AUTHOR'S NOTE: In the past I've written about the subject of "facing" (gaze or regard) of the figures on the tarot cards. Here I'm going to address the related topic of gesture or posture, at least to the extent that it applies to the scope of this essay. As I wind down my second pass … Continue reading Mission Improbable?
Here is a spread that attempts to come to grips with that age-old question: "What should I do with my life at this point in time?" It uses the archetypal qualities of the Major Arcana to "set the bar" for expectations, and a second full deck to show any gaps between the hypothetical "best case" … Continue reading An “Ideal vs. Real” Credibility-Gap Spread
AUTHOR'S NOTE: More inspiration from Alejandro Jodorowsky. In The Way of Tarot, Jodorowsky talks about certain trump cards that exhibit a horizontal orientation and thereby symbolize "action in the world," while others align vertically and emphasize interaction between the plane of Earth and the spiritual (or in some cases, infernal) regions. His representative examples were … Continue reading Horizontal and Vertical Orientation: A Study in Contrasts
It is a common practice among modern tarot readers to look at the bottom card of the deck after the rest of the cards have been dealt, with the purpose of discovering hidden aspects of the matter; this is variously called the "base" or "shadow" card. Personally, I want none of this in my own … Continue reading An Alternate Take on the “Shadow” Card
I recently reconnected with an idea I had forgotten about from my previous studies: adding together the integers of certain sets of three consecutive numbers from One to Nine (and, if necessary, refining the sum through "Theosophical reduction") will always yield the number Six. The same is true of the double-digit trump cards, and actually … Continue reading The Sixes as “Solar Centerpiece”
I've been working with the concept of "Theosophical reduction" (adding together and reducing the digits of a composite number to produce a simple, one-factor sum) for so long that I've been more than a little skeptical of Alejandro Jodorowsky's notion of "decimal equivalency" between the double-digit and single-digit cards of the Major Arcana. His premise … Continue reading The Court Cards as “Decimal Equivalents”
AUTHOR'S NOTE: There is a wonderful metaphor that speaks directly to our attitude about life's occasional downturns and hints at whether we are naturally optimistic or pessimistic in our outlook: "Is the glass half full or half empty?" As a lifelong skeptic, my first thought when confronted with this conundrum is "What's in the glass?" … Continue reading The Overturned Cups: Half Full or Half Empty?
AUTHOR'S NOTE: While working on my "Cards for Surgery" essay I originally planned to mention the therapeutic portent of the other Major Arcana outside the scope of surgical intrusion, but decided it really should be a separate subject. Within the context of a reading, these observations should be taken as self-help suggestions warranting thoughtful review … Continue reading The Major Arcana As “Therapeutic Insights”
Alejandro Jodorowsky, in his decimal approach to the numbering of the Major Arcana (described in The Way of Tarot), notes that the "5" that is subsumed in "15," the number of the Devil, is connected as a "numerological counterpart" to the "5" of the Pope/Hierophant. Where the latter aspires to spiritual sublimation, the former seeks … Continue reading The Devil: Gateway to the Shadow
The Hierophant is another card of the Major Arcana with which I take issue, primarily because I'm highly skeptical of the arguments and orthodoxy of all religious faiths of the monotheistic, patriarchal (specifically Abrahamic) type. I don't believe spirituality can or should be put in a dogmatic "box" of any kind, it flows freely through … Continue reading The Hierophant: Theocratic Frontman or Harbinger of a Higher Purpose?