/emotional and material landscape without much disciplined organizational rigor other than … Continue reading Even and Odd Pips: Closed and Open Circuits

The Fives and Sevens: Transition and Improvement

In modern tarot practice, the Fives and Sevens are generally interpreted as difficult cards. But Paul Marteau, writing about the Tarot de Marseille in 1949, gave me a different perspective. It became apparent as I read his book that Marteau was heavily influenced by the numerological thinking of fellow Frenchman Joseph Maxwell in the latter's … Continue reading The Fives and Sevens: Transition and Improvement

A Tarot de Marseille “Energy Translation” Tableau

Here I align the seminal "root power" of the Ace and the linear binary projection of the Two with the "agency" of the court cards and the situational "ways and means" symbolized by the remaining pips to produce a developmental tableau that enlivens Tarot de Marseille delineation. Rather than following the esoteric assumption that only … Continue reading A Tarot de Marseille “Energy Translation” Tableau