Of the various odds and ends I’ve posted on this blog, three of my favorites are on the relationships between the Hierophant and Death, between the Lovers and Temperance, and between Strength and the Star, respectively. These posts all take a similar approach: looking at the astrological correspondences of the Major Arcana and exploring the […]Read more "Ugh, Fine, I’ll Talk About Politics: Justice and the Emperor"
There are a few major themes that recur frequently in Tarot. Perhaps the greatest of these themes is capital-C Change. The entire Tarot deck is threaded with motifs of cyclicality and perpetual change. Off the top of my head, I can think of ways that at least one third of the Major Arcana could be […]Read more "Death, Judgment, and Change in Tarot"
The High Priestess is such an incredible, powerful card. She is the initiator, the guardian of the threshold, the one before whom we must pass if we are ever to attain higher knowledge. (Wow, I just reread that passage after a couple of days away from this draft. I sure do sound pompous, don’t I? […]Read more "Who Is the High Priestess’s Consort?"
It must be terribly confusing to be the Knight of Pentacles. Or, for that matter, the Queen of Wands. Or the King of Cups. One of the first tactics you learn when you’re starting to tackle the big, scary Court Cards is that they can be understood as a confluence of elemental energies. Each rank within […]Read more "The Courts Out of Their Elements"
(Catch Part 1 here.) There’s a piece of Roman literature called The Golden Ass, which is in many ways a prefigurement of the modern novel. The narrative follows the protagonist, a young Roman noble named Lucius, as he meddles with a witch and is transformed into an ass (and his subsequent misadventures as he tries to […]Read more "Strength and the Star, Part 2: Eros and Psyche"
Tarot is structured in a series of delicate dualities, sets of polar opposites that overlie each other and, in their interactions, create an extremely nuanced view of the world. Some of these dualities are in the surface-level meanings of the cards, as with the Emperor and Empress or the Sun and Moon. Some are elemental, […]Read more "Strength and the Star, Part 1: From Innocence to Mastery"
It seems like a simple question at first. There are five elements in Tarot, each represented by one of the five suits: Pentacles for earth, Swords for air, Cups for water, Wands for fire, and the Major Arcana for the mysterious quintessence that Wiccans tend to label “spirit”. The first four are the classical elements […]Read more "How Many Elements Are There in Tarot? (Part 1)"